Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hidden within

Photo by Mark G. Haley
Visual prompt provided by Mag 188

 Hidden within

The path grows steep
and the day dark
your goal dim
beneath the pain
of each step
deep down

Find the strength
we hide

J. Binford-Bell
September 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week 38 - 365 Day Photography Challenge

Day 260 - Common Sage

Very busy week and I almost discontinued the challenge before the year was up. One of my on line friends who joined us in this challenge got bored and stopped. And there just seemed to be too much to do besides photography. But then it occurred to me that one of the reasons I do this is because of that boredom. If you want to get to Carnegie Hall you have to practice. And my schedule has not allowed painting much. But in the end days of summer the landscape garden has allowed opportunities.

Day 261 - Favorite Geranium

This year's experiment with potted geraniums under the studio window was less than highly successful but as cold weather approached I found there were a couple I really wanted to bring into the studio and winter over. Love the color of this one.

Day 262 - Fall Sunrise

And there is something about fall weather that has really inspired me to frantically try to remember where it was I put the camera. This sunrise after a rainy night was spectacular. And then there was the somewhat futil attempt to capture the full Harvest moon. Clouds got in the way but the sunset was to die for. The photo below was not featured in the challenge this week officially but I feel I must give it a place here.

Sunset over Moreno Valley

By the time my photography buddy, Jessica Duke, and I had set up our tripods on the shores of Eagle Nest Lake the sunset above had faded. Photography in fading light is one of those areas I need to practice and one of the reasons I am doing this challenge for the second year. It gets me out with the camera trying things I am not that comfortable with - like all the adjustments on my tripod.

Day 263 - Thunder cloud over Eagle Nest

And the fading light has a whole other set of issues like where all the adjustments on your camera are. And how does this lens manually focus once you find the little lever for manual focus. And trying to not rush the exposure. Kept hoping for lightning while the aperture was open but no such luck.

Day 264 - Harvest Moon?

And all that preparation and setting up the tripod, etc. did not yield a photo of the Harvest moon. Clouds got the way. But then NASA has taken plenty of pictures of full moons. I like this one of the moonlight edging the clouds with gold as well as illuminating the foliage in front of my camera. This was definitely an experiment. I widened the focus on my wide angle lens in an attempt to get a more honest light reading. You can always crop I told myself, and then did not want to.

Day 265 - Foggy Morning

Rainy nights make for foggy mornings. There is something about a foggy morning that seems to demand a black and white treatment for me. Perhaps I should make myself try something else.

Day 266 - Dance of the Flowers

And as the week drew to a close I was bemoaning that I had no more pictures to post. I grabbed the camera and was doing my routine preflight check of battery level and exposures left and was surprised to find there were images on the camera. It had been so absolutely busy I forgot my exploration of a friend's green house. I really do love orchids. There are more of them in the folder for this next week. And today I am off to Raton. That once long and boring drive has become a must for the camera.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 37 - 365 Day Photography Challenge

Day 253 - Mexican Hats

All my pictures from this week's challenge were taken "on assignment" as it were. That includes the Mexican hat flowers growing along the shoulder of the main road in Angel Fire. Some are more obvious as they include subjects like bicycles on the Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour. I think I discovered the advantage of just setting up on the side of a road and taking pictures of the strange and unusual that passes by like the old pickup below with a load of firewood, chain saw, spare tire and dog.

Day 254 - Gathering Fire Wood

And sitting at the same spot army trucks passed by like the one below in a small convoy. This one was not the average army green (olive drab). I guess this paint job is for our desert wars. The lilac is from my playing around with color intensities.

Day 255 - Convoy Truck

Day 256 - Cyclists

This is another picture from the Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour. The cyclists are very brightly clothed but I wanted to see the repetition of the wheels and spokes and legs and that is easier in black and white. I also liked the headless leads in this one. The temptation (maybe even directive) with news photography is to include as much as possible. Editing is the function of the editor. It was nice to frame down to the essentials which is wheels.

Day 257 - Eagle Nest Shop

Eagle Nest, featured in the photo above and the one at the end of this blog, is a town I all too often just pass through or gets reduced down to the thrift shop and the hamburger joint. Photographers will travel miles to get photos of cranes migrating but miss the opportunities in their own neighborhoods sometimes. Who knew this sleepy fishing village at the edge of Eagle Nest Lake could be so colorful.

Day 258 - Rolling through Angel Fire

It was really clear to me when I was taking this photo of cyclists going down the main drag in Angel Fire that my nearest community is not as together as Eagle Nest. And yet Angel Fire is supposedly the bigger tourist attraction and more upscale destination with its ski and golf resort. I tilted the photo to eliminate some really tacky business facades and more telephone lines and poles.

