Posts Tagged ‘Fine art Photography’

Creativity Restoration

Saturday, April 13th, 2013
Classic Triumph

Classic Triumph

It happened slowly, in a seductive manner. The devil that is responsibility to project fulfillment, had worn me down creatively. I could feel it, and understood what was going on, with far greater comprehension than one knows the proverbial back of their hand. (Does anyone really spend time looking at those?)

This does not happen so frequently as one might suspect. Most Creatives know how to keep themselves in the flow of energy that births new work that matters. Unfortunately, lately it seemed that the performance required of  me by some projects had begun to make me feel like a heavily laden beast of burden. (Okay, let’s just agree to call me a jackass.) It happens.

I knew what to do. Funny how in my work, things just seem to fall into place, in perfect timing.

A couple weeks ago, I had dropped by my wife’s little retail showroom-cum social salon-meet up location (Betty B) to say hello, when Jeanette Ortiz walked in the door. Big hug. It had been awhile since the two of us had seen each other. At 22, J had recently finished her degree work at Cal Poly and was pursuing work opportunity, weathering relationship changes, the stuff of life that can drag one down a bit. In fact, as we spoke, it hit me that we were in similar places creatively.

She and I, like many of the women who lend time and efforts to the various Photographic and Cinema projects which wander in the door, are not photographer and model. Far from it. We are co- creators. So it did not surprise me when Jeanette said: “You know, we have not made anything in a long time.” The subtle suggestion sparked a shoot I had roughed out over a year ago, to light up in my mind’s eye”.

“You are right”, I said. “Lets. How about tomorrow? “  “Sure, what did you have in mind? ” “You, naked. Remember that high key type shoot we talked about long ago? Let’s do that. Be a good way to spend some time together, and make something different”

Both of us know that sometimes you just go engage a project, for no other reasons than because you can, and want to. We both did. In short order,  I had dragged Donna into it to style and help Art Direct, called my friend Richie up, done some location pre planning, lighting design and cursory wardrobe work.

The next day the four of us assembled and dressed out a uniquely funky basement, I ran down to Paradise Pantry to grab a couple of bottles of wine for set dressing, and because Jeanette is a Vitticulturist-budding wine maker-chemist, and we got down to it.

4 hours later we emerged from our simulated multiple locations and settings around the world, taken there by our imaginations, and the efforts of four highly skilled friends. Creatively lit to replicate what one would really experience, were you to ply a small cellar apartment, a dimly lit alley in Europe, or just a charming home, in the historic Oil-Cow town of Ventura, California.

We all had needed that. Cobweb removal was complete, and the repression and constraints on our creative lives were once again, pushed back a bit.

Creative work is interesting in that yes, it really IS work. You assemble and place a lot of balls into the air. But you refresh in process, rather than degrade. It sort of feels like a dam has been removed, with debris and clutter able to flow out and down stream. Flow re-establishes. Without the element of flow, you learn first hand what stagnation is.

Here is an abbreviated gallery cull of the 24 final images in the new collection. Some of them should be available through Corbis Images soon. All work was shot on the Canon 5D M2 system, using high ISO capability, continual light sources, combined with focused bounced strobe, and were processed and developed in Lightroom 4.

 

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Pick a Lane

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Salud Carbajal

Salud Carbajal

 

In life and in our Western Cultural assessment of what will inevitably amount to a rather short term existence on this blue ball, we are constantly encouraged by the status quo, to “pick a lane” for ourselves. Or at least, this was the method employed till this latest socio-economic meltdown. The concept was to attend school, move in to a field that would best suit our fiscal goals, and supply the road to our own future happiness. Each day, you were to  arrive at that job, and park right between the lines. Never vary that. Or face severe retribution from the system.

A lot has  changed. I will look at that a bit in the coming months.

The image above was shot a week or so ago in Santa Barbara at the Courthouse, and is my contribution to a collection of digital assets to be used in the re election campaign of Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County Supervisor. I also shot some work for Doreen Farr and her Supervisorial campaign as well.

Speaking with them both, confirmed research done when I had vetted the job by doing some online checking and making a couple phone calls prior to taking the gig, which was with my friend and colleague Rob Dafoe, who I am a creative partner with. I found Doreen and Salud to be passionate, respectful, educated people, who possessed a compassion for their community.

