art, photography, travel

WINTER, AZ

When you live on the road in the U.S., there are just a few main regions that are suitable for winter living. Florida, South Texas, the Southwest (Arizona & Southern California), and Baja Mexico. We explored Florida our first two winters, mainly because we love the gulf beaches and I love the Everglades, but in 2019, we decided to explore more of the Southwest.

Obviously, the mild temperatures are the main reason Arizona is so popular in the winter. But all the federal public land (mostly BLM and National Forest) is really just as big a draw for many of us.

See, in Florida, the uninitiated/ unaware may spend $500-1000 per month on places to stay. In Arizona, we only spent $100 on “rent” the entire six weeks or so we spent there, thanks to boondocking on BLM land. Granted, off-the-grid living requires a few key pieces of equipment that we personally didn’t have yet our first two years on the road. But in 2019, we finally had a generator and solar panels, enabling us to “unplug” with ease.

Living off-the-grid in Arizona really suited us. Vast, open land.

A lot of people, sure, but so many great places to camp that we felt like we had several spots completely to ourselves. The nearest “neighbors” being a quarter of a mile or more away. Some camp areas we saw had hundreds of RV’s packed in like sardines. Basically giant, dirt parking lots. When we saw those we simply kept driving.

I have been in love with the desert landscape for many years, thanks mostly to Big Bend. Deserts are dynamic and dramatic. And everything that lives in that ecosystem is so well adapted for such a harsh environment… I find it endlessly fascinating.

And I’m not sure how typical it is, but we got amazing storms that rolled in throughout February, creating some beautiful light.

It was a dynamic winter in the desert. Layers of light drifted and danced across the landscape, creating artful scenes.

I found some really incredible locations that I am excited to explore a bit more. There really are incredible photographic opportunities everywhere across Arizona.

We’ve always said that if we make enough money in the summer and fall, we’ll go to Florida in the winter. If we don’t, Arizona. I’m rethinking that now as I reminisce.

I really do love getting beach and Everglades time, but wintering in Arizona is quite certainly in no way any kind of silver medal.

Should we continue to be so fortunate, to live this dream on the road, spending the winter months getting dusty, wandering the arid backroads, I will count it as gold. Cherished, borrowed time, in a desert wonderland.

— Andrew


N O M A D  Magazine // Issue 1
Order your copy today and receive this 100 page full color travelgasm at your door!
Want to learn photography and enjoy a guided experience? Check out my exciting, NEW workshop dates:
INTO THE WINDS // BACKPACKING + PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE
GRAND TETON // FALL COLOR // LANDSCAPES + WILDLIFE
TELLURIDE // FALL COLOR // LUXE LANDSCAPES
I’m excited to announce The Photographic Guide to Our National Parks” series of eBooks:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Grand Teton National Park
If you are interested in purchasing a “print from the road”, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
Andrew Slaton // Limited Edition Prints
Andrew Slaton // Canvas + Metal Prints
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
Tandem Stills + Motion // Andrew Slaton 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
All images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2020
 
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art, composition, photography

GOING ABSTRACT

Since I began making pictures on film in the mid-nineteen nineties, I have been fascinated with abstract imagery. Back then, mostly it was by accident… an errant frame here and there, missed focus, motion blur, etc.

In the days of film, you truly never knew how your film was going to turn out. Light leaks, camera malfunctions, lab errors… these were all distinct, albeit not common, potentialities.

Now, I make a point to blur an image with motion, or purposefully shift out of focus, for effect and to convey emotion. It’s simply another useful tool by which to create something. Even a feeling.

Whether intentional or not, abstract photography can be powerful.

The world is full of incredible shapes, textures, and colors. As a photographer, you can remove the context of an image to allow the viewer to see something completely new.

If you are interested in trying out this way of seeing and shooting, here are some helpful ways to start.

Look for textures, patterns, lines, and shapes

In the world of nature, there are textures, patterns, lines, and shapes everywhere if you train your eyes to see them. For me, it takes an intentional action to begin walking slower and looking for these details. But once you dial in to that frequency, you may find it hard to stop!

