Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Week 30 - 365 day Photography Challenge

Day 204

Week 30 I was out and about with my photography friend, Terry Atkin Rowe, from Virginia. Photographers do not ask why you are taking another picture of just pots, or boards or painted metal roofing because they are right beside you taking pictures too. I cannot say same pictures because even if to the untrained eye we are standing in the same place aiming at the same grouping of pots at Jackalope in Santa Fe I can guarantee we are taking a different picture.

Day 205 - the one and true cross

I would love to take a photographic workshop at Jackalope. It would be so much fun to roam around the piles and displays with say 20 other people with cameras and later look at the pictures they took. I bet there would not be two the same. And it isn't all about the picture taken but the post processing afterwards. Day 204 required the removal of a lot of price tags - true cloning practice. And there were also several in Day 205. I missed one, however. Can you spot it. It would be difficult to take out with the clone too but it could be cropped out easily. And I am not totally happy with this crop for another reason. What do you think that is?

Day 206 - New Muffler Needed

Another stop for Terry and I was the old Dirt Floor Gallery that is abandoned. We did not break in because there was plenty to occupy our artistic eyes on the outside of the creative junk yard establishment. The photo above was part of a wind break?

Day 207 - Meanwhile back at Jackalope

The Dirt Floor Art Gallery and Jackalope were to different days. But while I cleaned my scan disc of images from the day along the Rio Grande I did not have time to post process any photos until after Bandeleir National Monument which was the day after Jackalope. Photos taken at popular tourist stops often fail to win my heart. So I lapse back to giving my attention to Jackalope pots or rusting metal walls. First they are the photo less taken and second they are more what I want them to be.

Day 208 - the Second true cross?

I love patterns to the point of almost abstraction. And I confess to reducing some of the Canyon Walls to just that - abstractions. But that will come in Week 32. I took enough photographs during the few brief days my photographer friend was about that I can fill several weeks without taking another new digital image.

Day 209 - Cloning graduation exam

The above photo did not have as many price tags as the first image but they were in more difficult places. And I did not miss a one. Note to Jackalope - put them inside the pots.

Day 210 - Heavy Metal Pollack

And then there is my masterpiece for the week - a photo that took absolutely no post processing or digital manipulation. But it is a masterpiece of framing your shot. I really want to print it on canvas and hang it on my studio wall and mark it sold for the first copy. There really is no explaining what an artist will take pride in.

Second favorite is the leading photo and I worked hard at getting all the price labels off those pots. Every single one had a white price tag. But again it is the framing of shot I am most proud of. I had to cant the camera and bend over just so to get the composition just right. So I repeat: It is not about your camera or even your mastery of the dry darkroom. There is no substitute for the artistic eye.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hot Air?

Visual prompt provided by The Mag

Not just hot air

Alternate energy sources
do not always 
he thought
his car take to the air
above and without him.

But they would never again say
he was just blowing
hot air.

J. Binford-Bell 
July 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Week 29 - 365 day challenge in photography

The week in photography began slowly. You are probably tired of hearing about it but life has been busy. I relied on photos I had previously taken to meet the daily challenge. There are always those photos you take but do not get back around to doing justice too. The one below falls into that category. In the month of August I am going to devote more time to learning some new post processing techniques like filling and layering and object removal, etc.

And I want to dedicate more camera time to shadows. I was quite happy with how the one below came out. But my skills at shadows are not nearly as developed as my mastery of reflections. Yes, I do think practice has made me quite good at reflections.

Day 197

Day 198
The rains brought out the flowers and the butterflies so I got to devote some lens time to working on my macro skills. I do not technically have a macro lens so my flowers are either taken with my long zoom which does quite well as a macro or my wide angle with ample cropping. The long lens means I can stay at a distance and not scare the butterflies.

Day 199

Day 200
Thunderstorms re-entered my area of focus. Because of rising thermals some of these clouds became enormous. The valley floor to approximate tops of mountains is about 3000 feet so you do the math of tops of mountains to tops of clouds.

Day 201
 More macro practice. My sister, and fellow photographer, Deborah Binford Baker, is the master of the macro. I feel blessed to have an ever widening circle of photographer friends. I gain a lot of inspiration and knowledge from being out with them on exhibitions. See Binfords' Back Country Photography for more of my sister's work.

