SPOTLIGHT
By Douglas Schwartz
PARTNERS IN LIFE AND ART
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Karen and I fell in love pretty much the same way as people have been doing since the beginning of time. Our souls were attracted, a bond took place, and 27 years after becoming husband and wife in March of 1992, we're still together. That's amore!
This is our "retro" Evergreen Keepsake that we created for our 27th anniversary. (EvergreenKeepsakes.com didn't exist when we were married.)
Before all this happened, however, there was a love for something
else that we both shared and which was the reason why we met in
the first place. I am referring to art. More specifically...the art of
photographing nature.

While we generally approach nature with our cameras differently...
she primarily creating close-up interpretations of nature, and me
concentrating more on intermediate or scenic images...we both
have a deep love for our subjects and for the entire world of nature.

For us, nature is much more than merely something to photograph.
We both recognize the essential fact that without nature, there is
nothing. While a beautiful sunrise may be pleasing to the eye, it is
more important to realize that without that sun, life would not exist.

Karen and I spent most of our honeymoon at Acadia National Park.
Not a bad place for two nature photographers to begin their
marriage together. While we may have our artistic differences,
a place like Acadia can certainly bridge them. 

One difference that we have is that Karen is not what you could
describe as a cold-weather person. Me? I love it! Fortunately,
for her, most of the temperatures during our honeymoon were
relatively mild except for one night when the thermometer
dropped and the snow began to fall. Morning revealed a fresh
blanket of snow that delighted me. Karen, shall we say, was not
as pleased.

While packing the car before departing for Maine, I somehow
managed to leave my nice, warm snow boots behind. As a result
of my forgetfulness, I spent that morning photographing the snowy
landscape in footwear more suited to a warm, summer day.
Karen, on the other hand, spent much of that time sipping hot tea
while watching me through the window of our warm cabin.

The accompanying image shows the snow I was standing in.
It doesn't show how cold my feet were, or that I didn't care.
On an entirely different seasonal note...one of Karen's most
popular photographs is a close-up of a red tulip. Even though
it was published in the March 2018 issue, I encouraged her to
share it again in this spotlight because it demonstrates her
artistry in a way that no words can convey. Much more than a
simple close-up, it is almost as if her camera is within the flower.
The intense color along with Karen's dynamic composition
visually shouts for all the world to see! Much to her pleasure,
she created the photograph during a day much warmer than
my previous snow image.

My reason for selecting these two photographs for this spotlight
was to illustrate the following. While snow and flowers do not mix
well, the artists who create images of them can. Opposites do
attract. Fire and water. Air and earth. All things in nature balance
each other out. Harmony cannot exist without two.

Walking back to our car after any photographic outing is a
wonderful time for us. We excitedly discuss the photographs that
we created while sharing a belief that what we are doing has
meaning. As individual artists, before we were married, our work
was important. But as husband, wife, and creative collaborators,
our combined effort is much more than doubled.
No one should ever carve their initials into the bark of a tree,
but it's perfectly fine to draw them in the sand. I did exactly that
on a visit to Cape Henlopen State Park during another wedding
anniversary a few years ago. The ocean's tide has long ago
erased them, but it did not erase our love. That is something
that will stand up to water, wind, time...and all that life can
throw at us.

A marriage is always a challenge. If that marriage happens to
be between two artists...well, watch out! Creativity takes on a
whole new meaning. Artistic sparks can ignite creative
differences as well as inflame artistic passion. Each day and
each year brings Karen and I further along on our shared
journey. The past twenty-seven years have been fantastic!
I can't wait to see what the next twenty-seven holds!
Artwork featured in this SPOTLIGHT © copyright Douglas and Karen Schwartz. All rights reserved.
See more of Douglas and Karen Schwartz's photography at SchwartzNaturePhotography.com