The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, October 30, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

This photo was probably taken in the early to mid 1950's. I have always liked this picture. This is my great grandfather (mother's mother's father) standing in front of a castor bean plant. If you want to have an interesting plant in your yard one summer -- check out how to grow a castor bean plant. I also have a photo of my grandmother standing in front of it.

I remember my granddaddy -- he was around when I was very young. He was born in 1890 and died when I was 7 years old. The time I knew him -- he was an invalid. I would sit on the bed and talk to him. Sometimes I would bring a kitten or a baby chick in to show him. I remember one day after I had fallen near the wood stove and burned my arm. I sat with him having a snack and getting over the fall.

My great granddaddy was a carpenter. So was his son, my Uncle John. I have an old wooden level that I believe was my grandfather's. I also have some tools and a carpenter bench that belonged to my Uncle John.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's In The Bag?

Many times I am asked about what I carry in my bag -- well here it is...

The bag is Lowepro and packed full (I guess I really need a bigger bag). In the zip compartment on the outside is a notepad, pen, cheatsheet, bulb blower, close up diopter filter, step up ring, and filter wallet containing 98% of my large sized filters.

The large inside compartments opens up to zippered pockets containing spare memory cards, a reversing ring, and batteries. The large open padded area holds my lenses. I have the 14mm and the 18-250mm Tamron lenses, Nikon 24-120mm & 35-70mm (I used the 35-70mm to take these photos). The Canon 50mm is on the Canon 40D. I have the Lensbaby 3G with its aperture kit and the Composer and another aperture kit, plus the creative aperture kit, wide angle and the tele attachments. Also in a smaller filter wallet are the 37mm filters that fit the Lensbaby lenses. In this section is also the ProOptic extension tube set.

Along with the filter wallets, lenses, batteries and such are some non-photographic tools. Those little desiccant packs that you find in many things -- like shoe boxes; I put them in my camera bag. I love love love the micro fiber cleaning cloths. I bought a big pack at Sam's Club. These wrap around my lenses. They are perfect to clean a lens, filter, or even my glasses. And I have a Leatherman with me -- just in case I need to have a MacGyver moment.

Oh -- the 40D and the XTi don't travel in the bag much -- there is not enough room. And some of you may be wondering what a Canon shooter is doing with a couple Nikon lenses? I bought an adapter ring, OK I bought two, (from ebay) that allows me to use my old Nikon lenses (from film days) on my digital Canon. The shooting is very manual -- manual focus -- everything manual -- but it beats not using the lenses!

(click on the photo to see it larger)


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chair-ity Event

Last year I participated in a local fundraiser -- a Chair-ity Event benefiting The Children's Village at Christian City. When my piece was finished, I wrote a blog about it and put up a photo.

This year -- the 3rd annual event -- I am again participating. My contribution this time around is a footstool covered in vintage photos. Anyone bidding on this and winning gets a baby picture of me! The underneath has my signature and a logo photo. I have also been looking through my photos for any with a chair in them -- I think I have one or two that might work and also be up for bid at the event.

It is all for a good cause -- maybe I will see you at the event. The chairs will also be on display at Dogwood Gallery November 9 through 14.


Friday, October 23, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

Not really vintage -- but old. This weekend is my high school reunion. I am not able to attend -- but to show support I am posting my yearbook photo to the blog today. The "old" bunch will be at the homecoming game tonight and having an event tomorrow night. I have been promised that many photos will be taken and posted to Facebook so I will get to see everyone.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

What'll Ya Have?

A nice thing about living in Atlanta -- The Varsity. The Varsity opened in 1928. It is known for chili dogs, onion rings, and a frosted orange. Of course the menu is a little larger than that. Sometimes I like a slaw dog, but I can't remember the last time I had one. The Varsity has been featured in many TV shows, books, articles and more across the southeast and the country. Like a slaw dog, I can't remember the last time I was at the Varsity.

The Varsity comes to me once a year. Our neighborhood has a party in the fall and The Varsity caters it! How convenient! The only problem is that the menu for the on location catering is limited.

When they come to the neighborhood it is a fun time to get some shots of the people working on the truck. I like this photo. The man in the truck looks like he has had a long day. He was very nice and he knew I was shooting him all evening. As the daylight faded, I got a nice glow from the light inside the truck. Since it was getting dark -- it was a good thing I had my 50mm lens on the camera. It is very fast and good in low light situations.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


It has been raining a lot in Georgia. Well -- up until the past few days. Lots of rain means lots of mushrooms.

