Tag Archives: photographer

Writer Inspires Artist – Artist Inspires Writer or On The Radio – Meet Hank

I could call this week’s post – “The Art of Visualization: The Key Element to Writing, Art and Photography”, but the result of that ability is “On The Radio – Meet Hank”.  I’m doing a joint collaboration with one of my favorite authors, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. One of my most consistent comments to her after reading her writing is: “I love it…I am instantly pulled in because I can visualize everything you are writing about”. When she asked me to do this joint post, her request was simple: “Go through your art and photography portfolio and send me a picture that you would like to have me weave into one of my novels”. I narrowed it down to Cedar Rapids Barn because this capture of an old dilapidated barn created a visualization of a rural setting and the mystery surrounding the structure (side note: I was driving on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the heavily wooded hills along the river when I spotted this structure nestled in the trees. Of course I had to stop…hike into the woods and take some shots with my camera). So with that, I would like to turn it over to the star of this visualization, Teagan: 

Hi Kirt! Hello everyone, I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, from the blog, Teagan’s Books. It’s my pleasure to be a guest here at The Wall Gallery. Thanks to Kirt for working with me on this joint post!

3-things-cover_3-2016As I get ready for the takeoff of my next 1920s novel, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, I’m doing some collaborative posts with other bloggers. We’re combining their unique talents with my stories. From his wonderful collection, Kirt chose this image, Cedar Rapids Barn. I let it spontaneously lead me to the story below.

This tale is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.)

Today meet Hank Hertz. This vignette is part of Hank’s backstory. He’s a young man Pip will meet when she is sent to live in Savannah, Georgia with her grandmother. However, this vignette takes place at some point not too long before Pip arrives there, so she is not in this story.

On the Radio — Meet Hank

No harm in trying one more time, Hank Hertz thought as he stacked all manner of electronic components on the counter.

“Hi, Mr. Hardscrabble,” Hank mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact with the hardware store’s proprietor.

“Hank, I already told you. Your ma told me not to sell you any of this gadgetry tomfoolery. You might as well put all that stuff back on the shelves, son.”

Hardscrabble put a hand to his balding head in a frustrated gesture. He found his spectacles there and smiled because he’d forgotten where he put them. However, he brightened when the door opened. One of “Savannah’s finest,” Detective Dabney Daniels strolled into Hardscrabble Hardware. His finely chiseled features remained neutral, but he raised an eyebrow at the tableau at the counter.

“Now get on with you, boy. Put everything back. I can’t take your money,” the store owner repeated before turning to a real customer. “That boy gets more like his granddaddy every day. Detective, what can I do for you?”

1928 Detroit police radio Blue

“No need to rest on formality, Homer. I can’t find my flashlight, so I’m here for another one,” the detective replied then looked sheepish. “Go ahead and laugh about things going missing at a police station. I can tell you’re holding it back.”

Hank watched the exchange between the tall detective and the portly shopkeeper as he reluctantly made trips from the sales counter back to the shelves. He could have carried more things at one time, but he delayed the inevitable, hoping Mr. Hardscrabble would change his mind. As he picked up a few more items to return to the shelf, the detective stopped him.

“What is all that stuff, son? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were building a ham radio. Or at least intended to before Homer shut you down.”

For a moment Hank’s face lit up at the mention of his passion — all things electronic, especially radios. He looked dejectedly at his feet.

“Momma wants me to study law. She says electronics and inventions are a distraction. She even said they were toys!”

“So all the old fogies are conspiring against you, huh? Well, you’d better ankle all that stuff back where it came from, like Homer told you.”

***

1920 Radio News

After supper Hank got an armload of books and headed out the kitchen door. His mother looked at the heavy tomes and gave a satisfied nod. Hank knew she was watching from the window above the sink as he walked to the little red barn. Vines of Cherokee roses ran riot over the building. The Hertz family used the barn for storage, but Hank made it his personal spot to study or just hang out. He also had a workbench tucked in one corner where he discretely kept his radio equipment.

