Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 4/49 {IMPERFECT}

         The theme for the My Four Hen's 52 Week Challenge is IMPERFECTION. I was beginning to wonder when inspiration would hit. This was a rough week for me, as I ended up in the hospital for two days. I wished I had brought my camera to the hospital, because so much of my experience was imperfect, especially the food. However, I didn't bring my camera. 

         When I woke up this morning I was going thru a check list of things to do today. At the top of the list was getting this doll ready to give to Abuelita today at a family dinner. Abuelita (Josefina) is my X mother-in law. She is 88-years old and has Alzheimer. Although she came to the USA in the 40's and became a citizen, she never learned English. Despite that she was one of the top sells-women for Avon in the Los Angeles area (during a time before the catalogs were not printed in Spanish.) I wish my Spanish was better and she didn't have Alzheimer, because I always enjoy the conversations we have and the way she makes me laugh. 

       Somewhere in a hazy area on my list was taking a picture for the Chellenge. But WHAT?

        I'm going to back-track and tell you a little about this Bonita Nina--or beautiful girl doll. Two weeks ago I scheduled a dinner with my son's Tio Jose, Tia Patti and Abuelita. During the phone conversation, Jose told me that when ever they took Abuelita to the store she wanted to stop and look at the dolls. He  said they had given her a doll for Christmas and she changes it and feeds it. I decided I needed to buy a doll to give Abuelita for her birthday. A few days later I found this baby in a thrift store for $7.50. I instantly bonded with the doll and knew this was the doll for Abuelita.  I bought Bonita Nina a preemie size sleeper and a cap and dressed her. 

        Back to today.  As I climbed out out of bed to get my day started, it hit me that Bonita Nina was my imperfect image. I imagine that she was very loved by a little girl once upon a time, but over time she has aged and become imperfect. And I thought of Abuelita who was once a great beauty with quite a sense of humor, who loved to dance. Like the doll over time she has become less perfect, but is stilll very beautiful inside and out (I hope I look that good at 88!)

       The top picture is  my entry for this week, but I made two collages showing my other choices. The middle collage shows Abuelita with her new baby doll. If you want to see more of the images entered in the My Four Hens Challenge , this is the link to the Flicker group.

Sunday, January 22, 2012



I managed to shoot last weeks image within minutes of reading the theme for the week. How cool was that? I was not inspired to pick up the camera and shoot again during the week. I thought about it, had some images I wanted to do, but it was my first week back in school and I chose to give homework the priority.

After reading the BLOG POST about the theme for week three. I sat for a few minutes searching my brain for ideas. What was INSPIRATIONAL to me? What inspired me? What was I going to photograph? I had a few ideas, but nothing concrete and knew I'd just have to carry the camera around with me taking pictures until  I got the inspirational photo.

I stood up to go into the kitchen and as I turned around the light coming thru the window in the music room was hitting Jeddy's auto-harp which was sitting on the couch.  And presto, inspiration hit. I grabbed the camera and began shooting. It was truly one of those moments when turning around was the best thing I could do. We often miss the best things, because we never stop to look at what is behind us....

Jeddy lives, breathes and sleeps music. For Jeddy music is like photography for me. A year ago when the house was broken into his bass and electric guitar were taken. And for a while the house was quiet and his music wasn't as joyful. It took seven months to save up enough money to replace just one of those instruments (I still have not had enough money to replace my camera, which was also stolen. But a stranger, who I knew only from an online photo site, loaned me his back up camera...) Jeddy and I went into Encore Music at least once a month during that time to look at the guitars and finally he chose the Luna Trinity Electric Acoustic Guitar which is in this weeks INSPIRATIONAL photo. . When I asked him the name, he didn't know yet. I named off a series of triads, things that come in threes and, surprisingly, he picked Maiden, Mother, Crone for the guitar's new name.

Jeddy inspires me to do better. His love of music is inspirational and I know he will succeed in life with whatever he decides to do and be. He plans to go to Berklee School of Music. He would like to be a professional musician. But he has also talked about going into Music Therapy and working with children thru music. I think he would be awesome doing either of those things.

As I was shooting pictures last Sunday, I shot the auto-harp and I continued to turn and see what other things inspired me. Of course, I saw the guitar and shot it and it became the picture I decided to use along with an older one of Jeddy bowing after he sang the opening song at the Fall school play. Someone asked what happened to the auto harp? So, I have included a couple of those shots, too.

This is Prudence. 
You can read more about her and the SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING BRAS 
by following this link.

Friday, January 13, 2012

This is LIFE

This is the image I selected for the 2nd week of the challenge at My Four Hens. I've already posted this image, but here it is again. 
This is my choice. 

Why did I choose this one over the other two?  
It had more of an impact on me when I thought of life and what life means to me. Playing with Life-vs-Death.... As soon as we are born, we begin to watch for our  own death. None of us know when our lives will end. The Deathwatch Beetle made a contrast to living. I wanted something a little different. I used an image of EL Jay in Week one's challenge.... you know, there's a bit of a list for my WHY. So, WHY not?

