Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Gift of Curiosity

Today is Father's Day in the US. Earlier, I enjoyed a nice quiet dinner with Dad and the family; the folks are doing well although getting on in years. An interesting thing about my Dad is that, though he's now retired and he was a lawyer and accountant once, he could have been an artist or a writer in his day. He draws better than I do and he writes better too, although I'm a bit more "funky" in my practice of the craft. Dad did give me one gift though, and that's the gift of curiosity. I believe I inherited my sense of curiosity a bit from my Dad, as he shares that trait.

Curiosity, while it might have killed the cat, is good for the photographer. There's a native sense of curiosity the drives what we do. I always felt that people became more observant when they are more curious-like they want to see what's going on so they pay more attention to what's happening right around them. It's also the first step in becoming an explorer type. You have to want to see the world, want to see what's there, want to connect with people, see the sights, share the stories, in order to be an explorer. Let's face it, if you are a photographer today, you're basically a digital explorer, even if the only exploring you get to do is locked away in your own studio. We delve. It's just the nature of the job.

So, I hope all of the Dads out there had a wonderful father's day. I hope you share gifts with your children, like curiosity, that help forge who they are and who they might become over time. And, I hope you had some great cake or BBQ or whatever else it is you eat on father's day. Don't forget to take pictures either because, you know, another little rule of life is that nobody stays young for long. Enjoy it while you can, eh?

Until next time...

PS This one from Iceland. Conversations about clouds.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Opportunity Weekend - Driftwood - June 17

Some dreams are forged in iron and steel, hardened for the ages, while others float together like driftwood washing up on the shore, arranging themselves in random bundles, odd heaps, only to gather and float out to sea yet again. Life is like that, opportunities are like that. Not all the same, some hard, some easy, somewhat random yet they find a way to make themselves yours.

Here are some opportunities for you this weekend. I hope you make the most of them.
I hope you have a wonderful opportunity filled weekend.

Until next time...

PS This one taken in Washington State, on the beach. I love the driftwood there. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Nature of Things

Today is Nature Photography Day which is a day we're supposed to celebrate all things nature and photographic. This is my take on nature: a cloudy sky with an otherwise blue sky day. When I think of nature a lot of times I think of clouds. When you get outside, when you really get out into the air and breathe and feel that cool wind on your face, there's really nothing more natural to me than looking up admiring a cool sky full of clouds. There's something quite fun about clouds too. People spot bunnies in clouds, At times, I'd guess, they spark our imagination.

I've been following a group of storm chasers over the past couple of weeks. Not actually following them, no, but virtually, sort of online. While the storm chase season is coming to a close, I was really in awe of some of the cloud photographs they captured this year. One shot in particular, somebody had gotten a great shot of a rotation near the town of Rugby, North Dakota. In case you don't recall, that was the town we used as the basis for our trip last year to Dakota. It was pretty amazing to see the power of the clouds in a rotation like that. A tornado is quite a scary thing but it's shocking to me how it can also be so very beautiful. That something so destructive could be so lovely when looked at that way. It's just shocking to me. Shocking, a little bit mesmerizing, and kind of leaving me in awe of the beauty and power nature can bring.

Nature is like that. It can surprise us, shock us, leave us in awe, and sometimes just comfort us. Not to mention bunnies. Did I mention we see bunnies? Yeah, there were a lot of bunnies in Washington where I took this particular cloudy sky shot. Lots and lots and lots of bunnies. And, you know, a couple of real clouds too.

I hope you get to get outside and enjoy some of nature photography today, even if it's just for a few moments.

Until next time...

PS This one taken with the Canon and the walkabout lens. Washington State has some fine looking clouds.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Photography Powerball

This weekend's Powerball frenzy got me to thinking. What if there were a Powerball of sorts for photography? What if, BOOM! you could shoot whatever, wherever you wanted? What would you shoot? Why would you shoot it? Where would you go? Would you stay home and build the most wild studio? Would you travel the world? A little of both? Hire the best super models or hide in outer Mongolia completely void of people to get the most interesting landscape you could find?

