In Mary Jo's words...
I've been a professional photographer for 40 years. My degree is in microbiology and I did research work in that field for 3 years which sounds glamorous and exciting but in reality I found it to be repetitive and uninspiring. It does explain my interest in the tiny world and my desire to understand how things work. I've always said I could be a professional student as I love to learn new things and photography certainly does provide that opportunity. Even after all these years I continue to learn new things every day. I find photography to be the perfect blend of science and art.
Most recently, some of my favorite work has been in the area of macro photography, especially the beautiful world of flowers. I'm looking for not only the documentary recording of what a flower looks like, but also taking a closer look and finding ways of expressing a more artistic and abstract view using color, curves, lines, lighting and softness to create interesting compositions. I love finding beauty in simplicity: just the edge of a rose petal, the sensuous curve hidden inside a flower, the way the morning dew clings and shimmers in the sunrise. A synthesis of color, light and softness, blending the magnificent with the minute; these are the things that make my soul sing a soaring melody of thanks to the Creator.
In my image gallery you will find some very abstract artwork. ColorBlur is a term coined by Mary Jo Allen to describe a photographic technique used to express the emotional and artistic rendering of the beauty found in a flower. It goes beyond the recording of what a flower looks like and delves deeper into the blossom searching for God’s use of the principles of design that we think we invented to define beauty: line, shape, texture, color, repetition and rhythm, contrast, harmony and unity. These may all be found in nature and revealed using the power of depth of focus to isolate and accentuate the hidden beauty. The way light plays across the surface of a gentle curve and exposes the rich texture and detail of a single flower petal is the inspiration for ColorBlur.ColorBlur images are simple, soft designs highlighting just a the tiny edge of a petal or the artistic design discovered in the interplay of several petals while using the softness of the rest of the flower as a delicate yet colorful background that blurs into complementary pools of color. Many images also illustrate a deep symbolism of life and relationship.
Mary Jo Allen, M Photog, CR, FP
Who is Mary Jo?
A PPW member since 1974, Mary Jo holds the PPW Fellow of Photography degree, is a Life Member, was awarded the PPW Distinguished Service Award and is a member of the 100 club for those who have earned 100 or more print merits. She has also earned the PPA Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman Degrees and is a Life Member of PPA. The past 4 years she has earned PPA medals for having all 4 entries selected to exhibit in the national salon. She and husband Ralph, own and operate a portrait studio in Lake Forest Park specializing in outdoor and classical senior and family portraits.