The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011

So Long 2011...It Was a Busy Year!

This photo has nothing to do with the post today -- except it is one of my favorite images from 2011.  Ask me my favorite tomorrow -- it may be a different one -- but today -- this is it.

I have been thinking of an end of 2011 post -- to think back over all that has happened this year and make sense of it, learn from it, and plan the next steps.  It is interesting that in the mail today was a letter telling me one of my paintings was selected for the 2012 Arts Clayton Annual show -- this is 2D and 3D work -- nothing photography.  This makes the third year in a row I have something in the show.  I remember after the show last year saying that I was going to step back from photography for a bit and concentrate on my painting.  Well, that did not happen.  But I did create the painting that got in just a month or so ago -- I really like it and I am glad it is in.

That makes me think of the plans made early in a year of what you intend to do; sometimes things don't work out as you expect.  I had the idea to work on painting more -- and I did not.  I did, however, have photography selected for over 20 juried exhibits and part of other invitation only shows.  My photos were in Vermont, Virginia, Colorado, California, Georgia, and online exhibits.  I had the pleasure to again work with Mr. John Bennette for his second installment of Southern Memories, a satellite show during SlowExposures.  Nature Undisturbed 2011 was a success with 20% of the work in the show sold.  We had a wonderful juror, Susan Todd-Raque.  Susan also moderated a panel discussion during the show -- the panel included Kathryn Kolb, Lucinda Bunnen, and the new-to-Atlanta Brett Abbott.  

The back part of 2011 took another turn.  In the middle of preparations for Atlanta Celebrates Photography -- and I had work in six events -- I took on yet another challenge.  Serenbe Photography Center was in transition and I stepped in to help out.  The center is a great space and in a great location.  It is easy to take a break, relax, and have some fun there shooting on your own or in a workshop.  I have developed some bold programs to create pieces that fall under the umbrella of the Serenbe Photography Center.  The center maintains its traditional and digital print lab and schedule of workshops.  More workshops for the beginner to intermediate photographer are on schedule for 2012.  Also we have created a membership group for the photographers.  We meet once a month on the second Tuesday to share photos and encourage each other.  The excitement and buzz is building at SPC.  

One thing I thought about from the start with Serenbe is that there are a lot of people who love photography but are not photographers.  We needed a piece to our SPC puzzle for the art lover/collector.  So beginning in 2012 we are launching a Collector Guild.  The guild will meet 8 to 10 times throughout the year to learn about fine art photography and collecting it.  They will spend time with gallery owners, curators, artists, and more having a dialogue that enhances their photography experience. In connection with these guild events, SPC will offer the sale of prints -- limited editions, small size, from artists that have donated their specific work to the center to help support SPC.  I am a purchaser of small-sized, limited edition photographs and I can tell you -- they are like potato chips -- you can't have just one.  

Also in 2011 I took on the position of blog editor for South by Southeast Photomagazine.  I also taught a few workshops at the Serenbe Photography Center and put together a new Blurb book, Domestic.  Two of my photos were used in the first edition of a Serenbe calendar that benefited the photography center.  Arts Clayton Gallery honored me by selecting one of my photos to serve as their signature piece for their fundraiser.  Six of my photos are finishing up their year hanging in the Georgia Capitol.  

As 2012 begins I have a photo in the Winter show at A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas; the show opens January 6.  In February I have a photo in the Puppy Love exhibit in Zebulon, Georgia and a painting in the annual juried competition at Arts Clayton Gallery in Jonesboro, Georgia. 

We are going to have fun this year at the Serenbe Photography Center -- I hope many of you reading this will come to a workshop, lecture, to print, or just buy a print to support the center and what we are doing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas Card

Every year for the past few years I use one of my photos for a Christmas card for family and friends.  This year I chose a photo of Iris (Sadie in the background) looking festive in a Christmas bow.  It is one of my photos from the 2010/365 project.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Practice, practice, practice....

As I sit here, knee deep in entries for Nature Undisturbed -- I am thinking about all I do and how I am keeping up.  One thing I have not kept up with is that other little blog -- the one from the 2010/365 project.  I had planned to keep it running this year with my favorite photo from the week.  Well, that did not happen for long.

Recently I have added more things to my plate.  It is becoming very clear I need to make some choices for 2012 on what is important to continue and what I may need to leave behind.  One new thing I added was starting another photo group on this side of Atlanta.  We meet the 2nd Tuesday at the Serenbe Photography Center. Much more to come about the Serenbe Photography Center -- but that will be a blog of its own.

The group is great and growing.  Something I talked about with them is the need to always think of photos and have a camera ready.  I talked about my 365 project and how much I enjoyed it.  Then I told the group -- and my other group -- that from Thanksgiving until the start of 2012 I planned to take a photo everyday.  I may be a bit behind at times posting photos -- and I am using Flickr as the place for that -- but I will take the photos and catch them up when I can.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shooting Models

It is hard to take a bad photo of a pretty girl.  The models we had for the shoot last Sunday were very pretty girls.  Add in that we had beautiful settings in the Serenbe community -- and that the daylight was perfection -- how could you have a bad photo?  Well I did -- I always have some that no one will ever see.  Below is one of my favorites from the day.

