Tuesday, July 21, 2015

AND NOW, FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

I first met Lacey Reah on G+ a few months ago, though our friendship feels as if it has been ongoing for years. Her posts and writing reveal a raw, and at times, ribald sense of humor, all the while brimming with an intelligence that has depth, maturity beyond her years, a compassion for humanity, and a passion for what she believes to be right, wrong, and everything in between. She is so well versed on so many subjects that I am often astounded that one human being can be so deep. Her talent knows no bounds and I fervently hope that she will be with us for a long time to come. I for one would miss her dearly.

I first read an excerpt from Lacey's book titled "Fireflies" not long after I met her. I consider myself to be a well read individual, and I have had the pleasure of reading uncountable works by authors from both the mainstream and from the fringe. Fireflies was different. I had never in my life read anything that was so erotic, so passionate, and yet so well written in just a few lines. Henry Miller would be rolling in his grave with envy. I could not wait to read more. It was not long after this that the small book arrived at my doorstep. That very evening, I settled in with a glass of tequila and the book. Late into the night, I closed this jewel after reading the last page. My imagination ran wild with the possibilities of more, and with the ending left unfinished, a desire left unfulfilled. It was like a film so good that you hoped a sequel would one day see the light. I wanted more, so much more.

Charged with intense sexual energy, desire fueled by hunger, a longing for a lost humanity, and an ending that leaves the reader desperately wanting more, Lacey writes with a sense of urgency and a passionate voice not found in much of today's literature.

Her main character roams the night in search of an unrequited love, driven by a hunger she has yet to come to terms with, and yet, at the same time there lies an underlying sadness at the loss of the one thing she can never regain. In some ways, there is a little of all of us within these pages.

I would write more but do not wish to spoil it for those who will take the next step and read it for themselves. I highly recommend this little book. You too will long for more after your own journey into the night.

You can find the book on Amazon in both hard copy and for the Kindle reader here at this link:  FIREFLIES



Until next time . . .

If you haven't already signed up to receive email notices of future posts, you can do so on the link to the right by entering your email in the box under 'Follow By Email', or send me a request at the email below and I will add you to the list.

Comments on this post and all others are always welcomed, and if you do comment, please be sure and check the little 'notify me' check box in the right hand corner of the main comment box to receive my response.

If you would like to purchase a print, or sign up to receive updates,send me an email at: thomaswelborn@holoceneimage.com
 
Until next time!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

TOM & THOMAS RIDE AGAIN

Well, it happened again. The infamous duo of Tom Crews and Thomas Welborn got together for an evening of photography.

After meeting up in Sulphur, Oklahoma for an early dinner, we headed over to Chickasaw National Recreation Area for an evening of wading the rushing waters of Travertine Creek. The creek is still running quite strong from heavy rains over the past month or so.

Rather than sit here and write a narrative of our exploits, I will share a few of the images I made. Tom's can be seen over on his Google+ page and on his Flickr page.

One of the first images I made when the Sun was still high enough to impart some warmth into the scene and some breaks in the trees cast a warm glow on the front of this small cascade.


After moving a bit further upstream, we came to a section where the water was running furiously. Looking downstream, the water smoothed somewhat into a gently swirling pool before moving on. It was nearing sunset, and the light filtering in through the trees spread a golden warmth onto the water's surface in this next scene.


Looking upstream from this pool, the water was running hard and fast. Here we see Tom setting up for a shot. He will probably kill me for this one!


My last image of the night is looking upstream right after sunset. There is still warmth in the trees but the falls are in complete shadow at this point in time. A long exposure to bring out the silky flow.



Here's a shot of Tom (too bad he moved his head).

And a selfie I made at our first stop.

Tom and I always have a great time when we get together. He is one of the finest people I have ever met, a good friend, and a tremendous photographer in his own right. I eagerly look forward to our next meeting!

If you haven't already signed up to receive email notices of future posts, you can do so on the link to the right by entering your email in the box under 'Follow By Email', or send me a request at the email below and I will add you to the list.

