Sarah Bennett Photography: Blog http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog en-us (C) Sarah Bennett Photography sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) Fri, 03 Apr 2015 21:32:00 GMT Fri, 03 Apr 2015 21:32:00 GMT http://sarahbennettphotography.net/img/s/v-5/u143808547-o677258668-50.jpg Sarah Bennett Photography: Blog http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog 120 76 Carnton Plantation, Franklin TN http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2015/4/carnton-plantation-franklin-tn The Carnton PlantationThe Carnton Plantation home owned by John and Carrie McGavock during the Civil War, is located in Franklin, Tennessee near Nashville.

The Carnton Plantation in Franklin TN. Home of John and Carrie McGavock.

Some things cannot be captured. No recording, photo or film can replace some experiences. Most experiences. Photography inside the home was prohibited and for once I was ok with it. I have respect for such boundaries today. The home, which is donned in Civil War period decor, was absolutely peaceful on the first floor. The parlors, studies and dining area are inviting. The eyes of the wall size portraits of John and Carrie are welcoming and serene.

As I ascended the strange narrowing and winding stair case to the second floor, I could not hide behind sexy and surreal black and white I intended to create. The rooms in which gruesome surgeries and amputations took place hit me head on.  A crushing almost panicking feeling overcame me. The blood stained floors survive to this day. No spatters and drips. Much worse...Blood puddled and pooled here. I chocked on nausea. My son and I both experienced a sensation of rush. Like an unpleasant "I drank too much caffeine" buzz as described by my 15 year old boy. The scent of death was strong and intoxicating. I felt no real sadness or pity like I expected...even longed for. Only physical illness and stifling, heavy silence surrounded me. I tried to read the other tourists...Was it just me? Probably not. Our flesh and spirits seemed to absorb the energy in those rooms. The rooms were hot and oppressing.  

A Brief History

The Carnton Plantation home was owned by John and Carrie McGavock in 1864. The home served as a hospital for confederate soldiers during the Civil War following the battle of Franklin. A five hour battle, mostly fought in late autumn darkness, led to 9,500 Blue and Gray soldiers dead, wounded or missing. 6,200 were the Confederates.  The Confederate Cemetery in Franklin TennesseeGrave markers of those killed in the Battle of Franklin. Over 200 of the fallen are documented as "unknown." Here they are respectfully buried and visited daily by tourists.

Carrie McGavock organized the care of the wounded and dying. The McGavocks tended to as many as 300 soldiers inside Carnton alone, though at least 150 died the first night. The 8 room home was so full, the porches and then the yard itself served to care for them. 

The Carnton Back PorchThe back porch of the Carnton Plantation was part of the temporary hospital for the wounded Conderate soldiers after the battle of Franklin.

The Devastating Aftermath

Well over 1000 confederate graves are located on the Carnton grounds. 780 identities were confirmed 558 were officially unknown. Carrie McGavock was named "The Window of the South" for her ongoing efforts to identify, respect and bury the dead.  She dressed in black and grieved the lost since their family and friends could not. The federal soldiers killed during the battle of Franklin were moved to federal cemeteries. This is understandable considering the southern way of life had been devastated by the civil war.  The Franklin Confederate CemeteryIt seems to go on forever. Organized according to states, over 1400 Civil War soldiers are buried here.

I didn't learn in school how much impact the war had on the South. Freedom of the human beings used as slaves was indeed a GOOD. However, imagine having lived wealthy in the South and then losing all you had ever known. Imagine facing the fact that your way of life, your income, your property, would be taken away. Today, we respect life and equality as we learn about the suffering of the African Americans. But slave labor was used generation after generation. The families knew no other way of life. The newly freed slaves were displaced and many died as a result. There is always a suffering side in politics and war. What benefits one, takes away from another and a there is loss in Victory. We don't learn humanities in school. Only names, dates and a narrow point of view.  Slave Quarters at CarntonThe one room home of former slaves who lived and worked on the Carton Plantation. The Metaphor

Ironically, and most interestingly, the name "Carnton" derives form the McGavocks ancestral home in County Antrim, Ireland. The  Gaelic word  "cairn" means 'a pile of stones raised to mark a memorable event or to honor a fallen hero.'

