Photos of the Week And When you Feel Like You’re The Lorax

Snow has been the name of the game for the last two weeks in our neck of the woods.

First, we were hit with 22 to 24 inches a few days before Christmas.

Then it rained for 40 days and 40 nights — wait, no – it only rained for a full day and night on Christmas Eve. It just felt like 40 days. We had threats of flash floods, but in the end there was no significant flooding.

On Christmas morning we had a dusting of snow so we got our white Christmas and that night we had a flash freeze with some more snow.

Then we had an ice storm on New Year’s Day. The ice encased the trees and roads and everything in its path but I didn’t take any photos of it because I didn’t want to fall on my rear trying to get the photos.

Two days after the ice storm, we had a wet, heavy snowfall that was only supposed to bring us about four inches but ended up dumping up to 14 inches on part of our area, but not at our house. We got hit with about six inches that piled mainly on our trees and electric lines.

The snow that came on Sunday was wet and heavy and clung to the lines and trees. We were certain the lights would go out and they flickered and went off for less than 30 seconds in spurts a couple of times, but never went all the way out.

When it started the snow flakes that fell were as big as fifty cent pieces and my cat tried to catch them through the window, which was pretty funny to watch.


After we were originally told 2-4 inches, the storm stalled over our neighboring county, where my parents live. The next county’s border is literally a mile from our house, but somehow we ended up with less, which was the same with the bigger storm the week of Christmas. My parents received about eight inches when all was said and done and we probably had about six.

Apparently I have become The Lorax this winter.

During the heavier snow this past weekend and the Christmas week storm I became worried about the trees around our house because the snow was so heavy on their limbs.

On the week of Christmas the lower limbs of the pine tree that is on our neighbor’s property but is right by our driveway looked like they were about to break off.

“Should I go out there and clean that snow off?” I asked no one in particular.

And no one in particular answered me either.

“I think that snow is breaking the lower limbs.”

“Hey, Mom, look at this meme,” my son said.

So Sunday night before bed I saw ten inches of heavy snow on my little cherry tree (I actually don’t know what it is), bending it’s branches over and I said “Oh my gosh! Should I go out there and clean that off? It’s going to break it’s little branches.”

“Mom,” my son said. “It’s a tree. It’ll be fine.”

So while I felt the need to rescue the trees I didn’t (it was cold and wet, okay?) and the morning after the storm I saw one of the branches on the cherry tree had broke. I felt like I had failed my little tree. The Lorax – I mean — I, was sad, but I think the tree will make it. I think the lower limbs of the pine tree might make it as well, luckily.

On Monday morning the snow fell off the tree limbs in clumps that dissipated into a fine mist on the way down and some of that mist fell down on me when I was taking photos.

I made myself get up earlier than I might would have to try to capture photographs of the snow still on the limbs and lines, but a lot of it had fallen off already.

Luckily my husband grabbed a few photos on the way to work.

I was still able to grab a few shots before all the snow fell off.

Zooma The Wonder Dog enjoyed running along behind me as I took photos. She loves the snow and sleeps hard after a day of playing in it.

The kids also enjoyed building a snowman and a snow fort with the wet snow since the snow from two weeks ago was more like fluff.

I honestly didn’t take very many photos at all on Christmas Day, instead just enjoying the moments of our first Christmas in our new house and with my parents.

By the way, the photo below is the real life photo of the above capture of my dad reading a Christmas story about the making of ‘Silent Night’ to Little Miss. The first photo is the cute, sweet, “blog worthy” photo. The one below is the real photo of how my daughter looked much of the time during the reading because she had been too excited to sleep the night before and was super tired Christmas morning.

Photos of the week and a few extras

It was so cold and dreary here last week that we didn’t really leave the house much, which means I didn’t take a lot of photographs.
I took a few, though, and thought I would share them. Hopefully I’ll have more next week.

I decided to also add some photos I found in my Lightroom that I hadn’t edited yet. I guess you would call them some “lost gems” from the last six months. I also seem to have a black and white theme going on this week. Sometimes black and white helps me to focus on moments, as well as light and dark, more than other aspects of photography.

Also, from these photos it looks like I only have one child. I assure you that I have two, but one is 14. I think that’s all I need to say about that.

Photos from This Week

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Old/New Photos

Summer’s End in photos

In many ways, I feel like I totally missed summer. Part of the summer it was raining and part of it was humid and hot and the heat made me pretty sick and out of it. So here we are at the beginning of Fall and we didn’t do anything I had planned for the summer. We tried to cram some swimming in before the swimming season is over but one day the pool at my parents had too much chlorine and the next time it was too cold and then there was the invasion of the spiders, but I won’t go into detail about that one.

For the most part, our summer’s end was family time, construction of a shed my dad and son built over the summer and a little bit of swimming with the neighbors. And this past weekend we closed out summer with a picnic with friends. I can’t help feeling summer was a bust and flew by way too fast.

We will see how Autumn goes.DSC_0980-3_1DSC_1018DSC_1032DSC_1047-2_1DSC_1049-2DSC_1061DSC_1064-2DSC_1068-2DSC_1085-2DSC_1128-2DSC_1142-2DSC_1144-3DSC_1253DSC_1257DSC_1269DSC_1271DSC_1275DSC_1281DSC_1330DSC_1488_2DSC_1512DSC_1519DSC_1528DSC_1551DSC_1555DSC_1581DSC_1600DSC_1605-2DSC_1654-2DSC_1662DSC_1696DSC_1702-2DSC_1708DSC_1717DSC_1718DSC_1727DSC_1728DSC_1731DSC_1744DSC_1747DSC_1764DSC_1771

Capturing the real, raw moments of life through photography

We live in the day and age of scrolling through life. Scrolling through trivial information and scrolling through deep and important information. We scroll past photo after photo and thought after thought and rarely pause to truly think about what we are seeing and reading. Information slides in and falls out as quickly as it came.

