Almost always the best nature and landscape photographs are captured in what I like to call “the margins of the day,” that being dawn and dusk. Even an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset, when most photographers aren’t up or have packed away their gear for the day, the beauty of gradual light enhances the natural subject.
The following Pictures You Can Hear video and images were captured on the morning of October 20, 2009 at The Inn at Cedar Falls, in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
The sacredness of the light. To crunch about in the woods. To take in sunrise on the hilltop and then marvel at the sight of the Milky Way after nightfall. These are the visual gifts that feed the spirit and move the soul.
When all else in the “outside world” is ripping at the seams and falling in tatters, it is comforting to know that all is well, and right, in nature and at The Inn at Cedar Falls.
This past week I had the opportunity to visit Visceral Gallery here in Centerville. The gallery owner – Francine Riley – has done an excellent job in establishing a true, artistic presence and experience in the middle of Centerville’s “historic district.” Visceral reminds me of the galleries I’ve visited in many resort towns out west and the heavily traveled, high dollar tourist towns down south. The emphasis is where it should be – on the art. The space within is warm and welcoming, encouraging visitors to linger. The lighting is exceptional with lots of attention to detail. It was obvious to me that Francine had a professional education and training in both the craft of presentation as well as in the business of selling fine art. I wish her well.
Currently Visceral is hosting a invitation-only, juried exhibition titled “Colored Restrained.” The emphasis is on black and white presentation in a variety of mediums, both 2-D and 3-D. The show is impressive with some very strong talent on display.
A 16″x24″ print of one of my recent works in monochrome conversions of high dynamic range photographs was selected for the “Color Restrained” show at Visceral. The piece – titled “Hidden Treasure” – is a macro photograph of a closed Queen Anne’s Lace in Sugarcreek MetroPark.
My most recent release via the Blurb.com bookstore – “Renewal,” featuring spring photography of landscapes in both Hocking Hills State Park of Ohio and Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee. This volume is available in both softcover and hardcover formats as an 8″x10″ coffee-table style book, perfect for office lobbies or home. In addition to presenting stunning nature and landscape photographs from these scenic areas of Appalachia the book also includes an introspective essay titled “Life’s Lessons Learned on the Trail to Ramsay Cascade.” This was an article I drafted shortly after my May excursion to The Smokies and provides some insight on how life experiences are often paralleled in the most simple journeys through the natural landscape. The price for the soft-cover version is $29.95, not including shipping.
I’m also pleased to announce the first issue of what I hope to become a regular series of self-published magazines, titled “The Poet’s Eye.” This 24-page, 8.5×11 publication includes a brief introduction about the work presented and select images representing a particular subject, location or photographic technique. This, the first issue, features my recent work with converting high dynamic range photographs to monochrome – black and white – fine art images. The cost per issue is $7.84.
If you’re a regular user of Facebook there is a group page for Jim Crotty Photography. I often post new images and information regarding published images, commercial photography assignments and my photography workshops to this interactive group page which also allows followers to post their information and comments. Check it out.
While most people celebrate the end of summer with back to school and Labor Day activities, I prefer to take notice of the turning of the season, a turning toward what I like to call the “good light.” Softening sunlight and lengthening shadows and fields that turn to gold. This is the nature photographer’s best season when capturing images of the Ohio landscape. It’s also the primary reason I’ve scheduled my first, full-day photography workshop for the weekend of September 26th.
It is also with some melancholy that I say farewell to the summer of 2009. Back in May I made a goal of making this past summer one full of positive experiences from the limited time I have available to spend with my daughters, Emma, age 10, and Chloe, age nine. Making this my goal was in response of regretting not doing such during the summer of 2008. You see I am a single, divorced dad of two very special little girls. During the school year they live with their mother in Texas. Emma and Chloe are my everything, and I’ve made it no secret that there is NOTHING for me in Ohio that comes close to being worth the pain I go through when I have to say goodbye and put them on that American Airlines flight back to Texas.
I mean it – NOTHING, especially Dayton. I don’t think I need to explain that point further for most regular readers of this blog.
I succeeded in accomplishing my goal for this past summer, so much so that the pain of the goodbye (at least for me) was as sharp and searing as it has ever been.
And it’s with that emotion of love and commitment to my children that I present the following video and images, most of which were taken during my daughter’s last week with me in mid-August and going through the lonely days following to the beginning of September.
The visual artist creates what is discovered in the light from that which is felt within.
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