Thursday, February 18, 2010


For Valentine's Day Morgan gave me roses. Actually, a couple days before. But it counts. I didn't ask how much he paid. Hopefully not a lot. I hate that "hey, let's mark flowers up for V-day" thing. It's wrong. But the flowers are beautiful and have lasted quite nicely. After yesterdays short lived photo shoot I decided to practice on the flowers. Which have nothing in common with the moving subject I try to practice with! (If you click on the images you can view them bigger. Which is even better!)

This last shot was a happy accident. I had my exposure set wrong for my aperture and got this really over exposed shot but I liked how it turned out anyway.

Red roses are a tricky flower for me to photograph. Red is not a color that my camera easily reproduces. It generally turns out too orange. I end up tweaking the colors in PSE to get them right. Which is something I struggle with. Not the task of fixing but having to do it. I want all my work to be good straight out of the camera. But I think in reality that's not going to happen. Camera sensors aren't as sensitive as the human eye and lighting is rarely perfect. So the chances of things being the way I actually see them is not always high. So thank goodness for Photoshop!

As some of you know I dabble in other arts and crafts. Scrapbooking, knitting, collage art, sewing, jewelry making and have in my life painted, potted and blown glass. I like to use my hands to make stuff!!! But it wasn't until photography that I found my artistic voice. I was talking about this with a friend not too long ago and started thinking more about it. I've always loved photography but didn't really explore it as an art form until we got a digital camera. ***(below thought goes here)***And the main reason is I didn't want to invest so much money in trial and error and the learning curve. Film and the dark room. Rarely do I do things (arts and crafts wise) on a small scale. I didn't have the time or the access to take photography classes in college so it was just not something I ever pursued. Which is the beauty of digital photography. It is so much more accessible now. Which some people find positive and others find appalling. When I start something I like to learn all about it and while the learning curve has been at times frustrating and confusing it has also been very accessible. There are tons of books to learn from, great websites, many of which are filled with lots of knowledgeable people who are willing to answer questions, provide critique and technical support when necessary. Everything I've learned about photography I've learned from practice, trial and error and exploration. It is counter to how I would prefer to do things (I'd rather go back to school in the comfort of a classroom with a trained professional!) but it has forced me to be resourceful and creative and I've gained so much more because of that.

***EDITED*** (To include the part I was really going to write about before I started rambling!)
So my artistic voice. Oh yeah, that, which is what I was going to write about before I got distracted by my own rambling. (And now I'm distracted by how loud the keyboard is at 12:45am!) In any art that I have explored/pursued I strove for perfection. Art+perfectionism=not good. I could never quite get whatever I was creating to look like what I saw in my mind's eye. And I couldn't accept the end product. In high school I used to paint but I stopped because I just couldn't get it right and I would mess with a painting until it was indeed an actual mess. (Which some would consider art). But photography is different. I can photograph what I "see". And I LOVE that. Really love it. And if I don't get what I see in the image I do it again. And again. And sometimes 200 agains. And I am not wasting film or chemicals or paper or even digital space. And after I photograph what I see, I can play with it in Photoshop and make it something else. Or add some text. Or crop it or blow it up. Photography is creating art as perfectly as I can. And because I have that outlet for my perfectionism I can accept less than perfect in my other arts and crafts. Although, the flaw in one of the wash clothes I knitted still bothers me when I take a bath. Seriously people, I have issues!


Tracy said...

I love you photography. I have to show my daughter as she loves to take macro photos. She really has an eye.
I could have wrote this. Except for the photography part haha. I too am a perfectionist. I want everything to be perfect. And I want to learn everything about my art. I always go one step futher and alter a pattern or make my own embellishments ect. But with photography there is so much to learn and I am not good with the computer so I have to embrace that part of me and let it go.
Bet this is the longest comment you have ever had LOL.

Marlene said...

The photos are fabulous. Love the close-ups!

Miranda said...

Think of it this way darling, handmade things are just like the people who make them, they are NOT perfect..That's what makes them unique. And the things you see as flaws others probably do not even notice, they just see something you've done and think it is wonderful.. :P

emily said...

That's really true. I hadn't thought about that before. In college I worked on large landscape charcoal drawings. B&W because I could never get color right. And I'm also a perfectionist in all ways but most especially in my art. I love those drawings but in years since i've tried to push against perfectionism...sometimes with a tiny bit of movement. I encourage clients and students to find their artistic "voice" but I'm not sure where mine is yet?? I loved this blog entry. very thought provoking. and your photos are beautiful. I love seeing the details of an object so closely. It simplifies them and complicates them at the same time (if that even makes sense!)

jillconyers said...

Enjoyed reading your post Heather. For whatever reason photography is one of few things I do that I don't over think. It relaxes me. I practice practice practice and love very minute of it.

What lens did you use for the close ups?

noelia said...

That's the beauty of digi photography. You can play with your subject and settings until you're satisfied and there's always photoshop to make it just right. Why not? There's nothing wrong with that!