Archive for Jay Goodrich

Amazing Chile/Altiplano Photo Tour with Jay Goodrich

Posted in TCBlog, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by Darwin

Got some time in May 2011 to go on an amazing photo tour in a crazy awesome place? Well, then check out this great Photo Tour  to the Altiplano that Jay Goodrich has put together. Heck, if I did not have my own tours booked and filled up in May I would have tried to sneak away on this one. If you go say hi to Jay for me!

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

LLTL Year End Contest – Jay Goodrich

Posted in Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , on December 2, 2009 by Darwin

Jay Goodrich

Jay Goodrich

 

I was once an architect. Formally trained to design dwellings for people to live, work, and experience. As part of that training, I was taught about design and how texture, shape, line, form, space, and order all contribute to a persons experience to that design. Out of 6 years of college, I grew to truly appreciate modern design, its clean lines, simplistic forms, and overall power because of those refinements. I focused on a methodology called Deconstructivism, its main objective was to fragment, distort, and dislocate the elements of structure in architecture. Thus, the projects created, stimulate unpredictability. They are almost abstract in nature. Somewhat understanding this concept, I often try to find it in our outdoor world. It is not always evident, nor is it always available. However, one morning this past summer in Yellowstone National Park, I discovered a composition that pushed this ideal. Simple grasses reflected in still water, blanketed with fog. This image is a reflection, it is a study of negative and positive space with a strong sense of line. Its meaning may be different for everyone, but for me it is a simple contemporary image, the essence of why I decided to pursue photography over architecture. 

Nature Photography and Photoshop – How Far is too Far?

Posted in Controversy, Ethics, Image Processing and Software, Rants with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2009 by Darwin

Jay Goodrich recently wrote a guest column on this topic for this blog. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to read his thoughtful ideas here and share your comments.

Jay has just posted a piece on his blog on the same topic written by Samantha Chrysanthou and me. For a direct link to the piece go here. We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Also be sure to check out Samantha’s blog for more thoughtful articles on photography.

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

Guest Columnist – Jay Goodrich

Posted in Artistic Development, Controversy, Ethics, Guest Columnist, Image Processing and Software, Rants with tags , , , , on August 5, 2009 by Darwin

Nature Photography and Photoshop – How Far is Too Far?

by Jay Goodrich

 

There are two schools of thought here. One is that limiting the use of Photoshop in nature photography restricts our creativity as photographers. The other is that the over-use of Photoshop compromises the integrity of nature photography. So who’s right?

 

When someone looks at an astounding photograph, the first question they often ask is, “Is this real?” What is this need we feel to label an image real or not real, true or not true, fabrication or reality? It’s one thing if the purpose of the image is documentation. Reality is important in photojournalism, for example, or to portray the shrinking of a glacier. But what if the purpose of the image is simply to capture beauty, or to startle the viewer? What then does it matter if the artist altered the original photo? Does it look less beautiful hanging on the wall, or less striking on the cover of the magazine?

 

For some reason, we as viewers often feel “cheated” if we find that a photo has been altered, as if the photographer somehow is lying to us. But if we look at nature photography as simply another art form, then isn’t post-processing photos in Photoshop simply another medium in that art? How do we determine how much alteration is acceptable, and when the artist has gone too far?

 

How do we draw the line between creative license and misrepresentation? There are so many people out there imposing “the rules” of image making, that drawing the line can become convoluted and quite frankly impossible. Who are these rule makers and what gives them the right to create ideals such as “no HDR”, “no over-saturation”, “it needs to happen in camera”, “no merging of two or more separate subjects”? People have been making rules since the dawn of photography. In the film era, the discussions were regarding exposure, composition, film type, and the like. These rules existed because if you did not expose correctly, there weren’t any images to view. In present day it seems as if people are rule making as a way to control creativity. And why would we want to limit ourselves in that way?

