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4:30 am

Style and Substance

The nice thing about houses is they don't move and they don't shy away from a little overexposure. So when I got the assignment to photograph the Decorators' Show House in Upper Arlington I new it would be interesting.

Over 15 years as a photojournalist I've shot my share of houses. First starting outA house not in shape to be photographed with an overgrown front yard. I photographed houses for a weekly ad given to local realtors by the weekly newspaper. It was usually either an easy assignment or a hard assignment. I cannot count the amount of times I've rolled up to a house to photograph and discovered it wasn't in shape to be photographed. The lawn was unkempt or there were trees limbs and other items strewn every where that had be picked up or moved before a photo could be taken. I once drove up to a house with laundry hanging on the front porch and no one home, and another to a house just starting to break ground on construction. It is sort of hard to show off a house when you cannot see it.

Looking at it as a glass half full, I usually only had to get two or three photographs that fit a specific size and the issues always helped me challenge myself to find a new way to hide a blemish or new angle to photograph from. Sometimes the realtor or home owner would be there so I could photograph the inside of the house.

For this assignment, I knew I was walking into a house ready to be the centerfold. I just had to find ways to show off the rooms and the decorators' work as best as possible. I only had a limited amount of time and I wasn't taking photographs for a decorator's magazine where each rooms gets an hour of detailed attention and lighting. At most I spent 5 minutes in a room before moving on to the next, and I worked with the lighting presented to me or added a bit with a flash to help me out.

It is difficult sometimes presenting a decorator's work into images because the a photograph looks differently than actually being in a space and absorbing the nuances in person. When you walk into a room you are hit by a wide view, smells, colors and textures that don't always translate easily into a photograph. The eye is also much more forgiving with color temperatures of light as well as high contrast changes in a scene than film or a digital camera, but those differences can be used to advantage. 
The objective is to find an interesting angle to show some of what I believe is the decorator's intent or to show off as much of the things I find interesting about a room. For the most part it was easy with this house. I had a bit of difficulty with a hallway that was decorated but not because of the decorator. The electric lights were being fixed in the hallway and weren't working at the time that I took the photos. So I used a bit of improve lighting while working with a bit of natural lighting coming from a window. Some of the rooms were still works in progress since there was over a week left till it was being opened to the public for viewing. 
The Decorators' Show House at 4125 Oxford Drive in Upper Arlington, Ohio will be open April 30 to May 22. For ticket prices and hours check out and a story about it at ThisWeek News
4:30 am

The Lee Brothers Cook New Albany

This past Sunday I was treated to watching the Lee Brothers prepare a meal as an audience watched them at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany. The brothers Matt and Ted Lee talked about their lives growing up in Charleston, South Carolina, starting a business while in college in the Northeast, and the stories they gathered along their journey to being authors and culinary celebrities.  

2011 Lee Brothers - Images by Tim Norman

The audience seemed to enjoy the brother's stories, and I enjoyed hearing that even they have a few screw ups in the kitchen. They have a book out titled "Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor" which features meals for the average person with a busy lifestyle and features recipies with ingredients that are not from a can or difficult to prepare.

These two aren't what I would call celebrity chefs. They are more of down-to-earth, regular guys who would be great to have over for a grill out with some steaks and beer. I don't know if they are like it in person but they seem to be able to talk off your ear while cooking a some great food.

7:13 am

St. Paul's 20 Foot Golden Cross

I recently photographed the raising of the new 20 foot cross at St. Paul's new church in Westerville. It was an interesting event and seeing the turn out of parishners and the dedication of the Corna Kokosing Construction workers who installed the cross on a Sunday was great.

I've never seen a cross installed before but the event pretty much goes as you would probably expect. A blessing, a raising, setting in place and then everyone goes their own way.

The crowd clapped as the cross was set into place with workers turning it into its final position.

The new church will replace another church just east of it.

9:50 pm

Photographer tough job

Sometimes being a photographer is a rough job. I mean take a look at these two photos from recent assignments as an example of the torture I'm am put through.

Kitten in food bagThurman-ator ... [Read More]

10:58 pm

300 Pound Bundle of Excitement

The Columbus Zoo has a new baby to show off, and I was given the assignment to cover its debut to the public. ... [Read More]

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