Category Archives: Motivation

Conspicuous Composition: Favorites and Challenges from The Year of Square

Most Year of Square images were last-minute, grudging snapshots, but I still tried to make the composition matter.

Most Year of Square images were last-minute, grudging snapshots, but I still tried to make the composition matter.

I have been told there are no right angles in nature, but I don’t believe it. Nature’s basic operating principle is infinite diversity. I’m sure there are right angles out there somewhere.

Still, you’d have to scan the countryside pretty intently to come up with a rectangle that wasn’t man-made. Good luck finding a perfect square in a field of flowers. This, I think, was the biggest lesson of my Year of Square photo-a-day project: a square is an unnatural shape that calls attention to itself.

Hasselblad shooters and others created iconic square images, but we are accustomed to seeing photographs presented as rectangles. I found the square format challenging. All the usual “rules” of composition apply, but under tighter constraints. Three-plus weeks into the project, I produced an image that interested me:

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Filed under Camera Gear, Composition, Motivation

Even a Bad Day at Bolsa Chica is Okay

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”  That pretty much sums up my most recent and very disappointing trip to Bolsa Chica, but you know, I still had fun. I wanted pictures of terns hitting the water. I didn’t get any.

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Filed under Motivation, Nature Photography

2014 Village of Tales Ojai Storytelling Festival

A few of my favorite images from this year’s festival. I’ve posted quite a few over at PBASE, but these stand out a little bit as photographs, in my opinion.

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Izzi Tooinsky juggling a torch, a machete, and a rubber chicken.

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Partick Ball playing the Celtic Harp.

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Gene Tagaban beginning the story of the creation of Killer Whales.

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Cindy Kalmenson raising eyebrows and a few other items at Naughty Tales.

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Niall de Burca performing at Naughty Tales.

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Filed under Low Light, Motivation

What Happened to April?

Patrick Ball tuning his harp during the first event of the 2014 Ojai Storytelling Festival.

Patrick Ball tuning his harp during the first event of the 2014 Ojai Storytelling Festival.

I have no idea why I didn’t do any posts in April. No idea. I haven’t been shooting much, and I’ve been scraping every day to come up with a Year of Square image.

But I’m about to get back in the groove. Last night began the Ojai Storytelling Festival, and while I didn’t get any great images, I’ll get more chances over the next three days. Then, on Monday, I have my first theater publicity shoot in a very long time. Hoping all of this will help me remember the feel of a camera in my hands and head.

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Filed under Low Light, Motivation

Backyard Bird Therapy

Last night I indulged my insomnia by listening to a lot of Aimee Mann, watching V for Vendetta, and then watching a documentary about Gene Clark, one of the founders of The Byrds. Woke up depressed, and even a motorcycle commute to work did not cheer me up. But when I got home, things got better. I do want a much longer lens, though. These are very small portions of the frame..

All shot with Nikon D610, 70-200 f/2.8, TC17eII teleconverter.

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Filed under Motivation, Nature Photography