Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shot Of The Day 3-31-09

It has to happen. Fortunately snow in March, April and yes sometimes May is only temporary and it serves to water the new bulbs. I just hope we get another little snow after the bulbs pop out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shot Of The Day 3-25-09

I love looking them in the eye and wonder what they are thinking. He was probably looking at his reflection in the lens just like I was looking at mine in his eye.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Gallery Images For Focus On Nature Exhibition

On April 17th and 18th I will be showing these pieces at the invitation of Kristen Westlake at her show "Focus On Nature". I hope to see you there. For more info go to www.lightideasgallery.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Focus On Nature

I'm very excited to announce my first gallery show. I'll be showing along with Kristen Westlake www.kristenwestlake.com at Light Ideas Gallery in Milwaukee www.lightideasgallery.com .


"Focus on Nature"

Kristen Westlake
Jerry Cahak

Exhibition Opening:

Friday, April 17th and Saturday, April 18th, 2009
Ongoing thru May 18th.

Exhibition Times:

Artists Reception
6 pm to 9 pm (04/17), 12 pm to 3 pm (04/18)
Noon to 5:00 pm Thursday - Saturday and by Appointment
Please call 414-238-6888

Exhibition Review:

Nature simply does exactly what Nature is. In today's fast paced world our own Human Nature often gets lost in the shuffle, the hustle and the bustle of the things that we call life. The deadlines we "have to" make, the meetings we "have to" take, and the dates we dare not break are not the focus of life. If we take a look inside ourselves and focus we will find that we really are not simply what we do. I invite you and challenge you to take a few steps to the side each day. Step out of the "linear" trap. The linear path takes you from Point A to Point B but it never permits you to see beyond its blinders. Step out of the box and into a circle and you will focus differently. Instead of destinations you will see journeys. Instead of expectations you will see possibilities. Explore the places that these journeys and possibilities intersect. This intersection is your intrinsic nature - this is your life's purpose. When we focus on Nature we observe that Nature simply does what Nature is. Are you picturing clearly who you are?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who Thinks This Is Ok?

As an outdoorsman and nature photographer I, like others, seek out the unspoiled, the pristine. We look for clear water and blue skies, for undisturbed, untrammeled areas. We tend to head off trail to photograph away from signs of human traffic, away from the footprints and tire tracks. In more urban areas those areas do exist. There are small pockets and edges and green spaces that offer countless photo opportunities. The majority of my work in fact is shot in Milwaukee and Waukesha county in close proximity to urban areas.

I was shooting in one such area on a lake in Waukesha county when it struck me just how much trash gets thrown out in these areas. It's always happened but with the snow melt an entire winters worth of bags and cups and diapers sprout up like mushrooms along the edges of parking lots and trails. Today I decided not to ignore it.

Who does this? Why do they think it's ok? In this particular area there is a dumpster and a delux porta-potty but there is trash everywhere. This is in a fairly affluent area used often by hikers, fishermen, duck hunters and bird watchers. Who thinks this is ok? Do they think it goes away? Is it someone elses problems? These are the same people who if they saw my dog do it's business in the parkway in front of their house would have a fit. The parkway is technically public land. The difference is THEY would have to clean it up because if they didn't it would affect THEM. In a park they can just toss it and drive off.
In the twisted back room of my mind I would love to find the owners of the trash and mail it to them......or take my dog for a walk.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Walking The Edges

With the awesome spring weather I forced myself away from my "work" to get out and enjoy sprint. Those of you that know me may chuckle at the thought of me ever having to be forced to get away from work.

One of my favorite things to do is to explore the edges. The edges are where the details are. It's where the snow first sticks or lingers a little too long. It's where Mother Nature catches all the trash on a windy day. It's the place where creatures great and small go to hide, eat, sleep or just hang out. It's the margin between winter and spring.

In early spring it's where things happen first. Walk slowly, stay quiet, pay attention.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Large Scale Display

Here is a project that I reluctantly agreed to. I wasn't convinced that it would look good or even work. The end results were awesome. I took an image that a friend liked, cropped it to a perfect square and had it printed 36 by 36. Yes a three foot square print. The print was super sharp and the main subject was dead center although I think if you pay attention to the cut lines there are some pretty cool possibilities. The large print was then cut into 9, 12 inch squares and each was framed with a very simple, thin black mat. We hung them then with a space between the frames making a mosaic that measured about 43 inches square.

What were the difficulties? Freaking out cutting up a VERY expensive print for one. A mistake on one of the nine and you had to print the entire print over. Why not do nine separate prints? My main worry was not having consistent color and contrast on all 9 prints. Also, the cost wasn't really that much less. Hanging the project was kind of a pain too. Spacing and leveling was critical. I think they have to straighten them all the time too.

Would I do it again? Probably. I think I would do it with canvas prints without frames though.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Amber Drops

I have to get out and work this subject more. But not right now.....33 and freezing rain.

Shot Of The Day

Stop to shoot one thing and see something totally unexpected.

I was driving home at the end of a damp, dark day. There was a constant drizzle and low dark sky. I took my normal shortcut through my favorite park and saw a few geese on a small pond with a little snow and some alder and pine in the background. I thought there was a shot there so I parked down the road, put on the one lens I thought I would need and walked the quarter mile down the wet, goose pooped lawn area to get the shot without spooking the geese. Nice and peaceful, slow and calm.

It was wet, it was chilly, it wasn't fun.

When I got to the pond though I noticed something totally unexpected. The water was hanging in drops on the catkins of the alder on the edge of the pond. The long slender male catkins had clear water droplets hanging off of them. (note: there are both male and female catkins on each alder tree) The water on the female catkins had leached out the tanic acids of the wood and made the water droplets a beautiful amber color.

With the dark sky, the puffs of wind and cluttered compositions getting a good shot was a challenge. This is about the best I could do.

Regardless though the scene was remarkable and unexpected.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Almost There

From here on out snow is just a temporary inconvenience. A novelty. I have vowed to not shovel it any more this year. I'm done with it.

I can't wait for the first flowers to pop. Crocus, Scilla, Snowbells. I have a couple places with the best Forsythia too. I keep looking up to the Maples to see the buds swelling.