Looking at a picture like this one of a female cardinal, it is very hard not to attribute a human behavior to her. This beautiful bird with her glorious coloration – I mean look at those amazing “eyebrows” – is definitely speaking her mind about something, right? I don’t think we can help but see the image that way, it is human nature.
This new piece will be limited to 100 archival pigment giclee prints in the size of 8″x10″. It is available on my website HERE
The blooms are out early so I went to work at one of my favorite trees – a crab apple. The white flowers and cool green leaves offer a great setting for bird imagery, especially cardinals. Male or female, they both provide a vibrant contrast to the simple color palette of the blooming crab apple. The situation is not unlike when I work with cardinals in the winter, except during the spring my source of white is the flowers and not the snow that would otherwise be blanketing the tree.
The light was a bright overcast which is what I wanted when working with a long lens and a small aperture. Still, my shutter speeds were rather slow (1/60th sec. or so) and I was focusing manually. This meant that I needed to know where I wanted my subject to be and pre-focus on that location, lock in my composition, and stabilize the camera-lens combo.
I love the cardinal’s sharp features, warm tones and relatively large size (for a song bird anyway). This image will be made available as a print (7″x10″ and matted to 11×14) for $47.00
It never hurts to get good press coverage. I was especially pleased with the coverage in the Entertainment section of the Lancaster Intelligencer this past weekend. In addition to a teaser spot on the front page, my image Three’s Company (three cardinals) was given full-page representation on the cover of the pull-out Entertainment section. Inside was the interview I gave last week and another image of mine – Beach Sitter (red fox).
The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show was a fine success with record crowd. The Lancaster Convention Center also happens to be a very attractive venue. We’ll be back next year.
It was a beautiful day here in Bucks County, PA and so the family headed out to the Scarecrow Festival at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska, PA. While we were there we took it as an opportunity to see my framed print “Three’s Company” hanging in the Golden Plow Inn. This was the piece that won the Founder’s Award at the Peddler’s Village Fine Art and Craft show this past June. The Founder’s Award is a Purchase award and I had been told where the piece would hang. It was nice to see my work hanging prominently in the reception area.
This was a neat project. The Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen, a chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, was chosen to decorate one of the Pennsylvania Governor’s trees in the mansion. As a member of the RB Chapter, I contributed two pieces. This is the first time I’ve ever made an ornament with my work and had to really think through my approach. It seems simple enough, but I wanted something sturdy and that would last.
After making the print, I applied several coatings of protective spray to prevent damage from touch or light. Then I mounted the print on acidfree board and overmatted it with same. To add the hanging string, I applied a pressure sensitive, acidfree adhesive to the back of the mountboard and added a third mat to make a sandwich with the string between the boards.
It was cool to see the finished ornament hanging on the tree in video coverage of the event. My ornament of the image Winter Reds appears just around the end of the video.
The Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Somerset, NJ was well attended! I was very pleased that my newest images were so well received. Previous patrons of my work came to see me on the first day of the show (Friday), and Saturday and Sunday brought good crowds.
Next up is a Sugarloaf Crafts Festival show in Oaks, PA (near Valley Forge). The image below of a male cardinal on ice-covered branches (titled On the Rocks) was one of several new pieces that were available at Somerset, NJ and purchased for home or office.
A friend of mine who is a fine actress and singer was telling me about a theatrical production she was in. Describing how it went, she told me she was “in good voice”. This phrase struck me because it tells me that talent alone is not enough, you have to be able to perform at the top of your ability. If you are in good voice, then you will have a good show.
In photography, I often think the ability to perform in the field is overlooked. I’ve been photographing for 30 years, but my success in the field varies. Success for me is not a matter of luck, or how good my equipment is, or even how great the situation is, it really comes down to whether I’m “in good voice”. Am I visualizing images well? Am I working the camera controls smoothly? Am I feeling the emotion of the creative process? And most importantly, am I being creative in my image making? Is my visual voice in good form?
I don’t always feel that I’m in good form while photographing. When I am, I can often sense it. I become totally absorbed, the equipment seems to be responding to my thoughts, and the subject seems to be taking direction from me. It’s a rare, but really good feeling. I am making images that I can tell I’m going to be happy with.
Great light, good equipment, and an inspiring subject are all important elements to success, but if my images are really going to sing, I’m going to have to be in good voice.