Tuesday, December 30, 2008

hanging on, letting go

I am having mixed emotions about saying goodbye to 2008. It was, at its end, a horribly sad year... and yet the final, precious memories reside within its days and months. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008


We know nothing of this going away, that
shares nothing with us. We have no reason,
whether astonishment and love or hate,
to display Death, whom a fantastic mask

of tragic lament astonishingly disfigures.
Now the world is still full of roles which we play
as long as we make sure, that, like it or not,
Death plays, too, although he does not please us.

But when you left, a strip of reality broke
upon the stage through the very opening
through which you vanished: Green, true green,
true sunshine, true forest.

We continue our play. Picking up gestures
now and then, and anxiously reciting
that which was difficult to learn; but your far away,
removed out of our performance existence,

sometimes overcomes us, as an awareness
descending upon us of this very reality,
so that for a while we play Life
rapturously, not thinking of any applause.

Death Experience, Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

my heart

my heart
is filled
with you

Friday, December 05, 2008

in dreams

A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
Go to sleep. everything is all right.

I close my eyes, then I drift away
Into the magic night. I softly say
A silent prayer like dreamers do.
Then I fall asleep to dream my dreams of you.

In dreams I walk with you. in dreams I talk to you.
In dreams you're mine. all of the time were together
In dreams, in dreams.

But just before the dawn, I awake and find you gone.
I cant help it, I cant help it, if I cry.
I remember that you said goodbye.

Its too bad that all these things, can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams, in beautiful dreams.
~ Roy Orbison

Sunday, November 30, 2008

the end of november

we are connected by tenuous threads.... we may think that the bonds are strong
but a single event can break the delicate link
and then we float apart

Friday, November 28, 2008


Black Friday - not!
Stoopid hats - not!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


She, cold and alone

awaits her lover's kisses.

She, long forgotten.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

holding on.... letting go

Tightly she holds on
as cruel winds tear at her
soul, she fears is lost.

Friday, November 21, 2008


“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” ~ Hebbel

Thursday, November 20, 2008

take me

Far away this moon.
From my pain and tears she calls,
to my broken heart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

it's late

Late to bloom this rose
It did not love in summer
Autumn filled its heart

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Reflections - they take on forms all their own.... only vaguely resembling the object being reflected, unless the surface is very calm and still.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


(My father)

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Saturday, November 08, 2008

fall, falling, fallen

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower” ~ Albert Camus

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the voters

casting votes... and shadows

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

vote, vote, VOTE!!!

“People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing.” ~ Walter H. Judd

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” ~John Quincy Adams

Saturday, October 25, 2008


waiting room decor.... aren't they all the same?
and reflected in the picture frame - the outdoors
an escape... a glimpse outside of the maelstrom of
doctors and hospitals and hospital workers.
Like Veda, who soooo reminded me of Roseanne Roseannadanna!
Veda is no longer donating to the Police Benevolent Assn
because she got a ticket for speeding....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

random blue

"Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing." ~ from "Autumn Day" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

"Did you tell him I tried to be good, too?" ~ Lucy van Pelt, The Great Pumpkin

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

shadow redux

I know this is oh-so-been-done-before, but I feel as though I am on autopilot lately.... and I had a dead rose and I wanted to create harsh shadows and this was the result.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

facing the enemy

Tomorrow, the medical tests... after which "we will know what we're dealing with".

I detest medical clich├ęs...

And so these are the last few days of not knowing... for sure, which thing is to be fought.

Or if the enemy has already won the war.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

which way is up?

I swear I don't know lately.
The one who has always taken care of me,
now needs to be cared for.
The shadows are frightening these days.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

on shadows...

gotta have 'em... you betcha.... doggonit... wink-wink

my first and last shopping cart photo?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

final answer

Closing a chapter in my book.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have decided (lol, I am rarely that set-in-stone... there is always an escape clause!) to do a photographic challenge for October of shadows. The sun, lowering itself into winter, will hopefully give me inspiration and if not, I will create my own shadows.

"To think of shadows is a serious thing." ~ Victor Hugo

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Here it comes...

Autumn is creeping in... the mornings are cooler and the days not quite as hot. The leaves haven't started to turn yet, but soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

5 year old cantaloupe

Taken Sept 17, 2003... I have always liked this type of photo - commonplace things viewed so that they become abstract. I still like this photo and wondered what I would do differently today. What have I learned in five years? I don't think that my technical skills have improved as much as I would have hoped - sad to say. My equipment inventory has increased - lighting mostly. This was shot with a Fuji S2 and I now shoot with a Nikon D300, but I don't think any of that would make much of a difference.

Same 2003 image file, processed in CS3 and Lightroom 2 today:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall Ball

Brandon is playing baseball this Fall, recruited for an elite team made up of players from high schools all over our area. The level of play is very high and college recruiters are often in attendance. The first game was last night and it was a perfect late summer evening. We won 9-3, Brandon was the closing pitcher.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

these days

we go to waste like wine
that's turned to turpentine


Summer really is slipping away...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

have I?

Have I already done a "what was I thinking" post?
Here it is again - "what was I thinking???"


Say-Rah, this is for you! Sue me!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

just clouds

Clouds... obscuring the blue view.

I'm trying not to think about/talk about the absurd choices in the election that is too fast approaching; that we could have a president who has no plan or a VP without clue... who wrinkles her nose so often that I expect a genie to pop out of the bottle any moment. The few areas where we do know where she stands - are completely out of alignment with my views. No, I cannot go to that hellish place. Back to the guy with no plan... is there a "The Presidency for Dummies" book?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

the homecoming

We arrived in the Florida panhandle just as the last rain bands of hurricane Gustav passed through. For the rest of the week, we couldn't have wished for better weather.
It's interesting to be in a typical summer vacation spot after the season... after school has started and most beachgoers have long gone. No crowds - the beach was ours to roam, with just a few locals on their daily walk/run/bike ride.
It was good.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

on the move

hitting the road... getting out of town....

heading to the Gulf... just out of Gustav's reach (hopefully!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

odd one out

what's new?