This photograph is presented two ways.  One processed in Silver Efex Pro 2.  I did not do a lot to it -- adjusted the contrast a bit, burned a little to take down some highlighted areas.  I added the frame.  I am not sure if I really like it on this photo -- does it add anything?  does it distract?  

Here is the photo the way I shot it -- in color.  I like the color of the berries with her skin tone.  I did desaturate the greens a bit -- the grass area in the photo was very bright green and I felt it was distracting.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scouting Locations

Today I spent my afternoon scouting locations in the Serenbe community for the model shoot event this Sunday.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have had this camera for a long time.  This is the camera my grandfather used to use.  On some older blogs I have featured photos of him or taken by him -- and I believe they were taken with this camera.  A few days ago I was telling a friend about the camera.  She suggested I take some photos with it -- it would make a nice project.  So I have the bug.  I have looked it over and it seems to be in fine working condition. The bellows look great.  The lens is clear.

Here is a photo of it showing my Christmas tree in the finder.  My obstacle is that this camera uses 116 film.  That size film is no longer produced.  I have found a lot of information on converting it to use 120 film fairly easily.  This caught the attention of my husband since I likes to work on things -- he is working on how to fit a 120 spindle in the camera. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011


A few mornings ago there was a great amount of fog.  As I walked along the edge of the woods with Sadie and Iris I could see many spiders' webs strung throughout the branches.  As soon as I could, I got the dogs to finish their morning sniff and headed back to the house for my camera.  The next few minutes I spent traveling along the branch tips as the spiders had the night before -- looking at the twists and turns and trying to figure the point of it all.

Sometimes trying to figure the point of it all is a waste of time -- and I stopped then only to just see the decorations left behind.  

As I shot the photos that morning, I remembered this picture.  As I took it I knew I wanted to see it in black and white.  This is a conversion using Silver Efex Pro 2.  I love this plug in for my black and white work.

I hope no one had to figure the point of anything today and that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photography Gift Ideas

Once again it is time to think about what to give your favorite photographer for the holidays.  It is always nice to give them something they can use.  But if you are not a photographer -- how do you know what is good stuff?  Hopefully I can help.

Favorite Lenses
  • 50mm Lens  If someone you know is just getting into photography -- say they bought the body & kit lens but want something else to add to it; you can't go wrong giving them a 50mm lens.  I use the Canon 50mm f1.4 and love it -- love it so much I bought two and gave one to my son.
  • Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Sweet 35 drop in optic.  I have been shooting with a Lensbaby lens for a few years.  I love them.  I started with the old 3G model and have used the Control Freak, Composer and now the Composer Pro.  
  • Tamron 17-50mm F2.8 VC  This is a great little walk around lens if you are looking for a wide angle and perhaps some closer shots.  The f2.8 part gives you the option to get creative with your depth of field.  I have been very pleased with this lens.
Camera Bags
  • My main camera bag is a Jill-E bag.  It looks nice -- like a handbag -- but it is a great camera bag that holds all I need.
  • When I don't want to carry the big bag -- I like to use a Shootsac camera bag.  These look good and are lightweight.  
  • The standby for us at my house for a good go-to bag is from Lowepro.  I have had my old Lowepro bag for years -- and now my son uses it and really likes it.  
Fun Things
  • Pretty camera straps are available at many locations and online.  I have ordered some from Etsy that are colorful and fun.  There are some available made from seat belts.
  • Knee pads -- if your photographer shoots a lot of nature or car shows -- or anything where she may be kneeling on hard surfaces -- a nice garden knee pad set or gardener pad will be nice to have.
  • Now that it is cold weather -- I love my winter golf gloves for shooting on a cold winter morning there is not much to keep your fingers from freezing -- but these help.  You can also find reusable heat pack that will last about 30 minutes -- they are 'recharged' by boiling in water to have ready for your next outing.  
  • Speaking of cold weather -- Cuddl Duds are awesome to help keep you warm too -- and they are great to relax in when you come home to edit your photos.
  • Camera lens mugs make for something fun.  
  • I love my iPad and really have some fun with the Snapseed app from Nik Software.  The iPad allows me to tote my portfolios with me wherever I go.  My preferred method to get photos onto my iPad from my computer is using the Dropbox app.
  • Give the dog a camera.  I am thinking of getting one of these for Sadie and Iris this year.  
  • Scottevest jackets and vests are very useful for the photographer, hiker, or traveler.  These garments are loaded with pockets.
  • And lastly -- if your photographer does not have one by now -- get her a GPS.  These are the best when you are out driving around looking at the scenery -- lose track of was that last turn a right or a left.  Just punch in "Go Home" and the GPS will get you back to where you started.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Be Promiscuous

I have found that it is best to let the idea of a photo find me.  When I set out with a certain idea in mind the photos never come out the way I had imagined them to be. The preconceived notion stifles the free flow of the 'what if' during the shooting time.