These photos are of the same kind of mushroom. From the top it reminds me of one of those chocolate crinkle cookies -- the cracks and crevices.

From the side it looks like a sponge.

I like taking macro photos of mushrooms. These were taken with my nifty fifty 50mm lens and an extension tube. Using the extension tube I can get super close and there is a tiny bit a sharpness amid a lot of blur and bokeh. I like the abstract quality of these photos.


Friday, October 16, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

It is always handy when someone writes the year on a photo. On one hand, I wish the photo had no writing on it -- on the other -- I know this was taken in 1953. Some of the old photos I have include names beside people in the photos.

This photo is my Aunt Joanne and the mule. I don't know the mule's name -- she or my mother will tell me later. There are lots of things I could say about my Aunt Joanne -- but I better be careful since I know my mom will print this out and give it to her.

The first thing that comes to mind is that she is very entertaining. You will laugh when you are around her. She always has an interesting story to tell you. I can't tell you how many times she has yelled things out of a car window that would make you laugh and also make you want to slide down in the seat so no one could see you.

My aunt loves plants. I think she can grow anything. She knows a lot about plants. Over the years she has tended her yard and transplanted plants given to her, some she bought, others found growing on the side of the road. Her yard is a collection of native, and some maybe not-so-native, Virginia flora.

Her birthday is next week -- Happy Birthday Aunt Joanne!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Imitation is The Sincerest Form Of...?

The famous quote by Charles Caleb Colton; "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is my target today. I can see how flattered one could be at someone else loving their work so much that they wished it was theirs -- to the extent that they copy. How many times I have seen a photo and thought, I wish I had taken that; but that is as far as I go -- I don't then set out to take it.

I have a very hard time with those who copy another's work. It was not that long ago I looked through a few blogs on wedding photography. Wedding photography is not something I do -- so it all looked fresh to me. It looked fresh until I made to the third or fourth one -- the "inventive" photos were all the same. OK, I can see it almost -- you know with a bride, they see their friend's photos and they all want that shoes/dress photo like Amy, or Kim, or whomever had. And it is necessary to sometimes do the expected when someone else is paying the bill.

I am not really nagging on photographers who shoot people for pay for copying -- I do know you have to give people what they want and perceive they are paying for. I get that totally. What I don't get is someone doing photography for their own enjoyment or for their art -- but they are completely stealing someone else's vision. To try to reshoot something you have seen is no different that a painter looking at someone else's painting and copying it stroke by stroke. I know it happens -- that does not make it right.

Once I said something to a group of old photographers about wanting to work on my blurry water shots. I was obsessing on getting the water just right -- the blur -- keeping rocks, shore, etc. tack sharp. One of them asked me "why? Everyone does those -- do something different."
Copying for the sake of learning is a little different. If it is just to learn a technique -- fine -- but you still would not want to show or sell the copied piece. What if you copied the Mona Lisa to learn something about a portrait -- you would not run to a gallery with it and pass it off as your own. Looking at photos -- I see so much that is done, been done, over done, etc. Sometimes I hesitate to look at too many photos because I don't want anything to stick in my subconscious that may pop up later and I would unintentionally produce something that is close to a copy of someone else's work.

Where did this blog come from -- well I overheard someone at an opening recently. It was an opening for a photography exhibit. The photographer, whom I could not help from hearing said, "I see a lot of interesting photos here, I need to add some of this to my portfolio." Someone hold me back! If it had been a reception with wine being served -- I may have had to say something -- not knowing my crowd -- I kept quiet -- but here it goes...

Why, why, why would you put something in your portfolio that is connected to another photographer? Why would you ethically do this? Why would you chance the gallery director knowing the other work and recognizing you for a copycat? Why would you chance the gallery director finding out after they may hang your work that you copied it?

So I guess I am flattered for a few seconds if someone copies me -- but then I get all legal on them. If you need a little inspiration -- I read a wonderful blog yesterday by Scott Bourne -- 10 Ways to Improve Your Photography Without Buying Gear.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just Push One Button!

I can't believe I am watching this -- but I am. Flipping through the channels on the TV this morning I spy a digital camera on a shopping channel. So I am interested. Of course I like cameras and will stop to listen to the sales spiel whether I am buying or not. You could learn something, right?

