Farm Visit and Brenda’s A Photo Study: the Photographer

It was warm three days ago, so we decided to go visit Lyle’s farm. Before we left, W said, “Think what kind of photos you want to take before we go. Don’t just go there click, click, click.”

I wanted to say, “I DID!” But I thanked him instead. After all, he couldn’t read my mind (which, in some cases, is good 😉

I really did. We have never visited a farm in winter. It would be a good opportunity to practice minimalist photography, I think. In my mind, I saw Michael Kenna’s photos.

Half way driving there, I was surprised at what I saw. “What happened? They don’t have a lot of snow down here!” I said to W. In my head, those minimalist photos started fading.

We took some photos at the farm anyway. We told Lyle we would be back. Next time, I will call to find out the snow amount first, and I will dress warm. It was windy, feeling 10 degree lower at the farm – lesson learned.

Last week, Brenda’s A Photo Study is about photographer. It was a wonderful post; I read it more than twice. I was going to post this before Brenda posting her next article, but a family emergency made that impossible. (Everything is okay now.)

1. Identify one photographer that inspires and study their work.

I am going to say: Michael Kenna and Fan Ho 😉 Michael’s photo is quite inviting; I really want to be alone in his photo world. I feel that the landscape in his photo is custom-made just for me 😉 (I know many others feel the same way. Ha.)

Fan Ho’s photo tells story, which I don’t want to miss. His photos (many of them) bring me closer to the society, to people I care. After all, we are all in the same boat (earth).

At first, it may seem weird that on one hand I like to be alone, but on the other hand I want to hear people’s story and be with them. Well, it is when I am alone that I am able to regenerate energy to serve people I care.

Allow me to sidetrack… Otto recently posted an article, Creative Collaboration. It’s a good one; it makes me think hard. I think a good collaboration can bring three times, four times… of joy, but a bad one can easily ruin the whole project (and maybe ruin your life too). Finding a good partner is difficult. Personality, level of skill, even life philosophy, attitude toward art and toward each other… they all play a part, I think.

2. Explore my history – where have I’ve been?

I have shot different subjects in the past: landscape, portrait, still subject, street photographing…, and I enjoyed all those experiences.

“Find out what you like to shoot the most (narrow the focus)” is one advice I often heard. A couple of times I locked myself in the room trying to figure out what I wanted to focus, but even if I had made a decision then, it didn’t last long. I finally realized that I am NOT the targeted reader (listener) for that advice. That advice is for someone who has a clear goal like becoming a pro, I believe. I, on the other hand, want to shoot beautiful or meaningful things. Beautiful or meaningful to me, that is.

Maybe eventually one thing will stand out… I’m in no hurry.

3. Find one element to photography during the week to build upon.

I want to continue paying attention to light for the rest of the winter.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo, photo and thoughts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Farm Visit and Brenda’s A Photo Study: the Photographer

  1. brenda says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Fan Ho…amazing images that draw me in, both visually and emotionally. I think you captured the starkness of winter…the silent loneliness that stories the lives of women who left Europe to homestead in the US. Snow while cold…does soften with its gentleness. I’m having so much fun…thanks for undertaking this photo walk with me. Glad to read that everything is “Okay” within your family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Brenda. I enjoy reading you Photo Study. Toward the end of week, I would check frequently to see if you have post a new one 😉
      Ted Forbes has a video on Fan Ho, I forgot to mention. I first heard of Fan Ho from my Chinese friend. It didn’t take me long to become one of his fans. Thanks to Internet that we can see so many wonderful photographers’ amazing photos.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim says:

    those are some interesting B&W shots. what kind of lens were you using?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Jim. I was using Nikkor 28-300 mm F3.5-5.6. It’s my most used lens. (Maybe I’ve tricked you by cropping the photo to 16*9?)
      I sent you an email with subject “A question”. I hope it’s not in the spam folder 😉
      Good night.

      Like

  3. loisajay says:

    This is a beautiful post, Helen. I love how you share your enthusiasm for what you learn with us. Fan Ho’s photos are wonderful. I think I would like to learn to take good black & white photos. You and Brenda are going to make a student of me, yet. You are such a confident teacher–making me think about what I am snapping and why. Thanks, Helen. I am going to keep what W said in my head, “Don’t just go there click, click, click.” You don’t have to tell him that. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Lois. You are so kind.
      Brenda definitely is more serious in photographing and more focusing, too. Learning makes me happy. I like to share (sometime complain 😉 my learning experience. I am only serious to a point… 😉
      W would be so happy that you are going to keep his words in your head. He taught in a college (in Taiwan) for several years, and he still likes to “teach”. Sometime it can be quite annoying. When I want to experiment, I often shoot when he is not home. Ha ha ha. Now my secret is out…
      Good night.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Perpetua says:

    Photography and writing requires alone time. I do find meaning in your photography, Helen, putting myself in your shoes. Trial and error. Constantly learning from others.When I retire, maybe I will buy myself a good camera and retire this 2nd generation iPad. Goodnight, Perpetua

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Perpetua. I am happy to hear that you do find meaning in my photography. We have talked about using photos to express ourselves, but I have never considered that that includes our life philosophy until recently. Ha.
      Now I can’t wait for your retirement 😉 I want to see more of your photos!
      Have a great day.

