Greetings! This is my place for art and thinking. The images I find out in the world and close to home are sometimes put here. I like to smile and hence like to find images that are smileworthy. I'm also a bit melancholy sometimes and hence you might find images of solitude and loneliness.
I had a random thought about photographs, photographers, and generally, all people who take pictures. People like me. Going down this rabbit hole began when I had a thought about the photos my dad took. In the later years of his life (he passed in 1993) he made hundreds and hundreds of pictures. All color slides. He had a 35mm camera, a Pentax I think, with two or three lenses. I only saw a few of them because he didn’t have a slide viewer so looking at them required setting up a screen, a projector, and loading the slides into a carousel. Way too much work. When my mother died several years later, all those slides were tossed. Today, I wonder, “What were they like?”
That got me thinking about amateur photographers and what makes a “professional” photographer. Some professional photographers look down on photographers who do other work besides photography, what some of them call “…hyphenated photographers.”
I’m a hyphenated photographer, so was my dad, so are most photographers. Vivian Maier, a photographer-nanny, is probably the most famous of us. I admire photographers who rise to the top of the commercial photography business, it’s a tough, competitive, passion driven occupation. But that’s not for all of us…I carry my hyphen proudly…father-photographer, husband-photographer, IT-photographer, retiree-photographer. Perhaps one in a thousand of my photos rises to the level of “professional,” but most rise to the level of making me smile. And that certainly balances the burden a hyphen might carry.
ForgottenForgotten dock on the Potomac
Yesterday the heat let up just a tad and I went out in the late afternoon to the local Sunflower Festival at Alvis Farms. I got there right at opening time and I was pretty much alone except for the Alvis folks. They have acres and acres of sunflowers!! Well, sad sunflowers. The heat has been oppressive and then the heavy thunderstorms so I don't think they've had many visitors. Because of my early arrival I was able to find some nice images without crowds although people would have been okay. All the sunflowers were facing east, probably waiting for the morning sun since there was no sun in the west, just storm clouds.
What made me really smile was to see all the honey bees! They were everywhere and that, well that's a very good thing. I know it's hot but the flowers are spectacular and the Festival has games, dairy cows on display, and other stuff. Because of the heat and storms, the flowers may not last, they are already starting to droop. The farm is not far away from Short Pump and I know the Alvis family would appreciate your business. I'd been there for maybe 45 minutes and then it started to sprinkle and my equipment does not like the rain. Or maybe it was the humidity!
Sunflowers at Alvis FarmsSunflowers at Alvis Farms Sunflowers at Alvis FarmsSunflowers at Alvis Farms Sunflowers at Alvis FarmsSunflowers at Alvis Farms Sunflowers at Alvis FarmsSunflowers at Alvis Farms Sunflowers at Alvis FarmsSunflowers at Alvis Farms Sunflowers at Alvis FarmsSunflowers at Alvis Farms
I'm taking a writing course...micro-stories with a high visual component. The heat we're currently suffering reminded me of my trips to the high California desert. These are some of the images from those trips. Of course, in California, it's a dry heat. That, of course, is B.S.
The story was a timed, ten minute writing exercise.
It’d been a long day with oppressive heat, air so dry my skin was parched and my nose hurt from spikes of dried mucous. And the wind, oh my God, the wind never stopped. Howling, whistling, crackling seeming to intensify the hot, dry air. I only had a short distance to run to the barn and I could almost feel the cool and dark of that strong building. I squinted my eyes to keep the fine dust out and started down the road. The wind seemed to calm a little and I looked up, softened my squint, and slowed my pace. Where the fence met the street a small whirlwind, a dust devil, was just beginning its mad rotation. The calm abruptly ended and the 6’ high dust devil began to grow and to move.
Doubling in height in just seconds, the small twister seemed to leap over the machinery and charged directly at me with bull-like intent. The wind and sand on my face was the constant slap of a porcupine and my vision began to narrow.
The noise was horrific, like standing next to a train or a jet engine. The little dust devil was now over thirty feet tall, roaring like a freight train, and almost black. And then, it wasn’t.
It was gone.
Sunrise Over Apple ValleyApple Valley sunrise looking over the Mojave River Apple Valley SunriseSun peeking over mountains east of Apple Valley Mojave Desert Joshua GroveGrove of trees outside of Hesperia, CA
Today I did a quick walkabout with a friend on Brown's Island. We went in the morning although not early enough to avoid the beginning of the more tropical weather. I nervously launched my drone to mentally practice not having the thing flying just a few feet away. I still have quite a bit to learn but I will be patient. Some of these images I took with my phone, some with my camera, and one with the drone.
Civil War MuseumCivil War museum from the James River Emancipation & Freedom MemorialOn Brown's Island in Richmond, VA Bridge Across the JamesBridge with personal memories of the three days in April 1865 when Union forces entered Richmond Triple Exposure of Richmond Bridge James River and the RailroadTracks and machinery next to the James in Richmond Civil War MuseumWater wheel at the museum
I'm putting together a series of images looking inside and then through to the other side. I found this image in Carytown. However, the bright vertical window pane in the center of the image seemed to split the view in half...two images, and that's not what I wanted. The two "halves" had a great deal in common and I felt the story of a city diner was definitely there. But the vertical pane...distracting. I copied the image as a layer on top of the original photo, I distorted the new layer, rotated it, and zoomed in so that the geometry and colors enhanced the image. For me...it worked. What do you think? The original image is on the bottom.
CarytownDouble exposure of Carytown street scene CarytownCarytown street scene