Posted tagged ‘Urban photography’

Back Behind the Lens

May 29, 2015

First of all, many thanks to my readers for putting up with such a long hiatus on Garden Shoots. In February, I broke a bone in my left hand and dislocated a tendon in one of the fingers. Typing was laborious and one-handed for quite a while. I’m happy to report that I am – finally – back to normal.

While I was taking this break, I did get to do some traveling, not to see gardens but to take some photography workshops. It’s amazing what you can do with only one fully flexible hand, and I also need to thank my friend and photographer buddy Sarah for helping to schlep my bags on the first trip. It was a workshop in Santa Fe (through Santa Fe Photographic Workshops) with the incomparable Sam Abell. Called “The Next Step,” it was focused on the process and intent of photographing. He encouraged us to be reflective about our work and – where  possible – “compose and wait,” paying attention, at the same time, to what would be included in our images.

At the end of the workshop, he spent time with each of us one-on-one, and suggested that over time, his own guiding principle has become “less is more.” Mine, too, as those you who know my work through this blog can attest.

Although I didn’t end up with a photograph-of-a-lifetime, it was a magical week. Here are some examples of what we did, on our two field trips, as well as on a side trip Sarah and I took to Taos.

Up the Down Staircase(s) in San Francisco

January 31, 2014

Since today as I write it’s snowing like crazy here, I decided it was time to return to my recently-developed interest in photographing buildings. Staircases in particular. For example, on a recent field trip to photograph churches in Baltimore, one of the most interesting shots I came across was this one.

Backus house, staircases, First and Franklin Presbyterian Church

Staircase at the Backus House, part of the First and Franklin Presbyterian Church in Baltimore

Staircases can be beautifully curved and wooden, like this one. But it was on my trip to San Francisco this summer that I first had a chance to see and photograph staircases to my heart’s content.  Before my trip, I researched architectural sights I shouldn’t miss, and thanks to Thomas Hawks’s website, came across lots of inspiration. Some were in public view, others required a bit of fancy footwork to see and photograph. I’ve turned some of these images into notecards, fascinated by the shapes and tonalities (makes a change from the garden notecards I usually print, as well).

I hope to return this coming year, maybe even with a tripod.

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