The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, January 30, 2009


This year I have a big reunion coming up.  I decided to join Facebook to catch up with everyone.  I have made connections with people that I have not seen or talked to in a very long time.  It is interesting to find out how close I am or have been to a few.  Just a few years after I got out of school I moved away from my hometown and have zig-zagged across the country.   One of my old friends is even kind of famous (OK she is famous -- she will get me for the "kind of") -- she always was an entertainer in school -- singing, playing the piano, cutting up.  Look up Anita Renfroe.  She has a few You Tube videos and a great website.

OK -- so why go on about Facebook on a photography blog?  Well, besides old classmates -- there are a lot of photography people to be found on Facebook.  I knew about this certain group because I hang out on the Lensbaby forums -- but they have a 'Lensbaby Addicts' group on Facebook.  Some of my Lensbaby friends are there -- how cool is that?  There are other photography groups.  I have yet to thoroughly explore Facebook -- because I need time and I seem to be short on that these days.  I am looking forward to searching out other quality photo groups.  I love that the Lensbaby group has weekly challenges.  I am working on something to submit for the challenge this weekend.

Now -- one last push for the photo contest.  In the upper left hand corner of this page is the link to "Nature Undisturbed."  Your entry must be postmarked by tomorrow to make it in to the show.  After all the entries are in -- some time next week -- a volunteer will compile the entries and the work of the jurors begins.  By March 7, all entrants will be notified if your photo(s) are in the show.   I have been fielding a lot of questions from photographers this week about the show. Late yesterday, when I was heading out to pick up a pizza, I noticed a couple photographers at Sam's Lake Bird Sanctuary.  They looked a little familiar.  I hope you guys got some great shots -- the light about that time was awsome!  We are all getting very excited.  

Also this week, I have been following up with vendors for the show.  Donations are starting arrive -- yes already!  We have some great events lined up and great items to give away -- goody bags for photographers, prizes for the winners, and door prizes for show attendees.  Mark your calendar now for April 24, 6pm, the opening reception -- including the jurors' talk.

Last night I previewed the ad that will appear in the upcoming issue of Arts & Expressions Magazine.  Thanks Marilyn, I love the ad!  OK, so it has one of my photos in the ad (the same one that is on the call for entries).  That has always been a favorite photo of mine.  But the ad looks great -- and contains the entire list of events.  I believe the magazine comes out the end of February -- look for one.

So -- mark your calendar, get in your entries, and check out Facebook!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is It Real or Is It Photoshop?

You have to really look twice a lot of photos.  Even looking twice -- do you really think you can tell if something is real or created?  I know that I used to think if I saw a photo of something I could believe it.  But sometimes seeing is not believing...

When I first got into digital I was not interested in manipulating photos -- much.  In fact, I would limit myself to crop, contrast, sharpening and overall minimal tweaking -- but nothing to really 'change' what was in the photo.  The aspect of digital manipulation that first attracted me was photo restoration.  I never really spent much time at all -- even on removing pollen specs on flower until after I started fixing the small specs on 50+ year old photos.

I don't know why I was reluctant to manipulate an image.  Photographers in the dark room had been doing it forever.  Somehow I felt I was not being true to the viewer if I altered the image from what it was originally.  There are photo contests out there that require any entry to be an unmanipulated image -- the only things you can do is the simple adjustments to contrast, sharpening, etc.  If you go beyond that to removing objects -- it is a step too far.  Most of the time a contest with such strict rules will have a separate category for manipulated images and the gloves are off in that group as to what you can do -- you can do just about anything!  

Some contests group everything together -- color, black and white, and manipulated all in one category.  I used to have a problem with that but I have changed my mind.  I see that type of contest to be more about the art than the technically sound photo.  In the contest with strict rules -- anything not technically good photos is not going to get very far.  Sometimes a blown highlight can be a good thing -- it is all in the art of the photo.  The way I see the contest with the wide-open categories is that it is more about art and the image itself than fitting an image into a box of 'photography only;' forsaking the art of it.

