Monday, February 25, 2019

Differentiation Book

Differentiation by Sara Harley
Differentiation by Sara Harley

Throughout 2018 I continued my exploration of emotional healing through photography and verse. I have posted about many of the images as I created them throughout the year.

I am a believer that it's important to print your images and one of my favourite ways to do that is in book format. Formalizing a series, and putting it together in one place, finishes off a project in a way that nothing else can.

I didn't publish a precious photo book, but instead chose a trade book format. This 5x8 inch book contains 60 pages of images and corresponding verse, with descriptions of how my images were created. 

Ranging from devastation through rejuvenation, many emotions are explored and expressed.


Friday, February 22, 2019

Window View

Window View by Sara Harley
Window View

brick by brick
I have built
these walls
offering a glimpse
for those willing
to see

I created this image & verse last year, part of the series I called "Differentiation". (more on this series below)

Our photo club is having a group exhibit this  April. I think I will be showing this image as my contribution. As part of the submission, I am required to write a 100 word (maximum) "story" about the image.

As I ponder just what exactly to write about, I gave some thought to why I find windows so intriguing.  

Several years ago I took a creative photography course. This involved assignments and we had to take in two printed images for evaluation during every session. After a few sessions, another participant turned to me and said "you have a thing for windows". Well, yes I do. I spent many years recycling old wooden windows, adding stained glass, and selling them. Now I just take photographs of windows that I find interesting.

But there is something more about this image that I need to find the words to describe.  I have to send in my "story" by March 9th.

Does the image say anything to you?

To create the final image, I removed objects from the two side windows and took away reflections of hydro wires. I also added a subtle texture layer which you can see in the windows if you look closely. Here is the original photograph:
original photograph

About Differentiation:

Differentiation is the series I created in 2018 and continues the theme of emotional healing by creating photographic art paired with verse. There are over 30 images in this series, varying from dark and brooding to light and inspirational. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Colour My World

Colour My World by Sara Harley
Colour My World
I mentioned in an earlier post that it is a goal of mine this year to intentionally create positive images. In the past couple of years I have leaned toward a monochrome, minimalistic world with my photography.

So...I looked back in my files and did a bit of playing to create the "Colour My World" image above. This photograph from a few years ago is where I started:
original photograph
This is a self portrait taken on Hirtle's Beach in Nova Scotia. I used a tripod and a timer set to take ten photographs. As you can see by the image, I didn't have the tripod set up quite right and my dog Riley managed to photo bomb all the photos. It was a dull day and the images didn't live up to the vision in my mind. I wanted to create a sense of freedom and joy with the wind blown scarves. And...I forgot to take off my Blundstones so I am wearing clunky boots which didn't quite set the right tone either.

I did a few things when re-working the image:
- I cropped Riley and my boots from the photo
- I removed the black scarf on the right and replaced it with a coloured scarf from another photo
- I removed the scarf from my left hand and added a coloured scarf from another photo
- I stretched my skirt so it billows more and I darkened the skirt to remove the leopard skin pattern
- I added a texture layer on top which was a close up of a sparkly table top...which is where the coloured "bubbles" come from
- I added a texture layer to make the image look painterly. 

All in all, it took about an hour or so working on the computer to come up with the revised image. So now does it convey freedom and joy?  Or is it just weird?

Thursday, February 7, 2019


Celebration by Sara Harley
Last year I signed a contract to provide stock photography to a book cover company. In my opinion, it was a no-lose scenario. I supply whatever images I want, whenever I want. They decide what they want to accept. They look after all negotiations. I get paid if my images get used. Easy peasy.

Every week, the company comes up with a theme. You can choose to submit images. Or not. Sometimes I have lots of images that can be considered for their weekly theme (chairs, feathers, sand, dogs). Sometimes I have none (hand gun, taut string, tattoos). 

In early January the weekly theme was "cake". I didn't have anything else to do, so I took a look through my files to find some birthday cake images.

The image at the beginning of this blog post has been reconfigured to a square. The book cover I submitted was this one:
cake book cover by Sara Harley
One thing I always have to remember when creating possible book covers is to leave lots of space for text. The image was accepted by the stock company. Maybe one day I'll be celebrating because it was purchased and used for a book cover. 

Anything is possible, right?

If you are wondering, here is the original photograph which is a far cry from the image I created and such a poor image that I'm embarrassed to show it:
original photo

Friday, February 1, 2019

In Focus Book

In Focus book by Sara Harley - newspaper columns published in the Chronicle Herald In Focus 
a book of newspaper columns published in the Chronicle Herald

From early 2016, through January 2018, I wrote weekly columns for The Chronicle Herald under the by-line In Focus. I shared my love of life, photography, and Nova Scotia. This 118 page book is a compilation of all the articles that were published.

“Sara has a writing style that engages readers with the creative process, anecdotes and human interest behind her photographs. Her columns blend technical expertise with life stories with which readers can readily relate. Sara’s columns have generated considerable reader feedback, both from experienced and novice photographers, and from those who simply enjoy a good read.” 
- Editor, Chronicle Herald South Shore Breaker

In Focus is available to view and/or purchase online.