Saturday, December 31, 2011

A long and winding road...

Went on another trip down memory lane this morning. One of the contributors to the local paper had written an article titled "If it ends in a '2', it's bound to be a good year". So, I took a trip back to 2002. The first challenge was 'where are the photos'? I wasn't sure about online galleries (though I would find them there also), so I went to the physical album. Looking through the trips to Florida, New York, the mountains and waterfalls of the Carolinas and Tennessee brought back lots of memories - good memories. The nice thing about 'real' photo albums is that you can add non-photo momentos. I found a leaf in the 2002 book. I wish I had made a note of where I found it. It was next to a postcard of the Tybee Island lighthouse, so perhaps I found it there. 

And from December 2002, my money shot. "Wired Ice" was very successful.

I wish you a Happy New Year and may 2012 be a very good year for us all!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

One thing leads to another...

This morning I went hunting a particular photo from... one year ago? Two? This happens often; I go looking for one thing and find something else. What I found today stopped me in my tracks. Words left as a comment on one of my galleries from someone who, before that year was out, would walk away from her home - never to be seen again. She had battled depression for a long time and finally one day, she could fight no more.

Donné, thank you for these words:

"I do not know you - but the beauty and sadness I saw in your words and photographs made my soul ache. Am I glad Kees Terberg (my internet friend, an outstanding talent with a golden heart) led me to your blog? I have to say yes. 
Why? To know that my heart can share your grief, your honesty, your courage proves that I too am like you. Be proud, unkown friend, for your ability to touch people with a click of a shutter and the ink of a pen. Actually....... I do know you."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy

"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store." ~Dr. Seuss

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sit back while I rant...

I went to visit my local park today and I left disgusted. The park has been under renovation for over a year and while there is still a lot of road construction going on, it's basically open to the public again. But it's horrible. What used to be a natural area with lots of trees and grassy areas is now mostly green-roofed pavilions and parking areas.

I have spent countless hours at that park over the years... going to baseball games, taking photos of the lake and wildlife and sometimes just sitting and thinking. 

All of the shoreline in the photo above is gone. I am very sad at this 'development'.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Smile for the camera...


When photographing cats you must realize this: Cats don't pose, stay in one spot or follow any directions. The only thing I can do is place some props on a table and hope that the cat's natural curiosity will (if I just keep clicking away) get them into the same frame, facing in the general direction of the camera lens.

I've given up trying to get both cats in the same photo. If they do happen to both jump up onto the table at the same time, a hissing/slapping fit ensues and one (or both) will jump down. And then there's the lighting issue. Enough light (I use two Alien Bees) to properly light Beau's fur will blow out Sofia's white coat, leaving no furry detail whatsoever.

I think the last time I caught them in a photo together was in 2008 and it wasn't a studio shot. I had left a basket on my bed and came back to find this:

"Say 'Tuna Fish!'"

Thursday, December 01, 2011


As this day approached, I tried to decide how to get through it... everything from treating it like any other day to staying in bed, hiding under the covers.

I thought about going to lunch or dinner at a place that we used to enjoy. I have learned that revisiting places alone is not a good idea. I knew that hiding wasn't the answer either. It's been three years and yesterday was almost as difficult as I expected today to be. When you look back at the worst day of your life and then to the day before - before you knew what was coming, it's frightening. It brings home the fact that life can turn on a dime. The life you've chosen, the plans you have made can all be thrown out of the window in less than twenty four hours.

So, I am doing some cleaning today; something productive and something to keep the mind busy. And I have found things I thought were lost and things that I've kept for no apparent reason.

The photo above was taken the day before.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fly Away

A couple of weeks ago, I found this pink balloon in the bushes along my driveway. No idea where it came from... a birthday party? The birth of a baby girl? Anyway, I brought it up to the house, intending to put it in the trash, but dropped it into the recycle bin instead. And then I forgot all about it as the recycle bin filled up. Yesterday, after the trash had been emptied, I noticed the balloon lying by the street in front of my house. Apparently it was rejected as a recyclable item.

As I left this morning to run some errands, I stopped and took this photo and then I put it inside the car - once again with the intention of throwing it away. As I finished my last errand, I opened the back door of the car and out it flew (it's very windy today). I turned to try to catch it again but it was out of sight.

The End.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Room 309

Post holiday, get-back-to-normal days... and I must get back into a photo-making  routine. I haven't done a photo-a-day project for two years; maybe I need that commitment to ensure that I at least get the camera out of the bag more often. 