 

There isn’t a photographer, painter, architect, musician, or otherwise successful creative out there who hasn’t bent or flat-out broken the rules in his or her career. Have you ever taken a flat, colorless sunset image and pushed your white balance to 9000 degrees Kelvin to yield a perfect orange glow from nothing? Or taken a backlit, rim-lit shot and pushed the sliders to the far right with a Levels Adjustment Layer in Photoshop? Think these processes go beyond the standard accepted rules of how far is too far? Miguel Lasa of Spain went beyond when he used the aforementioned Levels technique to take the prize in the Creative Visions division of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for 2008.

 

We are in an ever-changing photographic world now. Digital cameras become more powerful with each new generation, and the same holds true of our software. Imagine what Photoshop CS10 will be able to do. So how far is truly too far? That is the question. Guy Tal said it best in one of his recent blog postings:

Certainly any freedom can be abused, but this is no reason to demonize the technology that enables it. This is especially true for creative tools. To put it simply, those who use the tools for the sake of using them will always produce gimmicks and clichés. This is true of any art at any period in time. Those who see such gimmicks and blame the tools are not much better, though. Ultimately the artist is responsible for the art. If the result fails – the artist failed; not the tools. 

 

I believe that it is up to you to decide how far is too far. Your failures will be your own, as will be your successes. Create to discover your vision, and utilize “the rules” as guidelines, but also as a springboard to take your work beyond the rules. Bend them and break them every time you click the shutter and post process those images in Photoshop. Throughout history, success has always been achieved by those who listened to everybody else, and then said, “What the hell, I’m doing it my way.”

 

The two images that I have included here are near copies. One has star trails and the other does not. I know what you are already thinking, “Which one is the original?” Did I pull the stars out of the original image with the Spot Healing Brush Tool to create the second image? Or did I adjust my light levels giving the star trail image the alpenglow of an amazing sunset? Good question. My question to you is, does it really matter?

 

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

 

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

Guest Column – Jay Goodrich

Posted in Artistic Development, Guest Columnist with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by Darwin

Jay Goodrich emailed me with a wonderful idea. He suggested we both write an essay on Where does Your Creativity Come From?  Below is Jay’s Essay. My essay appears on Jay’s Blog

Where Does Your Creativity Come From?

by Jay Goodrich

Well you see when a mommy and daddy are very much in love…Oh wait, that is where I came from, not where creativity comes from. 

It comes from Don Julio 1942 Tequila. Kidding, well sometimes it does. 

Down deep inside of me there is a flutter and when that flutter is there, creativity is…. 

Actually, I have been thinking about this self-imposed article idea for about a week now, ever since Darwin and I agreed to trade blog posts written about the same subject. Our topic suggestion as written in my email to him was “Where Our Creativity Comes From”. The problem I am having is, well, how to be creative with this article. I don’t know why.  I have been on this creative rampage for years now, with very few lulls in the action. I have come up with so many ideas that I have had to create a document that contains them all. That document is up to 20 pages in length, single-spaced, with 8 point font now. So why can’t this guy, who jots down at least one idea every day, come up with the answer to his own question?

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

I sit here slamming the keys of my keyboard only to put something on an imaginary piece of paper on a monitor that displays something that only exists as coded zeros or ones in a place called cyberspace. Here are my pretty pictures, I hope you like them. See you next time. Well maybe I just need to think about this…

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

What have I done in the past when my photos have been horrible and nothing has seemed to come together? Why have I not had problems lately? Ah, therein lies the answer. Jackpot, Lotto, complete winner!

I was a bonafide city slicker growing up only 35 miles west of New York City. My only take on nature was venturing out into the “woods” in our backyard, which was bordered by blacktop on almost every side. I picked up my first camera as an adult about 17 years ago. I was fresh out of college, just moved to Colorado to escape the city and discover salsa that was real. I was shocked by the unbelievable, unspoiled beauty of my surroundings. I was visiting all of these really cool places and I decided that it would be a great idea to buy a camera to document everywhere that I had been. One camera, one lens, and a wobbly tripod that my dad leant me. The photos didn’t suck, some of them are in my portfolio to this day. Looking back, I often wonder how I achieved what I did with very little knowledge of photography and sub-standard gear. The answer was simple; my creativity was being driven by my inspiration of my surroundings, so it was really easy to put my knowledge of design (my degree was in architecture) into my compositions. That inspiration fueled that flutter deep down inside of me and I took to photography like steel to a magnet. It was so cool to chase the light. I am not saying that all of my images were great, by in large they were trash, but I had the inspiration to continue to persevere.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

