an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “outdoor photography

Red, 2011

Red
Red

Red

Sometimes the scene is just visually stunning, especially with a little flash of angled late afternoon sun on that bright red Virginia Creeper. Love the peeling paint, the weathered wood, cloudy windows and the door hinge. Yet the plant flashes its brilliance before it fades after one season, while the building simply fades of many, many years.

This is from several years ago, but each October, on a day as warm as summer, I remember this moment and share it again.

You can find several different types of prints in my Etsy shop.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Sing Your Song

Sing Your Song
Sing Your Song

Sing Your Song

The wren may be the size of your thumb but she fills the morning.

I have been trying to get this photo for years, the wren standing up with her head thrown back and her mouth open, especially in the morning light. They flit around so fast and I’m often photographing through my window so I can’t follow their flight. But I heard a sudden burst of wren song and looked out to see this little one on the deck railing. I focused and caught one-two-three photos as she hopped a step or two between each verse and looked to see…that I had forgotten to change the filter on my camera from incandescent to average balance, so the three photos were tinted very blue. I can remove that, but I also noticed that the plastic bag I’d used to line a hanging basket on the edge of the deck railing (the cocoa shell liner is seen at the right edge) had been pulled up by either one of the squirrels or one of the birds, and it just wasn’t something I wanted in this lovely photo. I had one more chance before she hopped behind the post and flew off, and this was that one chance.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Poem for Saturday: A Little Thaw

A Little Thaw.
A Little Thaw.

A Little Thaw.

Imagine the sound of water amid a world of ice.

The limestone cliffs of the quarry seep groundwater dripping down the rock face into the partially melted quarry pond in a constant patter. The gray of the limestone and pale yellow of the wan winter sun color this image into a burnished antique gold.

The trail can be so noisy on a bright afternoon with all the water dripping and the stream surging with icemelt, and the birds making the best of a clear day to stock up on food. Even tiny bits of fresh green showed in protected spots, ferns and mosses just waiting for a sunny day to store up some energy to make it through to warmer weather.

. . . . . . .

A Little Thaw

The silence of ice
hard-smooth glaringly mocking
a manufactured perfection
life, birth, spring
held captive in plain view
under a solid clear glaze
pale world strangely hushed
I tiptoe through
afraid to break the surface with my sound
but a snap, a crack, a drip, another
whispers return to life around me
once broken, the ice cannot hold its captives
dripping, pattering, babbling
life begins again
the stream torrent rushing
beneath the clear, fragile, broken cage of its captor.

poem (c) 2011 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


A Home on the Trail

birdhouse
birdhouse

A Home on the Trail

I took a few minutes to have a quick walk on the Panhandle Trail on this lovely sunny afternoon, just a light coating of snow in some areas, lots of birds singing. The new hand-painted birdhouses are really brilliantly colored in the winter landscape. Can’t wait to see who nests in this one come spring!

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Incoming Storm

black and white photo of beginning of snow storm
black and white photo of beginning of snow storm

Incoming Storm

The sun dims, tiny crystals fill the air on a cold softly whistling wind, objects blur and night replaces day, and a feeling of infinity.

In the quiet of a winter afternoon I stood and watched as the storm did not approach so much as silently change the scene from a clear sunny afternoon to a dim and dark landscape, sounds muffled, objects disappearing.

This is another photo from the roll including yesterday’s photo, on black and white film with my fully manual Pentax K1000. I remembered it from that time, and it stayed with me from yesterday so it needed to be shared.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Red

virginia creeper on weathered door
virginia creeper on weathered door

Red

Sometimes the scene is just visually stunning, especially with a little flash of angled late afternoon sun on that bright red Virginia Creeper. Love the peeling paint, the weathered wood, cloudy windows and the door hinge. Yet the plant flashes its brilliance before it fades, while the building simply fades.

This is from several years ago, but each October, on a day as warm as summer, I remember this moment and share it again.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

If you’d like a print of this photo on various materials—canvas, metal, acrylic, and more—it is available in my photography collection in my Fine Art America gallery entitled, simply, “Red”.

For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Evening Flowers, What a Nice Event

The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.
The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.

The flowers on my table gently touched by evening light.

The sales were good, and the contacts I’ve made too, but the best part was meeting people who recognized the trail they know and love right where it happens, and letting people know that art can happen in unexpected places.

