B&W Shadow Photography

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For these Photos I was Focusing on 3 Things:

  1. Trees
  2. Black and White
  3. Shadow and Light

b&w shadow trees -5The sky in this photo is overexposed (too bright) but I was ok with that. One thing I am allowing in my photos right now is little imperfections like that.

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For this image, I prefer the landscape orientation, but I also really wanted to include the portrait orientation. I’ve also allowed the shadows to be underexposed (too dark) and the sky to be overexposed.

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This photo reminds me of a photo taken with a pinhole camera. 

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The roots looked interesting but the sun wasn’t casting a captivating shadow, so I included my shadow. Occasionally, I like to include the photographer in the image.

And make sure you look at these photos on the browser because they look good against my black background. 

Drawing and Painting Page

Next week I’ll share some dessert drawings.

Banal Photos – A Grill, A Bike, and A Ceiling Fan

“It quickly came to be that I grew interested in photographing whatever was there wherever I happened to be. For any reason.” – William Eggelston

That’s pretty much how I feel. No matter where I’m at or what I’m doing, a photograph will present itself to me. In today’s post, I’d like to share three of my photos that are similar to the three William Eggleston photos I talked about in last week’s post.

Food on a Grill

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Just hanging out with my dad grillin’ a bunch of meat.

An Electric Scooter Bike

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A girl in my neighborhood would ride this little electric scooter all over the place. In this picture, it’s parked directly behind my car. She’s lucky I looked before I left.

A Friend’s Ceiling Fan

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In my last post, there’s a quote from Eggleston about his Red Ceiling photo. He shares his memory of the moment he took that photo, which is very similar to my memory of the moment I took my photo.

This is the ceiling fan at my friend’s house in his room. (He’s Speedy.) We went to high school together and we were pretty close for a long time, until the last couple of years when we drifted away. We were just chillin’, watching something on tv, talking about whatever and I looked up and thought, “That’d be a good picture.”

You can see the pink trim on the walls and window. I would always make fun of his pink paint job that he claims he just didn’t feel like painting over after he took the room from his sister. He’s never fooled me though. I think he just likes it. (Nothin’ wrong with likin’ pink.)

Beauty in the Banal

Those are just three of my banal photos. I have 1,000’s. All the little moments of my life are so precious to me and I just love photographing as much as I can. My goal is to post my banal photography on the first Thursday of each month. I might shake things up a bit and share other type’s of my photos too.

Next week I’ll post some more sketchbook work. I haven’t decided what yet . . . maybe some figure drawing. And if you have a favorite photographer who shoots the banal, let me know in the comments.

 

William Eggleston – The Peculiar Photographer

“Life, today.” – William Eggleston

That’s the answer William Eggleston has been able to come up with when people ask him what he’s photographing. I’ve also been asked that same question many times because I take the same kind of pictures he does. Sounds like a pretty good answer to me.

The oven photo on the left is Eggleston’s, and my oven photo is on the right. I took that picture in my very first photo class in college. I wasn’t even aware of him yet. 

His photos are all of the banal everyday ordinary subjects that most people look at as boring. He can point his camera at some trash in the road and come out with something interesting.

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William Eggleston

As a Southern aristocrat from Memphis Tennessee, many of his photos were taken in the South, in and around Memphis, and they serve as an authentic documentation of his time. I just love that and I also do that with my photography.

The image on the left is Eggleston’s, and the one on the right is mine. I took that in a small town called, Looneyville in my area. It’s down the road from Loco Valley 😂.

It may have taken a long time for people to appreciate his unique view of such “boring and ugly” subjects but eventually he became one of the best and most influential modern photographers. He was a pioneer in elevating both color photography and banal photography in the world of photographic art, and he has a giant collection of compelling images worth looking at. 

Let’s take a look at three of my favorites: The Grill, The Tricycle, and The Red Ceiling.

The Grill

Grill

William Eggleston Memphis c. 1972

From the first time I saw this photo I liked it and I was reminded of so many times when I was standing around a grill with family and friends.

“You must not take anything for granted when you’re looking at a picture. Every single little tiny space on that page works and counts.” – his wife Rosa Eggleston

Every single part of this image works and counts. The lighting, the composition, the fire in the grill, the car, and the bike seem like a boring scene, but it’s full of so many interesting parts of humanity and everyday life. This is a great example of how he elevates the banal to fine art.