Comments on this post and all others are always welcomed, and if you do comment, please be sure and check the little 'notify me' check box in the right hand corner of the main comment box to receive my response. 

If you would like to purchase a print, send me an email at: thomaswelborn@holoceneimage.com
Until next time!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

SOCIAL MEDIA AGAIN - An Evolving Opinion & An Apology

I have spent the last few weeks reading some rants about the state of social media where it concerns photography, as well as some positive reads on its benefits and I have come to some conclusions, which I will share with you as this post moves along.

Most of you are familiar with my previous stand on this subject and know that I have had misgivings about whether or not there is benefit in using social media as a venue for furthering one's career as a so called professional. Here are some of the conclusions and observations that I have come to after my readings and discussions with friends who are artists and photographers, and with friends who are neither.

Social media is what you make of it. Whether or not you gain a benefit from it is up to you. Many have said that the world of digital photography and social media has ruined the 'art' of photography and allowed those who are mediocre practitioners at best, a platform for their photos. If they are getting more pluses, likes, etc than you, it can only be their interaction with their followers. Becoming frustrated and upset is not going to change the situation. In some ways, this sharing by non-professionals has diluted and saturated the market, and in turn made it that much more difficult for the practicing professionals to earn a living. We as practitioners of the art are to blame for some of this. Many are aloof and 'too busy' to share their time. To some extent, this is all true, but there is no going back now. I have no intention of going into all of the ramifications of this state of affairs, as there are many more pros and cons to the argument. However, I will say this, "Are we to deny others a voice just because they are not considered practicing professionals?" Perspective is required to assess whether or not this is a good or bad thing - time will tell, but for now I will say that they have the right as much as the next person.  It just means that we have to change the way we are perceived as professionals, and we need to increase our visibility, rather than sit privately (and sometimes publicly) disparaging the amateurs (we were all ones too at some time in our lives). We need to offer encouragement and help to those who are truly pursuing their passion.

If you are a working artist, professional, or what have you, then in order for you to achieve any kind of success in today's digital world, a presence on one of the SM platforms can be beneficial, but you have to make it work for you. As for the benefits, it shares your work to a much wider audience than if you were to use traditional methods of advertising; and it is free (other than the time needed to pursue it). Secondly, it gives you a platform for your 'voice', whether it be verbal or visual, or both. If you expect to reap financial rewards from SM, then you need to learn how to use it to your benefit. There are many out there who have parlayed success from its use and we can all learn from them. Most are open to private discussion and are willing to help when asked. 

In other respects, one of the true values I have received is the interaction with my fellow artists, photographers, and even some who are neither. Some that I now call friends I have met personally, others I hope to meet some day, and others I never will, but that does not lessen the value I receive from the latter. The ability for us to all have a voice, regardless of who or what we are is one that is beyond comprehension and even beyond placing a value upon. In the pre-digital world, some of the interactions now available once required extensive travel and conversations were carried out by mail, or telephone in most instances. As photographers, we did not have the 'reach' we now enjoy, and many were not even aware of others working in the field. Some question whether or not this change is a good thing. All I can say to them is, it's time to drop some of the old ways if they are no longer working and embrace some of the new.

In the past, I said some pretty harsh words about the people on G+ who were commenting on my work and it was mostly directed at the non-photographers who were following me. In retrospect, I was wrong and I now apologize to those that I may have offended, not in the hopes that you will come back, but as a genuine apology. In retrospect, I was being a bit of a snob and I was frustrated at what I believed was a waste of my time. In hindsight, only I am the worse for my behavior. The clock cannot be turned back and I do not expect to be forgiven. They were my opinions at the time, and though valid in some respects, they were based on my perceived notions that I was receiving nothing of value in return for my time. I now realize that most, if not all, of these perceptions were wrong.

