MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: October 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION!

Okay, so I'm promoting another of my websites here...PAUL MASHBURN - FINE ART, but if I don't who will?!

I have been accumulating photos for years, and have finally got to the place in my life where I have the time to spend outside at different times of the day and night to capture the images I see in my mind's eye, and the money for the kind of equipment one needs to do the job right. 

Photography has always been a passion of mine, or at least from the time, back in 1964, when a friend, Frank Boyce, gave me an old "Mamiya rangefinder" 35mm.  I used that little wonder all through the Air Force, including documenting my tour in Vietnam, and up until the time I started working for the Roane County NEWS as advertising manager.

Man, did I have fun working in advertising.  Naturally, it involved great accounts with the boutiques in our little county, and pretty high school girls (who weren't that much younger than me then), and beautiful clothes!  What more could a creative mind and a love for photography ask for?!

Of course, I spent my time on the sidelines, nearly getting creamed by running backs, just to get that one great shot for the sports page!  I think the anticipation of the darkroom experience after the game was almost as exciting as the game itself.  I loved the smell and feel of the darkroom, but most of all what you could do with a negative.  All the while, looking forward to surprising my owner/editor with a great shot!

Today my darkroom consist or software called Photoshop!  No smell, no feel, just greater control.  However, I miss the isolation and the yellow light glowing up in the dusty corner of a musty little curtained off room.

Another chance meeting that spurred my interest and knowledge in photography was working with Bill Hall, who was a renowned, yet mischievous, photographer, and the paper's chief camera man.  He used a Hasselblad, a "Hackeyblad" as he called it, which in my mind elevated him to great photographic stature!  I was almost ashamed to stand by him with my little Minolta 35mm!

I learned a lot about the art of photography, and the darkroom from Bill.  I owe him for pushing me on to be the best I could be with what I had.

In this old newspaper clipping (above), you can see that I did all the work (a day teaching), while Bill flirted with the college gals and got the photo credit at the bottom. 

However, I soon began getting my own "credit line", as the clipping above shows.  I was just Paul then...the "J" came later!

I even spent my time sweating, literally, over a 39, plus 1 double exposure, wedding shoot so I could thrill some newly wed with a cheap (cost wise) wedding album.  Thirty-nine 8X10 photos in a tufted and monogrammed album all for $200!  No one could beat it...except maybe with a little more quality that multiple lights offered, but hey, I couldn't afford all the extras at the time.  I was just trying to supplement my $150 a week income, and possibly save enough for a better camera, or another Mustang!

I ended up with a 2 1/4X2 3/4 format camera called a Rapid Omega 200.  It was really nice and gave me some of the finest color negatives I ever got from a film camera.  I still have it...if anyone's interested!

So, back to today...I decided to offer my best photos (solely judged by me) for sale.  I get request all the time from my Flickr site from people wanting this or that, but never had a way of really selling to the public.  After getting request for my night shot from Buzzard's Bluff recently, I started researching in earnest.

I found Fine Art America while Googling and comparing companies, and I think I like what they offer.  There is no commission to be paid...I just list base price I want out of a sale, and they add on shipping, handling, tax, framing, and take credit card payment from the buyers.  I simply get a check for what they've sold for me every two weeks.

Well, don't get excited, I haven't made any money yet, and I probably will never get rich, but at least when someone asks how they can get a copy of a photo of mine I have somewhere to send them, and I just stay out of the negotiation.  They can take it or leave it...I just want to take pictures!

Oh, did I ever give you the website?  JUST CLICK HERE, and check it out!  Check back often too...I'll be posting new ones there frequently.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SOMETIMES THINGS HAPPEN TOO FAST TO BLOG ABOUT THEM

Nope, I don't stop here often myself anymore...just like you! 
It seems there is just more important stuff to do, and mostly, these days, photography has first priority. No, not over family, but in things I really want to do. Oh, I may still want to go on a hike, but the primary reason is the chance to capture a few photos. These days, in East Tennessee, the leaves are turning, and the squirrels are busy putting on fat and storing up food for the long winter ahead.

We can see it all play out from the "screened porch", our little "tree house" overlooking the backyard. 

