Friday, June 29, 2007

Once in a Blue Moon


One of my joys in life is when I dive into a tutorial on a subject and actually end up having it work. I was out again taking photos in preparation for a shoot of the full moon tomorrow night. I was excited about what I ended up given the size of lens I was using and shooting with street lights everywhere. It will be a blue moon, a fitting end to the past couple of weeks of planet/moon/star alignments.

It's been a week of unexpected happenings also. One of the things I've talked/blogged about lately is finding a way to balance work and having time to grow as an artist. Suddenly out of the blue I was offered a chance to work in a set of clinics in a way that will have me working three days a week and having four off. Too add to all of this I was given the incentive of a better salary if I would make the change. The final irony is that it involves the clinic that I had gone out on a limb to report some problems on. Higher ups were impressed by my advocacy and decided to ask me to take it on for the time being. After consultation with some friends and family I accepted the change. I have goose bumps though. Another major lesson in setting intention and then trusting in the process for it to happen.

Edie Brickell, "Once in a Blue Moon":

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rose Passion


One of the things I haven't been doing much of lately is reading. After going to the farmer's market yesterday which is held next to our local library, I went in and scored a variety of books. Today I've been an armchair traveler via The Sonnet Lover by Carol Goodman. It's a romantic mystery, lush with description (especially rose themes), and taking place between New York City and Italy. Academics, poets, Shakespeare, and the film industry all woven deftly together for an absorbing loose yourself read.

Inspired I grabbed a few shots of the roses that are always growing here in California. A glass of chilled Rose, some nibbles, a good book and gentle sunny warm weather. What more can one ask of a Sunday.....

Some rose themed music, Sting, "Desert Rose":

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reflection of Moments


Have you ever had a moment when you stopped what you were doing and wondered why the %$@# you were doing it? That moment came today as I was typing data into a computer at a cubicle in a dimly lit room with neurotic people surrounding me. Not to belittle people who do data entry, enjoy and find meaning it, but it stopped making sense. I'm finding the largest share of my 480 moments a day at work are spend either justifying any moments I do have with people I see or trying to help others justify why we do what we do....

It has been lately as if time is slowing and I'm becoming more aware of my place in each moment. I've discovered in those moments I want meaning. And the meaning seems to exist in the moments I spend with helping people one-on-one, with family/friends, creating art and cooking food and many other related things. Now I can hear my blue collar root voice of reason going, "are those moments going to feed you kid?" But my soul says find the meaning and you'll find the way to support those moments.

The Who: "Eminence Front"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Starry Starry Night


Have you been outside the last couple of nights? If not, you're missing a marvelous spectacle. The moon is in an unusual alignment. When I went looking for information, I found astropixie's blog which explained all. Inspired I decided to try my hand at grabbing some shots. The fun was getting my Olympus 500 to work on Bulb, not to mention working with my newer tripod. What they never tell you in school is that you're going to look like the Keystone Cops meet Abbott and Costello in trying accomplish this. I think I'm going to play behind the scenes more with my camera and supportive equipment.

Once I was set up it became magical. The crickets chirping, the lingering warmth of the day and dry herbal scent of the air. Finally, the process itself. Even without having the lens I needed, too many city lights and other obstacles that I faced; I was enamoured with what I saw through the view finder. There was further enchantment from what came out from the different shots. It was much like when I was a child laying out on a blanket, learning the constellations and watching the night sky wheel slowly by. I dreamed of possibilities. I haven't done much of that in the last few years. It's time to make friends again with the night sky and its inspiration.

Don McLean's Vincent, Starry Starry Night:

Monday, June 18, 2007

Blossoming



And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-
Anais Nin

One of my best photography teachers didn't like Anne Geddes. In fact she threatened to flunk anyone who came in with cute animal or baby pictures. It wasn't so much that she hated Anne Geddes' style. She didn't like the safety and complacency that she and others like her represented. Venturing outside of our comfort zone, even when the image might leave people not understanding or even have them detesting the subject was what she wanted us to learn.

When I saw this "doll" it repelled me, yet I felt I had to take the photo. Again my teacher shared that sometimes we cannot respond analytically/intellectually to an image we have seen or taken, we just have to know it brings out a visceral reaction and leave it at that. So I've not tried to this deconstruct this photo. I just let it exist and know that it still disturbs me somehow. It tells me I'm growing out of my "comfort zone" as an artist and a photographer.

Thanks Prof!

