Buoy 5 is a the result of a strange sight that greeted us during a morning walk on a storm-beaten beach. The thunderous storms and swelling waves produced an eerie calm on that beach the next morning. It is the best moment to comb the beach for flotsam and any new shiny shells washed up in the turbulent waters.
There are all sorts of strange things to find on a beach after storms. The waves pond the shore and when there is a high tide during the downpour of wind and rain it only increases the currents and leaves all kinds of exciting treasures to find.
Naturally, our surprise was enormous when we found this navigation buoy just sitting on its side. I can only guess the power the current would need to rip one of these things from its mooring. In fact you can see the rest of the mooring structure and cable at the bottom of the buoy itself.
Honestly, the entire event reminded me of stories I heard about beaches in WWII. The British Army had a special group of people designated to watch and comb the mud flats and beaches every morning looking for lost sea mines and other wreckage.
Fortunately, the navigation buoy was the most exciting thing to occur that morning. We did find a number of very nice shells, some shark teeth, about 20 dead mangled jellyfish, and even 2 dead parrotfish. But by far the capture of the morning was Buoy 5. After all does anyone really want a picture of a dead smelly parrotfish?
The potential of the photographic art you own to tell others about you is directly related to the feeling you first had when you saw it for the 1st time. If you have bought art because you admire it and you are happy to share that work with anyone who comes in your home, then both you and your art are living up to it’s ability to express your personality.
When I play a little game in my head called “Would I own it?” I’m actually thinking about what I see very carefully. See, in this mind game you ask yourself “Do I like it?” In other words, regardless of who made it, would I want that art hanging or displayed in my home.
If you’d like to play this game, the following rules and questions need to apply.
1. Ignore the price. In fact, Don’t look at the price tag.
2. Is that piece art? Does that piece of artwork match your personal definition of what art looks like?
3. Do I like it?
4. Would I display it in my home? Office? Should I give it to someone as a gift? Do I know someone who would like this piece?
5. Take about 10-15 sec. per work to answer those questions. It will quickly help you discover what styles and periods you like in art and decoration and what you don’t. I’ve learned I like Southwest art a lot, but I steer clear of Warhol type displays.
You will learn about what you like and don’t like in art. You may even catch the collecting bug and become an art collector. In the end, your personal preference does matter in what you display at work, home, or even give to your friends and family.
When I think of a collage, I think of those messy projects in school where you had to cut out pictures in magazines and paste them together. The real challenge was not getting the rubber cement on your clothes and not getting high off of the fumes. Of course, decorative collages are a different story all together. A collage of framed art or pictures can really draw the eye to that part of the room thus serving as a focal point or a wonderful highlight to an otherwise drab wall.
Some of the basic tips when putting together a collage are:
Make sure your pictures are the right size. A nice combination of large, medium and some small pictures will work wonders for your style. If you have too many pictures, or too many large pictures it will make the wall seem cluttered. The same principle applies for small pictures, 2 or 3 small pictures on a huge wall will make them seem like a wasted effort.
Identify what themes you want to display. Once you decide stick to that theme. If you want black and white seascapes, then you should make sure all of your seascape pictures are black and white. You can display black and white pictures with color pictures just make sure that your theme displays uniformly. 6 black and white pictures and a single color picture may look strange .
Make sure your frames are very similar to each other. While the sizes of your frames will vary, you want to have frames that are the same color or material. Also, work with the same color matting. You want your pictures to do the talking, not a plethora of different framing styles and colors. Those differences in frames and matting will rob the visual harmony of the collage and just make it look disorganized.
Have a plan for your collage before you start hanging the pictures. Avoid putting holes in your walls for the hanger and discovering you have to move the pictures because they don’t fit. If you don’t like the way your collage looks, change it.
Use a level, string, or chalk line to keep your pictures straight. Pictures in a collage that are not centered on each other way not be a visual issue but if the display is hanging at different angles, the results are disappointing.
Collages will add a wonderful visual impact to your wall. They can easily highlight fine furniture in the room or they can simply give a spatial impact to a blank and boring wall.
If the light source of a room is from windows or a skylight, your decorating design will need to be different from a dark hallway or windowless room. Lighting is the lifeblood of any art. Why? Color.
Different levels and types of light can influence the color of a displayed picture. What does the room look like during the daytime hours? Are you positioning your artwork to take advantage of the light sources or colors that attract the eye? The pictures above are of the same piece of plastic under a different type of lighting to give you a sense of how dramatic the change in color is. Use this to your advantage when placing your art.
The 5 Issues :
1. Non-direct natural light is best. If the light source is from a series of windows, diffuse any excess light with window dressings like shears or draperies.
2. Avoid direct sunlight. It will wash out all colors and eventually ruin photographs and other fine arts.
3. Avoid fluorescents when possible. These give off harsh light and gives things a different color tint. Further, many people report having migraines if subjected to fluorescents for an extended length of time.
4. Be careful with halogen spotlights. Not only are they bright but also halogens spotlights are known to give off heat. They are useable, but keep them away from any fabrics, drapes, or photographs.
5. Be careful with soft white or yellow colors. Yellow lights are, well, yellow. They offer a wonderful mellow warming effect against cool colors like blue. However, too much yellow will change the color.
All lights have their uses. It is impossible to say that you should use only this type or that type of light every time. Determining the effect that you want the lighting to have in a room before hand will aid you in choosing the types of lighting that will go best for your situation.
Security of yourself and your camera is very important when traveling. No one likes to have a job assignment or vacation ruined because of a thief. Here are 5 steps that might help the next time your out-of-town.
1. You are not going to blend in. Don’t try to fit in but don’t try to stand out either. The locals already know you don’t belong, but you should not aggravate that situation. The only place a person with expensive cameras and big telephoto lenses blend in is a sporting event. If you find that you need to travel to a less than savory area of a city or country, hire a local guide or a local photographer as your second shooter or security. Do not go alone. The locals will know where it is safe to visit.
2. Hotels are vulnerable when the maid is cleaning your room. It’s usually not the maid or hotel staff you have to worry about. A well dressed person can simply walk into your hotel room while the maid is there and claim they forgot something. Wham! You just got robbed. Use the hotel vault or use the safe in your room to protect things. You could also lock your bags with a chain around a bedpost or the dresser.
3. Make sure to zip your bags closed. The easiest way to do this is just to lock you bags with a small travel lock. When walking around with a backpack, this can prevent pickpockets from accessing your things easily.
4. When you’re in the local environment the type of bag you use for your equipment is important. A major rule is less is more. Remember you are a photographing “tourist”, not a pack llama. Several photographers use hunting or fishing vests that have several deep pockets and carry things like UV lenses and cleaners. Backpacks are great but you have to take them off to get anything. A sling bag worn across the body is better. It’s easy to carry the bag in front of you if you need access to the bag.
5. Remember that no camera or personal equipment is ever worth your life. Equipment is replaceable, hopefully you aren’t. That is what insurance companies are for. Get insurance, either a travel policy or a separate business policy. If you are traveling internationally, keep a list of phone numbers for your countries embassy or consulate in case something happens. If something bad happens, speaking to a person who speaks your language fluently will make all the difference in what happens next.
Most of all, just use common sense. Real life is not a scripted reality TV show. Respect the laws, customs, and any police or security officers with large automatic weapons. Be safe.