Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Notecard sets now available

Mother knows best. We all have heard it over and over again but for some of us (me) it takes a couple of hard knocks to the head for me to listen sometimes.

My Mom has told me numerous times how she wished she had a certain image on a notecard. Mom is a big fan of cheering people up by sending a card with a simple message inside. In this day of instantaneous communication using modern technology the art of hand-writing a card or letter is becoming a lost art (and a sin I'm blatantly guilty of).

Finally realizing yet again of just how smart Mom is I have begun releasing a series of notecards featuring my images in full-color on the front and a "ghosted" black and white image inside. Each package contains 6 cards as well as envelopes and are available in a growing number of designs. If you have a favorite image you's like to see on a card simply let me know!



Monday, January 29, 2007

Birds of a (different) feather

Photography is a lot of things but stagnant probably is a poor choice of descriptive terms. Technology is constantly changing the equipment we use, the film we prefer as well as the subjects we choose. While in the Azores I became a great fan of cultural festivals which included Holy Spirit parades and bullfights.

Bullfights are scarce in England.

Birds, on the other hand, are not. Even in the course of the winter season there is a plethora of both big and small feathered friends about the property. So, adapting to what has been presented me, I have began in earnest to photograph my littlest friends.

Late last week I was working on capturing a very active resident of the property feasting at the seed feeder. The Great Tit (Parus major) is a small bird with vivid yellow breast covering and moves with great speed. Setting a position to photograph from is greatly eased as they feed just outside my office doors that lead into the garden. Closing the curtains and applying a couple of clothespins and I have an instand blind which also allows me to coma and go at will.

During this session a subject suddenly presented itself, a bird of a different color, so to speak. Skimming just above tree-top level came a pair of RAF Apache Longbow helicopters, the same kind that recently participated in the extraordinary effort to rescue to downed British soldier. Quickly shifting from one bird to another I was able to get one frame of the helo before it disappeared behind another line of trees.

Then the Great Tit, as if missing the attention, chirped and sang while on the feeder. Posing for me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!!!!!

There are times when being a photographer is exciting and the basis for campfire stories: hanging out of helicopters and airplanes, navigating avalanche-prone mountain roads or avoiding an angry mama moose.

But most of the time its work, work, work. Keywording images for stock publication distribution (boring). Cleaning camera equipment or backing up image libraries (more boring). Filling out paperwork for governments or accountants (the worst).

Somewhere in between those two extremes is time spent creating designs based on the images captured during the exciting times (made possible by the work done in the boring times). Yesterday I was in front of the dual-screened devil known as my computer creating note card designs and as usual took a short break to peer through the curtains into the backyard to watch the birds at the feeder. My spirit soared with delight at the sight of fat fluffy flakes of SNOW falling from the sky.

Just a couple of posts previous to this I had lamented at how my winters seemed doomed to be remembered as the time of extreme rain and wind storms instead of lawns filled with the main ingredient of a well-built snowman. Now, a million unique designs a minute were washing away my cares. I was rejuvenated.

Design on, photographer. Design on.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Could it Really Be....

There's a nasty rumor floating about that there might actually be some white, fluffy-type precipitation coming our way over the next couple of days! That would be simply marvelous since I have both daffodils and snow drops blooming.

My guess is it will never equal the massive dump we saw on Saint Patrick's Day in Anchorage but at
this stage anything would be a welcome change. I should also mention that the SEE ROCK CITY birdhouse in the photo was supplied by my Mom who was kind enough to send me another one for my garden here in England. LOVE YOU MOM!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

When the Wind Blows

Winter to me used to be snow, snow and snow (and not necessarily in that order). With those three magical ingredients you could become occupied for hours making snowmen, quinzee shelters or pelting the city busses with snowballs. But for the last 2 years (and perhaps the next three) winter has taken on another meaning.

England is the second island I have lived on that is in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite being a 4-hour plane trip north of the Azores, winter here seems to be the same as it was there: windy and rainy. This morning just around 8am there have been wind gusts of 99mph reported at the Needles on the coast south of London. The winds here have picked up greatly and torrential rain squalls are frequent. Polar winds are to follow the storm but I'm not getting my hopes up for any form of wintery precipitation. In fact, if you were to peer into my head when someone says winter you'de likely see this image flash into my brain. Storm battered coastlines appear to have replaced snowmen.

Experiencing life around the world is part of the life we lead and because of this we can bring you such images. We continue to meet fascinating people and make great friends and often we both wax and wane about the "good old days" when winter meant snow. What will it be like when my kids are grown I wonder?

To view the image shown in various framing and matting options, click the link below to be taken to my ready-to-hang fine art print gallery:

Storm Sentinel



Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Strange Art Thou, oh Weather?

Is the weather crazy where you live? Well it is here in England. According to the folks who track the weather this is the warmest winter in a couple of centuries. Trees budding, bulbs springing and I'm having to contemplate getting that darn lawn mower out.

From the news it sounds like the "typical" weather of my childhood has reared its ugly head in the States with my mother-in-law reporting 7 inches of snow and -10F temps in Nebraska.

It may be hard to believe but strange weather can often give you fantastic results with your camera if you seek out the opportunities.

