Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 61 Jerry

Not happy with anything I shot today, I went outside with camera in hand and walked around the block. Well not around the whole block just around the corner. I saw a guy riding a bike and yelled out "Hey come over here" he did and I asked him to ride in a circle around me so I could take a picture. He did and I showed him the result. He seemed to like it but said he had to go somewhere. I said O.K. just one more time. He rode his bike around me again and this is the picture. I have only just begun to play with the open shutter while popping the flash. I love that the results are surprising.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 60 good and evil

Yesterday I met a man and handed him twenty bucks, he handed me back a mask. I used that mask tonight for Picture 60. My husband and I stood in the street taking pictures with an open shutter while popping the flash. We did this for nearly an hour and have completely different results on every frame. Some of the images have lights traveling like maniac light beings, but I edited my choices down to two simple ones. I studied them for awhile trying to choose between the two when it dawned on me that one of them looked evil and one of them looked like an angel. The evil mask guy has tiny flecks of red light looking like embers leaving the mask and traveling to the left. (you might have to click on the picture to see the embers) The house in the background in it's tilted and disoriented state also looks ominous, as if it's not quite safe with this evil guy lurking outside. The angel mask guy has an obvious halo and the light seems to be falling down like stardust from the heavens. The other small bits of light remind me of angels fluttering about. The house and jeep outside are more normal in appearance giving a safer feeling to the picture. It's almost funny I chose these two simple images to pick between. I didn't make the connection until I started to study them. Now that I have made the connection, how can I choose between them? After all what is good without evil?

Day 58 Barbecue girl

Saturday my husband and I attended a barbecue hosted by an associate of his. I took a picture of a young girl who seemed to enjoy having her picture taken. She kept posing for me and was just as nice as could be. I didn't post the picture because her parents were not there. It has taken a couple of days to get permission so instead of taking down my previous post and reposting, I am submitting this here as the best photo for day 58. I think if you look at both fly strips and barbecue girl, we can all agree barbecue girl is the best photo!
Again I was playing with an open shutter and then popping the flash to freeze a moment within that time. I do believe the halo that resulted from this camera play makes this girl look like an angel. But then again, all little girls are angels.

Day 59 Pride in San Francisco

People pranced peacefully down the streets of San Francisco today wearing bright colors, feathers, silks, spangles, beads and leather. Crowds of on lookers cheered as flamboyant beauties passed by. Yes I went to the annual gay pride parade and it was fun getting out there taking the kinds of pictures I used to. But truly I have a desire to photograph something better. I must have, as not one of my images impressed me and they all seemed pretty much the same. How do you choose a picture when not one stands out? Ask your spouse to pick one. So this picture is my husbands pick of the day.

Day 58 fly strips

Around horse barns fly strips are a common sight, especially in June when flies seem to be everywhere. I remember reading an essay years ago which detailed the cruelty of fly strips. The flies long and suffering death stuck to glue, while young girls walked by each day not giving them a second thought. But in nature there are spiders whose venom can paralyze a fly and keep it that way until the spider is ready to dine. Not to mention I walked into the tack room earlier this year and a fly flew into my mouth. I mean it flew IN. I immediately drank a diet Pepsi but that disgusting feeling did not leave, not then, not later, not now. My only regret about fly strips is that they do not catch more flies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 57 Tyler

I remember being in a beginning photography class and by summers end viewing the classes completed work. There were two pictures that to this day stand out in my mind. One of them was of a guy behind a couch, only the guy appeared in three different places. Since then I have wanted to do that multiple flash thing and believe it or not twenty years later have finally done it. Tyler a dog we didn't expect to have but enjoy is the subject of this flash experiment because he stands out with his gleaming light fur and shinny teeth. I have two other dogs but older and not quite as photogenic in this photographic practice. Tyler is every bit a lab and a real people pleaser. I hope my friend Jenny enjoys tonight's picture.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 56 Maria and Suza

