DRAWING LIFE by fred hatt

2014/06/06

The Winter Past

Filed under: New work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , , — fred @ 18:25
Red and White, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Red and White, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

We live in a world of instantaneous sharing, a constant present where photos go up on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram the minute they’re taken, where events are live streamed and live tweeted, where instant pundits make comments on what’s happening right now, with tongue in cheek, or, all too often, foot in mouth. In the analog era, photographs and commentary were never about the right now. There was always enough delay built into the process that at best they were about the freshly recalled past.

I really like having a delay. Art needs time to ripen inside the artist before it is shared. I am always drawing upon my archive, finishing work years after it was begun, finding fresh gems that have lain buried for a while.

For those of us in the Northeastern U. S., the winter of 2013-14 was more than usually harsh. Heavy snowfall was followed by frigid temperatures that turned the accumulation into rock-hard ice, which was layered over by more snow, and so on, for three solid months. Heavy weather conditions often inspire me photographically, and this past winter was no different. But had I shared these shots of my arctic muse at the time, they would simply have reinforced the viewers’ ongoing misery. Now that we are safely into the season of sunshine and green growth we can look back at images of winter with an appreciation born of detachment.

This kind of detachment, this waiting to ripen, this separation between impulse and response, is vital to art. Let us not lose it in the roaring noise of the current.

Blowing Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Blowing Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Driving Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Driving Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Headlamps, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Headlamps, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Throughout the months of January and February, the crosswalk near my home was blocked by a huge pile of plowed-up snow, melted a bit, refrozen and enlarged by cumulative precipitation. I passed it every day. Like Monet’s haystacks, it was a shapeless pile of matter that revealed the mercurial qualities of light.

Snow Pile Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow Pile Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Salt Stains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Salt Stains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Twilight Tree, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Twilight Tree, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow is a great special effect for nocturnal photography, as it reflects and magnifies every kind of light. Dark pavement swallows a lot of the color, but white snow makes all the varied hues of night sing harmony.

Night Plow, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Plow, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Glisten, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Glisten, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Today's Specials, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Today’s Specials, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Being covered or partially buried makes sculptural abstractions of everyday objects.

Buried Bike Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Buried Bike Variations, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

KGJW, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

KGJW, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow adds nature’s chaos to the designed and built environment, mountain ranges among the towers and boxes of glass.

Lincoln Center Mounds, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Lincoln Center Mounds, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow Mound, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Snow Mound, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

White snow makes an ideal screen for dramatic shadows to be projected.

Pole and Shaft of Light, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Pole and Shaft of Light, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Stripes, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Stripes, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Ice Road, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Ice Road, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

At night and twilight, the colors can be downright psychedelic. These are straight photos – no color manipulation or hypersaturation, very close to the effects I saw with my own eyes.

Mountains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Mountains, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Path of Gold, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Path of Gold, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Spacer, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Spacer, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

By the beginning of March, nothing was left but filthy remnants, tattered scraps, the diminishing cores of what had recently seemed mighty glaciers.

The End of Winter, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

The End of Winter, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring arrived as crisp clear sunlight, last year’s foliage stripped and bleached, the ground saturated by snowmelt, ready for new life to burst forth.

Prospect Park, Early Spring, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

Prospect Park, Early Spring, 2014, photo by Fred Hatt

2014/01/08

Gallery Opening on the Web

A sample from Fred Hatt's new photo/video website

A sample from Fred Hatt’s new photo/video website

For the last few weeks I’ve been working on a major redesign of my website highlighting the photography and video work I do for clients, many of whom are artists and performers. Today it went online: Fred Hatt Photo/Video. Please check it out and let me know your thoughts.

I worked with the great graphic designer Michael LaBash, who also designed my art portfolio site. I had some ideas about how I wanted it to look – dark colors, horizontal scrolling photo galleries – and he figured out how to make it all work and look beautiful. There are some images that were on the old version of the site, but there’s also a lot of new material and a gorgeous new look.

