The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Flurries -- a Second Look

Sometimes it is a good thing to dig back through photos.  

When I head out to shoot something -- I will have a preconceived notion of what photo I plan on working with first.  Most of the time it is the best.  Sometimes it is not.  The first flurry landscape photo I worked with, I liked a lot.  But yesterday I started looking at the others.  On the blog today is what I believe to be a better photo than the one on the blog last Thursday.  Today I printed this photo 10x15 on Ilford matte fine art paper.  The photo is awesome and would be even better printed larger.  This one has potential for contests.  Printed on the rag paper, it looks almost like a pen and ink drawing or etching.  The sharpness on the weeds, sticks in the water and bare trees in the distance is consistent and good.

I am glad I took a second look at the photos taken last Wednesday morning.


Friday, February 26, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

What a Bohemian-looking bunch!  So many prints and patterns in fabric in this photo -- good thing it is in black and white to not make me dizzy.

This is my great grandmother, three of my cousins, and me (with a puppy) at my other great grandparents' home.  The house in this photo is now under water -- Smith Lake in Stafford County.  The property was 'taken' by the county for a reservoir in the 1970s.   I loved spending time at this house and the other one -- again under water -- that was next door and the home of my grandparents.   The great grandmother in the photo was visiting from southwest Virginia.  She is the mother of my photographing grandfather.

I wold be embarrassed at my dirty, barefoot feet -- but hey -- that is me!  Just guessing, I think I am about six years old in this photo. It looks like a couple of us were outside playing, most likely with a litter of new puppies.  Someone must have called us in for this photo.  I would not come without bringing a puppy with me.  My cousin Barry is looking away at someone -- the someone probably trying to keep the baby from crying (which looks like it did not work).


Thursday, February 25, 2010


I could not believe the weather forecast for early Wednesday morning -- "wintry mix."  Then it was changed to snow flurries with no accumulation.  My expectation was a few flakes and nothing more.  As I drove my daughter to her class at about 8:30 we saw a few very tiny flakes.  One my way home I stopped off at Target -- when I came out of the store it was pouring big, fat snowflakes.  

As I drove home from my errands I kept hoping I would have time to get home to my camera before the heavy snow subsided.  Driving by the local wetland/bird sanctuary I thought -- I will come back here to take some shots.  You can see from the above photo I did make it home to pick up my camera and return to the lake.  At first I thought it would be a dud -- there was nothing sticking -- the temperatures were too high for the snow to even stick around on the trails.  But then, as I looked across the vista I could see the idea of a god shot -- and it would be black and white. 

The original photo was taken in color -- as I always do.  The conversion to black and white was done with Silver Efex software.  I dodged and burned a few areas to highlight the snow flakes.  For me it works.  I like the abstractness - the varying points of snowflake boken that stand out more against the darker areas of the landscape.  Contrasting with this is the sharp areas around the waterline and sticks in the water.  The reflection of the sky on the water is a plus.  The sky itself was not a plus; light gray and nothing going on with it.

On the way home from the lake -- at a stop sign I looked to my left and noticed the field of broomsedge.  The color of the weed is very striking.  So why is this a black and white?  Well, the sky again was pretty bad.  My best bet for this was black and white and allow the bare tree to become a silhouette.  Then contrast the grass above with the mud bank that is so raw.  For me the black and white works well with this.  I still may do some work on the color version of this photo.  The color of the mud played well with the color of the weed.

While I was out I managed to take a pretty good shot that I used for my 365 project photo for yesterday.  To see it and keep up with the photos from each day click the link to my other blog.

Also you will notice that a link to Lensbaby has been added to both blogs.  I get a lot of emails about my Lensbaby photos -- if you are interested in the lens -- click the photo ad and it will take you to the Lensbaby website.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Barefoot Photographer® at Frame Designs

Select photos are now available at Frame Designs Custom Frame Shop and Gallery in Fredericksburg, Virginia. You may recall I have a couple blog posts recently about my trip home and the photos I took along Sunken Rd. and at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery.  Those photos -- along with a couple random Fredericksburg shots -- are in the Frame Designs gallery.

Frame Designs is a very interesting place -- they have quite a variety of art available.  I have purchased Johnny Johnson paintings from Frame Designs.  The last one I bought -- just a few years ago -- was an anniversary gift for my husband.  The great folks at the gallery shipped the painting to my home and it arrived safe and sound.  As a student at Mary Washington, I purchased sketch pads and other materials at Frame Designs.  

If you are in the Fredericksburg area -- stop by and see my photos -- and all the other artwork in their gallery area.


Friday, February 19, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Again, some of granddaddy's photos.  This one appears to be in front of a barracks of some kind.  It is interesting to see the dress on these guys.  Granddaddy is on the right and in casual clothes.  The guy in the middle is in his dress uniform and the guy on the left looks to be in his underwear.  

I had someone ask me if I am scanning in all of these old photos.  I am not.  Instead of using a scanner -- I am taking photos of the photos.  This has been a handy way to do this since some old family photos can be too large to fit completely on a scanner.  Also, if you have relatives out of town -- you can visit them, take photos of the old photos they have and then immediately have your own digital files without needing to ask or taking the responsibility of taking the photos from their home.

Because many of the old photos are a glossy finish -- I do not use flash.  I make sure there is plenty of indirect light in the room.  Sometimes I place the photos on a table, sometimes on the floor.  I use a tripod to hold my camera extra steady.  If the old photo is not flat (many are curled).  Place glass from frames on each side of the photo to hold it down as flat as possible.

