Just This Moment – March

Just This Moment of Life in Photos Header

“Just This Moment” is intended to be a collection of those small moments in which you are truly present in your life – at just that moment. The images may not be frame-worthy, but are moments that fill you with joy, allow you to experience a moment of gratitude, make you smile, touch your heart, and/or make your soul sing.

Ahhh, spring… the birds are singing, flowers are beginning to peep out from their winter slumber, and then there are the trees…

Digital Photography, Copyright
© 2018 SuZan Alexander

Okay, you caught me. The image in the bottom right (two white flowers) is from a blooming dewberry vine. Great catch. You have a good eye!

So, show me what is blooming in your neighborhood.

#TBT Kallitype Photography

Kallitype Photograph of Chairs

Digital Photography, Copyright
© 1984 SuZan Alexander

I am not much on selfies, etc. so I thought I would share an image from my college days for Throw Back Thursday. This is an image from my college days (circa 1980’s… pre-digital photography), it is from a course on an alternative photography process known as Kallitype. (You can read more about the Kallitype process HERE.)

Looking at the photos from this course some thirty years later, I see compositional changes, etc. I would like to do differently, like the plant that is creeping in on the edge of the frame. Back in the analog days, cloning this out was a very different process compared to these digital days. But, I love these old photography processes that are now referred to as alternative processes. I like them so much that I have started exploring the updated versions so I can start incorporating them into my personal work. There is a tactile component, and something about it challenges my creativity. I would really like to incorporate that feeling of creativity into a body of work using new tools and new knowledge. My journey of research is leading me to begin learning how to make the best digital negative possible because that seems like the best place to start exploring how to incorporate this passion for alternative photograph into my “new” digital photography skill-set.

As for this particular photograph of three chairs, if you are asking why I made this image, here is the story. I was at a Mexican food restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. I remember being drawn to these chairs at the perimeter of the room. So, mid-meal, I finally got out my camera and fired off a few discrete shots. It was only when I started developing them in the darkroom that I realize what I was seeing in this group. Each one of these chairs has something missing, broken, or “wrong”. Can you see them?

Lonesome Dove Traveling Photo Exhibit

The Lonesome Dove Traveling Exhibit is currently at the Bosque Museum… but only until March 3, 2018, so hurry if you want to see the photos Bill Wittliff made while filming the movie Lonesome Dove.  Mr. Wittliff was tapped to write the screen adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s novel of the same name. The novel follows two former Texas Rangers (played by Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones) and their adventures on a cattle drive to Montana Territory. That is a vast oversimplification of the story, but it was/is so popular, I am sure you have read the novel, seen the mini-series, or both. I had recently read the novel prior to the airing of the 1989 TV mini-series, so this exhibit takes me back to the anticipation and planning my life around each episode to see how the pages from the novel would come to life on my television screen.

The Bosque Museum is located at 301 South Avenue Q, Clifton, Texas. HERE is a link to their website which includes driving directions. They are open Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m -5:00 p.m.

Just This Moment… January 2018

Just This Moment of Life in Photos Header

“Just This Moment” is intended to be a collection of those small moments in which you are truly present in your life – at just that moment. The images may not be frame-worthy, but are moments that fill you with joy, allow you to experience a moment of gratitude, make you smile, touch your heart, and/or make your soul sing.

I will get us started with a few moments of joy from my everyday.

First, I recently bought a new “temporary” lamp for my desk. I have to have a lamp on my desk. Even when I worked in the “cubicle world”, I never carted in a lot of personal items, but I always toted in my own task lamp for my desk. Lately, I have been going through lamps like I go through ink pens.   I went shopping for a new lamp and kept referring to this as “temporary” until I can find what I am really looking for… or maybe I don’t want to become too attached since lamps are short-lived in my world lately. To be honest, this white, vintage looking lamp from IKEA isn’t going to be replaced anytime soon. I’m kind of diggin’ it as my task lighting. Oh, and my little lady with succulent “hair” makes me smile every morning. She is a Target find and intended to be a pencil holder, I think. Pencil holder… succulent holder… you know I sometimes color outside the lines. I realize it is a little kitschy, but it reminded me of those Lady Head Vases (circa the 1950’s and 1960’s) that my grandmother collected. How could I resist that little bit of nostalgia?

Digital Photography, Copyright
© 2018 SuZan Alexander

And, then there is my morning cuppa, reading materials (just a hint of a book in the corner), the very gift of reading itself… (insert a long sigh here)

Digital Photography, Copyright
© 2018 SuZan Alexander

Now it is your turn. You have moments in your life. I know you do. Snap some grateful moments through the week and share them with us.

 

Happy Birthday to An American Photographer: Edward Curtis

Edward S. Curtis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Happy Birthday to the American photographer, Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952)! Chances are pretty good that you have seen Curtis’s photographs and probably not given it much attention. I hope you will read a little about him and enjoy some of his work; maybe even seek out some of his images to enjoy and appreciate.

As a little background to get you started, Curtis was devoted to documenting over eighty American Indian tribes and their traditions. During the process, he amassed over 40,000 images. Yeah, yeah you say, “I probably have that many selfies on my phone.” Well, consider that photography was not as “mobile”, or convenient, during Curtis’s time. He had to carry around heavy, fragile, glass plates, a heavy camera, tripod, as well as chemicals to capture an image. Add in the fact that he carried this equipment on horseback and/or horse drawn wagon, over primitive paths and roads, … and was gone for months at a time. Additionally, there was a law banning the American Indians from practicing their respective customs and traditions. All in all, this was not an easy task. Seriously, think about this. He did not “scout” the photo location on the internet, load-up his photography gear in an over-priced camera bag, load said gear into a luxury car with heated leather seats, drive the interstate to the airport, arrive at the selected destination a few hours later, flash his media credentials and have models willingly mugging for the camera in a matter of days. It is this kind of dedication and passion that inspires me. I also shames me as I complain that I don’t have the right camera gear, the right conditions, etc. (But, I still want that new camera I’ve been eyeing… just sayin’.) I have even tried my hand at a modern version of his infamous gold tone images. I did not use glass and I am quite sure I cranked them out in a fraction of the time it took Curtis to create.

If you would like to learn more about Edward Curtis, I highly suggest reading Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan. This book gave me a greater appreciation, not only of Curtis’s art, but also his sacrifice and contribution to the preservation of Native American culture. For a shorter read, the Smithsonian Magazine has an article about Curtis (Edward Curtis’ Epic Project to Photograph Native Americans). And, PBS American Masters has an episode about Curtis (Edward Curtis Shadow Catcher). If nothing else, search the internet to enjoy some of his images.