After all this blabbing about manipulating -- I have been playing more with Elements over the past month than I think I ever have.  I saw something in a book about adding a drop of "water" to something -- so I played with that.  I tried it numerous times.  Most of those tries came off looking like I fudged with the photo.  One of them though -- looks pretty darn good.  That is the one on this entry.  I simply used the lasso tool to create a selection.  Then went to Filters>Distort>Spherize.  I found that this needed to be repeated two or three times to get the look I wanted.  Many times -- no matter how many times I did it -- I did not get a look I wanted. Frankly, I don't know if this is something I will ever really play with again -- but it sure was interesting to make something like this look so realistic.  

I still stand by my standard of trying to get the closest to what I want with the camera and minimize the computer time for editing.  I like my camera much more than I like the computer.

Now -- a by-the-way about the last blog....I don't really want to come off like I am picking on Shutterfly.  (but I guess I am.)   They were not the only entity that turned me down during my quest.  They surely won't be the last.  (sniff, sniff)  I can take rejection.  But they (well this one person specifically) was pretty rude about it.  That was the difference.  It was not about me being told "no."  It was about the way it was done.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Random Thoughts

Ok -- so it is Friday afternoon and I have a few things to blog about.  Nothing big, serious, or overly important.

Well -- I take back big -- the new Lensbaby Composer arrived in the mail today -- YAY -- along with the optics kit.  I am excited and plan to play with it as soon as I post this entry.

This week I have been busy getting some sponsorships going for the photo show.  One vendor offered up T-shirts for all photographers in the show.  Excellent!  Then I got a wild idea -- since we had one thing for all the entrants -- how about little goody bags?  

Let's just say I am not a fan of voicemail.  I was saying the same message over and over on a variety of voice mail systems yesterday.  Occasionally I would get some helpful customer service person, who of course, was not the person I needed to talk to -- but they were pleasant.  I managed to get a few emails of marketing people and sent a bunch of emails off as well.

This morning I am doing my hair -- I did have a class this morning.  I hear a message going on the machine.  I guess I had not heard the phone ringing.  One of the voice mail messages from yesterday had paid off!  Big time -- this was a great call back and got some cool stuff in the works.  I will say more when it pans out -- I hate to jinx anything.  But good things for me, the photo club, and the show!  

All of the people I talked with about this have been very nice -- well -- all but one.  Let's just say I will not do business with Shutterfly....ever.  I have never had someone so matter-of-factly, totally uninterested in a customer request respond in such a way.  So, OK -- I am not even asking every contact for a freebie for a prize of goody bag -- I just ask for coupons or brochures describing their services.  Did you know that Shuttterfly never gives out coupons or brochures?  I did not know that -- and it is funny -- I found plenty of Shutterfly coupon codes on the Internet.  I think I have even seen Shutterfly coupons in my Sunday paper and in various magazines before.  hmmmm.

Oh well -- there are plenty of online photography services out there besides Shutterfly.  Guess what -- one of them is the vendor offering up T-shirts for all the photographers -- plus coupons and gift certificates.

Shutterfly who?


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Canvas

Remember last week when I told of ordering a gallery wrap?  I ordered that date (Jan. 14) I posted about it.  The photo I chose was one of the Lensbaby daisy photos.

It arrived yesterday morning!  That is quick service.  It did come from North Carolina -- which is pretty darn close.  

Besides being pleased with the rapid service -- I am pleased with the print.  I have seen some canvas gallery wrap photos before and not really liked the look.  I don't know the process of those other prints.  

This is a 16x20 1.5" thick gallery wrap of that black and white image.  It looks terrific!  I love it so much -- I am hunting wall space for it.  You know I like something when I am figuring out what can move or come down to make space for the new piece!  The vendor I used is Canvas on Demand.  I am now looking at giving Mpix a try -- just to see how they do and there turnaround time.

Also, a big reason I want to give Mpix a try -- they have agreed to help sponsor the Nature, Undisturbed photo exhibit!   Way to go Mpix!