Edwyn Collins, "A Girl Like You":









Sunday, June 17, 2007

Groovin


It's Sunday, it's warm and I wish I was at the beach again. This woman had the right idea the Sunday I took this. Just lazing around, reading a great book, your toes caressing the sand, a snack or two, a drink waiting to be sipped. A sweet moment to enjoy life.

Hope you're all groovin this Father's Day, so in salute to my Motown roots and my Dad, Groovin Aretha Franklin style:

Friday, June 15, 2007

Power to the....


I went out on a limb to report some poor practices that was affecting patient care at a new clinic I'm helping open. People I work with thought I shouldn't have done it, but I've never been afraid to stand up for what's right. It's part of the "stand up" set of values my parents taught me: stand up for what you believe, stand up for what's right, even when it's not a popular choice and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Thanks Mom and Dad. You've helped me be a better person and artist for those teachings.

Since I love irony, a shot of "the colonel" as we named him and from the immortal John Lennon, "Power to the People":

Thursday, June 14, 2007

True Colors



This is for my young adopted niece who is asking what color am I? She is a child of nature, looking to magic and mystery. A quick Photoshop compilation to celebrate the color of her being. I hope it helps my sister guide her.

Cyndi Lauper, True Colors.

Monday, June 11, 2007

State of Mind


As I work on my photos from my trip and get ready in the next several months to make a big change, what can I say, I'm still in a New York state of mind. I shot this New York landmark through a Frank Stella sculpture on top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From NYC's most famous chanteuse: New York State of Mind.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Human Rights


On the first day of my trip I ended up unexpectedly in Philadelphia. My hotel was close to several historical landmarks of the American Revolution. I've always had a fascination for Benjamin Franklin and his role in it. I visited his grave site at Christ Church. There I actually entered into the cemetery where he is buried, but as the grave is close to the street several people will reach through the fence protecting the cemetery and throw coins, especially pennies onto his grave site. Some reach out to touch it. I caught this woman in what was a quiet referential moment.

Not all people in the world have the human rights and freedoms that we have inherited. The voices that cry out for them include Amnesty International. Darfur is one of those places in the world and here is one way in which they are trying to help....

John Lennon's #9 Dream performed by R.E.M. for the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Operation Azra

I just found out about this from a photo group I belong to. It's a group of photojournalists working to help women in Pakistan who been disfigured by acid burning.

photobetty

operation azra

And They Were....


My friend and I went into NYC as planned to see some of the photo shows at galleries in Chelsea. We decided to take a cab to the last one. First we had the luck of finding a cab driver who didn't know where he was going, so we had him let us off. We started walking down the street it was on when my friend noted things were changing or as she put it the three signs of the apocalypse occurred. First sign: not a soul in sight at 4 pm on a Friday, second sign: tons of barbed wire appearing and the third: coming upon a solid red brick building with a steel door and sign announcing it was a strip club. In unison we decided to backtrack to civilization. But my friend the comedian provided the final comment that broke me. She said essentially it looked like the end of a movie or book with the phrase, "....and they were never heard from again." I'm sure we looked like two madwomen as we collapsed with laughter going down the sidewalk.

We were lucky enough to find a cab and decided to go crosstown to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Great decision. We had appetizers and lavender martinis and listened to classical music on the balcony. We then decided to separate and go to some exhibitions that had caught our interest. I love the Greek/Roman art section and was able to coax my camera into taking some photos without flash. We finished with a luxuriant dinner overlooking Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park.

Lavender Martini

.5-1 oz Lavender syrup to taste
2 oz Vanilla Vodka

Shake with ice and pour into a martini glass

Shawn Mullins: Beautiful Wreck

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sweet Moments


A friend and his wife had their first baby this weekend; a little girl. She was a few weeks early, but is fine. Some of the sweetest moments in my life have come from watching or interacting with children. Last week as I sat on the beach, I watched this mother try to entice her son into the ocean for what she told me later was the first time. This caught his first moment and he wasn't totally convinced going into the water was the right thing to do. After a time he stepped his feet into it and decided it was okay after all.

Ziggy Marley, Mother and Child Reunion:

Monday, June 4, 2007

Back


Summer at the beach. I spent time at the Jersey shore, walking in the sand, eating soft twist ice cream and tasting the tang of the salt air. It was relaxing and helped put things into perspective.
I've pretty much made a decision about my living situation, but am going to sit on it. I had wonderful opportunities to take photos and in the midst of these, I've found a few jewels.
My friend Gail was an incredible hostess and we spend time laughing and catching up. It was a wonderful vacation and a good start to summer. I hope I can keep the relaxed vibes going through the next months.

Seals and Crofts: "Summer Breeze".

Beauty Is...

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