I got out of the neighborhood the end of this week! My friend, Terry, came in from Virginia and we hit the road. Literally. This will be the third year she has come out to New Mexico and we have taken in the photographic opportunities. For an introduction to the work of Terry Atkin Rowe see tArt - Photography and Art.

Always fun to be out with another photographer. It seems to increase my own creativity. You are standing side by side pointing your cameras often at the same object and I just feel driven to somehow do it differently. See it differently. Week 30 and 31 should be an explosion of creative images.

I must confess, however, in the instance of the photo below it was happy accident. I had my camera on my wrist harness and reached up to adjust the stampede strap on my hat so it would not be blown off and accidentally depressed the shutter button a few times.

Day 202- Walking the high bridge

The grinning truck, however, was deliberate. Admittedly when I was standing in front of this grill it was reminding me of something from a Stephen King novel. The Ford pickup is a basis of a homemade camper that served as a home for one of the notables in Taos. She is now less than mobile and her former home is a piece of lawn art at the B & B where my friend stayed, the Old Taos Guesthouse. Was invited to breakfast before my friend left for Santa Fe.

Day 203

Note: The above blog has been amended from that originally posted. In my early days of blogging I was informed that beyond a correction of a typo such things were just not done. But I confess to having the week entirely wrong and had posted one photo in both Week 28 and Week 29 blogs. That just would not do because it left this delightful old truck dangling between weeks in never, never land.

Mea Culpa.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Man and the Moon by Andrew Wyeth

Baby, ride
Catch the light
Ride it to the Moon

J. Binford-Bell

Another Magpie Tale
Visual prompt by Tess Kincaid

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week 28 - 365 Day Challenge 2013

Day 190 - Tattered poppies

Week 28 was a very busy week. Having the camera out daily or using it when I remembered it did not always happen. But I had photos I had not yet processed from the trip to Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument and a one lucky day with the camera which came late in the week. Some of those photos will be in week 29. Week 28 was a total wash out due to rains and just stuff that got in the way.

Day 191 - Low water in the Rio Grande

As I post the picture above I find myself hoping that recent rains have raised the level of the water and covered some of these rocks. But I am also grateful I got the opportunity to take this picture with all the rocks exposed. Besides being an art, photography is a wonderful recorder of slices of time.

Day 192

I live in a beautiful state and there are many wonderful things to aim a camera at. And through the back of my mind runs the thought of how many other people have taken this same shot. I want a unique photo which the tourist above, sheltering from the sun with an umbrella, provided.  They were oriental and struck what seemed to me the perfect oriental pose.

Day 193

Day 193 A - a second look

I loved this old bridge and the way it seemed to divide up the sky. I even did a black and white version of this shot. I posted two this week because I was feeling a bit guilty not having gotten any new pictures. A lot of my friends that do the 365 day challenge do it to make themselves take pictures. I do it to make myself review and process the photos I take. Sometimes I think I am snap happy.

Day 194 - Grasses moving into the stream

Day 194 - Black and White
It is easy to get sucked into the panoramas offered by the American southwest. Sometimes they are overwhelming. Nice to turn the camera to some of the details. The tall grasses in the shallows and the ribs of the bridge across the Rio Grande are some of those details. And I think the grasses growing in the shallows of the river provided one of my best images.

Day 195

And the ribs of this umbrella with the shadows of the leaves of aspens was a gift. I was sitting down on the porch of a friend and looked up. Yes, I obviously like straight lines bisecting the sky or the shadows of the sky. I love textures and details and shadows and reflections. And even when I get presented with sweeping vistas often capture the seldom seen details instead.

That said I do from time to time find a vista that especially draws me. I had gone to the river with my friend, Jessica to find a new image to paint. That is what I used to do with my photography. Only did with my photography. The camera was in lieu of a sketch pad. I believe I will paint the image below. But before I could commit to that I had to unpaint some of it. There used to be a roof of park structure directly behind the fisherman. I cloned or painted it out.

Day 196

So followers of the Week in Review here get nine photos instead of just seven. The rains of this week will bring flowers. And I promise to do better with taking the camera for a walk.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Up and down a lazy river

Rio Grande Gorge in the Taos Volcanic Plateau
Took another photographic outing to the lower end of our newest national monument. There are other accesses to the beauty this monument holds but from where I live the lower end is the easiest to access. Many of the highway travelers to Taos are familiar with the scene above taken after the horseshoe turn. Turning north off of Hwy 68 on to 570 at Pillar gets you into the beautiful camping and day access areas of the monument.The Rio Grande River is very low because of the drought but my photographic partner and I were thrill to find the river a bit higher than our last trip due to recent rains.

