DRAWING LIFE 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 Hatt @ 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 Hatt @ 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 Hatt @ 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

2012/11/21

Fluidity

Filed under: New work,Older work,Photography — Tags: , , , , , — Fred Hatt @ 23:48

Liquid Topology, 2007, photo by Fred Hatt

Here in the States we’re celebrating Thanksgiving, a time to honor family, food and fellowship, and to contemplate gratitude.  Superstorm Sandy recently reminded those of us who live on America’s Mid-Atlantic coast of the destructive potential of water, but as I think of what I have to be grateful for, I am thinking of the water of life, the cyclical element that falls and flows, permeates and dissolves, irrigates and cleanses, rises and expands.  Water is the blood of the living Earth.  We New Yorkers are lucky to have plenty of rain that keeps our vegetation lush.  We have a great water system with remarkably clean tap water from upstate reservoirs.  In recent decades sewage treatment has made our coastal waters much cleaner than they used to be.  We need to love and protect our precious water!

My most basic artistic motivation is just to revel in the beauty that is all around us, and to share my perceptions with others, “Look, isn’t this amazing?”  I’m sure the sophisticates of the Art World find it as silly as the raptures of the “double rainbow” guy, but this way of looking at the world is not sentimental or delusional.   The world is a complex phenomenon of interacting forces, and the harmonies and tensions that emerge therefrom are myriad.  Aesthetic experience is fundamental to insight in science, philosophy, and the arts.

I’ve made a couple of posts of my photographs of fire (here and here), and one of my commenters, Heart_in_Water, suggested I do a post on water, the dynamic flow that complements fire in the ancient conception of elemental forces.  Herewith, a collection of my water shots.

People are instinctively attracted to water, seek it out and gather in its cooling presence.  Here’s a scene I came upon in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, looking down from the top of a stream and waterfall.  A painter had set up an easel to make a study of the landscape, and a family took turns posing on the rocks and taking pictures of each other with their phones.  In the background you can see my friend Peter bending over to take off his shoes, compelled to dance in the stream.

Painter and Photographers, Prospect Park, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Even water in a city gutter can provide a glimpse of visual magic.  This standing water becomes a gap opening into a looking-glass city beneath the streets.

View of the Undercity, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

The mirrorlike quality of still water is often used architecturally for this quality of opening up space.  Henry Moore’s monumental abstract bronze at Lincoln Center expands to twice its size in a reflecting pool.

Reclining Figure, 1965 sculpture by Henry Moore at Lincoln Center, 2012 photo by Fred Hatt

Emerald Mirror, Prospect Park, 2011, photo by Fred Hatt

Even still water moves on its surface.  The bronze angel does not move, but the reflected angel quivers in the wind like the leaves of a tree.

Angel of the Turbulent Surface (Angel of the Waters, 1868 sculpture by Emma Stebbins, at Bethesda Fountain, Central Park), 2008 photo by Fred Hatt

Macy’s in a Puddle, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

Taxi’s Wake, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

At night, reflected light does its shimmery shimmy on the surface of water.

Gold Under the Bridge, 2009, photo by Fred Hatt

Water on a Tar Roof, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

The multiple image below shows the computer-controlled dancing water jets at the Brooklyn Museum, created by WET Design.  You can read this set from the bottom up:  the lowest image shows the initial burst of the water jets, the second picture shows them shooting high, and the higher images show the columns of water aloft as gravity begins to pull the droplets apart and back to earth.

Brooklyn Museum Fountain, 2006, photos by Fred Hatt

These fountains, with their unpredictable changing patterns, induce states of calm bliss in some who watch them, and screaming excitement in the children.

Fountain Joy, 2006, photo by Fred Hatt

The city is full of more traditional fountains, all of which celebrate the thrilling movements and sounds of water flying through the air and splashing down on itself.

City Hall Park Fountain, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Ring of Rain, Ring of Flowers, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

Fragmenting Sprays, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

As with fire, the shutter speed makes all the difference in photographing moving water.  A fast shutter speed freezes the water as clusters of individual droplets, while a slower shutter speed allows the movement to blur into streaks.  Sometimes a still photo of water looks like a sinuous sculpture in glass.

Belt of Water, 2005, photo by Fred Hatt

Fountain Dome, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Stairway Cascade, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Liquid Chandelier, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Dancing Waters, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Moving water has a prismatic quality – literally in the case of rainbows created by light shining through mists of droplets.  (Click this link for a good explanation of rainbows, moonbows, sundogs, and other variations on the phenomenon.)

Rainbow in Falling water, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Water refracts and reflects the light and object colors in its surroundings.  Water reflections weave together the colors of the environment without muddying the hues.

Wet Windshield, 2003, photo by Fred Hatt

Low Sun on the River, 2001, photo by Fred Hatt

The texture of the water’s surface varies according to the movement of the water itself and of the air moving over it.  The surface of rapidly moving water is dense with perturbation, while stiller water warps light in a more rubbery, tremulous fashion.

Rushing Stream, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Rain on Pond, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

Fluidity, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

White Splash on Green, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

I’ve never been able to get good photos of the ocean or surf on the beach.  For me, those pictures never quite capture the immensity and power of the breathing sea.  Smaller bodies of water, ponds and streams and fountains and puddles, share with me and my camera a vision of Nature as master painter.

Water’s Edge, 2004, photo by Fred Hatt

Ducks’ Domain, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

This Summer one of my favorite and often-visited bodies of water, the Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn, was almost completely overtaken by invasive ferns and algae.  Apparently our extremely mild last winter played a part in this opaque bloom.  Water is vulnerable!

Carpet of Algae, 2012, photo by Fred Hatt

We are creatures of the Watery Planet.  Let us celebrate, respect, and protect the water of life.

Reflecting Pool, 2010, photo by Fred Hatt

 

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