Thursday, September 19, 2019

How long does it take?

Out of Time by Sara Harley
Out of Time
Years ago I attended a photography exhibit and had a brief discussion with one of the exhibitors. he told me it took him years to create one of his images. At the time I thought to myself that he was being pretentious and ridiculous.

But now I know what he was talking about. He wasn't just a photographer, he was an artist. He had a vision that he wanted to create, and he went back time and time again to the location he had found until everything came together the way he had pictured in his mind. The elements were just as he wanted and he made his image.

Similarly, when I create composited images it can sometimes take months before everything comes together in my mind (in the future, I could probably say years, but I have only been doing this for 18 months). I had been thinking about and planning this image for a few months. Then, late one afternoon, I went to my office and pulled this image together in less than one hour.

A photograph of a tree from a trip along the Eastern Shore in 2010, a bird taken in kentville in 2017, and a staged photo of a pocket watch from early 2019, all came together on my desktop to create this image.

So, how long does it take to create an image?

In this case, I guess I could say it took nine years.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Summer Pondering

Summer Pondering by Sara Harley
Summer Pondering
Sometimes I have a specific idea in my mind that I want to capture. But sometimes things just happen. We went for a drive up the Medway River one summer day and came upon a small pond.

I asked John to pull over and reached for my camera. I spent the next 15 minutes photographing lily pads. I would have dearly loved to find one of the bull frongs that were croaking away, but only heard them splash into the pond as I walked too close for comfort. 

A few days later, I found a pair of thigh high rubber boots at a flea market, just my size. Too bad I didn't have them for this photo shoot, but I'll be ready for the next pond we come across.

A Splash of Orange by Sara Harley
A Splash of Orange
This pond is in my own backyard, situated just beside our deck where I can sit and watch the fish swim.  One afternoon the bubbles and reflected light caught my eye so I headed inside to get my camera. A fish swam by at the right time and added a splash of orange.

Monday, September 9, 2019


My husband often laments the fact that we are not day tripping as much as we used to. No, I'm not referring to a daytime drug event. 

I'm talking about road trips, or staycations, or whatever label you want to put on jumping in the car and driving...just driving until you see something that catches your eye or your imagination.

For various reasons, we are tied more closely to home these days. Some people might think it's boring to stay at home but my camera can keep me endlessly amused.

I believe that there are lots of subjects for image making if your keep your eyes, and your mind, open to the possibilities.

Even the winter months had me out in the backyard with my camera. Okay, maybe not frequently, but I have the photos to prove it!

Home is where you hang your hat, or maybe for me...home is where my camera is.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

I've got it covered

Margaret Atwood Neuf Contes cover image by Sara Harley
Margaret Atwood Neuf Contes
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.

Today I received my first payment for a book cover image, a milestone for me. An extra bonus...the author of the book is Margaret iconic Canadian author.

The ironic thing? If I made a list of the images I supplied to the book cover company, this one would be my least favourite!

my name on the back cover