Tag Archives: photography

What I Like About Surrealism

What appeals to me most about surrealism is a sense of connection and transcendence – or even just the possibilities of their taking place. I think we’re all looking to transcend in some way, to explore or become part of something outside ourselves. And yet mostly we go about our routines amid similar scenery so much that our days can seem to blur into one another.

Flying Into the Doric Sea - Richard Smith

Flying Into the Doric Sea – Richard J. Smith

I like to think of my art as an expansion or slowing down of time, taking a focused approach to those moments where ordinary elements from our regular experience become magnified and juxtaposed in ways that achieve transcendence on multiple levels – from the first sighting (“oh, hey, that’s cool”) to a deeper study (“woah… what is that???”) – so that my compositions not only bring dissociative elements together, but also offer deeper appreciation of elementary surroundings. And then all this coalesces in viewers’ minds in fashions unique to individual experience and interpretation. I’ve actually seen it take place in real time when I’ve shown my work, and it’s a great thrill to get completely unique reactions from others looking at my art, something I’ve put together on with my own hands, using pieces of my own ordinary scenery, magnified and blended with any number of disparate elements from all over the country. To me, that’s the ultimate and most rewarding transcendence, maybe even happening right now.

The above is a quick rundown of my thinking on and appreciation for surrealism that I wrote for surrealism.co, where I am a featured artist, among many other wonderful creators. The goal of the site, in its own words, is “to promote contemporary surrealism and surreal artists. Whether it’s Pop-surrealism, visionary art, psychedelic, or dark art, we love fantastic art.”

surrealismtoday

And just for fun, here’s a live version of “What I Like About You” live from 1980 that seems a bit surreal with the random crowd footage.

CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival – My Art Takes Part

Two of my artworks are featured as part of the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

Two of my works, "Momentary" and "Vision Deliberate" are included in the CLICK! Triangle Photo Festival.

Two of my works, “Momentary” and “Vision Deliberate” are included in the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival.

As stated at its website:

clickThe CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival celebrates the medium of photography and its cultural influence by engaging the (North Carolina) Triangle community with exceptional photo-based works and artists. The month-long festival in October brings together exhibitions and programming while fostering dialogue between photographers and community members, all in hopes of inspiring artistic excellence, supporting professional development and promoting community engagement.

My works are on display in The Frontier building as part of the inaugural showing, “In an Instant: The 2016 Click! Pop up exhibition,” with Chris Ogden as a juror. In following the Frontier’s Twitter and Facebook, I’ve noticed my pieces in the background at other events in the building, most notably the Women In Tech Summit:


The festival includes a full month of photography events, shows, talks, and a keynote lecture by photomontage legend Jerry Uelsmann, my greatest visual art influence, whom I was fortunate enough to meet afterward at the Through This Lens Gallery following his talk at Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art:

As one who appreciates and makes surreal photographic art, it’s wonderful to see and be part of a festival with such breadth, especially considering the inclusion of non-traditional photographic techniques like those pioneered by Uelsmann, whose work I revere. It’s also very cool to see my art on display via the magic of social media!

What do you think? Have you ever exhibited your art or creative works as part of a festival? Are there other creative happenings you’re a part of? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Outstanding Modern Surrealism

Check out the inspiring creations of these seven modern surreal artists working in collage and photomontage

I’m constantly scanning for examples of inspiring art. Every so often, the work of a certain artist consistently demonstrates extraordinary talent and style — in a way that appeals to my fondness for surrealism. I’m a fan of a certain kind of art, and these creators absolutely blow me away with what they regularly produce. Have a look at their websites, seek them out on your favorite image-sharing network, buy their prints, and get inspired by their talent.

Dariusz Klimczak

Dariusz Klimczak - Timer

Website | Flickr

Antonio Mora

Antonio Mora - Beauty

Website | Pinterest

Sylvia Grav

Sylvia Grav - Universe Project

Website | Flickr

Tommy Ingberg

Tommy Ingberg - Will

Website | Tumblr

Sammy Slabbinck

Sammy Slabbinck - Do you remember

Website | Flickr

Bob May

Bob May - Triangulated

Website | Flickr

Jarek Kubicki

Jarek Kubicki - 60612

WebsiteFacebook

What do you think? Do you enjoy a certain kind of art? Are there visual artists you’ve discovered online or elsewhere that you’ve come to follow? Where do you go for visual inspiration? Let us hear from you in the comments.

UPDATE: The artists speak!

dariusz

Olloclip Macro Lens and Quick Clip Case for iPhone Review

Macro, close-up photography via smartphone opens a whole new world of detail and interesting possibilities for mobile photographers.

Olloclip macro lens and Quick Flip case

Olloclip macro lens and Quick Flip case.

And for the more committed practitioners, I definitely recommend stepping up to the Olloclip macro lens.

I happened upon Olloclip’s booth at the SXSW trade show recently, and after a hands-on look at the lens and accompanying Quick Flip case (impressive engineering in its own right), I bought one on the spot thanks to the show special of getting a free case with a lens purchase. Gotta’ love trade shows.

The whole outfit is deliberately and intelligently engineered. The system is everything an accessory lens should be: easy, convenient, strong, affordable; and the case is really what sold me, since it solves for my major gripe of having to otherwise remove a case or deal with a less desirable alternative (such as an adhesive magnet, or just manually holding the lens to the iPhone). I also dig the futuristic, sleek design of the case — it has almost a cyborg-esque feel and even allows for tripod attachment.

Here’s a video review of the case itself:

And here’s a look at my first project with the Olloclip Macro lens:

Macro Budding Cactus Flower

“Budding Time”
This is a close look at a budding cactus from my kitchen with a little extra lens flare. What’s extra cool to me is that some of the flare spots happened organically, and so that inspired me to add a little more via the LensFlare app. I did some post-processing with Dynamic Light, and voila: surrealism macro magic.

Feather at Regular and Macro View:

feather macro

Here’s a feather from a pillow on my kitchen table at regular view, then at 21x via the Olloclip lens, with no post-processing. You can actually count the individual barbules. Also, I’m excited to use the word “barbules” in a blog post.

These results speak for themselves. While there are a number of macro lenses available for smartphones, Olloclip has gotten it right at every level.

I’ve long been a fan of my previous macro lens made by Olloclip’s competitor, Photojojo, and at $20, it’s still one heckuva deal — a great way to get familiar with the possibilities of macro photography via smartphone. But for a bit more up front ($70 for the Olloclip macro lens), you get much more overall. Pair it with the Quick Flip case, and you’ll be set for some serious macro fun for a long time to come.

What do you think? Ever used an accessory lens for smartphone photography? Or for traditional camera photography? What’s a discovery you’ve treated yourself to lately? Let us hear from you in the comments.