I am a huge fan of fine art and nature multi-media and have experimented with it a bit here. Nature speaks to us on multiple channels. When you’re out in the world you don’t just see. Experience encompasses what we hear and feel as well. All that being said, I think good multi-media is hard to pull off. It is easy to go too long, too short, too everything, and lose the viewer.
I have mentioned Ron Rosenstock’s work here before as well. He is one of our finest and most productive fine art photographers. I’m very grateful for his support the last few years. Ron’s work, particularly his books, often try to capture the more complex feel of his appreciation of nature through the use of accompanying poetry. He recently alerted me to a new multi-media work, inspired by his book, The Light Within, in which his imagery is accompanied by a new musical composition from Eugene Skeef, a noted South African composer. In addition, the piece contains haiku by Gabriel Rosenstock (no relation I gather) with whom Ron has collaborated in the past. Too often, multi-media pieces though struggle and seem to take forever. For me, this one just flies by. Enjoy.
(Mobile readers, as I feared, wordpress is not embedding the video in a fashion that will make it visible for you. On my iPhone, it doesn’t appear. My apologies. Can’t be helped I’m afraid. If you’re interested, track down the old lap top and have a look.)
As we contemplate today Western Pennsylvania getting hit by a blizzard (no kidding, check the weather channel, it’s true), it occurred to me that it might be useful to say a bit more about Earth Day. Climate photography has many inherent challenges, not the least of which is the fact that climate change unfolds over time. We do of course have an app for that, time lapse photography. One of my favorite environmental photographers, James Balog, established on-going time lapse monitoring of a number of the most threatened glaciers in the world, creating what he subsequently described as The Extreme Ice Survey. He and his colleagues set up cameras at strategic locations around the glaciers and equipped them for extended time lapse work. This meant protecting and powering a large number of Nikons, mostly D200’s I believe. If you click on the link above, you will see before your very eyes, the impact of global warming. Massive glaciers are melting at an alarming pace. Alarming? Yes, remember he’s only been collecting imagery for five years. Have a look. Meanwhile, I’ve embedded a promo here that will give you an idea. James is also a film maker and his an exciting film on the Extreme Ice Survey out this year.
Photographers take note. How can we be more creative and useful in documenting what is important about the natural world and how it is changing?
I recently had a wonderful video drawn to my attention by Stephen Gingold, a terrific nature photographer from central/western Massachusetts. (You can catch up with Stephen’s blog here.) The video, only about three minutes long, presents the work of Philip Hyde. Hyde was a student of Ansel Adams and one of the founders of what might now be called the environmental photography movement. Hyde’s work raised awareness of man’s impact on the environment and provoked a number of critically important conservation initiatives. As we contemplate the fact that this year humanity resumed increasing the amount of carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere, the fracking of rocks to find natural gas (which will greatly impact the water supply in places like Pennsylvania) and the recent effort in the House of Representatives to link continuing the tax cut for the middle class in the US to the building of an unneeded sludge pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast (those two things have a lot in common now don’t they), Hyde’s memory seems more relevant than ever. Oh, and he was also an incredibly gifted photographer.
Update: This blog has proven quite popular which is great, but, typical for me, I neglected to provide you more information about Philip Hyde and his recent exhibit. You can find that at the blog written by his son, Landscapephotographerblogger.com. This is one of the most interesting and sophisticated blogs on environmental, nature and landscape photography on the web. If this is an interest of yours, check it out.
There is a fair amount of negativity in the photographic world these days. Basically, it’s gotten to be much harder to earn a living. Naturally that gets on people’s nerves resulting on occasion in a Lord of the Flys atmosphere. Luckily, I make my living in another field, but that doesn’t make me immune to the problem. I was thinking about all that today and it occurred to me that I was perhaps over generalizing. There are great people, with positive energy, doing great things.
I began to list in my mind those who put positive energy into the culture and who I had the good fortune to meet along the way. Right near the top of the list was commercial photographer, videographer and teacher Brian Tetrault. I had the pleasure of studying multimedia under Brian at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts a few years back and I’m still consulting with him on some video work that hopefully you’ll see here some day, when he’s helped me make it presentable. Any budding photographers or multimedia folks who are interested in learning more about their craft should take any opportunity to study with Brian. Creative Directors should also take note of his work as well, because creative he is.
All of us in New England just endured two straight days of snow. Some of us whinned (not me of course) and some of us made some good things happen. Ever think about how those icicles on your back window got to be so impressively large? Here’s how Brian spent day two…. Enjoy.
Sorry to those of you trying to view this on a mobil device. I don’t seem to be able to make that happen. Not sure why but I’ll keep looking into it. Meanwhile, have a look on your computer when you get a chance.