What I learned at the Ren Faire…

If I could bear the torture of another degree, I would get one in Anthropology. Culture fascinates me, and its all around us.

The first day of the first Billings Ren Faire was wonderful. Quite warm, but then I think the sheer magic of the day left many feeling quite alright even in the sweltering heat. I am also sure than many, like yours truly, came home looking a bit pinker than when we left this morning. I also came home with a wider sense of the world and of us, human beings. We are so interconnected. Everything we do affects those around us, and we don’t even know it. Like pebbles in the water, we each create a magical web of ripples from one to another.

There were many highlights of the day, but perhaps my most favorite was watching these two warriors battle it out on the main field. Intrigued by the interesting armor, my attention was continually drawn to their sparring. I later learned they are father and son. That small bit of information transformed the voice of the images for me. I could be fine in not knowing anything else (though i am VERY curious about the character stories here), because the element of what makes us human speaks for itself. It makes the images feel that much more authentic. I feel honored that I was there to share in thier moment.

So many more awesome photos! I have to crawl to bed though, or I’ll never make it through the day, and there is so much more to observe and capture. My batteries are charging as I speak…

Blessings to all,

~Gypsy Moon~

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What “Do” I Want to Say?

I’ve taken some time away recently to get through classes and do some deeper soul-searching. It’s so amazing how we change as we get older. We evolve. As people, humans, animals, individuals and partners or groups alike. It’s a scientific fact that we, as a species, and all life evolves over time as experience and consequence shape what it is physically. That’s a truly amazing thing in and of itself, of which I could probably devout a lifetimes in trying to firmly understand and recognize it.

This is where my mind was going this evening as I sat down to reflect after a night of work. I’ve been experiencing a lot of inner changes lately on many fronts, and I have felt rather exhausted and overwhelmed. Things never happen slowly for me, its normally in one great heap (as it is with many of us). These changes…the evolution…has been really, really hard. But also really good. Scarey sometimes. Paralyzing at others. I could name every range of emotion I think. School work takes a lot out of me creatively (which now causes me to begin to see a pattern!… that’s for another post). Part of change is learning something new, and that includes epiphanies.

I began to ponder my “voice” in photography. I agonized over this all semester. What was I trying to say? I had no idea and still don’t for the most part. Perhaps I stumbled upon my hang up tonight. And if so, it is so freeing. So much so, I think I will continue with my Masters. I’ve come this far, why quit now? I suppose I could say that my ego has been in the way, all these years, no matter if I was painting, drawing or now photographing. (I sometimes wonder how many professional photographers groan every time they read about another new photographer. Man, in a world as competitive as it is right now? You’d better be dam sure you are speaking with a loud enough voice, or your never going to be heard, or seen…and if that happens, then whats the point? I think that’s what it truly means to be a professional or a hobbyist. Now I am truly asking myself these very questions.. Will I be a Professional or will I be a hobbyist?

All along, I’ve been asking the wrong question. (notice how the word “quest” is in question? Seek the answer) I’ve been asking: What do I want to say? I should instead have been asking all along: What do I want to say? Instead of focusing on the “Do” part, the content of the work…I keep focusing on the “I” part, the ego that makes everything personal and difficult. Maybe that’s what all the guru’s mean when they say let the ego go. Let go of “I”. Focus on “do”. When you are doing, you are happening right now. You are in the moment and completely involved in the present. Don’t get me wrong, everything you are “doing” is still personal, its still about who you are and how you see the world, but it still involves “I”, its just not the focus. I have struggled to understand this concept for many years. To finally understand, and to make it a part of myself…I feel as if I have evolved, shed an old skin, with the old self and emerging with a new skin. I will be vulnerable as I take some time to process this and put it into practice…. but isn’t that that point? Being strong enough to be vulnerable so we can learn and embrace our life lessons, and in doing so, moving forward to something even greater than we could have ever imaged……

Thats what my voice tells me. And somehow, I will make that come across in my future art work, no matter the medium I am working in. I realize how very stale much of my past work, both traditional and photographs, has been. I’ve been so protective of myself, so afraid to use my ‘voice” that I’ve been in the same creative rut for along time.

Now that I know the correct question to ask, I hope I can shed past and present insecurities and more forward with a powerful voice that is unique to only me.

My voice is my own.

Its time to learn to use it!

https://www.youtube.com/v/4qDoRedKBoU?version=3&hl=en_US

Learning my new language

If you put a google search in for “sepia rose”, you will get 100 other images like this one I took today. This is actually a close crop of an experiment that I am not sure if I liked or not. When Im not sure I like something, I will edit the heck out of it for hours on end. In doing so, I learn not only the software better, but I begin to train my eye on what looks better or worse. This awareness translates directly into the lens I have found. What I don’t do? Look at other photos. Unless you spend time actively studying other photography, you can’t possibly build any appreciation for whats being done. If you have no appreciation, then how can you possibly learn to grow and expand. Art is, after all, about expansion. Isn’t that the heart of what we do? If something is created, doesn’t it also expand?

…I digress…

Even knowing that this photo is cliche as all get-out (…), I can’t help but like it. And I think what I love even more, is the fact that all I did to the photo, was crop, convert to grey scale and adjust the sepia. I wonder how this would look printed on salt paper. Or taken with wet collidion.

But its still cliche…

So now I puzzle, how do I take an emotional image of a rose, in monotone, that is not cliche? How do I use formal elements to create an image that no one has seen before. Something to make people stop and linger, and ponder over it. I want it to look like more than a piece of commercial art that you get on discount in Ross.

I end my thoughts this evening with this lovely tract

My own studio *le sigh*

I fully enjoyed working on these photos and I can’t wait to work on the rest. Even though I am half crippled at the moment, I took over 800 shots, in probably 9 differant lighting arrangements before getting what I really liked. I was incrediably grateful to my assisstants, even though some of them ran off early, as young ones often do. Thats alright.

I so enjoyed getting up close and personal with my horses. Naturally, I already “know” them all, and thier personalities. But this was so much differant. More intimate. In a controlled setting, but I allowed enough freedom for the horses to react on thier own. It was up to me to be able to see those moments when the perfect light, and the perfect reflection, and the perfect body position and the perfect expression converge into one moment in time. And when I would see those near perfect moments, I would often gasp. Oh! Thats Beautiful! I would exclaim. Not to anyone in the room, but to myself. I forget that there are others there, helping me out. Something happens though, when I step behind that lens. At this point, I can’t tell you what it is, but I do know I enter a differant world and all else falls away outside of my subject and myself.

There were alot of techincal/set type of frustrations though, such as the backdrop not being completely smooth (which didn’t matter in the end) or big enough to cover the small area I had to work with. My lights, reflectors and diffusers work well enough for now, but I would love to play with some gels at some point. And just having more room to move.

Yes, I would like to have a studio. Big enough for a large horse, but in a manner that I could use it for dancing also if I wished. I already see in my mind how I would like my lighting and backdrops to be setup, safely.

Yes, this is where I see myself going in the next 5 years.