Shoot macro

Seeing minute details will allow you to create lovely abstractions. And you really don’t have to have a specific macro lens, though it can be helpful. The main point is to get down into the minutia. Get close with whatever lens you can. Leave all the distractions out of your frame and simplify what the viewer sees.

Use motion and manual focus to blur your subject

This technique is the most difficult to achieve at a high level, and it’s also my favorite! Use a slower shutter speed and experiment with purposefully moving your camera. Try up and down, left to right, swirling, etc. See what works and what doesn’t. Create new shapes and blended colors with what’s before you.

Aside from motion blur, set your lens to manual focus and start playing. It often works really well to shoot into the light when trying this technique. It will create shapes, and accentuate color, as I’ll mention in the next section.

Experiment with light

Backlight is my absolute favorite. And in combination with one of the other techniques, like motion blur or blurred focus, backlight can really come alive. As mentioned above, it will accentuate color and shapes, in this case lines.

Aerial details

With the advent and availability of drone photography, it has opened a whole new realm to the casual photographer to be able to experience perspectives only seen before by those with access to aircraft. Aerial abstraction is powerful when the light is right and the subject compelling. I’ve only recently bought a drone, so I have a way to go, but I’m loving learning and experimenting!

Again, shooting abstracts is a way to expand the way we see and convey feeling to our viewer. It is simply another tool in the toolbox of visual art and photography. Exercise this muscle by practicing the way you see, and I’m sure you will find it quite fulfilling and enjoyable.

–Andrew


N O M A D  Magazine // Issue 1
Order your copy today and receive this 100 page full color travelgasm at your door!
Want to learn photography and enjoy a guided experience? Check out my exciting, NEW workshop dates:
INTO THE WINDS // BACKPACKING + PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE
GRAND TETON // FALL COLOR // LANDSCAPES + WILDLIFE
TELLURIDE // FALL COLOR // LUXE LANDSCAPES
I’m excited to announce The Photographic Guide to Our National Parks” series of eBooks:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Grand Teton National Park
If you are interested in purchasing a “print from the road”, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
Andrew Slaton // Limited Edition Prints
Andrew Slaton // Canvas + Metal Prints
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
Tandem Stills + Motion // Andrew Slaton 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
All images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2020
 
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art, photography

SE V

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It’s back…

On November 13, Seed Effect, will be celebrating their fifth year of bringing  transformation to the people of South Sudan through Christ-centered micro-finance.

Most of you know that Elle is now their social media guru and chief storyteller, and we returned this August to capture more stories and images from the embattled region.

Come out to Seed Effect Turns Five to see my work, hear Elle’s stories, and as a special treat this year, filmmaker Trey Hill will be premiering an amazing short film.

Please join us, and help give the South Sudanese a hand-up…

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Date: Thursday, November 13th, 2014 | 6-9 pm

Location:  The Laundry, 1818 Chestnut St., Dallas, TX 75226

Admission: $19 per ticket

Cocktail Party | Fundraiser | Photography Exhibit | Short Film Premier

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— andrew


 
Take your photography to a new level… check out my new workshop dates:
 
Grand Teton Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2014
More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014
 
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
 
Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton
 
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
 
andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints
 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
 
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
 
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2014

 

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art, photography

Buy Local // BUY ART

The “buy local” movement has gained considerable momentum in the last few years.  And there are many great reasons to support your local economy.

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But I’d like to see a movement in the art community to encourage people to buy local art specifically.

As the Christmas and holiday seasons approach, artists could begin promoting the idea that locally produced art is the perfect gift.  Because it is.  Where would be as a society without art?  Music, painting, sculpture, theatre, film, photography, culinary art, fashion, architecture, etc.  It’s a seriously sad prospect to consider.  So we as creatives have to find a way to continue living and producing.  And that involves the very important roll of the art patrons.  The art consumers and appreciators.  Everyone, no matter how cynical, is an appreciator of art.

So how do we as producers turn the casual appreciators into patrons?

