Sunday, April 22, 2018

Opportunity Weekend - April 22, 2018

There are some EGGcelent opportunities for you this weekend. Enjoy!
Lots of calls out there if you are ready to roll. G'luck!

Until next time...

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Opportunity Weekend - April 1, 2018

Close up detail of a vibrant pink daisy in the springtime at the Hill Country Water Gardens in Cedar Park, Texas
It's Easter Sunday, happy Easter, happy Passover, and happy Holy Week for those who celebrate. May your Holy Week be filled with blessings and light. For all of the exhibiting artists out there, some wonderful opportunities for you to hop after this week:
That's a lot to hop after this week. Good luck!

Until next time...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Photographer As Trophy Hunter

Exploding bright pink blossom, a first sign of spring in Cedar Park, Texas
The other day, I responded to a question posed by the wonderful Andy Adams of Flak Photo fame. Andy had asked the Internet, "I'm reading a book about record collectors, American music, and the impulse to collect cultural experiences. Naturally, I'm drawing parallels to our compulsion to make pictures. I wonder, [photographers]: Do you consider yourselves collectors? Is image making like field recording?"

My immediate response was, "I think a lot of photog have bucket lists. You know they want to shoot...this or that. I have always considered it a more humane (possibly?) form of trophy hunting but perhaps that’s just me?" I didn't think it would garner such a response, but it turns out I must have struck a nerve (I mean that in a good way.) A lot of photographers really are trophy hunters in an odd sort of a way. I mean, we do go out into the world with these sort of "bucket lists," you know what I'm talking about here, things like, "I want to shoot the Statue of Liberty," or "I want to shoot a canal in Venice," or maybe, "I want a shot of the Grand Canyon." The specifics of it don't matter really, it's more the notion that we have these bucket lists, of sorts, and we approach the world wanting to check off items on out bucket lists. Once we get said item, and shoot it (with a camera, I'm talking photography here) it's akin to a trophy hunter killing a large beast with horns. We proudly display the finished product, our image, and it gives us a sense of fulfillment. We feel better about ourselves because we bagged one of our trophies, so to speak. To me, I do think the process is a bit akin to trophy hunting in a roundabout sort of a way, although (perhaps?) fewer animals are killed in the process.

This got me to thinking. Would we be better photographers if we opted to forgo the trophy hunting and instead focus on making the personal statement? Are images made as part of the trophy hunting "process" (if you want to call it that) any better (or worse?) than those made just out of boredom or passion or for whatever other reason we might opt to pickup the camera that day? (Money comes to mind, but there are others too.) I don't know that there is an easy answer to this, but it's an interesting question to ponder for a bit.

Speaking personally, I do know that a lot of folks have told me I do better work in the studio-that actually a lot of my "better" work comes when I'm at home, playing around, experimenting really with things about my home studio. I guess maybe I'm free to play in that arena and the pressure of success is a bit off of me there so I'm more freed up and better able to dive in and get better shots? I don't know for certain, as I'm not even fully convinced I'm better in the studio vs. in the field. These questions do have me thinking along these lines though. It's an interesting introspection to say the least. I know I too have what one might call photographic "bucket lists" or things I'd love to photograph, people I'd love to shoot (again, with a camera here, although...nah, kidding, kidding. Camera only, folks!) I do tend to think we can get lost in the trophy hunting aspect of photography and maybe, as part of that, lose a little bit of ourselves in the process. I mean, is our artistic voice impacted by this bucket list maintenance and the process of trophy hunting? I would tend to think so but it's definitely something to ponder a bit more.

Just something to think about a little bit as you might be making travel plans for the year or embarking upon new photographic projects. Are you doing this because you have some desire to check off a box on a list of things you've always wanted to do? Or is it more a heartfelt desire to explore a subject more deeply? Photographer as trophy hunter really does seem to be an apt description these days and I'm not entirely sure this is a bad (or good) thing really. Still thinking this one through and thanks to Andy Adams for bringing it to my attention there.

Feel free to drop me a note with your thoughts on this, as I'm curious and open to different opinions here.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Delicate Nature of Being

Soft, delicate green leaves of nature at the beautiful Hill Country Water Gardens in Cedar Park, Texas
This week, thoughts turn to the delicate nature of being. In case you have not been following the news, there was quite an incident, actually, a series of incidents, in Austin. To put it bluntly, there was a mad bomber on the loose. From what we can gather, a man had left a series of package bombs at various homes around the Austin area. At first, the first bomb that went of, killed somebody but the police were not sure if it was a personal attack or what had happened. Then, as more bombs went off, it became clear that we had a bomber on our hands and he (or she) was randomly targeting individuals. Events culminated with a series of bombs going off including one at a Fed-Ex facility south of Austin, down near San Antonio, and then the man getting caught up in Round Rock, Texas and blowing himself up inside of his pick-up truck.