Don't forget -- Nature, Undisturbed is open for entries now.  The deadline is Jan 31 -- postmarked no later than this date.  A link to the call for entries, including entry form, is found in the upper left of this blog.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Greg Newington

When you walk into Greg Newington's place in Serenbe you are greeted by some awesome photography.  It takes a few minutes to take it in.  There are so many wonderful black and white and color images.  

One of the photos I really loved was of an old pink auto out in the middle of nothing, in Australia.  The car and the landscape are wonderful together.  The composition is spot on.  The colors in the photo are very striking and work well -- pink car, blue sky (and not a typical blue sky that you think of when someone says 'blue sky'), and a pale, barren landscape.  I love that photo so much I wish I had taken it.

I am glad I visited the studio to see his work -- but I am very glad to have visited to meet Greg.  This is someone I could sit and listen to for hours.  He has some amazing stories.  All of the photos in the gallery come with a story.  The photo I mentioned -- the pink car -- it has a story.  I love when a photographer will tell you about what was happening when they took a certain photo.  You get to understand what they had to work with to get that image -- the events leading up to it and right after.  A picture is worth a thousand words -- you should get these stories with every photo you see.  It really adds to the experience.

Greg Newington has a lot of great stories.  It is easy to pass the time as he tells of the shoots he has been on over the years.  Stories of good times, funny times, and sad times.  The way he tells it you feel like you could have been in the room when he had a portrait session with Nelson Mandela.  You also get the feeling of what it was like visiting a burnt village in Somalia.

One of the best stories I heard from him was of shoving a cow into place for a shot in the dark.  (That sure sounds intriguing doesn't it?) And that photo session with Nelson Mandela -- he got the assignment truly by the luck of the draw -- his name being picked from a hat.  Not only does Greg Newington have a talent as a photographer -- he is a great speaker.

I am very pleased that he will be a part of the Nature, Undisturbed photography exhibit.  


Friday, January 16, 2009

Nature, Undisturbed Announces Jurors

(Fayette County, Georgia)  January 16, 2009 Nature, Undisturbed; a juried photography exhibition to benefit Southern Conservation Trust announces Greg Newington and Thomas Swanston as jurors.

Greg Newington has worked as a photographer for newspaper and publishing companies in Australia and The Middle East for over 38 years.   Greg’s work has appeared in more than 300 publications worldwide.  Greg has won a variety of awards during his photographic career including first prize in 1988 in The Australian Press Photographer of the Year awards. Greg was head of photography for Motivate Publishing in The United Arab Emirates.  This group includes “Hello” Magazine, “Open Skies,” and “Emirates Woman.”   In April of 2008, Greg opened his studio in Serenbe.  Currently Greg freelances in the US and Australia.

Artists Thomas Swanston and Gail Foster opened StudioSwan in Serenbe in 2006.  Thomas has lived and worked in rural Georgia for the past 25 years.  He received a MFA from the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1980.  Thomas’ art is part of many public and private collections including Disney, Ritz Carlton, Suntrust, and both the Goizueta School of Business and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.  His art has also been seen in a variety of publications including “Veranda” and “Domino” magazines.  For more information on Thomas Swanston and to view his art inspired by the migrating sandhill cranes visit the studio website.

The deadline for entries in the show is fast approaching.  You can find the link to print an application and read details for entry on the Southern Conservation Trust website or on this blog.

About Nature, Undisturbed – This juried photography exhibition will benefit the Southern Conservation Trust.  The show is in its inaugural year.  The show is open to any adult photographer, professional or hobbyist.  There are two categories; first is open to any nature image taken at any location and the second is any nature image taken at a land trust location.   Southern Conservation Trust manages Line Creek Nature Area and Flat Creek Nature Area in Peachtree City and owns and manages Sam’s Lake Bird Sanctuary in Fayette County.  Donna Rosser, local photographer and founder of the Fayette Photo Club; Abby Jordan, Executive Director, Southern Conservation Trust; and Greg Blair, owner of The Dogwood Gallery and Framer are working together on this exhibit.  The exhibit will be at the Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone April 24 through May 3, 2009.


I Found Ice!