The Tricycle

tricycle

William Eggleston Memphis c. 1969

William Eggleston rarely names his photos. Most of them are untitled as far as I’m aware. However, his photos have sparked so much conversation and interest that people have just made names for them.

It can be hard to capture a bike in an interesting way but that wasn’t a problem for Eggleston. He positioned the camera at a low angle so that it makes the bike fill the frame, which makes it bigger and more important than you might originally think. To the kid who rode that bike, I’m sure it was very important.

The Red Ceiling

Red ceiling

William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1973

I found an interesting article called Perfectly Boring, written by Will Stephenson, that’s worth the read. The section below is directly from the article and it’s from William Eggleston about The Red Ceiling.

“Brenda and T.C. and I were the three people who were lying in bed when I took that picture,” he said. So he did remember that day? “Of course,” he said. “Yes. We were just having a nice time, talking about this and that, talking about nonsense. The three of us lying there in bed—it was a big bed. And I remember one split second I looked up. I thought, that’s a great picture. And then I took the picture. After that, I don’t know what happened.” He closed the book and gave it back to me. “I don’t think anything much happened.”

That’s exactly what happens to me. I’m just hanging out doing normal, “boring” things, and then I see something and think, “That’s a great picture.”

The quotes from Eggleston and his wife were from a five part documentary I watched that you might also enjoy. It showed his large collection of photos as well as a very interesting look at the photographer. William Eggleston – Imagine Documentary Part 1.

William-Eggleston-by-Kevin-Scanlon

William Eggleston – Now

In my next post I’ll share some banal photos I took of a grill, a bike, and a ceiling.

References and Articles Worth Reading

Banality and Cliché in Photography

https://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/1442-perfectly-boring

William Eggleston – Imagine Documentary

 

Some Pics Around Town

These are just a few pics I took around town and at the park. Pictures 1, 2, and 4 are the main ones I want to share, but I went ahead and added the others too.

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I saw this on the way to the park. I like stuff like this that looks kinda junky or cluttered. I wasn’t planning to stop but then I noticed the No Mattresses sign next to the mattresses, so I decided to pull over and snap a few pictures. I didn’t even notice the security camera when I was there.

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Here it is again using the cross process filter and at a slightly different angle.

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I took this at Pecan Park. This bridge just got added a few years ago and I always want to get a good picture of it, but I never do.

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I liked the colors and the shadow though so I went ahead and snapped a few pics.

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I was trying to get an interesting shadow picture and I used cross process again.

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There’s another using the Retro filter.

Walking Around Downtown Nacogdoches-Color Photos

In my last post I shared the black and white photos from my walk around Downtown Nacogdoches, and in this post I’ll be sharing the color photos I took.

Before I Get Started with the Photos – A lil’ Artist Statement:

Lately, I’ve really enjoyed playing around with my in camera filters. The cross process, the toy camera, the low quality and high quality.

I’m also trying to just focus on things like shadow and light, sometimes overexposing and underexposing. Sometimes I’m focusing on the colors and the angles. I also shoot vertical just with the intention of shooting vertical instead of horizontal.

I’m just enjoying breaking rules and trying to capture something interesting. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a perfectly exposed or perfectly composed, I just want to grab something cool and hopefully different.

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I’ll start off with the WoW building. If you read my last post, you got to see this bad boy in black and white. Nacogdoches has some great architecture. It’s one of the biggest tourist draws and very much worth it. I was standing further away and again, you can see the little black spots on my lens. It’s actually not too bad of a photo. I like that tree over on the right, and that fence at the bottom is apart of the Best Water Store. I purposely included both in the frame.

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Here’s the Fredonia Hotel, which I shot from a different angle in the b&w post. I purposely included the power lines at those angles, and the trees at the top and bottom. I shot it with the cross process filter. And my dog was pulling and yelling at the dog across the street who was pulling his human and yelling back at my dog. I’ve gotten pretty good at shooting while she’s doing that. I like how it turned out.

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Just shooting up at weird angles, vertical, including sky and shooting in cross process again. Not my most interesting, but I still wanted to include it because I like it.

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I like this one a lot. I just love the pastel colors and I thought it worked well in vertical orientation. It’s just a banal photo with some pretty colors and textures. The window was actually busted and you could easily crawl inside the abandoned, gutted, historical building. I didn’t though.

I included this one in the b&w post. I took different angles for these so that I could include the white building, the green overgrown plants, the blue sky, and the red building. I liked how all the colors looked together.

