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Favorites of 2017

 Ouroboros #2

Ouroboros #2

I've finally had a chance to pull together my favorite photographs that I took or created in 2017. I do love this exercise as it is a wonderful chance to look back at one's creative process for the year and to see which directions provided successful results. I should also emphasize the word favorite above, as any such list is entirely subjective (and subject to change as well).

So, in no particular order, here are my favorite photographs of 2017!

First up (above) is Ouroboros #2 from my Harmony of the Spheres project, my favorite creation as I started to explore color with this series. From the same series, I also love Ouroboros #1 below (using my photograph of the sun along with the star trails).

 Ouroboros #1

Ouroboros #1

Next up in my list of favorites is this photograph from the Painted Hills in Oregon, a place long on my photographic life-list that I finally visited this spring.

 Painted Hills #1, Oregon, USA

Painted Hills #1, Oregon, USA

I've been working on a new series called Salacia -- more about this soon, but the photograph below is from the series for which I have a particular affinity (especially when printed large). 

 Salacia #1

Salacia #1

I'm essentially done now with my long-term Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project, but one of my full moon photographs from this year will make my final edit, too, I suspect.

 Moon When Cherries Turn Black I

Moon When Cherries Turn Black I

I continue to work on my Codex Natura project, with the photograph below making my list for this year.

 Codex Natura #24

Codex Natura #24

Similarly, I love this new photograph in my East of the Sun, West of the Moon project.

 Untitled #23, from the East of the Sun, West of the Moon project

Untitled #23, from the East of the Sun, West of the Moon project

I have a brand new project entitled Cosmographia, and these two photographs from that series make my favorites list for this year.

 Cosmographia #2

Cosmographia #2

 Cosmographia #8

Cosmographia #8

The photograph below is from Peaks Kinney State Park here in Maine.

 Sebec Lake Study #1

Sebec Lake Study #1

...and also from Peaks Kinney is a much different photograph from my new Neptune series (coming soon).

 Neptune #32

Neptune #32

And last but not least is this cyanotype from my Harmony of the Spheres project.

 Euclidean Sonata #1

Euclidean Sonata #1

Ouroboros Sonata

I recently released the beginnings of a new piece in my Harmony of the Spheres project, the Ouroboros Sonata. I have three photographs in this piece so far and it is very much still a work in progress, but I'm extremely excited about its potential. You can see all three here. Let me know what you think!

 Ooroboros #2

Ooroboros #2

New Codex Natura Work

 Codex Natura #20

Codex Natura #20

I'm finally starting to update my galleries with work from the last year, and I'm kicking things off with two new photographs from my Codex Natura project. You can see these and other selections from the project here.

 Codex Natura #21

Codex Natura #21

Favorites of 2016

 Prelude #3

Prelude #3

Every January I like to reflect back upon my work from the previous year (here is the list from last year), an exercise that I find both useful and enjoyable. As part of this process I choose my favorite photographs of the year. With now five active projects, choosing a dozen photographs was not easy.

I'm going to start off with my favorites from my newest project, Harmony of the Spheres. The photograph leading this post is a bit of a transition one for me as it bridges in a way my night photographs, my full moon photographs, and this newest project.

One of the key aspects of this project is musicality, and this next one best embodies that for me:

 Prelude #2

Prelude #2

This photograph is another favorite and represents more of the analytical and constructed work aspects of this project.

 Prelude #12

Prelude #12

My East of the Sun, West of the Moon project is also continuing, and I've chosen two photographs from this project. This first one is from my artist residency at Chiricahua National Monument, and I just love that hint of the last bit of sunset light.

 Untitled #21

Untitled #21

This photograph is one I love for its celestial feel...

 Untitled #20

Untitled #20

From my Pyrotechnic project I have two new favorites, too. I'm continually surprised that even after many years of photographing fireworks shows I end up with new looks.

 Pyrotechnic #255

Pyrotechnic #255

 Pyrotechnic #262

Pyrotechnic #262

My Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project has three of my favorites from 2016. This first one is the Mourning Moon from November and is a big departure for me, with the moon being so bright that it is blown out (something I generally avoid). I love how powerful the pure white moon is in this photograph.

 Mourning Moon I

Mourning Moon I

Another favorite moon photograph from 2016...the clouds were wonderful that evening.

 Bone Moon I

Bone Moon I

And the Quiet Moon from January 2016...I have no idea how this will translate on the screen, but I absolutely love the print. And I think we've found out how far towards abstract I can go with this series.

 Quiet Moon I

Quiet Moon I

And, last but not least, these are my two favorites from my Codex Natura project, both from here in Camden and both with a celestial vibe.

 Codex Natura #20

Codex Natura #20

 Codex Natura #21

Codex Natura #21

Mourning Moon

Today I've released three new photographs in my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project. These three are from November 2016 and I've chosen the Mourning Moon name for the group. 

Mourning Moon I is an unusual one for me as I've let the details of the moon go to pure white. I love the color and overall feel of it, though, and the purity of that white moon strikes me as quite powerful.

