When you can't get out and shoot due to illness and security restrictions, you look for stuff sitting around the house. On our recent trip to India, my wife bought a couple of woodcut printing blocks. So naturally I pointed my extension tubes and 50mm lens at them to see what would happen. A few nine-exposure HDRIs and several layers of Photoshop treatments later, I came up with this. I think I like it, but that could be the lack of oxygen my brain's dealing with.
But what it really represents is a radical new direction for me. I'm several years behind on this, but that's okay. I'm developing a vision to go beyond photography. Maybe I'll call the pieces metaphotographic...'cause digital art is sooooooo aughts. Metaphotography ... metaphotographer ... whatever I call it, even if I don't end up having a name for it, the goal will still be Beautiful (meta)photographs from around the world.
My friend Mireille (I'll tell you how to pronounce it later, give you a chance to work through it) and I were stuck at the military base at the Kandahar Airport. We got bumped from what would have been an interesting visit due to lack of space. Mireille is a Press Officer in the State Dept. Her job is to herd journalists, write exciting press releases about Embassy activities and speak officially for the Embassy. I'm sure there's more, but that's a good basic description.
This photo could be called a portrait through still life. Her world on these junkets is made of PDA, cell phone and notebook. Sometimes she's working with all three at the same time. I'm sure many journalists, press officers and publicists will see themselves in this one.
It's pronounced mi-RAY, though being French, the RAY is less emphasized than all caps might indicate.
Abstract Americana. A hot summer night, cars ripping around a 3/8 mile circle, kicking up the dust, making a racket almost as loud as a metal concert. I love auto racing. The environmentalist half of my psyche is offended by the redneck half. But then, the runner half of my psyche is offended by the half that lives for chocolate muffins, too.
More in a set at facebook.com/bhneely.
I had a red 4x4 Nissan Patrol turbo diesel that I loved. I loved it so much I named it after Sammy Hagar, who in the 80's you'll recall was known as The Red Rocker, because he always wore red and even wrote a song as a paean to the color.
Sammy and I drove to the top of a 14,000-ft mountain right to the Kazakh side of the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border. We drove across the open steppe, multiple times. We got stuck in a swamp (you read about that a couple posts ago). I learned about 4wd hi and low and how to drive on "roads" that make the forest service roads in the Cascade Range seem like highways. I drove on highways that make the forest service roads in the Cascade Range seem better than highways. In the city, I could drive as aggressively as I needed to, because he was bright red and had a no-bullshit look. I could say, "Yeah, I'll take out your Mercedes if you won't let me into the traffic stream."
Sammy was awesome. And I miss him.
I was playing around with some film-type presets in Lightroom, and liked what this black & white infrared styled treatment gave the photo. It's not at all what I was looking for when I started, but it's an interesting look to do once in a while.
Have you seen store.bpsphoto.com? You can buy beautiful photographs there, on thick, velvety, handmade paper.
Looks kinda film noir, doesn't it? Or maybe something from an Apollo Moon mission. Can you guess at what it is? Do you care to guess? I'll tell you anyway. After I tell you a brief story.
It was the day after the snow. We had two snowfalls of around 2 feet in 5 days, leaving us with 51.7" (131.3 cm) on the ground. Before shoveling and scraping and shoveling one more time, wishing someone from Vancouver would send a truck by to get some of it, I headed out for what turned out to be 90 minutes of photography. The streets had been plowed sometime in the night, leaving them paved with an insignificant layer of compact snow, and blocking the alleys and parked cars behind a 5-foot (150 cm) wall of snow. It was much more pleasant than the previous afternoon's hour-long slog through the blizzard to shoot a few pictures.
After the shooting, I cleared the mountain of snow off the in-laws' deck, then helped dig out one of the cars from in front of the mailbox, and clear a path to said mailbox. The days of digging took their toll, and I felt as if I had run 15 miles (24 km) or so, exhausted and a bit stupid, for the rest of the day.
So, what is this thing in the photo? Are you still here? One of the poles for the clothes line, along with tracks from the neighbor's snow blower. Aren't you glad you read through all of that?
As I worked on this photo, my wife said that it looked somewhat pornographic. I'd rather call it erotic. When I see Edward Weston's Pepper No. 30, I find myself wishing I could make a mundane object like that look erotic. If you don't think that particular one looks erotic, do a search for "weston pepper" (without the quotation marks), because I'm sure others in the series will titillate.
So this snow bank, curving sinuously like the silhouette of a woman is an approach. There are more snow pictures at www.facebook.com/bhneely. Become a Fan!