My favorite photos are of the scenes I happen to see and then shoot right away. There was no way to foresee or prepare for the above photo.  I have a new lens -- the Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Sweet 35 optic.  So far I love it more than my old Composer.  When the lens arrived, I put it on my old Rebel and left it there -- so if I see something around the house -- like Sadie napping -- I can grab it and play around.

Last Saturday I went along on a workshop at the McIntosh Preserve in Whitesburg, GA -- on the Chattahoochee River.  Beautiful day -- and yep -- I took along the newest Lensbaby.  My subject matter changes almost daily.  Whatever I see that I like -- I shoot it.  I am a promiscuous photographer.  I am not held tightly to any one type of subject.  I love the dogs, nature, still life, or city scenes.  

I believe this promiscuity comes from being in a photography club or group.  When you have a monthly theme to shoot for -- you look outside of your normal routines. Seeing the photos that other people bring in will also open your eyes to things you may not have thought about before.  Recently I began leading a new group connected to the Serenbe Photography Center.  If you are in the area, and looking for a group -- come check us out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nature Undisturbed 2012

Yesterday morning I walked along Line Creek in Peachtree City. Line Creek is one of the natural areas owned and/or managed by Southern Conservation Trust. It is also one of the areas included in the site specific category for Nature Undisturbed. The call for entries for the 2012 show and sale is on right now.  Deadline to enter is December 17, 2011. The show is scheduled for a March 17 opening at Dogwood Gallery and Framer in Tyrone.  

It is hard to believe this is the 4th show. It seems like only yesterday I was approached by the Trust to have a show -- and that idea morphed into Nature Undisturbed. We worked hard pulling together the show that first year. The call for entry period was short. But, we did have a great response. The past couple shows -- the interest has grown. We increase entries each time. Also, the past two years -- we have sold 20% of the work in the show.

Since the beginning we have had great jurors.  Greg Newington was our first juror. He is very nice and has a beautiful gallery in Serenbe. Our second juror was Lucinda Bunnen. How I loved having lunch with her and talking about photography. And it was great for the Nature Undisturbed crowd that we had a preview of her Hatcher's Pond talk! This past spring Susan Todd-Raque was our juror. She is such a delight, a wealth of information, and has been a friend of Nature Undisturbed since our first year. The first year of the show, she presented a talk on collecting photography. The second year she did a part two of that talk. This past spring in addition to jurying the show, she moderated a panel discussion on collecting photography. We are pleased to say that she will be back in 2012 moderating another panel discussion.

This is building to our choice for juror for 2012 -- Brett Abbott.  Last April, he was a newbie to Atlanta when we met him. It was a pleasure to have him on our panel. This time around he is jurying the event for us. Brett Abbott came to the High Museum from the J. Paul Getty Museum and has received  the Lucie Award for Curator/Exhibition of the Year twice -- 2007 and 2010.

So get out there, take some awesome nature photographs, come be a part of a wonderful event. All information needed to enter, along with previous winning photos and information on the jurors, is on the website  Remember the postmark deadline is 12.17.2011.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Art Takes Miami

This is one of my favorite photos of Sadie.  I have more similar to this of Sadie and some of Iris.  Iris is starting to be more at ease with me and the camera.  Sadie and Iris are both just too darn cute -- they were county shelter rescues -- if you read this blog you probably already know that.  Did you know that October is adopt a shelter dog month?  If you or someone you know is thinking about adding a dog to their household -- encourage them to look in their shelters first, then with local rescue groups.  There are so many good dogs out there in need of a home.

Something else happening now -- I have submitted to Art Takes Miami and I have no (repeat zero) online votes yet.  If you are so inclined and like my photographs, please take a minute to vote here for them Art Takes Miami/Donna Rosser


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Atlanta Celebrates Photography

The time of year when Atlanta is filled with photography events is going on right now.  There are excellent exhibitions and talks happening throughout the next 6 weeks or so.  Check out the ACP website to see the online guide.  When you are out -- pick up a copy.  This lists all the events by date.  My work is part of 6 events this year.  I feel as if I have scattered photos all over the city.  So far it has been fun and I cannot wait for other events.

I have one photo in the SlowExposures exhibit and one at the show at the Whiskey Bonding Barn.  The listing for this event is here -- and there is one weekend left to see these wonderful shows.  Along with 5 other photographers, I have a variety of work at The Art House Gallery in Buckhead.  The reception for this event is October 7.  Another event and reception on October 7 is at Arts Clayton Gallery.  My son and I have work in this show.  The Women in Focus show at Mason Murer Fine Art is titled "Illumination."  There are four of my photos there.  And for the last event -- juried by Fay Gold -- the Roswell Photographic Society's open competition listing is here.  The reception for this one is also Friday October 7.

