I Was Going to Have an Exhibit in Denver

•March 18, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Like everything else it’s been cancelled/postponed.  In the meantime, you can see it all here.


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Knowing and Not Knowing

•January 8, 2020 • Leave a Comment

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There’s a lot to know about when taking photographs.  It’s a lot easier than it used to be, but there’s still sharpness and unsharpness to contend with and the best combinations of shutter speed and ISO for maximum quality.

I shot transparency film in 35mm and 4×5 for a number of years so I consider myself pretty knowledgeable making images of good technical quality.

This knowing sometimes extends to how to make photographs as art, i.e. subject matter, how to compose, expose, and process it.  Go online and there is no lack of “pros” wanting to tell you how to take great photographs.

I ignore most of that, but I find I get stuck in my own supposed knowing.

Most mornings I walk my dog Gracie, then I go out and take photographs.  Depending on the time of year these actions may be reversed.  Depending on the time of year I’ll also go to certain locations expecting to make certain kinds of photos.

Sometimes my expectations are fulfilled but just as often they are not and knowing what kind of images to make gets thrown out the window.

More and more, these are the times that I hope for.  Without a script, I’m forced to just look at things and allow myself to be moved.

I’m always amazed with what I find to photograph under these circumstances and how the photographs turn out. 

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2019 — I’d Like to Show You Some Photos

•December 29, 2019 • 10 Comments

I feel really good about the images I made this year, but I have trouble thinking in terms of Best Of’s, so I’ll just post a selection of photographs from 2019 that I hope you may like as much as I do.

We’ll start with a landscape since I did so few of them this year and it’s rare that I’m very pleased with them.  This is the Long Lake area in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, one of my favorite places. The 24″x36″ print of this looks awesome.

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Another atypical image.  These are flowers behind the plastic walls of a green house.

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Leaves decaying in South Boulder Creek illuminated by the morning sun

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If I just went by “likes” this wouldn’t be here, but I love this ice photo because it’s so different from what I usually do.  Different to me at least.

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Living close to the Pacific Ocean for so many years, I have seen a lot of great sunrises and sunsets, but never the amazing ones that I’ve seen in Boulder.

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The morning sun reflects off the orange and red walls of Eldorado Canyon into South Boulder Creek.  Sometimes I’m lucky enough to make something with it.  The oranges are natural.

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I love the heart shaped leaf and the crack in the ice.  I call this Heart Broken Open

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Leaves and what looks like a seed in frozen South Boulder Creek.

simple-arrangement

Something just done in the last few weeks.  She looks like a naked dancer to me.

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Gotta have at least one grass photo.  They’re my best sellers, but I’m wondering if I’m finished with them and ready for something new.

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I love trees but I don’t get many tree images that last with me.  I hope this one does.

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And, finally some fallen leaves in some new snow in front of my home. This was my Christmas card this year.

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I hope you enjoyed my little show.

 

 

I Want To Be On Your Wall

•November 1, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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We’ve just finished three weekends of Open Studios, one of the few opportunities where I get a chance to show framed prints of my work to the public. I’ve been doing Boulder Open Studios for nine years and this was my best year yet. I sold five framed prints. On total, it might cover my photography expenses for the year and maybe help me afford a new lens, but the experience of seeing my work on walls and seeing people’s reactions to it is irreplaceable.

I’m on Facebook where I have a Dan Baumbach Photography page. I’m on Instagram and I post on these sites almost every day. No amounts of “Likes” or “Loves” can compare to seeing someone appreciating your art on a wall and being taken in by it.

Times are changing and everyone is experiencing art on their phones and tablets. I have an iPhone and iPad—I’ve written software for them, but I produce art for walls, not screens.

I have a wonderful Epson 24” printer that a previous Open Studios helped me afford, but making prints is expensive, especially when you’re addicted to beautiful Hahnemühle papers; so I make very few prints unless they’re for an exhibition.

I’ve learned that no matter how good something looks on a large computer screen, it can look very different as a print. My monitor is calibrated as is my printer so I’m not talking about color changes. I’m talking about how different a printed image looks from a computer screen image.

