Friday, May 27, 2016

Repositioning

Well replenishment has begun. KEH had a 15% discount so I took advantage of it and ordered a used Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Macro. The 70-200mm is going to have to wait a month or so. I'll get it from KEH also. Janet used to keep UPS running hot between Atlanta and Houston and was always happy with her purchases. I always accused her of palpitating every time she saw an UPS truck in the neighborhood. Anyway, it is good to reconnect.

I've decided on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 as the replacement for the Samsung. That and possibly the Olympus OM-D E-M5 body will be the next purchase. Hopefully that will happen next month. I have the 70-200 equivalent for the Olympus so that will have to do till I can afford the Nikkor.

Slowly but surely I am on the road to a comeback.  Now to get out of this funk and start taking photos again. Haven't been to the studio in three days but the itch ain't there right now. Besides, what good is a studio without a macro?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Not a Thing to do With Photography

I hate buying a new car. Some years ago I drove a 1982 Ford F150 for seventeen years, mainly because I didn’t want to look for a new car. However, one day I made a decision to purchase a new smaller Ford Ranger. Janet and I drove over to a nearby Ford dealership, checked out what was available and picked out a really good looking hunter green model that I thought I could possibly afford. Inside, with the salesman, he kept running off to ‘consult’ with his manager on the very best deal he could make me. Each time he would be gone for fifteen minutes or more while we sit there twiddling our thumbs. We finally got past that little charade and moved on to the finance person. We set there several minutes while he plugged in number after number into his computer and finally came up with a monthly payment figure. I inquired as to what the annual percentage was on the financing. Actually I was considering paying cash but I had heard an ad for their low financing rate and wanted to see if that was what I would be quoted. If it was I would consider financing. I got a run around answer but not a percentage so I asked again and got more gobbly gook. It was clear that I was not going to get a straight answer so I said thank you, stood up and left the room followed by the finance man who was joined by the salesman, the manager and possibly more. It was like a parade with the only person that had offered to spend money there in a week. At that point I would not have purchased a lunch bag of used floor sweep. I received phone calls for the next several days. I simply explained that when I asked what should be a simple question, I expected a simple answer and was no longer interested in doing business with that dealership.

I paid cash and bought a used Buick which made Janet happier anyway.

A few years ago I needed to replace the Buick and even though I was told that Carmax was overpriced I liked the idea of a no hassle price and gave them a try. I picked out the vehicle I was interested in on the website; drove out; got a salesman; took a test drive and handed over a check. It was a pleasant experience.
When the Escape was left to swim in Cypress Creek, the insurance company decided that it was beyond repair. I had mixed emotions. I really didn’t want to buy a new car. Again, I went to the web, picked out a few vehicles that I was interested in and drove over to Carmax. The night I showed up to look at the vehicles it was threatening a thunderstorm and I didn’t want to test drive in a storm even if they had decided it was okay. I asked that they hold one of the vehicles, which they did. I returned the next morning; got a salesman; did a test drive and made a decision to purchase.
I cannot tell you how pleasant the experience was from the beginning to the end. Every question I had was promptly answered by the person I asked. Every person I encountered was extremely pleasant.
There was no owner’s manual in the glove department so they said to go to the nearby Honda dealer, purchase one and they would reimburse me. Well, I could save $25 by ordering on line so I did. Received the manual and invoice so I drove out to check on the license plates. Got a person I had never spoken to before. She went on to her computer system and quickly answered my inquiry about when they would have the license plates. I mentioned the manual and she immediately gave me a full refund including the shipping charges. When Alcy inquired about the name of the finance officer, she had that answer. A few key strokes and she had all the information about my purchase available. So different from the dealers I had dealt with in the past. Maybe I paid more than I could have purchased it elsewhere. Somehow I doubt that. I didn’t have to deal with a sleazy manipulating salesperson or play silly games. Very straight forward from start to finish.

