Archive for May, 2008

Tips for Beginning poets II

May 20, 2008

Photography: poetry from behind the macro lens

Poetry a  “close-up”  with words

What do they have in common?

 

In my  opinion a good poem and a good photograph share a few basic characteristics. Simplicity. Clear, basic composition. Enough detail to grab our attention, but not so much that we get lost in trying to consider it all.

 

An effective poem leaves us with a few strong images …

A way to get at revision is to write the piece. Then remove all the words that are not necessary for it to stand alone. Uncover the skeleton. Least common denominator. After, after, then dress it up, add make-up and accessories..if you over-do that, that is your issue but at least under it all, the poem will stand on its own.

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Best Friends–The Haircut

May 20, 2008

Best Friend“Best Friends” is a photo-poem composition created by me in 2007.

 

 I attended an art gallery opening hosted by friends at their local gallery. At this event where I was taking pictures, I met a young boy who was all dressed up and had a shaved head.  His parents explained that he had requested the hair cut because his best friend had been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year. While undergoing chemotherapy the young boy lost his hair and confided his feelings about this to his friend. I asked permission to take his picture. His parents agreed.

 

When I had the old fashioned 35 mm film developed, the resulting portrait was revealed. Friends urged me to give  a copy to the boy and his family. So, as a Christmas gift, I framed the photo as a greeting card and printed the poem the childrens’ story had inspired in me, on the it to thank his family.

 

Later in the new year, I was told that when the child’s parents opened the card, they were so thrilled that his mom began to cry. She rushed to share the card with the mother of the little boy who was sick.   This then resulted in both sets of parents taking the card to the childrens’ school to share with art teacher, principal and other teachers, one of whom was undergoing chemotherapy at that time as well.  It so moved the staff that in the June 2007 edition of the yearbook a center page spread was created to honor the sick child using the photo-poem “Best Friends.”

 

In May 2008, Kinney Drugstores sponsored a benefit for Golisano Children’s Hospital, Syracuse NY . The Cazenovia branch photo department manager is well acquainted with my photography.  She asked me to donate a picture for the cause. “Best Friends” was it. I enlarged it to an 11” by 14” and framed it in hardwood.. It stood on the counter in a place of honor during the entire event.

Home Is Where The Barn Is

May 20, 2008

Finished Product“Home Is Where The Barn Is”

 

In August 2007, a friend invited me to come to her fiance’s dairy farm of approximately 1700 Holstein cattle to take pictures of the cattle and workmen going about their daily routine.

 

I was using my 35 mm Nikon F 4 with film at the time. When I had the rolls of prints developed, I was thrilled that several of the shots were top quality.

 

I received notice of an upcoming art show to take place in the new Lipe Art Park in Syracuse, NY in October 2007.  The theme had to do with how agriculture is relevant to city dwellers..one could choose from such subjects as those related to the land, animal husbandry, compost practices and recycling. I chose the animal category and queried the curators. They indicated that they were unsure of being able to use photography as this was an outdoor multi-season show, but to go ahead and send them my entries.

 

They were thrilled with the pieces I  both of which may be viewed on my website. We coordinated our efforts and the curators created wonderful weather-proof framing for the shots. The show as a big success.

For Christmas 2007, the dairy manager’s fiancée commissioned me to enlarge one of the same series for her in a unique composition I created with my partner, Erin Carraway, for his gift. Thus was born “Home Is Where The Barn Is.”

 It uses both the photographs that appeared in the Lipe show and several others framed in a design replicating an old barn gate with distressed metal work.. I painted over the photographs which were then decoupaged onto the mat board.

January 2008 we asked permission to borrow the piece back and entered it into a state-wide art show sponsored by The Art Association of Oswego, Fort Ontario, Oswego NY.  Early March we learned that we had juried into the show. It opened March 22 to a full house.