There was ice this morning.  It was also very cold.  I was a bit surprised at how little ice there was.  Running water will stay unfrozen -- but at 16 degrees (or less -- I am going by what the car was showing) I would have thought there would have been more ice, especially in the very shallow areas.  You could certainly tell where the swifter current travels through the lake.

As I approached the lake a couple small birds shot out of the short grass near the edge of the water. All I could think of was how cold they must be.  I was cold and I had on quite a bit of clothing.  When I first went out of the house this morning -- I came back to add a layer under my jeans.  Those wonderful golf gloves -- well -- the only part of me that was really suffering was my fingers on my right hand.  At that point I wished I had the pocket hand warmer with me!

The photo on the blog today shows the ice in an area from one of the photos yesterday.  I like the sticks protruding out of the water.  They make good reflections and give a point of reference in a large area of water.

So now tomorrow morning -- I can stay in and keep warm!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Search of Ice

All I have heard on the news for the past few days is continuing talk about the low temperatures.  Since I am one to try to see the glass half full -- I thought this would be a great time to get some photos of ice.  It doesn't get below freezing often where I live -- soooo...this morning I went in search of ice.

I had to go out early anyway to take my daughter to a class.  After I dropped her off and on the way home I stopped by a local spot to take some photos.  By then I knew I would not find much ice -- if any.  The temps were not a low as first predicted.  But the weather man says -- wait until tomorrow (don't they always say that?)

There was a little ice -- but nothing I thought would make a good shot.  There could have been -- but after I saw the early morning light on the water -- I stopped looking for any kind of ice photo and went for the morning light reflections.  Who says fall is a time of color.  Here I am in the middle of January and the colors on the water are wonderful.  

I got a few photos I am pleased with -- both the color and the black and white versions.  Thank goodness for the Nik software -- the Color Efex and the Silver Efex were used to enhance the photos.

Even though it was not super cold this morning -- I realized I had under dressed for the weather.  No gloves and a not so heavy jacket over my sweater was not keeping me warm.  It did not matter -- I was not there long anyway -- the light was changing quickly and soon I had lost the beautiful colors on the water.  

After telling my husband about how cold my hands were -- he had an idea.  He plays golf -- a lot -- in the rain and in cold weather.  He has cold-weather golf gloves.  They keep your hands pretty darn warm -- plus they have a good grip to hold a club -- or to work a camera!  Guess who made a special trip to the golf store today -- me!  I now have a nice pair of Kodiak Ultimate Winter Gloves -- and a bargain too.  At least I think it is a bargain -- under $20!  I opted to not get the hand-warmer thing you put in your pocket.  He already has one of those -- so I figured I could borrow his if I wanted one.

Here are a couple photos from this morning -- not too bad for winter shots and frozen fingers!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


For the past couple years I have been a member of the North American Nature Photography Association.   I love their website.  The resource section is great --  they have been a wealth of information with the mess floating around about photographers being charged for shooting in national parks.  I have some photos on the site that occasionally are picked to head a page for a day. offered members a code for a freebie gallery wrap print.  A code to order a 16x20 size gallery wrap for no cost -- OK -- charges for shipping -- but we always know there is some type of catch.

So this presented me with a dilemma -- which photo?  I have a hard time making a decision -- I had to choose one photo to try this vendor.  I have had this code for a long time and not used it because I could not make up my mind.  I have these photos of a fork and scissors that I really like.  I was leaning to the fork -- then to the scissors -- then neither.

I finally chose a photo that I use for my wallpaper on the laptop.  It is one of the first photos I ever took with my Lensbaby.  I really like it -- and of course it is black and white (the fork and scissors photos are b&w too -- big surprise).  I sent the daisy Lensbaby photo.

I have printed on canvas at home -- canvas sheets.  There is not a lot that I haven't tried with printing.  For most of my prints I have been a loyal Ilford paper user.  I used the Ilford Galerie Smooth Gloss ever since I got my Epson printer.  I love this paper -- and I love that I get 100-count boxes of 8.5x11 sheets at Sam's Club for less than $24.  Please Sam's Club -- always have this in your large store!