I didn’t care for these two photos but I included them so that you could see the colorful setting. Usually this place is so packed with people, that I can’t just go shoot in peace. People are always questioning me and taking me out of the photographic process. So, thanks to the lockdown, I grabbed my chance. I liked the pretty blue on the right, at some yoga studio, but the photo wasn’t very interesting. I just love the blue.

And here we have a green door. I took it both in vertical and horizontal. (Portrait and landscape.) I liked the lamp because it was made from an old bucket. And I thought it was casting a good shadow on that bold green. I just love how old and worn everything looks too.

And here we have a bright red wall and door. Another banal subject, just a bench with some flowers. I really liked that big ole’ shadow that I put smack dab in the middle of the image. One of those rules I was breaking, where you really shouldn’t put something in the middle like that. You need to obey the rule of thirds and all that. But, I like it.

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I found this fancy gold doorknob on the back door of a hair salon. I thought it looked neat shining in the light, and I used a high quality filter. I don’t use this filter a lot but I think it works well for this one. Not one of my favorite photos, but I still like it. I struggled to get an angle I was really happy with.

Well, that’s all the color photos I want to include from that day. I hope you enjoyed them and I think for my next post I’ll share some more pictures I took around Nacogdoches.

Walking Around Downtown Nacogdoches-B&W Photos

Usually downtown Nacogdoches has so much traffic zooming by that I don’t really like walking around taking pictures. It’s just so loud and stressful. But during this coronavirus lockdown, the town has become so much quieter and I was able to take some peaceful walks with my dog and my camera.

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I call it the WoW building, which stands for Woodmen of the World. Built in 1923, it’s one of the popular historical buildings in our area. It’s been photographed so much so I think it’s good to try to think of a creative way to capture it. I like that the building is too dark and I also like that I have three black specs on my lens that showed up in the image. It can be fun to shoot weird angles and let so much of the sky take up the image.

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I like how this one turned out. I like the angles and the way the light and shadow, and black and white alternate.  Another popular photo subject, the Historic Fredonia Hotel. I had some school events there, one in 8th grade for an etiquette class and again for some band competitions in high school. It’s been used for many things. I think it actually closed down for a while and was remodeled and reopened and is doing well again. It was built in 1952 and was called Hotel Fredonia. I think I like how that sounds better than it’s current name.

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Just a door in the back of one of the closed small businesses. I love how doors look. And I really like how the light and shadow turned out. I like how dark the shadows are and how bright the light is.

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Another door at The Best Water Store. I was playing around with the lens flare. Also, I’ve been trying to take more vertical orientation photos.

 

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There’s nothing particularly exciting about this one. I just like how it turned out. I like banal subjects like this and the shadow caught my eye. There were some construction workers to the left shakin their booties to some upbeat Mexican music.

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I was walking along this old historic building and I saw this through the window. I just thought it looked neat.

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Another vertical picture. And I love playing around with overexposing my light and underexposing my shadows. I was also careful to include those power lines in the corner. I really like how it turned out, it’s one of my favorites from that day.

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The last photo I’ll be sharing from that day, and one of my favorites. It’s just a chair with the light casting an interesting shadow.  Right after I took this photo an old truck slowly pulled up next to me and stopped. They took their time rolling down their window, and I have to admit I was feeling a little nervous. It was an old man, probably 80 something. He didn’t speak so I said, “Hello…”

Then he pointed at the business behind me and said in a slow East Texas drawl, “They’re closed…” I giggled and responded that I knew that, then he drove away.

Tree Textures in b&w

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Lately I’ve been shooting textures in b&w. I think it was Ansel Adams who believed the beauty of the photograph could only show in a b&w image because it wasn’t competing with color. I love color photography, but there really is so much beauty in b&w photography.

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The trees in East Texas have really interesting and strange bark. I think this one is called a Texas Sugarberry.

I love the vines that grow on trees too. They even have hair on them. At least it looks like hair.

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I’m going to keep playing around with textures. I think I can come up with some cool images.

What do you like about b&w photography?  Do you think these images would look as good in color or do you think they would lose interest?

A Head in the Woods

deer head.jpg

I was walking deep in the woods near my house, like I usually do. I had been walking for a while and I decided to stop and take a short break. I was talking on the phone with my boyfriend and I wasn’t really paying much attention to my surroundings. Then, I saw it. A deer head. Or maybe that’s a doe head. No body. No eyeballs.

