The full album is here.
Thanks for watching! xoxo
This year I decided to make another run at a 366 project. I tried this in 2012, and alas, the project died a very sad quiet death on Day 194. Today is Day 194 for 2016. Will she make it til Day 195? I think I can, I think I can! Of course, I may have to go with the 366 thing from now on. I’ll be like leap year and come around every four years. Hah!
What is different this time around is that I’m not trying to shoot and edit and post all in the same day. Hell, being an empty nester now, some days I barely make it out of my pajamas. This time around is all about editing for me. Shooting isn’t my problem. I love love love to shoot. Where I struggle is sitting down long enough to edit when it’s just for me. So far 2016 is working because I have a big enough backlog of shots waiting for love and adding a heaping lump of guilt over that compelled me to clean house! I have powered through a lot of travel photos, starting with a 2010 trip to Paris and London.
Chapel of Saint Madeleine, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben, London. Fun fact: It is the actual bell that is Big Ben, not the Tower itself. Fun fact two: The tower was known as St Stephen’s Tower until the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth in 2012.
I followed those with a trip we took in 2015 to Zurich, Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Yes lots of travel stuff because I shoot lots and lots on vacation and those are the most neglected images. Once we get home it’s like trying to eat the proverbial elephant. Holy guacamole, where to start? This on top of the unpacking and laundry? Ahhhh!
Old Town Square, Prague
Driving and walking through the site of the Berlin Wall.
Amsterdam. A lover of light can get a little drunk here.
The biggest challenge came when we went to Hong Kong for a week and I came home with close to 2000 shots. (No we didn’t sleep much on this trip, why do you ask?) When we got home, I got right to the editing. This time, not only am I am a pajama clad empty nester, but I have more editing confidence than I did in 2010 when I was learning something new about digital editing everyday and repeatedly starting over with Paris and London. And while I’m still always learning, knowing how to start was key.
I’m definitely part of the photographic sandwich generation. A gal who cut her teeth on film who has gone wild in a digital world of having a new ISO at the twist of a dial or composing one image for black and white and the next in color all without wasting half a roll of film with each change of want or need. These new fangled digital boxes might just be a hit after all.
I’ll admit that Lightroom has become my best friend in this endeavor. Bam – same dust mark off the sky in 10 photos…Kapow – 5 images now synced as black and white with reduces blacks, popped contrast and an oh so subtle vignette. Sigh, I love you, Lightroom.
Street sweeper, Hong Kong
While the whole of my 366 year thus far has not been travel, I have made a big dent in my backlog of images. When I started, I was nervous about where to start. Now I’m nervous that I won’t know what to do when I get through it all. I know I know, keep shooting and do a 365 like a real photographer. I also have all my mom’s slides to scan and clean up. Maybe that’s next year’s 365? For now, this is working for me. I feel a little like Samwise Gamgee, “If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.” I look forward to Day 195.
Second 100 days video to come!
Coming together and letting go.
If we are friends on Facebook, you may have seen some of my posts from February and March about my mom’s passing and how I sorted through the days that followed. I appreciate all the love and support that you offered to me and my family in those days. You guys are the best.
This past Saturday, we did my mom’s interment. We didn’t do this when we had her funeral for several reasons, one of which being that while she had lived for the past twenty years in Indiana, she was to be buried in Illinois next to my dad. In March we had her funeral and it truly was a fabulous celebration of who she was. There were so many people and an abundant outpouring of love and Oliver Soft White Wine – her favorite – not mine. I’ll just say that I think my mom had better taste in books than she did alcoholic beverages. She would have replied, “Then that’s more for me!”
My dad’s name was Jerome, but he never used that. He went by “Jerry”. Family knew him as “Coke”. Back in the late 1930s, there was a radio show which featured a character called Little Cokey. My grandfather said Little Cokey reminded him of my dad and thus a nickname was given and stuck.
And while all that saying goodbye was going on, we still had to plan her burial. We chose July 4th because it offered a three day weekend on which most everyone would be available. Four months have now passed since my mom’s death and while the sorrow isn’t as acute, I think it’ll just linger on the fringes for a little while longer. I still catch myself wanting to call her to ask her something or share something with her. Last Wednesday I had my first “oh that’s Mom” experience when I had to find a piece of paper for the memorial on my desk and knew it was going to mean an hour of cleaning it off when – ta dah – there was the paper right on top. Something I hadn’t seen in four months. Don’t ask me to explain. I just knew it was her. (Thanks, Mom!)
I pulled all the rose petals off the roses from my mom’s funeral back in March and shipped them off to be made into rosaries and bracelets. They all turned out so lovely and the rose scent is divine. They were made by Rachel at Rose Rosaries and Jewelry. The paper I was looking for had the list of who got what type of rosary and so forth.
