Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photos, Politics and Passions

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.
Ansel Adams

Recently one of the blogs I read said that going to a photo blog and finding political ramblings turns her off. It lead to some thinking about what is a photography blog supposed to be. The long and short of it is, that like love, it is a many splendored thing. To me it isn't just to say here are my pictures, it is to share ideas, passions, how you did the photo etc. In other word, what makes you want to explore what's going on for you. This blog shows photos, but it also shares things that happen that make me passionate. And while I am not a regular political commentator, at times I do comment because something has touched me or a photo I took seems to fit that topic.

My party affiliation is more often then not Democrat. Today the Democratic Party formally nominated their candidates. This an election where I'm not passionate about the presidential candidate, because I really don't find him as qualified as I wanted. But I am passionate about the Republican Party not having the Oval Office for another four years, so yes, I will vote for the Obama/Biden ticket because there isn't a good Independent alternative.

Many of my friends are Republican and we respect each other's differences. That's because even though we may be ideologically far apart in our interpretations of what America is to be about, at the end of the day, we share a passion/pride for the fact that we are American. That is we are about freedom/diversity and we make that diversity work for us all. And that's what photography is about and this photo is about. I don't usually do flag related patriotism, mine is more quiet and internal. But when I saw this photo opportunity when I was on the boat a few weeks ago, it spoke to me emotionally and so here it is.

So please any of you who have photo blogs keep sharing your passions, expanding my horizons, challenging me... I love the diversity that all of you offer. I may not share your point of view or understand what you're about, but you keep me feeling and thinking so maybe I'll eventually grow in a new way. Thank you all.

Because he is one of the most passionate American's around today, is our heartbeat and this song reflects that...

Bruce Springsteen, "Streets of Philadelphia":





Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Santa Rosa Island Part 4 Sculptural Garden




Simultaneously freeform and meticulously crafted, emotive and wise, these sculptures seek their own destiny
Collette Chattopadhyay

One of the wonders of Santa Rosa is Loco Canyon. The hand of nature carved sculptures throughout a several mile journey. Looking through the viewfinder of my camera to narrow in on a certain perspective and taking in panoramic sweeps, it all was the same in one aspect, awe inspiring. Sometimes the eye was drawn to give a name and perception to these organic shapes. At other times, they just became a breathtaking abstract. These four photos to me acknowledge both of these points of view, however as the perception of form is always with the person looking at the image/object I will leave these to your unique interpretations (if any).

Loreena McKennitt, "Standing Stones":


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Santa Rosa Island Part 3 Beach Light




My life is like a stroll on the beach...as near to the edge as I can go.
Thoreau


Our first major hike was to the beach about a half mile a way. And it was this beach that provided me with the most vital lesson of the weekend. Light, how it changes rapidly and how it is will take a life time to learn how to capture it. After all this time you would think I'd have learned it. Brian was an incredible, breakthrough teacher. Very Zen, his instructions spare, lean and to the point. Somehow though in his presence and through his guidance it began to make sense. During the four days I returned to the beach at various times of day and these three photos are the result. No one else may agree, but to me they are some of the most satisfying shots I've ever done. Somehow a door has opened and knowledge sparkles like a set of diamonds in my mind....

Seals and Crofts, "Diamond Girl":


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Santa Rosa Island Part Two A Tent With A View

Let the tent be struck.
Robert E. Lee

Somehow the literature for the campground on Santa Rosa led me to believe that it was a simple straight line from the pier where the boat dropped us off and we'd be close to the beach. Wrong. One and a half miles of curves and a couple of hills later we landed in a valley. I backpacked in 35 pounds on my back and about 10 pounds of camera equipment on my front. By the time I arrived, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. I wasn't the only one. There were 4 of us doing the workshop and two had brought equipment with rollers on, thinking the road easy. Ah no it was rocky and sandy. But all of us finally made it, selected two shelters and split into 2 groups, 2 guys and 2 gals. Jackie who was sharing my shelter turned out to be a tent whiz. She had her tent and mine up very quickly. The guys had a bit more trouble due to one of the tents being a complicated rental. But finally our tents were set up. We were able to take a deep breath and get out to find our first photos. I was more then ready, after weeks at home I had gotten out of the house and back to nature....

Shawn Colvin, "Get Out of This House":




Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Santa Rosa Island Part One Marina

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
Kalidasa

I left home at 1 am Friday morning in order to arrive in Ventura at 7 am. I had given myself an hour leeway just in case. I arrived at the marina where we were to leave from at 6 am. There was a hot coffee in my hand and as I got out of the Jeep, I observed the sun coming up. Luckily my camera was on my car seat and ready so I captured this photo. It was my first lesson of the trip that light moves quickly and you need to be ready. There was a bench by the office and I settled in the early morning peace to contemplate and wait. Shortly before 7 am the office opened and people arrived to begin unloading equipment. I saw a group of 3 people and just had a feeling this was my workshop group. Walking over I asked what seemed to be the leader of the group if he was Brian. He gave me a big smile and asked if I was Lisa-Marie. We shook hands and I got the feeling this was going to be an incredible time of learning and insight.

