The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Copperhead

What do you do when you find a perfectly good copperhead in the road? Well, perfectly good except for the part that a car ran over...

If you are me, you take it home and begin the tanning process on the snake skin. The copperhead was so pretty, it would have been a shame to leave it.

Lucky for me -- my husband was a Boy Scout (actually an Eagle Scout). He sort of knew how to get started. The internet provided the information on how to do the rest.

The photo on the blog today shows the inside of the skin after the cleaning, drying, and first application of an alcohol-glycerin mixture.

This snake was just about 2 feet long (including head). It is too short for a belt -- but I am thinking there are a few great bracelets here.


Friday, September 25, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

In this photo is my great grandfather's grandfather. They were both named Sam. This Sam ran a store. You can see from the photo that he must have received a shipment of bananas recently. Knowing how quickly bananas ripen and turn brown. It seems a logical idea would be to hang them up at the store to alert the public, "yes, we have bananas!" There is also an Ivory Soap sign below the window on the left.

Photos like these -- from generations ago -- showing the lifestyle -- are very interesting to me.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Meeting Sylvia

This past weekend was the opening of Slow Exposures 2009 in Pike County. There is a great collection of photos in this year's exhibit. The show is open through next Sunday at 5pm. If you get a chance -- you should go.

I did not 'win' anything with my photos. I always say -- I won when I got in the show. Just hanging there is really the treat for me. This time there was an extra treat...meeting Sylvia.

Sylvia Plachy was a guest of the show this past weekend. I knew she would be attending the Friday night party. A few days before I emailed a contact with the show to ask would I look like too much of a dork if I brought a book (one of Sylvia's books) with me and ask her to sign it. My contact told me it would be fine and that Sylvia would love to sign the book.

Friday night -- I left the book in the car. My husband and I were standing around at the party -- getting a drink -- seeing who was there. And then I saw Sylvia walking up to the porch. About a half and hour later I found myself sitting at a table with Sylvia, Susan Todd-Raque, Owen Jones, Lucinda Bunnen, and my husband. Wow! Susan was sitting between me and Sylvia. She represents her work in Atlanta. I leaned over to Susan and said, "If I happened to have a book in my car, and the book happened to be one of Sylvia's, do you think I could go get it and have her sign it?" She said, "yes, go get it."

So I did.

Let me just say -- I was also very thrilled to meet Lucinda Bunnen. I have heard so many nice things about her. She is very nice and a great photographer! My friend Owen Jones had arrived at the show with her on Friday afternoon just as I was getting ready to head home. I had to stop for a few minutes to talk to him and to meet Lucinda. She has a beautiful photo in the show and Owen's photo of "Noni" is the show photo this year. Lucinda also has a show at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center -- I really want to go see it!

Sunday I was back at the show for the juror's talk. After the talk there was a discussion at the Whiskey Bonding Barn featuring Sylvia, John Bennette, and Julian Cox. I was sitting very near Sylvia. I snapped a few photos during the talk. I have some really good ones of John. He can be very animated when he is speaking. The photo on the blog today is one I took of Sylvia's hands. I was enjoying watching them all -- watching their hands as they spoke. They were very expressive.

Sylvia wrote a wonderful little note in my book.


Friday, September 18, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

Of all of the old photos I have -- this is one of my favorites. I am not sure if this is my grandfather on the left or a friend and he is taking the photo. It looks like him -- but then not quite. He joined the Marines we he was so very young -- it very well could be him. My grandfather also took a lot of photos. I have quite a few of his that were taken early in his life as a Marine.

I love this view into the barracks. I am not sure where this is or the year it was taken. The starkness of the scene is what I like. The simple cots (who could sleep well on that?), footlockers, boots -- very little in the way of things here. The scene is very simple. The shape of the Quonset Hut and the bits of bright light add to this to make it an interesting photo. Because there are so few people in it -- I think that makes it better.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Call for Entries; Nature Undisturbed 2010

Show photo by Eddie Fleming

It's official -- the call for entries for Nature Undisturbed 2010 is out. I would like to thank each and every one of the photographers who took the time to send in an entry last time -- all forty-two of them. Without the photographers -- a show would not happen. All of the entries we received last time were great photos. I know it was difficult for the juror to choose those to hang in the show.