If you see me out and about at a photo event -- say hi.  Or, if you see any of my photos, please email me to let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


view from a parking garage
Yesterday I had some errands to run in Atlanta.  The busy season of 'Atlanta Celebrates Photography' is about to begin.  I was dropping off some work and picking up a couple photos from the In Your Dreams show at the APG Gallery.
I like getting above something to get a different view.  Standing above the bottom of the escalator the patterns and people make an interesting composition.
looking through the courtyard
From the same spot as the escalator photo -- but instead of looking down -- this is looking across.  Through the windows at the entrance of Crawford Long Hospital you see the trees inside the courtyard and trees outside.  I like the pattern on the large window and the buildings in the distance.
air vac at the bottom of the stairs
Sitting at a stop light, this was on the side of the street.  I love this photo.  

Another scene from the car.  The colorful paper boxes all begging you to take one for free.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Yesterday morning we discovered Kitty did not make it through the night.  She had been looking quite frail lately.  She had been a part of our home for over 15 years.  

We brought Kitty home from a PetSmart adoption event.  She was my birthday present that year.  We were living in California at the time.  The adoption volunteer told me that she, along with her litter mates, were found in a cardboard box in a parking lot in Garden Grove.  From that bit of information, we called her Crystal for two reasons; her blue eyes and the Crystal Cathedral is in Garden Grove.  But after a while we did not think Crystal suited her and she became Pearl -- and Pearl became Kitty because she had no clue she had a name.

Kitty always had that cat attitude and would let me take her picture -- but you knew she really did not like it.  The photo on the blog was taken during a severe thunderstorm as tornado sirens were going -- she just sat on the couch.  One time we picked her up from a stay at the vet's office.  The tech made mention that she was so good and "did not live up to her reputation."  When I got in the car I told my family what the tech had said and we laughed.  We did not know Kitty had a reputation -- and from then on we said her theme song was Joan Jett's Bad Reputation.  So now -- think that song when you think of our Kitty -- we do.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Southern Memories: Part Two

About a year ago I wrote a blog about Southern Memories: Part One.  Now I am knee deep in preparations for Southern Memories: Part Two.  Part One was about places -- indoors and out.  Southern Memories Part Two: The People is the second exhibition curated by John A. Bennette at The Whiskey Bonding Barn in Molena, Georgia as a part of SlowExposures 2011.  The show will consist of a selection of portraits taken in the region by local and national artists.  The community will also be invited to participate in this exhibition with a wall of historical images and snapshots provided by members of the community, with their notes and stories about life in the area and their families.  

I am inviting all who read this blog -- if you live in the south -- to contribute to the wall of images.  Please make an inexpensive copy of any old family photo. You may simply place a photo in a copy machine and create a copy for this show.  I printed one on plain printer paper from a digital file.  On the piece of paper you copy or print on, please write who is in the photo, where it was taken, and any other information about the family or photo.  If you live in the area -- please drop off these family memories at A Novel Experience in Zebulon.  If you do not live in the area -- email me for instructions on how to mail it in.

For a long time I have been restoring old family photos using Photoshop Elements  -- this blog post showing the changes to a photo of my great grandfather is a good example of an old family portrait and what may be needed to help preserve it for future generations.  I have given talks at The National Archives Southeast on this subject.  The old photos I have are safely stored in protective sleeves in archival albums.  The only old photos I use for display purposes are copies that I printed out myself.  The digital files are also safe -- in case I, or someone else, would like a copy.  As many long time readers know -- my Christmas tree is decorated with old family photos -- portraits of family and old homeplaces.  I am hoping to put together a small handout for this exhibit with tips on how to preserve old photos.  Time is precious these days -- I have a lot going on -- more about that on future blogs -- but preserving old family photos is important.

Artists participating in Southern Memories this year are:
Dave Anderson
Paul Conlan
Malgorzata Florkowska
Gary Gruby
Jessica Hines
Sarah Hoskins
Jane Robbins Kerr
Joanna Knox
Kendall Messick
Donna Rosser
Jerry Siegel
Marilyn Suriani
Jo Lynn Still
Hai Zhang

Opening reception is September 16 from 5pm to 7pm at the Whiskey Bonding Barn.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Driving around on a Sunday afternoon you can find subject matter.  The above photo was taken on Highway 85 in Senoia, Georgia.  I drove past it.  Thought about it.  Kept going.  Thought again.  Then started looking for a good place to turn around to go back.  

The thing that urged me the most to turn around was that I had my wide angle zoom lens with me.  Directly behind me was a small barrier/fence type thing.  A couple feet beyond that was the road.  If I had not been shooting this with the wide angle, I would not have been able to fit the whole van in the photo.  At least from this side.  And this was the side I wanted.  I wanted the photo to have the van sitting in front of the church.  From the other side it would have only been the van, then the road, then the house that was on the other side of the highway.

The sky in this photo was nothing -- blah -- washed out -- boring.  That is why you see so little of it.  I found the grave lot interesting.  The patch of grass was a nice touch -- lucky it was there.  I only wish the van had been centered more between the poles -- but hey, you can't have it all.  Come to think of it -- the building is not centered between the poles.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Revisiting Older Photos

The 365 project left me with a lot of great images and plenty of material to work with for quite a while.  During the year I visited a few old car shows.  Many times it was the gathering in the parking lot at a local pizza place.  When you go to a few of these in a certain geographic area, you will start to see the same cars and people.

