GingerWorks Photography

Fine Art Photos

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Brooding Beauty


Shrinking Violet in Woods #2_2018aPRINT_HDR2 2

My photos are often described by people with adjectives that can be construed both positively and negatively. Words like moody, dark, edgy or even unsettling. Whether meant as a compliment or not, I’m not inclined to hazard a guess. But I will say that such words are at least indicative of some sort of emotional response – and to me that’s kind of the whole point. Did you feel something when you looked at one of my pictures? How exactly did it resonate with you? Did you find it interesting, boring, ugly or just plain uninspired? Such things, good or bad, don’t really matter to me. But what does matter is that you had some sort of reaction to it. Did the picture upset you? Did it creep you out a little bit? Yes? Well good. Better that than to have had it leave no impression whatsoever. Even negative responses are valuable on some level. The fact that people take the time to provide any sort of feedback at all is pretty darn cool.

At the end of the day art is nothing more than a simple form of self-expression. More than that, it’s an offering to the people who view it. You can look and interpret in any way you see fit.  The way that you view a particular piece may be a complete 180 from the way Joe Public perceives it. And therein lies the beauty of it all. We each bring our own vision to the table when looking at a picture. Our interpretation of it comes from the sum total of our own life experiences. That, to me, is a pretty powerful thing.

For anyone interested, this was taken near the Presidio Golf course in San Francisco. I started working on the piece a couple years back. I tweaked it a little here, a little bit there and yet something about it just felt unfinished. The image kept nagging at me until just recently when I finally figured out the missing element. In the end this image speaks to me of the beauty that we somehow manage to find when working our way through the darker parts of life…

Exploring the Archives…


Maras Salt Flats – Cusco, Peru (2013) Salt Flats 2017_A_alt-2_HDR_clouds4_HDR4_PRINT3_later

I recently went back through my photos and found an image in my “Works in progress” folder that I never got around to finishing. The image was from a trip I took to Peru back in 2013. Kinda scratching my head why I never finished processing this one ’cause it’s not all that bad. So I went ahead and Photoshopped the hell out of it and called it a done deal. Kinda of looks like Mars, doesn’t it?

Before & After


Here’s an example of what a little touch of Photoshop can do to make your image more visually striking. Discussion after the pics…

Presidio Path (Before)

Presidio Path (Before)

Presidio Path (After)

Presidio Path (After)

This is one of those before and after instances where I guess it really all comes down to personal taste. I’ve had several people tell me (quite adamantly) that they prefer the original version. Me, I prefer the modified one – but that’s just how I roll.

Bottom line: never let anyone else’s “likes” or “dislikes” dictate your own work (unless, of course, they’re paying you a boat load of money 🙂 At the end of the day you have an obligation to be true to your own aesthetic. By all means, try new stuff, take suggestions, ponder constructive criticism, experiment and be creative as hell. But when it comes to the finished pieces – the ones you would be willing to hang on the wall – I say create the stuff that you love! People in the professional and commercial realm might scoff at that particular notion because it doesn’t result in much revenue. I get that. But then again, my number one goal in life as a photographer is not to sell shit. In a perfect world, sure! PLEASE give me cash for doing something that I absolutely love! But realistic? No. People today aren’t necessarily willing and able to throw away their hard-earned money on something as frivolous as “art”, no matter how much they might like it. So for me, at the end of the day, I create the pieces that I personally get a kick out of. Will they resonate with others? I sure hope so. But I don’t (and I can’t) count on that.

I’m proud of this piece. In a year of relatively low productivity, I managed to crank this one out in time for the 2013 San Diego County Fair. Walked away with the second place ribbon for Scenic Black & White (obviously, a black & white version of what yous see above). Not too shabby….

Check out my next blog post where I will talk more about the techniques used to create the “after” piece. Cheers!