The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Available Light

In the past few days I have taken a couple photos -- portraits -- with the subject lit by either window light or the glow of the Christmas Tree.

There is a lot about this photo of Sadie that I love.  The tone is wonderful.  I like the color of the worn bench that echoes the copper coloring of Sadie.  When I take a shot of the pets I really like to see the whiskers -- here these above Sadie's eyes are an extra special touch.  The overall color in the frame works -- the many shades of brown/tan/copper with bits of steel gray and blue are a pleasing combination.  And the element that really brings all of this together and makes it work so well is the light -- the soft window light.

This photo is the cat sitting in front of the Christmas Tree.  I did convert this to black and white -- although the color version is just as good to me.  I like the metallic look of this one.  The light in her eye is nice and the whiskers again here make it work well.  There is just enough light hitting the front of the face, whiskers and chest.

Both of these photos were taken with the 50mm 1.4.  That is by far my favorite lens.  I have been using it a lot lately to really work the depth of field and to use available light.  The wider aperture of this lens lets more light in so the shutter can work faster in low light situations.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 Days of Christmas 2010

Last year I wrote a blog about social networking, Flickr, and meeting photographers online.  Oh yeah, and I wrote about the 25 Days of Christmas Challenge.  Participating in that Flickr group was a fun experience.  It made me think a little more about photography on a daily basis.  It was also fun to meet some new photographers from different places.

One of my favorite photos from last time is this one on the blog today.  It was in a store window in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  When I went home for a visit, I walked around downtown a little to shoot some night shots of the old town area.

Today is November 30 -- tomorrow is December 1 and the chance to begin the 25 days for 2010.  I am shooting a photo a day anyway working on finishing up my 365 project -- so this is a snap for me this time.  That means -- yes I am doing it and I challenge all readers to take a photo a day between now and Christmas.  Doing this last year led me to the 365.  Doing a photo a day for a year has been a very rewarding experience -- I highly recommend it.  

So who is in?  Let me know, I would love to see your photos!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nature Undisturbed 2011

It is hard to believe that 2010 is coming to a close.  A year ago, when I decided to take on the 365 project for 2010 it seemed so distant.  Time flies when you are having fun.

Time has flown again and now we are in the middle of the call period for Nature Undisturbed 2011.  This show has been so successful, we are all anticipating more growth and spectacular photography at the event next April. In order to bring such an event about -- we start planning months in advance.  We always look at what we can do better to improve.  

This year we are adding another beneficiary to the show.  In addition to Southern Conservation Trust -- Flint Riverkeepers will benefit from sales.  Please take a moment to check out their websites and learn a little bit about what these wonderful groups do for us.  By adding the Flint Riverkeepers -- that means the Flint River is added to the site specific category.  If you have photos taken at any of the Trust properties or showcasing the Flint -- those are for this specific category of photos.  If you have wonderful nature photos taken at another location -- those photos go to the open category.  
Line Creek October 2010
In the past few weeks I have spent some time at Sams Lake and Line Creek.  I have also heard from some local photographers that they have been to these areas working on entries for the show.  It was nice to hear from one photographer that he had never been to either place before and found them both to be wonderful and great places to take some interesting photos.  When I first thought of the photo show, I hoped it would bring more people to these places that are right here and easily accessible.  Now I am hoping more people will take the time to visit the Flint and learn about one of the South's most precious natural resources.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sun Dogs

A sun dog or parhelion is an atmospheric condition that gives the appearance of bright, rainbow spots of light in the sky.  Sometimes these occurrences look like an arc of light or even surround the Sun.

I was watching the sky yesterday while out running errands.  The color of blue and wispy white clouds were pretty to watch.  The winds kept the clouds moving and changing.  While they moved and blew across the sky the sunlight would shine through them creating the rainbow effects.  Standing in a parking lot I took my photo of the day yesterday showing a jet high in the sky creating a contrail to mix with the clouds.  It was when I took this photo that I noticed the sun dog forming.  I sat, watched and took more photos.

I watched as the clouds moved and the light changed.  I took photos in this parking lot and then moved on to my next errand.  As I was at a gas station filling the car I looked up and saw the arc of light -- so another photo was taken.

Certainly most people looking at me must have wondered what I saw in the sky that was so interesting.  I hope a few of them looked up.  It was a nice day to sky watch.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Politics Aside....