While walking along H Street I heard a woman's voice say hello. I turned to see Maria sitting down holding her little dog Suzie. I talked to her briefly and asked to take her picture. She consented and I took about five frames. She said she'd had Suza for about ten years. I told her I'd give her a print sometime next week. She asked me if I could take a picture of just Suza and I did. Cute little dog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 55 Self portrait

I have recently reconnected with two of my high school friends and they both have asked for pictures, so today a picture for them. Not what they were asking for I'm sure but what I have to offer. I mean seriously, who am I if not someone who appreciates the physical comforts of life. My feet in front of a nice cooling fan during the middle of a hot day.
I believe I have finally made the transformation from photojournalist to artist. A quote for my pleasure and your perusal.
The difference bewteen the recorder photographer... and the artist photographer... is that the artist will, by experience and learning... force the camera to paint the imagination...the emotion... the concept and the intent... rather than faithfully and truthfully reproduce an unattractive and unflattering record. - Anonymous

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 54 Christopher and Kelsey

My neighbor across the street is often playing with her grandchildren. For a couple of years I've wanted to photograph them. They always seem to have so much fun. And I must admit I am a little jealous that I don't have grandchildren of my own to play with. But then again who wants to be a grandma when your as young as I am. I photographed Christopher and Kelsey tonight while they were outside with their grandma. They both seemed to love having their picture taken, often posing in different ways and wanting to see the image. With a digital back on my camera they kept asking "let me see it, let me see it"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 53 Coco

I was walking in Empire past almond orchards and old buildings thinking I would never run across something I could photograph, when through the bushes I saw Coco. She was jumping and barking at me as I walked down the street. She was back off the highway on private property so I asked the guy who came out to investigate what all the commotion was about, if I could take her picture. He replied that his wife would have to talk to me, she did and consented to me taking Coco's picture. When I first saw Coco the evening light was shinning on her and the dust was back lit, I knew she could give me a good picture. But while I was waiting for the wife to come out she was perfectly quiet. I hoped she would jump at me. She did, but just for a minute. After that all my pictures were of a sweet Coco.
I'm always surprised how nice people are that they let me photograph them or their pets. I'm always grateful too. I expected to photograph a stranger today but you never know what the photograph fairy is going to give you. As a photojournalist I used to drive around the country side, and have seen so many dogs doing interesting things while chained up in the front yard, that I thought it would be a fun series. This could be a good start to that series.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 52 Whale of ice

It's fathers day so a picture from home. I took my macro lens with the idea of photographing my diet Pepsi but instead became enthralled with the ice. This picture reminds me of a whale popping up out of the icy water. In this June heat a nice cooling image.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 51 Josie and Chicky

I was walking along Ninth Street when I noticed Josie picking flowers through a fence. She didn't mind me taking pictures. Her dog, after a brief inspection, also didn't seem to mind. I asked her what the flowers were for, she said "after they dry I hang them around a framed picture of my boyfriend" When I asked her what her dog's name was, she said "Chicky, and she is a very well behaved dog. I treat her better than my boyfriend. She's more loyal and faithful."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 50 Cherries

Two years ago I learned about an awesome photographer, Chip Simons. http://www.chipsimons.com/index.html I adore his Black period and have wanted to do my own series of stuff on black. So today I have my first, cherries. As simple as it looks it didn't come easy. I played with all kinds of things, frozen strawberries, wine glasses, wine being poured, sliced pineapples etc... The cherries turned out simple but satisfying. Not to mention I drank a lot of wine along the way and ate the cherries.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 49 Steven in water

In keeping with my desire to have a series of images of my son Steven swimming in water, I photographed him today. I plan on photographing him once a month. This month I had several with bubbles and distortion that I really liked. This image was different though, somewhat artsy I believe. Usually when you shoot a lot of one subject and have many to choose from, one image might speak to you. And this image was shouting "Pick Me, pick me" So I picked it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 48 Karlee

