Friday, July 2, 2010

American Anthem - Norah Jones

Such a song requires little comment, but July 4th is a reminder that the freedoms we enjoy today did not come free. Generations of men and women believed that their lives were worth sacrificing for an idea; that we all have inalienable rights, whether we can live up to that idea or not. And for this, I thank them.

Happy Independance Day!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pairing Pictures IV

I just love taking pictures of flora behind glass. The first I snuck at a baby shower a few weeks ago, and the second was from my kitchen window after a light rain.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on a few HDR pictures to share with you. This is proving to be a little more involved than I originally thought.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A List to Myself at Seventeen

Inspired by Andrea's list to her 17-year-old self, I made my own list to myself at seventeen:

1. Listen to your art teacher, who believes in you more than you will know for many years to come. And then it will be too late to thank her.

2. Listen to all your teachers. Their wisdom is creating a future you that is well-rounded in ways you couldn't possibly appreciate right now.

3. Keep up with your French. Please.

4. Be kind to your popular and unpopular friends. They will all suffer unspeakable grief regardless of how you see their lives now.

5. Lose the curtain of blond curls that covers your eyes. The world is a startling and beautiful place.

6. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And then humbly learn from them.

7. Let go of grudges. Life is too short to carry such burdens.

8. Accept people for who they are, but be wary of people who do not love their families. Or your family.

9. Do not accept the first offer you get to go to the prom. You would be better off not going at all.

10. You will go through far worse in your life, and with much less drama. Get used to the ride.

11. You know when your English teacher, Mr. Mungeon, says, "Smart people don't get bored."? He is so right!

12. Stop worrying about what others think of you and be honest about who you really are. This will save you years of hardship.

13. About your fondness for Kate Bush, Debbie Harry and The Smiths; you're right.

14. Neon isn't your color.

15. Read more Leo Tolstoy and Henry James, and less Emily Bronte and Thomas Hardy.

16. One day you will count your sisters among your closest friends. You will make mistakes, and they will forgive you.

17. You and your life will turn out nothing like you imagine, and you will be more than okay with it. As a matter of fact, you'll love it.

What would you tell yourself at that age?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pairing Pictures III

I like the way these pictures work together chromatically, and share certain textures as well. They were shot on different days, and I wasn't looking for the same color scheme, yet ...

Today starts a new class in for me HDR Photography. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, it means High Dynamic Range, or digital photography on steroids. I'm a little nervous because it means going in the very opposite direction of what I've been doing lately; looking for magical moments of color, line and texture; shooting things just as they are. This new class means photoshop heroics, which I can do blindfolded, but it feels a little like cheating, and the end result is often just a little too fantastic for my taste. 

In a nutshell, the technique involves shooting the same static image in three or four different ISO/f-stop settings, then pulling them into PhotoShop and grabbing the best detail from each to merge into one shot. It also involves using all three shots to have the final image in complete focus. But wait (I'm protesting), I love bokeh. I love that silky blurred background you get with a short depth of field.

Well, discomfort is the mother of growth, and perhaps I can explore some of the same themes I've been enjoying with a new angle. Isn't that what it's all about?

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