Friday, July 19, 2013

Assignment: Indigo. Blue Gold, the history of Indigo

Recently, I wrote and photographed an article on the history of Indigo, especially as it pertains to the Lowcountry.  It was fascinating and I became intrigued with Indigo. It's got serious mojo. 

Along the way, I got to speak with many people on the subject. Here's the link to my article, called "Blue Gold," and at the end it mentions these people as a list of references but I wanted to mention them again here. 

Mary Lance produced a documentary called Blue Alchemy - Stories of Indigo. It's stunning work and Mary was gracious and kind in answering my questions. She even overnighted a copy of the documentary. Her website is here.

Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. Indigo is grown in the Heritage Garden. This is on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Their phone number is 843-689-6767. Carlos was super helpful on the phone and is in charge of the Heritage Garden. This is not a formal garden but is very much a backyard growth of experiments. They try to keep vintage plants alive in this section. So cool.


In Charleston... If you haven't been here, you MUST go. This place is outstanding and so are the people that run it. The Charleston Museum 360 Meeting St., Charleston. 843-722-2996.

The one-woman, historical presentation on Eliza Lucas Pinckney by living-history interpreter Peggy Pickett is outstanding. 843-815-5311. Peggy is a wealth of historical information. No, really. That sounds like I'm just being nice but this woman knows her stuff. She has that love of her subject, which translates when she speaks about it. Call her and book her for your group or tour. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Personal Work: iPhone.

I actually call it my Eye Phone.


I baked these. Then, they looked good enough to eat so I took the snapshots with my eye phone for facebook.

After I posted this one, someone asked for the recipe.

I have to tell you that shooting food for commercial work is not the same thing as using an eye phone to shoot fresh-baked goodies to make your facebook friends drool. 

The quality in the shot above is found in the subject matter, not the photography. And may I assure you that those ARE quality baked goods...made with my own two hands. 


In photography, some photos are just advanced snapshots and those shouldn't be used to represent a quality product or establishment. When you think about it, quality is about honor. Honoring your work and honoring the work of those you want to spend their hard-earned dollars on your product. In our culture, we value artisans and handmade items because we know it takes commitment and it takes hard work to produce. Blood, sweat, and tears are usually involved to create quality. 

Always Honor Quality

Because nothing worth having is ever easy or cheap. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Technical - Tangents and Composition.

Greg was the director of my portfolio school.  He warned me repeatedly about lines that lead out of the image. Earnestly and sincerely, he spoke to me. 

He also told me about framing the shot and keeping the viewer's eye inside the composition. The rule of thirds is the biblical standard in Photography and it's a fine standard. It is. 

He spoke of Tangents and Lines that Exit the Framing. He spoke of many cardinal rules all of which I dutifully learned.

Because it's true that you must know the rules to understand how best to break them.

I like shots that lead the viewer's mind out of the image. I don't like to trap them inside my mind.

 I want to find that moment that takes the mind's eye on a private tour of its own imagination. 

This image is a dried leaf on razor wire on an abandoned graveyard gate. It always makes me want to look over the gate. It sparks my mind to ask... why is it abandoned and exactly who does the razor wire keep out... or in? It gives birth to the metaphors of the ways we cling to life and the ways we dishonor the ones who have trod life's paths before us.