As I’d mentioned, I’d wanted to host the show at the event to be sure the people who used the trail, who typically attend the trail’s annual fundraiser, would see and enjoy it. And for the number of people who stopped to look at “The Rope Swing”, and then came in and recognized even more, it was highly successful. I heard stories about the swing, and many people recognized the sites of several of the works and told me exactly where that was so I know they’ve walked the trail and the woods as much as I have. I also had the opportunity to tell people I’d done about half of the works right there on the trail, not home in my studio. People don’t always realize that artists often work on site, “Even in the snow?” Sure, I said. That’s how I capture the essence of the scene. A painting is not just what you see, it’s also what you hear and smell and touch and taste, and being there while you work gets it all into the painting.

Art booth in festival

My booth on Saturday.

We often don’t find the things most familiar to us very inspiring simply because we are so accustomed to seeing them, and often don’t “see” them at all anymore. The fact that I found the trail and surrounding area, their neighborhood, the place they called home, to be an inspiring subject for art made a lot of people smile and comment that was why they liked it too, that was why they’d moved there.

Best of all were the kids’ assessments of my art, these paintings of the places they played, the places they’d remember all their lives. “Your stuff is pretty good,” they said. “This is really nice art,” looking serious and nodding their heads. They were serious, and I took it as a compliment. A big compliment. Coming from a ten-year-old boy or a couple of 14-year-old girls, that was huge. I hope one or more of them take a new look at this beautiful place when considering photography or painting.

I wish I’d had the chance to photograph people browsing my art, but I’m kind of glad I just didn’t have the time to.

Me smiling at my flowers as I'm identifying them.

Me smiling at my flowers as I’m identifying them.

And I also had a number of friends visit me, and a few who helped me set up and who I could also share a few favorite places with, namely the site with the rope swing, which was directly behind my booth in the woods. One couple came with me to fill my vintage kettle with water for the wildflowers I would gather to have in my display, and on the way there and back walking through the woods I showed them the rope swing and proceeded to identify all the wildflowers around us, walking encyclopedia as I can be.

Walking along the trail through a spot of sunlight.

Walking along the trail through a spot of sunlight.

It occurred to me then that it would be nice to have some photos of me walking through the woods with wildflowers. We didn’t really have time when we got back to my booth so I let it go, but decided today how much I’d like to have some photos of that walk and asked if they would mind coming back and taking a few photos since they knew the walk we’d taken and what I’d looked like, and the type of photos I wanted.

Walking between two tall maples, like the entrance to an enchanted place.

Walking between two tall maples, like the entrance to an enchanted place.

Michelle agreed, so I donned the same clothes as yesterday and we got a few nice photos. And who knows, they may be paintings as well some day. But at least I know what I look like!

 

Thanks, Michelle!

Thanks, Michelle!

Because it was so hot and humid and I didn’t want to greet visitors covered in sweat I wore a silk skirt and a lightweight cotton camisole. That worked well, but the effect of humidity on my hair made it totally frizz, even after a recent henna and olive oil treatment. Ah, summer.

Read more about my exhibit “Sun Shadow Ice & Snow: Seasons of the Panhandle Trail”. Take a look at paintings from this exhibit.

. . . . . . .

If you are interested in purchasing this painting or any other originals I have posted here on Today, please contact me. I will also have prints of this painting after the exhibit.


Poem for Sunday: A Little Thaw

A Little Thaw.
A Little Thaw.

A Little Thaw.

Imagine the sound of water amid a world of ice.

The limestone cliffs of the quarry seep groundwater dripping down the rock face into the partially melted quarry pond in a constant patter. The gray of the limestone and pale yellow of the wan winter sun color this image into a burnished antique gold.

The trail can be so noisy on a bright winter afternoon with all the water dripping and the stream surging with icemelt, and the birds making the best of a clear day to stock up on food. Even tiny bits of fresh green showed in protected spots, ferns and mosses just waiting for a sunny day to store up some energy to make it through the winter.

. . . . . . .

