The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, May 28, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

I don't know why -- but I have always liked this photo of my grandmother.  You can barely see a car in the frame and the house in the distance.  

She looks very young.  And there she is standing in the yard looking back over her shoulder.  She seems very caught off guard.  I know she did not like her picture taken.  Perhaps when she was young she did not mind -- of it was my grandfather taking the photo -- she may not have cared.

When I run across old photos like this I always wonder what was going on -- where is this and what was the situation.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Pond and The New Camera

A few years ago I put in a small goldfish pond in the backyard.  It has been interesting to watch it mature -- frogs came, even a turtle once.  It is always good subject matter for photos.

Last week I did purchase a new pocket camera.  The model I ended up going with is the Canon SX120 IS.  This is a small camera -- but it has a big zoom.  The zoom is 10x and it is a 10 megapixel camera.  Of course, being a point and shoot -- it has limitations and drawbacks.  The biggest thing is the lag time.  Testing it out I took this photo of the pond.  

A couple years ago I put the iris in the pond.  This is the first year to have blooms.  I did take a few photos of the bloom -- and of course in color.  Every photo I take is in color and then, if I choose, I convert it to black and white.  This way I always have the best of both -- the color version and the option of black and white.  This photo is my favorite from the testing of the new camera.  I took it with the point and shoot -- no cropping.  When I took it I did think the photo would look best in black and white.  To show the different textures, types of leaves, reflections, etc. -- monochromatic would be best.  The contrast was tweaked a bit and that is all.  The bloom of the iris is almost lost -- but looking through the photo to see everything that is there, you find the bloom.

Friday, May 21, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

This is an old photo that I really don't know much about.  At one time I thought this was my aunt -- but I think the little girl is my mother.  The woman is my grandmother's aunt.  Guessing the year puts it about 1941-ish.  It looks like there is a small bunch of daisies in my mother's hand.

A lot of the old photos in my collection have a car in the picture.  I think it is as interesting to see the cars as it is to see the people and their clothing.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The 365 Project Update

Today is day 139 in the 365 project.  I have yet to upload the photos of the day and choose one for #139.   At this point in the day-- it won't happen until tomorrow.  Since beginning the project on January 1 -- I have been very good about it.  It is getting easier.  For the most part -- I took photos often anyway.  Perhaps not every single day -- but most days.

The project is a bit misleading -- 'take a photo a day for a year.'  Well, you take more than "a" photo a day; at least I do.  I take at least 10 photos.  Today I spent some time around the pond.  I got some nice shots.  Some days it is hard choosing the one for the day.

So far it is fun to look back over the photos of the year.  The shots from January and February do look like winter.  Seeing the green show up in March and more color in April really show spring.

There are times I wish I had the camera with me and I don't -- and then I miss a great shot for that day.  A couple days I have taken my husband's pocket camera with me -- small, easy to carry -- and it is nice.  My S2 IS died and I have been thinking of replacing it or not.  Then I think with the couple DSLRs I have -- do I really need to replace the S2 or should I look for a more pocket sized camera?

After spending a few days poking on the internet I think I have decided on a new one -- the Canon S90.  I still have not made the purchase yet -- thinking it over more.  Those new pocket sized cameras with the bigger zoom are interesting.  I found a Canon SX120 IS at Target yesterday for less than $200.  That camera has a 10x zoom.  Sometimes I think there are too many choices...

Friday, May 14, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Since this past Sunday was Mother's Day -- it made me think about my children.  This photo was taken when my daughter was a couple months old.  Looking at the photo -- that could have been yesterday or it could be (and was) 18 years ago.  Until the styles change drastically -- there is not much to give away the age of a black and white photo.  In this particular photo -- there is not much in the way of style to give it away.  If it was a color photo -- you may notice the shade of the baby blanket that would date it or the color of my son's shirt (although I am really remembering it as white -- I could have been a pale blue or yellow).  The colors in the pillow pattern in the background might even steal part of the attention.  

