Friday, October 19, 2007

Drive-by Photography

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When we take one of our road trips, I do quite a bit of what I am starting to call "Drive-by Photography". (The picture above was taken on the way home from our Eastern Sierra trip.) Since my husband is driving on those trips, I don't have to pay attention to traffic while I shoot. I shoot outside the car window, or sometimes through the windshield. Granted most of the shots are throwaways, but every so often there is one I am glad I shot.

A short while back I posted another one of my shots taken through the window and got back a fun response from a viewer who linked to his own examples of this type of madcap shooting. Apparently, Beau Harbin has done his share of photographing scenes while traveling down the highway. Now, I have learned that some of those wonderful images at Doug Stockdale's site were taken from a moving vehicle. Hmmm. I think I will apologize less now for this style shooting and consider myself having joined a growing movement. On a more serious note, Doug Stockdale has a unique style and his work stays with you. (As a bonus, he is a master of shooting from a moving vehicle.) And, speaking of work that stays with you, check out the beautiful black and white titled "Fingers", at Paul Maxim's site. Especially if you are a cloud person like me, you will be hopelessly smitten. (By the way, this photograph was taken from a totally safe and sane position according to Paul's post.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ghost Stories

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I have long had a soft spot for things that are old and connected to the past. I have spent a good number of hours at flea markets and browsing so-called “antique” stores (meaning old stuff, not nearly all of which is necessarily precious or valuable and much of which no longer works or is noticeably scarred or damaged). In fact, much of what decorates our home consists of such borrowed memories. Recently, a post at Doug Stockdale’s Singular Images got me thinking about my penchant for nostalgia.

Specifically, I realized that I really do believe in ghosts. Thinking about ghosts this afternoon is, of course, an interesting coincidence, since Halloween is just a few days away. However, I’m not talking about ghosts that lurk in the attic and scare us in the middle of the night. I’m not talking about the Casper type of ghost or the ghouls that populate those scary Hollywood movies designed to give you nightmares.
I am thinking about the ghosts who drift about in places where they once lived, worked, and sometimes played. These spirits aren’t threatening and they don’t do evil things. But, the voices of those spirits do get inside my head. They make we wonder about their lives, their loves and losses, their triumphs and defeats, their struggles and where they found the courage and strength to continue. The buildings they built, the tools they worked with, and their means of transportation fascinate me. This certainly explains why one of my greatest passions is photographing old abandoned buildings, vehicles, and various belongings. Looking through the viewfinder and viewing the pictures later, I feel the reverberations of the people who lived with those things and I am stirred by that sense of connection with those who came before me.
There seems to be so much about contemporary life that serves to detach us from our reality. In what is perhaps a peculiar sense, the connection with the past helps to ground me in the present. Our lives go by so quickly and our footprints disappear so quickly. But, perhaps something of our spirit does linger. The ghostly voices of the people whose things I am photographing or holding in my hand remind me of my humanity and serve to keep me both humble and grateful. Yet, they also remind me that I have untapped resources and they challenge me to continue.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Addictions Come in Many Forms

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This is the sort of thing that sometimes happens when I decide to spend just a few minutes playing in Photoshop. (Really. Promise. I won't be much longer. How much time have I been doing this?! That's not possible. Are you sure?) I still say there should be a warning label on Adobe's product. "This software can be addictive for certain personalities. Side effects include lost sleep, damaged relationships, poor work habits, reduced productivity, depleted bank account, large numbers of destroyed brain cells during the learning process, and, in some cases severe dependency. Use with caution and at your own risk."

Sunday, October 14, 2007


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This lines in this one remind me of a fireworks display. The colors, on the other hand, make the image feel cool and soothing rather than packed with excitement. Just one of the many treats at our tiny local park where I take my almost-daily walks.