Friday, November 25, 2011

Abstract Photography

While in high school in the 1970's I kind of figured out I had a fairly logical mind. I was involved in a lot of engineering type coursework and really enjoyed it a lot. Later, when I became involved in photography I took a lot of pictures of subject matter such as people, buildings or scenery.

In my early years of photography I would read a lot of books and magazines about the subject but I really did not venture into other types of photography such as trick photography, abstract, use of filters etc.

One day in 1982 I was on location along the Des Plains river photographing a young woman. At one point during a break I was looking at different areas of the river with camera in hand. I saw these tree branches sticking out of the smooth water and at first glance I did not think much of it. 

Then I pointed the camera lens towards them and I saw something in a new light. At that moment I took the photo. Still, I did not really think much of the photograph as I only took the one picture. It was not until I had the film developed that I realized I had taken (what I consider to be) an interesting photo.

This is my first abstract photo. I enjoyed it so much I even had it enlarged and framed. To this day, when I look at this image it makes me calm. I can stare at it and contemplate on any number of things and I feel good. 

Abstract photography may not get the same reaction or comments from others but remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I used to have this picture hanging in my office, it was interesting watching others look at the photo and then move closer to get a better look. 

My suggestion to you is to take your camera and look at different things from time to time. If something catches your eye, take the picture, you might enjoy it more than you think.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Mother's Memories

Thursday November 17, 2011

Recently I have been going through a lot of photographs. I have been scanning a lot of photos I had taken while I was in the Navy and writing blog posts about them. I purchased a new computer system a month or two ago and with it I purchased a new scanner. I figure I can put this scanner through its paces with the number of negatives and photos I plan to scan.

My Mom passed away in 2002 I think and my adopted Father passed away earlier this year. Some years ago I was given several boxes of photographs that belonged to my Mom. As I have been scanning photos, slides and negatives I wondered what there was about these particular photos that were important to my Mom. Unfortunately there was not any written information about these images.

So going through these photos here are a couple of her baby photos ...

These are cute pictures of my Mom taken when she was a baby. I am assuming that these were taken in 1938 in or around Dayton, Ohio. Most likely my Grampa took these pictures. I know that he was involved in photography and art throughout his life.

The photo above may have been taken around 1945. In this photo is my Mom and her three brothers. I am not sure if this was a photo studio shot or if my Grampa took it. From the stories I have heard I recall that money was tight for them and that makes me think my Grampa took the photo.

The photo above was also most likely taken around 1945, at this time I think these are the earliest color photos I have of my Mom and her brothers. There may be more but I have only just begun to go on this scanning journey.

I believe it was 1958 when my Mom married my birth father.

In this photo is my Dad, Mom, Grama and Grampa. At this time  in their lives I believe they all lived in Chicago, IL. 

This photo is of my Grama. It may have been taken it the late 1950's. My Grama had a salon at one point in time and I think I have seen a photo of me in front of the salon.

When my Mom and Dad had married my Dad was in the Illinois Army National Guard. He spent a period of time stationed at a base in Alabama. I think it was in the Huntsville, AL area. These are photos of my Dad taken around 1958 I believe.

Here is a series of photos of me in my youth, I am thinking these are from 1959 ...

What were they thinking when they put this on my head?

Grama holding me. Looks like they are ready to put me to bed.

This is me with my Mom at Lake Michigan in Chicago, IL.

I think I have pics of me bathing my children in the kitchen sink. The kitchen sink just seems to be so practical. 

My sister was born in 1960, here are some pics of her ...

What a happy and cute little baby!

My sister in her Grampa's arms.

My Mom holding my sister.

Unfortunately my Mom and my birth Father had their differences  in life and divorced. I have learned that life and God's plans can bring people back together though.

So far this is one of my favorite photos of me with my sister that I have come across so far. I smile every time I see it. I am thinking this was taken in 1962.

Always did love my Grandparents ...

I am not sure what year this was taken. Maybe the late 1950's or early 1960's.

In this photo is me, my sister, my Grama and our cousins I think. I'm thinking this was 1963.

In 1963 my Mom remarried ...

Here are my parents in Mexico.

Here I am in 1965 I think. We lived in Rockford, IL at the time.

Here are my parents around 1965.

Here is a great picture of my sister and I playing at the beach. I think this is Lake Michigan and it's a Chicago beach around 1965.

Here is a family picture that I think was taken in 1966 in Chicago.

I had a toy camera growing up, so I was taking pictures with it. I don't think I really knew what I was doing but here are a couple pics I took in 1970 of neighborhood friends.

We had some good times back then.

My Mom raised Great Danes while we were growing up. Here I am with a couple of Great Dane puppies from a litter that Gretchen had. I am thinking this photo was taken around 1973.

During my high school years I met a very good friend ...

We went fishing at the No-no pond and caught these in 1975. My friend caught the biggest fish. We are best friends to this day.

Here is a photo I took of my parents in 1980. My Mom was a redhead but throughout her life she was a decided blond. That means at times she decided to be a blond.

In the mid 1970's my grandparents moved to Alabama. This photo taken in 1982 was in front of their home in Leeds, AL which is just outside of Birmingham, AL.

In 1982 I took this photo of my Mom with her brothers. I find it interesting to compare this photo with their younger photo ...

This has been quite a trip down memory lane for me. As I write this my Mom and her oldest brother have been called away from earth and I pray they are together in Heaven with their parents.

The dates of these photos may be a bit off. Looking back I wish I had talked to my Mom about these photos to get more information about them. The photos themselves have not been altered with any filters. It gives the photos a sense of time and photo technology to me. Also, some of the photos may appear cropped, that is because my Mom had trimmed them to fit in specific albums.

As I go through the pictures of my family and children I am writing as much as I can about them so my children have a reference point. I also hope they will enjoy their memories as much as I do my Mom's memories.

As you take photos, I recommend that you journal things about the photos so that you can better share them with family and friends.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.

My Facebook page is

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sunrise Ship at Sea and Sirracusa, Sicily

Scanning Negatives Project - from Roll 6

I took this photo in 1979 and I would like you to keep in mind that this image is a scan from a negative which explains some of the poor markings in the image. I need to make time to photoshop this image a bit.

Here is the story behind this photo. I had just been relieved from duty and I took a walk on the ships fantail, this is the level right below the helo deck. I saw that we had just completed replenishment detail with this ship and I knew it would be pulling away. I had a feeling that this would be a great photo opportunity and I ran back to the compartment to grab my camera.

When I returned to the fantail the ship had already pulled away and I did a quick focus, meter and shoot. I was very glad I did because the ship quickly turned and the timing of this shot was very fortunate.

After I had completed shooting the roll of film I sent it off in a prepaid film developing envelope and I was very pleased with the outcome of this photo. This is one of many photos I took that was in our ships cruise book. Sometimes timing is everything, and that’s how I felt when I saw this picture.

The picture below is another personal favorite of mine.

This alter is inside the church ruins of San Giovanni in Siracusa, Sicily. Our tour guide and other references I have say that it is believed that St. Paul had preached here on his way to Rome.

Here is a photo of the church ruins I took. It’s not great but it is good to tell the story with. That why it is good to purchase local tour books and postcards when you travel. You can add them to your mix of pics and tell a story.

Looking back this was quite a memorable experience for me. If I had to do it again I would do it in a heartbeat.

Enjoy Life, Take Pictures!

BTW ... On Twitter I am @TMSphotos ... I am always willing to connect with photographers.  You are also welcome to follow my Blog here. I try to share knowledge, information and experience of my photography.