Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

Beaver's Bend

Ok, I know this one is a couple of days late, but I had to get on the computer to find this picture.

This is the dam at the lower end of the park at Beaver’s Bend State Park in Oklahoma. This is a beautiful place I remember coming to from childhood. It’s an hour north of the town I grew up in, DeKalb, Texas. I went there with my parents, church youth groups several times. We stayed in various cabins, group camp cabins, campgrounds and just went for the day to hike and play in/on the water which is VERY cold as it comes from the bottom of a deep lake, it’s trout fishing water.


The Trickster

The trickster

March is the trickster this year, Coyote has taken over the weather. The old saying about March is “in like a lamb, out like a lion, or the opposite, meaning if it comes in with nice weather, it will go out with nasty weather.

This year, it came in with a beautiful day, sunny and 80 degrees on the first. On the second, we had freezing temperatures, sleet and snow. Just enough sleet on the roads to cause more than a few incidents on slippery roads.
There was a nice lead up at the end of February too, some warm days that seduced the Bradford pears into showing out for the sun and popping open their white flowers only to be overcome by frost, turning the bright white flowers into brown tatters.

The Sun and Old Man Winter have been battling it out all month with Spring slowly beating back the ice and frosts. The weatherman just said he thinks we have had the last freeze of the season.
It’s time to go buy plants now.



My history of photography

I lived photography for 20 years in photo labs, and took classes for several years at the beginning of that time. I am old school, and then learned the new school. I embrace the new with the knowledge of the old.
When I was a child, my dad had a makeshift darkroom in a storeroom off the carport in the house I grew up in. I remember watching the pictures magically appear on the black and white paper and then they would get washed in the bathroom sink which had an overflow so the water could keep running. I got the impression my mother did not entirely approve of the process.
Sometime in my late teens, my dad taught me about exposures and how to use a camera. The one he had and that we used was an old Agfa he had gotten when he was in the Army in Germany many years before. Somewhere I have one print from that era. It is a photograph I am still proud of, good exposure, composition and texture. If I could find it, I would share.
When I was in college, ah, those Lon Morris days, I majored in Art and learned more about artistic vision and composition but no more about photography. I stagnated with art, I couldn’t make my hands put on paper what my mind could see. I had a teacher who didn’t see what I needed and could only teach the basics to me.
There were thing I learned in college, and art wasn’t one of the major ones. It was also the first time in my life I made friends based on who I was instead of who they thought I should be or what box I had always fit in.
Several years later, I lived in a tiny town near Tyler called Noonday, and I returned to school. This time it was Tyler Junior College and I went in with the intention of taking all the classes they had in photography. I started with basic black and white and progressed through 5 other classes. We learned about exposure, dynamic range, expose for the highlights and develop for the shadows, burning and dodging while making a print. Did you know, after you have been exposed to the photo chemicals for several years, you will develop a sensitivity to the chemicals? I would taste the black and white fixer if I got any of it on my skin. Instantly. A chemical taste in my mouth. I wonder if it still does?
I also learned about color photography. You have to relearn a few things. The primary colors of light are red, green, and blue. Secondaries are yellow, green, and cyan.
When my first marriage ended and I needed a job, I was hired by a local one hour photo lab called Cheetah Photo. That was where I learned about the commercial side of the business. That is also when I learned about how many ways there are to take a bad picture.
The years moved on and digital started showing it’s presence. At first it was a question of “how do I print my digital pictures so I can show them off?” Still boom times in the photo industry.
Then, not so much. People figured put how to print pictures at home, printers improved and you could take 100 pictures and print out less than a dozen at home. One really good one can be shared by email with friends and family.
And then came Facebook. Sharing of pictures is a necessity now. You take a great (mediocre) picture with your smartphone, post it instantly by your choice of social media for the world/all your friends to see. No paper copy needed.
Instead of carrying a picture of your loved ones in your wallet, you carry their Facebook page in your phone with instant access to any picture they ever posted.

The only thing that is constant in life is change.