In closing, I will say a few personal things about SM. It is, in the words of a friend and fellow artist, 'a time suck'. And I completely agree with her. It is also addicting, and like all drugs there are good and bad aspects to it. And like most people who are trying to kick a perceived bad habit, I looked elsewhere for help. Not long ago, I was at the point where I was ready to close all of my accounts and walk away. It was at this time that I began to do my reading and have discussions with others about it. I needed further input before I felt that I could do what I was contemplating. I stumbled onto a blog link by a well known photographer on G+ that was written over a year ago and man did it start a shit storm! I was amazed that I had not heard of it or read it for that matter. In a nutshell, this photographer took a relative 'newbie'  to task for her lack of talent and her methodology in promoting herself (she has 100's of thousands of followers on Instagram). My first reaction was 'right on man'. I will not name any names, but found that the hundreds of comments both for and against said photographer were both professional and unprofessional. Sides were taken and conversations were back and forth both for and against. Other than the original photographer who started this rant, the comments by others were calm and insightful. Many of these comments were posted by well known photographers on G+, and by many who are highly respected. In the end, even the originator had calmed and began reasonable discussions, though I don't think he changed his mind. For me, I had done a complete 180 after this discussion and now sided with the woman in question. After digesting all of this (yes, I read every comment), I now had a better understanding of SM and its value. So now what? Where do I go from here?

Social media is what it is. You can either embrace it or walk away from it. The choice is ours and ours alone. We have no right, other than free speech, to disparage others methodology or way of using it to pursue their dreams or aspirations. If you are displeased or pissed off with the way someone is making a success out of their dream, possibly only because you sense your own ways becoming a thing of the past, or your methods are not working for you, maybe you should take something from those that are succeeding and embrace it. Who knows, you may be the next big thing as a result. We all stand to learn from each other and that experience in itself is something that has never been possible like it is now in the entire history of humanity. This new world is here to stay and no matter how much the naysayers say, it is not going away. 

Yes, it is a time suck; yes, it is addicting; but, truth be told . . . I enjoy sharing my work and seeing the wonderful work of others. And yes, I TRULY DO appreciate all those who have something nice to say about my work. I for one now see the potential in SM, though I am still wary of its pitfalls, which will inform and influence the way I use it in the future. Guess I will stick around and see if I can further twist it to my own needs :)



 
To those who are still listening, I wish you all happy sharing and a great weekend !
  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

PASSING OF A THING REMEMBERED

I've often wondered how people who live in parts of the world that experience an annual monsoon manage to survive. Surely their lives are complicated by these events and sometimes they suffer the loss of their homes, the lives of loved ones, and their livelihood. 

We here in Oklahoma have been experiencing more than our fair share this year of monsoon like rains, and it is a wonder that everything hasn't just floated away. There is a major 4 lane highway just south of town that took a real beating a week ago with one bridge now closed to west bound traffic. I stopped this morning to have a look at the damage and was amazed to see that most of the road surface on the bridge was heavily pitted and much of it was just simply washed away. It will be some time before it is repaired. But that is not the story.

Our local municipal lake that I have dubbed 'Helltown Waters' is still severely flooded along the shoreline. Picnic tables that were once 50 feet from the lake's edge are now showing only their table tops. And of course, my favorite spot, the fishing pier, is now seriously in jeopardy of being history. The image below was made 5 days ago and shows just how much the pier has been damaged. As can be seen, the boardwalk is just gone. The planking was already quite aged with the wood starting to curl in many places along the walkway. I will be sad to see it become a thing of the past if it's fate is now a part of history. Maybe someone will rebuild it, but even if that occurs, it will no longer have its charm and the patina of age.


 

This next image, which I have shared before, was made the first part of May this year. As can be seen, the pier frame is intact and the walkway was at least a foot above the waterline. Again, the impression I am getting is that the boardwalk is gone, completely washed away.




Time and events have a way of changing those things that we love and hold near and dear to our hearts. I know we all wish it were not so, but sometimes we have no control over fate, destiny, or simply unforeseen events.

You will find both of these images at www.holoceneimage.com in the Oklahoma Gallery. Hope everyone in the USA has a great 4th of July weekend and to all others around the world as well. Until next time . . .