Now, you might be thinking, "she crazy. Poor Carol's gone barking mad. Again." And, why maybe you'd be right about that. I'm always a little bit headed down that path of barking mad. I can accept that, but what if there's a reason for me asking these type of questions too? My reasoning is that, if you can think about that lottery as a sort of photography lottery, if you can think about your existence after you would win such a lottery prize, it just might give you some insight into how you shoot without finding yourself a big prize winner. Dreaming about what you might shoot if you could shoot anything and everything tells you a little bit about how you see yourself. That fantasy gives you some insight into who you are as a shooter. Would you end the war in the middle east? Would you find the most beautiful, awesome flower and shoot it instead? Would you travel to the far reaches of the globe or stay at home opting to work instead in studio? Would you buy the most dope lighting rig anybody has ever seen or would you quit your job and shoot at the golden hour each and every day? These are all insights into how we work as photographers, even if they never come to pass.

You might never get to shoot that sweeping landscape of outer Mongolia but if you like landscapes that says a lot about how you shoot and what you might want to shoot next. Don't box yourself in. Get outside and find the sweep. Now, because you didn't win that fabulous prize, you might have to settle for a sweeping landscape a bit closer to home but go ahead and hunt it down. You may never be able to afford that dope lighting rig but you can make something work. Consider it a challenge but go ahead and try. You might find you can build a dope lighting rig for a lot cheaper than you think, especially if you are willing to do a little bit of DIY type work and build out things yourself.

Most of us will never know the joy of winning a lot of money in a lottery prize. That's OK though because we have already won another prize. We're photographers. That's a prize, a big prize. We get to see the world, shoot what we see, share our stories, our joys, our sorrows and yes, sometimes, our pain too. It's what we do and who we are in our very core. While it might be nice to have some big bucks, I don't think winning a big prize like that would change anything about that really. We've already got this, man, we're photographers. It's who we are not just what we do, right?

Congratulations, you have already won the big "photography powerball." Now, what are you going to do with all that prize "money?"

Until next time...

PS This one taken in Langley. An abstract for you tonight. On the zoom with the baby Mark.



Friday, June 09, 2017

Opportunity Weekend - June 9

Time for Opportunity Weekend. This is my weekly feature where I offer up some opportunities. These are gallery, shows, competitions, etc. looking for work-looking for your work-to showcase. It's a new weekend, I hope you make the most of it.

Opportunities this week include:
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Until next time...

PS This one taken with the Canon 5DS in Whidbey Island, Washington. I was in the mood for some water so here it is.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

It's a Cookbook

I'm going to be starting a new series on the blog. If you're a regular reader, you are probably already familiar with my currently running series "Opportunity Weekend" where I present a couple of opportunities for photographers and artists. Basically, this usually takes the form of about three places looking for work. I'm trying to do this every weekend, to encourage you all to enter your work and get your work out there more often. I know I need some encouragement sometimes and so I thought it would be a good way to do just that, both encourage myself and share it with others in a way. I plan to keep "Opportunity Weekend" going at least for a while but the idea of running a series got me to thinking. Since it's easier for me to do a series and it seems a bit welcome from my readers, I thought it might be a good idea to add another series into the mix. 

I had an idea a while back to do something called "Carol's Camera Cookbook." It would basically be a cookbook of experimental photography. Things you could try pretty easily in order to maybe jump start your photography or just fresh ideas maybe you had not thought of or heard about before. The idea is to make a cookbook of experimental ideas, or ideas you can try when you want to try something new, try something different, or you just want to shake things up a bit. Originally, I had planned to craft an entire book of these. While I don't think I'll make a book, I thought it might be a good idea to revive this topic and craft it instead as a running series on the blog.

So, my next series is going to be called "Camera Cookbook" and it's going to present an idea that you can try to sort of spice up your photography or maybe something new, some new technique you can try out and experiment with to see if it works for you. Now, I'm going to try and shy away from ideas that require a lot of money, instead focus on things that you can more easily try out with a minimum of gear and gadgets but maybe just a little creativity and some DIY here and there.

I hope to start sharing my Camera Cookbook ideas soon on the blog. In the meantime, if you've got any topics you would like to see me cover, please feel free to drop me a note and let me know. Keep in touch as I welcome your suggestions. If you are enjoying the currently running "Opportunity Weekend" why I'd love to hear about that from you as well.

Until next time...

PS This one an abstract taken with the 5DS and the walkabout lens. I liked the swirls of color in it.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Opportunity Weekend - June 2

Hard to believe it's June already but it is and it's also Friday which means it's time for another Opportunity Weekend. These are a series of posts designed to highlight some upcoming opportunities, places like galleries, contests, publications, and the like looking for work. Good luck!

This week's opportunities:
 Embrace the new month and send some work out. Get after it!

Until next time...

PS This one taken with the 5DS and the walkabout lens. From the walk I took in the park recently.