This is Spencer. He is a local graffiti  artist. He is trying to make a living from his art. I processed this in a contrasty black & white, partly to cut out background noise, but also for the starkness B&W creates.

Project 52: Week two: LIFE

I have three pictures I could use for this project this week. In their own way they are each about life and living. And I still don't know which one to use. They are each different with their own unique message about life. I like them each for different reasons. These are the two I have decided, as I write this, not to use for this challenge.

I took this one on Thursday at the Rio Grande Zoo. The baby Giraffe, Amani, was playing peek-a-boo with us. Here she was... four-months old and like all children she was playful. She watched us. Curious. Yet, wary. I saw LIFE in this inter-action.

 I love this one. I love how joyful and carefree El Jay is. I remember how much I loved to swing as a child. How free I felt. This is LIFE.

My third choice? The one I have decided to use for the theme of LIFE?
Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Danielle & Bob's Engagement Shoot

The image above was from a photo shoot I did in October. I loved the lines and the emotion in this image, but the couple was too dark to make it a useable image as-is. I played with it in photoshop and created this--which I really love. As an emerging Photographer and Artist I am still developing my skills and my personal style. I can already see that part of WHO I am involves creating an artist magic in my images. I still love the simplicity of traditional portraiture, but I am enchanted with what I can do digitally.  I can easily see this used for an engagement or save the date type of card. This will definitely be in my portfolio and probably my gallery show next year.

More images below of Danielle and Bob.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This That or the Other...?

Decisions...... I get tired of choices. I could use this for the My 4 Hens Project 52image. This week the theme is life. I could caption this:

From the Day We Are Born We Watch For Our Own Death. 
Local Grafiti Artist Makes a Living.

Catch Up

OK.... I know.

I have a lot of catching up to do. I read somewhere that you should plan your blogging six-months in advance, always using images you already have--not the most recent. In that case, I could easily add a new post everyday for several months, at least. Personally, when I peruse other photo blogs, I like seeing:                
  1. That they are posting regularly--at least once a week, but two or three posts is good.
  2. That they have posted within the last 7 to 10 days.
  3.  I love to see new things. "Here is a look at Saturday's shoot." And instead of Valentine's photos you see Halloween. I kind of think, "HUH?"

In my case, my plan is to continue to blog about the Project 52 photos weekly. Blog about my new photo shoots. And Ketchup.... ok, to get caught up. I have several photo shoots to share and I want to post my 12 favorite images from 2011 and I want to share a series of My All Time Best Images from the Smugmug Daily Community. That is a lot of work, but I will do it.

Monday, January 9, 2012


noun /ˌrezəˈlo͞oSHən/ 
resolutions, plural
  1.  A firm decision to do or not to do something
  2.  The action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter
  3.  An explanation, as of a problem or puzzle; a solution.
  4.  The degree of detail visible in a photographic or television image

Normally,  I don't make New Years Resolutions. I do set goals, but I don't limit setting them to the beginning of the year. I make goals when I feel I need to make them. Sometimes my goals are successful. Sometimes they are not.

I have a long list of my photography goals for 2012. I'll come back at another time and share my plans. However, I have a couple I feel I will be able to accomplish.

I will continue to post daily--or nearly daily--in the Smugmug Daily Community. I've been doing this for over three years. I don't post a new picture everyday. I don't even post everyday. I post when I can and I try to post something no older than a few weeks. This works for me.

I am also planning to do a weekly thing with My Four Hens Project 52. The theme for Week One  was Resolution. I took the picture of El Jay that I posted below on January 2nd at Rincanada Canyon. The RESOLUTION in this picture is: This year I will laugh more. 2011 was not a year with much laughter for me. It was a very tough year--in January the house broken into and all my camera gear was stolen, my new lap top, Jeddy's electric guitar and bass, small electronics, jewelry, the wedding dress from my 2nd marriage (LOL). The insurance only covered damages. We spent June and July in Los Angeles testifying at a trial--yes, he (the 2nd Wusband) was convicted and is gone. During sentencing Jeddy said it had been a long time since he had seen his mom smile or laugh and he wanted to see me smile and laugh again. I want that too!The list goes on. I was ready months ago to move on and for a new life...... Maybe not a NEW life, but I will succeed in 2012 to make life better for my family. Wanna guess what Week Two's theme is?
It is LIFE.

I will learn to smile and laugh again.

(more pics from our hike in Rincanada Canyon)

We discovered these tracks and were curious what type of animal made these. 
It was a good exercise for El Jay to look online. They were too small for a bear and too big for a raccoon.
Can you guess what made them? A human. Using their fist and fingers.

Jeddy thought that with a good caption this one could be a meme.
How would you caption it?