Birthday Lilies

January 31, 2012

For my birthday friends gave me a beautiful bouquet of lilies. The flowers are so broad and colorfully intense they look as if they were raised on steroids. They’re the perfect subject for my camera. Especially, on a gloomy January day.

 

 

 

 

All images Copyright 2012 by G. W. German

 

 

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Nature: Meet Mr. Chitteree

January 28, 2012

A Douglas Squirrel that lives in the trees along a walking trail I frequent.

Image Copyright 2012 by G. W. German

What is this? You may well ask.

Give up?

It’s a decorative inlaid pattern on the old upright, always-out-of-tune piano at my friend’s house

The psychedelic tweaking is from PhotoShop.

 

Image Copyright 2012 by G. W. German

Webbed Wonder

January 24, 2012

In late summer and early autumn my garden is filled with spiders. The Blackberry brambles nearby are filled with hundreds of webs and patient spiders waiting for the fruit to ripen and the flying insects to arrive. Whenever I go out on the local walking trails I am almost guaranteed to walk face first into a transparent webbing strung across the path.

I have known people with such serious cases of arachnophobia that the mere idea of coming that close to spiders makes them near faint. Then there are those that think killing all spiders, even the ones outdoors, is a given because they might be bitten. After all, the things are multi-legged fiends.

Let’s put it this way: without spiders in the ecology mankind would have died out long ago. Like bats and bees they are incredibly beneficial. You don’t have to like them but, before mindlessly killing those you encounter, remember how loudly you complain about being bothered by insects. Then imagine millions more filling the air around you (biting and stinging and crawling across your body) with no end in sight. Now, thank spiders for doing their jobs.

Image copyright 2012 by G.W. German

At The County Fair: Horses!

January 24, 2012

These shots are all from a visit to the 2011 Jefferson County Fair held in August here in Port Townsend.

Most people go to county fairs to see the exhibits and competitions or participate in them, have fun, ride the carnival rides, and eat suspect food. I, on the other hand, go to take pictures of livestock and the horses in particular.

Horses, next to flowers, are my favorite photographic subjects. Their beauty never fails to fascinate and inspire me. I am always looking for new ways to shoot them and new circumstances that show them off in ways that aren’t cliched. A very difficult goal.

I don’t get the opportunity to shoot wild horses, so I make due with domesticated ones. If you haven’t been around horses you might think they are just dull animals that stand around in pastures, stables, and stalls eating all the time. Horses have distinct personalities and are far more intelligent than people ever seem to give them credit for. Because of their herding instincts they operate differently from humans and respond differntly to input but, in my experience, than can be as aware as any creatures we encounter. If you haven’t ever taken the time to get acquainted with these big, beautiful animals I highly recommend it. Truly knowing a horse can change all of your perspectives in ways you might never imagine.

 

All images Copyright 2012 by Gregory W. German

Abstracting Reality

January 20, 2012

Photoshop is a great tool for anyone with even a slightly artistic bent. The ways you can tweak images are infinite and pictures that don’t work as standard photographs can be morphed into interesting and even beautiful compositions. I love having the use of software that allows me artistic license and the ability to hone my skills. Representational art can be great, but sometimes it’s the abstract arena that is the most fun to play in.

A person’s imagination and sense of beauty can be expanded by taking risks and creating images that aren’t meant to only capture a moment in time. Abstract works elicit interesting and unusual responses for each viewer. Some people don’t like to be challenged by things that aren’t immediately recognizable and understandable. While others flourish in a state of observation where they get to create with the artist through their interpretation of the image.

The idea isn’t to make absolute concrete sense of what you are seeing, but to surrender to whatever emotional response is brought up, even if nothing whatsoever arises. Perhaps, the image is unsettling to you. Why? If it calms you, on the other hand, why would that be your response? Art isn’t meant for beauty alone, or to just rile or shock you. Mostly it is what it is and what you bring to it can make it more or much less for you. So look at these images and try not to get caught up in “figuring it all out”. Instead, appreciate the variations in tone, color, shape, and texture. You can hate it or love it or feel nothing at all. There are no rules. Just look and participate in the act of truly seeing.

 

All images Copyright 2012 by G. W. German

Yesterday’s snowfall was the kind you can make snowmen from. Today’s, though more copious, is the type skier’s adore, pure powder. I went out in the cold to thaw out my truck, but I didn’t take any photos as the conditions were less favorable for good shots than yesterday.

Instead, here are a series of images of snow covering plants. The contrast between the white granular character of snow and the color and textures of different leaf structures is fascinating to me.

All images Copyright 2012 by G. W. German. All Rights Reserved.