I mentioned in an earlier post about how I struggle between color photos and black & white photos. While the black & white versions are OK, I tend to see and feel in color so the color versions of my photos often win out over the black & white versions. Here are some sets of images from that same post, along with their counterparts. I’d love to hear some feedback on the pros and cons. I know that ultimately my photos need to reflect my voice, but I also know that I have lived a pretty sheltered existence when it comes to my experience with black & white photography.
I was looking at my desktop the other day, and realized that I wanted something “Christmas-y” instead of the one I had been using. I thought I had used this image before as a wallpaper, but as it turns out I never did. So here you go!
Believe it or not, this photo was taken back in January 2010 in Belhaven, NC. I included it on my paper calendar for that year, and it was such a hit in town that the woman who owns the house and dock where this photo was taken bought calendars to give out to her friends! As a Thank You I took her a print of this photo. Hopefully she is enjoying that print. And she gave me her permission to photograph from this dock whenever I’m in town, which I try to do whenever we are in Belhaven. The tree isn’t there any more, but it’s a great place for sunrise at certain times of the year. I think we’re due for a return visit!
Kathy & I want to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2016!
I’ve been working on finishing up my photos from our Colorado adventure in June, and I’m just about there!
I didn’t have a lot of things that I had pre-visualized for our trip, but one of the things that I wanted to come back with was some nice photos of Aspen trees. I’d eventually love to go back in the fall, but June was a great time for some spring green. We get that here in April & May, but of course we don’t have Aspen. We do have Birch, but it’s just not the same.
I have a few more Aspen photos that I like a lot, but they are going to require a lot more work to see if they can be made presentable. It’s kind of a funny story in a Murphy’s Law sort of way. There was one grove of Aspen that I liked a lot, but there was a blue wire fence running through them, I think it was part of an elk enclosure. As I was shooting I assured myself that the blue fence would be rendered invisible by the motion. But wouldn’t you know it, the vertical movement of the camera tracked parallel to the fence, so the fence is perfectly rendered in the background. Crap! I’m going to have to spend some time in Photoshop to see if I can do an adequate job of erasing the fence. I’m quite rusty with my skills but I’ll see what I can do.
Kathy & I are off on our latest adventure next week. Photos and stories to follow!
Technically, we don’t have a back door. But we do have a screened porch at the back of our house that overlooks the woods next to our neighborhood. Kathy & I spend a lot of time on that screened porch, it is our outdoor space where we relax and unwind after a long day or a long week.
This past weekend was just about the ideal weather here in Charlotte – temperatures in the upper 70’s on Saturday, low 70’s on Sunday. We spent a lot of time on the porch.
These trees are directly behind our porch, and this is the second fall since we moved in. They sometimes call my name, and the call got especially loud on Saturday so I got out my camera. Nothing special artistic-wise, but it was good to answer the call and take a few shots. In a couple more weeks the leaves will all be gone.
Doo, doo, doo, lookin’ out my back door….
This past weekend, Kathy & I made one of our periodic visits to Waynesville, North Carolina. Waynesville is our favorite mountain town to visit for a weekend, because it is easy to get to, there is a nice little motel right in town that we like to stay at, and there are a number of excellent hometown restaurants that we enjoy checking in at.
As it turned out, Saturday was supposed to be a craft fair, where they close Main Street for the day and fill it with vendors and craftspeople. Unfortunately this year’s show was a bit of a washout, although I understand the craft vendors did very well in spite of the rain, but the food vendors didn’t fare as well because no one wanted to eat standing in the rain. Can’t blame them!
I did manage to take some photos around town, and on Sunday we drove to Asheville for the afternoon. That will be the subject of another post, because I have a completely different set of photos. So for now, here is a little taste of fall from Waynesville, North Carolina, courtesy of me!
Kathy & I paid a visit to the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market yesterday. We don’t get there often enough, and every time we go I’m reminded of the availability of fresh foods from local and regional farms. It’s also an interesting place to take photographs, although from a few of the pictures, a few of the people didn’t look too happy to see the front of my camera. Maybe they were Nikon or Olympus fans. 😉
It probably wasn’t the best place to use a wide angle lens, but I hadn’t had much time to use the 10-24 and decided to use it there. All in all I think the photos came out pretty well.
I said I was going to post wallpapers less regularly, and I passed on April. But I was getting tired of that scene and wanted something springy. Spring has sprung here in North Carolina, although the usual spring-almost-summer temperatures haven’t decided to stay yet. We’re still in that “heat in the morning, AC in the afternoon” stage that usually ends in April. That’s OK with me!
There isn’t a lot of lavender here in North Carolina. This is a lavender field in Seafoam, Nova Scotia from a few years back. I’ve been reliving 2013 lately and this seemed like a good candidate to occupy my desktop for a while. I hope it goes well on yours, too if you are so inclined.
This is one of my favorites from our recent visit to St. Martin, and it just seemed like an appropriate photograph for February! I had already made it into a wallpaper for my phone and tablet, so what the heck. Might as well put it on the computer desktop too.
I hope everyone has a great February…spring’s coming!