      Like

  5. Thanks for the introduction to Fan Ho’s minimalistic images.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. carol1945 says:

    I am going to find out about the two photographers you mentioned. I was going to do a photo lesson a day January 1, and now it is late February and nothing started. OH well, thanks for the great post!! I like the idea of finding one element during the week.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Carol, you know what I have learned quite recently? It’s okay if I failed to achieve my goals, because when this happened, I usually was busy for something else more important (more important for me at that moment.) 😉
      A lot of time I enjoy seeing good photos just for seeing them. I mean looking at them like reading a good novel, not studying them or trying to learn from them, just enjoy seeing them. And that’s good, too, I think.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Like

      • carol1945 says:

        Thank you for this wise advice, Helen. Yes, I love looking at photographs just for art’s sake. But, I love it when my own photo turns out such that I want to look at it, too!!! I am tired of just snapping off random photos and hoping one turns out. (With the iPhone, its not that hard to do, actually. ) But I would like to put more thought into it. I have a bunch of half started photo projects, yet I found a list of other goals from 2015, and I realized I had achieved many of them!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Amy says:

    Glad to hear everyone is okay.
    I really like these photos, especially the first one.
    Thank you so much for the links, Helen!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shutterbug says:

    Hi Helen. I couldnt comment yesterday. I was so busy clicking links and thinking. You did well with the minimalism. I like the second photo the best. It holds a silent energy. Can you hear the turbines?
    I think you are right regarding collaboration. I think it is difficult to find people that give and take when it comes to cooperating on a project. Too many people want to barge in and take over. Sometimes I feel they get swept up in the creative process. Or at least that happens during the photography club meetings. But I believe that every time you try or even think about something new, the knowledge is bookmarked and you will have an opportunity to draw from it again.And sometimes having other people influence you is a good thing. It sure has pushed me to discover new things.
    Hope all is well with you and your family. Take care.
    Kelly

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Kelly. No, I couldn’t hear the turbines. I think it was because it was very windy and we heard wind 😉
      I agree with everything you said. Deep down, I would love to try collaborating a project with someone, because I believe it could be a lot of fun and brings great satisfaction. I am still waiting to find that right person. In the mean time, I enjoy learning and shooting alone.
      Don’t worry about not commenting. I totally understand how little time we have. I haven’t tried your light painting yet – It’s on my list.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Lady Oscar says:

    Dear, there are so many deadlines in our life … for arts, nothing is in a hurry. ^^
    beautiful farm and nice experience. love your life in the north… it is getting warm here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Lady Oscar. You don’t know how much we would like to have some warm days! We had freezing rain yesterday and I think it will come back late today or tomorrow.
      I haven’t commented on your post for a while. They made me think, and when I am thinking, I am usually very quiet — no talking, no writing. I thought of emailing you, but haven’t found time to do that either. ;-( One of these days…
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lady Oscar says:

        Dear:
        Completely understand! When I studied in New York, I wished I could studiy in Florida… the snow/ice mud was the worst. I almost flelt once… it was scaring.

        me too. When I am thinking and enjoying something, I am slow on responding and expressing. Same here! I think of you a lot. I want to email you and tell you more things. Then, I want to find a “quiet and perfect” time to sit down and write you ! ^^

        I will, I know! So, be prepared. Haha! Have a good evening~

        Liked by 1 person

  10. restlessjo says:

    Heavens! What started to be a quick visit must have taken me half hour and I could spend much longer, Helen. Thank you for being so generous with your time and thoughts. I admire that you strive for betterness. I’m too self indulgent and a bit cowardly too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m with you Helen .. beautiful or meaningful things to me! Natures wraps it up .. 🙂 Thanks for the intro to these wonderful photographers

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Denzil says:

    I love black-and-whites, and I love seeing photos of wind farms and solar installations! So I definitely enjoyed these photos of yours Helen!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Denzil. I love seeing those windmills. Every time I see one, I have to take a picture of it, but most of the photos don’t turn out as good as I would like them to be 😉
      Have a great day.
      (You don’t blog as often as you used to. Busy?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denzil says:

        Interesting that you have noticed Helen! Actually I started another blog, on book reviews, in November, thinking that I would be able to run two at the same time. How wrong I was! So the last couple of weeks I have returned to my first love, Discovering Belgium, and have been enjoying getting back into the swing of things, and putting the book review one very much on the back burner.

        Liked by 1 person

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