The McGavock HomeLess than a mile from the Franklin Battle Field lies the Carnton Plantation. It is famous for its use as a field hospital during the Civil War. The Gardens The gardens at the Carnton Plantation in early spring. The McGavock Family Cemetery The McGavock Family Cemetery is part of the Confederate Cemetery in Franklin Tennessee. John and Carrie McGavockFamous for caring for, burying and recording the identities of soldiers killed during the battle of Franklin, John and Carrie rest near their home. The Carnton Plantation served as a field hospital during the Civil War.

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) (Carnton (Civil (Confederate (Nikon (black Cemetery) Franklin McGavock Photography Plantation) South War) and d3s) photography) white http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2015/4/carnton-plantation-franklin-tn Fri, 03 Apr 2015 21:31:39 GMT
Film Experiments in the Digital Age http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/7/film-experiments-in-the-digital-age Bossk the ChihuahuaOne of the first images with the Rolleicord V. I very gratefully received a Rolleicord V as a wedding gift in June. I have always been passionate about medium format photography and I couldn't wait to try this beautiful machine. I used my digital camera set at the same ISO as the film as my starting point. I also shot the images in monochrome to get a better feel for the tonal ranges and contrast in the black and white film. My next monsterous challenge was to accumulate the necessary processing supplies. 

Its off the Dodd Camera (Dayton) to get whatever I can to begin the process I studied for years in my youth. I bought a five pack of Kodak TMY 400. It was a good place to begin and I admire the films extreme latitude and speed. 

In being completely digital for the past 10-15 years, this process has been an on-going lesson in patience. I had to order developer...and wait. Order a plastic reel for my 25 year old stainless steel film tank...and wait. 

It was surreal experience. There is no back of the camera post-view. No histogram. No auto-focus. No exposure meter. I had to trust my gut, my focus and go. I made some interesting multi-exposures because I forgot the advance the film. I laughed out loud at myself and hoped for the best as I am still making this mistake.

Once I got everything together, I found my plastic reel did not fit the tank. This was discovered on the steep steps of  my lightless basement AFTER I had spent an hour trying to load the film. I used to be so good at it!!! So I removed the film and put it safe in the tank. Angry and frustrated I actually considered processing it with no reel. As I prepared the bathroom for dip and dunk processing, my new husband, Jerry, came to the rescue. He removed about a half inch of the plastic reel's loading guides so it would fit the old tank. (Im cheap. I refused to buy another reel or tank) Now I had the challenge of loading the film on this altered contraption. Another half hour and I had the tank loaded.

My first development times and temps were rough. I started with D-76 mixed at a 1:1 ratio. I developed the first roll at the recommended temp of 68 degrees at 12 minutes. I got bullet proof negs and I think my thermometer was "off" The negatives were of good quality despite the over development thanks to the forgiving nature of T-max.

My next roll was developed the same way with two minutes less development time. A little better but still large grained and thick as a brick. I cut off MORE time and realized I was also over-exposing the film. My next roll was compensated and processed at 8 minutes. Much better.

My next painful lesson in patience "How do I make positives?" My enlarger has been in my mother's storage for 20+ years along with my timers, safelight and processing trays. Printing was not possible and I wanted them NOW. Of course! I am among the first born of a generation of "Instant Gratification"  I think God has a sense of humor and was probably laughing as I learned the lesson in patience that day. 

I don't have a film scanner and they are painfully out of my price range. What if I photographed the negatives on a lightbox? No lightbox? No problem. My first attempt was taping them to the living room window. Not a good plan. I got every doggy nose print sandwiched ever so grossly with my digital captures. I built a small light table out of two stacks of books, a sheet of 16 by 20 plexi-glass, and white paper. I created a sort of "bridge" with the plexi using the books and the plain white paper 12 inches underneath. I lit the paper with an off camera flash (sb-900) to force diffused light through the negs.  The negatives were then shot at with the smallest aperture possible at 1/200 of a second. A 70mm lens was sufficient since the negs were big and did not require a macro lens. I shot with a Nikon D3 but my Nikon D5000 worked better bc it was lighter. I handheld the camera and simply lined up the edges of the negative to ensure minimal distortion.