Needless to say, as the events unfolded over the course of the past few days, a lot of folks in Austin have been on edge. There has been a lot of checking the news, checking the phones for news, calling home to make sure everybody was OK. Heck, they even shut some of the schools down for a few hours after one of the bombs went off. To speak to how crazy it was, our morning traffic report started including items such as, "since the police have closed off part of the road over by [insert latest bomb blast location here] expect traffic delays in that area." Water cooler conversations at work included references to bombers and the latest news and, as the situation escalated, it got even worse. For a while, Whole Foods was shutdown because they had found a suspicious package. It turned out to be somebody forgetting a pack or some such thing but, with everybody on edge, it was difficult to ignore. Everybody's thoughts turned to the bombing and everybody has been in a weird sort of hyper vigilant type of mode where even the slightest mention of something related to the bomber puts us on edge. Nobody wanted to go and pickup the mail, that's for sure. I'm guessing here, and it is but a guess, Amazon lost some business from the Austin area this week, as nobody wanted to deal with packages at the doorstep if they could avoid it. Speaking for myself, I had just signed up for Amazon prime and was about to order some Jocko Tea (since I love the stuff) when the mad bomber struck and so I was left wondering if I would have to resort to Lipton in a bag. Yes, it was that kind of stressful (I kid but only really half so.) Today, bomber be damned, I put in my latest Amazon Prime order.

Just a final note about all of this. Family and friends from what I can gather are all just fine. I did realize that, after they caught him, the bomber is in fact a friend of a friend of a friend. He shows up in my Facebook friends of friends list anyway, so there's that. I can't say I know him personally but we are all but a few degrees of separation apart anyhow. What is that about Kevin Bacon or, for the photographers out there, Minor White? Yeah, six degrees and the back of a napkin ought to do it.

Meanwhile, as all of this has been unfolding, spring is quietly moving her way closer and closer. I had opportunity to park myself outside a bit today and, I hate to admit it, the weather is all but perfect. Not only have I spotted my first bluebonnets, but the display off of Mopac is turning brilliant. I'd say it's almost peak-like in its splendor. Yeah, we're almost officially in bluebonnet season, y'all. Thank goodness the crazy mad bomber has been caught so we can go outside and play.

The delicate nature of being. Being spring, being blue, being sunny, being delicate, being alive; I'm loving it all tonight and I hope you are too. 

Until next time...

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Opportunity Weekend - March 17, 2017

Bright yellow petals from a close-up detail of a flower in full bloom
It's St. Patrick's Day! It's almost spring! Although it might not feel like it, there's not only pollen, but some opportunities in the air for you:
That's a lot of opportunities, so I'd recommend you get out there and get some before spring gets sprung.

Until next time...
 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Snow on the Cactus


Snow on a cactus plant, actually a white cacuts in the Texas Hill Country
It's snow on the cactus weather. This morning, I listened to our local weatherman who told us, "the morning would start out chilly and then heat up." Fat chance! It started out COLD and didn't really "heat up" until late into the afternoon. Thinking it would warm up by about ten o'clock, I put on my shorts. Big mistake! I was so cold, I had to ride my exercise bike just to keep warm. I kid you not, I was sitting in my shorts at my computer when the heat came on. Ugh! March, man, you are killing me. Go home already, March, you're drunk! In other, more positive news, I saw my first bluebonnet yesterday. Yeah man, the wildflowers are coming, the wildflowers are coming. Kind of like Paul Revere only a bit more blue.

That's what I mean by snow on the cactus. Cold one minute, roasting the next. Our day ended up above 70 degrees. How in the heck did that happen? Sure, I'm going to complain come July but, for now anyway, this yo-yo of a weather front is killing me.

In other news, I shot a ton of shots this weekend. I mean like a ton. OK, they don't actually weight anything but probably something approaching two thousand. Dang, I was a busy girl. Too busy, in fact, to notice there was a cactus with snow on it. Or, maybe not, seeing as I landed a shot of that too. Say, "cheese," Mr. Cactus man, I got you too. Snow on the cactus and it's shooting season again. Who would have thunk it, right? I hope you get out and shoot come springtime. Get some man.

Until next time...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Reverberation

Reflections of bare tree branches in a pond in Texas
Reverberations. It's the time of year when winter gives way to spring. It doesn't happen all at once, no, it's a quiet transformation. Little by little, bit by bit, slowly the buds form, then the leaves on the trees, giving way to the wildflowers, and then, before you know it, it's summertime again.

I have yet to see my first bluebonnet of the season. I hear they are out there. I can almost smell them. This weekend, I went over to the water gardens. They had daisies and red bud trees, koi, and lots of bushes. It's almost flower season, in fact, the pansies are almost past peak season. The succulents were there as they always are. The ponds are drained, the trees bare, but you can tell the change in season is sneaking up on us. In lots of little ways, little tells, that spring has, it's making its way onto center stage. This will probably be my last bare tree image of the year. The next tree image? Why, they'll have buds, leaves, maybe flowers, perhaps lots of sunshine and sunny skies. I might even be complaining about the heat. Yeah, it gets like that around here.

Seasons get you every time. Just when you get used to it, BAM! It's changes out from underneath you.

Until next time...