Posts Tagged ‘arts’

Photo Friday: Living by a Rocky Coast

March 20, 2015

The great thing about living in South Portland, Maine is the photo opportunities I get involving lighthouses, forest, ocean life, and my proximity to its rocky coastline.

Today’s picture was taken this morning, at Spring Point, which is one block from my house.  It is high tide, and the rocks disappear into the water.  For those who have never been here, this is a part of Willard beach, next to the Southern Maine Community College campus.

rocky coast

Photo Friday: Shadow Play

March 6, 2015

Today’s picture came courtesy of a sunset.  One of the biggest photo clichés is, of course, the sunset.  Everyone with a camera has hundreds of pictures, at least, of sunsets.  To be fair, no two sunsets are exactly the same (foregrounds, cloud formations)  all different.

In the case of today’s photo, I decided to show the beautiful effect the sunset was having on my surroundings, rather than the sun.  I still get the warm glow, and with the angle of the sun through my window, it created a perfect silhouette of the flowers on my entertainment center.

flowery shadow

Sometimes the sun is the only light source you will ever need.

Photo Friday: Can you tell the difference?

February 27, 2015

On today’s video, on my NaturallyPhotographic channel on YouTube,  I am talking about how good photographs come from the photographer, not the camera.

Digital Rev has a series of videos in which they give a professional photographer a really cheap camera, and have them take pictures with it.  The resulting photos are always good, proving that the photographer is the key to better pictures; not the camera.

When people come up with “bad” pictures, they try to justify it by saying, “Well, I do have a cheap camera.”  This leads many people to believe that when they see really good pictures, it must be a superior camera.

On this video, I showed four photographs I took.  Two were taken with an SLR camera, and the other two were taken with a point and shoot.  I asked people to leave it in the comments which is which.  I’m going to ask you to do the same.  Here are the photographs.

guitar man

unrelated twinshold

snowy winter

Here is the link to my latest video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xDCtc0iKHI&feature=youtu.be

Clouds, Beautiful Clouds!!!

July 2, 2012

I have always loved clouds.  No matter how many times you photograph them, you never get the same picture twice.  They are beautiful, exciting, and always moving.  Here are just a couple of shots I took this past week.  I hope you enjoy.

This was just before a storm

And when it goes behind the clouds, I just love the lighting effects.

Of course, nothing beats the sunsets.

I hope you enjoyed this.

Save the arts!!!

May 6, 2012

There is a growing problem with schools taking away the arts programs.  This is a subject that I am very passionate about, mostly because of my own arts, and my mom’s side of the family is all about the arts.

The arts are the very basis for learning to communicate, and communication is how we learn to relate to one another.

Maker Studios, on Youtube, has put together this ad to promote the website called adoptthearts.com, which is dedicated to saving the arts in schools.  If you believe in the arts, and want to help out, it’s a great site to visit.

Now here is the video they did.

I have a confession…

June 29, 2009

I have a confession to make.  When I was growing up, I used to take things apart just to see how they worked.  This included things like watches, radios, televisions, and it didn’t stop there.  When I used to watch magic shows, how magic tricks worked would regularly distract me, and I find this behavior is still continuing today.  Every time I get a dvd of movie, I have to watch all the special features and behind the scenes footage.

People used to tell me I was ruining the illusion, and taking all the fun out of it, but to me it enhances the experience.  This experience teaches me two things; one is the amount of hard work that goes into making a movie, and two, the people who do the work of making movies are just people.  What everyone sees at the theater is the finished product, representing months of hard work, millions of dollars, and hundreds of jobs.

These behind the scenes moments have taught me a lot about the creative process itself.  When you see a movie, read a book, or admire a painting, you generally only see the finished product.  You never really see all the mistakes that had to be corrected, rewritten, repainted, or redone in anyway.  Earnest Hemingway rewrote the ending to farewell to arms 39 times.  An interviewer, curious about this asked, “What was the problem with it?”  He responded, “Getting the words right.”

Whenever we create something, we have a very clear idea of what it should look like, but what no one sees is the amount of hard work it takes to make that idea a reality. They know the process exists, but if they enjoy the work, they don’t want to think about it.  In their mind it ruins the emotional sensations they experience.

