I Brought the Strobe

I tested my built-in flash and strobe at some shows recently.

I experimented with shutter speed and got some neat effects with stage lighting and motion.

Thank God at New Brooklyn Tavern

I used direct flash at The Ladies of Country Music Show. This was mostly because I was having technical issues, fumbling around with my strobe cable in the semi-dark. Even blurry, some shots got a nice mood from the existing lighting and the smallest shutter speed I could manage.

Lauren singing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” at 0.3

I blinded Stan with a direct flash inches from his eyeballs. Usually this kind of thing really messes up a photo but I think it works here, probably because the stage lights give the woman in the background her own story. She is onstage and he is in the wings, smiling for the camera. Two separate worlds, two entirely different atmospheres.  Related but apart. It really worked with the depth of field, too.

I imagine he is an embezzling stage-husband who pushes his wife to the edges of her sanity. She abuses prescription drugs. He cheats. They both drink a lot of Pabst Blue Ribbon. This is her swan song….after rehab…and couple’s counseling.

Stan by your man, shutter at 1/5 and aperture at f/40


I went to Five Points for the Chili Cook-Off in October. I parked at a friend’s house. We were walking down Greene Street, next to MLK park.  Glennie popped right out onto the sidewalk in her cowboy boots and one-shoulder ruffle romper and invited me and my friends to her house next door. We all thought she knew one of us. We were strangers then. Nevertheless, we left her front yard, many hours later, feeling like she was our best friend.

The food and the drinks were offered freely at the slightest sign of interest. My friends and I shared grilled hot dogs with soccer moms, students, local policemen, and people from Glennie’s own family.  The only thing we all had in common was that Glennie wanted us there.

Her home is an old place that she is completely renovating.  She has built tables from mannequin parts and squares of glass. Her little dog recently had puppies.  Anyone who sat down got a lap full.  Every room has a theme.  Each one is plush with yards and yards of fabric and every door is unlocked to her guests.

You don’t even have to ask.  Just make yourself at home.

I like this photo of Glennie.  She is in her front doorway.  She is standing to one side to let us in.  She is giving us the tour.  I like the action. I used the rule of thirds and her body position to tell the viewer about Glennie. Hopefully, the viewer is curious.  I know I want to remember what she was saying to us!  The cup, her party clothes, and the people in the background add some subordinating details and give her more of a story.

I might have composed it better and the blurry bits frustrate me a little. I feel like I successfully captured a little of her magic, though, and that makes me happy.

If you are in Five Points this St. Patrick’s Day, stop by.  (Ask to see the apron like this girl did.)

First Post

My first camera had a door in the back to insert the film. It had a strip of flash bulbs that clipped to the top. Since there were only about five flash bulbs in it, I had to be very careful when taking photos inside. I got about twelve to twenty-four exposures on a roll and had no idea what the pictures looked like until I picked them up from the photo lab. I loved unicorns. I had feathered hair. Reagan was president.

Today, I shoot with a Canon Rebel EOS digital camera and almost never take less than two-hundred shots in a session. I have used Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and iPhoto to enhance my images. I have also worked with iMovie. I like exploring depth of field and lighting and learning what my camera can do but the real pleasure, for me, comes when I capture a genuine moment of interaction between my subject and its environment.  I am fascinated by the myriad ways people reveal themselves in front of a camera. I seek out whimsy and am especially intrigued by beauty in the ostensibly mundane.

I am inspired by nature, my husband and children, and people who let me in. I still love unicorns.

%d bloggers like this: