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Sparkle and Flow

I’ve always been drawn to fountains.  They speak to me and most often every fountain I’ve seen present great details and form a message of the creator.  I must have hundreds of photos of this fountain.  Its one of the most beautiful fountains I have ever seen in the United States.  What strikes me most is the patina that delivers the essence of its beauty. Since the fountain is iron its green patina creates a ominous glow during the day and night.

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This fountain has three main creatures.  Humans, birds and fish.  I’ve always tried to capture the sparkle, the patina and the amazing detail at its best.  You can see the water was colored pink for a local cause and makes the iron glow in shades of pink.

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The birds appear to be egrets and they are poised to show their beauty as iron cast creatures of a lesser known prominence.

Of all the majestic birds in the world I believe the egret is one of the bottom feeders of the species.  The are not particularly colorful, or considered a top tier predator. They are timid and feed on small prey.  So being on this fountain shows a striking but dossil form true to nature.

The fish of the fountain seem to be part hidden as if the creator wanted people to discover them accidently. Oftentimes you’ll see different faces appear in the different light, which offers a multitude of photo opportunities.  Fountain_Montgomerylandscape1.jpgAt night the

special glows luminate the patina in fascinating colors, sparkles and flowing patterns.  The figures almost look as if they are alive as the lights reflect through the water flow the shadows begin to move around creating a great pattern of movement.

Fountain_Montgomerylandscape4.jpg  The solemn look on the figures faces give me opportunities to develop an artistic look to create an old world painted feel that presents as a masterpiece in a big bold frame.

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The fountain is constructed and positioned such that it presents the scenes of the city around it in beautiful, radiant fashion. Like slide show of angles that reveal dozens of stories of their own.

“It is with great elegance and rugged prominence these fountains stand to present their sparkle and flow.”

Developing a sort of view in a view the scenes are striking once you discover them.

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Sitting, waiting, wondering what to do, this boy looks like he has pondered for better than one hundred years.  Day and night protecting the children above.

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Children in the fountain
The small cherub-like boys seem more in a state of wonderment and not solitude. They have an almost playful, yet striking pose atop the upper most tier of the fountain. Their innocence is protected by the woman at the top of the fountain.

The children seem to have been added to represent the innocence once held by men as a small child.  While the fountains history does not represent an innocence, it does provide an amazing scene for photographers.

The flow of water seems to begin with her at the top of the fountain as she pours from a vase downward into a small cup.

As she pours she watches to the west, and I can only imagine what a sunset would do when projected into the flowing water and patina of the fountain.

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The city has morphed of the decades and large buildings have been built around it.  The fountain will not see a true sun rise or set on its iron structure, and maybe that’s a good thing.

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Thanks for visiting and please tell me what you think about the photos.  Where would you hang one of these photos?

See this fountain and many more in my online gallery here. 

How many stars would you give?

Art

Venice Canal Boatwood

One of my favorite photos and still creates conversations from the wall.  In a back canal entrance on a May morning I saw this beautiful antique sport boat and it called my name.  What an amazing tribute to antique water craft.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

What Are You Doing?

What’s The Message?

What is in a black and white photo?

In my opinion its many things, stark contrast, separation, focus, but mostly to me its pure message.  That’s what I see in a black and white photo.  Sometimes making striking color photos into black and white can deliver the message quicker, easier and cuts down on distraction. How does it speak to you?  Solitude, quiet, peaceful, protecting?  You decide.

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If you are after the “message” color photos offer a lot, in terms of a great deal of pop, panache, and evoking the senses.  Black and white photography can deliver a message better in terms of focus, attention, and mood.

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Focusing in on specifics to deliver a sense of powerful, yet stark subject perspectives is a very huge challenge.  With most people having a smartphone these days its easier than ever to snap pictures with decent clarity, color and action.  Plus it takes away all of the guesswork and frustrations of manual photography.  Sometimes going back has allowed me to find a message in an image and create a center of gravity around it.

Here I want to highlight intricate crystal work verses color, shine and pop.   Its powerful, yet transports you right to the detail.

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Some photos require a bit of work to get them where I need them to convey its message.  That happens a great deal in photos that have many colors that are the same or similiar, like gray skies, gray water and white swans.  So developing a path to the message can sometimes be difficult.  What I do is spend some time searching for the message until it comes to me.  Here we see love.

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Sometimes you just can’t make the message work, and a black and white rendering is not the best way to deliver what you want.  You have to go farther and know how your work can compare side by side.

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Considering all factors when creating a black and white photo takes time, research, a lot of trial and error and practice.

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Post your favorite black and white photo and tell why you chose it and how you came to pick it as your favorite.