Haraldo, my salesman, drove us over to Chase to get the cashier’s check. He originally chose a Benz but I asked to go in something cheaper (didn't need the temptation to upgrade) so we went in the Eqquus. The people were pleasant, questions were quickly and courteously answered. I hope to never ever buy another car but if I have to do I can assure you it will be at Carmax.
My new vehicle, a 2014 Honda CRV, does not have the macho charisma of the Escape (which looked a lot like my beloved '82 F150). The Honda does look a lot like the 2012 Escape that I almost died laughing when I first saw it. Told Alcy yesterday it looked much too much like a 'chick car' but so far I was pleased with the choice so I guess it is okay. Maybe I can get a crewcut and an U S Marine tattoo to make up for it.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Visual Arts Alliance

A few evenings ago I attended my first ‘critique’ session with a group I just recently joined, the Visual Arts Alliance. It was probably presumptuous of me to take a piece for discussion, but I did.

First, VAA is a group of artists, real artists, not just photographer artists. At the critiques there is no competition, no prizes but some very interesting rules. Each person can bring up to ten pieces for discussion. Time is proportioned to the number of artists showing work.

There are no ‘judges’, no specified reviewers. Each and every person in attendance MUST comment on each group of pieces. Very, very intimidating so I prefaced my remarks on the first artist with an explanation that I have no actual knowledge of what art is, nor do I have any idea how to talk about it. I was informed that by the next monthly critique I would know both. Not sure I would bet on that.

There were about thirty people in attendance. There was probably ten or so painters and three photographers including myself and Paula Powers that brought work to critique.

Somehow I managed to get through all the comments hoping that I did not sound to bloomin’ stupid. However, as I am prone to do, refused to follow the ‘pattern.’ We were supposed to say something nice—which with most was simply ‘I like it’, then anything negative and finish with telling the artist how to ‘improve’ the piece.

I explained that I would not tell anyone how to do their work differently. I am a firm believer that is counter-productive and can only lead to a regurgitation of ‘rules.’ I found it interesting to look for possible clues to personal symbolism when several works were presented. I wanted to ask questions rather than give answers. And frankly Scarlet, would love to be a part of a photography group that had critiques rather than competitions.

Most of the critiques I thought were constructive. But I will never understand telling an artist or photographer, how to do their work differently without asking questions. If I do not know what the artist is trying to accomplish how can I possibly expect to help him accomplish his goals? No, to me the question is what is important, not the answer. First off asking questions encourages the artist to examine their art more closely and possibly from perspectives that they had not previously considered.

I won’t drag this on but later I will write about the piece I took and the reactions I received. Right now I am enthusiastic about VAA and am looking forward to getting involved in their activities. I have tried a few ‘art’ groups over the last few years and have found them to be very standoffish and unfriendly. I think that maybe VAA is going to be different.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Third Place Ribbon

With the recent trauma of the flood damage and the demise of my beloved Ford Escape I have been a little quite lately. I saw it probably for the last time today when I drove out to Tomball to remove the license plates. It was a sad parting. It still looked almost new and no where ready to head off to the salvage yard.

Last night I entered a single photograph in the NWHPC monthly competition and came home with a much unexpected ribbon in the assigned category Stormy Weather so I would like to talk a little about the photograph.

The review was very complimentary about capturing the moment. I greatly appreciate that. However, I had to remind the reviewer that this was a photograph from Woodard. Meaning that what you see is not always what was. For instance, this photograph was of a person posing, not someone actually checking for falling moisture. It was also shot on a bright sun shinny day in front of Houston's City Hall, not in a rain storm.

I do not remember exactly when the photograph was done but it was at a model shoot set up by Houston Photowalks under the title of Singing in the Rain. Darren, the young man in the photograph, came well prepared with his own props. He is hearing impaired so a lot of our communication was via written note.

