Tag Archives: photography

Looking Out

5 Apr

I like to look out the window. I don’t always know what I am looking for, but it gives me a specific perspective. Taking photos is the same. I find a perspective in it. The world looks different when viewed through the frame of through a window or a camera lens than it does when I see it all at once. It can be too much to take in. I like a small piece of world to focus on.

A patch of sky with silver clouds. A blowing branch with red buds on it. Peeling paint. Someone dropped a piece of paper on the grass. One of my lovely starlings has landed, its beak yellow and its feathers turning black for the warm months, but still speckled. The nails embedded in the weathered wood. A drab Honda nearby, parked alone.

My starling is gone. I wanted to film it for you. They always fly off. They don’t like the camera. I have learned something from a bird watcher. The glass reflects light and it can startle birds, just as movement can. Maybe it even blinds them momentarily. They don’t know what it is.

I need to make better use of the zoom feature, keep my distance. I might need to step into the big world to get the starling’s perspective. It is a lot to take in.

 

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Feathers, Sequins, and Sailor Hats, Oh My!

27 Jan

Sometimes you just need to laugh.

This gallery of absurdly bad “glam” photos show made my day!

(Click on the link below)

http://photos.ellen.warnerbros.com/galleries/hot_glam_girl

Who Goes to a Cemetery on Their Honeymoon?

27 Jul

My husband and I spent several hours at a cemetery during our honeymoon.

The Recoleta Cemetery was one of the highlights of the honeymoon, as strange as that may sound. You will understand when you see some of the photos. We are not “Goth” people. My husband is a history buff, and I like art.

Though we were married in 2005, we spent our honeymoon in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2006. We chose the destination for the principle reason of combining our honeymoon with a visit to a dear friend who was unable to attend our wedding due to her South American travel plans. I enjoyed the trip very much, and I’m sure a “tropical paradise” would not have been as interesting.

The Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires is filled with impressively tall, elaborate, and expensive mausoleums and statues. Intrigued by the textures and uniqueness of each structure and figure, I took so many photographs I thought I would drain the battery on my camera. I have shared some of my favorites here, but they don’t truly capture the scale or beauty of the cemetery.

The Recoleta is like a miniature city, where the residents happen to be dead. There are buildings, blocks, and streets, but don’t bother knocking on the doors … no one will answer.

Some of the structures were crumbling, while others retained their original imposing form.

An Egyptian tomb seemed out-of-place.

I was very taken by the poses of the angels here.

A beautiful plant to look at, but notice the thorns!

Eva Peron (otherwise known as Evita) rests at the Recoleta. Her remains were smuggled into this very upper class cemetery by supporters because her lower class origins would have officially disallowed her entombment.

The cemetery is teeming with feral cats, which are fed by the caretakers. Having a cat skitter across the path while one is walking among tombs is rather startling, I can assure you.

The cemetery is a Must See if you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires.

We also spent quite a long while in The National Arms Museum, which was practically next door to our hotel. This fascinating museum features “18 rooms where exhibitions describe the historical and technical evolution of the weapons of the world [from] the 12th century to the present” according to the brochure. Although I have no photographs of the experience, I had a terrific time admiring the craftsmanship and intricate design of ancient and modern weapons and armor from all corners of the world.

Other activities we enjoyed in the area include an evening spent at Opera Pampa (history-based rodeo/musical theater in a large arena), a tour of the historical ship/museum Frigata Sarmiento in Puerto Madera and a visit to colorful Caminito in La Boca. Opera Pampa was amazing — videos of it are available on YouTube if you are curious. I have included a few images of the frigate and the charmingly artful Caminito below.

A living statue!

The one regret I have about our Buenos Aires adventure is missing the enormous mechanical flower sculpture. Apparently, the metal blossom is timed to open at sunrise and close at sunset! We drove by during the day but were unable to witness the movement due to time factors during our trip. If we ever return to the area, I will be sure to schedule time to see it bloom.

I highly recommend Buenos Aires for those looking to expand their horizons.

I Laughed – #3

14 Mar

The simple whimsy of these photographs made my day!

http://owni.eu/2010/12/15/still-life-bent-objects/

What Remains Shall Be Beautiful

20 Nov

The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed – it is a process of elimination.

~Elbert Hubbard


Likewise, when our lives and homes are simplifiedwhen the unnecessary clutter and pointless tasks have all been chipped awaywe are left with the essential beauty of life and of ourselves.

Be the sculptor of your own life, chip away the parts not needed.

What remains shall be beautiful.


The above photograph, and those that follow, were taken during my trip to Prague, where I was fascinated by the unique surfaces on some of the buildings.

The designs on these walls were made using the technique of sgraffito, a method of etching away plaster to reveal another color under the surface.

Amazing isn’t it?

 

To learn more about sgraffito click here… and to see more sgraffito examples from the Czech Republic and other countries, click here.


The Meaning of Color

15 Nov

“The meaning of a word – to me – is not as exact as the meaning of a colour.  Colours and shapes make a more definite statement than words.”

~Georgia O’Keefe



Color is evocative.  It’s personal.  It brings memories.  It shapes our mood.

I started thinking about the significance of color this weekend, after I joined in helping my friends Zak and Lindsey** paint a room in their home.

Lindsey joked that the visit might inspire some blog posts for me, because with their house in the early stages of a radical fix-up, “There isn’t a clean surface anywhere in the house.” I didn’t think that was strictly true, but yes, in the end I was inspired to write .

For the record, with the new paint we applied to the walls and ceiling, there are now some lovely new clean surfaces in their house.

The paint color was carefully chosen by my friends to recreate the look of a specific place: the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite Park.  I’ve forgotten the official name of the paint color now, but it doesn’t matter.  Like Georgia O’Keefe said, words are not exact.  If I tried to categorize the color, you would get the wrong idea.  Let’s just say it is a warm color, and it makes me think of Pottery Barn catalogs, and Italy — or at least my idea of Italy, I’ve never actually been there.  I haven’t been to the Ahwahnee either, but I guess I know what color the walls are.

As the paint slowly dried, in what will eventually be Zak and Lindsey’s master bedroom, something happened to the room.  We all noticed how the color affected the feel of the space.  It wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint, it was a transformation.  Never-mind the absence of a floor, the broken window, and the dangling wires — the room was suddenly established as inviting, cheerful, and warm… a place to be, instead of just a work in progress.

That kind of change is exciting.  If we had painted the room white, I can guarantee that the effect would not have been as dramatic; the room would only have looked cleaner…a clean surface, but not an inviting one.

Color is a gift.

NOTES:

~I have written before about color, and the powerful effect it can have on me (see Autumn Bliss, Rediscovered).

~The two poppy photographs above are among my favorite personal photos, and their color-match with this blog is just a happy coincidence.  They were taken on a walk during a vacation in Stinson Beach, California.

**  I normally don’t use friends’ names in my posts, out of respect for their privacy, but I recently (quite accidentally) discovered that Zak and Lindsey are already mentioned — and even shown in photographs — in a blog by one of their other friends.  So, that bridge has already been crossed.  See this friendly blog post from David Easson who knows Zak and Lindsey, and their dog Hoosier