Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Happy Birthday!

It is really hard for me to believe, but as of January 14th I will have been writing this blog for SEVEN years!  This is mind boggling to me, as I started it as a quick decision 'let's see what happens' sort of thing.....before blogs were 'big', before they were actively used as marketing tools.......back when they seemed to mostly be used for sharing.  Here is a link to that very first post. This year I have decided that from now on that on the blog birthday I would flip through the posts of the last year and pick one to repost that was the most.....the most something.....whatever that is to me.

So here is this year's repost.  It isnt the 'best' or even my 'favorite' picture of the year.  Not at all.  But what it represents to me is something that I believe is important in art and photography.  Actually, it is important in life! It represents a willingness to go out on a limb, to risk, and possibly to fail.  So here we go (there were comments on the original post, but they didn't come along for the ride with the cut and paste...the original post with comments can be seen here):

The post was titled "Unfocused" and ran on March 12, 2013.

I was photographing some tulips at a local botanical garden's spring flower show this weekend.  While doing so, and surrounded by orange tulips, I thought that the feeling I would like to convey was that of a dreamlike state, surrounded by flowers, shapes, colors and smells.  As I was trying to do so, I realized that, to me, having the flower out of focus seemed to do so the best.  So I took a number of images of one of the tulips in various stages of blurriness by unfocusing the lens.  Going through the results, I actually liked the 'blurriest' one the best, as it seemed to most clearly convey that stuperous dreamlike state I was after.

The problem is that, although to me it seems to convey the message, the two or three people I have show it to simply do not like it.  And so I ask myself, is that because I am not conveying the message well or is it because the message is conveyed but the viewer but simply don't 'like' what it says.

And so I am posting the image here in order to get some feedback on what the photo makes people feel and whether they like it.  Does it convey what it was intended to or does it simply give a headache because it is out of focus?  Or perhaps both?  Or perhaps something else?

I ask these questions with the full knowledge that this type of image can simply not appeal to everybody.  But does the image 'work' for anybody?

Copyright Howard Grill

Burnt Embers

One of the nice aspects of having a blog is the ability to share 'discoveries'.  As I have mentioned in prior posts, I have been doing more black and white work as of late.  I recently ran across the Burnt Embers blog by 'Ehpem' and was immediately drawn to his black and white images, though there are plenty of gorgeous color photographs there as well.  Enjoy 'Burnt Embers'!

Cow Bay Boat Houe

Copyright Ehpem

Art. Happenings.

It is amazing how many really interesting and worthwhile websites and blogs are 'out there' that one doesn't know about until someone else mentions it, you happen to find a link, or run across it by accident.  That is one of the reasons I like mentioning interesting sites that I happen to that others might discover and possibly enjoy them. And so it is with "Art. Happenings".  Truth be told, "Art. Happenings" came to me in order to write a post about my Carrie Furnace Project, and for that I am truly flattered.  But what is "Art. Happenings."?

"Art. Happenings." is a blog written by the art librarian at the Central Library in Rochester, NY, who develops their collection in several art forms, one of which is photography.  The blog itself is best described as......well, perhaps the blog's masthead describes it best: "A happening is a performance or event that is considered to be art. This blog covers world art events, art news and publications, and will expose the reader to all areas of the art world. The fine arts will be covered such as painting, sculpture, assemblage, installation, photography, conceptual art, large scale craft related events, handmade/altered books, and printmaking. Blog is maintained by an Art Librarian at the Rochester Public Library (NY)."

The blog is a great way to keep up with events in the various arts, with a healthy helping of photographic happenings in the mix.  It is definitely a spot that I plan to visit frequently!