Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Frosted Fall"

With the frost yesterday, everything was muted a bit and the colors were softer.  The fog made the landscape seem very isolated and lonely, but in a good way.  I love that the tracks of the machinery that cut the hay are still visible and the tips of the stubble are frosted white.  It seems so forgotten after a busy summer of harvesting.  That's what winter does, it hides everything that is so bright and full of vitality in the summer.  Of course I forgot my tripod at home, so this was taken with the camera on the bumper of my car with the timer set.  Yep, nothing by skill here. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winter is officially here!

The first full day of snow cover was here today, and I decided to step outside and see what kind of scenery it brought with it.  The frost hung out all day, making the trees and grass white.  I got several good shots of the "frozen" fall willows, and even a few of a moose in the white grass, munching on the willows.  I will post those photos soon.  These little bird tracks were on my patio this morning.  I've always loved how delicate the bird prints look in the snow.  I think these were magpie tracks.  They like to sneak around early in the morning. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"The Restless Beyond"

This photograph is one of a series I took in one evening when I was experimenting with lighting and exposure.  The clouds were moving fast and the light changed from bright to dim several times in the few mintues I took the photographs.  To my immediate right, there was very active lightning and thunder, not to mention the mosquitos were out in full force.  Sometimes it's a little unnerving to be out in the lightning, as it seems to strike a little too close for comfort once in a while.  It's such a powerful part of nature that I can't help but be fascinated by it, but at a distance.    

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Welcome Aboard"

Everytime I see a train, I get super excited!  I film them with my cell phone when one "drives" by along the highway.  I take photographs of them obsessively (the ones I have listed in my Etsy shop and on this blog are a very small percentage of the number of train photographs I actually have).  My great great grandfather was a train conductor, so maybe that explains the fascination.  I love their aesthetic.  The rivets piecing the large plates of steel together, the heaviness and massiveness of them is imposing.  They seem so reliable.  I love the messages on the risers of these passenger steps.  "Watch your step", and "Welcome Aboard."    

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My new camera bag...

I have to be honest, I'd never heard of Ranchero camera bags before.  They're not really bags, so much as briefcases for a camera.  The sides are rigid and stiff, and would not squish easily.  The leather is soft and velvety and the inside is lined with pine tree green  felt.  How retro!  I love it! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 I love to design packaging.  This is for my photo necklaces, which I make by hand.  The little photographs are mounted permanently to birchwood.  When I started to think about packaging, I liked the idea that they were mounted to wood and how to make that fact come across in the packaging without having to use a bunch of words to describe it, hence the photograph of the wood stack cross-section as the background.  With the topper, again I didn't want a lot of words for customers to read.  I went with a yellow-green like that of a leaf on a tree, and rounded the corners to give it a more organic feel.  They are easy to assemble and will keep the necklaces clean when on display at artshows or brick and mortar shops. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I took this last summer near White Sulphur Springs, Montana.  No matter what the setting on my camera, the colors just looked terrible.  This led to a long time in post-production editing, but I'm very happy with the end result.  For every day that we curse the winter in Montana, those few short months of summer weather make up for it ten-fold.  Everyday of summer in Big Sky country is beautiful and has its own unique atmosphere.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"The Lavender Bottle"

This is the first of my dried flower series.  Many times people used wild grasses instead of flowers for their table because it was too expensive to buy real flowers.  If you couldn't afford a fancy vase, you used an empty bottle or cup.  Personally, I love these impromptu arrangements.  

"Red and Blue"

This is another of my series of photographs of dried flowers.  This old blue bottle was found in a junk store in Butte, Montana.  I love to collect colored bottles.  I have over 40 of them and they sit in the windows around my house.  

"Farmhouse Bouquet"

one more in my series of photography featuring dried flowers.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Wind Sculpture"

This is a photograph from a little photo adventure I took yesterday.  This tree was at the very top of a hill, and had been sculpted by the wind, which pretty much blows at top speed everyday in this location.  It was so windy, I had trouble standing and holding the camera steady.  Unbelievable!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why take black and white photographs?

I wonder that myself, even though I prefer black and white photography to color.  In today's world, it must seem like an act of craziness when we have the best digital camera's at our disposal that can take beautiful, vibrant color photographs.  I was really happy to come across this article by Smashing Magazine:

It is one of their inspiration articles, a series they do to inspire artists and designers.  The images they included are beautiful, but their explaination of why black and white is not a lost art is well said.  This part of the article explained perfectly what I've been struggling to convey to people who ask, "Why black and white?"....

"Compared to colorful designs where catchy colors help the design to stand out, in black-and-white designs the ability to stand out depends only on its ability to communicate rather than on its appealing visual presentation.
Indeed, beautiful black and white photography doesn’t attract with its play of colors. Here close attention to composition, lighting, perspective and the context it is shot in are important. Hence, before considering the photos presented below please prepare some patience and time."

Yes, that's just it.  Color can be a crutch too easily relied on for even the best photographers.  Take the color away, and see if a photograph can stand on its own.  If it can, you've got a truly good photograph.  Composition gets lost when color is overwhelming the photographer.  I'm guilty, I take thousands of photographs of fall colors, when I should really be looking for that one that stands out.  Without color, you are now photographing light, and photography is all about light.  So, in answer to the question, I take black and white photographs for thier ability to convey emotion through eliminating the distraction of color, for their testing of my ability to compose a beautiful photograph, and because they show the viewer where the light is.  Even if you're not ready to leave out color in your photographs, I hope the article above has inspired you to try it out. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Photographer of the week: Jack Radcliffe

Image by Jack Radcliffe
I've been a huge fan of Jack Radcliffe's since I saw his work on Behance three years ago.  I'm particularly drawn to his portfolio of photographs that he took of his daughter Alison throughout her life.  It is a visual representation of how a human finds who she is.  She dates different people, grows up and goes through many phases of style and preferences, just like all humans do.  It's a truly beautiful and meaningful body of work. I recommend looking at the portfolio from beginning to end, which you can find here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Favorite Thing of the Week...Rifle Paper Company

 Ah, Rifle Paper Co.   So many things to say.  The word lovely comes to mind.  Anna Bond is the brilliance behind Rifle Paper Co., and she does these handpainted floral designs for everything from recipe cards to prints for the home.  You can visit Anna Bond's store to purchase some of these lovlies here:
The colors are fantastic!  That is what first drew me to Anna Bond's designs, the colors she uses are eye-candy.   
I have these cute recipe cards earmarked for mother's day.  My mom is a great cook and loves to organize her recipes.  I thought these would be perfect for her, and she's going to love the aqua blue flowers around the edges. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Work - "Silos Trio"

It has been unseasonably warm here in Montana, so the clouds are starting to become puffier, like they are in the summer.  They sky is clear and less overcast, so it works out great for us photographers.  This shot is at the Story Mill in Bozeman.  It is a place I used to photograph regularly, but it's now blocked off from exploration.  The shadows are so defined around the curved edges of these silos.  They have a beautiful shape and contours.