Friday, March 30, 2012

A Friday Photo

I started posting photos without explanation on Fridays... I got away from that but now I'm revisiting the practice.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rock Star Life of a Photographer...

A friend asked me to come by her school and address the 3rd grade classes about what it's like to be a photographer. She asked me to explain why they should plan on going to college if they wanted to be photographers...

I thought "Cool... a captive audience to spout my ideas upon..."

It went as talks to 3rd graders usually go --- They were energetic & had to be reigned in frequently but they were well-behaved and engaged in what I was saying and the images I was showing. The only time I was thrown was when one kid asked "Are you rich?" .... I had to tell him the truth... "Honey, I'm an artist so no I am not."

I had one graphic that compares what people THINK you do as a photographer versus what you ACTUALLY do as a photographer. On the "think" list besides taking pictures and traveling to exotic locations was "party like rock stars"... I thought it was humorous.

After I finished the talk those kids made me FEEL like a rock star --- they actually asked for my autograph. Pretty cool.

Then I went and ate like a rock star with some of my APA success teammates... Ah... If life would always be this sweet...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photo Therapy

Those of you who are Facebook friends of mine have already seen where yesterday kind of took me for a not fun ride. So what did I do today to make myself feel better? I took pictures.

Having a camera (of any kind) in my hands and using it always gives me an endorphin boost. Some days I like the slow, methodical process of shooting with my medium format film camera... Some days prowling the street with my Olympus OM-1 gives me purpose. At 6:30am, the familiar heft of my digital baby makes everything alright.

But some days I'm running around like a chicken with her head cut off and all I can manage to do is whip out my cell phone. I'm okay with that. It gets me seeing and shooting instead of passing up a shot that makes me happy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Muddling Through the Mundane...

One of the pitfalls of the "home office" is the fact that the laundry room is so close by. I always thought the 15 foot commute would be great... and it is... but it also tends to make mixing business with home life inevitable.

So as I edit images from recent jobs, I always have an ear towards the washer and dryer. And I can get distracted by the minuscule print on the care labels...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lessons Learned from the Challenge...

I realize this may seem like a bit of back-tracking, but I've been meaning to jot down some of the lessons I gleaned from the recent Photo-A-Day challenge. It turned out to be more of an exercise in reaching out and communicating and letting/making myself be heard.... All things I've needed to improve upon.

So here are, in no particular order, things I learned...

  • Just shoot. How are you going to take pictures if you don't let yourself get past your own lofty expectations and just push the button? Digital can be a great self-tutoring tool if you let it. So just shoot.
  • Even when shooting for fun, it's necessary to have a goal of some sort. Even if that goal seems trivial... If you don't have a goal when taking pictures, why even bother to pick up the camera?
  • Don't look down your nose at new technology... You could miss out on a lot of fun. Explore new technology and figure out whether it fits into your world of imaging. If it does, great! If it doesn't, move on.
  • Don't compare yourself to other photographers.
  • Even if you don't push the images to Facebook, Twitter or your blog, Instagram publishes everything. EVERYTHING!
  • Keep your eyes open and your apps handy.
  • Take the time to get to know your camera, whatever form it comes in. And have fun doing it.
  • Creativity does not happen in a vacuum... That's why mine rarely leaves the closet. (OK... this one is just to see if my mom reads my blog...)
I really should get back to work now... But I think I'll be crafting a new challenge for myself.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Prelude to Summer

I think everyone in North Carolina was a little worried about the prospect of totally skipping Spring this year. Porch-sitting season began before Winter officially ended... It's been in the 70's and 80's for at least a couple of weeks. I've been plotting my pilgrimage to the farmer's market and prepping my grandfather's Osterizer for the first batch of gazpacho.

As I sit outside on the porch tonight, I'm not sure how long I'll last. The weather seems to have turned. The closest I'm going to be getting to gazpacho are these grocery store tomatoes.

That's okay. I can wait for the home-grown variety... You know the kind... The ones where you get a big mouthful of sunshine when you bite into them...

Besides, I'm sure I'll be glad that the seasons didn't do a by-pass come August.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's Beer-thirty..,.

Happy Weekend!

An Image of Spring in NC

I've got a new toy for my camera... A Marumi Achromat Macro filter. It lets me invade the personal space of flowers even more!

When I get my hands on something new, I can become a little obsessed. Sometimes I have to remember there are still other valid ways of shooting. And I have done that this week (case in point... spending Thursday afternoon elevated in a forklift shooting large scenes... great fun!). But I had to go for a short walk on Friday morning to play close up...

Happy Spring in North Carolina!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Challenge.... Back to Work

So the 30 Day photo challenge is officially over... I only missed one day of posting which is pretty good for me!

I've heard that when you do something consistently for at least three weeks, it becomes habit (that would explain me and coffee). So hopefully I'll be able to keep up with the daily blog posts.

As for right this moment, I need to finish backing up the forklift images I shot yesterday, email my class, arrange private lessons, etc., etc., etc... But I just downloaded a new camera app so maybe I'll take Peter Taylor's lead and go shoot some wisteria before the blooms are gone...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 30 - Another Picture of Me

I missed yesterday's challenge (Who did you talk to today?) because I was too busy talking to people. I had even planned the shots out since I started a new session of Intro to DSLR... I was going to take a picture of my new class. But I got busy and forgot until everyone was gone. (That's actually a good sign of a class...)

