Rim Rock Trail/Pounds Hollow/Southern Illinois/50 MM 1.8/natural lighting/manual
Something really funny happened in Illinois while on vacation. It’s been happening more and more lately and I can’t explain it. I was walking up a set of stairs that ascended into (what looked like total Utopia) a plateau; it looked like Eden it was so beautiful. I took a step, inhaled deeply, looked up, smiled and as I took my next step (snapping pics along the way) a rainbow formed right in front of me. There was no rainbow there previously or afterwards. It lasted less than two seconds and in the blink of an eye it was gone. I’ve been a photographer for close to a decade. I’ve taken hundreds of thousands of pictures and most of them have been in all manual. I know lighting and exposure better than my own skin and can explain away lens flares and apparition-like smudges with a sound, technological explanation. The rainbows? They’re very real. This has happened to me at least five times over the past few months and it’s always been when I’m out somewhere communing with God. It’s like He’s giving me a hug and it’s the most amazing thing ever because it’s so candid and unexpected. I know what my eyes see in every scene and I can manipulate my scenes to look any way I want via the aperture and shutter speed, ISO, etc. But I can’t insert rainbows into the frame with the flip of the wrist or camera-trickery. It’s a very special thing lately!
I took a quick selfie earlier because the light in the kitchen was so bright and I knew it would make a good high keyed shot where my facial features would fade out into the light and appear minimal. (I don’t consider this “good photography” by any means but experimental.) I didn’t alter the hues of my eyes at all- just kicked up the sat. a bit; the colours are real though. I’ve never noticed that I have rainbow coloured eyes- every colour of the spectrum can be seen in them. This too is a new thing as my eyes have always been “just green”. But lately, there’s a deep, red fire burning right in the center of them…
Pain in Rainbows pt. # 2
I decided to convert my collage (Pain in Rainbows) over into a digitally rendered fauvist styled painting on stone. I rather liked the way it came out. While I wasn’t planning on sharing my arachnoid cyst situation with all of Australia, I wanted to include my Aussie friends (all of whom are artists: sculptors, writers, and painters) as we’ve all been close for about six years now.
I feel pretty fortunate to have such a great group of friends. Many have solo exhibitions and are quite successful in the art world. And, a finer bunch of people I’ve never known.
The site I’m referring to is Redbubble. I’ve been there six years. Hmm…maybe seven.
Pain in Rainbows
I really don’t like pop art. Never cared for the Marylin coloured collage or the tomato soup cans (though I admit that I was thoroughly infatuated with the life of Warhol and have much respect for his talent). I decided to mingle the style of pop art with my love of B&W to examine and interpret my migraine pain. I suppose it could convey most any pain. After all, we all live with pain- whether emotional or physical- but none escape it. Like art, music, laughter, joy, and death- pain is a language that needs no interpreter.
I have recently found my Canon G3 battery charger. The camera is absolutely obslete on todays market, but I know that camera better than my own skin. I cut my teeth on that camera (manual exposure, shooting in monochrome, manipulating the lighting and shadows, and so on).
I think the problems many artists and photographers face today are due to the fact that the modern digital cameras are so “capable” that the user need only click one main button, “auto”, and the camera “does it all”. While it can mimic the accuracy to a degree, it cannot automatically shape and mold the light on a level that one can attain if he or she manually adjusts the settings. It’s like comparing a bologna sandwhich to foie gras. Or, Vienna Sausages to caviar. If a person doesn’t know how to shoot in manual, he or she may still be able to create an effective image, especially in Lightroom, GIMP (which is what I use), or Photoshop, but then it falls into digital artistry and not so much “photography”.
If you are curious to know what kind of a photographer you are, throw your DSLR (or P&S) in MANUAL, as well as MONOCHROME, and go out during the golden hour as well as high noon- then look at the stills. When you can take a batch of photos that aren’t blown out, hot- and bleeding here or there- you’re ready to move on to a more advanced camera.
There’s really no point in getting a fancy camera if you don’t know how to shoot in all manual! I can’t say this enough. And the truth is, about 80% of all of us photogs that have high end cameras are LAZY. (Notice I said “us”.) Very few actually shoot in manual mode, much less understand how to.
If I had a big rig, I’d be the laziest photog in the world.
Thank God for innovation and ghetto-rigging.