This morning I had to get to the Georgia Capitol for a photo op appointment with Governor Perdue.  I am not going to get into politics -- but I will say he seems like a very nice man.  I just wish I did not take such a goofy photo. 

Months ago I was asked by a local arts group if I had any photos that showed "Georgia" that I would like to submit for consideration to hang in the Office of the Governor.  So I had a few -- and I took them in and frankly forgot about it after a couple weeks.
When I took more work to this location I did remember and assumed that none of my photos had been selected.  I asked about retrieving the work and was told two of my photos were selected.  I made contact with the office to see if I could come by to take a photo of my work hanging in the office.  What was offered to me was a photo with the governor.  

The photo to the right shows my photos on the wall in the office. These photos were in SlowExposures 2009.  The top photo is of the Strickland Building in Concord, Georgia. This photo was taken in September, 2008.  The building was since renovated and is nice -- but does not look like this photo any longer.  The photo on the bottom was taken at the Hollonville Cemetery on Hollonville Road near the Gregg Peach Orchard.  I pass this cemetery when I drive to Zebulon.  I see this false crypt and wonder about the child who died.  There is an adult sized crypt next to this one.

It is an honor to have work hang in the Capitol Building, especially when in the same room are two Steve Penley paintings.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Lost It At The CLub -- post mortem

Eight weeks ago I signed on to a weight loss/get in shape class at a local gym.  It was a busy time for me -- but I did it anyway.  The weigh in and start of the class was the same as the start of Slow Exposures and John Bennette's show at the barn (more on this coming VERY soon I promise).

The trainer -- MC -- was great -- she reminded us on week 2 or 3 (I forget it was such a blur) that she was not there to make friends but to get us in shape!  Yikes -- but she was good at what she does.  She did work muscles on my body that seemed to have not been used in a while.  There where days I was sore -- and I was sore for days after working out with her.

In the end I learned to LOVE my elliptical again, lost 8 pounds, and figured out I love salty food way more than sweets.  This has made me rethink a lot of what I have been doing and to make time to spend on the elliptical.  I bought hand weights!  Look out!  When I am loading photos onto the computer -- I am working my triceps.  Also this was an opportunity to meet a bunch of wonderful, supportive women.  I knew one other person in this group when we started.

The older I get, the more I realize that to keep my body moving for decades to come -- I need to move my body!  Thank you MC!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sams Lake Sanctuary

In the past I have written about Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary.  It is so close to my home -- it is easy to scoot over there to spend a little time walking around and taking photos.  A couple weeks ago Southern Conservation Trust; the entity that owns and manages this preserve, contacted me to see if I would be available for a shoot time.  I agreed and they notified anyone interested that I would be there.  Well, it was cold, dark, and early -- and we did not have the turn out that we had last year for a similar event.  One of my core photo group members was there -- he and I stayed a while shooting and trying to keep our feet warm!  

The very chilly morning was excellent for the vapor off of the water.  I believe this was the first frost -- scattered in the yard at home and on the roof in the shade when I got back home from shooting.  The night before I wondered if I would need my gloves -- I dug them out, not used since last winter.  I shoot in winter golf gloves.  They don't keep your hands the warmest -- but they allow me to adjust all the dials and buttons on the camera without having to remove one.

This is a great time of year to catch wildflowers at the end of their season -- the seeds are popping and foliage is dying.  The photo above is using depth of field, available light, and the color in the background to set off the few stalks I chose to keep in focus.

The path was littered with leaves and bits of gold are in the trees.  Walking through the woods on such a crisp fall day is a nice thing -- a great way to start a Saturday.  As I neared the end of this path -- I heard the water rushing.  We have had a lot of rain lately to keep the water moving.  The creek area at the end of the lake had a nice little layer of fog rising.  As the sun came up over the treeline it was shining through the fog.  This last photo is a favorite of mine from yesterday.  I walked by and looked at the tree, saw the sunlight through the branches lighting up the fog.

This was about the time I realized my toes were frozen -- and I headed home to look at my photos.  Sams Lake is part of the site specific category for Nature Undisturbed.  Please check out the website for information and the call for entries.  If you have any questions about the show, feel free to send me an email.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Show Your Work?

It was not that long ago that I seriously sat there thinking why?  Why do I do this?  Why be so busy?  Why have a calendar with times and places all over it?  Why do I tell my husband, "we need to go to blah blah blah this weekend?"  Why agree to teach classes and attend meetings?  Why not just take pictures that I like, print them and hang them on my walls without all the other stuff?