For now, I just need to get through December.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Calendar Days

I worked on my 2012 calendar today. I have been making personalized calendars since 1998. The early versions had either family photos or copies of some of my paintings. Back then I ordered calendar kits and printed and assembled them myself. Those were also the days when I hand-painted my Christmas cards. The volume of each was very small. Thank goodness for the availability of online printing!

Each year, when I begin the photo selection process, I realize that I am more likely to compose a shot in portrait mode than landscape. Since I prefer calendars to be in landscape orientation, finding twelve images (thirteen with the cover) is not so simple. And every year I tell myself that next year... the calendar will have to be in portrait mode.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Last look

A late blooming rose set against the autumn color outside of my window. This view often has a negative impact on my productvity... causing severe bouts of daydreaming. I dread the time that the trees will be bare and the view will be boring and a little depressing. But that is something over which I have no control... the world keeps turning.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

One, Two, Three, Four

I admit that I'm not afraid to roll down the window when I'm in my car, waiting in line for one thing or another, in order to take a picture. I'm rarely disappointed in the results. I will also admit that I have a problem with landscapes - always have, even when I was painting. I feel much more comfortable with still lifes, portraits and macros. Landscapes overwhelm me a bit... I'm never sure where to end it all, what to include/exclude, what is the focus? 

And I have to say, that with a few exceptions, my landscape images don't "wow" me. Don't get me wrong - I love the landscapes of other, more proficient photographers; those who seem to know how to frame the shot. Which brings me back to the open car window. Not that I consider this image a landscape, but I think in some way, the window frame gives me a reference. Not unlike holding up ones' thumbs and forefingers in order to evaluate a composition.

Another anomaly - I don't seem to have this problem when shooting infrared. Does black and white simplify the scene for me? Allowing me to place the elements in an interesting composition?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Autumnal Palette

Each autumn I am taken over by the color display put on by mother nature. Then, about midway (now) I start to feel as though I'm taking too many photos of leaves. I try to turn my attention to other, non-autumnal subjects but the color outside my window continues to hold my gaze. And later, during the non-autumn months, those images of gold, red and orange still please me as I flip through my galleries.

Another color also caught my eye today... possibly the last rose of summer. A pink rosebud stood out among the golden hues, against the blue sky. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Leaf Peeping

I spent a few days visiting my family in North Carolina and took a drive to catch some autumn color. It was a perfect weekend - coolish temperatures, blue skies and lots of reds, yellows and golds. This shot was taken at a lake (could not find the name of the lake) at Crowder Mountain. The leaves here at home are just beginning to turn, so there may be more leafy photos to come. :)

Here is a wider view of the lakeside:

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Autumn... it struck me this morning, as I read Monte's post, that with all of its usual meanings (harvest, cooler weather, falling leaves, pumpkins), Autumn also signals the close of the year. Whatever we did or did not accomplish this year is past. The gain or loss is in the books. 2011 is at its end... there may be a couple of months left on the calandar, but for all practical purposes - it's done.

For some, that's a relief. Relax... there's always next year. Too late to start a new project now... with the weather, the holidays, etc. Just sit back and watch the leaves fall, watch as the sun sinks lower in the sky and nightfall comes almost before the dinner dishes have been cleared away.

I'm sure there are some who would say - nonsense! There are weeks left... plenty of time to make something happen. And to them I say "Relax. Tie up the loose ends of 2011 and then sit back with a cup of your favorite hot beverage and let it go."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's not that bad...

Or, so said the fortune cookie. The other fortune said that I will soon gain something I have always wanted. I don't know what that would be. I can't think of any thing that I have always wanted. There have probably been things that I've wanted at certain points in my life, but always wanted? Hmmm... maybe peace of mind. The luxury of not having to worry. That would be nice.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I went to the park this morning for some fresh air. The county has been renovating this park for over a year.. I really thought it would be finished by now.

Since the playground, pavillions and walking trails are still closed, there was no one else there. Not a cloud in the sky and only the sound of an occasional flock of geese announcing their plan to take off.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Autumn or Fall

Throwing "never shoot at midday" caution to the wind, I went out to photograph some of the early leaf changes. Most of the leaves haven't turned yet, but there are a couple of trees in the back yard that have a little bit of color.

