Monday, October 3, 2016

Autumn in Michigan

If you are a nature photographer, and you had to pick one place at one time of year to spend the rest of your life taking photographs, it would be very hard to find anywhere better than Michigan in the fall.  The variety of opportunities is simply unparalleled.  Seeing a foggy sunrise like this, typical of early October in the lower peninsula, is a sure way to start your day off on the right foot.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Orange Bolete

What an amazing fall season for mushrooms this has been!  Lots of rain, lots of 90 degree days. A few steps into thickly covered woods and you can find 50 different varieties of fungi within as many yards of yourself.
I spotted this orange bolete while out looking for Indian Pipes (aka Ghost Flowers).  The color was so striking that it was impossible to ignore.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Spotted the woods reclaiming a tree while out shooting this week.  I am not real big on the whole HDR process, but this shot really called for it.  It is a great lesson in both patience and the unstoppable progress of the natural world.  A year from now this will look totally different.  Two years from now it will be unrecognizeable.  And five years from now it will be almost entirely gone, depending on the weather between now and then.  Just because something isn't moving fast doesn't mean it isn't moving.  This is, in fact, an action shot!

Friday, July 1, 2016


I do like living in the woods.  Things like this make the long drives worth it.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Photo Challenge Entry #30 Epilogue: Still Life With Death

So this is the final shot in the June 2016 Photo Challenge series.  I hope you have enjoyed it, or at least found it interesting.  I have to admit, it was every bit as challenging as I had thought it would be.  I can see why these "one-a-day" challenges are so popular.  If you are a photographer, or thinking about becoming one, I would encourage you to try it, even if it is just for yourself. 

For those of you who missed it, my closing remarks on the series were made in yesterday's post.

Starting tomorrow I will be returning to my regular "once a month" posting schedule, sans theme.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Photo Challenge Entry #29 Biker Hand

I have a friend who emailed me upon seeing this photo series, and his only comment was that "skulls are for motorcycles".  While it is true that the history of skull imagery has been very popular with those commonly seen to be on the "societal fringe" (bikers, and pirates before them), this has not been out of a sense of "evil" as much as it has been out of a sense of recognizing and embracing one's own mortality.  That was, I believe, the message of Michaelangelo (a noted Hell's Angel) when he painted an enormous and incredibly creative skull on the wall of the altar in the Sistine Chapel.  (Focus on the blue sky sections, and you will see it.)  Many pirates, at least the ones we have historical records for, were men of religious faith.  And many bikers today are as well.  As the example of Michaelangelo illustrates, there is yet another group of individuals often seen as being on the "societal fringe", who have also very commonly integrated skull imagery into their daily activities. Artists.

Whether Michaelangelo, Cezanne, DaVinci or O'Keefe, the history of art is jammed with skulls.  These works too, commonly explore the concept and emotions surrounding mortality.  But they also explore the aesthetic properties of the skull as well.  The fact is that while the emotional and psychological attachments that you possess are what draw your attention to a work of art centering around a skull, it is the aesthetic properties of the skull which keep you looking at it, and which allow you to form a connection to the work.  The curvature, the shadows, the fissures, the angles, the texture...all of these things are unique to skulls and all of these things make them therefore uniquely interesting and enjoyable visual objects in and of themselves.

That has really been the goal of this series, for me.  To illustrate the unique and diverse aesthetic properties of skulls apart from the traditional psychological constructs which our society imparts upon them.  To show that from an artistic standpoint skulls can be seen in exactly the same way as we see flowers.  That is why throughout this series I have used many of the same traditional framing, composition, and/or lighting styles typically used to photograph or paint flowers.  I invite you to revisit all the photos in this series and try imagining them as flowers of various sorts, either singly, in bunches, or in close-up, as the images dictate.  I think you will find it very easy to do so.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Photo Challenge Entry #28 Embroidery

This one pretty much speaks for itself, but do make sure you click on it to enlarge it so that you can see some of the detailed work on this.  It is very pretty!