Warren Wilson PHOTOS.: Blog http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog en-us (C) Warren E. Wilson warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) Sat, 24 Feb 2018 01:27:00 GMT Sat, 24 Feb 2018 01:27:00 GMT http://warren-wilson-photos.com/img/s/v-5/u464836028-o477806211-50.jpg Warren Wilson PHOTOS.: Blog http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog 90 120 The End of the Road http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/2/the-end-of-the-road This is my last blog at this site, at least for now. I want to have my own site. That way, whenever I change sites I won't lose all of my material, which is what will happen here.

I will soon start my animal blog, hoping for March 1. The blog will cover my adventures with animals and will be aimed at my pet photography website.----warrenwilsonpetphotography.com

Blog address to come later.

As far as this blog goes, it gave me a chance to work on my writing skills. That's was the sole purpose but I got a lot more out of it. And, I was reintroduced to the concept of meeting a deadline. I have been retired for 13 years now and I had become a bit rusty when it comes to punctuality.

So, join me next month with my new blog.

thanks for stopping by,

Warren

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/2/the-end-of-the-road Fri, 16 Feb 2018 02:31:10 GMT
A Collector http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/2/a-collector words and images by Warren Wilson

Hmmm! Perhaps I should call it "pack rat". Although I like collector better, pack rat gives you a better idea as to what I've been doing all these years. It's not like I choose one thing to collect; I have many "hobbies" and fetishes. Once it's in my possession, I tend to keep it for years. In particular, this goes with my collection of T-shirts.

It's not like I like clothes. I usually avoid spending the money for them. They're an essential, but I'd rather collect other things. Like camera gear! So, I do have have my priorities. But, in the case of the T-shirts, I've been collecting them since the early 90's. I think my wife told me not to bring in another T-shirt in the year 2011. I've pretty much honored that request. It was a wise decision. I had run out of closet space and I'd lost my desire to wear a different T-shirt each day of the week.

A few Black Fridays ago, I picked up this book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I got as far as page 50, then put it down for 3 years. Finally, a few weeks ago, I picked the book up again and read the rest of it. Perhaps out of desperation, the book made more sense to me this second time. I realized that I had to do something with my "collections". And, why not start with something I don't use that much, like my T-shirts.

I have over 100 T-shirts. Each one tells a story. I believe I held onto the shirts because of the story they told. Usually the stories brought a smile to my face. But, there comes a time when we all need to move on. And, the time for me has come (at least in regard to the upper half of my body).

I figured one way to deal with a sense of loss and the fear of letting go was to take pictures of the shirts I toss and take pictures of each. Then, I'd share my stories with you.

So, here goes...

This T-shirt is one of my favorite shirts. Many years ago, a co-worker came running into my office and asked, "Did you know there was a Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC?" Having been asked this same question about once every year, I had an answer, "Yes, I know the college is there. My great-grandfather was a  co-founder." (Not true!) Finally I decided to buy a T-shirt from the college. I called up the Campus Store. The lady who took my order didn't seem amazed that my name was the same as on the shirt I was purchasing. I suppose that should have been my first clue that none of this really mattered. But, I was proud of the fact and would wear the shirt with a frequency that my wife finally asked me to stop wearing it EVERYWHERE!!! Besides, she reminded me, it had a hole in it. Still one of my faves, it's time to get rid of it.

 

This one I purchased in NYC in 1990. I've always liked it. It was the week that my wife and I went to NYC, stayed at the Algonquin Hotel, went to see the NY Mets play, and hung out in NYC! A great week!!

 

 

 

A few years ago, I belonged on a bowling team. We had named the team 'The Three Stooges'. We decided it was appropriate for us to identify our team with t-shirts of the individual Three Stooges. Chuck chose Curly. Bernie chose Larry. The only one left for me to choose was Moe. Now, this is where it gets tricky...Chuck and Bernie must have been unaware that Moe was the leader. I had Moe's shirt. So,.....I took to calling myself the leader. Well, a few ha-ha's later, they decided to change shirts to a more generic T-shirt. We changed the design to a shirt with all three Stooges on each shirt. My days as leader were short lived. But, I had the last laugh...I still wore my Moe shirt and, on occasion, reminded that I was the boss...nyuk nyuk.

 

 

Kodachrome color transparency film was my favorite slide film. I liked it better than whatever Fuji offered. My favorite Kodachrome was their ASA/(ISO) 25. It possessed very little grain and was very easy to work with. Yes, Kodachrome stopped making ASA25 many years before they finally pulled the plug on the entire series. Once the ASA25 was gone, I switched to the ASA64. I came to love that film. I believe they had other ASA's, but they were more sensitive and, IMO, too grainy. Well, the day finally came where Kodak pulled the plug on the entire Kodachrome series. A National Geographic photographer, Steve McCurry shot the last roll of Kodachrome. And, Dwayne's Lab was the lab to process the last roll.