So today is one more shot of me. I'm tired. I spent the day taking pictures 30 feet up in a forklift.

Life isn't just good.... It's fun!

(I'll try to shoot the challenge I missed... It's too fun not to...)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 28 - Fruit

Today's task in the APA Success Team 30 Day Photo-A-Day Social Media? Fruit!

I like fruit. It behaves nicely... like flowers.
And when you're done shooting it, you can have yourself a refreshing little snack.

Yes, I like fruit!

Incidentally, today is the first day of the challenge that I've used my Olympus Pen PL-2 with the toy lens from PhotoJojo.... I wasn't about to let the challenge end without letting it have it's moment.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 27 - An Animal

This is not my cat. I don't know whose cat this is, but it came up to me and insisted on being cute. It did not come home with me... It looked well-fed.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 26 - Water

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens held their Picture Perfect event for photographers this weekend. Yesterday was a bright, sunny, gorgeous day. Today... not so much. It rained off and on... But that's a good thing for a garden.

Today's APA Photo-A-Day Social Media Challenge subject is Water and it was in abundance. Annoying abundance, but it's not like I was going to melt as I got pelted by raindrops. Besides, I've taken some creative license with the subject --- water plays a part in the image, but it's not the main image.

Happy Sunday night! See you for tomorrow's challenge...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 25 - What Are You Reading?

I'm not a voracious reader. I'm kind of picky. I'll stand in a bookstore and look for the best cover design... Yes, I know you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but if that were REALLY true all books would have brown paper jackets.
Anyway... I'll look for the most appealing cover, then I'll read the synopsis and then I'll read the first page. If a book makes it to the first page test, it has a snowball's chance but that's still no guarantee.

I blame my pickiness on the fact that I read Gone With The Wind when I was 12. Except for reading a Hardy Boys mystery every Sunday afternoon, that was the last big reading project I undertook. Nothing else could stand up to Margaret Mitchell's single literary work. Everything else seemed unworthy... juvenile...

I am now finally finding other writer's that I can enjoy. Steve Martin is one of them. He had me at Picasso at the Lapin Agile... So far, An Object of Beauty is good. I hear it's being shopped as a movie. I hope to have the book finished before it hits theaters.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 24 - A Tool...

Today's subject for the 30 Day Photo A Day Social Media Challenge? A tool.

I seriously considered posting a picture of one of my high heels, but I don't think I've used one to drive a nail since college. Besides, since I hang my work in galleries, I kind of have to carry my own real hammer and tool kit.

I even considered taking a picture of the idiot who has his car parked in the middle of the cul de sac, but my brother doesn't like it when I use the word "tool" in that connotation. And besides, my mom would give me grief about it as well.

So I pulled out the trusty Black & Decker hot pink power screwdriver and took a picture of it. My friend Krishna gave it to me one year. Don't be fooled by it's color... It is a serious power tool! And it's perfect for this chick. Thanks Krishna!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 23 - A Door

Have you heard the expression "When one door closes, another one opens..." or something like that?

I'm not so sure I always buy that. Maybe I'm just being negative or maybe I'm not recognizing a door as a door. Or maybe I just didn't get enough sleep last night.

Maybe I'll see the door as I'm actually walking through it... That would be cool... Much better than walking into it and realizing I need to reach for the knob.
Hey, I think I just figured it out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 22 - A Drink

I think sodas are pretty much a vice for me. I used to drink an obscene amount of Mountain Dew when I worked in television. I gave them up when I left TV news... I wanted to give up a lot of bad habits then.

I have let Dr. Pepper sneak into an almost daily routine for me, but it's no where near as bad as I had let the Dew get.

That's some bad rationalization happening there.

Oh well... This may be my last soda for a while.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 21 - 6:30pm

I'm actually doing the written part of today's post a little early today since I want to take a picture at exactly 6:30pm.

I've had a lot going on today but I've been dragging. My multi-tasking super powers seem to be on the fritz, but we'll see how it all turns out.

UPDATE: 6:30pm
So this is where I'm at...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 20 - Clouds

There are two things about this 30 Day Photo-a-Day Social Media Challenge that I've found to be beneficial: I'm being consistent in posting and it's forcing me to shoot subjects that I wouldn't normally stop to photograph.

I'm not a big cloud chaser. After 13 years and 9 months spent in TV news, I have a hearty disdain for inclement weather. I don't look at clouds an see bunnies or Abe Lincoln's head or flying pigs... I hear the phone ringing and my former boss' voice saying "Cancel your plans! We're going wall to wall today..."

I was not looking forward to today's challenge because of that. But then I just looked up and saw the clouds. I can image Eric Thomas or Al Conklin or Kelly Franson at WBTV explaining them in all their scientific glory. But now I think I see a flying pig in those clouds...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 18 - A Look Out the Window

My cat is not the most willing of photography subjects. She seems to figure out new technology very quickly... especially for a cat.