I think one way is for us to encourage patronage of art in general.  When the population becomes great appreciators and consumers of art, we all benefit.  And it starts in our local communities.  That’s not to say that buying art around the country or around the world is bad.  I frequently sell around the U.S. and internationally, but it should all start at home.  Appreciating and buying art locally = a broader base of more informed consumers/ patrons.

We as artists should be supporting and promoting each other’s artwork.

Let’s start a movement.

Let’s help the arts everywhere by buying local.  Buying art.

~ andrew

BLBA-2


 
Take your photography to a new level… check out my new workshop dates:
 
Grand Teton Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2014
More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014
 
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
 
Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton
 
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
 
andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints
 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
 
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
 
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2014
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art, photography

So, What’s In A Print?

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It occurred to me recently that many “new” photographers are greatly undervaluing their prints.

Now, it may be that the quality of materials and processes are lacking, or that they are selling open editions (no limit to quantity), but I think I know the most harmful culprit.  I believe the market is being set by people that may not fully understand what goes in to the production of a great print.

So, I had the idea to shoot an entertaining and factual video that follows a photographer (me… surprise, surprise) from start to finish, including what it takes to capture a photograph worthy of printing and selling.  Then, of course, the less-than-glamorous process of locking oneself in the isolation of the digital darkroom to fully realize the original intent of the image.  And so on.  I’m sure you get it, but I really do hope to create a visually compelling story of the birth of a great photographic print.

I aim to do this for all of us.  All of us photographers out there that sometimes struggle with how to price our work.  All of us that struggle with a largely uninformed public as to what we actually do.  “You just bought a nice digital camera and go take pretty pictures, right?”  Or my favorite… “You are just better at photoshop than most, so you can make really cool pictures.”

I have a trip to Wyoming coming up in October that I hope/ trust will be the perfect backdrop for this short film.  I hope to have it ready just in time for Christmas…

Please feel free to comment and let me know what I need to be sure to convey through this video.

~ andrew


 
Take your photography to a new level… check out my new workshop dates:
 
Grand Teton Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2014
More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014
 
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
 
Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton
 
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
 
andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints
 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
 
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
 
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2014
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art, travel

Travel as Art

A man said Why,

why does traveling

in cars and in trains make him feel sad,

a beautiful sadness.

I’ve felt this before.

It’s the people in the cities

you’ll never know,

it is everything you pass by,

wondering

will you ever

return.

~ The Innocence Mission, Song About Traveling

 

 
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Woman On A Bus, Durango, Mexico, 2014
 

 
If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level please check out my new workshop dates:
 
Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014
Private, Destination Workshops 2014
 
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
 
Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton
 
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
 
andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints
 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
 
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
 
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2014
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art, photography

Finding Art in the Everyday

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.
~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

There is undoubtedly an artful rhythm to life.  And at times, we as artists slow down long enough to tap into this oft elusive cadence.

It’s a practice in patience and awareness.  But the beauty of photography is that we can express ourselves through these musical moments by capturing and sharing them.  The trick is, however, to be present and a part of the symphony… and not merely a spectator or a thief.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson was a master at capturing the “decisive moment”.  And I’ve always admired his work and ability to stay connected to the artful rhythm.

Whether shooting exotic animals and pristine landscapes in far off lands, or your niece and nephews at a pool in the suburbs, this metered, musical  thread persists.   It’s our calling as photographers and artists to connect with it and create.  It’s our connection to a masterfully creative God.   And, dare I say, it’s sometimes our only significant means of contributing to the joy of others.

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Moments come and go.  We have the gift of capturing and sharing these myriad artful events.

It gives me great pleasure and peace when I remember this.  And I hope it does you too.

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How do you tap into the artful rhythm?

— andrew

 The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

~ Henri Cartier-Bresson


 
If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level please check out my new workshop dates:
 
Grand Teton Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2014
More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014
 
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
 
Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton
 
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
 
andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints
 
For assignment work requests, please email me: andrew@andrewslatonphoto.com
 
Thanks for visiting AndrewSlatonBlog.com!
 
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2014
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