Thursday, June 22, 2017

Camaro Fun

I like Camaros and hope to get one some day.  Until then I am researching and went over to Jim Keras Chevrolet yesterday and photographed a few.  I love the red one, but I really hope to get a convertible SS2 version.  One day maybe....

The photos were taken with my Canon 5d Mark III and a B&W polarizing filter.  They're a 3 image HDR processed in Photomatix 6.  I'm much happier with the updated Photomatix.  It seems to result in a lot less grain in my photos.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hidden Treasures

I started photographing rural Tennessee scenes in the Fall of 2012.  Since that time I have created a huge online gallery of images.  This consists mostly old barns, abandoned houses, cemeteries and rural landscapes.

In the beginning I would edit all my photos and typically create some monochrome images out of most of the images.  I regret creating so many monochromes right after a photo outing because it was just to get the pictures done, upload them to the website with the hopes of a print sale, and then quickly move onto the next thing.

Many times I go back through those images and the monochrome edits are not what I would do today.  It's a rushed version and mostly a monochrome edit copied and pasted from another scene in the set.  It's as if I threw my work out to the world without much thought.

Yesterday I was going through a batch of photos from one particular location in Henning, TN.  At the time I edited them I thought they were OK, but I wasn't in love with the captures.  As I looked back on them yesterday I felt they were little treasures that had been overlooked.  There was even one particular photo that was perfect for a conversion to add to my Blue Series Gallery.

What I have learned is to slow down and not be in such a hurry to edit and get finished with everything.  It's best to leave things sit a while and come back.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Change Is Good

For months now I've been in the middle of restructuring my photography business.  I've pretty much stopped almost all my free/volunteer photography.  My subject matter will totally focus on landscapes or architecture.

For several years I've tried to perfect and speed up my workflow so I can provide a quick turn around to offer real estate photography services.  With interior rooms being such a challenge, I have not refined my technique yet to 100% personal satisfaction.  I'm going to dedicate more time in trying to perfect my skills for photographing homes and also focus on the art side of photography.  The end result is I will be able to offer real estate photography services in Tipton County with a fast turn around time.

I did photograph an old barn recently.  It was a spur of the moment thing.  I had gone to work out one morning and on the way home I suddenly realized I had left my camera equipment in the car.  Suddenly, I had the gumption to photograph some old stables.  It went well.  I didn't take many points of view like I usually do on subjects, but just what caught my eye.  It made me realize, this is what I should be doing.  Get back to the art of it.  It's my work and my time and I will do it for me.  If people enjoy it, then I am doubly blessed.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Red Bush & Old Porch

This one always caught my eye as I drove by so I decided to go out early one morning at sunrise and photograph the place. So I'm standing in a ditch photographing with my tripod and camera and some lady comes along and tells me the people across the street were about ready to call the police because they thought I was deer hunting. Apparently people do that around here, they stand in a ditch along a country road and deer hunt. To me that sounds silly, but I really have never lived in such a rural area so some of the things that happen around here seem pretty odd. Also, it puzzled me they thought a camera with a wide angle lens on a tripod would look like a gun to hunt with. The moral of this story is when you stand in a ditch and photograph an old house someone may think you are getting ready to shoot a deer.

Friday, September 30, 2016

I'm For Hire

I've taken my photography to a hobby level.  I would love to take my time and talent to help a company flourish.  Sales is not my thing, but I would definitely love to help assist a sales department in promoting product.  I love marketing and am always up for brainstorming creative ideas to help bring a product to the consumer.  If you have a job opening in your company that you think I could fill, let me know and I'll see if it's fitting.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Donate Your Time and Talent"

This phrase has been stuck in my head lately.  There are a lot of people and organizations who send requests out to photographers to donate their time and talent.  I just thought I'd write and tell you about my time.  This is about my life as a photographer and other photographers may have a different perspective on donating their time and talent.

What is time?  Time is a lot.  It's worth a whole lot more than money because we only have so much of it.  When someone requests a photographer to donate their time they usually want a photographer to give a specific amount of time towards photographing an event.

What is my time in regards to this?  First of all, donating the time is not just all that is donated.

  • It's the prep time to prepare for the event, 
  • the gas money to get to the event, 
  • the time to travel to the event, 
  • the wear and tear on the vehicle to get to the event, 
  • the time afterwards to edit the photos, 
  • the time it takes to prepare the photos to get them back to the organization, 
  • the wear and tear on the camera because all cameras wear out and new ones need to be bought, 
  • the hard drive space taken up for the files which will eventually lead to another hard drive purchase when full.
So, in a nutshell, whatever time you expect a photographer to donate needs to be doubled or even tripled.  If you are hosting an event where you charge admission and have some expenses such as tent rental, catering, etc, why do you not figure in a bit of the admission cost for a photographer?  A decent photographer is worth paying.  Getting a volunteer photographer may result in photos no better than something you could take with your iPhone.

