New ICM Photography by Michael Orton

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.

Heavenly by Michael Orton

Heav­enly by Michael Orton


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.

Beginning by Michael Orton

Begin­ning by Michael Orton


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”.

111 — My shit weather photo vacation

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #111 is a per­sonal account of the worst photo vaca­tion I have ever taken and the steps I took to make the expe­ri­ence more enjoy­able. I’d love to know how oth­ers have dealt with this issue in the past.

The Road to Nowhere - Yukon, Canada

The Road to Nowhere — Yukon, Canada
9 out of 10 days had vis­i­bil­ity sim­i­lar to this — Seren­ity now was my mantra


Due to all the bad vis­i­bil­ity in the moun­tains, I looked to the fore­ground instead which was often clear. Here I caught logs and tree stumps reflect­ing in the water at a small unnamed lake in Inu­vik, NWT, Canada

Lake Logs - Inuvik, NWT

Lake Logs — Inu­vik, NWT


Details are another fun thing to shoot when the grand scen­ics are bask­ing in obscu­rity.
This is the back of the sil­ver pick-up truck  we rented after cov­er­ing 400 KM on the muddy Demp­ster highway.

Dempster Highway Truck - Yukon, Canada

Demp­ster High­way Truck — Yukon, Canada
This truck was sil­ver before it got com­pletely caked with thick Demp­ster high­way mud.

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Rain Pho­tog­ra­phy — pod­cast #88

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