JC Styberg Photography: Blog https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog en-us (C) JC Styberg Photography (JC Styberg Photography) Sun, 18 Jul 2021 14:11:00 GMT Sun, 18 Jul 2021 14:11:00 GMT https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u868214391-o567226899-50.jpg JC Styberg Photography: Blog https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog 86 120 Under the City of Light https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/under-the-city-of-light

Several years ago while in Paris, we took a chance and decided to take a tour through the famed Catacombs. These labyrinthine underground galleries initially were created from the stone quarrying that went on during the 13th Century to provide building material for the expanding city.  By the 17th Century cemeteries were overflowing, with human remains posing a major health problem. The city of Paris took on the task of moving the bones of between 6-7 million people from the cemeteries to the underground ossuaries, a task taking 12 years to complete.

While waiting in the long line to gain access we wondered what we would see and how we would react.  Finally it was our turn to get our tickets and then descend down a long spiral staircase, leading to stone walled passageways and then into the ossuary. 

The visit was, at first glance, overwhelming. As we walked through the low lit galleries hundreds upon hundreds of skulls stared at us. It was very unnerving, to say the least. However, after a bit of time walking through many galleries I slowly began to almost feel at home with these remains of fellow humans of another century, each of whom had lived a life and had passed into eternity. It was revealing and sobering to recognize that, in one form or another, we are all on the same journey through life.

(JC Styberg Photography) catacombs cemeteries death journey life ossuary Paris skulls time https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/under-the-city-of-light Mon, 23 Mar 2020 19:11:11 GMT
Time in a Bottle https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/time-in-a-bottle

I fondly remember a song written by singer/songwriter Jim Croce, titled "Time in a Bottle." Croce wrote the lyrics after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant, in December 1970. The couple had been married for five years and Ingrid recalls a mix of terror and delight in Jim's reaction when she told him the news.

The lyrics of this beautiful love song: 


If I could save time in a bottle

The first thing that I'd like to do

Is to save every day till eternity passes away

Just to spend them with you.


If I could make days last forever

If words could make wishes come true

I'd save every day like a treasure and then

Again, I would spend them with you.


But there never seems to be enough time

To do the things you want to do, once you find them

I've looked around enough to know

That you're the one I want to go through time with.


If I had a box just for wishes

And dreams that had never come true

The box would be empty, except for the memory of how

They were answered by you.


I love the metaphor of putting 'time in a bottle,' as if you could suspend a moment and treasure it forever.  Are there not many times in life that we have an experience that we wish could go on forever?  But that is why we are able to keep fond memories in our hearts.

(JC Styberg Photography) dreams eternity in memory still life time time in a bottle wishes https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/time-in-a-bottle Mon, 23 Mar 2020 19:10:37 GMT
March of Time https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/march-of-time

                                                           "March of Time"

This is the title that I gave to an image that I made several years ago.  It was a Sunday afternoon and I was with a group of fellow photographers and we were rummaging through an abandoned factory site, looking for interesting subjects.  We entered an office building that had housed the company headquarters, but now was in ruins and soon to be demolished. I was drawn to the afternoon light cast on one wall and particularly to the shapes and textures that appeared. I began to photograph what I felt. The light was angular creating an interesting and integrated abstract. It was clear that the 'march of time' had taken it's toll but left behind a magical abstract ... maybe as a memorial to the past, when this business once thrived.

(JC Styberg Photography) abstract magical march of time metaphor time https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/march-of-time Mon, 23 Mar 2020 19:10:18 GMT
A Ripple in Time https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/a-ripple-in-time

Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time.  

The ingredients: a pond, spring time, melting snow falling from overhanging tree branches, a sunny/partly cloudy sky with light wind. 

The magic: serendipitous being in the right place at the right time, taking time for contemplation.

In this organic abstract image you may see earth, water and sky as layers ... perhaps a visual metaphor of the interconnection of all physical reality. 

Humanity has a long way to go to become consciously aware of this interconnection on a global scale. I am hopeful that personal and societal lessons will be learned from the scourge of the COVID-19 virus that we are currently facing worldwide. May we come out of this more thoughtful and more caring as a nation, as a community of nations and as a species as a result.

(JC Styberg Photography) abstract earth interconnection metaphor organic ripple sky time water https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/3/a-ripple-in-time Mon, 23 Mar 2020 19:09:11 GMT
It's About Time ... https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/2/its-about-time It’s About “Time” ….

A New Project

During recent years I have become fascinated with the notion of ‘time,’ partially borne out of where I am in my life span.  The subject has led me to a great deal of reflection and introspection.  I wonder about the role of memory to enable a sense of life continuity … the relevance of both the past and the future to the present.  More than ever before, I have become settled and focused on the present, and less concerned about what was or what might be.  I find myself asking others if they feel time passing more quickly as we age.

