Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Freeman Effect

"Dreamy Tulip Lights"

My post this week pays homage to a phenominal Canadian Photograher who's work I've found very inspiring and uplifting. Not only does he take some of the most fantastical nature images I've ever seen, but is also very serious about gardening and conservation. So needless to say, I'm a fan. And I'm refering to the one and only Freeman Patterson.

Was reading his book "The Garden" today and he was speaking about how when we submerge ourselves in something we're passionate about (ie gardening, photography) a part of us utilizes the best part of our imaginations... whether we realize it or not. All the things we dream about and imagine on a constant basis. And as a result, the effects of it can be found in the very things we pursue so passionately. It's the underlying current, behind how you compose and take a photograph, or how Mr. Patterson gardens.

This has really resonated with me. As a photographer who loves God's creation and is constantly amazed by it, I tend to see scenes and subjects through my lens that are somehow emphasized by my imagination at times. But I've been reluctant to showcase them for some reason. Because they're rule breaking? Technically flawed? Either way, with this revelation in mind, I've included the above image. I took this just this past spring at the Royal Botanical Gardens here in Southern Ontario... it was their annual Tulip Celebration. The practical side of me tried desperately to expose all morning long for the difficult harsh light that day... and was failing desperately. At one point though, I realised I should pop my portrait lens on the ol Nikon and let it naturally blow everything out with it's super wide depth of field abilities giving everything a less chiseled, more dreamy effect.... and voila. I stopped documenting everything, and started "capturing" the effects of all the sweet glowing light waiting to be seen. It brings to my mind what the gardens in heaven might look like, or a lover's bouquet waiting to be picked. I call it the "Freeman Effect".

Two quotes from Freeman gave me pause, made me reflect on what kind of a "box" I've put my photography in... perhaps they'll make you look differently at your photography too. The first one was, " ...I'm reminded that it's not really the eye that does the seeing, it's the soul". And the other refered to when a compelling image grabs your attention..."it's when the mood is the real subject".

Hope that gives you something to chew on today, and please, be sure to check out the incredible Freeman Patterson at

Thanks for letting me ramble on for a bit, and have yourself a good one!

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