Archive for April, 2009

My First Review

Posted in FLICKR with tags on April 27, 2009 by cliffmichaels

As far as I know, this is the first mention of Visions by another internet site. Here’s what someone on had to say about us –

“The flickr photo above is one in which the creator is plugging his book and his blog about flickr. I don’t know if his book is any good, but I took a look at his blog and it’s pretty interesting. It’s definitely worth a look. He has some really nice photos posted there and links to some other excellent photographers. My favorite of the photographers that he notes is publik-oberberg, who evidently lives in Norway. Take a look at publik-oberberg’s most interesting photos here. These photos pretty much define the word breathtaking.”

How about that, somebody likes us….

Tin Foil Hats

Posted in FLICKR, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 26, 2009 by cliffmichaels

Flickr is nothing if not an collection of  photographers with hugely diverse interests. I shoot landscapes, you shoot birds, Bob shoots jellyfish, Dick shoots portraits, and Jane shoots big breasted blondes in bondage. Flickr offers photos for every taste you can imagine…

Like Tin Foil Hats. And miniature food. Sticks. And, finally, Walter Mondale’s Frozen Pizza.


Posted in FLICKR, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 26, 2009 by cliffmichaels

As of 3:35 PM (EDT) there were nine million seven hundred eighty-two thousand six hundred and thirty-five images on Flickr tagged “flower”. I’m sure there must be more. I could swear I’ve looked at that many flower images just in the last month or so. There are 2,098,371 tagged “rose”, 423,553 tagged “daisy”, and 58,740 tagged “pansy” (although there may be some confusion over that one). 

However you count them there are certainly a very large lot of flower images on Flickr. Flowers are so easy to photograph; even a mediocre image of a rose still pleases the eye. I know when I first got “serious” about photography I spent many hours shooting in greenhouses and gardens. Here’s a set with over 400 images and I haven’t added to it in over a year (altogether I’ve amassed 22 sets of flowers. The collection is here.)

Here are a couple of my latest efforts:

Waiting in Line

Posted in photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 26, 2009 by cliffmichaels

I made my first pilgrimage of the year to Temont yesterday. I pulled myself out of bed just before six, screamed as quietly as I could, loaded the bag and hit the road at 6:25 AM with both cameras fully loaded. By the time I got to the Tremont road it was alarmingly light.

I’ve been to Tremont close to a dozen times. The river makes a marvelous subject all along its snaky length. Most of the times I’ve gone the place has been nearly deserted. Not today. There were so many photographers they were literally waiting in line to shoot at some of the more interesting spots. Twice I pulled over intending to shoot a nicely scenic bit of the river only to find a photographer standing smack in the middle of the river hunched over his  Manfrotto tripod and perched precariously on a large, slippery looking boulder. What to do? I took photos of them, of course.  One was from Salem, Virginia, he later told me. He was shooting with a Canon 5D and some really fast glass… When my envy grew to a threatening level I abandoned our conversation and headed further upriver  muttering to myself, “its the person and not the camera, its the person and not the camera…”

Tremont is a part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is very near the Townsend, Tennessee,  entrance. You may find my Tremont group here...

Here are the interlopers and two of my better shots of the day:







Faces of Maturity

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 26, 2009 by cliffmichaels

I run a handful of groups on Flickr. My favorite is Faces of Maturity. It’s my most successful group with about thirty-five hundred photos and just short of five hundred members.

The top poster in Faces of Maturity is ITZICK and for that I am blessed. His work is brilliant. Each of his fine portraits of mature people is wonderfully evocative. His lens draws out his subjects. Their faces almost seem to glow.

Here’s his home page; and here’s a good example of his work. This one’s great, too. And this, and this, and this

…And  here is one of my better additions to the group:


The Polite Photographer

Posted in FLICKR, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , on April 19, 2009 by cliffmichaels

A modest Civil War reenactment was held yesterday on the grounds of a fake log cabin in Maryville. I didn’t get there until well after noon. Despite the high, harsh light I decided to give it a go. I brought both cameras with me, the D50 with the 18-55mm lens and the D40 with the 55-200mm.

The only really interesting subjects were the various “reenactors” and “reenactresses”.

It is perfectly legal to take a photo of anything or anyone you can see in a public place. It’s legal but, with people, and especially with women, it isn’t wise. I always ask. Nicely as I can.

As I suspected people who spend a great deal of time getting themselves gussied up as historical figures don’t at all mind being looked at – or photographed.  Of course when you have two cameras around your neck people think you must be a professional photographer.

Virtually every portrait I posted of my anachronistic subjects was taken using the 55-200 lens. With its narrow depth of field and ability to get very close it saved the day (along with Photoshop).

Another Reason…

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , on April 19, 2009 by cliffmichaels

I take photographs for myself. All the effort of it – getting up early, stumbling through the mud or fending off angry dogs and people, the hours spent hunched over the computer – all of it, is for my own benefit. Still, I admit, praise and recognition are nice if not necessary.

Praise from friends and family is probably more about politeness than real admiration of my work. Brief comments below a Flickr image could just represent an instant’s examination of your photo. This email I received today was like a sudden burst of sunlight on an otherwise miserable morning:

We’re neighbors–kind of. I was born and raised in Jefferson City, lived there till I went away to college in 1961 and visited regularly till Mama’s death in 1989. And I am homesick. Health/financial considerations rule out my making it back in person, so I take great pleasure when I find East Tennessee photographers…  You see the beauty of East Tennessee, including our ricketly relics, and my heart sings. By getting in close to the barns, for example, you make it a subject in its own right, worthy of being seen, instead of cataloging it with a long-distance view that permits a detached, dismissive look-over… your work (I got up to page 25 today, will go further later) makes me smile and be glad. 

Yes, I photograph for my own pleasure. But the occasional thoughtful bit of praise doesn’t annoy me at all!