rose028b. Photo © Jay Ruland at The Image Flow

Jay Ruland on the Beauty of Growing Old

Big Red, Jay Ruland, Withering Roses, exploration of age and age issues, pictures of flowers, flower photography

After 25 years in the workforce, Jay Ruland decided to go back to school and, not surprisingly, found himself surrounded by 20-somethings. While he says he was welcomed by his junior contemporaries, he was struck by the way they perceive the world; that is, the things they found to be beautiful also tended to be as young as they were. As a 50-something, Jay says the aging process is beautiful in itself, and the desire to show that is the basis for his Withering Roses floral photography series, which will be featured in his new solo exhibition at The Image Flow As the Allure Fades opening on May 14.

“The younger students sort of had a bias toward things in society that are young and pretty, and we’re taught through the media that younger is better. But if you look closer in nature, things that are getting older are still beautiful and the process itself is a beautiful process,” says Jay.

He chose to work with roses because they are a societal symbol for beauty, something you’d give on a first date or use to decorate your house, but also because they can communicate ideas, from the number you give to the color, and transgress cultural barriers.

Self-Portrait in Octopus, 2009. Photo © David Favrod.

The Artifice of Photography

Fine-art photographers. Self-Portrait in Octopus, 2009. Photo © David Favrod.

It is no secret that the medium of photography has become increasingly complicated by the advent of the digital age. Nearly every image we encounter—from advertising and billboards to packaging and fine art—receives some level of digital treatment before arriving in our periphery. Altered images have become so commonplace that they are no longer questioned.

Knowing this, why then is there a persisting notion of photography as a mechanism of truth? It seems to exist as a residual concept of the photograph as something objective and substantiated by its relationship to reality.

But what we perceive to be real is malleable and shifting. This is where my personal interests in photography seem to manifest, in a space where artists are free to toy with the artifice that is inherent to photographs. Through individual choices regarding process, presentation, and content, the following are a few contemporary photographic artists that tread the boundaries of illusion and reality.

Leanne Hansen Language of Light

Leanne Hansen: Slow Down and Look at the Light

Leanne Hansen Language of Light

On the cusp between student and teacher, Leanne Hansen discusses her career before photography, the importance of light, and finding her best images close to home.

“To make successful photographs, we need to understand all of the possibilities and variations for light.” Her new workshop The Language of Light for Photographers offers photographers the opportunity to explore and experiment with the different types, shapes, and colors of light.

Jens Closer Hendrik Paul landscape photographer

Landscape Photographer Hendrik Paul Straddles the Old and New

Jens Closer Hendrik Paul landscape photographer

Hendrik Paul straddles two worlds: He grew up in Mill Valley, CA, where he took his first photography class in eighth grade. He spent his free time hiking on Mount Tamalpais and soaking up the northern California landscape, but his roots are firmly planted on a 500-year-old farm in Germany.

“It’s such a different life from how we live, this small farming community, living off the land. The men went out and did the field work and the women did the cooking. It’s still quite antiquated compared to California or America,” says Hendrik.