Monday, August 31, 2009

Day 123 Golden Pears

I actually photographed these pears on a blue background first then, just for fun, put them on my black background. Yes the pears are painted. For some reason I've always enjoyed painting pears. Only this time I painted the actual pears. I wish I had some gold glitter so I could have added some to the picture. Something to try in the future.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 122 Silverware, Apple and Beets

Tomorrow marks the end of the fourth month of taking a picture every day. That is to say I'm one third of the way finished with this project. What have I learned? That I have a lot to learn. The most important thing I've learned is that the kinds of pictures I'm taking are not what I should be doing... however, I'm not quitting the project as I feel it does have it's advantages. For instance I love photographing things on black and using the light I have. I also love my old plexi glass background as I love all the scratches it has acquired over time. I believe it adds texture to the pictures. I took so many pictures of things on black today I couldn't edit. By the time I finish this blog I hope to have at least fifty images of things on black.
Today also marks the third Sunday in a row that I have gone walking with my Pentax 645 taking pictures with black and white film. Most of what I shoot when I'm out are pictures most photographers wouldn't even consider wasting their film on, like all the empty houses and the houses that show signs of human life but no one is around. I am sometimes lucky on my walks and meet people who don't mind having their picture taken. These are the kinds of pictures I should be taking. I plan on a trip down South in September to process film and listen to Dan Winters talk about his work. He has an awesome book out titled "Periodical Portraits"
Since starting this project my best pictures, both of them, were taken on Ninth Street. But I don't have the good spirit you need to go photograph there much anymore. Can't say why exactly. A prostitute yelled at me today. I'm hard of hearing just kept walking.... Then later while waiting for my husband to pick me up, I was sitting on River road which crosses Ninth Street, a guy in a white truck pulled over and told me to get in... I told him I was waiting for my husband and he pulled out fast. It didn't occur to me until later that he thought I was a professional woman. Ass hole... "Get in" .... in his dreams...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 121 Party in a Glass, that's right Splash!

I couldn't wait to long to take another splash photo. I wanted to do a better job. I really don't have all the tools required so I just used what I could find. An old wine glass, the kind you find for sale real cheap almost anywhere. Not ideal, because the design doesn't allow for to much transparency. And some plastic jewels I bought a few months ago to photograph at some point. Again not ideal, as the jewels are very light, not easy to make a proper splash. However, I set them up and my husband dropped the jewels for me. We spent about a half hour then called it quits. This is my favorite shot.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 120 Eric

While on an evening constitution through the local cemetery with my better half, I noticed many cats lurking about the graves. My husband stopped to talk to a nice couple sitting nearby while I attempted to photograph the cats. My efforts were futile, as the cats were to feral to approach without them high tailing it back into the tress from which they came. It was eerie, the cemetery with all those feral cats sitting on the graves. As the sun slowly set a shadow passed by startling me and a while a chill ran up my spine. By sheer instinct alone I turned quickly and snapped a few pictures. The camera showed no image when I looked, but now at home I find this picture. Strange...

O.K. the guys name is Eric and the bag is filled with cat food. But the picture does look eerie, doesn't it??

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 119 Steve and Merlot

Earlier in the year I traded photographic services for horse training services. I photographed Steve Bauhr's progress training a mustang mare, Tonopah Ora, who he trained for the Western States Horse Expo mustang challenge competition in June. Steve did a marvelous job and Tonopah Ora found herself a great home.
I bought Merlot as a yearling in 2004. He has not been in a trailer since. He is six years old now, 16.2 hands, and very leery of different people and different situations. The only horse I own that I could not get in a trailer on my own. It didn't take Steve long before he had Merlot going in and backing out of the trailer. I guess Merlot just needed some one who knew what they were doing.
Merlot's a long way off from being trailer trained but at least now he has a good start. All I wanted. On the walk back to Merlot's stall I snapped quite a few pictures. I love so many of them, because of course I love my horse, and the sky was gorgeous, so for today a silhouette of Steve and Merlot.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 118 Pickle Splash, edited to add Coffee Splash

I spent the entire day pouring cream into coffee trying to get a certain kind of splash with a drop of cream and even posted the best I could get. Then I perused around flicker to see everyone's splash photographs and they were amazing so of course couldn't be satisfied with my coffee and cream splash. I grabbed the best type of glass we had and found something heavy enough to hopefully make a splash, a dill pickle, and began my new undertaking. I spent only about twenty minutes total, compared to this afternoons six hour episode, to get this shot. You can't really tell it's a dill pickle.

