Fine Art Photography In Many Forms: A New Year’s Gift Of Inspiring Websites
In a previous column I offered a few ideas on creating Contact pages with built-in spam protection. Littleton, Colorado’s Tim Mosholder (www.mountainviewphoto.com) sent me a tip for WordPress users that lets you use an e-mail link that’s impervious to spambots. CryptX (http://wordpress.org/plugins/cryptx) is a free WordPress plug-in that automatically changes all e-mail links on your site’s pages by adding [at] and [dot]. For example, Tim’s e-mail is “info[at]mountainviewphoto[dot]com” and the link works when your clients click on it but spambots won’t see it.
Bernd Geh is a German-born physicist who lives in Arizona and says, “Photography serves as an artistic balance for my data driven life as a scientist.” His images are collected in three galleries called Earth, Abstract, and Life. In Earth, Geh attacks the traditional landscape form using color and monochrome, producing both the classic (“Anza Borrego Wilderness”) and the unusual (“Migration,” a color image of what looks like and may well be a swarm of fossilized sea turtles in the desert). Enjoy this quiet respite and hang onto your hats when exploring the other galleries because Geh has a few surprises.
In Abstract, like other contemporary fine art photographers, Geh has rediscovered Stieglitz’s cloud photography Equivalents but, unlike those images captured in the 1920s, his are infused first with color, then the inherent drama of being shot from aircraft. This collection also explores special effects as in the eerie “Bound for Eternity,” which is a Rorschach test for viewers. Then there’s the Shroud of Turin-like “Light Bearer” that takes us into the realm of metaphysics. Bernd Geh is not just a click-the-shutter kind of photographer and clearly believes image creation is a continuous process and doesn’t end at capture. The Life collection contains images that refuse to fit into any pigeonhole. They range from stunning nighttime landscapes of Singapore, showing technical and aesthetic flourishes, to whimsical photojournalistic images (“Eye Contact”) to his take on the gold-painted Goldfinger woman.
Nudity advisory: As part of the overall eclectic nature of Life, there are artistic nudes in this gallery.
New England photographer Bobby Baker’s website is powered by FolioLink (http://foliolink.com), an online portfolio system he uses as a powerful showcase for his beautifully crafted and elegant photographs. They’re collected in one color (Colors of The Cape & Beyond) and two monochrome (Black & White and SXSW 2013) galleries. Comparing the images in the Cape and Black & White galleries is interesting in that while seemingly working in the same style his choice of medium affects the photograph’s overall mood. I find his color Cape images, such as “Race Point Spring,” to be quiet and tranquil while his monochrome images, such as the similar but different “Race Point,” soar off the screen with crescendos that almost let you hear the surf and be swept along with it.
Looking at these two galleries is sort of like comparing Beethoven’s Für Elise to his Symphony Number 5; it’s the same composer but the music elicits different feelings with Baker adding grace notes as in “Eastern Point Light 6,” where the tiniest bit of color is dabbed into the optic section of the lighthouse. Baker’s SXSW 2013 portfolio is a photojournalistic look at the annual South by Southwest music, film, and interactive conference and festival that’s held in Austin. If you’ve never attended—I haven’t—it makes you want to be there next March. At the very least, it’s an interesting link to the musical nature of Bobby Baker’s remarkable photography.
Samuel E. Howard photographs trains in all of their mechanical elegance and chuffing, smoking glory. His sprawling website contains 21 collections spread across two galleries—Narrow Gauge and Standard Gauge—but you don’t have to be a rail fan to appreciate the combination of technical genius and nostalgia that Howard lavishes on his photographs. You also don’t need to know the difference between a Shay locomotive or a Galloping Goose to look into this collection to view his brilliantly realized images of a Shay pushing its way through the snow or a Galloping Goose (automobile-based locomotive) running through the Toltec Tunnel.
Images in the collections are displayed as large thumbnails; clicking them doesn’t reveal larger images. If you look in the Black and White collection, which also includes toned and lightly colored images, you will see a series of contemporary photographs that could have been made 100 years ago but are full of the special Samuel E. Howard touch that he brings to all of his images. He has two don’t-miss collections of images made at the Colorado Railroad Museum, a living outdoor museum that includes working steam trains and its own loop of track that’s beautifully set in Golden’s foothills. Prints of the images are available at affordable prices.
January’s Reader-of-the-Month site from Clark Crenshaw is built on the PhotoDeck (www.photodeck.com) architecture, an online archive, e-commerce, and proofing platform. Images are found in four galleries, each one of which has several subcollections. Travel and Architecture’s five collections contain the United States, Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Oil Industry. Clicking a collection’s thumbnail unveils a mosaic showing a screen full of images; clicking on any one of them lets you navigate while appreciating the color and structure of Crenshaw’s impeccable workmanship.
His images of Italy are beautifully composed with some showing how color itself is the subject (see the lovingly crafted “Burano Colors”). Moving your mouse to the top of the screen drops down a window with additional information. His Black and White gallery includes two subcollections: Scenic and Nature and Travel and Architecture. In both galleries, Clark Crenshaw’s work is striking whether photographing a sculpture (“The Traveling Man in Deep Ellum”) or a mystical landscape (“Goblin Valley Kids”). There is so much to see here that I encourage you to explore and be inspired. Don’t miss his blog, which includes an image he made during the Rochester Institute of Technology’s “Big Shot” project. Those of us who remember the annual “Big Shot” will be glad to see this project is alive and well.