Monday, August 9, 2010

Photography and Wildlife

Quite often my journey with my camera (a 35mm Canon with a zoom lens) is not specific.  I happen upon subjects doing their everyday thing and click away recording chance moments that get either tucked away for future reference or immediately inspire me. I take shots that would make a real wildlife photographer cringe. My initial focus is on full body shots from each side (these I use to scale down where I can measure and arrive at correct anatomical features). Then I zoom in on details, ears, nose, eye, tufts of hair, tail or hooves (or paws).  I may end up with 3 rolls of film just of details.  I then decide what I want to create in catching their attitude or characteristics I love.

 If I can sit down and sketch, that is when I train my eye to really look at how that animal is put together and just how the hair lays or joint bends. If I have not come up with the attitude that I want to convey I keep in contact with that animal watching it interact naturally until I do hit on an idea. I often think about what makes that animal attractive to me, his majesty, his huge feet or long legs and that is what begins the story I try to convey to my patron.

I should add a bit about inspiration, because it plays a large part in the creative side of your brain. This is where it all begins, this is where your ideas create and stimulate your clay into the shape you envision.

This can vary from a passive, think it through, a little here and a little there attitude to almost a compulsive "mad dog" salivating to get that clay to your vision as if your life depended on it.

This can occur driving down the highway at 75 mph and by the time you reach your destination you have figured out half your structure or armature problems. Or, it can occur strolling down a beach and finding a piece of interestingly shaped driftwood.

Using all our senses creates a wonderful variety of choices although most artist are never lacking for ideas. Believe it or not you do have to occasionally  refill your senses.  You can not create unless you have been stimulating the creative side of your brain.  As "Artist Way" puts it, you have to have an artist date occasionally to re-charge your passion. Love that book by the way, everyone should read it.


  1. See ... I like that explaination ... folks will know exactly what you are about. Do you like it? I'll keep checking in.

  2. I feel like I am stumbling around in the dark but with your help hopefully this will work...still don't quite understand how I get viewers? Actually I am enjoying explaining myself and realizing how much I really do enjoy doing sculpture.