Milford Sound in New Zealand

I would be so much happier on this Friday if I wasn't completely sick because the thought of running errands, finishing projects, and buying my last Christmas gifts sounds a bit overwhelming.  Oh well -- I'll get through, right? It's been a slow week, but I CANNOT believe Christmas is a week from Sunday already.  That came so quickly.  Hopefully the holidays brings some much needed relaxation.  Anyone have any fabulous plans?

I figured I'd stick with the post on Wednesday and since I introduced photographer Richard Barnes that I'd stick with him for the photographer of the week also.  Richard Barnes is an artist that came into my life just when I needed him.  I was in my last semester of school and if I hadn't already explained this, I entered school wanting to be a National Geographic photographer, and at the point when I heard Richard Barnes speak, I thought being a National Geographic photographer was completely cliché - the images are ones that we have all seen before and over and over again.   It seemed like an impossible task to be able to balance such commercial work with fine art work and I knew I wanted to go in the direction of fine art.  

Well, Richard Barnes blew me away. He was/is a National Geographic photographer, but is also a fine art photographer with tons of fabulous work.  He said two things that have stuck with me that I still think about today:

1) Much of his non commercial work was able to come about (access to places, ideas, etc.) because of the people he met, the places he went to, the knowledge he learned all from his commercial assignments

2) His first shoot for National Geographic put a lot of pressure on him in that he felt he had to shoot a certain way since it was for National Geographic.  The editors destroyed the work, stating that they hired him because they liked the way HE photographed.  How cool is that?

So anyway, I hope you like his work.  Here a few selections of my favorites...

Featuring

:

Richard Barnes

In terms of my own work this week, I had a funny thing happen (which I am sure happens all the time, but I am completely unaware of it).  I was walking Tessa and noticed a tree that had perfect branches that would make great trees for the miniatures I have been trying to photograph recently.  I collected a bunch of stuff outside, struggling to get back inside with Tessa still with me, and I was really excited to get working since I haven't been too happy with my sets at all.  I had the idea of placing natural objects in a scene with some vintage wall paper cut outs of leaves, houses, mountains, etc.  Guess what? The images were looking so bad and I was so frustrated because the idea seemed so perfect! Why does that keep happening! I feel like I would be really great with these miniature sets, but I just can't seem to get it right.  Just when I was about to give up, I went back to the basics, and I was really quite happy with what I came up with.  It's very

Cassia Beck

, which is funny considering I was trying to mimic her last week and that seemed forced too. 

Lesson learned - if it's not working, don't force it.  Something will happen! And you will be much happier with that something than what you would have forced.  

Here's what I came up with. Let me know what you think!

One last bit of food for thought - I found this in my Art Forum magazine and I loved it:

I realize it is hard to read, but it says, 

Photography Cannot Record Abstract Ideas.

                            Encyclopedia Britannica

It's by Mel Bochner and titled "Photography Before the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2010)"

That's all I have for you guys today.  Hope I didn't write too much (I know I tend to that).  Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! Good luck with the holiday crowds if you need to go out places today!