The Many Stories in an Image

I have slowing been going through the images I took when on a personal vacation in Alaska. I found this image of my nephew which I really liked but I felt that it lacked .... something.


The photo was taken at a low angle and I loved his expression but I found that my eye was drawn to the yellow stripe on his sweater and on the frame of the picture on the wall.

So what to do?

As I love Black & White images, I thought I would try the conversion to see what would come of it. 


Much much better in my opinion. My eyes naturally were drawn to his eyes and the expression on his face.

But what would happen if I cropped it?

Darn it, I liked that one too and now I was stuck with two images that I liked. Which one do I chose?

This whole process brought an interesting point home to me. The image was trying to tell me something. Yes, I know that it sound corney, but I think that one of the things that makes the difference between snapshots and photography is the voice of the image.

To me, the cropped version is much more of a portrait. It focuses on my nephew. It tells a story of an individual.
The larger image tells more of a story to me of a person in a much larger context.

So what does that mean? It means that the art of photography exists in what you, as an artist, are trying to say. What feelings are you trying to convey or capture? Think about each image. Listen to what it is trying to say to you. As you study your images and work with them, you will discover your voice.


Sweetie Pie

RIP Sweetie Pie. Sweetie Pie was my parent's 18.5 year old cat who they brought back from Uzbekistan. Sweetie Pie was the result of a stray cat breaking into my parent's bedroom in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and having a litter of kittens on their bed. I watched her grow through kittenhood via letters (this was before the internet and email ... we actually wrote letters back then). My parents had all the kittens spayed with the one vet in Tashkent (he was actually the zoo vet ... but that's all there was) and had me bring all the vaccines the kittens needed when I came to visit because that wasn't available either. Initially, my parents had found another home which they had done with all the other kittens except the one they were going to keep (Sally Forth). My mother didn't give her a name wanting to leave that for the future family and so started calling her "Sweetie Pie". However, when it came time to give her to the family, my folks just could not let her go ... and both Sally Forth and Sweetie Pie came back to the States with them when their tour was over.

Sweetie Pie became my mother's cat. Sally chose my dad. Sweetie was always a very gentle, shy, scardy cat opting to spend most of her time in my parent's bedroom. As she grew older, she developed kidney disease and my parents nursed her for over a year. Yesterday, we finally had to say goodbye and let her pass on to the Rainbow Bridge where she is surly frolicking with her sister, Sally who has been waiting for her for the past couple of years.

I decided to try do make a painting of her for my parents. This was the result.

 RIP Sweetie Pie. You will be missed.