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Creative Inspiration–Bolt

Bolt, National Mine, photo copyright Kim Nixon

This is an image of a rusty bolt hanging on the side of our barn-type garage at camp in National Mine. I always find inspiration in the left behind and forgotten, and camp definitely has a history. This land has been one of great sorrow and loss for many. Someone even lost their life here.

My history has been one of overcoming loss and obstacle, of making home where I go. But like the image, finding my edges and definitions has been a hazy process.

I tune-in at camp. It is an empathetic response to the person who could not completely throw away a holy card found in the barn (but had to get it out of the house?), to the whisper in the trees, to the thump of too-fast traffic hitting upheavals on the county road.

It is a listening.

What has been left behind and forgotten, yet draws us, that is magic. Picking up a camera give us permission to listen with our eyes. You don’t have to touch what you find. It can be a cautious step forward and a quick click.


A Work In Progress

A Work in Progress, photo copyright Kim nixon

“A Work In Progress,” this photo is another gift from my Magic Man. “When I tossed those nails there I didn’t know why and now I do,” Mike said while admiring my rusty nail photos. Here I thought it was the former owner of this cabin who carelessly left nails to rust! But I smiled in acknowledgement, ’cause I too have wondered why I do or don’t do some things. It’s all a work in progress, this life, our art, our relationships.

Sometimes I leave things undone–is it the color combination and texture I like when I leave something out in the rain? Is it cause someone has dreamt it? Do they need to walk past and snap a photo months later? Do they need to bend to tie their shoe and see dead ladybugs in rotten woodwork? Oh some days are gifts and the flow leads us where we need to go.

Other days we are consumed by fear thinking we cannot leave things as they are. We think I need to control this, reign it in, tie it down, put my thumb on it! I woke in fear today and then worked, sludged through, the task of turning it around. How could I take a negative day full of tears and anxiety and turn it into sunshine?

I brought in light, warmth, hot tea, candles, and activity. I looked for the positive and was surprised when I found it! The first surprise was the wonderful comments on my blog and how my stats had gone through the roof in the last 24 hours. Then I thought to connect with others in the ether and got Linkedin. Then as the temperature and attitude of my day went from cold, gray and negative I opened my photo file and began to process images. Soon I had music on and was singing.

How do you approach work in progress when sad and blue?

Broken Windows

The first time I did a photo shoot of this abandoned building was with a DXG.1 megapixel camera purchased for under $100.00. That camera was an upgrade from using a Fuji disposable camera and I thought I had it made. But the photos always had a bit of blur, especially if I was taking shots with a migraine. This abandoned building is just down a two-track driveway from our camp in National Mine. The whole house has fallen and lays on a slant. I love the mossy wood. The rusty metal. The sparse furnishings. I will be sharing more of these shots in the month of October. Why?

I think part of October is preparing us for the forgotten. That’s what is eery, spooky, we know the long months of winter are to arrive and remind us of all we have put on the back burner or not faced. Like a long car ride home without the radio on, the brain begins to surface these details. October starts to slow us down. We look to the colors of leaves, we look to our living spaces, we stockpile supplies for winter like little squirrels. But we also remember a few distractions, order in books, buy new sketch pads and paints. Think how do I keep from going crazy.

Who went crazy in this dwelling? You want to ask that, don’t you? I do.

In the Woodwork

False Ladies, photo copyright KimNixon

This photo is a bit hazy and bright–but it fits the dead bugs who though if they could crawl into some framework they’d survive an Upper Peninsula winter. These bugs were found while Mike worked on the barn at camp. I was taken shots.

I also took a creative leap today by uploading photos to flickr and going pro with my account. Some of the photos are with Fuji disposable cameras and my old DXG 5.1. But I like the mix of qualities and I think it shows how my experience as a photographer is evolving.

A Question on Photo Printing

Fall Leaves, National Mine, Michigan -- copyright Kim Nixon

I am posing this question to viewers. Where do you print your digital images? I have had a store owner ask to put some of my images on the walls for sale. I am honored. But have no idea where to turn with my digital images. I want to do prints larger than 4×6. My boyfriend recently ordered a dye-sublimation printer from ebay but it only does 4×6. Suggestions? I do not want fading of the images. I would like an online order source. One which will allow me to preview images if possible. Who have you used–good bad and ugly please let me know.

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