Tag Archives: point reyes

An Old Fence on a Bright Day

Today a deep blue Point Reyes sky was brightened by a riot of cumulus clouds. I noticed the beautiful light when I walked into town to pick up the mail. The sky was so gorgeous that I decided to take a break from some framing I had been working on in my studio. I headed out for Olema Hill, where I found my favorite ranch fence backlit by the mid-day light. The string of clouds and Inverness Ridge beyond contrasts yet compliments the jagged fenceboards and wire.

Click this image to see the larger version of this new photograph:

Fence, Ridge & Clouds, Olema Hill

After the Rain

Last week brought some welcome rain to Point Reyes. We’ve been suffering from a drought that has all of us carefully watching our water usage. This rain freshened the air, brought the birds out and created lots of smiles on main street! I broke away from the studio to explore the Nicasio Reservoir. No, the water level didn’t rise appreciably, but the sky was filled with beautiful post-storm clouds and the light was gorgeous.  Here’s one of the photographs I made using the panorama feature on my new Sony A7R camera. Click the image to see a larger version.

Nicasio and Black Mountain Pano 95

Why this Inventory Sale?

From time to time I’m moved to hold a sale of my framed inventory photographs. Due to the nature of my work, I periodically outgrow the space I need to exhibit and store my photography. Currently-hung work must come off the gallery walls to make space for the new creations.  Because of this, many fine pieces must go into storage and then remain invisible to visitors of my gallery. Out of sight… out of mind. so, I’m announcing a deep-discount sale because I want these photographs to find homes, and I must clear the gallery walls to show my new works. It makes no sense for me to dilly-dally with the discount. Hence, I offer a 50% discount so we all can get something we want.

My assistant and I spent the week photographing my inventory of framed photographs, including the ones currently hanging on my gallery walls. We built a web gallery of the 40+ artworks and have put the pre-sale access here: 50% OFF SALE.  If you’re one of the lucky readers who subscribe to my email newsletter or this web blog, you now have advance access to this sale. Whatever is left will be moved down to my gallery and offered to the general public during a 4-day event holiday event: May 23-26, Memorial Day Weekend. You can come to the gallery then to see what’s left, or you can act now to secure your favorite from the online preview.

The photographs come from several exhibitions of my work over the last few years. There’s a variety of styles including classic landscapes, barn interiors, infrared and macro abstract work. Here are just a few of the 40+ photographs included in the sale:
(Click any of these to see its enlarged version)

Ebb Tide, McClures Beach  Print #3  12x20 in 20x27   AR Glass

 

Platform Bridge Road  Print #2  13x20 in 20x26   AR Glass   List

 

M-59   Wetlands Barn 1102   Print #1  14x13 in 22x22   AR Glass

 

M-52  Terrain 677   13x10 in 20 x 16  #1/40  List  $400 - SALE $

Wild Sky Over Point Reyes

Jean and I were surprised to hear a knock on our front door last Friday, Valentine’s Day. I had just gotten back from the gallery and was putting away my laptop in my studio at the front of the house. As I walked back to see who our visitor was, I heard a familiar voice, “Well, just tell Marty about this. He should take a look.” It was Tom, our next-door neighbor. When he saw me he repeated what he told Jean. “There’s an incredible sky, never seen anything quite like it. You should take a look, maybe photograph it.”

I thanked him for the tip and abruptly went back to grab my infrared camera. In seconds I was out the door and heading out to find an unobstructed view of the sky. It was a half hour before sunset and the display above me was remarkable. I walked across the street to the Wetlands, and for about 10 minutes pointed my lens up. Tom was right. There’s no way to describe this with words. Here’s a few of the photographs. More photos of this wild sky are posted in my Zenfolio catalog: Skyscapes

wetlands Sky 14.25

wetlands Sky 14.39 Wetlands Sky 14.41 Wetlands Sky 14.24

Going Deeper by Slowing Down

MUSINGS ON THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Finding Your Photograph:
Going Deeper by Slowing Down

Snow & Ranch Fence

I believe that the creation of an expressive photograph is born from a dance between the rational and the intuitive. Each faculty is fundamental to and inseparable from the creative effort. Both the heart and the mind must participate if the photograph is to have enduring value…  to express something deeper than the mere surface of things.

I know from first-hand experience that making an expressive photograph through sheer will-power alone is not easy. I’ve learned that my ability to discover and express what I see and feel works best when I let go of my willfulness and preconceived ideas. I set aside a specific time for creative connections to occur.  I try to slow down to connect more deeply with what I see. It may be difficult to let go during this time, but I know that if I do, the creative rewards can be richly fulfilling.

