Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Learning New Software

Scales of Justice, Sylva, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

I'm playing around with a new piece of software I found for doing B&W conversions, Black and White Projects 3.0 by Franzis. I have been frustrated by the fact that quite a few pieces of software that I've used for years, and come to love, won't work in Windows 10, or with Elements 14. An older version of Silver Efex Pro is one that I could no longer use, to my dismay and frustration. This new software will hopefully fill a gap in my photo editing arsenal, albeit with an initially steep learning curve. It normally sells for $129, but it was offered for one day on Giveaway Of the Day at my favorite price, FREE! So I'm back to school with software once again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

You Can't Make It Up

Balancing Act, Asheville, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

When I head to downtown Asheville, I never know what I'm going to see. That's why it's a good idea to carry a camera at all times. You just can't predict, or plan on scenes like this.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sin Tiempo. Almost.

Street Scene, Asheville, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Several years ago, I discovered a series of photos by photographer Michael Crouser which he called sin tiempo, which means "without time". He looks for scenes devoid of obvious evidences of a particular era of time. The street scene above almost qualifies. Except for the obviously modern car in the bottom left corner, this photo could have been made any time from the mid 1920s to today.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Open Window

Open Window, Asheville, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

A window at a mosque? No, a window in a downtown Asheville parking garage. Minimalist subjects are all around if you look for them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Back To The Beginning

Caboose Handrail, Bryson City, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

About a year or so ago, I decided to give up on the idea of trying to use my photography as a way to make a little extra money. It was a very freeing decision. I still like shooting portraits, but I only do it on my terms and timing now. I found that I had tired of trying to give a customer what they wanted, when often it conflicted with my vision. I also stopped shooting scenics and nature photos with an eye toward "what someone might want to hang in their home or office". Now I just shoot what I like. I find I'm having more fun from my photography just doing it for my own personal enjoyment.

The photo above is a good example of my re-found approach. I don't think it would have much marketability as a stock photo, and I doubt anyone would want a print of it hanging in their den or living room. But I like it. The contrasting colors, and the shapes both caught my eye, so, click! After I got it up on my computer screen, I still liked it. If anyone else likes it, that's fine. If they roll their eyes, that's fine too. The main thing is that I'm back to the reason I bought my first camera way back in 1982: because I thought it would be fun!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Church In The Apple Orchard

Cornerstone Fellowship Church, Waynesville, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Well, it's not exactly in an apple orchard, but right next to one.

I had been wanting to get a picture of my church from the vantage point of the apple orchard next door. It's a nice building, but it's not exactly an architectural marvel. I thought the foreground of apple trees would give the somewhat plain metal building a little distinction. Apple picking has started, so I figured yesterday evening would be my last opportunity to get the photo I wanted before all the apples got picked. Fortunately, the weather cooperated, and I was able to get my photo.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Need For Quiet

One of my favorite Christian authors is A. W. Tozer. If ever there was a modern day prophet, I think Tozer would qualify. Tozer died in 1963, but his essays read like they were written last week. They are that timeless. After reading his essay, We Must Be Still To Know, I was inspired to match this verse from Isaiah with one of my photos. The need for times of stillness and quiet has never been more necessary than it is in our world today. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What I learned about steam locomotives

Backing Across The Trestle, Bryson City, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

A huge disappointment yesterday: After waiting about an hour for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad's steam locomotive to return to Bryson City, I had to settle for a picture of it being pulled backwards by a diesel-electric locomotive. The GSMR makes a "there and back" run to Nantahala. When it reaches the end of the line, the locomotive must uncouple, move on a parallel track to the other end of the train, re-couple, and then pull it back the opposite direction to Bryson City. Diesel-electric locomotives can pull backwards and forwards with equal ease and speed. Steam locomotives, which must remain coupled to its coal tender car, can only pull forward. To get around this problem, GSMR pulls one way under steam power, and then returns the other direction pulled by a diesel-electric locomotive.

So the photo I got was the steam locomotive being towed backwards across the trestle (note the direction of the flags). A decent photo, but not the one I imagined beforehand. There were no clouds of billowing smoke and steam like I had hoped for. To get the photo I want, I'll have to wait for another day and catch the train on its outbound leg.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Distant Relation?

Waiting For A Customer, Canton, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

I made this photo of a food vendor at the Canton Labor Day Festival yesterday afternoon. After I got the photo up on my computer screen, I had the feeling that I had seen it before. Not the person, but the photo. Had I subconsciously copied a photo I had seen previously?

Then it hit me. My photo had reminded me of the famous photo, Migrant Mother, made by Dorthea Lange in 1936. There were some similarities of hand placement and expression. The two women even look like they could be related.

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, CA  -  1936
Photo by Dorthea Lange

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Banjo Picker

Banjo Picker, Cowee, NC  -  2016
(Click on photo to enlarge.)

I'm still posting photos I made two weeks ago. The heat seems to be moderating a bit, so hopefully I'll be getting out with my camera more often than I have over the summer months. I'm just not much of a summer time person.

Thursday, September 1, 2016