Thursday, June 16, 2016

Infrared Photography

Recently I had my old camera converted into infrared - 720 to be exact.  I had no idea what to expect other than the infrared photography I’d seen done by some photographer friends was stunning.  I love the different perspective and colors that appear seemingly from nowhere.



Some images that I think will look great turn out to be not very special.  But I got some tips from one of my National Geographic instructors since she also loves IR.  And she was right.  One of the tips is that you never know where your focus will be even if you think that it looks right in the camera, IR will trick you, then whammo!…you download it to your computer expecting one thing and you have an entirely different thing. It can be exhilarating and frustrating, but I'm so enamored of what I do get that I'm very forgiving.  




The other thing is, it seems that the IR sensor only changes certain ranges of greens.  I was expecting ALL foliage to turn whitish blue and it doesn’t.  I’m delighted when it does, other times, not so much.  In addition, it turns blue skies brown or black.  And not a yucky muddy color either, but this rich, deep color that makes the clouds look so gorgeous you can't stop looking at them.  A lot of people turn their IR images into black and white versions, but I like them the way they are - straight out of the camera.



So, my advice to anyone wanting to get into IR is, don’t get all serious, because it will lead to frustration and ultimately you will end up hating IR.  Just play and let things happen.  You won’t be sorry.  It’s a whole other way to express your art and you will be amazed at some of the stuff you turn out.

One other side note…if you have an old camera that you want to convert to IR, choose the company wisely.  Do your research.  I didn’t because I was so excited to have it done and I paid the price - literally and figuratively.  Don’t fall for a slick looking website and a fast-talking rep like I did.  I’m not mentioning any names, but suffice it to say the company’s initials are LP.  Stay as far away from them as possible.  REALLY bad news.  If anything goes wrong, they will try to blame it on you when it’s really their fault.  And it doesn't stop there.  Fair warning.

I used Kolari Vision and they were fantastic!  I recommend them highly.  I dealt with Ilija and he kept me informed every step of the way.  It was an awesome experience to actually deal with someone who knows what they’re doing and what they're talking about.  Phew! That was a long side note. 

Let's just say that if you let your inner child come out to play when you’re out with your IR camera, you will never be sorry.  It’s way fun and like I said…exhilarating.

Until next time…



Please also stop by and visit my fine art website at  www.kathleenmessmer.com, my commercial website at www.kmphotographic.cominstagram.com/kmessmer53 for fun stuff, and kathleen-messmer.artistwebsites.com 



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A New Year, A New Beginning

So here it is the third month (!) of 2016.  Can you believe it?  I remember being in elementary school and them telling us that there would be flying cars and all kinds of futuristic stuff by the time the new millennium rolled around.  Flying cars mostly. Well, we do have loads of futuristic stuff that we couldn't really conceive of as children, but it's not quite what they told us it would be.



























That said, I spent most of today editing digital images.  Yes, digital.  Bear in mind that I started in photography wwwaaayyy back in the day. No really, way back when FILM was what you shot with and didn't know what you had until you got your roll(s) developed and had prints and negatives to look at. My instructors then told us that if you had two good images from a roll of 36 exposures, you were doing well.  TWO???!!! That could get seriously expensive!  Not to mention the many clothes I ruined in the darkroom from renegade splashes of developer, fixer, whatever.  AND my (then) wedding ring. No...we didn't wear aprons or gloves for protection.  Now we know better of course.  Mostly.




 












So, back to digital images...  I've been submitting my photography here and there and with the help of a Creative Consultant and a Design Consultant, have managed to get representation from a gallery in NEW YORK!  In the CHELSEA DISTRICT!  Can you say EXCITED!!!  Sorry for all the caps and exclamation marks.  I couldn't help it.  So, I submitted 16 digital images to the gallery via the internet and now I'm freaking out a little.  Well, more than a little.  Ok, A LOT!  I even had to do a new headshot.  No easy feat since I abhor having my picture taken, but I have a great friend (thanks Monica!) who did a phenomenal job.  Ironic, right?

I'm getting to show my "real" work in New York to people who might judge my work, judge me, and tell me I'm a fraud.  How have I turned into a neurotic artist?




I shoot lots of things - wildlife in particular, comes to mind - but my love and passion is abstract botanicals.  Yep - I said it.  Abstract.  Botanicals.  What the hell does THAT mean you might ask.  Or not.  But either way, I'm totally taken in by light, shadow, lines, texture and soft or vibrant colors. Especially in flowers and plants.  I love my macro lens and my 300mm telephoto.  If I didn't have to work, I'd be off somewhere different on the planet every day.  My boys think I'm crazy, but I think I've earned it.  I raised my family first and pursued my passion later.  I have these grey hairs for a reason and (mostly) wear them proudly!

So I'm going to show you some of the submitted images, but you are not allowed to judge. My Mom used to say, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." You wouldn't want to bruise my fragile psyche, would you?









Until next time...




Please also stop by and visit my fine art website at  www.kathleenmessmer.com, my commercial website at www.kmphotographic.cominstagram.com/kmessmer53 for fun stuff, and kathleen-messmer.artistwebsites.com