Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breaking the Cubes that Bind

Spring brings many things: flowers; bird song; and my favorite t-shirt, which has been resurrected from the depths of my closet! I was so excited to show it to you, that I didn't even bother ironing.

I have spent way too much time behind the computer lately and I'm so happy to be getting back out into the woods and actually making some photos for a change. I was talking to a friend about this other day, and we were (half) laughing about how much time photographers actually have to spend staring into the vortex of a computer screen. It almost gets to the point where calling one's self a photographer becomes a bit of a stretch.

Well, for now, I intend on doing carrying on the moniker. I've got heaps to do before the winter returns and Mr. Jobs' shackles drag me back down into the abyss.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

(Become A) Versatility Virtuoso

You may have heard some photographers stressing the importance of 'making photos' rather than 'taking photos.' In order to make it as a professional (nature) photographer, one has to be able to adapt to the situation that you're faced with and come home with good, salable images. Otherwise, it is highly likely that your client will not call on you again.
Although I love the serendipity of hiking along a mountain trail and coming upon an amazing subject to photograph, more and more, I find myself shooting with an agenda in mind. This morning was no exception: I needed to make photos of trout lilies for Meet Your Neighbours, for my catalog of wide angle macro photographs for an upcoming project and for my general stock collection to boot. To make things more tricky, each direction required a different style and approach.
With a little creativity and good planning a single location can yield a wide variety of completely different images that can be delivered to different customers and markets without conflict. All of the images included in this post were photographed in a single morning.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Purest of Expressions

Most children draw and it isn't until about 10-11 years of age that they show any concern in regards to whether or not they are creating 'good or bad' art. These are the golden years of creativity, when everything that they show an interest in –or soak in from their environment- is played out on the canvas, paper, driveway, window and wall.

My six-year old son Adam is currently obsessed with penguins and he has been drawing, modeling and painting them daily. My favorite iteration to date is a scene that he created from tissue paper, which he then glued to his bedroom window. I am ashamed to say that my first reaction was to scold him, but before the words left my mouth I was suddenly struck by the detail and time that he put into it and so the scene remains there today (the image above doesn't show the snow clouds sending down colored snowflakes!). He is so proud of it, and for good reason. Sometimes I am embarrassed of my 'adult' mind-set.
I wonder what visions we, as nature photographers, might offer the world if we were willing to be a little more daring and less concerned about what our friends, editors and colleagues might think?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Meet Your Neighbours: Project Update

It has been a few weeks since Meet Your Neighbours was launched.We have received inquiries and interest from photographers and NGOs from around the world; the list includes places as diverse as Uganda, Brazil, Italy, the Ukraine, New England, Wales among others. Needless to say, I have been very encouraged by the response so far! If you believe that you would be a good candidate for this effort, please don't hesitate to send your information to clay@meetyourneighbours.org !

I also wanted to publicly thank several organizations and individuals who have stepped forward to offer support and spread the word about MYN. Sincere appreciation to all of you who have done so! And to those who are working with us behind the scenes, many thanks to you as well.

Here are a few highlights:
In the next few days, we will be posting more detailed information on how the project works and ways that applicants can partner with NGOs. In addition, Niall and I will also be sharing a "Photographer's Guide to Meet Your Neighbours" as a resource for candidates.

Once again, for those who are interested in applying, please contact me via the blog, or by e-mail at clay@meetyourneighbours.org.