Creative people are just like every one else.  We make mistakes, we have both good and bad days, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be human.  Too many people put certain artists on a pedestal, idolizing them and thinking of them as incapable of imperfections.  The truth is, no one is better, or worse than anyone else.  One of the only traits that makes one person more newsworthy than another is the way they advertise themselves.

Other than that, these people are just as human as all the rest of us.

Just because I like to analyze the way to make movies, or write books does not mean I don’t enjoy reading or watching movies.  Knowing the process just helps me appreciate the finished product more.

Challenge:  Don’t be worried about ruining your appreciation of the arts by learning the process.  Use the information to learn how you can create something that someone else can appreciate.

Enjoy,
Allen

One man’s trash

May 27, 2009

One of the things my life has taught me is that no matter how smart, or creative you are, you will still have bad days.  Last Friday was like that for me.  Every time I started writing something, I would be interrupted to do something else.  When I came back to the writing, I was frustrated and I didn’t like what I had written, so I deleted it.  I went through this three times before writing my blog on patience.

That same night, as I dumped the trash, I saw three very beautiful paintings that were thrown out by the artist.  I wrestled with the idea of whether to rescue them or not but I had to go to work, so I decided to leave them.  When I started walking away the thought someone throwing out such lovely paintings really bugged me.  The artist spent hours working on creating something to express an emotion, in a way I never could, and all they could do was get rid of it.

I don’t need to tell anyone how sacred I hold the freedom to express one self.  It wasn’t until I had made it half way to work when a thought hit me; I was guilty of doing the exact same thing.  Sure, it wasn’t painting, but when I hit that delete button, I was destroying something I was creating.  If I had saved the writing, I could rewrite them until I was satisfied, but instead I took away my own works of expression.

It reminded me of the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  That’s not to say that there are people out there building shrines to their neighbor’s candy wrapper.  What it does say to me is that once I write something, instead of deleting it if I don’t like the way it’s going, I should edit it to my satisfaction, then send it on to readers.

I’m not painting the Sistine chapel, I’m not saving the world from evil, but if just one person can get something positive from what I write, then it’s worth too much to throw out.

On a side note, I went back the next morning and was able to rescue one of the paintings. It is a painting of a little girl holding a yellow flower, and her gaze is focused only on that flower.  I’m going to have it framed and hung as a reminder to save my writing, rather than deleting it.

Challenge: Look at something you’ve created, but didn’t particularly like. See if you can rework it to your satisfaction.  Don’t deny someone the gift of your expression.

Enjoy,
Allen

Literary misdemeanors

March 25, 2009

Before I start today’s topic, I just wanted to mention the blogger Dal Jeanis. I have a link to his blog under the blogroll, in the sidebar. On March 9th he posted a blog, regarding my blog, on too much description. He disagreed with my examples for obvious description, “the sky above him”, and “the ground below him”. His blog may disagree with mine on this point, but his blog made some valid points, and he wrote it in a very respectful manner.  He does many reviews, and after reading some, I have concluded that he is worth reading, so I’ve added him to my blogroll.

I felt it was worth mentioning his review, because it brings up a very good point.  Creative writing, as well as any art has very few actual rules that must be followed.  My blogs are not about hard rules, but about guidelines. Our interpretation of the rules and guidelines is what gives us our individual style.

I have been known to break some of my own rules based on what the situation calls for.  This is especially helpful when you write yourself into a corner.  In some cases of writer’s block, the problem has more to do with a fear of breaking the rules, than running out of ideas.

When you break the rules in writing, be consistent throughout the individual piece.  This is one area that you can lose readers. If you spend the first half of a story using contractions in the dialogue, as a natural part of someone’s speech, then the second half without any contractions, the story can get confusing.  If you keep the rules for each story consistent, readers will keep reading.

The rules that work in one story, may not work at all in another story.  Don’t be afraid to change the rules to fit the new story. This especially works when you write a new story with all new characters.  The rules you choose for characters should remain the same, when you have the same character in multiple stories.  Other than that, you should be open to rule changes.

As writers, we should leave ourselves open to change the rules if we need to.  Remember, there are no literary police waiting to take you in for bending, stretching, or breaking the rules.  What do you have to lose?

Challenge:  Look at a story you’ve been struggling to write, and see if a change in rules can free you up.

Enjoy,
Allen