How many times have you driven down the road and see a sign like the one above? DEAD END. What do you do? Do you turn around?
Well, a few weeks ago I was in Santa Fe, NM. My wife and I spent the week there, and did a lot of exploring in the area. One day, when we were taking a different route out of town, and came across the exact sign in the picture above.
Without thinking, I starting to turn the truck around, when the explorer in me decided to kick in. On a whim, I decided to see what was at the end of the road. And, to my surprise, there was a small old Church, surrounded by a cemetery.
Moral of the story? If you are a photographer looking for uncommon pictures to take, don’t follow the rules. You might just find great pictures on a dead end road.
I’ve worked at the same job, in the same building, for the last 3 years. I drive the same highway to and from work. One would think that after that time, I’d seen everything along the road I drive all the time…
The other day I was driving home, looked to my left, and saw something new. What is that? It’s an old house! Where’d that house come from?
I took the next exit off the highway, meandered my way back to where the house was, and stopped to take a look. And, there it was — an old, abandoned house, just sitting there. So, what’s the moral of the story? Keep looking at things around you. Chances are, you haven’t seen it all…
I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready for Summer to be over. On my walk today, I saw a number of signs that Fall is just around the corner….
(sigh). Ok. (big sigh).
I’ve really enjoyed my PAD Project (Picture a day). It’s been a lot of fun to look for pictures in a certain theme each week. You might wonder where I come up with these ideas. Well, when I think about a new theme, I just write it down (on my iPhone). Then, when it’s time to start a new week of pictures, I reference my list and make a choice.
One of the themes on my list is “Red, White and Blue”. I would love to select this theme for a week, but trying to find things that are those colors is extremely difficult unless you just take pictures of American flags. Despite the difficulty of this theme, I still look for things Red, White and Blue quite often. The other day, I just happened across 2 pictures for this theme, and thought I would share them with you.
On a recent trip to the Black Hills, we did some exploring near the town of Lead. Not too far from the Wharf Mine is the ghost town of Preston. To get there, follow directions to the Wharf Mine. Once you reach the mine parking lot, there is a dirt road (on the NW end) that will lead you about a mile to the town of Preston. WARNING: The dirt road is 4×4 only!
This blog entry could’ve also been named, “my FB rules of engagement”. I write this because I think I am not the usual Facebook user. I do not play Farmville, Mafia Wars or Farkle. I do not answer 21 questions about my friends, or read the answers that they post.
You might ask, “why?”
Well, part of it has to do with my computer background, and specifically my understanding of computer security. I don’t “allow” a bunch of applications in Facebook, because I know what information can be shared about me and my friends when I do. So, I just don’t do it. I have a few applications that I use, and most of those have been authored by Facebook itself.
That was Rule #1. No unnecessary applications. I also block most applications from appearing on my news feed, which is a wonderful thing. My news feed isn’t littered with everyone’s scores on Farkle, or requests to send me a new cow. I get to see what I want to see on Facebook — more of that later on.
Rule #2. No chain letters. It seems like every day I see someone post something about “bla bla bla, bla bla blah, and only 12% of you will repost this…”, or “please repost this or you will feel bad”. I have drawn a line here — I don’t repost things on Facebook. I’d really like all of my posts to be something original from me. So, I treat it just like I would treat a chain letter I receive in the mail. It doesn’t go on. Much in the same way, I don’t “Reply All” to things that I receive in e-mail.
Rule #3. No location stuff. Growing up, my Mom and Dad told me not to tell everyone that we were leaving town for vacation. That way someone wouldn’t take advantage of that knowledge, and rob the house while were gone (or something worse). So, I’ve also applied that lesson to Facebook. When we’re gone for the weekend, I don’t say “Looking forward to getting out of town this weekend.”. When we get back, I’ll say something about “Enjoyed a weekend away.” There are many reasons to do this, and to train your kids to do this, too. Enough said.
Rule #4. No X-Girlfriends. This has been more of an agreement between my wife and I. Facebook is a great way to connect with old friends, but there are some old friends that you probably shouldn’t connect with. Get my drift? So, in an effort to keep our FB friends on the up and up, we don’t friend people that used to be “more than friends”.
So, how do I use Facebook?
Facebook, for me, is a great way to stay in touch with people that you normally wouldn’t. I have a lot of my high school classmates, as well as extended family on my friend list. I liken it to a pulse. You may not call this person, mail them a letter or even send an e-mail. But, every once in a while you get a status update (a pulse) from them, keeping you in touch with what is going on in that person’s life. That is what I like about Facebook. A tool to help you stay in touch.
You quite often find that photographers will characterize themselves as black and white photographers, or color photographers. Even greats like William Eggleston swayed one way and has stayed here. For Eggleston, he chose to be a part of the color camp, of course (Side note: Eggleston started out as a B&W photographer, switched to color very early in his career, and never looked back).
I am not a film photographer, nor have I ever really been one. I shoot digital, and have always had the ability to change the image to black and white after the fact. I will look at an image, and then determine whether I think the image is better represented in color, or in black and white. For some images, the colors play too important of a role to leave them out. For others, they just become a distraction. And, very rarely, you will come across an image that works perfectly in both (see images below).
With that being said, I find myself being drawn more and more to black and white photography. I really don’t know why — I just am. Maybe there’s just a fascination with the past. Or, the fact that black and white forces you to concentrate on the elements in the image, and their relationships, versus getting preoccupied with color.
I like to take walks during my lunch hour at work. It provides a nice and needed break in the middle of the day, as well as opportunities to take pictures. So, lately, I’ve been carrying my camera with me when I walk. The lens cap is on, the strap is around my neck, and I’m holding the camera with one of my hands so it doesn’t bounce when I’m moving.
What I’ve noticed is that people act differently when they see you with a camera. Normally, when I see someone approaching, I like to smile and say “Hi”. Most of the time people respond back with a greeting or a smile, or both. However, when I have the camera with me, I’ve noticed that people have a tendency to look away. To me, this is extremely intriguing since I clearly have the lens cap on. But, it makes me question why?
I’ve known a number of people that freeze up whenever they are in front of the camera. This is somewhat understandable, since some people don’t like their picture taken. Maybe that also carries over to even being in the presence of a camera. What do you think?