Friday, January 29, 2010

Colin Vincent, photo artist, offers a different perspective

Multi-media fiber artists are always on the look for a new perspective -- or they should be. Have you photographed your frayed jean's lately? (see below) or maybe a lampshade up close and personal? (First photo).

Colin Vincent has.

Whether trying to reproduce what you see in fabric, or snapping photos for alteration or for inspiration. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and can't seem to find anything new under the sun.

California photographer Colin Vincent, who took his photography to a professional level a decade ago, learned from talented photograhers. But he also learned by jumping in with both feet whenever an opportunity presented itself. A friend taking a helicopter to Alaska for a skiing weekend -- wanna come? You bet!

A girlfriend wants to go on a tropical vacation. The girlfriend may just be a memory, but the photos show what he learned about tropical sun and sea.

Iceland? Why not?

Artists whether photographer, writer, or fabric artist must experience life. It adds another dimension to whatever they create.

But then there are other opportunities where Colin took his camera along to an evening at Lucky's house or a quick picture of a friend or the light and shadows of an open doorway.

And don't forget the portraits. One of my favorites is of his father, Roger Vincent. Do you see the father love shining in his face among the cares and concerns the world has given him? Maybe this is Rog's best side, but it is also the face of a most interesting person. That's what a portrait must provide -- a glimpse inside of the person, not just their best side. This photo seems even more important, more meaningful after Colin said, "It was my dad who first encouraged me to really experiment with the camera."

Colin also knows his equipment. Just as a quilter knows what needle to use for applique, paper piecing, or for machine embroidery, Colin knows what lens, what light, what setting, what camera to use for each photo. He also demonstrates that a simple iPhone can deliver some inspiring and quirky and memorable photos. As we know in the quilting community, a master with a Bernina makes magic. But a master with a cheap little featherweight can also make magic.

Checkout Colin's images in the first ever iPhone exhibit. The show opens January 30, 2010 in Berkeley. I would end up taking self portraits, not able to figure out which way to aim the iPhone. But Colin demonstrates that it's in the brain, the hands, the eyes, and the sense of beauty and shape. And sometimes it is pure luck. The right combination comes together and you were there to capture it. A moment of grace.

In the above photo of a man with a robe slung over his shoulder walking toward the sun, Colin had definite goals he wanted to achieve and knows how to get what he wants. He explains: "This was an image shot for a client that manufactures high end robes. I wanted to capture the feeling of having a luxurious robe draped over your body in the warmth of the afternoon sun; to create a sense of peace and calm to associate with the robe. To achieve this image, I had the model walking slowly on the beach directly at the sun and the ocean and used a lens hood to keep my 70-200mm lens in the shadow and prevent lens flare." 

And did you ever realize your water bottle had such character?

Perhaps a few of Colin's photographs and a trip to his website will help you see the world around you a bit differently, help you tip the camera just a few inches off plumb. Or maybe you'll see what the world looks like as you look up at it. I do hope you enjoy his work as much as I have. And I haven't even included his weddings, videos and ....

Even with my little digital Kodak, I feel empowered after seeing what angle and shadow, light and yes sense-of-humor can produce.

In this last photo, Colin explains, "This image was made recently in a club. When I saw the purple lights on the black vinyl I got my long lens (70-200mm f/4) and shot wide open. This lens has image stabilization which really helps for low light shots."

Check out his website for more tips and how-tos for producing photos similar to his.

Of course, I have to include one last photo. Colin Vincent has grown up in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge so a photo collage of his work is not complete without at least one purely San Francisco image. Familiar? Yes. But reproduced here with a certain Vincent flair.

Thanks Colin for allowing me to pick and choose among your photos for this blog. -- Dawn


Jane Herlihy said...

BEAUTIFULLY DONE!!! Gorgeous photos and lovely writing. Bravo to Colin and Dawn! I'm going to run right out and see those iPhone photos in Berkeley. Thanks for letting us know about the exhibit.

Gayle Pritchard said...

Very interesting work! I am sharing this blogpost (and his website) with friends. Thanks!