I Really Do Shoot Weddings


Flash on a bracket for the festive moments; big lights for portraits and groups: everything works!

Jack of all trades and master of some, I work at many things across the course of a week.  In fact, narrowing scope, approaching activities with more programmatic discipline, and scheduling for preparation and performance have become both business and life themes. 

Some wonderful things, especially in the guitar-and-voice beg to be sustained, and doing so takes some energy and costs some time, but whether for my health or for audience, I (and it) find the practice worth it. 

Other activities, starting with my life as a voracious reader and still effusive writer, need their nourishment too; in addition, I’ve gone film crazy with my Netflix account, and that enthusiasm needs its little bit of space as well as blending with everything else.

Of my three diverging areas of art, photography naturally integrates with the now souped up and computerized quarters of the visual arts: design, graphic art, illustration, and layout.  Over the summer, I upgraded my software capability from Adobe’s “Web Basic CS3”, which provided for photography and web work, to the firm’s “Design Suite CS4”, which pairs the former webcentric publishing tools with several industry-strandard print publishing applications, including InDesign and Illustrator.  Each week, or several times a week, I will simply tackle something new in the programs with which I’ve been least familiar (but I’ll be holding off on Flash for a while longer) and slip related services on to the Communicating Arts menu as I become more experienced, competent, and confident

# # #

Antietam Battlefield – Fall 2009

Antietam NBP: path looking toward Roulette Farm buildings.

Antietam NBP: path looking toward Roulette Farm buildings.


Of my three primary arts, photography was to have provided relief from the other two: music and writing.  As a hobby, it was to have given me something to do outdoors, away from piano, apart from books.  Over the years, and perhaps in the inexorable workings of things, photography, the hobby, has become an avocation and profession, and the money, if it’s to be made, may come from shooting weddings and commissions for commercial work.  However, I’ve had print sales over the years, and so it too has become something of a studio art: one moves the pixels around at a desktop.

Thank goodness, however, that one cannot get really nice “pixels” by looking at a computer monitor.

It’s good to get out!

Antietam is just 25 minutes from my door and affords much opportunity for landscape photograhy.  Of course, it offers not only unique values for informing each picture, for when you look over pictures from Antietam, you are looking into one of history’s great theaters of contemporary values, politics, and warfare, but it fits with my weekly comments at Oppenheim Arts & Letters on conflict, despotism, and, I suppose, one might call the new thing “Jewish Universalism”. 

Antietam tells of a turn for the better in the implementation of the founding ideals of the United States and the launch of their expression into international politics.  One might say the South took some convincing that it had lost the Civil War, but it acknowledged that possibility at Antietam.  If the analogy holds, other battles being waged today would seem headed toward a similar outcome.

The battlefield today has a reputation as the best preserved of such landscapes in the United States, and I believe it.  Although in my walks, I’ve learned where the Port-a-Potties are stored and come across leaseholders minding their fields, one may in many parts experience and look out across a still completely rural landscape: farms, fields, simple single-lane blacktops, fire roads (by width), and trails.

Many have described the park as “tranquil” but some, myself included, continue to find it brooding and haunted.

Life stopped altogether for a little more than 3,000 souls (in round figures) at Antietam on September 17, 1862 (more were to die shortly afterward of their wounds, and experts have extrapolated additional figures for that).   As a commemorative park, elements of the landscape, from Dunker Church to Mumma Farm and elsewhere have been reconstructed with the intent to hold still that day in time, so as one walks its lanes and trails today, that walk may be the same as another soul experienced it some 147 years ago.

Antietam NBP: Bloody Lane from Observation Tower, Fall 2009.

Antietam NBP: Bloody Lane from Observation Tower, Fall 2009.

# # #

Into the Suite

Faux Pointillist Lazy Susans

Source Medium: digital photograph (RAW) processed through Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS4.

Call this the first post for Communicating Arts — The Journal as it is exactly that, and I hope many more will follow.

Journal function: to advertise, market, and track the firm’s professional capabilities, development, experience, and philosophy.

Professional service providers in mid-life arrive armed with what they know and busy with what they’re learning.  The Communicating Arts capabilities associated with editorial services have been nothing short of outstanding; those involving straightforward photography: solid.  As the enterprise forges ahead, however, it has the opportunity to improve the blend of the two core business talents–editorial and photography services–with target print and web publishing products intended for advertising, marketing, public relations, and sales.  Whether it will build creative services demand for itself may be a question mark today: as many artists do, I spend a great deal of time engaged in artistic and intellectual pursuits that afford fit and freedom within the contemporary academic and fine arts environments.

In brief: I am not the Main Street photographer.

I am more accurately “writer as entertainer” and photographer as “artist, director, and producer”–perhaps “traveler” should fit in there as well even though I’ve been logging more Windows time over the past year or two than days out in the community or cruising the highways and walking back roads and fields, which I would love to do, intend to do–that and perhaps rediscovering the look of farm life and rural living.

In fact, if you, my reader, know anyone who owns a farm and would care to host an entertaining guest, well just let me know: I enjoy driving, and if there’s photography to be done and music to be made at the destination, all the better!

Above: the photograph cum painterly artifact represents a first departure from photography’s “fidelity to the real”, the essence of the art’s 20th Century “Golden Age” and what has been until now the predominant expectation about what a photograph should look like. 

These days, a recording made with light may be processed to look more real than real or unlike anything resembling the object of initial interest.  Cultural and social contexts will continue to bind the manner in which an image may be treated, but the technology itself no longer constrains a picture to coming out “looking like a photograph”.  The desktop tools, here Adobe’s Design Suite, pull initial recorded content toward treatment as base material for design and illustration.

My response to all that: whatever my other interests, the day has come to become more involved in the Adobe line of design and media-creating products, and so I have entered that learning process.  Programs at my fingertips (among others): Dreamweaver (web design); Flash; Illustrator; InDesign (print publication layout); Photoshop CS4.

# # #