Hip Shots

August 15, 2016

Street Design

By Catherine Bruce

RedChairs

Sidwalk

Trollys

The “Hip Shots” series of photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly,” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method, the more frames exposed the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting — a related series that may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below.

Copyright © 2016 Catherine Bruce.

Today’s Poem

October 1, 2014
Holmes2Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1841-1935

Cacoëthes Scribendi

(An itch for scribbling.)

 If all the trees in all the woods were men,
And each and every blade of grass a pen;
If every leaf on every shrub and tree
Turned to a sheet of foolscap; every sea
Were changed to ink, and all earth’s living tribes
Had nothing else to do but act as scribes,
And for ten thousand ages, day and night,
The human race should write, and write, and write,
Till all the pens and paper were used up,
And the huge inkstand was an empty cup,
Still would the scribblers clustered round its brink
Call for more pens, more paper, and more ink.
 
Oliver Wendell Holmes
—The Oxford Book of Comic Verse
Edited by John Gross

Hip Shots

June 14, 2013

Patterns

By Catherine Bruce

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The “Hip Shots” series of Doodlemeister.com photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method, the more frames  exposed the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting — a related series that can be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own pictures, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below. Meanwhile, click the “Hip Shots” tag above for many more examples. This feature will appear most Fridays.

Copyright © 2013 Catherine Bruce.

One-Minute Memoir

June 12, 2013

Trains

In May of 1977, I was depressed about the breakup of a relationship — which, for me, was not all that unusual back then. But an abiding interest in photography became a tool that I used to, if not cure my malaise, at least divert me from my sad-sack self while I figured out if I needed to seek professional help as an individual, or sign up for cheaper group therapy sessions with an odd-ball collection of other interpersonal failures. But I digress . . .

The “train project,” as I called it — photographing vintage rail cars at the Baltimore and Ohio Train Museum in Southwest Baltimore was something I had thought about for several years. Each time I had taken my two very young sons there — I saw them every-other weekend on court-approved visits — I would think about photographing parts of the rail cars, treating the smaller sections as abstractions, isolating areas to create compositions based on the size and shape relationships of the various elements. The pipes, levers, armatures, wheels, etc., were beautiful to me. The idea was to reduce the massive machines to circles, rectangles, triangles, and so on, visually “deconstructing” the cars, so to speak. It was a post-modern photographic concept before I knew what the term meant. In this digital age it is quaint to note that back then we made our photographic images by exposing rolls of chemically treated acetate film and developing the exposed frames in solutions mixed (in my case) in a tiny dark room rigged up in the kitchen area of my three room apartment. I kept out ambient light with a thick temporary curtain.

One design trick I used to emphasize and simplify the basic shapes was high contrast, reducing the component parts to basic black and white, with only a few middle tones. To get that effect, I relied on very fast film (Tri-X), which I exposed in bright sunlight for the juicy shadows that retain good detail, and used fast shutter speeds, then printed them on high contrast paper. All the rail car shots were composed “in camera” and printed full-frame. Whether or not I managed to make “art” with my approach may of course be debated, but I have no doubt that the activity worked well for me as therapy. At the very least, it got me through a bad emotional patch and on the path to more conventional help. (Click images for larger views.)

This is an edited re-post from 12/10/08

Doodlemeister is looking for short memory pieces of up to a thousand words, on any subject, in any style — as long as it happened to you. Whatever the subject, we have a bias for the lighthearted tone, and if need-be we’ll help you to edit and/or cut your piece. If you’d like to submit a story, please contact us by leaving a comment or inquiry below.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

Hip Shots

May 31, 2013

Brooklyn

By Jo-Ann Pilardi

(Click images for larger views.)

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lzBuilding

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The “Hip Shots” series of photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly,” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method the more frames exposed, the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting — a related series that may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below.

Copyright © 2013 Jo-Ann Pilardi.

Today’s Pic

January 16, 2013

For a time during the late 1970s and early to mid ’80s, I rented condos or apartments in Ocean City, Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and invited friends and family to join me for a few days or a week. On this occasion it was raining in Rehoboth, which made it a good day to stay inside and doodle with my camera. I liked the “frames-within-a-frame” situation created by the screened-in porch, so I set up the image and waited until serendipity took over and the young lady walked into the scene. She made what had been a so-so composition something special, and I congratulated myself for being such a good —and patient — photographer. But then I noticed that I had screwed up the focus. Or, to put a positive spin on it, is it just rain drops softening the view of that girl and those edges?

Originally titled “A Day at the Beach” this is a re-post from August 11, 2008.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.

Today’s Gag

November 19, 2012

To purchase reprint and/or other rights for this cartoon, buy a framed print, or have it reproduced on T-shirts, mugs, aprons, etc., visit my archives at cartoonstock.com and jantoo.com by clicking the sidebar links.

Copyright © 2012 Jim Sizemore.