The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

I thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, 
and for the blue dream of the sky 
and for everything which is natural, 
which is infinite, 
which is yes.
~ e.e. cummings

Monday, November 12, 2012


A good friend of mine has a blog titled "Compelled to Paint." I am sorry he has that -- because I would like to steal the concept and say that I am compelled to photograph.

Recently I have gotten into Instagram with my iPhone -- oh. my. gosh. -- that would have been awesome for the 365 project of 2010. Now when I see something -- I take that photo and send it to Twitter and to the Tumblr blog.  Here is a LINK TO MY TUMBLR.  You can also find me on Instagram at donnarosser.

I just made a short trip to the grocery store and took three photos.  Here is my favorite one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nature Undisturbed 2013 Call for Entry

It is that time of year again -- time to get out the call for entries for Nature Undisturbed. The show is on for next March at the Serenbe Photography Center. I am pleased to announce our juror is Amy Miller, Executive Director of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. In addition to the call -- we are offering a early entry discount from now through December 1.

Please check out the updated website

Monday, November 5, 2012

Afternoon in the Country

Yesterday I attended the Les Dames d'Escoffier event -- Afternoon in the Country in Serenbe. It was wonderful! 

Favorite food of the day -- the fish taco followed closely by the duck and cranberry lasagna. Oh and the pork -- the pork -- the roasting pigs -- yum!  When I returned home yesterday afternoon my dogs sniffed my clothes for quite a while.

Favorite drink -- tie between the champagne and the American Spirit Whiskey apple cider drink.

For you Top Chef fans -- Kevin Gillespie with there with Woodfire Grill.  Richard Blais' new restaurant, The Spence, was represented -- but no Richard at the event.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In the Field with Peter Essick

Last November I had the opportunity to spend the day at a local nature reserve with National Geographic photographer, Peter Essick. The day could not have been better! Peter was recently named one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world by Outdoor Photography Magazine. How wonderful for us that he lives right here in the Atlanta area.

Peter has also been working with the Serenbe Photography Center for the past few years leading workshops in the field. For those who love nature photography and get out there on a regular basis to shoot -- the opportunity to shoot with someone like Peter is an awesome experience. The Fall Colors Workshop is coming up again -- and it is almost sold out! People began signing up for this as soon as we put it on the schedule last summer.

Last year I also brought along my son.  He is usually shooting race photos and drifting -- but I think he had a great time that day also. Fall color, along the Chattahoochee, with a National Geographic photographer all day -- who could ask for more.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wet Plate

It is hard to believe tomorrow is October. So much has been going on. This goes back to early August.

Gayle Stevens came to Serenbe for a residency in early August. Gayle is into wet plate collodion photography. I had been wanting to try this. It seemed that it may be the only hope I would have of making a photo with my grandfather's old Hawkeye. I had not yet figured about getting 120 film to fit it. I was told that a piece of tin could be cut to fit the camera and I could use it for wet plate!

So wet plate it was...

In the first photo -- that is the plate I shot with Granddaddy's camera. In the lower photo mine is the long photo and the smaller one belongs to Anne Berry. Anne was shooting with a Land camera. 

Below is a digital shot of our subject -- a rather fancy chicken coop.

While Gayle was in Serenbe she shot several portraits.  Below is mine in the works. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Patience -- A Waiting Game

Photography has always been an exercise in patience for me. When I used film -- I had to wait to see the image. Entering juried shows is a game of waiting -- you enter and you wait. Sometimes you wait longer than was first expected.

Last year I was thrilled to have one of my entries selected for Art Kudos -- an international juried art competition that is online. I like participating in an art call more so than just photography. I like to see how my photography will stack up against any artform. The photo selected last year is this one...

This is one of my favorite photos of Sadie. I like the color combination of her white & spots with the green quilt and thread pattern. Last year I also submitted the snake. It was not chosen last year -- but this year it was. That is how fickle juried shows can be. You can have a strong photograph but it may not fit with other selections in a show -- so it is not picked. Just because a photo is not picked for one show -- that does not mean it could not be a winner some place else. 

But back to being patient -- about a month ago I received an email from Art Kudos telling me that one or more of my submissions had been selected for their 2012 exhibit. Then I was instructed to wait over two weeks -- and check the website on July 15 to see the selections.