I came with a Lensbaby that I actually won at a Photowalks meeting about a year earlier. There has been a rumor within NWHPC perpetuated by the late Terry Conners that you cannot win a ribbon in a competition with a photograph shot with a lens baby. Well, this is my second ribbon. The first I subscribed to having an outside judge without a prejudice toward the Lensbaby. This one, since it was judged by members came as quite a surprise.

My intent in shooting with the Lensbaby was to create a sensation of photographing in the rain. In processing I adjusted the white balance to very cool to enhance that feeling. Frankly, until last night I wasn’t sure that I had even come close to the original concept. Were I to give an ‘acceptance speech’ I would have to thank Joe Lippeatt for giving the Lensbaby as a door prize, to Darren for bringing great props and really getting into the mood of the shot, and to the judges at NWHPC for assuming that Woodard is more honest with his photography that is most likely warrented. I greatly appreciate having the recognition for the concept.

Concept to me is important; much more important than adhering to some ‘rules.’ That is very difficult to get past in a photo club competition where technique trumps almost everything else about a photograph.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On Being Megalomaniacally Magnanimous

Have been following a Facebook post of a friend regarding someone taking their personal work and reposting it. Apparently some comments added by others say that they have had work ‘misappropriated’ and even had the watermark removed.

When you hang out on photography related sites you hear a lot about this happening so it is something that I addressed to my own satisfaction long ago. I replied to the Facebook post this morning that I solved the problem by simply admiring my ‘friends’ good taste and accepting their compliment.

If someone uses my work it doesn’t diminish me in anyway so I see it as moot point whether it is someone that I know or not. I have to admit they have a remarkable eye for excellent photography and I never turn down a friend with a good photography eye—need all I can get.

There is a site that I have been posting to since 2002. Although I haven’t posted much since I started the blog I have 4600 photos there. A few years ago I received a portfolio comment from what I assume is a young man from another country. He was very complimentary of my work and mentioned that he had download almost all of my images but would be back shortly to download the remaining images. It didn’t bother me. It doesn’t bother me if he reposts my images as his—I trust that he won’t.

Many address this problem by watermarking or using large signatures. That would seem to work. But I have no intentions of disfiguring my photos.
As most who know me well understand that I am, as my first wife pointed out, a megalomaniac, although I prefer to think of it as being more quietly egomaniacal. I do think I’m pretty good at what I do. I frequently go through my stash of photographs and think to myself ‘damn you’re good, Woodard.’ Truthfully there are times when I amaze myself. I look at my older work and think to myself, ‘geeze, you thought you were good when you did this but you had no idea of how really, really good you were.’ However I also agree with (I believe it was) Ansel Adams who said that even at his level of talent you should only expect to turn out three to six really exceptional images in a years’ time. I say that, then I say, ‘Woodard, whoa! You’re doing that every week!!!’ Okay, I’m using hyperbole (but only slightly, my writing frequently requires a disclaimer as explanation or subterfuge, everwhat). Maybe simply sharing this degree of talent with someone who would wish to pass my work off as theirs simply adds to my almost god like magnanimity. I have done a good thing.

Update on previous post regarding work of Richard Prince

As a result of my post regarding Re-Photography and the work of artist, Richard Prince, I received a request from the art website Artsy to add a link to their Richard Prince page, which I am glad to do. For those interested you can find considerable information on Prince. https://www.artsy.net/artist/richard-prince

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Oh MY Grits

Was browsing through My Modern Met this morning and came across two articles that must really throw the ‘you can’t use other people’s art’ crowd into an absolute dither. If a friend incorporating my photographs into a piece of her art bothers them then I wonder how they feel about using Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens?

Artist Superimposes Subjects of Classical Paintings into Modern Day Kiev

Art is concept, not some mundane technical exercise.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

VAA and the Orange Show

Okay, today I went to my first meeting with the Visual Arts Alliance at the Orange Show. Needless to say photographing at the Orange Show is—here we go again—photographing someone else’s art. That’s what lead to the previous post.

