The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

The past week was my grandfather's birthday.  Both of my grandfathers were born the same year and about a week apart.  This is the one who joined the Marines at a very young age.  He took a lot of photos.  I have his camera, light meter, and some of his photos.  In past blogs I have written about him and I don't know what more I could say about it.  As a child I spent a lot of time tacking through the woods with him and helping him in the garden.  We fished whenever we could in the lake at his property.

A couple days ago my daughter came to me to tell me there was a dead black snake in the road.  I brought it home and proceeded to do with it what I did to the copperhead a few months ago.  It made me think of him -- I used to help him clean fish and skin a deer (or at least he let me think I was helping).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Recently I heard someone say that photography and, art in general, needs to provoke.  I think when most people hear that or say it they think it with a negative connotation.  But -- think about it -- "provoke" can be negative and positive.

When I think about those who wish for art to provoke and be in your face -- I wonder what they have on their walls in their home.  If they have the kind of art that really ticks your off -- makes you angry -- makes you want to do something -- how can you relax?  I have also heard people say there is more to photography than butterflies and rainbows.  Sure it is -- but when I like to relax, sit in a room, chill -- I want pretty pictures.  There are those who would dismiss most of what I do as just pretty pictures and not show much of an interest.  That is fine -- if we all liked the same thing, Baskin-Robbins would only be called "1 Flavor."

Thinking about what we like, personally.  What we want hanging in our homes, our private spaces.  It makes me think of the movie That Thing You Do.  When they finally get in the studio, Mr. White (Tom Hanks) tells Jimmy he wants something happy, peppy, and none of his usual lover's lament stuff.  Jimmy takes offense, as an artist, and quits.  But Mr. White has a point.  He wants something that will sell, be commercially successful -- but also something that is good.  People can think an artist who is very commercially successful is a sellout and only cranking out work for the masses.  But if it is what people want...and it is good work...

Oh I know -- fine line and all that -- we don't all want to turn into little Kinkades.  But doing what makes you happy and what people want to hang in there homes is a good thing, right?   I think I am going to stick to doing things that provoke -- provoke good feelings.  And yeah -- I like that sappy movie.

Friday, April 23, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This photo looks like it was taken at the same time as the photo from last week.  My grandmother, on the right, is wearing the same clothing.  My mother (child peeking near the center) is almost missed -- but she appears to be at the same age and hair looks similar to the other photo.

The man in this photo is my grandmother's younger brother.  The woman is her mother's sister.  This photo is from about 1940.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nature, Dogwood, & Elements

The opening of Nature Undisturbed was awesome.  We had a packed gallery.  Everyone loved the photos and we had some sales to prove it!  Someone asked me how I thought this year compared to the first show.  I told them that at the close of last year I was nervous.  It had been such a great show, great photos, good attendance -- I did not see how we could top it.  Last Friday night -- we topped it!  

Saturday night we had another great evening.  Me..Jane (opening in Serenbe May 1) provided a wine/cheese tasting.  I am normally not a white wine person -- but the chards on hand may have converted me.  After the tasting, Susan Todd-Raque spoke about collecting photography.  Susan is a wealth of information and always a good listen.  She had many great photos and books with her.  It is a great topic for those purchasing photography and for those selling work.   Thanks so much to Lensbaby for sponsoring Susan's talk.

Lately I have had a lot of people ask me about classes.  I am continuing to do classes for beginners through Clayton State at the Fayetteville location.  On Saturday, 4/24, I am teaming up with Kathryn Kolb for a special workshop in Serenbe.  The Wildflower Walk with Macro is an all day, one day workshop in Serenbe and includes lunch at The Blue Eyed Daisy.  Also added to the schedule is a class at Dogwood Gallery for those beginning to edit photos with Photoshop Elements.  This class will for four, two-hour sessions.  It begins on Wednesday, May 5.  If you have any questions about any of these learning events -- feel free to email me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This is another old family photo that is a favorite of mine.  It is a photo of my mother as a child and my grandmother.  Many of the old photos of family will have the car in it.  

I wonder where this is and what is going on.  It looks like my grandmother has a pair of pants in her hands and she is laughing.  My mother looks like she is not quite sure of what is going on; her hands clasped and under her chin.  

One of the best features of this photo (for me) is the reflection of my mother in the door of the car.

editing this to add -- I just received an email from my mother telling me that my grandmother was putting those pants on so she could go into the trees behind the car to pick apples or berries.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tomorrow is the Opening!