It is a game of enter and wait. Also recently I had forgotten I entered the Texas Photographic Society's TPS 21: The International Competition. I think I saw that call near the end and entered it -- then never made a note of the selection date -- so imagine my surprise when I received the email that I had a photo in. It is a new photo and one I think will do well in juried shows (if it fits well with the others).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So -- it is hot -- pretty darn hot -- and going to be a bit hotter this weekend. What did we do recently -- oh yeah -- had some sod installed. So -- this is the summer scene at my house -- keeping the sod happy.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oakland Cemetery

Jimson Weed at Oakland

Sometimes you need to spend a little time in a cemetery. I have said before, some of my fondest memories are of accompanying my grandmother and mother to the family plot to weed and leave behind a small vase of flowers. I remember running around the cemetery at Ebenezer Church being careful to not walk across the graves.

This morning I spent a few hours in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. A group of us from Serenbe Photography Center made a morning out of it -- and then made off to Six Feet Under for lunch and to cool off.

Even though there were close to 15 of us; we all went off on our own to make photographs of the things that caught our eye. As I walked the brick pathways I noticed damage from the tornado that hit the heart of Atlanta a few years ago. I also heard the noise from MARTA and passing sirens. It made me think that Oakland may not be a very quiet resting place. It is an interesting one though. 

The Historic Oakland Cemetery Foundation has been working to really create the experience of the Victorian garden cemetery. It is relaxing to walk the paths and take in the beauty of the landscaping and statuary.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I have become interested in the sumac growing at the edge of the woods in our backyard. This is not the first time this interesting plant has caught my attention. 

The other morning as it was about to rain, I was walking the dogs as usual and noticed how pretty the new spring growth was under the threat of rainy clouds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Maynard Jackson International Terminal

Today marks the opening of the new Maynard Jackson International Terminal at the Atlanta airport. A few months ago I was contacted by Atlanta Celebrates Photography to submit photos for consideration for an installation in the new terminal. The exhibit, Picturing Georgia, is in three locations inside the arrival areas of the terminal. This is all about giving those arriving a welcoming look at the state of Georgia.

Two of my photos were selected. One is of a flock of blackbirds, taken in my front yard. I really like this photo; the black and blue are appealing to me with the movement of so many birds. I have printed this one in black and white and like that version as well. The other photo is of a peach orchard in bloom in Pike County, Georgia. I get to Pike County often due to SlowExposures Committee meetings. I think most people identify Georgia with peaches -- personally I like peaches from South Carolina better. 

I have never printed one of my photos so large. It was awesome to see them and the photos from all of the other artists. The Atlanta Celebrates Photography blog has a few more photos. The exhibit has a very diverse collection of photography showing those arriving how Georgia varies from coast to mountains and everything in between.

The terminal has a lot of great art. My favorite piece is called airField, a collaborative piece by UeBersee. This is made of round acrylic discs that react to electric current turning opaque and then clear dictated by the take off and landing patterns.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lensbaby Edge 80 & Alice

Yesterday I took my new Lensbaby Edge 80 to shoot actors from Serenbe Playhouse. This year they are having the "Season of Dreams," presenting Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Time Between Us.

Coming soon we will have a workshop shooting the actors on location in Serenbe. If you have not signed up for the Serenbe Photography Center newsletter, you can at the website so you don't miss this or any of the great workshops we have coming up.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I Bought a Print

The Alligator of Mississippi by Jane Robbins Kerr

Yes, I bought a print. This is one that I have loved for a long time. I also really like the artist, Jane Robbins Kerr. Jane is our new exhibit at Serenbe Photography Center. Her "Seeing Red" show is up through June. As I was hanging the work yesterday I thought about how much I love this photo and decided it would be mine after the show comes down.

Jane is also our Collectors' Guild event for May -- come hear her stories and have coffee with Jane on May 19 at 10am.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Intellectual Property - Again

Again I find myself dealing with the issue of intellectual property and trademark infringement. I have been down this road before. Many artists deal with issues of intellectual property and others taking or infringing without permission -- and usually (as in this case) permission would not be granted. But in the case of this blog, if someone wished to repost it -- I would need to give permission and it would need to be clear that the repost is my property and even go so far as to direct readers/viewers back to my site.

A couple weeks ago I met someone who asked me a few questions -- he thought we had met at a bridal expo in west Georgia. I told him that it was not me. He went on to say my brand was the brand he remembered and thought it had to be me or someone who worked with me. This is not the first time -- I have heard this before -- recently. It seems there was not one -- but three people using very confusingly similar names as my trademark very close geographically to me. Why would anyone starting out in the photo business now choose "Barefoot" to be in their brand? Years ago when I chose it -- and it means something to me not just a cutesy name -- there were not many and we were all very spread out. 