The Orange Show is pretty disappointing. I thought it might be different from my first visit there a couple of years ago. Although today we did get a brief guided tour which answered why the Orange Show is not what it was when I first heard about it. There were actually shows there. Now all that is left is the structure. The originator died and the activity died. It is till interesting. The concept is still interesting.

What I really wanted to photograph today was Smithen Park which is part of the Orange Show organization. The park has a block long wall of assembled art (oh, oh) which is fascinating to photograph. It has been very active in the interim two years. They have added a pavilion and a band shell, both still in progress with a proposed finish date of August. There were several artist working on the band shell and the wall. We met Rachael who oversees the Orange Show warehouse where the materials for the wall are stored and she gave Paula and I a tour. Very interesting place.

Of course, I went off with an almost dead battery, no macro lens, and at the most colorful place in Houston I had the camera set to monochrome. Okay, so much for being an artist.

I am headed to Seabrook in the morning to have lunch with a friend from Wichita Falls and her daughter who just got back from a cruise. I may take an opportunity to stop by Smithen Park on the way to see if I can get some better shots, but all will be in vain until I replace the macro.

In all the meeting was worthwhile. Paula and I had a long talk with the President of the group regarding mostly presentation of photos. Paula had submitted four entries for an upcoming show and he was already familiar with her work which impressed me since this was her first meeting also. I mostly listened but it was a lot of good information. They have three or four activities each month and right now I am feeling very encouraged about being a member. Wish I could say that my early experiences with some of the other photography and art groups I have been interested in had gone as well.

Plagiarism or Simply Narrow Mindedness


I have been engaged recently in a discussion of including other people’s art work within your photographs; whether or not that is plagiarism or can be claimed to be art.

I use a lot of other people’s art in my photography. It started with the project that Janet and I worked on which I called Art in the City. We worked at documenting the various pieces of outdoor art located in Houston. Of course that was mostly for the purpose of creating documentation rather than a separate piece of art.

It took on a slightly different twist with photographing the religious artifacts in the Missions in San Antonio in 2007. That again started as documentation but before it was over morphed into using the artifacts as personal statement—which is something totally different.

Since then it has become a very big part of my photography, especially with my projects stemming from Hattersley’s article, Is Photography Your Religion, where I am using religious artifacts, mainly the crucifix, to create personal statements about my religious concepts.

I have a friend that has seemed to upset a number of people that we know because she uses photographs of art in much the same way I have with the crucifix although not nearly to the same extent. She also has a very large collection of photographs of mine and has used a few of them. I went through my collection, pulled out images I thought she might be able to use and gave them to her specifically for the purpose of using any or all that she wished in her work. That has seemed to upset a few people that I consider extremely narrow minded. They have suggested that my friend is plagiarizing my work. I totally disagree. Plagiarism is appropriating a work of art and claiming it as your original work. And those that worry about copyright; that only applies to commercial work, not art. My personal belief is that those that cry the loudest have little to worry about. Their work is actually really safe.

I and my friend have done something very similar to what Richard Prince did with the Marlborough ads—using them in a transformative way. Of course, I feel certain that Prince’s work infuriates the narrow minded crowd, much wailing and gnashing of teeth. These new works create new meaning, new concepts with manipulations of my images. As long as that is okay with me I can’t see how it concerns the busy bodies. But it seems to.


Aaron Siskind

I know a lot of people that go downtown and (photograph the buildings. Are they plagiarizing? A piece of architecture is no less a work of art than a photograph or a sculpture. If you include a sculpture in your photograph down town are you plagiarizing? No. Some people just have very narrow concepts and that doesn’t bother me. It does bother me when they seem to feel free to insist that everyone else be as narrow minded—especially when they broadcast derogatory remarks about people that use works of art in their photographs.

Aaron Siskind

I haven’t spent a great deal of time on this section and don’t desire to; but going back through the history of photography and looking at a few of the well-respected practitioners I have developed a question.
 
