Thursday, September 19, 2013

SAILING to the Red Wall

Two weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon after several snags, snafus and sidetracks I was finally able to deliver six large prints to Once Upon A Paintbrush, the gallery in Bryan Ohio that is featuring my work in a show that officially starts October 5, 6-9 PM. That day I also made some promotional images for the gallery and show.

Before the shoot, we were caught in one more snag, there was one print for the show that hangs vertically. When we unwrapped it, and turned it over it was set up to be hung horizontally. Ouch it needed to go back to the framer (who at this point I will not name) in Ft Wayne Indiana. 

We did the promo images some of which can be seen on my Facebook page ( )and also the page for Once Upon A Paintbrush. ( )By then we were tired and I decided to run the print over on Sunday.

On Sunday, the print took a trip to the framer, and then back to the gallery, problem solved! When I arrived Cassandra (the owner) was at her easel working on a commissioned piece and talking Jennifer, one of the musicians that will provide music at the show opening. Jennifer plays Classical Guitar, and I noticed that she had a cool, jade green, form fitting case for her instrument. We rechecked the print one more time, and talked about the piece that Cassandra was working on. Then it was time for me to get going, or so I thought. Well I did leave, at least for a few minutes. As I drove away, I spotted a burgundy colored wall about a block from the gallery...

It was Shoot Where You Are Time!

My mind is always going, making connections, imagining things. So I pulled into a little parking lot by the wall and looked around for a couple of minutes. Hmm, cool green case, burgundy wall, little green tree growing against the wall ( it may have been a big weed ) and of course the musician. Back to the gallery I went at a good clip. Cassandra and Jennifer looked at me a little funny when I walked back inside. Then I told then about the wall and asked to borrow Jennifer, her guitar and case, oh and one of the chairs from the gallery. They thought it was a great idea. Maybe Jennifer didn't feel comfortable driving over with this nut that she had just met, so while I loaded the chair into my vehicle she started walking the short block to the wall. I was about a minute ahead of her so I set the chair along the wall and had Jennifer sit down with her guitar while I set the green case in position and let my imagination show me where I might go. It was fun, and about 300 shots later Jennifer was walking back as I loaded my gear and the chair for the 32 second ride back to the gallery. I dropped the chair off, thanked them both and really left this time.

So now it's time to explain the title of this post, Sailing to the Red Wall. Shooting where you are is easier when you practice a few basic habits.

Stop              where you are at, be willing to change your plan.
Ask               for a picture, or to get permission to shoot somewhere.
Imagination   use it all the time it's better than texting or TV.
Look             for subjects all of the time and everywhere you are.

Now you know how to sail to the red wall.

I am still (a kid)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Turn On The Lights

If you are reading this post, and if you are like me you are most likely on some type of digital device with a glowing screen, a PC, a tablet, or maybe your smart-phone. Our screens may be three inches and we are scrolling to see everything bit by bit. If we have a tablet or laptop we can see more stuff at once, it's better and still very portable. Or we could have a desktop monitor and lots of screen space.
We are also seeing hundreds, more likely, thousands upon thousands of images, pictures of family and friends on Facebook and places like that, news and entertainment images, and of course the ever present advertising images. Oh and I forgot the artistic stuff, paintings, digital art, photography, and images of things like sculpture to mention a few. And we get all of this on TV also. The stream of images seems almost infinite these days. For most purposes it is infinite! We can not hope to take it all in even at the high speed at which it is presented. The images whiz by, pop up, pop down, fade in, fade out, and crawl across our screens. They come they go, like so many people in a hurry, they seem to push, rush, take cuts in line, all impatient to make an appearance. Then they are gone, replaced by the next and the next and... few have made much of an impression.

We shut off the phone, the PC, the TV and BLIP they're gone.

They were real, for awhile, in their own way I guess. Now I sit here with you, sort of, in a odd reality. I am communicating to you, or maybe with you in a digital time lapse, about images. I think images are much more enjoyable and meaningful when they are real, when you can touch them or see them in a more permanent context. Galleries, museums, and art shows are great for that. I was at a show a recently talking to a photographer when a gentleman who was looking at some images of Italy suddenly exclaimed “I know that place, my wife and I were there on vacation and she got lost!” He ran off to get his wife so she could see the photograph. I hope they took it home, put it on the wall and discussed who really got lost with their guests. Physical, tangible art is like that. It enriches our lives and homes day after day.

We can turn off our lights... and BLIP, when we turn them back on hey our art is still there.

I am still(a kid)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

How Did I Get Here?

The other night when I was searching my images for the red fabric
image that I wanted to show you for the previous post, I came across a red barn that I shot in the spring of 2008.
I had been waiting for a day that the light was hitting it from a good angle. I also wanted to have some sharpness and color in the foreground so I was shooting wide angle with a small aperture. I started noodling around with it last night trying to get a look that I was happy with. I was taking the image back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop, trying to develop a unique image. I had made a couple of copy layers and blended them and desaturated everything except the barn and small tree. Then bla bla bla and then bla bla bla I was getting close but had not arrived at the place I wanted to be. I am not real keen on one shot methods to get to a finished picture. I often take a lot of twists, turns and detours to get where I'm going with an image. And very often I keep several (work in progress) variations that I like. My dad said I always took the hard way...but that was mostly in mathematics and I always seemed to have the wrong variations in that area. Finally as I drove around the block for the umpteenth time looking for somewhere to park my image I spotted a little place that looked great Time to stop here!

I am still(a kid).

Friday, September 6, 2013

Red Satin Hats

The idea of “Shoot Where You Are” for me, has a bunch of connected thoughts and perspectives that I want to explore and explain in some of my posts.

When I was about four or five years old I had a red satin hat that I used to put over my eyes. I always like looking thru things like colored paper, leaves, dishes, my Frisbee(which I could not throw properly). The red hat was the best of them all! I think it was quilted, the top was probably two layers sewn together with white on the inside. When I stood in the sun with that hat on my face the color was the coolest and brightest red that you can imagine. Then, my face would get too hot under there and my viewing would be cut short. There I was, a five year old kid with his hat on his face instead of his head. But hey I was standing still and not in some other mischief, mom was ok with that.

So that interest in seeing light glow though anything continues. Big things, little things, it doesn't really matter. And it doesn't matter where it is if you are ready to look and shoot and imagine.

I was at COSI (a fun science place ) a few years ago and saw a piece of RED material hanging near a display. It had light shining through it.

I still am(a kid).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I suppose have to start somewhere...I guess I did start somewhere, or sometime. I have a picture of myself when I was about 2 yrs old holding a camera (you can see it at ( And I remember having my picture taken and also looking at photographs. At that time it was all Uncle Somebody or Aunt Somebody, or pictures of the lake, or boats, fish...stuff, just everyday stuff. I was was also always fascinated with looking through things. Magnifying glasses(great for killing ants),telescopes to make things close or very far away, kaleidoscopes, tubes, reflections. I was the kid that spent hours walking around the house with a hand mirror just under my chin looking down and pretending that I was walking on the ceiling. I would carefully walk around the light fixtures and step over the doorjambs and then go outside to stand on the sky. Or I might be found in the closet with sunglasses on, seeing how dark I could make it. I was always experimenting and looking at things in odd ways. An old Brownie camera was part of that type of playing and exploring. I could look down through the top viewfinder and out the upper lens. Everything moved in the opposite direction across the frame as I looked down. I was also always drawing pictures, rockets, monsters, and airplanes were my specialty. Making pictures with a camera fit me perfectly. I was a very visually oriented kid.

I am still (a kid).