Monday, December 6, 2021

Book Cover

I was thrilled to receive notice of a royalty payment recently. I supply images to a company for book covers, which is a very simple process after going through the initial application. I upload images online...the company decides whether to accept them or not...if accepted, the images are included in their library...I get paid if someone purchases them. In my case, this is not a "get rich quick" plan...lol.

I haven't found an image online for the actual book cover, but here is the image that was purchased:

book-cover-Isabel-Allende-image-by-Sara-Harley
The image will be used on a book by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende... El plan infinito (The Infinite Plan) originally published in 1991. There are many, many editions online and I'm not sure what country this will be published in. Hopefully someday I'll be able to track down an image of the actual book cover.

Here is the summary of the book from the website of Isabel Allende: A saga of one man’s search for love and his struggle to come to terms with a childhood of poverty and neglect, The Infinite Plan is Isabel Allende’s first novel to be set in the United States and to portray American characters.

Gregory Reeves’ father is a self-styled preacher who wanders the American West with his family in a caravan during the 1940s, preaching “The Infinite Plan,” a divine vision of the meaning of life and the nature of the universe. But when the preacher falls ill, the family abandons its nomadic ways and settles in a Hispanic barrio of Los Angeles. Gregory begins a new life in a Spanish-speaking world: school (for the first time), gangs, sex, books and ideas, and work. As he explores the mysterious world of the barrio, he meets the people who will shape his future, among them Pedro and Inmaculada Morales, who become his surrogate parents and provide him with the love and security his own family cannot give him; Carmen Morales, their daughter and Gregory’s friend for life, who grows up to be an earthy woman who teaches him about love as well as friendship; Juan José Morales, their son and Gregory’s buddy, whose experience in Vietnam will change the course of his family’s and Gregory’s lives; and Cyrus, the old Communist intellectual who feeds Gregory books and inspires him with a passion for social justice.

As Gregory’s story unfolds, we follow his struggle to survive—persecution by gangs in the barrio, the horrors of the war in Vietnam—and to be successful. After his return from Vietnam, Gregory becomes a lawyer in San Francisco, where he pursues money and possessions, looks for love with the wrong women, parties, abuses alcohol, neglects his children, and loses himself in an illusory and wrongheaded quest. Eventually, after many false turns, Gregory’s search for love and for his soul brings him full circle back to his roots and to a new life.

Original image (unedited): 

original photo file

 


Monday, November 29, 2021

Rfotofolio Selections 2021 - Merit Award

I am proud to say that my work has been chosen for the Merit Awards as part of the Rfotofolio Selections for 2021. Photographers were asked to submit a portfolio of 7 images, along with an artist statement.

The portfolio I entered:

The image featured by Rfotofolio:

The Gathering

My statement:

I create composite digital images using my own photography, curating various series that emphasize emotional healing. I enjoy the freedom and individualism of creating conceptual art, images that are based in reality with my own photography, but developed from my own imagination. Minimalist and surreal, frequently using my love of birds and nature, my creations often illustrate feelings we seldom discuss.

Over the past two years, our changed world has caused a myriad of emotions about the importance of home and family, which has led me to explore the concept of haven. The dichotomy between the safety of our own environment and the threat of the unknown from without has contributed to increased levels of social anxiety  Whether based in reality, or perceived, the situation has challenged us to examine our thoughts and ourselves.

What makes us feel safe? Where do we take comfort? The answers are sometimes surprising.

What is Rfotofolio? From their website:

Rfotofolio was founded in 2012 by Connie and Jerry Rosenthal as a way to build a photographic community,  to give photographers access to a larger audience, and to educate the viewing public about the diversity found in photography through our sites, exhibitions, interviews, and articles.

In 2014 Rfotofolio became a non-profit, 501( c )(3) organization and in 2015 established the Rfotofolio Grant.

To learn more about our grants please visit the Grants and Awards page.

Rfotofolio supports the work of photographers by awarding the Rfotofolio grant once a year to a photographer working to continue their photographic endeavors.

Our Mission

  • To build a photographic community.
  • To provide a positive forum.
  • To give photographers access to a larger audience.
  • To curate, and promote brick and mortar exhibitions.
  • To provide an educational and inspirational community for photographers and collectors through our meetings and forums.
  • To nurture the art of the printed photograph.
  • To establish forums to promote the craft of photography.
  • To sustain, maintain and grow the exposure of the photography through our websites, exhibits, and publications.
  • To award the Rfotofolio Grant.
  • To Award the Denis Roussel Award.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sara's Garden Project

I have a few hobbies aside from photography, and one of my loves is gardening. I enjoy the little miracles I see every day when I'm walking around admiring the beauty. I tend to enjoy flower gardening a lot more than working with vegetables. I do enjoy pulling something fresh from the garden and eating it, but I have never been one for working in the kitchen and the thought of all the work involved with preparing things for long term enjoyment does not appeal to me one bit.

