Frozen is the name of an exhibit I’m currently having at the Dairy Center for the Arts here in Boulder Colorado. Below is the text of a talk I gave at the opening along with photos that were part of a Power Point presentation which was shown along with the talk. You can see all of my ice photos on my web page.
I love taking photographs. For me, wandering the world with a camera is a process of discovery. I walk around trying to not let anything miss my eye. Being so focused gets your mind very quiet, and in that quiet, heightened awareness, you start to see things that you didn’t see before. I liken it to seeing things for the first time.
I first practiced this type of photography in my teens and early 20s wondering the streets of my native NYC. I’d see people and interactions on the street and something about them would thrill me. I would quickly focus, compose, set exposure, shoot and move on.
When I graduated college I went into advertising and fashion photography. It was much less spontaneous. I was working with fixed models and fixed locations or in a studio. It was fun, and I enjoyed it, but when other things came along to grab my attention and interest, I easily left photography and never looked back.
Move forward some 20 odd years and I’m living in northern California in this extraordinarily beautiful area and I want to start taking photographs again. I would wander trails the same way I used to wander New Your streets. When something grabbed my attention, I would try to make a photograph of it.
Shooting color transparency film required much more care about exposure and lighting than black and white film. I started using a tripod and carrying a hand held meter. I eventually moved to 4×5 film for the greater control and quality it offered.
The equipment however, only really matters to me. It’s an end to a means. I’m trying to capture my ecstasies and serve them to you, hoping you can get off on them too.
I came to Boulder just over 3 ½ years ago. I am very fortunate to be able to make a good living here as a computer programmer. Every morning, before work, I go out on one of the marvelous trails here with my digital Nikon and a tripod and wander around looking, focusing. waiting for something to bring me in and excite me.
The less desire and thought going into walking and looking the better. Once I find something that interests me, then the experience that I have doing this for most of my life comes in. First, am I looking as something that I can make a unique and compelling image of?
I can be easily be stopped by a beautiful sunrise over the Flatrions, but making a unique image of it is something else.
If I think I have the potential for a good photograph in front of me, then I need to decide how to make the image. What focal length lens I want to use, how to compose it, and how to best expose it.
I’ve been doing this for a long time, so a lot of this is fairly automatic for me, but I still need to do it. I actually find doing this a lot easier than working with a point and shoot where it’s supposedly all done for you.
Which brings me to ice. The work I have on display here today.
I discovered ice the way I discovered everything else, coming upon it and finding it compelling. Ice had some unique problems, like being extremely slippery, but getting a good pair of Yak Trax fixed that. Then I would wander around on the ice looking for interesting patterns and colors, different things frozen in it and see what I could come up with.
Our weather is so varied here that between freezes, storms and thaws, the same place rarely looks the same from one day to the next. Some days I find myself enchanted by leaves, flowers and twigs frozen the ice. Some of the images of frozen leaves make me feel like I’m looking into the past of some view many years ago that’s been frozen in time.
Other times just the different swirls and crystals grab my attention. Ice is never the same and always has some new unique patterns to explore. Some of my photos look like they are from outer space.
My goal in all of this is to bring my excitement to you. To show you something you might not have seen before or not have seen in quite the same way before and hopefully excite you too.