Welcome. Relax, pull up a comfortable chair, have a drink, and enjoy the view. Friends are always welcomed to talk about what is on their mind. Stay as long as you like. If you enjoy the show, please stop by again soon.
April 11, 2018 • Leave a Comment
I am very pleased to note that one of the photographs I submitted to the Belmar Arts Centers 14th Juried Annual Show (JAS-14) titled "On Stand Down" received an achievement award at the show's reception last Saturday night. The award brought with it a monetary reward, which is always appreciated!! The range of art on display at the show was truly amazing--from photography, to painting, to watercolors, to sculpture, to glassware. I felt honored to have my work accepted for the show (only 1/3 of the applicants were accepted), and to win an award was especially gratifying. Thanks to the judge, the curator, everyone at the BAC, and the exhibitors of course, for helping to make the show such a great success. The show continues until May 3rd, so there is still plenty of time yo stop by and see it--it is very much worth your time and effort!
Speaking of excellent shows--The show put on by the #BlackGlassGallery at the Middletown Arts Center is also quite spectacular. The reception for the show was last Friday and it was very well attended by the artists, their friends and family, and the general public--more than 150 people in total. The photograph-only show featured about 75 pieces by over 30 artists, all taken at Black Glass Gallery Meetups. The results are stunning, and even though many of the artists took photographs of the same objects, no two photographs were the same. Amazing! I received many wonderful comments on the four photos I submitted for display. The Center is open daily and the show runs through the end of the month. Don't miss this one either!!
April 04, 2018 • Leave a Comment
Just a note to let you know that two show are coming up that will include works of mine.
The first show, opening this Friday, April 6th, will be featuring the work of the very talent members of the #BlackGlassGallery. It will be the first group show in which I will be participating and it will be at the Middletown Arts Center (MAC), in Middletown, New Jersey. The photographs are from the group's many #meetups, taken a varied locations from Asbury Park, to Brooklyn, to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Each artist has his or her own unique perspective on the visual images they have encountered, and together the images make a very stunning collection. The center is open daily and the show runs until April 28th.
The other show is the 14th Annual Juried Art Show (JAS), hosted and sponsored by the Belmar Arts Center, in Belmar New Jersey. This annual show features the work of some of the best visual artists at the Jersey Shore. Photography is only one of the many arts that will be included. There are also oils, watercolors, glasswork, pottery, drawing, sculpture, and mixed media. This show is always spectacular and difficult to get into, so I am pleased that two of my works were accepted for display. The show is on now, with the reception and awards this Saturday night, April 7th from 5 to 7. The show closes May 3rd. The Belmar Arts Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 pm.
This is just the start of a very time of year for me. Check in here for more information in the coming weeks.
March 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment
I have been thinking a lot lately about how some artists change their styles and interests over time. For example, Picasso did not paint the same way when he was in this 60s as when he was in his 20s. Giuseppe Verdi also changed and his music got richer between the time of his first hit opera "Nabucco" and his later works much as "Otello" and "Falstaff." Bob Dylan underwent several transformations, from a folksinger, to a rockstar, to a county music devotee. Growth as an artist is also as true for photographers as it is for writers or any other creative.
There are probably many reasons for this. Growing maturity and wisdom is part of it, as is greater mastery of one's craft, which comes with constant work and practice. Also playing a part is more exposure to emerging artistic trends and techniques over time. Part of it also is, I think that the artist gets bored doing the same thing or addressing the same subject. This may not be true for every artist, but there are many who master one style and then move on to something new, something fresh to explore and master. The new work is always informed and shaped by the old, and the result can be something entirely new for the artist and for his or her genre. Many artists are restless by nature, never complexity happy with their work, always looking for a new way to express a thought or emotion in their soul, and changes of style are a way to satisfy this demon--at least for a while.
I must admit that I sometimes have similar urges. Believe me, I love the water, and photographing sailboats and sunsets. Yet there are times when I am drawn to the work of other artists, work that looks at different subjects or approaches familiar subjects using new techniques or ways of seeing. I don't often display resultant photographs on social media or on this website, but they do satisfy a creative urge I sometimes feel.
After much thought, I have decided to offer the public more of these photographs, on this site and on FaceBook and Instagram. I believe doing so will show more of my range and interests as an artist, and be of interest to the viewer. I will be putting up a new gallery on this site in a few weeks and offering more, different work on FaceBook and Instagram during the next few days. I believe it will help to satisfy more of my creative urges and be informative and satisfying to you, my audience as well. Let me know what you think!