Back to the garden...in May I was digging up some weeds and out popped this little gem...


...a miniature oak tree :)  After much admiration, and going to the house for a camera to take a portrait, I replanted this mighty oak in the woods behind our house. I checked on it throughout the summer and it seems to be doing well so far.

Taking that photograph got me thinking that I should try to take portraits of everything in my garden. That thought led to taking flower portraits in situ with my professional set up (insert laughter here):

which turned into portraits like this:

or these (set up with a piece of white bristol board instead of black):


Then I decided it would be easier to pick some and take them indoors to photograph:

These were seed heads I had saved from the previous fall to photograph "sometime"



And then I tried to get artsy and creative in different ways:








The great thing about this project is that it can go on forever. I am nowhere near done photographing all the things in the garden....and not even close to scratching the surface on the creative side.

When other photographers tell me they can't find anything to take photos of, it always gives me pause. I have never had that problem, but I guess there is that expression...simple minds are easily amused :)

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Showing your work

Groundless
 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I sometimes struggle with the question: how do I want to share my work?

This year I have shown my work in two solo exhibits and two group exhibits...all local venues within the province. Earlier this summer I decided to try something different and I answered an international call for a photography exhibit with the theme "Water". A Smith Gallery is located in Texas, and the exhibit was curated by Doug Beasley, co-editor of Shots Magazine.

I received notice in August that one of my images was accepted (Groundless - pictured above). There were 930 submissions and 55 of them were selected for exhibit, so I felt quite honoured. The exhibit opened on September 10th and runs until October 31st. A virtual walk through was held on September 25th, and Groundless is shown in the photos below, images that I received from the gallery owners:




As far as I know, there are no galleries in Canada that charge for submitting your work for a juried exhibit. Usually there are restrictions regarding the number of images you can submit for consideration. However, galleries in the United States seem to run differently. This particular exhibit cost $38 (US funds) for 5 entries.

So why pay to enter when there is no guarantee of being selected? Good question. 

In addition to the entry fee, if you are successful and you don't live in the area, you need to send in your framed image or pay for the gallery to print your image and rent a frame. Due to the cost of mailing a framed image, as well as the unreliability of mailing across the border, I decided to have the gallery print and frame my image. (a cost of $35 US)  

So by this time I have invested $73 US ($92.36 at today's exchange rate).  Although it's great to be able to put an international exhibit on my resumé, I really can't think of a reason to continue with this method of showing my work.

I would have loved the opportunity to meet with the other photographers by zoom and listen to everyone talk briefly about their work...that would have been a great experience. Otherwise, I can't think of a benefit to pay $100 to participate in an exhibit. Now....if my image sells I might change my mind about that. But I won't hold my breath for that to happen...lol.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Why do I create?

 

The Gift


Last year I was determined to add colour into my image making. This was a result of someone telling me that they found my images to be depressing since they were often black and white, or very muted, as well as minimal. 

So I involved myself in a few projects to get some colour into my photographic life.  I worked at these projects and started thinking...YES, I can do this! I can create with colour! And then somewhere along the way I realized that YES! I can create with colour! I can be an image maximalist! But you know what....I don't want to! 

Minimalism, subtle colour, high contrast black and white images. These are images I enjoy looking at, and these are the images I want to create, images that move me.

I love creating images and am lucky enough that I enjoy doing this in many ways. I enjoy discovering something with my eyes and capturing it with a camera. The technical aspect is not important to me. I could use a phone camera, a point and shoot, or my "good" camera. 

I also enjoy creating composited images on my computer by taking elements from several different photographs and creating something new that comes from my imagination. I have a vast library of photographs I've taken over the years...strange things that I captured without knowing why. Now I have a way to use all those elements to create something new, and I love it. I love creating something that no one else will ever be able to create because they don't have my library...and they don't have the same vision as me.

I belong to a photography club, and I have been told so many times that what I do is not photography. Why does everything need a label? Why can't I make the images I want to make without other people telling me that it doesn't fit into their notion of photography? I'm not entering into competitions with these images...I'm just creating images that I enjoy making.

Struggling artistically is something I do now and then. I go through this phase every so often when I want to throw up my hands, pull everything off social media, and beat a hasty retreat from the public eye. But I do feel the need to share my work in some way, so the question is...how should that be done? Something to ponder.

The bulletin board above my desk is filled with printed images that I have created this year. I think they are good. I think they are leaps and bounds over the images I exhibited at a gallery in January...work I created in 2019 and 2020. 

Maybe I'll share them someday. But maybe it's okay just to have them on a bulletin board for me to see.