The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rainy Night in Georgia

Last week we drove through Atlanta -- in the rain. I like to take the camera when we head through the city -- you never know what you will see.

That trip I did not see much -- but it did rain -- a lot. On the way home I was taking photos of the traffic, the lights, the buildings. Then, by accident, I started looking more at the raindrops on the windshield. No, I was not driving -- I was in the passenger seat.

I really liked the look of the photo with the traffic and highway out of focus and the drops on the windshield more in focus. Also, add a bit a grain to the black and white is interesting.

It was pretty dark -- but in playing with the contrast and having had the ISO bumped up -- the sky looks like more of a day shot -- than the evening. I also like, in the photo below, how the lights along the highway lead you through the photo.


Friday, August 28, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

The man in the hat takes a photo in 1928.

My mother-in-law is center position, her mother is on her right and her aunt on her left. Her older brother to her left seems to be giving her direction. Another brother is in her mother's lap. Her baby sister is in her aunt's lap. To her right is her cousin (the aunt's son).

The question is who is the man in the hat? Is it her father? We think so. We don't have many photos of her father -- so we may count this one.

My mother-in-law is in town for a visit. She brought this photo to me yesterday requesting a couple copies. While she waited I took a photo of it and in just a little while I will print the copies. From looking at the baby we are guessing this is a springtime mini reunion in 1928 somewhere in north Georgia.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Does Summer Look Like?

While out in the yard with Sadie today I started to think about summer. What does it look like, taste like, feel like? From time to time something will happen that reminds us of a time years ago, perhaps when we were children. It makes us think of a certain time and/or place. Today I was reminded of summer.

As I stood in the shade on a hot August day I felt the coolness of the shade versus the heat of the sun. My feet felt the cooler grass in the shade. I was glad to have pinned up my hair before we went out into the heat. A slight breeze came through the trees and I could feel it on the back of my neck like a cool breath. This made me think of what summer feels like and what I remember from my childhood -- being outside in the heat, running around barefoot, stopping in the shade to cool off and hope for a breeze.

Then I thought what does summer taste like? Watermelon comes to mind first. I know you can find it in the grocery store year round now -- but it will always be summer to me. I am not a big ice cream fan -- but ice cream -- or should I say Carl's -- will always be summer to me. (the only photo I have of Carl's was taken in the winter) It was featured on one of those quirkly little shows on ice cream. I also remember going to High's with my mother when I was little getting a cone of coffee ice cream -- yum -- or picking up the birthday party punch -- sherbert in ginger ale? How about crossing the road holding my grandmother's hand to get to Heflin's store to get one of those little cups of ice cream and the wooden spoon and sticking your hand into the icy water in the cooler to get a cold Coke and open it with the opener attached to the front of the cooler, looking down and seeing my dirty feet that had been running through the yard and garden all day. That is summer (and an incredible runon sentence). Watch out for the yellow jackets and honey bees.

Carl's is iconic in my hometown.

Lemonade was another taste that quickly came to mind. And I thought of pickles -- my grandmother was always canning pickles. Lately I have had serious issues with eating way too many baby dills at one time -- I love them!

After that -- I think of the photos I take and do any of them look like summer? What does summer look like? Meaning what does it look like without being trite about it. That may be my personal challenge for the next few weeks of summer that we have left.

I created this little collage in Photoshop Elements in a matter of a few minutes -- what took so long was deciding on which photos to use.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get Down or Get High

Getting down and getting high can have many meanings. I am speaking literally here, not of dancing or anything else that comes to mind.

When you are out shooting photos -- don't take them all at the same level. While looking for this famous NY Times photo of Ansel Adams, I found an interesting blog post by an artist. He chose to get high to get a better view.

Ansel Adams on the roof of his car. (NY Times)

Changing your point of view can always give you a new perspective on the composition. Even if you are still standing when you take all of your photos -- point the camera up or down. Stand over an object. Hold your camera under it. This mushroom photo shows an example of getting down or under.


Friday, August 21, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

In keeping with the theme of the church building, I found this photo while looking through my file this morning. I believe the date on this is early 1950-ish. The title I have on the photo is "Bible School."

