Warren Wilson PHOTOS.: Blog http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog en-us (C) Warren E. Wilson warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:33:00 GMT Thu, 14 Sep 2017 12:33:00 GMT http://warren-wilson-photos.com/img/s12/v183/u464836028-o477806211-50.jpg Warren Wilson PHOTOS.: Blog http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog 90 120 Taking a Step Back--Prague http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/taking-a-step-back--prague  

King Wenceslas rides

words and images by Warren Wilson

For the second time in three years, I would revisit Prague. All of this would come about because the first time we visited, we didn’t have enough time to thoroughly visit the Christmas Markets. It’s difficult to soak in the ambience when all you have is forty-five minutes and keep looking to make sure the bus hadn’t left you.

Prague is a beautiful city. And, there’s so much to do there. Planning ahead, I decided that I wanted a different set of photos than I got the previous trip. A few weeks before we left, I searched for a photographer who would give me a tour of the city. The last time I had searched for a photo tour guide, I was going to North Carolina. I put feelers out and the cheapest I could get would have been $450 a day. December 8, 2012It just happened I chose the day of John Lennon's death to tour Prague. If it hadn't been for my tour guide, I would certainly have missed this. It's one of my best-selling images.

That wasn’t quite what I wanted. I wanted a guide to take me around and show me places I’d never seen before in Prague. For $60, I was told I could have 4 hours. I jumped at the chance.

The wife and I get to Prague and the big day came. Of course, it almost never did happen because the hotel clerks told the guide that I wasn’t registered there. But, this guy was persistent and was finally able to convince them I was there about the time I was walking into the lobby for the tour.

Shaking off the anxiety of the nearly-missed tour, we hit some really neat places. We were to only be together 4 hours. But, I bought him lunch and we called it a day at close to suppertime.

Flesh-eating fishTake your shoes & socks off, plop your feet in the tank, and feel the nibbles. What a blast! I was able to get some neat out-of-the-way pictures and that was what I had set out to do. I’d say my favorite stop was at the Art Nouveau Place. There, we came across a metal sculpture by David Černý. It’s an upside down Saint Wenceslas.

That trip to Europe goes down as one of my most memorable. Now, whenever I travel (out of the States), I try to find a local photographer willing to spend a few hours. And, maybe we'll wind up having lunch and getting back way past dark.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photo tour photography prague warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/taking-a-step-back--prague Thu, 14 Sep 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Project: Money http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/project-money

words and images by Warren Wilson

First I Look at the Purse

Money, money. It’s everywhere, right? “Everywhere but in my pocket,” I hear you say. True, we all need it. We even are looking for it even when we don’t actually need it. As they say, it’s the root of all evil today. But, alas, I’m not one who has much. So, I make it a point to document it when I find it. People are funny about their money. When they sense I’m interested in taking a picture of their money, they tend to get a bit uptight and overprotective.

I avoid credit cards. I found early on that I’m too easily persuaded to buy now, pay later. But, I still like to buy “things”. A few years ago, I ran across this formula for saving. It’s a great way to buy a camera.

Here’s the formula: n(n+1)/2

So, if you were start with a penny the first day, on the second day, you’d save $.02, then $.03, then $.04. By day 365, you will have just shy of $668. It’s a great way to save quickly. But, try to avoid overextending yourself. For example, by starting off with $.05 the first day, by the end of the year, you’re saving $18.25 a day. That’s a big sum if you aren’t used to it. The good news with saving multiples of a nickel is that at the end of the year, you’ve saved $3,375. Not quite enough for a yacht, but good enough for a vacation. I rarely find money. It was a big day for me to find this $20 bill on a path.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog money photography savings warren wilson http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/project-money Thu, 07 Sep 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Project: Shooter Shots http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/project-shooter-shots

words and images by Warren Wilson

Everyone is now a photographer. Everywhere you go, you see someone with at least a cell phone taking pictures. Have you noticed the cell phone TV ads nowadays? Rather than talk about the phone's communication features, the ads talk about how great a camera their phone is.