Some people will cringe when I say this -- but I shoot everything in color.  If I choose black and white for an image -- I am making the choice after the fact.  This gives me flexibility -- I can always take the color out.  Originally I had a grouping of photos from one of these shows -- and I had converted them all to black and white.  I really liked the way they looked.  Now after looking back at these photos -- I am finding the color versions more appealing.

In the photo above it is something about that red in the center of the steering wheel.  I like it.  Also, appealing to me is the reflection on the side of the car -- the color that shows on the dark paint.  The reflection of the green in the vent window and the green tint on the dash play well off of each other.

I don't like to limit myself by saying I am any certain "kind" of photographer.  I like color and I like black and white.  As for subject matter -- anything that strikes my fancy on any given day is my favorite subject.  I lament flower photos -- there are tons of them out there.  But you know -- if I see a bloom that catches my eye -- I still have to make the shot.  There are some plants at the edge of the woods -- I have been watching them for a couple weeks.  As I hear my husband crank the lawnmower, I am hoping he does not get too close and cut them.  What are they?  I have no clue -- but I am watching and waiting to see.  The orange striped oakworms are hatching and beginning to chomp on the leaves on the trees out front.  I have a few photos of these very small caterpillars with their shiny black heads.  Why? because I wanted to.

Every now and then it is good to look back at the files -- poke back through the photos to see what jumps out at you this time that may have been missed.  

I have the car series printed on metallic paper ready to take to The Art House Gallery later this month.  In October my work will be part of a group show during the Atlanta Celebrates Photography festival.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Big 5-O..M..G

Yes, today is my birthday.  It is also that milestone of the big 5-OH.  The first thing that comes to mind when I say it -- is "great."  I am officially an old bat now I guess.  But it sure beats the alternative.

One of my oldest friends called me last night -- a send off for my 40's -- she turned 50 last month.  We both remarked how we do not feel 50 -- and most certainly don't act it.  You always think if only you had known what you know now at a younger age.  I think that sometimes and wonder would I have done anything differently?  I doubt it.  With the age does come the experience of life and the attitude of not taking junk from anyone.  I took other's junk at 25.  

It is hard to think of when I actually stopped taking a lot of junk (and be aware the word junk is replacing another word that I choose to not use on the blog to keep it all PG).  That point is realized in your life when you decide to not sweat small stuff -- and we know -- it is all small stuff, well almost.  Daily I think about my dear friend Jane Kerr and her family -- and I realize that there are some things that are not small.  When you meet these things, you realize just how petty a lot of junk can be.  Each day is a gift and to waste that gift is foolish.

I love dogs.  To not have a dog in my life is a waste and I will not live that way.  I am thankful that my husband agrees with this and also loves dogs.  Sadie is snoring beside me on the couch right now and Iris is sleeping off the morning run in the other room.  My husband is wonderful.  We both lament getting older -- but in order to be with someone for decades -- that is the big trade off.  We have been through a lot -- moved across the country and back.  It has all been fun and one big adventure.  My son and daughter test me -- like all good kids should do.  They are good kids and we have fun.  

My mother and mother in law are supportive.  I wish I visited them more often. Soon I need to really make an effort to head out of town for a few days.  My father in law was always very supportive and a good man to have in my life.  My father passed away just a couple months after Robert and I were married.  He did not make it out of his 40's.  I have a wonderful aunt and a great bunch of cousins that are more like my siblings (since I have none).

Life is good.  I have great friends and love the photography community.  Things has been busy lately and this blog has suffered.  I plan to fix that.  I love blogging; almost as much as photography.  There are a few things I need to organize in my life to make sure the time for me is still there.  We are coming up on the busy photo season here in Atlanta.  I am involved again this year with SlowExposures (love that bunch!).  Recently I have been working with Nancy at South x Southeast photomagazine as blog editor.  My work is part of a group show at The Art House Gallery in Buckhead this October. Debi used one of my photos for the listing in the ACP catalog -- thanks Debi! I am always working with Greg & Jennifer Blair at Dogwood Gallery & Framer -- they are almost like family.  My photos are currently in shows in Atlanta and at the Denver airport.  Soon I need to ship one off for a show in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Tomorrow I have a couple classes at the Serenbe Photography Center.  If anyone is interested -- you can still sign up today.  Later today I need to call the wonderful Mr. Bennette to chat about some details on the show at the barn.

So as I sit here with Grandmother Wood's poundcake baking in the oven -- I am thinking of all the wonderful positive things about being another year older.  Oh yes, I am baking my own birthday cake -- I am picky and I know the poundcake frosted with a delicious sweet/tart lemon frosting is perfection. No bakery can top that.  My husband keeps asking what I want for my birthday and I cannot think of anything other than a few days at the beach -- whenever that can happen.  I did order a new camera bag the other day -- a cool new Shootsac.  Since my son made a comment about that name, I will never be able to pick it up without smiling.  

