Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bright Images


Kara and I have been friends for over thirty years. She and Lisa were the Stewart sisters. Lesley and I were the Boylan sisters.  We were all of an age, and we hung out together in the garret of an old Chester County carriage house. Kara sometimes brought an old Pocket Instamatic with her, and she snapped pictures while we all chatted and laughed.

I lost touch with Kara for many years. When we reconnected on Facebook, I found to my delight that she was just as screamingly funny as always. During that interim, her desire to create images had sharpened, and so had her skill.

Today Kara has her own online photography business at www.kdstewart.net. Her site is called Kara Stewart…Art in Photography. She has been working hard during the two decades when we lost contact, and she has incredible results. Seeing her pictures was just as much of a lovely surprise as her still-present sense of humor.

Constant practice comes from a need. The need to create is foremost, of course, but Kara adds, “I've found with all my cameras (except the Pocket Instamatic!) that you have to use the camera at least once a week or you forget how!  You forget how you got a certain look, you forget the settings, controls, how to do what you need to do.“

When I showed my daughter some of Kara’s images, her reaction was a huge gasp. “Oh, Mommy!” Genna said. “They are so beautiful!” The kid’s right. They are.

I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves. Look at the face of this man, with his one rolled up pant leg and vibrant head scarf, in the piece Waiting:



…or at the audacious sexiness of this lemon in LaLaLaLemon:



Kara says that food photography is more difficult than it looks.  It is “…hard to get the perfect slice of pie, the candy corn with no weird bumps. I end up being forced to simply eat the prop after taking 3 million shots over the course of hours.”

Here is the piece that made my daughter gasp, Snapdragon Caverns:


 
Regarding this piece, Kara says, “Some people crochet, some garden, some play video games or go antiquing. I am addicted to my image software. “


And what a wonderful addiction it is. Look at this splendid piece called Ember:



Her Black and  White gallery shows that color is not a necessary ingredient for vibrancy, as in Tunnel Vision:




And then there are the dogs. Just look at Beautiful Frenchie.



OH, COME ON! Who can resist that little guy?!

For just one moment, let's tiptoe back up the rickety stairs to that carriage house garret, now lost in the past. During that time, while the Stewart sisters and the Boylan sisters joked and giggled and gossiped and dreamed together, who could sense the bright images that were just waiting to emerge?

5 comments:

Libby said...

What a great tribute! I met Kara at a photography retreat of sorts a couple of years ago. Her work was amazing then and just continues to get better and better. Keep up the great work, Kara. :-)

west_2552 said...

It's really a pleasure to peruse Kara's website. She obviously really enjoys photography and tweaking her images with her computer software. The results are very unique and unusual. Where was the tunnel vision photo taken, Kara?? I really like your subject matter and angle choice. Very cool! Keep taking those great shots! We're all enjoying!

Christine Murray said...

I think the point about using a camera regularly or else you lose the knack is true of writers too. If you go a while without writing, it's harder to get back into the groove.

The pictures are absolutely fantastic. I especially love Tunnel Vision.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, great images! I have no skill at all, but my daughter has photography aspirations (she begged to pool birthday and Christmas, plus dropped a month of allowance for a digital camera last year, which if you knew how needy she normally acts, is saying something)

Alison said...

thanks, everyone! I was just blown away by Kara's talent. I'm so lucky to have her and her sister as friends, and for most of my life. You can't buy that!!!!!