The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Friday, December 13, 2013

Evening at the High

At the High                                                                                October, 2013
Another favorite from 2013 taken at the High Museum in Atlanta last October. 

My photo group had just met with Brett Abbott and then spent some time viewing The Bunnen Collection on exhibit. I am so happy to know Brett. We met soon after he arrived in Atlanta to take the position as Curator of Photography at the High Museum. Brett, like his predecessor Julian Cox, is a very approachable, knowledgeable resource for photographers and photography lovers. I encourage anyone who has not met him to seek him out and learn from him. I am very excited about what he has coming to the High in the future.

The photo above was taken while waiting for the elevator to take us to the parking garage. While talking with my husband I turned and saw the young woman standing, walking, and talking on her cell phone. I immediately whipped out my cell phone to take a few photos of her. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Family Tree



There is our Christmas tree.

There are photos of a Marine, sailors, soldiers, and Boy Scouts.
 
There are ladies in hats and gloves. 
There are weddings and a church. 

There are farms and farmers in overalls. 
There are dogs and guns with hunters. 

There are daughters, sisters, aunts, and mothers. 
There are sons, brothers, fathers, and uncles.
There are babies and great grandparents.

There are beards, mustaches, and clean-shaven men.
There are front yards, back yards, roads and cars.

There is winter, summer, spring and fall.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Leaving Palmetto

Leaving Palmetto                                                                              March, 2013
Taken last March, Leaving Palmetto is another of my 2013 favorites. This was taken with and edited with my iPhone. The image was part of the Lenscratch Cell Phone Exhibition and MobileMagic IV at LightBox Gallery. I have also used this image in a series I am working on called Embellished; photo transfers embellished with embroidery floss, glass beads, and found objects. Some of these can be seen at Dogwood Gallery.

I had driven this way many times, on a regular basis. It was coming to an end and I had always thought this was a nice view. I had also taken this image many times before -- sometimes a car was in it -- sometimes I like it -- sometimes not. This version became my fast favorite. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Photo Deal

Cow Staredown                                                                                May, 2013
During the past couple years I have made an effort to purchase photographs from artists that I admire. Today for "Cyber Monday" I am offering an image at a discount. The photo above will be printed by me on fine art photo paper, 8x8 shipped to you. Price is $50 and limited to 5. 

Email me at donna at thebarefootphotographer.com for payment details and your shipping information. If you are giving it to someone else, I can ship directly to them with a note telling them who it is from and a little about the image.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last Sunday in November

Last Sunday in November                                                           November, 2013
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
                                                                                                                        ~ Albert Einstein

Friday, November 22, 2013

Iris

Iris is not like Sadie. She does not like me to take her picture. Most of the time when I find her in a nice place, I can manage to get a couple photos and then she will move. We rescued Iris as an adult (2 or 3 years old) and she came with 'issues.' She has always been very calm and quiet, but skittish.


Thinking back over this year -- this photo of Iris is one of my favorites. She has lived with us for a little over 3 years now. This was taken back in June. It seems that in the past six months she has become a lot more at ease and feeling, finally, at home.

Iris in the Foyer                                                                                   June, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Beach

Hermit Crab, East Beach                                              May, 2013

Sitting here, a month away from winter, thinking about days at the beach and revisiting photos. The above is a crop and edit of this photo.


Days like today, cloudy and cool, are good to spend time looking back at images and thinking about warmer times. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

St Simons Photo Retreat

Croquet, Jekyll Island                                                                       October, 2013
A few weeks ago Dale Niles and I led our first photo retreat on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia. We had a great time. Four participants spent a long weekend at a beach house with us. We got up early, stayed up late and talked photography all weekend. The photo on the blog Billions and Billions came from that weekend.

