Steve's weekly musings...
One afternoon I noticed a straggling cucumber in my garden despite it being the end of december. I grabbed my camera with the goal of capturing just a few shots of it, but then, I began to notice some interesting patterns of light and shadow on the nearby fence. So, what was initially a few grab shots turned into a 20 minute exploratory photo session. I frequently find myself doing this type of photography. It is fun because one has complete freedom to explore, discover, and create. In this particular session, I was using my big DSLR. But, any camera would do. In fact, I sometimes use just my iPhone as a "sketchpad" to capture images of concepts or anything that strikes me in the moment. And, sometimes, if I'm lucky, I can hit on something that resonates with me in a way that leads to a larger photography project.
This past week I visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. This museum is one of my favorites as it always has a photography exhibit (which changes every 4 to 6 months). Fortunately, I made it just in time to see the exhibit "A Subtle Beauty: Platinum Photographs from the Collection" before it closed on January 4. The exhibit featured about two dozen photographic prints from the early 20th century. The prints were made on platinum paper, which was a popular medium for printing from the about the 1880's to the early 1930's and is known for its large tonal range and ethereal qualities. I learned that in the early 20th century there was a group of photographers known as pictorialists that were trying to push photography as a true art form (on equal footing as classical paintings, Alfred Stieglitz was a key figure in this movement). These photographers favored using platinum paper as a medium since it could have a textured surface and be manipulated to give a personal and very artistic look.
"Auguste Rodin" by pictorialist photographer Gertrude Kasebier (circa 1906, from th e Library of Congress).
Here we are less than a week from the most commercial holiday of the year. My email Inbox is quickly becoming full with all the Christmas ads for last minute price deals. Today, however, my son and I are actually making some christmas gifts for our family members. It probably wouldn't be much of a surprise if I posted a picture (now) of the finished gift, so that will have to wait until after Christmas. Happy Holidays!
If you're looking for what I'm up to on a daily basis, well, maybe weekly anyway, you've come to the right place. As I write this entry it is a little over a week until Christmas (2014) and the hustle and bustle is in full swing. I've actually wanted to write for a blog (my own anyway) for a few years now. I never could quite find the time (and quite frankly, I never really thought anyone but me, and maybe my wife, would read it). However, circumstances led me to this outlet for posting some of my weekly photos as well as keeping family and friends up on what's happening in my life. The specific incident that led me to this point was a complete loss of faith and interest in Facebook (for reasons I won't go into here). Of course, most of my family and friends are on Facebook, so I will miss them. But, it is my hope that some will come and visit me in this small corner of cyberspace and maybe even leave me a comment or two.
Here is my son "Going for the Gold". This is a program where we read together every night and "medals" are given out at the end of the month based on how many cumulative minutes he has read (700 min=bronze, 900 min=silver, 1200 min=Gold). So far his favorite book (or series) is the graphic novel "Amulet" by Kazu Kibuishi. We are anxiously awaiting volume 6 from the library...
© Steven C. Martin Photography