In my mind I am always 22, but now I am a wiser 22 year old.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 30 Workshops

On July 30 I have two workshops scheduled at Serenbe Photography Center.  

The morning (9am to noon) is all about social networking for the photographer and blogging.  I have been blogging here since July 2007.  This workshop will get into blogging for beginners and for those who have been doing it a while -- perhaps give you some ideas you may not have thought about.  It will also talk about Facebook and Twitter -- the good, the bad, and the ho-hum.  I will talk about statistics for your blog -- how you see what is being Googled to find your blog.  

The afternoon workshop is all about preparing for a portfolio review.  Atlanta Celebrates Photography is coming up -- and the portfolio reviews are scheduled for October 1.  SlowExposures also offers a portfolio review on September 17.  If you are thinking about doing one of these and would like a little prep talk -- this is the workshop for you.  Even if you are not planning on one of these -- this can help you prep your work to show to galleries or any one else interested in your work.  It is a skill and takes thought to edit yourself to a tight, cohesive, strong body of work.  You also need to be able to talk about the work.  This workshop will take you through editing, presentation, and the artist's statement.

Printed handouts accompany each of these workshops.  Sign up online at the Serenbe Photography Center website.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me.  

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birth of a Body of Work

I just posted on my other blog a photo from yesterday.  That is one of those photos that I like to think of as a Seinfeld photo.  It is about nothing -- really -- absolutely nothing -- but I like it.  After I left the gas station and headed on to Target -- just your usual day of running a few errands; a thought came to me.  More photos of nothing (and I am sure I am not the first person to think of this) -- public restrooms.  I refuse to Google to see if someone else is doing or has done this.  I want to do it and I do not want to be influenced either directly or subconsciously by someone else's work.
Target 2
I really like this photo from the Target ladies room.  The different lines and bold red color grab my attention.  I also like the fact that the round light on the right is cut off at the edge of the photo.  I can see me adding to this body of work for a long long time.  I got two restrooms yesterday -- and now I am thinking of going out today.  Not because I need to -- but because I want to hit a couple more ladies rooms.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blue Skies

Blue skies, puffy clouds, and a tree -- I have taken this photo more than once.  This is a view from my deck.  I am sure I will take this photo again and again.  I like the clean look of the photo.  

My favorite photos to take are those that you see and see again and enjoy the view.  It is a happy view.  I don't print as many photos as I used to.  But this one is asking me to print it and have it framed.  Looking at it I can see it matted in white and framed with my usual small, simple black frame.

Tomorrow I think I need to print a photo.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Sadie

It is hot and humid outside.  Right now Sadie is sleeping in the house -- in the air conditioning and completely relaxed.  She is far from the county shelter.  She has been living with us for a little over two years now.  And she is an awesome photography subject.  I took this photo a few days ago.  This old green quilt has become the 'dog quilt.'  Sadie and Iris snooze on it during the day.  There is another photo of Sadie that is in a show opening Friday -- the Atlanta Photography Group show.  It is like this one -- now showing her head.  I kind of like it.  

Since Sadie came to live with us and I have been taking photos of her -- she has been in 7 photography shows, 4 newspapers, 3 magazines, and 1 book.  Not too bad for a little pound puppy.  I started thinking about this when I saw a tweet this afternoon about another actor from Drop Dead Diva adopting a dog at the Atlanta Humane Society.  

There are so many wonderful dogs out there in shelters and rescue groups that need a home.  This summer if you are thinking about a new dog (or cat) -- check the shelters.  We brought Sadie home at about 6 months -- so no real having to deal with a puppy.  When we brought Iris home we think she was about 2 -- so again no puppy issues and she was about the same age as Sadie.  They get along well and have fun together.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Searching Images on Google

Just when I think the world cannot get any more Jetson's -- it happens.  Google searching now by images!  Open Google for a search -- click on "image" at the top of the screen and then look for the camera icon in the search bar.  Click it and you will get an option of uploading a photo or using a URL to search.

When I heard about this the other day -- I had to try it.  Guess what, I found a couple of my images being used without permission or payment.  Interesting...

It always amazes me when I find someone who holds himself out there as an artist stealing the work of an artist.  How would he like it if I used his music without credit being given, permission, or payment?  The photo I am talking about here was of particular concern to me since it was taken with the agreement that it would never be used in a commercial way.  This musician lifted it from Flickr and plopped it on his website -- who knows how long it had been there.

I always put low resolution images on the internet -- and this was good for that photo because it was so small on that webpage -- it could not be any larger and I know he simply right clicked on the photo and then pasted it.  It makes me wonder if he has this photo on his computer and uses it in any other way?

Of course I thought for a couple days of what to do.  I consulted legal advice and then simply sent an email requesting that the photo be removed.  You would think I would at least get an apology -- but nope -- nothing -- not a peep.  I did check the website this morning and noticed that the photo is gone.  My feeling of being violated remains.

