January 19, 2015

As a mother, I’ve learned to be stoic.

When I am hurting inside, there are times I have to hide it and be strong so that my children will feel confident and less anxious.  Today was one of those days.

Emma has been home from college for Winter break for a month.  Today I had to take her back, and it was almost harder than it was when I first dropped her off in August.  It’s been nice having her home.  It felt peaceful.  She and her brother actually got along.  We played board games and got pizza on Wednesdays and smoothies on Fridays.

But today I had to leave her again and though my heart was breaking, I tucked it all in so that her own sadness would be eased.

I cried in the car when I was out of sight, once again having to let go.

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January 18, 2015

I’m trying to get things done today.

As usual, though, one thing or another gets in the way and now I look to see that the day is almost over and I’ve accomplished nothing of what I set out to do.

So I’ll appreciate the beautiful sky and sunshine and try not to be so hard on myself.

January 17, 2015

Is there a room in your life–now or in your past–where everything seems to happen?

This is the room that was like that for me when I was young.  It was my grandparents’ kitchen.

We would sit around the table and discuss the world’s problems, offering what we knew would be the perfect solutions. After that, we’d play cards or board games.  And of course, we would eat, talk, and visit with friends.  It was the epicenter of my grandparents’ world…and mine.

My grandparents are long gone, I have grown up, and the room needs great repair, but it still feels like comfort and love to me.

January 16, 2015

I had to go to the doctor today for pains I have yet to identify. It might be serious, it might not be.  Oddly, I’m quite calm about it.  I just want to find out what is going on in my gut. The first photo is the rays of the morning sun coming through the waiting room window.  The next two are of the field next door, covered in frost as the sun shone across it.  I felt like I was in another country.  It was very calming, quite peaceful.

January 15, 2015

Tony often speaks with his hands.

He is very expressive that way, so today I was watching his hands as he spoke, telling me of a 28-year-old mystery in regards to a band that he likes, Balance.  He received in the mail today pieces of a puzzle that might be able to fill in the gaps and lead him to a new discovery of an old favourite.

As he talked, I photographed his hands.

January 14, 2015

Board games bring families together.  Period.

My son suggested the other night that he, my daughter and I play Monopoly.  Three days later, we finally finished, with my son taking the haul.  It was a wonderful time together, and we’re about to do it all over again.

When I was a child, I used to play board games almost daily at my grandparents’ house.  It seems fitting to post this then, on what would have been my grandfather Ray’s 111th birthday.

Happy Birthday Ray!

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January 13, 2015

I am about to teach a class on the period of photography from 1974-1984.

One of the photographers that we will be studying is Cindy Sherman, so I needed to come up with a Sherman-esque series of photos as the example.  My friend Kira is always a willing photography model for me and agreed on the spot to pose for a series of photo-booth-style photos, similar to those that Sherman might do.

Here is the result:  sometimes quirky, sometimes cute, sometimes sad.  That about sums it up for me.

January 12, 2015

It’s very foggy today and I love to photograph in fog.

Here are a couple of shots that I took using my new camera.

January 11, 2015

I will never be without dogs if I have any say in it.

They are a part of my family and always have been. These are my three dogs, Kelly, Jack, and Bugsy. Kelly is the matriarch and gets two photos for that. Jack thinks that when you take a photo, you take someone’s soul, so he rarely stays still long enough to have his picture taken and howls when you try to take it. I did get his eyes and nose at least. And Bugsy, well, is Bugsy.

January 10, 2015

As a professional photographer, I own many cameras.

The oldest working camera that I own is from the 1940s.  I have a lot of film cameras that I still use and find valuable to have.  Not so much for digital.  When I first became a professional wedding and portrait photographer in 2001, the camera that I used for most of my work when I finally went digital was a Fuji S2-Pro, a 6 megapixel DSLR.  My back-up was a Nikon D70, also 6 megapixel.  I used both of those cameras for over 10 years before I finally felt the need to catch up to the rest of the digital world and up my megapixels.  My cameras had become virtually obsolete.

That’s what gripes me the most about digital.  You spend a lot of money only to have your gear outdated and almost valueless in a few years.  My Rolleiflex from 1950 still works as well as it did when it was first produced, and has held its value.  I can’t imagine any of my digital cameras doing that.  BUT…I have to keep up, and so I did.

Two years ago I upgraded my digital gear and purchased a Nikon D800 for my professional work.  It’s a great camera and takes wonderful photos, but on a recent 7-mile photo hike I realized that it had one real problem for me:  it is heavy.  Along with the zoom lens I regularly use with it, it can cause pain to my shoulder and back after only a short time.

Because it’s heavy and really expensive, I started leaving it at home a lot.  I found myself using my iPhone to photograph more often than not.  I love taking iPhone photos, don’t get me wrong, but I started to miss the manual control I had over my images.  Yet I didn’t want to carry around my D800 with me.

So I researched smaller mirrorless cameras to find an alternative to my D800 that is not so heavy but still takes great photos and allows me to have control over my images.  I desperately wanted a Leica M Monochrom camera, but I couldn’t afford the $10,000+ it would have taken me to buy the body and a lens to go with it.  So I quickly put that one out of my head and decided on a Fuji X-T1.

Today I took it out for its first shoot, a casual walk the kids, Jack, and I at Reynolda Village.  I kept it on the black & white setting for today (the one with a red filter) and was really pleased with the results.  I didn’t have to do any post-processing on the images, just crop them.

Once I get a small case for it, I’ll be taking it out with me a lot.  It is fun to use and the dials remind me of my old film cameras.  I will still use my D800 for professional and studio work, but this little guy will come in very handy for my everyday shots.

Here are some photos with the Fuji from today.  Emma even took a few…