Michael Hardison Photography: Blog https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog en-us (C) Michael L. Hardison [email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:13:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:13:00 GMT https://www.hardisonphoto.com/img/s/v-12/u71280809-o141416467-50.jpg Michael Hardison Photography: Blog https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog 120 104 This Beautiful City: The Exhibit After One Year https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2017/12/tbc-after-one-year Two years ago to the day, I, alongside many others of this community, was shocked by the random violence so close to home. Inspired to make a positive impact I began photographing the area as I see it - beautifully.


Thanks to the gracious support of Loma Linda University Health and SACHS This Beautiful City first opened on November 30, 2016, remaining on exhibit continuously for one year.  


The exhibit, consisting of twenty four color photographs, portrays a positive view of San Bernardino, showcasing the beauty I see here every day. Loma Linda University Health embraced the opportunity to showcase my work at the San Bernardino campus, located on G Street, conveying a message of healing.  


The exhibit will close at the Gateway College on December 8. If you have not had the opportunity to see the exhibit, or would like to see it again, I invite you to visit the main corridor of the third floor between 8am and 5pm before Friday. 


A book of my impressions of the city, including imagery from the exhibit, is currently in the works.  Stay tuned for more information about the next venue where I will show This Beautiful City.

[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2017/12/tbc-after-one-year Sun, 03 Dec 2017 05:19:31 GMT
This Beautiful City: Realized https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/11/tbc-realized I choose to have a positive outlook on life; to strive towards making a positive impact in the lives of others. Photography is a way to express my thoughts and feelings; often by capturing the details light reveals as it plays across natural and man-made landscapes.


In December, 2015 I set out to photograph San Bernardino, California from this perspective.  Along the way I learned there is much more than the common stereotypes about this area.  Traveling in, around and through the city over the past twelve months, I purposely slowed my process and focused on seeing more that what meets the eye.


  • Trees, an enduring sign of life with intricate twists and turns, reaching for the sky
  • A white church, seemingly abandoned except for the light at the door
  • Shadows playing against a wall, mimicking every move of the palms, until the sun rises beyond
  • The elegance of a neighborhood street lamp that has the power to illuminate the dark


My hope was to share my perspective with an exhibit entitled “This Beautiful City” at the end of 2016.  As the image installation was completed on November 17th, this dream has quickly become a reality.


Please join me at the opening reception of “This Beautiful City”  Wednesday, November 30th,  5–8 p.m.  I look forward to sharing my work and hearing your thoughts.


Loma Linda University Health San Manuel Gateway College

250 South G Street, Third Floor

San Bernardino, California

[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/11/tbc-realized Tue, 29 Nov 2016 18:46:47 GMT
Art About Agriculture 2016 https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/11/art-about-ag I spent last weekend in Santa Paula, California for the 9th Annual Art About Agriculture Exhibition. This is a special event highlighting aspects of working the land, fostering sustainability and stewardship for the benefit of many.  We all live better because of farming.


The exhibition illustrates the many ways in which agriculture enriches our lives through various 2- and 3-dimensional artistic mediums.  Raised in a farming family I am proud to participate in the exhibition and I am grateful to be included among 64 talented artists in this display.


Art About Agriculture will run through February 26th, 2017 at the Santa Paula Art Museum.   http://www.santapaulaartmuseum.org/exhibits.html




[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/11/art-about-ag Tue, 22 Nov 2016 05:24:35 GMT
This Beautiful City: Almost There https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/11/tbc-almost After a full year's work on This Beautiful City, I still find myself surprised that the exhibit is ready to debut.   Armed with a vision of what I wanted this project to become but unsure of how it would all come together, I began photographing San Bernardino as I know it.  Something inside me compelled my desire to keep moving forward; perhaps as my own way of processing all that has happened.


Today, we are three weeks away from the opening reception. Marketing materials have been completed and are ready for distribution, prints have been framed and the rest of the pieces are falling into place - as if they were meant to be.  I am very grateful to those individuals who have jumped in to support This Beautiful City.  Special thanks to Loma Linda University Health for believing in my vision, offering encouragement and providing space to display the full exhibit. 


Over the next three weeks keep an eye out for This Beautiful City as we will be promoting the opening reception.  I hope to see you on the 30th!


Opening Reception

Wednesday, November 30th, 5 – 8PM

Loma Linda University Health San Manuel Gateway College

250 South G Street, Third Floor

San Bernardino, CA


[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/11/tbc-almost Thu, 10 Nov 2016 04:25:34 GMT
This Beautiful City: Ripples in the Pond https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/10/tbc-ripples Casting a pebble into the water of a pond creates ripples radiating from the point the pebble disappeared.  Taking the time to pause long enough to watch the ripples move across the surface is important. If you do not slow your pace, you will miss the impact. 




I carry this image in the forefront of my mind when I encounter the negative references of San Bernardino.  When the incessant depiction of this city comes forth, my instinctive response is to protest, to counter the negativity.




I envision the pond, with the water surface tension acting as the common negative perception, and I cast a pebble of positivity into the water. I picture the repetitive waves gently rising above the surface tension of the pond; traveling to the far reaches until the entire pond has been enveloped in ripples.


From the beginning my photographic project, This Beautiful City, was intended to cause positive ripples overlapping the first anniversary of the attack on humanity - December 2, 2015.  On display at the Loma Linda University Health San Manuel Gateway College beginning November 19, the exhibit depicts my view of San Bernardino - a beautiful place when you slow your pace and observe.