 Mourning Moon I

Mourning Moon I

 Mourning Moon II

Mourning Moon II

 Mourning Moon III

Mourning Moon III

New Pyrotechnic Photographs

I've been working on many of my photographs from this year, and I can now introduce new work from my Pyrotechnic project from this summer's fireworks shows. I'm continually surprised that I keep on finding new "looks" for this project. Let me know what you think, and enjoy!

 Pyrotechnic #262

Pyrotechnic #262

 Pyrotechnic #263

Pyrotechnic #263

 Pyrotechnic #264

Pyrotechnic #264

 Pyrotechnic #265

Pyrotechnic #265

 Pyrotechnic #266

Pyrotechnic #266

 Pyrotechnic #267

Pyrotechnic #267

 Pyrotechnic #268

Pyrotechnic #268

Harmony of the Spheres (and a brief exhibition at PhoPa)

I'm very excited to announce my newest body of work, Harmony of the Spheres. It is one I've been thinking about and struggling with for years, and I've finally started to crack it. This is very much just the beginning, too -- here in my underground lair I'm already working on new variations of this. Using motion of celestial objects such as stars as my source, I'm inspired by myriad things such as classical views of the Universe, music, and printmaking.

You can see the first photographs from the series here, and you can read my project statement here.

This work will be exhibited in a group exhibition at PhoPa Gallery in Portland, ME, as part of the Maine Media Student Exhibition (I worked on this project as I was auditing the Projects course). I'll be at the opening in Portland Friday 5-7 pm, and the exhibition extends from June 1st - June 11th. I've seen everyone's work develop during the course and there are some truly wonderful photographs in this show, so definitely check it out if you are in the Portland area.

Favorites of 2015

 Codex Natura #1

Codex Natura #1

It is once again that time of year when I, along with many other artists, reflect back upon the work from the previous year. I find it both useful and enjoyable to review my work and choose my favorite photographs from the year.

2015 was a very successful year for me creatively, I believe, as I continued advancing my previous two long-term projects (Pyrotechnic and Adventures in Celestial Mechanics) and also launched two new projects, Codex Natura and East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Given these four big projects, I found it satisfying to choose three images from each body of work to create my list of 12 favorite photographs of 2015.

As time goes on, other images may replace some of these in the end, but these are the images that tell the story of 2015.

I'm going to start with my Codex Natura project. This project has been extraordinarily fun as I seek out new material to use for the project and also continue to experiment with printing techniques for these very dark images. Besides the photograph leading off this post, my other two favorites are below - #15 is a brand new one, too:

 Codex Natura #4

Codex Natura #4

 Codex Natura #15

Codex Natura #15

I also continue to try to photograph each full moon from somewhere here in Maine for my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project, though life and weather often conspire against me. This project has been changing for me as the photographs I'm taking are increasingly more abstract and subtle, like this one:

 Buddha Moon I

Buddha Moon I

I should have qualified that subtle statement, as while most of the new work can be described that way, some of the new ones cannot. As you'll see below, the next two are a bit different...first up is the Blood Moon from September's lunar eclipse (a situation I've been trying to photograph for many years), and the Moon of the Ripening I from October is, well, pretty epic.

 Blood Moon

Blood Moon

 Moon of the Ripening I

Moon of the Ripening I

East of the Sun, West of the Moon is my other new project and I'm very excited about it as well. The challenges of these dark color images as well as the circular format have been pretty invigorating. Here are my three favorites, so far, from this new project:

 Untitled #1

Untitled #1

 Untitled #3

Untitled #3

 Untitled #4

Untitled #4

...and last but not least we have my Pyrotechnic project. I continue to haunt local public firework shows seeking out new images. Here are my three favorites from 2015:

 Pyrotechnic #206

Pyrotechnic #206

 Pyrotechnic #220

Pyrotechnic #220

 Pyrotechnic #241

Pyrotechnic #241

For those of you who made it all the way to the end, I'm also including a sneak peek at some of my Arizona/Southwest images from my fall artist residency. I'm still working through the very large pile of images, but these are some early ones that I find promising.

 Chiricahua National Monument - Dark skies are one of the main attractions of SE Arizona, and they did not disappoint.

Chiricahua National Monument - Dark skies are one of the main attractions of SE Arizona, and they did not disappoint.

 Chiricahua National Monument. I spent many days making photographs along the lines of this one -- I definitely think it has potential for a project.

Chiricahua National Monument. I spent many days making photographs along the lines of this one -- I definitely think it has potential for a project.

 White Sands National Monument. I'm not sure if this photograph is a keeper, but the many-colored reflections from the sand (mica) there if you got just at the right angle made one of my favorite sights I've ever seen. 

White Sands National Monument. I'm not sure if this photograph is a keeper, but the many-colored reflections from the sand (mica) there if you got just at the right angle made one of my favorite sights I've ever seen. 


East of the Sun, West of the Moon

I'm excited to reveal one of my new projects this year -- East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I've included the first twelve images from this project in a gallery on my website.

