Friday, August 31, 2007
"Some of these shots are amazing," he confides, "but some are just kinda nice. Not like Jim Brandenburg, where all the shots are incredible."
I'm thinking the exact same thing. "Mmm," I agree. "Art Wolfe shows the way things appear. Brandenburg shows the way they really are. Their true selves. Their secret selves."
What makes that distinction? Its the same difference as the description of someone in their alumni profile vs. a story their best friend would share about them. I'm reminded of Robert Pirsig's pursuit of "Quality" in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
That's my relentless quest when I woo the world through my lens. I want to know the world the way I want to be known. I want that lover's intimate understanding of the heart and spirit at stake, and the skill to translate that onto paper and pass it on.
A photograph-- however beautiful, however technically brilliant-- is silent without its secret story to make it sing.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Mark, a green-hearted photographer, has given his business the greatest name: Dragons and Damsels Wildlife Photography. He has great shots, in particular, of dragonflies and damselflies.
So now the fun part (rubbing hands together). This round of Creative Blogger Awards goes to:
The Film Geek, who directs me with surety through a cinematographic wilderness, slams me with eloquent truth when I least expect it, and understands that I wasn't STALKING John Cusack that day in NYC...
DC Comictician on Star Trekiology. Elvis and I dance on opposite theological extremes--I'm on fire for Jesus, he's an atheist (I assume)-- but we agree, the religious right has twisted Christianity into a poisonous political pawn (and a big fat hairy lie), and he's extremely creative expressing it.
The Wandering Wolf. His blog is sparse (and here's hoping that'll change) but his photography website is rich. And when tells you he's not creative, pull out the salt shaker.
The Cy Blog. While I prefer the old title, "Blogging for Burgers," Cy still serves up the same hilarity, good sense, investment wisdom and construction tips well-seasoned with insanity. Cy, I hope you are surviving the gigantic man-eating bears that can only be killed with advanced weaponry. Come back soon!
Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog. Chaucer and his posse don't write often but their posts are worth the wait. I hope Thomas scrounged up the "moneyes to buye a newe blakberrie (for his hath been y-swiped by the Frensshe)"
click here. And tell us the results!
Posted by Her Imperial Majesty Gypsy the Mirthful of Old Yarkhillshire.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
On another note, whoever created this video has time on his hands-- and a great sense of humor. I guess we need UFO debunkers along with galaxy identifiers, so the real UFOs don't lose credibility. Enjoy!
Me, I'm off to to check Area 51 Cam....
Sunday Kiddie Tractor Pull
Miss Jefferson County Pageant
This Gypsy's no fan of beauty pageants. But one of my most diligent horsemanship students enters the Pageant this year, with no training or experience.
"I'm tired of not doing things because they're different, or they make me nervous," she confides.
Way to go, kiddo. THAT'S reason enough for anything.
She carries herself like a queen....
My alarm and I conspire
To ambush the Eclipse
She glimpses our shadowstalking and leaps
Through an open window into the clouds
Joining the sunrise
Monday, August 27, 2007
Photos from the classes are now online.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I mosey into the green morning towards church for the first time in a month--yippee!--pausing on the way for fast food breakfast. Coffee, Dr. Pepper, coffee, Dr. Pepper... the rising heat makes the decision for me. Beelining for the soda machine, I'm stopped by a hesitant voice, and a long-lost acquaintance. I'm impressed--its been close to 7 years, and we didn't really know each other that well to begin with. I sure wouldn't have recognized her.
Sandy blogged about thin lines recently, the thin lines connecting us all. I think of them as threads. Perhaps a thread will remain single. Even so, it will add color and texture to your life. But more often than not, that single thread entwines with others to create the epic tapestries that are our lives. I don't know why this particular thread returns to the pattern just now. Far be it from me to waste time wondering when I could be weaving. We exchange contact info and head back into the day.
Afternoon and we're at the fairgrounds for the last time, striking the booth. I take some shots before Tink arrives to remember how it looked.
Amazing how we had no plan, no attachment to outcome beyond "effective", and yet from nothing, something grew and continued growing. That something was home base for a whole week and worked better than anything we could have planned. This is the way life works, yet my astonishment and delight in that truth never cease.
