Category: Other

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.

DGSBLog1

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.

palm leaf

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.

Rusty Wheel

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.

Creepy Bridge Photo
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.

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