An artist who does not respect the intellectual property of another is pretty low on my list.  I run into it often with the trademark.  I had not had much of a problem with images being lifted -- but now thanks to Google I found this site.  This guy seems to live in an area of the country that I used to live in -- and I hope at some time someone would ask me if I have ever heard of him.  And yes, I saved a screen shot of that webpage.  Since he removed the image -- I am not going to out him by posting the website -- but I will keep an eye on him and occasionally Google search my images.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Scavenger Hunt

Last Saturday I (along with 7 photo club friends) participated in a photography scavenger hunt at the Serenbe Photography Center.  It was a fun!  We have monthly themes at our group -- and this hunt was the equivalent of receiving 6 themes at once and having 4 hours to shoot and edit your entries.  Each of our teams from our club had 4 members -- so we were going to have to look through photos from 4 people and pick one for each category to submit.

It was a lot to do.  We split up -- shot and as we finished the list -- returned to the start stop to edit.  

This concept is something I have thought about as a club activity -- say around your home in one day shoot a list of things, or on a field trip have a list of objects/themes to look for as you shoot.

The photo on the blog today is not one for a theme -- just one I shot for fun that day.  I like the shape of these chairs.  They are in a courtyard filled with pea gravel.  In the bright sun; it is easy to get very contrasty with these shots.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It is June -- it is hot -- so I thought a little crushed ice would be good today.  Lately even walking the dogs before 7am it is steamy outside.  I am not much for cold weather -- but the constant heat with no rain for days gets old, quickly.

Some times I get into a rut with photos.  I am not interested in shooting much and the ones I did shoot stay on the camera.  I am like that right now.  Thinking back on 2010 and the 365 Project -- I marvel at how I stuck it out to complete the task -- taking a photo everyday was a job.  It was a good thing and I think I improved because of it.  Then I wonder if the burnout I have now comes from that?  Who knows?  Maybe it is the heat.

Thursday night I am attending the opening reception of Simple Pleasures in Newnan, GA.  I have a couple photos in this show.  The snake (Serendipity) received third place in the second edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron awards.  It is also on display at The Center for Fine Art Photography; Center Forward, in Colorado and soon to move on to the Denver Airport.  And this photo will be in the Atlanta Photography Group In Your Dreams show opening June 24.  There is another photo in the Dreams show -- a Sadie photo.  The little dog (I say little even if she does tip the scale at 50 lbs.) is in yet another show!  You can see her in Simple Pleasures too.  The one in the Dreams show is a little different -- I kind of like it.    It was part of the 365 Project -- 149:365.  Just thinking off the top of my head -- she has been in 7 exhibits in the past 2 years.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Tale of Two Complaints

A little over a month ago we found a half-inch plastic shard in a small, individual ice cream cup.  Thinking, where there is one shard there are others, I contacted the company to let them know about this.  The shard was very sharp and I know these cups are used a lot at kids' parties.  They wasted no time picking it up and any other ice cream that we had from that lot.  Also, the person who came to my house to pick it up gave me a coupon for a free pack of ice cream.  I heard back from the company a couple weeks later.  It seems there was no way for the plastic shard to get into the ice cream at their factory and, in a round about way, they were saying that we did it!  I have news for Blue Bell -- I have no clear plastic spoons in my house -- so unless someone opened the bag of cups at Publix and shoved it in there --  that piece came from your factory.

A few days after this, I was cooking dinner and went to open a new jar of julienne sun dried tomatoes for a pasta dish.  The top did not make a sound when I twisted it and the contents looked a little dark on top and smelled funky.  I don't know if you buy these or not -- but a jar of the tomatoes is not inexpensive and I love them.  So I contacted this company -- they have an easy to find online contact form.  A couple days later I received an email asking me for information from the jar lid -- which I had saved.  They also wanted my address to send me a coupon to replace the jar I had to toss.

Last Friday I received a big surprise -- a goody box from California Sun Dry Foods! They sent a box with a variety of their sun dried tomato products, a coupon, and a check!  Wow -- that is what I call customer service.  

I love it when a company really knows how to handle something like this.  In my opinion California Sun Dry Foods went way over board and I completely appreciate it.  When a company does something like this -- I love to tell everyone about it.  They have guaranteed that I will be a happy customer.

The other company in this blog -- well -- I am thinking of sending them a letter and returning their coupon -- I am not going to use it.  I find the lack of accepting responsibility and going so far as to say it could not have occurred at their site a bit troubling...

...and I had the best sun dried tomato pesto on a burger yesterday -- yum!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why a Picture Works

Kathryn Kolb Photos
Itea by Kathryn Kolb

Saturday May 21 from 10 to noon at Dogwood Gallery:  Why a Picture Works - join fine art nature photographer Kathryn Kolb for an in-depth analysis and discussion of how and why composition is key in creating strong, timeless photographic images. This "eye-based" presentation will include new insights into classic photographs by artists such as Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Vivian Meier, and others, as well as Kathryn's own images. 