If you photograph the Spinks, the Pyramids, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Westminster Abby, or Michelangelo’s David, are you plagiarizing? Of course not. There is no difference.

Aaron Siskind
Aaron Siskind did some marvelous photographs of torn advertising posters. Someone created those posters, not Siskind. Is his photographs plagiarism? Is that any different from taking sections of a piece of street graffiti?

Minor White
Atget’s entire collection of work was built on photographing the buildings and art pieces of Paris. He didn’t build any of them.

Minor White photographed barns and parts of barns—oh, yeah, the same people that get upset when you use someone else’s work in your work probably have too. Hey what about the Golden Gate, the Statue of Liberty.

Edward Weston

Even more egregious is Edward Weston’s toilet. Someone formed the clay that molded this porcelain throne. Weston made no effort to change it, to abstract it, simply to capture it in all its beauty of line. The same people that disapprove of my friend’s use of art in her manipulated pieces would have no problem with Siskind, Atget, White or Weston. Even Weston’s cabbage leaf is someone else’s work of art. No their narrow mindedness cannot affect those pieces so they tear at my friend. They should be so talented.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 28th, 1975--41 Years Ago Today

It wasn't as much "I do" as it was "I always will." She gave me my life in a way that no one before her had ever done or that I can imagine anyone else ever being able to do. Even in the most dire of times she did not think of herself but of only how to make my life as easy as possible. I will  always stand in awe of Janet. I will always love her. I carry her heart with me; I carry it in my heart.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Adventure

I remember when I used to work and one of my favorite saying was that the only thing that was consistently consistent is change. Stand still you stagnate. I do not know about other retires but I do not understand how anyone that is retired could stagnate. The only difference between this and real life is that now it changes faster.

I joined the Visual Arts Alliance yesterday. So now I am officially an 'artist'. They seem to have a lot of interesting workshops and events so I am looking forward to spreading my wings. But I have got to get a lot more artsy fartsy. Also went gallery hopping yesterday and talked to a few artists about gallery space. Nance Hardy, which is where I have always wanted to be would be great but I don't think that is going to happen until I get a smart phone so I am shifting gears and looking at JoMar and Summer Street Studios. I was surprised at the price of the galleries in Silver Street Studio, not nearly as much as I had thought. Don't know that I will move but interested in checking out the possibilities.

Lonely Words Fly Away Unsaid



Friday, April 15, 2016

Random Thoughts from Today

I am going to repeat myself so do not feel uncomfortable skipping over this very long post… (I was told today that I should not write long articles, which, of course, is correct but… I do)

You can even dismiss my opinions or laugh behind my back—either are acceptable. I have no credentials but I do have strong opinions about things I know nothing about—photography and art.
 
Whether or not you consider photography an art; whether or not you believe that I have any artistic abilities. It doesn’t matter. I am going to tell this story one more time because it illustrates something that I believe very strongly—if there is such a thing as art it comes from within the artist, not from doing what others do.
 
True, you will be more successful and receive more accolades if you can photograph the canyon lands, a sunset or the Taj Mahal the same pretty way that they have been photographed by dozens if not hundreds in the past. There is a familiarity in doing what other photographers have done; in presenting images in the way that images have been successfully presented in the past that is reassuring and acceptable. It gives a feeling of being part of, fitting in. It generates a self-acceptance and confidence that makes us comfortable with ourselves, our work.

This is my opinion, nothing more—doing it as it has been done is not art, it is imitation. Selling your artistic soul. I can also tell you that not doing it is a daily struggle with doubt, fear and trepidation. It is not easy seeing life differently.
 
Are the two photographs I am posting here art? I don’t know. But I do believe they come from where art comes from.

