May 31, 2010

Photo Tip of the Month - May 2010

Daniel Levitan: "The emerging picture is that 10,000 hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert — in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice-skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is equivalent to roughly three hours a day, or 20 hours a week, of practice over 10 years. No one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery."

Dr. Ericsson said: “You have to tweak the system by pushing, allowing for more errors at first as you increase your limits”. You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.”

Take these two simple quotes to heart and keep shooting and practicing at your own pace and time, allow errors and learn from them and be inspired by other to develop your own photographic style.

May 30, 2010

Art Around The World

The beautiful canvas and poetry book from the Art around the World project - a collaboration of artists around the world to benefit Greenpeace! Click the header of this blog to link to the Art around the World initiative to find out more and join the course for 2010/11 benefiting the Friends of the Earth International.

May 27, 2010

Near Wellfleet

The floral photograph, Ignorance is Bliss, was created during my last photo trip to Cape Cod. After shooting in the Provincetown dunes and around Highland lighthouse in the morning hours I started my return trip home. First I stopped at a local coffee shop and then called to my wife to let her know that I would be home soon. But as it often happens, I was forced to make another stop because out of nowhere a field of lupines and daisies appeared to the right of route 6. Luckily I was in the right lane and traffic was slow, making an instant decision to pull over much easier. I parked the car, pulled out my gear from the trunk and made my way into the field exploring the many photographic opportunities. I mostly used a close-up lens on my 200mm lens to blur out the background and minimize any distractions. The aperture set to f8 resulting in a shutter speed of 1/500 sec provided me with sufficient depth of field and fast shutter speed. Although tempted to handhold my camera due to the fast shutter speed, I opted to use a tripod to minimize camera shaking and enhance image quality. Using a tripod always makes me think twice about compositional aspects and therefore makes for a better image. I purposely kept the daisy to the left in focus prohibiting the viewer from wandering out of the frame when exploring my flower photograph, Ignorance is Bliss.

May 24, 2010

On Cape Cod

Highland lighthouse on Cape Cod near Truro, MA:

Sunrise across Provinceland Dunes near Provincetown, MA:

Cape Cod Wildflowers

Saturday morning I made a photo trip to Cape Cod just two hours South of Boston. Originally I had pristine landscape photography in mind which is why I decided to head out to the Outer Cape and photograph the Provincetown dunes at sunrise. Although spectacular at the moment I was not truly able capture the beautiful moment. On my way back I found various treasures and stopped here and there for some of Cape Cod wildflowers ... hope you enjoy them!

May 16, 2010

We are going to be Friends

There are compositions that I have in my mind, some I have seen in the past but couldn’t really work them at the time, others are just imaginary that I hope to come across one day. When photographing tulips in the past I sometimes came across two tulips twirling around each other, almost hugging each other. I often tried to make a compelling photograph out of this arrangement, but never really succeeded. Usually the composition did not satisfy, the floral colors did not scream for the release of the shutter or the background was too noisy. Then, this spring, I found a field of tulips in my neighborhood. After spending some time photographing “Daydreamer” and other compositions of pink tulips I discovered the two tulips in “We are going to be Friends”. The twirl of the tulips and the bright colors seemed just right for compelling and beautiful flower photography. The two different striped colors were the icing on the cake. I started composing around the twirl of the stems and moved the tripod back and forth to adjust the composition. A focusing rail for fine forward/backward movement of the camera on a tripod would have been quite beneficial but I had to deal with the gear available. Once I found a satisfying composition I focused on the tulip in the back. A close up lens helped to blur out the background even further. The title of the image is inspired by the cheerful striped colors and the song “We are going to be Friends” by the White Stripes. The lyrics of the song are about the innocence of childhood and take us along a child's carefree and fun journey where the simple things in life matter.

May 10, 2010

At the Maliotis Cultural Center

Floral Abstract, Jamaica Pond and Spring Tree Carousel were juried into the Jamaica Plain Arts Council 2010 Annual Juried Exhibition. The exhibition features various artists and runs from June 19 - July 12, 2010 and is organized by the Jamaica Plain Arts Council. Artwork is on display in the Maliotis Cultural Center (MCC) at Hellenic College. The Maliotis Cultural Center is located at 55 Goddard Street in Brookline, MA 02445.

May 6, 2010

House of Blues - Boston, MA

Friday, May 14, 2010 at the House of Blues in Boston, MA: “Spring Colors” will be auctioned off benefiting The Brookline Community Health Center during its 50th Anniversary Celebration Party.

In Cambridge

"Orchids" was accepted into Northeast Prize Show juried by Cheryl Brutvan, Curator of Contemporary Art, at the Norton Museum of Art. The exhibition features many artists and runs from May 14 - June 23, 2010 and is organized by the Cambridge Art Association and art is on display in the University Place Gallery and the Kathryn Gallery.

May 2, 2010

Noh Mai

This morning I found another treasure in one of my neighbor's gardens. I had this location in mind because they have 100+ tulips in bloom and I had visited their garden in the past to photograph their flowers. I was kind of lazy and almost went home before I decided to make that one last stop. I am so glad I did! At first there was a little bug that I got hung up on but then I noticed these tulips with an unusual petal shape. Not sure why I wasn't immediately drawn to them but I remember thinking that the flowers will not run away and let's get the bug first. The red and yellow floral hues were in perfect bloom and the overcast, hazy morning light benefited my attempt. The trickiest part was to find a beautiful composition that eliminated the rather unattractive background. I first located a tulip between two other tulips. Once I found my desired object I focused on the floral in the middle having the other two blown out of focus. The close up lens provided me with the very limited depth of field and the sharpness that I envisioned for my final composition. I named the image after the ancient Japanese dance Noh Mai. Noh Mai is a series of elegant and beautiful body movements performed to the music of flutes and small hand drums.