Month: November 2017

Colors and Luck


I’ve passed this way. At least a thousand times. I’d made a mental note of it. Those blue and yellow parking lot stripes were just begging to be photographed. But, they needed something. True, the painter was a little sloppy and dropped some blue paint into the yellow. That wasn’t enough. Then. Yesterday. Nature dropped a leaf right where it needed to go. I photographed the lines, the leaf and the paint drop. Finally. No. I didn’t put the leaf there. I have a sort of integrity about that. I never move anything to make the picture better. That probably harkens back to my photojournalism years. Instead I wait. I exhibit some patience. When the picture finally comes to me, I push the button. Of course, I know how to manufacture photographs. I do that for clients. There is no real joy in that. Photography by discovery makes me smile. Again, for those keeping score. iPhone. Snapseed. That’s it. All post production was done using the phone. Now that I’ve got the workflow down, it …

Glowing


A simple picture. It surprised me when I did my usual post production tricks. It just popped. The original file is actually kid of drab. Sometimes, photographer’s luck takes over. Luck. Luck is the kind of thing that you prepare for. You practice. And practice. And practice. Then, when the picture, or event, or performance takes you, you are ready for it. That’s what Storyteller is really about. Experimentation. And, practice. So, when I work for one of my clients I can incorporate whatever I’ve learned into a seemless shoot. It keeps my wheels greased so that I don’t have to think so much. Because, for me, that’s where my best pictures are made. I just react. I don’t think. All the rest is inside of me. I’ve learned that over the years. It’s a long and hard lesson. It can’t be rushed. It just comes as you work. It’s well worth it. The picture. Another picture that I made on the way to someplace else. I saw it and reacted. What I liked was …

It’s My Swamp


Yes. It’s my swamp. First, the picture. Then, the real comment. We were walking early in the morning when I happened upon this little scene. We don’t always walk in our neighborhood. I always carry some kind of camera. So, I used it. I enhanced the picture in post production. And, that’s really it. For those of you who keeps score, it was Snapseed for development, including that cute little bit of typography. And, Stackables for most post production. The real point. Our new mayor-elect has been issued a subpoena for credit card fraud. This isn’t new. Her personal use of her city council credit card was revealed during the election campaign. It became a huge issue even though she apparently paid back her personal debt. A couple of local news media did deeper investigation. They found that every council member used their cards for some kind of unauthorized purchases, but were able to justify their use. That’s the basic story. It’s a little more complicated. Our mayoral election became a choice between two lessers. …

Light and Magic


I only made one picture yesterday. This is it. That isn’t to say that I didn’t work the scene a little. I always do. I don’t “spray and pray.” And, I don’t make more pictures than I need to in order to capture what I’m after. I’m a fairly efficient and economic photographer. I believe that comes from my film days. Back then it cost a lot of money to take pictures. You had to learn the film and how it would respond in different lighting situations. Today. People with digital cameras just keep pushing the button hoping to get a picture that they like. After all, once you’ve invested in a camera, some SD cards and a computer, taking pictures is free. When I first converted to digital work, I found myself over shooting a lot. Because – wow — pictures were free to take. Then I retreated back into my older way of working. Fewer exposures usually yield better pictures. I read somewhere that people are producing something like two billion pictures a …

Twinkle, Twinkle


Practice, practice, practice. This one didn’t work. Yeah. Sure. The picture is fine. But, somewhere in all those little twinkles is a teeny-tiny moon. That’s what I was really going for. The moon. Can you see it? No? Even if you open this picture to its fullest size, it’s worse than “Where’s Waldo?” At least Waldo isn’t buried in color. I’ll give you a hint. I know where the moon is in the picture because I took it. See that empty space in the right middle? It’s sort of greenish-blue with yellow wrapped around it. The moon is in the there. Somewhere. So. The picture. I tried to photograph the moon poking through all of the almost bare tree branches. That didn’t really work, so I worked on the branches and the dusk sky in post production. I made a number of versions before I settled on this one. I made a lot of very bright orange and yellow versions. I liked them well enough. But, I wanted the blue in the night sky to …

In Another Place


There are times when I probably go too far. This picture makes me wonder. A little. Then, I looked at it harder. It came together. It catches my intention. My vision. The look. The feel. Of the moment that I pushed the button. The light was clean. Sparkling. Cold. By adding the elements that I did in post production, I clarified what I saw. I think that I helped you to see all that I felt. So. A little new gear is coming today. A lens, among other things. I never think that gear makes the photographer. But, sometimes it can give you a little kick. It can get you out of a rut. It can get you out looking for pictures. I haven’t been doing much of that lately. Sure. I take pictures of what I see. With my iPhone. That was fine. For a while. But, now it’s time to get back to it. I like to work close to the subject. I like to work with two camera bodies without much gap …

Thanks


Happy Thanksgiving. For those of you who follow from other countries, Happy Thursday. Or Friday. I made this picture from another picture. Which, in turn, was made for another picture. Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I make typos. After all, perfection is for angels. I post a picture and write a little something every day. Holiday or not. Typos and other mistakes are bound to happen. In keeping with the holiday spirit, I’m thankful for that. It means that I’m human. I’m pretty sure that if you work your way through my 7,000 or so posts you’ll find plenty of typos. I’m thankful for that, especially if you really take your time to read everything I wrote. Sometimes, people try to make an impression by calling me out for a typo. On their very first or second comment to me. Sometimes they can’t let it go. That’s when I turn a human being into spam. I’m really thankful for that. It helps to keep the peace. Before you think my thanks are about a kind …

Tomato


Tomato. You know. You say “toe-may-toe.” I say, “tom-mah-toe.” I made this picture yesterday. During our fall season. Looks about like spring anywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s that second growing season of ours. Stuff blooms. There are new buds.  Spring fruits and veggies start emerging from the earth. It’s just like that. As I said, this is a very new image. I did a little magic, a twist and a spin to make it look a little more like painted art, which is how I saw it. But, the original really didn’t need help. It looked pretty good right out of the camera, er, smart phone. You know how that goes with me. I might show you one more version tomorrow when it’s all hands on deck to cook stuff. I’ll take the easy way out on Storyteller.  Heh!

One of Those Days


It’s one of those things. It was inspired by the local newspaper, which I rarely read. And, by their website, which I read daily. There was a piece about “seeing food differently” in their food section. It was about a photographer who takes close up pictures of fresh food. He is, apparently, making a splash in New Orleans. It’s big time art. Oh boy. Wow. I did the same thing about a decade ago when I lived in New Mexico. I stuck some lights on the end of a macro lens and made close up pictures of fresh food for a stock photography request. They weren’t licensed for much money per picture, but they did sell in volume. You can find pictures similar to them in every stock photography library around the world. Just Google them. You’ll find thousands of them. Either those of us who took them were well ahead of our time. Or, the young millennial reporters don’t know very much. And, these kinds of pictures are art to them. I’ll go with …