Photographic Memories

Desert Rats

In the early days of photography, long before it came to be used for virtually every imaginable purpose, photography was largely used as a means of recording people and places. The world was largely “undiscovered” at the time (the western U.S. was still almost completely wild), and the camera was mostly used a matter of record-keeping (think of Eugene Atget’s thousands of determined studies of Paris or William Henry Jackson’s photographic revelations of the “new” American west). Despite the amazing number of uses for all sorts of imagery today, by and large, most of the billions of photographs snapped each year are still a means to record important places, people, and events in our lives. While I may call myself a fine art photographer, my motives behind my work are none too different than most point-n-shooters: I want to record subjects and moments that I want to remember. Photographs as memories – especially for the photographer – are incredibly powerful and can trigger deep and dormant thoughts and feelings.

Almost exactly one year ago today, I spent a week exploring and photographing The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park with two good friends, Guy Tal and Steve Cole. It was an amazing adventure, and not one that many will get to experience, and I shared it with two dear friends. I could have written journals about our adventures; I could daydream incessantly about the things we did and saw; but a quick look at the photographs instantly transports me back to that very special place and time. Only the photographer can have this deep-seated connection to his or her images, and it’s a pretty damn powerful feeling.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

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Rabbitbrush & Snakeweed Garden – Post #100!

SnakeweedGarden

Rabbitbrush & Snakeweed Garden

Although I’m not nearly as prolific a blogger as many friends and colleagues, I’ve somehow managed to successfully reach my 100th post! So here it is – THANKS for reading and helping me to keep it going!

I found this beautiful and wild Rabbitbrush & Snakeweed garden (Chrysothamnus nauseosus, Gutierrezia sarothrae) in southwest Utah while on my return home from our early October Creative Landscape Photography workshop. Cloud coverage allowed me to shoot away despite the mid-day light, and a shallow aperture permitted me to place the focus right where I wanted it. The triptych presentation was conceived in the field while photographing.

I think I might have been channeling my feminine side here, as based on my experience, this photograph is the kind that woman will go for (my wife loves it!). There’s little in the way of masculinity expressed in this photograph, but I’m perfectly OK with the more sensitive side of my photographs 😉

To celebrate my 100th post and honor my blog readers for their loyalty, I am offering an Open Edition 14″ print of this triptych for the very special price of $25 (plus shipping). Click here to purchase, but don’t delay. This offer ends on November 23, 2009.

Thanks for your readership and comments – it’s been a fun and interesting ride!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website

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The Creative Landscape Photography Experience

Canyon BonsaiAnn Torrence attended our recent Creative Landscape Photography workshop in and around Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, and shares her experiences and post-workshop thoughts on her blog.

It’s great to learn when your teaching and photographic philosophies really reach your clients. Guy and I resoundingly believe that the strongest photographs arise as the result of a commitment to and a love for your subjects. A plane ticket or road trip to where every photographer wants to go is merely a distraction – the enlightened creative process is a journey, not a destination. Strong photographs can be made in our backyards, and our creative blocks come only from within, not from a lack of something special to photograph or special places to do it.

I’m really pleased that Ann got it, and that it was our workshop that made a difference. I look forward to seeing your new work, Ann!

Creativity – that overused word for such a mysterious process – is often simply the process of learning about ourselves, learning how we have placed limitations on our thinking, and finally, learning that we are our own barrier blocking the creative act“. Brooks Jensen

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website

Waiting for the Light

Waiting for the Light

Waiting for the Light

Our Creative Landscape Photography Workshop clients photograph the landscape and sky high above the Caineville Badlands in Utah. Just look at that beautiful sky!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Autumn color just days away!

Aspens & TalusAutumn is for many photographers one of the most joyous of all seasons. Obvious color is the most common motivator for many photographers. For me it is the changing angle of light and the melancholy mood created by the changing of the seasons. At least in the high country, the first snowfall can quickly follow on the heels of fall color.

October is typically a busy month for me. October 3-4 I will be leading a private tour in the Eastern Sierra for a group of three, and then on October 10-12, Guy Tal and I lead a group workshop in and around Capitol Reef National Park in Utah (we still have a couple of seats available in this workshop).

What are your leaf-peeping and photography plans this coming season? Start making them, as autumn officially begins one week from today….

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Photo, picture: Cracked Mud and Shadows II

Cracked Mud and Shadows II

Cracked Mud and Shadows II

Here’s a slightly different take on the cracked mud and shadows image from a couple of days ago. Same area, different shrubs and composition. I appreciate your thoughts and comments!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

Photo, picture: Cracked Mud and Shadows

Cracked Mud and Shadows

Cracked Mud and Shadows

I made this photo just a few days ago in Caineville, Utah. Guy Tal and I photographed the area at sunrise and were killing time while waiting for the Mesa Farm Market to open. If ever you’re passing through, you must try Randy’s awesome bread and pesto!

This is a photograph of a dried and cracked mudflow being raked by low-angled shrub shadows. I love the ‘etched’ effect that the shadows impart on the cracked mud.

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.