 

Eight-track tapes were such a pain. They liked to get caught up in the player. The player would chew the thin tape into accordion shaped strips, rendering your favorite album useless. Then came along the cassette tape. I remember the day I told my fellow bicycle friends at a rest stop that "I now declare the cassette tape my choice of recording". This was 1976 and I was still using the cassette tape until early 2000's. Such a great medium. (In fact, I was the only one at the gym using a cassette tape player. Everyone else had gone mp3. As I mentioned, something becomes my choice and I stick with it.) Anyway, my favorite maker of tapes was Maxell. Then, one day I saw this photograph in a store. LOVED IT! I even bought one (and, yup, it's hanging on the wall over my computer). And, of course, I had to have the T-shirt.

Of course, I went through the stage of going to all the outdoor arena rock jams. This shirt I used to wear all the time. Pearl Jam was great! (Notice Pearl Jam was like about 4th-5th billing. The big group was RHCP.) But, I was at my most miserable at this particular show. It was in some field in Northern Virginia. And, the rain would stop just long enough to allow the water to run off the field. Then, it would start raining again.

 

This shirt means a lot to me. I was invited by some Vietnam Marines to go back to VietNam with them. These guys were members of 3/5 Marines. They were part of a wicked operation in 1967. This particular operation saw several Navy Crosses, etc. The first Navy chaplain to be KIA in Nam was killed on this operation, the first day of Operation Swift. How do I play into all this? I was the photographer assigned to them on the first day of this operation. We got our butts kicked.

 

I had never heard of M.C. Escher until about 1971. A friend who lived in the apartment above mine introduced me to his art. I immediately fell in love with the artwork shown here. I finally had a chance to see a collection of his work. Great!!

 

 

 

In 1991, Washington, DC had a very high murder rate. I happened to have been working downtown DC during this period. Some 400 people were killed. I believe it was later determined that most of the murders were caused by drug wars. So, what's a better way to declare yourself a survivor than to wear a T-shirt?!!

 

 

National Geographic Society...I worked there for 35 years as a lab technician. I started off as a Black-and-White Lab Tech and bounced around the lab, finally being a part of the upcoming digital technology. I witnessed many changes there, starting with the family-ya'll come attitude to the if-you've-been-here-5-years-you've-been-here-2-years-too-long policy. But, the gig certainly had its benefits. I worked in areas where I saw the cream of the crop photographs and stories. Unknowingly, viewing between 1-2 million images in 35 years sharpened my religion concerning image quality.

 

Los Angeles...my wife and I LOVE L.A., more in particular Hollywood. Everyone always seems to shake their head in disbelief when they hear us say that. I don't know why, unless, of course, you don't like "seedy".

 

 

 

Ahhh,,,The Washington Nationals. I'm not big of a sports fan. But, when I choose a team, I become diehard. Such is the case with "The team that can't". My love affair began circa 2009. I went to at least a couple of games, preferring to sit and watch the drama unfold. During the past 8 years, I've seen them go from a team that couldn't get out of its own way to a team that seems to buckle under the big pressure. Great stars! But, put them under the lights in cool October nights, they suddenly forget why they're there. Sad!

 

I am....SUPERMAN. Reminds me of the REM song. It would be logical to think that I bought this T-shirt to show off that I am indeed the most self-confident person on the planet. But, the story is far less exciting than that. I bought it as a self-portrait shoot--Superman is performing a voodoo ritual on a stuffed Captain America. Do you see where this is going?

 

 

I bought this T-shirt to remind me of the time and effort I put into photographing the Maryland Renaissance Festival  (MDRF). Each weekend, starting in mid-August, I'd go both Saturdays and Sundays to photograph the happenings at the MDRF. The main reason I liked it was because the people loved being photographed in their costumes. It was great training for my street photography--thinking quick and being ready for the shot. I went each weekend for 4 years. I finally started weaning myself off the MDRF when I noticed that they started dropping the number of acts each year--the quality and frequency began to suffer. But, I remember days in mid-October where the people were so thick I had to tuck my camera to my chest and push my way through the crowd. Oh, yeah! Should you go, be sure to get the turkey leg!

Jazz and volunteerism...For years, I pretended to be a musician. I even went to school for a few years. That was when I learned about the East Coast Jazz Festival. I figured I could see some free music by volunteering. It was a fun gig...and I got this T-shirt  to prove I was "STAFF".

 

 

Ken's BBQ...You gotta eat, right?! This was one of my favorite hangouts whenever the wife and I would go down to see my family when they lived in Birmingham, Alabama. The BBQ was good (I always got the pork BBQ with 2 slices of white bread spread with mayo.), but the coconut custard pie was the best. Once they stopped making that, we stopped going. All 7 of us would put away some pie!

 

 

Another part of L.A. that the wife and I enjoyed was Santa Monica. We definitely were attracted there. Today, I'm hard pressed to tell you why...it wasn't Muscle Beach, nor was it the boardwalk, not even the people. We went for the bicycles. We loved renting the bikes for an hour and riding the path. Panting, we'd return the bikes and head off for lunch in the business district--usually the La Trattoria. (It looks like they've dropped the La and added C&O.) Delicious!! And, since I was a huge fan of Santa Monica, I had to get a T-shirt to remind me of the great times we had there.