We are going back at the end of February. Email me if you are interested in coming along.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Janisse Ray



I cannot begin to explain how much I like Janisse Ray. She is a very kind and authentic southern writer. This afternoon I attended a reading at Clayton State University. Janisse read a spectacular essay on the disappearing rural south. I grew up in the rural south. When She spoke of the tiny little town post office -- I remembered the little Garrisonville post office where my grandmother would fill in when Miss Dorothy could not be there. Janisse's love for nature was sparked by her elementary school teacher. My love of the outdoors was sparked by my grandfathers. A little over a year ago I took a day-long writing workshop with Janisse in Peachtree City. She is a wonderful writer, instructor, and speaker.

Not only was I able to have a couple books signed this afternoon -- I got some awesome photos. At one point during her talk, she reached for a very well-loved and worn copy of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. As she opened the book -- you could see it was filled with notes. She agreed to let me photograph the inside of the book.

 



Monday, November 11, 2013

Lone Pine

Lone Pine, Backyard                                                              September, 2013


It is not really a lone pine -- it just kind of looks like it.  There are two very tall pines in the woods behind our house. I don't really care for pines -- especially very tall, lonely ones. Ask me about a lighting strike sometime -- the kind that exploded light bulbs in the outside lights and scorched the wall in the garage.

Days I sit out on the deck grilling dinner and having a drink, I look at these pines. And even though I don't like them, I do kind of like them. The structure of the branches against a blah sky and the evening light makes me want to take a photo of it. So I did. And I have many times. This is my latest one that I like enough to show to someone.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blue

Blue Rosette, JCP                                                                              April, 2013


I love the color blue. Sometimes I think it is my favorite color. But then I think about yellow, red, green, and orange, and that awesome purple the sky turns just before the sun comes up. Picking a favorite can be a challenge. Selecting photos to submit to a competition is a little like choosing a favorite. This time of year I start to think about my favorite images for that year. Asking me about a favorite photo is like asking what is my favorite color - or which of my dogs I have had was my favorite. 

One of my first thoughts for 2013 goes to this image. It is exactly what I like about taking photos. I was standing in J C Penney looking for something -- I have long since forgotten. But turned around to notice the prom dresses on display. I got out the iPhone and had some fun. This image is hanging now at Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone. I love it hanging on a wall. In my opinion it is perfection. The gray tones of the wall, tag, and crystals with just black, white, and blue. Add in the folds and frills of the netting and it is sweet and happy. I like sweet and happy -- and today I like blue.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Turnipseed Farm

I have been taking photographs at Turnipseed Farm for years. The place is amazing -- plenty of subjects everywhere you look. Beginning in January, I will be teaching photography there. Steven Stinchcomb is a wonderful artist and has decided to close his nursery and start an 'art farm' so to speak. He began with painting classes a few weeks ago. Just before I left for the beach photo retreat, he gave me a call to see if I would be interested in teaching photography at Turnipseed -- you betcha!

The only class I have scheduled at the moment is an 8-week Creative Photography class beginning Monday January 20. We will meet weekly for 2 hours and the class ends March 10.  I will also plan some one-day, Saturday and weekday classes that are very focused.

I am very excited!  This is a great place and I love teaching people to be a little more creative with their photos. For more information or if you have a question -- email me: donna(at)thebarefootphotographer(dot)com

Something Good, Turnipseed                                May, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Billions and Billions

Imagine standing in the night, in the dark, on a beach. The tide is so low, there are not any sounds of waves. The Milky Way is over your head. The sky is filled with stars.

Stars Over Low Tide     St. Simons Island      October 23, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Once an Instructor...

Potomac, at Colonial Beach  July 2013
Last night was the opening reception for the photography exhibit I have at Dogwood Gallery in Tyrone with my friend and colleague, Dale Niles. Years ago, when I was teaching photography for Clayton State, I met Dale Niles. She took a couple classes from me -- I do believe one was with Clayton State and the other was a beginning Photoshop Elements class at Dogwood Gallery. When I began my "public" step into photography, it was with the beginning of a local photography club and as an instructor. 

I am not one to keep my methods a secret. I love to tell others how I did something. The work in the show last night is a good example. Recently, I was cautioned to not mention how I created the work hanging at Dogwood -- that the admission of my tool would perhaps belittle the work in the eye of the beholder. I completely understand that thought. There are many people out there who feel it is the tool or the method that makes the work. My feeling is the work is the work and how you made it is secondary.