March 21, 2018 • Leave a Comment
I participated in an interesting discussion recently that I thought I would share. It involved members of a photo group I am part of and almost every person either voiced the opinion or agreed with the idea that they were rarely satisfied with their work as a photographer. Mind you this is, in my opinion, an amazing group of artists--with a large range of skills, from amateur to professional, using equipment from cell phones to professional grade. Each one does excellent work, so it is a bit surprising that so many said they were dissatisfied with their work, regardless of their skill level. As an example of this, the group has been invited to submit work for a joint show--which will not be judged--and many of the members either cannot decide what to submit or think their work is not good enough. I wish I could say I don't understand this--because I have felt the same way many, many times. I just cannot explain it and that baffles me. Apparently it is as true for professionals as it is for amateurs.
There may be a number of factors at play. Some photographers compare their work to that of others, and feel that their work does not measure up. It is an example of the old saying--we are always our own worse critic. Perhaps it is that each photographer sees the errors or defects in his or her work, little things that most people ignore or don't pickup, and magnify their significance. Another factor, for those of us who offer our work for sale, is that our work does not sell. We put a lot of time and effort into attracting a buyer, only to come up empty handed. All of these factors can be very depressing and have a negative effect on an artist's work. Perhaps it is just part of being an artist--struggling to express a feeling or emotion, or to express or to convey something the person feels but cannot articulate successfully. Even a person who has a positive opinion of his or her work can feel defeated if no one "likes" their work on social media or they do not receive validation in some other way.
I have no solution to this dilemma. I am better at analyzing the problem than solving it. The only thing I can offer is what I follow myself: Believe in yourself. Take photographs because doing so gives you joy and you love the results. Keep your mind open to seeing things in a different way. Don't obsess over the equipment you don't have--remember, its not the camera it is the photographer. Always be open to learning a new--or old--technique or trick to get your photograph to say what you want it to say. If you are not trying to say something, just enjoy the act of capturing an image that catches your eye.
One final suggestion, perhaps the best one of all. Get involved with a group of photographers who you feel comfortable with. Almost every community has a camera club associated with a local museum or artist league. Go to meetings, make friends, go on shoots, keep your eyes and ears open. If you find the right group, you will enjoy it. One of the things I love about the group I mentioned above is that it is a group of people I enjoy. We are all very supportive of each other's work in person and on social media, and encourage each other to learn new things and ways of seeing. Photographers are often seen as lone wolves, people who go out on their own to capture their unique vision. There is nothing wrong with that. But for many of us, participation in a group, or even shooting with just a friend, brings companionship, encouragement, good suggestions, opportunities, and visions that make the experience worthwhile.
March 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment
March is really a strange, transitional month. One day is warm and sunny, and the crocuses and daffodils are blooming and the birds are chirping. The next day is cold and rainy, unpleasant weather to be caught in and almost useless for the photographer. On Sunday, Optimist Dinghies were out gliding on the Toms River and an E-Scow was out practicing, getting really for the racing season. Today, two days later, started out below freezing with wet, heavy snow blanketing the Jersey Shore. Amazingly, Spring officially begins in one week!
For a person like me who does not enjoy winter, these changes in the weather have a roller-coaster effect. One day I am out enjoying a walk and shooting in the sunshine, the next I am home, hibernating like a bear. I know that warm weather will be coming soon and during the hight of summer, I will look back longingly on these cool day--but for now I just grin and bear it.
Still, I intend to make good use of the inclement weather. I have been giving a lot of thought to the upcoming show season where almost every weekend I am out at a show or shooting. After doing this for a while, I have finally come to realize that my customers really love my sunset shots--but most are not crazy about my sailing photos. So for the next week or so I am going to go through my inventory of captures, identify some of my best sunsets and sunrises, print them, and get them ready for sale. The sailing shots will be tucked away until the right opportunity comes along which, with the return of summer, I am sure it will.
March 01, 2018 • Leave a Comment
....and with it comes nicer weather, longer days, and St. Patrick's Day. I am not much of a drinker, nor am I Irish, but St. Pat's Day is a favorite holiday of mine, probably because it is so festive, with good food and wonderful camaraderie. And the music is absolutely wonderful!! So lively and tuneful at times, and at times, so haunting, and at other times, so funny! I was fortunately to be able to go on a photographic trip to western Ireland a few years ago, to county Mayo to be exact, and it was completely delightful. I love the land, the people, and going to the pubs for a pint and listening to outstanding live music. I learned to love the smell of peat burning in a fireplace and the taste of real oatmeal simmered in a pot for hours, so different from the instant stuff cooked in minutes. I also came to appreciate the charms of a "gentle" day of rain or mist, and that sadly, there are no leprechauns, except for the replicas for tourists! Preparing the Ireland Gallery here brought it all back--or almost. Maybe I'll get lucky again and go back one of these days.
February 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment
Exactly three weeks (21 days) from today, Tuesday March 20, will be the first day of Spring Ahhh!....We are almost there!