I don't know why. 

Well....that is not completely true.  I do think I know why.  

I love it as much as I love taking photos.  It is fun to show work -- get feedback -- see others' work -- meet people -- the whole thing.

As I mentioned in the last blog I am having a time issue.  It is becoming evident that I have things going on in many directions.  I need to decide what I like to do best -- go in that direction and perhaps skip others.  The past few weeks I have skipped having a 'From the Barefoot Files' post to the blog.  In fact the blog is not getting the attention (from me) that I feel it deserves.  I love blogging -- so I am going to work hard to get more up in the coming weeks.  There are many blogs in my head -- things have happened, experiences, events, etc. that needs to be blogged about.

So to catch up on a couple things -- this Saturday night there is an anniversary party at Dogwood Gallery and Framer.  I love Greg and Jennifer -- they are fun people and have an excellent gallery.  Can't wait for the party!  And yes, I delivered a few new things to the gallery this morning.  November 6, at A Novel Experience in Zebulon is the reception for Picture Purr-fect, a juried photography exhibit showcasing cat photos.  I have two photos in this event and so does my son!   
My mother's cat Rora, this photo will be in Picture Purr-fect
I promise coming in the next few blogs I will write about working with John Bennette on the Southern Memories show last month -- what an experience!  (all good)  Of course, there was the portfolio review during SlowExposures -- a nice blog topic.   Not to forget -- we brought another dog into the house late in summer -- and this is a bit of a job.  Iris was an adult dog from a shelter -- beautiful dog -- but she does have her challenges.  She needs a little extra care -- in getting the housebreaking habit (which I think she has!) and learning to trust all the people around her.  Iris definitely shows signs of abuse.  But she and Sadie get along like long lost sisters -- that is a good thing!

So back to the questions -- why show your work?        Because you can!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Catching up....

It seems like all I do lately is work at catching up.  I suppose it is a good thing to remain so busy.  Helping out with SlowExposures and working with John Bennette on his show have been excellent adventures and provided me with plenty of blog material.  One of these days I will get around to writing them.  I am also working with the Serenbe Photography Center.  This is a great resource that not that many people know about --- yet.

Something that does take some time -- daily -- is the 365 project.  I am sticking with it and closing in on the home stretch.  The project has taught me a lot.  I find my better photos are those that I find and do not over think.  Currently I have three 365 photos in the Arts Clayton photography show.  One received first place and another received honorable mention.  

Days like yesterday are wonderful -- I have a handful of good images to pick from for the photo of the day.  A couple of my favorites that are not 284:365 are on this blog post.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

OK -- I meant to post this yesterday -- but I have had blog issues.  Finally this morning I think I have things back in good working order...

The old photo today is a not-so-old photo.  This is my son.  With the exception of the photo actually have a date stamp on it -- you really would not be able to date this photo (without also knowing the subject).  This shows how black and white can keep a photo timeless.  Also clothing choice in a photo adds to the timeless quality.  At some point I am sure the classic Izod will be very dated -- but not yet.  This photo is close to 20 years old.  The shirt he is wearing is white -- but had it been a color -- the use of black and white would keep the color trend of the day from dating the photo.

The background is not distracting -- just simple pattern of daylily plants.  This, too, even in color would not be an issue.  Sometimes your background would give away more than the subject matter.  Many times when people are taking photographs of people they are so busy setting up the subject and making sure the person (or people) look good that they forget to check the background.  When I took this photo of my son, I put him in front of these plants in order to have a simple, pleasing, non competing background.  The only other thing here I think I could have done -- but was not necessary -- would be to make my depth of field more shallow to blur out the plants.  If you have a background that is less than ideal -- that is your option -- open the aperture (f stop) to a wider setting -- lower number -- and keep sharp focus on your subject while the background fades by being blurred.

And just to show how old the photo above is -- here is a photo from last year.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This is a photo I like to look at.  It shows three guys posing for a photo on someone's car.  It must be winter -- no leaves on the trees and they look like they are dressed for cool weather.  I think I know where this is -- but I can't quite make my brain remember exactly.  The building looks very familiar.

