Thursday, January 17, 2013

Third Thursday Challenge ~ Abstracts

 (looking through water)
 Several things have inspired me to try something new with my photography. Yes, I'm still taking nature images, but with a different twist!

 (water flowing out of a drainage pipe
I turned the photo on it's side.)
First to inspire me is the lovely and talented photographer, Brenda from How To Feather An Empty Nest.  Brenda encourages us to try something new each month, whether it be photography, painting, or poetry. Anything to stretch ourselves and help us grow as artists. I'm linking this post to her Third Thursday Challenge.  I encourage you to try this and join us. Like I said above, it can be anything you want, just try something new or different!

 (cascading water)
Second to inspire me is the wonderful photographer/artist Kat Sloma from Kat Eye Studio. I've just finished her workshop entitled "Fuel Your Creativity." I'm sorry you missed it, it was wonderful!  She gave us prompts each day to help us find different ways to jump start our creativity. If you want to learn more about yourself and your photography she has some great classes with amazing exercises. I'd start with "Find Your Eye." She has a fun series "Exploring With A Camera" which is a monthly class (and it's free) where you can explore with your camera and learn bout different photography topics. She's also been creating some beautiful images with her iPhone she calls "artistic blur."

 (reflection of the sky and trees in water)
My third inspiration comes from an Arkansas photographer and author,Tim Ernst. I recently had the opportunity to attend one of his lectures about his photography and a slide show presentations of the images in his latest book!  All I can say is that it was wonderful!  As his amazingly, beautiful images swept across the screen in front of me, quiet music played, and I just let it fill my heart. You could tell each images was taken from his heart, his love for nature and the beauty of Arkansas. I, of course, had to buy one of his coffee table books and he signed it for me. I sat down one day this week (a prompt from Kat) and looked at his work, carefully studied each photo, jotted down things I saw...his choice of subject, how he used the light, how he composed the image, and the angle he took.

 (ripples and reflections in water)
I'm saying all that to say this. Every day we are influenced by people and things around us. I like to seek out inspiration from other artists. One of the reasons I follow blogs, buy photography books, take classes, and go to art exhibits is for inspiration. I see what others have done and they inspire my photography. It might be the colors they've used, the subject, a process, or even words that inpsire me. As you probably know I love nature. I love the tiny details, the shapes and forms, the colors, and textures. So when I set out to find abstracts in nature, this was really different for me. The abstract images I took are all of water, mud puddles, the creek, and a lake. 

 (movement of water caused by the wind)

Brenda encouraged me to try something new.
Kat encourage me to try a more artistic approach.
Mr. Ernst encourage me to try focusing on reflections.
A special thanks to all of you!

I surprised myself, I really like this type of photography!  I didn't think I would since I focus so much on nature's details. I must say I'm thankful for the rain this week. It has left many puddles and the creek high which led to great opportunities to shoot abstract photos. I can't seem to get enough. I've been out every day looking at the water, looking from many angles, and  looking for beauty. This is something I will definitely be doing more often!


  1. Cathy - what an amazing story, of how you arrived at this wonderfully abstract images. When I came up with the idea for these monthly challenges, your experience was what I had in mind - you have taken what you love to shoot (nature) but seen and captured it in a completely different way from your normal shooting style. I had to smile at your enthusiasm for the recent rain and what it means for your new-found obsession. You are the poster child for the Third Thursday Challenge and what challenging yourself can mean to your art. I can't tell you how happy this makes me.

    All your abstracts are wonderful but my favorite is the last one - you have captured liquid copper - I love how the ripples get so narrow and compressed at the bottom of the image - really, really gorgeous.

  2. Hi Cathy...first thanks for dropping by my submission. I am sorry you have problems with shaking, too. It is not too uncommon, but really a problem. I have medication but it doesn't help all that much. enough said Your submissions are absolutely GORGEOUS...they should be in your very own book. I definitely think these are winners. And your write up is so well thought out, generous, and totally helpful for others who view your submission and want to learn more. I took all of Kat's classes when first offered, how I met Brenda. I will start the February class and try to do the monthly learning sessions. My schedule usually causes me grief, but I do what I can. But once more I hope to impress upon you the beauty of your reflections. I love doing reflection photos but yours are far better than mine. We may get our first snow in two years (Charlotte) tonight, so I better get my camera ready and get up before dawn, as it won't last long...if it comes at all. Take care. smiles: sharon

  3. I also really like that very last shot, but all of them are wonderful. Wonderful because you saw the world with different eyes. And I'm so glad you shared this with us!

  4. Oh, loving these water shots. make me yearn for the river and a chance to talk to the fish. Beautiful work, Cathy, beautiful.

  5. What a lovely series, Cathy. I especially like the reflections shots and that last golden one you call "ripples". It's fun seeing things with new eyes, isn't it? I'm enjoying that too!

  6. These shots are amazing! Your photography has really grown! Beautiful! Add your name to that list, you have inspired me!


  7. I do love the abstract look of reflection photos and yours are just beautiful! They have such depth and mystery and each one of them made me pause and take a second look. Wonderful work Cathy!

  8. Excellent work with all of these, Cathy. They are so creative and lovely, they make a wonderful collection. If I had to single any out, the cascading water with its silver tone and the golden ripples make a beautiful pair. Gorgeous abstract with the trees reflecting in water too.

  9. Cathy...these are wonderful images! And like you I have been so inspired by so many of my friends. Ty for often times being one of those.

  10. Isn't amazing how beautifully nature can lend itself to abstract photography? Who knew? Beautiful work here, Cathy!

  11. These are beautiful and luscious. I love all the layers and depth. Well done!

  12. These are terrific, Brenda! I love how you pulled all the inspiration together to achieve these images. The last one is my favorite -- so beautiful!

  13. I loved reading this and all your inspirations. Love your images, especially the reflections in water. Beautifully done.


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