As a general rule, I have gravitated away from trying to chase sunsets per se, as more often than not I end up waiting around for something that doesn’t happen. I do enjoy spending time on a beach that faces away from the sunset, as the soft light on the water is often conducive to the motion blur photos I have become so fond of.
Back in early November, Kathy & I visited Belhaven, NC. One of our frequent destinations, we often use the location as a jumping off point for trips around the eastern part of the state, looking for fishing boats, old barns or sometimes waterfowl.
For some reason though, I often find it worth my time to be “out” for sunset in Belhaven. Something there just causes the conditions to be good for great color. The downside is that there is not a lot of variety for foregrounds. There are a few docks, but they are all on private property and I tend to respect that. I do have a nice sunrise place where I have gotten permission from the owner to use her place when I am in town, and that has proven to be a good spot.
The great thing about sunset in Belhaven is that the bed & breakfast we stay at is on Water Street, so it’s easy to head out the door, grab my gear from the car and head across the street to the waterfront. For the last several years I have used the back yard of an unoccupied house as my staging area, and that is the place I have taken most of my sunset photos in Belhaven.
During our recent visit I found out that this house was recently sold. I met the new owner, and he seems like a real nice guy, but I’m not sure I will be able to keep using his yard for my photos. The next time I go there I’m planning to take him a couple of prints as a goodwill gesture, and hopefully he’ll grant me a perpetual pass to use his place. We’ll just have to see.
So what’s the deal with these posts? I assume that they are leftover from a long-abandoned dock, and eventually someone is either going to build a new dock or just pull out these posts. Something about them calls my name, and every time I go there I end up shooting at least a few frames of them. They make interesting subject matter, to me at least.
I hope you enjoy this selection of sunset photos from Belhaven, North Carolina!
Kathy and I love to travel, of course, and while we aren’t the “world travelers” that some have made us out to be, we’ve seen our share of the world and we spend a lot of time talking about what kind of travel we want to do. We have our lists of places we “should” go, and all of those have varying levels of interest and priority. And of course there are places that we would love to go but probably never will. Some of our favorite memories are from places where most people would never bother to go. Of all the places we’ve been, a trip to Kentucky a few years ago still comes to mind as one of our favorite experiences. Who’da thunk?
Like a lot of things, what we do and what we enjoy has to come from within. We need to be able to take the time to figure out what means the most to us. What are our priorities, rather than a heavily cliché-ed “bucket list” developed by some magazine publisher to sell more advertising. Who we are and how we feel is a product of our own existence and our own experiences. Comfort level has a lot to do with what we are willing to try. Not everyone has that voice that tells us to step out of our comfort zones. But for those of us who do, we definitely need to listen.
Like a lot of people, I’m often tempted by the idea of “if I knew then what I know now.” But I try to keep a lid on those thoughts, because ultimately I didn’t know then what I know now, and my entire life’s experience ultimately contributes to where and who I am today. I can’t change the past, so the best approach for me is to look ahead, because that’s the only thing I have any degree of influence on – to make the best of what I have and who I am.
In many ways, this idea of comfort zone has parallels with the way we see the world. For those of us who are observers, we see things that other people don’t see, and sometimes others see things we don’t see. And we travel the same way. When I first started doing photography seriously I would sometimes get up in the middle of dinner, afraid that I was going to “miss” sunset. I’ve since learned that I’m always missing something, and that helps me reconcile the idea that I’m not going to get to “do” everything.
Kathy & I are very close to the point where we can decide to walk away from our corporate lives. Quite often we find ourselves feeling that that day can’t come soon enough. There are other days when things seem to go along fairly well and it feels like collecting a few more paychecks won’t be all that difficult. The difficult thing is going to be determining when the right time might be to call it quits. We have established many checkpoints that will tell we’re on the path. Some of those we have met, many we’re close on, but a few major ones have yet to be realized. But we have a plan and hope that when the time comes we’ll have the guts to say, “NOW.”
For me, my primary goal for what I want to do in retirement is to stay retired! If I end up doing some kind of work I’d like it to be for personal satisfaction rather than to pay the bills. The good thing is that there are a lot of rewarding things we can do that don’t cost an enormous amount of money. While they may not check other peoples’ boxes for fulfillment, they might be just fine if that was the alternative.
We’ve never paid a lot of attention to the “if money were no object” scenarios because it was always our intention for that not to be an issue. Not that we expect to never have to think about money, but the idea all along has been to have provided for a level of financial security that would allow us to continue living the life we have become comfortable with. And if that doesn’t work out, I suspect we’ll figure out how to travel and buy wine with whatever we do have! So for now, we hope to hold on to the jobs we’ve got for as long as we can, and every paycheck is a victory of sorts. Murphy’s Law would suggest that as soon as we decide for one of us to stay home, the remaining job we’d be counting on would go away.
For a lot of people, their biggest fear with retirement is that they won’t have anything to do. That is the thing that I worry about the least! Whenever we decide to walk out of that corporate world, I know that there is a whole lot of world out there to explore. And while I don’t have a chance of ever seeing it all, Kathy & I both plan to make a point of enjoying whatever we do see as much as we possibly can. That doesn’t take a list, and it doesn’t take a lot of planning, but I think it is a pretty good goal.