So, my idea is to take pictures of people taking pictures--I call them Shooter Shots. I divide the results into two categories. The first, and ultimate, category consists of when I include the photographer's LCD screen showing the picture. The result is capturing the photographer at the decisive moment in his photograph. You, in turn, are doing the same with your photograph--a decisive moment capturing a decisive moment. Try it sometimes--it isn't that easy.

Another category is a more generalized image of people taking pictures. These can really be a lot of fun. People are interesting and you never know what you're going to get.

I like to call the Shooter Shots a form of street photography. Nothing is setup. It's all hit-or-miss. But, with enough practice, you can get decent results. Give it a shot!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography shooter shots street photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/project-shooter-shots Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Photographs and Memories http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/photographs-and-memories Danang, Vietnam. December, 1966.Only two days new to the country, the author tours Danang.

words and images by Warren Wilson

Remember the photo album? Now a relic, it was a reminder of the past. It showed us the good old days of family, friends, events and gatherings—some long forgotten. It was used to help knock those cobwebs out of our memory bank.

Yes, a thing of the past. In this digital age, we have conveniently done away with the desire to physically hold a photograph. We no longer need to purchase film. And, there is no longer a necessity to take the film to the drugstore for prints. Why should we? We have it all there on our computers.

And, that is the problem. It’s all on the computer. Beginning with the premise that you have a backup of all your digital files, I ask “When was the last time the family sat down at the computer and viewed the family photos?”

No need to answer. I think I already know what you’d say. You see, I have had the same problem. I have at least ten years of images on my computer. Yes, they’re separated, for the most part, from the rest of the junk.

A Boy and His DogSummer, 1956. A couple years ago, I realized that having all my images stored on the computer didn’t help when I wanted to share them. So, I went to the craft store, bought a large photo album (500-4”x6”) and began printing my images. I’m on my third book of images now.

So, go ahead. Dust off that hard drive and take a walk down memory lane. Print your images. It’s really isn’t that expensive! You can get a 4”x6” print for as low as $.15. Put them in a photo album. Who knows? You may even place a smile on a sick friend’s face with that photo of the two of you windsurfing!

 

Brother and Sis

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) photo album photography prints warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/photographs-and-memories Thu, 24 Aug 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Spiders and Snakes http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/spiders-and-snakes Prey

words and images by Warren Wilson

Years ago Jim Stafford reminded me in a song that “I don’t like spiders and snakes.”  Not much has changed since then. I still find them to be creepy creatures with a tenacity in finding me. Spider webs seem to find my face as I’m walking down the driveway. Snakes find me in the yard, the woods, and even in my house!

I suppose as a boy that it was fun to go out searching for snakes hidden under logs in the forest. There was no just cause to hunt them down; they certainly weren’t bothering me. But, those days are gone. The farther they stay away from me, the more secure I feel.

Of course, I still find a fascination with them. Do you remember the 1990 horror movie Arachnophobia? I attended opening night. Watching the movie in a packed theater with everyone screaming throughout most of the movie is something I’m sure I’ll never forget. I think we all like to be creeped out, even for just a little bit! But then we settle back to reality, the reality of “we don’t like spiders or snakes”.

Snakes in the HouseLeft: A 6-foot Black Snake found its way into my house and decided to hang out on the blinds. Right: A self-portrait of 'The Snake Charmer'. They say that spiders are good to have in the house. They seek out the bugs we don’t want in the house and eat them. I don’t know about all that….after all, a bug is a bug is a bug. To me, each one is as creepy as the other. I always keep a can of bug spray in each room, with plenty of spares in the pantry. My motto remains “Not a bug passes my way without a spray”. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography snake spider warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/spiders-and-snakes Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Squirrels http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/squirrels words and images by Warren Wilson

Watch a squirrel sometimes. Aren’t they industrious?! They are great gatherers, always working toward an end goal. They seem to always be up to something. If they aren’t procuring nuts, flowers, or even bird seed, they’re sitting out-of-range watching you dig that hole in the garden. (Have you ever wondered who dug-up your newly planted zinnias? Yep!...you guessed it…that squirrel that sat watching you work.)