This image is from the forthcoming image gallery of amazing cloud images I have collected over the past few years. When strange weather happens at odd times the sun is often in a different position than it normally is when this type of system develops giving you a chance for a rare series of images.

And remember you can subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog simply by clicking on the post title.



Monday, January 15, 2007

Products, products, everywhere!


First, the blog you are currently looking at is going to now host the majority of the news happenings from my photography studio including new products and new locations discovered. Updates will continue to happen at the main website, fear not!

To subscribe to RSS updates, click the link above!

Speaking of locations I had an incredible trip to Norwich (for the Cinderella panto at the Theatre Royale) home to a Benedictine cathedral built in the 1000's (yes!) and home to the second-highest spire in England. Fantastic is an understatement.

The military aviation shop is now open featuring my military aviation images on ceramic coffee mugs and steins (what would go in there I wonder???) for both American and international air forces. As you know this was a particularly productive time in the Azores for aircraft photography so new images will be added regularly.

James O'Rear: Military Image Shop

Images of England are slowly coming on-line. As there isn't a huge backlog of them they will appear as a trickle at first, but know that with some long weekends coming up there are ample opportunities for the whole family to go who-knows-where!



Monday, January 08, 2007

Oh, great joy of joys...

School is back in session! After 2 weeks off involving lots of rampant slothfulness (not me, them) the children are finally back and matriculating feverishly. At least that's what I tell myself. I'm sure they're rolling their eyes at the thought of engaging their little synapses again.

Good news is that it means I can get back to work! There's a nice little bit of sun streaming through the doors leading to the backyard and a 4-ship of F-15s from RAF Lakenheath just did a nice lazy fly-over. Ravens and pheasant are gleaning the winter wheat field behind us and songbirds and belting out their cheery tunes. All seems right with the world again...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Like you wanted to see more of me....

Apparently I have been somewhat remiss in connecting all of my internet "presences" with each other. So, for the sake of maintaining the sanity of the collective, below you will find where I am currently located.

Each is updated on a rotating basis (thank goodness for Outlook reminders) and there's a short comment on what the latest update for each has been and even what's coming up. Feel free to spread the word to whomever you think might be interested. (P.S. Jill says I look like I'm ready to bite someone in this photo taken just a couple of days before we left Lajes Field in the Azores at Forte de Santa Katarina built c. 1580. I think I look eager to get to a Taco Bell.)

The Main Webpage
The new website design is up and running. I interviewed myself last month (I'm a nice guy it turns out) and I'm almost finished with a "featured print of the month" page with me actually talking about the image, how it was made, what was going on at the time, etc. via a PODcast feature. Portrait photography brochures are available for download for those in the UK. Minor changes are planned but nothing major, just user-suggested tweaks (that means let me know how you like it via the Contact Me page if you have a minute).

James' Fine-Art Prints
Currently there are 6 galleries up and running, more will be loaded next week. They use the same large-format printers and inks I do (except bigger by far) and only use high-grade fine-art papers (my favorite is the Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper). As they are affiliated with the Northwest's largest framing company they offer over 5.5 million combinations of mats and frames. You can pick 1,2,3 or no mats, select widths, suedes, etc. and encase them in a fantastic selection of wood, metal and composite frames. Incredible folks to work with so far, they're out of Seattle. Currently APO/FPO orders should be phoned in or conducted via e-mail. They are aware of military customers and are working on a solution.

The Long-Awaited 2007 Calendars! I currently have 4 calendars up for sale: Alaskan Eagles, Alaskan Northern Lights, Flowers of Terceira (Azores) and my proud baby Fly Azores (In Action!) containing both civilian and military aircraft in action at Lajes Field (as well as a verion each for US, UK and Portuguese holiday dates). Pre-production is nearing completion of a photo book containing many of my favorite images and accompanying commentary about each one. World-wide shipping options make ordering easy for all!

Check out my Squidoo lenses! Currently I have 2 "lenses" going with 3 more in the works. I'll be dispensing helpful hints about various aspects of maging as well as giving book and product recommendations relating to each article.

Azores Photo Collection! A collection of prints specific to Terceira Island are located here and this e-commerce vendor easily ships to APO/FPO addresses! I am still working on a couple of panorama of Lajes but I'm not happy with the results yet so don't hurt me (Ron).

At the moment that's got everything up-to-date. But, things change almost daily around here. If you're a previous client of mine and you wish to see a specific image on a product, please e-mail as I'm sure I could work your request into my schedule (you know how accomodating I can be).

Cheers to all!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

Well the holiday season is behind us, wrapping and (excessive) packaging all disposed of so I can finally get to work. Well, get to working more.

Exciting news again! I have just released 4 2007 calendars filled with my images. One of them, Fly Azores, is offered with 3 holiday dates (USA, UK and Portuguese). I can also confirm that there is a photo book in production as well. These products are available here.

Also, like there isn't enough going on with the new e-commerce partner imagekind I have a new home that will focus on dispersing my wealth of photographic knowledge at Squidoo. I'm in the process of selecting topics from the mini-classes I gave while president of the Lajes Field Photo Club for posting so be on the lookout for those in the days ahead.

No snow, lots of wind. Thinking about buying a kite. ;-)