Monday, February 27, 2012

Its the Letter E at FILM26

Its time for the letter E at FILM26. 
I realized the only film camera I had loaded was the Ricoh, which does not have a self timer. My Polaroid doesn't have a self timer either... so, being that I was nearing the "E" deadline for a film shot, I had to be a little more creative than usual.  What you can't see in the photo above is that I took it into a mirror.  If you look closely at the edges you can see the bevel in the glass of the mirror.  I had to make my letter painting backwards so that it would turn out correctly in the photo.   I have since made another e painting to replace the backwards e. 
E is for Erechtheum Temple Porch of Maidens at the Acropolis in Athens
I toted the little Ricoh with me in my Nikon D90 bag on my recent trip.  I was hoping to snap off several rolls of film on my trip.  However, I only got about 26 shots off out of 36.  No reason, except that the digital was the "go to".  I actually really regret not taking scads of film photos.
Next time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

{In The Picture} Self Portrait Quest

{In the picture} recap for February...
Well, I really didn't do that well.  I've fallen behind on my goal of 52.  However, I'm not worried about it because there will be time to catch up.  I keep hoping this gets easier and I can somehow ditch the weird smiles as I continue with this quest. 
On my recent trip there are photos of me - ones that I did not take, but handed the camera to someone else.  In these photos - I look happy, my smile is genuine and full of joy in the moment.  There is none of that forced camera pose smile stuff going on... just pure happy. 
So, now I really have a goal - one to capture the happiness that I see in myself.  I want to capture that smile I see in the mirror in the morning but can not seem to capture in a self portrait.  I really don't want to keep chopping of my head in photos - so its time to figure this out.

Do you want to play along? 
In The Picture

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Softer Side of Greece

I have recently travelled to Athens and have found there is another side to Greece other than its deep rich history including Gods and Temples.  Greece has a soft side too - a furry side.   The animals of Greece are a subject all of their own.  The stray cats and dogs dotting the streets and avenues are sweet soft faces amoung the hard landscape of the city. 
 They lounge in hidden spaces and soak up the rays of February's sunlight.  The air is cool but there is enough heat to warm their little bodies.
 We visited Hydra, one of the islands of Greece, which is home to picturesque sights and loads of cats.

 The most intriguing to me were the city dogs.  Athens has a number of stray dogs that roam the city.  They look well feed, healthy and quite friendly.  They are happy for pets and seem to not want for attention as there are plenty of people willing to provide.
 Many wear collars with tags, yet they are strays.  I have come to understand that the tags have telephone numbers of people willing to help if the dog is causing trouble or is in trouble.
 Many of these dogs seem like old souls to me.  Their eyes hold a long and deep history within their brown waters. 
The dogs ebb and flow with the tides of people that walk the streets.  They lounge on the stairs of the Acropolis and lay on the sidewalks for naps.  There are the clever dogs that find the warmth of hotel and store fronts and have spots staked out on the carpets outside of the doors.
 They are street savy.  The dogs will stand on a street corner and wait until there are people crossing before they cross too.  There is even a famous dog of Athens named Sausage, who has participated in every demonstration/riot in Syntagma square since 2008.  See his story HERE
 This dou followed us through the streets of the Plaka.
 Honest to goodness I would have brought this one home with me if I could have.  His face just stole my heart.
 Not only dogs and cats - but the mules too.  Their sweet soft eyes... and those long lashes
 The donkeys of Hydra are workers and are not for tourist delight.  There are no cars there, so they are the transport to the houses that line the bluffs. 

This is the softer side of Greece.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coffee Shots

I take coffee shots.  Coffee for me, is more than the drink itself.  Its about the aroma, the feel of the cup in my hand and the steam on my face.  That first sip in the morning.. that wake-me-up is what starts my day.  Its also about friends lingering and chatting over a cup with stories and laughter shared. 
These are photos from my recent trip.  Lots of wonderful memories over these cups.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Creative inspiration can come in so many ways.  Sometimes it is the way the light shines on an object or how two colors seem to vibrate against one another.  It can be the sound of the rain or the the smell of Ponderosa pines in the dry summer.  It can be the pocket full of treasures found at the beach.
The first week in Februaray I was visiting friends in Suffolk, England.  For a day trip we journied off to Cambridge.  We planned our trip so that we would be able to visit Kettle's Yard, a museum that is only open but two hours in a day.
Kettle's Yard is the creation and gift of Jim Ede, a one time curator at the Tate Gallery.  He wanted to share with others the art and objects which he collected over 50 Years.  He felt that art was better approached in the intimate surroundings of a home.  In 1957 he converted four cottages in Cambridge and began to hold open houses for students and visitors. 
Ede's collection is not only art as we would define it with paintings and sculpture.  Kettle's Yard is an entire canvas of beatiful objects not only created by man, but also created by nature. 
The house has a beautiful simplicity that makes you want to linger.  Everywhere I looked, there was an interesting vignette created with simple objects and well thought out clusters of treasures: books, stones, shells... 

