Through a Different Lens

Some of the Oklahoma City skyline

Growing up as artistically inclined as I always was, I never really took time for viewing art in whatever incarnation it appeared in. Be it painting, sketching, photography, or music even, I never stopped or rather started, to search it out and immerse myself in it. That doesn’t mean I didn’t participate in it. I just didn’t seek out other works. Anything I came across was almost accidental.

There were exceptions. As I went through junior high and high school my bedroom wall was littered with car pics and images of my favorite bands at the time. But the focus for me was more the subject rather than the art of creation behind the image. The most notable exception, of course, was music. In that form I certainly created, as well as replicated. As noted in other writings, indeed life changing (saving?) endeavors.

Five years ago this month of October I started seeing Paula, (happy anniversary honey!) and learned quickly that one of her “things to do” was go to the Festival of the Arts downtown Oklahoma City. That first year she asked me to go with her and my immediate answer was, “Ugh, why?? All those people. All that walking. Why would we want to do that? Not my thing, dear.”

“It’ll be fun,” she said.

“Hmmm, for whom?” I responded.

Paula had a two prong reason for going. The main reason was the food. She’s a foodie. But clearly she appreciated seeing the various forms of art on display as well. Reluctantly, I acquiesced and agreed to go. That first year I can’t say changed my view much since my attitude wasn’t ready for it.
The next year she suggested it again. Again I agreed, but this time I went in with a different perspective.

Creek through the gardens

For the first time in my life I found myself somewhat enjoying the whole thing. My inner artist was awakened by some of the images I saw. The one that had the most impact was a booth of weather and landscape photography from a guy named David Mayhew. If you’re not familiar with his work and you love storm pics and awesome landscapes I highly suggest you check his work out. It’s breathtaking! Always being fascinated with tornadoes and storms as a child, I was heavily drawn to these images. I marveled at the talent it took to capture and create these images. The next year we purchased a piece of David’s work and it hangs in our living room. “Death Valley Sunrise” still moves me every time I gaze at it.

From that point forward I couldn’t wait for the next exhibit. We go to at least four festivals a year now. We’ve also purchased some paintings as well, but photography is what always turns my head first. Realizing this, I decided that maybe I could find a new way to create. I had already started taking more photos with my phone and sharing them online. So as is typical of me, I started researching and learning. The first step was clear, I was going to need a camera. The phone was nice for unplanned moments, but for what I wanted to create I needed something more versatile. And so it began….

Sunlight on the Stage

The first thing I did was contact Paula’s best friend, Nicole. She’s been doing photography for years and I knew she would be a fantastic resource. She didn’t let me down, either. She offered tremendous insight. Between her advice, riding the Googlecopter to find some fantastic photography blogs and YouTube videos I chose the Nikon D3300 for my first “real” camera. I purchased it a couple of Fridays ago along with some accessories, and I was ready. That weekend I went downtown to the Myriad Gardens, a fantastic place for shooting photos and just started clicking. Once again my artistic side engaged her voice.

Sculpture

The next step was what to do with all of the files. Not ready to commit to a post processing software just yet, I just used the built in application iPhoto on my Mac Mini. It’s not the most robust, but perfect for me as a beginner. I started importing and playing. No better way to learn than to do. Click those buttons, I say. The results sort of amazed me. Certainly they’re not what I see at the festivals we go to, but I was not unpleased with how they turned out. More importantly, my inner artist came alive again.

Waterfall

I’ve really been pushing that inner artist out toward the world a lot recently with good results. I’ve been trying to keep posting here somewhat frequently along with slowly developing my book. Now I have added photography to my artistic arsenal. I’m loving the creative release that for so long I’d stifled. Fostering the groove in a way I’d never before thought of. I look forward to seeing where this new road takes me.

Ducks in the pond under the Crystal Bridge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *