Querimony: To Questionably Moan & Complain!

Watch What Issues Forth From These Lips, Photo by Vic Grbich

I will use this page to spread my own personal vision of unrest with all that I perceive is wrong with the world and photography. Ignore me, I am harmless and will likely only hurt myself! I promise that I will likely write here more than I do in the BLOG itself!  Again, I apologize ahead of time for all of this!

Now, this as to this hateful photograph of me… Vic just what were you thinking?  Oh well, it fits perfectly with the subject matter here!

I HATE Shopping Part 2!

December 8, 2010

I went grocery shopping yesterday with my wife and grandson.  This is something we do together every Monday or Tuesday and have for years.  I am always amazed by how nice people can generally be in the grocery store but there are always exceptions…

As I turn the corner to head down the personal row (you know, soap, toothpaste, Q tips) with the baby screaming at the top of his lungs (how can they be so loud?) I notice a lady with her cart in the middle of the isle almost sideways.  She has the row completely blocked.  I walk up to within a 3 feet of her and stop, mind you the baby is screaming.  I just stand there and watch her while she picks up 2 packages of Q Tips from the same pile and is carefully examining them as to see if there is any difference in how many are packed into the boxes.  She is totally involved in this mental count and pays no heed to me or Jordan (who is still screaming almost in her ears).  My wife pushes between her and her cart and actually bumps her on her butt and she still doesn’t move!  after about 2 min. she looks up at me and the baby and asks if I would like her to move out of the way…  “No” I say, “I really don’t mind standing here stupidly looking at you while my grandson screams!”  So without another word she turns away and starts counting Q Tips again!  I think to myself that I hope she hasn’t had any kids to pass on to  the stupid gene pool as I turn around and go the other way telling Jordan that there is nothing here for him to learn except how to be stupid which I know she had to have heard……

You know, this actually relates to the next shopping post below, which is really a sad thing…

I HATE Shopping!

November 27, 2010

The crowds, the walking, the sea of humanity (did I say crowds?), carrying the stuff that I want, driving to a zillion stores in search of it, being forced to eat out because it takes sooo long, wasting entire days, carrying stuff for everyone else, being pressed in by other people (I did mention crowds didn’t I?), and people….

Really, isn’t this the reason that the Internet was created?  Amazon.com has everything plus free shipping! I can order it today and have it here overnight and arrive tomorrow for $3.95 (prime) and there is only 1 person in the delivery truck!

But the BIGGEST plus of online shopping is the ability to go shopping in my UNDERWEAR!

Now, I really enjoy spending time with my family, especially my wife and will go shopping with her any time in order to be with her, but come on, every other reason to go out physically shopping is lame!

“Hey, Mark, want to go shopping with me?  Yes Dear, let me get my keys!”

Everybody Has A Camera…

And Wants To Be A Wedding Photographer!

November 15, 2010

In today’s world you simply cannot spit and not hit someone carrying their brand new DSLR on a neck strap! They are just EVERYWHERE (one of these days I expect to go out to take a photograph in the dark, turn on a flashlight and see a dozen of these people scurrying to the dark shadows like an insect startled by the sudden appearance of light). In fine art shows around the county they come out as though they were attending a Royal Wedding of some sort. They walk into your display area (with their cameras around their necks) and in loud tones proclaim to the world: “Gee, I can do this type of work all day long and charge less money!”, then they rush their new DSLR up to their head and without even so much as a “by your leave?” and start taking pictures of your work (well now at least I can see how it is possible for them to do as well…)! I always make a point of TELLING them to not take pictures of my work and if they cannot remember it later on then to purchase it! I also offer to teach them photography in a workshop if they ask for help with a technique that takes me more than 5 min.


The young wife goes out and purchases a brand new shiny DSLR camera thinking that with this perfect tool for capturing images of mood and emotion, and in this new PC world that we find ourselves living in, thinks that she doesn’t have to actually learn how to use it properly (after all, she has a right…). She (with new DSLR in hand) can now go out and start taking wedding photographs (of course charging 1/10 the normal costs, taking food off of the table of some poor professional photographer who does this for a living. Then she realizes just how hard it is to take good images and quits (but not until after she puts someone who actually knows what they are doing out of work).