I was nearing the end of an evening walk when I saw this little girl playing in her front yard. I turned down the street and began talking to her mom and her mom's friend who lived there. I happened upon this house in April and photographed a boy sitting in a chair smoking. It was nice that I had met one of the women before so they didn't think I was such a weirdo. The mom consented to me taking pictures of Karlee and I hung around a bit talking to them. I have many of the cute little girl pictures most people enjoy, but chose this one with the front of her face in the shade. I also cropped the image. One of my rules, and I have many all made to be broken, is to not crop any pictures. So I cropped this picture. There was one of those white lawn chairs to the left of the frame and I just didn't like it. Karlee was interested in my dog and gave me ample opportunity for good pictures.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 47 Matt

I set lights up in the front yard hoping to photograph a stranger. The extension cord would not reach far past the front porch so I called my neighbor over. He'd had a few beers and was more than willing to oblige. But he had a white shirt, a few houses down I saw a guy in a red shirt, so I asked my neighbor to bring him over. Matt was very willing to let me photograph him and even gave me some great pictures. Then we started talking. He told me about his son Haidyn who was born on Valentines Day with a bad heart. He said his son, who is two years old, had died twice and has been on life support and would probably need a new heart by the time he is ten. He showed me his tattoo and let me photograph it. If I have learned anything in my short life is that nothing is more important than family. And that the quality of life comes not from riches but from who you spend your time with. A glass of red wine every once in a while is a good thing too!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 46 Strawberries and wine

It's becoming increasingly difficult to take a photograph and be happy with it. I photographed watermelon all morning and into the afternoon. Finally I brought out the lights and photographed strawberries with various other items. When I broke out the wine glasses I began to have fun. I knew the image would be common place, but was happy to play and see what I could get. I had about eight shots to choose from and finally settled on this one. I should have cleaned the glasses first, oh well live and learn.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 45 Jonathan top pic, Carmen and Joseph bottom

Boy I struggled with the camera today. I couldn't find a picture to save my life. Then around 6:30 I took a walk on the other side of town and cannot edit down to one picture. I'd rather have that problem than the prior one. I have not had a decent silhouette since I started this blog and I absolutely Love the one I found tonight. I took two pictures of this guy who told me his name was Jonathan. I love the wires and buildings and the sheer material behind his hat. But after taking this picture I continued on my walk.
I saw two children being pushed in a wheelchair. The children were of course adorable, so I asked to take their picture. The dad said yes and stepped aside. The two children are named Carmen and Joseph. At first I wasn't to sure about the car going by but the more I look at it the more I believe the car helps make the picture. The top picture is a better picture graphically but something pulls me to the bottom picture. I can't exactly say what it is but it is the kind of picture I want to become better at. I keep breaking my one picture a day rule, but then again all my rules were made to be broken.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 44 Ninth Street bridge

Feeling a bit like a minimalist I chose for my picture today an image taken of the Ninth street bridge. Ninth street in Modesto actually runs miles long. Usually when I photograph Ninth street I photograph south of this bridge. At any given time of day people walk this bridge to who knows where or why. On those rare occasions when I walk the bridge I like to look down at the river below.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 43 Dora

Immediately after midnight I asked my husband to drive me down to Ninth street. I photographed the buildings in the night light, loving it but wishing I had a person in my picture. I was walking back to the car when Dora passed by. We began talking and I asked her if I could take her picture. She said in a jubilant manner "If I can pose for a mug shot I can have this kind of picture taken" I said I needed some light so she walked over to the doorway of this building. I took about four pictures of her there, but like this picture of her walking over. She said I reminded her of a friend of hers.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 42 Splash of color