What I am learning is that people should buy a camera to get it in purple. Or if you don't know what you are doing -- stay that way -- just buy this so you can push one button to take any type of photo; motion, portrait, low light, bright light, etc. One button does it all -- you (the photographer?) don't need to know anything. Or if these are not great reasons -- buy it because you only have to pay a little bit a month for 4 months to pay it off. So it seems the most important things to think about when purchasing a camera are: the color of the camera, if it does everything on auto, and if you don't have to pay a lot.

The color thing does not bug me -- much -- but a little. Do you really buy a camera based on the color? I guess some people were pushed over the edge by purple since it was very popular. I can't imagine buying a camera based on the color choice.

That whole 'push one button' to get the best shot is -- well -- so not true.

The price selling point is valid -- I know many people who do look at the cost -- you should not pay a lot to get a good pocket camera.

I heard the salesman say that if you buy that camera -- as soon as you get it home and start taking photos that they would look like a pro did them. A long time ago -- early in the blog I wrote about "Is It The Camera?" The camera does not make you a good photographer. I know people with very expensive cameras and lenses who take so-so photos. I also know people with small, inexpensive, older, etc. cameras who take breathtaking photos. Buying any camera will not make you good at taking photos. The camera does not compose -- the photographer does.

So anyway -- a blah Saturday morning, flipping channels, was a little entertaining for me. Something else entertaining was attending the Arts Clayton opening reception for their photo show last Thursday night. The fork photo featured on the Kitchen Series blog was chosen for first place and the photo of Sadie (retitled "Adopt a Shelter Dog") received the Patron's Award. I think my husband was more excited than I was. If you get a chance -- stop in the Arts Clayton Gallery to see the show.


Friday, October 9, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

This is the other photo that my cousin Chris sent to me. Last week I featured the photo of Chris' mother; my great aunt Clarice. This photo is of Aunt Clarice's and my grandmother's mother. I wrote a blog about her last June near her birthday.

It is really interesting to see the photo of her when she was in her mid seventies and compare to this photo of her at about the age of four. If we are guessing she is about 4; that makes this photo date to be about 1892. That is one hundred years before my daughter was born.

Knowing where she lived and was born -- I am guessing again here that this photo was taken at a studio in Washington DC.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beyond the Door & The AC

In Senoia, Georgia there is an interesting shop -- Beyond the Door. Tomorrow night there is an event at Beyond the Door. Several artists, members of The Art Chamber, will be showing work. The work will be in the shop during the month of October.

The Art Chamber, or The AC, is an art community dedicated to the commitment of helping artists gain visibility in the retail marketplace; connecting artists with buyers.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nature Undisturbed 2010

The call for entries for Nature Undisturbed 2010 has been out for a few weeks. We are hearing a lot of interest in the show already. The new announcement this week is a new show website! Jennifer Blair of Dogwood Gallery & Framer put together a wonderful website for the show. Check it out here and bookmark to check back for updates.

In the coming weeks we will firm up the schedule of events and announce the juror for the show. We are very excited at the interest already out there. Next Saturday morning at 7:30 I will be at Sams Lake for a photo event. Bring your camera and come out to get some shots -- maybe a shot to enter in the show!

Here is the link to the call for entry. I will keep the link on my blog -- upper left corner -- until the deadline in January. Thanks again to Eddie Fleming for the show photo shown above.


Friday, October 2, 2009

From the Barefoot Files...

Thanks to my cousin Chris in Roanoke for sending this photo to me along with another one that I will use next week.

Everyone knows I love these old photos. I think some of the older ones that I love the most are photos of ancestors as children. Chris sent me two of those!

The photos today is of Chris' mother and my grandmother's sister, Clarice. I remember going to Aunt Clarice's house often as a child with my grandparents. She lived in Prince William County, Virginia. Aunt Clarice, my grandmother, and their mother were always making things -- sewing, crocheting, quilting, and baking.

Aunt Clarice was known for a variety of cakes. I have her recipes for Pineapple Pound Cake, Applesauce Cake, Chocolate Pound Cake, Coconut Pound Cake, 7-Up Pound Cake, and the one we all love -- her Vanilla Wafer Cake. In 1994 I put together a family cookbook. I am so glad to have this book and collection of her cake recipes. In the next couple months I am working on combining that cookbook with another one I put together a few years later. The contents of the two cookbooks will be combined with the vintage photo stories and photos.


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