We have become ghosts of ourselves.

When I first became interested in photography it wasn’t the posed, cheesy studio images that drew me in. It was the raw, real, authentic documentary photographs that weren’t technically perfect, that weren’t perfectly lit, and didn’t feature perfect expressions that lit a creative fire in me. These images tapped the brakes of a life careening ever faster forward and helped to facilitate a pause to help us focus on what was really happening in our little world or the world at large.

Images of a true, actual scene or event as it happened made me want to capture the same types of moments in the same way. In the images that I saw in magazines and books, I knew it was the moment and the feeling a person got from looking at them that mattered, not if they were edited in Photoshop with overlays or the softening brush. When I first started taking photos I had no idea what Photoshop was. I had little to no interest in digitally manipulating an image, something that some photographers, even those who call themselves “documentary photographers” do today. For me, true documentary photography means little to no alteration to the image. There are a few of my photos, therefore, that are not strict documentary, but the bulk include no changes, other than a conversion from color to black and white.

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My first camera was a film camera, an Olympus point and shoot. For the non-photographer, this means the camera didn’t feature interchangeable lenses and the back opened to load a film canister. It did feature an optical zoom lens, which, if you zoomed too far, would cause the image to pixelate severely.  I photographed mainly my friends and pets and a few vintage hats from the chest at my grandmother’s and none of it was remotely award winning. The photos weren’t even remotely interesting, but they captured people who were important to our family in everyday moments and therefore were worth more than any of the posed images other families had. My parents most likely spent thousands of dollars helping me develop film at local drugstores with very little to show for it, other than a few memories mixed in between the shots of me trying to figure out the concept of composition.

I had no idea what I was doing with the camera, to be honest. All the images were simple snapshots with very little thought to composition. I didn’t think much about composition or even know what it was. It was a photo that my dad took that sparked the idea of layering, even though I didn’t know what layering was. He photographed the daughter of a friend with the little girl standing in the foreground, eating an apple and smiling at the camera and behind her was her sister, playing in the creek down behind our house. It opened my eyes to the idea that photography didn’t have to be boring, but should instead tell a story.

I found myself fascinated by documentary photographers and photojournalists like Harry Benson, who traveled with The Beetles. I didn’t even know the name of many of the photojournalists whose work I loved, but whose photos I had seen in magazines and books.

(left to right, Harry Benson, Vivian Maier, Dorothea Lange)

I didn’t have the internet back then to learn more about the photographers whose work I had seen in history books or magazines. Yes, I’m really THAT old. But, yet not THAT old that I can’t remember when the Internet became more popular and the world of photography was suddenly at my fingertips. I can still hear the squeal of the modem connecting in our dining room.

But there was and is a downside to the internet. It invented scrolling.

Scrolling our life away and barely slowing down to learn from what is zooming by our view.

“It can be more difficult to penetrate deeply into the subject matter and really impact audiences. It’s so easy to like an Instagram photo without really digesting what it means because you’re just scrolling through it,” documentary photographer Award-winning, American photographer, Sebastian Copeland told Capture Magazine, an Australian photography magazine, in 2016. “There may be diminishing returns to the mass of communication that is being made available through social media.”
(Read more at http://www.capturemag.com.au/advice/the-power-of-documentary-photography#S2gJ8aR9lolWo6so.99)

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Writer Amanda Copp speaks about the idea of documentary photography slowing life down in the introduction to the same article Copeland was interviewed for.

“Today’s world feels like someone has slammed their foot on the accelerator and everyone is scrambling to keep up. Endless streams of information and people with limited attention spans have become the norm. Moments that slow people down in this hyper-paced world are few and far between. But documentary photography allows such moments to occur, as well as contemplation, consideration, and, maybe, action. These photographers, dedicated to documenting the world around them, gently apply the brakes on this accelerated world and capture the stories of things left behind. Many of the issues facing people and the planet today are slow and inching forward. While others are far more rapid.”
Read more at http://www.capturemag.com.au/advice/the-power-of-documentary-photography#S2gJ8aR9lolWo6so.99

I never have had the chance to travel the world to take photographs, as I once thought I would, so I’ve instead photographed my own life in the style of the photographers I loved. I never wanted to imitate them because we all see the world in our own way. I never had much of an interest in posing an image and hated when I had to do so at the newspapers I worked at – instead always asking for assignments where I could photograph the action. The action in our area wasn’t really “action.” I never photographed a protest or conflict, but an elementary school field day was always fun.

All photography is documenting something, of course, but documenting a scene as it is, as it was, and as it will always be within the frame poses a challenge for me that I enjoy as much as a portrait photographer revels in nailing the right expression.

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I’m grateful that I’ve chosen to capture the everyday moments of my family’s life and the  world as I see it through the camera lens. Looking back at images that documented a moment, instead of a pose, takes me on an emotional and visual journey that nourishes the soul like a hearty stew nourishes the belly.

For someone whose mind races around in circles most of the day, getting nowhere, documentary photography helps slow my thoughts down and almost forces me to notice the world around me, which I see as a good and welcome thing.

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Some of my favorite documentary photographers I’d encourage you to learn from and about, even if photography isn’t your chosen art form:

 

 

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Find more of my photography at www.instagram.com/lisahoweler or on my photography site: www.lisahowelerphotography.com