The world is littered with people like this…

Do NOT get me wrong, I think that it is great that people go this route for making a living, but at least they should learn their trade (dont you think?)! I always go out of my way to encourage new photographers to not only learn how to use their equipment, but to learn how to see…. I will take out budding photographers in order to help them grow in their art! But in every group there are those who think that they have a right to do something that they also have a right to get into others way who are really trying to make something artistic (see older post here titles “What I hate About Photographers”.

Quick, turn on the lights, perhaps they will scurry away!

I will not post a picture here, someone will likely just take a photograph of it!

It Really Hurts Me To Tell You This….

November 12, 2010

We All Get Old

I hurt DEEP in my bones. It is like a fire that consumes me…. This is a result of long term spinal issues, but I prefer to think that it is because I have photographed all that there is to see and photograph here in the Low Country of South Carolina! We all know that this just is not the case, but it sure feels like it is! What this really means is that I have re-visited and re-taken the same scene with the same composition or some variation there of, time and time again. This process of re-visitation is allowing me to re-build a really good portfolio to something world class because I keep replacing existing images with better ones. BUT, I am rarely getting anything really new and different. Shooting in Infrared has allowed me to change this a little because I see the same old stuff with different eyes now but soon the same old problem will re-emerge and then I will be stuck…… again.


I have this need, no that is not strong enough, I have this desire deep in my aching bones for travel. I want to get out to see and experience new sites and be emotionally impacted by them. I even jump at the chance for family travel; “Hey, let’s go visit John in Georgia”, or “Ellen, do you feel like visiting your sisters up north?” I think that this is the reason for the pain. It is God’s way of telling me to get out and do/experience something new…. again!

PS I have managed to get some really interesting and new images from Georgia & Connecticut!

What I HATE About Photographers!

October 16, 2010

I really do live in a glass house so I try really hard to not throw stones, but…..

North Island Bone Yard, my ONLY usable image from a 3 HOUR trip due to Uncaring, Self Centered Thoughtless Photographers!

I recently went on an organized photographic trip to the North Island Lighthouse (Georgetown, SC) with a LARGE group (40+) of nature photographers who have all photographed together many times over the years. You would think that they would have some sense of where they are and what they are doing in reference to the other photographers in the group wouldn’t you? Forget the subject matter, lets concentrate on upsetting the other photographers by being rude and callous! Is someone setup on a tripod taking a long exposure through the bone yard at the sunrise over the water? GOOD! Lets walk through the scene as though we didn’t know that they were even there! And to make it even more fun lets do it as many time, as as we can! What? Someone yelled at us for doing this? What nerve!

Come on people, get real. There are ethics involved in photography just as there are in life! You just cannot walk through life (and photography) in your own little world! You MUST be conscious of others around you and what your impact is on them. If you keep this up some one is going to run you over in their car (or throw a rock at you if you are taking pictures).

To make matters worse you need to know that all of these folks were adults of advancing years! OMG! Can you imagine what they have taught their children?

Another generation of uncaring, clueless and aimless wondering souls to ruin my images and put muck in my tire treads!

There are rules, and here they are:

  • Do nothing to the area you are photographing except for taking images.
  • Leave no trash
  • Be aware of other photographers and be nice, stay out of their scene. If you cannot then ask them before you walk through.
  • Help other photographers if you can. Teach others what you have learned. Learn from others.
  • Be humble. Be caring.
  • Do not throw stones…… Darn, I just broke this one!

Oh, My God!! What Are You Doing??

Mark & Skittles

Some time ago I was talking to a friend and photographer when he suddenly said something that totally blew me away. We were talking about our own bodies of work when he suddenly blurted out “You know Mark, you are taking way too many Infrared Images and I believe that you are loosing touch with what and who you are!”. Needless to say, I was stunned and speechless over this admission from him! I have been crunching on his comment for some time now and am no closer to really understanding his meaning than the moment that he let it fly! This has created (for good or bad) a serious time of introspective searching on my part. What type of photographer am I? Who am I? What defines me?

