Project

April 8, 2020

BW photograph of a past prime daffodil.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Awhile back I had planned to work on a series of flower/vegetable portraits-this was long before COVID-19 mandated being mostly housebound.  The need to shelter-in-place provided the additional inspiration needed to get that project into production.

Sometimes these photographs have been used as metaphors for the (much) larger issues at hand.  In others, they stand for what they are.  Such is the case here.  In general, I tend to prefer flowers that are past their prime.  Their wilts, droops, and folds provide much more character, much more of a “I have been there” feel, than do their fresh, dynamic counterparts.  Weary, but still here.

Perhaps this is a metaphor after all…

Be safe and well.

 

4:30 a.m.

April 6, 2020

BW photograph of a grocery in the early early morning in the age of COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have always favoured the early morning.  In the time of COVID-19 and social distancing, this is, perhaps, the best time to do the allowed grocery shopping.  This particular morning also provided a clear sky along with the glow of a nearly full moon.  It was a wonderful time to be outside.

At such times, it is difficult to juxtapose the current circumstances with such a lovely beginning to the day.  The need to don masks and wipe down everything before touching and radio reports of the building crescendo of potential deaths this week presented a sobering contrast.  Reality, as is said, does indeed sometimes bite.  And hard.

Condolences to all who have lost loved ones.  Best wishes to all for what is yet to come.

Be safe and well.

April 1

April 1, 2020

BW photography of a patch of fungi.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

April 1 is traditionally April Fool’s Day in the U.S.-a time when folks typically play tricks on one another.   Given the impact of COVID-19 and substantial “stay at home” orders in place throughout the country, it is difficult to imagine being in a playful mood.  A microbe has exerted control.

BW photograph of lichen attached to a rock.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Interestingly, liquor stores and gun dealers have been determined to be “essential” businesses in some states.  Access to liquor and firearms in a time of quarantine.  What could go wrong there?

As Jimmy Buffett sings “…I shot six holes in my freezer.  I think I got cabin fever…”

Be well.

Storytelling

March 27, 2020

BW photograph of a light standard in an empty parking lot.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Storytelling is essential to any culture.  This is one way to convey the history and traditions of a group from one generation to the next.  The questions become, which stories to tell?  From which perspective? What is embellished, and what is removed? What is the point?

There are many stories from which to spin from the photograph above.  What do you see?  Does the day, date, and time make a difference?  It is certainly does capture a reality, but is it also a metaphor?  If so, of what?

From a purely photographic standpoint, why this particular composition?  Why B&W?

Take care and be well.

Staying Indoors?

March 24, 2020

BW photograph of a single white daisy against a black background.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

One of the true advantages of photography is the extremely wide variety of subject matter.  That is complemented by a similar wide variety in the manner by which to present those subjects.  The above could be considered a “studio portrait”.  A single flower was placed in a small vase, which was wrapped in black fabric, and then set against a black background (a fleece jacket).  That the flower is white provided the desired contrast.  The equivalent of a 75mm focal length lens was used.  A small LED light was held to the upper left (from the photographer’s perspective) and slightly above and in front of the flower.  The shadow would have fallen to the right and behind the flower were it visible.  Setting the black point in Photoshop smoothed-out the background.

BW photograph of a back-lit single daisy.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is the same flower.  However, I added a close-up diopter to the same lens to allow for a closer point of focus.  The other major change, obviously, is the lighting.  This time, I held the same small LED behind the flower (“backlighting”), which is quite nice for the production of a dramatic effect.

A bunch of years ago, I used to teach a number of photography courses-one of which dealt with macro photography.  The capstone assignment for that class was to make a photograph of something found in the refrigerator; however, any object from any room could be used.

This is a nice, contemplative, way to spend some time.

Take care.

Broken

March 23, 2020

BW photograph of a broken tree.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 has continued its rapid spread worldwide while appearing to recede in China.  This is a new coronavirus, hence the term “novel”; however, the world has been here before with other outbreaks.  One might expect that history would provide a roadmap and impetus with regard to research and preparation.  Indeed, watch this from the 7:10 mark until the end-the closing message is one of great importance:  “Science, Communication, Education” are important tools to be used in this arena.

However, one must now interject the reality.  Please also read this.  History shows that once epidemics and pandemics dissipate, so does the political interest in long-term planning and preparation.  This, then sets the stage for the U.S. to not have enough PPE (personal protective equipment) for its healthcare workers, for example.  Misinformation continues to spread, which is simply not helpful.

Please be sure to pay attention to credible sources of information as “Science, Communication, and Education” are indeed critical.  As such, The New York Times published this useful primer.  The CDC and WHO provide updated information on their respective sites.

Please do take the requisite precautions-states have varying degrees of restrictions.  If everyone takes care of themselves and follows the proper protocols, then we will be taking care of each other as well.

Be well.

Walking

March 20, 2020

BW photograph of a snowy road in the woods leading into the distance.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Governor Gavin Newsom placed restrictions on the state of California as a means of reducing the spread of COVID-19.  Walking, though, is still permissible, and is a worthwhile antidote to cabin fever for those able to do so.

(PLEASE NOTE:  It is important to carefully review the info at the CDC to determine the need for self-quarantine and the importance of social distancing.)

BW photograph of a wooded area looking toward a mountain after a light snow.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a branch partially buried in snow.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The photographs herein are not from CA, but are representative of a nice walk.

Given the expanse of the world and all there is to see, it is both astonishing and frightening that something invisible to most is capable of bringing human activity to such a place.  That is, however, the history of viruses and pandemics-we have been in similar situations before.  It is useful to remember what the character Dr. Malcolm had to say in the first Jurassic Park movie:

“Life finds a way.”

It was an admonishment to those in the room who scoffed at the possibility of loosing control.

Be safe and be healthy.