Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Week 34 - 2015 in Photographs - Forgotten Treasures

Day 232
Door in Las Vegas, New Mexico

This week's photographs were all taken from previous photographic treks. I was busy doing new treks and had unearthed these while culling through folders. All these were not post processed until this last week. Photographs I had overlooked because of time or just the size of folders they were in. Or in the case of the Las Vegas photographs I had gone down to take pictures of the Longmire filming and taken these while waiting for more activity on the set.

I came home from Las Vegas, New Mexico and immediately post processed the photographs of interest for a post on Facebook with a promise to come back to the rest of the images in the file. Just took me several months.

Day 233
Church in Las Vegas, New Mexico

Day 234
Highlands University building
Las Vegas, New Mexico

 The campus of Highlands University is used a lot for the filming of the Longmire series on Netflix, as is the historic plaza and the Plaza Hotel. I had taken an earlier photographic trek where my focus was that area. Love old buildings and Highlands has a few too like the one above. And it is situated close to the new downtown and seemingly all the churches. Plenty of fodder for a bored photographer.

Day 235

 Walking back to where I had parked the car I passed through a section of town with older buildings used as attorney offices, and, no doubt, rentals for students living off campus. The second floor balcony lattice work on the porch complete with fake flowers on a March day spoke of student days. Great place to study.

Day 236
Porch details

The last two of this week's offerings came from a day trip my sister and I took 3 or 4 years ago into the Zuni Mountains near her then home in San Fidel. We were out with the dogs and the Jeep and Debbie was introducing me to her stamping grounds.

Day 237
Offering in Zuni Mountains

But both of us were surprised when we happened upon the hidden oasis below. It was a drought year and water is always allusive. Our dogs were hot and wanted to swim. The photo below is the opening to what was a series of waterfalls and four pools. The dogs enjoyed the last pool which was big enough for them to swim in, and we recording all the rest.

Day 238
Oasis in the Zuni Mountains

I have more folders marked from my culling process to revisit. But I have also been out with another photographer friend and making new memories. Next week some of those will be in this weekly blog. And probably the next week too. I took over 250 photos, and no doubt some of those will become forgotten treasures like these.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Week 33 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 225
Hummingbirds waiting their turn

The first two photographs were actually taken this week. The remainder are finds during my culling of photographs. I found during this process that especially in large folders from treks that yielded a lot of photographs that I would just post process the highlights and move on with a mental promise to return for a second pass at some time in the future. Hypothetically the next very windy and cold day when I did not want to go outside.

There were so many of these gems lying undiscovered in folders next week will be totally from that resource. All photographers must have treasure troves of unrealized brilliance. It was true in film days. And in digital era it remains true. To save developing and printing costs during film era I used to have a contact sheet or a box of slides. I would look at them through a magnifying viewing scope for contact sheets or a small manual projector for slides. Uploading from scan disc to computer is probably the equivalent. There is even a function in your photo editing software called slide show. You rate with stars or scribble a list on scrap paper beside your keyboard. And then post process those.

I have begun a notebook where I scribbled down dates or file numbers which have gems to go back too. And I have gotten better in rating current photos because it is a gold mine of 4 and 5 stars cached away to post process on a blizzard day.

Or a rainy day like days 225 and 226. But I took the first from inside my studio with door open. And the second rushing just outside in bare feet with raincoat over head.

Day 226
Hollyhocks after the rain

A day trip to Las Vegas, NM yielded a lot of photographs already heralded in these blogs. But even in this well mined open pit, to continue the mining analogies, I found others of merit like the antique store front of an antiques store.

Day 227
Antique shop in Las Vegas, New Mexico
 I bypassed it the first time because I did not like the closed sign. So I tried a filter to make it less prominent. A friend says she doesn't notice it but I know it is there. Yes, I could clone it out but given its location it would be less than successful. I find cloning is less detectable on edges of photographs, definitely off center or in a background.

