Monday, July 23, 2012

Layers of Creativity

I'm often perplexed with the line between being a "purist" versus a license to creative freedom.  As I continue to fine tune my craft I have pursued a more flexible approach to my imagery that now includes a more robust toolkit that I use appropriately when the image calls for it.  As any other artist, I have built the contents of my toolkit as I continue to learn new techniques, styles, or as tools are introduced for my exploratory discovery. I believe a photographer's toolkit includes much more than the camera.  In these times of accelerated technological advancements one would typically have a toolkit of favorite applications.  Much like I originally fine tuned images in the dark room using a variety of techniques and handmade tools I now perform post-processing on the computer.  I personally don't see it any differently as a painter using a multitude of brushes to achieve the final outcome.  It just floors me when the artistic credibility of photographers are usually called into question especially when something more than a camera is used.  Whereas on the flip side a painter or sculptor is typically never asked what tools they use to achieve the final piece of art.  Is that because photographers usually use a mechanical device rather than traditional hand tools?  Perhaps.

Case in point.  With more use of the iPhone I find myself using a few apps that allow me to use it in a manner of an artist by re-shaping or re-interpreting to enhance the original image.  Some apps are best for traditional tonal adjustments, whereas others are best suited to more creative freedom where I can totally rearrange the visual content to my liking.  I know there are some apps out there that with one click of the button one can sometimes obtain a rather cheesy each his/her own.  My current inclination is to go to those apps that require several passes at an image by creating multiple layers of creativity.  I then import that image into another app to use it for its special feature(s); continuously building upon the image until I'm satisfied with the new interpretation.  Consider it similar to a painter using a variety of different brushes for different effects.

Regardless of your position on this matter I hope you enjoy this new image.

© 2012, Joanne Scherf

Friday, July 20, 2012

Detroit....An Eagle Eye's View

Detroit is definitely attracting tourists from around the globe and I got to play tourist myself when I attended a 3-day destination wedding in the "D".  Being a proud Detroiter I always like to share positive images of my time downtown. I had a chance to view Detroit as never before, up on the 73rd floor of the Ren Cen and at the riverfront at night; both a special treat! The previous posting of the video at the Detroit River Walk's fountain was evidence of how exciting Detroit is becoming, plus I have another video on the way from a cruise I experienced on the Detroit River, looking at our skyline. Anyway, I just thought I'd share just a very few of the images and keep in touch to see the future posting of another Detroit video.

© 2012 Joanne Scherf
See the "necklace streets" of Jefferson, Michigan, Grand River and Woodward Avenues
© 2012 Joanne Scherf
From 73rd floor of Coach Insignia, looking at Belle Isle

© 2012 Joanne Scherf
Garden Center in Ren Cen looking out towards River and Canada

© 2012 Joanne Scherf
Looking up at Ren Cen from the River Walk

© 2012 Joanne Scherf
View from 58th floor of hotel room in Ren Cen, looking at Canada's casino

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Image of the Month: July

I find myself  in sort of a new mindset lately.  One that is hungry for applying my photographic skills in a more adventurous manner, one considered atypical of the routine capture of a "straight" image and minor tonal adjustments.  That's often the reason I turn to creating abstract imagery because it forces me to become more creative and likewise provides an opportunity for the viewer to become more engaged in the process.  I previously touched on this concept with the June 4 posting of "Poetic License of Abstraction" discussing the importance of feelings over subject matter and the value of searching for the hidden meaning and appreciating what is not visible.

Tapestry, © 2012 Joanne Scherf

This image, Tapestry, is easily categorized in the same genre of the "poetic license".  The original is actually a typical landscape that I've used as raw material for creating a totally different outcome. Perhaps in a later posting I would like to share the "before" image so you can compare, but for the present moment I believe more value resides in total immersion of this creative interpretation of the final result, Tapestry.  So for now, concentrate on Tapestry and immerse yourself in the surreal, mystical, and abstract interpretation of this image.  Ask yourself:

  • What is the spirit of the object(s) revealed?
  • Does this image bear any resemblance to anything recognizable in my world?
  • Does my aesthetic appreciation depend on finding an identifiable form?
  • Is there a combination of styles within the same image?
  • Does this "photograph" feel like another art form?
  • Would my level of appreciation increase if I saw the original "straight" image?
  • Will this image cause me to view future images or real life objects differently? 
I'm always up for an exchange of thoughts; conversations most welcome.