I do shoot with film -- not often. I have shot wet plate. (one day I plan on a wet plate darkroom in my basement...) I use mostly digital cameras and mainly, for the past few months -- I have been working with my iPhone. It is always amazing to me when you talk to someone and they will lead off about their work with the method of the print or the tool they used to create the image. Just because your camera cost what a nice used (or new) car would cost that does not mean you have a great image. Same can be said for if it is shot with film that does not make it a classic. There are a lot of photographers who seem way to hung up on the tool or the method. This goes so far beyond the boring blabbing over Nikon vs. Canon. Obviously, I am not a gearhead. 

When speaking with people last night about the images, I told them I used an iPhone and that all editing was done in phone. The only time the image was on a computer was when I printed it. This was part of my point of pulling those images together -- to show the versatility of such a simple tool; to show how you do not need to be overwhelmed by what gear you have or what someone else says you need. I guess this is the instructor in me coming out to play -- telling the interested observer about the image, why I chose that subject, and why I choose the iPhone as a serious photography tool. The spontaneous nature of the iPhone appeals to me. But deep down it was good to see people drawn to an image and then learn how it was created; and to see the surprise.

There is a lot of noise in photography now. I say; show me an image. If I really like it, I will, perhaps, want to know how it came to be -- but it is the image that attracts me first, not the method used to create it. Just as holding a pen does not make your a writer, holding a camera does not create the image -- the person does through thought and study. 

The show is up at Dogwood Gallery through November 16.


Monday, October 7, 2013

The Apparition

Identical exposures without moving an inch, yet there is something very different from one frame to the other. On January 13, 2013 I was with a small group shooting in the old elementary school in Zebulon, Georgia. I had been in the school before.

On one previous occasion, I heard footsteps in the auditorium. The only other person in the building at the time was standing next to me.

I asked her, "Did you hear footsteps?" 

She replied, "Yes." 

Then we both walked to the other side of the building.

I have heard stories about 'activity' in the school. I admit that I am somewhat skeptical of these things -- thinking maybe there is something to it -- but usually there is a good explanation of the noise, light, etc. The sound of the footsteps made me think the stories of the school were true. The shots I took on January 13 reinforce this feeling.

Usually I don't give out boring details like shutter speed, fstop, etc. but in the spirit of openness and to show how identical these images should have been - here it is: 25 sec. exposure, f5.6, ISO 160, focal length of my lens 17mm -- for both images. 

This image was shot at 1:36:15pm:

This image was shot at 1:37:28pm:

It appears a little bit brighter -- but the big difference is the streak of light across the middle of the frame. 

I printed this today and framed it for a show at A Novel Experience in Zebulon, Georgia; The Ghost Show. This show will be up at the end of October and the reception is November 2, 6:30pm.  Come see the "Schoolroom Specter" in person.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pilgrimage Portfolio

In August I posted Pilgrimage about my return home for a visit and to photograph the property that had been in our family for generations. This week with so much going on -- I found a little time to go back through these images from late July to see if I had enough there to pull together a portfolio.
























Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Remembering Paul

I met Paul Conlan in 2008 when I was in my first SlowExposures exhibit. He was a volunteer with the event as well as a photographer who had work in the show. I learned that he had work in the show consistently. I was thrilled to have two photos selected that year.

SlowExposures takes place over two weekends in September. We just completed the first weekend. Next weekend the show will close.

I remember the closing Sunday in 2008. I came late in the day so I could hang out for a little while and would take my work home with me at the end of the day. Paul was there. Paul was on hand a lot during the show. He and I had a chance to talk quite a bit that late afternoon. We talked about his photos in the show and my photos in the show. He was genuinely nice and encouraging to me to continue to show my photographs. He offered to come give a talk to my photo group.

