Monday, June 22, 2009

Fenway and I Have Been in a Bit of a Fog Lately -

- and so has all of New England! The weather seems to have been the most talked about, and most common topic on local blogs and Facebook. I haven't really minded the fog. Its quiet beauty and calm has been void of oppressive heat. Yet the mood among all my friends will no doubt be lifted when the sun finally bursts through.

Visited Fenway Park and the Red Sox recently. Originally, I had hoped to enjoy a winning game and several good photos of favorite players in action. Approaching Fenway I hoped the rain would hurry and officials would deem it a rainout. So much for wishes. The rain held off just long enough to make it an official game, the Red Sox lost to the Marlins. Even though we sat out a two and a half hour rain delay the game never resumed.

Still, Fenway is fun and alive with dreams, even in the rain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Marshfield YesterDays Celebration Charms Today's Visitors

On May 31, 2009 several local historical groups joined together to present a wonderful celebration of Marshfield's YesterDays. A grand celebration it was!

The Winslow House held its annual ice cream social. A few arms were very sore from scooping so much ice cream for the free sundaes. Executive Director Mark Schmidt led streams of tours through the house, and other docents were on hand to answer questions, sell 10 cent postcards and simpler, fun children's games that preceded the high-tech era. Of course, several books and booklets about the area's history also stock the gift area.

Volunteers also staffed the Blacksmith Shop for the Marshfield Historical Commission. A photo above shows Jim Fitzgerald demonstrating the making of nails. Even though kids walked away with souvenirs, no tires were reported punctured in the parking lot. Antique car and carriage buffs enjoyed Daniel Webster's Phaeton, the Concord Coach (c1855-1915), and Fayette Curtis' Peters Style Brougham. A farrier was on hand to shoe horses, and Daniel Webster's Law Office was opened to visitors. (Webster was unable to attend; he died 157 years ago.)

Down the road the Marcia Thomas House displayed beautiful period dresses and parasols in addition to its usual historic furnishings and collections. The house was moved from a downtown location and few years back and now boasts the Marshfield Historical Society's archives. Opened to the public the first Sunday afternoon of each month, the recently renovated house, home to Marshfield's first historian, is well worth a visit. In front of the 1835 home volunteers planted a kitchen garden; nearby they offered hot dogs and beverages at early 20th century prices.

I wish I could have attended the events or classes at the 1857 Winslow School House or the Daniel Webster Estate that day. I heard they had quite an array of activities at the Daniel Webster Estate, from quilting to chair caning to rug hooking to decorative painting and visiting farm animals. (Thanks to the Community Quilting Guild and Peggy Beals Quilting Group, Ann McAleer's chair caning, the Duxbury Rug Hookers, and Pat Smith, decorative painter.) David Crest of Family Crest Caterers provided free chowder to all guests.

There were even more activities I missed offered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Mass Audubon Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary. I'm marking my calendar for this event in 2010. It was so uplifting!

*** *** *** ***** *** *** *** ***** *** *** ***

More photo notes: The third shot was a pretty much a quick snapshot through a group of onlookers. I look forward to going back to photograph these veggies when the crowds aren't there. I'm kind of glad people were in the way of the shot I wanted. It was wonderful that so many people stopped by to enjoy our local historic treasures during the YesterDays celebration.

In the fourth shot docent Helen Demers looks on as three girls examine the cobbler's bench. Although the shoes are displayed in pairs, the same shoe form was used for both left and right feet. Only with wear did a shoe become a left or right shoe.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Month's Mind

So much as happened this month and I've been a delinquent blogger.

The Marshfield Memorial Day celebration begins at various points on the outskirts of town and converges in Veteran's Park and the town center.

Here we see that those old enough to remember or understand reflect and commemorate. Those a bit younger celebrate. We thank our fallen veterans who sacrificed their lives so that we can still smile on our own soil. We thank and honor all those who served to protect our freedom.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why Facebook Users Use Twitter

I'm not a regular Twitter user. Finally found my own reason for using it tonight. After I returned home from a late meeting on the Cape (Cape Cod) I tried to log in my Facebook account. No such luck: disabled. Why? I don't know. Guess the cat or dog typed something inappropriate while I was out.

It seemed to hit me the same way a power outage does, with its abrupt change of lifestyle. Facebook friends sent email messages to me while my account was still active; I cannot reply. Serves me right for not recording each Facebook friend's email address. Yet, that may have been a violation of Facebook's terms of agreement. Don't know.

