Archives for the month of: May, 2014

Experimented today with shooting some macro photos of one rose in bloom, and some French lavender that is growing in the yard. What strikes me with macro photography is the detail I don’t notice with my naked eye. I especially loved the detail of the lavender and its spores/pollen receptors, or whatever they are. I need to research that.

I’m hoping to find a tranquil frog who will sit still for me for my next macro project. Even a bug would make me happy. Here’s to my happy hunting.

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My background is journalism and photojournalism, but I’ve spent the last year trying to hone my skills with portrait photography. I’ve captured many “in the moment” documentary photos of all my nieces and nephews (and all the family and friends) from the last 25+ years, but I am trying to get my formal portraiture down. It’s a learning process. Taking classes here and there and reading books and blogs. But the bottom line is: practice, practice, practice. And after that, practice some more.

I have a beautiful new grand niece (three months old) and have been trying to set up a formal new family session since her birth. The first one had too many competing influences; but finally got to have a real session on Sunday.

At three months and seven days old, Miss Maylee just started teething. Hard to get some good family shots with a baby in pain.

Lessons learned: be patient; take your time; and have a grandparent with a pink fuzzy animal nearby. Grandpa was off to the side in this shot. Again, a learning moment. That’s the best thing about non-perfection: you learn what you want to do next time. It’s all good. Not a bad shot here, but I want something better next time.

I would place grandpa or grandma directly in front of the camera with that pink dinosaur. Get Maylee to look at the lens, rather than off to the side.

One thing I’ve learned about portraiture is that longer focal lengths are much more flattering to the human face. I used my 75-300 zoom lens set on a tripod. The beauty of that is next time, I can have grandma or grandpa in front of the lens with that pink dinosaur but out of view because of the long focal length. And the family will look marvelous.

Looking forward to more experiments with my baby photography.

 

 

 

 

 

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I love spring for all the possibilities and the new life it brings. In spite of all these weird weather patterns we’re having in SoCal (unprecedented early Santa Anas = fire hazards), spring has sprung. Because it has been warmer earlier than before, we were able to plant our summer vegetable garden in early May vs. end of the month.

The picture above was taken on May 3. Steve planting his annual vegetables. Today we spent starting clearing the brush from a fallen tree from the Santa Anas. Steve is tending his garden every day.

Overall, a great day back in the biggest part of our house: our yard.

To come: tomatoes, herbs, zucchini, yellow crook neck squash, eggplant, various bell peppers, corn and Swiss chard.

 

 

 

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One recent job I completed was for the Cleveland National Forest Foundation’s Transit San Diego website.

If you read the website, the first question everyone asks is why would a forest initiative care about urban public transportation? As I’ve learned working with these amazing people, without a functional city and less dependency on automobiles, the forest is doomed to sprawl, which equates to climate change.

I’m sure you’ve experienced major weather change recently. We sure have. Climate change is real. It is not a debate. It is.

I hope we can make some significant changes to our cities. Bordeaux, France is an example of what can be. We have mighty forces against doing the right thing (energy companies, automobile companies, status quo city planners, etc.). For the sake of this younger generation coming up, I hope we can change.

 

 

 

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It really is the stupid and small things that hit me hard when thinking about losing my sister Marion so quickly last year. One year ago today, we had no idea she would be gone from us. In less than two months, it will be the one year anniversary of her loss. How can that be?

Back to the stupid things: Marion and I were from different generations, interests and tastes. We didn’t have a whole lot in common as far as our interests go (she was Elvis; I was The Beatles). She was a Fifties housewife who passed on an interest (though passing) of soap operas to Lisa and me. We will always have “As the World Turns” in our lives.

Few movies or shows we agreed upon, but we both loved the soapy “Revenge” when it came on three years ago. We used to discuss the plot lines after each episode.

It came to a climatic semi-conclusion on Sunday night, and I cried. Not for the damn characters, but for the fact that I couldn’t talk about this with my sister, Marion. I wanted so much to discuss this with her.

God, how can I lament the fact that my sister didn’t get to see the conclusion of some stupid soapy TV show? Not the fact that she didn’t get to see her great grandkids growing, or get to meet her new redheaded grandniece, Maylee? Or celebrate her husband’s 78th birthday?

I cry over some stupid TV show that I can’t share with her ever again. Why? Why do these stupid things hit me harder than the important things?

I miss Marion. It hurts I can’t share stupid things with her again.

 

 

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I’ve been lagging on my blog and falling short of my goals. Time to get into gear, Sharon. No excuses. Just do it.

Today gave me a good reason to blog: some photos from a seminar I attended today.

Part of my problem is I am scattered. Unfocused. AADD. I love doing this; wait, there is a nice, new shiny thing to do. Let’s go there. I want to be a photographer on the scale of Annie Lebovitz; a writer like Mark Twain; a jewelery maker; a potter; a gardener; a glass artist; a weaver and knitter; an interior decorator; a master carpenter; a biologist; a bird watcher; an astrophysicist; and of course, a rock star (but I can’t sing or play an instrument).

Since semi-retirement, I think I have all the time in the world, but each day only holds 24 hours, and they really fill up quickly. I know, I “p’shawed” all those retirees before me who said that. But I am busier than ever. Again, I realize part of that is the AADD aspect of my personality.

Today was great. A nine-hour photography seminar. I loved it. It seemed like three hours. I want to continue to grow and be better at it. I need to stop letting all the other distractions get in my way. I learned a lot today and had the chance to briefly photograph two beautiful models.

Goal this weekend: practice, practice, and then practice again. Oh wait, there is something new and shiny over there.

 

 

 

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