I knew I wanted a picture of her looking out the window for today's challenge. The "challenge" part came into play as we sat on the floor in a stand-off... er, sit-off... I was hoping the lizards that like to lounge on my front porch would help me out.

In the end I think it was a squirrel that ventured into Daisy's territory (even though she's not allowed outside, it's still hers). I believe that's the first time I've acknowledged a reason for squirrels to exist...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Day 17 - A Sign

Actually, I've got three signs here.

These are planted outside Spirit Square in the Parking Lot Semi-Circle of Hope (you pull in beside these signs and then you see whether or not the lot is open... hence the "...Semi-Circle of Hope").

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 16 - Green

I had a difficult time choosing only one subject for today's challenge - green. There are so many options out there.

I was thinking of shooting something more esoteric on the theme, but all I could come up with was to shoot something like a recycling symbol or an electric car charging station at the corner of 7th & Tryon uptown.

Then I looked down at my own feet... thinking that grass grows too easily when you don't have time to mow...

I'm not sure I'm totally finished with green today... You never know what else might pop up...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 15 - Something You Made

I've been working on my flower portrait series, Portraits from a Moonlight Garden, for a few years now. I've hung various prints from it in different venues, but I wanted to do something a little more immediate and accessible with all those flowers.

So I went to Beadlush over in Plaza Midwood and took a workshop on how to make soldered glass pendants.

This is one of the first that I made... It's kind of addictive now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 14 - What's In Your Bag?

I taught an Intro to DSLR class at the Light Factory this morning, so my camera bag is in disarray. I usually just pull what I need for the day's lesson and put everything into a secondary bag. It's kind of paranoid, but that way if I'm robbed, I don't lose all my equipment and have to go through the trouble of replacing it. I'm very attached to my stuff.

So I chose to shoot my purse... That's right gentlemen, I am revealing some of the mysteries of a woman's handbag! These are my life tools!

Of course I carry a camera (the Olumpus PEN PL-2 micro 4/3s), a flashlight, wallet, business cards, earphones, cough drops, phone charger, mirror, collapsible hairbrush (courtesy of my mom), Advil and allergy pills, lip balm, girl stuff... And there are usually wadded up gas station receipts but I actually cleaned those out this morning before leaving the house.

In short, it's my survival bag.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 13 - Something That Does Not Belong to Me

Today's challenge was a little tough considering there's a lot that does not belong to me.

This cereal belongs to Tim.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 12 - Something Blue

Did you see the theme progressing in this direction?

As I was driving into church this morning I kept looking for something blue. The thing is, we are surrounded by blue. The sky. Blue jeans (and quite frankly, I'm a little bummed I didn't manage to get someone to let me photograph their rear end in a pair of classic Levi's... But the day is not yet over...)

So here's my vision of blue...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Day 11 - Something New

Today's theme for the APA Success Team Challenge is "Something New".

I realize this footprint doesn't look "new", but bear with me.

I'm a part of the Charlotte belly dancing community. There was a new studio celebration today in Concord for the Damhsa Gasra troupe's new space --- the Queens of D'Nile Belly Dance Studio.
What was once a gray box was transformed into a multi-colored shimmy temple with pink and purple and teal blue walls and ceiling.
And then there was the "mishap" with the cloth drop cloth. Instead of "fixing" it, they embraced it. They made art out of it!
Come on... Is there a better way to celebrate something new than by laying down a pink footprint upon it?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 10 APA Challenge - Something Old

I spent a lot of my time in college exploring racks & bins & cabinets in second-hand clothing stores. I loved vintage clothes... They were romantic and well-made and had that attic-smell about them. Plus they were generally cheaper than anything in a department store.

One of my favorite places in Charlotte was the Magic Maze on East Boulevard (which is actually still there). That's where I found this beaded purse. The label inside reads Paris, France 1898.

I recently sold the majority of my ridiculously large beaded purse collection, but this is one of three I felt I had to hold onto... It was one of the more intelligent things I bought in my youth.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 9 - Nature

Today is Day 9 of the Success Team 30-Day Photo A Day Challenge instigated by Peter Taylor.
The subject: Nature.

I must admit, I shot this a couple of days ago... BUT it was with the intention of using the image for this particular post. I pass this beautiful, stately (sometimes appropriately creepy) tree at least twice a day since it lives near the entrance of my neighborhood.

But I'm a little worried about it. It is perched on the edge of Mallard Creek Road, not far from where they hold the annual Mallard Creek Barbecue. To the immediate right, just outside the frame of this image is a medical park that has sprung up within the past few years. If you look closely, you can see a large "Land for Sale" sign not far from the tree --- kind of like a bad acorn that fell but refused to move far enough to not overtake its parent-plant.

I've been wanting to shoot a picture of this tree because I'm afraid that whoever buys the land will not see the value in this gorgeous beast of wood. I'm afraid they'll cut it down without so much as a second thought.

So after making this tree portrait, I hung around in the mist & rain and shot some other trees... Dr. Seuss apparently had a big impact on me as a child. And yes, if you're wondering, I did indeed hug this tree.