The blog of Michael McAleer Fine Art Photography

Archive for the tag “art photography”

The Icarus Session in Austin February 6, 2013

I love Seth Godin and his blog.  He has suggested that people all over the world participate in what he is calling Icarus Sessions, where people are allowed to share about their art.  The idea is to encourage each other to get art “out there.”  Stacy and I attended the Austin session last night, the 6th of February.  We thoroughly enjoyed the session.

Here is what I read and some photos I shared.

My name is Michael and I capture beauty with my camera.  Beautiful things are all around us and we often fail to even notice them.  I say I capture them, because they are fleeting, momentary and often gone forever.  But then most beauty is like that isn’t it?  Photography captures those moments in time and space.  Stopping, pausing, capturing light is a way to keep that beauty alive.

I believe in all cultures there is a longing and a desire to produce beautiful things, to make beauty not only last, but make it part of everyday life.  I also believe there is a universal longing for aesthetic completeness.  By that I mean there is an impulse within to find wholeness and meaning, by recreating beauty, then living within that creation.  It may be a sacred or profane place, an altar to a deity or stark rock formation, but the beauty is there, there whether or not anyone ever beholds it.

All artists seek to contribute to that completeness.  Whether it is with paintbrush, pen or pixels, describing, capturing, laying out that beauty is a task we share.  We do not create, but re-create the beauty.  We contribute to the completeness through forms: abstract, concrete, realistic, farcical, erotic, or philosophical; but form is only that: a form which is here today and gone tomorrow.  It is not the method of art that needs to be discussed, but the meaning of the beauty recreated and shared.

My name is Michael and I capture beauty: light and dark, colors, textures, forms and fantasies but all I do is try find that completeness and make beauty real.

Port Aransas SunriseSide by Side

Turner PopeCowboyAngel's WingsStacy


Raising Ebenezer

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;

hither by thy help I’m come;

and I hope, by thy good pleasure,

safely to arrive at home.

Beginning sometime in late 2011, people began going to a portion of the beach in Galveston, Texas and building things.  They began building cairns, stacks of stones.  It is wonderful public art and an expression of creativity.  I mean if God gives you rocks you make cairns right?

Cairns themselves have a long history.  Stacks of stones to commemorate special events,  special places, to mark the burial ground of someone important, or to mark the way on the path date back to early man.  Cairn is a Celtic word but the object itself cuts across cultures and time.  People have been building memories and marking extraordinary places for a long time.

“Here I raise mine Ebenezer,” comes from an evangelical hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”  The idea that the author expresses in the words comes from an Old Testament passage, I Samuel 7:12.  “Samuel took a single rock and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it “Ebenezer” (Rock of Help), saying, “This marks the place where God helped us.”  (From the translation, “The Message”)  Samuel built a cairn to remember God’s help.  When I was walking through the area looking at the cairns and photographing them, that song came to mind.

We all need places to remember, places to mark the way in our lives.  We even say I have reached “a milestone.”  People used to put down stacks of rocks to mark how far a mile was.  We remember the marks along the way and arrive safely home.  Besides that, God knows we all need a little help sometime.  Perhaps the simple act of stacking stones becomes a simple way of saying grace.

I have no idea about the motivation for the cairns that began appearing on the beach, but who cares really?  What matters is that people stop and take moments to stack stones and remember.  What are they remembering or forgetting?  Is their particular story under every rock?  I think it is.

What photography does is allow us to participate in their art. Then just for a moment we can write our own story about why those stones, that shape and form, become a memory and a help.  The blog posts in this series will remember what these creative people have built on a rocky stretch of beach.

I invite you to write your own story about one of the photos in the comment box below.

For more of my photographs see  You can purchase these and other pictures from my website.

Simple Perfection


Almost Monolithic


She Left Her Pearls


I know what you will say: of course it is.  Everyone has different ideas about beauty or are they merely  opinions about attractiveness?  There is a difference between those two that we have lost sometimes.  There are some things that are just in and of themselves beautiful.  I mean you look at them and you say, yes, that strikes a chord in me.  It takes me out of myself and into a space that is well, beautiful.  I think that longing to find that space is fairly universal.

I try to do just that with my photography.  I try to capture that beautiful moment.  Photography stops time and space.  It is a pause in vision.  We are very attuned to everything whizzing past us today.  We speed through shows and commercials even on the DVR.  Photography says wait a minute.  It says not only look at me, see me, it says the world needs to stop for one moment.

There is such a thing as beauty and I do believe that it is out there and knowable.  It is one of the quests mankind has been on since someone found out you could scribble on cave walls.  I think it was probably even before that.  My fine art photography has as its aim to create a common beautiful space between me and the ones who view my art.

Have a look at my webpage:

Here are some of mine that I think strike that beautiful moment:

Bougamvillea and colored pot

Fall Fence

Las Rosas del mercado

Believing is seeing-photographic art and the art of seeing

This is a blog about my photography, the images I produce and what art and art photography can mean for you, your home and life.

I have always seen things.  I mean not like seeing ghosts or UFO’s or monsters under my bed.  I see things in the world around me and I love taking photographic images of them.  Beauty I think is everywhere.  You just have to see it.  We tend to pass it by and not even notice it.

That is why the name of my blog is Captured!  I want to capture in time and space that beauty: a form, some symmetry, some color and bring it to others.  The other day I was thinking about that.  I thought about some of my photos.  I wondered: “How many people walked by that day and didn’t stop to see what was there?”   But the nice thing is that you can notice it now.  You weren’t there present; you didn’t see it, but now, open your eyes and take a peek.

Here are four of my photos that share that spirit of being Captured!  La Muñequita is one of my personal favorites.  The elderly lady, the dolls, their dresses; Can you see?

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