Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Today, February 28, is my birthday.

Born 57 years ago in the year 1955, in a little town in upstate New York. 

That was a good year, as the original Disneyland opened and the wonderful Captain Kangaroo kid's show made it's TV debut.           (I loved Mr. Moose and the ping pong balls falling on the Captain!)

Something that's always tickled me was on an old I Love Lucy episode.
In the episode where they are in Paris,  Lucy wants a Jacques Marcel designer dress and Ricky says no. If you listen closely, Ricky reads an old promissory note from Lucy swearing off the need for any other designer dress and the date is read as  "February 28, 1955"!

The top song that year, for the month of February, was "Sincerely" by the McGuire Sisters.

Since I'm pretty much alone in  life, I thought I would take a bold step and ask you to join me in a virtual birthday party!

 Let's dance to a 1955 hit song TUTTI FRUTTI!                                                                                                                                                                                             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFq5O2kabQo   

Thanks! That was fun!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

G is for GOOD & PLENTY

I rarely indulge in candy but once in awhile, I have a craving for these lovely pink and white capsules of licorice!

This candy must have been around for many years because I can still remember a commercial jingle from my childhood!

 "Charlie says 'love that Good and Plenty',
 Charlie says 'Love to ring that bell!' 
Charlie says 'Love that Good and Plenty; 
 It's the only candy  that I love so well!'"

Okay, I just found the commercial on YouTube and I hear that I got the words wrong. Oops! But hey, you know how a child can misinterpret something! Bet you have some funny memory bloopers too!


Anyway, I saw this candy at store when I was out photographing at a mall last night, and thought would be a fun "G" post!

Wish I had a box of Good & Plenty at the moment!

                        "It's only one of the types of candy that I love so well!"

Sunday, February 19, 2012


 Intuitive Photo-Journaling
This week's assignment was to take a photo  from my  Inspirational file- one that leaps out at me, and just write about it. I choose this photo because of a recent conversation I had with my mom.

The other day, I was driving my 76 year old mother home after a day of shopping. Suddenly, she  pointed at the naked trees lining the streets and commented how ugly and dead they looked. I did not respond, because Mom tends to be pessimistic and critical of a lot of things, so to keep the peace, I said nothing.

However, my heart was crying out  "No! You are are wrong! They are beautiful!"

See how the branches appear like lacework against the grey clouded sky! They are not dead, just in a state of hibernation. Soon, delicate shoots of green will appear, and some trees will have spots of color intermingling with the leaves, but now, they  are  just in a state of dormancy.

As cliche as it is, the  old adage is true that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." As a beginning photographer, not only am I'm learning to capture what is a known lovely picture, but to also see beyond the ordinary. It's exciting to  see a lovely tree, but it is even more enthralling  to capture the texture in the bark, the raised pattern of veins in the leaves, perhaps an ugly bug, or a  colorful bird or even a little brown  squirrel in the the branches of those trees.

No Mom, you may see ugly dead trees, but I see God's Creation- and it is good!



How did I feel writing this journal? I enjoyed this assignment because writing comes easy for me if I have the right inspiration. In this case, I had the recent incident with my mom that exemplified what I feel and see in my world.

Did I learn something new? No

Did I feel uncomfortable? I had to carefully choose my words so as to not change the tone of the topic and turn it into an attack against negative people.

What was the most difficult part? Coming to a conclusion without being snarky.

I've done writing like this before. When looking for topics to blog about, I scroll through my photos and see what jumps out at me! It's really great that I can continue the writing that I no longer feel so enthused about, and have it paired with my new passion of photography! Thank you!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


The most recent lesson in the "Finding your Eye" photography course I'm taking http://kateyestudio.com/online-courses/find-your-eye-photo-courses involved shooting pictures in a light source that was different from what I normally use. That was easy to figure out, as all my photos tend to be shot during the day; therefore, evening or night shots was the assignment challenge for me. 

This brought me out of my comfort zone because I don't particularly care to go out at night. I don't see as well, and have no one to go with me. But I did it. 
Tonight, I went to an outdoor mall and was there just after sunset-the blue hour. 

This shopping mall has a water feature utilizing several ports of spouting water 
illuminated by colored lights. During the summer, water shoots upward to 6 feet and dances to canned music. Tonight, the fountains never went over a foot, though they did dance to a live band playing on a nearby stage. Kids love to play in this water, and even on this chilly evening, kids and youth alike were attracted to the colorful jets of water. 

Notice the group of young people in the background of the photo on the left? They were celebrating a quinceanera, and the girl of  honor wore a turquoise dress and looked like a princess. Some of the guys in the group had matching vests. They all looked very sharp.
The grouped moved over to the right and suddenly, began performing an impromptu dance!  Not sure what is was, but the movements were slow, the girls were spun around and partners were changed. At the time, I was experimenting with shutter speed on the water spouts, but I started clicking away at the dancers.(This is as close to a flash mob I've ever been!)

Even dogs enjoyed running through the lights! 

