Monday, December 3, 2012

Eagles On Display

This artwork is currently on exhibit at the Rockwall City Hall in Rockwall, Texas.  The three prints are of two golden eagles and a bald eagle.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Man With A Camera

I came across a TV show on Netflix from the 1950's called Man With A Camera, starring Charles Bronson as Mike Kovac. It is about the adventures of a no-nonsense photographer who seems to often have conflicts with thugs and organized crime.  I don't know if they were called papparazi then, but in the opening episode there are a group of photographers outside a boxing training camp. They complain to Kovac that they haven't been able to get in to photograph the young up-and-coming boxing sensation.  So of course Kovac finds a way to get in, although he ends up paying a price for his aggression.  Eventually he ends up helping the boxer, who is being pressured to take a dive in his next big fight.  Kovac does find a way to help the boxer and in the end the bad guys are arrested. The boxer was played by Tom Laughlin, who years later played the title role in the movie Billy Jack.

It is interesting seeing the old equipment in use. Kovac carries flash bulbs in the pocket of his sport coat and has to put a new bulb in for the next shot, not a very fast maneuver.  In the episodes I have watched I never saw him take a picture without flash, even outdoors in the sunshine.  Kovac's plan to help the boxer was to hide and photograph the manager and other bad guys walking the boxer and his scheduled opponent through the moves for faking a knockout.  He measures the light in the room with a light meter and decides there will be enough light to take the photo without flash.  He hides behind a screen. Things go wrong because one of gangsters has light sensitive eyes and keeps turning off lights in the room.  Kovac is forced to attach his flash and ease it over the screen. He gets the shot but has to run.

Charles Bronson's acting is interesting to watch, and I like to see life in the 1950's, not so much the stories which are pretty much fantasy as most shows and movie stories are, but just the ordinary things of everyday life. Cars, telephones, clothing and other items give a feel for the way life was then.  I remember some of the items from my childhood and others I don't.

I also like the seeing a photographer portrayed as a hero, and using a camera to help people. It makes me consider whether my photography helps anyone. I need to think about more creative ways to do some good with my camera.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sunset At The Boat Launch

Getting ready for a little night fishing on Lake Ray Hubbard 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This piece received second place in the photography category in the Fall Fine Art show sponsored by the Rockwall Art League in Rockwall, Texas.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/170590938/three-deer-in-snow-framed-photo

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Majestic


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Follow Me On Facebook

Visit my new Facebook photography page at AllenWeekleyPhotography.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Branches


Friday, March 9, 2012

Underwater

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Snow

Snow outside my window.

Artist versus Technician

My colleague Rollin McCarty once remarked that "a photographer will stand one inch from a print." I believe he meant that a non-photographer viewing a large photo on exhibit would look at the artistic meaning and artistic impact of the print, and tend to take in the print as a whole. Many photographers would ignore the scene as a whole and walk up an inch from the print and assess how the very fine details looked. I sometimes think the whole concept with a number of photographers is that the fine details are more important than the artistic impact. From what I have seen written on the Internet, there are some photographers who do not even consider photography to be art. If the sharpness or exposure or contrast are not to their liking, the photograph is absolutely not acceptable. They will not even attempt to judge either the artistic or emotional impact on themselves, or the artistic or emotional intent of the photographic artist.

Technical details are a factor in photographic art. Some photos have maximum impact because they are well exposed, very sharp, have pleasing tonalities or pleasing color balance, a medium contrast, no blown out highlights, and no lack of detail in dark areas.  (Of course, a photo can have all these things and be of no interest whatsoever.)  Other photos may have none of these, but still be successful as an artistic statement. (At least in the eye of the artist. If it also has emotional impact for a client, so much the better). I was late to make the switch to digital from film (deliberately so). I also have only recently began to have dialogue with other photographers, usually in the past doing my own thing without much discussion with anyone but clients. It was a while before it registered that many of the serious amateur and semi-pro photographers I had discussed photography and art with had never seen film. They started with a digital camera and have looked at thousands of images from digital capture, but have never shot film and many have seen only a few images from film in their entire lives. I fear they are missing a rich history that would improve their understanding. Just as in my opinion the best pop musicians are those who are familiar with early rock and roll, early blues, and early country and folk music, photographers should be aware of the significance of the work in earlier eras and hopefully have some understanding of other media besides the ones they presently employ,

So this was a major disconnect with my attempts to understand where other photographers were coming from, but the medium is not really the point. Many photographers seem to have the goal of producing only images that are sharp, detailed, and well lit. I would suggest that this is an artificial limitation. When I am in forest with a canopy of thick trees at dusk, the scene is dim and soft to my eye. If I make an image of the scene that appears bright, sharp, and well lit, that could be an artistic statement for someone, but most of the time I want to capture the scene in such a way and produce an image in such a way that the final image is soft and dark. I would propose that it is acceptable for a dusk scene to be soft, because that is the way it looked to my eye when I was there in person.  The same with night photography. A photograph of a night scene should not look like it was taken in daylight. That is not my goal. Usually what attracts me to take the photograph is lost if I try to make a night scene bright, or make a low contrast scene into a high contrast image, or a high contrast scene into a low contrast image.

I showed this photograph (of Green Lake in Orchard Park, New York) to another photographer. He immediately started speaking about how to correct the exposure so the dark areas would be lightened. I thanked him for his feedback and did not discuss it further. To my vision, lightening the dark areas would ruin what I intended. I wanted to capture the brightness of the water but wanted the dark areas to contribute a sense of foreboding around this brightness, exactly what I felt when I was there. I in fact took this with a number of different exposure settings and this was the one that produced the effect I wanted.


If you agree with my friend who thinks this scene is too dark, that is fine. This is my vision, but I do not expect every viewer to share it. If it makes an emotional impact on you, either positive or negative, please comment on this post.









Another example is this image. I was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on an expressway through downtown Montreal at night. I saw this scene developing. The only camera I could reach quickly was a Canon SD750 pocket camera. I took this through the windshield. I knew the image would streak and blur due to the slow shutter speed, but I was hoping for an interesting effect.


The white lines are lights along sound walls. The squiggly green lines are street lights high above. The red shapes are the taillights of other vehicles. They are not elongated because their speed was similar to the vehicle I was in. Many viewers think this photo is a disaster. But some clients think it is wonderful. I printed it on a metal sheet, which enriches the colors and creates more depth, and the 12 x18 metal sheet is mounted so it is about an inch from the wall, creating a natural shadow around it so that it has even more depth.

The technical details are a means to an end, not the end itself. I do not have to tell clients to look for the artistic and emotional impact of a photograph instead of concentrating on the technical details. For photographers, I would suggest that you do not constrain your vision unnecessarily by obsessing over technical detail, especially if you find yourself more concerned with technical details than artistic impact.

Feedback is welcome. Please click on "Comments" below if you wish to comment on this post.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Snow

Snow in my yard.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snow

Snow in my yard.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Firewood

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sundog (The Rainbow Tree)

A sundog or parhelion is formed by ice crystals aligning vertically as they fall through the atmosphere in very cold weather. This was taken shortly after sunrise, with an ambient temperature of about -5 degrees F. I walked out on a jetty on the frozen St. Croix river and saw a sundog aligned with this tree.

Boats

Ice Fisher

A blessing for the Ice Fish.

Misty Bridge

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bridge

Sunday, January 8, 2012