Archiving the School Room

“Archiving the School Room” – a report from the Marshall County Historical Museum (text as printed in The South Reporter on December 5, 2013) For the last month, the quiet of the Marshall County Historical Museum’s third floor has given way to the sound of shuffling paper. The scratch of a pen often follows it, and stops. Then starts again. Down the hallway where the typewriter collection sits, there’s a room with thousands of books and periodicals. They wrap around the walls, and more are piled onto desks, just below a chalkboard. Two large portrait paintings of Holly Springs’ school officials hang with authority over a small row of empty benches. This is the School Room, and Martha Fitch is at work, leaning over her notebook. An homage to old fashioned, single-room schools, the “School Room” isn’t an exact replica of an old schoolroom. However, with three desks, it is arranged to embody the spirit of one. The room houses the bulk of the Museum’s education-related items, including law books, encyclopedias, and vintage classroom photographs. If you find the theme a bit strange, in the context of the Marshall County Historical Museum, it makes perfect sense. Each room of the […]

Witches, Ghosts, and Halloween

“Witches, Ghosts, and Halloween” – a report from the Marshall County Historical Museum (as submitted to The South Reporter for publication the week of October 30, 2013) One day a year children can be anything they want to be. Well, almost. Depending on a household’s values or beliefs, the choice of costume for a child on Halloween has its limits. Some costumes can be too graphic, too risqué, too weird, or too “witchy”. There’s varying degrees of all of these things, and some costumes can, actually, be too graphic or too risqué for common decency. In terms of “witchy”, I relate this to whether or not a child is allowed to dress up like the stereotypical witch or ghost for Halloween. Some children are. I wasn’t. Instead, my mom sewed elaborate costumes that were pumpkins, clowns, Popples, and princesses. The Popple was especially nifty. For anyone who remembers the 1980s plush toy by Mattel, my costume even had a pouch I could roll myself up into and bounce around. In researching the origin of Halloween for this article, I realized how unintentionally Victorian it was for Mom to exorcise the spookiness out of my holiday. During the 1800s, the holiday […]

Hello September Snapshots

“A Diary of Favorite Shots” — My struggle to find subject matter in Mississippi continued into September, and I pushed myself to be proactive. I used to shoot wherever I landed, with whatever happened around me, but with little happening here, I didn’t have the luxury of passivity. I used anything, and everything, as an excuse to shoot. Often, I came home frustrated. Other times, I frustrated the people around me with my restlessness. Finally, two weeks into the month, I felt like I was falling into a style that suited the south. I could put images next to each other, and they made sense in a group. I shot mostly still lifes, texture, and grit. When I found a common thread, I decided to give my iPhone a break, and I started carrying my DSLR everywhere. I wanted to think about archiving my work, printing it, and framing it. To do that, I needed to shoot larger files. “Hello September” brings together some of my favorite shots from ProCamera for the iPhone 4S, plus shots taken with my Canon 7D. All were edited with Lightroom. I still don’t have a groove for shooting. But I found some ideas for […]

Hello August Snapshots

“A Diary of Favorite iPhone Shots” — In Mississippi I realized that taking pictures is a different experience than the Bay Area, and I worked to find a “voice” in the slower paced environment. As much as I love Hipstamatic for my on-the-go pictures, I decided to try shooting with ProCamera (also for iPhone) and process my shots with Snapseed to expand my options. I like the results so far, though I’m still finding my way. During August my Instagram and Flickr streams featured shots from both Hipstamatic and ProCamera, but, for the purpose of consistency, I’m going to keep this month’s “Hello” post a short one and only feature my Hipstamatic shots. “Hello August” features Hipstamatic shots taken just before leaving San Francisco, additional shots from the road trip, and shots from Mississippi.