Monday, February 28, 2011

Inspiration #4: Pushing the Limits of Color

Sandwiched between a sick wife and the pathogen-laden vectors that I teach each day, I have now fallen victim to a mid-winter virus. My heads pounds with each strike of the keys, and my eyes water as I gaze into this bright monitor. I crave the color of a summer day and have decided to push process my images to emphasize the greens that I so desperately miss.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inspiration #3: Trip to the Zoo

This is my fourth post in a series that began with "The Winter Blues." February in Minnesota really challenges me to the core. In some years the month unleashes a flurry of artistic inspiration framed around a harsh and sterile landscape. Sadly, this is not the case for 2011. Winter began early with a heavy December snow, and has dragged on with a dreariness unlike years in the past. In my post on the winter blues I had hoped that the images conveyed the melancholy that now grips me. But winter is an ephemeral event, and spring now hangs like a ripe berry just beyond my reach. So on Friday, I challenged myself to think green

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Inspiration #2: Green Stop

Grabbed the gear this morning and searched of some fresh landscapes... was rewarded with light snow, chilling temperatures, and a bitter breeze. Fortunately, my equipment is weather sealed, so I fought back. 
As a teacher I feel obliged to grade myself... let's call it an E for effort. The final images from the morning lack a real creative expression. Like so many of my mid-winter images, they exhibit a repetition that fails to inspire. As a result, today's work will remain dead and buried until I warm up to the abstractions that I tried to produce. So instead, I offer you yet another rebellion against winter. This one was  was retrieved from the archives, and dates back to 2004. The bright greens and colored paints speak to me on an otherwise white and gray day.
Green Stop: Fridley, MN. Nikon D2H, 300mm f4 AFS @ f14
©2000-2011 / Bruce & Tamy Leventhal. All rights reserved. No image on this site may be used without permission 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspiration #1: Green Out

I am a carpool of one and live with the guilt of burning fuel on my twenty-two mile trek to and from work each day. Lacking a partner with the flexibility to adapt to my unpredictable work schedule, I carpool with National Public Radio. During this morning's commute the local climatologist offered the radio audience his word of the day... "green-out." 
There was a pregnant pause between his words and the definition that followed. Green-out... I thought to myself... what could this mean? Was a green-out an ugly temperature inversion that occurs during the depths of winter? No,... I've never seen a green inversion. Seconds later Mark Seeley offered the inspiration that I was seeking on this morning. 
Green-out... the first green foliage exposed following an arctic thaw. 
I thought to myself,... I want to trade the current white-out for a green-out. I want to see the green grass exposed beneath the melting snow. I want to shed the winter blues for summer greens. 
Today's post is Inspiration #1... The Cloud Forest of Savegre River. As a direct challenge to "Old-Man Winter," I will post nothing but green for the next seven days... I may continue to shoot the white and sterile landscape this winter, but I will dig deep in my memories and remind myself that spring is on its way.
Cloud Forest: Quetzal National Parque, Costa Rica. Canon 40D, 300mm f2.8IS @ f11
©2000-2011 / Bruce & Tamy Leventhal. All rights reserved. No image on this site may be used without permission 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shooting the Blues

False spring visited Minnesota earlier this week. Forty degree highs and unseasonably warm evenings offered some needed relief from the oppression that normally grips us in February. Coupled with longer daylight hours and the increased coupling by the high schools students I teach, I almost believed that winter was over. Alas, it was all just a lie. A storm now approaches, and the weather terrorists are beginning to scare the masses into submission.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Point of View : Where Politics and Photography Collide

When does nature photography depart from its roots in photojournalism and become art? I suppose that a self-absorbed photojournalist might ask when their work becomes something more than just a record of an event or moment in time. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Photograph = Drawing with Light

The roots phos (γραφις) & graphis (γραφη) are derived from the Greek words for light and stylus. Placed together, these roots make the word photograph... to paint or draw with light.

Light above everything else defines the essence of the image. When you view a photograph, you are seeing the effect of individual photons and wavelengths of light striking an image capture device. Whether image capture is due to a chemical reaction between light and silver (film) or photoreceptors powered by electrical circuits (digital), each photograph is a light "memory" of a fleeting moment in time.