 

While I'm talking about L.A., I'll tell you of my experience at the UCLA Jazz/Reggae concert. This happened on our 2006 trip. Listening to the music in the background, my wife and I toured the vendor tents. One in particular caught my eye. It was the Coke versus Pepsi Test. Now, I knew my Coca-Cola. Nothing compared to a very cold (possibly frosty) Coke in a tall glass brimming with chipped ice. As I told the vendor, "I know my Coke!" Sipping each, I smiled and declared which was the Coke (I know my Coke!) A life-changing event then occurred: I was wrong!!! The one I had chosen as my favorite was the Pepsi. Since then, I always ask for Pepsi. And, if they don't have it, I like to beat them into submission with the telling of the day I saw the light and became a believer.

My wife learned to watch me whenever I walked into a souvenir ship. After a 24-hour train ride from DC to Orlando, I wanted to eat at the Hard Rock. Good food, as I recall. But, I was most anxious to go shopping. On that short 30-minute shopping spree, I bought this T-shirt, a fanny pack (which my wife never liked and was happy when the zipper gave out a few months later), a couple of shot glasses and a mug. And, of course, I can't forget the cap. I was strickly a hard-rocker! My love affair with Hard Rock bit the dust years later while in L.A.  The first thing the waitress told us was that we had a time limit in order to eat. Since then, I've never been in a Hard Rock. And, why would I want to be? I still have this T-shirt.

Although my photography hasn't taken me everywhere I want to go, it has offered me a window in the lives of others--things I wouldn't ordinarily give a second thought. Such is the case with the 4-H Club. 4-H is comprised of young students learning what it's like to work in the agricutural field. And, it's also for me because I see them doing things I'd never think of, things like moving a sheep by sticking your finger in its butt. That's a bit too organic for me and I generally feel safe with my camera in my hands.

 

This shirt was given to me by a fellow Marine about 10 years ago. He had been my replacement in VietNam. Then, here we are meeting close to 40 years later. It was a nice gesture from him when he gave me this shirt. It took me years to get over that era in our American history. And, it's nice to be remembered in such a way after so many years apart.

 

 

And, how can I forget the Pig?! Piggly Wiggly is a grocery store I was brought up on growing up in the deep South. Great store with a long history. And, would you believe, I get most of the comments about this shirt. Whenever I'd wear it, at least one person would say something about the Pig.

 

 

This all started with my telling you about my collections, how I've been known to collect just about anything that would catch my eye. And, I keep my things for a very long time, often perhaps too long. Although it's not a T-shirt, let me end with an example of my keeping something just a bit beyond its appeal. This is a hat I purchased in L.A. (where else?!) Santa Monica. I loved this hat but had to retire it a few years ago. But, first I needed that picture to remind me of the great times we had together. Even this photo brings back a smile.

 

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog clutter collection photography t-shirts warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/2/a-collector Thu, 08 Feb 2018 19:00:00 GMT
Old Havana in words and pictures http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/2/old-havana-in-words-and-pictures Havana: Che lives hereHavana: Che lives here

words and images by Warren Wilson

This blog post is mostly a smorgasbord of pictures and  recollections. My trip to Cuba helped to open my eyes to the world of travel photography. Sure, I'd been other places. But, Cuba was the a-ha moment for me and my photography. In ten days, I shot close to 6,000 images. When others in my photo group would opt for an afternoon of rest (aka siesta), I would be sure to be out there in the noonday sun looking for subjects to photograph. My motivation? I wanted to capture whatever I could with my camera. I didn't want to miss a single potential memory. And, I think I came close to fulfilling my goal.

This post is mainly about the pictures I took in Old Havana. Old Havana is a section of Havana. It's obviously older, seeming to be lagging behind the rest of the city. Old buildings. Poor infrastructure. Crowded. But, this section of Havana has soul. The people were amazing! Friendly. Helpful. Humble. So, as you thumb through the Old Havana Gallery, I hope to leave you with a sense of what it was like to be with me walking the streets of Old Havana.

Click here to view my gallery of Old Havana.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog cuba havana old havana people photography travel warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/2/old-havana-in-words-and-pictures Thu, 01 Feb 2018 19:00:00 GMT
The story behind "Muffler" http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/the-story-behind-muffler Ingenuity, HavanaIngenuity, HavanaA fire extinguisher is converted into a car muffler. words and images by Warren Wilson

My last full day spent in Cuba started early in the morning with a sunrise photography session at the Malecon. Malecon is a Spanish word meaning "a stone-built embankment." It's a dike that stretches for about 5 miles against the backdrop of a redevelopment project. New businesses and tall buildings are making a new footprint in a city that has long forgotten what the era of prosperity was like.

After the sunrise shoot, our group headed to the inner-most heart of Old Havana. With the sun barely over the horizon and dilapidated buildings surrounding us, we walked the streets seeking new photographic ventures. We saw the locals starting their their new day--going to work, hanging laundry and scurrying to their next destination. We even had the chance to stop and talk (through our translator) to some. All were friendly and willing to talk about their lives in Havana. Quite an experience!

As we were leaving the inner-city, we ran across the men shown in the above photograph. Asked what they were doing, they replied that they were making a muffler for their car. Really?! Here, they were making the muffler out of a fire extinguisher. (Note in the right of frame the piece of foam the man is holding. That fire extinguisher was very hot from the heat of the blowtorch.) Needless to say, we were all impressed. I know, for myself, that I'd heard how adaptive the people of Cuba are. But, I didn't expect to run across such a perfect example on my last day in Cuba.

