Sunday, December 27, 2015

more note cards, for the end of the year

post #264,
      and the last one of 2015.  I am sharing some additional cards today, with titles, and sometimes with a story, starting with three winter cards:

field research

well red

Joyeux Noel, en France [Versailles]

           Not all my cards are Appalachian, since I do travel to England, to see my step-mother, and occasionally to France, to see the French family I lived with when I was an exchange student there my junior year in high school. For the photo above, I had gone to the market in Versailles for groceries and flowers.
        The following photo was made early one morning. It shows "money tree" branches in front of the old fashioned windows on the third floor of my step-mother's home in a small town near Stratford-upon-Avon. This has been a favorite card for a number of years. Its title is "still light".

       Back home in Kentucky, here are some images from what I see that simply catches my eye. The first four are near the house where I live. Things just happen, and if I don't have my camera, I can go get my camera.
deer trio

writing spider
daisies from above

rose of sharon [in our yard]
     The next three cards are from the region. They required a different kind of preparation, which the first and main one is called BEING THERE:

country crossing

a window in a window

side tracked
        This track image was taken in West Virginia so I could try making images for a children's picture book about kids riding the train to travel between divorced parents. The train really was moving when I got this photo through the window, a good example of why being there -- and being aware while there -- is so valuable. While working to get such a book published I can use images such as this one as one of my note cards.
         For the final card image today, I am using another "had to be there" photo. I passed by this familiar-to-me location at just the right time in the evening to see this happening. I knew where to stop the car. I knew I couldn't wait to think about it. I knew I thought it was beautiful. This place doesn't always look as amazing as this, but sometimes things happen.... and come together. Again thanks, for being here with me.

after the storm


Sunday, December 20, 2015

more note card images (chapter 2)

post #263
        I have looked forward all week to sharing some more of my note cards with their titles. Since I don't print these, I can change the color of the paper I tape them to, and I can make a lot of different cards as newer images come along to try to take a place in the selection. I carry most of the titles in my head, but sometimes I do draw a blank and have to start from the beginning or ask for help from someone who may have bought the card earlier.
       The first two cards come from a weeklong workshop I did years ago with Alison Shaw on Martha's Vineyard, with financial help from the Kentucky Arts Council. It had a lot of early mornings and late evening shoots. Both of the following images were made during a visit to a farmers' market, in mid day, but the booths were under a tarp so there was no harsh sunlight to contend with. The first card has an extremely straightforward title!
farmers' market

dyed in the [home grown] wool
        Now back to Kentucky. Years ago I caught a neighbor doing a first plowing of his tobacco, using a horse, a hand plow, and a hillside.  The sun was bright but my slide film -- Velvia - which I was using at the time, kept the colors true.
first plowing
      Tobacco is fascinating even if one is against smoking.... I was honored to be asked to take photos of these mules at work since the mules were about to retire. This is now digital film at work.
tobacco rows
shadows in the bright dawn

spring falls
      The waterfall photo appears at the beginning of George Ella Lyon's Counting on the Woods.  It was on the first roll of slide film I took with my new camera and new tripod for the book. It amazes me to this day.
       The next photo was all luck. I just happened to be in the area at that time of year, and I drove in the park out of pure curiosity. Near the top of the small mountain is this opening on the side of the road.... This historic view sells well consistently . 
Cumberland Pass
backwoods cemetery

September tobacco, ready to cut
     The next field photo is of the same field, a few years later, and I had help with the title from George Ella Lyon.  It is one of my best known images:
earthbound book
        How about this cow image, in the field, again at another time, with a title that is just plain fun. This photo is harder to get than it might at first appear.  A cow in a field. Well, all I can say is try it sometime!
black and white in color

       To end for today, here are two bird cards, both due to the pure luck of being in that place (on Grayson Lake) at the right time, in a quiet boat, exploring. I like to show birds in their natural place, as part of nature's design. I don't have any proper bird photography equipment, but sometimes things just work out.

blue heron on Grayson Lake

an anhinga
       I know, a single anhinga is not normally seen in eastern Kentucky, so it may be a cormorant. However, I was in a boat and it was on top of a high cliff, and I love the photo.  If anyone feels strongly that it is one or the other, please do leave me a comment. Signing in as anonymous usually works just fine.  Thank you so much.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

cards! like in Note Cards!

post #262
        Photographers make money -- or not -- in a multitude of ways. One of my efforts in the earning direction consists of making photo note cards and hand selling most of them. This has become a way both to share my work and to use new photos which I feel work as cards. I don't make much money this way, but I consider it a kind of advertising. It also makes my work accessible to many who are not up to buying even a single larger framed photo. 
       Some buyers use my cards to, get this, write NOTES for various occasions! I say bravo to them!!  While I appreciate the compliment that someone doesn't like to send off a card because he or she likes it so much, this approach obviously presents challenges to my bottom line. I am not complaining -- I am happy for them -- but I'm just saying.
        For now I am sticking with my Appalachian images, mostly those in eastern Kentucky.

a swarm of tree hugging bees

There goes the sun.