Day 259

Eagle Nest has side walks and boardwalks and empty buildings like every small town these days. The reflections in the windows of empty buildings is a mega draw from me. My reflection is in the right window.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week 36 - 365 Day Photography Challenge

Day 246

The one problem with this challenge is that it is impossible not to know how very fast the years is going. Just 110 more days from when this picture was posted and going fast it seems. Already there is a touch of fall color on some of the trees. I do not think it will be a spectacular foliage year like last because there was just too much drought before we began getting rain and dew and fog.  It has been a dry week but we are warned to expect more monsoonal moisture.

Day 247

Another look at my old Mack truck. Considering printing out a series of trucks on canvas for an exhibition at my gallery. Chimping back through photos always causes me to see what I missed on the first pass.

Day 248 - Dean Douglas bird houses at Arts About Town

A lot of this week's photos are Also Tooks -- Those photos you snapped quickly when on assignment to take other photos. When I first did freelance writing and photography it was with a film camera knowing I was going to have to turn over the roll of film sometimes to who I was working for. Digital cameras have freed up photographers to insert the random also took photo here and there.

Day 249 - we got puddles

One evening it just rained. At my house it was more than a half inch in less than an hour and we got puddles. And run off which created patterns in the moisture starved earth. The morning walk was a competition with the fur kids to record the patterns in the mud before they put their stamp (paw) of approval on them. Mars if the rover discovered water.

Day 250

Quick shot of the geraniums on the window shelf. The rain which formed the puddles did not tear them all up because of the eave protected them. But it was a reminder that the blooms would not be around forever. Fall is coming all too fast. A couple of the colors I am raising this year have to come in for the winter so I can enjoy them again next summer. This is one.

Day 251 - Market in Eagle Nest

Was in Eagle Nest, just 17 miles from my house, to cover a fund raiser. The afternoon sun was illuminating the shops on the north side of the main drag as it were. The assignment got me out of the house and to this location. This photo, if it were a film roll, is sandwiched between pictures of a barbeque.

Day 252 - On top of Palo Flechado Pass

I was at the rest area for the Enchanted Circle Century Bike Tour on the top of Palo Flechado Pass and killing time between photos of the set up of the relief station for the tour and the first bikers to make it to our location. Butterflies move slower as the days get shorter or cooler. This one allowed me literally up close and personal to photograph. No way was it leaving a diminishing source of nectar. And the early morning sun was wonderful Sunday morning. If I had not agreed to cover the race I would have been home and missed this.

Or this photo below which proves being up at zero dark thirty and setting off on a 100 mile ride - or photographing those doing it - isn't just about young people.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 35 - 365 Day Photography Challenge

Day 239

Most of the photography I did this week was actually about I was working on for the paper. That's good and bad news: I had the camera in hand but my focus was more mundane most times. The artistic shots just got sandwiched in the middle of things. Or pulled out of previous photo trip files. The latter is true of Day 239 and 240. Some of my frequent readers will recognize Trinidad, Colorado, increasingly one of my favorite camera haunts. The balance of the week photos are the random shots sandwich between pictures of Arts About Town and Eagle Nest Lake.

Day 240

Day 241

Day 241 was a quick snap to record the colors being painted on a wall covering up other colors. It was a reference shot that turned into pleasing abstract once on my computer. And the hollyhocks below caught my eye while on one of my other odd jobs - pet sitting. Artists in this economy certainly cannot quit their day job(s). For me there is freelance writing, pet sitting and odd jobs because of my long experience in construction which is a totally other blog. But the sale of photographs and paintings has picked up this last week too. That is emotionally rewarding for an artist.

Day 242

Another source of inspiration for photography are the daily dog walks. They will tell you when I am overly busy they get short changed, and I have no doubt that is what they are discussing on the morning walk below.

Day 243

Morning walks are where photos like the two below come from. Why else would I be out of the house that early? But early mornings are when you catch the long shadows like in the photo above or the just beginning to lift valley fogs like in the photo below. Yes, you can get long shadows in the evening but rarely the mists.

Day 244

And early morning gives you the oblique light through the soft petals of a flower. If you are serious about photography you have to either be out and about shortly after dawn or right around sunset. Your choice.

Day 245

News photography is seldom at either time. It is in the middle of the day or inside at a council meeting at night. Still, every once in a while, covering a story can generate a nice photo. I thought I might post a couple here just to show you what else a week with my camera generated.

Eagle Nest Lake at half capacity

All the sandy shore up to the green was once under water. And hopefully will be again. Launching boats has become an issue with the low water and the raven below sits a warning sign as if waiting for someone to die trying.

Extended Dock

There are a couple more pictures taken while on a story which will be featured in next week's blog for 365 days. You can catch the odd great shot while just recording the mundane.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Lucy up a Tree

artwork by Jeanie Tomanek
Visual prompt for Mag 184

Lucy up a tree
sitting where the nest 
should be.

Lucy speaks to birds
telling them she would like to fly
like they.

Lucy in a nest
neither an egg
nor bird.

Lucy out on a limb
where she ought not
to be.

J. Binford-Bell
September 2013