Tough gig, the narrow lane of local political office. The job description itself, demands that you stay between the lines of Govt authority, yet still have daily contact with your constituency. This creates a choice. You embrace the relationship, or build a wall, a lane so to speak, and stay there. Each position has benefit, as well as risk. It really is a service position, that of local Govt Office. It was great to meet two servants and in turn serve them with my ability as an image maker.

I chose my lane in life a long time ago when I decided what I would serve. The reality is that everyone must serve something. Service begins in the heart. One does well to attend to the heart first. Out of it will come the issues of your life.

As we begin a look at this, I recall my early education in Photography. Conventional wisdom stated that you select a subject and become that. A Nature Photographer, Photojournalist, Wedding Photographer, Surf Photographer, whatever, and you parked between the lines and were that, which brought in your income. Understandable, that Philosophy. But knowing where it led, I never followed the tiny golden thread into any of those boxes. To do so always seemed flat out stupid to me. (Think rabbit in a box trap)

That is because I came to serve.

Go in to a box, and this limits both who you serve, and the ability of your own soul to thrive and grow.

As I erased the lines which defined my own existence, constantly eschewing becoming niched and parked, I learned something pretty special. Limits are all about fear. Placing them, staying within them, acknowledging other’s rules for our own existence, may make for a somewhat stable cultural environment for the moment, but I have rarely seen them bring anyone any real happiness or sense of satisfaction.

Say you were to lose all today. Where would you be?

Look down. You are standing there. In your own space.

Erase the lines.

Thrive.

Don’t do it to others, don’t allow that restriction to be placed upon you.

Here is a link to a blogpost from Seth Godin which contains his new online version of “Stop Stealing Dreams“, a piece on modern education that everyone who wants a wide lane through life should read!

In the course of an Eight day period (which I am in the midst of right now) I am shooting and filming subjects that range from below sea level to the mountains. If I had ever bought in to the conventional wisdom surrounding my craft and trade, well then, you would likely have not much interest in my common material.

But since my choice was to erase my lines as a Creative early on, I am able to bring forward the most remarkable aspects of Creation. I am continually in awe. Even when sitting in a crew van, waiting to meet two dedicated Santa Barbara County Supervisors.

The following gallery of images are from projects I had in front of me THIS WEEK. Obviously the folks who want to call me a Surf Photographer may have missed the mark when they for whatever reason, wanted to put me in their box.

Some of them are for this cool new project. The Solitary Exposure Collective, which I am building with my colleague, Larry Beard.

Here is the link to my work in it, which grows in scope monthly. Eventually, much of it will be available via Commercial license. What Larry and I have done, is build the foundations for an art collection that is a new type of agency. Right now you can buy art and have it delivered to your door ready to hang. Or just glance through the open collection and maybe get inspired to redraw the lines in your own life. We would like that. It makes us all better.

Click on any of the images for a full view or to toggle through as a slide show.

 

 

Sliding into 2011: Year in Pictures

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflections

This link is to a new piece by Zuri Star called Keep Holding on. It fits the New Year quite well.

It seems that all around us this past year there was friction. In fact, I found myself enmeshed in three massive battles, all at the same time. I did not author those. I simply said “no” to three entities I saw as abusive of my fellow man, community and Ocean Environment.

friction |ˈfrik sh ən|
noun
the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another : a lubrication system that reduces friction.
• the action of one surface or object rubbing against another : the friction of braking.
• conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions : a considerable amount of friction between father and son.

So as we close out 2010 here are a few things to lubricate the road ahead.

A fantastic treatise on “love”, from the eyes of babes.

How to change the world completely, one girl at a time: The Girl Effect.

Beauty that matters. Sent along by Fernando Ismerio. A stunning high speed (slow motion) look at the oceans.

Seth Godin on 2011

Best to use lubrication when you have something big to move.

Because as it stands, anything worth attaining must overcome the things that impede progress and the only lubricant that sustains that in our lives is love.

Perfect love casts out all fear. (John 4:18) Fear is a mind killer

Easily said.

Lubricate.

Do it.

The images below are a small selection that are my Year in Pictures gallery. Click on any of them to toggle through as a slide show. I am stunned at what I managed to produce in motion and in stills with the Canon 5d Mark 2 system. 3 Music videos. 2 reality show teasers. 6 commercial Photography campaigns. 18 editorial features, and a book and six covers. Then there is all the random wonderfulness below.

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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