Stepping out of my box

It is a fact, that fine art photography is still considered to be the red headed stepchild in the art world .  Of course not all photographers are as obscure as I am, and yes, my photography is appreciated and my prints do sell.  They are not flying off my walls.  I’ve toyed with the idea of going back to my art roots and pick up a brush again.  My own insecurity has me teetering on the fence and do I really want to reinvent myself when I am already pleased with the way I see the world through my lens.

Experimenting creatively is a growing process and I do want to push myself into another direction.  I have so many visions however my creative mind is not always disciplined enough to stay focused.  (hmmm, that’s an oxymoron).  No, I am not revolutionary, no new art movements will be developed and it probably won’t get noticed by MoMA or any fine art galleries, but it is something I’ve been toying with for quite a while.  Why such hesitation on my part?  Am I afraid of screwing up some otherwise beautifully printed photos.  Yeah!  I took the first step and although not exactly the watercolors I had in mind (just what I had on hand), I like the effect.  I like it, I really, really like it.   It’s even more moody this way.

My printer is on the fritz, so I turned to my local Dick Blick Art store,  same photo printed on water color paper, where I will give it another attempt, using a copper acrylic wash over a unsaturated photo as the background.  Results to come when I finally get my brushes out of the box and give it a whirl again.

Being who I am,  I catapulted myself into fashion photography.  An attempt at using strobes/ softboxes and beauty dish.  My husband thinks I need to stick to what I’m really good at – flowers and children’s portraits (I have a knack) but what’s the fun of just doing only what you are good at?

I had a shoot scheduled with a young fashion model, Jene helped me set up some strobes at our NYC apt/studio and I moved a few around, flicked slide levers to see if I can get my desired effect using a broom tied to a chair as my “would be” model.  The broom thought she should have gotten more per hour modeling fee because of the bondage.  Then I went live…  Chiyo and I both had a fun day and plan to do it again.

Wednesday, I decided to play in photoshop, masks and layers.  I watched a tutorial and superimposed my granddaughter into Hawaii, sent it off to Jene’s computer to see what he thought.  Yes, he seemed pleased that I am trying to overcome a fear – playing in PS, and he told me what I done wrong.  Today he gave me a ten minute lesson, then left me alone.  Clicking various commands on my computer, I worked on a concept that I’ve had for ages but needed to learn masks and layers in order to accomplish it.  I’ve not mastered it by any means but this is what I’m playing with.

It’s rough around the edges but in time, I think I could steady my hand on the mouse in cleaning up all the areas.  None-the-less, it falls within the perimeters of feeling a sense of accomplishment.  Not to worry Thomas Barbey or other composite photographers, I won’t be nudging you out of your spotlight, just trying to have some fall-off light land on me.  😉

Keeping within your comfort zone, playing it safe, may be a sure bet, but attempting new things is what keeps the mind sharp and makes me feel that you are never to old to learn.

Mary Durante Youtt


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Filed under labor of love, photography

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