Storm Front, an abstraction of a catcus

Right now I’m preparing my photographs for my booth at this year’s ArtExpo. This week, when I haven’t been interrupted by snow days, I’ve been working on Storm Front, an abstraction of a cholla cactus that I brought home from my stay Miraval last summer. This is one of those photographs that jumped out at me the moment I created it. It had promise, but I felt like something was missing — something was needed to make it really work. Ever since, I’ve been trying to figure out what needed to be done to make this photograph achieve its potential. Finally this week, after a lot of experimentation, I nailed it!

Storm Front by Daniel Sroka

At this size, you don’t really see the details that make this photograph work. So let’s get focus in on one of the interesting areas…

Closeup of Storm Front by Daniel Sroka

This photograph is all about the interplay of subtle contrasts: open smooth abstraction interrupted by small, detailed textures. Light neutral colors playing against sudden dark edges. And above all, the implied motion of that long, jagged line cutting through the middle. The key was finding the right balance among all these qualities.

Closeup of Storm Front by Daniel Sroka

When I am editing my photographs, I usually work at this level of detail or greater. I work very very close, carefully dodging and burning the details, intensifying or diminishing textures and edges. It’s as much painting as it is photography. I’m very pleased at the way this one has come out.


I just received the following wonderful comment from Gail via email:

“Your work always touches me. Storm Front realizes the idea of an ancient texture existing in this moment.”

I really like that you shared the ‘even closer’ details of your macro photo. It was really interesting to read that you process the image at such a detailed level.

You are definitely inspiring me in my work and I really appreciate it!

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