Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Today's image-word is Double... meaning two-fold or paired.

There are other interpretations of the word --- my favorite being "deceitful" which is where I guess you get the term "double-agent"... My parents raised me on James Bond movies so I tend to go right for the spy references.

DoubleMint gum was my favorite growing up... I'm just slightly too tall for a double bed (my toes hang off when I lie on my stomach)... But I digress.

I see these two doors often. They are quite similar but ever so slightly individual. I believe they actually lead into the same space with no barrier once you're inside. Kind of peculiar, but I've found there are usually at least two ways to get where you're going...

Kind of like life...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Entering the Danger Zone on a Tuesday

A friend of mine recently asked on Facebook "What do you do to keep yourself going in the pursuit of your dreams when it feels like they will never happen?"...

That's always one of those tough questions for me. On the surface I say "Just keep doing what you're doing..." but that is tough. And that is enough for Self-Doubt to rear its ugly head. I keep plugging along and all of a sudden I look up and realize I'm not where I want to be... I'm usually where someone else wants me to be and that sucks... Because no one else (save for my mother) really has my best interests at heart.

That's when I look over to another Post-It note on the windowsill --- "When you tell yourself you're not talented, just know there's a moron with self-esteem making tons of money doing something you're better at!"

I guess I should put some time into working on my self-esteem each week...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Things to Do Over a 3-Day Weekend

I worked for so long in TV news (13 years, 9 months to be exact... if you're into that), that I have a difficult time remembering that it's "normal" to not work on holidays. I'm always caught a little off guard. I usually have to be reminded that I don't actually need to be in a work situation.

It's not that I ignore holidays --- I don't. I've just developed a private manner of observing them.
Like this particular holiday --- Memorial Day.

Both of my fathers (my biological "blood" dad from whom I got my nose and other more mysterious inheritances and my "bonus" dad who accepted me as his own when my mom married him) served in the military. I can't really bring myself to wish anyone a "Happy" Memorial Day because, well... I miss both of these men. Remembering is necessary but sometimes I wish I could call them up.

So when I start wallowing (which I know neither of them would be impressed with that behavior), I do what I always do to lift my spirits --- I pull out a camera and take pictures. I set about visually documenting things... Little, seemingly inconsequential things to which I can attach memories that mean the world to me.

Take care and remember on this Memorial Day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Photo

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Back to shooting on a theme... Today's theme is Golden... because at this time of year, that's what sunset is all about.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Case of the Mondays

I really don't have anything against any day of the week... Time is, after all, a man-made construct. But Mondays usually bring out a level of nasty/mean/crazy in people that just doesn't make any sense.

In an attempt to circumvent a case of the Mondays, I'm just going to post something sparkly and pretty and get on with it...

Happy Monday.

Friday, May 18, 2012


We all have them. Some of us can conquer them --- I successfully quit smoking cold turkey in 1989. Some of us struggle --- I could, to this day, pick up right where I left off with the 2 to 3 pack a day habit.

And then some of us just find a different vice to court... When I worked in TV news, I drank way too much Mountain Dew. I gave that up. And now I get my caffeine from coffee... I guess it's the same vice but a different delivery system. But there's more with coffee.

Part of the attraction is being able to walk into my local Starbucks and not even have to order... I can say "Hi, how are you?" and they know exactly what I drink. It's that five minutes of being treated as someone who is welcome and wanted...
I guess that means I've traded caffeine and cigarettes for coffee and comfort... I think I can live with that.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Just Different

I took what I thought was a daring plunge several years ago... at least it was daring for a visual artist. I had my eyes "fixed" with PRK surgery. It's similar to LASIK but they deal with your cornea differently (I won't gross you out...).

I had a fantastic doctor and the surgery was a success! I went from having to always wear glasses to 20/15 vision. It was marvelous! I ignored the doctor's comments of "Now you'll probably still need reading glasses in a few years..." I thought "No way! My eyes have been fixed!"

It's been a few years. I have to wear reading glasses, just like he said. It's a bummer. I've become one of hose people who stashes reading glasses around the house like a squirrel stashes nuts.

I am that stereotype.

It's changed my perception of things... Not just visually, but philosophically. I don't really feel old, but my 20-year-old self would think of me as old. I am progressing as others before me have progressed. I am starting to mourn little things that I cannot do or have anymore.

Am I sounding morose? I'm not really feeling that way. I just wish I could look at things close up still...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Redefining Perfect

When I'm teaching, students usually express a desire to learn how to shoot a "perfect" shot... "What's the exposure I should always go for?"

My answer, I think, frustrates them. The exposure you use depends on what you're trying to capture and convey to your audience. If you're trying to freeze your kid making a game-winning goal, you're going to use different settings than if you are trying to shoot the inside of a flower... and if you're shooting said flower, you have to decide if you want to show it as a scientific specimen or if you want to call on your inner Georgia O'Keeffe and portray the seductive beauty of the plant.

It all starts with what you see in your own mind.

Our equipment is only a means by which we communicate our creative intent to others. Cameras are marvelous tools of creativity, but they do not possess the creative spark without human input and direction.You have to know what you're trying to communicate before you reach into you camera-bag-of-tricks... or you can just pull your camera out and figure it out as you go along if you're open to working through the process.

Start with what you're seeing in your mind... That will tell you how to get your "perfect" shot...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fruits of the Creative Afternoon

This past weekend I made a rather daring decision to shoot for myself... something that I had not allowed myself to do for a long time due to other obligations.

I'm glad I did it. I just got the film back and I'm in love all over again with my Olympus OM-1 and my Holga (first time shooting with the Holga...)

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Process

It's been way too long since I've shot purely for my own pleasure.

Don't get me wrong... I love making images for other people! But sometimes you have to feed your own creative beast. And that's what I got to do on Sunday...

I took three cameras --- the Holga, my Olympus OM-1, and my micro 4/3s camera --- and hit one of the greenways here in Charlotte. It was incredibly hot and the bugs were out in force, but I had a great time.

I finished up a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 film in my OM-1. I loaded and shot two expired rolls of Kodak Portra 160 in the Holga. I only pulled out the digital when I was out of film.

I found two other mystery rolls of film at home. All five rolls will be going to Biggs Camera today.
Now it's kind of like waiting on Christmas.... I have an idea of what I might get, but the element of surprise is there. I could get back a big mess or, even worse, find out I loaded the cameras wrong. Or I could get back little frames of magic. I won't know for maybe a week... and that's one of the coolest parts of this whole creative process.

When you set out to make something, if you are 100% positive of what the outcome will be, then you are in production mode. But when you let yourself explore, then you get to create something...

I'll let you see what I managed to create once the film comes back.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Photo of the Day

The subject today is... An Accidental Sculpture.

I was leaving Spirit Square after teaching the last class in this session of Intro to DSLR at the Light Factory today. I happened upon dozens of red folding chairs stacked in a rolling cart.

When they're being used as intended, they're utilitarian... efficient... often uncomfortable and unsteady... just a means to keep butts off floors.

But when I encountered them today, in all their condensed glory, they were something cooler --- they collectively became sculpture.

Maybe I was just tired and hungry, but I like stumbling upon unintended beauty.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today's photo: a Treat.

This could be represented by many things. But since it's the first day of May and it is already quite hot, I decided to go with my gut.