Where I find myself now is teaching someone the difference between a trademark and the availability of a domain name or business name. Just because it is available does not mean you can use it. Once again I hear the tired old argument of many others are using it therefore so can I -- are you serious? These people that use that one always give me the story of being a mother and having children that they need to support -- so of course, in order to support your children, you need to infringe on my trademark?? And, as a mother, what do you say to your child when they give you that "everybody else is doing it" excuse?

I don't appreciate other "photographers" insinuating things in emails to me because I am protecting what is mine. Business can be a tough place -- you need to know everything about business when you step into it. If you decided to create a new soft drink -- and you name this new drink "Coke by Laura" -- guess what, Coca-Cola is not going to say, "Oh you are fine. The 'by Laura' really lets everyone know that you are different." No, Coke will send you the same type of cease and desist email that I sent over the weekend to three people. Actually -- Coke would send you the registered mail type -- that I am now sending.

These three people are all different. One, love her, sent me a nice reply -- apologized for not realizing and took down the site. Another did send me a negative email asked me to cease and desist from contacting her -- I plan to contact her by registered mail later today. And the third has not responded -- another tactic I am used to from others in the past.

When you are on your own -- you are not Coke with a bunch of attorneys on staff -- you not only create work, market yourself, network, but you have to always be on guard for those who dilute your name/brand or in worst cases take your ideas and work and call it their own.

And speaking of someone else's idea...the photo above was not my idea. I need to give credit where credit is due. Last Sunday at the Serenbe Photography Center model shoot a friend (Anne Berry) had this idea to place the model in the breezeway of the stable. She said this will create a nice silhouette. So we did it -- and here is the great photo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

HGTV Green Home in Serenbe

So I have been sitting on these photos for a while. Last fall I was part of a shoot with one of the hosts of  HGTV.  HGTV's 2012 Green Home is in Serenbe. The show, aired last night, is all about the home and community -- highlighting things about Serenbe that are so cool. And of course, the Photography Center is a very cool part of Serenbe. If you missed the show -- check the HGTV website for repeat times to catch it. If you are interested in photography -- come like the Serenbe Photography Center on Facebook to keep up with the fun events we have on schedule. There is always something fun going on.

Monica Pedersen and I spent a little time on one of the nature trails in Serenbe. This was representative of  a trail walk/shoot type learning experience that I do in Serenbe. 

After a bit of shooting, Monica is checking her photos. Below is one of her photos from that day. The Green Home is open for tours soon. The Photography Center is hosting tours on May 17 and June 21. If you are considering coming out for a tour -- come one of those days and meeting some of our staff, members, and volunteers at the photography center.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little Five Points

Great day in Atlanta yesterday with some friends. Window shopping in Little Five Points is the best.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Mares eat oats 
and does eat oats 
and little lambs eat ivy
A kid will eat ivy too, 
wouldn't you?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shooting Models

Before we began the model shoots in Serenbe I would have told anyone that I am not interested in the whole model shoot type of thing. Taking shots of people I really don't know was never on my list of what I seek out. But my opinion has changed. We have had two shoots and I came away from the day with a few images I really liked. I am looking forward to the next shoot on the schedule -- April 22. Also this summer the workshops and shoots with the actors from Serenbe Playhouse sound very interesting!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Whenever I am in a hurry or running behind it always seems that is the time I am stuck waiting on a train. But is it fine when I have my camera and my wide angle lens. This photo was taken early last Saturday morning on my way to Serenbe Photography Center

Taken at the intersection of Highway 29 and Weldon Rd, near Palmetto, Georgia. As usual, I shot it in color and converted to black and white with Silver Efex.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


My drive lately is taking me past some beautiful wisteria.  In the photo above you can see some muscadine vines intertwined with the wisteria.

The sky really was that blue yesterday -- no filter on the camera or tweak of saturation on the computer. I like the way the vines wrap around the tree and the purple blooms mix with the fresh, new spring leaves against that cloudless sky.

This is my drive into Serenbe to the photography center. It is a pretty darn nice drive. This Sunday I am leading a nature walk, Saturday speaking on the panel at Nature Undisturbed at Dogwood Gallery, and Friday night attending the collector event at the Serenbe Photography Center.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nature Undisturbed 2012

Last night was the opening reception for Nature Undisturbed 2012. What a great turn out for a show that just gets better every year. I have to say that without the many photographers submitting amazing work -- we would not have such a great show.  Thank you to all who submit!