Old photos can be faded and even have the sepia look.  If you like sepia -- that is fine.  I prefer to return the photo to as close to the original black and white coloring as possible using my photo editing software.  If an old photos was not straight - I will crop it slightly to help straighten the subject.


Monday, February 15, 2010

February Snow Day

The snow came to our house last Friday afternoon. Friday morning my daughter had a dentist appointment. The staff at the office were acting like kids in school coming to peek out of the windows to see if the snow had started yet. For fun, as we were getting ready to leave, I told one of them that the snow would start at 1pm.

Later that day I was out running a couple errands. As I sat in a drive through I thought I saw something fall. I was not sure -- so I kept looking. Nothing. Then something. Then another and another and yes it was just beginning to snow. I looked at the clock in the car and it was 1:06pm.

It is fun to get out to take photos in the snow. It does not happen here very often. Last March we had a decent snow -- I was able to get quite a few good photos that day. This time the snow started so late in the day. The street was getting a good cover around 5pm. The sky was very gray all day and the flakes were coming down hard the whole time. That night I watched the weather forecast. Saturday morning was going to be sunny. That meant I would have to get up early and get out there to get some good shots before the snow fell from all of the trees.

The photos on the blog are some of my favorites from Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. The photo at the top is my daughter, taken with a Lensbaby. The second photo is Saturday morning just as the sun was coming up. The color in the sky was very pretty. The next photo is Friday early evening as we walked Sadie. I love this photo -- the tracks in the slush; foot, tire, bike, and paw. And the last photo are the morning sun shining on trees in the distance with those in the foreground still shaded.


Friday, February 12, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This is my great grandmother. Her birthday is February 14, 1886. This looks like it was a birthday cake. I don't know why it is taken outside. It looks a little weird to see this table placed in front of a bush of some kind and she is standing behind the bush. She has been on the blog before -- a family photo with her, my great grandfather, my grandmother and her brother as young children.

I don't remember her -- she died when I was very young. Her husband, my Granddaddy Sam has been featured on the blog before in a photo and his recipe for Dandelion Wine. We really don't have a lot of photos of her. Many of the photos of her I have seen are with her in the bed. Her last years were spent as an invalid. I like to think about her as she is in this photo -- looking happy and outdoors.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nature Undisturbed 2010 Update

Nature Undisturbed is a celebration of the natural world. The show brings together a diverse collection of photography showcasing the wonders of nature that many don’t take the time to see. It is the hope of the show creators that after viewing the photography, you are inspired to get out on the not-so-beaten path. Perhaps you happen to take along a camera to capture the light through the leaves and continue to enjoy that day each time you view the photo. This is the show that brings the outside in for all to enjoy. Come, see the show and look through our windows on the world around us.

In the fall of 2008 Southern Conservation Trust approached Donna Rosser about having a photography event featuring her photos. Rosser visits Trust properties frequently to shoot. As soon as Rosser heard this she immediately thought of not just a photography event of her work – but an event that would feature photographs from many talented photographers. Rosser envisioned a juried show bringing together photographers, photography collectors, and nature enthusiasts. With the plans for the show well underway, one thing was still not decided; the location. Dogwood Gallery was interested in hosting a photography event. Rosser knew with an excellent location like Dogwood and the talented photographers in the Atlanta area, the show would be a winner. Nature, Undisturbed's inaugural year drew 190 entries from 43 photographers. The show opened to a packed gallery.

Like the 2009 show, this year's exhibition showcases the simple, yet majestic, beauty of nature, wildlife, and our local landscapes. Each unique image echoes the sentiment "a picture is worth a thousand words"; a powerful reinforcement for the importance of greenspace and natural habitat protection for future generations of people and wildlife. We have received 320 photographs from 75 photographers representing 10 states.

Opening reception for Nature Undisturbed™ is April 16 at 6:00pm. On April 17, also 6:00pm, Susan Todd-Raque will speak on collecting photography. Susan Todd-Raque provides art advisory services for private collectors, corporations and artists. Specializing in vintage 20th century photography and work by selected contemporary photographers, she brings a wealth of knowledge from over 20 years as an independent art collection consultant, curator, educator, appraiser and writer on the photographic arts, earning the respect of private and corporate collectors in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and New York.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Southern Conservation Trust, a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving natural areas in the Southern Crescent for enjoyment today and future generations.


Sunday, February 7, 2010


Last week I met the staff at Panoply in Newnan. They are very nice -- and they have quite a collection of art in their shop. My getting to know them was in connection with me photographing some interiors for them. Also, I took the opportunity to shoot some shots in their shop as well.

There is some interesting artwork here.

While looking around I saw work from some of my friends; Martin Pate, David Boyd, and Gail Jensen. There is even a photo on the wall that was in Nature Undisturbed last year!


Friday, February 5, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This week -- I have another good one from Granddaddy's stash; the Mexicali Beer Garden in Tijuana, Mexico. Interesting and wow -- 15 cent beer! Earlier I Googled to see if I could find any info about this place. I did find a postcard from the 1920s where the cost of the beer was the same. So that (and more info below) helped me date this photo to the 1920s.

There are not many people in this shot -- or automobiles. Just part of a car to the right side and a couple guys standing by the post. This must have been very early in the day. I would suspect this place would be busy and popular as the day went on and into the night. The whole time I lived in California I never went to Tijuana. Now -- I wish I had just once -- to see this place and what it looks like now.

Exploring the internet (isn't the internet wonderful?) I found a great little website telling all about Tijuana. And on that site I found this old picture of the corner. Again -- it is from the 1920s. It seems this was a popular destination during prohibition.

The road up from the river bridge to the corner of First and A.


Blog Top Sites

Arts Blogs