by Skip Cohen
Think about how we share images today versus twenty years ago. From Facebook to Instagram and even LinkedIn, we share photographs as often as we like. No waiting for a convention to catch friends, carrying a portfolio case, or putting prints in the mail - we've got instant fulfillment at any time.
Marc Morris joins us this month, and it's thanks to
Facebook that we first saw his photograph above. From FB, I headed to his LinkedIn page to learn more about him, which led to a great phone call.
Besides a stunning image, there are two additional reasons to feature his work this month. First, we're still in the pandemic, and restrictions abound. However, it's not hard to physically distance when you're outdoors. Second, Marc's photograph crosses that line from landscape into fine art. I want to see his image blown up to a five by seven-foot print in an office or living room with a cathedral ceiling!
The pandemic has changed everything in our lives, but not the passion of our chefs. Chef Marc couldn't be more proud to be a photographer, as well as help other artists raise the bar on their skill set.
Finding a quote that relates to each chef became part of this series starting early in 2019. It wasn't hard to find one that fit Marc - in fact; he wrote a lot about the photograph and the feeling he wanted to capture when he clicked the shutter.
“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at,
then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”
About Chef Marc: Marc's based out of Denver, as a Sales Representative for Tamron USA. Members of the Tamron team don't often join us in the Tamron Kitchen, but the image was so powerful, it deserved to be shared. As Marc and I talked, it turns out he and I met a few years back at WPPI, and like so many people in this industry, we have a lot of mutual friends.
About this Image: "I was in Hawaii on a work trip. There are many misconceptions about road warrior gigs, and one of the biggest (and most understandable) is that it’s a constant vacation, tourism mode activated 24/7, being that we do indeed travel constantly. However, I had never been to Hawaii, so when I was asked to head out in support of a fairly large workshop being hosted by Pro Camera Hawaii, I certainly didn’t turn the opportunity down. The trip was tightly packed, with very little room for “extracurricular activities.”
Due to weather (a right proper morning to midday monsoon with flooding that the locals laughably took utterly in stride) and the workshop schedule, I was only able to find a few hours before my flight back to Denver to go exploring...I had never shot in a rain forest before...There were pockets of the trail that clearly had their own microclimate: rain would form and fall at random, and the oxygen-rich environment allowed me an energy and movement I’d not had for years. O’ahu. Island of eternal youth.
I’m a highly tactile person, and this translates to my photography. When I’m scanning a subject or an environment, not only am I watching the light and its fluidity, how it fills this well, how shallow or deep others may be in their shadows… but I’m also seeking texture. Texture is what sells depth, scale, and to a certain extent, authenticity. I like images I can feel. If I’m looking at a photo and my hands itch, I know the photographer got something right: it’s in the fingertips. And the rainforest is if you’ll pardon me, absolutely saturated with texture.
The image you see here is an expanse that opened up off a corner of the trail, and its dimensionality was so overwhelming I was rooted to the spot. A floor above the floor. A sky below the sky. It was unlike anything I’ve ever personally witnessed in nature, and I simply had to try to capture it to see if I could translate its depth to print. It took about 20 minutes of working that corner, about forty feet up and down the trail, changing lenses for perspective studies before I settled on the 17-35 at the wide end. It was the only lens that was truly able to fit the scene, corner to corner, at the points where I needed the photo to end while also keeping that world within a world feel I wanted to come across."
Take the time to visit Chef Marc's Instagram page. He regularly shares great content and photographs that will tell you more about his love for the craft.
In the world of photography, the first quarter of each year has always been a series of "reunions," as we all attend the various key conventions around the country. The pandemic has changed that for 2021, but it hasn't slowed Tamron down. Online and off, in small programs around the country, they support imaging artists as best they can. Check out their listing of local events, all within the appropriate safety and physical distancing guidelines.
The lens Marc used for the image above was the 17-35mm F2.8-4 Di OSD. Click on the thumbnail to the right for more information, and understanding why he made this choice for the coverage of the scene he wrote about.
I write the same reminder with so many posts - hunkering down is about your health, NOT about growing as an artist and expanding your skill set. Nothing grows if you stay in your comfort zone. That means the downtime you're experiencing now is an opportunity to raise the bar on the quality of your images.
Stay active in social media and spend time with your camera in your hands every day, capturing images for your most important client...YOU!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.