The horizon blazed red with sunset when Hank slipped out of the barn. He pedaled the motorized bicycle he had made until he was far enough away that his parents wouldn’t hear the noise of the motor. Dusk descended as he rode into town.

Hank didn’t pay any attention to the dark Ford parked on the corner, or to the fact that someone sat inside it. He rode down the alley and came up behind Hardscrabble Hardware. The back door was locked, but he found a window he could open. He took his flashlight and climbed into the store.

He knew exactly where to find everything he wanted. So it didn’t take Hank long to gather all the electronics he tried to buy that afternoon. He stood at the sales counter and added up all the prices. He figured the tax. Then he left the full amount of the purchase, plus two cents, because he didn’t have enough pennies to leave the exact change.

Putting everything into his bag, Hank turned toward the back of the shop. It felt like an electric charge shot from his neck down his arm when he heard a cough behind him. Hank jerked around to face the sound.

1920 Victoria motorcycle ad

The boy thought he’d lose everything he ate for supper when he saw the police detective standing there, arms folded.

“So you actually broke into the store and paid for the things Homer wouldn’t sell you? Son, I don’t know what to make of that.”

Hank stumbled back a step. He wanted to run, but the copper knew who he was and where he lived. Besides, Hank had a pretty good idea that those long legs could catch up with him before he got to his bicycle. His breath caught in his throat. Hank couldn’t have spoken even if he’d known what to say.

The detective closed the distance to the counter in a single step. He pointed his new flashlight to the paper where Hank had added up his purchase. Then he pursed his lips as he thought. He stared at Hank as if he could see every fib the boy had ever told. Hank gulped.

“Where’d you get the money for this stuff, son? Allowance? Money for odd jobs?”

Hank only nodded, still unable to talk. Finally he found his voice and croaked out a reply. “It’s my money sir. Fair and square. I wouldn’t steal anything.”

“I guess I’m going to have to have a talk with your parents,” the Dabney Daniels said, slowly shaking his head.

Poor Hank felt like he might sink through the floor, right then and there. His knees felt weak.

“But this,” the copper motioned at Hank’s bag full of stuff. “I don’t see as any law has really been broken. After all, I walked in through the front door, which was unlocked. I know Homer leaves through the back door and forgets to lock the front. But being as you’re here, I assume he left it open for you.”

Hank gazed at Daniels in wide eyed confusion.

“Besides, I hate doing paperwork. If you had actually broken into this store, I’d have to haul you to the station and spend the rest of the night writing up the report. I do have to talk to your parents though,” he added causing Hank to sink further.

The young man managed a groan.

“You know, I really need an intern down at the station. I think your mother will see that working for me would be a good learning experience for a future lawyer. In a way, that’s where law starts isn’t it? With the police? Meanwhile you can put your talent with radio gadgetry to use. How does that sound?”

The end

***

And so Savannah’s youngest policeman began his career. If you want to know more about the other characters in Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, click here. Thanks for reading.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

Lily Pads On The Lily Pond – Featured Photograph

Lily Pads on The Lily Pond is a photograph I took in Butchart Gardens located just outside of Victoria, British Columbia.

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Southern California Flower Garden – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I wanted to share a photo shoot I did last weekend while we were in Los Angeles at our daughter and son-in-law’s house. They have a lot of mature plants around their house and I usually do a quick photo shoot whenever we visit because something is always in bloom. As usual I wasn’t disappointed. I wanted to share the first capture just to give you an idea how thick and mature their gardens are. This shot was actually taken from a window looking out into what looks like a dense jungle. Just through those bushes is a green carpet of lawn, but from this viewpoint you just see bushes and a few stray lilies.

Southern California Flower Garden One

This next capture is the same lily from the first photo, but from the yard looking into the “undergrowth”. I loved the subtle lighting this single plant was getting.

 

Southern California Flower Garden Two

I took a stroll around the house and found the rest….

Southern California Flower Garden Three

Southern California Flower Garden Four

Southern California Flower Garden Five

Southern California Flower Garden Six

Thoughts?

