Tuesday, September 1, 2009


They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words” but I think some people want a few words added to their pictures.

Last month during our Second Saturday Open Studio, someone stopped by to look at one of my new images from Paris. Since the trip was fresh in my mind, I had stories to tell regarding this particular piece. After they decided to purchase the photograph, they asked if I could write up the story I told and send it to them - which I did a couple of days later.

I began to think of other images I have that also have background stories attached to them. This is especially true for the photographs taken while traveling.

My image “Shrewley Tunnel” was taken in a village outside of Warwick during our trip to England 10 years ago. On our first day there I came upon a towpath that went under a train track and along a canal. I had my camera with me and as I came through the tunnel, I saw a lovely view. I set up my tripod, attached the camera and discovered that my batteries were dead. I usually carry batteries in my camera bag, but I had gone out with just the camera. It was ok. Since I was staying fairly close, I figured I would just try again the next day.

When I arrived for my “do over” I was met with a beautifully lit scene with a completely different feel from the day before. I believe that if I had been able to get the shot earlier, I would not have come back and captured the image that I did. “Shrewley Tunnel” has been one of my most popular images and the first to sell out as an original hand-colored piece.

©1999 Dianne Poinski

I tell this story quite a bit so some of you may have already heard it, but I thought it was worth repeating.

Transportation issues contributed to another image made the same day. That morning, we picked up a rental car and barely put 15 miles on it before we took it back. I knew it would be challenging to drive on the wrong side of the street while sitting on the wrong side of the car, but I had no idea how difficult it would be. Wanting to be responsible parents, we returned the car. There went my vision of traveling along the English countryside, stopping along the way to photograph quaint villages and beautiful landscapes.

Instead, we walked over to the tunnel, where with fresh batteries I made my photograph. Then, because we had nowhere to go and no way to get there, we spent most of the day walking down the towpath, enjoying the beautiful day and stopping every once in awhile so I could take a few photographs. “Bridge 58” was made a little ways down the path from “Shrewley Tunnel” and would have been missed if we had been driving around in a car.

©1999 Dianne Poinski

Art does not come out of perfectly executed plans and every once in awhile I have to be reminded of that. England proved to be fertile territory for that lesson and I will always be grateful.


  1. Thanks, Dianne, for adding to the beauty of your photos with your experiences of making them. Makes me feel included and a part of the process to know the inside story. Nice touch.

  2. Very nice and even better with the narratives!

  3. And if we hadn't had returned the car and walked the towpath, and if you hadn't had taken "Bridge 58", then Leila wouldn't have bought that picture from you and she wouldn't have hung it up in her dorm room, she wouldn't have recognized the last name, she wouldn't have called me, and the world just wouldn't seem as small.

  4. Thanks everyone! As you can see from the comment my daughter left, there will probably be a part II to this post!

  5. What wonderful stories! And "Shrewley Tunnel" is just a beautiful picture.