 The gorge and canyon walls that enclose the Rio Grande in the monument area are primarily basalt. The Taos Volcanic plateau was formed by seven different lava flows. The remnant cones of the volcanos are throughout the park area. But between flows the run off created layers of sandstone and gravel. And along the river there are areas of soil and sand where vegetation has taken hold.

And because the flow of the river has been diminished due to the drought there are even some mid river islands forming. Fly fishing is one of the favorite activities in the river, as well as rafting. White water rafting this year has been in short supply.

Fly fishing in the Rio Grande

Study for future painting?

On the left of the above picture you can see a park road which is dotted with day use areas and camping grounds. And in the picture below you can see to the right one of the more popular trails that access some great hiking areas. As you go north beyond this point the canyon walls get taller and access to the top or from the top is more limited.

Looking North

Take out point for rafts
County line roadside overlook is actually below the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument but still on the Rio Grande. It is below the Rio Grande Visitor's Center and one of the popular pull out areas for rafting outfitters. It is within Bureau of Land Management control and very nicely managed.

A sign of the drought

The low water makes for more stones visible which was a great photo opportunity. The river polished rocks made for texture but when the water is high they make for white water. Hopefully the clouds will make for more rain.

Opportunists in the shallows

High or low the Rio Grande Gorge makes for great photographs. And a great place to tune out from the rest of the world.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 27 - 365 Day Challenge 2013

Day 183 - Reflections in blue

One of the side effects of the 365 day challenge is it has forced on me a certain organization I generally lack. And doing a weekly blog often shows up the errors in that organizational scheme. This photo was not sitting patiently in the Week 27 folder as it should have been. Which means of the nine photos in that folder three are also ran's. Some weeks have a lot more also ran's than others.

Day 184

This week was probably high in extra photos because the poppies bloomed. After nursing them through the drought and a hail storm I certainly could not ignore them with the camera.

Day 185 - High Monet Pond

But I would have told you that last week was a difficult one for me and my camera. Yes, it still went everywhere with me. But I was often too involved to even remember it was there.

Day 186 - Violet reflections

And I also had too much drama to deal with and did not even dig photos out of past exhibitions. It took some time to deduce that the Week 27 folder has an excess of photos because I rolled over photos not used in previous weeks. The one above with the early dawn violet reflections is not even post processed. I slapped it into this folder because it seemed to have promise when I had the time and sense to consider it. And the same goes for Day 187 below.

Day 187

Day 188

About the only things I actively photographed last week were poppies and clouds and because they were there when I parked my car and gathered up the camera and realized that once again I had not noticed anything on my trip. Not anything I deemed worthy of a stop and a snap. I just didn't notice anything. My mind was so elsewhere.

Day 189 - Into every live a little rain must fall

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Week 26 - 365 Day Challenge 2013

Day 176 - Poly tunnel on subfreezing night
 The 23rd of June saw a hard freeze here in Black Lake. It was 26 degrees for more than three hours and froze even the plants in my polytunnel green house. I had been putting two lights on in it every night to keep the tomatoes from getting chilled but even with all that they got frost burned. The eggplants and the sweet peppers perished. This photo commemorates that latest freeze in the almost two decades I have been living here.

Day 177

And yet in protected areas on the hillsides flowers continued to bloom. Amazing what life will do in order to survive climate change and severe drought. I am not the best photographer of flowers. That would be my sister, Deborah Binford Baker. Some of her flowers and some of mine, mostly painted, are in the All About Flowers Exhibit by the Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico at the Angel Fire Visitor's Center.

Day 178 - Chevy Blue

My favorite subjects are old cars and machinery. I just printed Chevy Blue 20 x 30 on canvas. It is always a treat to see your photos produced in a now digital form. Chevy Blue turned out awesome. Visit Binford-Bell Studio where the photos for the 365 day challenge are first debuted to learn more about pricing.

Day 179

In addition to old cars and old equipment like the tractor above I also am overly fond of reflections. Especially with the water is like a mirror. Week 27 will also include another reflection or two. Just posted on this morning in fact.

Day 180

Day 181

Not all reflections are in water. The one below on glass of a sun porch was very satisfying. And the peony blooming against the pink rocks was very opportune. That night we got a tremendous hail storm and it was shredded. Nature can be a bitch at times.

Day 182