This is my experiance.

My little buddy Prize.

 

Graduate school I am finding is very difficult. As it should be. But I really am taking a beating creatively when I feel unable to consistently produce the kind of images that I both want and my instructors expect. This feeling of inadequacy is compounded by my lack of technical skill with the camera, since I am SO very new to the medium. But like any tool, the more I use it, the easier it will become to instinctively do things. I stopped shooting on automatic last summer. Since then I purchased the D7000, which I Love, but is much more advanced that my previous D3000. I am only now able to make good technical decisions in a short period of time. I used to sit for an hour almost trying to remember where everything was. Where is the ISO button again? Oops, that was the white balance. Now how did I do that? The lesson I learned that I wish I had learned first? Shoot RAW. I really regret NOT shooting in RAW format.

But despite all those hang ups, I go back and look at my photos on a regular basis. Not in vain, but because I am analyzing, How could this have been better, with the knowledge I know have?

And that’s when I see images like this. That maybe aren’t compositional perfect, but it is definitely my view. This is how I experienced this moment with my horses. And I was able to capture that, instantly. And share it with the world. I can only pray that others will feel the love and wonder that I do when I look at this images. This is how I want all my work to be, something personal. Something I am sharing with the world. My personal view on the world around me. I don’t think its any better or worse than anyone else s. It is valid only because it is different, just as everyone is. Not two people on this earth see the same thing, the same way. No one has the exact same experience. And to me, that is beautiful.

 

Playful Diego

Perhaps I am simply on another evolving artistic journey. My last one lasted 20 years. And even though I will at times feel guilt for not using all of my skills the way I probably should, that guilt reminds me to be honest with myself. By doing so, I can recognize both the good and the not so good and either eliminate what isn’t useful and help to grow what is. Isn’t that what growth is all about anyways? Breaking down the old so you can make room for the new.

I watched a documentary on Sally Man tonight, as we have a discussion question revolving around some of her work and our response to it. While personally I wasn’t a fan of her photos, I realized many things. I have a huge amount of respect for this woman. And what she does, she does from the heart. It is an incredibly personal journey for her. I admired and understood the way she looked at the world. I admired that open fascination with everything around her. I understood that need to create.

I have never felt the creative freedom that I have with photography. I am opening doors and doing things that I NEVER would have done before. I consider what I do my “work”. It is not a hobby. It is NOT something that I want to do on the side to make some money. If I wanted that, I would have become a wedding photographer (and please know I mean NO disrespect what so ever, some peoples passion is that type of photography and I applaud it!), It is becoming a way of life. I am learning a new and wonderful language.

What I needed is a way to speak. Photography has given me a voice.

 

"The Offering"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Friends

Regardless of species or age, best friends spring up in the mostly unlikely of places.

I brought home my Irish Wolfhound, Rhiannon, in Feb of 2010. Its hard to believe its been two years already. My whole life I have wished for one, and I cried when I went to pick her up from the breeder, and I cried all the way home with her too. They were tears of joys and she has been my best friend. Timid and quiet, Rhia was the best behaved puppy I have EVER known. Never destructive (OK, the holes in the yard tell another story..), never aggressive, always constant and true.

It wasn’t much later that I started to bring her to work with me, at the Circle B Bar T. There, they had two great danes, Barlo and Kenya. Barlo was getting much older, and couldn’t get around too much, and Kenya needed a playmate. People might laugh when I say my dog goes for play dates on the weekends, but its a bright spot in her life, and I like to think she has touched the lives of the other dogs, and people, just as she has mine. Barlo sadly passed away, which left Kenya on her own. Two more great dane’s were brought home to join the family. Emma and Baxter. In what would seem like endless sadness, Kenya was diagnosed with cancer, had her leg amputated and little Baxter passed from a heart defect. Baxter II joined the brood not too much later, and soon Kenya, Rhia, Emma and Baxter became fast friends.

At a time when Kenya needed a playmate, Rhia was there on the weekends. I am sure that after Kenya passed some months later, Rhia was probably confused about where she was. But it is amazing the resilience and joy in which these animals live their lives, one moment to the next. Never dwelling on the past, but enjoying the sheer bliss of the moment. That is what I have learned through the ups and downs of my dog’s relationship with her canine friends.

That we should be like them, living for the moment, looking forward to the good times and never judging because of breed, age or handicap. Here’s to best friends! I hope you enjoy this selection of images from the last two years.

Baby Rhiannon

Young Rhia

Feeling the joy of being alive!

Kenya right after surgery, with Baxter I

Baby Emma

Kenya, Young Emma and Rhia

Salida, Colorado. This is my Magic Grove. Some of the most enchanted moments of my life happened here.

Relaxing

Playing Chase with Baxter II

Emma, Baxter II and Rhia rest after wrestling

Fun Times in the Snow

Emma and Rhia play chase in the snow

Listening for treats in the other room

Looking for her friends

My beautiful and noble girl