Monday, March 19, 2018

Week 11 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 85

One of my favorite photographer stories is from a National Geographic employee I had the pleasure to meet and have as a cabin guest for a week. At the time serious cameras were film. Rolls of standard film had 36 images, but if you loaded carefully you could squeeze out 37. You had no idea of what you had captured on that film until after it was "processed" or developed.

I asked my new friend how many keepers he got out of a roll of film. And he told me sometimes none. I was shocked. I occasionally wasted a whole roll of film but he worked for National Geographic. 

"You are a very good photographer if you get one keeper out of a roll," he said. "And as you get better you may get less."

I was sure it was the tequila talking. But I have come to know the truth of what he said. And even if we are now in a digital image I still hold the one good photograph out of 36 measure in my mind. And even be thrilled when I upload 243 images from my camera to the computer and find one which blows me away.

Some days are diamonds and some days are stone. Some days the magic works and some days it doesn't. This has not been a stellar week of photographs. I am still trying to capture a great image of my yellow orchid, and reminding myself that yellow is a difficult color. And holding on to that other bit of advice he handed out, "But you will never get that one out of 36 if you don't take any pictures." 

On this particular "roll" of photographs there is Day 81. It works for me.

Day 84

Day 83

Day 86

Day 82

Day 87

Day 81
And as to why do you get fewer "keepers" as you become a better photographer? I only have guesses. My lead reason is you take more risks but that could just be a function of digital technology where every click of the camera does not have a price sign. But it also is true that as your skills mature you become more critical of every photograph you upload. 

As I go back through my photo files from time to time I find myself more often asking myself, "what was so special about that one?"

Monday, March 12, 2018

Week 10 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 74
 The week I was suppose to be posting before I realized I had not posted week 9. This week's photos include another trip over the mountain to Questa to visit the dentist and a place where I used to live with my late husband. More images of an icy Eagle Lake.

Day 75
 And also pictures of the burn scar on the mountain. That fire was in 1996 and the mountain still has not recovered. It makes for a very dramatic photo with snow blanketing the scar.

Day 76

Day 78 - Baldy from Eagle Nest Lake
The way mountains should look

Day 77 - The Village of Questa at the foot of the burnt mountain

And to round out the week two still life studies. I love both of these but especially the garlic.

Day 79

Day 80

Week 9 - 2018 in Photographs

Day 57
 Life must be getting too busy. Even when I get out to take photographs I am forgetting to post them daily. And when posting them I am forgetting to do the weekly blog post. Did not realize until I went to post Week 10 that I had not posted Week 9. And there is another week missing from this year. Have you spotted it?

Day 58
 And this week has some of my favorite photos on it. I personally love the Buddha holding the pink quartz. 

Day 59

Day 60

Day 61

And I like the banana better in black and white than the natural green. And more elk this week. Same elk just different frames. A wild life photographer wants to get up close and capture the elk. A landscape photographer wants to capture the landscape with the elk. Either of the two below would be great printed on canvas, but especially the panorama.

Day 62

Day 63

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Week 8 - 2017 in Photographs

Day 50
 The week began with still life studies in black and white. Then driving back through the Moreno Valley I sighted the elk beside Eagle Nest lake.

Day 51

I am not a wildlife photographer. I leave that to National Geographic and photographers willing to sit in blinds and wait. I am a landscape photographer who sees the wildlife as belonging to the landscape. I have taken lots of pictures of elk but these 400 were in such a beautiful place to be photographed. 

Day 52

Day 53

Day 54

Day 55

Day 56

Monday, February 19, 2018

Variations on a Theme - Creative Process Blog

Rose Bud

I was a film photographer. It was not until college and Photography 101 and 102 which had access to a darkroom that I understood I could have control of my image beyond how I framed the image in the view finder of my camera.

Digital photography and the photo editing programs on computers allowed freedom to shape your image. And it also raised digital imaging up to an art form. But I am also enthralled with digital photography because it doesn't cost money every click you make.  Snap away to your heart's content. I was drawn to the rose against the icy green house window. And I took maybe a dozen pictures of it. Ultimately I like horizontal more because of the light through the leaves and the drops of water I added while misting the plants. But the vertical has the reflection of the rose.

Such details like ice and water drops often show up better in black and white so that was an immediate option I entertained on my computer.

But I also like to try reduced saturation, as in the variation below. It gives the image an antique feel.

Plumera fronds

With this image a crop was necessary first. The zoom lens did not cut out everything I did not want in the photograph. The light through the arrangement of leaves reminded me of an abstract painting and so I tried a more extreme filter.

But the lines and detail look great in black and white too.

Then there is my Butterfly Amaryllis which bloomed again.
The Vertical image in color and then black and white and a radical crop.

Then the horizontal image in color and black and white.

Two flowers and fronds. And the variations you take can change the impact of the image.

Week Seven - 2018 in Photographs

Day 43
 Not dawn but the reflection of the setting sun on clouds to the east.  A variation of always look behind you in photography. The sunset was not that spectacular. 

Day 44
 I usually do not include pet photographs in my weekly roll of pictures but Thicke is one of my favorite subjects and sometimes he just rocks the role. On this day the sun cooperated with his pose.

Day 45
 Orchids are another favorite subject. They are such a great flower. But this photo also heralds a milestone for me. Not only can I make my orchids live beyond the blooms I bought them for but I have assisted them in blooming again. There are 23 buds on this flower spike. This is just bloom one. Stay tuned for the day the whole spray is in flower.

Day 46

I consider myself a landscape photographer but I also enjoy doing architectural and interior photographs. Day 46 is also a photograph of a reflection. I photo edited it to accent the interior which is the focus of the picture.

Day 47

I slipped a photograph of a texture in. But my favorite photo of the week was of this slice of moon in a predawn sky.

Day 48

Day 49
And the sundog in the snow was memorable.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Day With My Camera


The camera is a constant companion even if I am not going on a specific photographic event or trek. So I thought I might be nice to just highlight a portion of the photos I take in an ordinary day.

Dawn, of course, gets chronicled if there are clouds. And two photos taken just a minute or two apart can be quite different. Or if I am the lens toward the southeast or south.

Dawn a bit later

Later the camera came with me to feed some wild turkeys for a friend. I am usually rather unsatisfied with turkeys. Their feathers are designed to conceal them in the woods so they don't stand out except against snow. But I am always trying.

I am always interested in architectural details or pieces of decorative art. Chance still lifes if you will. Not all of them turn out. But you never know until you try. And the advantage of digital is you have not wasted film.

 In the dull months of winter green houses I take care of are a great escape. Bananas are a delight to photograph on so many levels. I think the patterns and shapes are more evident in the black and white. But the shades of green are hard to pass up.


And then there was this casual recording of the snow from the day before. Proof I can take one picture and set the camera down. Usually in the studio where I concentrate on drawing or painting.