In less than 2 hours the trucks are loaded. The nearly-empty building echoes with finality. And with that, life returns to normal. Whatever that means!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I am beyond exhausted. My ears still ring from tractors/ monster trucks/ lawnmowers/ antique engines/etc. I've snuck into places I shouldn't be, had conversations I should've already had, reveled in moments that will only magnify, and wished I'd jimmied open more doors to walk through. I've hung with bullriders and politicians and politicians who are bullriders. My alarum clock has thrown its hands up in disgust and walked out on the job in frustration as many times as I would've gladly thrown temper tantrums if I'd had an ounce of energy. Well over 2000 pictures patiently wait for review and uploading.
We've gone through days of chill and rain, we've pushed 100 and swum in outrageous humidity, today we pulled through the likes of a tornado.
I've been fantasizing about pitching a tent in some wilderness--the only soul for miles.
...Yet tonight there's a lump in my throat as I leave--is this ALL?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I meander down to the Kiddie Tractor Pull, which is always a hoot. The kids ride a pedal tractor hooked to an itty-bitty stoneboat, which increases the weight as the kids forge ahead. Everyone gets really into it, and it makes for great photo fodder.
All the same, nothing much is going on tonight. I'm really dragging, and thinking the highest and best use of a slow evening is editing pictures and catching up on sleep.
As I head back to the car, the band starts up. It's a ticketed show, and I really don't feel that kind of commitment. I pull a few shots from afar, then move in closer. No one stops me, so I pull a few more, and go into the wings of the grandstand. No one stops me so I scamper into a primo spot in the covered grandstand.
The band is Poverty Neck Hillbillies, and boy, do they love their audience. The lead singer mills through the stands, working the crowd, then calls their devoted fans into the quagmire in front of the grandstand. Heck with commitment--in a heartbeat I'm down on the stage and the drummer is grinning into my camera.
Slow morning, and much needed, that. I’m editing pictures and exchanging pleasantries with passers-by. Some folks are shocked into flight when I say “good morning.” Their eyes explode with that deer-in-the-headlights look and they spook towards the door. Others leap at the chance for conversation. Exhibitors I’ve befriended over the last few days pop in to say hi. The attorney general stops in to talk about future photography projects.
In the meantime, I'm slowly but surely getting Fair Pictures online.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Today marks the beginning of the County Fair. This year I actually decide to enter some photos in the exhibition, and then super-size that idea to having a booth. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, so please send positive thoughts (profitable ones too ;-) and any useful suggestions! And if you're in the area, come join the hilarity.
Life being as it is (and as long-distance as it's been) I'm shooting this baby from the hip, in the 11th hour. I've mapped out the framework in my mind, we'll let the details evolve with a life of their own. It's much more interesting that way.
And life is what it's all about. When I was initially weighing the pros and cons I was clear I wanted to avoid the traditional "art show" business model both now and in the future. What lights me up about photography is reflecting the surprise, the emotion, the sheer motion of life itself: stories, relationships, beauty, adventure, awe, miracles. Or, to paraphrase Anonymous in my header, "celebrating without cease this lively earth."
Even today, life is happening. I pick up my prints and swing by Tink's for her input on the final entries. Tink, Mouse, Grandma and I are soon working like a well-oiled machine and get the prints chosen, framed, wired, and deliver with two whole minutes to spare before the deadline. We then discover there was a typo in the email, and instead of booth space being open for setup by tomorrow at 1, they must be complete by then.
The Adventure accelerates, with laughter and lumberjack songs and a limbo contest in the aisle of Home Depot. I can't wait to see where it leads.
Mouse is our first prize winner, beating out the competition (all adults--her Uberlove Applesause Praline Cake was so amazing the judges couldn't believe it was made by an 11-year old) to clinch second place.
WAY TO GO, MOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(And thanks for sharing the leftovers ;-)
Truth be told, I just relate to anyone who states "love, family, and Rick James' "Superfreak" are powerful forces for happiness."
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
We play back and forth. One verse grows to fit last night's sunset.
Check it out--and join in!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Cocktails and conversation. It matters not where we gather, in my family the world pauses for Sunset.
I snap a few pictures from the porch. "Discovery Channel has a tv show called Sunset Earth," I inform everyone. "They go around the world and film sunsets in amazing places...."
"Sounds like a tough job," Uncle Zeke comments.
"Mmmm," I agree, "but I think I could handle it!"