The person in the second row, first from the left is my mother. The person in the middle in the back row is my father. They are standing on the steps at the entrance to the little church. Again, to see a full view of this building check the blog from August 7.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us

photo by Bill Buttram Photography

Today is my wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been married twenty-six years today. There has only been one problem during that time. No, not a problem between us -- but it was a problem with our marriage. You see, we were not legally married for about the first 15 years.

My family is into genealogy. We have copies of old birth, death, and marriage records. When I was living in California, my mother once asked me did I have a copy of my marriage record to go along with those I had of other family members. I told her no and she offered to pick one up for me the next time she was at the court house or she would ask my uncle to do it since he stopped in looking up records there also. A few days later she called me only to say that there was no record of my marriage on file at the court house.

I needed to make some phone calls...

When my husband(?) came home from work that day I told him about it. I really thought it was funny -- and I was laughing. He said he did not see anything funny about it. Then he said, "Don't tell my mother."

I called the clerk of the court back home the next day to find out what we needed to do to straighten this out. I mean, really, we had quite a few witnesses -- it did happen. I have pictures -- see above! This is the interior of that little church from a Friday post. It is that small -- that is the back wall in this photo.

The first remedy offered to me was to hire a lawyer, get a court date, file papers, and ask a judge to make a ruling that the wedding did take place on the date we said. I am thinking this could be a big mess. Would we have to fly home for court dates? It would be hard for us to handle all the way across the country. So I tell the clerk that we are not far from Vegas -- we will just go there to take care of the formality of it. But then I am told we really need to go back to the original date to make things right.

Another option is presented to me. I can find the minister and have him fill out some forms to get it on the record as it should have been. The only problem is finding the minister. The guy who married us had a habit of changing locations. He was the principal at my elementary school, had managed a hotel in the islands, and was a guidance counselor at my high school -- and was a minister. But he was not living in the home town at the moment. I had to find him.

I called a friend of mine who was also married by him a few years later. She knew where he was! It took a couple phone calls to get someone at their house. I explained the problem, got the mailing address and we were in business! Recently I caught up with her on Facebook and I am thinking she also had this problem with him not filing the paperwork like he was supposed to.

Funny thing -- after the form was returned, signed and completed by the minister; the court house got the initial record wrong. They had my husband's birthdate off by 20 years! It looked like I had married an 8 year old. My mother had to take it back to have them correct their error. Now I have a copy of my records -- with all of the dates correct as they actually occurred.

What was discovered in late winter was finally resolved very close to our 15th anniversary that August. So today we have been married for 26 years and legal for 11; I guess.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This morning I was walking the dog. I had been trying to think of a good blog topic and had hit a dry spell. While we were walking I was clearing my head to think of something and Sadie gave me an idea.

She was being very impatient this morning on our usual walk. She was pulling on the leash and I kept telling her to slow down.

Slow down was it. Just as the dog needs to slow down to enjoy our walk -- when you are out shooting photos you need to take your time and slow down.

How many times has an opportunity for a great photo presented itself to you and you rush it. When you rush, you can end up not getting a good shot. Many times I will see something only to blow it. Knowing that you have a certain amount of time to catch something can make all of us rush the shot or just not think it through to get the best that we could do. Rushing can also make you not have the steadiest of hands when you really need them.

Take your time. Stop -- don't feel like you are in a rush. One thing I like to do is make myself take a deep breath and just relax about 10 seconds before I start shooting.


Friday, August 14, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

Reunions -- summer is a good time for a reunion. When you get together it is always a good idea to take a group photo. It always happenes at a wedding. Sometimes families do it at a funeral. Those are usually the two events that bring the most family members together at one place. Many won't like it -- but it does create a moment in family history. The photo below is not an old photo -- it was taken in 1996. This is a photo of me, my cousins, our spouses, and children.

This photo (below) is a family reunion shot from my mother in law's family. From looking at the dress in the photo -- I wonder the occasion. Could this have been for a family wedding or funeral? Did they dress up so just for the photo? I like that they included the dogs in the photo.

