lens-artist photo challenge: nature

spring breeze–
the pine on the ridge
whispers it
~Issa (www.haikuguy.com)

Horsetooth Reservoir … f/5.6 1/2000s 300mm 2200 ISO

“[Frank Meadow] Sutclifffe rarely left Whitby, where his portrait studio kept him busy, and said that we was ‘tethered for the greater part of each year by a chain, at the most only a mile or two long.’ To most modern photographers this would seem a crippling restriction, but Shutcliffe gradually realized that is was an asset to him as a photographer since it forced him to concentrate on the transitory effects that would transform familiar scenes.” (cited: Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, the Aperture History of Photography Series: Aperture 1979

While I dreamed of traveling during those long-hours filled with work and family responsibilities, I find that Frank Shutcliffe’s creative work serves to move me toward greater acceptance of being “tethered” during this retirement period with the challenge to open myself to the “transitory effects” of nature that transforms the landscape close to home.

Image, haiku, and excerpt from Aperture submitted in response to Patti’s (P. A. Moed) lens-artists photo challenge: nature.

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23 thoughts on “lens-artist photo challenge: nature

  1. Interesting that by setting these restrictions for himself, he was actually more productive and creative. It forces you to look anew at familiar places. Intriguing. So you’re doing that too. I’m curious what you think about it.

    1. A number of photographers’ writings encourage the repeated return to a location, a subject. What I found interesting in John S Simon’s (Drawing Your Own Path) book is the notation that art students are often challenged to make drawings using limited improvations and to make many drawings of the same subject with a variety of materials. So from this, with the position that photography is “painting with light” then is it far off to photograph the same subject in various types of light…day light, night light, seasonal light, climate light? Also, as feeling states and mental clarity are fleeting, would we, as photographer’s connect with a subject in multiple ways as influenced by our forever changing states of being? I’ve pondered this over the course of the past year…still contemplating the outcome of returning to that which seems familiar.

      1. So true, Brenda. That is a very useful exercise–to see a subject in a variety of ways. It would be interesting to see how photographing the same subject would change based on the photographer’s mood. I’ve been fascinated with the Nixon portraits of the Brown sisters over decades. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/nov/19/nicholas-nixon-40-years-brown-sisters-portraits-moma
        It would be interesting to have a gallery of shots of the same subject taken in different moods.

  2. Love his images of fishing families and their life. My wife lived in Whitby when I first met her in the 1970’s, so got to see a lot about him & his work. That was also a time when Whitby still had a viable fleet of ships, until the EU killed it off.

    1. To be able to walk through the streets and along the ocean front would invite an acquaintance of him beyond a viewing of his work through a book. It must have a great experience to visit especially with your wife who lived there and, I assume, was able to introduce you to areas/stories that a sort-time tourist would miss. My favorite image is “Water Rats” and I love the story about his dog devouring some of his camera equipment.

      1. This is the best site I have for his work:
        http://www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk
        They have a great collection.
        Yes especially in the early 1970’s when you could see boats moored 3 deep at the old fish market (gone now) or buy fish from the early morning boats. Although it is still easy to identify places & house fronts that were in his pictures, so not all lost.

  3. I love this way of thinking. I have noticed I take photos of the same subjects and places in my vicinity every year and every season. I still love doing it, and I still enjoy finding new angles and moods for the photos. But I am an ordinary human, not a professional photographer. I once took a course where we should stand in our bathroom and take at least 100 photos. That was fun – changed my view of ordinary things and forced creativity.
    Thank you for the Whitby connection. I had never heard of him.

    1. I’m going to try the 100 photos in a bathroom…a super project during these February days that reminds me of past winter months. Within the Aperture book, it is noted that Sutcliff also recommend that photographers “Choose one subject, anything will do–your house, or the house opposite, or the next house–and place a tripod, drive a stake into the ground, nail a board on top of this, and make a screw hole in the board for the screw of your camera…Photograph your subject at every hour of the day, on fine days, and at intervals on dull days, photograph it after it has rained for weeks, and after has been sun-dried for for months.
      Leya, thank you for the visit and comment. I do enjoy these types of exchanges.

      1. Good read – that is something I would love to try too – but it takes some time to prepare and realize. Thank you – I enjoy this too!

    1. Thank you Minza. I spent some time visiting your blog. Your interesting photos are accompanied with intriguing narratives. Well…I photograph in raw so I begin my editing in Capture One. With this image, I wanted the point of interest to be the row of trees so I used a black and white preset I created in ON1 Photo 10 and decreased the detail. From here, I hopped over to Photoshop and did some tonal work with the trees that I learned from an amazing landscape photographer, Bruce Percy. I often use Color Efex and Silver Efex which was recently BOUGHT BY DxO. Generally, I just play and explore as well as hop between software programs.

      1. Thank you soo much, for taking time and seeing my work. I would be really grateful if you could give me any suggestions for improvement. I do photography just as a hobby. Actually I’m still in high school so I often don’t have much time apart from from studies and for the same reason I can’t go to different places for travel, so I usually click photos in my city.
        Thank you so much again.

      2. From the images within your blog, you live in an amazing place filled with opportunities that have me envious. It is my experience that photography opens us to see the world in amazing ways…the light, shadows, shapes, lines, etc. that often times we simply don’t open ourselves to see. Just walking to and from school with an intention to see a particular color…red is a good place to start. Just open yourself to red. I just spent a year studying photography and created blogs to support that study…sorta like writing research papers. Please feel free to visit the page entitled A Photo Study and begin with Basic Elements of Visual Composition. Does your school offer a photography class….that is a super place to start.

      3. No, actually right now I’m studying for my college entertainment exam. I will do Bachelors in Engineering and maybe take photography as minors in the college. The thing is that in India, photography doesn’t have that much of scope and there are no specialised colleges for media studies plus people don’t look at photography as a professional thing to do. So I will have to wait till I complete my Bachelors, if I want to do photography professionally.
        The mindset in India and the education system is very competitive here and the college entrance exams are too tough. That is why I do photography also as a way to relive my stress.
        I’m 17 years old right now, but I’ve been living away from from parents home in a different city since the last two years, because this place has the best Institutes that help you clear the college entrance. Most of day goes by with books, but I kinda of enjoy it in a way, I like science.
        I don’t have much knowledge about photography, but I’m really very happy that you like my pictures, I keep learning from fellow bloggers and videos here and there. But I’m really grateful. I hope you keep checking my posts and helping me improve.

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