Looking at it a day later my coffee splash was way better, I should have left it. I'm really not a good editor. I think I'm going to add my coffee splash to this post and anyone can make up their own mind which is better. In any case I plan on making more splashes. I have to at least get as good at making splashes as all those smucks who have pictures on flicker.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 117 Dancing Light Reading Glasses

I had planed on going for a walk for tonight's picture, but I was sitting around the house bored when I noticed the light coming through the blinds. I set my black plexi glass background into the light and put my husbands reading glasses on it. I photographed the glasses from almost every angle acquiring for myself a cornucopia of reading glasses compositions. I chose this picture because it was the light that drew me and it is the light that makes this picture.
I had been feeling pretty bad lately. I've been feeling like my pictures aren't what they ought to be, to coin a phrase, but I am excited about tonight's picture. I just love the rainbow of colors and how the light seems to dance on the surface even though the picture is a still.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 116 Dead Dog

I parked my jeep grabbed my camera and prepared to photograph Ninth Street. As I started to cross the street I found this bloody mess in the middle of the road. I began taking pictures as well as I could in between the packs of cars rushing by. A few of them looking back as if to say "What's she doing taking pictures of a dead dog".
I don't recall a single time in my jaunts to Ninth Street where I haven't seen stray dogs wandering around. I often try to photograph them but they run away or I get a better shot of something else. Not to long after photographing this dog, who must have belonged to someone as it's collar is near by, I spotted a small tan chihuahua mix strutting along the curb as if he owned the street. I tried to grab a shot of him but he was much to fast. I watched as he darted across Ninth Street almost getting hit by a car, and then shooed off by a street person he scampered down an adjoining street.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 115 Feet don't fail me now

I took an awesome picture of my feet when I was in Junior college and haven't photographed them since. Their older now and far less attractive, that's if you can call feet attractive. The thing I like about my feet, is that no matter how fat I get, my feet always look slim when I strain them. Go ahead laugh, but some people do have fat feet. Nothing wrong with that. Just saying my feet don't look fat when I strain them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 114 Crystal and Arrow

I was again attempting to photograph the cigarette packages on top of the fence on Ninth Street, when Anthony, Crystal and Arrow happened by. As they passed Anthony turned around and said, "Hey your the woman who was taking pictures". He remembered me from sometime in March. I had photographed him and his new puppy Diamond, a chow mix. I asked him how Diamond was doing and he said she's mean now so she just stays in the motel. But he was walking Arrow, a dog that everyone who stays at the hotel takes care of. He had told me about Arrow when we last met. Back then I took several pictures of him and Diamond in black and white film, but have yet to pick a picture I like. He told me the girl he was with was named Crystal, but she doesn't talk much he said. She hung around while we carried on a conversation but never said a word.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 113 Blu

I set up a single light in my living room and tried without success to get the PG&E guy to let me take his picture. He declined and I persisted, he declined and I persisted, until finally I let him leave the house without taking his picture. He was afraid he could lose his job. OK a reasonable excuse and a legitimate concern.
Not to be defeated and determined to photograph someone in front of the black background in my living room with my one light, I walked across the street. Blu just arrived to visit his friends and his friends, my neighbors, convinced him to model for me. He removed his glasses and stood where I asked and turned his head in any direction. I took quite a few pictures, enough to learn, I need to learn a lot about lighting. I do like this picture of him and don't even mind the light glare. I should though, a true professional would not be satisfied with it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 112 Diane

The last Thursday of the month art walk was tonight. I have two macro images in the show at the Photographers Gallery, so of course went to the opening. I noticed a sharp beam of light entering the gallery and began taking pictures. Diane, a photographer friend of mine who works at the gallery, began modeling for me. I chose this picture because I love the play of both hands on her chest and I also love all the undistinguishable chaos in the background and I also love how you can see her wonderful personality.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 111 Eggs in black and white

I'm shooting exclusively in black and white today so a post of a picture I took earlier this year.
I enjoyed a nice breakfast with a friend and her girlfriend. My friend ordered poached eggs. This is something I've often ordered before, only I never had them served to me looking the way her order did. They looked like a couple of testicles. I took a few pictures and made a few jokes, before she told me "Hey I have to eat these"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 110 Eggs