Floral Erotica in Photography: how to find sensuality in a grocery store bouquet

May 20, 2008

Bloom 

What makes a flower erotic? Sharp crisp lines, seductive curves,  warm enticing colors, ripe, rich textures…stiff parts seeking fertilization…It begs for photography.

A classic erotic flower picture should have simple composition.

One curve, for example, one swelling and two colors to invite the viewer to “fall into” the photograph. To ask the viewer to lick the teeth, swallow, to sigh. To create in the viewer a desire to stroke, to reach into the picture and participate. To remember. Simplicity and clean lines.

 This is different than “dirty flower pictures.” While a blooming plant in a pot of soil may constitute a “dirty flower”, humor aside, I am talking about navigating away from the adolescent reaction of “Oh yeah, look! a tiny pair of boobies” snicker, snicker.

To consider a plant/flower/root/bud/leaf as a metaphor for human body or metaphor for human sexuality in all its starkness and magnetism.

 

The sensual in nature surrounds us in especially in Spring in northern climates. Birds at their deepest most dramatic colors, sing rich songs unique to mating season. Lush  plant growth  of all colors after  winter’s monochromatic white, tan and gray. Flowering trees and fertilizing bees at their cups, its all about sex. The way the Earth opens with a sharp shiny edge of a farmer’s plow, the waves of folded back, rich brown soil, that is sensuality at its most extreme. Flowers that lend themselves to this type of viewing are many,but the orchid family comes to mind first and foremost with its riot of shapes, long-lasting, stiff flowers, fragrances that attract and mesmerize..even the root growth slipping out the dormant end of a white stubby root with a shine of slick green new tip emerging.

 

All it requires to discover erotica in flowers and natural life around us, is a macro lens and patience. The viewer must be willing to have not only a  “slow hand” to paraphrase the Pointer Sisters, and an easy touch. My years behind the lens opened an entire universe of sensuality and sensuousness to my eyes. Poetry as snap-shots.  Point and shoot, yes, but don’t shoot and run.

 

 

Floral Erotica: How to Find Sensuality in a Grocery Store Bouquet

May 14, 2008

What makes a flower erotic? Sharp crisp lines, seductive curves,  warm enticing colors, ripe, rich textures…stiff parts seeking fertilization…It begs for photography.

A classic erotic flower picture should have simple composition.

One curve, for example, one swelling and two colors to invite the viewer to “fall into” the photograph. To ask the viewer to lick the teeth, swallow, to sigh. To create in the viewer a desire to stroke, to reach into the picture and participate. To remember. Simplicity and clean lines.

 This is different than “dirty flower pictures.” While a blooming plant in a pot of soil may constitute a “dirty flower”, humor aside, I am talking about navigating away from the adolescent reaction of “Oh yeah, look! a tiny pair of boobies” snicker, snicker.

To consider a plant/flower/root/bud/leaf as a metaphor for human body or metaphor for human sexuality in all its starkness and magnetism.

 

The sensual in nature surrounds us in especially in Spring in northern climates. Birds at their deepest most dramatic colors, sing rich songs unique to mating season. Lush  plant growth  of all colors after  winter’s monochromatic white, tan and gray. Flowering trees and fertilizing bees at their cups, its all about sex. The way the Earth opens with a sharp shiny edge of a farmer’s plow, the waves of folded back, rich brown soil, that is sensuality at its most extreme. Flowers that lend themselves to this type of viewing are many,but the orchid family comes to mind first and foremost with its riot of shapes, long-lasting, stiff flowers, fragrances that attract and mesmerize..even the root growth slipping out the dormant end of a white stubby root with a shine of slick green new tip emerging.

 

All it requires to discover erotica in flowers and natural life around us, is a macro lens and patience. The viewer must be willing to have not only a  “slow hand” to paraphrase the Pointer Sisters, and an easy touch. My years behind the lens opened an entire universe of sensuality and sensuousness to my eyes. Poetry as snap-shots.  Point and shoot, yes, but don’t shoot and run.

amaryllis1-w-text