Seek the Authentic – Be Authentic

Seek authenticity, marvel in its presence but resist the urge to simply imitate. What is truly authentic should only inspire you to find what is already authentic in you. Doing so has become increasingly challenging in the popular culture of today where the emphasis is on appearance and immediate visual stimulation. Popular culture devours the authentic with an insatiable appetite and then sits in the corner, sad and empty-hearted. Just look what has happened to the most well known art and music “festivals.” There’s the perfect example. Imitation is a disguise for those who can’t – or have failed to – locate their own voice and it doesn’t help that we have entire industries that cater to imitation. Inspiration is the far better journey. Defy popularism. Be true, be inspired and become a source of inspiration versus imitation. That’s where you will find the good and lasting stuff.

Sunset sky over Albuquerque New Mexico on August 7 2014 by Jim Crotty
Scenes, landscape and skyscape on the journey between Taos and Santa Fe New Mexico by Jim Crotty
Sunset sky near Los Alamos New Mexico on March 6 2012 by Jim Crotty
Scenes, landscape and skyscape on the journey between Taos and Santa Fe New Mexico by Jim Crotty
Weathered texture of abandoned homestead in the Cabezon Peak Wilderness Area of New Mexico by Jim Crotty
An August day out on the Diamond Tail Ranch near Albuquerque New Mexico with Roch Hart of New Mexico Jeep Tours

Change | Powerful and Persistent

Nature is a persistent and patient teacher with the life lesson of change. Having been involved with nature photography for over 40 years has allowed me to observe the power and importance of this lesson. The one thing that doesn’t change has been change itself. It is consistent.

People naturally fight change. They hate it. Honestly I do to. The very thought of ever moving again brings on a sense of dark doom. Change is so disruptive to what most perceive as safety and security. It goes against this inherent human fallacy known as control. But then nature comes along with her lessons, sometimes subtle; sometimes quite harsh. Late summer and into early autumn seems to be the time when mother nature too likes to put school back into session, with vigor and suddenness, particularly for those living in the coastal states.

Ohio’s lessons on change this time of year tend to be far more subtle but there they are, nonetheless. Summer ends, school begins, cool evenings give way to fields and meadows covered in webs and dew. The balance between day and night returns, and life goes on.

The opposite of fighting change within our own lives is to fully embrace it, with courage and faith. To emulate nature not in the struggle but in the quiet acceptance of what is meant to be will be. Ego insists on the struggle and attempts vainly at controlling the inevitable. Nature flows with it. She goes with the confidence of what changes never truly goes away but is returned again and again in new seasons and forms.

But with our modern lives embracing change is easier said than done. Ego and security are often buried generations deep with the help of inherited fears. This dire need for the “bricks and mortar” and monuments to persona do little to assuage wounds never properly healed. The falseness of our beliefs in ourselves and controlling everything prove to be powerful barriers for free spirits to overcome.

Nature continues to teach otherwise. I think it’s why I could never really leave her classroom. My camera has become my pencil and the photographs my growing stack of doodled and dogeared notebooks.

Change in the seasons and in life flow with an energy that when it comes down to it, I never see as negative. It’s continuous and so are the lessons. With energy so immense and eternal how could anything – or anyone – truly “end.”

In our lives we are given this gift of continuous love that we would rather shove into the corner in favor of what’s immediate and more serving of our needs for control and security. It isn’t until the hard lessons are put upon us whereby we return to the treasure behind our here and now. This gift of continuous love can be found and observed in both nature and in each of us. Change is the energy for it to fly in orbits that will never end but only become better and brighter through time and generations.

Early September evening in the meadow at Bill Yeck Park in Centerville Ohio by Jim Crotty

The rising of the full Corn Moon on evening of September 5 2017 from Bill Yeck Park in Centerville Ohio by Jim Crotty

Knowing the Client’s Client | Photography for Company Web Sites and Social Media

When completing photographic assignments for a client’s marketing and web site, I strive to capture the light and setting that is best suited for the particular product or service being advertised. To do so requires more than just technical skill. It requires an understanding and appreciation of the client’s clientele and their customer service goals. This was my goal while photographing the newest additions to the accommodations at The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, Ohio last week, the “yurts.” These structures are a beautiful and unique combination of both framed tent with all the comforts of a completely furnished cabin.

With this particular assignment I wanted to convey the atmosphere of the “glamping” experience – glamorous camping – but including in the imagery both the comforts of the yurts and the intimate connection to the natural surroundings. With The Inn being a client of my photography services since 2003, as well as the location for both my autumn and spring nature photography workshops, I was very familiar with the “guest experience” goals of such a special retreat location in this beautiful area of Ohio. Another goal of the assignment was to capture the natural light of the setting of the yurts throughout the progression of the day, from morning to afternoon to dusk to evening.

In today‘s world of so much of a company’s products and services being visually communicated via the web and social media it’s vital to invest in photography that will do just that – convey the essence of the experience through professional imagery that both reflects the uniqueness of what is offered and a commitment to the customer who will likely return. again and again.

Newly constructed yurt accommodations photographed at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills Ohio. Photography for marketing and web site.

Movement and Expression | The Photographer as Artist

The photographer artist is beholden only to the limits placed on him or herself, to see, to surrender, to express. There must always be somewhat of a returning to the original story, the essence of what has never failed to move the artist to act deliberately to carry the beauty of the conversation between light, subject, photographer and viewer. The motivation never ceases because the rewards go far beyond simple recognition of a statement made and the person making the statement. For the artist art is life itself.

New Fine Art Prints | Spring and Summer 2017

Fall Nature Photography in Ohio | October 21 Workshop in Hocking Hills

Fall nature photography workshop by Jim Crotty at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills Ohio on Saturday October 21 2017

I am pleased to announce a one-day, fall nature photography workshop in the heart of Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio for Saturday, October 21st, 2017. Once again this fun-filled learning program will be based from the beautiful conference room facilities at The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls.

This will be a small group workshop limited to 20 participants. My one-day workshops in Hocking Hills place more emphasis on field instruction with just the right amount of classroom time on best practices for digital editing and workflow.

October in Hocking Hills can be a spectacular combination of ideal light and fall color along the woodland trails, streams and waterfalls of the region. I will also be looking forward to guiding the group to the newly opened Whispering Cave trail with the Park.

To register please call 937-896-6311 or email jim@jimcrotty.com. The fee per person is $100 which includes lunch at The Inn and all handout materials.

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Pictures of Health | New Print Installations at Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital

I’m happy to announce the photographs I captured on assignment last summer are now installed as backlit wall display prints at the soon-to-be opening of the remodel of the Rubicon Cafeteria at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. I am very thankful for the business and opportunity. This project was a creative collaborative effort with Deck the Walls and App Architecture.

Installed prints of food photography by Jim Crotty in the remodel of the Rubicon Cafeteria of Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton Ohio. Creative collaboration with Deck the Walls and App Architecture

Fine Art – Stock – Commercial – Portrait – Workshops