Shadowy House

Sometimes, the most interesting photo ops stare at you every day without you being aware of them.

Just outside of a small town that lies north of my current residence, there is a cluster of trees and bushes along a busy thoroughfare. On all sides are businesses, restaurants and gas stations; the sound of traffic never ceases. But the vegetation hides something from the casual driver: a sight that if it was revealed would seem not just out of place but add a flavor of desolation to an otherwise thoroughly suburban landscape.

From the depth of the undisturbed and shrouding snow, no one has been in the house for some time. And yet the windows, so far as I could see, were unbroken. Perhaps the previous inhabitants have passed on or moved away. And now, as the bustle of life and commerce continues beyond the treeline, the wind sighs through the empty rooms and halls.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/5, 1/160

Title Blog Graphic

Though the winter has nearly frozen my fingers, my hands haven’t been idle. “Gaunt Dreams,” a new eBook from The Twilit Lens is near completion. I am assembling a mailing list to keep everyone informed of the happenings here in the land of Dark Art Photography, and this eBook will be the FREE reward for everyone who signs up!

This exciting mini book is packed with tips on how to take your photography into the shadowy world of The Twilit Lens. Topics will include HDR, plastic cameras, ruin exploration and more! I have to say I’m really excited about bringing this information to you. I hope you’ll find it a welcome addition to your library.

And you can’t beat the price!

Sun Hand 1

It was magic hour, and the atmosphere was frigid to the point where I felt icy needles piercing every millimeter of exposed skin. And by the time I was done getting the right angle for this shot, my hands felt like I’d immersed them in liquid oxygen. What I wouldn’t have given for sunlight that was as warm as it was bright. It seemed fitting to grasp a light source that seemed as far away as the promise of spring.

Every so often it’s refreshing to take a shot or two that’s not only fun but challenges the traditional notion of what a camera actually is or can be. In this case I used a tripod-mounted Cybershot wi-fi lens controlled from a smartphone. Later, Topaz Labs’ “comic book” filter added a touch of surrealism back in the blessed warmth of my home.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/400

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Dam and Pipe

Ominous title, yes? You can relax, though; nothing illegal was done here. But under other circumstances, could it have been?

Allow me to explain. This shot was taken with a very high-powered Sigma zoom that resembles a telescope. I was standing on a bridge, looking at a dam in the distance. The dam and its accompanying facilities are owned by a local town, and the entire land was marked no trespassing for fear people would be injured. So to get the shot, I had to stand on a nearby bridge. Mind you, I’ve actually been confronted for using that huge lens. People honestly thought I was spying on someone!

Some of my students have asked me, “When am I allowed to take pictures?” It’s a fair question. In this post-9/11 “occupy movement” world, everyone’s so afraid of being labeled a terrorist for pursuing their passion for photography. So what is the truth?

First let me give you a link:

At the above site, you can download a handy piece to print and put in your pocket, just in case. But the short version is this:

1. If you are standing on public property, you CAN take pictures.

2. If you are standing on private property, ask permission. Their place, their rules.

3. Law enforcement can’t take away your camera or erase your data without a warrant.

4. Private individuals can’t detain you or harass you without serious legal consequences.

5. Some sensitive government buildings can forbid you to take pictures if it’s a matter of national security, and law enforcement can stop you photographing if you are close enough to potentially interfere with their duties (but you are allowed to take pictures if you’re not interfering).

6. You must respect people’s privacy when they’ve secluded themselves, even if it’s on public property.

Those are the details. If you are confronted, always remember to be respectful and polite, especially if you want to be a professional photographer. And don’t be afraid to take those pictures!

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/22, 32″

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R. C. Fountain:

A wonderful Christmas collection after my own heart! Do check out Cybele’s blog, home of a very talented photographer.

Originally posted on "There was a time" -the runes of the gatekeeper's daughter and other tales:

May the peace and joy of the season be yours -my last gasp before “Yes, it’s finally Christmas!!!  A touch of colour for Leanne and Laura’s Monochrome Madness.


2014 – My retrospect

It’s been an eventful year, full of joys and sorrow, and it’s been hard gathering my thoughts lately. Yet I have been thinking a lot which probably reflects in my posts!

I took another wonderful trip back to Scotland and Ireland, my daughter got married, I won the lottery!!   kidding! I just wanted to get your attention!  If I did win the lottery I now think or hope I would give it all away.

I have been given so much, and I have lost much. We lost Robin which has made me realize once again how fragile life is.  Yet strangely, even the losses are a gift and love is never lost.

We struggle, triumph, fail, win and…

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Gallery  —  Posted: December 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

Gun Gravestone


Would it surprise you to learn I was raised around firearms?

Richard, my father, taught me safety and respect when it came to guns. He taught me to appreciate both their danger and the art of their construction, their proper use, to never point them at anyone for any reason. I took him seriously, and so did every member of our household. So there was never any gun-related incidents in our family.

Whenever I see a gun, old or new, revolver or semi-automatic, pistol or rifle, I remember his teachings. And during a trip to Providence, I came across a ghostly site where I seemed to hear his words again.

Nowadays, of course, the only shots I take are with a shutter button. That makes this picture doubly ironic. Rusting pistols and rifle barrels of all types were embedded in a concrete column, impotently peeking out of their stony tomb, seeming to whisper of days of war.

Sometimes street photography is actually about the street, not necessarily the people in it.

Exposure Data: ISO 125, f/5, 1/100


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Stony Saint

I’ve always enjoyed anything that smacked of medieval history. When you look at gothic architecture it’s easy to imagine yourself back in the thirteenth century listening to the chanting of monks. It can seem like history lies in every stone. So I was very glad to find this saintly carved figure over the entrance to a local church. Telling a story with pictures is easy when a subject has this much character.

To maximize image quality, this shot was taken with a 50mm prime lens. Later on HDR-like effects were added using Topaz Adjust filters.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/100

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