Let me just begin by saying Brett Abbott is a wonderful person. He is so easy to talk with and explains his thinking process so well. After spending most of the day with him last Wednesday I felt that I had experienced a workshop like no other. Brett is the curator of photography at the High Museum of Atlanta. He has been here for almost a year now and appeared on our panel last year. He and his wife are delightful and Atlanta should be happy to have them!

Jennifer and Greg Blair, the owners and operators of Dogwood Gallery are also wonderful and very easy to work with. I said last night that we have made it 4 years and grown so well because we work well together. We keep Nature Undisturbed simple and it works. 

One question I am asked often about the show is "where are my photos in the exhibit." I don't enter the show -- I direct the show.  When entries come in, they come to me and I feel it is a conflict of interest if I were to see all entries and submit something myself. The jurying process is by our juror so I have no input in the selection of photos.  But since I see them all, I choose to not enter. 

Over the past few years I have entered and been in quite a few juried photography and art exhibits. Not to sound pretentious, but it is getting to the point of 'been there done that.' I have some favorite shows that I love -- mostly local -- that I will always enter out of support.  I like the show, like the people who put them on. What I find my greatest thrill now with is to see those people I encourage to enter a show succeed. 

One of my taglines has been "I help people take better photos." I mean that -- that is what I like to do. Currently I lead two local photography groups. It is the best for me to see people I know selected for Nature Undisturbed.  And when I sat there last Wednesday watching Brett Abbott walk around making his choices for the ribbons -- I was so pleased to know most of the recipients. It was hard to keep the secret for a few days from one friend of mine. She has been in my group for a while, took a class from me once, and I encouraged her to enter this year. She was thrilled to be selected to have work in the show. She also was selected to receive third place in the open category. I sat through photo club with her yesterday morning keeping the secret and waiting last night for her to walk in the door. I can tell you that was the first time I ever remember seeing Marilyn Rogers speechless -- for just a few minutes. Here is her photo, "Mellow Mushroom."

So the opening reception is past, but there is another weekend of great photography events coming up. Next Friday night at the Serenbe Photography Center we have Susan Todd-Raque speaking on collecting photography. This is a great opportunity to learn a little and become informed on art photography. A few days ago I wrote a blog about my collecting experience. On Saturday March 24, Susan will moderate a panel discussion on collecting at Dogwood Gallery at 2pm. The panel members are Anderson Scott, Peter Essick, and myself. On Sunday, March 25, I will lead a Nature Walk in Serenbe -- time to shoot a little spring and think about entries for next Nature Undisturbed -- come join us.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Collecting Photographs

Over the years I have collected things...shells, recipes, bird nests, feathers, seeds, fabric, fountain pens, books, and many other things.

I have my grandmothers' sewing boxes and jewelry boxes filled with buttons, notions, earrings, and funky bead necklaces. 

You could say I have a camera collection -- the latest being Muffy -- a 70s Canon AE-1.

The first piece of art I purchased was a pen and ink drawing of a cougar -- I was probably 10 and it was during my hometown art festival. A favorite piece is a large Johnny Johnson that I gave to my husband for our anniversary one year. 

I am also photography collector.  Most of what I have are small prints and I don't know that I intend to frame any of it.  I like to keep the prints in a portfolio book -- easily looked at and safe. My purchases are from a variety of sources -- including last year's highly publicized Life Support Japan.  I love Jen Bekman's 20x200. Not to even mention the collection of old photos I have that belonged to my grandfather. And now I am forming a Collectors' Guild at the Serenbe Photography Center

We had the first collector event at SPC last month.  John Bennette came to Atlanta for a few days and spent one of those with us.  He held the attention of a room full of people telling tales of his first purchases and favorite photos. The group is fun and nothing could be better than a photo center not only promoting photography with workshops and a member group -- but also a collector group! For the next collector event March 23 -- Susan Todd-Raque is the speaker. 

One of my favorite photos is of a very modern house in Virginia -- out in the country but not too far from Washington DC.  I spotted the photo on a blog for an architectural photography group.  The small group of chickens in the yard of the home really made the photo.  I love it.

The latest edition to my collection came to me via Facebook.  Last week I saw a photo from a friend -- he took it with his iphone.  I asked for a print and he emailed me the file.  I love this photo -- the geometrics of it -- the reflection.  John Bennette commented to me that it was a bit surreal with the late winter snow on such green grass.  Thanks for the photo Leroy!

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