Warren Wilson PHOTOS.: Blog http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog en-us (C) Warren E. Wilson warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:58:00 GMT Wed, 15 Nov 2017 16:58:00 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 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
Believe it or not http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/believe-it-or-not Superman vs Captain America

words and images by Warren Wilson

Pittacus Lore is one. Karen Carpenter sang about him. REM declared they were one. Even Joey Scarbury was one for a while. I suppose we all strive to be more than who/what we are. But, being a superhero isn’t what it used to be. Sure, it sounds great to be able to “think” that burger over to where you’re sitting. Or, it would take a load off you if you could take care of the bully at school. But, it actually gets more complicated than that.

Being a superhero carries with it the weight of using your powers for the betterment of humankind. I think using the ability to fly over the morning’s rush hour traffic wouldn’t fall into the realm of making the world a better place. And, speaking for myself, I know I wouldn’t be able to cut the mustard (although I’ve been told that I’m the greatest). Alas, I am barely able to walk and chew gum at the same time. I probably could use some divine intervention. But, knowing that it probably won’t come my way anytime soon, I can always pretend that I’m a superhero. I can dress up as my favorite hero and, in my mind, conquer all the desperadoes in the world. King of the world!!

Once we are granted the power, we can use it in one of two ways: for the good or for the evil. It’s easy for us to say we’d be on the good side. But, with all that power……

The photo exhibited here is a play on what it would be like to act on the evil/dark side. It shows Superman putting a hex on Captain America. I know, I know…that’s so un-American!

I agree!

But, which force would you fight for?

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog captain america photography superhero superhuman superman warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/10/believe-it-or-not Thu, 05 Oct 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Come Undun http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/come-undun Cello MotionCello Motion

words and images by Warren Wilson

Trust me: exciting, exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping, and sense-of-accomplishment are all great words to use when something, tried for the first time, works out. It can be a mind-blowing thrill. On the other hand, “come undone” is a term used to the opposite extreme to convey an event not going as well as expected. In shorter terms, it’s a failure.

Yep, I said it. Failure is not a word I like to cling to for an extended period of time. But, there are times in which we need to own it. Owning it doesn’t necessarily mean letting others see your failures. And, that’s something I avoid. I don’t mind talking about the failure, but I never go so far as to show you the proof. “See! Here’s the proof. I failed.”—Nope! That won’t happen here.

Failures in photography are best kept to yourself because you can remedy the situation. We learn from our mistakes. We pick ourselves up and try again, and often, we’ll try again, and again because learning from our mistakes only makes us stronger. Don’t say you can’t do it; work at it until you get it. Or, alternatively, decide that it’s not for you and try something else.

One of my favorite genres of photography is what is called Intentional Camera Movement (ICM). In this technique, you’re already doomed to failure. Finding the right combination of camera settings is different for each subject. The idea is to shoot a lot of images and choose the best two, or three. Persistence is the key.And, remember this: If you aren’t having fun, it isn’t worth it!

Click here for a link to my ICM gallery. All images are for sale. Contact me for information.

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog blur icm intentional camera movement motion photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/come-undun Thu, 28 Sep 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Ten Days in Cuba http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/ten-days-in-cuba People of CubaLeft: A bodybuilder in Havana; Middle: Boys play a game in Old Havana; Right: A Vinales Valley farmer offers a cigar to one of the touring group.

words and images by Warren Wilson

One aspect of foreign travel I enjoy is seeing how other people go about their daily lives. Are the streets filled with cars? Bicycles? Do they buy their bread from a street vendor? Often, their lives are much more different than mine. And, this is what I find intriguing.

I recall, while growing up in the late-1950’s through the mid-1960’s, the ratcheting-up of the hostility between Russia and the U.S.—the Cold War. Those were scary times. In school, we practiced getting under (hiding?) our desks. I suppose we thought that would protect us from a nuclear explosion. Most likely, it was intended to give us the peace of mind that we were protected from all harm.

In particular, I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. A tiny island just to the southeast of Florida was commanding all the news of the day. The Russians were reportedly installing missiles with nuclear warheads, an act that the U.S. found threatening.

Once this crisis was over, the U.S. placed an embargo on Cuba. For many years, these two countries glared at each other from not-too-distant shores. But, as we all know, nothing lasts forever and the situation began loosening up to a point where they began a cultural exchange.

That’s where I step in. My desire was to make it to Cuba before it became ‘Americanized’. By this I mean a McDonald’s on every block, or maybe even a Holiday Inn. Going in 2013, I feel I accomplished that goal. I never saw an inkling of the giant capitalists. Now, that’s not saying they’re not on their way. They are; I just happened to beat them before they were able to build. Laundry Day

I learned of the “People to People” cultural exchange and was able to find a tour that concentrated on photography. I was there for ten days, visiting the big city (Havana), the medium-sized city (Cienfuegos), and the farm (Vinales Valley).Taking plenty of memory cards, I took 6,000 photos. I jokingly tell everyone that all 6,000 are winners, something I wish was true!

The peoples’ resiliency helped to make me appreciate the human spirit. One example: One early morning, we were walking in Old Havana. We happened across a small group of men working with a blow torch. They were in the process of converting a fire extinguisher into a car muffler.

IngenuityIngenuityA fire extinguisher is converted into a car muffler. “Adapting” is another word I like to use in my description of the Cuba people. They’ve adapted and have made the best of it. I think that’s something we can all learn from.

Click here to view Cuban trip gallery. All images are for sale. Contact me for information.

 

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warren_eugene@hotmail.com (Warren Wilson PHOTOS.) blog cuba photography warren wilson photos http://warren-wilson-photos.com/blog/2017/9/ten-days-in-cuba Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:08:15 GMT
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!

 

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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