Matte paper has been a menace for me.  I love it when I see someone else with it -- but when I try it I do not like the outcome.  Even if I like it once -- the next time I print with it -- I don't.  My stash of matte paper has been pushed to the "office supply" side of my part of the office.  I use what I have left to print my portfolio booklet or some other thing.

Watercolor paper is almost the same menace.  I love it and I hate it.  Then I look at this giant, dull print and realize I am a glossy girl.

The only other paper that I feel can give good ol' Galerie Smooth Gloss a run for its money is Ilford (yep another Ilford paper) Galerie Smooth Fine Art Paper.  And guess what -- it is matte!  I have liked every photo I have printed on it -- so far.  I have been choosey with which photo is printed on this paper.

The photo I have in the Southeastern Flower Show is printed on this paper.  I am very interested in the canvas gallery wrap that will be on its way to me soon.  I hope I like it.  Waiting for it is the worst part.  I think that is why I like printing at home -- it is instant.  I think I am an instant, glossy girl -- most of the time.


Monday, January 12, 2009

The Lensbaby Drop

No -- I did not drop my Lensbaby.  I have been looking to take a nice photo with the Lensbaby where the sharp focus was on a drop of water and the rest of the photo was slightly out of focus.

I chose one of the smaller aperture disks (actually not a smaller disk -- all of the disks are the same size -- the hole in the center is smaller).  

I wanted the bare branches in the background -- out of focus but still where you could make out what it is.

This photo was taken the foggy day I was disappointed in cows.  When I walked home from the edge of the pasture I noticed something.  As I walked up the sidewalk to the front porch the Japanese Maple had many little drops of water on the branches.

I had that old Nikon lens on the camera -- so I had to get into the house and swap lenses (and add one of the macro diopter filters to the lens -- and head back out.

I like this photo -- I like the little highlight that is just below the drop -- I like the way the branches are in this photo.  The composition works for me.  The drop is placed at a good point in the photo.  Of course I converted the original color image to black and white.

This works for now -- next time it is foggy -- I will be at it again.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photographing Animals

How can you take a photograph of an animal and have it really look great? How to make that 'pet portrait?' The big difference in a photo of an animal is getting that eye contact. If you catch the eye contact -- you have a great portrait.

Last March National Geographic had a cover story on animal minds. The photography that accompanied the article was wonderful -- great examples of animal portraits. Along with the story is a photo gallery and a video. The video is very interesting. Photographer Vince Musi talks about the animals and making the photos for the magazine. From what I heard him say about a marmoset -- I don't want to get too close to one. Also, if I ever need to calm down a prairie dog -- now I know how. After watching the video and listening to what Mr. Musi went through to get those magnificent photos -- I think taking photos of my dog Rosebud is a piece of cake!

The photo on this post is my mother's cat, Rora. She is kind of easy to photograph. Of all the pet photos I have taken in the past couple of years, hers usually turn out better. She will freeze and she will make eye contact with the camera.

The lens I used for this photo is the 50mm. I believe for portraits you can't beat that lens. The aperture was very shallow (1.4). The low aperture is the selling feature of this lens -- it makes it extra fast -- and in animal situations you need fast. I wish I had bumped it up a little on this one to secure more depth of field -- but all in all I am happy with the portrait of Rora.
Another tidbit about animals....I have a goldfish pond in my yard. I really like the fish. In the pond are goldfish, shubunkins, and a couple koi (and frogs, snails, an occasional turtle and snake). The little gadget on the blog called feed the fish -- well -- when I saw it I had to add it. This reminds me of my fish so much! I hope you like it.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Lately the weather has been a little gray. OK, so today the sun came out -- but the wind was really blowing. I was sitting in the car waiting for my daughter to get out of class thinking that it would not take a very long exposure to get a lot of movement today.

Last Saturday was a wonderfully foggy day. The fog lasted a long time. I had a couple errands to run early -- I was hoping it would last so I would have time to try some photos.

When I got home I saw across the street and into the cow pasture -- the cows were close. I grabbed the tripod and headed out to get some photos of the cows in the foggy field.

