Sunday, May 18, 2008

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 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 fiancĂ©e 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.
Sushi Blues & BBQs, Hamilton NY also commissioned a poster-sized framed shot of the cattle at milking time. It hangs in their permanent collection in the restaurant and is entitled “Bret’s Girls.”

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Erotic Photography


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

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.