Same photography projects due soon. Very. Very. Soon!
Listening to podcasts.
Tons of projects dancing in my mind.
I need, need, need to find the time to do them!
More busy-iness than poetry in my life at the moment.
I'll be rectifying that ASAP!
Leaving you with a few journal pages...
Done on recycled National Geographic pages reclaimed from dad's house. He loved this magazine. Just loved it and always tried to find a good home for his copies. I know he'd love to see what I've done with them, even if he never did quite "get this art business!"
Today's emotions were all over the place...spending time with one sister and a brother, continuing to close down our parents' home. Talking hard numbers and the economy with the realtor. Realizing that the price tag invested in years of family and memories far exceeds the one in black and white. I shot this in my parents' bedroom shortly before we began to dismantle the furniture for its move to my brothers' home.
Look carefully here....two sisters melded into one. I happened to be outside looking in, when Denise came down the steps and looked out. Cameras raised we both shot our pictures. While I "saw" her, my camera seemed to see more of me. But, look again. Follow my outline in blue denim. And, then look for the pink...that's Denise. The "Nikon" tag is hers as well, and you can see her hand wrapped around the camera lens to the left of my head. I wore a print shirt; the white turtleneck is hers.
I love this shot...it's not technically correct in so many ways, but it says so much about the two of us. We regulary freak out our kids with our similarities, finishing each others' sentences, and so on. So, what a shot!
Life seems to be operating on warp speed lately! I'm feeling much like Alice, running as quickly as I can simply to stay in place. I think I'm losing.
I've snuck some journal play in here and there, and I've been reminded that I really really need to do this every day, even if it's simply to push some paint around. I feel so much better when I do.
But....even though I know that, when life has simply thrown too much at me, I want to curl up in bed and just veg. Just pull my covers up over my head and pretend that the world, its problems, and mine don't exist.
But....like that scientific law, "a body at rest tends to stay at rest" once I get under those covers it's awfully difficult to crawl back out. Inertia sets in, and if I'm not careful, a feeling of hopelessness, of just being completely and utterly drained.
And wouldn't you think I'd have learned that by now? My mind knows it, but mental fatigue takes over.
So, tonight I pushed a bit. I listened to some podcasts. I played in the recycled journal. I tried to gear up to head to PA tomorrow evening and then to spend Saturday clearing a bit more out of dad's house. That house has been in our family for 90 plus years. Yet, like my sister said, maybe it's time for new life, for the sound of children's laughter, and for someone else to create memories.
My heart knows this, but my heart also aches at the realization that once it sells, it's done. There's no childhood home to come back to. That's tough. I'll get over it - many folks have and many more will.
So, I keep looking for what I have...a husband who loves me and who is my best friend. A sister who is the other half of me. Two wonderful grands along with their parents and my other adult children. Time to pick apples and make applesauce. Art to make and blogs to read and make new friends. Awesome sixth graders to spend my days with. Two fat cats and one crazy dog.
There's really an awful lot of good in my life. Remember that helps me to show up and live it.
Trust me - I'm no Pollyanna here. But I figure I have a choice: dwell on what's going wrong and make myself utterly miserable. Or...remember what's good and awesome, and simply embrace it. I'm opting for choice number 2!
And, this is not the post I set out to write, but here it is.
Kat posed a few questions in our first lesson of "Finding Your Eye." What challenges have I faced in photography? How have I solved them? What did I learn?
Well, Kat, I've got woes...aka "problems" otherwise nicely known as "challenges!'
First of all, I am the undisputed queen of the tilted horizon. Honest to Pete, the darn thing looks perfectly straight in the viewfinder. Yet, when I sit back to see what I've captured....well, all I can say is "crooked!"
I tried tilting the camera to try to compensate. Sometimes this approach worked, but more often than not, I ended up with a very strange "view" of my subject. Can you say "drunken sailor?"
My darling husband gifted me with Photoshop Elements 9 (after suitable whining and moaning on my part). I gave the "Help" section a go. My eyes crossed. Repeatedly.
Thus was born a lasting friendship...Google and me. God bless Google and its creators. Type in "How to Fix Crooked Horizons" and gazillions of sights pop up. I just kept reading until I found one written in super simple language, complete with awesome screen shots.
I practiced and practiced and practiced. I've gotten awfully darn good at fixing horizons.
Now, the trick, I suppose is to learn to shoot the picture with a straight horizon. If I can, I look for some sort of of horizontal line to align with , like the edge of a cinderblock, brick, or doorway. That helps. But more often than not, at least at this point, it's google and me, BFF. In the shot below, I used the lines of the shelves and needed to do almost no editing.
My ongoing challenge? To master my camera, rather than the other way around.
When I first opened up its box, I nearly died. I'd never seen so many choices, and whoever authored the manual clearly had decided that if you owned a Canon EOS Rebel T3, you surely knew what you were doing and were perfectly capable of comprehending tech speak.
Honestly? I shoot intuitively and love the "Let's push this button and see what happens" approach. If I keep clicking, I'm bound to get a great shot, right? Well, yes, but I'd get a lot more if I knew what I was doing. So, there the camera sat for the longest time; it scared the devil out of me. It intimidated me and mocked me. I just knew I was gonna break it.
So, here's to a long lasting and continuing friendship with Google and a much more user friendly book on the T3...one that realizes that I don't know an aperature from a Fstop from the camera's speed or its raw mode...a book that realizes I am permanetnly stuck in automatic mode section.
I plan to take it one step at a time, figure out one part and then move onto the next.I'll be taking Kat's class on this subject, haunting various photography blogs. The hard headed Russian (my dad's phrase) is kicking into full gear. If I can teach middle schoolers and love it, well, my camera doesn't stand a chance!
I am missing the chance to drink in the light; I really, really am. You see, in the "real" world, I stumble to work in the dark. I spend most of the day closeted with 75 or so middle schoolers, and we really don't get to drink in the light much. Work and learning pack our days, and when we do get outside, it's mostly to get from here to there and there to here! (Lunch recess being the exception!)
I spent a great deal of last weekend happily standing on our beach balcony watching the light. I simply didn't realize how much it changed. Well, I knew that logically, but I didn't really "see" it until I began looking at photos of the same basic "shot" that I took at various points in the day. I love this shot above...the ruins of a pier (and why I am fascinated lately by ruins is a whole 'nother story...) in the late afternoon light. I am loving the browns mixed with the blues, and that gorgeous gorgeous light in the background.
We've got a busy weekend coming up - apples to be picked and applesauce to be made and canned. But I am promising myself time to drink in the light...my gift to me.
Up with the sun again, and I'm loving it. Each sunrise holds a surprise...more clouds today and the water's a gorgeous mix of pinks and blues.
I'm not sure if it's the utter stillness and silence, but when these guys land, it resembles the sound of a hippo dropping from the sky! Nothing to do with grace or elegance, just spot on their target and about their business!
And just a few hours later these guys came to visit! Not the best shot for sure, but it holds a gorgeous memory for us. How can you beat watching the dolphins play while your eating breakfast on the balcony? What a gift!
Packing up now, and we're getting ready to hit the road. It's been perfect...life is good indeed.