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