Art

Behind the Guns of the Red Baron

I couldn’t imagine flying in a dog fight in the 1918 time period.  Changing out the ammunition on a Fokker D Tri-wing while in combat must have been both an adrenaline rush and a death scare.

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Finally the German engineers figured out a way to mount forward facing guns and developed a synchronizer so that pilots wouldn’t shoot off their own propellers during combat.
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The sychronizer allowed the the guns to only fire when the propellers were not directly in front of the gun barrels.  The pilot, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Germany’s greatest WW1 fighter pilot, was shot down and killed over the Australian lines in the Western Front in France on 21 April 1918.

It was a greatly contested claim by both Canadian and Australian pilots as to who shot him down.  He managed to crash land his plane before he died.  There are many published accounts of this event and even published examinations of Richthofen’s body to clarify the account.

His death came after an aerial dog fight with the newer more agile British Sopwith Camel biplane .

The Baron’s guns could easily be pointed in the direction of the enemy fighter and blast them out of the sky.  The ammunition could also easily be reloaded in flight, which is kind of scary, given the fact that you could crash the aircraft while trying.  What an amazing story and a fantastic look back at how tough these men were.

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Manfred Baron Von Richthofen was all about guns a blazing! There are some great stories out there, and some not so nice.  Back then there was no way to capture the action like there is today, so many stories get twisted, mis-communicated, or simply become a persons account of what happened with little  or no evidence to support any claims.

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Want to learn more about Richthofen’s life and career check out this article.

Let me know what you think about WWI aerial combat.

 

 

Other

Rain Bird

One of my latest creations.  I go to car shows and love to get different perspectives of the vehicles.  This creation was inspired by the rain drops on the hood of the car.  It was a rainy day but I still took advantage of it.

This is a fan favorite and hangs in many local garages, mancave’s and car enthusiast homes.  You can get one of your own, just click the image.  Share this with your friends and family, everyone loves a good classic car.

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palm leaf Other

Blemished Beauty-in search of half-life gone by

A million blemishes…a hundred thousand flaws…five hundred imperfections create a solitude of beauty.

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As time passes things get old, rot, decay and wither away from exposure, wear and tear, nature and the fury of mankind. This fury creates what I call blemished beauty.

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As a photographer it’s rare I seek out the shiny and new, the smooth and soft. I get excited to find an image that speaks to me, and tells me a story. It only takes a few minutes and sometimes (on rare occasions) a few seconds to get a reaction from me. Very often I find a location that shows a subject that is just, albeit barely showing decay and degradation of structure, just enough to show signs of stress or wear. That is the beginning of the story for me.

Often when I am shooting subjects in the wild (not really the wild safari, but in the outdoors) I catch myself wondering whether what I am taking photos of has been torn, bent, crushed or smashed by humans or nature. Its not a puzzle and its not something I spend a great deal of time thinking about, I just ponder it then move on. What strikes me in life is that when a catastrophic nature event happens it is usually more destructive that human hands can cause, except in war. But in daily life I see that the single most destructive force we experience is human beings.

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The torn, tattered landscape of humanity.

We are our own worst destroyers of life, liberty and environment.  Recounting how short life is for some people I’ve known is truly humbling. I once read an interesting perspective (heavily paraphrased of course). If you are 2 years old then one year accounts for half of your life. If you are 45 then one year accounts for 1/45th of your life, and that passes by like a gnat on a breezy day. You don’t really miss it, because it’s too far gone and if uneventful was really nothing important.

So greeting each photo opportunity like it’s a fleeting moment of my life treats me to a world unknown to most. Where rust and rot begin, starts a beautiful photography relationship for me. I find great challenge in seeing what no one else has seen, or at least in the state I see it at that time. I truly believe that is why many photographers I follow seek travel to places that are still untouched and unmolested by human hands that still exist on earth. That is what I also believe great photographers like Ansel Adams and Annie Leibovitz have done for us. They see unique and fleeting opportunity in subject matter. Like the reflection in a puddle, lake or stream or a cloud structure. Once you see it there is not another instance of it ever again.

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.”

Annie Leibovitz

When I talk to young (and not so young) and new photographers I tell them to just start taking photos of everything that they find interesting. Back in the day with metal plates and even film it was expensive to do that, and took great research, study, note taking and understanding of how subject matter speaks to you.

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Deeply engrave the blemish!

To me it was the ability to quickly tune out distractions and find a story or a subject that talks to me rather than do what others think I should shoot photos of. Of course if you are hired to take photos that is a different story all together, because you are there to take photos of subjects someone wants you to take photos of.

