Tag Archives: photography

Midlife Angst: Part 1

I’m a 40+, closer to the just under 50 group actually and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I see young people, in their 20s and 30s, who know exactly what they want to do with their lives. They have a plan and they are following it. It can be depressing and frustrating for me to see people so put together when I feel like so lost and unsure. I know there are jokes about midlife crises for men and women. And there is teen angst. But right now, this feels like midlife angst.

Grain Silos by Sharon Popek
Grain Silos somewhere in Illinois

When I first started my “dream job”, over 6 years ago, there was a young co-worker who got a job offer from a different company. I could not understand why she would want to leave such a great place. She seemed happy and on a great career path there. But she explained that she had a specific plan. She had always planned to leave and go to this next level, it was just happening earlier than she expected. I understood it. But I didn’t “get” it. Because I never had a plan.

Train Station by Sharon Popek
Train Station

Well, that’s not true. In college, I had a plan. I would go to graduate school, get my masters and then become a tenured professor at a small private college. Lots of people are laughing at me right now. Go easy on me, at the time, it was not as pipe dreamy as it is now. Also, it was in Fine Arts, so no need for a PhD. However, I did not get into grad school. This left me dangling in the wind and maybe a little scared. But I was young and thought I’d just get a decent job and try for grad school the next year. That did not happen.

Roots in Bottles by Sharon Popek
Roots in bottles

I never tried again for grad school. Once I started working full-time, I got used to having things, like regular food and clothes and a bank account. Going back to school was not in the cards for me. Do I regret that now? Sometimes, but I am definitely NOT going back to school at this point in my life. So, it doesn’t matter, does it?

They say to keep blogs short and sweet, so I will make this midlife angst business a series for you to read over time. The images in this installment were all taken either in college or just after (over 25 years ago). 

To be continued…

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Cuba Revisited

I recently went through my photos from Cuba. When I originally sorted and worked my images from that trip, I did not find these interesting. Or they didn’t represent what I was feeling at the time. I have to admit I don’t remember. But on the revisit, I fell in love with Cuba all over again. Enjoy these “new” images!

Rural Cuba

Images from a trip through the countryside. We visited a baseball team, a historic coffee plantation and farm restaurant.

Urban Cuba

I found myself fascinated with many different styles of architecture, including Art Deco, Colonial, and Spanish. They would often all be on the same building.

I hope you enjoy these images from Cuba as much as I enjoyed taking them! Prints are available of these and other photos from Cuba here.

As always, feedback is welcome!

Photography Exhibition

I have great news! Two of my pieces have been accepted into a gallery exhibition in New York City. The show is going to be held at the Salmagundi Art Club from February 3 – February 16. These are the 2 images accepted into the Glimpses of our World photography exhibition are below. 

Taken in New York City in September 2018, this images is one of my all time favorite window reflections. 

Red Silver by Sharon Popek

This was taken while walking around New York City, also in September. I love the juxtaposition of the historic building with the newer, more modern glass skyscraper. The Empire State Building peaks out between the two. 

Between the Old and New by Sharon Popek

My husband and I will be traveling up on the train for the show. I’m sure I’ll get more pics of New York while I’m there!

Thank you for visiting!

Year End Review – 2018

At the end of the year, I like to revisit my images. I like to see where I started and where I ended. I usually choose my favorites from the year. But this year, I am going to share a few of my favorites and a few of my least favorites. I will do several of these. Each with a theme, so they don’t get too long. As always, comments are welcome! 

The first one will be still life photography. The next will be night photography. Then we will look at travel photography. After that, it’ll be 2019 and time to start again!

Still Life Photography

This was one of the first images I shared in January. In the winter months, I have a hard time going outside (cold, ugh). So, I often do some experimenting with still life images. The camera is an Olympus film camera. The case is an old make up case that I found at a garage sale in Winchester, KY. I have this in color and black and white. I prefer the black and white version because it echoes that sense of antiquity and gives it a vintage feel. Definitely, one of my favorite still life images!

Favorites

An old Olympus film camera sits atop a small antique make up case. Finished in black and white for vintage effect.
An old Olympus film camera sits atop a small antique make up case. Finished in black and white for vintage effect

This image was taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. The theme was jewelry not being worn. I love the dirty, grungy background with the smooth silver and beads. The selective color gives it that pop. I want to do more of these next year!

Silver jewelry still life
Silver jewelry still life

Another image taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. I love anything pertaining to time – watches, clocks, hourglasses. I finished this with a sepia tone and a vignette to give it an old, timeless feel. 

Pocket Watches
Two pocket watches sit on weathered wood, finished with a sepia tone and vignette.

Least Favorite

When I say least favorite, I just mean they don’t speak to me the same way the others do. I don’t hate them, or I wouldn’t be sharing them. 

The exact same image as above without the vintage finish. The watches feel too new and it just does not speak to me in the same way. 

