Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sunset For The Class

---Sunset Solitude---

Last night was the last Landscape Photography class until fall.
It was field trip night to a local park. A very warm evening but everyone enjoyed it.
As you can see the sunset alone was worth the trip. 
Nature put on a good show for us.
Thank you to all the students who attended. 
Part of the fun for me is to watch your images grow better & better as the class progresses.
Be sure to watch this blog for next falls' schedule.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Saturday Photo


A quick field trip to the Lima area resulted in this photo.
An old mill stream from the 1800's. The mill is long since gone.
But the stream and its beauty remain.
Just off the main road and below a bridge, 
it is amazing what we can find if we slow down a bit and look.
A country church with a wedding about to start is just behind us.
The bride, groom, and wedding party wondering what we are photographing.
Their view of beauty, much more narrowly focused.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sunrise First Day Of Summer


Just before sunrise, the first day of summer looked like this.
It turned out to be hot and muggy but at least it started well.
Since we, in the mid-west, have been having 
August weather in June. I can't wait to see what we get 
when it is really August.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Townsend Wye


Aside from roads and pathways, I have always been fascinated 
by the shapes and patterns made by flowing water.
Add to those patterns a bit of reflection and we get something beautiful.
This was taken near the Smoky Mountains at the Townsend Wye in Tennessee.
After sitting for a while, watching and photographing 
the patterns change with the movement of the sun,
 I felt that this was the most pleasing arrangement of the day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Spring At The Park


Here I go again with a path, a trail, or a set of steps.
I think that all artists are at least somewhat into 
metaphors.  Pathways, trails, and steps are some 
of my favorites.

This photo is from Wednesdays' class at the Springfield Museum.
We took a short field trip to a local park to see and record the changes
that the colors of Spring make in what is normally a drab scene.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The View From Hyatt Lane

 ---Scenic Summer ---

Early evening light falls across the mountains.
Every time I go through the cove I see new things.
This is from Hyatt Lane looking back to the east.
The warm glow, soft light, and great sky 
make it all come together.
All in all, a perfect day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spring In The Mountains

---Green Glade---

A cabin in the mountains surrounded by the new green 
of spring with just a touch of warm early evening light
to help with the glow.
We had returned from a long hike around the perimeter of the property,
arriving from the back side of this familiar cabin just in time to 
catch this view in perfect light.
The vibrance of the color is normal for this time of
year. A brief shower came along to remove all the dust
just before this was taken.
A sky of scattered clouds gave a spotlight effect to the scene.
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
Even if you did not really "plan" it this way.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Early Morning Light

---Spring On Sparks Lane---

Early one morning last week. We were out on Sparks Lane.
No traffic, beautiful light, still a hint of the fog that had been there.
A classic pathway photo.  
I have always been fascinated with roads, lanes, and pathways.
They seem, to me, to be a metaphor for life.
The road ahead...beckoning, calling us to explore.......
What, I wonder, is at the end of our road.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Time To Remember


As we go through life, maybe more so, if we are in the arts.
we stand upon the shoulders of those who have come before.
We learn from their successes and from their mistakes.
We watch closely as they struggle with the composition or with
the tech of the day.
We watch as they learn to speak with the voice
of their medium. Clear statements of who they are and what they
saw and felt while in the process of creation.

We can only work to speak our truth as clearly.
To make our statements as bold and uncompromising as possible.
To walk in the footsteps of those who have gone on before
and to reach a bit further along the path as honorable examples
for those who will come after us.
To be the bridge between what was and what will be.

Friday, May 21, 2010

One For The Road


Just a quick photo from last night's class.
The back patio of the museum.

I will be teaching a Landscape Photography class at the museum in June.
The class will meet from 6:30 to 9:00 PM on Wednesdays for 4 weeks.
Starting June 16th.   The cost is $50.00.  You MUST have a DSLR and be able to use it.
Three weeks of intensive class work with the last class being a field trip.
If you are interested go to: and tell her that you would like to sign up for the Landscape Photography class.
The class did not make it into the regular summer brochure,
for a variety of reasons, but it is being offered.
Hope to see you there.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Way Of Water



A couple from the class I am teaching on Thursday nights.
These were demos for the students to see how light and motion work together.
The water, Buck Creek. runs right by the museum, not 100 yards from the door.

Just for your information:  this is the 200th post on this blog.
I hope that you all have enjoyed the photos and the comments.
Remember that your comments are always welcome.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Not A Landscape


A sure sign of spring is the presence of traffic cones and yellow barricades.
These are not on the job yet but they are ready to start.

