Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

Many of the photos that are displayed on this blog are not photos I frame or mat for sale. Often the photos here are ones that I determined were not quite up to snuff to sell, but still good enough to share.

Sometimes my choices about what to print in hard copy are a matter of size constraints. For example, my photos of snapping turtles often need to be at least 16X20 or the image is cut off. Sometimes my choices are a matter of economics, as I am of course spending money on printing and framing items that may eventually live in my basement. I also have to judge what I think might interest people. My mother selected classic images – loons, cardinals, owls, fawns. I have a friend who loved a particular butterfly/flower image that did not interest me much. Another friend wanted one of my frog photos – on a 3×2 canvas. My youngest brother was particularly taken with a photo of painted turtles, almost certainly because we had two red-eared sliders growing up and the two species appear similar. Another friend was drawn to my starfish photo, and I’ve put it on a 16×20 canvas for him. Another friend wanted a 3×2 canvas of trees blanketed in fresh snow, with blue sky and sunlight behind. It has been in his office for at least three years. .

I find pictures of animals (owl, robin, phoebe, crow, osprey, seagull, heron) with food in their claws or beaks to be interesting, as we don’t often glimpse such things as we go about our days. I have about 8 different 3×2 canvases that rotate on the walls of my office depending on the season. Rock wall in autumn. Ice crystals on a winterberry bush. Popham, Reid, Katahdin, Moosehead. Great horned owl. Snapping turtle. Pileated woodpecker. Moonscapes. Landscapes. Four legs. Two wings. Hot-blooded and cold-blooded. Mountains and the coast. Forests and my backyard.

We are surrounded by the wonder of everyday creatures and the world they inhabit. I want to share that world with others. Yet I take pictures only for me. For the joy of it. For the peace. Photography is my mediation. When I am capturing an image, I am as focused as I once was hurtling down a hill on my bicycle. When I raise my camera to find my subject, I must force my breathing to be slow, steady, sometimes to stop so the camera doesn’t move. I do not have a tripod or a camouflage tent. My knees or a railing are my tripod. Sometimes I am shooting in a kayak, and I must time the wind and waves. I often shoot while I’m being spun in a slow circle. When I am taking photographs, my job, dogs, aches and fears recede for blissful moments.

I decided to place photos for sale not so that I can quit my “real” job. My goal, rather, is to share my images with anyone who might take a fancy to a particular shot, for whatever reason. My prices cover the cost of materials, but not much beyond that. Certainly not the time spent to take an image from the moment of capture to the point where it is ready for printing. Prices reflect the size of the photo as well as the format (matted only, framed, on canvas etc.) A matted 4×6 costs the same as a Big Mac with fries and a coke (about $8). Framed photos and canvases go for roughly $50 – $150. And if someone wants a particular photo but truly cannot afford it, we’ll figure it out.

Some of the photos available at The Art Walk Shop and Studio in Winthrop.
Every summer we watch an osprey nest. Look carefully for the smaller bird in each photo.
Young dove hiding.
Great horned.

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