Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 39 - 2014 in Images

Day 267

And so goodbye September. And a great month it was for photography. Seven photos here. Thirty showcased for the month, and hundreds more taken. I was out and about with camera to beyond Cimarron for the buffalo and the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge. And I could fill pages with just hollyhock pictures.

But I begin this week with a still life in black and white. I love the patterns and textures in this only indoor shot of the week, and the detail like the lid of the pot not totally on right. And it was the details and patterns in juxtaposition with the female blue bird which made me like the shot below. You can even see the dew on the metal fence.

Day 268

It was all in the details this week. The hollyhock below would be just another flower photograph if not for the visiting honey bee. And the red hollyhock is set off by the texture of the adobe wall behind it.

Day 269

Day 270

And my favorite buffalo picture of the week was this grouping of two cows seemingly engrossed in eating but bracketing the precious calf who seems all too interested in the photographers at the fence. Because of that grouping Day 271 was more than just another buffalo picture.

Day 271

And Day 272 was more than just another photograph of a red tailed hawk on a telephone pole. It was two hawks on the same telephone pole. They seemed to be whispering secrets. And I frankly like the telephone pole they picked.

Day 272

Because of the rains the dried up stock ponds and pools in the Maxwell park had water and reflections. I took a lot of pictures of my favorite subject that day but this one delighted me most because of the details - the distant ranch house, the small flock of ducks on the water, and the blossoming clouds.

Day 273

September was a great photographic month. But I am looking forward to October and the colors of the aspens already beginning to turn.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Magpie 239 - Moving In

Autumn in Madeira by Jacek Yerka

Leavings of Fall
bringing a new chill 
to the air.
Clouds of winter
covering the sky.

Time to enfold
wrap the outside up
and bring it in.
Move inside
for the winter.

Moving in
till the first days of spring
sprout from beneath the snow.
Center life
around the hearth
wrapped in secure walls.

The last of autumn
is moving out
pushed by the winds of winter moving in.
Fall slipping
behind the clouds.

J. Binford-Bell
September 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 38 - 2014 in Images

Day 260

Between September 13 and 21st I managed to get out and about with my camera a lot. I probably captured more than 600 photographs in that time. That is a lot of post processing on the computer and I am by no means done. A lot of the early returns have been featured on Binford-Bell Studio Facebook page and my timeline there. Let's face it when you take that many photos it is hard to post just one a day. And not all of them are winners either.

Since I started taking my photography seriously I have become a lot more ruthless about deletions. Which is good when you take a lot of photos.

The 13th was Trinidad, Colorado and their Autocade Parade. Do not know if any will make photo of the day from those. More fun than serious. But I love the antique cars from that day and two are in this week's offerings. And then there is my friend Susan's garden. It offered up a great many treasured photos. Saying a lot for someone who didn't do a lot of flowers in years past. Two of those photos are in this week. And, of course, the buffalo. Over 400 photos of buffaloes and the Maxwell Wildlife Refuge. So expect more birds and buffalo in the coming weeks as I get too them.

Day 261

I love hollyhocks. Like that is a surprise. But they are not an easy flower because of their depth. And that they are, because of their height, easy foils of any breeze. Shoot fast and lots and take your pick. And I also like grill work which comes with its own issues. Like what is reflected in a nicely polished grill. Old and rusty wreaks, another favorite, are so much easier in that respect.

Day 262

So back to Susan's garden. And flowers. And butterflies. As I have mentioned before I am not a great lover of the tripod. Seems like much too much time is spent adjusting the equipment while winning photos go slipping by. I would love to do a cartoon of a photographer fiddling with his tripod with mating elephants unseen behind him.

So the photo below was hand held. Mind you I lean against posts and back against walls and squat to create body tripods with elbows and knees. And hold my breath longer than is probably good for me. The photo below took advantage of the post leaning technique. Remember the breeze mentioned in the hollyhock photo above. Butterflies are also rather tossed about by the slightest breeze. And they are not fond of movement of photographers. I used a long lens to stay out of its field of vision.

But you could have blown me away by the clarity and sharpness of this photo. I think I could have lied and said I used a tripod. Just a fast shutter speed and zen breathing techniques and that post I mentioned. Who knew butterfly eyes looked like they have pupils.