The digital files were converted in Photoshop under Image-Adjust-Invert. The exposures were tricky as I copied them bc I was seeing a negative image on the camera back. I found the best conversions were made with a very precisely exposed digital file. It was best a little thin and shadow/highlight details were visible. I have found this exposure of the negatives to be the most critical part of the copy process. Not much luck in post trying to manipulate over or under-exposed digital negatives. I worked them in RAW as neg images, using Curves. Also I removed an color by zeroing Saturation. The exciting part was the Inversion process. From there I made small adjustments in contrast, burned and dodged. I added a sepia tone to some in Lightroom to enhance the mood of the images and preserve the "vintage" feel. 

The following images have had minimal retouching to show the film scratches and other classic film imperfections. I think they add to the old-timey mood. Some scratches in the plexi-glass also show through. The good news about this is that I can take the best negs and purchase high quality scans. Im very pleased with the quality of this crude and almost savage process.  It was inexpensive and very rewarding. 

                                                                                            

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) 120 Fineart Rolleicord chihuahua film negatives photography http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/7/film-experiments-in-the-digital-age Sat, 19 Jul 2014 20:32:03 GMT
Multiple Personality Wedding Bouquet http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/6/multiple-personality-bouquet Today I photographed my wild wedding bouquet. I had to preserve the explosive colors. And so beginning, I took naturally lit macro shots of veiny textures and vivid colors. During the process, I felt a bit lazy and snap shoty. Im just coming off the bliss of my honeymoon in a woodsy cottage with two of our kids. I haven't been behind the camera in a few days except to shoot a couple of bugs. I experimented with the multiple exposure settings and (of course) off camera electronic flash outdoors. Nothing compares to the colors and contrast that can be created this way. It always takes a little work to light subjects this way but it is worth it to me.

  Since my bouquet was also beginning to soften and wilt, the pressure was on to preserve it. I'm happy I took the time because it now has a permanence symbolic of my new commitment <3

   

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) art bouquet carnations colorcompliments colorful decor fineart p photography roses sunflowers surrealism wedding http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/6/multiple-personality-bouquet Thu, 26 Jun 2014 04:15:39 GMT
A Week In the Life of a Porch Flower http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/6/a-week-in-the-life-of-a-porch-flower This is a week in the life of a Peony. The ants are believed to be beneficial because the flower provides them with food. It is then easier for the double layered bloom to open up. These images were taken between May 25 and June 4, 2014. 

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/6/a-week-in-the-life-of-a-porch-flower Thu, 26 Jun 2014 03:06:15 GMT
Bizzare Perspectives http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/5/bizzare-perspectives  

After a busy week of wedding planning, I've been blessed with the opportunity to visit a doctor to face the seriousness of my sugar dependency. Its time to get professional help instead of basing my actions on assumptions and self-proclaimed expertise. I'm kind of all over the place as I rationalize my sudden NEED for strawberry Timbits. Since I ate the whole box already, why not have a whopper and ...gulp...a NON diet Coke?! While I'm inhaling a large fry, I am thinking about creative expression, influence, perspective, and how things don't always look as they really are_ BURP_ (excuse me) Especially those horrible mirrors in the bridal shops! Do they make everyone look 50 pounds heavier? Or am I in denial again? Lemme grab another Coke as I contemplate the horror of bathing suit shopping. Wait... Is that a sumo wrestler is a pink bikini in here with me?  Or did I get the "fun house mirror" dressing room again?

 

I've been taught that everything we hear, feel, smell and see is processed by our brains based on our life experiences. For example, I feel liberated and hopeful when I hear the air conditioner kick on for the first time. But I feel fear and anxiety when I hear the awful, rotating needle sound of mosquito wings at bedtime. Depending on my mood and emotions, my perceptions are widely affected. If I am missing my son, the site of a mother and a baby boy might make me cry. The smell of burning wood may subconsciously remind me of a house fire in my youth. The smell of rescue vehicles takes me to the many fatal tragedies I've covered as a news photographer. Memories are triggered by senses and influenced by emotions, then stored away inaccurately. What can be trusted? What is Really Real and Really Not?

