Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Simplicity of Light and Shadow

"Oakland Estuary 22"
DSLR Nikon 5200, February, 2017
Edited with Adobe Lightroom
By Jesse Brown

A long time ago when I was in college studying art history and the Baroque period of art, I fell in love with the idea of teneberism and the way the artists of that era used light and shadow to add emotion to their work. High degrees of contrast often evoke strong feelings of emotion and drama, which brings people closer to a work of art and creates a stronger connection much of the time. This can be achieved in many ways and styles. Depending on the subject and composition, the effect can be very powerful. The above photo I chose to use for this particular entry fits well for me because I like how dark the water appears in contrast to the bright figures. The morning sun creates great lighting that is easy to work with and has a great feel to it for photography. I read an article once that you have to wake up early to catch the morning light and get the best shots of the day. I think that is true because of what I say in the title. Light and shadow are very special in the morning and bring a feeling that draws viewers in. Once you understand how light and dark work together with your subject matter and composition, finding successful photos will be so much easier. Also, if you are taking photos on a special occasion, find that early morning spot for your photos with a nice background, and you will not be disappointed. within an hour or so after the sun rises is still good enough in many cases to get that good lighting. I really enjoy this in summer. 

The photo above has a few things that are working for it. The lighting, as I described before. The long format emphasizes the long lines of the composition. The various layers of the landscape that mirror the format of the long photo also work to create a repetition of flow within the photo. Of course, my favorite part of this photo is the deep blue of the water creating the contrast with the rowers. Teneberism was a term used more for painting, but the concept has served me well in making much of my art. Take a read through art history and look for it, particularly for some of the paintings by Carvaggio. I think you will see some good ideas for making your own art and shooting your own photos.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Photography from Alameda, CA

Color Photograph, DSLR Nikon 5200, edited with Adobe Lightroom,
February 11, 2017
"At Sunrise"

one of the things that I have tried to deal with and explore is this balance between working insane amounts of hours and still finding ways to express myself in art. Photography has been a big help. I have to say, the speed with which I can turn out 30+ edited photos is extremely appealing compared to the painstaking pace of creating drawings and paintings. However, these processes of painting, drawing, and photography are so far apart that it is not really a fair comparison. However, given that I can satisfy some of my creativity by exploring this relatively new process of photography, it is extremely gratifying that I can at least get something done that satisfies some of my artistic vision.

I set out this morning at 7:30 am to capture some of the sights with the morning sunrise. Morning light is the best and provides for some of the most dramatic compositions. It also gave me a chance to explore what my camera is able to do. I really enjoyed the opportunity to do this. By 8:45 am I was back at my home and starting to edit some of my best photos from the morning. After a break for a meeting and some more editing, I was done with my editing for the day by 11:30 am. I had 33 new pieces I was relatively happy with and I felt I accomplished a lot.

This simple process of going out and exploring my artistic vision and experimenting with my artistic materials was a simple pleasure that I have been wanting to incorporate into my routine for awhile. Also, with some new art classes that I will be teaching on the horizon, I really wanted to get more active in the artistic side of the business instead of the business side of the business! It was a successful day, in my opinion.

I am trying to stay close to home and explore more of what is around me to express much of my artistic vision. Afterall, artists represent their environment and what is around them. It is the best place to start for me. I am proud to say this day's output is all local ideas and imagery, edited to what I wanted to express in each image. I am trying to build upon several ongoing series that I have already begun. Be sure to look for the next show in our online gallery. It will be going up soon. I will have some of my new series represented there. Thanks for stopping by and reading about the latest adventure in my artistic journey!

~Jesse Brown

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A New Series of Photographs Focusing on Martial Arts

As many of my friends and those who follow me know, I am a practitioner, fan, and follower of martial arts. I am working on a new series in photography that will portray the martial arts in a very artistic manner. The first three of this series are posted on Brown Artworks' Facebook page. I am truly excited about this for a few reasons. The first reason is that it is a completely new series that I have yet to explore in photography. Anytime I am able to start a visual exploration of a topic it becomes an artistic adventure, which is so fun for me. Art is about discovery and expression and I enjoy that part of it more than anything else. The article I wrote that accompanies the first three images can be found here:  - so take a read when you can. Another reason I am really excited to work on this series is I get to collaborate with my wife, Gina, and my friend, Brandon Hubbard, of Brandon Hubbard Kenpo Karate. Brandon is a very talented martial artist and a friend of mine who also teaches and trains in the same art as me. I am excited to see the results of our work as it unfolds this year. Gina is very talented behind the camera and she will be shooting the photos when I am in front of the camera. That brings me to the third reason I am excited about the project. I will get to be the subject of some of the work. Even though I am in front of the camera instead of behind it, I find it is easy to work with Gina in combining our ideas and points of view to make some great results.

Art, like martial arts, is a journey. The journey excites me and makes me want to work more at what I do. I find that it is important to have enthusiasm for what you do, because without that, where do you find your motivation to push forward in the endeavor? Surrounding yourself with good ideas, good people, and lots of adventure in an experience makes for a great time and great memories to share with others. In this case, the memories can be shared with the art that is created.

The other hope is that the series will connect with people. I want that to happen and to have other people take something away from the experience that I had in creating the new work. Work like this is kind of specific in that the subject gravitates towards those who are interested in the martial arts or that type of experience and/or culture. However, I hope that the work will be unique enough and artistic enough that it will appeal to those who may not have prior experience in the martial arts, but they may gain an interest from the story that it tells.

Art tells a story. Now, that story may look a little different for each person taking in the work, but there is always a story. There is a story behind that golden belt in the picture above. What does it represent? Why is it hanging there? Why only a belt? What importance does the color have? Why is it tied instead of just being loose? There is a story. I like to leave part of the story for interpretation by each viewer. In addition to the story, I want something to be aesthetically pleasing that you can hang in a livingroom or a bedroom also. It will be my goal, our goal, to create a story that shares something with the viewer.

Please stay tuned and look for the series to continue. Once again, thanks for taking the time to read. I always appreciate the participation.