Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Gallery: Hazy Shade of Vague

Hazy Shade of Vague

Outlines of reality
Blurred by shadows of veiled confusion
Reveal formless shapes.
Obscure intent
Veiled dreamscapes
Lost in the muddled space between absoluteness and the ethereal.

                                                                                                                © Joanne Scherf

Fusion 3
© 2011, Joanne Scherf
This new Landscape portfolio, Hazy Shade of Vague, is a collection of random images that are linked by their association with a similar technique of soft focus where reality borders on the abstract.  I tend to have a fascination with altering my observed reality and translating the commonplace into an extraordinary visual experience.  Enhancements to this portfolio will be accomplished over time, but thought you might enjoy this sampling in the meantime.

Friday, September 20, 2013

New Gallery: Empty Presence

As an outcome of my two summer classes in Long Exposure (LE) photography I not only added to two existing portfolios, but also created an entirely new one, Empty Presence.  I felt the LE approach would be the perfect approach to what I wanted to express.  The genesis of the portfolio came about as an expression for my love of nature and oftentimes in my wandering for spaces of solitude I would come upon evidence of previous visitors encountering my favorite locations or newly discovered sites.

© 2013, Joanne Scherf

Empty Presence can best be summed up as the "ghostly" presence of humans in nature.  Basically as I see it, nature provides a space of solitude, a zone of quiet respite where one can embrace the view that feeds the soul.  This portfolio, Empty Presence, demonstrates the absent presence of humans in nature represented by a fleeting glimpse, hints, traces, artifacts or actual ghostly shadows of humans interacting with the environment.  If you look closely you'll see evidence that humans were previously "in the picture" so to speak.

My approach consisted of black & white rather than the typical selection of color for landscapes as I wanted to limit the distraction the viewer is usually confronted with.  I also wanted to demonstrate the duality of nature we experience whether we think about it or not.  That is, by using a panoramic perspective and format I was able to show the vastness of the open spaces.  Yet at the same time my vision and intent was also to strive to exhibit the intimate embrace of nature at the same time.

Hopefully as you view and study Empty Presence, you'll see nature has the ability to simultaneously provide vast open spaces yet at the same time indulge one in a soft embrace for an intimate experience. Direct link for Empty Presence is: http://joannescherf.photoshelter.com/gallery/Empty-Presence/G0000noIOm6k5yR4/C0000d3oLFyHtxk0

Monday, September 16, 2013

2013 International Photography Award Winner....4 Awards with 3 Portfolios

It's hard to describe the level of exhilaration and joy one experiences when receiving notification of professional recognition by a jury of leaders in the industry.  This moment of bliss was intensified because it was the first time I ventured into the highly competitive world of international juried shows and actually had all three of my portfolios receive recognition in the IPA, International Photography Awards event.  Overall I'd say it was a great day as I walked away with Honorable Mentions in four categories:
  1. Abstract - "Venus Rising"
  2. Architecture/Buildings - "Zachor-Remember"
  3. Fine Art - "Axis Mundi-Trees of Life"
  4. Landscape - "Axis Mundi-Trees of Life"
On another level, it was my first attempt to submit work using techniques that was fairly new to me; either using the iPhone to create abstracts or my SLR camera to capture long exposure black&white images for an ethereal quality.  My Venus Rising portfolio began May 2012 as I tried to replicate a glass blower's design performance technique and literally "swirl" my image as if it were hot molten liquid glass to create beautiful abstracts out of a traditional landscape or still life image.  The other two portfolios I submitted to IPA were black&white long exposure images.  Axis Mundi-Trees of Life was actually started in March 2012 when I took my first long exposure class with Marc Koegel, a world-renowned photographer originally from Hamburg, Germany now residing in Vancouver, Canada.  I built on what Marc taught me and took another class from him May 2013 as I added more knowledge to my toolkit.  Almost at the same time I took another long exposure, black & white class from Joel Tjintjelaar from the Netherlands; an international star in long exposure, black & white photography specializing in architecture.  From both classes I continued to add to my Axis Mundi portfolio and begin the early stages of portfolio development for the Zachor-Remember series.

So essentially my efforts to learn new techniques (long exposure) and test the boundaries (iPhone) by submitting three portfolios to compete on a world stage was more then well worth the effort.  I certainly feel fortunate to continue to add to my professional development and be rewarded by recognition from my peers.

For direct links to the IPA pages highlighting my work:

Venus Rising (Abstract Award)

Zachor-Remember (Architecture Award)

Axis Mundi-Trees of Life (Fine Art and Landscape Award)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Image of the Month: September 2013

I find myself at the end of the summer season feeling in a reflective mood, similar to that of year's end in December.  With the passing of the season from one to the next, a time of transition if you will, I think an appropriate image for this month might be a sunset.  For those familiar with my work however, that is perhaps not subject matter that I usually spend any time on.  In fact, over my career I can honestly say that I've probably only captured two "sunset" images, and this is one of them.  Since sunsets are usually taken by the masses of people as evidence or documentation of travel, vacation, or otherwise, I tend to focus my efforts on other points of interest the landscape provides.  That said, let me explain my fixation with this particular sunset image.

© 2008, Joanne Scherf

Overall my landscape images tend to fall in the "deconstruction" approach as I focus my vision and intent on creating a scene with a minimalist sense; one that is free from general clutter as I provide the viewer with explicit direction on exactly where to focus.  This typically results in a somewhat graphic interpretation of the scene.  So in this image, you can see the composition is extremely simple for several reasons: primarily only blue and orange colors, repetitive geometric shapes of color create an abstraction, and the uncluttered composition of just water, sky, horizon and raft in the distance. Basically I created this image for the brilliant shapes of color that I saw upon capture, not so much for the cloud formations typically observed at sunset.  Even though I ended up taking the typical "pretty picture" I think I accomplished a more abstract interpretation of the subject matter that allows the viewer to contemplate and perhaps fixate on the interplay of the colors and even lose sight of the content.  If so, then I accomplished my mission to provide a different perspective on a familiar subject matter.