Then about ten years into my passion, something happened. For lack of a better description, I hit my “blue period”. I think it was because I hated my job at the time – working for an architecture firm that focused not on design like architecture should, but on making money from cookie cutter drawings. There wasn’t an ounce of creativity in the job that payed the bills. I had been published a bunch of times, so I thought I was “The Man”, and I was basically bored and broke most of the time. I still shot, but knew enough to throw away what didn’t work, which was basically everything. I was making money with photography, but not a lot, and I was pretty much lost. This lasted for about two years. That is long time to suck as a photographer – career ending.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

Then I was given a the break of a lifetime; my employer had to lay me off. At first, I was pretty broken-hearted (only because I was about to become really poor), but all of that emotion made me do something that I never thought possible – I jumped from the ship and started to swim on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I swallowed a ton of water in the process, and still do. But it’s less and less, and I have learned to breathe a bit more while under water. Most importantly, my life is mine.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

About that same time digital was starting to take off and I purchased a brand new Canon 5D. The day that I received it was the day that life started all over again. I took this photo on the Eagle River right across the street from my house, and something just clicked. This sent everything regarding my photography career into super-manic, never look back, keep working, work hard, push, push, push, forget about breathing mode. Now I was fueled, recharged and ready, but how did I keep that energy from fizzling out? Well, I relied on something I never thought possible – my education as an architect. I knew design, I loved design, I just needed to figure out how it could work together with photography.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

I started reading about everything that inspired me-painters, graphic designers, architects, other photographers, architecture itself, builders, construction, music, movies, even tv shows like Discovery’s Biker Build-off where two designers would create custom choppers with the winner taking home only bragging rights and a cool trophy. All of these disciplines worked into my creative mindset, overflowed my inspiration tank, and had me shooting images like never before. I haven’t taken less than 20,000 images a year for the past five years. I have amassed a portfolio that I could truly be proud of.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

So I have answered my own dilemma – my creativity comes from anything that inspires me. Anything and everything that brings me excitement. In the past year I have become friends with many of my favorite photographers, I have traveled with them, taught with them, eaten and drank with them, and discussed with them. Those friendships have lead to images and ideas even more powerful than I have ever imagined.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

Thom Mayne, the founder of the architecture firm Morphosis, writes in his introduction to their Buildings and Projects 1989-1992 book, “I suppose…that our method somewhat resembles that of Canetti’s Doglike Writer: obsessed with sticking his damp nose into everything, he insatiably turns over the earth only to dig it up once more.” I think that the harder you work your mind, the more you push yourself, the more creative you become. Don’t let yourself turn over the earth just once with your photography –  turn over the earth many times trying everything, and just when you think you have had enough, turn it over again. Eventually, creativity will hit you like it has hit me, and hopefully, when it does it will never stop. And if it does manage to slip from your grasp, pour yourself a two-finger glass of Don Julio 1942 tequila, sit down on your favorite chair or couch and proceed to allow creativity to catch up to you once again.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

 

 

Inspiring Photos – Jay Goodrich

Posted in Monthly Photo Contest with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by Darwin

Here is a peaceful image from photographer Jay Goodrich.

©Jay Goodrich

©Jay Goodrich

I captured this photograph about 500 feet from the back door of my office here in Eagle, Colorado. I had preconceived this scene for many years, but either mother nature or my schedule always had me missing the shot. Then one overcast day I woke up and saw what you see here. All of the color had formed over night, I guess because of the cold snap that was causing the overcast conditions. It took 4 years but finally I had what I was looking for. Canon 5D, 70-200mm f2.8 IS, AF lens, Gitzo tripod, and a cable release.