Updated: Mar 26
I have a lot of creative energy, just not a lot of time. So I devote time to some things while neglecting others. So it is with this blog.
I self-published two books in July (2021). You can find them both on Amazon Kindle. How’d You Do That? : Gitcha Motah Runnin’ is my first one, and it is a how-to book. I take a photograph that I created and I walk the reader through the steps from image capture, also known as “taking the picture” to the final photograph, including all the editing steps in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
The photograph presented and analyzed in the book follows. You may not care, but you may also have a question or two, like why take this photograph at all? Big reveal: I discuss that. In the realm of “navel gazing” narcissism you may figure out why you respond visually to certain scenes and why the image in your mind is so much more exciting than the one your camera grabs.
Other more technical questions arise. However, I don’t go into basic photography topics of aperture f-stops and shutter speeds that much. You can find a literal ton and a virtual universe of written material on those topics. Why should I write about worn out topics?
Along with the techniques and technical discussions, I include stories. I like to tell stories.
The book is short too, about 20 pages. The price is low. So you can consume it very quickly, and try out the techniques. The target readers are novice to advanced amateur, artistic types, who have started playing around with photo editing software. I plan to make this a series, and I have just started the second book. Again, the photographs are of common subjects, but with a twist. Maybe you will like the twist. I hope to publish it in a few weeks.
It is now August and even though I am much less than an obscure writer, I’ve already had a couple sales.
My latest book is entitled Carnival. It is a collection of black and white photographs of carnivals, fairs, and circuses that photographed for decades. I wrote it more as a memoire for my kids. I have tens of thousands of photographs that they will dispose of one way or another when I die. It is not morbid, just a fact. I can count and see in my mind the important ones.
I went to The Great Southeastern Fair at Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta when I was a kid. (This is in the book, so I won’t tell the story here. Get the book, please. ) We also went to pop-up carnivals and fairs, and small circuses. I had a blast.
I will share this, because I forgot to include it in the book: I was so afraid of heights and carnival rides, except for a couple, that I would rarely get on one at all. Then I would be terrified.
When I was about 12 years old, my mom took us kids to the Southeastern Fair, and the U.S. Army and Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, had a tower where they demonstrated their parachute training. It was provided by their Jump School. Any kid brave enough could climb the tower, get strapped into a harness, and then get thrown off. Talk about pending lawsuits. Talk about Judge Judy. No way anything like that would happen now.
Believe it or not, I actually climbed the tower (voluntarily) to experience in a way what kids not much older than me experienced in jump school. Little did I know that just four years later we’d be in the middle of Vietnam and jump school would become very real for many of my friends.
Anyway, the soldier strapped me in, was giving me the “Hooah“, and courage enough to get tossed off a perfectly good tower, harness or not. The whole time I was trying to tell him that one of my gonads (as in testicles) was misplaced in the harness. Nooo, he just thought I was afraid, and he would have none of that. No sir! “Shut up kid. I’m throwing you off this tower! You got others waiting in line for this.”
“Wait. Wait. WAIT!” I cried, and off the tower I went. Well, the harness did what it was supposed to do and in the process I felt the pain that only a man-boy can feel when the kinetic energy of all my 115 pounds accelerated at 32 feet per second per second and Einstein’s E = mc2 theory was applied practically to my oysters. It calculates to about 4.7 trillion mega-joules applied to my family jewels. Oh, Lord! That hurts SO BAD! I was not even allowed for it to happen in mental slow motion. Nope. Just toss and snap!
I was assisted out of the harness by another soldier, who gave me some kind of certificate, which I painfully accepted. Shook his hand. He asked me something about going to jump school. “Sure,” I groaned. Thank you, sir, may I have another? My mom had the maternal look of pride on her face. I was walking like I’d been riding a Clydesdale for a week. I grimaced for my mom, and accepted her praise. I also felt some satisfaction in the knowledge that for all those years before I had been totally correct in my fear of carnival rides even if the carny was in military uniform.
Darn! I wish I had put this story in the book. I may have to write a second edition to get this in there. But now you have read it and you will not want to buy the book. It is a pain in the rear, which is a much different type of pain than I experienced at pseudo-Jump School, to get a book formatted properly for e-Book and Kindle publishing. So I’ll think about it.
Anyway, here are a couple photographs from the book. There are other stories in the book.
Carny in Silhouette
I hope you’ll take a look the offerings on Amazon. Help a photographer-artist-writer out and maybe purchase one or both of them.