Power outages also have their advantages. A peaceful darkness envelops the evening. Soft candlelight glows, televisions darken, and audio devices go mute, all helping to create a reverence and respect for the earth's magnificent daily rotation.

A night without Facebook is bearable. It has to be. It will probably be a day or two or three. A life without my long lost friends and newer acquaintances: less bearable. It will be good to reconnect with you, your stories and lives when the time comes.

Until then I'll keep a light on for you over here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Celebration of Libraries!

A follow-up to the post below: The library's override passed. The sign on the library lawn soon read:

Join us on Wednesday, May 20, 2009, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at the Rockland Memorial Library in Rockland, Massachusetts. I will be hosting a reception for my "From Lightbox to Library" exhibit, part of the Rockland Library's "Art in the Rotunda" series.

For more than a hundred years, many great photographers have had close associations with libraries. Even now, in the era of the internet, libraries provide services and information to contemporary photographers. Fine art photographers, photojournalists and portrait photographers find many services at their local libraries that they couldn’t find or afford elsewhere.

The web’s low-resolution imaging fails to convey the full artistic beauty and technical expertise of original landscapes and portraits. Many photographic collections have been documented in limited, hard to find, and nearly impossible to afford editions. Several of these books include specially printed reproduction plates that are useful to students of photography.

In this exhibit I try to honor the invaluable services that libraries and librarians continue to provide photographers.

As there are many different types of photography, there are also many types of research needs. Not surprisingly, photojournalists and documentarians use library resources to better understand their subjects. Yet, the same is true for many landscape, portrait and other specialized photographers. We may need to learn the background of a person, the sunset hours of a special location, tidal charts, or local customs and taboos in foreign countries. Research enhances our images; our image making inspires us to research more.

Libraries not only provide resources for photographers to learn about our subjects, libraries also offer learning opportunities out of the personal reach of most individuals. The costs of reproduction editions of many of the photography classics are prohibitive for individual students. However, viewing Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Yousuf Karsh, Dorothea Lange or Eugene Smith quality reproductions becomes possible through local libraries with inter-library loan privileges. The works of these old masters become our teachers.

Older works alone cannot educate a contemporary photographer. Ever-changing technical expertise is critical to the proficient digital photographer. Library resources and librarians have greatly enhanced my technical and artistic knowledge. It is to those who administer, support, manage, volunteer and fund our libraries that I dedicate this exhibit.

For even more information please follow this link: <> .

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shoot One for Yourself

The last three weeks have been unusually busy. Guess it's a good thing that I haven't announced this blog yet. I didn't feel compelled to take time to post.

Amidst client work, three competitions, other projects and preparations for a solo show, a few local events slipped onto my calendar. The Marshfield Citizen of the Year dinner takes place each spring. This year Jack and Beth Griffin deservedly received the award in front of a record sized crowd of well-wishers. I took the standard shots under the tent (not designed with photography in mind). The admiration, love and respect for the Griffins, and their many contributions to the community, was palpable, even in the far reaches of the second tent.

After I thought I'd left for the evening, I walked back into the adjoining 1699 Isaac Winslow House. Suzy B. sat with past recipient, Roy Kirby, in the beautiful tea room. Unposed, they turned toward me and gave us this candid.

Last night at a meeting of the New England Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, Brian Smith of Editorial Photographer reminded his audience to "shoot one for yourself." When you've completed your client's checklist be sure to make the image that you want for yourself. Thanks to Suzy and Roy I not only shot one for myself, I sat and enjoyed quiet conversation and a respite from the busyness of checklists.

Thanks to all the Citizens of the Year and other nominees who make Marshfield, Massachusetts such a great community in which to live, work, play, and sometimes just sit with friends and neighbors.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Getting a good shot is often better than trying for the perfect shot.

It's a privilege to work with several local groups. Locally, Sowing Seeds is one of those organizations that warms your heart by its very existence. For over 15 years this all volunteer organization has quietly served people in need in Marshfield, MA. Representatives from all parts of town and all houses of worship are invited to give a hand. Volunteers have answered over 3,500 calls for guidance and assistance, helping countless adults and children. They have re-directed lives, treating each with great dignity. They have saved lives. They offer us all hope.

