Sunday, December 1, 2019

Somewhat Later On

So... To pick up where I left off,  I've been at Tower Gallery now for a little more than two years.  I get to show my black and white photographs there now, but there is at least some dissension.  Why haven't I done this blog in all that time?  Well... I dunno.  Maybe artistic malaise, creative entropy?  My muse is away.  It isn't that I haven't been making photographs, I have.  And some aren't too shabby.  Maybe I just haven't been excited about them enough to boast.  When photography was a hobby for me I enjoyed going around making photographs just for the fun of it, but it's an expensive hobby.  When it started to pay for itself, my motivations shifted.  Eventually, lately, finally, I've gotten to where I don't worry so much about whether or not the photographs I make will sell.  I've started again seeing photographs just for me, just like back when it was just a hobby.
As the cars crossed the bridge, their headlights reflected in the water.  They appeared to flicker as they passed behind the guardrail supports and the flickers are visible in the water.

I made this picture this morning.  It's certainly not a knock-your-socks-off image, is it?  But this is what I see.  This is one of the places I know.  I have no idea if I will keep this blog going or not.  I kinda hope so.  It may become more occasional than it was in the past, before it stopped.  We'll see.

© 2019 Buck Ward The Photographist

Thursday, August 24, 2017


I received a phone call from an artist at the Tower Gallery on Sanibel.  She had seen a photo of mine at the All Florida Exhibit and asked if I'd be interested in joining their artist's co-op.  They had an opening for a photographer.  I would have to make a presentation to a jury.  I agreed to do it.  The chairman of the jury emailed me and said that they already have a black and white photographer.  She suggested that, to avoid being in competition with that photographer, I should show them color photographs.   So, I did.  I hurriedly had some color photos printed and  framed.  For my jury interview I took four black and white photographs (black and whites are what I have on hand) and five brand new in living color.  After an amiable, informal half hour, they told me they had several other artists to interview and that they would let me know within 24 hours.  Then they helped me load my photos back into the car.  24 hours went by.  No call.  48 hours.  Still nothing.  When it finally did come, I figured it was the consolation call. But no; They had interviewed another photographer and after long discussion and debate they had decided to ask both of us to join their gallery.  The jury chair stressed that this invitation was if I would show color photographs rather than my black and whites.  With some reticence, I agreed.  So, now I have about a week to build an inventory of color prints. 

These are the color photographs I took to Sanibel for my interview with the jury.

These are old photographs.  Two were made on film.  The most recent was made in 2009.  My self identity as a photographer, as The Photographist, is as a black and white photographer.  What have I gotten myself into?

© 2017 Buck Ward                       The Photographist                  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I Do Tend to Repeat Myself

On a blustery morning a couple of weeks ago, I made these photographs at the Fort Myers Beach Pier.  

It wasn't until later, after I got home, that I realized how like a previous session this had been.

Take a look at this blog post from four years ago:  Like a Box of Chocolates

© 2017 Buck Ward                       The Photographist                  

Sunday, July 30, 2017


Two photographs of the same subject:  One exposure, before sunrise, is 13 seconds.  The other exposure, made 13 minutes later, after sunrise, is 1/13 second.   

Both were made using a hard edge Graduated Neutral Density filter. The first also employed a full Neutral Density filter.

© 2017 Buck Ward                       The Photographist                  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

2278, Before and After

Or, continuing the theme of the previous post

Several years ago I had an exhibit in a photographic gallery downtown.  The curator was reluctant to show my work because he knew I did nature stuff.  He stressed he was geared more towards gritty urban photos.  The black and white photos I ultimately showed in his gallery weren't particularly gritty, but they were urban.  They didn't sell, and now that gallery is no more.  I don't think I was responsible for its demise.  But, one never knows, does one.