I figured it might just be the color, so I tried a black and white treatment. Closed is more insistence but so is other lettering like on the marque reflection across the street. All this raised another issue in the order in which I process new uploads of photographs (or is it downloads). Yes, I go for the spectacular in my mind, but I will also go for the easiest.

There much to be gained by fiddling with the less than perfect image. It can be a huge learning experience.

Day 228
Same shop in black and white

I have taken lots of photographs of this old tractor. But I am always sure I can take a better one. And as I have access to it I can always come back in better light and try again. Besides it is there in the photo files to go back to. Ergo I deduce that in addition to being lazy I am also rather jaded at times. I will treasure the images I captured on a day trip or vacation over those of a walk about in the hood.

But Ansel Adams proved the merit of photographing the same thing like the Ranchos Mission or the National parks. Familiarity with your subject can give you valuable clues as to how to get a better shot of it.

Day 229
Neighbor's tractor

The crumbling hamburger joint below comes from a huge file of photographs taken on a trek with a photography buddy, Terry Atkins Rowe. I admit to coming back exhausted and euphoric from these treks with an impossible number of photos. More photos to mine from this Trek with Terry folder.

Day 230
Specials at the Crossroad

Next week more of Las Vegas and the three day trips there. And a couple from the Zuni Mountains with my sister, another great photo trek companion.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Week 32 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 218
Palisades in Cimarron Canyon
 As you may see if your follow the day numbers I posted these on my Binford-Bell Studio page in a different order than they appear here. And both orders are totally different than how they were taken. Days 218, 219 and 220 were taken on a trip to Cimarron. Day 223 and Day 224 while on a dog walk around Monte Verde lake. The last two photos - 222 and 221 were last October. And just recently unearthed while culling through photographs and deleting the chaff.

Originally the concept of the photographers who began the 365 Day challenge was to take a photo each day. I probably mostly do that. But they are not all winners so do not find up as the photo I post for that day. And then you have days that are golden like October 20, 2014 which is a photographic folder which in itself represents several days of photography. October 20 is just the day I got home and uploaded the digital images to the computer. It contained more than 200 photographs.

That is hard to post process all at once so I changed my 365 Day Challenge rules a couple years back to include photos I got around to a lot later. But almost a year is quite a lot later.

Day 219
Palisades in Black and white

 If you go out with your camera and capture ten possible gems a whole week of posts might be that one day. Just those the top of those ten photos. Rather like the Republican Fox news debates. I took only three pictures walking around the local lake because I was walking Magique and talking to Polly. So two of the three are posted next.

Day 224

Day 223
Great Mullen 

Then it dawned me I was getting dull. I post processed an over looked photograph from the week I went to Cimarron. And then in my culling process I found two I had ignored among a huge file like I said before. Actually three because one leads off this next week. It sits there with a couple others waiting to be debuted. The others are from the very next folder in sequence. One of those epic trips to an urban landscape. I love doing buildings. Especially old buildings.

Day 220

 I also really like doors and windows. Especially old doors and windows. Windows next week.

Day 221
Ranchos de Taos

Day 222
Abandoned fire station

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mag 282 - Smoking Hot

Image Provided by the Mag 282

Do you?
Smoke after sex
he asked
offering her his cigarette.

Don't know
she answered
I have never looked.

The silly things
Which circled
your mind
after sex with the wrong man.

Did you?
She asked herself

J. Binford-Bell
August 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Canyons, Fat Grass, and High Plains - A Creative Process Blog

High Plains of New Mexico

In 2004 my sister and I went on our first Thelma and Louise road trip to Utah. I was not seriously painting at that time. In fact, Lunacy Limited, my papier mache mask business was still going. But I was bored with it. And still struggling with the effects of a head injury on working in three dimensions. The canyons of the Colorado Plateau woke something in me and I came back from that first Utah trip determined to capture it in paint.

I had been trained in the fine arts and University of New Mexico and watercolor was a long lost love I still played around with as a hobby. So my first paintings of the canyons were on watercolor paper. But time had marched on and there was watercolor canvas and liquid watercolors and metallic ink pens. I came back with pictures I used as models but it was the feeling I had absorbed while standing in the magical land I had to paint. I had to translate the emotion to the viewer of the finished painting.

