Writing and photography are often separate forms of expression, and never the twain shall meet. Try                  reading an instruction manual for a camera and you'll see what I mean. Here is where I hope words will combine with pictures to make sense of, and enliven the other. Welcome! 

Smile and the whole world smiles with you

September 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

As a photographer, I often encounter people who don't want to fully smile. They think there's something about their smile that isn't pretty. Or it reveals too much. And yet every time I photograph somebody, when they do smile fully, I watch as their whole face suddenly pops open. And that's when they are at their most beautiful.  Because their soul is shining through. Whether they have a crooked smile or a missing tooth, or they think they are less than deserving of being seen, I see the person before me smile, and I see an explosion and integration of inner and outer beauty. I see revelation, of a fully, alive human within the smile. Watching this happen, I smile behind my camera, like a trilling canary has taken flight before my eyes. And suddenly, we're all smiling. It's true: Smile, and the world smiles with you. Smile, and the world comes shining through.  I see dimples when she smiles.


"Gratitude" and "The Faces of New Orleans" on exhibit now and almost now

February 22, 2012  •  2 Comments


I love photo shoots -- being on the move, capturing expressions in faces and time, looking for the message in the subject, whether it's sunshine on a snowy path or the smile on the groom's face when the bride turns the corner of the church door.

Exhibit photography provides a different opportunity. It's my turn to fine-tune my own message as I comb through thousands of shots to find the few to set the tone in a gallery, be it "Gratitude" for an upcoming March exhibit at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of  Kent, or "The Faces of New Orleans" for an exhibit, up now through April, at Taco Tonto's Restaurant, also in Kent.

       For the New Orleans exhibit    

I knew I had a small space and a big message. New Orleans is big, not just geographically. But the spirt and passion, the colors of New Orleans, the heart of the people -- all make for a larger-than-life message.

 

I had space for only 18 pieces. But I was able to display over 100 images, by using 25 small Facebook-sized photos in each of four composite pieces.

How to choose the photos?

I used my emotions. Every NOLA picture that ever sent so much as a shiver down my spine was pulled off my hard drive and into an album. The ones that sent me into convulsions of goose bumps were a definite. But even tingling was acknowledged as acceptance for these composites.

 

As I chose photos, I began to see the pictures falling naturally into four categories  -- NOLA people; NOLA street scenes; NOLA music: NOLA houses. I wanted the composites to be big pieces , so as to include as many photos as possible, so Sue -- at Campus Camera, who helps me with all my printing -- and I chose 12X18 paper. We used Photoshop to color the background of each piece of paper -- gold, purple and green for the official colors of the city, and turquoise because you see a lot of turquoise in NOLA home decor, and because it is the color of the tropics. Sue made a grid for 24 photos. She dropped the photos in. We moved them around so that like wasn't next to like and heads didn't bleed into trees. We left a little color between each picture.

How to display? So many options, so little money or space

To display the pictures, I used black foam board and artist's tape -- black foam board because it's inexpensive and artist's tape, instead of dry-mounting, because artist's tape means the piece sticks out a little bit, and looks a little more hand-done, kind of like the city of New Orleans. I added foam board hangers http://govart.com/hardware_hangers_foam.html, (thanks, Sue!!) on each corner. I looped wire through the clips, piecing the four composites together, end-on-end, with a half inch in between, to make for a 72-inch long hanging.

Other photos, Hobby Lobby dry-mounted for me on long pieces of black foam board, three to a length of board, which allowed me to size the photos however I wanted. No cropping. I could save the pictures however I liked them on the Mac screen, print them on big paper and trim off the white excess. What a luxury that is. I did not have to crop to a standard size but could crop according to how I believe the picture looks best. The remaining pics, I put in inexpensive Hobby Lobby frames and other frames I already had. I taped a few pictures to different colors of mat board I had lying around and stuck them up here and there.

The last piece was an aerial photo of NOLA, including an identifying shot of the Superdome, and to which I would attach my bio info. I needed this to pop and stand out while also melding, and so I used a wide-wood beat-up turquoise frame, maybe 24X20. We made a big picture, 12X18, taped the photo off-center onto a piece of gold foam board to shadow it and then taped the piece to the turquoise frame. Not IN the frame, but ON the frame. Different -- like the city itself, and Taco Tonto's, too. Decor, pictures, message all feng shui, y'all!

 

Next up: An exhibit on Gratitude, a whole different place, a whole different feel....

 


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