The past few days hurricane Hermine inspired me to experiment with some abstract techniques in the studio. Hurricane Hermine was a huge rain event where I live and capturing a few droplets seemed the perfect way to illustrate some of its effects.
This is a shoot I researched to help get out of the box with my thinking and boost creativity. I was working in studio and here is the general set up. The image consists of a mixture of water and oil in a glass container. This container is situated on plexiglass, elevated around 12 inches with a multi- colored cloth beneath. There are plenty of video tutorials on line demonstrating this technique. Although the technique did have its challenges, some of the results I found to be very inspiring thus the name of this post Hermine inspired.
The biggest challenge was finding a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the moving water. To create the bubbles, the mixture had to agitated by either gentle moving the container or stirring the mixture of water and oil. However, the agitation created movement of the water and oil causing images to be blurred at lower shutter speeds. On the plus side, it forced me to really work with the Shutter/Aperature/ISO matrix to get some good shots. As with many shoots the more images you take the greater the probability of succeeding.
Thanks for reading and I hope the next time you have some crazy weather in your area, you let your creative juices flow and make some art!
July is the month of much celebration during the summer. The obvious holiday of July 4th and also my birthday occurs during the month of July. I will be away for the first half of the month and plan on bringing back images to share with you. Although I shot this image a few years back, it is one of my favorite flag images. I have a great giclée print available if anyone is interested. You can contact me through my website susanmcanany.com. It is for sale online at my Etsy Store. Thanks for visiting.
Have you ever witnessed the yin yang effect in your life? Well, I believe I experience it frequently or maybe it is some kind of mid life crisis. I especially see it in my creative interests. One month I am photographing prisons and graffiti and the next I am mixing paints to create some vibrant macro abstractions guaranteed to make your eyes pop.
Or maybe the swing in interest is due to my birth date, which happens to be right on the cusp between the Zodiac signs of Cancer and Leo. I have been told at certain times it can (and does) create conflicting feelings and actions. Cancer being the conservative homebody and Leo the outgoing risk taker.
There’s a theory in photography, a person should totally embrace what they like to shoot and focus only on that one interest in the hopes of achieving perfection. I certainly see merit to that, although, for me I also see a certain amount of boredom setting in. I look at my portfolio and see a huge range of diversity and that is only viewing what is online . Maybe it is due to the length of time I have been shooting or maybe it is the yin-yang effect in my life. I just don’t seem to be able to settle into something permanently. Once I shot a magazine containing portraits of 100 different woman from all walks of life. While the experience was fun, I learned a lot and met many different, wonderful women, I was happy when it was over. Ready to get back to art.
Regardless of the cause, I am happy with opposite interests in my life. Here are a couple of examples of what I have been working on from the Abstract Category on my website.
I have had an infatuation with graffiti art for some time. For me there is something very liberating and rebellious about finding a public place and making art, knowing it will probably be around for only a very limited time. Usually it is either painted over by authorities or often another graffiti artist.
I also admire the skill and vision that must be involved to paint some very elaborate designs with a can of spray paint. No pencil sketches allowed. My first exposure to spray paint art was in my teens when a friend offered to paint a wall in my bedroom with a face of one of my favorite rock stars, Frank Zappa, using neon spray paint. Cool idea. Needless to say, my mother was not too thrilled, but she did allow me to keep it. I think even she recognized it as a form of art.
Graffiti art can vary from simplistic designs such as the Skippy Girls in Australia to the mayhem I recently photographed in Philadelphia. Sometimes the artist is conveying a message, either political, social or gang related, other times it can be terrific mural. Generally, they are tagged, which is the artist’s signature. All are impressive and I stop to view and photograph when ever possible. Enjoy the graffiti images below and if interested in seeing more please visit my website, Susan McAnany Photography.
A few months ago I started making a conscious effort each month to look at an Artist whose work inspires a level of excitement deep inside me. I find looking at different Artist’s work takes my work to a higher level and helps me define my personal vision. I haven’t really sought out a specific artist, they usually just show up in my life. All I have to do is take notice.
One month a friend wanted to visited the new Dali Museum just built in St Petersburg, FL. I was so taken with Salvador Dali’s work, we spent all day there, which is odd for me because I usually can only handle a couple of hours in a museum and my mind begins to roam. In addition, I bought books and continued to research more on the internet when I came home. At the time I was very focused on compositing images and Dali’s work unleashed so many ideas in my head I felt on fire. He was ahead of his time in thinking and creativity and would certainly be a superstar in today’s Photoshop world.
Another month I stumbled across a PBS special on Francesca Woodman, a dedicated Artist and Photographer best known for her black and white images mostly of herself and female models, often nude. She would use long exposure and movement to capture incredible blurred images of her subjects and their environments. In her short life she produced a huge volume of work that is unique and quite powerful. Unfortunately, she committed suicide at age 22, but her life and struggles touched me as I too struggle with the mental aspect of balancing that inner artist with the outside world.
This month I came across a more current Artist/Photographer, Jerry Uelsmann, in my Digital PhotoPro magazine. Uelsmann’s work is phenomenal and all done in the darkroom. I admired that right away. The darkroom is truly magical, but he takes it to another level. Beautiful, thought provoking photo montages of surreal imagery, with the interpretation left to the viewer. I liked reading about his unique approach to forming an image with the final step leaving it Untitled so not to influence the viewer’s perception. Now, that’s deep! I definitely will be looking more into Uelsmann’s work this month.