"So what do they do?" asks brother Mac. "Just show a half hour of the sun setting?"
"Heck if I know. I don't have TV!"
Laughing gleefully at the absolute success of their surprise, my brother and his girlfriend tumble out of the Jetta.
Whoever says animals can't talk must not have ears to hear.
To my delight, AdSense feeds me a link to plans to build a vardo-knock-off. As I babysit uploading photos, I follow its lead around the web.
Add another project to the list!
web photos Gypsy wagons caravans vardos
And several Everest-scaled projects looming ahead, demanding consideration and completion in the immediate future.
I'll backpost stories and pictures as I can. In the name of chronological coherency, I'm posting as things actually occurred. Look for new posts around 7-15 July and 1-12 Aug. I promise completion by New Years!
In the meantime, some of the Pennsic Pictures are up on the SmugMug site at www.thelaughinggypsy.com. Enjoy!
Writing in Faith is my first choice for the Thinking Blogger Award in the neither-linked-nor-yet-received category. In Sandy's own words, it is "an eclectic blog looking at current events, arts and literature, people, and graffiti." I have yet to delve deeply, but already her depth of thought, her search for connection and meaning, and her love of creativity are apparent. I also love the graffiti shots around New Haven, which was my closest "civilization" growing up. I look forward to more!
The rules of the Thinking Blogger Award, as bestowed by Jackie Lantern, can be found here.
Monday, August 13, 2007
It's great to be home!
Suddenly, John Denver gives voice to the deeper place in my heart:
"Country roads, take me home, to the place where I belong... West Virginia!"
Singing at the top of my lungs, I rocket out of New England and west into the hills.
I keep AdSense around for the sheer entertainment value of AdSense Roulette. What will they put on the blog today? I've had ads for Gypsy horses, Bigfoot, tablewear, and West Virginia real estate, all in the same block of 4 ads. But I can at least get how Google came up with the relevance from the content of my posts, as far-fetched as some might be.
So where did the ad for bl@ck mag!c l0ve spe!!s come from???? I'm a Christian, I go straight to the Source to get things done. MUCH more powerful and efficient, and none of the icky side effects. Plus, most of the time I'm trying to work the OPPOSITE of a l0ve spe!!.
Google claims they have some fancy-pants uber-tech algorithm. I think its a pack of blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at random categories. Let's see what they come up with for THOSE keywords!
Thursday, August 9, 2007
My "Thank You" song to Sueva hatches as we ride the spine-rattling wagon down the battlefield hill....
To the tune of "Lola"
I met her at a meeting out in Shepherdstown
Where everybody, they were talking and just hanging around
Except for Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
She seemed really friendly and we started to talk
She introduced me to Clovis, who’s her personal stick jock
Oh my Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
Now I'm not the world's most physical wench
But she's got me luggin' ice and now I'm diggin' a trench
For my Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
Now I'm not dumb but I can't understand
Why she dress European but she play Mongolian
THat's my Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
Well we drank orange seltzer and danced at noon
Under a rockin’ middle eastern tune
She’d go along with all my scheming but she told me bold,
“You’ll never catch me goin’ skyclad at the classic swimming hole!”
Well I might be the world’s most curious girl
So we crammed 2 weeks of war into a 3-day swirl
A swirl with Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
We chased down the bus
We ate our falafel
She started feeling awful
We rode on the wagon
And I looked at her and she guzzled down her flagon
When the time came to move on I just wanted to stay
And run amuck all over Pennsic til the very last day
Amuck with Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
Join bardic circles round the campfires blazing in the night
Chasing photos in the sunshine cause "it's all about the light!"
Camping with Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
I'd Left home just a few days before
And I'd never ever been to Pennsic before
Sueva smiled and let me drag her around
And stuff pamphlets in her bag from all the merchants in town
Now I'm flying down the highway cause I just can't sit still
But a piece of my heart is left up there on Horde Hill
And so is Sueva Sua-Sua-Sua-Sua-Sueva
This is my first attempt at blogging via email. Here at Shirley's, the homemade maple syrup runs fast and we're grateful the internet runs at all. Dealing with Blogger sends Shirley's provider into a dither. I leave tomorrow, before the session ends, to head up to for a beloved cousin's wedding and on to see my dad and step-mom, but if this email posting is simple and fast, we've got solution for the future.
Prepare to launch....
Almost Heaven Horse Source