My Uncle John (grandma's brother) is on the left and a family friend is on the right.  I can't quite place the guy in the middle -- but I know when my mother sees this, she will email me with who that is.  I like the cars, the clothes, the shadows, and ruts in the parking lot.  The lines in the mud go from the lower corner straight to the car and men -- leading your eye to the subject.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Southern Memories: Part One

Last week I wrote about SlowExposures.  Things are starting to get busy!  Today I am going to the Whiskey Bonding Barn in Molena to unpack the photos received.  Opening reception for Southern Memories: Part One is Friday at 5pm.  Can I say how thrilled I am to be in a show curated by John A. Bennette and with this great collection of photographers?  

The photographers in this show are:
Raymond Adams
William Boling
Sheila Pree Bright
William A. Chamberlain
Brenda Fayard
Bill Gillespie
Rob Hann
Jessica Hines
Jane Robbins Kerr
Joanna Knox
Kendall Messick
Donna Rosser
Anderson Scott
Jerry Siegel
David Simonton
Jo Lynn Still
Gordon Stettinius
Colton Vincent
Hai Zhang

Friday, September 10, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

All day I had been thinking of what photo would I use on the blog today.  Late this afternoon I called my mother.  She and my aunt had been out today -- to lunch -- shopping -- mainly just riding around.  My mother said it was a beautiful day to get out of the house.  

Here is a photo of my mother (left) and my aunt taken in the early 1940s.  This must have been another day that they had fun getting out of the house.  Looking at the photo closely (and I don't know if you can see it online) it looks like my mother is missing her two front teeth.  

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Ok -- so imagine my disappointment that nothing I submitted to the jurors for the 2010 SlowExposures exhibit made the cut.  In reality, the disappointment lasted a few minutes -- then I remembered all that I had going on and that well, when you submit work for a juried show -- it can be a crap shoot.  When I show gets are many entries as Slow gets -- it is hard.  I know from directing Nature Undisturbed that many good images don't make it into a show because there just is not space.

Also -- a little cherry on my sundae lately is being included in the Southern Memories: Part One exhibit curated by John Bennette.  I have three pieces in this show.  There are many great photographers in the collection.  I simply cannot wait to see them all together.  Many of the photographers are also coming to the show.  It will be exciting to meet them.  

Months ago I received a phone call from Mr. Bennette asking about a photo I had on my website.  He wanted to have it in the exhibit.  He asked me about other photos I had -- so I sent some to him to review.  He chose another photo from that group.  So it was set -- I had two photos in this wonderful group.  Then, during another phone call, I told him about a shoot I had been on earlier that day.  I had found a wonderful little cemetery by the side of the road.  I have a plan to write a blog about the cemetery in the future.  He asked to see a photo from that group and it ended up in the show.  

I think my favorite is a photo of the interior of the old R.F. Strickland Bldg. in Concord, GA -- the site of the SlowExposures exhibit and dinner.  I took this photo the first time I was in the show.  The building has since been renovated.

I am really looking forward to the Southern Memories show opening and also SlowExposures.  I have a lot of photo friends in the show.  Other satellite shows during Slow include an exhibit of Malgosia Florkowska's photos, The Joy of Farming and Diane Kirkland has a collection on display at A Novel Experience in Zebulon.  It will be a busy two weeks!

Friday, September 3, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Here I am in the living room of our old house.  We lived in the house until I was about 10 years old.  This photo reminds me of a Sunday night -- hair washed, pajamas on, sitting on the couch waiting for The Wonderful World of Disney to come on.  The chair that is all the way on the right -- just partially -- was the chair the cat always sat in.  If someone would come over and sit in the cat's chair, the cat would sit at their feet and stare at them.

I like this photo a lot.  I like it not so much because it is me -- but it shows a lot of a space I spent a lot of time in as a child.  The chairs, table, couch, and doilies all bring back lots of memories.  Many times we think about preserving photos of people from our past.  Just as important is to preserve and have those photos showing places.  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blue Ridge Juried Nature Exhibit

Since I love nature photography so much and direct Nature Undisturbed in the spring -- when I found out about the Blue Ridge Mountain Photographers Juried Nature Exhibit -- I had to enter.  When I found out -- with about 3 days left in the call for entry period -- I had to hustle through my photos to decide which three I wanted to send in.

Doing the 365 Project is really building a reserve of great images for entries.  I poked around in my daily photo file and came up with a nice reflection photo.  

One of my favorite photos -- not a daily photo -- but taken in a set -- was a for sure entry.  This photo is so nice in black and white.