My dad passed away six weeks before my wedding twenty-seven years ago. I’ve always felt the sadness of what he missed all these years because he would have loved his grandkids: five grown grandsons and one three year old granddaughter who would have completely stolen his heart (as she did my mom’s). I tell my boys how much he would have appreciated the things they and their cousins did and do. He would have been very proud. My nephews got to know him some when they were little, but damn, all those boys would have had a great time with him now as adults.
My mom got to watch the all boys grow up. And just when her youngest grandson turned 16, she got to have the joy of new granddaughter (he was a good sport about handing off the title of “The Baby”.) She got to watch all the school things, graduations, weddings and celebrations. And she loved it all. She loved us all.
First Cousins: Two of my nephews and my little niece with my boys, my oldest nephew’s wife and my oldest son’s girlfriend.
While we were back in Illinois, I gave my kids the tour of the area where my grandparents lived and my dad had grown up. My parents lived there for about 18 years after they married, and then my dad started taking overseas transfers, so we left when I was about 10. I have very little close family there these days, so I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go back there. Still, driving around to all the old houses, churches and little neighborhoods that were part of my family for decades before I came along always makes me feel connected. For a girl who spent the majority of her life moving every 3-4 years, this is saying something. It was a real treat for me to share this with my kids.
Today this is a duplex, but back in the 1930s and 40s, it was the neighborhood grocery store that my grandparents owned and ran.
It is said that funerals are for the living and I’ve always believed that. We lean on each other and it makes us all stronger. My siblings, our kids, all of us. We spent five days together between her passing and her funeral. Lots of tears were shed, but so much laughter was heard as well. This past weekend, more laughter than tears. This family that carried on after my dad died will carry on now that my mom has joined him. And I’m pretty sure they would have loved that too.
The family of Coke & Brenda.
Please continue around the 5 on 5 circle by visiting the art of Kim Thompson Steel. You’ll be glad you did!
And blooooowwwww…. the dust from my blog. Again. You wouldn’t have to scroll down too far too see that my last post was, eh-hem, a year and half ago and that, ummm, the last time I blew the dust off my blog is only one post after that. Yikes. This page is just the last corner of the photo garden to get any love. Poor blog. I really do love you.
However, I am inspired anew! I have been accepted into a brilliant collaboration of nine other photographers who are collectively part of a 5 on 5 circle. On the fifth of the month, we each post five photos and link to another blog in the circle. That’s ten posts and fifty shots every month. I’m pretty darn excited to be included in such a lovely group. I’m also excited by the challenge of shooting and editing more again. Having set some goals for myself this year, this is a step in the right direction. I hope you’ll take a peak each month and follow the circle around for some good stuff.
Right now I am in the throes of editing all my shots from our Hong Kong trip. Trying to pick just five for this post took me a while. I wanted to share some I haven’t posted elsewhere. Hopefully come time for 5 on 5 July, I’ll be past the HK editing.
Thank you, Kim Thompson, for including me in the circle!
Dried Fish in the Market, Hong Kong. The markets were just overwhelmingly full of colors and smells and movement. We had many “We’re not in Texas, anymore!” moments.
Cat Street Market. I didn’t notice until I was editing that the stall keeper was looking right at me. I was warned by more than one guide that shopkeepers who gamble believe that to take their photo is to take their luck and that I could get into trouble if they see me shooting them. I made a conscious effort to avoid shooting when they were looking. Lucky for me he didn’t get mad! There are lots of gorgeous antiques here along with many old items of Maoist Chinese and Soviet era propaganda. And Bruce Lee posters. We were here on a very rainy day and had the market mostly to ourselves.
Incense burning in the Man Mo Temple. The Catholic girl in me just loved all the incense in the temples we visited. Common ground!
Tian Tan Buddha at Lantau. Also know as “The Big Buddha”. We climbed over 250 steps to reach him. Worth every step.
A little afternoon tea. I drank soooo much tea on this trip. It was all just heavenly. Sigh, I think I’ll go brew some up right now.
To continue following the 5 on 5 circle, click to view the awesome photos of Sandra Grimm!
Today I finished my January video for Xanthe Berekely’s Year of Time Capsules project. I’m going to shoot for one video per month. If I get inspired and manage more than that – bonus!!
It was such a cold icky day, getting out to shoot was the only cure. The light was amazing. The wind however, not so much. It was quite a trip trying to hold an umbrella and shoot. I wrapped my camera in a big Ziploc bag to help protect it as well. I’m sure anyone who saw me thought me insane.
That’s the sound of me dusting off this blog. SO many changes coming this year as both my boys will be leaving home. One next week and one in the fall. Mama will have more time to focus – literally and figuratively.
