Be Astonished!

A few days ago I commented on a William Coupon photo (On his Facebook page) that it was a beautiful portrait of an elderly man and it reminded me of a painting by Odd Nerdrum. Another photographer commented on my comment saying he would be upset if his photographs were compared to paintings.

Here is a portrait of mine of Katharine A. Tillman, a friend who is a lover of language and of art:

 I don’t really understand why a photographer would take offense at his photographs being compared to paintings. William did not; the other person did. Who cares! Photography is an art of seeing, of observation–and I meant it as a complement. In fact, I think it is my degree in Art History that has helped me as a photographer; that has helped me to see and observe and create.

For me, photography is a poetic experience, often finding something beautiful in the ordinary–and when I photograph people I believe I have a spiritual connection with them; as someone once wrote to me: “I guess there is a reason people pay to get portraits taken……stunning……it also takes a very special artist to make such a portrait. The connection and human understanding are vital. I expect that few people truly have such an opportunity–to see their souls in their own faces.”

And as I wrote back in July:

Photography is my passion. The pursuit of wow. This is the way I try to live my life. Every where I turn and see I truly am astonished. I celebrate life and the spiritual ties that bind us together and I do this by trying to be always astonished. Simone Weil said: “Absolute attention is prayer.”

When I photograph an icon, for example,  I both draw upon my degree in Art History and years working as a documentary photographer, and then in a profound sense I also forget the past , turn toward the icon in a prayerful manner and I become truly astonished.


Tielhard de Chardin wrote: “Seeing: We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb – if not ultimately, at least essentially.”

I truly see myself as an artist, whether I’m photographing people, nature, or wedding. And, I believe, I work with my camera in the same manner a painter works with a brush or a pianist a piano–every day. And it is my training as an Art Historian that impacts my way of seeing and makes me a great photographer.


I leave you with a landscape, a country road.


Where are you going?

Who are you?


If you would like to fill your home with beautiful photographs, or need a portrait, or if you are an interior designer and need photographs of your projects, contact me for a consultation.

Drawing on that degreee in Art History, a passion for telling stories, and years working as a portrait and documnetary photographer (And owning an Art Gallery) helps me bring a heightened sensitivity to my photography. Let’s make the world a more beautiful place!

Beautiful Days

WOW! When I woke this morning I remembered when I went to bed it was thundering, lightening, and raining. And now a few steps out the door I was met by the Rose of Sharon awash in last night’s storm.

A few more steps and I was in our backyard on my way to photograph the tomatoes which now in mid-August are finally turning red  (Soon I will be making fresh tomato sauce! The other night, it was Shrimp Scampi and Pesto! Last night it was Tuna, Cannellini Bean, Orange, Fennel Salad! Tonight? Five Spice Turkey Burgers With Wasabi Sauce!).

But before I photograph the tomatoes, which I can barley see as they are so hidden in the blaze of leaves, a butterfly makes this morning’s moments of beauty ever more so:

The bright–the FUN–color of the hundreds of zinnias reminds me of this past weekend’s family get-together and little Lola’s red hair:

A bottle of gin on the kitchen counter. Tonic. Limes. A serving bowl of Sangria. Outside children in the pool. A whiff of kielbasa cooking on the grill. Beer. Wines (Made by the host!). Water. Soda. Chips. It is an annual summer party. Susan and I talk with Shelia. We love Shelia. Here, meet Shelia:

And now a wedding awaits us. My niece. Sara. August 20. Another party. Another beautiful day awaits us.

Poetics

“The true creator may be recognized by his ability to find about him, in the commonest and humblest thing, items worthy…he does not have to surround himself with rare and precious objects. He does not have to put forth in search of discoveries: they are always within his reach. He will only have to cast his glance about him. Familiar things, things that are everywhere, attract his attention.”
~Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) “The Poetics of Music” (1947)

Montreal at Night

Self-Portrait

Often, when I walk in the woods, I feel as if I am in a church or temple and I am reminded of:

“Do you know that you are God’s temple
 and that God’s spirit dwells in you?”
~1 Corinthians 3:16

 The woods are where I find a great peace. A stillness. My spirit and soul come to rest and find a wonderful joy. The woods are is always beckoning.

 On my walk in the woods yesterday, I stopped and gave thanks. “Thank You. I am prospered and blessed. My life is enriched in every way. I speak peace and love. Divinely guided, I move forward with confidence.” 


Truth & Beauty

There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art. ~Alfred Stieglitz, American Amateur Photographer, 1893

Brides, Why Choosing Your Wedding Photographer Is Like Choosing Your Husband

Your loved one is someone like you. He accepts you. You can be yourself when you are together.  He is your partner. Your friend. There are hundreds of men, but there is only one husband for you–your kindred spirit, your soul mate if you will. Likewise there are hundreds of photographers, but there is only one Bruce Barone, one kindred spirit.  Drawing on a degree in art, a passion for telling stories and years working as a portrait and documentary photographer helps me bring a heightened sensitivity to my wedding photography–artful, real-life images that excite and inspire.

My Garden

“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.
Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”
~Monet

Spiritual Connection

Alice’s Mom writes:

“Oh Bruce, I just can’t get over how beautiful this photo is, and how you managed to capture that expression of her’s I’ve never been able to in the hundreds of photos I’ve taken….You really captured her personality so so well.”

 This is the photo Alice’s Mom wrote about, which is now featured on my Homepage. I like this one, too:

When asked how I do what I do so successfully–photographing people; how I am able to connect, I answer “I think I have a spiritual connection with people. I love people. People love me. People trust me.”

