|Autumn In Zion National Park|
Nearly two months ago, at the 15th Annual and Final Moab Photo Symposium, I had the pleasure of hearing a talk form Cole Thompson. It having been a couple of months and given that I've slept since then I can't remember specifically what he said to spark it, but I gave myself an assignment.
I was to wade through my work, identifying those images that had particular impact for me. I intended this to be a quiet little exercise that I would keep to myself, yet here I am blogging about it. I think the results are interesting and if you're also an artist, you might enjoy doing this too.
My rules stipulated first that I couldn't choose iconic "postcard scenes", but rather things that were original. That means no sweeping views of Cape Royal, Zabriskie Point, or Mesa Arch. Yes, the interpretation of this rule would need to be somewhat arbitrary but it's my game, so no matter. Second, they were to be images that bring up emotion for me. Of course I can't really know what speaks to others and anyway one could argue that the reaction of others is secondary.
In the words of Joan Jett, "You have to just do what you love and hope other people love it too."
Unexpectedly, I discovered some patterns. There are types of images that are more likely to float my boat. I thought I might share a few of those with you.
|Acadia National Park|
|Colorado; San Juan Mountains|
I knew that I have been gravitating toward minimalist compositions, but was surprised to find that I especially like them with color. The composition in these being spare, I appreciate the way color becomes the subject.
|Cape Final, Grand Canyon|
|San Clemente, CA|
I also find that I adore shallow depth-of-field images which reduce the background to vague context and feel, to me, to be dreamy and maybe a little dangerous.
|Death Valley National Park|
I found several images which were, again minimal, and all about lines. They were in slot canyons, badlands, and sand dunes. They have a certain dreamy quality that moves me.
|Lunar Eclipse, Kofa NWR|
|Full Moon Rise, Grand Canyon|
I was surprised to see how much I've enjoyed moon - drama; Lunar and solar eclipses and just plain cool moon shots. There is, indeed, magic out there.
|Brown Bear, Katmai National Park|
|Girl, La Hoya Guatemala|
Some images which caught my fancy were simply portraits which hold intensity, whether the subject was wildlife, or human.
|The remains of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, between Phoenix and Prescott AZ|
Thanks for riding along. If you're an artist, I encourage you to try this experiment yourself. I'd love to hear what you learn!