A Little Thaw

The silence of ice
hard-smooth glaringly mocking
a manufactured perfection
life, birth, spring
held captive in plain view
under a solid clear glaze
pale world strangely hushed
I tiptoe through
afraid to break the surface with my sound
but a snap, a crack, a drip, another
whispers return to life around me
once broken, the ice cannot hold its captives
dripping, pattering, babbling
life begins again
the stream torrent rushing
beneath the clear, fragile, broken cage of its captor.

poem (c) 2011 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.


poetry book

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


Red, 2011

photo of red leaves in front of garage door
virginia creeper on weathered door

Red

Sometimes the scene is just visually stunning, especially with a little flash of angled late afternoon sun on that bright red Virginia Creeper. Love the peeling paint, the weathered wood, cloudy windows and the door hinge. Yet the plant flashes its brilliance before it fades, while the building simply fades.

This is from several years ago, but each October, on a day as warm as summer, I remember this moment and share it again.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 

If you’d like a print of this photo on various materials—canvas, metal, acrylic, and more—it is available in my photography collection in my Fine Art America gallery entitled, simply, “Red”.

For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


The Elves Had a Party: 2011

mushrooms growing out of table.
mushrooms growing out of table.

Mushroom Tables

And they left behind quite a mess on my picnic table—their table and chairs, and this orange dust all over the place. Who knows what those elves were up to?!

[I knew my table was slowly rotting away under the trees, as it has been for about 15 years, but growing mushrooms is going a little too far!]

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats, visit The Creative Cat.


Diamonds in Air

glittering powdery snow
glittering powdery snow

Diamonds in Air

When that fine powdery snow blows around in the wind on a cold morning so that the early golden sun highlights each tiny crystal it looks as if diamonds are floating around in the air, flashing as they turn and fly. I tried to capture it, some even have little rainbows; I think I’ll try my cross-screen filter next.


Sands of Time

photo of layers of limestone and sandstone
photo of layers of limestone and sandstone

Sands of Time

What primordial wash left these deposits of colored sand between layers of limestone? How many times did the landscape change to create these layers? How much time does this represent?

This highwall is a man-made cut along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Twp., PA, a former rail line from Pittsburgh to Weirton, WV and connecting to points north and west. A section at the trail head runs through the McShane Quarry of Collier Stone, providing Collier Gray limestone and other products around southwestern Pennsylvania.

The portion of the quarry around the trail is no longer mined, but several quarry ponds still provide interest and habitat, and in the woods huge quarried and natural boulders left behind are covered with lichen and moss. And like most limestone and sandstone formations, there’s a natural cave to explore. Farther along the trail is another limestone feature, the Fossil Cliffs where millennia of flora and fauna remain in this ghostly form.


Welcome to the Neighborhood

hand-painted bird house
hand-painted birdhouse

The Pink Birdhouse

Hand made birdhouses, created by local kids in school, hang in young maples along the Panhandle Trail in Collier Township. You can’t miss this one! And it looks like the birds have noticed it as well—this one is either showing signs of occupation from last year, or a new resident this year.


A Little Thaw

water dripping from rocks

A Little Thaw.

Imagine the sound of water.

The limestone cliffs of the quarry seep groundwater dripping down the rock face into the partially melted quarry pond in a constant patter. The gray of the limestone and pale yellow of the wan winter sun color this image into a burnished antique gold.

The trail can be so noisy on a bright winter afternoon with all the water dripping and the stream surging with icemelt, and the birds making the best of a clear day to stock up on food. Even tiny bits of fresh green showed in protected spots, ferns and mosses just waiting for a sunny day to store up some energy to make it through the winter.


Unexpected Berries

Berries with snow
Berries with snow

Unexpected Berries

The burning bush continues to flare, even as its leaves are gone for the season. These berries had been there all along, but not nearly as brilliant in the landscape as on a snowy morning, as the snowfall slowed and the sun struggled through the cloud cover to touch each berry, each accented with a little tuft of fresh fluffy white snow, a perfect touch for the holiday season no matter which holiday it happens to be.

I offer this image in a set of  holiday cards entitled “Unexpected Berries”. I also sell prints upon request.


A Delicate Balance, 2010

snow piled on rose of sharon pods
snow piled on rose of sharon pods

A Delicate Balance

The dried pods of the Rose of Sharon look like hands reaching to catch the gentle snowfall, each flake silently landing on another, piling lightly, filling the space between to make a perfect cap, glowing with the warm light of sunrise. Some things are so beautiful they must simply be seen.

Still one of my favorite snow photos.


