My first Digital Single Lens Reflex camera, a Panasonic, I thought of as a travel camera. I didn't use it much, or learn how to do so properly. Later, when I began to, I would kick myself.
When I got my second DSLR camera, a Nikon, back in 2017, I started taking
photographs—rather than just casual snapshots. The difference can be small, merely one of
intention rather than expertise, or achievement. You study; you strive to get better. You look
harder, at the work of great photographers, at your own work, at the world around you, at the photographic possibilities inherent in the world about you. You devote time to making
photographs; you learn how to edit, and you take time with your editing. You begin to know
what you like and don't like; to discover your eye, your voice, your obsessional sensibilities.
In 2017, I started down that road. As a technician, I'm not that far along it; I'm slapdash in my
set-up and prep, and I try to fix things in post; I like to edit. In other ways, I've been delighted with where the journey has taken me.
There will be theme folders below the "Front 15" photos. Let the Front 15 serve to introduce my work. Eventually, I'll rotate these 15 out in favor of shots not yet taken.
"Belle Isle, a stone's throw." Belle Isle isn't really a stone's throw from downtown Richmond; it's part of it. It's also a half hour walk from where I live. A great place to see the river, hop the river rocks, ride the river rapids, and a great place to people-watch. The abandoned hydroelectric plant is picturesque from many angles. My preferred versions of this image zoom in to the figure or the figures in the window, but this frame gives a broader sense of the place.
"Belle Isle, Self-Love": a street photography portrait which I hope doesn't show too much of the subject's face. This is around the other side of the same abandoned power plant. The graffiti was genuine, and there was nothing posed about the shot.
"Blowfish & Betty Lou": a portrait, but the subject, a popular street performer, was putting himself out there, and I also got his permission. He's Markiss Blowfish; Betty Lou is his guitar.
"Bufflehead Dive": I don't know many hours upon hours I spent watching the buffleheads dive, at Forest Hill Park Lake, trying to catch one right as it vanished into its own reflection. This shot's noisy, but it's well-timed: just as the water's splash sucks in and dresses him in its tutu.
"Dawn geese": Sometimes when there's a bit of mist over the river, we bestir ourselves to get out there before dawn, as much for its own lovely sake as to catch a great shot of it. Here's one with a flock of geese coming at us out of the sun.
"Heron vs. Cormorant": My photographs are featured throughout this site. Here's one that's also in PIC LIT, in the PDF for the hybrid photography/light verse book "The Flap Over Tree Debris Island." The main poem chronicles a territorial dispute over some tree debris. Here's a great blue heron driving off a juvenile double crested cormorant. The heron hasn't yet noticed the river otter lurking in the water. The three of them (see "The Flap") put on an hour long show.
"Heron's feet, slow shutter": I love the look of hand-held slow shutter shots. A landscape image will become almost abstract. This is a three second shot of a heron standing on a rock not too far away from me, swirled about by the Reedy Creek waters. I concentrated on keeping the camera braced against my body, rather than on aiming and framing my image
. "Museum piece, an ICA window": I do shoot interiors too! Here's one, taken from the cafe window at the ICA when it first opened, looking out at a man sweeping the entranceway. Or just his yellow broom. A play of shapes and colors.
"Museum piece, VMFA interior": And here's another one, with similar compositional concerns, shot inside the VMFA, where there is so much glass partitioning the halls and crosswalks that it can make for a glorious interplay of reflections and distortions.
"Our cat Hazel": Of course, like everyone else, I photograph my friends, my family, and my cat. Here's a multiple view of Hazel, perched on a box so she can look out the front door's windows. It was snowing pretty heavily. In this artsy edit, I chose to leave out the snow.
"Park lake lamp, dragonfly, and lotus": In the summer of 2018 I got a bit obsessed with dragonfly shots, and lotuses at the lake, and the changing of day to dusk over the water. Here's one taken after dark, with a dragonfly caught in the reflection of a park lamp lighting the scene from the opposite shore.
"Park lake lotus blaze": Here's one just as the dark has begun to fall; that's sun-splash, not lamplight, behind the central subjects, coming way more messily off the surface.
"Park lotus with sun fountain": And here's one just a bit earlier in the dusk's fall, with more daylight coming into play.
"Who cares?": Sometimes, I do get some social commentary into my images. See the UNSAY THEIR NAMES folder! But this one I approached as more of a technical challenge; I wanted the documentary aspect to be left as an undercurrent. I focused my lens on the chain link fence, and showed none of the mess and the debris it was fencing off. Just a trace of a graffiti message scrawled on the electricity company box: Who cares?
"Whole cloth": A brand new image, and included as a reminder that photographs can lie. The lie can be small or large, showy or near invisible. Almost the whole image can be a construct. In this one, I collaged and photoshopped a dozen or so shots of the same little seed pod into a few large swooshes, did it again, combined the two, played with the colors, distorted the lines, added some oil filter effects, framed them in a black border and a red one, and created this bit of cloth.