Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Venus Rising: New Images Added

I just introduced my latest project, Venus Rising, as the newest gallery to my website.  Well, it's only been a few days, but I've just added six more images; go directly to Venus Rising Gallery.  This project is coming along nicely and am having tremendous fun, pursuing a totally abstract approach with unlimited creative freedom.  I hope to enhance the gallery images even more in the months ahead, but for the present moment I hope you enjoy my creative efforts thus far.

Venus Embrace

© 2012, Joanne Scher

In case I haven't mentioned it, all the images within the Venus Rising gallery on my website were done with just my iPhone and creative application of some apps to get the desired effect.

Go directly to Venus Rising Gallery.  Click on the thumbnails for larger images and descriptions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

8 Types of Seeing: Are You Up for the Challenge?

Even with an abundance of camera equipment and the latest technology it is still imperative that a successful photographer must still have an eye, or visual acuity, for composition.  I was reading a Clive Scott article on The Spoken Image - Photography and Language and it referred to the types of vision identified by Maholy-Nagy.

Basically Maholy-Nagy summarized eight different types of vision.  Although he created this list decades ago, the types of vision is still applicable today, albeit with somewhat different tools or approaches.

  1. Abstract seeing (photograms, smartphone apps, etc)
  2. Exact seeing (reportage, documentary, photojournalism)
  3. Rapid seeing (snapshots)
  4. Slow seeing (long exposure, time lapse)
  5. Intensified seeing (micro/macro-photography, filter photography)
  6. Penetrative seeing (radiography, infrared)
  7. Simultaneous seeing (transparent superimposition; collage, double negatives, layers, etc)
  8. Distorted seeing (tilt-shift lens, pinhole, Lens Baby, smartphone apps, etc)
After viewing the list I thought it might serve as a wake-up call for those who have fallen into a comfort zone of always doing the same approach.  What if next time you ventured out to capture images you thought of these eight types of seeing.  So here's a challenge and exercise in stretching one's visual muscle.  


Identify and restrict yourself to only one subject matter across all types of vision.  In other words, take that one concept/subject matter and capture eight images, one for each of the eight vision types.  Upon viewing your eight images, ask yourself the following questions:

Questions to Ask Yourself:
  • What was similar among the eight images taken with eight different visions?
  • What was different among the eight images taken with eight different visions?
  • Was there something you experienced that you could apply to future images?
  • Was one type of vision more of a challenge for you?  If so, why?
  • What does this say about your style?
  • Did the eight different images evoke a variety of responses or emotions?  If so, explain or reflect.
  • Were your visionary skills enhanced by being forced to slow down and think before executing?
  • What will you do differently the next time you venture out to capture images?
Maybe this was just what you needed to think outside the box and free yourself from the constraints of normalcy and the usual routine.  Happy shooting.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A NEW Website Gallery...Venus Rising

Where to begin?  I have a new website gallery titled Venus Rising.  My goal was to not capture the objective reality but rather getting closer to the essence of a woman's beauty and expressing it in an abstract manner, revealing the brilliant core and colorful soul of a woman's body.  In brief, I immersed myself in this exercise to fine tune my creative vision and play with transcending the reality to disclose the genuine essence of a woman's vagina, revealing it's beauty, mystery, and magic.  Also to accompany this work I wrote a 5 line verse further enhancing the visual by lines describing the essence.

You've heard the imitates art or art imitates life.   As I was in the process of artistic experimentation of this project, the parallel universe of the current toxic political reality was exhibiting draconian theatre.  Recent political news has been overwhelmed with coverage on the war on women's bodies and reproductive rights; specifically regarding, yes wait for it....the vagina.  Apparently the majority of male members (and sadly some women) of the Republican Party and extreme conservative idealogues at the state and federal levels seem hell bent on taking away women's reproductive freedom, civil rights and overall ownership of our bodies; battles that had been fought and won decades ago.

So with the juxtaposition of these parallel universes in my life of art and the toxic, anti-women political environment, I created a second verse to the original one verse statement which is targeted, yet brief in it's political stance.  As an artist I felt total creative freedom and yet as a woman in today's political climate I felt the total opposite. With politicians passing legislation that attacks my womanhood, my body, my life, I felt the need to embrace my creative freedom to express in both images and words my thoughts on the beauty and voice of the vagina.  Basically, if you can't even say the word "vagina" when debating (that's even questionable) on legislative floors, then "if you can't say it, you can't legislate it'.  Better yet, if you don't have one (vagina), hands off my body and my rights as a woman.

So, as an artist I embraced my creative freedom to express in both images and words my thoughts on the beauty and voice of the vagina.  Here's one image sample, but go to my website at to view all 13 images of the Venus Rising gallery in its entirity.  This gallery is dedicated to Venus Libertas, the Venus goddess of freedom; freedom of action, freedom from restraint, independence, rights, and related forms of personal and social liberty.  Sidenote:  The most famous of the Freedom Goddess' American depictions is Lady Liberty herself, the Statue of Liberty.

© 2012, Joanne Scherf

Venus Rising

Venus rises in her glory
Lips of grace welcomes
Butterfly warrior wings unfold
Root soul of strength and power revealed
A velvet purse of beauty awaits.

Women united in sisterhood 
One heart
One voice
One choice.
              © Joanne Scherf, 2012

Share this site with others in the hope that this may motivate some to perform one's civic duty and VOTE in NOVEMBER, or in the very least appreciate my artistic interpretation.

Image of the Month: August

Another month, another new image.  This time I'd like to present to you for your viewing pleasure not one, but two images.  The reason for this is that the same artistic approach was taken but with a difference.  The image content varies only slightly, however the image sizing is quite different between the two images.

Beaches #1
© 2012, Joanne Scherf

For both images I used the same approach.  Basically I took about 40 image captures then stitched them together to create one final panoramic view.  As you can see for only one image I kept the panoramic perspective (above), but for the second image (below) I decided to crop out the periphery acquired from panoramic capture and went with a square cropped format.  Again, this look was the result of stitching 40 images together and not from some expensive panoramic lens.

Beaches #2
© 2012, Joanne Scherf

Both images were taken during the final phase of a sunset in early July.  I particularly like the warping effect, muted glow of color and saturation levels at this evening hour.  My only disappointment is perhaps the clarity is a bit too soft in some areas for me.  But overall I'm pleased with the effect of taking 40 images and stitching them into one image with a somewhat special twist.  I think it offers a little interest to what could perhaps be just an average image.

Question for You:  Of the two images which do YOU prefer, #1 OR #2 ....why?