Red, 2011

virginia creeper on weathered door
virginia creeper on weathered door

Red

Sometimes the scene is just visually stunning, especially with a little flash of angled late afternoon sun on that bright red Virginia Creeper. Love the peeling paint, the weathered wood, cloudy windows and the door hinge. Yet the plant flashes its brilliance before it fades, while the building simply fades.

This is from several years ago, but each October, on a day as warm as summer, I remember this moment and share it again.

If you’d like a print of this photo it is available in my photography collection in my Fine Art America gallery entitled, simply, “Red”.


The Elves Had a Party: 2011

mushrooms growing out of table.

Mushroom Tables

And they left behind quite a mess on my picnic table—their table and chairs, and this orange dust all over the place. Who knows what those elves were up to?!

[I knew my table was slowly rotting away under the trees, as it has been for about 15 years, but growing mushrooms is going a little too far!]


Fossil: 2011

photograph of fossil

Fossil

Just a pattern in the rock, or a fossil?

We visited Fossils Cliff in Collier Township, the limestone layers in the valley the ideal for finding impressions of archaic living beings between the layers. Sometimes the patterns were clearly just a pattern of the layers settling against each other, but other patterns clearly looked organic. This, to me, looks like a spine and perhaps even ribs. It’s about 12″ long and on the underside of an outcrop, impossible to take away.

I came home with a pocket full of smaller possibilities.

Now there’s a place I’d like to be on a 97 degree day—under a limestone outcropping in the woods looking for fossils! I’ve meant to go back, I think it might be time.


Me and My Shadow: 2011

black-winged damselfly

Damselfly

A busy damselfly pauses on a leaf, her shadow clear in the bright mid-day sun. She looks right at me and seems just as curious of me as I am of her.

I’m not as informed about damselflies as I could be and can’t really identify this one beyond a few guesses. I found it as I was wading in Robinson Run in Collier Township, Pennsylvania.


Bee Balm

bee landing on bee balm

Bee Balm

A bumble bee comes in for an intoxicated landing on yet another newly-opened bee balm blossom.

The flowers were literally humming with bees, and apparently the flower really is a balm to them as they weren’t at all interested in me. It’s good to have plants like this in your garden, both to attract the pollinators and to feed them—bee colonies have been struggling for many reasons in the past few years.


In the Sky: 2011

hawk and crow in the sky
hawk and crow in the sky

In the Sky

A crow harasses a very patient red-tailed hawk high up against the flat sky before a storm.

I followed a red-tailed hawk around this afternoon, trying to get the perfect photograph, but I did not succeed. The hawk was circling a fairly large valley that is a local county park, riding the thermals and gusts on an unusually hot day on the front of a storm. I couldn’t follow quickly enough on foot so I was actually driving my car and parking it, hopping out and looking at the sky for the hawk. It was always gracefully circling elsewhere, so I quit the pursuit and headed home, followed by the storm.

But I did remember this photo I’d taken several years ago with an older digital camera. The photo itself is a little grainy, but I like the interplay of the two birds in this one. The crow was really dive bombing the hawk and you can see a few feathers missing in one wing. But the hawk didn’t divert from its circling on the rising wind, and I presume the crow eventually lost interest.

And neither bird paid attention to the leading edge of the front just entering into the photo, the tip of a big thunderhead pushed along by winds. As today, it likely developed into a cataclysm of hot and cold air, then settled down into rain.


Patterns

sparrow on fence in black and white photo

Patterns

One tiny sparrow decorates the picket fence, washed by angled morning sunlight.

Patterns, both natural and man made, work so well in black and white photography because you can avoid the distraction of color and just enjoy the shape and form, the play of light on an object and the abstract shapes created by the light and shadow. Running my eyes on the pattern of light and shadow on the picket fence for me is almost like walking along and dragging a stick on the pickets, hearing both the taps and the silences as they make their aural pattern, the companion to the visual pattern.

The waving habit of the fence adds interest to the pattern, creating a visual rhythm all its own.

The shadow on the ground, while not as strong, is also intriguing, broken up by grass and gravel.

And, of course, the common little house sparrow sits atop like a punctuation mark.


Fiddleheads on Parade

curled fern fronds
curled fern fronds

Fiddleheads on Parade

The ferns in my back yard popped up with great enthusiasm, apparently late for some important activity.