 

Emotions are not facts. Feelings are not facts. They change. Fact remain as facts so I rely on third party perspective and my fellow followers in Christ. This is my "spiritual eye" because it overrides ALL physical realities. In this state of mind, surrealistic photography and LIFE in general is more fun and exciting! 

 

I've always been attracted to art that shows atypical perspective. As an artist. I like to manipulate a scene to deceive my viewer in a sort of sinister way. This makes creating images exciting for me. It lets me experience life outside of everyday realities and stifling routine... My images today are  simple pictures of 'created' surreal subject matter. Technically, they are what I saw in camera. Burning/dodging and curves were used in Adobe Photoshop to enhance the pictures. Dark edges were added and the images were converted to black and white in Adobe Lightroom under the "creamtone" preset. 

 

Skull Creature

Top-This little guy is a starling skull on a stick. He is placed on top of a chicken foot and stood up on the blank page of an open book. Deep shadows and back-lighting create a nightmarish, pop-up book surrealism as he looks up at his viewer. Below- The bird skulls appear to be eating as they further distort reality. We know dead things don't eat. And if he were alive, his skull would not be featherless. He may be a zombie bird!

 

Moon Flowers

These sunflowers were photographed in the wild as they were. A flash was used to light them from a very low angle and black out the background to create the illusion of creepy solitude. It appears surreal because we don't see sunflowers lit this way. They grow in open places, and are lit overhead by direct sunshine. Had we always seen them lit from below, this picture would lose its lonely nature. 

Bee's Knees

This is a honey bee on a wild flower. He is out of focus except for his legs. The low angle gives him a very strong presence. It is an accidental shot and a very unusually close look at a natural every day scene.

Wild Dog Smile

This is a wild dog skull found "as is" in the woods. To me it is quite disturbing because it appears to be a kind of grimacing creature coming out of the ground.  The lower jaw bones are facing upward, with the nose down.  We would normally see a dog's head with the nose up. and a snarl to go with the bared teeth. This one seems to have a sinister smile. The image was shot with very limited depth of field and careful composition to emphasize the monsterly illusion.

Two Worlds

One of my favorite places on Earth. Buck Creek State Park. One side is cement, the other is wild fields. The fields are in light while the other side is in shadow. For me the "darkness" emphasizes the barren landscape on the dam side. It seems cold and lifeless. The little flower growing out of the black shadows gives the scene a sense of hope while the dam wall is a dramatic separation of the two worlds. I chose to keep the top of the dam wall cut out of the picture to strengthen the drama of the scene.

T-Rex Dead Leaf

This is a leaf. Again I used unnatural light to create this T-Rex. I figured I would get some texture in the leaf to emphasize the prehistoric shape but the texture also worked in my favor. A flash was used off camera and held very low to darken the background and  make the dead leaf come alive.

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) fineart illusion photography realism surrealism zombies http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/5/bizzare-perspectives Sat, 17 May 2014 03:25:12 GMT
Reflections of A Girly Girl gone Plain http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/5/reflections-of-a-girly-girl-gone-plain

My pictures this week are reflections and windows. Seeing inside or out. Surfaces opaque and translucent.  For some reason I have been attracted to them and their depth.  It fits my theme.  I was asked by a close friend to reflect on self-image. She inquired why I don't doll up anymore. Wear the stylish clothes, polish the nails, and sport hairdos. I'm sure she thought better of asking about my unshaven legs, the wild eye-brows, and ever lasting bed-head. I DID brush my hair that day but only after I napped with it wet, which proved I showered too.  Never mind my black sweat pants that proudly show each and every one of my dog's white hairs. And oops...my socks don't match. So I'm asking myself? What really happened?