It is interesting that artists get typecast as a ..............  you fill in the blank.
For me, it started as: "Oh Yah, you're the Black and White guy"  
"sure looks good....reminds me of Ansel Adams"...........
then, of course, I started doing color:  "what's that??"    "where is the good stuff?"
I lost a few collectors when I stopped doing all Black and White.
But, I gained a few..because, (wait for it),   I was working in color.   
Income went down for a while, then came back up and went higher.
It all worked out.
Now, I am working with subject matter OTHER than the landscape.
Here we go again......
We shall see what the future brings.
Wish me luck!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Springfield Show

Just a quick photo of one wall of my show.
I think it looks very nice.
The lighting is much improved over a few years ago.
It will hang through the end of the month, so if you are in the neighborhood
please drop over.  
Don't forget to sign the guest book.
If you would like to be added to my newsletter list leave your email address.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lace Curtains


This window is above a local pub.
Looking down over the intersection of alley and street.
The lace curtains form an interesting juxtaposition
 with the rough wood, the power lines, and the old brick.
I wonder what all you would see
if you sat at this window and watched downtown.
This was taken during my Lima trip.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Urban Artifact


I am told that this was once a good supper club.
After the fire this is about all that was left of the place.
The story goes: that the city was in here while the place was still smoking
to bulldoze the remnants and haul it all away.
A town that would rather see a grass filled park (or lot)
than a burned out building is OK in my book.
Ah, civic pride. There is a lot to be said for that.  A good thing to have.

Lost & Found & Photographed

---Lost Slippers---

I am sure that there  is a story behind this scene.
We found them, just like this, on the bench......waiting for....
maybe for us to record them.... maybe for their owner to recover them....maybe for ???
It would be interesting to learn just how and why they came to be in this spot.
A small mystery in downtown Lima, Ohio.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lima Trip 3

---Reserved 16---

---Reserved 15---

Ah the reserved parking spot.
Just do not pull so far forward that the wall falls on your car.

Lima Trip 2

---Caged In---

After what seemed like a very long two weeks spent getting my photo show ready for exhibit
in the Springfield Museum. I took last Saturday off and went up to Lima to visit a friend.
We spent the afternoon, as two photographers will, walking around the downtown area
with our cameras. This is an old bank, with two photographers looking in the window.
Each of us trying to withdraw an image.

Lima Trip

----Spring Display---

The alley ways and urban backyards are showing the signs of spring.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From The Backyard

Taking a coffee break from show preparation.
This lilac bush is about 3 years old and just beginning to experience a full bloom.
It has been fun to watch it mature over the last few years.
It was transplanted from the other side of the yard
 and we were not sure that it would survive.
OK, enough, back to work.   Enjoy.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dogwood In Bloom

I have been working long hours to get the show ready for the museum.
We hang it May 3rd and it stays up for the month.
If you are in the Springfield, Ohio area please drop by and take a look.
I stopped work for a break this morning, went to sit on the porch with my coffee and found this in my front yard.  I have been so busy that I had not noticed our dogwood tree in bloom.
Seeing this made the break better.
Now, back to work.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sundays Roses

I am much better now.
I spent some of my sick time working on this blog.
As you can see, a new look.  This new format has allowed me to add some pages. I think that it gives a cleaner look than trying to cram it all in the sidebars.  Let me know what you think.

I have been up and around enough to take a photo or two.
Pat brought home some roses on Sunday and yesterday I took them outside for a photo shoot.
In the shade of the back porch, with indirect light bouncing from the brick,
they take on a soft warm glow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

At Home Sick

I am feeling a bit down right now.
Have been fighting the community cold/flu for almost 10 days now.
Being sick is a bummer and I do not do well with enforced at home time.
The worst part is: my friend Charles got out, went downtown and posted some great photos of his city.
Me, all I can post is lunch.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What Did I Find?

---Left Over---

Out in the back yard today, all the snow is gone.
A bit of misty rain. Just enough to wash this remnant of fall.
It looks like spring is here at last.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Before It All Melts




Just a few things from this winter.
I have not been out very much but I did get some atmospheric things.
It has been a long time since I did anything in B&W but this waterfalls seemed to warrant that treatment.

I am just dreaming of SPRING!!
Enough of the snow & the shovels & the neighbors getting stuck in the street out front.  
It is picturesque but I grow tired of it quickly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010



Across the street is a hedge with the holiday lights still working.
A remnant of Decembers past.

Makes me stop and think.
How many things that should be in the past am I still holding on to.
Time to sell some of the cameras that I have not used in years.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Round & Round

---Gears and Wheels---

It seems that discussions in the photo world just go round and round, never stopping. The arguments surrounding the use of digital cameras and Photoshop to create images is very reminiscent of the "sound and fury" that rose up over the use of film over glass plates, color over Black & White, or for that matter, the use of a camera over a brush & paints. 
How many of us today would want to go into our covered wagon and coat each frame before we exposed it?
I know that there are at least a few out there, since I know some of you personally.  
But, why all the fuss? The only constant thing in the universe is change. When we stop learning and growing, some one should close the lid of our coffin since we are no longer really living.

Some 40+ years ago, when I chose Photography as my life's work. I walked away from a career in business where I had my degree. Back to college for a degree in Arts/Photography and went into business for myself as a studio owner. In the course of my life as a professional photographer I have continuously attended classes and workshops in the latest methods and techniques. To fall behind was to lose ground to the competition and lose income as a result. 

I have gone from carrying flashbulbs and film holders as an apprentice wedding photographer. To a wet darkroom processing the black and white negatives and making prints. To a color darkroom doing the same thing except with no real light. To digital cameras, Photoshop, and large format printers. The cameras have changed. The processing has changed. The printing has changed.

