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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Color, Editorial, Photography, things seen, Travel

Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation #2

Continuing from the previous post about Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation

Our guide gave us a full tour of the facilities and how the process goes from the picking of the ripe red coffee bean, to the peeling, to the sorting and drying, and finally the roasting.X30_16-06-20_0062-1

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Hand-picked beans are driven a short distance and dumped into this bin to begin the process of washing and sorting.

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The beans are then laid out in the drying rooms.

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Color, Editorial, Photography, things seen, Travel

Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation #1

During my stay on the big island of Hawai’i the opportunity presented itself to tour the Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation. The tour was a very pleasant way to the spend the morning and we had a very friendly and informative tour guide. A special thank you to the family that was on the tour with us and shared the meal they had paid for. Such generosity doesn’t go unappreciated.

Not being a coffee drinker in any serious fashion I was still pretty interested in the process, which is actually rather simpler than I imagined. I do imagine that a plantation like Mountain Thunder works a bit differently than some of the brands that take out national (and international) television adverts and such.X30_16-06-20_0005

Chickens, dogs, and extremely laid back cats were in abundance.

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As it was explained the process of picking the beans require a keen eye and deft fingers. Many workers fly in to the island at times of harvesting.

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Before the drying and roasting process the coffee bean is rather unassuming. It also is quite sweet on the tonuge (but shouldn’t be swallowed).

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More than coffee grows on the plantation grounds…

Artsy, Color, depth of field, Editorial, Photography

Chimes

As adults we lose something of the whole-hearted seriousness which children have at their play (and which F. Nietszche observed). It might be a little precious to say there’s something to learn from it, but I do think often that we are pulled in so many directions with responsibilities and other demands on our time that we can let the attention our passions deserve fall by the wayside. The struggle is to find a time and place for what feeds the soul among the hectic day-to-day.

Chimes
Chimes