Ann Brooks Photography

Photojournalism, art photography, studio happenings & resources

Posts Tagged ‘Canon 40D

Making Art on the Farm

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Last Sunday I drove out to West Marin – a beautiful, sunny, spring day. Traveling with my Canon 40D, my destination was the Cerini Ranch just north of the town of Marshall off of California Highway One. The Doughty family had opened their ranch to artists to come paint, sketch, photograph, or just be inspired, all under the auspices of Art On The Farm – every few weeks a different farm opens it’s gates for North Bay artists to come and practice their art.

There had been recent rains and the hills were green. As I arrived, I was easily overwhelmed by the beauty of the ranch, it’s classic old buildings, decaying machinery and green rolling hills. I was challenged to decide what, in all this, would be my subjects. In the long run, the day turned out to be an important reminder to me that what I am drawn to photograph is people living their lives, objects relevant to human activities. Not just beautiful scenery. I’m a photojournalist at heart. Ultimately, only the three photos below made the cut.

As I looked at the above scene, I made many photos of the old backhoe and the beautifully weathered barn. None really “spoke to me” until I got up close and personal, a reminder that I’m inclined to the more intimate approach, thistles, cobwebs, muck, and all!

Late in the day, I couldn’t resist an artist painting the trees and hills beyond, which are so typical of this part of West Marin.

Back down the hill at the gate, as I was heading home, the cows were heading home as well.

Art on the Farm is a community-based, volunteer run partnership between artists and Marin Organic farmers. Art on the Farm was the vision of Bolinas farmer and artist, Alan Mart. It’s history goes back to 1998.

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Frogs or Fleas? Plazuela de los Sapos

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This February I timed my visit to Puebla, Mexico so that I would arrive in time for two days of sleuthing at an open air market. I was looking for unusual little goodies to add to yet to be designed jewelry for my collection.

Every weekend at Plazuela de los Sapos – little plaza of the toads (frogs) – vendors set up shop for a lively outdoor market. It’s often referred to as Mercado de Antigüedades or Antiques Market. To me it seemed more like a flea market, and I loved it!

Saturday I went looking for little charms and trinkets to hang on bracelets yet to be designed for my jewelry studio – both online and at Art Works Downtown. I did find some wonderful little charms and other goodies which, once affixed with a loop of one type or another, can be added to bracelets. I also found pieces that can be the center focus of necklaces.

Sunday I returned to the market, hoping for more jewelry goodies and found none. However, I did have my Canon 40D with me and came home with another type of gem — great photos for my notecard series, a selection of four follows at the bottom of this post.

One of the images for notecards is the one above, “San Miguel Arcangel”,  patron saint of Puebla. San Miguel and his niche is right in the middle of the little plaza where the weekend antiques market is held. The medium for the image is Talavera tile, for which Puebla is well known.

Here’s the plaza on the weekend …                               and then, during the week.


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March 11, 2010 at 2:18 am

To my surprise, I’m doing jewelry photography!

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Before I got into serious photography I was a jeweler and always depended on a professional, Hap Sakwa, to photograph my nationally reputed fine art jewelry. I had very high standards, not only for my jewelry, but for the photography that represented it. Here are examples of Hap’s photography and my earlier jewelry.

~ jewelry: Ann Brooks, photos: Hap Sakwa

By last summer, and for the last five years I’d been solely a photographer. In August I was puzzling over what to do with a substantial stash of beads I still had. Maybe sell them.? To whom? Then I had a better idea. Use them to make jewelry and sell it to get a return on the beads. Beaded jewelry was a come-down after having been a fine art jeweler. For physical reasons I couldn’t do that any more, so hey, why not have fun doing beaded jewelry? And in addition to my studio at Art Works Downtown, why not sell it online?

So, I’ve been having a great time designing and making beaded jewelry. Then I had to face the challenge of how to do my own jewelry photography. Sure, I’m a photographer, have a good camera but jewelry photography is a real speciality, needing equipment, lighting conditions and experience. Research on the web brought me to these great videos by NYC photographer, Michael Seto on how to photograph jewelry. I adapted some of Michael’s ideas to my own situation, determined not to use traditional lighting, but the diffused natural light coming through the bay windows in my living room.

Teaching myself the ropes of jewelry photography has been a steep learning curve and I’m still learning. So far, I’ve learned a lot about using my Canon 40D that I didn’t know before and a some new things about using available light. Though you can see lots of my jewelry photos here on my zibbet.com shop pages, here are a few examples.

Written by annbrooksphoto

January 7, 2010 at 2:29 am