I placed my daughter on my bed -- opened the blinds so we had soft window light and told my son to get next to her.  This has always been a favorite photo of mine.  It is hard to believe the baby is a high school graduate this month.

Friday, May 7, 2010

From the Barefoot Files...

Another Friday -- another old family photo.  This one is featuring my other grandfather.  This past week was his birthday.  Both of my grandfather's were born in 1903 -- a week apart and on opposite sides of the state.

This photo is when my grandfather was receiving a service award for his work at Quantico Marine Base.  It is funny -- the base took his family land and home (eminent domain) and then he went to work there.  Many of his neighbors did the same thing.  Their homeplaces were gone and then they needed work -- and it was for the very entity that took their home.

Both of my grandfathers were interesting people.  One of the things I remember about this one is that he would write his name on the bottom of things that belonged to him -- chairs in the yard, anything.  I liked to walk into the old garage and smell the earth soaked by oil.  There was an outhouse behind the garage.  He had a compost pile out past the garden that always had egg shells and coffee grounds on it.  In his room in the garage, he kept a jar filled with quarters labeled "cotter pins."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Secret Garden

Yesterday I spent some time in a private place that is not known to a lot of people.  The sad thing is if a lot of people knew about it -- it would not exist.  Sad but true.  These pink lady slippers in this photo grow wild and in a large group.  I was told it was highly unusual and it needed to be protected.

It was a nice day -- if you don't dwell on the spider webs you walk through and those that you find covering your camera.  But any day in the woods is a good day.

The dogwood tree in this photo was full of fresh, new spring leaves.  The sunlight above light them up perfectly.  

Something else about yesterday, I was shooting with some film people.  I had forgotten about film -- setting up shots and not just taking tons and tons of photos.  It made me think a little about how I had become such a "spray it all over" shooter.  I felt sloppy and unorganized.  I really felt that I was using the old "blind squirrel" method of photography -- sooner or later I would find a nut.  This is the thing I tell my students all the time --shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.  But after yesterday -- I wonder....

Should you really be a bit more deliberate about what you are shooting.  Pay it some respect, take your time, think through the shot as much as possible.  I started doing that -- slowing my pace a bit and thinking a little more about my surroundings.  It became even more enjoyable, if that was even possible.

There is nothing wrong with shooting like crazy -- if nothing else it is educational.  But I do see the importance of taking the time to be thoughtful (even if you are not shooting film).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Slow Exposures 2010

The call for entries for Slow Exposures 2010 is out.  Deadline to enter is June 15.  Since beginning in 2003, Slow Exposures is an annual celebration of photography reminding visitors to "slow down" by letting the images surprise, educate, reacquaint, and challenge their perception of the rural south.  This year the show returns to the newly renovated R.F. Strickland building in Concord, GA.  Also new for this year -- the entry process is completely online.

For the past two years I have entered and had images accepted in for the Slow Exposures exhibit.  I feel honored and a bit lucky to have had that happen.  The show receives over 600 photos for consideration.  It is a major task for the jurors to select from such a pool of amazing photographs.  The founders of Slow Exposures were very helpful to me in getting Nature Undisturbed off the ground.  It was nice to know people who have been so successful at a photography event -- and to be able to ask questions!

The Slow Exposures committee asked me to help them -- it takes a lot of people to keep that show going.  I was pleased to be able to help them -- and so I am blogging for Slow with updates on show info, past and present juror news, past winning photographer news, and just all-round photography news for our area.  If you are a regular reader of my blog, check out the Slow Exposures blog and the website.  Online entry is easy -- I did it already so I would not miss the deadline.  I am also signing up for the portfolio review -- which is making me nervous already.

If anyone reading is thinking about entering -- you have a little over a month.  I printed the photos I was considering -- more than the minimum allowed -- and I weeded those down to the 6 I entered.  Photos on a computer screen can sometime look really good -- until you print them!  And of course, sometimes the computer screen does not do justice to a photo.

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