Eggs, the stuff of which dreams are made of. I had a dream I should photograph a couple of raw eggs and their shells. So I did.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 109 Steven Swimming #4

It was about time to try for this months picture of Steven swimming. It didn't seem as if our hearts were in it this time around and I'm beginning to wonder if it was a good idea to do the same thing every month. I wonder if David Hockney ever thought maybe he shouldn't paint so many pictures of men swimming with water ripples. I doubt it. He was probably turned on by the process. I think that as long as I get something I truly enjoy, then I'm good and happy with this series, but If I get less than that, I'm not so happy. I really love last month's picture of Steven swimming so I suppose almost anything I got this month was going to pale in comparison.
I guess I really don't know what the hell I'm talking about. The more I look at this the more I like it. I guess it's all just a matter of perspective.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 108 Wayne Splashed

I enjoyed the frozen splashed water in yesterdays picture so much I thought it would be fun to do it again. Only I didn't have any fruit, so I had my husband point the hose at his face. I have to say it was a lot fun for me, flashing the water and stopping it's action.
On a side note, I walked for a few hours today on the hot, dry, dirty streets of Modesto. I hope to process the black and white film in September.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 107 Black Berries

Yesterday while visiting my brother in law my husband and I admired his blackberry vine. It ran along the length of his fence and was very pretty with all the different stages of berry development. My brother in law stated that the birds eat the berries all the time and there are so many berries that even they cannot eat them all. I immediately said we are taking some home to photograph on black.
I set up my light and took a few pictures with several different compositions. One was farther away so you could see the vine, thorns, berries and the leaves. That was my personal favorite although a better image was a close up of the bottom of the berry bunch. I was happy enough with the textures and color the berries presented, but of course by now I can't take a picture of anything without adding water to the subject. I tried to catch the water droplets just as they were falling off the berries. Then I asked my husband to just pour the rest of the water on them, and so here is my picture for the day, my only frame with water pouring down in such a way.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 106 SFMOMA, Till, me and the crowd

Yeah, today was spent in San Francisco admiring the photographic work of Robert Frank. I was in complete awe. Speechless. Words fail to describe the beating of my heart as I stood in a room with what can only be described as the work of an angel on earth.
I have three pictures for today. Top Tilroe, my brother in law, second myself in yet another self portrait, and bottom the crowd at the Richard Avedon exibit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day 105 Emilio

An evening walk with my dog Tyler and I found absolutely no one around, until I headed down the final street on my journey home. I saw out of the corner of my eye a man watering something on the side of his house. I loved the way I could only see part of him and how the evenings sun was creating beautiful shadows on the front of his house. In order to get that picture I would have to go up onto his property, so I asked him If I could take his picture. After explaining about my blog, he consented and was great at doing exactly what he was doing before. The picture I took is pretty close to what I saw while on my walk.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 104 Ron

I walked along Ninth Street during the heat of the afternoon and came along a metal recycling place. I ventured in and Zaff, the owner, allowed me to take pictures. I talked to Ron who was working, and they both showed me a couple of kittens they had been caring for. Adorable but feral. I was shooting with my old Nikon using black and white film and am hoping to process the film in September or October respectfully. I arrived home and decided to go back out and photograph them again but with my digital camera. I was glad to see them both still there, they were cleaning up shop so I arrived just in time. I took a few pictures and did get a nice picture of one of the stray kittens. I like this silhouette though. Ron on the right and Zaff in the background left.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 103 Wayne under the Street light

I had been taking pictures all evening and nothing was making me happy. Finally I asked my husband if he would walk down to the corner with me, he said yes, so off we went. I had ideas about photographing him under the street light before, but I had envisioned him wearing a long overcoat. I thought with his height and a long overcoat under the street light, he might look a bit scary. Well he doesn't own an overcoat but he was still able to stand under the light. I played around with shutter speeds until I was happy then had him walk towards me, carefully not allowing any other light in the picture. I love the results. Scary man.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day 102 Golden Flower Showers #4