And now for the oft repeated story… In the 1960’s Ralph Hattersley Jr published a series of ‘lessons’ in a long running Popular Photography series called Hattersley's Class. I still have many of those articles. Several have been instrumental in forming my opinions on photography. But there was one that I could never get out of my head. It was titled Is Photography Your Religion. I had always thought that I understood ‘my religion’ but I also knew that I was totally hung up on taking photographs. The article gave me pause; made me reevaluate much of what I thought about both religion and photography.

Hattersley was an avowed atheist who not long before this article was written had converted to Christianity. Among my many interests is conversion, the hows and whys and what happened. I am interested in why people are as well as why they are not. Although I will never ask I am very interested in the path.

Hattersley was a somewhat controversial figure. For those that remember that time in history possibly remember that the Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg published a quartely magazine, Eros. The name says it all. In the fourth and last issue was a spread of photographs of a nude black man and a nude white woman. The U S Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, filed obscenity charges; the court agreed and Ginsberg went to prison. Today these photographs would not raise a single eyebrow; probably wouldn't have then except for the racial component. Ralph Hattersley was the photographer. Ralph had a way with that, shaking up the norm, making you see things differently.

Esquire Magazine hired Hattersley to do a series of articles for their Christmas holiday issue. They obviously wanted a controversial article that would ridicule the Christian beliefs. That is not what they got from Hattersley. Esquire never used the photographs. As far as I know they were published only in Hattersley’s Popular Photography article.

In the last forty some odd years I have reread Is Photography Your Religion numerous times. I have marveled at the photographs, but mostly I marveled at Hattersley’s concept for the photographs. Rather than the usual Christmas crèche, holiday lights, family gatherings—the familiar associations, Hattersley photographed a crucifix—totally the wrong symbolism, but so powerfully done.

The crux of the article as it was published in Hattersley’s Class was finding Christ in everyday life—using photography as a tool in that pursuit. In truth, the article was only partly about the photography. It presented a viewpoint on religion what was very new to me and my Southern Baptist bred thinking.

It wasn’t until 2007 that I started using religious symbolism in my photography. The delay was partly because I was totally intimidated by Hattersley’s photographs. I thought I would never be able to work with metaphor in any comparable way. Everyone has seem at least some of my attempts and none are anywhere close. The Crucifix Project, The Price of Christ, Small Manifestations and various miscellaneous efforts have ensued. I am nowhere near, but I will continue to work on it.
 
Another difficulty is that my approach to photography is considerably different from Hattersley's. Whereas he carried a beautifully crafted crucifix with him and photographed it in various every day locations, I prefer working with found objects--a very different approach created by my nature. I think that Hattersley's approach was wonderfully creative but that mine is much more difficult. Where he relied on himself seeing or being able to create the metaphor; I rely very heavily on another placing objects in a meaningful juxtaposition and sometimes very heavily on accident.
 
 
In these photographs taken in a Hispanic open market I love the religious symbols mixed in among the fruits, vegetables, the dried beans and a unbelievably large variety of hot peppers. They become a part of everyday life.
 
I love the way the people of the market are so much more open in displaying the symbols of their faith. There's no middle class white uptightness, uncertainty, doubt, guilt here. It is beautiful, it is open, it is thrilling to witness. It makes we wonder if I actually ever had such a casual relationship so easily accepted and lived.
 
These two photographs are not an entirely new approach. Over the past few years I have done photographs that are of a similar genre but it is not something that I have set out to concentrate on. Maybe that will change.
 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April Open Studio Aurora

Just wanted to invite everyone to the Open Studio Event at Aurora this weekend, April 16th...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Projects and Misteps

Paula Powers invited Alcy and I to attend a chamber music recital at the Silos. Love the symphony but not much into chamber music. As I wrote on Facebook, the last chamber music recital I sit through still featured the harpsichord. Although I couldn't resist a photo of the young man ahead of us with his ball cap turned backwards. Now we know how Johnny got mellow.


Each year Walgreens sponsors a promotion called Red Nose Days. They sell various silly items such as rubber red noses. The money goes to fighting world hunger for children. Alcy and I agreed to do a few shots that they could post on their website.


