Saturday, March 31, 2012

There is always something new to learn

Sunrise Bell by J. Binford-Bell

I have recently stepped up my collection of tech toys. Once a computer and a camera was enough. The big advantage of my newest toy, the Tab, is I get to carry along with my books on photography to read when killing time. As a result I have been learning some of the do's and don't's of good photography. And true to form questioning a few.

One that I am currently researching is the golden rule landscape photography: Only take a landscape picture within 30 minutes either side of dawn or dusk.

I assume the person writing this rule lives on the prairie or the open sea. I live in a valley surrounded by mountains. This morning I stared at the mountain behind where the sun rises this time of year and watched the sky grow light for over an hour. Still no sun. Valley still in shadow. And once the sun does pop over the whole area is drenched in light. Bright light! The bell picture above was taken at 8 a.m. From the shadows you can tell the sun is still low on the horizon. The sun had just finally made it down the wall to the bell. Sunrise was about 6:50 per the chart. It had not popped over the mountain this morning at 7:30. Obviously I need to define sunrise: a) the time in the morning when the sun first appears or full sunlight arrives, b) the colors and light visible in the sky upon the sun's first appearance in the morning, considered as a view or spectacle.

Sunset at Arches

The above picture taken at Arches National Park clearly shows the line of dark vs light in the process of the sun setting across a western landscape but the sun was still above the horizon. It had not yet turned the clouds red and pink, etc. It was probably in that last hour of good photography before the world goes dark. And that can happen really quickly in the west.

Sunrise at the Grand Canyon by J. Binford-Bell

The canyon rim is in light, the canyon bottom is in the dark still. My sister and I spent more than two hours photographing what my digital photography book calls a narrow one hour window. So my question is sunrise where? Top or Bottom? Here or there?

Sunrise by J. Binford-Bell

So I have the calendar with all the sunrise and sunset times if my world was flat. It is not. This morning I walked a path I had taken often with a camera but without one. I wanted to record in my mind and not in pixels which hills got light first and which trees reached into the first rays. I noticed things I had not seen as I walked the same route with a camera from one Kodak photo opportunity to the next.

The book talks about not taking the "Walk Up" photo. Or don't set your tripod in the first available spot. I found this morning there is something to be said for not taking the camera also. I recorded spots I want to go back to with the camera and the tripod.

This afternoon I am going to Raton. It is a trip I take often but usually in the morning. This trip is going to be in the afternoon. The same landscape can look very different depending on the time of day. And I will easily admit that at high noon it is flat and boring. UNLESS, teachers used to hate me, there are fantastic clouds building over the mountains! BTW that usually happens here in the heat of the day.

Thunderstorm over Eagle Nest Lake by J. Binford-Bell

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Gazing Ball

The Gazing Ball by J. Binford-Bell

The Gazing Ball

It was blue
perched on pedestal
in my aunt's garden
revealing earth, sky and clouds
of my imagination to me.

It was a crystal ball
opening worlds I longed to know
alternate realities 
to the one I felt a prisoner of
my rabbit hole.

I was Alice
in its wonderland
of warped shapes 
and alternate colors
a universe away from here.

Mirror, mirror in the ball
tell me the answer
before I fall
locked forever away
from alternate realities.

J. Binford-Bell
March 2012

Gazing balls have always been one of my favorite things since visits to my first in the garden of my Auntie Boo. Visit JP at Olive Garden for other poetic takes on favorite things.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Magpie Tales 109

Image by Parke/Harrison

The day the world stopped

Stop the World
I want to get off
he had cried not thinking.

So when the days
ground to a halt
it fell upon him to fix it.

Why did nobody
come to help
Surely they noticed.

And so as he struggled
on that spring day
the earth stood still.

J. Binford-Bell

Monday, March 12, 2012

Get Your Kicks

A Road Once Traveled by J. Binford-Bell

Get Your Kicks

On Route 66
The old song said
The highroad
Now replaced.

Last stop 
Before the desert
Rattlesnakes ahead
And water not.

Kodak photo opportunities
Gateway to natural wonders
Painted desert, Petrified forest
Exit here.

We were there.

Jacqui Binford-Bell
March 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Magpie Tales - A long way come

So Long

From here
to there
And back again.

A long way
So very long the trip
To here.

So much further
to stay
or go.

She reached out
I looked back
there I laid broken.

Oh it was going to hurt
to return
but I knew I must.

I had so much further
to go

J. Binford-Bell
March 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Black and Whites or Close

Snuffy Smith cabin
Those of you familiar with my blog here and my work are aware that I am a colorful artist. And my love of color comes out in both my paintings and my photography. But did you know that I began painting again in 2001 with black and white and one color. Now it seems I am going that direction with some of my photography.

Idle Stream
 This one of the stream meandering into Eagle Nest Lake is a black and white but the Snuffy Smith Cabin photo above is grayed out or desaturated until just a hint of pink stucco remains.

Skip along
And the snow storm did most of my work here in Skip Along. It was decidedly a gray day. But sometimes I just have to let color creep back into a photograph.

Lady of Mystery
The color of the window sashes and the ghostly image within. In the original of this photograph the wall is yellow. Very yellow.

Basking in window
And while this one looks Black and White I had to leave just a tint of green in the leaves. While I enjoy playing around with the absence of color what sells is still my more colorful work. But the forms revealed when color is removed or reduced is very alluring.

Waputki Wall

Sunday, March 4, 2012

We are watching you

Image by Sorolta Ban and provided by  Magpie Tales

we were asleep
but we woke
and we are watching you.

be afraid
watch your every step
the eyes watch.

J. Binford-Bell
March 2012

Ways of the Cross

Window Pane Acid Trip


It is forever my downfall
But if an artist
is not proud
Isn't that a greater sin?

I have never been greedy
Selfish from time to time
I am not neat
but certainly not slothful.

I lust in my heart
and envy the work of masters
but I harbor no wrath
and only eat to excess randomly.

But pride
in what I can accomplish
with the emotions I can bestir
with image and word.

Yes, pride is my sin.
Of that I readily confess.
It is my cross
To bear.

J. Binford-Bell
March 2012