These berries on the dogwood branches caught my eye and the shade protected my shot from the harsh sunlight. I caught a bit of the blue sky and although this is a good representation of the day, I might have preferred (compositionally) to not have the blue spots. Oh well... it's a beautiful autumn/fall day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Peace and Love

I'm feeling overwhelmed lately by haters. They're everywhere. Even close to home - which makes me especially sad. Apparently, it's easy to hate something or someone. Most people's hate is directed toward a group or an idea or some inanimate object. It's not as common to hear someone say "I hate so-and-so". I take that back... in politics, the leaders are often the target of hatred, but more for what they represent than who they are as a person.

Hate is everywhere in the news, it's everywhere in social networking and it's so contagious. 'That tv show/driver/speech/store clerk pissed me off, so I'm going to tweet about it or post on Facebook.' It has crossed my mind that happy, well-adjusted people are not online. 

I did not watch the Tea Party debate on Monday, but I have seen video clips from it and when Ron Paul was being asked about a hypothetical person in a coma, but without health insurance (his choice) and the moderator asked "would you let him die?" There came shouts from the audience "Yeah!" "Let him die!" 

But I also saw the video of people rushing in to rescue a motorcyclist who was under a burning car. They lifted the car and pulled the injured man from underneath the vehicle.

It frightens me that I may know more people who would let someone die rather than risk their safety to help a stranger. I hold out hope that the hater's words come from ignorance and bravado and mob mentality and if faced with a split-second decision to help , they would do the right thing.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Chicago and other memories

Cleaning dirt and dust is a job that be done without much thought and after a certain amount of physical exertion, the job is done. You put away the broom, the glass cleaner and the dusting cloth and you're finished... ready to move on to something else.

Clearing out a closet (or anywhere else where things have been stored for years) is a different process. Old clothes are donated, other stuff goes to recycling centers. But some things that are uncovered cause you to pause and remember. Old photos, notes from friends - not necessarily things that you thought had been lost, but things that had just been forgotten.

And so, this chore takes time and pulls at emotional threads.

About this photo: I spent a couple of years consulting for a company in the Chicago area. On this day, the office staff went on a lunch?dinner? cruise on the lake. I found the packet of photos during the closet cleaning. One thing I hate about film - no date info! :(

Sunday, September 04, 2011


While waiting for the rains from tropical storm Lee to arrive, I figured it would be a good day to clean out the last closet. Unfortunately, they all eventually get back to the state where they need another cleaning, but this one would bring them all to a state of relative orderliness. 

I never imagined how much stuff was crammed in there. There were clothes (four large bags ready to go to Goodwill this week), computers, computer bags, briefcases, books (programming guides), cables, cords, and financial records/papers from 1996. Good grief - what a mess!

However, I also found this robe... which I will not be giving away. 

And it's still not raining..

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hum Away




I don't know how many times over the years I have tried to photograph hummingbirds, but I'm sure the number of shots is in the thousands. I have always tried to catch them away from the feeders, with those bright red plastic flowers. I remember once, I set up the camera on a tripod, added one of my Alien Bees lights (because of all the trees, it's hard to use a fast shutter speed) and snaked a shutter release cable through the kitchen window so that I could stay indoors and hopefully not inhibit their coming in to the feeder. Sigh...

So, I have given up/in. I don't have the patience anymore to wait for them to get into just the right spot. These three photos are the only decent shots I have gotten over an eight year period. That is way too labor intensive.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I got my hair cut today. Ronda has been my hairdresser for over thirty years! When I finally found someone who understood my naturally curly hair - what it would and would not do - I vowed never to let anyone else touch my hair.

We've been friends through all of each other's ups and downs. When I went through chemotherapy and had no hair, she helped me find a wig. When her daughter was stricken with cancer, I went to her house and took family portraits for them. Melissa passed away a month later. When I was traveling every week as a consultant, she would come in to the salon on Saturday to cut my hair... even though she didn't work on Saturdays.

When she went to work at a salon in downtown Atlanta, she offered a few of us who live in the suburbs the opportunity to come to her home instead of driving so far. Multiple Sclerosis and other medical problems have forced her to work solely from her home for some time now. The atmosphere always reminds me of Truvy's Salon in the movie Steel Magnolias... very familiar and comfortable.

Today, a small lizard had somehow gotten inside and scurried across the floor towards the dining room.

 I wonder who that was. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Find

While working on my 2011 SoFoBoMo book today, I came across my first SoFoBoMo project from 2008. The theme was "What Remains" and I really think it's a much better effort than this year. I hate to say that... and maybe with a few years distance, my 2011 images will look better to me. So, I published it to Blurb and ordered a copy. I also realized that didn't publish my 2010 SoFoBoMo book - maybe next month.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet Treat

When I was growing up (in upstate New York), there was a family reunion every summer. My mother's side of the family would gather at a nearby state park and everyone brought something for the meal. My mom had twelve brothers and sisters, so there were plenty of aunts, uncles and cousins in attendance. And it seems like there was always a new baby for everyone to oooh-and-aaaah over.

