Tag Archives: photos

The Art of Photography

A few weeks back I had the pleasure and privilege to attend an Art Wolfe seminar at Portland State University. I’ve admired Art Wolfe’s work for quite a while and when I saw he was going to be in town I had to go.

First off, I want to say that Art (I can call him Art now that I’ve met him and he signed one of my books and he’s my new BFF, right?!) is a super nice, funny man who does not convey any sort of pompousness that one might think a person with his talent might have. I was actually a bit surprised at how down to earth he was.

I’ve been a quasi-photographer ever since I took my first photography class during my sophomore year in college. I enjoyed it enough that I minored in it (with a major in journalism) at Purdue. Since I’m not much (or any, really) of a painter, drawer or sculptor, photography is my form of art. I love looking at photography and dreaming of going to exotic places to shoot photos – especially after the Art Wolfe seminar where he talked about the trips he’ll be hosting to places like China, India and Japan.

But since it’s not in my immediate future to travel to such places, I have to make due with local opportunities. Which is fine, for now. Here are a few of my recent shots…

Another one of my take-aways from the Art Wolfe seminar was that he said a photo is more engaging if you capture a scene/person/animal/landscape not as you normally see it. Find a unique perspective, use a lens that offers a wide angle, use filters to change the color or exposure, change the depth of field – it’s all OK. Art admits that though he’s in the business of documenting culture and wildlife, his work is art.

“You should live in a place that uplifts your spirits,” Art said. “If you live for photography but don’t have your photos in your house, there is a disjunct.” When I got home, I got to thinking about this statement and realized that maybe I’m on the right track – I have lots of my own photos hanging in my home plus some photos taken by a friend of mine – and Art Wolfe books on my coffee table!

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Glimpse Into Past Lives

Good morning, my Junk Lovin’ friends!

As you may have gathered from past posts, I love photography. Capturing moments in time is fascinating to me. It doesn’t even matter if the captured moments are from people that I don’t know or are from a time when I wasn’t even born, which actually makes it even more interesting to me. So today, I’d like to share a photo album I purchased when I lived in Minnesota.

"State Fair 1952"

Like the 8mm movies I posted about a few weeks ago, I love that these photos are a glimpse into a couple’s life together in the late 1940s and early 1950s. There are no names on the back of the photos, but I do know that the photos were taken all around Minnesota as there are city names and dates on the back of most of the photos.

"Campsite Close To Hibbing Aug 49"

"Lunch Stop - Return Trip Crystal Cave 51"

I used one of the photos in a little collage I made.

Enjoy your day!

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Abandoning Photography

Back in the day, I lived in a little town called Minneapolis. It was a simpler time. Newly married, little house (not on the prairie), new kitten, no kids, and lots of good friends. Where am I going with this? Not sure – sometimes my mind just wanders.

Oh, here’s where I’m going…back in Minneapolis, I have a good friend named John who I met when I was working for a small catalog/advertising company. I was the sole female among the 7-person copywriting staff, which wasn’t a surprise since the company specializes in motorcycle parts and accessories. John was, and still is, the head photographer for the company. He shoots a tailpipe like no one else! But on the side, he photographs some amazing landscapes.

Twin Butte School - Abandoned North Dakota by John Piepkorn

Landscapes is a bit confining for what John photographs because it is much more than that. His “specialty” is shooting abandoned buildings and ghost towns in the upper Midwest, mainly Minnesota and North Dakota. His family probably finds him a bit crazy as he ventures into abandoned, dilapidated buildings to document the odd, interesting stuff people leave behind. It’s quite fascinating, somewhat voyeuristic – and very beautiful.

Left Hanging - abandoned Minnesota by John Piepkorn

After spending an inordinate amount of time looking at his gallery on Flickr, I was thrilled when John agreed to sell me some of his prints. I love the idea of having original artwork. And I love the idea of having a friend’s original art in my home.

Hudson Police Cruiser by John Piepkorn

John has had his work recognized in lots of local publications and websites like the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Top Reader Pictures from 2009 (11th photo in the slideshow) and the City of Minnetonka’s 2008 Photo Contest (honorable mention).

If anyone is interested in adding John’s photographs to their collection, you can email him: j_piepkorn65 (at) yahoo (dot) com [sorry for the cryptic email address but spamming stinks] or contact him through Flickr (if you’re a Flickr member). He’s a great guy with a great eye!

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Nature, it’s all around me – So I have to take photos!

My husband always mocks me when I break into the The Samples song, “Nature.” “Nature, it’s all around me. Nature is so astounding.” There I go again.

It all stems back to when I was a camp counselor at Aloha Hive (I know, funny name) in Fairlee, Vermont. It was the summer after my freshman year in college, and I thought maybe I should be a crunchy, hippy-kind of chick. Far cry from the preppy girl that showed up at the camp. I later figured out that “crunchy” meant disheveled and kind of dirty. I ended up not liking that so much.

But anyhoo…I do love taking photos of nature. And I do love playing with my new favorite photo editing program, Picnik.com. Here’s a few of my latest creations.

Wooly Caterpillar using the Grainy and Cross Process features on Picnik

Dragonfly using the Cross Process feature on Picnik

Butterfly using the Fancy Focus feature on Picnik

Now if only I had more wall space in my house to print and frame all my photos. Perhaps a rotating gallery is what I need. I do have a set of three photos of Paris shop fronts that I took on our trip in 2006 hanging in the dining room. Maybe I could rotate photos there. Hmm. I feel an idea emerging. I’ll keep you posted!

Maybe a rotating photo gallery in the dining room?

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Summer Carnival

I’ve had some fun lately using the online photo editing site, Picnik. I love that you can upload your photos and do cool effects without the commitment of buying a program like Photoshop.

Here’s some of the photos I’ve taken over the past couple summers – enhanced with Picnik.

Swings at the Oregon State Fair

Chicago's Navy Pier

Motorcycle Ride at the Oregon State Fair

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