Well, one thing is for sure, I have always been a Fine Art Nature Photographer from day one. I normally work in Color, but if I had any say in it then my work would all be in B&W! Why? Hmm, I KNOW that this is true because I personally like B&W better, but those around me don’t! What a mine field! Color me perplexed and confused. I guess that I can see where he is coming from with his statement, my COLOR work has always defined who I am artistically from the world’s viewpoint. But what about my own feelings? I see myself as a fine art photographer. I am not tied to any one type of subject matter. I like wildlife, land & seascapes, birds, macro and nautical images. BUT B&W images really get my creative juices flowing…. This admission on my part doesn’t really seem to fit into all of the self defined subjects that I just listed except for land/seascapes and nautical… When I first started serious photography (as if any stage of photographic development can be defined as serious) I exclusively shot mushrooms! I can hear your thoughts… Mushrooms, hmm strange. Have you ever looked closely at a mushroom? There is an entire galaxy of beauty in and under them! I shot over 10,000 mushroom images! I was published everywhere and even had one on a MTV music video! They were wildly popular. But as in all things I evolved! So I moved naturally into the subject matter that people currently see on my main stock site. I know my passion for B&W and there is some on the site, but most people in the outside world like the color work the best, so what did I do? I catered to the peoples likes around me and only rarely look to myself! I see it as no surprise that I have latched onto Infrared photography with so much passion that those around me question my motives! Of all my images now, 95% that I take are Infrared! That is the reason for this web site, to promote my new passion. If I had my own way in this I would take 100% Infrared, but understanding the world around me of course I will not bend so totally to my own desires, after all, I have to feed those around me too. But in answer to the basic question that was asked of me, YES, I am taking more Infrared pictures because I am passionate about them, and am I loosing track of who and what I am?

I HOPE so, after all we all have to evolve…

The Old Spencer Mill:

Is There A Word For STUPID & RUDE?

Last month, I made a 8 state trip from South Carolina to Missouri then back south to Georgia and finally back to South Carolina. The purpose of this trip was to visit my parents in St. Louis, but the real reason was to visit as many grist mills as humanly possible. All in all, the trip was a great success with one or two exceptions, the worst is the subject of this post. I was staying overnight in Nashville Tennessee when the clerk of the hotel told me of another really good mill just 30 miles west of Nashville. I changed my plans so that I could drive the next morning to visit the Old Spencer Mill in Burns Tennessee. I was very excited to have located another mill and one that was not in any of the official mill sites scattered around the WEB. I shouldn’t have been.

The Mill was very easy to find and was advertised as being open during the day. I had a good drive through nice farming country with lots of great barns and old houses. When I arrived at the mill I was surprised to find that I had to drive through a shallow stream in order to reach it! When I turned into the parking lot (can you say commercial? But even that is OK!) I was upset to find that it had gates that were closed! There was a sign telling of all that the mill offered to visitors including a store and museum along with another sign stating that you were NOT allowed to enter unless accompanied by a guide! There were also 2 phone numbers on the sign to get further information. I called the 2nd number which was immediately answered bay a woman. I identified myself and told her that I wished to just walk around the outside of the mill to take a few images in preparation for an possible upcoming guided photographic excursion in which I would bring up to 20 people to visit their mill for a complete day. The response was a strongly worded NO! She told me that in 10 minutes a school bus was arriving with a group of students and that they could not spare a guide for me to look around. I explained that I drove a LONG way out of the way to visit the mill and that I only wished to walk around the outside of the mill itself for a few minutes and didn’t need to be supervised to which she responded that she just didn’t care and that I was in no way to cross the gate or step on the property. Now, it was bad enough that I wasted a half day on this detour, but the rude manner in which she spoke to me was just too much for me to deal with. I waited for a further 45 minutes and no bus, students or anyone ever appeared.