I remember the men would cook hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, the ladies would get the picnic tables ready and the kids - well, we ran all over the place. A swim in the lake was always delayed until after we had eaten.

There were salads, casseroles, pies and cakes. And watermelon.

Now I'm really hungry... and missing those days.

Monday, August 22, 2011


"Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost."

I have finished my SoFoBoMo project. "Lost & Found" was a much tougher theme than I anticipated. Found is easy enough... but Lost - well, if I could photograph the things that I've lost then they wouldn't be lost. So, YES, I had to think outside of the box. I don't know if I succeeded but I do know that I will be very glad not to have to categorize every photo idea as either Lost or Found.

The photo above links to the gallery on Pbase. I'll probably upload my book file to SoFoBoMo tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Out with the old

Northern Cardinal. I was concerned that the Cardinals' plumage seems less-than-healthy lately, but found this online: "Molting takes place in late summer after the breeding is over. Adult birds lose all their feathers gradually and new ones grow in before fall."

So... even one of the most striking birds at the feeder has to go through a period of re-feathering. Lucky for them they don't have mirrors. ;-)

Took lots of photos today and it feels good!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I love this metal flag. I bought it many years ago... can't remember which festival or crafts show. It's hung high on a tree and when the wind picks up it flaps back and forth. I tried once to get a long exposure of it dancing in the wind, but couldn't get everything just right.

I noticed this morning that the sun is already lower in the sky and the shadows are getting longer. Autumn can't come too soon for me.

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I am struggling with my SoFoBoMo project... finding it difficult to keep my thoughts focused on the theme (Lost & Found) and so - photo ideas are not popping into my head. 

I won't give up yet, but my heart doesn't seem to be in it. I have until Aug. 28. My original idea was the summer heat and since I seem to be obsessed with that, I probably should have stuck with it. But I worried that the theme was too narrow and it would be boring. Did I over-think again?

Saturday, August 06, 2011

It's Not Complicated

sim·plic·i·ty   [sim-plis-i-tee] noun: Freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts.

Sometimes I tend to make things way too complicated and then sometimes I am able to see the beauty of simple lines, tones and light.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Crazy Dreams

I had strange and crazy dreams last night. Someone broke my heart, another stole from me and I was lost in a parking garage. But... I could pick up my car (a Lincoln Continental - have never owned one but I'm reading the second 'Lincoln Lawyer' novel). This morning I asked myself why everyone was so mean to me. The answer? Because I let them. As true in my real life as in my dreams.

Well - no more. I've already begun erasing people who have a very peculiar way of showing that they care about me. And don't get me started on the passive-aggressives...

So - treat me right or I'll throw a car at ya! ;-)

Friday, July 29, 2011

If you don't know it's missing, is it really lost?

I accidentally found two to-do lists today. I say "accidentally" because they were inside a notebook and I need a notebook tomorrow and... there they were.

One was a list of things that need to be done in/around the house. Half had been completed (Yay me!!). The other list appears to be New Years resolutions. *sigh* I think it must have been from 2010, because I'm quite sure I didn't make the perfunctory gesture this year.

Now - on the latter list, I have at least made some progress on all but one of the "promises". So... I'm not feeling completely disappointed in myself. And I am going to keep the lists in sight and hopefully they won't get buried or filed away somewhere again.

Ahhhh... birthdays, a good time to reflect and make any necessary course corrections.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I tried for two days to write about time. All of the clichés came to mind. It doesn't heal all wounds and it never stands still. You can't hate it or love it - it just is.

"Clocks slay time... time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life."
William Faulkner

Friday, July 22, 2011

Reading my mind or Minding my reading

I realized an odd fact this evening: Since I have had my Kindle (about three years), I have only purchased one non-fiction book (thirty have been fiction). When I was buying "real" books, my ratio was probably closer to one in four being non-fiction.

Why the change, I wonder? When I used to frequent Barnes & Noble all the time, I went straight for the new releases display and browsed the selections. Occasionally, I would have a title in mind... something recommended by someone. But usually, I chose a new book based on seeing it, holding it, reading the synopsis on the back (or inside) cover.