As I embark on this project, I will use a combination of visual images, quotes, poetry, and prose to highlight some of the more profound questions that arise from considering the enigma of ‘time.’  I cannot wait to explore visual metaphors and written insights and see what combinations may pique and inform the interest of readers.

Several themes that I intend to explore have come to mind.  Among them are:

  • Time and Timeless
  • The Poetry of Time
  • Time and Memory
  • Time and Space
  • Passage Through Time
  • Time and Change
  • No Sense of Time/A Sense of Time
  • Cyclical Time
  • Linear Time
  • Quantum Time
  • Too Much Time
  • Too Little Time
  • Timing
  • “In the Zone” time

These themes are by no means mutually exclusive or comprehensive, but I feel this is an adequate starting point. The challenge is to produce a body of work that will have resonance with those who view/read the work.




(JC Styberg Photography) about time birth infancy infant infinity memory poetry sense of time space time time https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2020/2/its-about-time Sat, 22 Feb 2020 02:19:20 GMT
Seeing the Unseen https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/10/seeing-the-unseen

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."  - Degas


I love this quote from the French artist Edgar Degas, regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism. To me, it defines one of the primary goals of making art which is to bring the viewer a unique visual experience and a point of view that has an impact. I love to find interesting and dynamic images in the things that we can easily pass by, such as the patterns of windblown sand on a beach. All it takes is time and a receptivity to what is in front of us.

(JC Styberg Photography) abstract intuitive metaphor seeing https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/10/seeing-the-unseen Sat, 28 Oct 2017 04:03:07 GMT
Inward Significance https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/9/inward-significance “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”  - Aristotle


I love this quote that I found recently from the Greek philosopher Aristotle.  It rings true to me and it is the challenge that I have set for myself when creating new images.  Sometimes I feel that I am successful, especially when I have taken the time to dance with the subject and become intimately engaged with it.  What are your thoughts?


(JC Styberg Photography) aristotle essence intuitive inward significance https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/9/inward-significance Sat, 30 Sep 2017 14:15:19 GMT
More Than Reality https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/9/more-than-reality "In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”  - Alfred Stieglitz


When I first discovered this statement from Alfred Stieglitz it rang true to my own experience in doing photographic work.  When you capture an image that has personal meaning for you and one to which you are intuitively connected, that image does have a life of its own.  You remember the place where you shot the image, how it captured your imagination and it continues to be one which you enjoy …. it has become its own reality and more than reality in that it is a mirror of your conscious as well as unconscious connection with your subject.

(JC Styberg Photography) intuitive metaphor reality stieglitz https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/9/more-than-reality Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:21:54 GMT
New Photo Project Books Now Available Through Blurb.com https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/9/new-photo-project-books-now-available-through-blurb-com Two new photo books that I have published are now available through Blurb.com:

- The Shadow Project: Beyond Appearances is a collection of images and reflections on the shadow as a visual metaphor.

- My Father's Toolbox is a visual tribute to my father, who made his living and supported his family as a tool & die maker. The tools of this vanishing trade are portrayed in duo-tone to enhance the visual encounter with the tools of a master craftsman.

More information is available at http://www.blurb.com/search/site_search?search=styberg


(JC Styberg Photography) craftsman craftsmanship metaphor shadows tool and die tools https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/9/new-photo-project-books-now-available-through-blurb-com Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:21:15 GMT
"The Shadow Project" https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/1/-the-shadow-project For the past several months I have been working on capturing shadows as primary subjects. I am discovering that shadows have the ability to offer a visual metaphor to be explored and expressed. I am pleased to announce that "The Shadow Project" has taken wing. A select number of images and personal reflections from this on-going project are now available through a new Blurb book. I invite you to take a look!  http://www.blurb.com/b/7621841-the-shadow-project

(JC Styberg Photography) abstract alternate dimension essence intuitive metaphor mirror muse mystery real/unreal reality reflection shadow vision https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2017/1/-the-shadow-project Sat, 07 Jan 2017 04:10:46 GMT
The Challenge of Discovering "the Artist Within" https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2016/10/the-artist-within  

I find that doing photography as an artistic pursuit to be very challenging.  It necessarily involves a quieting of my busy and often over-active life in order to assume a calm state of mind that is open to receive the gifts that intuitively will come when you are fully open and receptive to your subject.  This takes place more often than not when I apply a discipline to my photographic practice, whether while image making or in image processing, that is least hampered by distractions.


On this topic some of the thoughts of Minor White (American artist and photographer, 1908-1976) have been enlightening for me:

  • "Let the subject generate its own photographs.  Become a camera."
  • "... innocence of eye has a quality of its own. It means to see as a child sees, with freshness and acknowledgment of the wonder; it also means to see as an adult sees who has gone full circle and once again sees as a child."
  • "Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence."


Have you had this experience?  Does this approach improve your work as a photographer?  What are your thoughts?

(JC Styberg Photography) artist within calm intuitive mindful mindfulness presence stillness https://www.jcstybergphotography.com/blog/2016/10/the-artist-within Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:01:00 GMT