A few years ago I worked as a barista in a coffee shop. I enjoyed the work, the young people I worked with and the customers. Those customers looked to us for the start of their day or the end of their day, it was a part of their daily ritual. I’m also one of those individuals who patronizes a coffee shop on a regular basis and it can become an expensive habit. So I purchased my own expresso machine about 4 years ago. So now I have a ritual in making the morning latte or cappuccino which includes tamping the ground beans, steaming the milk, pouring the shot and marking it with the foam. And, the best part of the ritual is curling up in the lounge chair or on the couch or your porch and sipping your own warm drink.
Monthly Archives: June 2010
I took this image this past Sunday morning on my way to coffee and marked my 60th birthday. Birthdays have not been a big thing for me over the past few years, however, this one had a different feel to me. I don’t feel 60 and in my mind I don’t think of myself as turning 60. A 60th birthday seems like something still in the future, a day yet to come. But it’s here. I admit to mornings when the body lets me know of tired muscles and joints. Burning the midnight oil is a thing of the past. And, I admit to rising from my bed slower and more deliberate than in the past. But, hopefully, I’ve attained more maturity, understanding, and experience that can be passed along to those who are receptive to me. For my birthday I celebrated coffee with a friend then bought myself a Dairy Queen Blizzard: Peanut Butter Oreo. 🙂 I also upgraded to Lightroom 3 which has to make me a better photographer. Anyway I played with Topaz Adjust in this image to bring out some of colors and loved me day.
When asked how he felt about missing photographs while he reloaded his camera with film, he replied “There are no photographs while I’m reloading” – Garry Winogrand
Hope everyone has a wonderful day!
Okay, so I’m in this coffee shop near the airport in Charleston and I see these bar stools and I love their patten, and I love the color and I love the wood texture. So, my mind starts to work and envision how I want this image to come alive. I try a few frames with just the bar stools but it ain’t happening. I figure a coffee cup on the bar would help but it still ain’t happening. I change the color of the cup but again it ain’t happening. People around me are starting to worry, I can see it in their faces. They’re probably asking questions like, “What the heck is this strange guy trying to do?” or “What hospital did he escape from?” (And, let’s not tell them, okay.) I notice a mother and her daughter are just smiling at me, that feels real uncomfortable. The baristas in the coffee shop are wondering how they can get me to leave, I can see it in their eyes. Things are getting uncomfortable, so I sit back down at my table, put my camera on the table and sheepishly smile at everyone.
And then it happened. A mother and father with three children come in to enjoy a cool drink on this hot day. The children climb up on the stools and now I have the image in front of me. It’s right there! I quietly ask the father permission to take a few shots. The silly man agrees.
After taking the previous images I know what exposure I needed to use. Two frames was all I needed then some adjustments with Lightroom and Topaz Adjust to create this image. I like it. It was fun. I also liked the process of its creation. And, thankfully, no one called the cops or the hospital. Whew!
Who needs an expensive DSLR camera, three lens, eight camera bags, three filters, and a carbon tripod? 🙂 Why not pull the cell phone out of our pocket, take the photo, tweak it a bit in the iphone PS app, upload it to your blog and viola, the days post is done.
Yes, I’ve done that because I’m a photographer and when a scene presents itself we need to take the photo. This may work in a pinch but there is something about the process involved in working a scene that the above scenario falls short. I’m only talking for myself but I need the experience of looking through the viewfinder, envisioning, composing, waiting and then pressing the shutter. A photographer takes photos because they have to, just as writers write. We work through our process to create the images that move us.
“Words are important. Without them our actions lose meaning. And without meaning we cannot live. Words can offer perspective, insight, understanding, and vision. Words can bring consolation, comfort, encouragement and hope. Words can take away fear, isolation, shame, and guilt. Words can reconcile, unite, forgive, and heal. Words can bring peace and joy, inner freedom and deep gratitude. Words, in short, can carry love on their wings. A word of love can be the greatest act of love.” Henri Nouwen
How we choose our words is important in how people hear us and see us. David duChemin has an interesting rant (his word, not mine) on choosing words to describe what we create with our photographic tools. Go for it David. And, Sabrina Henry in her post on Jill’s Garden, along with some input from Ray Ketcham, talked a bit about the word inspiration and what it means to them. The words we select are vital, just as our point of view or composition within our view finders. The images we create say something to our viewers. Anyway both posts are good reads and I wanted to pass them along.
I agree with Nouwen and David and Sabrina and Ray, words are important.
“Each of us touches many lives as we go through our days. It might not be a visible connection, but a ripple that we create with what we say and do which will, as it reverberates ever outward, affect others in unseen and unintentional ways.” Faye White
How true Faye’s words are. I smile as I think of those who have touched my life. There is no doubt my family and friends have all helped in guiding and directing my journey to this point in time. I also feel this community of photographers I have met via the internet also has touched my life in many ways. Solid critiquing will always help us in a creative craft.