So, here is one of my very few gritty urban photographs.  (Not one I showed in that gallery)  I made the photograph above in 2009.  The backside of 2278 First Street was definitely gritty.  Now that our downtown, promoted as The River District, is gentrifying, things are getting spruced up.  2278 is now a happenin' bar and restaurant, with apartments upstairs.  The photo below was made in 2017.  It's all spiffed up.  If you want gritty, the older one is gritty.

© 2017 Buck Ward                       The Photographist                  

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Then and Now

If Fort Myers were in England it would still be in its infancy, but it's pretty old for southwest Florida. In our Historic River District there are quite a few buildings more than a hundred years old.  I like to photograph the old buildings, out of a sense of history as much as art.  This is a relatively new building, but it will be old some day.  It was built in about 1999 as the City Pier - a home for the Buquebus, a high speed catamaran shuttle to Key West.  The Buquebus never happened.  From 2008 to 2013 the building was the home of Art of The Olympians, established by the family of the late Al Oerter, artist and four-time discus gold medal winner.  Now it is the office of Allure, a luxury condo development yet to be built.  The Allure folks brought these large metal sculptures to the River District, about two dozen of them scattered about.  

Anyhow, here are two photographs of the City Pier, then and now.


© 2016 Buck Ward                       The Photographist                  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A New Tool

Several months ago I downloaded some new software - The NIK Collection, in particular Silver Efex, a black and white editor.  I had heard about it.  I knew some photographers used it, but I was satisfied with my aging version of PhotoShop.  Then,  last April it became available for free.  It still is, as far as I know.  Look it up.

I had been making photographs that just weren't satisfying.  That's been the story for quite a while, as evidenced by the paucity of material posted here on this blog.   I had worked with this one in PhotoShop, treating it the way I usually do.  It just didn't work.  So I thought I'd give Silver Efex a shot and booted it up.  It has presets; so I ran through the selections.  Many of them were unimpressive and some looked just like the results I had gotten using Photoshop.  But a few got my attention.  Below are two versions of a picture I had made that morning, predawn.  The lower one is the PhotoShop conversion and the upper one is a Silver Efex preset with some additional PhotoShop editing.  I found the difference to be remarkable.  Wha'dya think?

I still haven't figured out how to use Silver Efex.  It's a thing I keep meaning to do, to run through the tutorials and learn how to use it.  My great talent for procrastination intervenes.  But it has the presets.  You don't need to know anything; you just click on the preset and see how it looks: Nope, nope, nope, pretty good, nope, nope, even better, nope nope, that's it!

So, I tried it on some recent also-rans and came up with some that aren't so bad.


© 2016 Buck Ward                       The Photographist                  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fire on the Presli Jo

I saw the smoke, a black plume in the early morning twilight. It was at the yacht basin. When I got there, I could see flames, but there were no fire trucks around. A big yacht horn sounded, loud and long. I called 911 on my cell phone. They didn't answer and then a cop car drove up. I hung up and took a picture (above) with my phone. Another cop car drove up. I was going back to my car to get my camera. The cop parked behind me told me to go away, so I moved the car. Still no fire trucks.


I got my camera and telephoto lens out of the car and found a place where I could see the fire. It was a small sailing yacht, fully engulfed in flames. 


Finally I heard the siren of a fire truck, and I saw the red lights. The fire burned. I couldn't see any fire fighters and the fire seemed to go on and on. After a while I saw a stream of water from behind another yacht. It was like a garden hose but it did seem to reduce the size of the flames. Then the water stopped for a while, then started again more vigorously. Pretty quickly, the flames went out. 


I shifted my position and I could see a small crowd of fire fighters and other people on the dock. One was holding a hose, spraying the ill-fated sailboat, which was still steaming. Then a fire boat came and slowly towed the burnt yacht out from among the other berthed yachts and out into the river, to the outer dock. I could see the name, the Presli Jo. 


By this time, the sun was coming up and I went on my way, like the cop had told me to do.

© 2016 Buck Ward                        The Photographist