Most importantly, the public perception of photography has changed. Almost everyone now has a camera and the ability to make a fair to middling print. It is no longer the arcane art of the dark and smelly room. But, that is for another post.

The point being, the march of progress is unrelenting.  So, get in the parade or be left behind. Embrace the challenge of the new methods. But remember, the art comes from the artist, not the tools.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Who Are We?

---Winter Ornaments ---

Should we be thought of by the subject matter we choose to photograph or paint?  No! But, we always will be. Simply because it is an easy system of classification that has been around since our ancestors first drew on the walls of their cave.
It is a workable and well respected system. Which, to some degree inhibits our creativity. When we become known for a certain subject matter and/or style it is sometimes difficult for our collectors to move along with us if we start to explore new and different ideas. So the financial pressure to stay where the $$'s are is certainly a consideration if not a hindrance to artistic growth.

On the plus side, it tends to narrow our focus and refine our ideas and techniques. If something is popular and selling well, we want to keep doing it. At least until we have enough financial stability to allow us to experiment with other ideas.

I have approached the question in my usual pragmatic manner.  I re-prioritized my time. I usually spend 40 -50 hours a week at my work. Of that time: 75% is spent producing my best selling work. This was a natural evolution due to the fact that when a  image or a group of images is selling well I need to take the time to produce those images. That has always amounted to around 50% of my time. So. it was an easy step for me to allot more time to the production of my best selling group of work.  The remaining 25% is allocated to the creation of images that are outside of my "established" norm. They are the play images that I love to do but usually do not sell as well.
The interesting thing  is that as I do more of them, they are beginning to get collectors of their own. People who would not purchase my more traditional work, but just love my experimental things.
This world is a funny place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Gear Or Not The Gear?


It is snowing here today. This was the view early this morning.  A good day to stay warm and dry.
This afternoon I go and teach. The class started last Tuesday.  A day time class for a change.
Today we will talk about White Balance, a good topic with all the snow.

Being inside most of the day has given me the opportunity to catch up on my fellow bloggers.
Have you ever wondered why some photographers obsess over gear?  Several folks have said that the most popular blog entries over the last year were the ones on gear. It is well known that the most popular photo blogs are the ones that are equipment orientated. If you have an "Photo Art Blog" like I do you are not going to get huge amounts of hits on your site.
Interestingly enough: the majority of technical interest comes from men and the majority of Art interest comes from women. This reflects my ad hoc observations when selling in art shows and galleries.

The men ask technical questions and mostly do not purchase prints. The women see the image, enjoy it and purchase it. (thank goodness).  The men look at the image and see it in terms of: how to do that, what gear do I need to make that, Oh, he was just there at the right time, if I lived there I could do that, and Wow, he must have a great camera!
Women see the image, and a bit more, they mostly are able to read the message in the medium. They usually do not care how it was made. To them, the image, not the process is the important thing. Amen!

It has been my experience, over years of being a working photographer, that the gear does NOT make a good photograph. Yes, the equipment is necessary in order to create an image. But, the worlds best gear will not create anything by itself. It need the heart and mind of the artist behind the lens to make anything worth looking at for more than a glance. A typewriter was helpful a few years ago if you wanted to be a writer, but I will bet that no one ask Robert Frost what make and model typewriter he used.
Whatever you have now, learn to use it, to get the most out of it, to make say say what you want to say.
That message is what I will try to get across to my students this term. We shall see how that works out.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Year

---Frosted Forest---

So, it's a new year and I'm not even going to try to look at my 2009 goals to see how I did. It would be pointless since all that went up in smoke with illness and personal situations which required a great amount of my time and energy. Nothing would be served by my  beating myself up about what did not happen this year!  (although, I know I will be doing it anyway, at least inside, workaholics do that sort of thing)
So, just to make myself feel better, I made a list of those things that I did get done:
*  Two major photo trips covering 7 States
*  Three one person shows, each with 20 + images (all new images)
*   Managed to spend some time house hunting in Tennessee (not  moving yet, just looking)
*   Had my work used as a cover page by the US GAO  
*   Sold 20% more work than last year (but had to work much harder to do it) (darn economy)
 There were a lot of things that I did not get done. Mostly due to the above personal situations, but, all things considered, it turned out good enough. I am just happy to be able to do what I love for a living. When you can do that it is not work.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A New Year

From last week when we had the frozen fog.
After 2 weeks in bed with some illness or other I
am finally back at my computer.

I found this posted by that great author: Anonymous  

New Year:

I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned during the last twelve months of your life.
All that you sought the past year and failed to find is hidden in me;
I am waiting for you to search it out again and, this time, with more determination.
All the good that you tried to do and didn’t achieve last year is mine to grant --
providing you have clearer intention and fewer conflicting beliefs.
In me lies the potential of all that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do,
all that you hoped but did not perform, all that you prayed for and did not yet experience.
These dreams slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of an enduring purpose.
Yes, I am the new year.