Out back watering the lawn, it looked to me like the sun was shinning though water in a way that it might be golden. Apparently I was wrong. But I'll tell you what, I sure am loving my failures.
There is an absence of light in this picture and the flower in it's wilted state causes the scene to look stygian. Although the petals are wilted, the flowers stem and face have a sense of puissance, standing up against the odds, sedulously clinging onto hope in the face of never ending darkness. The flowers golden color gives the feeling that it used to thrive in a once prodigiously opulent valley. I feel like some fantasy hero needs to come in and save the day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day 101 Nathan and Bear

In April I met a loquacious boy on a skate board rolling up and down the street. I took many pictures of him using black and white film. I also let him use the camera to take a few pictures, well I said take a few, but he enjoyed it so much he took about a roll and a half. I haven't seen him since then until tonight.
I headed out the door with my dog Tyler and Nathan was at the end of my driveway asking me how the pictures came out. I told him I processed the film but had to wait to make prints and then I walked with him around the block to his house. He wanted me to take a picture of him with his dog Tinkerbell. His mom came out and we struck up a conversation while Nathan ran Tyler up and down the street giving him some much needed exercise. In between runs Nathan would go in the house and bring out a pet for me to take pictures of. I took a picture of him with Tinkerbell, his pet baby chicken, his lizard, and of course Bear. Bear is a Rottweiler Chihuahua cross. They adopted Bear when an old man died leaving four horses and a couple of dogs homeless. They found homes for the horses and adopted Bear, another couple adopted the other dog. Out of all his pets Bear was the most interesting, he had such wonderful expressions. Nathan also asked if he could take pictures of his dogs so I let him use my camera to take a few pictures.
Now I know Nathan lives right around the corner, I'm sure I'll see him again soon.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day 100!!! Shells

WOW for 100 days I have been taking a picture a day. Only two are of the quality I hope to achieve on a regular basis. Day 68 and Day 41, both taken on Ninth Street.
Today I am again working at the fair and this evening I get to photograph Huey Lewis and the News. Love how that guy plays the harmonica.
So my time for taking pictures was limited to this afternoon. I went outback and photographed the dogs but they seemed like family photos. Not bad, but cold be better. So I tried shooting some things on black. I like how the shells turned out. I enjoy their slight reflection and I adore all the sand and debris that fell on the background. Of course I couldn't decide between the two. I like them both and it is Day 100! so I am posting both. The differences are slight, and it is only a matter of personal preference so choose for yourself which is the best photo of the day.
I can't believe it is Day 100! Only two images of the quality I hope to attain, better get crackin!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 99 Tomato factory

Once again I was home from the fair at about 11 pm and not wanting to set up a picture at home "tomorrow" I decided to go out after midnight and get a photo. My drive home takes me past a tomato factory which looks really cool with all it's shinny metal pipes and smoke blowing out. Since starting this blog I have wanted to go out and get a picture of it. But usually I'm to tired or already have my picture for the day. Wanting to shoot something "tonight" I drove out there. I parked my jeep on a dirt edge where a few other cars were parked.
Now having been a photojournalist and having photographed businesses before I know they can be pretty nervous about people taking pictures so I thought I would hurry up. However, it was so much fun photographing all the metal pipes and smoke and I was trying this new process where I let my mind accept any unexpected photographic gifts. Like a motorcycle which passed by or people passing by me and including them in the picture. I had this preconceived notion of how the picture should look and it was fun straying away from that concept. So I lingered there longer than I wanted, and sure enough guy in white shirt with a badge comes along asking me what am I doing. I inform him that I am taking pictures and that I am standing on a public street. He insists that I give him my name and I decline to give it because I am doing nothing wrong, this is America and my first amendment rights allow me to stand on a public street and take pictures. Of course he says he doesn't care about the first amendment and I tell him he should since he is living in America and obviously working in America. I don't like men trying to bully me. I also told him if he would be silent and listen I would tell him what the pictures are for. So I gave him my blog address, but only after I made him acknowledge that I was doing so because I don't care who looks at my blog and that it had nothing to do with him trying to intimidate me and after I made him say please, when he heard my blog url he laughed because he said he thought it was funny I'd call it the worst photographer ever. I told him I'm certainly not the best. I also asked him if the big wigs over there were afraid I was a tomato espionage spy.
A fair question because I remember photographing the goat milk making factory as a journalist and they insisted I didn't photograph certain things because they didn't want their Russian visitors to learn all their goat milk making secrets. So the guard wrote down my license plate number and I left. I left only because I was done taking pictures.
I have two pictures to share today. I did get all the pictures I planned of pipes and smoke but I like these two as they are different from what I was expecting to get. They are also very different from each other. I am drawn to both of them for obvious different reasons.