Southern Conservation Land Trust has a webpage up with information from last year's show and the link to the call for entries for 2010. I have the link to the call in the upper left of my blog page. Also Dogwood Gallery and Framer has a separate web page for Nature Undisturbed.

I am asking all who entered last time to consider entering again this year. I am also asking all who read this to pass the call along to anyone they think would be interested. Last show, we had photographers from from as far away as Louisiana.

Not only will the event feature great photography -- but we will again have Susan Todd-Raque speak on collecting photography. We are also hoping that our juror from last year will present a talk and share some of his images with us. Greg -- I am sending you an email as soon as I post this blog!

October 10 at 7:30 a.m. be at Sam's Lake Sanctuary for a photo event and opportunity to get some shots for the site-specific category of the show.

If anyone has any questions about the show or entry process -- feel free to drop me an email.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Shelter Dog in May -- Art Show Entry in October

The following is a copy of a press release that I sent out today:

Last May the Rosser family lost their beloved family dog. Rosebud had been a part of the family for more than twelve years. The family missed having a dog around. “I can’t be without a dog for very long,” said Donna Rosser. Two weeks without a dog was enough. She began looking at to find a new member of the family. Rosser concentrated on shelter dogs only; knowing that their time was very limited. She wanted to save one from the fate of being put down.

Donna spotted “Ianna” online. She was at the Henry County Shelter and had been there for almost a month. The online information was brief – it stated she was a puppy and needed TLC. After calling the shelter to see if the dog was still available, Donna and her husband made the drive to Henry County to see her in person and ultimately bring her home. On the way home they chose a new name, Sadie.

Sadie was very thin – skin and bones and in need of a bath. She was also full of ticks. The next day Sadie was seen by a vet and her journey to becoming healthy had begun. The vet estimated her age at 6 to 9 months. A month later found Sadie to be at her normal weight, spayed, tickless, and beginning to show a healthy coat. She gets daily walks, sleeps wherever she wishes, and has become a member of the family. The Rosser family picked September 21 as Sadie’s birthday. “When I look at her, I am saddened to think about her as a stray and spending those weeks in the shelter,” said Donna. Her favorite treats are dried sweet potato wrapped with duck.

Donna is owner of The Barefoot Photographer®. She teaches workshops and founded a local photography group in 2006. Donna also enters local photography exhibits. In August, Donna entered four photos in the Arts Clayton juried photography competition. Three of her photos made it into the show. One of those three photos is a portrait of Sadie sleeping on the featherbed. Donna hopes that the story of finding such a gem at the shelter and having people see the photo will help encourage those looking for a new dog, or other pet, to seek out their local shelter first. If you would like to see any pet available at shelters or through rescue groups in your area, is an excellent way to find out what is out there.

Donna Rosser’s photos are part of many personal and commercial collections. Donna has been featured in newspapers and magazines; and her photos have been used on Atlanta news shows. In 2009, she turned to directing Nature, Undisturbed; a juried photography exhibit benefiting the Southern Conservation Land Trust. Her work can be seen at her website She also writes a popular blog about her photography and her dog.


Friday, September 11, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

This past week was my husband's uncle's birthday. He is pictured here with my father-in-law. The baby is my father-in-law and Uncle Robert is pushing the carriage. Last weekend I saw this carriage at my sister-in-law's house -- she has it in her dining room. This photo was taken in 1922. I am guessing now at late summer or early fall.

Unclue Robert is an interesting person. He and I did not meeting until we had moved back here from California. He lives in Florida now. We visited him and had the pleasure of staying in the guest house on his property. It was very nice. When ever there is a hurricane heading his way -- it makes me a little nervous. I don't think they bother him much at all. One time I offered to drive down and bring them up to our house for a few days -- but he said they would ride it out like they always do.

