The beauty of decay around Lake Como, Italy – And a little ramble about the art of HDR photography and image creation

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” –Giuseppe Verdi

The beauty in the decay throughout most all of Italy has always fascinated me. And those colors! Its almost like there are shades that are only sold to the Italian painter for creating their signature look onto the canvas of these little villages. This one situated right on Lake Como, which was my home base for exploring this area for a couple of days, is called Varena. Towns like these seem as though they were created, grew a bit, and then froze into what can only be described as a perpetual scene of wonderfulness….a living painting of sorts. (all right, I know thats a bit lame, but it’s late!) It’s amazing how even the occasional patch of weathered and peeling paint seems like it could be framed!

As always, I was looking forward to capturing a few clicks and brackets that I could later take into the digital darkroom to create what I have for the better part of 4 years enjoyed as my own medium to create in…..HDR photography processing. I tend to find myself trying to balance between enjoying the beauty that is unfolding before my eyes with frantically capturing the clicks that I will use later to create an image with. Its a delicate dance that I continue to work on.

“I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness that characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm.” – SAUL BELLOW

For some reason, this arena of creation (HDR photography and image creation) seems to have a passionate love or hate attitude to it. Not sure what the “hate” attitude is all about though. For example, would an artist that has a passion for watercolor “hate” the technique of the oil paint artist? Does a ballet dancer loathe the hip hop dancer? Does the comic writer despise the romantic novalist? Silly if you think about it…yet the internet continues to fill itself with countless trolls and critiques. I guess that is there art of sorts…the art of the ignorant I guess you could call it.

“One of the pleasures of art is that it enables the mind to move in unanticipated directions, to make connections that may be in some sense errors but are fruitful nonetheless.” – DONALD BARTHELME

I’m sure it’s known to those who have visited this blog before, followed my work on Flickr or Facebook, or shot images out in the field with me, that I am in fact not a photographer. I immerse myself in the craft, but I am certainly not a pro. I say that as my journey has its roots in a deep place that perhaps only I could appreciate. This art might not be fully understood by the casual observer, but for me, it started out as a place to find myself and create during a somewhat tumultuous time in my life. Few know that about me. My diversion from the craziness going on around me at that time was my “safe place” to hang out, learn, grow, think, create, share, and pray. In fact, it still is.

“Art is my spiritual path…. Art is my prayer, my ritual, my remembrance of the Divine. Art is the way I knit together the beliefs and practices that guide my life.” – PAT B. ALLEN

You know, I may not have all the answers, (in fact, I may not have any!) but I do know one thing. A mind at creation is a mind on purpose. If there is one piece of advise I can give you, it’s to try to tap into that purpose. And by creation, I don’t mean to limit that to the “Arts” as we know them. Sure, its a richer journey if you can tap into the arts outside of the work day, but there are many ways to express yourself at work as well, regardless of our chosen field. Don’t suppress your unique gift to the world…’s meant to be shared, what ever that vehicle of expression is!

I find comfort in the fact that I am not the only one that shares some of these views. In fact, a guy I have been following for sometime, Scott Kelby, had quite an interesting post on the topic of HDR art, the hacks that we can all be in our journey of art and recreation, and the fact that sometimes people just need to chill out and enjoy the game! Its a great post… can find it here.

I also created a video about this topic (somewhat) during a 30 day VLOG challange I did. Check that out here! 

As always, thanks for stopping by!


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