Some extra weight, some good old-fashioned modesty and an amazing since of LIBERATION!  I'm exhausted from YEARS of expensive nail salons, clothes, purses, heels, boots, socks, 9 million pairs of flip flops, hair extensions, jewelry, hose, and extreme tanning. Painful bleaching, tweezing and waxing. Skinny jeans, plastic surgery, itchy contacts and don't even get me started on lacy thongs. I once glued and taped myself into an evening gown for a pageant. I even shaved my toes as they sported FAKE toenails! I realized I felt as though I were worth nothing but my looks and what I could use them to get. I remember feeling overwhelming panic that everyone in the world may not see me as attractive. Expensive diet pills, painful workouts, sharpie eye liners, and illicit use of stimulants. I remember "spray" tanning at least once a week to mask my unhealthy ways. None of it worked for long. My dreams never came true, I didn't get my way, someone else 'got the guy' and most devastatingly, I was a covering up all that I really was. That's NOT to say that any of these beauty treatments are "wrong", they just didn't work for what I was seeking.  (a sense of well-being and realistic self-acceptance)

I'm not sure when I started to change. I sport an extra 30 pounds since giving up most of the rituals above. Its part of why I don't feel the need to strut my cellulite in a miniskirt anymore. At the same time, I'm OK with it if I have some arm fat showing when I wear a tank  top.  I think God kept some weight on me so I had  to look at myself in a different light. My eating habits could not be tamed without the drugs I gave up. What choice did I have? Importantly, I have noticed that I'm a little more than OK with NOT attracting sexual attention from men.  I had a lot of help with this part from others on this same spiritual journey. I just don't crave it anymore. It has simplified my life dramatically. I don't pluck my eyebrows and I only shave my legs when I feel like it. I don't dye my hair because its just too much work and I'm kinda lazy. I still like to tan though and dance. I will always love to dance.

I'm lucky and blessed with the way God worked things out for me. Against all odds, the man I plan to marry next month TRULY thinks I'm gorgeous. Weather I'm in an evening gown at 120 pounds, or a sick wretch with swollen eyes from hay fever; I can see it in his eyes that he sees no difference. Did HE make me ok with myself? No. It came before him with NOT SO HARD work on myself and TONS of help and support from other WOMEN.  I was just plain LUCKY to find him.  My overhaul was NOT physical. It was and is spiritual and ongoing. My relationship with Jerry is the icing on the cake. The golden egg in the Easter Egg hunt.  I didn't have to hunt for it. I sorta tripped over it and recognized it was golden.

I am consumed with self-improvement on the inside. New dreams have been re-awakened. My goals are different now. I like to get dirty and play with snakes. With or without make-up...On me or the snakes. Do I have dreams of sporting nice clothes as I work in my dream studio or on location? Always. Do I wanna wear SOME of the clothes that hang all lonely in my closet (the jeans that wont go past my knees)? Yes. I'm still human and still a woman. Do I get a little envious when I see someone look FABULOUS in a bikini? Of course. Am I gonna beat myself up to be someone else? No. Will I dye my hair? Maybe. But I have far more important things to focus on...like grocery shopping in my pajamas, and I don't have time for a broken nail.

 

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) art hope photography selfimage selflove http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/5/reflections-of-a-girly-girl-gone-plain Fri, 09 May 2014 01:16:53 GMT
Who Am I? http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/4/who-am-i   Who am I? I have been confronted with this question a lot as of late. I often contemplate it after facing criticism. This goes for the things I want to hear and the things I don't. Third party perspective means a lot to me as long as I let it past my EGO. That part of me that feels hurt, or flattered. Defensive or elated. My feelings are just that...feelings. Not a fact or even a definition of who I am. They change with the weather and muddy my thinking. But what am I underneath it all? The RAW and unedited "ME" who has been so confused by layers and layers of ideas absorbed by the realities I've sensed from birth? Has it really been so hard to stand firm on any ONE or MANY things? Am I wishy-washy and weak minded because I see 17 sides to every story? Am I a chameleon to get what I want by pleasing others?  Am I open-minded or truly closed and set in my ways. Probably both.  

My favorite book (Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse) is about a man who thinks of himself as a "half wolf/half man." He describes his life as constant contradiction between his carnal nature and one of order and obedience. He later finds that he is not only two split beings, but he is many beings and selves. And those selves have selves. Some selves co-exist, others are at odds. I have found some peace in this and some answers for my own selves.