As a foot note I realize now about twelve hours later that I should have photographed the security guy. That would have been leaving myself open to accept the photographic gifts the universe gives you. This is a learning process.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 98 Knives

While pouring my cup of coffee this morning I noticed the water on my hand was lit up by the mornings light, so I began taking pictures. First it was bananas, then it was bananas with honey on top, then it was knives under running water. Knives win! Now I have a picture of forks, spoons and knives. I'm also going to be showing the forks and spoons pictures in the August show at the Photographers Gallery in Modesto. The show which includes many artists has a theme of macro photography. For those of you who have not been, Modesto's third Thursday of the month, evening Art Walk is a pretty fun experience.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day 97 L.J.

I didn't get off work from the fair until a bit past 11 p.m. so I thought it might be past midnight by the time I drove down Ninth Street on my way home. I parked my jeep and checked the time 12:05, yeah!! I could take a picture for today. As I crossed the street I noticed a guy watching me so I walked over towards him, he asked me if I worked for the Modesto Bee I said no but I wished I did cause then I could make some money. He then asked me if I was a cop and I had to laugh. I don't know why that question strikes me as funny but it does. I guess cause I'm so not a serious person. Any how we struck up a conversation and he agreed to let me take pictures of him. I tried about ten different times to come up with a good picture. Again I used an open shutter while popping the flash. I loved taking pictures of him, he is very photogenic. It was nice having a conversation with him as well, until his girl friend showed up, he warned me she was angry at him and she proved it to be true by yelling at him for allowing me to take his picture. He told her that I was an artist and she shouted "like hell she is". Then I left.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 96 Frog and his little glass horse

Frog was sitting on his lilly pad wishing he had a better home. He was tired of that lilly pad, it offered no privacy or luxury living in any way. So he went to the bank to apply for a home loan. He walked over to the loan officer, Patty Whack. He explained to her his desire for a better place to live. She was understanding but said she would need some collateral. He said he didn't have any bank accounts or securities, but he did have a little glass horse. The glass horse was a valuable possession handed down to him from many generations back, and frankly the only possession he could fit on his lilly pad. Patty didn't know what she should do, so she went and explained the entire situation to her boss. Her boss replied, "It's a Nick Knack Patty Whack give the Frog a Loan"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 95 Golden Flower Showers #3

After mowing the lawn and trimming a tree I became enthralled with water drops on a spider web. Yes I know how photographically quiescent, but every photographer has to have the water drops on a spider web picture. I picked up the hose to add more water when I noticed the sun shinning through was causing the water to become golden. I guess the sun has to be setting just so... I ran inside grabbed one of the flowers that was left from the last two days of flower picture taking and quickly sprayed some golden spray paint on it. I knew it wasn't completely painted gold, I was in a hurry and I thought a little bit of the flowers natural red color might be good. My husband hosed the flower with the running water and I managed to grab a few shots.
Still... not what I dreamed about, certainly not as interesting as the flower pictures from the previous two days, but a documentation of my progress towards a picture I had a dream about. When the day comes that I do get my shot, I think I'll throw a party.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 94 Frozen flowers

Yesterday while cleaning up I wasn't sure what to what to do with the left over flowers. They were so pretty I didn't want to throw them away, but they had no stems so they couldn't go in a vase, I decided to put them in a bowl of water, but it took up to much room on my kitchen counter, the bowl had to go in the freezer. This morning I took out my bowl of frozen flowers to admire the beauty of the frozen ice on top of them then realized that they were beautiful when the light was shinning through them. Outside I went with my maco lens in hand, and with my husband holding the round disk of frozen flowers I snapped away. So many variations with frozen droplets back lit, the beauty was, well... beautiful. It was hard to choose one but I am excited about doing this again.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 93 Farmers Market Flowers

This morning my husband and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll down the local farmers market. I spotted a flower stand with flowers of striking beauty. So I stopped and gathered up a few, carefully collecting colors that I thought might look good together. You could pick seven flowers for a dollar, a bargain in anyone's book. I told her I was going to photograph them so she gave me three more. As a child my favorite color was always yellow, the past few years it's been deep red, and as of recently my favorite color has turned to orange.