Category: Homewood at Plum Creek

What To Do?

It was Teddy Roosevelt who said “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  It seems appropriate for the times.  I know what I have and where I am, and somewhat of an idea of what I can expect to be able to do physically.  The hard part is coming up with ideas of what to do given all of those constraints.

Color Plus

I have been working on B&W styles, but some of my Homewood viewers don’t like them.  They want COLOR, so I thought I’d throw them a bone.  I have a preset that I call Johns Pocalypse.  I tried it on this image and was surprised at the look.  It is super color plus!

Cut Down, Gone

I purchased a new lens to try out.  It is the Pentax 100mm F2.8 Macro lens.  Just as I got it I noticed that they had started cutting down one of my favorite locations for making pictures … the wetlands.  I managed to get ahead of them and make these images while trying the new lens.  I may as well put it away until next year now that they are cutting the best area for using it.  I’m also thinking about sending the lens back unless I can think of another use for it. 

There isn’t much need for going out with a camera anymore so I probably will do less and less of it.  Since I can’t photograph the people here and display them on my website and since I’m not traveling anywhere, the small details were about all I had left.

Real Desires?

 I often just want to make images with nice colors, depth, etc.; but for more meaningful purposes.

There are times when I want to blur out the background or foreground, or when I need a longer focal length.  At those times I switch from the TG-6 to one of my other cameras, like the Pentax KP with the 18-135mm lens that I used to make the above.  I used that camera and lens to make these when I was setting it up for use as a walkabout camera for this fall and winter when I wish to do more than just make records of what I see with the TG-6.  I usually only use the TG-6 when I’m lazy or don’t feel like carrying a larger heavier camera or don’t expect to see anything.  If I’m really looking to make images I will take one of my Pentax cameras or the Fuji X100V.

200920-093303-jeh20I had watched a video about Saul Leiter for the umpteenth time when I decided to see what I could do with images made from a DVD played on my computer.  The following is an example.  Saul is my favorite  photographer.  I love the video, In No Great Hurry.  If you haven’t seen it I encourage you to watch it.  Saul was quite a character.  He also liked to paint and sometimes painted over a print of one of his pictures.  I also have one of his books with his early B&W and later color photographs (most made when I was still in high school) as well as many of his paintings.  He lived almost 60 years in the same apartment building in NYC and photographed the same blocks over that time.

Oh well, back to my situation.  I have been looking at Saul’s images and life for ideas. None of my cameras, or lenses, solves my main problem: what to photograph.  Some photographers recommend that I get out of my comfort zone and go someplace and/or get creative.  Odd to think of it that way … “get out of my comfort zone.”  I’m not at all comfortable where I am at this time and I don’t think I’ll be comfortable anywhere again, at least not soon.  I just need to extend my uncomfortable zone to other areas or ideas.

Works, But?

I have my TG-6 set to produce square monochrome jpeg images.  One of my preferences would be to only make common everyday B&W images that tell the story of my existence as time flows past and publish these stories in printed magazines or books.

The main problem is that I don’t have much to tell or show during these times, but I do try to capture images of things I see as I take my daily walks on the same short streets and paths, over and over.

One other issue is that sometimes the making of color images works better to show what I see, so I set my TG-6 so that I also capture color raw files at the same time I’m making my B&W jpegs images.  Having a raw file also gives me the opportunity to shift the square crop side to side after the fact if I didn’t quite get it correct in the jpeg.

Below is an example of when I need to make and publish color images.  I’m hoping that we have better fall colors than we had last fall as the leaves change, and if what I’m already seeing is indicative of the color changes this fall, they will be.  As you can see, it is hard to do justice to a red leaf if all I make is a B&W jpeg image, but yellow flowers work nicely in B&W.

But, I have other desires.  I don’t really like making record images that are, in my view, just snapshots.  Images like above are similar to what others might make and are no real challenge for me, other than finding objects that others might like and expect.  If I am going to continue with making images, I need to find and make something different in addition to ones like the above.  I want more.  Making images like those above with a little TG-6 is a small challenge, but is it enough to keep me going?  I don’t think so.