Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photographing Myself

I'm not the most photogenic person out there. I'd much rather be behind a camera than in front of it. But a few things recently have caused me to be the subject of my own images.
Pathway To The Soul - Tehachapi, California
The first case was back in December when I wanted family pictures, but didn't want to pay someone else to take them. The most recent case was artwork for an album. In the case of the album artwork, I could have paid a model or asked a friend, but it was just easier to do it myself.

A tripod is a must. If you don't own one, get one. You don't have to spend a bunch of money--any tripod, including used ones, will work.
Rocky Path - Tehachapi, California
I used two different camera settings to photograph myself. The camera's self-timer is the most obvious setting and the one that I used most often. But I also used Interval Shooting mode for some of the images (including Pathway To The Soul) with success.

All of this has inspired me to create a new series of images that you'll see here on this Blog over the next couple of months: A Photographer's Journey - Photojournal Self Portraits.
My Heart or My Grave?
This new project should be both challenging and rewarding--challenging both as a photographer and as a person. Like I said, I prefer to be behind a camera than in front of it. Changing my role will be uncomfortable and difficult at times. I think the end results will be worth the extra effort.

So stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Album Artwork: Dig Here, Said The Angel - Daniel Amos

A project that I've been working on over the last couple of days is album artwork for the rock band Daniel Amos. These photographs are for the possible use on their new album Dig Here, Said The Angel, which should be available in a couple of months.

The album title and the title song are inspired from the writings of Saint John of the Cross, who was a Spanish poet in the 16th century. He wrote, "'Dig here,' the angel said, 'in your soul, in your soul.'"

It has been a challenge to put a metaphoric concept into physical photographs. Pictures are literal, not figurative. So one has to use the literal to create something connotative. And that is what makes a project like this both difficult and rewarding.

I heavily relied on double exposures in order to make the images less literal. In some cases I created "ghosts" and in other cases I created shapes. I almost entirely relied on a shovel, but not always in a digging position.

The photographs can be placed into two basic categories: the journey and the destination. As I looked at the concept, these two ideas stood out. I wanted to focus my efforts there, creating photographs that show either the journey or the destination. The destination is different in most of the images because where exactly each person needs to metaphorically dig is a little different.

The Journey
Rocky Path
That Way
Pathway To The Soul
Field of the Heart
The Destination
Dig The Unknown 
My Heart Or My Grave?
Beneath The Tree
Beneath The Cross
Childlike Faith In Childhood's End
What Has Fallen
Dig Here
Dig Into My Heart

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dig Here, Said The Angel (Album Artwork)

I'm working on a photography project: creating album artwork for a band. This is not the first time that I've done this, but I'm especially excited for this particular project because I'm a huge fan of the band's music.

The album is called "Dig Here, Said The Angel" and the songs are more conceptual and less literal than what one typically finds on a rock 'n' roll record. Trying to place that concept into an image isn't easy. These images are my first attempts. I have some other ideas for photographs that I want to create, but I managed to break my tripod yesterday, so I'll have to wait until I fix the tripod I own or purchase a new one.

I'll post more details in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Roads And Cars (Automobile and Transportation Photography)

Here are some photographs that I've captured of roads and/or cars over the last two years. This is not a subject that I frequent, but one that I do enjoy--perhaps because I love a good road trip, or perhaps because I have a soft spot for forgotten highways.

I used a Pentax K-x, Pentax K-30, Samsung NX200, Samsung NX210, Nikon S8100, FED 5c rangefinder, and a cell phone to capture these. I think that proves that what camera you use is not important. Vision is what's important.

These photographs are in no particular order. Enjoy!
Foggy Mountain Road - Tehachapi, California
Roadway - Caliente, California
Sunrise At Cadillac Ranch - Amarillo, Texas
Wrong Way Alley - San Diego, California
Headlight - Lake Isabella, California
What Lies Ahead - Tehachapi, California
White Road - Tehachapi, California
Snow Road - Tehachapi, California
The Road Home - Tehachapi, California
Country Road Less Traveled - Tehachapi, California
Do Not Pass - Tehachapi, California
Xtra Truck Refluctions - Blythe, California
Forgotten Highway 58 - Mojave, California
Cow Crossing - Tehachapi, California
Classic Lines and Shapes - Mojave, California
Thunderbird - Tehachapi, California
Two Fast Bikes - Tehachapi, California
Ford Fairlane Headlight - Surprise, Arizona
Highway and Hills - Bealville, California
Old Ford - Chiriaco Summit, California
Broken Bike - Bodfish, Califonia
Through The Mirror - McKittrick, California
Inside El Camino - Bodfish, California
California Highway 178 - Inyokern, California
Old U.S. 80 - Arlington, Arizona
Ambassador Custo - Wickenburg, Arizona
Mountain Road - Tehachapi, California