This year at the show I miss seeing Paul. I keep thinking I will look around and he will be there making a funny remark about one of my photos. But Paul is not there. Paul passed away last spring. His absence is felt by all who knew him. He had been a mainstay for SlowExposures for years.  What has brought a bit of comfort to many of us who knew him is the Paul Conlan Retrospective exhibit. Last Friday, I had the opportunity to talk with Paul's wife for a few minutes. His daughter and grandson were also there. The exhibit of his photos are memories for all of us. We walk by photos and say, "there, that was first place the year I first entered the show," and "that photo won the year Strickland's was under renovation and the show was at the airport."

I am positive that Paul would be happy as a clam that he had such an exhibit, during SlowExposures, in the Strickland Building, side-by-side with the main SlowExposures show. People were buying his prints and framed images on Sunday and all of them spoke of him, his work, and how they remember him. This has been a great tribute to a great photographer and friend.

Next Sunday (September 29), at the close of the show, friends and family will gather to remember Paul. I will certainly remember the closing Sunday from 6 years ago. If anyone reading this remembers Paul or just loves his photography -- please come to SlowExposures at 5pm to be part of this celebration of a wonderful photographer.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pilgrimage

I wrote a few months ago about my grandmother's property being sold. This land had been in the family a very long time. Part of the property was taken by the county in the 60's to create a reservoir. After that, my grandparents moved "up the hill." As a very young child, I remember going up that hill with my granddaddy a few times. We would walk to the old homeplace -- where my grandmother grew up. I saw the kitchen building from that old homeplace a couple weeks ago. 

My trip to Virginia was long overdue. Time was growing short this summer for my daughter to be out of college. I wanted her to go along with me so she could see my mother and other relatives for a short visit. It seemed like I always would head to Virginia near my and my grandmother's birthdays. I drove up just after hers and days before mine.

The first day back I decided to make the trip further north (the other end of the county) to the property. It was a very cool morning and very low humidity for July. That was welcome. Upon arrival, I met up with the man who had purchased my great uncle's home from my grandmother. He accompanied me on my hike.  

I walked down the path I had taken many, many times before. It was very familiar but also changed. The trees were taking over what had been open land. I saw ruins of the 'pig pen' and old well house near my granddaddy's garden. As I passed where the well had been, I remembered the bucket he and I would lower to the water to get a drink on a hot day. The garden was filled with sapling pines. We saw the stable and chicken coop. I pointed out to him where the fence was and the old pear tree. Beyond the tree was the homeplace spot -- the old kitchen still standing. Near there granddaddy had a patch of asparagus that would show up the same time as a wave of daffodils. Past this area had been an apple tree that I could no longer find, nor could I find the persimmon tree. In place of that is a patch of blackberry lilies that was full of blooms and butterflies. 

The field where my pony would roam was very overgrown as was the trail down to the water. We passed another shed where granddaddy would store his treasures. Here something bit my arm and a yellow jacket flew in my face. All I could think of was that I did not want a snake encounter this day. Moving down the hill, through all of the leaf litter, I kept my eyes on the ground most of the time searching for one. Along the hill were many redbud trees, dogwood, and mountain laurel growing well here. There were also many old, decaying tree trunks most likely victims of Hurricane Isabel (2003).

At the bottom I sat up my tripod and shot many images. I remembered the times I spent there with my granddaddy. One time I caught a really large fish there -- so big I walked up the hill to get it to the shore. There were mornings he and I would walk down there, being as quiet as we could, to catch the beaver out on the lake. When the beaver spied us, it would always slap the water with its tail and disappear. There in that spot I had seen turtles, snakes, deer, and more. One day we saw a black cloud in the water heading toward the shore. It was many tiny, black, baby catfish in a large group. That day, I still saw the pole sticking out of the water that was between my grandparent's home and that the house where my great grandfather lived. Both of those homes under the lake.

I took many photos with my regular cameras that day. The photo below, I shot with my iPhone, is so far my favorite. This is from the place I stood many times. I had this photo printed 20 inches square on aluminum and I framed it yesterday in a graphite metal frame. Tomorrow I will take this photo and a bunch of others featuring water, the beach, and Barbies to LaGrange. The reception for this show at Cochran Gallery, 4 E Lafayette Sq, is August 23 at 7pm. If you can, come see this in person.

