Monthly Archives: September 2014

Hank’s

Hank's

I decided to work on this photo from several years gone by. It’s an odd scene. I call it Hank’s - after the fellow who lived there and added all the quirky decoration.  It was colorful but never seemed to qualify as a ‘happy house’. There was something missing. We were staying in the RV section of a campground that had some park models and a few old tag-alongs.  Hank, a guy somewhere between 55 and 80, would ride through the park on his bicycle, hands folded over his chest, maintaining perfect balance while he navigated the twisting roads -  listening to the portable radio bungeed to his handlebars. He seemed to always wear the same uniform – khaki shorts, flip-flops and no shirt.  He was brown as a berry and always seemed in good spirits; but we were told by people who knew him that he had a dark side; and as I work on this image several years later, I wonder whether that foreknowledge colors my thinking toward it. In the end, I decided to put lipstick on the pig – sharpen, saturate, vibrate and jump into tonal HDR – which I’m still somewhat enthralled with. Also in the end, Hank passed on; and one day, a fellow with a front end loader crushed the house and hauled it away on a flatbed. Hank added color even if the chairs on his patio were never occupied.

Posted in Photography

Finding the Way

Covering the Old

Covering the old with the new.

The age of the digital photo brought with it a need for organization.  Snap, Snap, Snap - an image here, an image there and suddenly we have lots of images.  While we continue to shoot and process,  our files grow - chaotically. Suddenly, between projects, we start looking for fondly remembered images and thinking that "they must be in here somewhere".  Finally, I have perfected a workflow. I owe my recent sense of organization to a British photographer, Gavin Gough whose e-book The Photograper's Workflow, describes how he, as a professional photographer, maintains his archives and Lightroom catalogs.  While for the non-professional it may be a bit over the top, it was for me, an amateur hobbyist,  the best $30 I ever spent. Now, I can find what I'm looking for.  I always have a complete back-up on a different disk.  I have a file naming system and a workflow that can be as efficient as I need it to be. Now, when I import photos from my camera card, I automatically make a back-up to separate hard drive. Next, I cull - flagging those to delete (still have the back-up though, just in case). Then I re-name in a day_month_year_Shoot name_hour_minute_second format.  Next, I add in the Key Words.  Then, I go through the thumbnails  again - assigning stars and color codes. As an amateur, I didn't follow all of Gavin's advice, but those suggestions that I have adopted have made my life much, much easier. For those of you out there who are compulsively super-organized, I kneel in reverence - but that isn't me.
Posted in Photography

Prisoner 3

Prisoner_3 This is a composite image - a grating from a train platform in Massachusetts and a 400 year old terracotta bust of an African princess that I found in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  I printed the finished image on 20x30 canvas and now have it hanging next to my computer. It's dark and I'm not entirely happy with it and may make some modifications and give it another go -  perhaps printing a smaller version on soft paper.
Posted in Photography Tagged |

Work in Progress

cropped-Storm-Tractor.jpgI'm playing...

I have decided to become proficient in building and modifying WordPress sites.  To that end, I have re-subscribed to Lynda.com and started from the beginning by taking Morten Rand Hendrickson's introductory WordPress course. Following the introduction Morten provides a program of more advanced courses under the title: WordPress Masterclass Playlist.  At this writing, I have begun the first of these courses titled: Start With a Theme: Creative Portfolios in WordPress.  Since this course requires a WordPress.org hosted website and I only have one - this one - which requires experimentation with three different WordPress.org themes: Hatch Portfolio, Gridly and Touchfolio,  "the Eclectic" may look ugly or be unresponsive for awhile. The reasons for getting into website design at my advanced age (now 72) is  1) frustration with canned themes and my inability to get the site looking as I want it and 2) feeling that I'm falling behind (have fallen behind) and want to keep somewhat current with the fast changing world about me. Concurrent with this learning exercise in WordPress, I have signed up for a course in Python programming through the University of Michigan and hosted through Coursera.  This course is taught by Dr. Charles "Chuck" Severance, lasts 10 weeks and. while it doesn't begin for another three weeks, I've already downloaded the .pdf file and have completed the first two exercises.  So far it has all been easy and straightforward.
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Change

I began this blog over two years ago thinking in terms of Eclectic Photography.  Last year, I found myself interested in other things and didn't post for several months. Then, I decided to broaden the scope and changed the tag - first to Just for Fun, then to This and That, and finally back to the Eclectic Photograper which, from a glance at my Albums, will seem quite fitting to most viewers. I'm a firm believer that the 'best camera' is the one that I have with me.  At the moment, I shoot mostly with my Nikon 7100 but generally leave my 18-200mm lens in the bag.  I worked for a time with the 50mm Nikor 1.8 but found I wanted to pull back a bit more.  So now, I'm working with a Nikor 35mm 1.8 which I really like.    
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