(Just in case you missed the last blog on Havana, click here to a gallery of Havana photographs.)

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog cuba havana people photography travel warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/the-story-behind-muffler Thu, 25 Jan 2018 19:00:00 GMT
Havana in Photographs http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/havana-in-photographs Just outside the Havana AirportJust outside the Havana AirportThe first of many signs I'd see in Cuba. Some were anti-American, but not as prevalent as I had thought there would be.

words and images by Warren Wilson

As I might have mentioned before, my favorite thing about traveling is having the opportunity of seeing how others live. And, the people help give me a sense of place. As a photographer, I make every attempt I can to include people in my photography. Sure, sometimes people don't add to a photograph. But, often they do. They help to tell the story.

How do the people live? What are their daily activities? These are questions I try to answer with my photography.

I found Havana, Cuba to be a place I'd always known about. Growing up during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960's, Cuba was not far from my home state of Alabama. I recall my parents being concerned about the future. Uncertain times, indeed!

From that childhood experience, I followed the story of Castro and his many years as ruler of the small nation. So, when I had a chance to visit the small nation, I jumped at the opportunity.

I envisioned a country of sad people. After all, many years under a dictatorship does tend to wear a people down. Happily, I was wrong. I discovered that the people seemed to love the Americans. I found that to be evident on the 90-minute plane ride from Miami to Havana. The plane was filled mostly with Cubans. Many had items they had bought in the States--mostly electronics. They were a happy group and several were interested why our group was on the plane. We took pictures of each other and got to know a bit about each other.

Initially, I was thinking that my worst fears would be right. As the plane was in its descent to land in Havana, I watched the "shacks" where I assumed many Cubans lived. They looked like they were pieced together with string and bubble gum. I thought "Such a poor nation."

Arriving in Havana, I expected the Customs to be similar to the Customs I witnessed in Hanoi, Vietnam. In Hanoi, I found it to be quite intimidating. The agents were checking practically every bag. Nary a smile. Kinda scary! But, with Havana, although the Customs agents weren't acting jovial, it was a more relaxed atmosphere. I actually found it easier than arriving in Philadelphia after an international flight.

I had hoped to reach Cuba before it became what I call "Americanized". By this term, I mean a McDonalds on every block, a Marriott to stay, and 7-11's to grab a soda. None of those fears were realized. But, I did find the kids to be quick to open their palm for money. I suppose we can forgive them of that; I see that same behavior when I visit downtown Washington, DC.

Our photography group spent three days out of ten in Havana. Such a great city. I know we didn't catch everything there was to see, but we did our best. We had a chance to soak in the city and to be a part of some extraordinary cultural exchanges. The people greeted us with open arms and warm hearts. What more can one ask for?

Find a gallery of Havana images here.

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog cuba havana photography travel warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/havana-in-photographs Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:00:00 GMT
The story behind "Joyride" http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/the-story-behind-joyride Joyride words and images by Warren Wilson

It was halfway into my Cuba trip in 2013. I was part of a photography tour traveling Cuba. With only ten days to do Cuba, it's impossible to hit all of it. But, we hit some really memorable cities and small towns. Getting away from Havana, we were able to see how the people lived. And, personally, I found the people in the smaller towns/cities to be friendlier. I had said that I wanted to visit Cuba before it became "Americanized". In Havana, I felt that we had just made it. But, in the country, the people seemed to be interested in why we were there and were more friendly.

Fog in the Vinales ValleyFog rolls in to the Vinales Valley, Cuba. This was our view at the small motel we stayed at. One of our stops was the Vinales Valley. We were there two days photographing the people going through their daily lives. It was a nice afternoon when we rented three convertibles and hit the roads. This particular image at the top was one of many photographs I took that afternoon. I had my wide angle zoom on the camera when I saw this scene. Us in the car having a good time (note the rear view mirror). People out for a walk looking at us (or the car).

This street scene has won several local awards, including one Travel trophy. And, it goes down as one of my favorite images of that trip.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog classic car cuba photography travel warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/the-story-behind-joyride Thu, 11 Jan 2018 19:00:00 GMT
Sign up for my newsletter http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/sign-up-for-my-newsletter words and images by Warren Wilson

Yesterday, I sent out my first newsletter. If you'd like a copy, contact me. Place in the SUBJECT line the word "newsletter". I'll then send you a copy and put you on my newsletter list. I hope to be publishing one every couple of months, if not once a month.

Thanks as always for stopping by,

Warren

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog newsletter photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/sign-up-for-my-newsletter Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:55:30 GMT
We all have our reasons for avoiding the snow http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/we-all-have-our-reasons-for-avoiding-the-snow A blizzard attacks Washington, DC area. words and images by Warren Wilson

Being a product of the South, I never really saw much snow while growing up. When it did snow (more than 3 inches), it was cause for celebration--we got the day off from school. And, it was certainly a day to remember. Wow! Look at all that white fluffy stuff!
I remember one particular snowstorm where there was at least 6" left on the ground. Once it stopped snowing, we then had the task of clearing it away. But, we also had time for such things as snowball fights and snow ice cream. Although it doesn't bring back too fond memories, I loved snow ice cream. Taking snow (fresh, of course) and adding vanilla and maybe some sugar, it was a fun treat.

