Flickr

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

I cut my teeth in the early days at Flickr. I remember joining a 365 day project in which I learned so much about photography as well as myself. I made virtual friends and real world friends. It was a very tight knit community of like minds and passionate photographers and artists. I found my tribe. Some years later, Yahoo bought Flickr and it started unraveling pretty quick. I don’t remember exactly when or why I left but as of lately, I’ve been hearing really good things about SmugMug having bought Flickr and the exciting changes to come after the first of the year. I kept my Facebook profile that I recently created, for about three weeks before I realized how much I don’t fit in there and how cranky it literally made me and then I deleted it. Enough. I am hopeful though, that Flickr will find it’s way to becoming that place where photographers and creative types want to be again. In that hopeful mindset, I went ahead and signed up today for an account and moved in a little. I’ve had this website on WordPress for what seems like as long as it’s been since I was on Flickr originally and am hoping some of my friends here are those that I met there and will come back again as well. Here is a link {Flickr} to me over there if you want to connect. I would really like that.

Lensbaby

Recently, I was gifted a Lensbaby Burnside 35 lens to try out for a month. My first impression is that it is very similar to the Muse lens [that is no longer available] without all of the manual manipulation to focus and that you have more control over your focused sweet spot with the Muse. I haven’t had a lot of time though with the Burnside lens yet – hopefully, I will have some beautiful images to share soon. Until then though, below is the text and Muse images of an interview I did with the LensbabyLove blog a couple of years ago. I thought it would be fun to share this piece here.

Tell us a little bit about you?  Where is home?

I live in the United States in north central Texas.  I am passionate about music and photography, and I am a total nature nerd.  Not long ago I answered the question, “What six things could you not live without?” and my answers I think kind of sum up who I am; a camera, music, trees, lipstick, fresh air, and love.

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

What or who got you started in photography?

Growing up, it seems I always had a camera in hand however it didn’t really take on the life of it’s own that it has now, until about ten years ago when I endured some life changing events that required me to look at myself in ways I had not ever imagined.  Photography was a medium of therapy for me during that time, and I became completely immersed in it which led me down a path of self realization and this beautiful photography obsession.

How long have you been a photographer?

I don’t typically refer to myself as a photographer, rather an artist.  I have been seriously though using photography as a means to my art, for about seven years.

What sort of work do you specialize in?

Nature.

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

How would you describe your style?

Emotional, ethereal, and sometimes evocative.

What or who inspired you to get your first Lensbaby?

I can’t say that any one person or one thing inspired me to want a Lensbaby, other than perhaps seeing the gorgeous photography created with it.  The moment I first learned what a Lensbaby was and could do, I knew they were created just for me.

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

Tell us what you love about Lensbaby lenses and optics.

They’re motto, See In A New Way could not be a truer statement for me.  I have learned to do just that, and it’s opened up so many creative avenues for me.  It is virtually limitless, and I get lost in the dreamy creative Lensbaby vision.  It’s an entirely different and beautiful world.

What is your favourite image you have shot recently with Lensbaby? Can you describe its creation, also your thoughts when creating the image and what it means to you?

That’s a difficult question.  I would have to say it would be the mountains of White Sands, New Mexico.  New Mexico is called The Land Of Enchantment.  And it does indeed enchant you to be there.  I love the photograph for quite a few reasons actually, but I would have to say for the most part, not only creatively but technically I try to ‘get it right’ in the camera most of the time and for this shot, I was able to do that.  What I saw with my eyes and my heart, I was able to capture.  The only post processing I felt a need to do was to desaturate the blues somewhat, and adjust the white balance a wee bit.  New Mexico is my spiritual home and in creating this, and just being there in that space, I felt as if I were in fact home.  And going home is always good for your heart and soul.  It gives me peace, comfort and hope.  Now, I look at this image whenever I am homesick and like so many photographs that I take, it has become a part of who I am.

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

A website and/or blog you visit often?

Since discovering Lensbaby Love, I’ve been there quite often.  I also enjoy spending time on the Bella Grace Magazine website, and Explore.org.

Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?

I see the natural world in a different way I think than perhaps a lot of people do or maybe even don’t see at all, and I try to bring that vision to a photograph.  A tree’s soul, a conversation between wildflowers, or the emotions read in the eyes of a horse are all moments that I want to capture and share.

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

Something you’re still learning?

Every time I hold my camera, I feel like I learn something new.  Aside from shooting digital with a Lensbaby, I spend a lot of time with vintage cameras, both 35mm and medium format, and that is always a learning process for me.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?

I would like to be traveling the United States in a funky restored vintage trailer, with a Lensbaby Velvet and my Muse for the Nikon, as well as a mini refrigerator stocked with film for everything else.  

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would that be?

I’m not that interested in famous people that I don’t know, so I think I would most likely want to have lunch with an old friend that I haven’t seen in many years.

And the last question, if you had one wish…

Ah a lovely question, thank you for asking it.  If I had only one wish, I would wish for love.

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

Source: LensbabyLove

Somewhere

I am not on the fan bandwagon of memes. Every once in a blue moon, I will see a meme that resonates with me; the typography is pleasant and usually the imagery is minimal – and I like it and I save it somewhere. I think there is truth in these few words someone thought were beautiful enough to create something of them and I love the words, exquisite and tragic and I especially love them together. Here is somewhere.

Zen Koan

Copyright © 2018 Nita McGrew Photography

(公案)

A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 
journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river, why are you still carrying her?”