The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

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.

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