And, I can't forget the kids (from up North somewhere) who would bring their sleds out and we'd all take turns riding down the hilly slope.

My affection for snow ended when I moved northward. Spending New Year's Eve in NYC, I was greeted with a large snowstorm. And a flat tire! It took a while to realize that I had a flat because I thought the problem was the snow. Fixing the flat tire, we made it to Greenwich Village in time to bring in 1968. I don't recall too much about that trip other than my having to deal with the snow.

And, that's the operative here--"deal". For me, snow = work. Ever since I've left the deep South, all I've been doing is dealing with snow. After that New Year's Eve, I then had to drive from New Jersey to Quantico, my next and final duty station. I recall driving through the Quantico gate and seeing nothing but snow as I drove down the 4-lane street of the base.


I remember most of the snows since then. Why?!!! Because I had to deal with them. For instance, the wife and I went to Europe in 2009. We saw some snow, not much. We arrive back at BWI, get our bags, walk out and find that the area had been hit by a blizzard. "Oh, no!!! In the morning, I have to get up and work for hours clearing away the snow."

White Christmas? I only recall one. It was nice, snow angels and all.

Now, here we are again today. I had other plans. I get up and see that it actually did snow (the weather people have been known to get it wrong). That meant what? WORK! Now, my morning is shot and I have to scrape the sidewalk, clear the cars, lay down rock salt...but, it's all been done now and I'm a happy camper (if only I could now find someone to cut the grass when the summer comes).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography snow warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2018/1/we-all-have-our-reasons-for-avoiding-the-snow Thu, 04 Jan 2018 19:00:00 GMT
It's all in the story http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/its-all-in-the-story HemingwayOld Havana. This older gentleman, living on the equivalent of $5 a month, was a Cuban veteran during the Cold War. He said that he manned a gun that shot down a U.S. jet during the Cuban Missile Crisis. words and images by Warren Wilson

Don't get me wrong. Awards are nice; trophies are nicer. They're one way to keep us inspired. But, what I like best about my photographs are the stories that go along with them. With every picture taken, there's a story. By remembering the story, I take a quick trip back to the time I took the picture.

A couple years ago, I went on a photography tour to Cuba. I wanted to get there before the country had become "Americanized". I mentioned my proposed trip to a camera club buddy and he said he'd like to go with me. Perfect! Here's someone I know and I would avoid that extra free they like to charge for single occupancy.

Ten days and over 6,000 shutter clicks later, I was home sorting through my images from the trip, reliving each moment as though it was unfolding before me again. Just last night I was looking through the images trying to decide which ones I'd use for this blog. That's when it struck me again... each image has its own story. I have a story for most of the images I shot on that trip, even down to the camera I used for a particular shot. That's a lot of stories! But, it's true. Photos help to jog my memory and often bring a smile to my face.

A lot of feedback has come as a result of that trip to Cuba:

  • Getty Stock Agency wanted 4 images for possible resale;
  • I won two consecutive camera club Travel awards;
  • Several images from that trip are my top sellers at art fairs.

Most importantly, I learned that I can touch people with the stories I have. I'd never, up to this point, really been a storyteller. That's when I realized that photography still can open doors for me. And, I suppose that can give life to an older saying that talks about an old dog learning new tricks.

Cuban DominoesThese two American tourists play dominoes.

Two CheThese twins didn't care too much about standing in front of Che for their picture to be taken.

My receiving my second Travel award in two years. Taken near the Vinales Valley, this car was full of teens cruising.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog cuba photography travel warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/its-all-in-the-story Thu, 28 Dec 2017 19:00:00 GMT
I don't have time for Christmastime http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/i-dont-have-time-for-christmastime

words and images by Warren Wilson

...just yet.

Life used to be simpler. As a kid, before the TRUTH, I took all that was told to me as the gospel. Then, in the 3rd grade, some kids started picking on me because I still believed in Santa Claus. Confused, I ran home and asked my parents if the kids were right. As I figured they would, my parents straightened it out for me ... YES, there is a Santa Claus, and he'd be coming to see me soon! I breathed a sigh of relief.

Tucked and snugged in the bed that Christmas Eve, I had visions of sugar plums in my head. Santa would be here (the sooner the better). And, I knew Santa had a lot to give me because I had been a good boy the entire year. I could hardly wait.

Then, it happened! I heard a rumbling in the house. Assuring myself that it was Santa most likely stuck in the chimney (even though the house didn't have one), I jumped out of bed and ran into the living room. I could not believe what was in front of me! There, still standing on the basement steps, was my father with what was left from his dropping my Christmas toys.

I was sad that the truth had been revealed. But, I was happy that I could start playtime early. A mixed set of emotions for a child at age 9 to cope with.

The truth had set me free. I now could enjoy the season for what it was intended, the birth of Christ (along with some toys thrown in--a chemistry set I had hoped).

But, as the years have rolled on, I/we have culturally moved on. We no longer regard Christmas as a sacred event. The season has become longer (some people even leave their outside decorations out all year and turn them on around the first of November). Just the other day, I realized that the "countdown" to Christmas is now a thing of the past ... 4 Shopping Days til Christmas. Now, about the only ones that remind you how long you have is the Hallmark Channel. After all, who needs a countdown when we start the celebration two months ahead of time? I think we're all ready for it to explode and shrink back into dormancy.

