Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here's who's out there: photographer Ginger Oppenheimer

Ginger Oppenheimer tells the story of how she became a photographer at her website, where you can see photo gallery collections from San Francisco, the Oregon coast, and an abstract series. I love her sense of color and texture, and was honored both this year and last when she sent me her From Here to There calendar of photo prints, which fits neatly into a CD holder. It sits on my desk at home.

Here are a couple of favorites from this year's twelve, as well as words from the artist about the evolution of this time-and-place-marking project. Speaking of evolution, tomorrow we'll see stunning photos Ginger took in the Galapagos Islands, back when she was first discovering her passion for photography. Click in!

I've produced seven years of the From Here to There Calendar. I had actually received a gift in the mid-90s of a similar calendar and was so taken by the concept that I kept it for quite a while. When I began taking photos in earnest starting in 1999 when I went to the Galapagos, the first thing I did was make photo cards for friends and I gave sets of them away. I always had that gift calendar in the back of my mind and as the holidays approached in 2002, I decided very last minute to make a calendar like the one I'd received. That first year I made 50 of them and gave them all away. I got so much great feedback I decided to do it again the next year...and the next...the only year I didn't make a calendar there was a bit on my own personal calendar: in 2006 I got married and my husband and I did a giant reconstruction project on our house. I decided a calendar really wasn't part of the picture for 2007.
The name came from the concept of my travels because not only did I get on planes a lot during that time, but I also began concentrating on my own backyard, literally. I was starting to garden a lot and I began photographing all the amazing blooms. And I realized a style was emerging in my photography: I kept wanting to get closer and closer to things and what seemed to catch my eye were shadows, patterns, and intensity of color. From there I jumped to extreme close-ups on, mostly, distressed metal, and these, when enlarged and printed on canvas, look like abstract paintings.
Since switching to digital imagery (film now seems so terribly old-fashioned, yet, it wasn't that very long ago!), I've felt a real freedom to snap away with the challenge of finding the gem among the rough.  
This year's calendar feels like it hangs together sweetly. While I usually try to have imagery from as many places as possible, this year I concentrated on San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Portland. For whatever reason, there are a lot of windows. And the three flower images are three different varieties of poppies all grown in my yard.

1 comment:

Ginger Oppenheimer said...

Thank you so much, Ellen! I'm so honored to be part of your blog. If anyone wants to contact me, please do so through my website. Also, watch for the Mexico photos on the site!