There are twelve different photography galleries and five galleries of video pieces, covering the work I do for visual artists, performing artists, and my landscape and urban photography. Many of the photos link to the websites of the client or subject.

If I’ve shot you or your art in recent years and you don’t see it here, I apologize. It was really hard to sift through all that work and find a good balance of samples to convey the range and quality of what I offer. But the process of choosing work made me feel very fortunate to have worked with so many amazing creative people. I’m not ambitious enough as a photographer and videographer to seek out big celebrities and supermodels and high-profile assignments – I just want to work with those that inspire me, help them show the world what they can do, and make a little money to be able to pay my bills and keep doing my own artwork without compromise. But there’s some beautiful stuff here!

2013/08/17

Stereo Botanicals

Filed under: New work,Photography — Tags: , , , , — fred @ 21:43
Looking Down, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Looking Down, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

If you’re ready for a new life drawing post, click over to Museworthy, where the great art model and my blogging mentor Claudia has posted about our recent session working together in my studio, with photos and drawings!

I like to use stereoscopic photography to study the shapes of things in space – especially complex forms like those of trees and flowers, which can only really be understood in three dimensions. Flat photographs of plants are like pressed flowers – still lovely, but a certain violence has been done.

Stereo photographs reproduce human spatial perception. To see depth in the images in this post, you’ll need a pair of common red/cyan 3D glasses. If you don’t have a pair lying around, you can get one for free here. Ask for red/cyan anaglyph 3D glasses. If you look at these photos without the glasses, you’re missing a lot!

The originals of these photos were in color, but I don’t like any of the methods for presenting stereo photos in color on the web, so I’ve converted them to monochrome for this post. Most pictures of plants and flowers dazzle us with colorfulness, but here we’ll get rid of that distracting factor the better to study forms in space.

Lyman Conservatory at the Botanic Garden of Smith College, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Lyman Conservatory at the Botanic Garden of Smith College, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

My brother Frank lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, a lovely and lively town that is the home of Smith College. The campus has wonderful landscaping and botanical gardens, including this magnificent victorian-era Lyman Conservatory, which houses over 2500 species of plants from around the world. It’s one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in town to hang with Frank, and all of the pictures in this post were taken on the Smith College campus last June.

Conservatory Door, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Conservatory Door, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

This tree forms a kind of leafy dome under which one may take shelter from sun or rain.

View from Under the Weeping Beech, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

View from Under the Weeping Beech, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

The campus has a good-sized lake surrounded by woods where students can wander the paths and ponder on questions and wonder at the glorious diversity of earthly lifeforms.

Paradise Pond, Smith College, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Paradise Pond, Smith College, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

The shapes of the land itself are organic forms, just as much as are the living things that adorn the hillocks and hollows of that sod.

Grassy Slope, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Grassy Slope, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Whatever dies falls down and is recycled in water and earth and its vitality bursts up out of the muck.

Marsh, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Marsh, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Every kind of plant has its own characteristic kinds of leaves and patterns of growth, and there seems to be no limit to the variations that can thrive given the right conditions.

Japanese Maple, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Japanese Maple, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Some are soft and some are spiky, some yielding and some aggressive. The different forms are like different personalities.

Fir Tree, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Fir Tree, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Plant forms reach out into space to gather energy from light and air and matter from earth and water. Every plant is an alchemical flask of transformation.

Negative Spaces, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Negative Spaces, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Contemplating nature requires all the senses: smell and taste, touch and sight and hearing, intuition and reason.

Mixed Leaf Types, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Mixed Leaf Types, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Nature is reaching out to us, asking us to reconnect, to remember that we are beings of Earth. Alas, we have isolated ourselves in pods and given all our attention to things that flash and sparkle and pretend to respond to us.

Lanceolate Clusters, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Lanceolate Clusters, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

If soft nature cannot touch us, sharp and prickly nature will some day come to bear.

Agave, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Agave, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

The world seems to be a perfect laboratory for generating changing conditions, to which life must respond by adapting into astonishing and wondrous forms.