In the first photo -- I know the date, the place, all of those pictured, and the event. In the second photo, we don't know all of the people pictured, not sure of where, the date, or the event. Don't always take for granted that you will know all about important (or not-so-important) family photos. How do you document what you do know?

If you are using Photoshop Elements (I do), you can go under File>File Info and in the description section type in what you know and save this with the photo file. When the file is opened you can view the information -- or anyone you give a copy of the file to can view the information. You can make a copy with just a regular copy machine of the photo and write on the copy who is who that you know. Ask around to other family members to help identify who you don't know and find out any other information surrounding the photo. When was it taken and was there a special event? Document what you know.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Slow Exposures 2009

Last week I received an email from the director of the SlowExposures photography exhibit. Ever since I heard of SlowExposures -- I wanted to be in it. Last year was the first year that I submitted an entry -- and it was very exciting to have two of my photos chosen for the show. This year I sent in another entry and, again, I have two photos in the show. I am very excited.

I am not sure exactly what it is about this show that I love so much. But there are a lot of things about it that I am very comfortable with.

First of all, it is all about the rural south. Well, I grew up in the rural south. Where I grew up is not so rural now and many of the things I remember about it are gone. I like that SlowExposures is celebrating the rural south and preserving those images and scenes that we all remember and are gone.

I like the place -- I will admit here and now that I am phobic about driving in Atlanta. I do it when I have to -- but I don't like it. I have driven on the freeways around Los Angeles and in Orange County, CA with more ease than here. Driving 30 or 40 minutes south of me to a show is the opposite of driving into Atlanta. It is relaxing and a piece of cake. If I take a wrong turn -- so what.

The people who run SlowExposures are great people. They are the nicest bunch I think I have met in a long time (and I meet a lot of people). They understand what a good -- no great -- photo show is all about and they put one on.

The photos of mine in the show this year were taken during the show last year. One was at a little roadside cemetery I found on my relaxing drive down to Zebulon. The other photo was taken in Concord in the Strickland Building -- where we had the SlowExposures Ball the evening prior. And -- both of these photos were taken with my most favorite lens -- that nifty 50mm!

I like both of these photos and I am very glad they are in the show -- heck -- I am glad to have anything in the show!

Oh -- and if you did not notice or if you receive this in an email -- I have a 10% code for shopping at Photojojo. They have some pretty darn cool items in their online store -- I love the seatbelt camera straps. Oh yeah - the code -- barefootphoto!


Friday, August 7, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

In a couple weeks it will be my wedding anniversary. My husband and I were married in the same church as my parents. This is Ebenezer Methodist Church in Garrisonville, Virginia. The church was built in 1856. During the Civil War the floors were burned, the windows broken, and the walls were defaced. The building was a shelter for soldiers and horses. In 1961 heat was installed in the building.

When I was married there the building had no air conditioning. That was a hot day in August -- 105 degrees -- I don't even know what the heat index was.

As a child I remember the days we had lunch on the church grounds after Sunday Service. I remember having Sunday School in the activity building next door. The very small church had a small balcony. It was fun to walk up the tiny staircase to peep over the balcony down to the pews below. Miss Dorothy played the organ and Howard Flatford would sing a solo -- usually "How Great Thou Art." Members would ask my Aunt Anna how she was doing -- she would always smile and say, "I'm just proud to be here."

I have an old cookbook with many recipes in it belonging to relatives; "The Best Cooking in Garrisonville." The church is pictured on the cover. The date in the book is 1963-1964. I also have a decorative plate that hangs on the wall, the church is on the plate. It belonged to my great grandmother. One year, for a Christmas present, my mother had a local artist do a watercolor of the church for us. It hangs on the wall near the plate.

The church was sold to another group and the Ebenezer congregation moved the name to a larger, more modern building. It really has not been the same for me. This little humble building will always be Ebenezer.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Cat and A Dog

Sometimes you wonder if a dog and a cat can truly be friends.

My personal experience is if they are both raised together, they will get along.

If you lose your dog, like we did, and you get another dog, like we did, and the new dog is a puppy, but the cat is a 'senior;' well...