Pocket Watches
2 pocket watches sit on weathered wood. 

This is my least favorite still life created this year. It’s boring and just does not speak to me. This was taken on a super bright spring day. I did very little planning and spent almost no time on it. Maybe I should try again. Maybe not. 

Acoustic guitar leaning against a brick wall.
Acoustic guitar leaning against a brick wall.

I hesitated on this one. I like it. I love the black and white finish with the white vignette. The shallow depth of field. And the phone itself is a work of art. But I think I could have done something better with this and will keep trying.

old fashioned telephone in black and white.
Old fashioned telephone in black and white. 

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to watch for the next installment of my year end review! Do you have a year end blog? Feel free to share in the comments! 

As always, the images are available as prints and other products in my shop! 

America After Dark

My current obsession is night photography. I love to see city lights after dark or small town lights. I never carry a tripod with me, so I shoot with a super high ISO or try to rest the camera on something. I use a Sony A7rII and it is great for shooting in low light with a minimum of grain. Although, I have night photos from around the world, this gallery is dedicated to America after dark. 

Knoxville, TN

Knoxville is my home town, so I have lots of images from here. Here are a few.

Downtown Knoxville, TN, featuring the Tennessee Theatre marquee after dark.
After dark on Gay Street, featuring the Tennessee Theatre marquee. This is one of my favorites from Knoxville. 
The Daylight Building on Union Avenue.
The Daylight Building after dark. This is a definite favorite. All of the elements are there, the lights, the single person, and a bicycle. 
The Bijou Theatre Marquee in Knoxville, Tn.
The Bijou Theatre Marquee in downtown Knoxville, TN. 

New York City

When I visited New York, I went alone. At first, I thought I might be too afraid to spend a lot of time out after dark, especially taking photos. But I got comfortable with it fairly quickly. 

Skylight Diner in Midtown.
The Skylight was my go to breakfast place, since it was just around the corner from my Airbnb. The food was excellent and ambiance was everything a diner in NYC should be.
A street scene in New York City, NY.
Street scene in New York City, NY in front of the Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie. 
Looking up at the Empire State Building in NYC.
Looking up at the Empire State Building in New York City. After going up and taking skyline photos and took this as I was leaving. 

Want to see more photos from after dark, click here.

Feel free to comment and share your own images of America After Dark. 

Black and White or Color

This is an interactive blog. I would like your feedback and opinion on this images. I have a hard time deciding if I like the black and white or color versions better. Of course, in the end, I usually offer both in my shop. But it is nice to get feedback. So let me which you prefer and why.

New York Public Library

When on the train to NYC, I met a lady who told me I had to go see the Public Library. She did not lie. 

Trefoil Arch Central Park

I love this tunnel. I have seen other photos and was excited when I came across it while wandering the park. I had to wait for a few people to come along and walk through to get this image. I prefer the black and white. It  emphasizes the shapes and textures better. What do you think?

The New York Times Building

When I looked up and saw this, I knew that I had to take a picture of it. I am torn on which I prefer. I like the more modern feel of the color version. But I really like the classic touch of the black and white.

Between the Old and the New

The thing I love most about traveling in large cities is this. When modern meets historic and a classic in between. I can’t pick which I like better. Maybe you can!

Glass House Tavern Sign

I found the simplicity of this sign to be eye catching. Shoe horned in with the big showy marquees of Times Square, it caught my attention. The black and white image feels like classic, like it could have been taken in the early days of photography.


I look forward to your input on these images! Also, feel free to link to your own blog in the comments below.

Prints of all images are available in my shop.

Doors! Doors! Doors!

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge was Doors. And man, did we get some door photos!

Johnson City Tennessee

We recently took a quick trip to Johnson City, TN. It has been on our list for awhile because we love Yee-Haw beer.  But we finally had a good reason to go. It was work related, so at least the gas was paid for!

Dinner and a Beer (or two)

The first place we went was, of course, Yee-Haw Brewing Company. They have a great in house bar and they share space with White Duck Taco Shop.  Yay! Beer and food all in one handy place.

Downtown

After eating, we decided to walk around downtown a bit and see what else is happening in Johnson City. As it turns out, not much. But it was a Sunday evening. We will try to go back on a Saturday and catch a show or something. Prints are available of the images below – here.

Dessert

I had a hankering for ice cream but there did not seem to be any ice cream shops. I admit, we didn’t look really hard. We headed back to the White Duck to see what they had for dessert. They had two desserts and both were yummy!

We will definitely go back to Johnson City, Tennessee!

 

 

Places We’ve Never Been

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge last week was places you’ve never been. Some of us went to new local places and some went further away. All were cool places worth a visit.

Jewelry Up Close

SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge was Jewelry Up Close. We got some great entries. We received some super up close and personal images and gorgeous not so up close images. Some of the images told a story and a few were just pretty.

Stay tuned for images from the next challenge – Some place new.