Monday, October 27, 2014

Following the Crowd

Canine BFF's
Harding Trail
Palenville, NY

The one who follows the crowd will usually
get no further than the crowd.
The one who walks alone, is likely
to find himself in places no one
has ever been.
Albert Einstein

It's never been been an interest of mine to follow anyone other than my own ideology. There's never been a wake moment spent on feeling that I needed to be exactly where someone else had been. That simply is not me. It doesn't make me a better person or less to stand in the same place where someone greater than or less than me stood.

The same holds true with my photography. My images are not meant to replicate what I've seen but rather to move you to feel in my own voice and style. As a view you draw your own private conclusions. Your conclusions are private rendered by your own set of experiences.

Mimicking is not a form of intelligence, a parrot mimics. We seldom think that uttering "pretty bird" makes the parrot a genius. So I choose not to go the obvious places to indulge in my art or to simply mimic another photographer's style. I choose my own template and voice and it continues to evolve with my skill set. My art is personal and not mean to follow someone else's convention or standard.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sanity Check

Platte Clove and Pool
Saugerties, NY
"Never put the key to your happiness
in somebody else's pocket."

For nearly a week, I observed autumn in the Catskills, a place to view a glimpse of sanity not far from an insane world. I know to well how easy it is to get caught up in the "reality" of modern day living only to lose focus about why I live.

Life is about a living and the quiet enjoyment of very simple needs. Our industrialization and commercialization prods and suggests just the opposite; that life is about acquisition and retention of those acquisitions. Our life is spent both acquiring and sustaining (financing) our acquisitions and life styles. We worry endlessly about elements we cannot control but are taught that we can mitigate all risks and must plan accordingly.

How can we possibly mitigate the obvious that no one leaves this earth alive? If you don't know how long you will be here, then it behooves you to enjoy today and plan accordingly. Today is what you know. Time is the only possession you actually own right now this moment.

Outdoors, visual cues remind me of the beautiful world formed by colors, shapes, smells, sounds, and textures. A life with meaning is sensual. To experience life, you must have a capacity and tolerance for seduction. Seduction requires choice and consent. The life worth living is an open and blatant seduction of the senses. Living requires a willingness to engage and envelop yourself in seduction. It goes beyond voyeurism; it requires a participation beyond awareness. Living requires the cognitive capacity to enjoy all life which surrounds you. While it's different for everyone, for me it's the pleasure derived while being outdoors composing new images and observing the living cinema called nature.

Send print inquiries to: al@photographybyalhernandez.com


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Around the Bend

Around the Bend
Palenville, NY


I'm staying in a town, a throwback of the way life use to be, where the women are handsome, trees beautiful, and roads romantic. The type of place where on autumn days the past time is watching golden feathery leaf flakes make their way to the adorning quilted landscape beneath stately maples. A town whose past is not forgotten but whose future is questionable, where strangers are encouraged to pass through and greeted with one word responses until folks know they are not just visiting.

Images and scenes from some Norman Rockwell painting I suppose: a general store, boy scouts, and quaint white wooden colonial home styles graced with white picket fences and with women inside who still might knit and sew, married to husbands who still know how to fix things.

The general store and deli not only still serve creme sodas but also carries things like organic agave and gluten free pancakes mixes for New York City refugees. For those transitioning pilgrims the deli serves bountiful reuben sandwiches and if its Friday you might get to order a chocolate croissant but hurry they go fast.

The pace is slow but the minds are sharp as artists and intellectuals collude and converse at small tables suitable for great gossip and tales. Not sure if I qualify as a guest, a stranger passing through, or if I am considered someone that they would trust or a person of interest.

