Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Trek

From the Current River series, (c) 2008 Jeane Vogel, Infrared photograph, $400

We celebrated Hannah's 12th birthday with a 3 night, mom-daughter camping and canoe trip on the Current River. I used to know this river well, but I haven't been on it in 20 years. I wanted Hannah to see all it's wonders. It's one of the most beautiful spring-fed rivers in the country, and most of the springs are only accessible by water.

It's a cold river too, because of the springs, and the recent wet weather means that the springs are flowing strong and the river is deep and quick.


And, as long as we're going, I might as well shoot! I decided to photograph infrared because it's beautiful and different. But shooting infrared can be challenging. It requires long exposures because it's capturing a spectrum of light not visible to the human eye. Long exposures means tripods. And to get the right angle I needed to be in the river.

So there I am , waist deep in 65 degree water (at it's warmest), a quick current, several thousand dollars of photography equipment and 10 second exposures.

Hannah was even braver. She shot underwater video! This is definitely my kid.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

An Amazing Thing Happened Today

Got Game, (c) 2004 By Jeane Vogel
22x30, $350

Girls Want to Play, from the What Girls Want series, (c) 2005, Jeane Vogel
22x30, $350

An amazing thing happened today -- Mamie "Peanut" Johnson was drafted by the Washington Nationals. This amazing pitcher, virtually unknown, is the only woman to have played professional ball with men.

She played for a short time in the old Negro Leagues. With and against some of the best players in the game. Of course, most baseball fans never saw any of them, because they weren't allowed to play with whites. Most people pick up the story with Jackie Robinson in 1947.

But long before Jackie, there were men and women who played. If the black men were discriminated against, women of all colors didn't have a chance. Except Peanut. She was that good.

Maime "Peanut" Johnson and 29 other living players from the Negro Leagues were ceremoniously drafted by major league teams today.

It's about time.

There's a scene in the movie "A League of Their Own" that makes me cry every time I see it.

The "girls" of the All American Girls Baseball League are playing. A ball get away and rolls in front of a young black woman who's watching the white women play. The black woman fires the stray ball back to Geena Davis. They have a moment of understanding -- the black woman announced her power and skill, the white woman acknowledged that the black woman should be in uniform with them. The story line doesn't allow for much more and you might miss it if you didn't know the whole story, but It's a nod to Peanut. There aren't many directors who would have bothered to include the scene, but it's part of our story as women, as baseball fans and as a racially divided country. Kudos to Director Penny Marshall for reminding us that even something like baseball, as frivolous as it might seem, as annoying commercial as it has become, is still a reflection of our values and dreams.

Oh yeah, and the Democrats nominated Barak Obama for President. Wow! What a week!