I love having these photos -- showing a glimpse of their childhood.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


When taking portraits I am always careful to try to catch the subject in a very natural look. Many people will stiffen when you take their portrait -- and they will not look themselves. They are not relaxed and it shows.

Last weekend I was taking photos of my mother in law and her sister. They sat with nice smiles and the photo was OK -- nothing great. As I turned the camera around so they could see the photo on the screen on the back of the camera -- they put their heads together to see the small screen and I immediately saw my photo!

Yesterday as my husband was getting ready to head out for an appointment -- I told him to step out on the deck so I could get a nice head shot of him -- for me and for his website. While I snapped I talked to him to keep him from getting that stiff look for a portrait. Here are some photos in that series of me chatting with him while shooting and below that the final shot after a bit of tweaking on white balance and tone and the photo in black and white.

I am a big believer in portraits in black and white -- colors can be so dating or distracting. When a portrait is black and white -- you see the subject and not the colors in the frame. An exception to this is the portrait of my husband in color -- just the greenery in the background and his white shirt -- there is nothing that distracts from his portrait.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Walking The Dog

Since May -- when Sadie came to live with us -- I have walked her twice a day just about every day. Some times if I am not going to be home for the morning or evening walk -- someone else will do it -- but most of the time it is me.

Last Sunday it was rainy and I did not think we would get in the evening walk -- but we did during a little bit of a sprinkle. This dog -- the one howling when she gets a bath -- likes to walk in a tiny bit of rain. After a hard rain and the sides of the road have a bit of water rushing by -- she will run in the water splashing like a little kid.

When we headed out last weekend -- I took the camera with us -- so I am walking, holding a leash in one hand, the camera in the other hand and up to my eye. What was funny is when I wanted to get a shot of her running in the puddles -- she would not do it!

I put these two together in Photoshop Elements and put a black line around them. The shots were taken with the 50mm lens on the Rebel XTi.


Friday, September 4, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

After the photo last week with the shadow of the man in the hat -- here is another shadowy photographer photo.

This is my Uncle Walter and his car. I think the shadow steals the show though. I am wondering who it is? I think it is my Uncle George, maybe?

I don't know what happened to the car. On my piano I have a clock from Uncle Walter's house. Years ago, my grandmother passed along to me the service for 6 silverware that had belonged to him. He was really my great Uncle Walter. There is a note in the silverware chest from her. It reads, "Donna This belonged to your great Uncle Walter King. It is real old. I hope you can use it."

I love the silver -- and I love the note.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Orange Striped Oakworms Part 2

Remember I mentioned the stripped leaves -- well -- here is a photo showing the stems that used to be leaves. Those poor little green acorns are so bare now...

Here is an orange striped oakworm in action -- chomping away on an oakleaf. There were many more out in the yard today.


Orange Striped Oakworms

When I am out in the yard these days I have to watch where I step. Last Thursday I first noticed the ugliest caterpillar I had even seen wriggling across the grass -- then I saw another one -- and then another one -- and then I realized I was surrounded.

I had to watch my step -- and watch Sadie's steps. These guys looked like if you stepped on one it would be extra juicy. (they are -- more on this in a minute) My next thought after thinking not only did I have to keep Sadie from stepping on one, but I had to keep her from trying to eat one, was get the camera.

So I ran into the house -- carefully -- and grabbed the camera. I took off the nifty fifty, popped on an extension tube and then reattached the 50mm to have my macro set up ready to go using my favorite lens of all time. The caterpillars were moving! It was hard to get a good shot as they burrowed down into the grass when I approached. But I got a few good ones.

I like the one above because it is kind of mysterious -- like it is sneaking into the frame. After shooting a bunch of photos, I came in to the wonderous world of the internet to look up what the heck they are. Orange Striped Oakworms -- and, yes, the leaves on the oak tree near this slight infestation are stripped.

Back to how I know they are juicy -- they are traveling into the street and the cars don't lookout for these jaywalkers (crawlers?).


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