Before an exhibit, I make 11×17 prints of every image I’m considering putting in the exhibit. Some of them will end up being matted and put in bins, but still it’s an expensive proposition.

I love large prints on walls—that’s why I take photographs. A good work of art on a wall gives something to the viewer. I hope my photographs may do the same for people.

There’s a wonderful American Masters profile on PBS of the painter Mark Rothko. I had the good luck of experiencing large Rothko paintings on the walls of the Museum of Modern Art when I lived in New York. His work pulls me in, quiets and expands me.

At the end of his life, Rothko got a commission to make a set of murals for a Rothko Chapel in Texas. The interior of the chapel is just large paintings, benches and zafus where people can sit and appreciate.

It’s probably a big ego trip, but if I have a fantasy…

Every Blade Has a Voice

•August 6, 2019 • 2 Comments

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Actually everything in nature has a voice and is singing. Some songs, like those of trees and flowers, are easily heard and appreciated. Most of us respond to their songs without any effort. But grasses are much quieter, and one needs to pay more attention to them or we won’t hear them.

Now take those red poppies over there; their song is quite loud. It sounds like an aria from a Wagnerian opera. But grasses are quiet. The quieter you are, the more you hear.

When I’m out photographing grasses I have to put all the louder voices out of my head and pay close attention. Many times the melodies sound monotonous and boring, but then a voice of sweetness will catch me. Some nice harmony, even sometimes what sounds like cacophony can actually work when you listen carefully.

It’s all about listening. There are single voices, harmonies, choruses, counterpoints and more. The trick comes in singling out the voices that you want in your photograph and not having them sound like so much noise.

Choruses are hard to photograph because there isn’t a dominant voice. A lead singer or two backed up by a chorus is easier. Solo vocals, duets and trios can be very beautiful if you can make them stand out from all the other voices. The other voices can add or detract from the main singers—it all depends how loud they are and how well they complement the lead singers.

So many variables to work with. So many challenges. So many possibilities.

Macros as Art Workshop

•July 27, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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The basics of macro photography are not that difficult. Most point and shoots have a macro mode, and modern DSLR lenses can focus fairly closely.

Making beautiful macro photos is something else and that’s what we’ll focus on in this workshop. We’ll go over exposure, depth of field, macro lenses and the techniques that I use for making my Grass Menageries photos.

We’ll get together at my home in Boulder on Friday night, introduce ourselves and go over what we’re interested in learning. I’ll go over the macro techniques that I use including lenses, exposure, depth of field, fill flash and use of a tripod. This session will last two to three hours

Saturday morning we’ll meet before sunrise and go out to photograph grasses. This session will last about two-three hours. By that time the sun will probably be too high in the sky to work with.

We’ll take a break for breakfast and have another class session at my home where we’ll go over out images, see what we learned and see where we can improve.

The workshop will include between 4 and 7 participants. I recommend you have a DSLR a macro lens and a tripod. If you don’t have a macro lens, I recommend getting a Sigma 70-300 macro zoom. This lens is quite good and costs only about $200.

A tripod and remote release or delayed shutter release is necessary because we’ll be shooting at slow shutter speeds.

A laptop and either Lightroom or Photoshop will be helpful so we can go over what we did on our field session.

For examples of my macro grass photographs my website to the Grass Menageries portfolio. http://danbaumbach.com/thumbs.aspx?grass&0

The workshop will be September 13-14 and will be $150 per person. Registration includes a minimum of $75 deposit to hold your place.

Contact me at workshops.danbaumbach@gmail.com with any questions and/or to register.

Payment and deposits can be made through my PayPal account, db@timelesslight.com or you can mail a check to Dan Baumbach, 1551 Norwood Avenue, Boulder 80304

Drive By Shooting

•April 7, 2019 • Leave a Comment

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We drove out to the mountain towns of Beaver Creek and Avon last week so I could photograph some images of mine that were purchased by some hotels there.

It was still winter going over Vail Pass, and I was struck by the beauty created by the bare aspens, green pine trees and the snow. But we were on I-70 and there was no place to stop.

On the way home I tried shooting from a fairly clean passenger window with vibration reduction and a fairly high shutter speed. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve gotten and they look sharp under magnification too.

If you want to see the hotel images, they’re here.