I always want to have the answers. I want to know it all and be everything to everyone ALL the time. However, my carnal nature simply doesn't care what you think. I'm in it for myself. My little bun-headed, librarian self has another agenda. She says I should find a happy medium...but the body builder lady self  thinks as long as I look good all will be well. But then that spiritual lady...the heavy one with a loud voice and tender manner, says I should seek God's will. And then there's the self that has horns and a pitch fork. The pseudo-bad ass that loves death metal and animal bones. I have a Mommy self that would give anything to hold her son right now, and the little girl that just wants to be held. There's a wolf self that doesn't care about any of this as long as she gets a cheese burger and a donut soon. Then there's that pain in the butt self that is self destructive and wants to party. That self is constantly bickering with the spirit in me that stands firm on what I can and cannot do. What I cannot do is based on patterns of past behaviors. It is physical proof that cannot be disputed. Partying (the use of mind altering substances and beverages) is OUT. On that, ALL the selves stand firm...cept the party self. He is now sulking and trying to get me to do a whip-it.  

From one human being to another I feel my connection to others flows strongest through creativity and similarities.  But as I look back, my most valuable relationships have been with people I have felt the least comfortable. The ones that were my bosses, teachers and mentors. They made me see beyond myself and I really didn't like them for that. I hated being made to be a team player because I wanted to do it all by myself...except when things went badly. Then it was the team's fault. I respected these people though, and the relationship grew if my selves allowed it. The true gifts came from that discomfort. I am now beginning to see my many selves as part of a much larger self and I am not the center of it. I am a part of a whole and so are you. One is no better or worse than the other.

I was somehow going to make these photos match this blog entry but like my selves, they are not quite in agreement. With the exception that I am very inspired by this dark metal band, Behemoth.  I was so honored to be allowed to photograph them last week. They are extreme in their right to express themselves as artists. They provoke thought and emotion deep inside me. Though I do not always agree, or even understand all they represent, I am certain of this...I stand firm in self expression. I crave to share my selves and communicate all I see, hear and feel through art because it doesn't have to make sense. Its a spiritual expression of what simply IS. My passion is parallel and all my selves are in harmony. I AM an artist. 

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) artists behemoth blackmetal creative fineart music photography http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/4/who-am-i Tue, 29 Apr 2014 05:08:04 GMT
Down Time Dog Blog http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/4/down-time-dog-blog  

 

My dog, Bossk, has never failed to make me smile. He is the first and last "person" i see each day. I owe tribute to my best friend today. I recently had painful surgery following an injury and I was down for a long time. During my recent healing process, I have had a very faithful companion. I put my bed up against the window so my friend wouldn't get cabin fever during such a time of quiet and stillness. I swear he sent me comfort everyday with his looks of encouragement. He sensed when i was down and nudged my hands to pet him. Through my tears i saw hope in his eyes as i struggled with confinement. We went side by side to the bathroom the whole time i was on crutches even though he was afraid of them.  He led the way when i crawled because the pain was just to great to walk.  He was right there with me the whole time. I sensed an overwhelming relief when his glossy eyes said "It will be ok. We will soon be tromping in the woods...this memory behind us. "

Being an artist, I felt very bored and frustrated. I spent a lot of time watching online tutorials about other photographers, portrait and sales techniques. I learned Adobe Illustrator and Advanced Photoshop. I chatted with old friends. I learned to hop quite a distance on one foot. I learned I could use pain medication responsibly, and that Ibuprofen works better anyway. I learned to persevere through the pain because for some reason, God wanted to keep me still. In being still, I have healed amazingly fast. I'm still not sure what God's plan is for me as i wait in this cocoon but I'm sure I sensed Him in everyone who supported me. Everything i have learned in recovery showed up when i needed it most. I never knew how many people were in my corner, my biggest coach being an 10 pound fur ball with boogly eyes and  satellite dish ears. God works through others. I'm sure of it.  His light kept mine aflame with hope. Thank you friends and Family. Thank you God and Thank you Bossk The Chihuahua. I am blessed and grateful to be yours.

