Growing up in a transnational Chinese community in Southeast Asia, I was fond of community fairs, events or festivals even though individuality was lost to uniformity in a culture where every single detail was carefully choreographed. I was elated when I found out that cyclical events are held in Cookeville in tandem with seasonal changes. They would give me an opportunity to witness individuality in play in a context.
Putnam County Fair was my first fair photography and the Blues & Brews Festival was my second attempt to photograph a festival. As a naïve stranger and an inspiring photographer, I would like to tell the story of an event through the emotional and personal, so I could share it with families and friends back home. Continue reading →
I have several hobbies, but probably the most fulfilling of those hobbies is photography. I have been “taking” pictures for a long time. Over the years, photography has greatly changed. I am no longer “taking” pictures; now I am “making” pictures. Making pictures involves the initial process of obtaining the image as well as the “post processing” to take the photo to its finished form. For my post processing work on my images, I use Lightroom 4 and Photomatix Pro 4.2 software. Continue reading →
My wife and I moved to Tennessee almost three years ago. I have always wanted to see The Great Smoky Mountain National Park but just recently had the chance. Along with two friends from The Cookeville Camera Club, we finally made the trip this past early May. What a magnificent experience. The weather was perfect. It’s amazing to think that entrance to the Park is free. For someone who has never been, there is no excuse not to visit. It is an experience one will never forget. Continue reading →
Costa Rica is an amazing little country located just 10 degrees north of the equator. It is home to almost 6% of the world’s biodiversity, all contained on .03 % of the world’s land mass. The county is only about the size of West Virginia.
This tropical gem provides many opportunities for photographers. In addition to the wildlife, sunsets , and deserted beaches that I so enjoy shooting , it’s deep water port has an abundance of whale and dolphin, it has 6 active volcanos, and is known for some of the best surfing worldwide. Continue reading →
“Svalbard, Svalbard, where is Svalbard?” my friends ask when I tell them I visited Svalbard last summer. Well, Svalbard is a group of islands, an archipelago, and way north of Norway in the Arctic Ocean. It is so far north that it was the launching point for many early explorers trying to reach the North Pole. Spitsbergen is the largest island and it hosts the only towns in the archipelago, Longyearbyn and Barentsburg. The total population is less than 3,000 people. Apparently the winters are very long and brutal, not exactly a winter paradise.
Bays along the north coast of Spitsbergen served as whaling stations as early as the 1600s. By the 1800s the whale population had been decimated and the whalers turned to seals. In less than a century the seal population was decimated as well. In the early 1900s coal was discovered on the islands and mining began and continues on a small scale today. In the 1970s, after centuries of environmental neglect, Svalbard, governed by Norway, began setting aside large tracts of land as national parks and nature reserves. As a result, nearly all of Svalbard is now an arctic wildlife preserve. No more hunting and the wildlife has flourished. Even the whales are slowly making a comeback. Continue reading →
Please click on the link below to see Wanda’s presentation to the members of the Cookeville Camera Club on January 8, 2018. This educational article is full of instruction and helpful tips for photographing the Milky Way and star trails.
One stopover on the annual migration of the Sandhill Cranes has become an annual pilgrimage for many nature and wildlife
photographers. This once nearly extinct bird, with numbers as low as 50 total birds in the 1920’s, has rebounded to an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 birds, thanks in part to dedicated refuges such as the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge (HWR) in Meigs County, Tennessee. This excellent habitat for the Sandhill Cranes and other birds is a perfect stopover on their annual migration from the Canadian tundra to their traditional wintering grounds in Georgia and Florida. Sandhills are big, beautiful cranes with a unique call, known as bugling or trumpeting. You can find more information on Sandhill Cranes, and hear their calls at http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/sandhill-crane and https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/sandhill_crane/sounds.
Personally, I love travel photography. That’s my thing, and my wife, Sandy, and I have had the good fortune to visit and photograph beautiful locations both around the world and in our great country. Still, excellent photographs can be made at home, wherever you live. The secret is seeing an interesting subject and imaging how it would look in different conditions . . . ideal conditions.
For me, I like photographing just before sunrise or just after sunset, a time when most people are still asleep or eating dinner. For example, I’m sure thousands of pictures of the Cookeville Railroad Depot are taken every year, but I wanted to make an image that might look different.
Two years ago I entered a contest and won with my Hummingbird landing on a branch in my backyard. It had its tongue hanging out. It ended up in the” Natures Best Photography” Magazine in the best backyards section.
A backyard can become a very fascinating place if one looks at it from many different directions. Sometimes I move my camera while taking the picture, creating a sense of mystery and motion. Other times I print my image on cotton or blend fabric, and then add batting and quilt it. Stitching with metallic threads by machine creates another look of dimension. I use software to enhance my images at times but am still learning. I give presentations on this technique as well as other topics. Continue reading →
An effective element of good photographic composition is the use of “leading lines” which draws the eye to a specific part of the frame or center of interest. It might be a path, road or fence which winds through the frame to a vanishing point in the distance. In nature it might be a shoreline, a river or row of trees leading you to your subject in the background.
Identify your strongest lines and consider how to enhance your image by creating depth and perspective positioning those lines from the foreground to the background. Create a visual journey from one point in your image to another. Position your image so the lines lead into the frame and never out of the frame. Sometimes it’s as simple as moving yourself to change perspective and make your image more purposeful. Continue reading →