Read More

Buddha Moon

 Buddha Moon I

Buddha Moon I

I recently released my newest photographs from my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project. I'm quite taken with these photographs of May's full moon and I chose the name Buddha Moon for this group of work amongst names from many traditions. May's full moon is considered the most important in the Buddhist tradition as the full moon of Buddha's death and rebirth.

 Buddha Moon II

Buddha Moon II

 Buddha Moon III

Buddha Moon III


Favorites of 2014

 "Autumn Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Autumn Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Like many artists, I like to review my work from the previous year to get a sense of what I've accomplished and to come up ideas with new ways forward as well. Things have been a bit crazy this year, so I'm just barely completing this process by the end of January, but the process remains the same.

The images in this post are my favorites of 2014. As time goes on, other images may replace some of these in my end, but these are the images that tell the story of 2014 for me. Please note that these are what I consider my favorites, not the best, a much different and of course subjective list.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think, so let me know if you have any favorites yourself!

I'll lead off this list with Autumn Moon I above, a photograph I created from the top of Cadillac Mountain during my Acadia artist residency. This was a moonset across Penobscot Bay -- that mountain in the lower right is actually Ducktrap Mountain (a/k/a Point Lookout) in Northport, probably 30 or 40 miles or so across the bay.

I've continued to work on my Pyrotechnic series throughout 2014 and I have a few favorites from this series. First up is this one, which is currently in my show at the 555 Gallery in Boston.

 "Pyrotechnic #128", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Pyrotechnic #128", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

This Pyrotechnic photograph was from the fireworks show in December and is one I haven't released yet. Some of this series, like this one, really sing when printed very large where you can see the seemingly infinite details.

 "Pyrotechnic #184", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Pyrotechnic #184", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I particularly love this one...this one reminds me of a landscape drawing in the Chinese tradition, a particular influence on me right now.

 "Pyrotechnic #133", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Pyrotechnic #133", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

In a similar style is a new project I'm working on relating to beaches. I'm still working on how I want this series to look, so the final result may differ from this. This photograph is from a camping trip on Hermit Island here in Maine.

Even though this project is still in its formative stages, I can't tell the story of 2014 without remembering this particular beach on Hermit Island and the exciting process of finding this beach and creating these photographs.

 Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

My Adventures in Celestial Mechanics project was one of my primary focuses this year. Besides the Autumn Moon I photograph leading off this post, I also particularly loved Dog Days Moon I and Dragon Moon I, both of which explore a much different palette than my photographs from previous years.

 "Dog Days Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Dog Days Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

 "Dragon Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Dragon Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Rice Moon I, below, is in many ways of the perfect embodiment of my move towards abstraction with my full moon images.

 "Rice Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Rice Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

My artist residency at Acadia National Park this year was of course a massive influence on my year, so it is not surprising that even more images from this 3-week timeframe make this list.

First up are two photographs from an amazing show of the Northern Lights from the top of Cadillac Mountain. I've been trying for years to photograph this type of display and finally succeeded, and it was one of the highlights of my year.

 "Nightsong I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Nightsong I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

 "Nightsong II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Nightsong II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

During my residency I also photographed many of the other natural wonders of the Schoodic region of Acadia at all times of day and night. Schoodic has many wonderful features but the aspect that I will always associate with my time there is the clouds. I've never seen as beautiful and varied clouds as I've seen in my times there.

 Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

 Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Another new project I started in 2014 relates to Jasper Beach up in the Down East region, one of my favorites places in Maine. I'm still processing the first images but I love how things are looking so far...

 Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Yet another new project that is still under wraps involves moonlight...I'm still trying to decide how the project will go, but this early photograph has me excited about the possibilities. 

 Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

And last, but not least, another new project brought this night shot of a stop sign just around the corner from the house. That red line near the bottom is a car taillight during the long exposure. More on this and the other projects soon...

 "Stop Monsanto", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Stop Monsanto", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Autumn Moon

 "Autumn Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Autumn Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I've been going through my work from last year and I'm finally ready to share many of what I think are the best. During my residency at Acadia National Park, I was able to photograph the full moon setting from the top of Cadillac Mountain. This group of photographs of September's Autumn Moon were the result.

 "Autumn Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Autumn Moon II", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

 "Autumn Moon III", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Autumn Moon III", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

 "Autumn Moon IV", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

"Autumn Moon IV", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.


New Pyrotechnic Work

I've been remiss in posting new photographs from any of my bodies of work, so I'm going to start to rectify that situation starting with this post.

I photographed two fireworks shows back in December 2013 and came out with what I believe to be fabulous results. Here are seven images from those two shoots...you can see more from my Pyrotechnic series of abstracted fireworks here.

 

 Pyrotechnic #113

Pyrotechnic #113

 Pyrotechnic #120

Pyrotechnic #120

 Pyrotechnic #110

Pyrotechnic #110

 Pyrotechnic #102

Pyrotechnic #102

 Pyrotechnic #101

Pyrotechnic #101

 Pyrotechnic #109

Pyrotechnic #109

 Pyrotechnic #125

Pyrotechnic #125