Is it part of the learning-to-be-a-photographer process to re-take all of the iconic images that we have poured over in books and museums? How many photos of the falling-down barn in the Tetons does the world need? Do we think that our camera will capture some never before seen viewpoint? If you look through the ads for location-based photography workshops, it would seem that re-creation is a rite of passage. You will never be able to call yourself a "photographer" until you have this (fill-in-the-blank) experience in your portfolio.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Art is not to be found by touring to Egypt, China, or Peru; if you cannot find it at your own door, you will never find it." That thought makes things a bit more complicated, doesn't it? You mean I can't book a photo-junket to (fill-in-the-blank) and bring home fabulous pictures that will make me famous? Eh?

Someone recently sent these words to me:

To me there are three kinds of photos :

1) Documentary - I was here and I saw this place, person or thing

2) Snapshot - I was here with so and so and we were having fun.

3) Composed photo - I was here and saw this in this particular way or I was affected this way or want to show how this makes me feel or this is an interesting pattern and my skills allow me to express what I see.

Your photos are in the last category. They allow us to see the pattern in an interesting way (the underside of the colored umbrella - the bands of color and the black ribs), the beauty of a Maine Coon through light and shadow. The sunset with power lines through it. Most people would either skip it or not know how to make it interesting - you made it interesting.


These words give me much encouragement.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


... the times of our lives are not kodak moments.

In "Beauty in Photography", Adams discusses photographing evil; capturing the atrocities of war, the inhumane conditions that millions exist in every day, the desecration of our planet's wildlife population and on and on the list goes. There's no shortage of evil and hatred to be caught by the camera's lens. NG's David Griffin touched on it in his speech "How photography connects us to the world". The evil must be documented, history has shown us that. But how to do it? How does one maintain photographic and artistic integrity while shooting the worst side of humanity? There are those who do and do it well... they show us the worst while also giving us hope, because now that we are informed, how can we turn our eyes away?

We also need to capture beauty.... the sunrises, the children's faces, the mountain tops, the lion's pride, the joy of life.

worth watching

how photography connects us to the world

Saturday, August 23, 2008

if I may make a suggestion...

Is it possible for one to have the ability to recognize a good photograph, without possessing the ability to create one? Absolutely! Making a good photograph not only requires the artistic knowledge of composition, light and shadow, tonal range, etc., but also the opportunity and the technical skills to assess the scene and adjust the camera settings accordingly.

The question came to mind after reading sections of "Beauty in Photography" re: critiquing. The gist of the thought is that we should not waste time critiquing bad photographs from bad photographers, as they will fall to the bottom of the pool on their own. But even good photographers, those who have produced fine work, will occasionally make a bad one and that is where we should direct our critiquing effort.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Looking for... Inspiration

"John Locke's model of the human mind suggested that ideas associate with one another and that a string in the mind can be struck by a resonant idea. Therefore, inspiration was a somewhat random but wholly natural association of ideas and sudden unison of thought." Wikipedia

Ideas sometimes come easier , if I pick up the camera and start shooting anything and everything... instead of sitting, looking out the window, waiting for an idea to float along in front of my face.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nevah, Evah

I looked at lots of OPPs (Other People's Photos) this week; cringed at times and did double-takes other times.

But in the end, if you like them and your client (if that is the case... maybe you were taking those pics for free) likes them, then that's all that matters. Right? There are no rules... right? Right.

Recommended reading: "Beauty in Photography" by Robert Adams

Just 3 words for last week (haven't done this for a while): "PhelpsPhan I am"

Monday, August 18, 2008


I was reading an article on writing (eh?) and one of the dont's.... !!!! Leave them out! oops!

So I set a goal not to use any !! for one week..... I lasted two hours..... Communicating electronically is tricky. A comment that is well-intended could be received as sarcastic without the benefit of facial expression or tone of voice. And so we add punctuation marks and emoticons to convey our feelings and opinions.

What has this to do with photography? Well, we have the same issue with the two-dimensional image. I may take a photo that to me has no negative or sinister connotation, but others may see things differently and frequently do..... ! ;-) As previously noted in this blog, adding a description/title doesn't always (rarely!) (damn!) succeed in steering the viewer in the direction you want. I had to step away from the doll images because things were quickly spiraling down into a Stephen King novel.

So... have a good day. I like your photo a lot.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


I only recently saw this word used in a magazine article; it couldn't be more accurate I think. Except for those who make their living with a camera - wedding and portrait photogs and journalists - this is probably what the rest of us are doing... trying to figure something out, trying to tell others about us - our surroundings, family, travels, desires, expressing our emotions with photos. The artist in us influences the image, hopefully making my photograph different from everyine else's.

I believe that every photo we take/make is a form of a self-portrait, but actually turning the camera on ourselves is a unique experience. I think for some, it is a method of assuring a one-of-a-kind image. ;)

"Because self-portraits permit direct nonverbal self-confrontation, they can be not only validating and empowering, but also the most threatening and risky kinds of photos to open one's emotions to -- which is precisely the reason they are such quick and effective activators of deep process work in therapy situations." Phototherapy Site

Friday, August 15, 2008


Unstable weather and people.

Midsummer musings:

Writing, writing... and one of my favorite writers is back.

The 'copyist' got my message.... the answer to your question A., is morbid curiosity.

A black-and-white month and I am missing color. Roll on August.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008