And finally -- another photo that was not the photo of the day but taken in the set one day -- was my third choice for entry.

I think the last one is my favorite of the bunch.  All three of the photos were juried in the show.  This is the first year for this photography exhibit.  The opening reception is September 4 from 5 to 7pm.  The show hangs through October 8.

Friday, August 27, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

While going through the files this morning I noticed this photo and thought that I had not posted it before.  I really like this one a lot.

This is my father's father's older brother and his wife.  The photo was taken at a studio in Washington, DC sometime in the early 1900s.  He looks very stylish with the bow tie, hair cut, and glasses.  He could be in style now.  She looks very period with the dark dress, collar, pin, hat, and tie at the waist.  She would not fit in with present fashion.

I love the chair and the backdrop.  This photo reminds me a lot of another old photo I have of my mother's mother's father.  I featured it on the blog showing the progression of cleaning and "restoring" an old photo.

Friday, August 20, 2010

One of those weeks...

OK -- so I have spent the better part of the day (or at least those times when I was not running errands) trying to locate a photo I wanted to use for the blog today.  I am thinking it is on a the basement office...which needs a purging something awful.

The photo was of the little church where I got married 27 years ago today.  When I find it I will put it on the blog.  So, yes today is our anniversary.  Last year I did a blog on it.  I planned to mention it today and show the photo of the church for the Barefoot Files post of the week.

This is a lesson in keeping up with technology.  Digital photography is wonderful.  Digitizing your images is an awesome thing to do.  But, when you move beyond one form of storage to another -- you need to move everything along or some things get missed.  Not too long ago I had to purchase a floppy drive (plugged into the USB port) so I could get some files.  All of these things we have that work by simply plugging them into the USB are awesome -- BUT -- what happens with the USB port is obsolete?  Remember the Iomega Zip Drive?  Yeah, we had one -- I think we had two -- they died and then what?  

Makes me think of that commercial -- can't remember the product (that is bad -- for them -- isn't it) -- where the people in the office say, "It's the Elder, he who speaks of floppy disks."

Oh and did I mention these two dogs are wild?  Not to mention I have a week's worth of photos a day to catch up with -- read process them, post to the blog, yadda yadda.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Meet Iris

A couple weeks ago my husband relented and I got a second dog -- for Sadie to have a friend and for me.  There are so many great dogs in shelters -- I wish I could bring them all home.  This is Iris.  My husband chose the name, as he did for Sadie.  I like it.

Iris appears to be a tall beagle which makes me think she is more of an American Foxhound mix.  Where Sadie is the stalker -- slowly moving inch by inch to sneak up on a rabbit or bird -- Iris is scrambled eggs.  Iris plods along right into the middle of Sadie's stalks.  But Iris is a tracker and a sniffer.  You can tell when she gets a scent.  That is, unless there is thunder and then she is under the bed.

Sadie has been mentioned a lot in the blog in the little over a year since we brought her home.  She has also appeared in many photo shows.  She is a very photogenic dog.  I think Iris is too.  Iris seems to not mind having her photo taken -- with the little point and shoot.  If I pull out the big camera she shys away.  

We compare and contrast Sadie and Iris a lot.  Sadie seems to have had a good life where she lived prior to ending up at the shelter.  We think Sadie just got lost.  I think Iris also got lost -- she is a runner and proved it just days after we brought her home -- she shot out of the yard and we were lucky to get her back home.  But we also think Iris did not have a happy home life prior to being in the shelter.  She cowers and is very timid.  The least noise and she tries to run and hide.

She was not injured or hurt.  She was and still is very thin.  We thought, due to a scar on her belly, that she had been spayed.  We later found out that she had not been -- but last Friday our vet took care of that.  Sadie loves to play with Iris -- they run and race through the house.  Iris is kind to the cat; but the cat is not very kind to Iris.  I don't think she was used to being in a house very much -- but she is getting there.  The strangest thing is that she does not go up or down the stairs to the other floors of the house.  Our best guess is that she is two years old -- so that makes Iris and Sadie about the same age since we guessed at Sadie's age too, who knows?

Friday, August 13, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Yesterday I was talking to a friend and she was talking about vintage clothing.  We got on the subject of old coats and it made me think of this coat I brought home from my grandmother's house.  I love this coat and plan to wear it.  I have worn it a couple times in the past -- but not often.  It really has a nice vintage look and is in great condition.