Yesterday my husband and I wandered around the mall wasting time. I used to shop at Hot Topic when I was a teenager, now as an old lady they look at me kind of weird when I enter. A glimpse of color caught my eye. It was rack of heart shaped neckless' hanging on display. I have never been one for liking heart shaped items. Thinking them a little juvenile, artistically speaking. But the color was beautiful. They were buy one get one half off. At 8 dollars a piece and with about 8 dollar bills in my purse I decided to get two. I emptied my purse on the counter digging for change. Doing stuff like that never embarrasses me. With my purchase in hand, we left. This morning I put both of them on the kitchen counter so the light could shine on their magnificent color. I did get some images I enjoyed but then thought, what about water? So I poured water on the heart shaped color and you have todays image.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 41 Miss Easley

Today was such a beautiful morning I headed down to Ninth street. As I walked over to the donut store for some coffee and a custard filled donut, I saw this woman standing on a corner. She looked beautiful in her pink dress against the blue sky with the white fence behind her. But I didn't get the feeling she'd like her picture taken. So I headed into the donut store for my morning's enjoyment. When I came out she was still there. I walked over thinking it wouldn't hurt to ask for a picture. Before I could speak she asked me for a dollar. I gave her all I had which was only three dollars. She allowed me to take her picture when I asked but was very shy about it. I didn't try to hard as I didn't want to embarrass her. We talked and I showed her some of the pictures. When the sun popped out I snapped a few more and got this shot. She is beautiful with her smile and her pink dress. At first she told me her name was Carol Burnett, then she gave me another name. Before I walked away she shouted out Misses Easley. I said E A S L E Y, and she said "yes".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 40 Nostalgia!!!!

Today has been a day of memories. I went through some old slides and photographed them again. Making them new. What was taken in 1978 is new today! Yes, 1978! I went on a high school field trip to Los Angeles with my photography class. Diana Wooley was my teacher and she just let us loose! How much fun was that. Walking around Los Angeles unsupervised. She was a pretty cool teacher. She used to ride her motorcycle across the soccer field and get in trouble by the principal. I imagine if a teacher did that now-a-days they'd get fired. She loved my photo's. Said so in front of the whole class. I look at them and they seem pretty simple. Just the kind a high school girl would take. Diana Wooley especially loved the close up of the woman's face as she walked by me. She is wearing a bright red shirt. Personally I liked the one of the police officer talking to a guy. Only I hated the person on the side. It's still my favorite but now I enjoy the person on the side, makes the photo. Check out the liquor prices! I love the photograph of people walking down the street. The clothes are adorable. Enjoy classic 1978!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 39 Guard dog extraordinare

Every time I drive down Ninth street I look to my right and there is this guard dog hanging out in a large cement area. I love to photograph Ninth street and I love to photograph guard dogs. There is something fun about photographing a dog who wants to eat you when you are safe on the other side of a fence. This beautiful animal's name is Diamond. Look at Diamond's teeth!!! But if you also look at his tail, it's between his legs. A fearful guard dog is also the most dangerous.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 38 Sunflowers

I've had horses for about five years now and enjoy them throughly. On a busy street corner, not far from where I board, there is a patch of sunflowers that pops up every year. I've driven by this corner countless times and each time I say to myself you should photograph those sunflowers, but I never do. Today with my camera in the car and my flash ready with new batteries, I stopped. It was a little embarrassing standing out there in my riding clothes while semi trucks and cars drove by. But the reward is a picture I like. There were only a couple of bees buzzing around. I tried to get them in the picture and am pretty pleased I have one flying around in this shot. I'm also pleased with the look of the flowers. They seem to be blowing in the wind. Will the flash madness ever end? Gosh I love the flash.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 37 Wayne with a green stripe

About a year ago I learned about a painting Matisse had done. A woman, his wife, who was painted with a green strip down her face. Since then I've wanted to take a picture of my husband with a green stripe down his face. Problem was actually getting some face paint. We found a place in the mall yesterday so I tried taking my picture tonight. I'll let you decide whether or not it's a success. It's not exactly what I envisioned. Here's a little info on the picture done by Matisse
Another reason for starting this blog is I was wondering what the worst is other photographers do. Photographers always show their successes, but their worst is often hidden. Having to post a picture a day gives me a chance to try new things and either fail or succeed. The fun is in the trying, thinking, and the experimentation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 36 White Cow