This is one of my favorite portraits and I believe she trusted me in her nakedness to shows her self, her beauty, scars and all:

I need to find a way to photograph more people. As someone said a few entries back:

“I guess there is a reason people pay to get portraits taken……stunning……it also takes a very special artist to make such a portrait. The connection and human understanding are vital. I expect that few people truly have such an opportunity–to see their souls in their own faces.”

Morning Light

This morning. The sky blue. Robin’s egg blue. The bright light pierces the sitting room window. Illuminating the sunflowers in the vase.

 So, too, outside, The Rose of Sharon illuminated. A backdrop for the Zinnia.

Light. I am reminded of former gallery director Sandy Carson’s comments regarding my photographs of The Lower Mill Pond in Easthampton, Massachusetts:

“I am impressed with your sensitive and imaginative eye. Because of your photos, the viewer sees the landscape with all of its subtle nuances  and myriad of compositional relationships. Many of your portraits capture the inner nature of the individuals without being posed or contrived….I have a gallery in Denver and also have an art consulting firm. We  have been in business for 30 years……I’ve been intrigued with your photos for a long time…just waiting  for the right client to show them to and I, believe, that we have  found one……….I am interested in doing a  series of images of the mill pond that you so effectively depicted in  B/W and color and at different times of the day and primarily during  the Fall. It reminds me of Monet’s compositional and light variations  of his series on Chartre, lily pond, haystacks etc. The images are accessible but thought provoking in their characterization of the nuances of change in a given environment….  they help the viewer understand that there is an ongoing  transformation and evolution  in a given landscape.  Sometimes the  change is slight; sometimes birds inhabit the scene, sometimes the  grasses become the emphasis rather than the water, sometimes the log  protrusions become geometric constructions in an otherwise organic  surround…….

Here are a few of the images, which will eventually find their way, with others, into a Blurb Book, “The Lower Mill Pond:”

Let there be light.

Art, Photography, Me

Alice. Angelic Alice. Photographed in the late afternoon light. Near the garden. The yet-to-ripen tomatoes. The purple cosmos. The Lime basil. The blue forget-me-nots. Her blue eyes. Here; see:

Yesterday, I photographed flowers. Today–Alice.

An artist once asked me, “Bruce, what’s your favorite photograph.”

I closed my eyes and imagined my photographs. I answered, “I have favorites, of course, but my most favorite image is always the next photograph.” Like this one, from this morning, the wind in the wildflowers:


Often, I ask myself “What am I called to do?” And “How can I make the world a better place.”

To paraphrase Rumi; I remind myself: I need to be permanently astonished. The second thing I need is love; draw upon love for vision and energy. And the third thing is sacrifice–give the drop that is myself. To be astonished, to become more like a child, to be nourished by being amazed—and by giving.

Photography is my passion. The pursuit of wow. This is the way I try to live my life. Every where I turn and see I truly am astonished. I celebrate life and the spiritual ties that bind us together and I do this by trying to be always astonished. Simone Weil said: “Absolute attention is prayer.”

When I photograph an icon, for example,  I both draw upon my degree in art history and years working as a documentary photographer, and in a profound sense I also forget the past , turn toward the icon in a prayerful manner and I become truly astonished. 


Tielhard de Chardin wrote: “Seeing: We might say that the whole of life lies in that verb – if not ultimately, at least essentially.”

We design the world by the way we choose to see it. I choose to see beauty and to share that wonder, that astonishment with people.

Of course, my goal is not to change the world all at once, but one person at a time; by reaching out with my eyes wide open–seeing; being astonished; mending the part of he world that is within my reach–to bring light where there is darkness. Peace and Beauty.

I truly see myself as an artist, whether I’m photographing people, nature, or wedding. And, I believe, I work with my camera in the same manner a painter works with a brush or  a pianist a piano–every day.

A few facts: I graduated from Manhattanville College in 1974 with a degree in Art History and in English. It was at this time I began developing my photographic vision, specializing in nature, creative documentary photography and portraiture. My first job was working as a corporate writer and photographer at Hearst Magazines where I had the opportunity to shoot portraits of many editors and writers and business professionals. During lunch I could be found wandering the streets of New York City camera-in-hand, often with a quote stuck in my pocket: “I never look for a photograph. The photograph finds me and says, “I’m here.”

I have been making original fine art photography for over 20 years. And although my work is included in many private collections around the world, I have always had to support myself as a sales and marketing professional. Alas, photography is my passion. And I think I love portraits so much because I love people so much–and people seem to love me.

Admirers of my photography have said:

“Thanks You for making my life more beautiful with each of your photographs.”

“You have enriched my vision in the most; in the gentlest, softest, least intrusive way. It has been like a prolonged class in photography.”

“I guess there is a reasons people pay to get portraits taken……stunning……it also takes a very special artist to make such a portrait. The connection and human understanding are vital. I expect that few people trully have such an opportunity–to see their souls in their own faces.”

“Browsing your website is like walking through a museum and watching a documentary on the history of photography……moments in time captured in one frame of film. Just moments that once were and now are gone, but oh, how much they say to us. They are but just one frame of millions that compose our lives, our history and out culture. And some how you manage to capture a whole life, a complete story in history and those details that define us as a society in just that one frame…”

And yesterday a friends writes:

“Well, you know, I am one of your biggest fans. And my friend…you are an artist…we do not make much room for people like you. It’s a shame. However, you have your friendship with Susan, your garden, your cooking…all kinds of ways to put beauty into the world. I think that is what you should expect of yourself, as an artist. As long as you have a roof, food, emotional comfort, what else do you really need? It takes great courage to be authentic…”

And this morning, I read: “Combine all your healthy wishes, dreams and hopes into investing your talent and in the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom. If your art contributes to society, or to the the art enthusiasts around you, then you are rewarded honestly, and more so it you make yourself useful to the world around you.” ~Samuel Adoquie