Canyon March to the Moon

And obviously I did. I won prizes and sold paintings. The mask business was soon history. There are several ways to go as a painter. You can paint what you love or you can paint what sells. The latter had been how I ran my mask business so I fell into that with painting. Until I got tired of painting ten mission churches in two weeks for the next big show. Then I quit painting for almost three years.

Mystic Mustangs

When I went back to painting it was because I missed painting, and I still felt I had something deep inside which had to be translated so others could read it. I must love my subject. I deeply love the Colorado Plateau. They continue to inspire me. But another painter recently took me on a tour of the land which inspires him - the high plains of north eastern New Mexico. I came home with more than a 100 photos and a need to paint the feeling of that day on the plains.

First let me say, I do not do green. It isn't in my palette. I cannot wait for fall to go back and record the scenes which so turned me on in fall colors. Meanwhile I could not wait to put my feelings on canvas. If you are used to my orange and red canyons and my yellow churches the paintings below will seem strange. I have often said I do not do greens.

But I do skies and I do alone. I may put horses or crows or a woman spinning clouds into a landscape but basically it is the emptiness of the landscape, the silence but for the wind or distant thunder. I do not do cities except in photography. And a fan told me my buildings always look abandoned.

Alone on the High Plains
14 x 30 mixed media on artists canvas $1050

Home in the Fat Grass
20 x 30 mixed Media on artists canvas $1500

I begin my next challenge today. I am painting the interior of a Johnson Mesa church. It's empty. I am alone in my studio.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Week 31 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 211
Vietnam Memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico

I begun this week with a black and white. But the what follows is definitely colorful. Just when I thought poppy season was over one more bloomed. And did it rather well too.

Day 212
Last Poppy in Black Lake

Flowers have their seasons and that is especially true of wild flowers. With our abundant rains this year all the wild flowers have gotten to shine. After I took the one below of a great Mullen stalk just beginning to bloom all the rest followed suit. I have pictures not yet published of fields of this plant the native populations used for respiratory problems. They made a tea of its leaves. And also added it to tobacco to avoid lung problems when smoking it. Too bad our first settlers didn't pay more attention.

Day 213
Great Mullen begins to bloom

The monsoonal rain storms also make for some great dawns with the light off the lingering clouds.

Day 214
Dawn from my studio in Black Lake

In spite of all the flash flood warnings I did get through the Cimarron Canyon to visit the town of Cimarron. It is far more colorful and interesting than the tasteful and boring mountain cabins of Angel Fire, New Mexico. At least for a photographer. Before I became known for my photographs the camera was a tool to record what I wanted to paint. I am still considering doing a street in Cimarron in a painting.

Day 215
Empty building in Cimarron, New Mexico

Love this door. Considering changing out the trim of the Binford-Bell Studio to more resemble this. It is a French door which is painted blue. And the wall is gray. If you are in the neighborhood stop by and give me some suggestions.

Day 216
Door in Cimarron, New Mexico

You should not leave your camera in the hot car. And who would want to. So it is with me when I spot things like these antique bottles in an antique store window. The view was better from the inside out.

Day 217
Bottles in the window of an antique store

The Nikon D3200 is still at the Nikon service facility. At least that is what they say. But I think they have lost it. They photos were all taken with the trusty D90. The D3200 has been in for repairs of the auto focus twice in less than two years so when I go out to take photographs the D90 comes along just in case. I should have bought the Nikon D7100. Saving my pennies. But maybe if Nikon lost the D3200 I can get them to give me the camera I want instead.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Magpie 281 - As I Lay Down

Now I Lay Down
Image provided by Magpie Tales

Now I Lay Down
to awake
no more.
Mother Earth 
to embrace me

Prepare me a grave
to comfort my bones
safe from all

Decorate my mortal remains
with flowers
and vines
to speed my 
to earth.

Lay me down
in peace
and celebration
I have gone

Jacqui Binford-Bell
August 2015