February 25, 2018 • Leave a Comment
Rainy days can be hard on a photographer. Our art depends on light, be it the light from the stars for astrophotography, to shadows, to the colors of a Barnegat Bay sunset (The Best, in my opinion). It is still winter, and although we have had some beautiful day and I have seen the shoots of spring flowers starting to pop, the weather is still cold and rainy. What are the options for a photographer who does not want to get his or her equipment wet and wants to capture something other than puddles and gray skies? I offer the following:
1) Catch up on photo editing. There is always work to do in editing photos, including culling the bad ones, keeping and cataloguing the good ones, and setting aside the best for your website or to be printed to sell. This can be an endless and boring job, but it is better to do it on a cold gray day, when your studio is warm and there is no rush, than on a beautiful day when you are pressed for time and the one thing you really want to do is go out and shoot!
2) Review your website. This is another job that can be tedious, but it is important. For many of us, our website is our professional face to the world. Just like our personal appearance, it needs tending to regularly so we don't look scruffy, messy, or out of date. If you are like me, you website is your primary gallery. You just never know when your next customer is going to happen across it and consider buying a photo or two of yours. Even if selling your work is not that important to you, if you have a website it should be the best representation of you and your work possible.
3) Practice your still-life photography. Even with low light this is possible with a minimum amount of gear--just a flash, a tripod, and a reflector or a whiteboard. The still-life can be of anything--fruit, the angle of furniture in your house, a house plant in a window, your pet or your spouse (with permission of course!). This is a good exercise to expand your range of competence, to try a new technique, to experiment with camera settings. What you come up with may amaze you and may be useable for other kinds of work.
4) Make lemons out of lemonade. If you simply can't stand being in the house a minute longer, then go out and take your camera. Even your cellphone will do. Just made certain you protect it adequately with the appropriate rain gear. There are very good products on the market, but even plastic bags will do, if used correctly. Once out, you may find good spots to shoot under overhangs, or you can experiment with slow speeds and high f-stops. Indeed, at night, moving vehicles on a busy road can produce some dramatic photographs!
I hope these tips are useful. There are certainly more that I did not include, such as checking out new software that you can get on a trial basis or, if all else fails, cleaning up your workspace and discarding old magazines and papers that accumulated for reasons that are no longer obvious. You could just stare out the window and wait for the sun to reappear, but that makes no sense--unless you have your camera with you and you are waiting for a bird or squirrel to come into your field of view!
February 11, 2018 • Leave a Comment
I never cease to be amazed at how many viewers like to look at my sunsets. As you know, I have two gallery devoted to the beginning and the end of the day--one devoted to winter and the other more general. Both attract more online visitors than just about all of my other galleries. When I launched my latest sunset/sunrise gallery, I got more viewers thanI had in a long time. I even made a few sales (thank you, wonderful people! know who you are).
I guess it must be because the colors generated by the sun span the full range of the spectrum from black to white, from red to green, from blue to yellow, with an infinity of colors and hues in between. People also find that time of the day dramatic sometimes, peaceful sometimes, beautify and angry sometimes--in other words it generates as many emotions as it generates colors.
I am very fortunate to live near the Toms River. The sun setting or rising over the water always intensifies the colors and the depth of the event. There is almost always a reflection and usually an additional point of visual interest, such as a boat, a tree, a bird, or a structure. The depth of the sun is also especially noticeable. In mid-summer, the sun sets at the point furthest up the river (to the west) viewable from here in Island Heights, and the sun sets as close as possible to the middle of the eastern horizon, where it goes down behind Seaside Park (at least as seen from Island Heights). This provides a sunset where the sun seems to be going down into the river, and thus makes for glorious and memorable sunsets. In winter, because the sun is always moving, it sets just to the west of the Island Heights Yacht Club and rises behind the highest hill in town. The angle of the sun also varies due to the season, and that, of course, effects the light produced by a sunset or sunrise.
Whatever the reason, sunsets sunrises are the favorite time of day for many people. Sunset certainly is one of my favorite times to pull out my camera and go for a walk near water!
January 31, 2018 • Leave a Comment
....it is also the time of year with some of the most brilliant sunsets and sunrises. I am not certain why that is; perhaps it has to do with the clarity of the air, or the angle of the sun, or the position of the clouds. As the photographs in my newest gallery show, the colors seem to be more intense in winter than any other time of the year--and there is a wider range of colors, some are subdued, some striking. At least it seems so. This may not be true, but it gives me something to like about winter--and lord know that #winterisnotmyfavoriteseason! At least February is short, then its March and Spring is almost here.....YES!!
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Recent PostsHurrah for me!!! The Show Season Begins.... Growth as an artist A Photographer's Dilemma It's a funny time of year.... March has arrived...... Random thought for the day..... It's raining today. What's a photographer to do........? #Sunsetsarethebest! Winter is the grayest time of the year, except that.....