They seem to always be constantly on-the-move, fulfilling a purpose we are unaware of. Personally, I’d like to inherit some of those qualities...imagine what all I could get done!! Always-with-purpose does have a great ring to it.

Who can hate a squirrel? They always seem friendly enough. But, don’t be deceived. If they are sharing their cuteness with you, most likely you have something they want.

But, they have enemies. Their resourcefulness doesn’t always sit well with us, especially when we hear them in our attic or when they have figured a way to get to the bird seed out in the back yard. The battles can be endless. Red-Tailed Hawk eyeing a squirrel

Besides us, they have other predators, foes that none of us would want to be on the wrong side of. One day, I was eating lunch in a city park. I heard a commotion and looked up to watch a squirrel scurrying from limb to limb. This squirrel had a purpose—it was trying to elude a red-tail hawk. The squirrel was giving the hawk a run for its money. The squirrel seemed to be easily winning the battle. But, I had the give the hawk credit also. It remained persistent in its quest to catch the agile squirrel.

I took a few pictures, got bored and sat down to finish my lunch. Just as I was packing up to leave, I looked up just as the hawk was flying off with the squirrel firmly in its talons. The hawk had won the battle but all I could think about was the missed photo opportunity (and, of course, the poor squirrel).

So, next time you see a squirrel, show a bit more love. Remember that they don’t have it as easy as that happy, little face appears.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog nature photography predator red-tailed hawk rodent squirrel http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/squirrels Thu, 10 Aug 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Time After Time http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/time-after-time  

Firefall FansMusic group Firefall enjoys having their picture taken at a recent concert in Annapolis, Maryland. words and images by Warren Wilson

Why was this happening to me?!

It seemed that each time I photographed a subject with people in the image, I would be stopped by a security guard. The guard would then ask me all sorts of questions in regard to why and what I was photographing. I didn't like the stops because it was happening much too often.

The final straw came at an indoor concert. I saw that many of the people around me were taking pictures. Not wanting to be left out, I pulled my Canon PowerShot out of my pocket. As soon as I started taking pictures, an usher interrupted my concentration with "No one is allowed to take pictures in this venue." So, I informed the usher that once they told everyone else with a SmartPhone to refrain from picture taking, then I would comply to their rule. They left me alone.

That was when I had my A-HA moment. (They really don't come that often!) Of course!! There was really a simple solution...I needed to blend in. So, I found myself a SmartPhone that was no longer smart. And I began using the phone as a camera when I thought there would be a chance of my being called out for taking pictures. 

I am proud to say that this tactic has worked. And, there have been times when these cell phone images have been better than what I could get with a larger camera. So, when you need to be inconspicuous, go low tech!

Double the Fun!Kid Rock performs on two screens.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) black and white cell phone cell phone photography music photography warren wilson http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/8/time-after-time Thu, 03 Aug 2017 16:34:03 GMT
High-wheel Bike Race http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/7/high-wheel-bike-race High-heeled Racer

words and images by Warren Wilson

Each August the city of Frederick, Maryland hosts The National Clusters Spires High Wheel race, the only one of its kind in the U.S.A. If you have a difficulty understanding that that might be, I'll simplify--it's a bicycle race where the cycle dates back to the 1880's. The front wheel is about five feet high, while a much smaller wheel brings up the rear of this two-wheeler.

The cycle was first invented in 1871 by James Stanley. His was an improvement over the attempts made by his predecessors. Initially canned the Penny Farthing, Stanley's high-wheel bicycle became very popular.

The racers in the Frederick race cycle around a perimeter of city streets for an hour. As they pedal, volunteers throw water up to them. And, at the end of the hour, the rider who has clocked the most rotations wins.

