Experimentation and cross pollination in my work

Altered version of storm west of Datil, NM

Altered version of storm west of Datil, NM



Experimentation has been a major part of my creative process since I was a boy.


It was the driving force that brought me into both the sciences and the arts.


People often think I’m crazy to be juggling music, photography and film making projects all at once. In part I do it because each becomes an escape from the other. But I also work multi discipline projects simultaneously because thought processes developed in one have a way of spilling over into another.


West of Datil, NM, July 2014

The original image: West of Datil, NM, July 2014

Case in point. In my music making, filters have long been a means to creating more interesting textures and colors in my digital tracks. Just recently I began applying filters in Photoshop to my still photography to experiment in a similar way.


Doing so is opening a whole new avenue of discovery.


Images I thought I knew well suddenly took on an extraterrestrial quality.


In July I travelled to Albuquerque. NM, taking the scenic route through northern Arizona. While in New Mexico my brother John, his wife Betsy and I visited the Valles Caldera region – an extinct super volcano that is now filled with tree lined ridges and meadows well fitted to use by the cattle industry as grazing land.


Altered version of Valles Caldera, NM cattle grazing land

Altered version of Valles Caldera, NM cattle grazing land

The panoramic images I originally took there were lush and beautiful.


But when I applied multiple filtration processes to the same image, the warmth of summer turned into a surreal arctic scene. It had a whole different vibe about it.


Similarly on my way back I traveled through Datil, NM, where the very large radio telescope array is located. Near Datil I encountered an epic batch of monsoon storms sweeping across the open plain. Like many western monsoon outburst, the storms were localized and sunlight streamed through from the other horizon.


Filtered this panorama took on the most other worldly look of the batch so far.


Unaltered Valles Caldera image

Unaltered Valles Caldera image

In a similar way, I have been working with performance artist Laura Milkins over the last few years on an experimental film in which multiple landscapes are cross faded and blended to create the illusion of a new landscape. Just recently I began blending photographic images from different sites to see what the composite image might become. It too is a striking new direction.


I remain rooted as a photographer to mainly representational photography. But I am not adverse to taking these shots in new directions.



~ by Daniel Buckley on October 5, 2014.

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