Just waxing the nostalgic, I suppose. Things change; we change. We're moving at such a hurried pace that the lines for most things have become blurred. And, although I feel at times I'd like to reach back to those days of yore, I realize that I need to deal with the present and where we are at this moment.

It helps to keep me focused.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog christmas claus culture holiday photography santa warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/i-dont-have-time-for-christmastime Thu, 21 Dec 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Music and photography http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/music-and-photography

words and images by Warren Wilson

Photography and music, for me, go hand-in-hand. I was fortunate to start each at an early age. Brought up in the 1950's-60's, we had do-wop, soul music, The Beatles, the (first) British Invasion, and Frank and Nancy Sinatra. My brother and I would lie in our beds and listen to AM radio stations---one as far away as Chicago (WLS). We each had these tiny transistor radios with ear plugs.

I picked up the photography bug at about the same time as I discovered music. I'm pretty sure I drove my parents crazy. Each day, I'd had them at least one roll of film to have processed. I know I must have extended their budget!

Music and photography have been with me....well....forever. They've both played a huge role in my life's journey. And, they're both with me still today. Whenever I can, I go photograph music--musicians, instruments, crowds.... I look at each as being part of who I am.

There are so many ways to tackle photographing music.----instruments, musicians, crowds, body shots ... The subjects are practically endless.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog music photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/music-and-photography Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Spoiler Alert: A Sad Christmas Tale http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/spoiler-a-sad-christmas-tale Shadow watches over his favorite toy

words and images by Warren Wilson

Descendants of wolves, dogs became our best friends. They go everywhere with us--to the beach, to the park. Starting off as puppies, they, sometimes rather quickly, grow to become adults. And, if we're lucky, they will stay with us for a good ten years.

Well, my dog was an exception. I got Shadow as a puppy. Shadow was a Newfoundland. Already a huge dog at 5-weeks old, I gladly went to the store weekly to buy his bag of dog food. He seemed to really relish the comments people made about him, especially his size.

Shadow went everywhere I went, necessitating the purchase of a SUV in order to place him in the (uncovered) trunk whenever we'd go. He loved to hang his head out the rear tailgate window. Drool everywhere!!

Shadow lived to be 10 years old ... then he made it to 15. Slowly, his eyesight went. Even when he was practically blind, he always enjoyed his weekly trip to the pet store. And, he still liked the comments people made about him.

Shadow made it to age 18. He died last year, a few days before Christmas.

Great dog! Many memories. Many trips to the pet store.

R.I.P., Shadow!

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog dog newfoundland photography tombstone warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/12/spoiler-a-sad-christmas-tale Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Utah Skies and Sandstone Ledges http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/utah-skies-and-sandstone-ledges Sunset over Utah

words and images by Warren Wilson

Just recently got back from a 5-day trip to Utah. While there, I had a chance to visit Canyonlands, Dead Horse State Park, The Arches, and more.While there, I had a chance to pick up a book in the motel that looked really interesting. The book covered the "outlaw" career of Bill Tibbetts. Poor Bill made a group of cattle ranchers angry and caused him to become an outlaw. I marvel at the fact that this took place in the 20th century. Being out "West" was a whole lot different than living in the big east coast city. They were still riding horses and firing guns ... all in the 20th century!!

Since I was going to be out photographing most of the days and nights we were there, I asked my wife to pick up a copy of the book for me. It turns out that the granddaughter of Mr. Tibbetts was now working at the motel. She told my wife a few stories of the wild west.

Skies over UtahNear the Arches, a jet leaves its contrail I'm not a great climber. So, the little climbing I did was a matter of necesity. I only climbed where and when I was forced to. A lot of the rocks are slick because of the sand in its composition. So, if you've never slid down a rocky ledge, take my word for it ... it's a challenge. But, as you can probably surmise, I made it and lived to tell about it. Would I do it again? Probably not. It was kind of like when I went to Kitty Hawk, NC and learned to hang glide. It's not like I ever went truly hang gliding. We learned on the beaches where there were plenty and sand dunes and tons of sand to break our miscalculated landings.

Beautiful country, Utah! Some of the places I visited were an hour's drive away. Leaving very early in the morning (after getting up shortly after I'd gone to sleep--4 a.m.) and driving to spots where it was still pitch black brought home to me the fact that there was no light pollution. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Thank goodness for the pocket flashlights! (Be sure to take extra batteries!)

 

 

 

Arches JumperAt the Arches, a young man jumps for the camera.

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) arches bill tibbetts blog outlaw photography utah warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/utah-skies-and-sandstone-ledges Thu, 30 Nov 2017 19:41:55 GMT
What I'm most thankful for http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/what-im-most-thankful-for Talking to MyselfI'm here giving myself a few words of advice on how to adapt to a changing world that is, at times, leaving me behind.

words and images by Warren Wilson

Today is Thanksgiving Day, 2017. And, this is the time of year I spend a lot of time reflecting about the progress I've made/not made during the past months of the year. Usually, I'm trying to do too much. My lists go on forever. I've always said, "If it's on my list, it stands a chance to be done. If it's not on my list, it pretty well stands a snowball's chance of getting done."