I’m plugged into a few year long projects for 2015, so hopefully I’ll be better about finishing what. One is Kim Klassen’s Studio which is a collaborative place for artists to post. The other is Xanthe Berkeley’s Year of Creating Time Capsules. There will be other little project here and there, so I’ll try to be better about posting them up. My poor Flickr has been sadly neglected as well. Time to clean house and do some updating.
I’ve been struggling to find the right “one word” for 2015. It may have to be “edit”. So much to clean up and process. I so admire moms who can do it all. Alas, I’m not as good at that as I used to be, but at least no one has to worry about my empty nester time!
See you soon. XO
So I went out of town for a few days last week and when I returned I had four new cards waiting for me from Kat Sloma’s postcard swap! Woohoo! That makes the full six for the swap. The first time I did this, only four cards made it to my house. You can read about the cards I sent in to share here and about the first two cards I received here.
My last batch was such a mixed bag of goodies. The first came all the way from Mary Jane in Brisbane, Australia. Since I had just returned from a few days in San Diego, this one of the “Surf Lifesavers” really made me smile. I guess even lifeguards (as we call them in The States) like to enjoy the ocean view as well. At least, I’d like to think they’re enjoying the view and not deciding if someone needs rescuing. Ack. I really love the inclusion of the flag as well.
Another card was from Ariel Sublett who is from Las Vegas. The detail and thought in her art is just lovely. Her card is faith based and she states on the back that she “used the 7th principle of the Unitarian universalism as inspiration: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” The quote from Francis David on the back is so lovely. “We need not think alike to love alike.” Amen to that, Ariel!
Card Three is titled “Ominous” and came from Marcia Hill in Vermont. Her handmade card is a real photo on cardstock. What a treat! Just beautiful. A cool thing about this card was that it was postmarked from the National Postal Museum Station at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Thanks, Kat! That was brilliant of you. And thank you to whomever mailed them all from there. That was no small job, I’m sure.
And lastly, I received the lovely “Layered Autumn” from our most generous host, Kat Sloma.
Thank you, Kat for your time, talent and organization skills beyond compare. This has been so much fun. Thanks for inspiring us to get our work into a sharable format. Being a photographer, it’s always such a treat to connect with other artists who work in other mediums. I’m always so impressed with the work that people share. Click below to blog hop to other artists who participated. There is a lot more art to see. See you all next year!!
I received my first postcards from the Liberate Your Art 2014 Postcard Swap!
The first one was a lovely Harry Potter themed card depicting Hogwarts Castle and Hedwig. The card was sent by Tara Raymo of Creatively Tara. For those of you unfamiliar with J.K. Rowling’s books, Hedwig is Harry’s owl. Owls are used in the story to deliver the mail (or if ones story is set in England, “the post”). Being huge Potterheads over at our house, I love this take on the project. It features a great quote from school headmaster (and uber-wizard) Dumbledore on the back.
Postcard number two is from Janice Darby. I was thrilled to get this card as I’m very familiar with Janice’s fantastic photography. We have been in a few of the same photo prompt courses by Tracey Clark over a Big Picture Classes. So it was nice to get a card from an artist I not only know, but admire. This one features a clever take on paper umbrellas. You know the ones. They often times are decoration in fruity summer beverages. I don’t know many photographers who use them for that purpose however. We’re more likely to have a stash for shooting. Yeah, we’re nerdy like that. Janice’s work with them was both perfect for springtime and original. Just lovely.
I’m afraid this one may have gotten a bit beaten up in – ahh – the post.
Can’t wait for the other cards! In 2012, not all five of the ones I should have gotten made it to me. Alas, this is the curse of the postcard. We’ll see how it goes this time.
This past week I submitted five postcards to Kat Sloma’s “Liberate Your Art 2014 Postcard Swap“. I also participated in 2012. In a nutshell, Kat collects postcard art submissions from those who want to participate, shuffles them, and then we each get five pieces of art from five other artists. The beauty is that we are all made to reproduce our art in a postcard form (no original art is accepted). For a photographer, it’s nice to get an image out of the computer. Printing and holding ones art give it a lot of power.
This year I chose five of my favorite shots from a trip we took to Italy last summer.
I ordered my postcards from Moo. I hadn’t ordered the Luxe Postcards before, and now I’m in love with them. The card stock is so nice and heavy. They make for a great keepsake postcard. That little gem of a quote in the first picture came with the postcards.
We all write a little something to our recipients and include our information if we like. I was a little hesitant to include my baby webpage on there, but here we are!
Ready for shipping to Kat!
I can’t wait to see what pieces I get in return this year. There are some amazing artists who participate, so it’s always a good time to see what people receive. I’ll be posting the ones I get as they come in. If you get one of mine, let me know! I’d love to see where they end up.
It’s a new year and I have a new project. I’ll be posting photos here and I hope that you enjoy them.
Until then, site under construction. Thanks for checking me out! Check back soon for updates.