If you are on a search for nice mills to visit I advise that you STAY AWAY from these people. They are not understanding, their representative was beyond rude and frankly I wouldn’t take a group of my students there if they were the only mill left to visit. I was offering them further business by bringing them a group of photographers in the future and they just could care less.

I would show you a image of their mill here except for the fact that I couldn’t take one!

I have sent them a copy of this post and will see how they respond, perhaps there is hope for the future, but time will tell!


20 comments on “Querimony

  1. Hi Mark, your website is very interesting and rich of lessons.
    Excellent idea for having added comments and showing IR images under filters with various passbands.
    Some webs deal with IR imaging but are not accurate or lack of concrete information about the possibilities offered by IR filters and image processing.
    Consequently, too many readers think that false colors (including how to get a blue sky or orange trees) appear thanks to postprocessing of any kind of IR image. It is far to be true or not necessary as easy as expected (it depends on the filter used).
    So, in this context, your web is well done, demonstrating that IR colored images also depends on many factors, and first of all of the filter passband in visible light.
    Then your nice images also demonstrate very well that the subject impacts much the final rendering. Not any subject (e.g. landscape) give a stunning image. If the composition is ordinary, nature and colors are vanished, do not expect to a great result.
    IR photography remains in the 7th art of photography…

    • Thierry, I couldn’t agree more with your logic! Thanks for the insightful comment and praise on the BLOG! It is difficult to come up with new and better ideas for posts which is why I always ask for reader questions and comments. All in all this is a lot of fun do to do. Please also consider joining our facebook group called Infrared Photographers Group. It is starting to really take off and will be full of interesting reader images, critiques, hints and kinks!

  2. Dear,

    First off all, great website! It made me become very excited about IR photography!

    I’m very interested to buy some IR filters for my canon 7D (with the IR blocker still in place)…but I can only find the B+W 092 and 093 and Hoya R72 ones…

    I want to find the semi-infrared ones like above…like the 090…I found the next filter to order somewhere but I guess this is not the infrared one?

    B+W Light Red Filter 090 (25)
    This is the classic filter for architectural photography. White façades glow brightly, the blue sky is darkened dramatically and clouds become more impressive. It is also excellent for spectacular landscape photographs with greatly improved distant views. Its filter factor is approximately 5

    I m interested to buy a 590nm Goldie IR Filter! does it excist as a round filter to turn in front of your lens??

    Furthermore above is stated: “This post is to compare the B+W 090 & 091 Red filters for use in a Full Spectrum IR camera system.” Does this mean that you can only get the colour infrared effect by removing your IR blocker out of your dslr or are there filters available like for exemple the goldie ones I m looking for?

    Hope someone can tell me eventually where to find them…(Europe)

  3. First off, on your “It really hurts to tell you this” column all I have to say about this is “what a wimp”!!!! LOL!!! (I feel for you!
    Second about the whole Christmas shopping deal, I agree with you 100 percent!!!! This time of year the nicest people in the world turn into animals the minute they step through the doors of a mall! Online shopping is so much easier!

  4. Interesting post “Everybody has a camera”… At a show recently, vendors across from me inindated me with questions… they just bought a camera… Ya know the type, the package deal with the cheap lenses… now they want to be Wedding Photographers!!! They have NO training what so ever. What gets me, they actually THOUGHT THEY COULD DO THIS! There biggest fear is “what do we charge”? Hello?? Are you stupid? Lets ruin someones most treasured day because you are stupid enough to beleive you can shoot a wedding just becasue you bought a DSLR… no editing software, etc. They never heard of white balance, or appeture even… We all have to start somewhere, but I don’t deal well with STUPID.

  5. Ok! Yes, during our outing I was completely amazed at the over zealousness of some of the photographers! I guess some were in such a hurry to get to that “perfect” spot for the sunrise that they forgot about “courtesy”. I know…sometimes you do and don’t mean to walk through someones shot, but you should at least say excuse me or sorry! Great post Mark!

  6. I agree with you Mark! We have to evolve!!!I lost my passion for photography catering to what the rest of the world wanted to see. But since discovering Infrared I have rediscovered the passion and the heck with the rest of the world!!!

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