Shoreline



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Barbie Beach, LaGrange, and a Walking Dead Reunion


In 2011 a friend of mine had an idea to collaborate on a project about Barbie Beach. Barbie Beach is a local (Turin, GA) landmark on Highway 16. The beach has many fans, including the crew of The Walking Dead. In 2011, TWD crew gave the beach a batch of zombie Barbies. Recently the crew returned with more Barbies. My friend and I have been shooting this oasis for almost two years now. We are expanding our original exhibit for a show in LaGrange opening in August at Cochran Gallery. The reception is Friday August 23, time TBA.

I have tried to watch The Walking Dead and can't quite get into it. Sometimes I find it a bit too creepy; other times I find the walkers staggering around a bit comical -- like they have been hitting the bottle a little too much. Recently the TV show reunited me with a high school friend. My house is just minutes from one of the main shooting locations for the show. The little town of Senoia sees a LOT of tourist traffic. They have some of the signs used on the show up and in place for all to see and take souvenir photos standing along side. A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, while browsing on Facebook I see a photo of an old friend posted from Senoia. He was in Atlanta visiting family and happened to be a big fan of the show -- so he made the trip to see the places used to shoot the show. I hopped in the car and met him for a brief chat and to point him in the right direction to find the old feed mill in Haralson.

So save the date for the Barbie reception -- I promise a fun time will be had by all, including Barbie!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Percolator

I have a new app. If you follow me on Instagram (@donnarosser) you already know this. Oh, and I love it.

with Percolator
I have used this app on photos of the dogs, blueberries, and a macro of a yucca. I love them all. This one -- the lilies in my backyard pond is a favorite. There have been some attempts that did not turn out so well -- and you will never see those.

The images look nice printed -- I have a couple at my framer now and plan to show them later on this fall. I am cautious to not become dependent on the gimmick of the app. This is fun and looks wonderful to me -- my math background is loving the geometrics of this effect.  But (a big but here) I am afraid I have already over used it. So in thinking about how to make an app more personal to my own vision I am taking these images a step (or two) beyond the app. These images are lending themselves to wonderful mixed media and collage works. I will also show these end results later on this fall.

I am a big fan of Hipstamatic, Wood Camera, Snapseed, and Viewmatic. I think at last count I have over 25 photo apps on my iPhone. For anyone interested in the un-Percolated version of the Lilies -- it is below.

original image

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Power of Positive Photography

As many know I have been teaching photography for years and leading a local group. Also I spend time working on Nature Undisturbed and SlowExposures. I cannot tell you what a positive force photography is in my life. I enjoy it -- but also as one of my tag lines has been -- "I inspire you to take better photos." 
I have seen this in my own local photo group -- as a group we evolve and grow. Collectively the work in the group improves -- a rising tide lifts all boats. 

Last week I launched a new blog -- The Power of Positive Photography. This blog is meant to be all about workshops, retreats, and mentoring. During the next couple months I hope to revamp the Nature Undisturbed website and announce more workshops and retreats. The first retreat scheduled for October filled up before I could announce it -- a good and a bad thing. Purposely I like to keep groups small -- but that does mean interested parties need to make the decision to sign up quickly.

East Beach -- where my toes will be in the sand soon.

Monday, May 27, 2013

SlowExposures -- Call for Entry and Events

For the past few years I have been involved with SlowExposures. I help out with the satellite show  exhibited at the Whiskey Bonding Barn in Molena, Georgia. It is a great space for an exhibit. I have had the joy to work with John Bennette at the barn for the past three years and he will be bringing a great collections of photos together again at the barn for 2013. Last year I was thrilled to have my photograph that was juried into the main show selected for second place. 


The call for entries is going on right now for SlowExposures. The deadline to enter is June 16. 

Besides the wonderful exhibits of photography there is a portfolio review and also a workshop opportunity. The hardest part is picking which to do since they are scheduled for the same day.