I don’t call myself a world traveler, but I have been a few places around the world and it has never disappointed. Sometimes my own backyard reveals great surprise and delivers when nothing else will do. I don’t really want people to see what I see, but to see what they see by seeking the odd angle, and the ultra-weird perspective and view. I truly believe that when I find an image that talks to me it’s like finding a new lease on life (so to speak) and not that it extends my life, but more like it adds to the completion of life.

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Window into the rotten of it all

I can’t count on one hand the number of people that have seen the things I have seen, and it’s the same for you and everyone else, you just have to be willing to spend the time, make the trek, and listen to your brain’s eyes. Find the blemishes and the uncharted images with millions of flaws.

When I first started taking photos I was in such hurry to get photos of everything I saw that most of them were blurry or ill composed. Illcomposory, I like that word. Sometimes you have to sit down with yourself and ask, do these photos resonate in my mind? Do they speak to me in the night? I wake up sometimes in the middle of the night with searing, burning annoying visions of again going through the daily drudgery of not being able to go out and take photos. Because fellow photogs, at this point in my life photography does not yet pay the bills, and it may never, but one thing is for sure it pays the inner costs of curiosity, passion, seeking of unknown treasures. It pays me very handsomely.

 

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.

Ansel Adams

 

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Irony of the Flawed

Telling the story of the unwanted, unneeded, unnecessary is out there waiting for you.  You will know it when you see it, hear it, smell it and feel it. Don’t wait, go listen, go watch.  Don’t forget to count the blemishes!

 

 

Other

Perspectives From The Other Side

I liked how this place creeps me out! The creepier the place, the more likely I am there.  I love to find places that looked like they once were visited by humans, but then slowly became abandoned.  I’m not talking about old abandoned houses, mansions or even factories.  Places that still stand but have been subjected to harsh weather, overtaking nature and some age crumbling destruction on the side for good measure.

A couple of years ago I was driving down a country road that I usually frequent between two cities, only this time something caught the corner of my eye as I drove by.  This time was a bit different because it was winter and most of the leaves had fallen from the trees.

As I circled around I see this half aluminum and half stone structure that spanned several hundred feet in length.  I couldn’t figure it out but I knew I had to see if it was a contender for my next photo shoot.  I get asked all the time about why I looked at a particular object or setting and took a picture of it.  Usually my answer is because I liked it.  But more often I will stand and pontificate endlessly about why.  That is just getting honest nerd from my father.  Thanks Dad!

Recently I’ve started capturing images of subject matter that are in settings or in a state of being that most people wouldn’t see, wouldn’t notice or wouldn’t understand.  So this time it was a few hours of walking around and looking while snapping photos as usual.  For the most part this all seemed like any other place I go except this place begins to take over my subconscious mind with its vibe, speaking to me with rekindled energy, as if I was summoned there to spend some time.

I agreed, and began to listen to see what I could hear.  I started thinking that I went to this place on the spur of the moment, on a whim, unannounced.  It hit me, that no one knows I am here.  I was a good half a mile from any view from the road.  I was on an abandoned bridge.  The chills suddenly overwhelmed my arms, neck and legs.  Then I started hearing sound that made me uncomfortable, resembling small animals running back and forth in the brush then stopping when I stopped.

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The Bridge of No Return

I realized this could very well be the bridge of no return and became more exciting by the second.  As I could feel my senses heightened and my hearing became almost bionic.  As I began to snap more and more photos the creeps set in really deep, and since I was at about the two hour point, I decided to make my way back to my car.  I turned around, and at that moment I realized I had to go all the way back through the creep gauntlet once more.

Making my way back I began to feel as if someone was watching me, and just like all those “finding Bigfoot” episodes I have watched, there were no bird noises, no sounds at all except my crunching as I walked.  After half an hour I picked up the pace and began to whistle my way across the bridge.   About half way across I stopped and began to wonder, if in fact there were other entities there with me…nah.

This was one of the creepiest places I have shot photos at, and for me it’s time to up the ante and find something creepier.  I know, call me glutton, or photo nerd, I like both of those.  I heard that abandoned buildings can be creepy but in my opinion there are too many of those out there.  I want to experience something different next time, it has to be special.

Somehow I wondered if there were accidents that happened on the bridge that became the reason it was shut down.  I kept taking photos of the bridge as if I would never see it again, but of course this was not the case.  Shooting pictures there I realized that things change, places and communities evolve as do we.

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The biggest thing I realized about where I was and what I was doing is that, aside from possibly trespassing, this great nation is full of these places that need to be discovered and captured for all of time.