Now, when I am ready for a new book, I browse or go with a reference from a friend or (in tonight's case) I see an interview with the author and decide to take a look ("Send a Sample" in Kindle-ese). And when I browse Amazon, I usually filter out the non-fiction, though I have no reason why.

Apparently, our tastes and preferences change - imperceptably, it seems.

Note: This is a photo of my book list on my phone, not of my Kindle.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Words fail me

Have I lost my rhyme?
In the learning to be alone,
Do I still hear the cadence?
Do I still feel the words?
In their absence, do I ramble?
And say nothing?

The sweet poetry has become a stranger.
I once felt it as a comforting quilt.
Making sense, it flowed from my soul.
Images became words and words became dreams.
I took them for granted, perhaps.
And one day, as the sun set, they left me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Long ago and far away...

I cannot believe that today is the anniversary of the first moon landing and I have heard nothing mentioned anywhere. Not even a Google-Doodle! Patooey! on Google.

I worked for a Nasa sub-contractor in the Flight Crew Training Building during the later Apollo missions, but my husband worked there from Apollo 8 (I think) onward. It was an extraordinary place to be at that time. Not only was it exciting to work side-by-side with the astronauts, but to also see the VIP visitors who came through the building for a tour.

There is a photo of me talking to Jim Lovell somewhere in this house, but I haven't been able to find it. The only photo of me ever taken with a Hasselblad. :)

This is a photo of a photo taken by Neil Armstrong on July 20, 1969.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I received a mean email last night, which only proves the wisdom of my decision to cut this person out of my life. When someone tries so hard to hurt your feelings, it makes you see how toxic they really are. I think he measured his words very carefully, for maximum stinging power. 

I am usually a pretty good judge of character. Most of the time my first impressions are accurate. This one got past my radar... lesson learned - require references.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Redux - Primate Style

I'm very excited about the new Planet of the Apes movie. When the first one came out, I went to see it, if not quite under protest, at least with an attitude of "I'm not going to like this one bit."

In those days we went to the movies regularly with another couple. We took turns choosing the movie, in an informal "I chose last time - it's your turn this week" manner. So, when someone else made "The Planet of the Apes" their choice, I was prepared to be bored and intellectually insulted. (I have to laugh at myself sometimes.) But it was true... I was haughtily, begrudgedly there for a movie about apes, for god's sake. (rolls eyes)

When the movie ended and the lights in the theater came up, there was a huge smile on my face. "That was fun!" 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In Memoriam

I learned yesterday that my first boyfriend has passed away. I don't know what happened, the obituary said that his death was "unexpected". We had not kept in touch over the years, so my memories of him are still those of teenager. A couple of months ago, I came across a slide that my dad had taken as we were leaving for the prom. I've processed it to protect his privacy - but believe me when I say... we were oh so young!

It occured to me that my first love and my last love have both preceded me in death. And that the statistic that men die younger than women is probably true. My heart goes out to his widow, because I know too well the emptiness and heartache that she is now facing.

Rest in Peace E.C. 

And Gary, I miss you every day.

Monday, July 11, 2011


It began to storm while I was out today. Luckily, I had finished my errands and was on my way home. It was a welcome rain, both refreshing and cooling - if only slightly.

The rain makes everything clean again... the air, the pavement, the leaves and the grass. It isn't magic of course, but just for a moment it feels that way.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Guilty or Not

I was just thinking... someone ought to write a "Verdict" software program. Plug in all of the details: the crime, evidence, witness statements, expert testimony, yada-yada-yada and bingo! Out pops the verdict.

No more emotions being displayed for the benefit of the jury, no more objections, sidebars or motions. No more lawyers. Easy-peasy.

Now, about that pesky 6th ammendent. Hmmmm...

Sunday, July 03, 2011


Sometimes, when editing a photo, something will be just "not quite right" but I can't quite put my finger on it. If I flip the image upside down, I can see the colors, shadows, highlights, lines, curves, etc. without the interruption of the subject/scene. It is especially useful for seeing something that might be distracting my eye, though in the right-side-up image, it was not as obvious. 

If we could only do this with people... who may seem to be one thing and yet there is some nagging doubt or suspicion about their true intentions and/or actions. Just a thought...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just for the fun of it

Summer roars on, the heat is stifling and staying cool is a priority. I don't remember being sensitive to the heat (or the cold) when I was a child. Although I grew up in upstate New York, I can tell you that the summers get hot there too... it just doesn't usually last as long as it does in the South. I guess I have become acclimated to air conditioning and ceiling fans. :)