Monday, July 10, 2017

New Photos from Greece and Spain

I returned to Illinois last week from three weeks in Greece, Turkey, and Spain.  I'm just beginning to go though the few thousand images I took.  However, I thought that I'd share a few now, with more to come in the upcoming days and weeks.


The painting on the side of the building, just across from León's famed Cathedral (Spain) is new since I was there last year.  (You can click on images in this blog for a closer view.)


Old wooden Greek fishing boats,called kaikis, are quickly disappearing as the days of the lone fisherman are giving way to large-scale industrial fishing.  I'll have more images of kaikis in the upcoming days.

This Orthodox priest was resting with his dog at the Monastery of Agios Panteleimonas on the Island of Tilos.
You can view my fine art photography website at:  www.tombellart.com.












Friday, June 2, 2017

Cedarhurst Biennial Exhibition 2017

Two of my images will be on exhibit this summer at the Cedarhurst Biennial Exhibition at the Mitchell Museum in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.

Early Morning Serenade.  León, Spain.  (You can click on images in this blog for a larger view.)

The Eyes of Santa Nonia León, Spain. 
Interestingly enough, both images are related.  I got up before daylight to photography an early morning Holy Week procession at the Church of Santa Nonia.  It was raining off-and-on and I shot several images as I waited for word on whether the procession would be cancelled or delayed due to the rain.  Participants in the procession passed by this street art painting as they neared the Church, and I got a couple of good frames.  After a few more minutes there was an announcement that the procession would be delayed until later in the morning.

After having awakened so early, I didn't want to waste the rest of the morning, so I walked toward the Cathedral, located in the heart of León. As I walked on the main street, I noticed a lady washing the windows of a shop, getting ready for the business day.  It was hard to ignore the big Elvis statue that seemed to be serenading her.  So, both images that will be in the exhibition were taken within a few minutes of each other.

León's Cathedral, among the most beautiful in the world, before a Holy Week procession, although on a different day.
The opening of the exhibition will be on July 29, 6:30 -8:30 p.m.  The show will run through October 8, 2017

You can view my fine art photography website at:  www.tombellart.com.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Why I'm Not a Wildlife Photographer

If I were a wildlife photographer, I'd be very good at it.  However, I'm not a wildlife photographer, and I'm also not particularly good at it.

I think every photographer has something he or she does best:  maybe wildlife, maybe portraits or street photography or landscapes.  That doesn't mean that if street photography is your thing, you can't also do wildlife.  You may be a generalist and can shoot pretty much anything, but you'll be better at some things than others.

In my past couple of blog entries, I posted images from the ice storm of a few days ago.  All it took was going out into my yard and pointing the camera at some tree limbs.  I came up with what I thought were a few outstanding images.

Yesterday, as I was making out a grocery list, I noticed a red-tailed hawk swoop by the window and land in the branches of the ice-covered tree you see in my blog post of a couple of days ago.  My first thought was to grab my camera (which I did) and get some images (which I did).  My second thought was that my lens isn't long or fast enough.  I don't have time to pull out a tripod, and I'll scare the creature away if I I get anywhere near it. My images were obtained by holding the camera to the glass of the window and shooting from indoors.  I was aware that the images would not be professional quality wildlife photography, but I still felt I had to do the best with what I had.  I think my images were okay considering the limitations, but that's it -- certainly not anything special.

The hawk was in the tree for maybe 60 or 70 seconds. (You can click on images in this blog for a closer view.)

Here's the difference.  If I were a wildlife photographer, the hawk would be sharp and well-defined.  You would see fine details in the feathers and reflections in the eyes; and it might even be an action shot with the bird, wings outstretched, landing on the icy branches.  Here's another difference. I would have had the proper equipment, and I'd have spent hours out in the cold, first scoping out the location, then in a wildlife blind waiting for the proper second to obtain the exposure. 

My equipment and efforts are devoted to the type of photography I do best:  street and candid people photography.  If I were a wildlife photographer my work flow would be different, my time would be spent differently, and I'd have a bag of different camera equipment.

Below are some images of the type of photography I do best.

The Textile Merchant (Guatemala)  I won my first major photography award (the Versace Award) with this image.


Mayan Beauty (Guatemala).  This is one of my favorite images.

Old Woman of Chichicastenango (Guatemala)


Man Enjoying a Soda (Guatemala)

Venetian Violinist (Italy)

Walking After Midnight (León, Spain)

Tapas Bar (León, Spain)

I think the message here is:  don't worry that you can't do it all perfectly.  Shoot what you enjoy shooting and if you care and take it seriously, you'll probably be good at it because you'll do what it takes to be good at it.

You can see lots more of my images on my fine art photography website at:  www.tombellart.com. While you will find the images above on my website, you won't find the hawk.  Sorry, hawk!  Maybe a real wildlife photographer will give you the treatment you deserve.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

More from the Ice Storm

Yesterday, I presented some images from the local ice storm.  Here are a couple of more:



My mailbox.  You can click on images for a larger view.

Limbs from a tree in my front yard.
Images of ice always seem to work well in B&W.

You can see my fine art photography website at:  www.tombellart.com.

Friday, January 13, 2017

An Ice Storm

An ice storm has the power to keep most people indoors, especially if they don't have to be out and about.  However, it can also offer opportunities for photography.

Here in Makanda, it's a cold, miserable day.  But a few minutes ago, I stepped outside with my camera and captured some images only a few feet from my house.

I processed the images in b&w for a dramatic look. A bit of vignetting around the edges completed the look and feel of the photo. You can click on images in my blog for a larger view.

I can certainly see that any of these images would look great as a large print framed and matted on almost any wall.

These are the first three images I processed.  I still have plenty more to keep me busy when the weather is not cooperating.

You can view my fine art photography website at:  www.tombellart.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Old Nashville House in the Snow


If you've been following my blog, you know that I've found an old abandoned farmhouse near Nashville, Illinois that cries out to be photographed.  It appears in my blog every few months. Every time I'm in the area, I take a small detour to see how it has changed since the last visit.  Since I'd never photographed it in the snow, my visit this last weekend offered a totally different view.  The snowfall was very light, just a cover, and already melting.  But it was enough to give me a new perspective on a very old building.

This old house deserves to be seen in every season, including winter. You can click on the image for a larger view.  You can see my original post with photographs of this building from August of 2015 by clicking here.

You can see my fine art website at:  www.tombellart.com.

Friday, January 6, 2017

My Photography Year in Review - 2016

2016 was a good year for me, photographically and generally.

On January 1, I retired from my position as a College administrator.  This gives me more time for photography.

In March I traveled to Spain to photograph the Holy Week traditions in León.  I also had the opportunity to eat lots of tapas, and blog about my experiences during my stay.

In the Fall, I had a photography show with a number of my works on display at the Yellow Moon Cafe, through the Anthill Gallery.

Below are some to the highlights from this year.

The Eyes of Santa Nonia is an image from my coverage of the Holy Week in León.  This photo was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Black & White Spider Awards. It was also part of my Fall exhibition.

If you're interested in the traditions of the Spanish Holy Week, check out the 10 blog entries I wrote in March and April of 2016, starting here.
I also wrote about and photographed Spanish tapas.
Spanish street scenes are always fun.
I also photographed scenes closer to home.  This is from my hometown just before the 4th of July.
Another Illinois scene not too far from home.

I found this while checking out local back roads.
The Headrest Barbershop on Michigan Avenue in Chicago was a street photography find as I was walking with my family.
Please feel free to check out posting from my blog from 2016 or any of the past years.  You might also enjoy viewing my website at:  www.tombellart.com.