Anytime I'm driving and see an old barn like this, I tend to drift off to times when there were more of these and more kids visited their grandparent's farm weekends and summers to wander through the woods and pastures, discovering insects, plants and animals living there. I was lucky enough to have had access to acres of farmland that was also my own park, zoo, frontier or lost world. We could wade in the streams and ponds, climb trees and swing on vines as happy as a kid can be miles from adults and their unfun stuff. We were always mindful that an interruption could be announced at anytime by the distant sound of my grandmother's car horn calling us back up to the house.
In keeping with the original intention of this blog, I'm continuing to wander through my image archives and present whatever might provide for interesting comment whenever I'm inspired so. This image, I found quite unexpectedly among scans of ancient transparencies. This was shot around 1974, while I was still working on my degree. All my color pictures at that time were on Agfachrome, a fine German-made film sold with prepaid processing envelopes to mail it in for processing. It was beautiful film. I was also experimenting with soft focus using an assortment of crude lenses. This image was shot with a standard magnifying lens attached to a bellows extension on a 35mm body. If you're familiar with David Hamilton's photo books of young women, you can see the influence. Other images from the session with this model also make use of this softened detail and muted colors. I was able to work with her on just a couple of occasions and had hoped to do more others, but I lost track of her. I saw her about ten years later shopping in a store where I was shooting a catalog, but couldn't take the time to speak to her and I haven't seen her since. It'd be nice to hear from Susan after all this time.

I almost took off for a drive today, but managed to stick to the list and remained functional and productive after all. I enjoy seeing this image. It's 12-Mile Bayou, westward from N. Market St. just below the 220 loop. Everytime I see this, I want to be down there in the distance, sliding over the water in small boat. A canoe or puttering along leisurely in an old john boat with an tiny, ancient Neptune motor would be just fine. Nice breeze.
This image is from years ago; one day south of town after a pretty decent snowfall. We went driving around and stopped to play and tramp around at places the snow was interesting. Of course, I was carrying a camera. I didn't shoot much because the snow was especially wet and I was very protective of my equipment. It could still snow this year. I sure hope it does. We really have it easy when it comes to ice and snow; whenever it comes, it doesn't stay very long. All of the fun without the hassles. Good snow.
The weather's varied so much lately, I almost thought it was over, but quickly realized that would just put us closer to Summer. It's not worth the difference. I'll wait. I really don't like that heat. That reminded me to look at what I've been calling the "Botanical" series. Now, they're floral portraits. They started out as tests (surveys?) of a hot new digital camera. Hot in 2000. Still, the pictures hold up and I keep telling myself to take the time this year and not waste Spring and the chance to collect more blooms, blossoms, etc. They make a nice collection.
Cloudy skies over the Red River and the Hwy. 2 bridge a few miles north of Shreveport (La.) add to the drama of a sweeping panarama from the bank near the boat launch. It's hard to fully appreciate at this size, but an eight-foot mural of this image captures a viewer's full attention and transports one to the riverbank; almost the same sense of awe as being there. If you happen to be traveling from Hosston to Plain Dealing, turn off at this bridge and have a look, but don't expect a paddlewheeler to come by. It's easy to imagine how fine that would be. [Note: For some reason, it may be necessary to click image to see full width.]
A couple of years ago, driving dirt roads near Mansfield, Louisiana for scenes in the Great Debaters I slowed my truck and happened to glance beyond a rusted, barbed wire fence and noticed this peculiar sight. I was immediately struck just seeing this pair of trees, an oak and a pine, having long ago sprouted so close that they had gently wound around each other in an "embrace." It brought to mind love, friendship, tolerance, even marriage and further, a sense of awe at how many years these two, growing so close together, had each adapted, incorporating the other into its path upward. I couldn't waste the opportunity to quickly capture this view. I hope to find my way back to this spot "to the side of a side road" and take the time to reshoot these trees in their wonderfully graceful embrace. Share Prints of this Image.