Our down time window light portraiture...

 

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) (artists) (fine (window God Love Photography art art) chihuahua confinement dogs happiness hope light) love pets photography recovery stillness window http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/4/down-time-dog-blog Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:00:36 GMT
Images of Grace and Technique http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/4/images-of-grace I was honored this week to do a fine art portrait session with a very talented ballerina, Madelyne Wang of Dayton Ballet. I have a long time love of dancing and i wanted to capture the grace and beauty of ballet. I'm impressed by the discipline and respect to small details of movement and posing. In a way it's very similar to photographic technique. I believe the details make the photo go from mediocre to stunning. Though i use Photoshop, i still believe the value of a photo lies in the details and traditional techniques. I cannot make a photo great with software. I can only enhance what it already there. Artistic trends will change but the core of photography is a very disciplined science. In school I was told we were "Lighting Technicians" I thought it would look awfully awkward on my resume but i now see the relevance of such a description. Creativity does not excuse sloppy technique in any art form. I had to learn to distinguish between fine art and creative experimentation. I recently spent my down time re-learning the techniques I was taught in high school and college. After years of ego based kicking and screaming, I have gone back to the basics to return to tradition. I've found clean portrait images to be timeless. Wall portraits and heirlooms. They will never go out of style. When doing a wedding i ask myself, "is this creative portrait of the bride going to hang over the mantle or is the shot of the entire family going to be there?" I know my choice on my wedding day and I'm leaving it the hands of a  talented and technically sound documentary photographer. This attitude is my new approach to creating portraits. Anyone can make a gorgeous photograph today. I have seen some very impressive phone selfies and been envious!!! My eye is not unique.  What can i do to convince a client to hire me? 

fine art photography, dancer, grace, ballerina, portrait photographyBallerinaBallerina, Madelyne Wang portrait series BallerinaBallerina, Madelyne Wang portrait series

 

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) (fine art) ballerina creativity dance lighting portraiture posing technique tradition http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/4/images-of-grace Fri, 18 Apr 2014 23:13:24 GMT
sports photography http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/1/sports-photography

I had many painful lessons while learning sports photography. At my first high school football game, I remember asking my boss, Marshall Gorby, which one the "quarter back" was. It was hard to get a good shot so I went for a safe one. My first few track meets were blurry disasters and as basketball season rolled around, I asked the boss to have me shoot anything but sports. He said he'd take care of me. So he did. He sent me to a girls basketball game EVERYDAY for the entire 1996 season. I remember the frustration but somewhere between studying Joe Thiesman's Football for Dummies,  and silently cursing the boss, something started to change. I started enjoying the games and my work began to improve. By spring I was ready and enthusiastic to shoot the state track and field meet. Eventually, through painstaking running along all 18 holes of golf, getting soaked on sidelines, run over during plays, knocked out by a soccer ball, taking a straight pitch to the ankle and never ending deadlines, I became passionate about sports photography. My favorites became football and wrestling. Two of the toughest sports to capture in action for me. My weekends consisted of a high school game on Friday, college on Saturday, and if I was super lucky, NFL on Sunday. The most valuable lessons I learned were in the slow process of discipline and humility. Today, I cherish every moment of shooting sports events. The present and the past. All the support I had from the staff at News-Sun. James Mahan, Chuck Mathews and Jim Laskay.  Today I do a lot of freelance sports. Id love to shoot for some glossy magazine or huge daily newspaper but im just as happy, here on earth, shooting the next generation of athletes. The passion of young athletes is something that seems to disappear in the professional sports world. Passion is the essence of sports photography for me. The energy and life in the children is contagious and it takes me out of myself.  I look forward to many more years covering youth sports. Wee Arrows Action Photo galleries are coming soon! I have to be sure to get an action shots of each child wrestling. Cant wait!

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sarahbennettrodgers@gmail.com (Sarah Bennett Photography) photography sports http://sarahbennettphotography.net/blog/2014/1/sports-photography Sun, 26 Jan 2014 01:21:46 GMT