OpponentsTwo racers vie for position.

I still marvel at how anyone can get up so high to ride a bicycle. But, I'm guessing, that's why we have the more-down-to-earth bicycles of today. There's even a place for the kids!

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) bicycle frederick maryland national clusters spires high wheel race penny farthing http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/7/high-wheel-bike-race Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:47:49 GMT
I Miss Infrared Film http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/7/i-miss-infrared-film Allen Pond, Bowie, MDShot with Efke IR820, this film was scanned and colorized in Topaz Adjust.

 

words and images by Warren Wilson

I’ve found that what gets you started in a hobby has a way of sticking with you. I began my journey with photography as a child with a Brownie camera in hand. My parents found it cheaper to feed my habit with black and white, rather than color, film. All I did, especially during the summer, was take pictures. Pictures of dogs, cats, the neighborhood, friends, family, the family car…

Black and white/Monochrome has a way of inspiring me. It has a quality that seems to be lost with color. An oldies movie filmed in black and white comes on the cable station and I’m there for the next couple of hours. There’s just something about those shadows and the way the director lighted the scene. A sense of mystery has a way of keeping my interest.

Lake Artemesia, College Park, MD.Shot with Efke Infrared film, a bridge leads to a stand of trees. And, as with most things I do in photography, I’m always looking for an outside-the-box approach, something that makes the image stand out from the crowd. I’ve found that infrared photography is one technique that helps me do that. I prefer infrared film over digital, mainly because I don’t want to spend $400 to have my camera converted to infrared.

Going the film route, I settled on Efke IR820. I would use a Hoya R72 filter, a red, opaque filter and expose at f/16 for upwards of 3 minutes in bright sun. A bit slow, for sure, but it helps you plan your shot decisions—whether or not it’s worth the time to make the setup and exposure.

I would then hand-process in black and white chemicals, scan my favorites, process them digitally and then print.

The film has a soft, glowing effect which I find perfect for colorizing. Back in the day, I’d use Marshall Oils to paint the monochrome image, usually Sargeant Warren Wilson, 1968Shot with Infrared Polaroid on a matte surface. But now, with today’s technologies at hand, I prefer experimenting with various software plug-ins. Topaz Adjust has worked well in how it handles infrared. I can flip through the various options, choosing the one that’s close to my vision.

Sadly, Efke IR820 has met the fate of many other films—it’s no longer manufactured. Although I still have a few rolls in the freezer, they expired a few years ago.

We’re now witnessing a resurgence in the popularity of black and white photography. With that, there’s a hope film will become popular enough to make it to the store shelves. And, one can only dream that infrared film will make a return. I hope so. I miss those walks in the woods and 3 minute exposures.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) Efke IR820 Warren Wilson colorizing film infrared photography http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/7/i-miss-infrared-film Thu, 06 Jul 2017 19:04:52 GMT
My favorite camera of all times http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/6/my-favorite-camera-of-all-times words and images by Warren Wilson

Government ShutdownGovernment ShutdownPushing my way through a throng of people at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC.

You'll probably notice that I like to talk a lot about the cameras I have used. I've owned quite a few over the years--from a Mamiya C33 to a small digital, waterproof camera. Concentrating on the positive, there are a few cameras I have always loved. My favorite camera has been my Canon G9. I liked the camera so much that when it finally died, I bought a slightly used one. Yeah, I know---it's noisy after ISO 200; it's not necessarily quick to focus and shoot; flare is easily introduced. But, you see, these are the main reasons I call it my favorite camera.

 

Some reasons why I like the G9:

  1. Live View. I really got used to WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). Just by looking at the back screen, I can tell how good my exposure is, whether I have flare, whether it's sharp, and what all the camera sees as part of my picture.
  2. Flare-crazy. The G9 hates flare. Point the camera toward the sun and look at your live view screen. Take a picture. You may like the results.
  3. Slow to focus. Now, this can be a good thing. Have you ever heard of Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)? Press the shutter quickly while moving the camera. The camera doesn't have time to react and do everything properly. Experimentation is the key here.