If you are in Alabama and want to see this place for yourself let me know in the comments and I will hook you up.  The best thing I can do is share it for others to see until it is forever gone.  My advice for budding photographers, and even seasoned veterans, is if you see something old and decayed, snap a picture of it.  It will soon be consumed by time.

Please connect with me and let me know what you think.

https://500px.com/dgsphotography
https://www.flickr.com/people/d4six/

https://www.facebook.com/DGSElementalArtistry/

Canoes Image Architecture

Southern Charm

I feel very fortunate to live and work in the southern United States.  While there are a ton of places that I am sure I would love to live in all compass points of the country, I have had the opportunity to visit areas of the U.S. that represent the East, West, North and South even as far west outside the U.S. as Guam.
Southern Antique HomeHaving lived in the Southern part of the U.S. most of my life I find it both comforting and interesting. I don’t want to get into what is the best place in the country because I think they are all great, and while I just happen to live on a southern plot of the map, I really enjoy most everything about it.  The people, landscape, opportunity and most of all our rich history.

I am very fascinated with the architecture in the south because it takes on many cultural aspects in their design.  So show a  Spanish flavor, while others have an Italian or French look and feel.  Some even have bit of the old English colonial.

In the south there are many descriptions and back porch meanings for “southern charm” that exist, from the food, to the people and even the way you feel in the south. According to Southern Living Magazine “Southerners are known for having charisma and poise—no matter the circumstances.”  I find that aspect mostly true but not always.  I think I find charisma and poise most everywhere, but its doesn’t necessarily punch me in the forehead either.

One of my favorite things to do is talk to people in towns I visit to see if I am missing anything about the atmosphere or maybe they will let me in on that secret place near where I am shooting pictures.  I once asked an older southern gentleman if he knew where any barns were that I could take pictures of and he looked puzzled but was glad to respond.  He said “son” (everyone half your age younger is called son) why on earth would you want to take a picture of a barn for?”  I said “well Sir (everyone half your age older is called Sir) I am a photographer and love the look of old barns for my photos.  He said I can tell ya or I can show ya.

I obliged and followed the man for a few miles.  He drove a simple old 70’s model Chevy truck that was clean but very, very used.  He had tools, and old car parts in the bed of the truck.  Yes the truck had a double “gun rack” in the rear window.   One of the racks had a rifle, and appeared to be a shotgun and the other was a big oak stick with a strap on the handle.  He drove very slowly and after about five or six miles he pulled over.  As he approached my car I thought to myself, he must be lost.  Nope, he came up to my drivers window and gruffly said “go up yonder and turn left at the second dirt barn-4road, then the barn is about a quarter mile on your left.”  He turned back with a funny look on his face and said, “oh, and if you get shot, it ain’t my fault.”  So I proceeded with his directions and where I landed was a freshly cleared lot with some amazing structures on it.  The first thing that caught my eye was a barn.  It had obviously been a horse barn and appeared to be at least 75 years old.  The structure was very solid, and was about 25 feet wide and about 15 feet deep.  A sloping tin roof was rusty and coming apart, and amazingly this barn was a sitting time capsule, with rope, barbed wire and some old tools hanging in the barn untouched. Almost 100 feet in front of the barn was an old home that looked like it was quite honestly “fiercely” lived in.  A few minute into the photo shoot I heard the old man on the road say “you up there”?  I replied back “yes sir!, thank you!” I slowly drove away.

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This home was extremely rough, obviously from the weather and visitor that probably didn’t care much about history or nostalgia.  I walked around and was amazed at how it must have been when this thing was alive with a family and animals running around.  children playing on the porch and the smell of greens and peas bellowing from the back door.  Some say the greens represent dollar bills and the peas, coins, ensuring wealth and luck. Wow, I thought to myself this was how people grew up and lived.  There was no apparent electricity at the home nor did I see any sign of plumbing.  The wood was so amazing that it appeared that it was still alive.   I call these structures “kings of the south” because its where families were raised, and communities flourished.

I wake up every day in hopes that I find jewels like this to preserve for all of time.  I often get requests for this print on canvas and has adorned many a southern home and office. Check out some “Southern Charm” on twitter.  If you find a barn get the shot and tell us what you found.

Now, break into small groups and discuss.

Blue dragonfly Musings

A World Full of Odd Angles

Welcome to DGSPhotography.  We are happy to share with you some interesting perspectives.  In a world of “odd” angles we will take you down a path of complete and utter uniqueness by showing you some unique places and pointing out those less than obvious angles…including the story behind the images.

In the coming posts you will be walking into images and their stories and hopefully gain a new sense of understanding for the “odd” angle.  We want to also promote the idea of guest bloggers on our site so that you get many views, many stories and become a place where you enjoy reading.

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What do you think?

 

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