Friday, July 22, 2011

FIELD TRIP TO THE CIMARRONS July 20, 2011



To view a larger image, left click on the above photograph.

This past Wednesday, I joined the local art group (ARTFUL FRIENDS) and we headed to the Cimarron Mountains west of Montrose. It was one of my favorite high-country locations and many of the images you will view on this blog were made in this general area.

This lush aspen grove caught my attention about noon. The lighting was just perfect and the mix of aspen trees, flowers and greenery transformed this scene into what could be an eye-catching wall-size mural. To capture the depth of field I envisioned, I used my trusty tripod and stopped down to about f18 with a lens setting of about 28mm.

It was a fine productive day, and that's what art is all about.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

CARTER 1980


This image was totally impromptu. I spotted Carter sitting on his front porch during a day trip along the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I took the direct approach and walked right up to his place and asked if he would permit me to make a photograph of him. He must have thought I was nuts, but he allowed me to make several exposures, all of which were equally as nice as the one shown above. It has been one of my favorites over the years. And yes, this time I had him sign a release just to be on the safe side.

Many of my earlier photographs of the mountain people were made by word of mouth. Their verbal permission was good. If they said yes, they meant it. If they said NO, they also meant it. I once asked a mountain man if he would sign a release and he looked at me and said NO. I later discovered that he could not read or write. His word was as good as his "mark." The worst thing I could have done was embarrass a mountain man.

This image of Carter was one of several that were published last year in a special portfolio issue of BLACK AND WHITE MAGAZINE.

In 1982 this same image appeared in a ten-page feature story in Eastman Kodak's STUDIO LIGHT magazine, and that included a front and back cover wrap-around. All of the images which appeared in this story were purchased by Eastman Kodak. The title of the feature was: The Fine Art of Fine Art Photography.


Also included in this same issue were two well-written features about photographers James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks.




To view a larger image, left click on the study above.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OLD TRUCK & BARN 1984

Relics of the Past


At this point in my life, my Appalachian Portfolio was winding down, and this was one of the last old farm scenes to be captured along the Blue Ridge. It was made near Montebello, Virginia during January, of 1984.


It was snowing lightly and that was when I most enjoyed getting out with my camera pack. The snow covered a lot of unwanted distractions and brought out the detail of the barn and old truck. It was a few months later when I made the move to Radford, VA and joined Radford University for a nine year stint before taking early retirement and heading west.


The last of my Appalachian images were made while living in Radford, and I concentrated on the extreme southwestern areas of the state. In 1997, we moved from Virginia to Wyoming and after building a formidable size Western Collection from film, the shift was to digital. I am now working totally in digital and bottom line, I am having fun in Colorado.


Don't stop here! There are nearly two hundred more assorted images in this book (blog).




To view a larger view of this scene, left click on the above image.







HOW MANY OF YOU REMEMBER THIS?



I can vividly remember purchasing gas for seventeen cents a gallon. The tank shown above is listing it for twenty one cents per gallon.

This old gas station was located in the central part of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and I ran across it during the early nineteen seventies. And I actually purchased gas for seventeen cents per gallon during the mid 1950's during a gas war in Danville, Virginia.

I also filled the tank of my old 1939 Ford for about the same price when i was attending what is now Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia a year or two earlier. I could fill the tank of that old Ford for what you pay for one gallon of fuel today and still have some change left over.

It's funny how you remember little things like this.








jj

Monday, July 4, 2011

EFFIE THE MOUNTAIN WOMAN 1972


FROM JACK JEFFERS PORTFOLIO OF THE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE

My encounter with Effie came about quite by chance. A local Mennonite minister in the Shenandoah Valley told me about her and offered to take me up to her place for a brief visit.

She lived alone in a small mountain cabin a lalf-mile or so up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I did not know it at the time, but she was nearly blind, and had to use a stick to get around. Still, she was a tough old lady who spoke her piece.

As we approached her house, I could see her sitting on her front porch rocking away in an old chair. My gut instinct told me this would be one of the images I wanted, so I started unpacking my tripod and camera as I hiked down the trail, which was not easy. I was maybe five paces from her cabin when I stopped and jammed the tripod into the ground, and made several rapid exposures with my 2 1/4 twin-lens roll- film camera.

After my introduction, I made a second image. This time I was able to move in a bit closer and capture the true character of her face. I was right; that was my photography session for the day. When I told her that I had made the first image from a distance, she just laughed and kidded me about why anyone would want to have a picture of an old woman. I told her that her face had lots of character. And I was dead serious. She was a lovely old lady.

One evening, several years following this visit, I was sitting around a campfire enjoying good tales and fellowship with a group of local Mennonite friends who lived in that same general area. Suddenly, there was a lot of commotion in the distance, and several of those in the group took off in a pickup truck to see what was going on up the road. I knew nothing at the time except that it involved Effie.

About an hour later, the group returned with everyone laughing and kidding each other about what had transpired up at Effie's place. Apparently, a neighbor had heard her yelling in the distance and sent for help. Knowing her condition, everyone expected the worst.

What had happened was that some of her chickens and a small pig had gotten loose. Despite her near blindness and the advancing darkness, she took off down through the woods and brush after them. I'm not sure how, but she managed to get hung up real good in a wire fence that was supposed to keep the livestock in. My friends said she was completely stuck and was madder than a wet hen. Fortunately, the only thing that hurt was her dignity.

It wasn't too long after this incident when the wood stove in her cabin backfired during the night and when the neighbors checked on her the next day, she was gone. They think she died of smoke inhalation during her sleep. There was no damage to the house.

Left click on image to view a larger photograph

Sunday, July 3, 2011

JACK JEFFERS AND HIS DOG JAKE EXPLORING THE RIM OF RED CANYON WY 2007

This is one of the last field trips we took before making the move from Wyoming to Colorado. Jake was in his prime at this point and the documentary I made of Red Canyon is one of my favorites.

There are now 181 images posted on my blog and most of them have short essays and little tidbits of helpful information for those who are still striving to improve their concepts and images. Take your time and view the entire blog. It is the size of a large table-top book, and I simply enjoy sharing my work, and tales with others. Many of these images are being marketed by a stock art firm which has been handling my work for the better part of thirty-five years.



There is no specific order to the images, so be prepared to view art that ranges from Wyoming and Colorado to the eastern Appalachians and beyond.




To view a larger image, simply left click on the image above and when you are finished, click on the back button, upper left. And enjoy images that date back as far as the 1940's.













BOYSEN LAKE, CENTRAL WYOMING 2007

Normally, I am not into sunsets and sunrises, but every so often, when something like this stares me in the face, it is difficult to resist the temptation. What makes this are the lines and patterns. The touch or orange/red simply adds that little extra touch that caps the whole scene. You don't generally have much time to work a landscape like this because the light is changing so fact.

The trick is to be ready to take advantage of the "decisive moment."

You will see several more sunsets which are scattered through this book. They are all quite different.

SPRING IN THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS


This image was made along the western slope of the San Juan Range in Colorado. It was during the third week in June, and the altitude is about 8,500 feet. If you are living in the northeast or in eastern Canada, you might mistake these lovely trees for birch. Nope, they are aspens and the leaves are quite different. In a slight breeze the small heart-shaped leaves appear to quake and that is the reason these trees have become known as the quaking aspens or Quakers.