Friday, July 30, 2010

New England Photography-Yankee Magazine

Congratulations Gay Bumgarner
Yankee Magazine Shutterbug of the week

Gay Bumgarner is featured in Yankee Magazine's online gallery this week after being selected as Shutterbug of the week for June 26, 2010. Gay was nominated posthumously by Linda LaCroix who, more recently, has become familiar with her nature and animal photography. You can see the pictures that were selected by the editor, read some of the back-story, and enjoy the enthusiastic comments by fellow photographers on this link-- Gay on Yankee magazine photo gallery.

To be selected is an honor and particularly as it comes posthumously. It has provided a wonderful opportunity to introduce Gay and connect to a new generation of photographers and viewers. Gay was a fierce critic of her own work and threw out most of what she shot. Nevertheless there are about 60,000 transparencies carefully filed in metal cabinets organized by topic and each slide labeled with a unique alphanumeric ID. An astonishing achievement and level of discipline that has made it possible to follow behind her.

After she died, in lieu of any real plan, I moved her entire photography operation into my home in Vermont. I wanted her business interests to remain as viable as possible and, I loved her pictures. This plan, albeit vague, insured that I could get endless copies of her photos including her signature photo "Quarter horses running in snow". My relevant experience with the business was thin but I had asked questions. I drew a diagram of her office based on what she said was important and we packed her collection up based on that floor plan. Too much of what she explained back then was lost on me and little of what happened next was as tidy as it sounds.

In the nearly 2 years since then many things have happened--- things that you “Shutterbuggers” might understand better than most. I became enthralled with the photographs, then the subjects of them, and finally, I started taking photographs myself. Oh, my, she is indeed having her last laugh. I can now give the common and Latin name to most birds of New England and the Midwest, many flowers, the host plants for the caterpillars, the butterflies, and how to submit pictures to 3 separate stock agencies via my new website. I have waded into a strange and foreign world and her business has survived. The critical secrets to this survival have been my flexible day job, my love of big complex gnarly computer data-base challenges, and my mother’s impeccable record-keeping. I have jettisoned lots of things– some wisely and others less so. My family has been sturdy and good humored about this enormous change and I have been graciously helped by many of her fellow photographers, editors, and even the scary stock agency people.

I am honored when people are interested in her pictures or the subjects and scenes in the pictures. I love telling the stories and I am grateful to Jeff Folger (Foliage) who manages the online elements of Yankee magazine including their facebook site and an active discussion group of both novice and professional photographers from all over New England-- a wonderful community.

You can see the pictures selected for the online Yankee Magazine on our website too.

Next post-- some storytelling about the adventures of the past two years and some good humored backstory for your entertainment.

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