from a visit at the museum

from a visit at the museum

Huntington Museum of Art
Huntington, West Virginia

Our local museum now allows non-flash photography in rooms where they own the exhibits, which is an interesting way to study the art pieces while practicing still life photography.  Shooting with poor lighting through glass presents some challenges.  This bust is from a folk art exhibit and I\’m ashamed I can\’t add more to it.  I was working on this prior to becoming under the weather and wasn\’t able to finish the research on the artist and such.  Some of the folk artists names look familiar because of our visits to the museum at Morehead, Kentucky that specializes in this type of local art.  In particular, we noticed a lot of mention of the art belonging to Charley Kinney and his family, which you might remember from one of my personal favorite photos posted here.  I think folk art needs to be approached with a different mindset, but that probably applies to many different genres of art, writing, and music.

 

Fisheye self portrait with poster, 2007

Fisheye self portrait with poster, 2007

No new images for today but it\’s raining and we are lovers of odd weather around here.  I\’m hoping for some warm weather next week, with this rain then maybe the spinach and lettuce will sprout in time.  The fellow at the farm supply store (a real one, not the fake chain store) said I had poor chance of spinach sprouting in this county even when planted at the right time with proper weather.  We\’ll see.

The above image is a recycled one, this morning I restored the June 2007 pages and found probably the most sorry collection of the lot. Mike Adkins and I had a disagreement on how to approach bad images during this restoration project, when I find a photo that I dislike then I tend to just think about making an improvement with a black and white conversion, though a quick one in FastStone.  Often, maybe more often than not, I\’m happier with it.   Mike says taste changes and I can\’t chase my present likes or dislikes as it will again change in the future.  Let the past remain as it was, he says, though I take liberty in paraphrasing our conversation.  Going back to the image itself, I think this is a great example of why even beginners should shoot in RAW.  You will never know how technology changes and having the RAW file will give you a bit more chance to allow your images to change with it.  I had shot this one in JPG which was often the case in the early years (this one predates even 2007 since I see it was shot with my 2004-era Pentax), if I had a RAW capture then Lightroom 5 could make a very fast and very nice defished image of the scene, giving me a bit of flexibility in the presentation.

 

 

at the Pendleton, August 2013

at the Pendleton, August 2013

Pendleton Art Center
Ashland, Kentucky

We visited the downtown area tonight for burgers and the place was packed with every table filled.  It was buy one/get one free Tuesday so we split a superb patty melt burger and a chicken sandwich between the two of us.   It\’s great to see a thriving business downtown, we sure enjoyed feeling a part of everything.  Afterwards, we made a quick visit to the pottery studio at the Pendleton, where I snapped this one in the back hallway.  Speaking loosely, this is a remake of a photo taken in the same spot in 2007 even though it was a different subject.  That 2007 photo is a strange one that I still count as one of my favorites, being taken with that special fisheye zoom that I once owned and shot all those nice pictures with.  The photo for today is an I-Phone picture (yes, I need to take a proper photo outing with a real camera)- it started as a Hipstamatic image that was shot off-level, so it was straightened in the Photoshop I-phone app, then into the app Lo-Mob before finishing in Lightroom. If you\’re challenged to make good level photos but want to use Hipstamatic then you should use Hipstamatic\’s Oggl app that allows you to switch to a minimal frame film like Blanko Freedom 13 and then you can straighten the picture without so much crop loss.  The classic Hipstamatic is much more fun (in my opinion) but the jpg image is fully processed and the frame can not be changed whereas Oggl is a filter that can be changed repeatedly with each change being saved to the camera roll as a jpg.  Too many details tonight but maybe it will help someone interested in I-phone photography.

 

I don\’t need you to remind me
of my age. I have a bladder
to do that for me.

 

 

 

On the porch with Annie Leibovitz before the storm

On the porch with Annie Leibovitz before the storm

Recently a good friend gave me this wonderful book by Annie Leibovitz.  I\’ve had this book on my wish list for many years now and was so happy to receive it.  A Photographer\’s Life is a collection of photographs from 1990 to 2005 and is composed of not only professional work but also personal and family photography.  She alludes to the fact there is not a firm starting and stopping point that defines the two styles of photography and so the book came to life as a reflection of that philosophy.  Such wonderful photography, makes me want to try a bit harder with a different approach.  This is an Iphone Hipstamatic photograph shot through a fisheye lens then mildly cropped and adjusted in Lightroom.