To create, I need time to wander, with no pressing family or work obligations. I’ll set off slowly, exploring my back yard, or perhaps I’ll walk around the neighborhood, or amble around at a nearby natural location. This is not a time for multi-tasking, so I don’t try to do any cardio-vascular working out at this time! I empty my mind, forgetting any ideas of what I might or should photograph. Sometimes I’ll leave my camera behind, and “photograph” with my eyes, making a mental note to return with camera if something beckons. This working without my camera can open up new ideas. I see things I never noticed when I had my camera glued to my forehead. When I do carry my camera, I keep it tucked away in the bag, and resist making any photographs, unless something calls out —  strongly. When that happens it’s a little like falling in love… creative juices begin to flow. My response comes more from my heart than my brain.

Everything slows down. I approach the object of my interest with care and respect. I become fascinated, drawn. I become involved, sensing that my participation is being requested. I offer my undivided attention. I approach slowly, moving up for a closer look. Still no camera, I simply use my eyes, moving my body into various positions checking the changing shapes, perspectives and relationships of things to each other as I move side to side, close and away. It is during this time that I will decide whether I will make a photograph.

I rarely make a photograph based on the very first way I see something. There’s something about spending the time, delighting in seeing the various aspects, a prelude to deciding on a composition. This is where I really get to see! Something of me, my connection to this scene, has a chance to arise as I explore in this way. And this is where art has a chance to occur– A collaboration of the scene and my reaction to it that I hope will become embedded and expressed in my photograph. When the process works, these feelings and thoughts will also come across to the viewer of the image.

Now it’s time to take out the camera

A Favorite View Disappears

The other day my wife, Jean, and I took a ride up Mount Vision Road to look for the view I had recorded over 20 years ago in my photograph, Point Reyes Sunset. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

I’ve been smitten with grand overviews since I was a little boy. I’m sure I got this fascination from my dad, who took our family to various overlooks to share the views that impressed him. Near our home in Connecticut, we observed the splendors visible from East Rock, a mile-long trap-rock ridge overlooking New Haven and the waters of Long Island Sound. Then, on a family trip to his brother’s place in El Paso, our whole family marveled at the magnificent view Dad showed us from the top of Scenic Drive. We were easily 10 times higher than the East Rock viewing spot.

Years later, when I first came to Point Reyes, I began exploring, searching for the most splendid views near my new home. When I discovered the main overlook of Drakes Estero and the Point on Mount Vision Road, I was bowled over. It quickly became one of my favorite vistas. I was amazed to see in one sweeping view, the magnificent land mass from the Limantour Estero to the south, across the rugged headlands of Point Reyes to Abbotts Lagoon in the north. The Park Service had cleared a little parking area and erected a sign to make it easy to find. I would bring my out-of-town guests there to share the beauty of Point Reyes from this expansive overview.

In the late 1980s I began photographing the view there. I drove to this outlook scores of times with my camera, seeking the best light to express the majesty there. I discovered that late afternoons were best. And so it was on a winter afternoon in January 1991, that everything came together. A storm front was moving out of the area, leaving broken skies and cloud remnants to the west. I walked to my favorite location and set my camera on the tripod. The sun was hidden behind a long ropy cloud. I felt hopeful that I would get my photograph as the sun dropped lower and emerged into the clear sky near the horizon. But before it did, I was surprised to witness god rays bursting in all directions from behind the cloud! I made several exposures and after developing the film, I found one negative that captured the moment perfectly. I titled that photograph, simply, Point Reyes Sunset, which has become a favorite among collectors of my work.

Point Reyes Sunset

Point Reyes Sunset – January, 1991 – Please Click for enlarged view

Now, some 20 years later, I wanted to show Jean where I had set the camera when I made Point Reyes Sunset. As we drove to the top, I also wondered if things had changed much since the Inverness Ridge Fire of 1995. We drove the switch-backed road up to the parking location. The park service sign was gone. Coyote bush had spread more than man tall everywhere. New-growth pines and a thicket of brush blocked the full panorama. I eventually found where I had stood to make this photograph. I felt grateful that I had recorded Point Reyes Sunset before the fire. Only fragments of my original view remain.

Here’s what it looks like now:

Looking north from Point Reyes Sunset location

South view from same position Point Reyes Sunset was exposed.

Looking south from Point Reyes Sunset location