Cacti, 2013, by Fred Hatt

Cacti, 2013, by Fred Hatt

While we dispute over abstractions, the ever-flowing life force manifests all around us in a billion ways, always aborning, dying, and being born again.

Four-Way Bud, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Four-Way Bud, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

We dream of being visited by alien spacemen that talk and use technology like we do, imagining they will bring us wisdom, while the real deep wisdom shows itself to us in the ever-changing costumes of thriving things and feeling creatures.

Purple Iris, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Purple Iris, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Stop for a moment, stop using and consuming everything, stop entertaining yourself, stop competing with everyone. Look, and touch, and smell. You don’t need to meditate on a mountaintop. The magic is right here.

White Irises, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

All of these photos were taken with a regular digital SLR camera, by taking one shot as a left-eye view and then shifting a few inches to take a second shot as a right-eye view. Alignment and conversion into anaglyphs was done with the great free software StereoPhoto Maker, which can also convert to many other formats of stereo photography.

Previous posts of stereo photography are here and here.

I love looking at plants but I’m no expert. If you notice that I’ve mislabeled anything here, please let me know in comments.

 

2013/07/05

Night Light

Filed under: New work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , — fred @ 23:09
Tree and Moon, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Tree and Moon, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

This is a post about the beautiful effects of artificial light photographed outdoors at night in New York City, one of the kinds of visual essays I’ve often featured on Drawing Life. It has nothing to do with the art I’m working on now. In recent months, I’ve been busier than ever with paid work as a projectionist, photographer, and videographer, and I’ve been using the improved cashflow to keep myself busier than ever with drawing and filmmaking. I’ve been doing consistent experimental figure drawing work in my studio with a few wonderful model-collaborators, pursuing fresh developments in the practice – but I’m not ready to show this work yet. Nowadays people tend to share every new thing in their lives immediately on Facebook or Twitter, but I think there’s something to be said about the old approach of laboring in obscurity and then going public with something fully-formed. I also have new video projects in the works, also not ready to share. In the meantime, I’ll keep the blog going with the kinds of posts you’ve come to expect, with new posts a little less frequent than they have been in the past. The new work will come out when it’s done.

So for now, please join me on an urban nocturne. Let’s go for a night drive.

Self Portrait Driving, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Self Portrait Driving, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

The Sun, when it’s up,  is such an alpha dog that all other lights are wheezing three-legged omega chihuahuas at best. But at night there are billions of light sources, and all of them coexist in a Milky Way of rough equality.

Expressway Lights, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Expressway Lights, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

All these little lights make their own pools and shadows, vie with each other and merge with each other. If the Sun is God, all the little lights are like God’s creatures, tiny emanations or embers of the Great Fire, mobile and competitive, transient and ephemeral.

Queensboro Bridge Onramp, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Queensboro Bridge Onramp, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

The beams of night shine in a world of swirling particles.

Headlights in Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Headlights in Snow, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Taxi and Bikes, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Taxi and Bikes, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Daylight is objective in its distance. Daylight shadows are orthographic projections – every beam of light that forms them comes from the same direction. Shadows formed by artificial lights at night have perspective – they expand with distance from the source of light.

Leaning Meter, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Leaning Meter, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Light sources at night often strike surfaces at oblique angles that reveal texture.

Blue and White, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Blue and White, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Brick Wall, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Brick Wall, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Nearby light sources sometimes impart a looming quality to architectural forms that would look stolid and stodgy in sunlight.

Architectural Elements, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Architectural Elements, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Squat Column, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Squat Column, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Neo-Romanesque, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Neo-Romanesque, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Church Door, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Church Door, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Escalator, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Escalator, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

At night, reflective surfaces make beautiful landscapes out of the multitude of little light sources, and light shining out of interior spaces gives simple boxes a magical aura.

Reflections on Metal, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Reflections on Metal, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Food Cart, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Food Cart, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Taco Cart, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Taco Cart, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Cylindrical Windows, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Cylindrical Windows, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Plaza Fountain, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Plaza Fountain, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

The sheen of reflective surfaces overcomes the surface details that might dominate our perception in the flat light of day.