Day 263

Zen breathing and butterfly eyes made the following photograph much more appropriate. I am also a worshiper of agave, one of the few non-Euphorbia in my studio though not this one. Wonderful form and texture. But mostly I marvel at how the new leaves are rolled up with the thorns leaving patterns after they are open. Who knew it was a relative of asparagus. 

Day 264

So many other pictures to process of the day in Trinidad that this colorful wall got left neglected. It was a photo I took before the parade started and one of the last to process. Every once in a while when I am culling through photographs I find another photo like this. With contact sheets, strips of negatives, and film it was not as easy to just delete a picture from your files. I sometimes toy with the idea of an external hard drive for the last deleted photos. Those first off the desktop are true losers.

Day 265

First pass through the buffalo photographs were in color. The grass was so beautiful. Then I began looking for photos which would lend themselves to black and white. Supposedly you need noisy sky or no sky. And I like shallow depth of field so the textures of the main subject stand out. Like with flowers I am just a student.

Day 266

Practice, practice, practice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 37 - 2014 in Images

Day 253

This was one of those weeks where I took more photos than I can manage to post process. I am rather a binge photographer. Yes, the 365 day challenge has gotten me to take my camera with me every single day and since I live in what to me is paradise there is almost always a scene to capture. Four of these photos were taken from my yard. So sometimes you do not even have to leave home. I posted a quote from Ansel Adams this week:

"A good photograph is about knowing where to stand."

You are much more likely to know where to stand when you are on home territory. Or areas you visit frequently. If you have been there more than once you know where the sun is, you have experience with what is in the distance and might cause later issues, and you know what time of day is best. Still even in familiar territory there are likely to be surprises like day 256, a neighbor's Yak, taken within five miles of home. Remember Ansel Adams went to Yosemite a lot.

Day 254
Clouds are always in one sense a surprise. So is the horse with its nose in the wild asters but it is monsoon season given to raise some very interesting clouds, and I knew the horses had the tendency to be photogenic. I can stand on the porch of my studio to watch things develop. Always with camera in hand of course. Day 258 was taken from the same porch. In fact, if you are good at this sort of thing you can match the trees from that shot up with the ones roughly in the center of the photo below.

Day 255

Because the Yaks on the county road were a surprise I was a bit unprepared. I had the long lens on which is good to maintain my distance but the wide angle would have offered a more sweeping view of the small herd. Still because where I found these is close to home I can go back more knowledgeable. In this case it was not so much where I stood as where they stood. They had ear tags in their right ears so if they turned their left side to me I had less touch up to do later.

Day 256

Day 257, Even the Kitchen Sink, was a surprise as I was talking down Main Street in Trinidad, Colorado seeking the perfect place to photograph the Artocade. Just as an aside the parade changed directions and did not turn on the corner it was suppose to turn. I was scrambling for a new location. But I had to take this photo in case it was not there when I came back the next time. This was a quick shot.

Day 257

Day 258

To Ansel Adam's quote I would add - At the right time. Photography is about light and thus the time of day becomes all important. You are more likely to get that right if it is home territory. While I have been writing this blog I have been getting up from time to time to check on the eastern horizon. It just may be a great dawn. Or not. It rained last night and there are clouds lingering over the mountains.

Weather conditions are important too. Though in New Mexico wait ten minutes or drive ten miles is a factor with weather. Monsoons that make for great clouds also make for lovely misty mornings. Like those pictured in Day 258 and Day 259. Day 258 was from the porch steps, and Day 259 within a mile of the Yak pictured above.

I went back to the Yak pasture yesterday. No mist. No Yaks. Mist and Yaks move. Adams went back to the Ranchos de Taos Mission countless times to get is iconic images of it. So subjects close to home are more likely to render the best photos. People learn from their mistakes and with digital technology the mistakes do not cost as much. Just the gas to get to that right place to stand.

Day 259

I have been enthralled with the composition of the fence and opening in the trees in Day 259 for years. I am still looking for the absolutely perfect lighting and weather conditions to take it but I have found where to stand. I think toward sunset today might be nice if it is not pouring rain as forecast.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Magpie Tales 237 - The Other Way

Visual Prompt - Morning Curtains
Provided by The Mag

the world just seemed
to require it.
Alice through the Looking Glass
Or being tiny
or silent
You just had to look 
at life
the other way.

she needed badly
to turn it around.
The Mad Hatter would suddenly yell
change cups
move down
go upside down
see it another way.

she thought 
perhaps too often.
The Queen of Hearts would scream
Off with your head
shut it down
Go upside down
See it the other way.