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Mount Shasta – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I was on a quick two day road trip this week with my son-in-law traveling from Phoenix to Seattle. We had a short time frame to meet, so we had two very intense driving days to get up to Seattle (the good news for me, I flew back to Phoenix, so only had the drive one way). Anyone that follows my blog knows that I never go anywhere without my camera….you just never know!!

Because we had such a tight timeframe, there really wasn’t much opportunity to stop and take pictures, but I was able to grab some shots of Mt Shasta when we stopped for breakfast in Mount Shasta, California. With the amount of moisture that has been hitting the western US (much needed for California), the amount of snow on Mt Shasta was incredible, as you can see by the pictures. Tidbits about Mt Shasta: It is a volcano that sits on the southern end of the Cascade Mountain Range in Northern California and has an elevation of 14,179 ft. It last erupted in 1786.

Upon arriving back home and reviewing the shots, I thought that part of the series I hurriedly took would make a great example of framing a shot either while you are taking a picture or afterwards if you have the right software.


Mount Shasta One

Mount Shasta One

This first capture I created using the zoom feature of my lens to frame the shot. I was standing in a parking lot right outside of the restaurant.

Mount Shasta Two

Mount Shasta Two

This capture gives you the look and feel of what I was actually seeing in my line of site…..again, the first shot was my zoom lens framing the shot above the Shell gas station (notice the tree branches that were in the first shot).

Mount Shasta Three

Mount Shasta Three

Another approach if you don’t have a strong zoom lens or just didn’t use it, is this method. This capture is from the second shot….I cropped it in Photoshop to eliminate the “street noise” of the other picture.

I think both methods created the final image that I was looking for. Thoughts?


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Issaquah Train Station – Featured Art Print

Issaquah Train Station – from my Color Photography Gallery is a color photograph wall art print of train tracks running in front of the Issaquah, Washington train station. The setting is Issaquah, Washington during the fall color changes. The amount of trees throughout this eastern suburb of Seattle that turn vibrant colors in the autumn is spectacular. The brilliance of this autumn display becomes the focal point this time of year with the natural pines that cover the mountain slopes nearby as a steady green backdrop.

Since I shoot in RAW format, I was able to sharpen and deepen the contrast and details to give this shot strong depth throughout the entire frame. I love pictures that take a subject and visually follow it into “infinity” such as the tracks in this shot! Thoughts?


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Getting Your Christmas Tree

christmas-tree-shopping

I just want to start this post with saying that the attached picture is what is in my head when I think of going to get a Christmas Tree. Do we really go out to the woods to cut down a tree…only in a fantasy world. When our girls were young, we always went to a Christmas Tree farm to find just the right tree…anything less than 9 feet wasn’t acceptable. After the year of the tree falling and needing wired to the wall, good old Dad went out and bought a fake tree. I won’t bore you with all of the details of the mishaps of putting the tree up that year, but suffice it to say, it put me over the edge and a fake tree was now my plan of attack. The following year when I came home with this 9 foot artificial tree, there was a minor revolt in the household. My wife and the two oldest girls refused to help put it up. Our youngest was more than willing to help Dad with the tree and it became our tradition to put the tree together, just the two of us and then the rest would come in to decorate. Ok, so she was only two when this started, but the branches were color coded and alphabetized. Over the years she learned her alphabet and colors quite well. It has become a family joke that Dad taught her how to read putting the tree together. Fast forward 24+ years and the tree still looks really good…(true story)…

I share all of this as every family has their traditions around getting their Christmas  tree, putting it up and decorating it. I wanted to share what is in my head when I assemble the alphabetized and color coded branches of our now 24 year old tree, the attached picture!!

May the Joy of the Season be with you and your family!!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Love this time of year to enjoy family and friends and reflect on how much we have to be thankful for. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and three incredible daughters, two awesome son-in-laws and a third soon to be son-in-law (wedding July of 2017) and the pending arrival of our first grandchild!! May the season find you healthy, happy and thankful!!