Artsy, Black and White, Color, Fine Art Photography, flower photography, Flowers, Photography

Tulip Revisit – Part 1

Just a quick post today after a rather lengthy hiatus. Some color and black and white photographs of tulips to get us back into the swing of things. These particular images will be going up for available prints at both sites for prints by me; this one and this one.

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Artsy, Black and White, Color, Fine Art Photography, flower photography, Flowers, Photography, Still Life

Sunflower Photography: New Prints!

Today I’ve added two new prints to my Sunflower gallery. These are fine art images, one in color and one in black & white. I was really taken with the shape and form of sunflowers a few months back and it resulted in a rather large body of work on the subject.

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There are a few more images to be added to this catalog in the near future, likely just before Christmas 😉

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As always, prints of my work can be found at desmondmanny.com.

Artsy, Black and White, Color, Fine Art Photography, flower photography, Flowers, Photography, Still Life

Sunflowers – Flower Photography

I have been including fine art flower photography in my photographic oeuvre almost since I first picked up a camera. There’s no real mystery to it. I have mentioned it before but flowers are a fantastic photographic subject because of their availability and infinite form. There are very few flowers that are not a worthy of photographic attention. Of course, like everyone else I have my favorites. I’m very partial to lilies (Peace and Stargazer, thank you), tulips, and now sunflowers.

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Yes, consider the humble sunflower. Okay, it’s a pretty popular flower. It’s an evocative flower. The color, the shape of the petals, the variety of different breeds. All of this is in aid of saying that I photographed a ton of sunflowers recently.

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As usual, my fine art prints are available at several portals including artspan, pixels.com, and redbubble. Additionally, I’m offering a limited discount on a 20″ by 16″ canvas of Sunflower #6 here (until September 13, 2017).

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These images have become some of my recent faves. I find there is something meditative about these particular images. There’s something about the shapes and textures of the sunflower. What do you think?

Artsy, Color, depth of field, flower photography, Flowers, Macro, Nature, Photography

Sakura (2017)

The cherry blossom tree that I photograph every year made an early bloom. I was fortunately quick off the mark because it really didn’t last long.

What is it about cherry blossoms? They are not the biggest nor the most robust of blooms. I think it has something to do both with their delicacy and the arrangments of the blossoms that seems almost painterly.

This must be why I always seem to photograph them with a shallow depth-of-field and the sort of subdued color that is well-represented by Fujifilm’s Classic Chrome film emulation.

Shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR (usually a portrait lens, but it close-focuses well enough for this purpose).

Prints available here.

Sakura (2017)

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Abstract, Artsy, Black and White, Fine Art Photography, Photography

Hairdryer

As a photographer, part of the deal is developing the ability to see photographs essentially everywhere. Make no mistake that this is an ability, an affinity, that must be cultivated. How? Well, by slowing down and really looking at what’s around you, by never taking anything for granted, and by developing a visual vocabulary all your own.

There are plenty of rules and guidelines to photography, but those are mostly on the technical side. You have the law of reciprocity, the rule of thirds, the inverse square ratio…but these are all tools, means to and end. Never should you focus so much on the technical aspect of your photography that you forget to nurture your particular vision.

Because you have one. Everyone does, nascent or fully-formed. Find yours. For myself, I know that I am drawn to appreciate and make certain types of photographs. I love shadow, the appreciation of minute detail, a sense of narrative in portraiture. I can trace all of these back to the influences on my own visual vocabulary, my aesthetic. Growing up in the 1980’s as a lover of comic books I know that informs some of my ideas of storytelling, my appreciation of western paintings influenced my sense of storytelling in portraiture, an interest in Japanese art still has a heavy influence on my color palette in processing photographs. None of this even begins the address the influence of modern photographers like Ralph Gibson and Gordon Parks.

You can see some of these influences in the images posted today. I saw what I wanted to capture in the form of an antiquated hairdryer and the way the light from a window fell on it. The rest of my particular photographic habits informed these images as they inform all my images.

Fellow photographer, I hope you know your visual vocabulary. I hope you cultivate your aesthetic the way a gardener would cultivate orchids. I hope you find your way.

HAIRDRYER

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Artsy, Color, depth of field, Fine Art Photography, Photography

The Unstrung Violin

The violin is one of the most romantic of instruments. If there is a more pragmatic reason other than the effect the violin has on the listener that prompted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to have Sherlock Holmes be an aficionado of the instrument, I prefer not to know it. In my youth I played, but those days are long past and now it is more of a curio, a battered remnant of someone’s musical journey rescued from the trash heap. It is likely the fact that like all musical instruments the violin marries form and function, it could not be made other than how it is and be the same. And they are just darned gorgeous.

THE UNSTRUNG VIOLIN

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NEXT UP: THE BOXER

Color, depth of field, Fine Art Photography, Flowers, Photography, Still Life

Fading Flowers No. 1

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I’m currently splitting my time between the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X-T2 in the ongoing journey to mastery of each camera. My experience of the X-T2 is most pertinent to this post. Being closer in design to a modern digital SLR, in contrast to the X-Pro2’s rangefinder design, makes it very familiar with my having mostly shot Canon dSLRs the last few years.

There is some muscle memory to overcome as I still find my fingers going to the wrong place for the functions I want. This is something that will become intuitive the more I shoot with the X-T2. As good a reason as any to shoot often.

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On many forums and websites there is a lot of talk about Fujifilm’s X-Trans sensor and its support by RAW editors such as Adobe’s Lightroom. Having jumped off the Adobe bandwagon over a decade ago this is far less a concern for me.

As an open-source advocate and user of FOSS software my raw editor of choice for a number of years has been RawTherapee on Linux (available as well for Windows and Mac),and at times Darktable. My experience of the X-Trans sensor with both of these programs has been excellent.

As an example here are a couple of comparisons between SOOC jpgs from the X-T2 and RawTherapee processed counterparts.

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Can you tell which is which? Or rather does one seem inferior? To my eye there is a slight difference in contrast and gray tones, but both images are quite nice.

And here, another comparison.

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The top image was captured in the X-T2 using the Acros film simulation + red filter and the bottom Acros + Green filter. RawTherapee was able to produce similar images from each neutral RAW file very easily.

So, which is which? Highlight the following text to see: SOOC jpgs on the left, RawTherapee processed files on the right.

I’m very happy to say that there is nothing but positives so far about my change in systems.

Artsy, Black and White, Fine Art Photography, Nature, Photography, Seascapes

Seascapes & Fishermen (new prints)

My personal affinity has never been particularly geared toward landscapes (or seascapes). It has only been in the last year or so that I have turned my lens toward the subject, and when I do it is for the black and white landscape. This is largely because I think the appeal of black and white photography is especially emphasized in landscape photography. The black and white photograph when done well asks of the viewer that they consider details and tonality in the absence of color. It has always seemed to me to be a meditative consideration.

That being said, the next post may well be something in the same vein but a bit more colorful, and after that something of a photo-story.

All but one of the images shown are available as prints here.

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