When I first started this website, and before my subsequent venture into the world of professional photography - my first and only web page stated - "My name is Petra Sith, and I feel like I have something to say." These were very simple yet meaningful words that have started this year much different than any others in my past. As I go through the motions of finding myself, doing work that is fulfilling and artistic, still pursuing my musical passion, and sorting through the muck that was at one point my life that I am now re-defining - I came up with the idea for a project called "I Have Something to Say". I think the simple and plain use of a piece of poster board and a marker can be such a powerful tool. Most people would associate this with a protest or a tool to use at a rally - but to be able to give this to everyday people to use it as a tool to share how they feel was something that meant a lot to me. Funny, angry, serious, or informational - we all have something to say, and what better way than to capture it through images. I hope you enjoy the additions to the project, and I hope to have the final art piece done before the end of the year. If you are interested in participating and you have 'something to say', please contact me for info about the next date and session time for the project!
One of the things I feel very strongly about is the adoption of animals from animal shelters. There's no sugar coating the fact that there are millions of dogs and cats in America's shelters that need homes. Paco, the dog in this picture, is one of those dogs. Sure, he's got a bit of an attitude problem, and at times, can be quite the handful, but he finally found an owner that loves him for who he is. You see, Paco was abandoned, and subsequently returned to the shelter four times before he found his permanent home at the age of 6. There were those that brought him home, and then quickly brought him back because of his finicky attitude. Then he met the owner that changed his life. Sure, it took almost a year, but now - he finally trusts someone and loves them enough to be held, to be loved, and to know that he is safe in her arms. I snapped this candid shot when I was least expecting to take a photo, but I think that love and respect between owner and pet was captured.
If you've never been to Galena, it’s a quaint little town on the border of northwestern Illinois, nestled in between Iowa and Wisconsin. The architecture, shops, and the beautiful landscape add to its charm. In the spring, summer and fall months, there is always a guitar player, or some sort of performance group in the middle of town, with their tip jars out, eager for the change or bills of tourists visiting the various shops on the main downtown strip. I didn't get this gentleman's name; I simply threw in a few dollars into his coffee can, sitting in his guitar case, surrounded by some funny pictures. I asked him if I could take pictures of him, and he obliged. We talked briefly about photography and music, but not nearly enough to get to know each other. He just went on to the next song in his song book. When he began to play and sing "What a Wonderful World", I nearly teared up. It was surreal. Nice sunny day, trees of green, people saying how do you do.... all of that. A crowd gathered around him, and I snapped off this picture which I chose to turn into a art piece. I wanted to bring him and his guitar to the forefront, sitting under the American flag. I don't know his story; maybe he's a war veteran, maybe just a wanderer, or even a resident of Galena that makes extra cash entertaining the crowds. As he sang, with the food in his beard, and his hat blocking the sun from his eyes - there was a special charm to him, and to how he was making the crowd feel with such a beautiful song. Galena is a photographic playground, and I'm glad I got to spend my day there capturing some images. The second one I'm featuring in this blog, is actually the highest point in Illinois, near a town called Scales Mound. How very countryesque. God fearing people, in the country expressing their religious freedom. I thought the picture looked so fake, but I assure you, the cows, and the rock are as they were when I snapped the pic. Check out the other Galena pictures in all different catergories!
Taking pictures for a living, the smart thing to do is to always have your camera on hand. While visiting my good friend earlier this week, we were just hanging out and as I went up the stairs in her house, I came upon her rain boots sitting next to the door. The story that goes with this photo and subsequent art piece isn’t a fun one. Her basement was flooding during a storm, so she had to throw these on to make sure all of her stuff and her kid’s toys weren't destroyed by the backup of the drain in the laundry room. What a comparison to anything in life. Whatever personal tragedies we suffer, on any scale - always lead to an opportunity, or in this case, a chance for me to take a picture and create something out of it. All events that happen to us always leave some door or opportunity either for ourselves, or for someone else. I know she laughed at me as I stood on the staircase trying to capture the picture, but if that basement hadn't flooded, and then I wouldn't have had the chance to create this piece of work for my portfolio and website. It's been a weird week, working for myself - but I'm so excited, happy and proud to have taken that step, and to have friends and family that are supporting me through my journey. Love you Karli!
As a photographer, everyone has their own personal style, or imagery that kind of becomes their signature work. It's been pointed out to me, and I'm well aware of the fact, that I like the old, dilapidated, broken, and not always most pleasant scenery. I guess what I love about it - is that despite the fact there is a huge mess or a big hole in a roof in a building, or rust on an old tank track, is that there's something interesting to it. It has a story. As I took the photo for this inspired art piece - and almost got tetanus from a rusty nail on a board I missed by two inches - I saw history. Where is all this stuff from? What was it a part of? Who built it? Who tore it down? And why didn't they clean it up? It makes the very plain ground that it beneath this mess more interesting. I guess when it comes to photo's - anyone can take a picture of a beautiful island, or a beautiful sunset and it becomes a beautiful picture. But when you can try to capture something interesting about stuff that is just an eye sore, in a new light, it makes it a challenge. Why do I like this stuff? I really don't know. Maybe it's the perspective of that shot to make it appealing, or maybe it’s a reflection of how I see the world. There is beauty in all things, in all details, in all people - no matter how mundane, bad, good or indifferent they are. I hope you enjoy this new art piece!
I love my friends, and I got to spend the day with a couple of amazing ones in Milwaukee yesterday. We went out, took some pics, ate some new food, and finished the night off with the great American sport of bowling. Days like yesterday really remind you to be thankful for what you do have in life. Nothing can be taken for granted, and nothing goes to waste. And then there are people that you feel like you've known all of your life. You can spend a day with them and feel like you never left home. The photo spots were great, and even though the walk in downtown Milwaukee due to a parking snafu (I'm not pointing fingers... Spike) was freezing - it was worth it. If you've never tried Ethiopian cuisine, you should. You should try a lot of new things to break free of the mold of everyday life. I do not recommend this food for people that are afraid of sharing, or germs - as you get no utensils, and share a table platter. And I also recommend a trip to the Horny Goat Brewery in Milwaukee. Great place and I would go back to party with friends next time I’m up in the great state of cheese. One of my favorite pics from the trip was a pop art piece I've been working on since I got back. This is Mr. Skulls. He sells feed in Mukwonago, WI and he’s very serious about his job. Remember to appreciate those people in your life that support and love you for all you do. I know I'm lucky to have them in mine.