Sunday Alcy was signed up for a photoshoot at Brazos Bend State Park. It's not one of my favorite places but a couple of members of the meet up have done some pretty exceptional wildlife photos in that area lately so I decided to tag long. Drove over 140 miles and I shot one coot.


Because we had to stop by the studio for my lenses we arrived a half hour late and did not find the photography group. We were supposed to go to a café called Jays for lunch after the shoot. We didn't write down the address because we were thinking we could follow someone that knew where it was.

We put it in the GPS and the only Jay's that came up was located just off NASA 1 across from the entrance to Johnson's Space Center, some thirty plus miles away. We felt certain that was not the correct Jay's but since we didn't know where any other was we decided to give it a try. Actually, it was near Tookies where we do like to eat so we thought we would just drive by Jay's, take a photo, pretend we ate there and post the photo to the meet up group. Well, Jay's must have gone out of business because it was no where to be found. Went to Tookies then headed back to Houston.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Red Nose Day Comming Up

Have a few more rookery images to post. Slowly working my way through what I didn't discard.

But in the meantime Alcy and I did photos for Red Nose Day coming up next Friday. Once each year Walgreens sells red noses and other paraphernalia to raise money to fight world hunger for children. Alcy’s boss suggested that the employees do photographs that could be posted to a Walgreens web site. We went out today and shot a few. Friday we are supposed to photograph the employees in the store on FM2920 where Alcy works.

It’s kinda corny but sometimes corny works. And even if it doesn’t it can be fun…  You will notice there are no photographs of me posted here.



















 
 
 
I do hope there are better blog sites out there for photographs. I don't know who wrote the software for BlogSpot but it is a damn frustrating disaster. If you are looking for a photo blog I sure advise looking elsewhere if you don't want to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to position photos each time you post and then giving up in sheer frustration.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

High Island Rookery Again

Yesterday, Alcy and I were on the road at 3am headed to the rookery at High Island. The lightening and thunder that filled the sky to the south  didn't bode well for success. From Spring it is probably ninety miles to the rookery so you have to start early to catch first light which is the only light worth having. Late evening light is flat and very unexciting.

Breakfast in Winnie put us at the rookery as the sun came up. The storms had abated and things were looking good. However the rookery is in total shadow until the sun rises enough to clear the top the hill. It was getting exciting. We were getting hints of backlighting and thought we were just minutes away from success when the sun went behind a cloud never to return. Well we gave it the proverbial college try anyway. Needless to say we shot photographs but not the photographs we were hoping for. Bird photography is like flowers--photography, pressing the button. The passion ain't there. I really thought that I was going to purchase a 600mm before we went this year and maybe--yeah I know the fallacy of this statement--a new piece of equipment that would make it more interesting. But eyesight won out and I guess seeing better for another year or so trumps a new lens.


A Matter of Disagreement is Observed
His de Niro Moment, "You Lookin' at ME?"
         A ferry ride across to Galveston, a few shots in the cemetery and pelicans on the fishing docks. During lunch at El Gusto Alcy got a call to come into work for someone that had called off. We ate and headed home. Not sure I am going to try the rookery again this year although there is still a weekend or two left.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Best Layed Schemes o' Mice an' Men..

Gang aft agley,

Well, sometimes. Sometimes it just rains when I really planned on cutting grass but I would just call that extremely fortunate. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

I have a project coming up that I am hoping I can convince those involved to let me do some photographs that I can process to emulate bromoils. It is a project that I would generally run the other direction from as hard as I could but this is for a friend so it is important to at least give it a try.


Anyway, I have been playing with Topaz to see if I can come up with something that has the stippling appearance of a bromoil print. Don't know that I am there yet but I will keep working on it. Now if I can only get the LensBaby to emulate a Pinkham and Smith Series IV I will be in hog heaven and can return to my proper place in this world.

In the meantime, I'm still working on Small Manifestations...