Painted Trees

Painted Trees
Painted Trees
Trees painted with light that is. This small experiment was shot an hour before dawn on Easter morning. I’ve made a few attempts at light painting in the past with little success. This is a thirty second exposure illuminated with a small handheld LED flashlight. While not entirely successful it is better than my past efforts. Unfortunately the version posted here loses some subtle detail by downsizing. There is always the trade-off when publishing images online. Anyway it was interesting to try something different and I’m fairly happy with the results.

Folk Dancer

I have long been fascinated with Mexican photographers, muralist and filmmakers. They seem to share a certain perspective on the world that is unique to their country. Maybe it is an expression of deep cultural roots or possibly a reaction to traumas suffered over the last few hundred years. There is nothing like the destruction of multiple civilizations to change the way you perceive the world. Whatever it is I am drawn to the imagery of Mexico.

At various times I have obsessed about what sort of photographic ‘style’ I should adopt. What constitutes proper technique and the constraints of craft? The answer for me is to stop thinking in terms of limits. Everyone has unique vision. That is literally true because our visual perception is based in DNA and life experience. I can learn from others but I can only express what I see and feel. The same is true for the image makers of Mexico. Still there is something shared in their work.

For many years I have lived in multi-cultural Texas and New Mexico. There are rich experiences to be found in places where people of different backgrounds choose to live together. My roots are shallow in the new world unlike my wife’s family. They have lived in the place now known as Texas for hundreds of years while the flags changed over them. I am influenced by the cultures around me.

I can never see photographically in the way anyone else sees. Let alone the photographers of Mexico. My work may be informed by the work of others but it is unique to me. There is no other way.

Drowsy Boy

The source photograph for this completed work was made nearly eight years ago with my first DSLR a Canon 10D. Many of the photographs shot with that 6MP camera still print well up to 16×20 inches. You have to work a little to get good output in color but black and white output does not require much extra work to get acceptable prints.

This is another of my augmented images. It is composited with several textures in the background and blended into the image of the subject. One of the interesting things I’ve discovered while experimenting with compositing is that a small amount of texture often enhances a sense of depth in portraits. Perhaps the noise introduced by overlaying texture at low opacity somehow makes the human face look more natural. Not sure but it seems to work for me.

Download this Photo calendar in PDF format. Direct download links – No signup required.


The North America calendar
Weeks starting on Sunday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 15 – North America

The International calendar
Weeks starting on Monday.

Phototrice Calendar No. 15 – International