Norah Jones, "Sunrise":


Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Camping I Will Go

Camping: The art of getting closer to nature while getting farther away from the nearest cold beverage, hot shower and flush toilet.
Author Unknown

The backpack is stuffed and I'm ready to hit the road in under 12 hours to go on my photo workshop where I'll be camping for the next 4 days/3 nights. Opinions have been either mixed: that I'm either doing something incredible or something nuts. I'll let you know which one was right when I get back next week from Santa Rosa Island.

The brave thing I did today was to reserve a flat in the Belgravia/Victoria area of London for a December trip. It was a great deal for eight nights. It's on the edge of a 3 acre garden square so should be incredible. I decided as today was my birthday, it was in keeping with the plan to travel every 2-3 months in the coming year.

I decided since I had shared my friend's horoscope, I'd do mine and credit goes to Free Will Astrology:

Leo Horoscope for week of August 7, 2008

Verticle Oracle card Leo (July 23-August 22)
When British rock legend David Bowie came to America for his first tour in 1973, he said he felt like a fly in a glass of milk. He was half-drowning in a flood of interesting new sensations and perceptions, while at the same time he was greedily drinking it all in, stoked with fascinated joy. According to my astrological projections, Leo, you're in that fly-in-the-milk state yourself, or will soon be.



I want to share a song that my grandmother often played when I stayed with her when I was growing up. We were very close and even though she's not here physically, I can feel her spirit with me. Much of what I've become is because of her influence. She also made birthdays special.

Jim Reeves, "Welcome to My World":


Saturday, August 2, 2008

Juicy Tomatoes

I was a ...tomato: a juicy, sexy, beefsteak tomato.
Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie"

The tomatoes have arrived. Heirlooms, golden, beefsteak...they all are hot and juicy looking. The farmer's market is exploding with them. Now to the one brave thing I did today. I went, tried on and then purchased convertible, zip-off pants for the trip. In them I'll be a juicy tomato-not. Hmm, backpacking and sensual/sexy. Not words that you'll probably see much in a sentence combination. However, Susanna at "Susanna's Sketchbook" created a piece of art work that is incredibly sensual/sexy. I'm in awe of her talent.

Here's a couple of juicy and sexy tomatoes:

Sting and Mary J. Blige, "Whenever I Say Your Name":


Friday, August 1, 2008

Day In the Sun Done and Being Brave

No one is less ready for tomorrow than the person who holds the most rigid beliefs about what tomorrow will contain.
Watts Wacker, et al.

My parents are very dependent on the economic well being of the General Motors Corporation as retirees receiving benefits. It was with great dismay, but not surprise that I read what their profit margin loss was this quarter: $15.5 billion. What is sad to me is shortly after I got out of graduate school, I sat on a committee that was dealing with the socioeconomic changes to Michigan in relation to the automobile industry and what could be done about it. The project was sponsored by amongst others, General Motors. One of the largest recommendations was diversification of the economic base and that General Motors invest in innovative technology to produce cars that would be much less dependent upon oil based energy sources. General Motors and the State of Michigan ignored these recommendations. The State of Michigan kept to an economic focus based on automotive technology. General Motors chose to focus on large based vehicle production to boost their profit margin. The State of Michigan is now leading the country in unemployment rates and General Motors with the aforementioned profit loss. It's heartbreaking to me that many of us on the committee had a clear vision of the needs for the future, but that the higher ups ignored that vision in favor of immediate profit. It's not too late though. Hopefully this will be a wake up call and they will heed it. Otherwise General Motors day in the sun is done and the Midwest where I grew up truly will be a total rust belt.

But I wanted to add a bit more today about vision. I'm dedicating myself to Jessie's at Diary of a Self Portrait, Be Brave Project. She based it on the Eleanor Roosevelt's words of "doing the one thing every day that scares you." Well there are a lot of things that are scaring me and as I've mentioned that this coming year is the one before I reach a very significant birthday. I've decided I'm going to reach out to be brave and travel more as this is the one thing that both scares and exhilarates me. I receive a daily message from a web source and this came today:

If you can imagine it, you can have it, L-M. This is the name of the game. This is the lesson to learn. It couldn't be any easier. Reality is not what your eyes show your mind, but what your mind creates for your eyes to see. You are not limited by logic, the past, or the world around you. You are not even of the world around you. You are supernatural, pure spirit. You came first. Magic, miracles, and luck are the consequences of understanding this, the inevitable result of dreaming and acting in spite of appearances.

You are ever so close. Simply stay the course. It won't be very much longer.

The Universe

So I'm dedicating myself to be brave, to let go of my rigid beliefs of what my life should be at this time and trust that tomorrow will contain something wonderful....

Joseph Arthur, "In the Sun":


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