Joe and I met at the Greenway after work today to get a walk in. This is the garden they tend to. I honestly don’t know anything about it, but I’m assuming the food harvested from it goes to charity.
Today I decided to do something a little different for a change. I decided to upload several shots I worked on throughout the day today.
The object of this project is essentially to become a better shooter. I only allow myself one chance per image to see if I can get a good shot. (And I usually only get one chance per day to shoot anything)
It is supposed to teach me to previsualize better. Most photographers shoot tons of images to get only a few really good ones. One exception is Vivian Maier, of course. She was phenomenal, and a great inspiration to me. I have read she rarely took more than one frame per subject.
But the project is also forcing me to think about and create photography every day. More than half-way through, I have discovered two things: 1. You can make time if you really want to do something, and 2. You can take a decent photo no matter where you are standing – if you really look at your surroundings.
As we were leaving the Greenway, the sun was setting behind my favorite tree there. I just had to take a photo. This and the photo next to it, our table at Nikki’s during lunch today, were both taken with a cell camera. It kills me these lenses are sharper than a couple of my 35mm camera’s lenses. Come to think about it, the main shot was shot with a cell camera, too.
So I’ve discovered a third thing: The most valuable camera you own IS the one you have with you.
And the very first images I took today were shot by window light in my laundry room this morning. I used my macro lens for these. The goal: to get good enough to shoot for magazines or other commercial prospects.
Anyway, thanks for being interest to get to the bottom of this page. I appreciate it more than you know.
I couldn’t resist shooting this. It’s a direct copy of a photo by my new favorite photographer, Vivian Maier. But since I couldn’t find anything else, I decided to use it as a tribute to her.
My two current inspirations for photography are Vivian Maier and Katie Quinn Davies’ “What Katie Ate” blog. Vivian’s work blows me away – and I can’t get enough. I’ve even signed up for the newsletter so I can keep up with the latest images released. (They are also working on a documentary of her life. Trailer here.)
But Katie’s images are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in a long time. Plus, she gives us all of her recipes! Her cookbook was released right at my birthday last Nov., so of course my husband bought me a copy. And that brings us to why I clocked out for lunch and drove across town to shop for a hard-to-find ingredient called for in one of her recipes.
Having so little time, as usual, I decided to take my camera and get my snapshot of the day. Well, the market had my item, but it was very expensive. I decided I’d shop around some more. Meanwhile, I walked outside and saw some kids looking in the window of another store: Smart Furniture. (It is a really cool furniture shop started in Chattanooga.) I looked inside the window to see what the fuss was about, and saw these two dogs looking back at us all. I could not pass up this opportunity.
We were told the dogs are not normally there, so I took it as good fortune for me.
The good news is the house my husband and I have been renovating for the past two years has finally sold. To celebrate the day we closed, we went to lunch with his sister at a fairly new restaurant in town called Champy’s. Even though I work one block away, I had never been to this restaurant before. They serve fried chicken, and lots of it. Oh, and blues music. But the decor is what caught my eye. I went back the next day with my camera and caught this man painting part of the menu on the side of the building. I love places like this. They have a life of their own. But the main thing for me is it got me photographing again. It felt good.
Meanwhile, I have become aware of a “new to us” photographer. Her name is Vivian Maier. She was a nanny in Chicago, and in her spare time wandered the streets taking photos. She had them developed – well, most of them I think – but NEVER showed them to anyone. Ever. She placed them in a storage unit years later; and when she was unable to keep up the payments, her belongings were auctioned off….thank Heavens! The man who purchased them discovered her images and has made them public. There are over 100,000 images. One book has been published so far, but it seems many volumes will be needed to display her wonderful work.
I’m not sure she ever had any formal training in photography, but she was beyond good. I can only assume that since she never married or had a family of her own that she studied people on the street. I can picture her feeling invisible to them so she could uncover their personalities. At least that’s how I would handle it when I lived in New York. Unfortunately, she has passed away and will not see how her work has inspired and moved us.
As much as I love Diane Arbus’s photography, I’m going to say I think Vivian was better. Well, Diane took a different approach. Vivian took street photos of strangers. It doesn’t see like she ever interacted with them. Or so the images make me think. Diane talked and interacted with her subjects – even followed them home. I think Vivian was more of an observer. All speculation on my part, of course.
Anyway, here is a link to her work. I cannot stop looking, and the images keep coming. And I love them all! http://www.vivianmaier.com/