Someone asked how long I've been in Palenville and I can respond long enough to know that important stuff is posted on telephone poles and that Alfie Beers ran for highway superintendent a few years back, and the footbridge across the Kaaterskill Creek was wiped out by Irene (hurricane), that Laurie the big lady that lives in a "bungalow" at the bottom of Woodlane has a rescued blue healer that had wandered for days before she was captured. Long enough to be to tell you that Pat at the Circle W (the general store) makes the best lentil and buttersquash acorn soups and to die for chocolate croissants but they are served only on Fridays and on Sundays. And of course, there's Bob, the retired color lab guy twice divorced who hangs out every morning at the general store. Then there's now me. Hoping to find inspiration in a place that has stood still for a while.

Can't wait for my morning to begin all over again. Look forward to new walks and hikes along rushing creeks shared only with a few accompanied dogs. Look forward to be accepted not as someone just passing through but as someone "living" here. There's a life I've forgotten about somewhere between success and job loss.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Monsoon on the San Rafael Valley

The San Rafael Valley
Vacas Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

Since most of you are scattered throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, I've made a clip highlighting my experience on the San Rafael Valley. Hope this conveys not only what I saw but also what I felt. In fact its what I feel each time regardless of the season. Please click on Monsoon on Lazy2. Give me your feedback, I would love to hear from you.

If you are interested in this slice of heaven and would like images from this series or from other recent posts please contact me at al@photographybyalhernandez.com.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Desert Storm Chaser

View of Storm from the Santa Ritas
Highway 83
AZ 

Heard that Odile was going to visit southeast Arizona and it was the only omen I needed to push me into action. Here was the perfect chance to see the tail end of the desert monsoon.

Some might wonder what's so special about a storm in the desert after all rain is rain. The abundance of cumulus clouds mixed with sunshine made for some interesting photography especially from the perspective of the high desert.  I navigated through plenty of rain and even waited for flooded roads to dry all for the sole purpose of getting a unique perspective of the greening of the desert and the high grasslands; no sunny skies for me.

Storm Heading East to Patagonia
Patagonia, AZ
There was more to my journey than even I knew. Had opportunities to renew and refresh my heart and soul by communing with my natural companion. She gave me an opportunity to enjoy her charms and rest in her arms after long interludes of play. I didn't tire although I had slept little and was always ready to engage again. Each time I knew it would be different but I never knew how or why.

Life got a hold of me again. Although my burdens didn't vanish, for a moment euphoria rushed through me and amazing releases of natural joy pulsed through me. I needed this. I needed to know that my purpose was not to simply work but rather to experience life, partake, and share my experiences with others. This knowledge restores me and provides joy.

Some of you will understand and some will simply think another mad artist. To me though the most insane thing is to not get anything out of your life and simply toil without taking time out to enjoy what is all around you. Find your balance and live.

Friday, September 26, 2014

My Wandering I

Hereford Herd
San Rafael Valley
Patagonia, AZ

Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.
 - Jackson Browne; Eagles, Take It Easy


There are times when the day to day stresses overwhelm. When the world seems to be spinning too fast and there's no way to get off the treadmill that's when it's time for me to fade out, pull back, and regroup. This month seemed to get the best of me and I had no choice but to seek refuge in my creative space.

Rather than completely retreat into a darker place and brood familiar themes, I sought adventure again in the desert of southeast Arizona. My goal was to find both solace and light although the clouds and rain of hurricane Odile threatened the desert. Timing in my mind was perfect; I would get to see the tail end of the monsoon and enjoy an abundance of cumulus clouds.

It took me a few days before I was able to unwind and forget. Several hikes up Pima Canyon and drives back and forth to places like Sonoita and Patagonia proved to be all part of the therapy. Before long nature was able to drown out the noises of my own wheels. Take it easy was not a choice but required and I did.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Packing

Lazy Living at the Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

Trying to pack for an adventure back to southeast Arizona. From what I can tell my visit will coincide with the tail end of hurricane Odile which promises rain showers during my stay. Coordinating last moment details with the rancher's hand as my trip also coincides with the annual Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo in Sonoita.

My arrangements are last minute and spontaneous.  I prefer it that way. Just want to experience it the way it is not they way I contrive it. Need to get some things out of the way first. Ready to empty out my head and fill my heart.