Friday, October 30, 2015

The Night Remembers

Daniel Murtagh Photograph
Visual prompt by Magpie Tales

It was long ago
half a world
and a third of a lifetime
but in the night
too new.

She had been
it was a blessing
they said
she could not recall
the night remembers.

Her body
would curl 
as if still bound
her fists clenched
wrists together 
she would scream.

The night always remembered
she hated sleep
releasing her mind
to the night
she was drugged
and raped.

J. Binford-Bell
October 2016

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 43 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 295

I threw in a pet picture. Why not? People through in pictures of their kids. As a pet owner and a pet sitter I spend lots of time with pets. And if the rule for writers is to write what you know that it probably is true for artists to capture what they know. And for a photographer the more you know about your subject, especially the mobile ones, the better your chances for capturing them.

Day 296

That said I probably should include that I do not know leaves as well. So practice. This one posed nicely.

Day 297

 But to be honest I like trees without leaves a lot. Though the tree above has one lone leaf left on it.

Day 298
 Aspens are not individual trees but part of one larger organism. Not unlike mushrooms. So it is not just location which makes some aspens turn gold before others. Though location can be part of it. And some aspens just grow taller. It is in their interconnected roots.

Day 299

 When you are driving down the mountain through leafless stands and come across a grove still in brilliant yellow it is likely the grove is all one plant.

Day 300

Sometimes I get tired of trees and take off for the junk yard. I have access to both. As well as the pets. Life is good.

Day 301

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week 42 - 2015 in photographs

Day 288

Some times I have a theme for the week. Sometimes just a focus. Seasons often dictate the content. This week was about being really busy on things other than art and quickly grabbing the camera to record something which was spectacular or just necessary to have a photo for the next day's post.

It was also about having the camera in the car when I was on my way to a meeting or a pet sitting job, or running to the store.

Day 289
It was a week about luck and circumstance like the light through the clouds or the fence around a cemetery I chanced upon in Cimarron.

Day 290

Or getting to a field just mowed and baled because I had to pass it to feed the cats.

Day 291

Or one of the last aspens with leaves just catching the light just right as I was coming down a country road with a friend after walking the dogs.

Day 292

Or just happening to turn off on a road I do not ordinarily go down. There is so much luck in photography. Having the camera with you. The right lens. Just the right light. Or just being in the right place at the right time.

Day 293

And when all else fails it is having a blooming orchid available to pose.

Day 294

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 41 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 287

I joined a new photographic group on FaceBook focused in minimalism. And that really has nothing to do with this week on the surface. Only one, maybe two of these photos fit into the minimalist definition. But trying to define it for myself had me looking at the world my lens extracted very differently. Up to this week I have tried to extract from photos already taken those that would fit. This week I went looking for it.

I thought the reflections of mirrors in mirrors would work because repetition is often key in abstract minimalist photography but there is too much randomness in Day 287.

Day 286

And you often see what I would term macro photography on the posts in this new group. But not enough extra totally blank space in my bee and thistle photograph.

Day 285

There is certainly an abstractness in these two landscapes. I like the lines in both but the baler in Day 285 gets closer to minimalist. I like it as a photograph. And to be totally honest I am not sure I like all examples of minimalism in photography. I know I do not like it in painting. One of the extreme examples of it in painting are huge canvases just painted white or solid black. Which always illicits from me the question, "Why?"

Day 284

I think I nailed it in Day 283 but was told it would be more minimalist if there was no reflection in the window but sky; with no clouds. And I agree it is more minimalist in black and white.

Day 283

Minimalism is forced. I do not often find it comfortable though supposedly simplification of a subject should give the eye rest and the mind calm. Searching for minimalism has me looking more at my backgrounds and framing of subjects. Yes, It would be easier to pick and empty room and put one small subject, say a mushroom, against a blank wall. Frame the photograph with lots of the blank wall and then crop with the mushroom alone in one corner. I think we are back to that WHY?

But in the photograph below of a sculpture in situ the search for minimalism had me looking to simplify the background with adjusting depth of focus.

Day 282

And I did a real up close and person of this leaf with focus on the drops of water. Of all the photos I could have taken of this plant it is the most minimal. But frankly it lacks the starkness I have come to associate with the art form.

Day 281

Still while it remains largely elusive the search for that quality is not without its benefits because it has broadened my definition of a photograph.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Mag 289 - Sea and shells

George Tooker, Self-portrait with shell
Magpie Tales

And shell
Through eyes 
of sea blue.

with shell
of pearly white.

and not
a mermaid
in sea

and not shells
on sandy beach.

J. Binford-Bell
October 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week 40 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 274
 We seem to be hanging between seasons. Other years we have already had snow. And snow could come and go any day. Meanwhile we are enjoying more Indian Summer weather. Great weather to be out and about with a camera. The hawks and eagles and ravens believe it is a great time to soar. Some mornings the air just seems full of them. Hard to take a picture without one or two captured.

Day 275

Seasons have colors and I do not mean just the spring green or fall gold. Water changes color too. The temperatures cause or cease the blooms of algae in them. Fall can have some of the bluest waters and most clear reflections. The birds are getting new plumage, the grasses are going to seed, and the trees are preparing for winter.

I pick up feathers and rocks and seed pods which I stuff in hat bands and pockets and this particular feather I put on the truck door to bring inside later. That was a week ago and it seems to have stayed there.

Day 276

Day 277

That desire to collect the last of summer before it is buried in snow drives my photography too.
And goes with me inside because there is also a certain color to the sun streaming through the windows at a lower arc in the sky.

Day 278
I am also working on a theory about the quality of black and whites in the fall. I love black and whites in the winter when nature has added the white in the form of a blanket of snow. Fall does not provide the dynamic contrast of that pure white. There are more shades of gray to work with, however. It is a good time for textures.

Day 279

The aspen above lost its leaves very early. I find myself wondering if it will green up next spring. And the grandmother ponderosa below seems to every fall have less live branches. Its silhouette more lacy. Maybe it is a strategy to withstand better the winter gales on its high hill. The hawks would miss it if it was not there to hunt from.

Day 280

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week 39 - 2015 in photographs

Day 267

The week was about the ends of summer, the beginning of fall, and a wonderful pause between the rush of seasons. Good weather for walks and capturing sights around me.

Day 268

And in the middle of this a new orchid in the greenhouse I care for from time to time. I love orchids. I love the unusual in plants. Even the weeds. A spent thistle leads off the week, and a just beginning to bloom is next. The bees and butterflies seem to love these weeds others dig up and try to eradicate.

Day 269

Both thistle photos came from a wonderful walk in the neighborhood with friends and our fur kids. I have Magique trained to the ways of a photographer. She can still at times hog the view.

My companion 

Day 270

I love the landscape as it hangs between summer and winter. It is when the golds begin to make their appearances in the grass and the aspens and the stalks of Great Mullen, an other weed.

Day 271

And then there are those surprises like a very late blooming hollyhock.

Day 272

And the sadness of a favorite subject slipping into its last fall. I have photographed this solo aspen for years. It will not green up next spring. But it posed nicely for one last record of its life.

Day 273