Michael Orton is one of my favourite modern fine art landscape photographers and he has just recently added new work to his website and revamped his galleries. Regular followers of this blog/podcast may remember the 2 photography podcasts that he and I recorded together. The first one covered a photographic technique called the Orton effect which Michael invented in the mid 80’s. The second podcast, recorded about 1 year ago introduced a brand new body of work based on Intentional Camera Movement or ICM.
Michael has now added many brand new ICM photographs to his galleries and his new work continues to inspire me personally and professionally. What blows me away to the Nth degree is the craftsmanship of these photographs and Michael’s ability to See. Michael has inspired me to such a degree that last year upon his suggestion I started my own project called Impressionistic Cities at Night. Now I’m so addicted that I troll the streets of Montreal hunting for light. But this post is not about me, I only included the last few sentences because I can now personally attest to how difficult it is to get great results using ICM — and it’s a bloody difficult technique to get good at.
I have been researching and checking out the work of other photographers using ICM and there are many talented artists out there. But to my eye, nobody’s work compares to Michael Orton’s ICM work in terms of impact, colour, consistency and craftsmanship.
I chose 2 photographs of Michael’s to feature in this post and Michael graciously sent me the following information about each of these photographs. Many thanks as always Michael and please keep on shooting!
Beginning by Michael Orton — “Beginning is a small path thru the woods just below where we live . These are Alder trees and the path is paved and dry with some fallen needles on it . The light was overcast and partial polarizer was applied. I applied what I would describe as a tipping motion with one side of the camera moving less than the other. I followed the line of the dominant tree trunks leaning over the path. Too much motion and the image becomes unrecognizable ( which you know I love to do) and too little and it becomes lets say predictable.”
Heavenly by Michael Orton — “Heavenly is a grove of Almond trees in Southern California. The title pretty much says it all, literally clouds of blossoms. The trees were laden and the ground was nearly covered. The sky was blue and clear and I knew that the camera sensor would see this blue to a certain degree in the shadows beneath the trees. This “moment” was amazing, I felt literally enveloped, as I walked deeper into the orchard. And the scent was, well, heavenly. I used many approaches, and as is often the case I thought of several I didn’t use when we got home and I had time to look at the images. Sometimes if I am overwhelmed by the subject this can happen. I don’t let the feeling of “a lost image ” persist though. It becomes “next time it will happen”. So far this has helped me to expand and tune my mindset and develop almost ever-changing responses to the subject matter I encounter. In the grove I used many”.