If I'm not up to a long hike, then I'll just travel around looking for something to catch my eye, and if it isn't in my town, I'll run up the road 10 or 20 miles and look for things I don't normally see in my circle of life. Like this old 1956 International Howe fire truck in Oliver Springs. Which reminds me, there the "October Sky" festival is going on there in a couple weeks. Lots of photo opportunities then I bet!

Some days I hook up with my bud Douglas D. (Danger) Mills and follow him around taking stills of what he's taking movies of, which is for our work on a Princess Production DVD for a lady in Roane County. 
Yes, that's poison ivy in the background!

One morning at 5:30 AM Doug and I were at the highest point above Harriman, Buzzard's Bluff. From there you can see a large part of the Walden Ridge Valley which stretches from here all the way to Chattanooga. A slow moving river of fog drifted below us, making the valley floor, with its street lights, appear like an underwater wonderland! 
Purchase this photo at http://paul-mashburn.artistwebsites.com/
It was beautiful and while my stills turned out well, Doug's time-lapse was stunning! The camera was taking a still frame every second or so, and then is played back at a normal 30 frames per second. The river of fog truly progresses down the valley in the scene as an actual river. It's beautiful to watch the fog move and to see the clouds form and move out of frame.

The DVD will show what wonderful things there are to see and do in our area.

More of my Buzzard's Bluff shots, and area photos, can be found in this Flickr set.

Back down the mountain, Doug and I might hang out at the local community college and shoot and film a ballgame, a gathering of children playing flag football, or of people moving between the campus buildings. While Doug might be looking for the money DVD shots, I'm looking for shots of him doing what Doug does best; that's being one of the best videographers ever. His 25-year work on a series unique to East Tennessee, "The Heartland", is proof of his abilities. The series logged around 1900 episodes!

I was doing just this (shooting Doug filming) back in February of 2009 when I stumbled and fell, breaking four ribs. Without letting on how much pain I was in, I calmly drove Doug off Walden's Ridge and back to his car. I drove by the ER in Harriman and plopped in my recliner, where I stayed for about two weeks; not knowing until my cancer scan turned up the fractures and showed where my right kidney actually bleed internally!

There are lots of things going on around Roane County, and they are constantly calling me name, and saying, "...bring your camera!"


Last week there was "Hauntin' In Harriman", which is basically a classic "ghost tour", and every city worth its salt has one. Harriman's is traditionally the second week in October, just as the leaves start their annual color change, and just about the time everyone starts thinking about Halloween.

I tagged along, tripod in tow, sweating up and down "Cornstalk Heights", taking ghostly looking photos of the actors that play out the stories told at several stops along the way. Again, I was doing stills, which will be used in next year's promotion, while David McCarthy shot video for his "Final Cut" class at Roane State

It was very exciting and I was pleased with my results. You can see some of the best by clicking HERE!



Then there was this past weekend. Ol' Herman Cain dropped by Roane State to speak to the area "Tea Party", and I was on hand, armed with a new 70-210mm zoom lens. Thanks to my local connections, I was able to stay very close to Mr. Cain as he met and greeted those welcoming him to the county, to the Fox NEWS team as they prepared and interviewed him for the Mike Huckabee Show, and as he spoke to the faithful! The lens paid off and I had a ball being with close friends and watching a little history go down in our humble county.  See more Herman Cain photos HERE!

Just as I was getting into it and preparing to follow Herman to his campaign bus, my cell rang and it was Judy, back from her "lesbian cruise", as I called it, to Greece. She went with about forty area women on a "women only" tour of the Greek islands.
She apparently had a ball, as evidenced by these select few photos. She did pretty well herself!



So, now we're all back together, safe and sound, and I can get back to doing more of what I like...shooting historical photos of our Princess Theatre. The project is coming along wonderfully, and I have had the privileged of documenting the journey from the inside out! I can't wait to she her in her full "art deco" garb, and see all the smiling faces flowing in and out her doors once again.


So, if you don't hear from me for long spans of time, I'm just busy with Princess business. But, you can keep up with what I'm doing, and how the Princess is doing by CLICKING HERE!