Find A Photographic Landscape!

Blog Author Richard Newman

First off, photography is one of the most abstract of the arts, changing the three-dimensional world into two dimensions. Photography can transform a world full of color into black and white. Beyond the technical aspects of how your camera works, how does your camera see and how does it affect your photography? I remember the day very early in my career when I realized the way my eyes saw the world and that I could allow my ideas to be manipulated by the camera, lenses and post processing. That’s the day I started pictures rather than just pictures.

In the spirit of this blog, I encourage you to use one piece of camera gear, be it your phone or your DSLR; even your view camera is welcome. For my part, I’m continuing to use my wife’s point and shoot (it’s quickly becoming “mine”), a Nikon J2 with a wide-angle zoom on it. I’m choosing it because it like a camera, and I understand the controls. When I am involved in creative seeing, I find that I want something that feels natural to me. If I have to stop and think about how the device works, I lose focus. For me, it’s much more fun to concentrate on the subject rather than the tool.

Let’s get started. I’m fortunate to live on the Monterey Peninsula in California, and this week is the “Concours d’Elegance” at Pebble Beach. It’s beyond a visual candy store, and the photographic possibilities are endless. What a great place to not just take pictures but pictures, to challenge myself to work simply but with vision, to allow visual ideas and transformations to become the meat of my photographs.

I’m excited about what I might find and transform. The finest automobiles in the world are here, some are hidden in the giant Russo & Steele tent, and others are being driven on the street. Last year I saw a yellow Ferrari in the Home Depot parking lot. The people watching are exciting and entertaining. Since Monterey is a small town, first settled in the time of wind powered ocean craft, the roads tend to follow the contours of the landscape rather than the traditional layout of streets on a grid pattern. So, everybody is lost and traffic is at a near stand still for the next seven days. I’m still excited and charging the camera battery.

Batteries charged, I’m ready . . .

Every time I go out looking for images, I try to empty my mind (not a hard thing to do) and just let what is presented to me seep into my vision. I believe that when we truly see, what we see is transmitted from our hearts, experience and visual training. I spent two years at the Art Institute in Chicago as part of my high school independent study; those two years changed my life.

I went to an event called “The Little Car Show”. The first thing I knew when I walked up was that the pictures I was going to make would look nothing like this crowd image here:

I realized very quickly that, with the colors of the cars in front of me, I was going to look for color and form. My mind was bleeding Mark Rothko. I love his work, so these images became a humble homage to Mr. Rothko on a very sunny afternoon. Here are those images:

This was just fun!

How are your images coming along? Please email me at!

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