Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the power of our words

Every once in awhile someone goes out of their way to make a significant gesture in one's life and more often than not, it seems to come at a moment when it's needed the most. Last week I received an email from a nice man named Larry. Turns out he was at the Kellicut exhibit over Father's Day weekend and he bought my "Red Rider" print, which is named after my Dad. I would like to share some of his generous words.

"... For over forty years I have been photographing on and off. But, since I retired a few years ago, I devote most my time to photography including teaching workshops. I also judge and critique work for groups. So, when I say that I was very much moved by your work - the praise comes from someone with a very critical eye. If I was judging, I would have given you first place. However, and I am sure you know, judging is highly subjective. As I write this on one monitor, I am looking at your work on the other monitor. You are by far the best photographer in your field. Your work goes far beyond the literal look of most rodeo photography - it captures the power, motion, intensity, color and feel of the sport. Your work is truly inspirational...."

I was floored. The fact that Larry took the time to write says alot about him and the power of his words is enormous. I so much appreciate that he understands, admires and validates what I do. So much so that it makes me want to work even harder. I didn't win first place, in fact I only earned an Honorable Mention, but in my mind, this email was much better. I will never forget Larry and others like him, even if I never meet him. I will also remember to keep with the spirit and always pay it forward! Thank you, Larry.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kellicut International Juried Photo Show

"It’s said a picture is worth a 1,000 words. And as with the well-composed essay, the well-composed photograph can evoke thoughts and feelings in the viewer’s mind." - Jeff Klagenberg

Each year the Michael H. Kellicutt International Juried Photo Show is presented by the Coastal Arts League Gallery and Museum at the Coastal Arts League Gallery and Museum in Half Moon Bay, California. This San Francisco Bay area group provides exposure to photographic artists from around the world.

This year’s theme, “Through a Lens: Energy, Strength or Power” is about conveying a sense of energy, a sense of strength, or a sense of power to the viewer using only an image. I thought this a good opportunity to enter some of my rodeo work. Out of a couple thousand entries from at least 8 countries, 45 were chosen to hang in the show and several more to be printed in an album for the show. I couldn't be happier that 2 of my pieces were selected to hang and a third to be printed in the book. Especially since one of the jurors is Barry Haynes who is a landscape photographer and co-author of the “Photoshop Artistry” series, of which I own all of and have learned quite a bit.

here are the two that will hang on the wall:

Red Frindge

Red Rider

and this one, Wings to Fly, will be in the book
The folks at the league have been working hard to put on a beautiful show and I'm really proud to be among these fine artists from around the world. The show runs from June 11-July 5, so if you are in the area, please stop by. Also, if you are interested at looking at the great work in the show online, click on this link.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

It was 9 years before I could go to a Rodeo and not get choked up and only 4 years ago did I pick up my camera again.
It reminds me too much of my Dad. We lost him suddenly in 1997 and not a day goes by where I don't think about him, miss him and wish he were here. But I thank God that he was my Dad for 36 years. He is the reason I do what I do. He is a big reason I am who I am.
I'll be at the Rodeo this Father's Day and I'm wondering if my camera will get used. Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there; I hope you have a wonderful day with your families. I have the utmost respect for you!

me and dad, 1985

my dad's boots

"cowboy joey"


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Everyone you talk to or know of has a friend or a family member that has had or has breast cancer. They may be a survivor themselves, like my sister-in-law, Peggy, and our friends Lisa, Carolyn and Mary Casey for whom I have enormous admiration. I would say that the awareness level of this disease is through the roof. There are many events to raise money as well as awareness. Even rodeos have "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" day. Here is a photo taken on one such day:
If you are someone like my sister, Lynn, and have participated in a "Walk" and have met folks and heard their stories, you have been completely moved by the courage and tenacity of these women. I would like to salute not only all of the survivors, their friends and families but my sister and her friends, Cherie and Carlene.
(my sister, Lynn, and her friend Carlene)

This past weekend and for many years before this one, they have gotten out there, put on fund raisers, trained for months and taken part in this marathon of 60 miles, pounding the pavement in the heat of the Chicago summer. All for the cause. In fact, they are the originators of the wearing of the crowns! Fantastic job, girls! Because of loving and caring people like you, a cure is closer each year. Lastly, I would like all of us to remember everyone who has been lost to this devastating cancer and pray for them and their families always.