I really enjoyed using the flash yesterday so I used it again today. I wanted a picture of my old appaloosa rescue horse but animals are so unpredictable. I took a moments rest when a white cow walked over to check me out. She walked very slowly and I sat perfectly still. She inched closer ever so carefully, until I was able to get this shot. I let her sniff my flash for awhile she seemed curious about it. It was as much fun having a nice moment with a cow as it was taking her picture.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 35 Chloe queen of the jungle

I had a shot posted early today, but kept thinking about it at work. That it wasn't good enough. I came home and kept trying different things with the flash, even posting another picture. But still wasn't totally satisfied with it. So out again to try for something better. And then don't you know it, it all came together and I have a great picture for today. I should send it in to a cat magazine. My pain in the ass, but ever so photogenic, kitty cat Chloe, gave me her best today. So here is a picture of Chloe looking like the queen of the jungle. A photograph I'm proud of, one I wouldn't have without this blog. I like days like today!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 34 Street photography

San Francisco has got to be the funniest place to take pictures of strangers on the street. I have to admit this is about my favorite thing to do photographically. My favorite street photographer has got to be with out question Henri Cartier Bresson. While even in my most far out dreams I could never take anything that could ever be compared to his work, I still try to see and take what I can. To be better in the future, than what I am now. And so a few shots of people whose names I don't know. Just strangers on the street in San Francisco. And one of a woman working in a Levi's store, of course in San Francisco.

Day 33 Young photographer in the making

I danced a few steps as a jazz band entertained a nice crowd that seemed to be enjoying the weather as well, when I turned around to see a girl taking my picture. I told her I wanted to take a picture of her taking a picture of me. And so we each took pictures.

Day 32 girls

I knew I would take several themes today to make up for my lost days. A trip to San Francisco to have some 120 color transparency film processed. Only sadly, I arrived to my favorite film processing place, New Lab, to find out it had closed it's doors. All those people and all those jobs. They all have been so nice to me over the years. Not only the economy but digital cameras have helped put them out of business. They opened their doors in 1980. Sad to see them gone.
But a photo today of a group of girls. Coming out of a new mall in San Fran. Open for only a few years now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 31 Peter

I was driving home down Ninth street as usual, when I spotted a man pushing an ice cream cart across the street. I stopped and ran out to get his picture. By this time he was in front of a taco truck. I asked him if he would go back into the light so I could get his picture he raised his finger at me and said "No picture"
How does a photographer determine when to take and when not to take a picture? My journalism background usually has me taking pictures regardless of what a person thinks, after all an editor doesn't give a rats ass what a person wants. An editor wants the picture and as a photojournalist it's your job to get it. But I don't work for a newspaper anymore and for the most part I do respect people and don't take their pictures.
But I had a feeling about this guy. He was a pretty nice fellow. We joked for a while as I hung around still looking for a better shot. I don't feel I got that better shot as I like this one best. When I left I told him thanks for the picture, he said " you're welcome Meha."

Day 30 Tick

Yeah!!! my computer is fixed. I thought having to post a picture a day was a pain sometimes, but boy did I miss it. Yesterday I gave two of my dogs a flea and tick bath I found three ticks total. I saw this one tick, which is headless, lying on the table and ran inside to get my macro lens. I love the light and the transparency of the flea and tick shampoo. Each tick I pulled out came out without it's head. If you look close you can see it's bloody neck. Maybe I should have used tweezers.
One of my junior college teachers always says, "there is nothing in life that shouldn't be photographed." I believe this. And so you have a picture of a tick for day 30, I'm going to have to take a few extra pictures at some point to catch up the days.