         There are certain hazards in this line of work. For one thing, I have a hard time giving up a card I like. The consequence of that is I have too many different cards available at any one time. Yet I realized only yesterday that I have never put my cards in the blog! How did that happen?? So I instantly decided to feature random card images and titles for a few weeks. 
         I'd like to say I have an organized way to sell the cards on line, but at the moment I do not. (First I need someone who could work with me on a parttime basis; living where I do, at some distance from town, makes this tricky to pull off. I can dream, though.) The Kentucky Folk Art Center in Morehead, KY probably sells the most of any place I wholesale to. (Is wholesale really a verb?)
A Bee on the Zinnia

Ms. Bluebird

hay rows and shadows

female cardinal

         Part of the fun of the cards for me is choosing which color paper to use to accent each photo, which are 4x6 in size. I also get to decide on a title, sometimes with the help of friends. I LOVE GETTING A GOOD WORDS/IMAGE MATCH, especially if there is some humor involved. I attach the photo to the front of the folded paper with two strips of double sided tape, since as a former migraine person I have an adversion to the strong smells of glues and such. For today's card post, I am not showing the photo with its choice of paper color, but I will be preparing a few samples to show next week.
          Note: the hay rows and shadows photo was used for Wendell Berry's editor's reprint of the WB poetry collection Farming: a Hand Book, first printed in 1971 and reissued in 2011 by Counterpoint Press. Thank you, Wendell.

Golden Day

spring falls in our woods
two mourning dove buddies
in Donny's barn

truck shot

milkweed moment, summer frog

rooster pride

      This last photo (above) is one of my "best sellers." Of course there is a story to the photo, which I made while at my friend Peg Taylor's B&B "Farm House Inn" in southeast Kentucky (McCreary County).  She and I had gone for a walk in their woods, and, when we returned, he was still up on that fence, struttin' and crowin'! I figured he really wanted his photo made....  More stories next week ....

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thankfulness photos from the past 12 months, part 2 of 2

post #261
        I'm back with some more photos I am thankful for being able to make. This week it seems to be mostly people, and happenings. I am also thankful for people I haven't made a photo of, including President Obama whose bravery for his whole presidency in the face of demented racist individuals with guns and arsenals is so generous. That may sound like a strong statement, but it is the truth.  And it will be hard for him and his family for the rest of their lives. That fits my definition of generous.
        So here we go again, in part 2!  Locally, I was able to take some photos for some friends who got married this fall, and I even ended up in one taken while they applied for their marriage license. Again, bravery and generosity are factors in their lives as well.

taken by the Lexington Herald-Leader

Jennifer Reis, artist extraordinaire

my friend photojournalist John Flavell
 Other friends caught in important moments:
Jean Rosenberg, watching her husband, John, recieve an honor on stage.

            Three photos of George Ella Lyon, whom I enjoy being able to catch in all kinds of moments:
during the Appalachian Writers Conference, in Hindman, KY, with her close friend and fellow writer Gurney Norman

Our writers group happened to be meeting the day the news came out about the two year poet laureate honor!

George Ella near her childhood home (house) in Harlan, Kentucky, the day she found out that her book TRAINS RUN was accepted by Simon and Shuster for publication!! It is the second of her books written with her son, Benn Lyon, and it will be edited by her long time editor, Richard Jackson.

       My big group photo of the year was at my church -- The Lexington Friends Meeting. Our members are called Quakers. We undertook a major renovation of the building, and it was mostly completed! I feel like this is a happy photo, even though not everyone could be in it at that one time.

      Last March, one of our members, Roberta, who is a cellist, put together a program featuring her cello, two members who are poets, Melva and Judith, and some of my photos. It worked out so well. It happened in the same room as above, on a Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful, heartening event:  

         Following all this reverence, the next photo is for pure fun. I keep thinking our 42 year old fridge will stop working any day, and I know it should be replaced in any case.  Yet I am just so thankful to its reliable self for still working!! 
        Well, here is a photo of me, thankfully still working -- and yet I am older than the fridge! I was so thrilled that day to be way back in the woods with friends. Doug discovered this boulder covered with trillium, and Karen took this photo. I think it is the first photo of me on my blog since I started this weekly gig five years ago!

    I have to find a place for this next photo, just because I love it -- a granddaughter who will be spreading her wings in different ways every year, like we all are doing as well in our own way:

       Then a reminder for me that there is beauty in what lies ahead, even though there will be challenges:

          There are many other photos, friends, places and moments I am thankful for, but I end with this second view from the deck, made this frosty morning. It celebrates the light that changes and surprises, the mainstay in all my photographs. I've never seen it before looking exactly like this: