Kryptomorphaics #5 – Pyroplasm 3x

Starbirth in the Universal Fires
Pyroplasm 3x

Image Description

‘Pyroplasm 3x’ is one of the images that sprang from the first series of abstract images that I created within my camera.  Sitting around a campfire with a group of fellow photographers, I mused over photographing the fire in front of me; looking to capture more of the content that lies within the fire rather than a purely pictorial representation, I opened my senses to the nature of the fire and its very essence.  As a purely physical phenomenon, fire is the oxygenation of gaseous materials; upon deeper examination fire shows itself to have a life-force, to which many firefighters surely relate, as they stare down the flames and try to understand the next move of the fire in font of them.

Allowing my senses to open themselves up further to the campfire, I not only watch the playful dance of flames and feel the heat projecting from the various parts of the fire, but also listen intently to the sounds emanating from the fire and smell the oils in the wood and the smoke.  Going deeper, bringing myself to meditate while focused on the intensity of the center of the flames, I begin to feel the strength of the universal processes at work and begin to connect with the creative forces that are an innate part of fire’s destructive power.  Through this connection, I capture this image of creation juxtaposed by destruction, a universal dance of life and death.

I expect that each may have a different reaction to this image at various emotional levels, ranging from the visceral to the intellectual.  Enlarge the image and allow time for the senses to connect with it; please share what you feel in this capture, as I enjoy your thoughts and feedback.

Technical Details

This image was captured at 100 ISO, F/9 at 8 second shutter speed.  A gentle zoom twist was employed to get the some of the sense of flow.  A steady hand ensured that the continuity of the gaseous flow was preserved in the image.  The original image was cropped and rotated 90 degrees; color and contrast were enhanced in Photoshop, but no effects were added to alter the image from that captured in the camera.

Exeunt Omnes

View past the stables in Westborough
Exeunt Omnes

Image Description

‘Exeunt Omnes’ is a view towards a doorway and past stables in an abandoned farm building near the former Westborough State Hospital in Massachusetts.  The environment is rich with detail that asks to be examined at leisure by the viewer.

The scene invokes thoughts of being in a forsaken, lonely place, where those who came before have all left a long time ago.  Despite their departure, we still feel them in how their existence impacted the environs in a palpable manner: initials on the door, drawings in the concrete, broken glass.  What occurred at this site?  Was it a warm, welcoming place at one time?

Allow yourself to be drawn in to explore in detail what you see ahead.  Follow those who came before toward the exit and the warm light that beckons.  Heed their warnings as you pass.

Technical Details

This image is an HDR composite of 5 exposures.  Photomatix Pro was used for the HDR processing.  It is also available as a limited edition print (16″x21″), which underscores the dramatic tension within the scene through rich tones and exquisite detail.

Kryptomorphaics #4 – Brush Abstraction 1

Zooming abstraction of a brush pile
Brush Abstraction 1

Image Description

‘Brush Abstraction 1’ beckoned me to explore its possibilities, as I walked past a seemingly innocuous pile of twigs that remained from cleaning up the apple orchard that I was photographing.  As I examined the brush pile, I felt drawn into a possible point of entry into an alternate space; not the traditional wormhole as described in physics and science fiction, but a solid connection with a plane of consciousness that hummed with the universal energy which pervades the universe.

As the eyes are relaxed and allowed to explore the various aspects of this image, you may feel your mind and maybe your entire presence drawn into the layered depths of exploration that surround all of us at all times. Go adrift and open all your senses while carefully listening to what they tell you.  You may feel yourself accelerating at times, then spinning or alternately floating along threads within the universe that guide your everyday movements unbeknownst to you.  Enjoy the feeling and breathe in the experience.  Be sure to detach yourself slowly from this journey, so that its effects connect and possibly enrich into your daily life.

After reading this blog entry, click on the image and spend a minute or so absorbing the visual content while focusing only on your breath, as in meditation.  Take a moment to reflect upon where the image takes you, and please share your experience in a comment to this entry; I look forward to hearing about your journey!

Technical Details

This image was captured at 100 ISO, F/22 at 1/13 second shutter speed.  A snap zoom twist was employed to get the radial blur.

Kryptomorphaics #3 – Cryptomorphosis 1

Angleic Butterfly emerging from Vines
Cryptomorphosis 1

Image Description

‘Cryptomorphosis 1’ received its title from what it performs in front of the viewer: the hidden (cryptic) content is transformed (morphed) to reveal itself.  An ethereal shape takes form in this image, as the energies flow through it, or, possibly, radiate from it.

Careful observation of nature in all its forms may lead us to uncover latent structure that resides beneath the first layer that we see.  The outer sheath presents a first order approximation of the power that dwells within each aspect of the flora and fauna of our planet.  As we know from Einstein’s equation that mass contains massive amounts of energy, we merely need to peel back the outer coverings to allow the living spirit within to appear before our eyes.

But this process is similar to what happens when we catch something with the corner of our eye, only to have it elude our senses when we turn to look straight at it: only at the most oblique angles and with all our senses attuned, will the cryptic form reveal itself to us.

Next time when you encounter Mother Nature in your daily travels, relax all your senses and let your intuition guide you where to turn your eyes to uncover what lies beneath the surface; you may surprise yourself and see an entirely new light!