The photos of the cows were not what I had hoped for. But -- while I was there looking at the cows I noticed the fence. The fence was much more interesting. Across the top was a string of barbed wire and the bottom was a square-pattern wire fence. I noticed, thanks to the fog, the little spider webs on the fence had drops of water on them. The barb on the barbed wire had a nice little bit of dewy web.

This photo is cropped to just show the barb. The color was changed slightly with Color Efex to give a more sepia look. I also added a bit of glamor glow.

I used an old Nikon lens to take this photo using a converter ring to attach it to my Canon.

Foggy days are a great time to get out and try something new.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Orbs (12/30)

I just noticed that I had a draft of a post saved and it had not posted to the blog yet.

Look back to December 30 for the post on Orbs and a remention of the Orton Effect.


Sunday, January 4, 2009


In the resolution post it talks about getting out there and entering contests. But if you have not done this before -- how? How do you get started? Where is the information?

In the very beginning I entered a contest that was put on by an art group at the beach where I love to spend some time. I ended up joining that art group. How did I find it? Very serendipitously! One day -- I was poking around on the internet. We were planning a trip to the beach in a few weeks -- so I wanted to see what was going on in the area. The Glynn Art Association had a call for entries for their annual photo show. So I thought -- why not?

In that show I got an honorable mention -- I was hooked on entering. When I had my photos framed for the beach show -- the frame shop had flyers about another photo show. There is a huge fair in the fall in Perry, Georgia. They have a giant photo show -- so I entered that one. The local art center also was holding a photo show that August. I entered that one too.

That was all I did for a couple years. Then I started thinking about entering a juried show. The difference is that an open show - all entries are in. With a juried show -- the juror(s) decide what photos are in the show. Usually they have a set number to hang. They look through all entries and pick the best to hang for the show. From those they winners are chosen after the show is up. At this point, I am no longer entering an open show. I prefer the juried events.

OK -- so back to how do you find out about these events. Most of the time the deadline for the call for entries is well before the show date. You need to know about it well in advance -- or mark a show on your calendar for the next year. I had to do this with Slow Exposures. I knew the show was always in September -- but would miss the mid-June deadline. One of my goals for last year was to enter the show. I entered and had two photos make it through the jurying process. One of the photos received a purchase award.

If I were new to contests and just starting out I would simply Google "art organizations" in my area/city/state. The local-center scene is a great place to start when looking for a show to enter. If you find nothing about a show on the internet -- contact the centers to see if they do have a photo exhibit and the criteria to be a part of it. I started local -- I think that is a great way to start.

Besides the beach show, the local center, Slow Exposures, and the fair -- another show I had been in during the past couple years is the Southeastern Flower Show photo contest. In 2007 I heard about it kind of late -- but since I do a lot of floral photos -- I had plenty to look thought to come up with some decent entries. One of those photos made it through the jury. In 2008, since I had been in the show before, I received the call for entries in the mail well ahead of the deadline.

In 2008 I added Slow Exposures and ArtsClayton's photography exhibit to my list. Arts Clayton is another local art organization in my area. In fact, it is the county just next to mine. They have a juried photo show every fall and I had not entered it before this year. Three of the four photos I submitted made it through the jury process.

Let's talk about deadlines. I use the whole time I have to think and rethink my entries. I don't like to wait until the last moment (I save that for the IRS). Know your deadline -- but don't get in too big of a hurry to get your entry in. Think about it -- you could even print the photo(s) and put them up some where you can see them to think it over.

In 2008 I met someone at Slow Exposures who encouraged me to enter the Hearst 8x10 Photography Biennial. This is the first nonlocal photography contest I have entered. The deadline for it was postmark by January 1, 2009 (which really meant December 31 -- no mail on January 1). I think I sent my entry in on December 19. I feel like I am a long shot on this one --I am keeping my fingers crossed.

