I had the privilege of working with Regina of Bleu & Fig this past weekend for a tour of homes fundraiser with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise money for breast cancer awareness and prevention. While I only shot in one home, it was impressive to see the amount of care put into making a house look its finest for visitors. It was nice to see how even small details can make such a nice impression with Regina's talented eyes and hands.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
One of my favorite places to visit in "the kingdom" is Wheeler Mountain. A large structure made by Mother Nature of solid granite, it is at times a very gentle hike, and at other times a formidable crawl. Trying to figure how to tackle some areas on the way to the top is half the fun of getting there. Two observations that I came up with a long time ago come to mind every time I see Wheeler Mountain. These observations extend far beyond climbing a mountain.
1. When you are walking in the woods, stop and look around. You will almost always find a mushroom nearby if you look hard enough.
2. What I have learned from my camera lens is that something is always in focus, you just have to point it in the right direction.
Friday, September 13, 2013
These are some shots from my visit to Vermont when a few of us went apple picking. There was an assortment of apple varieties, and some of the trees have been around for decades. It's nice when you can pick an apple from each tree, taste it, and marvel at how very different each tastes. This is obvious, to those who make apple pies regularly. Some apples are best for eating, while others stand up well in pies. Either way, this is one of those moments in the year you wish you could press the pause button for weeks.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
I am fortunate to have grown up in a beautiful place. The rolling hills, the abundance of food fresh from the garden, dew that covers everything in the morning, the way people move to the rhythms of the seasons ... it's all rather bucolic and somewhat removed from ordinary life as I know it. I think people, urban and rural, are beginning to appreciate these things more and more. While urban tastes and lifestyles are taking root in unlikely places, so are rural values. Stop. Breathe. Look.
Stay tuned for more from a visit to my childhood home.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
If you look up flaneur in a French dictionary, you might come across a definition that seems less than flattering, making reference to someone who likes to loiter, stroll, loaf or lounge. When I was taking my last photography class, I was invited to be a flaneur. To loiter, and stroll. To loaf and lounge luxuriously. The idea was to slow down, stop even, and notice the little things around you. Depending on where you choose to loiter, you are going to notice very different things. A busy city street will yield something very different than a country lane or a farmer's market. Either way, it's worth checking out. The things that buzz and hum, or blare and trumpet. Go ahead, loiter. Let me know what you see.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
There's a new place in town, called Seventh Son Brewing Co. If you live in Columbus, Ohio, you'll find it on the corner of 4th and 4th. (If you don't live in Columbus, you will still find it there, you just have to come to our town.) It is housed in what used to be a car garage for most of the 20th century. It's not like a dark bar, but a light place with big windows, places to sit in front, and a patio in back. They don't really serve food, but they invite a food truck to park in the lot where patrons can enjoy delicious Indian fare. The beer? That's good too. If you have difficulty deciding, order the flight of five beers and you're going to strike gold with one of them. My favorite for now is the American Strong. Come thirsty. Puppies permitted.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I went to the Wednesday Clintonville Farmers' Market today, which I haven't been to since I took my nephew Will when he was visiting. It's a reduced market from the Saturday one, but with the sun shining, everybody seemed relaxed and happy. Everyone wants you to sample, from ten different kinds of bread, to olive oil and balsamic infused with herbs, to preserves and hot relish made yesterday. The fella striking a pose for me offered me a sample of his pineapple cucumber juice from "pressed" fruits and vegetables. I'm not sure what pressed fruit entails, but it was actually pretty tasty. The man in the ball cap explained to me how he finds fallen trees on his property and turns them into beautiful chopping boards. He had the calm demeanor of a man who likes to work with his hands. The smiling lady with freckles sold me a bar of lavender soap, while her son explained to me which ones smelled best. What a nice way to spend a late Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Many ballet academies have a summer program of classes meant to fill your need for disciplined dance when the company is taking a break from their usual rigorous studies. If you’ve ever taken an introduction ballet class, you might be accustomed to a collection of people who either took ballet as a child twenty years ago, or some mature students who just seek a means of staying fit, toned, and mentally challenged. But when I walked into the ballet on Tuesday night, two students from my winter introduction class were coming out of the first class of the evening, looking a little shell-shocked. When I indicated I was taking the next class of the evening, I was wished good luck. Good luck? I gripped my pink leather slippers tighter in my hand and marched forth. Upon entering the studio, I noticed triple the attendance I was accustomed to. Upon closer inspection, I noticed some “students” had their pointe shoes. Huh. Then I noticed some faces that I recognized from the stage at recent performances I’d attended. “Oh, hi,” I said to my instructor from my winter course. And then I realized. She was there as a student. The piano player was poised to nimbly move her fingers across the keys to deliver allegretto and vivace. The dance instructor, whom I also recognized from the stage, walked in and announced that the class was scheduled to start at 7:15, but she was greedy, so we would start immediately. No stretching? I found a place at the bar, in a corner where I’d hoped no one would pay much attention to me, but the lighting was not in my favor. The instructor took position at the barre, with her long, messy blond hair already showing signs of effort. She rapidly went through a number of moves in ballet shorthand, indicating what phrase we would start with, yadda, yadda, yadda. I absorbed nothing. I began daydreaming of cheese. I looked to the young woman to my right and judged her a fairly good person to imitate, but when the music started, I realized the human body isn’t entirely equipped to move in that way, at that pace. After a number of tendus, pliés, and grande pliés, I wiped my brow, while the instructor indicated that she wasn’t pleased with the lack of articulation. ‘I can do this,’ I said to myself. I stretched my ronde de jambe further, dropped my shoulders, and tried to make a perfect curve with my right arm, when I noticed my grip on the barre would cause an injury if it were a partner. The instructor continued to rattle out instructions at machine gun speed, while I did relevées and fondus. I wiped my brow again. I tried to remember the fundamentals I’d learned in earlier classes, of posture, and of a string extending from the top of my head pulling me towards the ceiling, but I still felt 5’4”. The instructor, I began to refer to her in my mind as Madame Satan, asked us to move to the middle of the room, without the support of a barre. I’d hoped that all my crunches in the past few months would pay off with some real balance. (What kind of cheese, though? A cave-aged Manchego, drizzled with truffled honey?) A dancer from the corps de ballet took up position next to me in the back of the room. Really? Do you just want me to make you look better? We pirouetted. Or it might be more accurate to say that Miss Fancy Feet next to me did her pirouettes and mine, which gave me a better appreciation for her taking position next to me. We arabesqued. We did our pas de basques and our balancés, and I wiped perspiration from my eyes. We moved to the part of class where we executed a phrase that would take advantage of the diagonal distance from one corner of the room to the other, four students at a time. Then we moved to the other corner to execute the same phrase starting with the left foot, which is to say, do everything you just did, but the other way around. This would have been fine had I gotten the first round correct. (How about a Neufchatel with strawberries?) Did someone give the piano player espresso before class? At this point, I’m certain I merely looked like I was sleep-walking. The names of positions and movements had stopped having any meaning. I was grateful, when we finally assembled in the middle of the studio, to perform our ritual reveré.
My advice to you; if you are taking a “beginner” ballet class, and notice some students sporting pointe shoes, gather your things and back out of the room, slowly and quietly. And go eat cheese.