In the background, you can see a small fan that we use for mosquito control.  We\’ve done this for years now but a recent article in Kentucky newspaper gave some description on why this actually works.  The fan disrupts the "plume trail" of carbon dioxide that allows the mosquito to home in on your body, plus makes a bit of air turbulance.  It seems the mosquito isn\’t too good at navigation if the air is not still.  Not a full-proof method but seems to work better than anything else, especially if you use a larger oscillating fan. 

"Most people are better
in the abstract."

Orange is the New Black, Episode 9
(an original Netflix series)

 

 

Mural in South Charleston

Mural in South Charleston

South Charleston, West Virginia

I found a nice mural on the side of a laundry business in South Charleston while looking for a pottery supply business.  It\’s amazing to have lived an entire life in an area only to realize that any free travel time has been spent largely in a south to south-west direction.  Anything east of Huntington WV is less familiar to me than central Florida or Nashville.  South Charleston is a most interesting neighborhood, full of ethnic diversity and interesting scenes. 

After the whole world finished watching it, I was told about the show Firefly and watched all 13 or 14 episodes on Netflix.  Really a great sci-fi show, only proves that good stuff is often overlooked by the general population.

 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled
by and they CANCELLED MY FRIKKIN\’ SHOW. I totally shoulda
took the road that had all those people on it. Damn.”

Joss Whedon

Mike\’s art

Mike\'s art

(at the home of Mike Adkins)
Huntington, West Virginia

We attended the retirement gathering to celebrate Mike\’s release into the real world.  Had a good time, where else will the conversation teach you a range of topics from home construction to the writing and formatting of scripts for sitcoms and reality television shows?  This is a very high ISO Iphone image, shot through the Hipstamatic app and BW converted with Lightroom.

 

Mike\’s art

Mike\'s art

(at the home of Mike Adkins)
Huntington, West Virginia

We attended the retirement gathering to celebrate Mike\’s release into the real world.  Had a good time, where else will the conversation teach you a range of topics from home construction to the writing and formatting of scripts for sitcoms and reality television shows?  This is a very high ISO Iphone image, shot through the Hipstamatic app and BW converted with Lightroom.

 

Pottery mask

Pottery mask

Pendleton Art Center
Ashland, Kentucky

This is a Hipstamatic shot of a pottery mask from my wife\’s studio, one that I think I\’ve photographed before.  The garden is up but seems to be stalling out some, not sure if this means not enough rain, too much rain, or too many cool nights.  But it was a suffering time to be mowing the grass this week, sure should be good for corn and tomatoes.

 “You’ll miss the best things
if you keep your eyes shut.”

Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

A couple week ago, I was invited to accompany Mike Adkins on a photo trip.  Mike described it as photographing “a costume maker”, one that he said made some of the most fabulous creations I would ever see.  Mike was absolutely right, however I would describe Dale Morton and his assistant Travis Morton as being true artists in every sense of the phrase.

The photograph above is Frankenstein, though the creation is very early in the design if I understand it correctly.   The sculpture will progress with further details and once finished, it will form the mold to make a flexible mask.  The head is formed from an oil-based clay that never hardens and so can be worked and shaped easily, however is also easily destroyed during its ultimate use as the mold.    Dale and Travis also design and make custom mascots for businesses, universities, or anyone in need.

The final image here is a lot lighter than the color of the clay and this, to me, emphasizes the eyes and the nature of the character depicted in the sculpture.   So, in a way, it is a derivative work.

 

Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.

Epicurus
Greek philosopher, BC 341-270

 

Picture of the portrait of Charley Kinney

Picture of the portrait of Charley Kinney

Folk Art Center
Morehead, Kentucky

It’s been a long day, so here’s a quick I-Phone photograph. I accompanied a friend on a trip to look at some used photo equipment and seeing how we had some time to spare, we visited the Folk Art Center in Morehead, Kentucky. I love this gallery and visited it several times over the past year. We left the camera equipment in the car and walked several blocks, not thinking that the gallery would allow photography but they did. Here’s a photograph looking down the stairwell where they have some vintage-style photographs of folk artists.

We enjoyed finding a new cafe named Root-A-Bakers that served great soups and sandwiches as well as having great service and exceptionally friendly people. I loaded up on coffee at the Fuzzy Duck Coffee Shop and we made a few I-phone photographs on the sidewalk. The photography equipment was in great shape and we had a long conversation with the seller who is a professional wedding videographer using DSLRs instead of video cameras. Later in the day, I photographed some bee keepers at work. So it was a long day, but very interesting.