There are websites that list art/photography contests and supply links to the information including the call for entries. The call for entries will have all of the information on the way you should submit your entries and include an application, if it is required. Some contests prefer the entries on a CD others request the printed photo. There is a link for a site like this in the resolution post. Art Show has a good list of shows complete with links to calls for entries and the host's websites. I was looking over the PhotoSpiva 2009 information just the other day. I am thinking about entering something in this one.

Other ways to find out about shows and contests is through photo clubs. If you are not a member of one -- you should look into it. The club gives you a great chance to get feedback from other photographers about your photography. Some clubs have contests among members. Also, the clubs have field shoots -- to get you out and perhaps trying something new.

And speaking of new -- I added my signature to the posts! How cool is that?


Friday, January 2, 2009

A New Look

Well -- I thought it was time for a new look for the blog. During the next few days (weeks?), I may change things up again until I settle on something that I really like.

So far -- I am really liking this look for the blog. The red is a little -- well, um, red. I may change that -- but I love the template.

I have added a "follower" gadget on the side. When I was looking through the new things I see where this is new and I have a follower -- so I thought -- why not add it. Hello Luis! Besides the follower section, I have changed a few of my links. And -- at the bottom of the page is a 'daily photo tip.' We will see how good these are. If they are good, I will keep this -- otherwise it will get the hook.

Also I decided to change the layout from having the gadgets on the right side of the page to having them on the left. I think I like the left better.

Last night I tried just a plain ol' simple template from Blogger and it was stretched -- where the words went all across the screen. I thought I liked it but I did not.

So now that I have switched up the blog page -- I need to think about how I am going to shake up my photography this year. I have been reading through the resolution post from Photojojo thinking about what I would like to do. Actually there is a lot in that article I would like to do.

Of course I should get more organized -- but I already back up (OK, not as often as I should) -- but I do it. Getting organized is so boring. The organized part is nothing something I would like to do -- it is something I have to do.

I already enter contests -- and I plan to continue doing that this year. Perhaps I will add a couple new ones to my list. And instead of entering contests, this year I am directing an exhibition -- that is a new step for me. The photo book idea is something else I have been meaning to get around to. I think I have even downloaded the necessary 'stuff' from blurb and/or lulu to get my self going -- this year I need to do it!

The start a project section has really got me interested. I do want to make a commitment that I will do something like make a photography every Friday for the whole year. (So today is Friday -- hmmmm).

So here I am -- January 2 -- new blog look and lots of plans for the new year!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Photojojo has a great list of resolutions for the new year. If you don't get the Photojojo newsletter, you should sign up with them. Here is the newsletter I received this morning .....

New Year’s Just Ain’t New Year’s Without Photo Resolutions. Happy 2009!
We didn’t do any of our resolutions from last year, did you?

The problem is, we always pick stuff we ought to do, not stuff we want to do.
Here’s the thing- if it’s not fun, you won’t stick with it. Our advice is, pick ONE resolution that really sounds awesome, and do that one. Why commit to a whole bunch of things that you don’t want to do?

Need help picking that single resolution? Have a look through our humungous list of 22 photo possibilities* for the upcoming year.

(Although one resolution is the strict limit, we invite you to dabble frivolously, irresponsibly and noncommittally with anything else on this list.)

22 Photo New Year’s Resolutions for 2009
*Three more than last year! Holy mackerel!

Get Organized
The great thing about digital photography is you can shoot as much as you want. The downside is that you end up with way more pictures than you need. Clean out what you don’t want and organize what you have.
1. Weed out the chaff. Go through your photos and get rid of the ones you don’t need: the blurry ones, the multiples, and the ones you just plain don’t like. You know how nice it feels when you get rid of clutter around your house? Same deal.
2. Clean up your act. While you’re messing around in your library, put photos into albums, sets, or files. Then give them names and/or tags so you can find them again. Dates, events, and subject matter are all great ways to organize your photos.
3. Back up! Yeah, we know we’re always saying this, but we really really mean it. Back up your photos often, and back up the back-ups. Use Time Machine if you have a Mac, or add a monthly appointment to your calendar so you don’t forget. We’d be so sad if you lost your photos!

