Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

I reached back to one of my last beach visits and remembered some of the great views I was able to witness on Amelia Island in Florida.

I love the shape of clouds – the heavenly feeling they portray.  The sunrise this particular morning showcased the few clouds that happened to hover over the horizon.

I’m reminded of how magnificent nature’s creations are and how much I love to capture their raw beauty.

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Hey There, Little Fella!

I was on a walk here in Atlanta not long ago and came across this wonderful sight – a beautiful young brown bird resting on an empty sidewalk cafe table.

It seemed to not be bothered by me being so nearby and staring at it (I know – staring is rude), so I decided to capture the moment.  The contrast of the mosaic table and red-flowered bush in the background (what’s with me and red flowers off late?) made a nice backdrop to shoot this adorable creature.

It looks like it’s in deep thought about something…  maybe wondering how long before it finally gets cold down South?

Well, little birdie, I’m hoping it stays warm for as long as possible so I can sit out and enjoy the sunny rays just like you’re doing right now.

For the Love of Art… Every Kind Imaginable: Flux Night 2012 Atlanta

I’m so glad I decided to attend Flux Night 2012 a couple weekends ago, put on by the innovative cultural force Flux Projects held amongst the loft-filled streets of historic Castleberry Hill here in Atlanta.  It was a night full of tens of thousands (did I mention it was free?) of visual art lovers viewing commissioned works along the distinct streets of Castleberry Hill.  These public temporary projects represented all shades of art in an experimental fashion:  visual, music, performance, dance, light installations, and much more.

One of the bonus treats were open galleries in the area that I usually don’t get a chance to check out unless there’s a special event such as this.  One such gallery is ZuCot Gallery.   The collections they hosted that evening (they rotate every 6-8 weeks) were creative and inspiring in a way that I hadn’t anticipated.   The energy inside as well as out on the streets was undoubtedly felt by anyone in the midst.  One word, across their gallery windows, summed up what the entire evening was truly all about:  art.

Every time I wonder if my five years since moving back to Atlanta is close to expiring, I come across spaces, events and projects as experienced on this particular night that remind me of how eclectic, cultural, and unique that this city is – it always makes me want to stay yet a little bit longer.

Check out fantastic images and summaries of the projects on Flux Projects‘ page and let me know what you think!  Maybe I’ll see you at next year’s event.  🙂

A Smartphone and Instagram: Is The Art of Photography Compromised?

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Right smack dab in the middle of CNN‘s homepage this afternoon was an opinion article by Richard Koci Hernandez, Emmy award-winning multimedia photographer, on mobile photography’s potential effect on the Art of Photography (link to CNN provided).  Since CNN thought to put this topic front and center, I thought it warranted a few more words than my normal posts.

As I’m also a lover of music and dancing – many a DJ are in my local circle of friends and acquaintances- it reminds me of the ongoing debate on the average Joe (or Jane) buying the latest iPhone software to make their iPads and iPhones into full DJ mixing decks to showcase their self-taught music selection and track mixing skills and considering themselves DJ’s.  You ask your average DJ of today about these iPhone DJ’s and you’ll likely start an argument on who’s “real” and who’s fake.  Which is ironic because many DJ’s that are 100% loyal to one of the earliest recorded music mediums – vinyl – and only conduct vinyl only sets consider themselves the “real” ones and those that spin music sets using CD’s, the now traditional format for conducting DJ sessions, as compromising the true art of DJ’ing.

I believe that smartphones and Instagram have their place in our times.  It offers to the everyday person what photography artists value so much about the skills they’ve gained or natural gift they were born with – the ability to capture and enjoy solitary moments and see the world with their own personal meaning.  It also allows the ability to share our view through social media with many known and unknown that may not see them otherwise.  To those in tune with the things that cause you to be swept away into the moment of a photograph, you will always recognize true, purposeful artistry in a photographer’s work compared to what may be distributed by the masses via smartphone cameras, Instagram, and other photo-sharing sites and tools.

At the end of the day, when it comes to music and dancing, as long as the music gets me moving on the dance floor, that’s really all I care about – the medium isn’t the most important thing to me.  And let me not be misunderstood – I take my music and dancing VERY seriously.  I will always be able to judge whether the one on the decks playing music that moves my feet (or not so much) treats DJ’ing as the artform that it is or not, no matter if they are using vinyl, CD’s, mp3’s, iPhones or other methods.  I’m certain that this also applies for me with photography as well.  I appreciate viewing photographed moments that others feel are special to them – I’d never want to take that away from anyone ever.  But the art of photography can, and in some instances, should be different from this.  With this, the method used isn’t as important – whether film, point-and-shoot, SLR, or smartphone.

The soul, passion, and gift of a true artist can never be hidden.  Nor can it simply be duplicated by just any other person with the same set of tools.  As long as there are people that know and appreciate this, I think the Art of Photography will be just fine for years and years to come.

Let me know what you think!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

My last visit to Amelia Island was a much-needed break from the chaos of my corporate and urban life in Atlanta.  I love a chance to enjoy nature and it’s even better when there’s water involved.

On my way to nearby historic American Beach, I was shocked to come across this creature in front of a house near the beach entrance.  Now, I’ve seen my share of turtles from visits to lakes and nature walks by brooks and streams – they are usually so small and cute.

However, this turtle was BIG.  I let him mosey on, of course – we both had a beautiful day at the beach to go and enjoy.

Red Flower Greetings: An Ode to Southern Hospitality

Red is my favorite color.  The vibrancy, warmth and energy is irresistible.  That may have something to do with my being an Aries as well (think: fire sign, ruled by Mars, the red planet).

While walking down a local street, I came across these energetic potted red flowers sitting in front of slightly worn, painted wooden steps leading to a charming Southern porch.  How inviting they were in front of this quaint country home, as if to say, “come on up, rest your feet and have a cool glass of lemonade.”  Just like good ol’ Southern hospitality – being warm and welcoming to unknown visitors.

I didn’t quite stop and smell the flowers, but it sure was nice to stop and smile at them, returning their kind greeting.