Shiny Posters, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Shiny Posters, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Retroreflective Signs, 2012Tree Shadow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Retroreflective Signs, 2012Tree Shadow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Burning Bush, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Burning Bush, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

In the daytime, buildings are external structures, but at night they turn inside out, light revealing the life within.

Pole and Wires, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Pole and Wires, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Metro, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Metro, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Office Building, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Office Building, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

A city comes alive at night when light makes the insides of buildings more prominent than their outside forms.

Guitar Shop, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Guitar Shop, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Cheesesteaks, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Cheesesteaks, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Square of Light, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Square of Light, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

A sufficiently long-exposure photograph of a landscape taken under moonlight looks barely different from one taken under sunlight. Artificial light, though, comes from various different directions and has many different colors. A long exposure taken at night under multiple artificial light sources is a kind of light painting.

Garden at Night, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Garden at Night, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot at Night, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Vacant Lot at Night, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Winter's Moon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Winter’s Moon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Polish Crests, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Polish Crests, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Abstract Cross, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Abstract Cross, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Colored lights, in the form of neon signs and tinted bulbs, make the night psychedelic.

Primary Hues, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Primary Hues, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Kellogg's Diner, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Kellogg’s Diner, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Neon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Neon, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Christmas Lights, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Christmas Lights, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

In the daytime, a hole in the ground is a black void, but at night, lit-up interiors and exteriors coexist and interpenetrate. A thousand tiny lights equalize space.

Restaurant Basement, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

Restaurant Basement, 2013, photo by Fred Hatt

2013/04/17

Buds and Blossoms

Filed under: Older work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , — fred @ 19:15
First Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

First Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

To celebrate the full arrival of Spring that we’re feeling this week here in New York City, let’s look at buds and blossoms, the botanical embodiment of the surging life force, the butts and bosoms of the plant world.

These photos were taken over more than a decade, on dates ranging from March 21 through May 22, and they’re ordered here by day of the year, no matter the year, so the sequence should give a sense of the process of spring as it unfolds over the weeks – how the first wee shoots appear on the gray bare branches, hints of the green eruption to come, and how the pinks and whites and yellows of early spring prepare the way for the bold, brash colors of the late spring.

As usual, I’m sharing way too many pictures – I love them so much! – so I’ll shut up and let them speak for themselves.

First Yellow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

First Yellow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Yellow Willow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Yellow Willow, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Blossoms Under a Metal Roof, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Blooms, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Blooms, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Sprout, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Night Sprout, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Springtime Sunset, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Springtime Sunset, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Blossom in the Wind, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Sakura, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Sakura, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Renewal, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Renewal, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt 

Statue in Spring, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Statue in Spring, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Grand Opening, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Grand Opening, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

Ready, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Ready, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt  

Fresh, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Fresh, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

Spring Sun, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring Sun, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

From the Coccoon, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

From the Coccoon, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt 

Pink, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Pink, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt 

Red, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Red, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt 

Spring Fountain, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring Fountain, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt  

Burgeoning Bough, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Burgeoning Bough, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt  

Unfurling, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

Unfurling, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt  

Tulips and Taxis, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Tulips and Taxis, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Pink Tree, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Pink Tree, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt  

Pink Arms, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

Pink Arms, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt  

Restoration, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Restoration, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt 

Red Shoots, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Red Shoots, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt 

Etched in Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Etched in Green, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Over the Fence, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Over the Fence, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt   

Young Leaves, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Young Leaves, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt 

Bees' Target, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Bees’ Target, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt 

Burning Bush, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Burning Bush, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt   

Flowers in Late Afternoon, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

Flowers in Late Afternoon, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt 

Sunset Green, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

Sunset Green, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt  

Spring Green and Brick Red, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Spring Green and Brick Red, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt  

Blossom with Droplets, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Blossom with Droplets, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

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