I wanted to give this photo a vintage look.  It is not an old photo from my collection -- but an old piece of clothing from my collection.  I converted to black and white with Silver Efex.  I also added the pale vignette around the edge of the photo to help soften it and give it a little "age."  To really make it look old -- I could have distressed the photo -- but I did not want to detract from the coat.

Yesterday my photo of the day was a close up of this coat.  I guess the hot hot hot temperatures lately are making me want for cooler weather. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lensbaby Workshop

Saturday August 14 -- 9:30 to 4:30 I will present a Lensbaby Workshop at the Serenbe Photography Center.  The cost of the workshop is $125 and this includes lunch.

I will have on hand demo Control Freak lenses (Nikon and Canon mounts).  I will also have many attachments -- macro, wide angle, tele photo, and the creative aperture disks.  Also, I will have the new super wide angle lens accessory and the fisheye optic.  The complete optic swap system will be available for demo -- single glass, double glass, plastic and the pinhole/zone plate drop in optics.  You can try out my personal Composer lens (Canon mount).

During the workshop I will show you how to use the Lensbaby lens for a variety of shots.  We will look at the application for this lens in macro, landscapes, still life, portraiture, and abstract.  

This photo was taken at Sams Lake.  The photo at the top of the blog was taken in my front yard.  The photo below was taken sitting on my kitchen counter.  The flowers were purchased for a baby shower.

If you have any questions about the Lensbaby or the workshop -- feel free to email me.  For more Lensbaby images you can check my Lensbaby set on Flickr.

Friday, August 6, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

OK -- Who remembers those hair dryers that made you look like a little mushroom head?  Here I am drying my hair and looking oh-so-stylish.  

This photo is from a slide.  Rather than scanning the slides -- I simply set up the slide projector and one at a time shot the photos on the wall.  I also had my camera set up on the tripod and shot a photo of the projected image for each one.  I think they came out pretty good.  If you have a bunch of old slides and would like a digital file of each image -- don't worry about getting a slide scanner or about paying someone to scan them for you.  Shoot photos of the images!

Friday, July 30, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Yesterday was my birthday.  I found this old photo a few months ago and was saving it for my birthday old photo post.  This photo was taken at my great grandfather's house -- the house is now underwater.  My great grandparent's and grandparent's houses were on the land purchased through an eminent domain event to provide space for the reservoir in their county.  I have a lot of fond memories of that property.  This house is a part of many of them.  

To the right of this photo was the way to the kitchen.  There was a large old stove there that was powered by wood.  I remember watching my grandmother lift the latch and see the fire in its belly.  I took baths in the kitchen sink.  When there were baby chicks in the hen house -- I would bring one or two into the house to play with and let them run around the kitchen until my grandmother made me "get them out where they belong."

To the left of this photo was my great grandparents' bedroom.  I don't remember my great grandmother -- but I do remember my great grandfather.  He was bedridden and I would go to the room to sit on the bed and spend time with him.  Sometimes I would bring a kitten in to run around on the bed.

In the photo there is a doorway on the left; through this is the living room.  It is also on the other side of the window where the fan is.  In that living room was a huge (at least to me) wood stove for heat.  I would play in this room.  I remember being in this room at Easter waiting for the adults to hide eggs.  We had a box of rabbits in the room to play with while we waited.  Previously on the blog I had a photo of me with my cousins and another great grandmother taken on the couch in this room.

The room where this photo was taken was a place to play at times as well.  I have a memory of bringing a jar full of dirt and earthworms into the house and asking my grandmother to let me dump it so I could see the worms and count them.  She brought me to this room and gave me a piece of newspaper to dump it on.  

I was about 7 years old when the moved from this house.  It was a fun place and I am glad we have photos of times there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Three Years Done

Three years ago today I began this blog.  The direction has changed a bit here and there and the frequency also changes.  But I hope anyone stumbling upon it has learned a little or at least thought a bit about things because of what they read here.

Since this is an anniversary day -- here is a quick little list of some notable posts.
Since today is a vintage photo day -- and yesterday was my grandmother's birthday -- here is one of her as a child in school.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pictures of You

Many of us have (or will have at some point) a less than flattering photo floating around on the internet.  It happens.  The most annoying thing of being a photographer is knowing when someone is taking a photo of you that will look bad -- or that you never see until everyone has seen it.  

