A time to subtract; a time to add

“This life begins when we dare to strip away our veneers and enter a life of freedom, honesty and rare beauty.”

When I work on a photograph there’s usually a thought or an emotion or at least an idea buried somewhere in it. I always start with taking things away, whether it’s cropping, de-saturating, blurring, etc. And sometimes that’s all it takes – just a reduction of peripheral, non-essential elements. Other times I begin to add to the simplicity to tell a story or create the emotion I feel.

Here are a couple examples:


When I took this photo I knew I wanted the garage area with the greenery and the metal piece handing down. I discovered the shafts of light as I worked on the editing. Cropping and darkening helped to isolate and create the emotion I felt. I was also listening to Secret Garden while I edited which probably added to the final image.

Here's another:


When I saw this, it became somewhere I would like to live, or at least visit on occasion... small cottage at the end of a road with a red barn in the back yard. I had to delete telephone lines, crop, de-saturate, and then add layer textures, coloring and a vignette. Even though you can't hardly see the cottage, you know it's there, waiting. Again, it was an exercise of subtracting so I could add.

Somehow this whole simplicity thing - subtracting - relates to life… think about it…


 When you don't have anything to celebrate, make something up! Saw this in East Liverpool, OH.