We'll discuss how aesthetic, illustrative and conceptual photographic images diverge and converge, why natural forms are integral artistic forms, how non-obvious details can "make or break" an image, and ways to strengthen artistic elements in your own work or better understand the work of others. This thoroughly interesting discussion goes far beyond the "rule of thirds" - bring your ideas and an open eye.  Cost of the program is $20 -- $10 for anyone who has entered Nature Undisturbed in the past three years.

Kathryn Kolb grew up in the rural environs of Charlottesville, VA and received a BA History from Emory University in 1983. After classwork at Southeastern Center for the Photographic Arts, she began work as a free-lance photojournalist and editorial photographer in Atlanta in the mid-80's.  By the mid-90’s she shifted toward fine art images of natural forms and landscapes. Her latest work often explores more abstract constructions that resemble paintings. Kathryn's photographs have been published in Smithsonian, Orion, Veranda, Rolling Stone, Nature Conservancyas well as many other magazines and publications, and can her work is found in a many public venues and private collections, including Georgia Museum, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, King & Spalding LLC,  Georgia Conservancy, Goizueta Business School, Georgia Tech, Univ. of VA, Piedmont Hospital, Mark Hopkins Hotel, MOCA, and City of Atlanta.  As photographer, Kolb stays true to the simplest form of her medium -- all her works are full-frame, un-manipulated images captured on film.

In addition to her work as photographer, Kathryn is a Master Naturalist and led a citizens group in writing a new tree ordinance for DeKalb County (1999),  founded Keeping It Wild (2005), in order to bring diverse individuals and groups together for educational and outings in both urban greenspaces and Georgia wildlands. Most recently she was principal in creating Serenbe Photography Center, located in Serenbe Community in Chattahoochee Hills, GA.
For more information, full resume and images see

Monday, May 9, 2011


I used to be a great speller -- even at one point winning a spelling contest in school -- but no more.  The spell check tool was my downfall and I began to rely on it to the point of doubting my instinct on the correct spelling of a word.  My blog title today "Spontaneity" was a word I was unsure of -- so much so that I Googled it to check the spelling.  In doing so, I found this interesting quote, attributed to no one, that sums up my photography style for the most part.

"Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at the moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine, a bit of unscheduled plea."

When I look back through photos, the ones that I like the most are those where I saw and shot.  Having a camera with me and not over thinking it too much pays off for me every time.  And yes, there are those shots that I did not take and I do regret them.  I know if I had -- I would like them and they would be in that pack of favorites.  

Are they favorites just because the photo is good and I like it?  I wonder if part of the appeal is that they remind me to be spontaneous.  They show me that taking the chance pays off.  Those photos are artifacts attesting to the joy of chance.  Maybe chance is too loose.  Not so much complete chance -- but the 'go with your gut' feeling and the thrill to see that instincts are to be trusted.

As Billy Joel would say, "Don't wait for answers.  Just take your chances.  Don't ask me why."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Selfie

A few weeks ago I saw a notice on the internet from LENSCRATCH about a call for self portrait photos.  So I thought -- I guess I have something -- and I sent in one.  The photo I sent was one that has been on my other blog.  It is the latest I have.  But this call for work started something -- I began to look through other "selfies" I have on file and found a few that had I noticed them earlier -- they may have gone to Aline for the blog rather than the one I sent.

This one (above) is from the Peachtree Road Race last July 4.  My husband is in front of me and the kids are walking beside us.  This photo is a favorite of mine.  The Peachtree was fun and taking photos the whole way was a fun thing to do -- plus the weather was great!

I like this one because you have to look to find me.  I did keep the reflection in color and the rest in black and white to direct your eye.  This is at A Novel Experience in Zebulon, Georgia.  The owners of the book store have mirrors around so there is a lot of interesting photos to be had -- like this next one too.

I haven't met many reflections that I did not like.  Out shooting one morning in Newnan I saw myself in the window and took this shot.

Then -- besides windows -- reflections are great on shiny things -- and you know I love something shiny....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fun, Friends, Photography

Last Saturday night was the opening for Nature Undisturbed.  The gallery was buzzing with photographers, friends, nature enthusiasts, and art lovers.  Susan Todd-Raque spoke about her selections.  She explained what she was looking for in choosing photos for the show and those that stood out and won ribbons.  

The show has two categories.  Site Specific highlights the properties owned and/or managed by Southern Conservation Trust and also the Flint River.  The Open category is for those photos taken at any location. In the Site Specific category first place went to Hunter Good for his photography "Red Buds," second place went to Chris Drummond for his photograph "Flint Lilies, Cloudy Sunday Morning," and third place went to James Chapman for his photograph "Baby Owls."  In the Open category the first place winner is Michael Parvin with "Rainy Night in Georgia," second place went to David Foster for "Full Moon," third place is P. Seth Thompson with White Sands."  Honorable mentions are as follows:  Joe Cattoni "At Peace," Reginald Copeland "And Then Came the Winter," Diane Kirkland "Snow In Trees," and Brad Wilson "Eyelash Viper."

Voting for People's Choice will continue through 4/29 and the winner announced at the next event on Saturday 4/30.

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