In the evening -- Saturday, September 21 -- everyone with a ticket will enjoy a truly southern dinner on the grounds of the Whiskey Bonding Barn. 

SlowExposures is a great way to celebrate the south, spend a little time out in the country, and enjoy those last few warm days before fall. Check out the website. Contact me if you have any questions or email directly at the SlowE website.

Oh and the workshop this year -- S. Gayle Stevens and the wet plate Holga experience! This is very limited due to space. There are only 3 spaces left!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Something New

Pots and Branches in Black and White, 2013


There's no limit to how complicated things can get, on account of one thing always leading to another. 
E.B. White

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Babydoll Goes for a Ride


Last night I had a dream of a baby doll driving an old car. She climbed out of her car seat and guided the car down into the woods. Pine needles scraped along the windows and roof. Baby just waved as she rolled by.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Gone


"land....because it is the only thing that lasts."

It is a sorrow-filled day for me. I find out that my grandmother's property has been sold. I am not given time to think about what could have happened if I had known there was an intent to sell. It was as if a rug was pulled out from under me. 

I have very few photos from the land and not many at all that I really like. This photo above hangs on the wall in my living room.

This is the land of my childhood, the place I loved to be. I spent many days roaming the property with my grandfather. Memories abound -- those of pulling turnips in the garden or eating a tomato fresh from the plant. Days spent fishing along the creek or right on the point. There are many wild laurel bushes along that point. It will be beautiful soon. It is always beautiful.

It is sad. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Staircase


Move; faster and don’t look back. Did you hear something? Just when you know something is about to grab your ankle – you make it to the top of the stairs and into the light. Quick, close the door and lock it. Never look back – you don’t want to see if it really is there. If you see it – you will never go into the basement again. It had to be close behind you – you could feel that something was right there.

What does it look like? Will it grab you? Where did it come from? As a child these were my thoughts when I would walk/run up the steps from the basement. 

The creepier basement was at my grandmother’s. It was open, not finished, and full of things, shadows. There were wardrobes, light bulbs hanging from the rafters above, chairs, chests of drawers, and the old freezers.  

At night, when it was dark – not much ambient light in the woods at my grandmother’s – and you wanted ice cream; you had to go into the basement. Turning on lights as you made your way across the basement from the bottom of the steps to the other side to the freezers.

Not all of the memories of that basement were scary. I remember times I sat down there with my granddaddy as he worked on fishing lures or something near the fireplace. I played in the wardrobes trying on old dresses and fur coats. At the other end of the basement were cupboards filled with jellies, preserves, and vegetables my grandmother had canned the previous summer. There were deer hides from years before; fur so soft and easily shedding into your hand if you petted one.  Near the windows and the French doors were plants in the cold months that would take the places outdoors in the warm months; asparagus ferns and a gardenia that had belonged to prior generations. Sometimes there was a batch of dandelion wine curing on the dryer.

Like most basements – it was most scary in the dark; but became an adventure in the day time. I took these photos in the light of day – but they made me think back to steps in the dark.




Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sandhill Cranes

Yesterday I was out running errands and I see hundreds of sandhill cranes flying overhead.  Bummer for me that I only have my iPhone -- as you can tell since I took this yesterday.


While the iPhone camera is great for many things -- to be able to get a good shot of the cranes -- well -- it would have been a waste of time.

So today I am in the house, in the basement, printing a photo. And I hear it. I hear the cranes outside. They have a very distinctive call -- a chortle or kind of rolling trumpet. So up the stairs I go and of course the long zoom lens is not on my camera and it is still in my camera bag. I quickly changed lenses and stepped outside. Standing in the front yard I could hear them, but not see them. I waited and scanned the sky until I see a few compared to the number I saw yesterday. Maybe these are the last in a long line since it took a few minutes to gather my gear in the house.