I already do much of my photography without pay.  An old barn, abandoned house or cemetery cannot be billed for services.  On top of that there are many organizations I do not charge for any photography services.  This can be very time consuming so adding anymore donations of my time can be too much.  I also have a husband and 3 kids and it takes time away from them also.

If anything, consider setting a small portion of funds aside for a professional photographer.  If your organization is on a tight budget, offering a small amount of cash for the photographer's time does help pay for the gas to get there and a USB drive to put the photos on.  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Old Brighton High School

For quite some time I would photograph the exterior of the old Brighton High School and always wondered what kind of mysteries I would find inside.

Recently I had the chance to explore the interior.  When I told someone I wanted to go to the 2nd floor, their response was something along the lines of, "are you sure?"  Yes, I have to capture the whole place or it just wouldn't have the same meaning.  As I've photographed from the outside looking up to the 2nd floor, I've always desired to see what mysteries lie there waiting for my camera.

To get upstairs you have to start from the bottom, so that is where it begins.  Inside there is peeling paint, cracked walls, particle board on the ceiling and these cool old windows above the doors.  The original chains are still attached.

The old wood floors are beautiful, even though they aren't in the best shape.  Right behind me is a sunken spot in the floor that bounces as you walk on it.  I'm sure the main floorboards have probably had some damage.  Not sure what's up with that hole on the left by the weight machine, but I did not stick my hand down it.  I was tempted to bang on the piano, but I try not to touch much when I go into these places.  There was a piece of discarded clothing on the right I did move because I didn't want it in the photo.

I looked up above the front entry and there was a radiator.  I don't recall many others as I roamed around the school, but maybe they were hidden or because I wasn't exactly looking for them, I didn't find notice them.  This may no longer be in use.

From different signage hanging around it looks as if the local soccer organization uses a couple of the rooms on the main floor.  This room still had desks inside.  Love the old wooden floors.

Another room in the back half of the building was used for storing odds and ends.  Lots of old books and equipment from the fire department.

At one time a church must have met inside the building.  There were religious symbols and verses in various locations.

A couple of the doors looked like they had been attacked by a pack of hungry dogs.  It just goes to show that things of the world are only temporary.

After a spent a bit of time photographing on the main floor, I decided to venture upstairs.  The stairwell was caked with pigeon poop and a few pigeon remains here and there.  The door to the 2nd floor is kept closed.  Now I know why.

The upstairs is basically a pigeon's palace.  The main room in the front half of the 2nd floor is all pigeon poop and insulation. Well, not all, but most.  There is this nice basketball hoop which should read, "POOP-A-SHOT".  The pigeons might have fun with target practice.   Yes, they were flying around while I was up there.  It stunk really bad and I knew I couldn't stay up there for long.  

I didn't photograph these 3 rooms in the image below.  It's all pretty much the same, wall, floor, windows and pigeon poop.  The room on the right I did go in and climb over a ledge to get access to an area where the remains of a haunted house are still set up.

After I climbed over the ledge I was started by a skeleton-mannequin.  It would have made a great photo, but it became impossible because of fleas!  As I was trying to focus the camera in the dimly lit area my ankles started itching.  I looked down and all these little critters were crawling on my shoes, along my ankles and proceeding up my legs.  Freakkkyyyy!!!  I could no longer focus on what I was doing and quickly made it to the area below.  

It didn't matter.  I was totally invaded and they weren't leaving.  I had to leave.  So I took a few photos in here, found some Fantastic to spray on my legs for a temporary halt, then gathered my mind and left (I was about to go crazy because of the fleas).  My ankles are ate up with flea bites on top of the poison ivy, which I got about two weeks ago from another photo adventure.

As I exit this building, that means so much to so many, I take with me the thoughts of a skeleton-mannequin jumping at me, a ton of fleas, the smell of stinky pigeons, the appreciation of good hardwood floors, and the gratefulness of the opportunity to take a peak inside this place.

After being inside I don't see how it's possible that this building could ever be utilized at 100%.  It's just wasted square footage.  Maybe it can be torn town, pieces of it  sold (windows and bricks) and something else be built in it's place.  It's nice to have a building left standing that means so much to so many people, but maybe there is something else that can be built on the land that would benefit the community in so many more ways.

To see more photos of the Old Brighton High School including the gym, go to: