What is Quartz Inversion?
No, it’s not a quart of milk standing on its head. It’s the point at which silica crystals in clay change their molecular structure during the rise and fall of temperatures in the kiln. Heat serves as a catalyst for permanent change. Very cool idea. I think of it as a metaphor for most things in life. The transformational power of art can change us at the very core. Our actions change the earth every day, for better or worse. The choices we make, the thoughts we have, and the words we say change us in every way at every moment--from the inside out. I like to think that I go through a quartz inversion on a regular basis....and once quartz inversion occurs, there is no going back.
Get more Quartz Inversion

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Simplest Thing.....

Sometimes, the simplest thing catches my eye and I become transfixed by it's mundane beauty. I want to look at it over and over and over again, as if I could burn it's image into my minds eye and have it there to look at any time I wanted. There is a strange sense of contentment that comes over me, and I feel completely satiated, satisfied, and oddly awe-struck, as though I came to know the reason for my existence in a single glance. I call these my "American Beauty, paper bag in the wind" moments. Those of you who have seen the film and have had this experience will know exactly what I mean.

This happened the other day on the Lower East Side of Manhattan when, assisting a friend with a costume fitting for a group of High School dance students, I looked up and saw the most amazing group of light fixtures hanging in the dark school auditorium around 60 feet above my head. I grabbed my camera and I took around 20 shots, just to make sure I captured the image at several subtly different angles.

Upon coming home, I quickly transferred the images to my computer and spent the next several hours playing with the exposures, rotating the images, and just basking in the pleasure of looking at them over and over and over.....but only until the next "paper bag in the wind" blows past me.....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Through the Viewfinder......

I've been wanting to learn how to take pics "through the viewfinder" and today I figured it out. I knew it required an old box camera and this morning while looking on ebay for one I could afford, I suddenly remembered that I had my dad's old Argus 75 Twin Lens Reflex stored away somewhere. I dug it out and rigged up a very rudimentary contraption for keeping the light out of the viewfinder, grabbed my Nikon Coopix 'point & shoot', and headed for the park. It worked pretty well and these are some of the first successful shots. Next step is to build a better light blocker and rig up a way to keep the digital attached to the box camera in a secure position for more 'on the fly' shooting.

After taking some test shots indoors I ventured outside to give it a try. It was a bit challenging to figure out the correct distance from the bottom camera lens to hold my point and shoot Coolpix, but once I figured it out, I got some acceptable shots.

When I came home, I couldn't resist playing around with some of my iPhone apps and seeing how the effects would looked laid over the TTV pics. I think once I get the hang of working the two cameras together I won't need to rely on any apps to get some great effects.

.....Definitely taking the Argus 75 on the next road trip.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A day in the country......

Yesterday, I spent a day wandering around Ulster County snapping away on my iPhone. The locations and weather gave the day a very "Twin Peaks" feeling to it and when we happened upon an abandoned string of train cars I thought I had died and went to David Lynch Heaven. Since I've been doing more photography than painting or collage-making lately, I seized the opportunity to shoot every square inch of the lonely cabooses. And I had two inspiring and very willing subjects with me, just itching to throw themselves in front of my lens and ham it up.

This abandoned train must have been a first class vehicle in it's day because it had a complete kitchen and was wider and longer than any modern day train I'd ever been on. With a little renovation, I could have easily lived on it a la Ruth Gordon in "Harold and Maude".

Baxter and James were only too willing to incorporate themselves into the surroundings at every turn. The fact that the floor had gaping holes in it and looked on the verge of collapsing, didn't stop James from dancing up and down the isles.
Earlier in the day an old stone house and a barn in a field caught my eye and the boys were more than happy to offer their likenesses to each shot. The only opportunity missed was getting a picture of the incredible wrinkley deaf proprietor of the antique shop that was housed in the stone building. Her face was a like a road map to every day she lived in her 80-something years....

The day started with a disappointing lunch in the town of New Paltz followed by a jaunt through the local antique markets where I picked up a few goodies to add to my burgeoning collection of trinkets from times gone by. My one regret was not buying the little tin type photo with the wonderful back side that was way more interesting than the image on the front.