Last Thursday Lucinda came to Dogwood Gallery & Framer to view the exhibit and make her picks for the top photos.  Let me just say that I love Lucinda -- she is so nice!  It was such a treat for me to spend time with her and hear her take on the photos.  She is not able to attend the opening tomorrow night -- but she will be back at the gallery on April 22 to give a talk about the show and her choices.

It has been a busy time to get the show ready.  I cannot believe how the show grew from the first year.  We had 76 photographers from 10 states submit work for the show.  All of the submissions were wonderful.  Trimming the number to fit the show and gallery was tough.  The great thing is that I see many more photos from the properties managed by Southern Conservation Trust.  The photos taken at the Trust properties show me that the show is working -- getting more people out to see in person the work they do in this area.

The full schedule of events for Nature Undisturbed is at the website.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Making the Usual Unusual

As many mornings, I was out walking Sadie today.  The sky was beautiful.  I watched as gray and lavender gave way to pink and orange.  The bits of blue sky peeking through the marshmallow clouds was just the right compliment to the cloud colors as the changed with the rise of the Sun.

I have had a blog topic for a while now -- just not the time to write it.  Nature Undisturbed is up at Dogwood Gallery & Framer.  The show surpasses last year and I cannot wait for everyone to see it.  The opening reception is this Friday at 6pm.  This will be a busy couple weeks for me.  I also have a workshop at the Serenbe Photography Center on April 24 with Kathryn Kolb.

But back to the blog -- the sky was amazing.  But haven't we all seen amazing skies?  What about today was different than another sunrise?  Nothing.  That is just it -- there was really nothing different.  By the time I returned from the walk and was able to get my camera, the beautiful colors had faded and the Sun was up.  I had missed this opportunity, but I knew there would be other days.  Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next week -- but the sunrise would provide another color show.  Then will I take a photo of it?  Maybe.  

Last week at the walk through of the show -- our juror, Lucinda Bunnen, made an interesting comment.  She said, "Sunrises and sunsets, that is what people think photography is about and it isn't."   When you think of the number of photos out there of a sunrise -- how can you make one that really stands out?  Can you?  

There is nothing wrong with shooting a subject that is overdone.  Every photo you take is a learning experience.  Many times you will be inspired by photos you have seen to try to duplicate the image as best you can.  This is nothing more than practice and education.  Photographing sunrises or sunsets is education.  There will be a time where there may be that event that is a unique and usual subject.  

How can something be unique and usual?  The subject in general is one you have seen a million times (no exaggeration) yet this time the subject really shows you something new, different, and fresh.  Being yourself, developing your own style is something I try to impress upon people taking classes -- especially those with aspirations of getting in shows and heading to the art side of photography.  

Knowing how to do something is one thing -- having the eye for unique composition is the art.  Yesterday I spent the morning at a local car show with my son.  He is showing interest in photography now.  I was really blown away by his photos from the show.  He got in, close, used depth of field, isolated subjects -- he really showed his view of the event.  When a photographer can get his vision across to the viewer the photo is a success.  You never want to hear someone looking at photos in a show say, "oh, my brother took one like this..."

Friday, April 9, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Vintage photos of people are great to have.  Another subject of the old photos is the homeplace.  This is my grandmother's childhood home.  The place is gone now -- the land it was on became part of the Quantico Marine Base during one of its expansions.  

I am not sure when this photo was taken.  The plants around the porch and yard tell me this must have been in the summer time.  It is interesting to me that there are two swings on this porch.  I like the screen door and decorative accents on the porch.  The fence in the back on the right, the plants stands in the yard,  and the out building on the left are nice additions and complete the picture.  

Friday, April 2, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This has always been one of my favorite old photos.  It is not clear who it is.  I am thinking it is either my great grandfather (the one on the blog last Friday) or his brother Ben.  

There is a lot about this photo I like.  The landscape scene is nice.  I like the foreground and the wide shot showing the lay of the land.  The trees and part of a building over to the right make a nice composition.  

The dress of the simple figure is pleasing to the eye; the hat, white shirt, and pants (not too dark but darker).  The angle of the scythe shows there is work at hand.  I have a scythe that belonged to the other side of my family (grandfather).  He would tell me of working all day in a field with it and eating his lunch from a bucket to earn a dollar.

It is disappointing to me to not be able to say for certain who this is.  I have heard my grandmother say it was her father -- so I think it is -- but who can tell?  If the photo was taken so that you could see the face -- a lot of the pleasing elements would be lost.

Blog Top Sites

Arts Blogs