Category Archives: photography

Weekly photo challenge: threshold


So I’m three days late on posting this. I actually took this photo last week well before the weekly photo challenge deadline but such is my life… a day late and a dollar short.

Well, in this case… three days late.

Below is what would have been my submission for “Threshold”. For the sake of following the rules I didn’t link this to The Daily Post but wanted to at least show what I was going to submit.

This was taken at Minute Maid Park where the Houston Astros play their home games. It was the 7th game of 2014, practically the beginning, a metaphor of hope… on the “threshold” of the new season.

Go ‘Stros!!!

threshold of a new season

threshold of a new season

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street life


citizens1

So here’s my first submission for WPs weekly photo challenge. Does this one count? I mean, because it was taken a long time ago but coincidentally this week’s challenge is the type of photography I did a lot of: Street Photography

I honestly can’t remember when I took this photo. I think it was in 1998.  I do remember however that it was part of a series of images I planned to pitch for exhibit, called The Citizens.  Each image in the series was almost exactly Continue reading

healing after the ice storm


magnolia_leafSo mid week last week the temps had fallen into the mid-20s or so and with a mist of rain in the air during the night, ice formed on pretty much everything outside. Here are some pics from my backyard. My magnolia tree shouldn’t look like this in March.

On the drive to work that morning, I noticed a lot of tree branches had snapped and fallen during the night. Not sure if they were already dead branches or if the weight of the ice caused them to break or both but there was a trail of pretty big branches that started with a neighbor’s house a couple of houses down and just kept going almost all the way to work 15 miles away. It was strange. Some of those branches were pretty big and yet they snapped because of the heaviness.

magnolia_branchesSo all this happened on Tuesday and on Saturday I was finally able to help my neighbor out by cutting the really big tree limb that had fallen in her yard.

After cutting it, we talked for a while Continue reading

Exposed


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I used to take pictures.

It’s been so long ago that it almost seems like it was in a past life. When I first started, I was in the military and took pictures that were part of news and feature stories. A few years later I began to fancy myself an arteeest and began trying to create what I “thought” was art. I actually pulled some off and there were a few people who actually considered it art and paid for my prints or asked me to exhibit.

My first attempts were crude but in time my eye developed. I tended to drift toward my journalistic side and capture images that had a human element… you know, that showed where a human presence had been. I rarely did landscapes or what I referred to derogatorily as “snapshots of trees and rocks”.

The fact is “trees and rocks” are hard to shoot and shoot well and I knew it, so I tried to place myself above those Ansel-disciples and do my cutting edge Henri Cartier-Bresson impersonations.  What’s funny is I actually did a series of only trees one time AND… had it exhibited.

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken photographs like that.

But now and again, something will catch my “eye” (which surprises me that my photographer’s eye still works) that makes me think, “this says something” and I wish I had my old Mamiya loaded with some velvety Ilford Delta400.

The above image is one that did just that and all i had was my cell phone, It was taken in an instant, filters applied the way I would have liked to have seen a final print after hours in the darkroom.  It says something… at least to me. The roots are exposed. The tender part of a tree that should be covered which help it grow and mature are all out in the open.

[sigh]

I’ve been going through the some personal stuff that is really stressful. Really stressful… taxing on my soul and is one of those times when I hope with all the faith that I have that God is listening and will send angels to calm my spirit. I pray that Providence will cover my tender parts.

I have entered another dark period, one that makes me want sit with my back in a corner with my knees to my chest bracing for impact. I can’t get everything covered and I feel quite exposed.

some relaxation for a change


The Deistette has been hounding me for the longest time to go to the arboretum here in town and I finally conceded. She loves doing things like this and I was constantly resisting.

Turns out I should have done this a long time ago. For one, it makes her happy. And secondly, it was pretty nice to just get away from the house and our part of town for a little walk about.

deistette-photo-bug Here are some pics from the hour or so that we spent there.

This is one of Emmie using my camera. Sorry it’s a little dark but I didn’t change the settings on my little point and shoot before taking this one. It’s the first time she’s held a camera that wasn’t a point and shoot in her hands. She doesn’t know much about the basics of photography but she got a couple of pretty cool shots.

Here are two she got that were really nice. Continue reading

a cool picture


My brother is a bit of a photographer himself. He’s actually pretty good. I don’t know how or when exactly he picked up the bug but I remember several years ago (about ’98 or so I guess) he wanted to show me some of his pictures and get tips on how to develop film and prints.

I was amazed at how much his images looked like mine. I mean, I was really surprised at how his pics were composed very much like mine. The subject often being slapped right in the center of the image. Full negative composition and printing. Slowed shutters to give movement.

Although we weren’t always close Continue reading

Photos – a magnolia blossom


One of my blog peeps, Jo over at Florescence, wrote a poem titled “Magnolia”. Wonderful piece. You should go take a look at it.

In her comments I told her how it reminded of a time several years ago (when I was still shooting photographic art) I became obsessed with magnolia blossoms.

I’ve always liked them but for some reason back in 1999 or so I couldn’t get enough of them. I remember I tried taking pics in 1998 but none of them turned out. So for a year I waited for the spring to come back around and give some good blossoms to try and get.

Continue reading

Photos – sunflowers


I’ve been meaning to keep posting these but as I looked at all the negs I found I kept thinking,

“meh, this one sucks”

“oh yeah, i remember taking these. yep, they suck, too.”

“Oooh… and this set of pics. hello… suuuuhhhh-ck.”

I heard or read someone say recently, “perfection is death. Perfection is death to art.”

So here are a couple that i never printed but always liked. Didn’t print ’em because they were so flat. Very weak to no contrast. Probably something in the development and not the exposure I’m thinking. I had to really tweak the heck out of ’em in photoshop to get them to turn out at all.

i remember taking pics of my ex-wife in this field. Not my daughter’s mommy but my second wife. She had on a sunflower dress and it was blowing with the wind just like the sunflowers in the field. Her hair was long and blonde and blew in her face. I hadn’t thought of that in some time.

For some reason I can’t find that roll of negs. Wish I could. Glad I found these though.

sunflower images ©2000 rjz

Photos 3 – from The Citizens series


Below are five of the approximately 20 images I showed in this series I called “The Citizens”

I stood in front of the old Citizens Bank Building on Main near Preston about two or three days a week for three weeks or so. It was interesting watching all the people walk absolutely oblivious to me being there. I crouched down near a street light and some newspaper stands. I think that’s what was there…. it’s been so long I can’t really remember but again I shot with my Yashica Mat twin lens. So instead of having a camera up to my face, I had it just a couple of feet above ground level and I looked down into the view finder.

I think I shot somewhere between seven and eight rolls, which is about 84 to 96 frames. When I picked the images to ultimately print and show, it was based on first consistency of the negatives to themselves. As you’ll see below, getting a consistent neg on several different days didn’t always happen.

Here are a few of “The Citizens” Continue reading

Photos – from the neighborhood bar


In a previous post, I talked about finding a bunch of my old negatives and said I’d post ’em now and again. Maybe I’ll try and make it an every Sunday thing. Or at least until I run out of negatives.

These two are from a roll that I took at a neighborhood bar. If I remember right, this roll was shot in 1997 or ’98. I had just started souping my own film Continue reading