A Fortuitous Detour

It took me twenty-five years before I got bit by the shutterbug.  As a kid, I didn’t understand why people were into photography.  Buying all the film and flash bulbs was expensive, and I wasn’t even gonna try to understand the chemistry involved in developing them yourself; provided you had the extra room to spare.  As I got older, people got me cameras, but I didn’t have the patience to stand still long enough to produce non-blurry photos.  I also scoffed at those who came home from vacations with several rolls of film to process, and vowed I would never spend that much of any vacation behind a camera lens.

The other issue I have to admit to is the fact that I can’t photograph people well.  Regardless of how much time I spend setting up the perfect shot, I invariably end up with photos of people who’s eyes are half-closed, or giving looks that can only be described as stoned.  Even my nephews (who were about 6 and 4 in the side photos) wind up looking like they’re high on something.  It’s truly pathetic.

Anyway, my feelings toward photography changed when my mom and a beau of hers came to visit Walt Disney World when I worked there.  He had taken several rolls of pictures but none had turned out.  So he bought me a Kodak Advantix and a few rolls of film, and asked me to retake the photos for him.  It took one weekend strolling around the parks for me to be hooked.  I began to see all sorts of interesting angles to things that I wanted to capture.

That camera went EVERYWHERE with me.  When I moved to Chicago, I took pictures of the city’s skyline off in the distance as I neared my new home.  Waiting for the el to take me into the loop, I’d try to capture the sparks flying off an oncoming train’s wheels.  Anywhere and everywhere I went, I found interesting things to photograph.

Then came my first trip overseas.   I spent about ten days driving all over the UK, and came back with over 15 rolls of film that I needed to process.  When I looked at some of those photos, I saw that many of them would’ve looked much coolerin black and white.  So, I acquired a second camera for that sole purpose.

Eventually, I upgraded to a digital camera.  It wasn’t much – just a Sony Cybershot – but the ability to delete a blurry photo and retake it before you came home was a godsend . . . and probably dangerous, since I now come home with more than 1,000 photos after every trip.

Since then, my eye and ability to work with a camera has gotten much better.  However, I still never thought I’d end up doing anything with my photos, aside from maybe making a coffee table book for myself that contained neat cemetery photos I’ve taken over the years (I find cemeteries quite beautiful and serene).

But one day I saw that the Frank Bette Center here in Alameda had a photography exhibit that caught my interest.  Artists are encouraged to submit their work for consideration, and the gallery then selects 48 of the entrants to participate in the event.  A map of Alameda is cut into 48 pieces, and each contributing artist draws a piece from a hat, and then has 48 hours in which to take all the photos they want of their selected area.  They’re given a month to compile, edit, and create whatever they want (sculptures, jewelery, prints, etc), which will then be showcased in the gallery for the months of April and May.

On a whim, I decided to try my luck at this event.  I wasn’t sure what chance I had, since I never had any formal photography training, so I was giddily surprised when I got the email congratulating me on being chosen for this year’s exhibit!

My writing has had to take a back seat this March, because I’ve spent so much time looking through the 600 plus photos I took (and that was just in two days), editing the ones I thought were the best of the bunch.  I’m guaranteed at least one piece to be hung in the gallery, and even have a shot at winning an award at the gala opening of the event tonight.  According to the gallery, hundreds of people will attend – people who might actually be interested in purchasing a photo that I took!  It still feels incredibly surreal to me, but in a wonderful way.

In addition to the gallery showing, Craig has created a website where we can both sell our art.  If you happen to visit, please feel free to leave some feedback.  Let us know how easy you find it to navigate, and whether or not the pricing structure is confusing.

And . . . if you’re into art – and will be in the SF bay area during the months of April or May – feel free to stop on by the Frank Bette Center in Alameda.  You can tell them you know one of the artists.  😉

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kaye George
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:15:11

    Congratulations on the exhibit! You’ll be able to do your own covers. 🙂 I love taking pictures, but I’m not good enough to call it photography. I’m fallen into the trap of digital danger, too–lots and lots and lots of pix!

    Reply

  2. Maddy
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:25:45

    A digital camera was my breakthrough too. I’ll go check out the art now. Well done you.

    Reply

  3. Maddy
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:29:25

    I’ve always loved pointillism – and those are quite wonderful.

    Reply

    • Alyx Morgan
      Apr 01, 2011 @ 10:34:20

      It’s cool that you even know what pointillism is, Maddy…many don’t. Craig’s the pointillism artist (& very good at it, I agree), so I’ll be sure to pass along your compliments to him. Thanks for checking out the site. 🙂

      Reply

    • Craig
      Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:24:38

      Thank you so much on the compliments to the pointillism. I can’t wait to do more.

      Reply

  4. Craig
    Apr 01, 2011 @ 11:33:36

    Just to toot my beloved’s horn for her. The “Alameda on Camera” event is an annual event, and typically has over 200 photographers from Alameda submit to be chosen. Alyx was one of only 48 chosen.

    Reply

  5. Diana Orgain
    Apr 02, 2011 @ 20:22:03

    Lovely art website – you guys are gifted! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Reply

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