Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Watering The Yard In Watersedge

Photography by David Robert Crews

Here's one of our patriotic, local Dundalk retirees working on his front yard garden. Those old blue collar worker guys are often working on something in or around the house. They have some nice homes that they bought a long time ago and have always put a lot of time, elbow grease, and money into to maintain and improve for their family's comfort and security.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Family In The Front Yard Of Their Watersedge Home

Photography by David Robert Crews

This shot was taken in the family centric neighborhood of Dundalk called Watersedge, but it’s a normal kind of scene often seen anywhere in Dundalk.

Those are two grandparents and their visiting granddaughter. The girl’s parents were inside the house relaxing during their vacation, one was the son or daughter of the elderly woman and man out in the yard. This was during the week of the Fourth of July, and the girl and her parents were visiting when Dundalk is at its finest and most fun—with about the oldest, biggest, and definitely the best 4th of July parade in Maryland, the annual fireworks, and the fun filled Heritage Fair all happening that week.

The shot was taken during a week with the worst outdoor light for photography I’ve ever been up against. That week, I was out working on a series of shots for a project titled A Week In The Life Of Dundalk, which was sponsored by Dundalk Community College and Fuji film. It was an all volunteer project which was open to anyone who wanted to take photos of anything and anyone in Dundalk. Some amateurs, photo students, and a few local pros all contributed work for this successful project. The photos were later shown in a gallery at DCC; out of eighty-some prints displayed, twenty-some were mine. It was because I told the Watersedge family that I was working on this that they allowed me to photograph them. Unfortunately, that only allowed me a one time chance to photograph these subjects and while being stuck with using the lousiest natural light I have ever worked with. That week was hot, humid, and overcast with thick, polluted air that only allowed harsh, lousy, bright dismal-gray, glaring renderings of sunlight to filter down to where I was working hard on my Week In The Life Of Dundalk photography, it was depressing—Global Warming and all that pollution crap at its worst.

Photographically speaking, this photo is too harsh looking for further publication, but I did the best I could with what I had to work with. I did a lot of custom photo lab work on it, but couldn’t overcome the photo negative’s limitations. It took a lot of "burning in" (photo lab talk) to get the small section of visible sky even close to acceptable, then the white siding on the house took a lot of work to get the detail to show instead of being a blur of glaring light, and I couldn’t get that white sign of the bike to show what was written on it. If I scanned in the negative and learned how to use one of those digital photo shop software programs on a computer I could probably straighten all this stuff out, which is not at all pleasing to my eye.

I am using this photo as an example of both what I do right in my photography, and what is wrong with the photo that precludes it from consideration as a final print but that I could straighten out if I had all the up to date computer equipment necessary. What is right about it is the position my subjects where in when I squeezed the shutter, they were moving around some between shots and I was after completely candid photos so I did not try to ‘direct’ the scene, the angle I shot from was while leaning uncomfortably over the fence but it is a good angle, the composition of the whole photo is quite eye pleasing to me. What I know is photographically wrong with the print is that the contrast is too bland but harsh, it needs some more burning in on the bike sign, and the tiny patch of sky could be replaced with some blue sky. Most of the wrong about this photo could be overcome by reprinting it after working on it in a new computer with the best photo shop software loaded on it.

This blog posting is mostly about what I can do in photography if ever get the funding to do it. I’m a disabled U.S. Army Veteran doing all I can while surviving on a small Veterans Administration Non-Service Connected Disability Pension. Because of my disabilities, I can’t do all I’m personally driven to do and work hard at, but I could do more than what I get to do if I had more money to put into my photography. I could just collect my monthly government checks and sit around watching TV and listening to selections from my extensive recorded music library, but the lack of accomplishments would kill me quick.

I need to contribute as much as I can to this world of ours, and my photography does that in many ways. My photos give visual pleasure to people, and many of the folks who view my work feel the good feelings that come from fond memories kindled by looking at my photographs of any subjects which are familiar to them. The photos on this web site are an unimpeachably fair representation of a place and its population which are so miserably misunderstood, unfairly disrespected, and publicly misrepresented and mistreated by so many. I can’t stand the lies about Dundalk, and I am driven to show the truth through my photographs. I have lived in many kinds of places besides here: small country towns, the big city, a mid-sized city, world famous resort cities, up in the woods ten miles from the nearest tiny town, old neighborhoods, newer neighborhoods; this gives me a balanced point of view about Dundalk. This is not that bad of a place, plus it has tremendous potential as a revitalized modern community.