I have a love hate relationship with crowds of people. I love to hate them. I get anxious around large groups and begin to feel penned in as my personal space begins to shrink. I look for an escape route and a place of refuge.

I can speak with one or two people who I don’t know. Three tops. That’s when the camera comes in. It’s the perfect blind. Put a camera to your face and people stop talking to you. Sometimes, they’ll even run the other way. I’m fine with that. This feeling of discomfort is something that I think about at times when I’m shooting.

I know how to put people at ease around a camera when I want them to be relaxed. Every tutorial on portrait photography seems to want you to put your subject at ease. However, as a photographer, there are also moments when I want them to feel the same discomfort that I feel in a crowd. That’s the emotion that I sometimes want on their faces. Not all portraits are meant to be pretty. Some portraits are meant to stand out from the crowd.

Fancy Bahler and the Case of the Permanent Meh

Fancy Bahler wasn’t much of a looker. It’s not that she was homely or anything like that. It’s more that she never really liked anything that she looked at. As a result, Fancy generally wore a look of disdain every time she found herself gazing at something. Some people, I suppose, are just hard to impress.

Her husband, Bill, likes to tell his friends that there is only one occasion that Fancy failed to wear her patented unimpressed countenance and that was on their wedding night. I’ll have you know that Bill has been known to exaggerate from time to time. So, be your own judge. Look at Fancy’s face. Is that the look of a woman that’s ever seen anything that’s ever made her cry out in wonder and amazement? I rest my case.

All the Flowers Are for Me

Cincinnati Art Museum - 072817-08485

Saturday, My buddy friend and I spent the day in Cincinnati. First stop was the Museum Center where we saw a show of original Star Wars costumes. Second stop was lunch and last, but for me the best, was a stop at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Highlight of that stop was an art installation by artist Anila Quayyum Agha named All the Flowers Are for Me.

The immersive artwork was spectacular to see in person. For me, she took a simple concept, a light bulb placed in a suspended steel cube and and turned it into an amazing piece of art.

To give you a better understanding of the cube’s size, I’ve included a photo of Jim getting ready to take a photo of his own.

Cincinnati Art Museum - 072817-08483


Carriage Hill Farm2017-07692

At the farm, you don’t need to go far to find something that catches your attention. You might say that being a spectator is a regular activity. Sometimes fairly big crowds of 25 or more people will be looking on. Other times, just a quiet pair observing a quiet activity.

What do you think has caught the attention of these two? Let me know in the comments.

Migraine Thoughts

Dayton Parking Lot Wall-06224

Tonight, I sit here with a migraine wreaking havoc in my head. The pain is behind my eyes, swirling around until it reaches the top of my skull like an explosive ready to go off. On days like these, I try to think calm soothing thoughts. Clear my mind and close my eyes. A dark cool room and as little noise as possible often help, but not always.

I can’t always determine the trigger for one of my migraines, but today, I know it was the nine hours I spent with my face in a computer screen. Other triggers include yeasty foods and stress. Still, most of the time, I have no idea.

Some migraines come on quickly and surprise me. Others, I can feel coming on long before they hit. Those slow rolling migraines allow me to take medication, so that I can head them off or lessen their impact.

My migraines definitely have an impact on my life. There are times when I can push on, in spite of the pain, but other times I can’t really function. I have to lay down and hope that I can sleep and awake without pain.

That said, I am heading to bed.