Touch of Lightness

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One form of meditation, for me, is taking a walk onto my deck and looking at what I find there. I “dead-headed” this rose in decline, and lay it on a stone on a work table. I had also noticed a few downy feathers scattered in a couple of planters.
Photographer’s Gold! We find pictures in what everyone else pretends is just nothing.. just stuff. We also ComBine things.

The really nice breeze had already carried off a bunch of feathers, no doubt.. or maybe even brought these to my deck. After playing with exposures short enough to let the feathers blur in the breeze, this simple story presented itself in my mind. I lost one feather after another to the breeze without catching The Moment they were wafted away. Finally, 600, or so, frames later, I pulled some spider web from dead sunflower stalks and the Tethered Feather was devised, so at Least I got a few frames before the next to last feather slipped its line and waved.. or maybe that’s just some frustrated poet in me imagining a wave.
That’s also what some photographers are, I’d say: frustrated writers.
I wish you full appreciation of light touches in your day.

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Wayne Upchurch

For years, as a “professional ogler” (a newspaper staff photographer), I simultaneously explored photography as craft/process/medium in its own right. The photojournalism work –credentials and mindset– got me into (and out of) places I would certainly never have had access to on my own. I was also practicing the discipline of getting a picture where there didn’t appear to be one and getting it Finished in a timely manner, to professional standards. I also learned to create imminently readable images despite poor reproduction in a small size. Though it took me several years to get this, the value of making photos that illustrated something already laid out in the story was suddenly Not Enough, and I began to make assignment pictures that added dimensions not already in the writing, or better Yet, raised questions so that the reader would go to the story for more answers. Having gained more than dreamt of, when starting out, I left to pursue my own personal photography, mounting exhibits along the way. I also worked with commercial photographer friends doing studio product photography, and making headshots for actors. Later, I also helmed a Public Radio “spacemusic” program, and acted in a Wilmington, NC drama company. I put the cameras away for a few years, to finish shedding the habit of self-limiting my identity as just “Photographer”, and can now pursue personal pleasure and expression through the freedom that digital imaging offers. Sharing photos on Flickr and participating locally in meetups and outings has renewed a passion for making new images and for sharing the process with others. For some time, I’ve found myself writing detailed comments on other people’s photos, as well as thoughts and pet ideas about photography, in general.

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