Show Off
You know you’ve got a ton of amazing photos hanging around your hard drive. Get ‘em out of there and show them off properly!
4. Put more photos up. Make it easy to display your photos so you can put different ones up every month. Build yourself a
photo wall or put up a couple of magnetic photo ropes.
5. Make a book. Making books online is crazy easy because of DIY publishers like
Blurb, Lulu, or MyPublisher. Make a book of your favorite recipes with pictures to match, or document your road trip to Kalamazoo.
6. Enter some contests. We know you’re great. It’s about time everybody else did too. Check
Photocompete to see what contests are running at any given time.
7. Share your pictures online. Get those photos out where everybody can see them. Save time by
sending everything at once to all of your photosharing sites.

Try Something New
Ruts: they ain’t no good for nobody. If you’ve gotten into one, here’s how to get out of it.
8. Use a new technique. Experiment with something you’ve never done, whether it’s
pinhole photography or shooting with a plastic camera. Or try some post-processing effects like cross-processing or tilt-shift.
9. Switch teams. If you’ve been shooting only in digital, play with film for a while (and vice versa).
10. Borrow some new gear.
Rent that fancy lens you’ve had your eye on, or borrow a friend’s camera and try it out. Changing your equipment can shake up your routine.
11. Get a different perspective. Shoot from
up high, down low, or from the hip (without peeking at the viewfinder!)

Do Some Good
Say you suddenly got superhero powers: you’d use them for good, right?
Well, you sort of already have them. You know your way around a camera, so why not use your talent to help somebody out?
12. Donate your old gear. If you’re not using it anymore, give your old camera to somebody who needs it, like
kids, conservationists, or folks on Skid Row.
13. Volunteer your talents. Follow in
Traer Scott’s footsteps by taking portraits of shelter dogs that need help finding homes, or volunteer to document an event for your favorite local charity.
14. Teach somebody what you know. If you’re good at photography (and we know you are), pass on your knowledge. Go speak at a local school, or teach a friend’s kid how to use a camera.

Challenge Yourself
“In theory there’s no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” -Yogi Berra
If you want to get better at photography, you have to keep practicing and pushing yourself. Just like everything else in life.
15. Go on assignment. Assign yourself photography tasks to complete. Important: make ‘em fun. Here are a couple to get you started:
Photograph five different birds on the same day.
Take a picture of the back of your head.
Take a photo lit only by flashlight.
Take a walk until you see your favorite color, then take a picture of it.
16. Do something difficult. Practice photographing subjects that don’t come easily to you, like
animals, tiny objects, or people you don’t know. It gets easier, we promise.
17. Brush up on your history. Every time we unearth a stack of old photography books, we fall in love all over again. Read up on Julia Margaret Cameron, or Mary Ellen Mark, or dive into
The World History of Photography. No room on the bookshelves? Check out this handy timeline instead.

Start a Project
The shiny new year just begs for a new photo project. Start something up, be it year-long, month-long, or just for a day.
18. Start a year-long project.
Project 365 has a brand-new Flickr pool starting January 1st. Or give 52 Blessings a shot (hee hee) if you want to build a picture (ho ho) of the things you’re grateful for.
19. Pick a new project every month. Not up for a year-long commitment? Try something different every month. Play
Mission 24 or Guess Where? for a month, or make up your own themes for each month. (January is National Soup Month!)
20. Start a new tradition. Do something new this year, like going to a
photobooth every Friday or taking the same portrait once a year.
21. Make a time capsule. Leave a message for your future self with a
disposable camera, or by hiding photos somewhere where you won’t find them for a long time.

Take Your Camera Everywhere
We just know you’re wondering what Photojojo’s resolution for the year is going to be. And we like your looks, so we’re gonna tell you what it is:
22. Bring your camera everywhere you go. Even if it’s just a cameraphone, make sure you’ve got a camera at all times.

Print this out and tack it up some place. (I plan to.) Like they say, try to keep at least one for the year. But -- when you feel yourself falling into a rut or running out of ideas -- take this out and try something.

Happy New Year, everybody! Happy photos!

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