Many photographers -- especially the designated "family photographer" takes on that job because they are most at ease behind the camera rather than in front of it. This is fine -- but before you know it there are tons of fun photos showing everyone -- except the person who always takes the pictures! Learning to take a photo or to have a photo taken of you is a skill.  I know of a few people who must have practiced their "look" in front of a mirror to get it just right.  Every shot of them that I see -- there they are with the same exact smile and tilt of the head.  It is funny.  Sure they look great -- but it gets to be funny.  

I try to be extra careful with the photos I put out there of other people -- making sure that they are flattering.  If I am shooting someone candidly I keep my camera on continuous shooting to make sure I get a flattering image and not one with eyes closed, mouth in an odd shape, or -- well -- worse.  The most flattering way to take a portrait shot is to sit below the photographer -- OK shoot down on someone's face.  Also make sure the subject is not tense and pulling his chin in toward his neck.  Push your chin out (but don't look like it is exaggerated).  This stretches out the chin and neck area and is flattering to everyone.

Watch the lighting -- harsh light is not good.  If you do need to shoot or be shot is bright, harsh light; use a fill flash to counter any weird shadows created by the light.  If you are taking photos of someone outside on a bright day -- use that fill flash.  A subject in a cap will need that for sure to light the area under the bill of the cap.  If you don't their eyes will be in shadow.

The photos above was taken at a photo show -- the background is less than perfect.  Since it was at a photo show this is OK.  But that line going through my head does big me a little.  I did crop it down to just me -- my photo was high above my head.  The room was dark -- so lighting was an issue and this was a flash photo.  All in all -- not bad.  My friend Carla, the director of the show, took the photo.  The best thing to do when someone is going to take your photo -- relax.

Beware of flash in a low light condition.  This can bring out the red eyes.  If someone is in low light, their pupil is dilated and this contributes to the red, glowing eyes seen in many photos.  The red eye reduction flash counters this by flashing once prior to the shutter release to cause the pupil of their eye to contract.  Also turning on a light behind the photographer can help.  When the subject looks toward the photographer, they look to the light and their pupil contracts. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This dog has been on the blog before.  He was in the photo with my Aunt Anna.  This is Aunt Anna's husband, Ben.  He was also my great grandfather's brother -- and Aunt Anna was my great grandmother's sister; brothers married sisters.

I like this photo -- it looks like he is heading out to hunt or finished.  The dog reminds me of Sadie a little -- the body type -- not so much the coloring.

There is some good light (sunshine?) on the subjects in this photo.  You can see the shadow on the door.  What also tells me there is good light is that all of the dark areas -- his clothes and the markings of the dog -- show detail.  If it was too dark the folds in the clothing and the body lines of the dog would be completely in shadow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Serendipitous Snake

The 365 Project presents challenges and rewards.  Before taking it on I did take photos often -- but not daily.  I did not carry my camera with me often -- now I do.  I have always jumped at the serendipitous opportunity as presented below.  This has become one of my favorite 'out of the blue' photos that I have had the chance to take.  

A few days ago, July 7 to be exact, my husband was walking out of the back door to run an errand.  I was in the kitchen on the phone with Kathryn Kolb with the Serenbe Photography Center.  He came back in the kitchen door and said, "Come here, and get your camera."  I asked Kathryn if I could call her back in a moment and she said yes.

Before I grabbed the camera, I poked my head out of the back door to see what was there.  The beautiful little (ok, not so little) garter snake was just as it is above.  So I did hurry to grab my camera.  The snake was about five feet from the doorway.  I did my normal approach of shoot and step closer, shoot and step closer, etc. until I thought if I got any closer the snake would move and get away.  So I stopped about halfway to the snake and continued to shoot.  Then I zoomed in closer to the head and got down low to catch different levels.  When I was sure I had enough -- I did move closer and lower.

I like the full shot best.  To be able to see the whole snake -- the little curves of the tail -- I think it makes a better photo.  But this whole set up looks like a set up -- and it is not.  The snake shows well with the color of the concrete.  The white splotches are from my daughter's bike lube (good ol' White Lightning!).  I have been telling her to not get it all over the garage -- but now I am glad she did.  The full shot shows a nice arc of the splotches in the lower right corner.   That double Rose of Sharon bush is a mess and needs pruning -- plus the dead blossoms always need raking up.  I am glad they were there for the shot also.  That subtle bit of purple is a nice compliment to the subtle green of the snake.  The colors in the photo work well; muted and subdued.  I did process this photo with Color Efex using the cross processing filter to tint it ever so slightly.  But it is pretty darn close to as shot and as seen.