I suddenly let out a shriek of fright when I finally noticed it. I want to know why there was no body. How did that head get there? I got out of there pretty quickly because I love horror movies, right? And my mind started going places I didn’t want it going.

I thought maybe there was some kind of pagan ritual. Or I guess maybe some wild hogs had something to do with it. Regardless, I got out of there. It doesn’t help that the woods tend to have a scary effect on me anyway, without random animal heads.

Reminds me of the time I was walking on a trail with my friend. We stumbled upon a cat that had been hung on a tree by it’s neck. Were there witches? Or just some evil pranksters?

Has anyone ever stumbled upon some dead freaky sight like this? Well, I’m sure I wont be brave enough to go to that spot for a while.

Some Pics and a Project for a Customer

flowers on ground

I took this picture the other day while taking a walk through one of the trails on the college campus. I loved how the petals on the ground looked in the sunlight.

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Right next to those fallen petals was this dead looking plant. I liked how it glowed brightly in the sunshine.

Cornhole Toss Game

Someone recently asked me to paint her Cornhole Toss Game. She wants it to match her Luau theme, so she wants me to paint an underwater scene for her that includes an octopus on one and a shark on the other.

The first step is to remove those Dallas Cowboys stickers. Just pealing it off isn’t gonna happen, so I’m planning to use steam to get the majority of it off, and whatever is left I think I’ll use some olive oil. That should nourish the wood some.

Once the wood is exposed, I can check it out for impurities and then get started preparing it for paint. I love the ocean, so I’m pretty excited to see what kind of images I can come up with.

Who likes playing this game? I remember playing it in my hometown when I was 8 years old. It was a tiny town, so there was always some kind of town/church/school/Brownies function going on. And this game seemed to always be there.

me playing corn hole

There I am at Vacation Bible School tossing bean bags at some square holes.

Old Pen Sketches from my Telemarketer Days

telemarketer funny

When I was in college I worked as a telemarketer. I didn’t really like the job, but the company was great to work for. They had very flexible hours and included a large amount of tuition reimbursement.

When I started I was selling long distance plans for AT&T. Then I sold DSL Internet. Then I was a chat customer service rep for Kohls. That one was my favorite one and I was so sad when they decided to outsource to India. And my last job with that company was selling services for Verizon through chat.

I wasn’t very good at it and I was done with telemarketing and sales after that. I made a few friends while there and in between calls we talked and laughed and complained about people hanging up on us.

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I actually learned about the anime Death Note from one guy.

From another guy, I learned about the very cool graphic novel, Preacher Gone to Texas. Fun fact: I went to high school with the daughter of the guy who wrote the forward, and he even mentions my home town in it.

Bic Pen Sketches

Another thing I did to kill time while sitting in my little cubicle was sketch. And I found 6 that I’d like to share with you.  You can tell that a lot of my pen strokes were done quickly. That’s because I had to hurry while I was getting a call.

Door perspective

I was really into metaphysical art back then. I think that’s the style I was going for in this one.

Eye with One Blue Line 1

This one is kinda cool. I like how I made the eye blue and drew only one blue line coming from it. If I drew that today, I would’ve drawn some blue vessels in the white part of the eye, and connected it to the blue line, and the blue line would be coming from the other side of the eye.

I also like the dirty stains on it. I have no idea what that’s from though. Spilled coffee, maybe . . .

Guy with Spikey

This is my favorite. I like this dude’s lil’ spikey friend/pet thing. I wonder if I was inspired by the Chain-Chomp on Mario Bros . . .

Meta surreal space sketch

Another inspired by metaphysical or maybe surrealism.

Sunny Ball

Awww, and there’s a sketch of my dog, Sunny, while she was sleeping. We just got her when I drew this. I actually drew these two of Sunny at home, but I kept them with my other sketches that I did at work.

Sunny Snoring

And the final image is another of my good girl snoozing. She’s such a loud snorer. She snores like a grown man! And she kicks her legs and makes squeaking noises when she’s dreaming about chasing rabbits.

bic pen

I love drawing with pen. It can be a good way to challenge you to draw better since you can’t erase. And I think it looks cool. Plus, you can actually draw some incredible artwork using a simple and cheap Bic pen.

Do you like drawing with pens?

They come in a lot of colors so, if you haven’t already, go ahead and try them out . . .