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Monthly Archives: January 2016

27 January 2016

 

27 January 2016

 

Bodie Island Lighthouse (1 of 1)-2 

                     Bodie Lighthouse

Greetings and Happy New Year!  This is my first Blog of 2016.  During the second half of 2015, I was pretty much out of commission due to knee replacement surgery.  No blogs during that time….  I had severe pain and was on pain medication so I was not very creative during that period.  However, now that I am past that, in 2016 I am planning to create a monthly, and then quite possibly, a bi-monthly edition of our blog.   

Dunes V

                                             Dunes V

My assistant (AKA my wife) and I are also planning to participate in some art shows/festivals/fairs during 2016.  We were going to do this in the last quarter of 2015 but again the surgery on my knee got in the way.  We are currently in the process of creating an inventory.  The inventory consists of a cross sectional sample of some of my work.  All of the work will be in Black and White since that is the main medium in which I work.  We have had six (6) images professionally matted, mounted and framed at 20 X 24.  I will probably add at least two (2) more of that size which should complete what I need of that size for our initial foray into this adventure.  I have about 25 images mounted and mated at 16 X 20, which will probably do it for that size in our inventory.  In addition, I have approximately five (5) examples matted and mounted at 11 X 14.  I think I need to have approximately 20 of that size, as well as, about the same amount in size 8 X 10 before we head to the first show but I’ll keep you informed of my progress in that area.

Dunes IV

                                             Dunes IV

I am doing the matting and mounting of all the images (other than the 20 X 24 size) myself.  Initially, I was doing all the mat calculations manually and was encountering a lot of waste.  So I came up with an XL spreadsheet that performs the mat calculations, as well as, keeping track of the inventory.  That way when an image is sold, I’ll automatically know what needs to be replaced.

Dunes III

                                             Dunes III

I was taught how to create mats at a workshop I took in the late 90’s.  The curator of Eastman Kodak came to the workshop and spent a whole day teaching the proper way to create a mat.   He also took the time to show us the proper way to hang an exhibit.  I took copious note and have been creating my own mats ever since. 

Dunes II

                                             Dunes II

My assistant and I took a brief trip to the outer banks last month.  Our intent was to do some exploring for a future visit.  The weather was not very co-operative (cloudy, misty and dreary) however, we did find that December, January, and February are probably the best times to visit that area if you are looking for unspoiled scenery to photograph.  We will probably go back this year for a few days during the month of December.  There is not much open but we did find a campground that operates all year round and we are planning to stay there.  It is a KOA in Rodanthe.  There are campsites as well as cabins for rent.  The outer banks is a very popular place and can be quite crowded from May through November.  Since it is a favorite vacation spot with basically one main road that runs the length of the e barrier islands, the road can get extremely jammed with traffic during peak season. 

Dunes I

                                              Dunes I

I did manage though to capture a few images in North Carolina that I have imbeded in this Blog.   You will also find them in the Gallery

   Blessings,

Jim & Mary Lou

St. Martin Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Farm

St Martian

For the past two years during our annual meetings we took the opportunity to include photographing some of the very interesting areas we had the opportunity to visit.  Most of the images were taken with the Sony NEX-7 camera.  I find this camera is best when traveling to places where I am not sure of what will greet me when I get there.  This camera is smaller and lighter than a DSLR and the only lens I use on this camera is a Sony 18mm to 300mm zoom lens which works well for me in pretty much any situation.  The camera has some nice features.  For landscape it has a Scene setting which is supposed to keep the whole scene in focus.  It does a pretty good job doing that but sometimes I find the close part of the scene may be a little blurred.  It also has a panoramic setting.  What I like about this setting is that it allows one to zoom into the scene before scanning for the panoramic.  I have another small pocket Sony that also has a panoramic setting however it does not allow one to zoom into the scene before performing the panoramic scan.

Butterfly.tif

Butterfly I

Butterfly II

Butterfly II

One of the most interesting places we visited was the Butterfly farm on St Martin.  The one thing I learned here is that even in an enclosed butterfly friendly area it is very difficult to take photos of butterflies. They don’t seem to want to settle for long periods of time and when just when you get in close proximity and in focus they take off.  However my photography partner seemed to have her way with them so with her help I was able to capture a few good photos.   The most difficult part of photographing these beautiful insects is that the background can be very distracting.  That was in fact the case with these photos as well.  It required a quite a bit of post capture editing to remove most of the distractions.

Burrerfly III

Butterfly III

Butterfly IV

Butterfly IV

Post capture editing for these images was completed using both Lightroom and NIK Software.  I really like working with these images.  They allowed me to get may creative juices really flowing.  What is really great about what I do is that every time I work on an image I learn something new.

Butterfly V

Butterfly V