I look at what I've done and think of ways to improve during the year coming up. I especially evaluate my photography--do I still want to photograph animals? Do I need to upgrade my camera/lens? Do I need to get on social media?

Social media...a discussion all to its own. I'm finding that it's time to send my business to social media. I've fought it for a few years now. Just like at the gym where I was the only one with a cassette player while everyone had an iPod. I'm slow to conform. But, eventually, I come to terms with the technology. So, this coming year, I need to resolve my relationship with social media.

So, how do I do this? I'm a book reader. Each new subject demands a trip to the local bookstore (alas, in a few more years, we won't have our local bookstore because nearly everyone will be buying online. But, how do you preview a book before the purchase?!) I've already purchased a few and have gotten a head start on next year's goal. Wish me luck on this social media thing. It will certainly be a challange for me.

Here's wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year!

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/what-im-most-thankful-for Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:02:57 GMT
What it's like to enjoy what you do http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/what-its-like-to-enjoy-what-you-do Government ShutdownGovernment ShutdownPushing my way through a throng of people at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC. One may ask why I'd take such a photo. Well, it combines three techniques I enjoy using--1.) the use of flare; 2,) camera movement; and 3.) street photography. They're combined all in one shot!!!

words and images by Warren Wilson

Life is short. It's too short to be doing things you don't like/hate doing. But, I suppose we all do it at one time or another--that trip to visit in-laws you don't care for (forget the money you put out for the trip), working too hard and too long, or even going swimming when you deathly afraid of the water. For me, it was working too long, too hard--not exactly a feeling of self-accomplishment.

Why do we do these things? I have no idea, but I, after many years of deliberation,  have a solution for it.

Stop what you're doing and start doing what you enjoy. We read about people doing this all the time....so, why can't we seem to get ourselves motivated to do the same?

I retired after 35 years of working at a job that I couldn't seem to let go. I reasoned that the place where I worked had a mighty big influence in the publishing industry, and frequently questioned the reason why I would want to go out on my own. Look at what I have!!!! Isn't life great?! I have all I could ask for.

No, not really.

Sometimes when we decide to finally cut the purse strings, we gain a new sense of accomplishment and energy. Regrettably, for me, this only came with when I retired. I retired early, but I was still battle-fatigued. I stayed way too long doing the same job for so many years that once it was over, I felt a sense of relief and a belated sense of a goal met.

Upon retirement, my wife decided that I would need a hobby to keep me out of trouble. She was actually right and she picked a great hobby for me to pursue...photography. Sure! Why not!? I'd worked in photography my entire adult life. But my savvy wife led me to a side of photography which I hadn't pursued in quite a while--the actual creative aspect of pointing a camera at a subject and getting a picture (the getting of a good picture comes much later).

I knew that whatever I was to take up I'd be sure of one thing--enjoyment. And, for some reason, photography has met that criteria for at least another 12 years. It would probably be a sad day if I was to wake up and realize that photography no longer thrilled me.  It may happen, but probably not. I say that because I'm more in tune with who I am and what I want.

I suppose that if anyone was to ask my advice on whether they should do this or that, I'd have to say...Whatever you may do, enjoy it! Use your enjoyment ranking scale to help determine how long you'll continue.

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography photos warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/what-its-like-to-enjoy-what-you-do Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:00:00 GMT
What's in a Name? http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/whats-in-a-name

words and images by Warren Wilson

It probably happens to me about once every 3-4 years. But, recently, it’s become a bit more frequent. Why, just this past month, it happened to me twice. That is, twice in one day.

What’s going on!? Years ago, a co-worker asked me if I was aware of a certain college in Ashville, NC. The name of the college is Warren Wilson College. Hey! That’s my name! I hadn’t heard of it, but I didn’t miss a tick. I blurted out that my great-grandfather had been the one to get the college started. {smile!}

Since that day, people do ask me “that” question. And, I give them the same answer with a {smile!}.

Have you ever googled yourself? I have. But, each time I do so, all I get are listings for the college. Yeah, I know. Put in the search criteria “not”. I’ve done that and it still doesn’t work for me. Even when I search “Warren Wilson Photography”, the first couple of pages list only the college. So, it’s almost impossible for anyone to find the real me.

A few years ago, I figured the shirt would be a good conversation starter. So I decided to purchase a T-shirt from the college. I called the 1-800 number for the college’s bookstore and ordered the shirt. It should have been my first clue when the person at the store asked me for my name in order to pay by credit card. I proclaimed my name with the dignity of a member of the alumni. She didn’t seem that impressed.

The shirt hasn’t helped my social skills, but at least everyone knows who I am (only when I wear the shirt), or at least they know the name of the college. It’s so difficult to stand out nowadays and I thought that this was the beginning of my 15 minutes. I was wrong. I suppose I need to find another way to be rich and famous.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography warren wilson college warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/whats-in-a-name Thu, 09 Nov 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Straight Outta Moab http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/straight-outta-moab Sunset over Moab, UtahSunset over Moab, Utah

words and images by Warren Wilson

Just got back from a few days in Moab, Utah. Born and raised on the East Coast, I found it exciting to learn that even in the 20th Century they were still toting guns and rustling cattle. And although I don’t fully understand how those beautiful sandstone structures were formed, I was there to take in the sights—and to photograph.

Moab’s primary industry is tourism. So, very much unlike the East Coast, everyone was friendly and willing to serve. It seemed that there was a restaurant and a motel on every block. Several motels had “No Vacancy” signs. So, here it was late October and the area was still in tourist mode. Warm days and cold nights gave me a sense of early-Summer and late-Autumn on the East Coast, all in one day.

Traffic was a mess on the weekend I arrived. There was an off-road car tournament. Thousands of fans seemed to assault the small city of Moab. The congestion was bumper-to-bumper most of the weekend. But, once the weekend was over, traffic died down and it was much easier to travel. And, the diner wasn’t as crowded.

Living on nights of 4-hour sleeps, I covered a lot of ground including Canyonlands, Arches, and Dead Horse State Park. Had a chance to see some petroglyphs (ancient wall paintings). But, you really need to keep your senses about you as you drive. The roads are winding and, at times, steep.

Should I have a desire to return to Moab, I’d do one thing differently. I’d fly into Grand Junction rather than Salt Lake City International. The drive from SLC is 4 hours. That can be quite a journey early in the morning. But, I made it! And, I’m ready for my next destination—Death Valley.

Gallery images can be found here.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) arches blog canyoulands moab utah photography travel utah warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/11/straight-outta-moab Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:00:00 GMT
A (Photo) Visit to Cowtown http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/a-photo-visit-to-cowtown Cattle at Cowtown

--words and images by Warren Wilson—

Ask anyone. They’re liable to tell you that I am not the ideal specimen of masculinity. Yeah, true, I sometimes make the attempt to lower my voice and sound mannish. Truth be known, whenever I have a bad cold, my only joy is my imitation of Barry White (in a 1970’s growl, of course).

So, when I tell you I went to Cowtown, it was not to ride a bronco, or even to sling a rope. I went to Cowtown to take pictures of the rodeo. Leaving early in the day, I was to make it from Washington, DC to Cowtown (located in New Jersey) in a few hours. That gave me plenty of time to get to know the area and scout around Cowtown to see what all they have to offer.

It was actually a day of fun! They have horses (which I stay away from), cows, and REAL cowboys. And, if you’re so inclined, you can get your face painted for free!

Cowtown says they are the oldest weekly running rodeo in the USA. The rodeo has plenty of riding, roping, and clowning. It’s a great place to take the family to see what we on the East Coast rarely have a chance to witness.

(Tall) Cowboy @ Cowtown Cowboys

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog cowboys cowtown new jersey photography rodeo warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/a-photo-visit-to-cowtown Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Go Ahead! Take Out the Color http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/go-ahead-take-out-the-color U.S. Naval Academy Marching Band

--words and images by Warren Wilson--

It is true! We do live in a world of color. We see it in the sunrise; we see it in the brightly-colored Easter dress. And, we even dream in color. It pervades our sense of reality. But yet, we are capable of escaping, if only for a short while, the hues surrounding our universe. One avenue of escape is through the medium of black-and-white photography. Not everything in photography needs to be in color. There are times where a well-done image void of color can really outshine the color version.

When would we use black-and-white over color? Answer: when the color does nothing to enhance the photograph. When you look at it in this regard, you realize that we are able to take the color out of many of the pictures we see.

And, even after we remove all the color from the image, we can still enhance the image. A sepia tone will give your image a “days gone by” look. Nowadays, you don’t even have to get your hands wet with those awful chemicals. Use image software to strip the color, or even some of the color, out of the image. It will give your photography a different look and will set the image apart from the rest.

 

Couple at the Beach

 

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) black and white blog photography warren wilson photography http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/go-ahead-take-out-the-color Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Call It a Field Trip http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/call-it-a-field-trip On-Shoulders DayI'm not sure that this is an official day, but it seemed everyone I passed had a shoulder to stand on.

words and images by Warren Wilson

Have you ever lived in a place--a city, a town--and not visited the most iconic/identifiable sites the place has to offer?
I live in the Washington, DC area--been here for years. And, I'm sure I could probably count on two hands the local places I've visited. It's almost like we have to "go somewhere" before we'll call it "vacation", not even considering our local offerings.

Why do you think this is?

Maryland Sheep and Wool FestivalHeld each year on the first weekend in May, this is a very popular festival. (Go on Saturday--the crowds are smaller.) Whenever I think of travel photography, the last place I think of is Washington, DC, I'll think of Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City...anywhere but nearby.So, perhaps we should all slow down, take a deep breath and become acquainted with our own back yard.  Let's call it a field trip. I know: it's like dressing up a pig. But, think of how much money you'll save by packing a lunch, pulling the kids from their electronics and heading out to that spot you pass by each day and have never been inside. Why, you could take pictures and perhaps impress the neighbors with the new place you've been. Maybe that will inspire them to venture outside their house, too. Maryland Renaissance Festival U.S. Naval Academy Marching Band

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog local sites maryland renaissance festival maryland sheep and wool festival photography u.s. navy marching band warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/call-it-a-field-trip Thu, 12 Oct 2017 18:00:00 GMT