Melanie Morrett, who I’ll give credit to for my entrance into these respective art galleries, was the one I was meeting for the day.
I began my drive over on an early summer morning, the deep blue sky and bright sun over me. My destination was downtown Dayton, Ohio to this grouping of brick red warehouse buildings.
They’re unmistakable at first sight and instantly memorable thereafter. Upon entering the designated “C-D” doorway as I was directed to, there was a creaky old elevator up to the third floor.
Just me and my work housed in between bubble wrap on a wheeled plastic storage tote.
I agreed to be visiting artist for the months of July and August. Before even the two months were up, an opening in the gallery became available. A definite ‘yes’ was all I could say with no second thoughts.
Ever since then I have been finding my place into this artist-driven community. Getting to meet the different photographers and other artists at their studios and attending yearly and one-off events has allowed more exposure for the work.
It’s safe to say, I’m very fortunate and thankful at the opportunities I’ve had so far at this arts community. The gallery patrons and visitors, the friends and artists I’ve met, and the events I’ve connected with all mean a lot. And this community has been growing since 1965 too!
Artists and photographers alike need to find a following or collective to be a part of. This can help fuel your creativity and allow you to hone your craft.
Recently I was sitting the shop at Village Artisans, one of my art galleries that is in the well-known Yellow Springs, Ohio.
It was a typical Saturday with a middle few hours of a frenzied buying that eventually levels out for the evening.
The day was nearing its’ end and I hadn’t seen anyone stop in for about half an hour until one gentlemen walked in announcing “Well Ryan Taylor, where is your work at?” Presumably reciting from a visible name tag on my shirt.
His tone sounding almost disarming as if we had been friends for years, which was not quite the case. Seeming familiar, I simply answered followed up with a response.
“Yes my work is in the back room or annex, on the wall you face as you walk in the right.”
Typically I use these moments to follow them back there to talk more about my display, prints and framed pieces there. So I leapt from my chair long after he was at his destination, as if I had anything else important to do.
“I absolutely love that this one! It just speaks to me” as he points out an 8.5×11″ canvas print of a yellow autumn leaf. This particular piece was front and center along my display wall.
He follows up on his last statement by assuring “no what I like about it is that you saw something different here that anyone else would pass on by and ignore. I can definitely tell from this one, it’s an intuitive sense.”
It’s very interesting hearing this out of your own head, it made perfect sense!
An over forty foot drop off from a cliff happens less than 10 feet beside the road in a residential neighborhood as it outflows south toward the Great Miami River along a nearby metropark.
My concern after hearing and seeing the water flowing was that this was somehow private property. Many two-story houses were around with their decks pointed in the same direction as the ‘falls.
I am not one to enjoy being in trouble, in fact it terrifies me, so I drove away the first time out of fear. A cop even drove by me as I made my exit onto the main road, which further scared me.
It sounds so lame now in hindsight, but maybe it was the “NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH AREA — ENFORCED BY POLICE” sign I saw on a post just before entering the wooded trail that deterred me.
With all that being said, I returned less than a week later. The gear was resting in the passenger seat and unfortunately the light was cooperating. Now my head was in the right place to try the prospective image, yet Mother Nature was not working with me.
Third time’s charm as I waited about another week and returned on a moody sky evening. The previous day’s rainfall made the water sound even more powerful as I left the car and boots hit the ground.
A half an hour later, I remerged to society to see a hazy sunset break through the colors.
So with that being said, the quote above rings true.
You will never know what happens unless you stop and press that shutter.
Disclaimer: I later found out that this property is owned and maintained by the county metroparks. Do your own research about your local jurisdiction and follow/obey property and trespassing laws in your area before setting out. I am not liable for your tom-foolery!
Have you ever walked away from a potential photograph? Did you ever return to finally take the image? Let me know your story in the comments below or via email. I look forward to reading them!
Each one of these groups brings a different bit of flair and zest to phototaking overall. Some groups focus more on the gear or print competitions, while others direct their attention towards helping educate their audience and community.
At the end of the day, go where your community lives, online and in-person and however you please.
Go where your photography takes you, and let it make the path clear!
Do younger photographers bother anymore about local camera clubs in the advent of social media? How important is a sense of belonging to you or is it not? Please chime in down below in the comments (or send me an Instagram message!)
There isn’t always going to be a rock or fence rail to stabilize your camera on!
And so as I write this, I’ve used about three or four different tripods before settling on a Gitzo Systematic (costing about a thousand dollars!) and a much cheaper Benro Travel Slim carbon fiber set of legs.
Take into consideration the vibrancy of the colors chosen, as those can invoke certain moods as well.
A richly-saturated image can catch eyes rather quickly, while a more muted and moody color palette can allow space for the viewer to think about the image more.
Digital photographers may adjust the tint or temperature to a RAW file on their computer or the darkroom whiz will apply certain chemicals to alter their paper print in the developing tray.
One other incredible aspect is to meld the two warm & cool tones together in a single frame.
This split-personality of a photographic idea can take a while to find. Be vigilant! Whether it be the right lighting or seasonal opportunities, these colorful scenes will make themselves known if you search for them.
Better yet is this duality or dichotomy can excite prospective viewers and enrich a living wall space where color is one thing you can’t decide!
With all this being said, I would love to hear from you and what you think!
Does color play a big role in your photography and artwork? Do you tend to fall back on a certain set of colors or prefer to mix things up?
Let me know down in the comments below, I look forward to reading and sharing them!