I got into photography in the mid 80's when I found myself in need of documenting some of my paintings. There was no photographer around, so I got a 35 mm camera. I used it primarily to document other works (paintings, my band, other artists) or do work to be included in other projects (almost any of my combine paintings of the 80's and 90's, album covers).
I have gone on to regard photography as its own distinct media, and I have started grouping my works into related portfolios. I have a good eye for composition, and the camera is a great portable compositional device. My paintings can capture things within myself that others cannot see. With photography, I find myself trying to capture what others can see, yet fail to see. My paintings look inward, my photographs look outward.
Note: other examples of my photography can be found on my Multimedia pages.
Listed newest to oldest in terms of date of photography.
Click any image to advance to the next page.
|Joshua Tree National Park, April 2011|
For my first vacation since moving to San Diego, I decided to check out Joshua Tree National Park, just over two hours from my house. The park consists of two parts: the high elevation, wetter western end located in the Mojave Desert (where the Joshua trees are located); and the low elevation, drier eastern end located in the Colorado Desert. The first two days the winds were very high and, unexpectedly in a desert, it was chilly, especially at night. I was told there had been an unusually wet spring, and it showed in the variety of plants on display.
(4 pages, digital color.)
|Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, March 2010|
One of the reasons I moved out to California was in order to enjoy the wide open spaces and scenery that the state has to offer. One of my first excursions was to the largest state park in America, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, located a paltry ninety minute drive from my house. I just happened to pick the day to visit when the park was going through its short Spring growth spurt. Normally, this park rivals Death Valley for heat and arridity, but that day, we were treated to a place alive with blossoms (although you had to look down at the ground to see them).
(3 pages, digital color.)
|Animals of the Western United States, August-September 2008|
When I moved to California, I took a couple of months to travel, camp and hike around the western United States before looking for work. I took hundreds of photos, but the animal pictures were a particular joy for me to shoot. Most of the smaller parks I had visited in the east either didn't support large animals (except bears) or were small and crowded enough that the animals tended to hide from people. On this trip, I found the animals out in large numbers. In addition to having more access to wildlife, my digital camera, with its zoom lens, allowed me to get right up in there, whether the subject was a large buffalo or a small insect.
(5 pages, digital color.)
|Lexi Street, February-June 2004|
After moving to Atlanta, I tried to use my new digital camera to document some of the local artistic talent like I had done in Orlando. Unfortunately, the Achille's heel of digital cameras is shooting in low light. Many of the photos I took of local bands were simply too dark to see anything (for some reason, I never had my camera when the lighting was good!). One band was different, and fortunately, it was the group led by the photogenic Lexi Street. A talented singer/songwriter with a feisty semi-pro band, Lexi made for a fitting muse. But even they were problematic: their lead guitarist liked to lurk in the background shadows even during solos; their bassist was a dancing ball of energy who rarely stood still long enough to focus on; the second guitarist just kind of stood there (admittedly playing well); and the drummer, like most drummers, was hidden behind his drum kit. You can still see Lexi (with a slightly different band) playing around the Atlanta area.
(7 pages, digital color.)
|Cloudland Canyon State Park, August 2002|
By now, I had been hiking and camping over a large part of the United States. However, I had done relatively little exploration of my home state of Georgia (see my Rocktown Portfolio for the one exception). I purchased a book about good places to hike in the state, and Cloudland Canyon became my first "day hiking" trip in my hope to explore nearby hiking areas on weekends. Aside from the wonderous view of the canyon, the major attraction here was a pair of waterfalls. Unfortunately, I arrived during a drought, and the waterfalls were little more than a trickle.
(15 pages, color.)
|Great Smoky Mountain National Park, June 2002|
The idea was to hike to Albright Grove and spend a day taking photos and doing sketches. Unfortunately, the grove was rather boring as far as magnificent scenery goes. Just as I had to do with my associated sketches, I began to look for alternative forms of artistic inspiration. A lot of these shots are of the vegetation, rocks and trails around the grove area. Having skimmed through the grove, I found myself with time to drive by Clingman's Dome, the highest spot in the park. Often times, the clouds, even on a good day, are so thick up there that visibility is virtually zero. This time, as the sun was starting to set, I got a few good pictures from what seems the top of the world.