Here is the one photo I sort of liked from this morning.

a dozen cranes


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturdays Back

For a while I had commitments almost every Saturday. And not just the Saturdays -- but other times and evenings and well, when too much is going on I think you need to stop and ask why.  Ask why are you doing it and be a little selfish and ask what is in it for you. I thought about my commitments and began to wonder where was the consideration for me in the equation. What was my incentive? When the questions pop up over and over and the incentive seems to not be there it is time for a change.

This morning was nice -- a little coffee, walking the dogs (twice), and head out to the Peachtree City Farmer's Market. I love this Farmer's Market -- and it is my home market which makes it nice -- plus it is two mornings a week! After picking up kale, goat cheese, and delicious chocolate croissants -- I headed home.

On the way to the market I noticed a place that I like to stop sometimes to take a photo. So on my way home this morning I stopped and whipped out the iPhone.




I love having my Saturdays back.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rusty Cars


I wish I knew the statistic for how often a photographer takes a photo of a junk car, abandoned building or some graffiti. It must be several times a minute. A couple weeks ago I succumbed to the sirens' call of the auto junkyard. 

Whenever I take photos of a subject that is done, done again, and again, I question myself of why I am doing it and contributing to the ever increasing pile of stuff out there. And a junkyard -- oh my gosh. Yes, I had someone ask if I went to Old Car City. Nope, don't need to. There are plenty of nice junkyard close to home. Why travel to north Georgia to shoot the exact place that hundreds, no; more like thousands have been shooting. 

Still I did it. 

A few days ago I put up a blog with a photo from that day that I liked. Then there was this one. 

When I was taking this I knew I would like it. Not so much for the subject but for what else is there. The blues and greens mixed in with the earthiness of the rust color, pine needles, and brown leaves are beautiful. That scale on the windows and the light coming through it was what made me walk through a bit of bramble to get to this vehicle. And of course that side mirror and shard of broken glass among shiny bits of chrome. 

I just like it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

iPhone Overload

Just as I think I need to be more deliberate in my photos -- slow, thinking, take one instead of ten -- out pops my iPhone and before you know it I have five on my way to....well you get the (ahem) picture.

It is like it was when I got my first digital camera and realized that I was no longer limited by the number of frames on a roll. I could shoot; well until that 128mb card would fill up. 

The iPhone is so convenient. The apps make it so fun. The sharing on Instagram, Flickr, etc. make it all so easy. I am going to try -- for February -- to slow down. Thank goodness this is a short month.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Lucky 13

I had not thought much about the number of the year until a few days ago I heard it referred to as "Lucky 13." That made me stop to think for a moment about what a magical year lay before us; me. It was time to stop and think about what is important, what is fun, and what needs to change. Then I ate a fortune cookie and inside was this tidbit "You will soon make a change for the better." A little over a year ago I wrote about a busy 2011 and what was coming up for 2012. My contract with Serenbe Photography Center ended on December 31, 2012. I decided to not sign on for 2013. 

Last year I took a writing workshop with the amazing Janisse Ray; maybe this year I will have more time to practice what I learned that day. And maybe I will take another workshop with her.

Occasionally I like to go out to shoot photos without much idea of what I will find until I get there; this year I will (and have already) do more of that. Just in the past couple weeks I have taken more photos that I love than I did all of 2012.


I love this photo. This is one that no matter if it never gets into a show, or no one else ever says anything about it -- I will love it. It truly is what I like about photographs -- simple but a wow. It is not cropped, not edited in anyway except to tweak the contrast a bit. It is what it is. And I think this is my Lucky 13 theme -- keep it simple and do what you love.

Each month this year I plan to work on something that needs attention. January has been great so far for that -- and it is almost over. Time to think about what I need to concentrate on for February.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Digital Black and White Conversion

There are just a few days left to get in on a workshop that I am teaching at Serenbe Photography Center January 12 -- Digital Black and White Conversion. This is a hands on workshop.  You will bring a laptop and work with me trialing and testing techniques that I use to get the black & white look that I want with my images.

I always shoot in color. The photo below is the image I started with of a wolf spider in my backyard.


After working with the file in a couple different programs. I achieved the look I was searching for and the finished image is below.


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