Photograph the Light


It is a photographic cliche’ to “photograph the light”.  That is a piece of advice that every photographer is going to hear and perhaps even say many times.  It is a truism in that light is what forms a photographic image, so, of course, one has to photograph light.  Where many of us are trying to separate ourselves from the herds is in seeing the light a bit differently.

In the prior post, I said: “More and more I am moving towards subjects that are static, often architectural, that allow me to explore angle and lines and the play of light on the same.”

I don’t think there is a better example of that statement than this image made just this past May.  There is no manipulation in this print.  It actually prints “straight”.  It’s all the effect of the light.

I’ll be putting this print and others like it in the gallery show in October.  Come on out and take a look!


The Not So Accidental Blog Tourist Hop

Welcome to this wandering tour of blogs by artists, writers, musicians, painters, photographers, and more.  

I was invited to participate in this by the spouse, Robyn Jorde.

Robyn Jorde head shot

Robyn Jorde has been drawing ever since she was able to wield a crayon. She now works in oil, watercolor, pastel, and ink, often combining multiple media in one piece. Digital techniques also often come into play. And sometimes she still uses crayons. Robyn is currently working on paintings in the landscape and floral genres and illustrations for children’s literature. In both the paintings and the illustrations, Robyn uses layering, texture, and color to create a mood. The paintings are often done from life and are meditative studies of color, shape and composition. The illustrations, rooted in the classic golden age tradition, add the element of storytelling.  

Visit Robyn at

Each Monday, an artist is asked four questions in their blog. Here’s my contribution.


What am I currently working on? 

I had told myself (and others) for years that once retired, I would be able to devote much more time to photography and music. And so it is. I am currently in the middle of two large projects, which taken together have become almost a full-time job.

First, I am joining six other photographers and mounting an exhibition in Dallas this October of photographs taken with film cameras and printed using darkroom (chemical) methods.. Logistical arrangements and fund-raising are the biggest time obstacles.

Second, I am photographing several historic and significant pipe organs in the area. This will likely be an ongoing project for a while, but I am scheduled to exhibit some images from it in November.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? 

The pipe organ project is pretty much straight forward documentation. I am using digital cameras and shooting in color. Other than the subject matter, the photographs are not intended to be particularly unique.

Most other work, however, including the photographs in the October show, are shot on black and white film and printed in the traditional darkroom. I have stayed with film, black and white, and darkroom printing because I am capable at it. I am not anti-digital (see: pipe organ project), but I have 45 years of experience with black and white film and have developed much skill in the medium. It’s only in the last several years, in fact, that I’ve considered myself to be anywhere near having a mastery of the process.

None-the-less, I do attempt to differentiate myself from other black and white photographers, film or digital, in the subject matter I seek out and the way I look at it. Admittedly, much of what I point the camera toward ends up looking pretty mundane. It’s the exceptions that are the “keepers”.

Why do I create what I do? 

I trained as a musician. I’ve done all kinds of “show-business” type things. However, music is usually not a solo activity, it generally occurs in groups and ensembles. At the very least, one needs an audience. Photography can be very solitary. As I grew older and realized that I was probably a better photographer than I was a musician, the decision to put more time toward photography was an easy adjustment to make.

I have an affinity for symmetry. Not quite “OCD”, but I do like things orderly. Black and white can add an abstract quality to photography that is often missing with color. I find success in my photographs when they exhibit that balance, symmetry and a certain abstract quality.

How does my creative process work?

I do not carry a camera around with me all of the time. Photographing for me has to be a deliberate act, so, I have to be in the mood. More and more I am moving towards subjects that are static, often architectural, that allow me to explore angle and lines and the play of light on the same. In the near future, I hope to begin working more in a studio setting, so that I can control even more aspects of the image.

Printing is more improvisational. There is a whole school of photographic thought that one should envision the final print while making the negative. It is not that I do not do this, but it is often weeks, months or years later when I print a negative, and I usually have a different outlook on the scene. There is almost as much variation that can be done with black and white printing in a darkroom as there is with computer manipulation, so improvisation can play a major role.

Its the “jazz” of photography.


Alas, I asked three other photographers to take part in this and got no positive responses. Photographers can be very solitary people, in spite of websites, blogs, etc. Anybody want to play?

Save the date!

We have set a date and time for the artists’ reception for the upcoming October exhibition:  Sunday. October 19th, 1:00 – 4:00.

The exhibition runs October 3-23, 2014

The Janette Kennedy Gallery
Southside on Lamar
1409 S Lamar St.
Dallas, TX 75215.