Today I want to share with you four fine photographers and their four unique images.
Let’s begin with two “citified” images.
This Aaron Keigher starscape picture shows the Galaetic Bridge in Big Sur California. The lighting on the edge of the bridge accents it and sets the picture off. Even with a spectacular subject, sometimes one component is what makes it special.
Deborah Sandidge is arguably one of this country’s best night-time image makers. Deborah uses anything in her bag of knowledge to create powerful images. That certainly includes long exposures, multiple exposures, and editing tricks. Every once in a while it’s fun to include the images from a photographer who works outside the norm, and Deborah is one of the best. The subject here is San Antonio, Texas. This is a great composition.
I truly enjoy the light and ethereal mood of this Kathleen Clemons flower picture. I think the composition and use of depth of field (or lack of) on this image is superb, making it a flower favorite for me.
One of my favorite types of photography is that which combines landscapes and wildlife. Add some moody light and you have a winner in my book. Laurie Rubin was the photographer.
I hope all of you have enjoyed these unique and beautiful images. There is lot of talent out there to celebrate.
I built my first website in 1997 or 1998. It wasn’t much and I couldn’t process credit cards so in 1999 or 2000 I built the Earth Images site that some of you remember. Those of you who have websites and have had them for a while know what an adventure it was to get your site to come up with a high-ranking on Google and other search engines. There were/are many tricks. One consisted of writing invisible code that those engines could read. I am talking about up to 200 numbers, letters and characters for each of several codes. One tiny mistake and it would not work. I remember the first time I finally got that site “fully armed and loaded”. It took a while but it made a difference. I had advanced tracking on that site. It of course, read the number of independent hit’s the site would take in a 24 hour period. I was averaging 11 hits a day from link exchanges and search engine submissions when I began my road to get more hits. I immediately went up to about 40 per day. Believe it or not, that was about normal for “most” small photography websites. I didn’t stop. I bought advertising space on Google. Eventually somewhere in 2007 I had my biggest day, which was just under 3,000 hits.
Going back to the “hits” software I had on that website. It didn’t just count visitors. It tracked the journey of every visitor that looked at the site. It told me who your ISP was and what the number of your computer was. It told me whether you had a Mac, whether you used Windows or another system. It told me which model you had. It told me the resolution you set your screen at. It told me where in the world you were when you viewed my site. That is just the beginning of what I knew. I had personal friends where I knew what kind of computer they had, and who their ISP was. I knew every time they visited my website. That information helped me advance my site more than any single thing.
One thing that website owners always do, and many of you know this, is go to Google and other search engines, and type in different things and see where your website comes up. Today everybody does this because we almost all have a web presence. Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Flickr, and on and on. When I was in business I didn’t spend a lot time typing my name. I would type nature photography, or landscape images, or print sales of owls or some such thing. My greatest pride was when I passed John Shaw as number one in North America for nature photography workshops. We are however, all curious as to just where our name comes up.
For a long time when I typed Wayne Nelson into Google or Yahoo I would come up the third Wayne Nelson. The two ahead of me had several websites, so you had to drop down to about the tenth link to find me. I did something about that. I put my name everywhere until I made it to number one. The original number two Wayne Nelson was a lawyer. The number one Wayne Nelson was the front man from The Little River Band (The Lonesome Loser song) He changed everything on every site he was involved with to read Famous Wayne Nelson. There is no way I was going to accept that. Who does he think he is? A few hit songs and couple of TV appearances and he thinks he’s famous. Doesn’t he know who I am? I fought my way back to the world’s number one Wayne Nelson (according to Google) eventually. The other day I typed my name in Google for the first time since I closed my website, and sure enough the Famous Wayne Nelson once again leads the pack. This time I decided to humbly accept my lot in life. as a lesser Wayne Nelson.
There is a lot of class warfare waged in America these days. If you say the wealthy are all evil, well you can gain political ground (and votes), even if you are connected to, or one of the evil rich yourself. The only thing wrong with a nation with wealthy individuals, is if they exclude some people(race, sex etc.) because of who they are or what they represent. That doesn’t mean that I am suggesting that even if a nation eliminates those flaws that everything will be fair. I was born of somewhat average, humble beginnings. Neither of my parents had a high school education. Times were tough when they were young and work not school was necessary during the depression. I never went on to college. That was my own fault although I suppose I could blame my parents for not insisting I go the college and paying for it. I prefer to remember what they gave me, which was much more than college.
Life is never fair. That is not meant to be a negative statement, only an honest one. If you spend your life waiting for everything to be fair…..well you will have spent your life, and that’s all you will have done. Those who start with nothing and prosper, do so because they ignore the complainers and the shouts of “not fair”, and keep moving up. Always keep moving.
Every day there are examples of those who refuse to listen to the “it’s not fair” crowd. The young man who starts a business in Wisconsin delivering a few pipes and things to plumbers and who now has a world-class plumbing supply company, with many employees. He never paid attention to the crowd. He just kept moving.
The woman who begins a small catering business and turns it into a health food and weight loss business.
In a world that was not fair to woman entrepeneurs, and in a nation that was not always fair to people of color, Madam C.J. Walker (early 1900s) was the world’s first self-made female millionaire. She was also one of the first black millionaires. She was the child of slaves and like many of her era she suffered hair loss due to poor diet. During the 1904 World’s Fair she found herself a commissioned job selling some of the first black women’s hair care products. She did not stop there. She eventually went on to go into business for herself and develop an entire line of beautify products for black women. She eventually had a large staff and went nationwide with her products. She then used her influence to help stem to tide of lynchings of black men in the American south. She built a million dollar business of products, that were sold in the same (an other) states where people of her color were being lynched for walking on the wrong side of the street. There is more than one way to get back at those who have wronged you. She didn’t take time to ponder what was fair.
Thank God that Walker did not pay attention to those who told her you can’t make it. I am sure they explained that the deck was stacked and she wouldn’t be allowed to prosper. I don’t think any of us would have blamed her if she would have not tried to prosper and succeed during a time when a woman or a black person really did have it rough. It wasn’t fair. She did what she did just the same. Life is never fair.
In a world today that is far less unfair than in her day, it amazes how many use fairness as a reason to not try. Maybe they should talk to C. J.
Don’t wait for everything to be fair. Don’t let the naysayers crush your dreams.
God Bless, Wayne