It makes no sense
Like this.

J. Binford-Bell
September 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Week 36 - 2014 in Images

Day 246

One of the down sides of doing the 365 day challenge is knowing just how fast the year is going past. Soon it will be fall and I will be out seeking aspen photos. The upside to have a whole year of your best photos packed away in weekly folders is you know where to begin to look for last year's aspen pictures and therefore know when to plan this year's photo treks.

And in my third year, or is it fourth, I am able to make comparisons between the years. The big one this year has been rain. That is reflected even in the photo below of my butterfly bath. It was so dry last summer I did not even think of doing one. Living off a well in a drought you begin to conserve water. I wish Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix would think like that. But this some the rain water has kept the butterfly and bee bath full on most days. And I have been rewarded with a plethora of bees and butterflies and flowers like the Borage blossom floating among the marbles the insects rest upon to drink.

Day 247

Another boon from the rains have been the fields and the water flowers. Last year the owner of the field behind me did not graze his horses there because it was too overgrazed from the year before and he would have had to haul water for them. This year the stream is running and the grasses and wild flowers are lush.

Day 248

Love taking photos of the hoofed lawn ornaments behind my house. And next week I believe you will get one or two more photographs because a new variety of wild flower has sprung up and the field is a riot of lilac and lavender colors. The dappled grey looks particularly wonderful amid them.

Day 249

I did photograph other things this week. I was into still life compositions again. Not ones I arranged, other than picking my angles, but those I found around like the butterfly and bee bath above or the glass vase of pears below. Or the drum in the closing photo.

Day 250

It had been a dry week and so I dug back to the week before to rework the photo below of the two inch rain we had. Seems to have worked because it is raining even this morning as I compose this blog.

I often paint water into my desert mixed media compositions for the same reason. It is like calling up a return to a wetter time.

Day 251

The drum below is a tourist thing. An object of art as opposed to the spirit. Most drums were painted with symbols which when the drum was beaten were to invoke the spirits portrayed and call up the rain or the buffalo or the harvest. We have only the ruins left by the Anasazi to prove it did not always work. But it must have worked enough to establish a belief system around it.

Day 252

Sunday, September 7, 2014

To the Light - Magpie 236

Moths to the Light
Magpie 236

Creatures of the dark.
to the light.
ensnared by
the siren's glare.

Phototastic trap
them to the night
luring them 
to a false days rest.

J. Binford-Bell 
September 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 35 - 2014 in Images

Day 239 - Hollyhock and the Bee

Another busy week of everything but photography. That is one of the reasons I do the 365 Day Challenge. I makes it impossible to ignore my camera for more than a couple of days. This last week I did have the camera out more than once but for "work" things. I took photographs of the new Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico exhibit at the Visitors Center of Angel Fire on Thursday. Then on Saturday I recorded the guilds participation at Arts About Town.

Artistic photography took a back seat. There is a difference between being a photographer and being an artist that works in the medium of photography. Most of this week's photos fall in the latter category.

Day 240 - My Own Kind of Hat

But I would put the cloudscape below in in just photography. And maybe just in recording the world around me photography. A snap as it were.

Day 241 - Afternoon Light

The photo below was from an exercise I did and blogged about here. I had picked the color green. But I loved the spray of leaves in the light and had to sit down to the computer and digitally play with the subject. Painting in pixels.

Day 242 - Basking in the Light

Bee in the Borage was another photo I took for the green exercise and did not use in the blog about that exercise. It is probably just a snap too. My Borage in my herb bed. Garden snap with nice composition.

Day 243 - Bee in the Borage

And the photo below was playing around with one of the photos I took for the exercise on shape - circle. And digitally playing with this photo was an exercise for me.

Day 244 - Boiling Eggs

Opened and closed with hats. I like the black and white treatment of this subject. It brings out the shadows on the hats and reduces the element of the coats by taking the color away from them. It is about time to completely clean out my entry way. I may take all the coats and hats off and just put up the hats for another picture.

Day 245 - Hat Line Up