abstract, "motion blur", "camera movement"Rising tide

SPIRIT STANDING STILL - a blog about photography, mostly

"No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen." (Minor White)


Suits me to a T

August 03, 2017  •  1 Comment

abstract, "fort Casey", photomontageSuits me to a TPhotomontage

The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled. - Sue Monk Kidd

Well, we’re firmly entrenched in the dog days of summer.  These are droopy, wilted days with roiling thunderclouds that offer little relief and rob us of cool morning breezes.  Air conditioning is a blessing - until the utility bill arrives.  

It’s definitely not my favorite season for photography.  But it is the perfect time to have fun with photomontage, so I’ve been playing with my abstract images and combining them with subtle textures, to enhance their otherworldliness.  Heat - thunder - humidity - flash flood warnings - I was in the mood for some cool hues today!

A new friend

July 22, 2017  •  1 Comment

This little guy arrived the other day.  It’s an Ondu pinhole camera, and we’re just starting to get acquainted.  It has a simple, elegant design.  Solid wood.  Shoots medium format roll film.  This is the front view - the small rectangular piece of wood is the shutter.  You simply lift it up to make an exposure.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that (the camera came with a 3-page manual!).  

It may be a while before I share any photographs taken by my new friend.  There’s no viewfinder, so learning the camera’s angle of view will take some practice.  And then there’s the simple matter of turnaround time - sending the exposed roll off to the lab and awaiting it’s return.  Ah, the good old days of film!

I decided that something this unique deserved a name.  Maybe Brett, or Minor, in honor of two of my favorite photographers?  Or Imogen, who’s not only one of my favorite photographers but a badass role model?  It was too difficult to pick just one favorite artist, though.  Instead, in honor of the camera’s unique properties, I decided to name him Charlie McCarthy...

Because he’s made out of wood, and with practice, I hope to be able to speak through him.

Rogue triangles - when right angles go bad

July 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

photomontage, abstractRogue triangles

"How can you be so obtuse?" - - "What?? What did you call me?" - dialogue from the movie Shawshank Redemption

Part of the fun of photomontage is that you’re never sure where you’ll end up.  I’ve noticed that my montages - no matter what my original idea - often end up full of color and texture, sometimes a bit chaotic.  And I like that!  But the other day I decided to set myself a different task - to go minimalist.  Specifically, to limit the color palette and constrain the layout strictly to squares and rectangles.  More Mondrian, less Pollock.

A fun challenge.  Things were progressing in an orderly, 90-degree sort of way, but hold on - there was sudden urge to triangulate.  Just a hint at first, but then a full-fledged triangle appeared.  Then another poked out, and another.  There was just no stopping them!

The irresistible urge to deviate from the plan and find a different angle.  It’s something I feel acutely.

Bumper crop

July 08, 2017  •  1 Comment

California, Campo, "Motor Transport Museum", "black and white", pinhole, truckBumper cropMotor Transport Museum. Pinhole effect.

I’m drawn back once again to the allure of the pinhole photography effect.  Still don’t have an *actual* camera, but I continue to play with altering images in a way that evokes that feeling.  This ‘bumper crop’ of old vehicles is just the sort of image that lends itself to the pinhole effect.

Taken at the Motor Transport Museum in Campo, California.

Happy Fourth!

July 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

bark, kaleidoscope, montage, photomontageRed kaleidoscopePhotomontage

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck

Here’s a bright, kaleidoscopic image that seems appropriate for the Fourth of July!  It’s one of a series of photomontages created from pictures of tree bark.  

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth.  Dig your toes in the sand, hang out in the shade and be careful of the potato salad.  (And I hate to disagree with Ms. Bombeck, but if you think you have overeaten… you have.)

Favorite Sites / Recents Reads

  In the Moment: Michael Frye's Landscape Photography Blog

 Carol Leigh photography blog

 David du Chemin photography blog

 Fine Art Landscape Photography of Seung Kye Lee 

 My Modern Met "where art enthusiasts and trend spotters connect over creative ideas"

 Ian Plant Dreamscapes photography blog

 William Neill's Light on the Landscape photoblog

 Art Wolfe blog

Recently read, and highly recommended:

The creative habit (Twyla Tharp)

The museum of extraordinary things (Alice Hoffman)

Jane Gardam's "Old Filth" trilogy: Old Filth, The man in the wooden hat, and Last Friends

The good Lord bird (James McBride)

Snow hunters (Paul Yoon)