 

The camera has served me well. It's a great camera for when I don't feel like taking my DSLR with its array of lenses. I stick it into my coat pocket or throw it over my shoulder. I'll be ready for that next shot!

 

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blur camera canon g9 flare intentional camera movement motion photographic technique http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/6/my-favorite-camera-of-all-times Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:17:30 GMT
Frosty http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2016/12/frosty words and images by Warren Wilson

Blown-over JollyFrosty in a less-than-happy stance It happens this time every year. I get the bug to go photograph, of all things, Frosty the Snowmen. Notice I say "men" and not "man". It's a collective thing. The more the merrier.

Frosty, to me, is the one who makes this season so jolly. I'm kinda tired of Santa, as he's probably tired of me. "Try something new", they say. And, this is it for me.

Foggy FrostyFrosty left out in the fog But, there's one catch. I do my best to catch Frosty in the least flattering pose I can.  We're all used to seeing the jolly snow man all decked out and looking his most appropriate. I strive to take away his smiley, smiley edge and make him a bit more human...OK, I try to make him look stupid.

I've included a couple of images for you to get the idea. Frosty Majestic Frosty's Night Friends

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) christmas frosty photography http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2016/12/frosty Thu, 29 Dec 2016 01:47:55 GMT
Every picture tells a story (don't it?) http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2016/12/every-picture-tells-a-story-dont-it words and images by Warren Wilson

Well, I went and did it.....starting a second blog....even knowing that I don't have the time to do it. But, a new year is just around the corner and I'm feeling all inspired and fresh to do battle. Someone recently said, "Don't wait til the New Year to do something. Do it now while you're still pumped up about the possibilities of a new season, a time where all things are possible and, yes, we are going to get it done."

Since this is a new blog, I want to tell you my plans. It's something I've been thinking about for some time now. And, I think part of it has to do with the fact that I'm avoiding social media like the plague. Sure, I've tried it. But, I haven't felt that same "pull" I feel from talking about photography.

I've been in photography for a very long time....so long it's hardly worth mentioning. But, in all of that time, I NEVER felt photography like I have in the past ten years. You might ask, "What happened ten years ago?"

Ten years ago, my wife got me my first Fuji 2MP digital camera. Now, it was me who had told her just a few years before that to get me an Instamatic, that I was done with photography as an art form, that I'm burned out from all the chemicals (actually, I think I lost my sense of smell as a result of working with fixer and other non-environmental mixes for so many years.) Yes, just get me an Instamatic.

But, the first time I picked up that Fuji digital, I was hooked. LOOK! No film to rewind, take to the store to be processed, pick up your prints......Film had suddenly become cheap. I suddenly saw the light: A memory card held so many promises!!

Over these past ten years, I've had 2 camera systems. It's probably time for the third. But, that will only be a full-frame body. I'm never been this fired up for photography!

This blog (have I told you yet?) will be about the stories and recollections and trials of picture taking. You do it long enough and you see just about all there is to see...amongst them the ones that tell you that you just broke a rule, that you just photographed an item that you shouldn't have, etc. If there is anyone in the world who has been stopped more than I have, I'd like to trade stories with you. I may even let you guest-blog here (giving me a week off).

Yes, it's true, I will stick with the one-a-week rule no matter how "Happy New Year" I may feel at the time.

I run another blog. It's good but I have difficulty talking about something I'm only vaguely familiar with. That blog is about "Adventures in the Animal Kingdom." I've had my ups-and-downs with it. It's going OK. (Check it out http://www.warrenwilsonpetphotography.com/blog).

No photos this week. Maybe next week I won't be as long-winded and I can get down to business with the purpose of the blog. I've got a lot of stories to tell and there's usually a photo or two thrown in.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog photography http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2016/12/every-picture-tells-a-story-dont-it Tue, 20 Dec 2016 03:47:55 GMT