Last week the intake committee met on a particularly windy, chilly, dark night. The items on the agenda were of greater import than what shutter speed I was to select. I prepped two locations, not knowing until the last moment how many people would attend. The volunteers left their meeting, came outside and huddled toward the right side of this picture. I asked them to move toward my left, knowing I was going to drag the shutter and include the Sowing Seeds building in the photo. They moved to the center. They were shivering. There were critical issues on their agenda. I quickly captured three images and we called it a night.

Not every photograph is going to be an award winner. The goal here isn't to win a ribbon. It's to honor their hard work in a newsletter and publicize the immense needs of too many local families. Photographers are at the service of the message. Artistic intent should not get in the way.

Of course, I can still crop it a bit before it goes to their newsletter editor ;-)

For more information about the services they offer, their current needs and their volunteer opportunities, see:

Sowing Seeds, Marshfield, Massachusetts

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool's Day

Yesterday was April Fool's Day. I had a blast revisiting older media pranks and pulling a few new ones myself. Playfulness and fun are important elements of photography and life. Playful photos spread good cheer -- and we all need more of that these days. They also help us to push our conceptual, creative and technical boundaries.

Recently, the North River Arts Society (NRAS) hosted a show (and competition) themed "Perpetual Motion." At first I was intimidated by the description. Then it dawned on me: Make it my own. I asked, "what perpetual motion means to me?" That was easy. Of course it abounds in nature. Living near the ocean I figured there would be several tidal shots. Yet, it also can mean dogs, toddlers, laundromats and coffee drinkers. I accepted the challenge of dogs.

Here's our older dog Henry in our backyard with his beloved Frisbee. Without the NRAS challenge and the license to play I wouldn't have learned all I did when creating this. Photography is not just about the capture of pretty pictures, it's about capturing life, the best and worst of human conditions, our hopes, accomplishments, dreams and relationships. Make play a part of life and document it.

Most of the photograph of "Henry, Henry, Henry" was made in the camera with the use of my flash set to "repeat." Two of those stroboscopic images were used to create the final print, after carefully reviewing the dozens of final candidates. They were then edited a bit, merged in Photoshop, and edited a bit more. The result? Somewhat like what you see when a Frisbee is near Henry: Perpetual Motion.

The North River Arts Society, Marshfield, Massachusetts
The Atlantic Symphony Orchestra who performed a wonderful "Perpetual Motion" concert in conjunction with the North River Arts Society show.

The origin of April Fool's Day
1957 BBC Spaghetti story
April 1, 2009 CNN reports Click and Clack to join GM leadership team
2008 BBC Documentary of Penguins that fly

Hope you're having fun.

Connie of

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the beginning

There comes a time when every blogger has a first post; this is mine. The goal of this blog is to help me grow into a better photographer and citizen. Many blogs focus on technique. Others focus on business practices. Some are geared toward self-promotion. (Unfortunately, there is hardly a photographer these days who doesn't need to toot his/her own horn.) Too many friends have told me that my blog is overdue, but why blog without a purpose? I'm still developing my web goals. Today's redesign of my website is nudging me toward this blog.

Having shot and developed film, learning digital photography was akin to learning a new language or dialect. The learning curve has been fascinating and fun. Surely I've hit a speed bump or two, but without them I wouldn't know the satisfaction of my current challenges.

Along with local events, portraits and landscapes, I have two documentaries I'm working on. I don't want to discuss them publicly until they are closer to completion. Yet, one of the issues I'd like to take up is the "why" of photography. The camera is such a powerful tool in recording history and effecting change. While I love making beautiful images, given the choice, I'd be content to make a meaningful image - one that can help to improve someone's lot in life.

I welcome your suggestions. I don't know where this (blogging) journey is headed but I'm on my way.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL photographs on this blog are copyrighted. All rights are reserved. No permission is granted to use, copy or distribute these photographs without express written consent by me, Connie Drapeau Kennedy. There are no exceptions. Thank you for honoring the time, care, investment and work that go into the making of these images. Thank you for honoring the United States Copyright Law. It's faster and less expensive to contact me for license to use an image than it is to pay legal and copyright infringement fines.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Have an idea? Think you'd like to create your own website? There are a few steps you need to take in order to get online. The first is to secure your website or blog's name. The address for your site is called an URL. It's become fast and easy to obtain a name. (Cheaper, too.) Through the years I've tried different companies for registering my domain names. One of my least favorite companies runs a Super Bowl commercial. The one I recommend to my friends for a great value and service is Netfirms:

If the New Year's promotion isn't valid anymore, use this:

Please tell them I sent you.

You'll need additional steps to set up your site. They'll follow later.