Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Past: Back to My Future

Recently, I got to spend a few days at Long Beach Island with a good friend.  I do like the winter quietude that surrounds this place but look forward equally to the summer season and all its raucous activity.  For me, having grown up in the East and having spent many summers at "the shore" as we call it here, it is familiar and comfortable.  A second home really.  And at this point in my life, I like familiar and comfortable.  And so, this beach, a barrier island, on the edge of New Jersey, an eastern edge of this continent, takes me back to my early childhood.  My grandfather had a summer cottage in this area and I spent the happiest days of my childhood romping around these parts.  And so, with some luck and determination, I hope to rediscover the area this summer...surrounding myself with old, dusty, dreamy memories simultaneously creating new, exciting adventures and escapades.  I wasn't in full photographer mode while visiting - my hostess is not a camera buff but I managed to do some good scouting around (for future photo sessions!).  I like all 4 below, but the solo bird moves me emotionally.  I wasn't prepared for "bird photography" (it requires equipment I just don't have...and probably never will!)...but I took this shot at the faraway angle on purpose.  I like the way the tiny bird appears against the big, expansive sky.  Lots of meaning for me in it.

And so, I leave you with two quotes this time...I liked them equally so decided to include both:

“When I look back on my childhood, my earliest memories seem like artifacts from a long-lost civilization: half-understood fragments behind museum glass.” 
― Matthew FlamingThe Kingdom of Ohio

“One thing about past challenges I never let go of: the fact that I made it through, survived, and learned a great deal.” 
― Charles F. GlassmanBrain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life

To view more of my photography on Etsy click here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/KateRyanFineArt

Friday, March 20, 2015

BeStill52: Week 10 - Light at 45 Degrees

It's Friday.  So glad.  Although it is snowing here on this first day of spring.  Ok then.  So, this week's BeStill52 assignment required we consider the light source in our composition from various angles. Simply put:  the 45 degree angle - or as Kim Klassen put it - the 10 or 11 o'clock position, or perhaps the 1 or 2 o'clock position.  Last week, when I was practicing my "be still" mode (not so much, she admits sheepishly), I happened upon this composition.  The simple elegance of Baby's Breath and my favorite prop (a teal-colored, glass, gourd-shaped vase) called out to me like a siren whispering softly in the wind.  Yes, this photographic passion constantly pulls you in, lures you to grab that camera - in a good way, of course.  So, although I was a bit ahead of this week's assignment (light at 45 degrees), I believe I accomplished the goal.  However, I do plan to do a few more over the next week exploring light at this angle.  And of course, I plan to be still and breathe.

And so I leave you good tidings for a great weekend and a quote about living a passionate life:

"There is no passion to be found
in settling for a life that is less
than what you are capable of living."

Nelson Mandela

To view more of my photography on Etsy click here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/KateRyanFineArt

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Day at The Beach

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to spend a few hours at Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. The sky was perfect.  The park stunningly beautiful.  I love the winter beach vibe.  Along with traditional photo capturing, I took some impressionistic liberties.  This popular abstract approach has various names in the world of photography: motion blurs, swipes, intentional camera movement, slow shutter speed, to name a few.  Applying this in-camera technique allowed me to really tease out the mood that surrounded me...cold, for sure, windy, yes, but yet dreamy, other worldly.  I softened the "color" of the day to a peaceful blue green - because even with all the weather elements whipping and swirling around me - it was calm and serene.   I can't wait to go back!

All comments welcomed! I leave you with a quote on calm and storm:

"There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm."

― Willa Cather

To view more of my photography on Etsy click here:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/KateRyanFineArt

Thursday, March 12, 2015

BeStill52 Week 9: Just Be Still

I'm curious - how many of you struggle with "being still"?  Do you have little habits or rituals that help you deal with it?   Photography - being in the moment behind the lens - is one way I combat this pesky behavior.

So on that note, here it is - Week 9 of my BeStill52 Journey.  Kim Klassen, our workshop leader, has asked that we take a breather, reflect, look back at our accomplishments and challenges.  No techie stuff this week - no photo assignment.  And, as always - Be Still.  Well, for me - breathing is easy. Being still - that's another issue. So, as best I can refrain myself from darting here and there in my house looking - always looking - for the "right light" (photography is all about "the light) - I will "be still" - at least for a couple of days.

So, in the spirit of "looking back" - here is a sampling of images produced over the last 8 weeks while on this road to stillness.

As mentioned in my first post, I plan to feature other friends and colleagues involved in the creative arts from time to time.  This is a work in progress, so please indulge me as I get used to this blogging thing.

All comments welcomed! I leave you with a quote today on stillness by Geoffrey M. Gluckman:

“Feel your emotions,
Live true your passions,
Keep still your mind.” 

― Geoffrey M. Gluckman

To view more of my photography click here: http://etsy.me/1tMazZW

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

BeStill52 Week 8

Welcome to my blog!  Thank you for popping in.  I hope you'll stick around.  Full disclosure: I've been dragging my feet for over a year to get a blog up and running. Don't ask.  Lots to explain but let me keep this somewhat short: I began a simple journey 8 years to reawaken my creativity through photography. I never could have imagined where it was to take me, the joy it would bring me, and the talented and generous people I would befriend.  More about this journey will be revealed in time.  So, fast-forward to the present:  I'm in the throes of a 52 week still life workshop taught by Kim Klassen called BeStill52.  The challenges:  learn stillness, calmness, breathing softly, photographing slowly and with intent....oh, and improve your still life photography along the way. Today's image is the 8th of a total of 52 (44 more to go).  The assignment was to capture a photo using a technique called "back-lighting."  Basically, it's meaning is simple:  the light source is behind your subject.

I promised to keep things short...and so there you have it for now.  Besides showcasing my journey, I plan to feature the work of other creative friends...photographers, writers, and others involved in the visual arts.  I will leave you with this week's quote:

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.”  — Henry David Thoreau

Hope to see you soon!  To see more of my work in my Etsy shop, click here: http://etsy.me/1tMazZW