I believe I've mentioned before how perfectly suited the Greek flag is to the country itself. This, in essence, *is* the Greek flag. I shot this one on a cruise to see the Blue Caves on Zakynthos, in the Ionian Sea.
For more from the cruise, have a look at the album at my Facebook page.
People look at me strangely all the time. I'm frequently on my knees or against a wall or looking the opposite direction from them. When I have to stand around and wait for a plane to land or a Senator to come out of his hotel room or the motorcade to start, I take such pictures. Like this one, of a couple drivers planning the order of cars.
I've been shooting shadows and reflections for years. Most of them astonishingly bland and lifeless, but I keep doing it. And this is why. The crazy geometric shapes combined with the flower shadows, the layers from different objects and light sources, the curve of the roof they're projected on, all work to make a beautiful shadow piece. Finally.
Oh, and the town at the northwestern tip of Santorini is spelled Oia, or Ia, and it's pronounced EE-uh.
I've been hoarding the mylar that our flowers come wrapped in, waiting for something to do with it. I spent an hour or so using a sheet of it as a reflector, but for this shot, I just liked the look of the mylar itself.
I've told you before about how a lot of my very part-time job involves standing around waiting, and, being a photographer, I fill that time with photography. I keep trying to work out a way to get the layout of food and dishes and other setup materials into the paid shots, but it never quite works out. At this event, I got a nice shot of the table of shrimp...with a woman's mouth wide open, shoving a shrimp in. A great shot, but since my job is to take flattering photos, not exactly appropriate.
As I was working on the photos from my shoot with Stella, I kept coming back to this one. It makes me uncomfortable in a number of ways. There's something very naked and trusting in the pose. I might put it in the Aphrodite's Hair set, even though it isn't strictly about hair. Or even a little bit about hair. Maybe it'll just be a piece of abstract art.
It was a dark and stormy mid-afternoon...Actually, it was a beautiful, cloudless, August day, around 97F (36C), but I metered off the western sky, making for a dark look to the rest of the scene. I thought I'd go with that and see what came up. It's a more graphic than realistic interpretation. I like the thumbnail, but am not completely in love with the larger version yet. A little more work might be in order.
It's 7 am and you can't sleep and you're at the beach and the water is around 85 degrees. You haven't had coffee yet and you brought your weather-resistant (but decidedly not waterproof) camera with you, but no towel. Do you a) leave your camera under your shirt on the beach and trust in the honest nature of your fellow vacationers or b) walk out to about waist-deep (50 meters or so) and shoot a great picture of the morning sunlight wrapping around the underside of a boat in the ridiculously clear water?
We left Athens at 4:45 on Friday afternoon and arrived in Tolo (near Nafplio) after 3 hours. Checked into our hotel and this was what we saw straight down from our 4th floor balcony. Life does not suck. This was about as hard as the waves crashed all weekend, so other than the sunburn I gave myself the next afternoon, our beach time was very, very pleasant, and quite relaxing.
Sometimes the "urge" to use "quotation marks" overwhelms me and I don't know what to do about it. I don't know whether to use "them" for "emphasis" (which I pronounced "em-FASS-iss" in my mind as I typed it, "for some reason"), or because I'm "not sure" of the "meaning" of what I'm saying. "Whatever" the "reason," though, it's like a "wave" of "need."
I hope that was as painful to read as it was to write. Quotation abuse is a serious problem in modern English and we must be vigilant to wipe out the problem.
Usually, my ability to see patterns is greater than the ability of the object to deliver the pattern I see, but every once in a while, I'm able to capture perfectly an abstract shape that I've seen. Such as this time.
I saw the inspiration for the Greek flag on a ferry. We were going from Athens to Aegina, sitting next to the rail. I looked blankly at the rail for several minutes, just relaxing and letting my mind wander, when I abruptly realized that the ridiculously blue water behind the white railing was the perfect representation of the Greek flag. Minus the cross.
I once derided some people on a photography forum for creating pinhole lenses for their dSLRs using their cameras' body caps. I thought it odd that you would have this incredibly smart piece of technology, with 150 years of knowledge programmed into it, only to go back to before that knowledge and use it in the most primitive photographic form. This was before I bought a digital camera. And before I tried to hand-hold a 1.5 second shot at 1:38:55 am with that digital camera. And then did a B&W conversion and a little more adjusting to match what I would have done with a Holga. So there you have it. Maybe I'll drill a little hole in my body cap.
Not really. I want to build a cardboard pinhole camera for a bunch of 4x5 sheet film I've had kicking around for several years. I sold my 4x5 in the summer of 2004 and have regretted that decision ever since, but haven't had the cash flow to justify buying a new one.