 

Toxic People (Mail Call)

Toxic People (Mail Call)

To close out the week, I thought I’d share this interesting bit of mail. After receiving this at home, I replied to a coworker that it would be an awkward situation to show up for the workshop only to find the audience was composed of the people that we work with. Would make for some interesting group sessions.

 

Blessing of the bikes

Blessing of the bikes

Huntington, West Virginia

Shot this sign picture after dinner with camera club friends last week. Bikers seem to know how to work their bikes into everything, much like photographers I believe. Had some problems with smooth gradations in the dark tones with this one and tried to cover the tracks with added noise. Oddly enough, the problem doesn’t show so much in Google Chrome.

 

Pottery Mask 2012

Pottery Mask 2012

I think this guy has been a photo subject a number of times. He guards the backyard. Took a long walk today, the weather was great. Near the end, this voice came into my head that said \’Note to oneself: after a surgical procedure, no matter how minor, one must not walk 3 miles.\’ Or else one should use image stabilized lenses to compensate for the trembles.

 

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry
Not long ago, I had a few quiet days away where we read and watched the weather by  a fire. I\’ve written about Berry before and always find him fascinating, for some reason more  in the winter than in the summer. And now, the Manisfesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry.

“Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.”

― Wendell Berry

Apollo Crew

Apollo Crew

A number of years ago, I was invited in the attic of a relative and found this old poster of an Apollo moon crew still hanging from year and years ago.

(Sticky note: I\’m taking a short break. I\’ve found a number of Poladroid shots during the time I experimented with fake-polaroids and though they are gimmicky, I find some interest in it. So it is Poladroid Week!)

 

At panera bread

At panera bread

I always feel guilty about posting these types of shots since I am not the painting artist but I had some fun with it and thought I\’d share. I photographed the wall with the I-Phone while waiting on my breakfast sandwich at Panera Bread. I processed it on the phone and ended up with several versions, having a great lot of fun with each one. Once in the PC, I only liked 2 of them. This one is in color with vignetting blur and an overlay (which you may or may not like, I know because I\’ve been in both camps) while the other is toned B&W and sharp, or at least a bit more. I\’ll post the other on Flickr later and give a link maybe tomorrow. Photography is interesting to me because of experimentation. I\’m no artist, but if you study an artist who was a real artist over a good amount of time, then their style often changes. Like Picasso who drifted through several different styles, such as Cubism that I am just now beginning to appreciate a little.

Over breakfast this morning, we discussed the patina of age. From yesterday\’s photo, you might have noticed my father\’s eye droop on one side that is a long term issue from Bell\’s Palsy, being afflicted years ago. We also spoke of the patina of personality that develops within all of us. Should either be changed or hidden. Hard to say about personality, but with the patina of appearance, I think strong photographs show everything. Real portrait photographers would have something different to say I suppose. The subjects most definitely would too.

 

Roy Rogers with joggers, Portsmouth Ohio

Roy Rogers with joggers, Portsmouth Ohio

Out to pick tomatoes yesterday before the rain started, good thing too since we\’ve gotten a downpour. Closed streets and flooded tunnels. Ended up with quite a lot for the freezer, they just didn\’t look that good visually but taste very well. Edited more on the journal, now up to page 406 and May 2001. At that time, family things were going on pretty routinely but I had also been fishing a lot. Since it was May, I had taken the boat to a local lake and done well with the fly rod. Had also taken a trip to the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee where we fished some of the bigger tailwater rivers though hadn\’t done all that well and then had better luck on a tiny mountain stream that ran out from a backroad in Tennessee. I remember that day very well, it was one of those streams that isn\’t large but makes a lot of noise that drowns out everything else. And then you are enjoying yourself with the fly rod when you hear a woman screaming. Blood curdling screams. So you walk away from the stream to locate where it comes from but nothing but silence. Repeat again a couple of times. Then after returning to the car, you find your buddy says there was no screams anywhere. It\’s the sound of the stream playing tricks on the ears.

Like yesterday, this shot is from the Hipstamatic for I-Phone. This one was crooked, so I did some straightening and then splicing the border back into it. Roy Rogers is originally from Portsmouth. My cousin tells me that they sold the stuffed dog and horse at auction last year.