Technical Details

This image was captured at 100 ISO, F/22 at 0.4 second shutter speed.  A gradual zoom twist was employed to get the radial blur, while taking an angle that would smear the white tips of the variegated vine to the upper left of the image.

Kryptomorphaics #2 – Orchard Tilt

Flying through an Apple Orchard into Another Dimension
Orchard Tilt

Image Description

In ‘Orchard Tilt’, the viewer is invited to release their mind from the bonds put upon them by the prevailing realities of the dimension, in which they travel, and let it escape to pull them into an alternate dimension, where they are free to explore and discover all that lies just beyond.

In our dreams we may find ourselves flying, as we are given the opportunity to go beyond gravity’s grasp into the sky; this infers a desire for exploration to push beyond the boundaries, within which we live our daily lives.  This very desire sets us apart and enables us to envision possibilities, strive for the heavens and achieve what was once described in fiction only.

Another aspect of ‘Orchard Tilt’ is that it provides a depiction of where the mind can go, when it moves beyond the limits of the body.  This is much like the experience one may have during meditation.

Technical Details

This image was captured at 100 ISO, F/22 at 0.16 second shutter speed.  A fairly rapid zoom twist was employed to get the radial blur.

Kryptomorphaics #1 – Rose Particle

A rose is a rose full of energy

A pink rose, from which light streams emanate throughout the green leaves
Rose Particle

Image Description

As the title ‘Rose Particle’ suggests, this image centers on the streams of energy emanating from the singularity presented by the dark pink rose.  The rose becomes at once the object of beauty, to which our eyes are drawn, and the center of energetic particles radiating outward from the forces contained within it.  As each object within the universe holds latent energy, so does the rose, as it demonstrates here.  The counter play between beauty and strength is as the yin and yang, the duality that resides within each of us.  This duality is held together through the cosmic vibrations, which can be ascertained in moments of great quietude of mind and body, such as achieved during meditation.

Whereas the rose has revealed its cryptic energies through this image, one may find that the image enables the centering of similar energies.  If the image is studied while directing focus on the process of breathing, as one does in meditation, the rose may become a guide.

Technical Details

This image was captured at 100 ISO, F/22 at 0.3 second shutter speed.  The bright white streams originate from the sun’s reflection on the shiny leaves that surround the rose.

Writing with Light (3)

Gold and Green Composition
Gold and Green in Motion

It has been a couple of weeks, since I wrote the previous post in this series, and I promised to do a bit of a deeper dive into what lies beneath the surface of the process of capturing these images.

In terms of photographic technique, the ideas are rather simple and mastered relatively quickly.  Most of my personal photography projects tend not to last very long, as quickly I start looking for novel ways to capture and present material; at such a time, I usually put the project aside for at least a year or so, waiting for it to feel fresh again when I go for the next image in a series.  This project has been different, in that I have been shooting in this genre for about 18 months at this time, and it has not felt stale to me yet.  As this surprised me, I started looking into the how and why this project is different.

There are several elements that I uncovered, which make the Kryptomorphaics project different from prior efforts:

  • on-going discovery
  • emotional connectivity
  • re-examination
I am certain that there are other elements that I may uncover, as I push forward in this project, but these appear to be the drivers at this time.

Discovery – photography is a journey of discovery for just about all of us, who have picked up a camera and started shooting in earnest.  This project has afforded me continual discovery through opening up all senses and taking input from all of them in the process of capturing content that is not just visible to the eye.  This deeper sense of uncovering this cryptic that lies hidden within the world around us has opened my mind’s eye to further explore these scenes in new directions.  These include examination of the scene not only in its current juncture within the space-time continuum, but also past and future lines that may be occupied by the players on stage within the scene.  This has opened up some connections that I had hitherto not observed, some of which demonstrate how universal forces flow through the quotidian.

Berries in Motion
Berries in Motion

Emotional Connectivity – as I deepened my exploration, part of which included opening up all senses to the environment in which I found myself, I started noticing a sense of emotional connection to what I found within the scene.  In a manner, which can be likened to meditation, a more complete sense of the image, as it should be captured, is refined by opening up the senses to subtle emotional triggers.  It can be described as opening oneself up to a feeling washing over the entire being and letting that guide the decision making process for how to capture the image.  This feeling is more pronounced for certain images that others.

Re-Examination –  upon capturing an image, the next thing I do is a taking stock of how it felt to capture the image.  I take sensory stock of the image rather than examining it visually (I am not a big fan of chimping, but one could say that this is a sort of sensory chimping).  Without looking at the image, I will then make a decision to either shoot the scene with some adjustment, which can be slight or radical, or if it feels just right, I then walk away from it.

Mystery in Green
Mystery in Green

I find that the success of the process depends more on my ability to quiet all my senses and open myself up to my surroundings; this is where the simile with mediation extends, as I will use meditation techniques to improve my feel for the environment.  In this process, I do not over-analyze how I might be able to capture the feeling that lies before my lens; a couple of rough guesstimates guide my camera settings adjustments, as I let intuition be my guide.

In subsequent posts, I will move away from technique, but rather focus on individual images.  I will try to explain some of the sensory information that came together in the creation of each image and how I view the image afterwards.  Many of the images are viewable in the  Kryptomorphaics album on the Frank Jansen Photography Facebook page.