The light in February hangs low in the sky. When we entered the house, the light itself was just another facet of the beautiful collection that Ede had compiled. It shown in the windows highlighting across objects, creating incredible shadows and bringing another dimension to the space and its treasures.

 Every space, wall, table top was a delight. 
 We were welcome to linger, photograph, sit and enjoy the spaces. 
There seemed to be some kind of magic within these walls.  A feeling that was overwhelming, yet comforting and it embraced me like a welcome hug.  The feeling was creative energy. 

Inspiration is a beautiful thing.  Was there any one exact thing that I can say was the one single inspirational thing?  No, not one thing from here.  It was the entire package for me.  I really loved this place and want to return on another day to take it all in again. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Changes in the Air

OK, I'm making changes around here.  I have to admit that I am finding it a little difficult to pin down the identity of this blog space.  So, you will most likely see more changes coming as things settle in to where they should be.  I'm finding it interesting that for my new header photo I picked one of my paintings.  I really didn't even think about it - it just seemed like the right photo.  All of you know me as a photographer.  You either know me from Flickr, FILM26, or various online photography courses I have taken over the past year.  So, I think this is why I am finding it a little difficult to define this space.  There is another side of me that is emerging.  I am also a painter. But, what I am discovering through this transformation process is that really what this space is about is creativity.  Creative inspiration can come in many ways - photography, painting, cooking, words and many, many other shapes and forms.  I need to do a little more transformation and adjusting.  I figure I will let this space morph into what it is supposed to be.  In other words, bear with me through the changes and hopefully they won't take too long.
In the blog face lift that is going on I did find how to bring in my Flickr photos into a slide show on the sidebar.  Its not as straight forward and as easy at it should be.  Lucky for me, I found a blog that is a step by step process on how to do it - and yes, how to change the html code so that it actually works.  Here's the link in case you are interested in how to do this on your own blog.  Find the information HERE

Thursday, February 16, 2012

3 Days in the UK

I've been on vacation. 
I had a wonderful trip.  10 days away to Europe.
Its really kind of embarassing how many photos I took.  I am now just getting through them, picking the best and will be sharing them here with you.
I have to break them into catagories, otherwise
we'll be here all day.
My first segment is my 3 days in the UK in Suffolk with good friends.  I had a hard time picking the photos for this because there were so many that were meaningful to me.  But, I think I can give you a taste of what I experienced.
Starting with an afternoon in Bungay

 Bungay is sweet village with history that includes
We were greated with sunshine and a brisk wind which after stomping around the village we warmed ourselves with Bungay's best hot chocolate.

 Morning walks and then off for a visit to
 Bicycles for Fellows Only + lovely baskets for carrying.
 The streets of Cambridge are so picturesque with the beautiful buildings.
 A trip to the UK would not be complete without a photo of the red phone boothes.

Our reflection

The best Chelsea Buns

 This is the entry pull to Kettle's Yard.  It is an incredible museum in the home of Jim Ede, the one time curator of the Tate Museum.  It contains his collection of over 50 years.  It was such an incredible place that I will do a separate post just on this museum.
 Bunting in Cambridge.  Not for us on this day.  We were headed home.
The next day took us on to Southwold for my last full day in Suffolk
 I've always wanted to take photos of these little beach houses.  They are rows of color burst amoung the sand dunes. 
 Couldn't pass up photo antics.
 The Pier at Southwold.  We had great weather again.
 Under the pier.
 The wind was a bit chilly but it did not seem to phase the gulls.
The sunset on my final evening in Suffolk.
Really, it doesn't get much better than this.  It is a lovely part of the world.
Time spent with friends is a special thing.  I'm so glad I made the stop here.  
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