(14 pages, color.)
|Snow Storm, Atlanta, December 2000|
It's not often one wakes in Atlanta to find snow outside. Not just the kind that melts away at the first sign of the sun, but several inches which stuck around town for an unconscionably long time. Rather than being overcast, much of the day the sun was peeking out (making the day colder, rather than warmer), and these photos make an interesting comparison with the night snow storm I photographed in Indiana. These were all shot within a few hundred yards of my apartment before the bitter cold drove me back inside (let's see you work a camera with gloves on!).
(8 pages, color.)
|Oregon Park Disc Golf Course, Marietta, Georgia, July 2000|
I love to play disc golf. Aside from the game itself, I really enjoy walking about the parks where the courses are located, among the hills and trees, under the bright sunny summer sky. One day, I decided to capture some of this natural beauty on film. Of the disc golf courses around the Atlanta area, perhaps the most picturesque, if not the most challenging, is this one in Marietta in Oregon Park.
(6 pages, color.)
|Rocktown, Pigeon Mountain, February 2000|
My brother Greg was in Atlanta for a visit. I took him to nearby Rocktown for a photo safari. To quote the promotional literature: "Journey back 3 million years to a magical place in the mountains. Where wind and water have carved a natural fantasyland. Amazing sandstone formations curve and rise in thousands of bizarre shapes. Explore twisty narrow ravines and passages." Going in February meant the trees were bare and the rocks exposed to our cameras.
(10 pages, color.)
|Dawn On the Construction Site, January 1993|
As my time working as a construction inspector ran down, I wanted to capture one other element I found interesting at the job site. During the short winter days, we often began work before sunup, and the emerging light, combined with the early morning haze of the Florida woods, produced an effect similar to Japanese prints. Appealing to my love of minimalism, these images capture small bits of landscape shrouded in fog and darkness, only hinting at the larger picture. Much of these pictures remains in the viewer's imagination.
(8 pages, color.)
|Construction Site, Spring 1992|
During this time I was working as a construction inspector for a large toll road project in Orlando, Florida. I found myself on the job site one Saturday afternoon when there were few workers about, so I took the opportunity to bring my camera and took these pictures of the unpeopled job site.
(15 pages, color.)
|Revolutions Per Minute, December 1990-August 1991|
RPM was, and still is, an experimental post modern dance company based in Orlando, Florida. Founded by choreographer Niki Lin and using volunteer dancers, this group will perform almost anywhere from night clubs to art festivals. They caught my interest due to their modern approach to dance and their use of cutting edge music. I spent a couple of years working with the group as dancer, photographer, music coordinator, lighting operator, and even choreographer. Niki is very open to imput from her dancers, even a novice such as myself, and I credit her with giving me an understanding of dance in general which I never had before. Unfortunately, since I was unable to be photographer and dancer simultaneously, there are no pictures of me with the group. For more information on RPM, see chapter 5 of my biography, "Rock and Roll In Florida" and my painting of the group.
(14 pages, black & white.)
|Potential Frenzy, May-June 1991|
Potential Frenzy, my favorite band in Orlando, was guitarist Norah Salmon, drummer Pete Oldrid and bassist John Saylors. They let me roadie with them and learn a lot about the nuts and bolts of running a band before I restarted my own group, The View. These pictures were taken in preparation for the painting. I didn't want to ruin the mood by using a flash, so these were taken in generally low lighting with very high speed film. For more information on Potential Frenzy, see chapter 5 of my biography, "Rock and Roll In Florida" and my painting of the group.
(6 pages, black & white.)
|Florida Landscape, May 1987|
Artistic shots of the area around Tampa. Taken during a vacation on a photo safari with my photographer brother Greg. The beauty of these scenes may have had something to do with my moving to this area as winter approached later that year. Why live in the frozen hinterlands at all when you can live in a tropical paradise all year round?
(13 pages, color and black & white.)
|Snowy Night, Indiana, December 1986|
Captured around 3 to 5 a.m., a snowstorm falls on my hometown of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and neighboring New Haven. The snow, coming down in sticky clumps, is visible as a fog in the pictures due to the long exposure times required for these low-light night shots.
(5 pages, color.)
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All work displayed on these pages © Rick Hines.
Material may not be used without the artist's written permission.