A little creature I spotted in a mailbox. Poor guy has a part of a leg missing.
This shot was an instant black and white moment.The spider was yellowish and the black metal reflecting the daylight was bluish so I knew right away that I could get a nice contrast in black and white. B&W is fun when there are only two colors in the scene!
I like these kind of ph0tos. A wide-angle shot of a close-up subject with the surroundings receding into the background. An environmental portrait of sorts. The challenge is finding suitable subjects in a suitable environment. I don’t like to arrange photos so when I look for subjects I shoot them how I find them. So it has to be a “complete package” of sorts.
I wasn’t totally sure if this glove made a good subject but, as my usual, I just shot it anyhow. I realized a while ago my intuition is usually working for, not against, me. A number of my favorite photos were taken because I thought “what the hey”, and I grabbed a few frames of something that interested me at the time. Only later did I realize that I was really on to something and the shots I took were worthwhile. My last few photos that were chosen for exhibitions were just that, literally grab shots taken because I told myself there is something there.
This photo wasn’t without its technical difficulties though. I didn’t really care for the color in the scene as everything was rather drab from the overcast light. That same color made the black and white conversion a little tricky. Almost every color in the scene had the same tonalities and coupled with the flat light there was little way to separate the subject from its surroundings. I played around with the contrast and a little vignette and dodge and burn to come up with the best compromise I could. It doesn’t pop out at you but I like it regardless.
I know I am probably too hard on myself, not only with my photography, but in almost everything I do. I am, as they say, my own worst critic. I don’t think I am too negative though, I do believe I do a number of things quite well, it’s just that I think I don’t do them well enough. Enough of that!! Don’t worry, be happy!
So I will celebrate my new found positive image with, what else, a negative image! This is a dandelion photo that I was playing around with in camera and wondered what the color image would look like as a negative and there it was!
I say it here quite often that I’m not a fan of phone photography. I have seen good examples of what some folks can do with a phone, but quality wise the things just bug me. A ten year old point and shoot digital camera still runs circles around even the best phone cameras. I look at them more for what they are best at, fun snapshot or documentation type photos. I use a phone for all of my day job document photos when I am on job sites and it makes a nice small alternative to having to have a camera with me when I’m doing other things. Plus I often have to text or email the photos which is a breeze – when I have cell coverage.
But the “artist” in me always tries to make something from nothing and on occasion I like to play with filters and work some phone pics a little. Since I have a personal phone with me almost always and I have to have my work phone with me always since I am on call 24-7 I do snap the occasional photo when I am out and about.
This photo was taken during a visit to the Carnegie Museum of Art when I went to view a photography exhibition. After viewing the exhibition my wife and I like to peruse the other displays while we are there. Man, those dinosaurs were big! Moving on, as I was about to go through some glass doors into the next area. I like how they reflected the statues that were behind me, so I snapped a quick pic with my phone. A few twiddles of my thumbs using Toaster filters and, voila, instant art!
One more week of my daily July posts to go! My oh my, where does the time go? :-) Not soon enough I’m sure, not only to you poor readers but to myself also. As I mentioned previously, not only is it difficult to come up with that many interesting photos but coming up with something to say about them, or anything else, is difficult also.
Now I am sure all of the prolific blog writers wonder what my problem is. I mean, it can’t be that hard to write something, can it? Well, it is for me. I am generally a man of few words. I say what I need to and move on. I can be considered quiet at times but I do need to speak quite often for my work, including public speaking and presentations, so I have to say something. But when asked about my job I do have a hard time explain what it is I do. I never think about what it is I am doing I just do what I need to do in the best way possible. Maybe that’s why I have a hard time describing my photography also.
Back to photography.
I did take a few photos today but they were – hmm , how can I say this – ho-hum? I don’t feel too bad about that. I would think even the best photographers of our time would have had a hard time sustaining a daily blog. Think about it. How many photographs can you think of from a famous photographer, say Henri Cartier-Bresson or Minor White, and how many are considered their best work? Just sayin’.
How about a car pic for today?
No, I’m not talking about the weather, although last weekend was a little cool and wet. I’m talking about todays photo which was taken on an autumn day back in 2009. Digging through the archives again on this slow photo day and I thought I would dig a little further back. Not too far back, this isn’t Throwback Thursday, which is a Facebook thing anyhow and I can’t participate in that anyhow because I have very few vintage photos of myself (long story, which I’ll get to some day). I actually shot this on a landfill I was working on at the time. I always tried to photograph the natural elements that surrounded the landfill.
This is one of my earlier experiments in processing and, like most early processors, I had a tendency to go overboard. It’s a little overdone. With the exception of my textural images, I try to lean towards more straightforward processing these days, which is actually MORE processing than I did back then. More of everything in shorter strokes so the end result looks like I didn’t do anything. ;-) Black and white processing takes an even more dedicated effort to make the image the best it can be.
Since I’m talking about going too far on the sliders I figured I would have some fun and do an all out cartoony version of the photo. Extreme for sure, but what else to do on this summer day? Autumn is still two months away.
I really couldn’t think of anything to title todays post because the photo didn’t really lend itself to anything snappy. But after describing my photo and how it came about , I replaced my usual temporary filler text of “blah, blah”. Good thing.
An interesting old tombstone stockpile I shot in Charleston a little while back. I find the designs, textures, and colors really interesting and hit myself for not spending more time exploring them and taking more photos. This is the only shot I have. I should take that as a lesson learned but I do it all of the time. Instinct tells me to grab a shot of something and I do just that, grab a shot in passing, only later to discover the subject had more potential and I was trying to tell myself something.
That is all a part of my need to slow it down a notch when shooting, especially when I find interesting subjects. Not only do I totally gloss over potential good images, I also forget to check camera settings a lot. I don’t always notice what my shutter speed or ISO is set on, or what the camera is setting when on Auto, and only later finding I could have improved on the shot if only I had paid attention.
Good discipline goes rewarded.
Since my Johnny Winter homage went over like a lead balloon, or Led Zeppelin as I like to say ;-), lets bring it back down into normal photography again. With a horse, of course. A simple black and white image of a horse in the stable getting ready for tour duty with a brand new wash.
It looks like I am two-thirds into my July daily post mission and things are going smooth. Trying to take or find pictures of interest to post has been a challenge but so far, so good. The writing part is another story though.
Johnny Winter, the great blues-rocker guitarist passed away last week at the age of 70. Sad news for me because Johnny was probably the main reason I wanted to pick up the guitar well over 30 years ago and learn to play the blues. Although I got turned on to gads of other guitarists over the years, I still enjoyed listening to Johnny to this day.
As a commemoration, I thought I would take a photo of my own Gibson Firebird guitar. Johnny was synonymous with the Firebird and I always liked his tone when playing one, hence my reason for purchasing a ‘bird.
I was going to post some JW videos but I’ll let you search him out. There’s plenty out there. To some he may be a relic from the classic rock past and I am sure most people have long forgotten about him. But if you have a moment give a listen to a few full songs. The licks are endless. He was a rocker, he was a bluesman, and I liked both but it always came back to the blues.