The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

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....

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