photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “black and white landscapes

Cats and Dogs

5:30 a.m.

The most beautiful rain is falling outside right now. I awoke an hour or so ago to the rain falling on my tin roof in a most beautiful enveloping wall of sound. The rain is my favourite thing ever because I feel like God is corralling me off. It satisfies the intense hermit in me that wants to shut my door and windows and seal off the world. The rain says it’s ok to slow it all down to a crawl and not have to be bothered with the things outside my door. The rain sings a most beautiful song. 🙂

I suppose as I grow older (am I really going to be 50 this fall?!), I’m giving in more to my hidden persona; the Jane Goodall-like hippie that wants nothing more than to spend the entire day in the forest, taking macros of little things in their little worlds- up close. I can’t believe I’ve been in school for an entire decade now! I’m so ready to be finished with it all so I can finally- finally- focus on my art, photography, and music. I’m looking forward to closing the books once and for all (along with my many, MANY research papers) and buy an Epson professional printer and set up a small area of our new home (to be, soon); a proper print shop.

It’s going to take a lot of dedication and time, but I’m so looking forward to it. I’ll be afforded the luxury- after school- of not having to work. Even for several years, or never at all, if I want. I can stay home and go out and about and take all the pics I want- go where I like, and do virtually anything I want. When I’m ready, I can put on that periwinkle suit and Addiction Counselor hat (if I so choose) and make my mark on the world as a counselor. But first, I’ll explore my art. It’s an exciting thing to be able to wake up early in the morning and head out with my camera and collection of vintage film lenses in my Nat. Geo. bag. People who aren’t photographers probably don’t get it.

It’s such a rush to be able to go out into the world and see what only I can see. I can shape my perspective in a unique way and be a storyteller without words. To lay in the plush green mossy ground on the forest floor in the warm, afternoon sunshine and spend hours focusing my lens on tiny little things on leaves. I’m a visitor in their world. It’s an incredible thing to be able to make the tiniest corner of a leaf come into focus, making the rest of the leaf the size of a house, by comparison. Ants become giants and mushrooms- stadiums. It’s exhilarating!

But the real rush is taking the loot home and going through all of the images: Sizing up what stays or what gets tossed out. Whittling the pile down until only a few remaining “money shots” remain and those are the ones which will be edited and post processed. A full day’s shoot- and many hours- for 3 or 4 shots in the end. It’s the experience of it all, from loading up the bag to editing the chosen few to submitting or uploading the shots. And it’s all free! You really can’t beat that. It’s therapy. Photo-therapy at its finest.

Although my latest course Addiction Counseling and Families essentially began yesterday, my Discussion Board posts aren’t due until Thursday. Ever the procrastinator, I think I’ll spend the day lounging in my insanely plush (new) pillow top queen bed (that I um…bought Josh for Christmas. That’s right…it’s all for him! 🙂 ) and edit a new batch of pics from our Thanksgiving trip in the Smokey Mountains. Yes, my life ha been so busy and crazy that I’m only now getting around to editing my Thanksgiving shots from 2018!

Despite having 6 vintage (imported) Bulgarian and Romanian film lenses, only the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 (my favourite lens ever) was used- throughout the entire trip. It never left my camera. These are two of many I’ll be editing over the next few days:

Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 film lens (Canon Rebel t3i) – An interesting tree I found on the way up to Clingmans Dome, in Smoky Mountain National Park, in southeastern Tennessee and North Carolina, U.S.
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This one is Josh’s. (His capture, my edit.) The Appalachian Trail sign at the base of Clingmans Dome in the Smokies. Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon film lens 35/2.8- Canon Rebel t3i
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Prelude to a Photo Walk

I’m supposed to be house cleaning. I cut a deal with Josh- he would clean the back part of the house and I’ll clean the kitchen, etc. He’s living up to his half- no wait- I hear metal clinking outside around his moped area. Hmm…I may have been outfoxed.

We’re going to go on a photo walk today in downtown Old Louisville (Kentucky), home of the Kentucky Derby. It’s an interesting place- a mixing pot. Old, young, poor, wealthy, strange artists (my favourite kinds of people ever), and an array of collective and colourful personalities. We’re going to park in Indiana and walk over the bridge, into Kentucky, have a beer, grab a bite- shoot some people.

With the camera, of course. 🙂

Damn. I’m really going to have to stop with the smilies. It’s ruining my tougher than nails image.

Anywho, we’re lounging about cleaning the house at the moment. Josh starts school soon too. Back when he was here before and we were having major problems, I sort of…smashed his computer. It’s shameful, I know. I was raging at the time and livid about what he was doing online. (As if smashing the computer would help.)

Now, he’s starting school and desperately needs a computer. Although we’ve settled our financial differences and have squared things up, he’s still without a computer so, I did what I had to do and sold my Lensbaby. Ouch. That hurts just typing that. I also sold my swap kit- which was an additional 4 lens set. There’s just no way I could feel good about having my luxurious toys while he suffered. So, I don’t regret it at all- it was the right thing to do. I still have my 18 MP. DSLR and my 50 MM 1.8 (my personal fave). It’s enough.

I feel good knowing that I’ve made retribution and have given Josh enough money to be able to get his computer and book access code. I think I’ve learned a pretty good lesson in all of this. Leave the man alone! Let him breathe and be a person apart from me, even if that means doing something that I deem “bad”. For me, that’s huge.

We went out for drive yesterday to Lexington, Indiana and had a really good time. We took a turn down a long country road and followed a sign that announced “fresh strawberries”. It was like a wild Utopia. The clouds were semi-overcast and casting a cool, grey glow over everything. Almost like golden hour lighting- that pre-storm lighting, which to me is the best ever, and the best for HDRs.

Large thistles grew out of thick stalks in the ground on either side of the road. Although they were deep purple and quite beautiful, I found them even lovelier in black and white:

Image50 MM/shot in monochrome/manual/RAW

I have an abundance of shots taken from yesterday but haven’t had time to get to them. I’ve discovered the beauty of shooting in RAW again. Makes a big difference with image quality.

Josh just pulled up on his sugar-cycle. (I’ve renamed his moped- he does store runs late at night because we’re sugar freaks and consume large amounts of candy while watching Locked Up Abroad late into the night like we did last night.)

And now I have to get back to cleaning. We’re off on a photo walk soon and my regret is that I don’t have a super-wide to shoot with. All of those old architectural jewels in downtown Louisville and I only have my 50 MM. UGH. (Must get a 10-20 soon.)

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50 MM/shot in monochrome/manual

(The strawberries were delicious, by the way.)


Spring Mill Park in the Wintertime

Brianna, J,  and I headed out to Spring Mill Park today. The place was completely abandoned (which was perfect) so we had it to ourselves. I have to say, I wasn’t missing the cheesy period costumes (women churning butter, old men at the apothecary, etc. etc.).

It was an excellent opportunity to get reacquainted with shooting in monochrome using the 50 MM + all manual controls (focus, exposure, etc.) I’m a stickler for manual focus.

Speaking of period costumes, here are a few shots from today:Image

That’s right. Real men carry their womens’…necessary things. 

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The heart of Pioneer Village.

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An interesting growth atop the entrance to the garden.

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Josh composes a shot using the trusty “road warrior”, also known as the Canon G3.

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A quick self port. in the ladies restroom. Yes, those are pajamas…

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Josh carries Chance in his jacket. All together now…”Awww….”

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And this is why I’ve fallen in love all over again with the 50 MM. This bench shot is straight out of the camera. (Had to lay on my back in the snow to get the shot- but I got it.)

f/3.5
ISO 100
1/49 sec.
manual focus
manual exposure