[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/10/tbc-ripples Fri, 28 Oct 2016 04:32:05 GMT
This Beautiful City: Looking Beyond the Headlines https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/10/tbc-beyond-headlines  

San Bernardino, California is a dynamic community where 

beauty persists every day. Despite a relentless perception of negativity, this city is not defined by a single event nor a simplistic headline.



To that end, I continue to work on “This Beautiful City”, my photographic perspective of San Bernardino, which showcases what is often overlooked.



First previewed in June, the full exhibit will be on display beginning in November at the Loma Linda University Health

San Manuel Gateway College.



I am excited to share my perspective.


[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/10/tbc-beyond-headlines Fri, 07 Oct 2016 05:55:45 GMT
A Preview: "This Beautiful City" https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/6/a-preview This Beautiful City

A photographic perspective by Michael Hardison

As a fine art photographer I have spent most of my life creating imagery in and around San Bernardino.  Growing up in this area, I know this to be a beautiful place in the Southern California landscape. 


A once thriving city, San Bernardino is often depicted as a place of crime, corruption and bankruptcy. In the days following the terror attack, (December 2, 2015) the negative interpretations continued, overlooking the good that still resides in the area – the people, the community and the history of the region.


What was being presented on the news was not what I know of this city, or of this community. Determined to counter the undesirable portrayal of the region, I began photographing San Bernardino immediately after the attack. Taking different paths into the city I was drawn to views others might overlook, but to me were visually striking. The inspiration behind “This Beautiful City” stems from the resilience of the community; people coming together, reaching out, and moving forward, living in the Inland Empire. There is more to the story, more to this place.


I recently had the opportunity to debut six images from “This Beautiful City” during the Loma Linda University Health San Manuel Gateway College ribbon cutting ceremony on June 22nd. Currently a work in progress, these images will be incorporated into an exhibit showcasing the full body of work near the end of 2016. 



[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/6/a-preview Tue, 28 Jun 2016 23:56:37 GMT
Process is Important https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/6/process-is-important Working, step-by-step, through a process to achieve a goal has an important impact on the final outcome that is often overlooked.  To travel from point A to point Z directly, without stopping along the way, means missing out on what points B thru Y might contribute to the end result.  



In film photography, the steps required to create the final image are time consuming. Seeing the desired subject matter, I execute purposeful composition and precise exposure to translate what I experienced in the moment. However satisfaction must wait. Once in the darkroom, I can then make a simple contact print only after developing the film and waiting the interminable drying time - all necessary steps. Close examination of the contact sheet takes me back to where I was and leads to making a work print.  Seeing the first print emerge in the Developer bath, I again look at the timer.  The arm sweeps, 30 seconds in the stop bath, then 2 more minutes in the Fixer before the lights come on.  Each step requires discipline and patience; a craft balancing science and art to obtain consistent, reproducible results in the quest for the perfect image. 


Digital photography certainly provides immediate results in grabbing an image.  Exposures are accurate, focus is true and everything looks pretty on screen.  In fact, I find that technology makes it so easy that I can be overwhelmed by volume.  At the same time I realized that, despite the volume, very few of the images were useable.  To get where I wanted to be I retraced the fundamentals I learned working with film to rediscover my process.









Now my work flow begins as film or digital by seeing then photographing.  Next comes scanning digital images or processing RAW files in the computer.  Narrowing and flagging images with some perceived value I once again make work prints.  The work prints are laid out on a table for closer examination under reflected light.  From the table a smaller number images are pinned on the wall.  At that point I live with the images for awhile, surveying at different times to see what communicates my vision. From the prints on the wall I can edit and print for exhibition.  This process slows time once again, providing opportunities to work with an image, to see what it can become and to create the final print.  Fine art takes time. -MH

[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2016/6/process-is-important Sun, 19 Jun 2016 05:15:46 GMT
A Tour of Photography https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2015/4/a-tour-of-photography After taking some time off to be with family and to celebrate my son's wedding, I am back at it again! I am excited to announce that I have five pieces currently showing at The Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont, California! This is the largest show I've done to date, but it is quite a privilege to be recognized as one of only five artists! This is a huge stepping stone here. 


Check out "A Tour of Photography" going on at The Alexander Hughes Community Center in Claremont, California, now through July 2015!


I am looking forward to the remainder of the year and all the new possibilities and adventures it holds! Exciting things are in the works. Thanks for sticking around! 

[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2015/4/a-tour-of-photography Thu, 16 Apr 2015 05:38:19 GMT
Art About Agriculture https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2014/11/art-about-agriculture  

My first piece was debuted in the 7th Annual Art About Agriculture Exhibit, and what an incredible experience it was! Coming from a family full of agricultural specialists I am honored to be featured, among 64 other artists, in an exhibit that focuses on the importance of agriculture and what it produces for our society. The goal is to promote a greater appreciation of the role agriculture plays in our lives and I am proud to share a glimpse through my photograph.  


My Family and I at the Art About Agriculture Exhibit.



The support of my family means the world to me! I was so grateful to have them at the opening and to finally see my hard work as a finished product!






Check out Art About Agriculture at the Santa Paula Art Museum. The Exhibition will run through January 25, 2015. 




[email protected] (Michael Hardison Photography) https://www.hardisonphoto.com/blog/2014/11/art-about-agriculture Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:59:40 GMT