The Old Barn in the Rain

Somewhere between here and North Carolina…
Big Barn At The End of the Road

Actually, the barn is in or just outside of Simmonsville, Virginia. Dark, yes, but rain seems to dog us whenever we visit the Carolinas, from the moment we leave home ’til not long after we return. Still, the region is so beautiful, even bucketfuls cannot truly dampen the spirits of visitors.

Virginia, it must be noted (again), is one of my favourite states in the Union—brimming over with history and beauty, both natural and of the manmade sort. Other than the frustrating dullness of big-box insults blooming there, it’s difficult to find a place in the state I can’t find something to rapture over.

Indecision Time, B&W

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Friday Fairlane Taillight Indecision

Rocket, B&W

Rocket, B&W

Just a quick post today, since there’s much going on today (as always this time of year, with the harvest coming in). I’m sharing with you an example of something that happens to me often—I finish a photo two different ways, often quite different, and can’t decide which I like better!  Continue reading

Gertrude Käsebier

Hermine (Käsebier) Turner and her son in a garden in Oceanside, L.I., Gertrude Käsebier, 1905.  Public domain. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

“Hermine (Käsebier) Turner and her son in a garden in Oceanside, L.I.”, Gertrude Käsebier, 1905.
Public domain. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

Last week, the Library Of Congress’ blog ran a brief post about American photographer Gertrude Käsebier (cass-eh-beer—oh, boy, dictionary writers are going to kill me now), who was one of the first female photojournalists. No doubt her place in the history of photography had much to do with this, but reading about her, there’s no doubt her personality did much to gain her success, as well. She seems to have been an extremely determined, almost single-minded woman; thus, even in the late 1800s, she gained renown for her work in an age when most women cared for family and home instead of running a business.

American Horse and wife, American Indian, Gertrude Käsebier.  Public domain, courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

“American Horse and wife, American Indian”, Gertrude Käsebier, 1900. Isn’t this stunning? Don’t you wonder about American Horse, his life before and after this was taken?
Public domain, courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

More than any of this, though, what drew me to her work was not only the era in which she worked—I suppose we could call it the birth of popular, publicly consumed photography in the States—but her subject matter and her reason for capturing it on camera:

After my babies came I determined to learn to use the brush. I wanted to hold their

The Manger, an experimental negative to show values of white against white, featuring a young woman holding a baby and made in Newport, R.I.  Gertrude Käsebier, 1901.  Public domain photo courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

“The Manger, an experimental negative to show values of white against white, featuring a young woman holding a baby and made in Newport, R.I.” Gertrude Käsebier, 1901.
Public domain photo courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

lovely little faces in some way that should be also my expression, so I went to an art school; two or three of them, in fact. But art is long and childhood is fleeting, I soon discovered, and the children were losing their baby faces before I learned to paint portraits, so I chose a quicker medium. – Gertrude Käsebier quoted in “The Camera Has Opened a New Profession for Women–Some of Those Who Have Made Good,” New York Times, April 20, 1913, X12

Her comment about needing a “quicker medium” did make me chuckle, and you may find yourself doing the same! Continue reading

Columbus’ T&OC, the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad Station

Toledo & Ohio Central RR Station As part of my continuing effort to photograph Columbus’ architecturally significant buildings, abandoned or otherwise, I today offer you the very handsome Toledo & Ohio Central railroad station, or the T&OC, as it is called by natives. This marvellous place stands on Broad downtown—surely no one could drive by the first time without at least wanting to stop and take a closer look! This is the only remaining Columbus station, the last jewel in a crown that once held three. Toledo & Ohio Central Railroad Station, Columbus Designed by the well-regarded Columbus architecture firm of Yost & Packard (some of their buildings here), the T&OC was built in 1895 for the Toledo & Ohio Railroad. Though I know you are thinking “Asian design!” just as I did, the architects stated that it is actually based upon French and Swiss feudal architecture. Lantern Love at the Toledo & Ohio Central rail station Continue reading

Abandoned WV Route 88 Cottage-Style Gas Station & the Uglification of America (again)

Mystery Station, photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

Recently I mentioned an abandoned filling station spotted during a trip to see my physician in West Virginia. More pressing projects kept me from posting my photographs of the crumbling building, but I have them for you today.

Mystery Station, photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

This is a spot I’d seen before, but it rests just beyond a very sharp curve in the road; the first time I saw it the skies were already darkening and it was so hidden by brush I nearly missed it! You can imagine my happiness at being able to photograph it in spring, before it half-disappears into the wood again.

Mystery Station, photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

I’m not sure what oil company originally built the old filling station, though my guess is Pure Oil. Continue reading

Continuing the climb toward stardom!

CM Capture 2

Not stardom, ever, surely, but even so, I can’t tell you all just how tickled I am to be one of ArtFire’s most recent featured sellers in the artist spotlight! The article went up last week, but I’m also the gal who let her best friend chatter on for roughly an hour before announcing that (now-)Hubby had proposed. (For the record? My friend wanted to strangle me.) So I’m sending all of you over to it today!

The folks at ArtFire picked a few really good photos of mine to include, and better than that (to me) is that being featured gave me the opportunity to sit down and think again about why it is I do what I do, and clarify my own perspective and how that affects my work. It’s important for all of us to do this on a regular basis, especially when we consider that intentionally or no, our worldview often comes through in our work, especially if it is in a visual field like painting or photography.

Please hop over to Nosh and take a look, and do share away if you are so inclined.

Proper attribution of photos under the Creative Commons license

Photo copyright Jen Baker/Liberty Images; all rights reserved. Pinning to this page is okay.

Something I—and any consumer of online media—see a lot is people using images without proper attribution of any kind. Not only is this unfair to the original creator and anyone wanting more information about said image, it’s wrong, and that is true even when an image is licensed under Creative Commons. Not only that, but many people don’t properly attribute Creative Commons-licensed images, which is also wrong.

When I wrote my post featuring thought-provoking words from Jacques Barzun a week ago, featuring the artists of which he wrote was important (and seemed sensible to me). Happily, many of these works are in the public domain, but even so, I obtained them from somewhere, and wanted you to find them while also giving credit to the host. Of course, if you find Creative Commons-licensed things online, it may seem difficult to figure out exactly how to properly attribute the works, because one must include the title, the artist, the license, the location—but fear not! A quick search turned up this infographic explaining the whole process in very simple terms! Continue reading