Sunday, October 31, 2010

If redbuds are hard to photograph, try chickens and roosters!

big wheel
post #5
     Before Thanksgiving gets any closer, with all its dead turkeys, I'd like to share three of my favorite poultry photos, with gratitude for those unplanned moments when a hen doesn't move her head -- or a rooster stands still.  I haven't pulled off a good wild turkey photo so far....but I keep trying.  We do raise a dozen or so chickens, totally for all the kitchen scraps composting they do and for their fresh eggs.  (We have mostly Ameraucanas, whose eggs have a blueish shell.  Easter eggs all year long!)  The roosters I photograph belong to other people, so thank you, Donnie, down the ridge, and Peg, in McCreary County.  Predawn crowing is not for me and we do NOT keep roosters.
     Sometimes I am led to explain that the color of an eggshell has no bearing on the egg inside, and the same goes for human beings.

     I haven't yet mentioned in this blog that I make and sell photo note cards.  Each one features an actual photo double-taped on hand folded colored paper, each card titled and signed by me.  Thinking up titles is a kick.  Sometimes I just stick to giving information about the image, but other times I play around with words.  Occasionally I get stuck, but then I enjoy the excuse for brainstorming with my word wizard friend, poet George Ella Lyon

    But there is only one word for this coming Tuesday: VOTE!
rooster pride

my best side....

Monday, October 25, 2010

going back to that redbud photo

post #4
      I have been meaning to tell more about the photo in blog #1, "redbud screen" -- why did I take that photo in that place at that time, when most days when I pass there it looks beautiful but in a usual way.  In case I ever wanted to share what that place looks like on an ordinary day with my ordinary eyes, I decided I'd stop sometime and take a follow-up photo to show what image I'd have had if I had stopped looking that first day before using what I call my curious eyes.   

     To start I have to confess two things.  First, that I find it hard to take a good picture of redbuds.  They are stunning early spring signs of hope, pink blooms appearing directly on each smooth gray branch, but they can mimic clutter even when I aim to portray their uniqueness.  I keep searching for some way to see them that expresses my feeling for them.  Second, that I had taken a photo of this house before and shared the photo with the family who lives there. I felt sure they wouldn't mind me and my camera on their place again.  

    While on the way back from town one April day, I happened to notice a small patch of pink out of the corner of my eye.  I pulled over to the side of the road, got out of my car, walked down to those common but gorgeous redbuds -- on a small tree, disguising itself as a bush. At first, I took what is shown here. Then I went even closer, and got "redbud screen".  That evening, thanks to digital, I could see I had a photo I loved.  So, when two or three days later I passed by there again, I decided it was time to take the photo shown below.  The buds were already being taken over by leaves.  One can never have too many reminders about how quickly some things change in the natural world.   And how getting closer can work magic.

Travel with camera.   
Shoot now.  
Don't wait.  
Get close.  
Be curious.  
Be grateful.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

nuts on the ground, but also in the air and water?

post #3
     Here's what's in the woods that made me laugh: I suddenly made a connection between the larger than usual amount of nuts under foot (acorns! hickory nuts! black walnuts!) and this year's strange elections! The crunch is everywhere. What saddens me, in addition to candidates who are unqualified and narrow of vision, is that there are so many potential voters swayed by ads (money!) and anger (radio shows!), who end up reacting rather than considering.  Also, the short memory span of too many citizens could be compared to squirrels, who bury nuts without being able to remember later where they are. For one thing, we Americans definitely need more than a short year and a half to get back on track following the thoughtless and severe damage from those eight years of unbridled short-sighted greed.

      Then today my son reminded me of the expression "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes".  Yes, luck might work, but, really, shouldn't we each be putting our best effort and thinking skills toward improving the future for our children? Maybe tending to democracy is like taking the kind of photo I love to do. The viewing angle is usually not the first obvious one, the light changes, and the camera has to be in working order.  But at the same time you have to grab the occasion because it won't necessarily present itself again. This work takes practice, and it takes making mistakes and trying again. I believe in sticking with one's vision of what could be, photographically and otherwise, and in hoping and learning as the way opens. In any case, doing that sure does make a better photo....

     Here's to valuing our brains and our hearts -- Ann

(The forest photo was taken two days ago; the last two black walnuts photo was taken this evening, from the bedroom window; they may fall tonight, or wait until our first hard frost.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

very dry in our woods

post #2
      During a walk in our woods yesterday, with visiting friends, I was so struck by how dry the ground is that I decided to take a photo of our first waterfall -- we claim three -- to share today. This gives me a chance to include a second image from the same place, taken last spring during wetter times. I remember using my knees as a tripod. After all, one of the reasons for doing this blog is to talk about 1) the importance of Being There and 2) how impossible it is to know what might prove interesting at some point. 
        Ever since last week I have been thinking about a well-known quote from the street photographer Elliott Erwitt: "Photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."

      So more on this next week! Good looking to you all and thanks for visiting, Ann

dry falls

spring falls

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome loyal friends, coast to coast family, and unsuspecting fans!

post #1!!
      Today I join the millions who blog.  However, believe it or not, I am really excited to do so. My plan and my hope is to share my photos, one by one, and also to give vent to my inner sassy. This effort is designed to happen but once a week, let's say every Monday.  This will at least be a way to let people know I am alive and well, since I am tardy correspondent.  With a photo or two, a paragraph or two, I can send out signs of life from this hollow in the eastern Kentucky hills. It's going to take me a while this way to create a sense of my place, but today's photo does show a lot. I call it "redbud screen." Taken this spring in the 'hood, the image celebrates a beginning, which this blog definitely is for me.

      Inquiring minds might want to know: I have a new workplace/gallery on a nearby side road called Sideway, thus the name of this blog. So here's to one post down, another next week, and to very good journeys for you all -- Ann