The shooting took just a few minutes.  After I was finished I took the broom by the back door and shooed the snake away.  It left in a hurry, scooting off under the Rose of Sharon and has not been seen since.  I have weeding to do in the backyard and around the pond and now I am hesitant to do that thinking this snake is hanging around there lunching on toads and skinks -- hopefully not fish.  I quickly called Kathryn back and emailed her a photo of the snake later that day.

Sometimes you have to stop what you are doing and take advantage of the opportunity presented.  If nothing else it will become the "photo of the day."

Friday, July 9, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

On Fridays I take my dog Sadie to the local dog park to run, play, and have some fun.  She loves it.  As soon as we get home, I have to give her a bath because she gets very dirty at the park.  This morning she played with an Australian Shepherd puppy for a long time and had fun.  The little Aussie reminds me of our Rosebud.

I have always liked dogs.  I have had cats -- and have one now -- but I think I like dogs much more than cats.  I remember the many dogs I have had over the years.  We had dogs at home and there were always dogs at my grandmother's house.  One year my husband and I gave my granddaddy a pair from the shelter -- they looked like a cross between a golden retriever and an Irish setter.  Not long after I was married I adopted Daisy from a shelter -- she was a poodle-Maltese mix and very prissy.  

This photo is a picture of me with our dog Cindy.  Cindy was a cocker spaniel.  She was a good dog.  My father brought her home one day.  She had puppies and I remember they knocked over a can of paint in the basement -- there were little pink paw prints all over the place that day.  Cindy was a good dog -- she would let me dress her up in hats and scarves to take her photo.  She was one of my first 'dog models.'  I need to find those photos of her wearing my old stuff.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Peachtree Road Race

Yesterday I walked the Peachtree.  For those of you who do not live in Atlanta -- it is "the" July 4 activity just behind attending fireworks.  I walked -- mainly because there is no way I could run 6.2 miles and because I wanted to shoot photos along the way.  Above is one of my favorites.  Using storefront windows for reflections I catch myself shooting and my husband just ahead of me.  Our kids were along but on the other sides of us so you really don't see them here without some searching.

There were lots of people there -- not just the participants -- but those who were helping to make it a well-run event.  Taken from the Atlanta Journal's list of interesting facts:
  • 32 percent of the runners were in it for the first time
  • runners from 48 states and D.C. registered
  • 3400 volunteers
  • 700 portable toilets
  • 550,000 cups used
I can believe it about the cups -- the photo above does not do justice to the mounds of cups we saw along the route.  

Occasionally there were sprays of water that many found cooling.  In this photo, my daughter is heading toward the next one.  We had fun and probably will do this again.  It was a great opportunity for some cool photos.  I don't know if I would even take it so seriously to try to make a great time.  

Friday, July 2, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

How many of us spent a few minutes in a photo booth?

To the right is a couple shots of me in a booth.  I am guessing that I am about three years old in this photo.  Looking at my clothes and my tanned arm -- it must be summer.

Summer is a great time for fun photos.  You can do something similar to this with a digital camera and create the "strip" effect with photo editing software.  The way to get the click, click, click shot sequence is with the continuous shooting mode on your camera.  I used continuous often when I am shooting handheld to be sure I can keep some sharp focus.  Using continuous also gives you the frame by frame by frame look that you got with a photo booth.

This holiday weekend is a good time to play around with continuous shooting.  

Saturday, June 26, 2010

My Home Office

Last August I blogged about where I am most of the time when I am working on photos -- From Where I Sit...My Home Office.  Well -- about a week ago I entered the photo of the living room in a contest on another photography blog -- This Photographer's Life.

Take a minute to read the blog.  There are some beautiful rooms represented.  You guys know, I am no interior decorator, but I like to play one sometimes.  I think my room holds up pretty well.  This is a room that is used -- and the photo shows it "in use."  Head over, read the blog and vote for the room you love best.  

This morning -- as I sit where you see Sadie in this photo, she is perched on top of the piece closer to the window.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't think that dog has come a long way from the shelter.  As soon as I wrote that, she jumped down and headed into the kitchen where my son is cooking some eggs for breakfast.

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