Friday, August 3, 2018

Finished with Landscape photography (for now)?

While hiking in one of the Audubon Sanctuaries, in Portland's famous Forest Park, today, we stopped on a bridge looking down a creek, and I turned to Jarrett and said, "I think I am done taking general landscape photos, now.  I could take a photo of this creek, but it would not be art to me.  I believe it's time to focus on more artsy and abstract photos for a while."  There will be more photos of landscapes for reference, or if I can make a landscape look more interesting to a viewer, but not most of my photos.  The one I took below is an example of one that is interesting and has some visual depth to it.  (It is also a preview of a blog about my trip to John Day National Monument - Sheep Rock Unit, from earlier this July.)  

Nature is one of those difficult subjects to make look more artsy, and this is why basic landscape photography is a pretty easy entry into nature photography.  You can start big and get more detailed photos.  It takes years to really understand that a subject like a tree or a flower (or a rock) can look more interesting than just what one sees through the lens of a camera.  Yes, a basic photo of a tree is a great place to start, but to a trained photographer, it can be made into art!  

Here is a good photo of a Norfolk pine in Wellington, New Zealand, I took in 2008.  This would have been a reference photo (either for location or for species identification).  In 2018, I may have taken this one, but definitely looked for a photo that was more abstract, and take that photo.  (This one really is a nice shot, but it is a basic overall photo of the tree in it's surroundings.)  

By contrast: on today's hike, we came upon this tree and I saw art right away, and took this photo.  Someone new to this may have seen the interesting parts of the tree, but could they see the "art", as quickly as I did?  Maybe, maybe not.  

I guess that after more than 18 years of doing photography, both professionally (and making money) and as a hobbyist, I need to change my approach and grow again as a photographer.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Posing squirrel

Saw this guy go scampering across the roof, watched him for a minute, and then he posed.  All I could do was grab the camera.  :) 

As soon as I went in for another shot, he moved, but I got him in this pose.  

Although they are pests and can do major damage to a home, they are cute and entertaining at times.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Some things never change...

In the summer of 2002, I took my first color photography class, where I had weekly assignments and developed my own color film (as this was one of the requirements for the class).  It was great to learn the processes, but I was grateful that there were still photo labs and stores that developed film, at that time. There are far fewer labs around sixteen years later. 

For those of you who are familiar with my earlier work, you will recognize the below photo.  I took this photo because I saw the flower first, but then noticed the plant's shadow on the rock. 

When I was out late this past winter, I saw this "rogue" crocus growing under our tall Douglas fir trees.  The lighting and other conditions were just right, so I grabbed my camera.  Again, noticing the shadow, I turned my attention to that, and what you see below is the result. 

As many of you know, this is not a new thing for me.  I have taken many photos of shadows throughout the 18+ years I have been doing photography.  I will see what else I can find and share more shadows, with all of you!  

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring has sprung!

Although we just had a soaking rainstorm, followed by below average temperatures this weekend, more typical of late February than early April, there are many signs of Spring here in the Pacific Northwest. The days are lengthening, the birds are building nests for egg-laying to start a new generation, most invertebrates are re-emerging from their winter hibernation or hatching from their eggs, leaves are appearing on deciduous trees, Spring bulbs are poking above the ground and some are flowering (some even lasted through the winter). I could go on like this for a while, but you didn't come to my website to hear me describe the signs of the season.  You came here to see photos, so please enjoy the signs of Spring that I have captured so far this year!  


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Black and White

Since every photographer starts off in black-and-white film photography, I decided to turn these digital photos ,that were taken in color, into black-and-white.  You will have to imagine the red of the rose and the clear water droplets, or the colors of the clouds and sky, or the green of the leaves in your head. This is one of the greatest things about b&w photography, you have to use your imagination to "see" the colors.  

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Night shots

When I was in school for my Photography degree, I needed to decide on a topic for an assignment.  I started out taking photos of alleyways at night, but things progressed into other urban areas.  Below is a selection of photos from that project, plus others I took during school.  One of the weeks, we were told to use color film and I included a couple of those.  And yes, every photo here was originally shot on film, as you will read below.  

I included the words I wrote for the presentation of my project to my classmates in the Spring of 2002 (below the photos) with some minor updates and references.  

"Take Time for the Night"
by Zach Tucker

The night reminds people of sleep, rest, getting home to family, and cuddling up with a good book. For me, night reminds me of going out to look at stars, cooler weather, awesome light, and some really great photography. 

I went to different towns within DuPage County (Illinois) to do the project. Most of the shots were taken around 9:30 at night, but got later as the spring days lengthened. I wanted to keep with urban settings since we all, in general, do not take time to recognize the beauty of night in our own backyards. We mostly want to get home and relax after a long day at work, school, or whatever. Since the sun is below the horizon, we do not pay as much attention to the shadows, but we watch for oncoming headlights or stop lights or other trafficky things.

My original idea of doing alleys at night took an obvious change as things progressed. You can only shoot different alleyways so many times. In response, I broadened my subject to urban night shots, so I did not restrict my creativity. I used exposures from about one second to about one minute with 35mm black-and-white and color negative film. 

I felt a better sense of what night means to me and how to enjoy it more. There is a certain beauty of the light at night. There is a certain mood that each of the artificial light sets gives us.  There is a certain way everyone feels with the night. 

If there is anything that I want others to get out of my work, it would be to notice the beauty that the artificial light (or lack of light) brings to familiar scenes.