Thursday, March 31, 2011

How I Found The Desert

I obviously love the desert and the story of how I found it goes something like this. Years ago in another lifetime my half sister wanted to visit from Michigan, so we found the cheapest flight was to Las Vegas so I was to pick her up and drive her back to LA. As anyone familiar with this trip will verify, you drive through quite a bit of desert and she enjoyed that drive so much we took the long way back for her return flight. Now fast forward a year or so to find she had moved here and was staying with me, weekends we would go you know where, the desert. She loved Joshua Tree so we would pack a cooler, my camera and her desert books and spend the day out there wandering trails. We would eventually see them all, at least the tourist view and spend untold hours photographing, identifying plants and just generally being away from it all.
Elephant Knees (Anza Borrego Desert State Park)

Any place devoid of people I find wonderful, and to be there alone in such a beautiful environment too good to pass up, so when I began doing nude photography it was a natural combination. I was very fortunate to find art models willing to trek way out to remote locations and pleasantly surprised that many were eager to go. It can be a harsh environment, it does have it's extremes and you should be prepared but the reward of having phenomenal landscapes to me is well worth the trouble, photo shoots in such remote places are as much adventure as photographic work.
Sand Dunes (Salton Sea)

People often ask how I find such locations and it's simple really, but you must be willing to take the road less traveled, the deserts can be vast places but there is so much out there. Often all you have to do is take the trail and see where it goes, several times out on a photo shoot models and others have remarked to me just how beautiful and magical it is out there and I know, it's why I go.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


A rare and precious artistic gift.
As I was looking through photo related blogs for a bit of insight prior to starting mine, I found many with features on art nude photography & fine art in general. One of the first to catch my eye had just featured a couple from Russia, I can't find it at the moment but it appeared they had been together making images for some time. Over the years I've come across many stories of photographers & models having long term relationships, Edward Weston had several :) William Mortenson married his muse, Myrdith, and there are many others.
In short a Muse is inspiration and it's my opinion they are a product of your heart, they are your artistic vision, they occupy that part of your mind where you see the world and then they blend perfectly into your creativity. It's not about who they are but how you see them that really matters. In a conversation with a fellow photographer yesterday the topic of inspiration came up, he mentioned the familiar feeling of hating your work and how photographers might burn their images in an effort to start over. Been there! But at the moment I'm a virtual reservoir of inspiration, I am feeling more focused and creative with every photo shoot, each time I get home and review my work I just want to go back out that much more. I love the images and I see the flaws in them, it only makes me crave another opportunity to improve.
Ripples Of Apathy
People will seek a Muse as they struggle with their direction, have feelings of indifference, or desire to find what may be missing in their work. We all know writer's block when those words or lyrics are altogether quite elusive. But when your path in life crosses with someone that touches your spirit and ignites your vision, there really is nothing you cannot accomplish. It's my wish that we all know this feeling more often, feeling this inspired is simply magical

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life, Love & Windmills

I believe life & love can be mutually exclusive and at times cannot exist simultaneously, there's a balance that must be carefully measured and tended to. It's not o.k. to chase your dreams at the expense of others and not right to try, the balance is not only when you give up a little to receive a little, it's also knowing where and how to draw the line, not always so easy to do.
Caution to the Winds
This past weekend's shoot began with much anticipation and for me a feeling of anxiousness to get some solid images for publication, it began Friday night with a conversation about a gallery show. In my mind I can never have enough material, it could be I use this as an excuse to go out for more, or a way to avoid facing the limitations of my current work. Ansel Adams once said 'Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop." I wish I had his patience.

Friday, March 25, 2011

In The Beginning

From the very beginning I struggled trying to find what I wanted to do with my life, and I sure don't recommend this for anyone. One of the longest gigs was playing drums in bands, I've been in several and even made some decent money playing in hotel bars all over the northwest US.
One of the first things I did with a large paycheck was buy a camera, which in hindsight should have been a clue however I was young & clueless. In hindsight I should have followed my heart.
It wasn't until i was much older that I started shooting seriously, landscapes and family mostly, then by chance I started sharing images online. With lots of encouraging comments I ventured further and further into artistic photography, while there are some that might say this is an oxymoron, I simply can't draw! Here is an image from my second trip to the desert with a model, and when I returned home to begin editing the photos I knew I was hooked, I had never in my life photographed so much beauty.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Desert Art Nude

Yours Truly & my Phenomenal Muse Pearl, out on location

I've thought about doing a blog for some time, a place to share ideas and tell stories, or perhaps stories within stories, or just log what I found in nature or about myself. I don't know where this will lead because I have no plan, but I sometimes do that on a photo shoot, just take a road less traveled to see where it goes. I'll try to keep it interesting, as best I can.