Perry Cuskey

New Peabody Fan

17 posts in this topic

Here's a picture that Jim sent me of his great-grandnephew, Bailey, from their visit to the park during last week's anniversary. As you can see, Colonel Peabody has picked up a new fan. :)

5615148132_f0575ba491.jpg

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Unfortunately, that was one of my better photos.  And people wonder why I don't take more.  I do, and then I hid the ones I don't delete.

Jim

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Practice makes perfect Jim! I have been practicing all day. Found out Shiloh has an aversion to the big equestrian monuments at Gettysburg. She has never reacted to monuments at Antietam at all.

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"Practice makes perfect Jim!"  I tried to learn 5 different musical instruments at various times in my youth with no success.  I tried 6th grade art.  I was pleasantly surprised when I got a C.  At the end of the year, the teacher asked if I was going to take it next year.  I told her I didn't think I had a knack for it and probably didn't deserve the grade she gave me.  She said I earned it by giving it my best try and it would probably be best if I didn't pursue it any further.  First time I saw real relief in an adult's eyes.  After getting a couple of pics out of a 36 picture roll of film in my Dad's 35mm, I knew that wasn't my future.  And then digital arrived.  Just made the photo challenged amongst us.  For a while I'd come home with 274 pics, of which 3 or 4 were salvageable with photoshop.  Then I'd talk with people who were at the same event and realized I'd missed 1/2 of it by concentrating on trying to make a picture come out to be what I was seeing.  I've come to the conclusion that some people are here to create art and some are here to appreciate it.  While no amount of practice can overcome a lack of a creative gene, I'm seem to be getting better at enjoying the creations of others.

Jim

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Jim: I thought that was what point and shoot was all about.

Oh well off for another day of shooting at the burg in PA. Will be on the lookout for interesting artillery pieces. :)

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Sharon, (heavy sigh), so did I.  If the developer would have done an operational check with me, I could have pointed out the hidden flaws.

Jim

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Jim, I know what you mean about trying to make a picture come out the way you're seeing it 'live.' I've been frustrated by that a lot, and I know we're not alone. We have an army of folks for company. Cameras don't 'see' the same way we do, mainly because they don't have that selective focus thing working for them the way our eyes do. Getting them to comply can sometimes seem like trying to get an army mule to budge. Or so it can feel like.

I suspect you're harder on yourself than you should be though. I think even the best photographers end up tossing out a lot more pictures than they keep. I know I sure do, and my name isn't on any "best photographers" list.

Besides, I like pictures that tell a story, and your shot of Bailey above tells a story. Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

Perry

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I concur with you Perry that the camera does not see what I see or pass on the same info to the sensor that my eyes pass to my brain. I spent two days trying to get my camera to record large equestrian statues exactly like my eyes saw them but alas to no avail. That is tricky business & I came home unsatisfied with the results. I know what causes the problem but have not figured out how to best remedy it. I am not sure it can be remedied.

Maybe like many things it is the quest for the perfect picture that keeps me going back for more.

PS: Do not know if you all heard but the Pennsylvania Gaming Board voted down the casino at Gettysburg so that is a good thing.

In many ways we all should be glad we have military parks like Shiloh and Antietam that for various reasons are a little off the beaten path. Gettysburg seems to be the tour bus haven of the world & if I think it is bad now I cannot even imagine what summer must bring.

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I did once take a photo that I actually thought was pretty decent, but it was taken almost by accident.  I once had a pair of turkey vultures nesting across the river from me and spent the spring trying to sneak up on them for a pic.  After another evening of not even getting close enough to to see them, I was crossing the bridge and this full moon rising caught my attention.

Jim

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Great photo, Jim. Whenever you're feeling down about your photography efforts, read this...

"I had been photographing in the Chama Valley , north of Santa Fe . I made a few passable negatives that day and had several exasperating trials with subjects that would not bend to visualization. The most discouraging effort was a rather handsome cottonwood stump near the Chama River. I saw my desired image quite clearly, but due to unmanageable intrusions and mergers of forms in the subject my efforts finally foundered, and I decided it was time to return to Santa Fe . It is hard to accept defeat, especially when a possible fine image is concerned. But defeat comes occasionally to all photographers..."

Those are the words of Ansel Adams, describing his day of shooting on October 31, 1941. On his way back to Santa Fe that afternoon, a scene caught his eye, much like Jim's terrific photo above. He stopped his car, jumped out and set up his camera. He couldn't find his light meter, so he guessed at the exposure and took a picture. The result was Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, which is arguably the most famous and sought-after fine art photograph in history.

Keep shooting. Don't let anyone (not even your family--especially not your family) see the ones you don't like. One afternoon in January, I shot 170 pictures of eagles to get one that I thought was passable. I've worked with accomplished professional photographers who would shoot a dozen rolls of film to get half a dozen pics that were good enough to let anyone see. Keep shooting. Keep shooting. Keep shooting.

John

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Thanks John.  I have a feeling that the ones Ansel considered throw aways, I would consider as my keepers.  Best thing about taking photos is that their main job is to help one remember a point in time. 

Jim

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Wow, Jim, that is a great picture!

I'll second John's excellent advice about keep shooting. Even though I don't follow it myself very much these last few years, but I'm very good at handing out advice that I don't follow! But it's still great advice.

If you do a search for the name of that Ansel Adams photo that John mentioned, you'll find it pretty easily. It's a really beautiful shot. I read a story once about it that his son either wrote or passed along to someone else, I can't remember. But from what I recall, his son was with him at the time, and told about how his father was trying to hurry up and get the shot composed and taken before the light disappeared. It's a great story because it has that element of serendipity to it.

Some of my favorite shots have come about somewhat by accident like that as well. Even though I'm darn sure no Ansel Adams. But a few of my favorite shots at Shiloh that I've taken in recent years were kind of lucky accidents. Being in the right place at the right time, but not really looking for the picture that I ended up taking.

Several years ago on a visit to Yellowstone, I was out by the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone early one morning to take some sunrise pictures over the canyon. I was trying to compose one shot in particular of the light reflecting off some clouds. It would have been a pretty picture, but probably nothing out of the ordinary, truth be told. All of a sudden, as I'm looking through the viewfinder, a hawk that had been circling around the area soared right into the picture that I was setting up. I instantly snapped the shutter. Didn't even have time to think about it, just clicked. The result was the best picture I took that entire trip, and still rates as one of my favorites. I never did get to thank that hawk. :)

The thing is, you just never know. You go out looking for one kind of picture, and you end up with something else, and it ends up being even better than what you were after. Like a great big beautiful moon over top of the trees while you're stalking turkey vultures.

Perry

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Jim

What a great photo! Thanks for posting it. I would give it a 9 on a scale of 10. Of course, only my grandkids get 10s.

Grandpa

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Thanks Grandpa.  Far be it for me to take the place of Grandkids. A 9 is more than I'd ever hope for.

Jim 

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