Archive for subconscious

Playing / Figuring out the subconscious

Posted in Creative Process, Creativity, photography with tags , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by Tim McGuire Images

I was playing with some images I shot last winter of Urban Trees in downtown Seattle. I sometimes take pictures because I’m attracted to something that I’m not sure what it is I’m attracted to. I call it my subconscious minds eye.

I had passed by and wanted to photograph these trees in front of the old Federal buildings for a while.  So I went out to photograph them one rainy day. Even while I made the pictures I couldn’t figure out what I really liked about the subject and setting. It just seemed kind of boring.

Probably at least six months later I revisited the images and started playing with them trying to make them interesting to me, still wondering why I had lugged my cameras and tripod out in the rain one dreary Seattle day and shot them.  After cropping and playing for a while I eventually added this super contrasty effect to the images brings out what I think attracted my minds eye. Without it the pictures are pretty boring to me but I like them with these high contrast effects which better define the lines of the trees and the buildings. I think it’s just the contrast in styles of line, the “organic” natural shapes on top of the man made, that makes it interesting to me. What do you think?

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Cracks in the Pavement

Posted in Creative Process with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by Tim McGuire Images

I believe very much in not ignoring your urges to photograph things that attract you, no matter how strange or embarrassing you think it might be. Listening to your subconscious is very important for a photographer to make photographs that are true to your self.

Since college I’ve liked the way the cracks in pavement look after a rain, but before they completely dry out. Depending on if it rains again or the sun comes out and drys them out quickly, the optimal time to make these pictures can be fleeting. I think it’s the added contrast the water gives the cracks and the slight halo of dampness surrounding the cracks as they dry that makes them visually interesting to me.

I decided one day after returning from an early morning walk to go out and make pictures of these cracks. It looked like the conditions were perfect. While I was doing this a woman dropping her children off at school got out of her car and walked up to me. I was standing right in the middle of the street with my tripod and camera aimed straight down at the ground. She asked what I was taking pictures of. Convinced that maybe she would think I was crazy or something I told her I just liked the way the cracks in the pavement looked. It turns out she understood completely. She thought it was cool. I completely expected her to look at me like I was crazy and walk away.

Anyway… here are a few of my “cracks in the pavement” series. I still like them and will probably make more of these pictures. Only two of these have the halo of dampness that I was going for. The last photo in this series is one I made in college over 20 years ago.