The 'senior' just might not want to put up with the shenanigans of the puppy.

Yes, that is a bite on the nose. They actually kind of like each other. But, in Kitty's world, enough is enough.
Hey, quit fighting on my desk!


Monday, August 3, 2009

From Where I Sit...My Home Office

It used to be when I processed digital photos I sat in the office in the basement. Saying it is in the basement is painting a gloomy picture of the scene. The office has a big window overlooking the side yard (where chipmunks run around all the time and bunnies eat grass). The office also has a door to the backyard with a window in it. It is a well lit room and not basement-y at all. But you are away from most of the activity in the house.

That was when I was tied to a desktop computer. My desktop is still there -- and my printers, papers, files, etc. But I use my laptop about 90% of the time. I like that I can take it where ever I want to be. Most days that is in the living room. This photos shows my "office" of choice.

The ottoman is my 'desk.' Yes, that is Sadie on the couch (she steals my seat when I get up). Just on the other side of the laptop is the cat. When it is colder -- the cat will sleep up against my laptop looking for a little computer heat. I would tell the cat's name -- but she does not know it -- she only knows "kitty." Those are my paintings on the walls. I have had a blank canvas sitting on my easel for months! I need an idea for a painting!

Last Saturday I brought home the photos from A Novel Experience. I turned our foyer into a mini gallery with some of them.

So this is kind of my spot -- where I sit when I am processing photos, writing blogs, updating workshop materials, and generally goofing around. Having a business where you work out of your home affords you the opportunity to work in the living room as much as in the office. I work anytime of day or night -- when a thought occurs to me or I have a spare moment to work on a photo.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Barefoot Photographer® Top 10 Posts

I have been wanting to do this post for a long time. Over the summer I have seen some trends in what posts are getting the most hits. Obviously the time of year is influencing some of these. This post will list the current top ten. In the near future I plan to do a post on the ones that keep popping up -- regularly over time -- but just don't get the higher number of hits.

  1. Watermarking Your Photos Kind of tells you what it is right up front. With the high interest in protecting intellectual property, this is a popular topic. It doesn't hurt that 1001 Noisy Cameras added this post to their Photography Soup post early in July.
  2. Protect Your Camera At The Beach Obviously a seasonal interest topic. Lots of hits here and on the eHow article I posted of the same information.
  3. Feet Photos Let's just hope this is not all about a foot fetish. Sometimes when I see what words people Google to find the blog I will see "teen feet photos" and get creeped out.
  4. Love Those Leopard Crocs! I know there are a lot of us out there who just love leopard shoes - and Crocs.
  5. Protect Your Camera Again more beach goers double checking.
  6. A Skink in The House One of the all time favorite posts -- this one is always in the top list when I check it. I am thinking many people get skinks in their house? When I was cleaning up my sewing room last Friday, I found some left over netting we used to use to make those butterfly nets. Anybody need to borrow some?
  7. 7 Photography Questions Podcast Most people interested in photography are always looking for a good podcast with great information. This is one and I am sure that is why the post gets hits. (I am thinking of The Barefoot Photographer Podcast, what do you think?)
  8. I Like Good Bokeh Who doesn't like good bokeh?
  9. Photo Club At Spivey Hall A great spot for great photos. Last season my husband and I enjoyed visiting Spivey to hear three different, and great, guitarists.
  10. Making Belt Buckles It has been a while since I was really into crafts. I enjoyed this Ladies Night Out at Dogwood Gallery. I am guessing that the number of hits may be from the popularity of this craft right now.
The Trademark Issues post has dropped to #20 on the list. This one jumps up when I have an infringement issue pop up. No doubt the infringers will start to do something they should have done before setting up a business website -- Google the business name to check for a trademark! The next one down the list (#11) is the Where is This? post. That is one of my favorite photos. My grandmother is the most popular vintage photo post, coming in at #16.

Of course the most hits is not to any one specific post -- but to the main blog URL. I love Google Analytics! If you would like and you have a specific favorite not mentioned here -- let me know. Also if anytime you have ideas or topics you would like to see covered, drop me an email.


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