And below is another water fountain that sports a flame at the top!

One of my favorite stores! I liked the coloring and the cheerful lights     

I had been shooting picture for less than an hour, when two security guards informed me that the mall owners do not allow photographing unless someone is in the picture. Supposedly, there were signs around informing of the rule, but I never noticed them. I apologized and was on my way. I had plenty of pictures to work from so it was okay.

I bet going to someplace like a carnival or fair at night would be fun- so many colors and shapes to capture. I did enjoy this adventure-especially the dancers! Will definitely do it again somewhere else at another time. Thanks Kat for the prod to explore new areas!

Friday, February 17, 2012


The title for this week's lesson in the online photography course I'm taking was "Recognizing your inspiration." 

Finding your Eye Course http://kateyestudio.com/online-courses/find-your-eye-photo-courses,

The assignment involved more  introspection than field practice in that I had to identify particular activities from a given list, and note which ones generated energy and a sense of accomplishment. 


  1. Intention to photograph
  2. Seeing a subject
  3. Exploring/studying a subject with camera
  4. Review of your images
  5. Getting an end result-on the wall, web, etc... 
  6. Understanding your images
  7. Sharing with others
  8. Receiving feedback
I know that the Intention to photograph is the most exciting for me. I schedule a day where I'm going somewhere, just to take pictures. A few weeks ago, I went out to the beach. I was psyched up to go, even though I would travel 50 miles  one way and had no one to go with me. I had a great time, wandering all around and snapping and composing photographs with no thought to time.  However, it was cut short due to repeatedly feeling faint. (Inadequate breakfast = low blood sugar) I photographed the ocean scenes, but did not get over to the quaint village shops. That will be for another trip.

Last week, I went to a local garden/museum and again, psyched up to go alone, even with the threat of rain. I meandered the trails, enjoying the serenity and the beauty that radiated down when the sun peaked out from the heavy clouds. Again, there was no time limit. (The rain did hit, but I had already finished taking outdoor pictures and I was in the museum, where photography was not permitted)

I have another trip planned in the near future, going to meet up with someone I met online at another photography page on Facebook. She lives further south here in Southern California, but we will meet halfway, and visit a Spanish mission that is part of California's history. That will be a really fun day! 

Having a purpose for photographing a subject is also inspiring in that I know exactly what I am taking pictures of. This course, along with the Basics Course, provides reasons to capture certain subjects or formats, and it has been an exciting learning experience.

It's the anticipation of photographing beautiful things that I seem to enjoy the most! Seeing a potential subject is also very stimulating. So often, I notice great photo ops while driving. Rarely do I stop, but when I do, I am rewarded!  I sometimes share the photo on Facebook or other sites and I like the feedback I receive. 

I like looking at the outcome of the photos, but not so fond of the editing process. It feels like I'm cheating if I have to tweak the hues or contrast.  I'm not a perfectionist- I just want to learn to get it right the first time!

I'm not sure yet if I can recognize my inspiration, other than the obvious- that I like to photograph things in nature. I have such a sense of peace and tranquility when lost in the zone of photographing nature. For me, it is a great escape from my  very stressful job. Is that good enough of an answer?  

Monday, February 13, 2012

F is for Flowers

God has given us so many gifts in nature to enjoy while we reside on this earth. Of course, the ocean, and anything related to the seashore is my favorite, but I also enjoy FLOWERS!

I'm not motivated to garden, but dream of having a gorgeous English Garden with all the trimmings!(Someone else to tend to it) I do not have a green thumb, but somehow, I have a  blossoming scarlet bougainvillea bush and a red geranium growing in my courtyard. Despite my neglect, they continue to thrive!

I appreciate flowers of all types and colors, but my favorite is a yellow daisy. Not sure what's the proper name, for there are many variations.  I especially like the ones that tend to be wildflowers and grow along side the road and in fields. They are cheery survivors.

Here, I experienced both the ocean and my beloved yellow daisies!
Thank you, God, for your gift of beauty!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


                                        This week's  photography class assignment was  to take photos of a subject that I generally do not photograph. Most of my photos seem to be from nature- plants, the sky, ocean/water, animals, and rarely do I take pictures of people. That's mainly because I feel like I'm invading their privacy. I also overlook photographing architectural  structures, or sculptures, even though I often see their beauty.

Today, I went on on outing to the Sam Maloof Museum and gardens, here in my own community. He was a well-known master wood worker who created exquisite pieces of furniture. I was free to photograph anything outside, but indoors photos were not permitted.

I took many shots of the home that he hand built, but could not help it -nature objects still managed to get into the picture! It was an overcast day, with occasional brilliant bursts of sunlight. The rain started when I was doing the museum tour and no longer had my camera with me. I noticed how different things looked when wet.

I like how it appears like the cloud is casting light upon the building and that's exactly what caught my attention to this scene.

I later learned that I was on the property of a private residence- the home where Sam Maloof's widow now lives.  The sign "Private residence" was written on the other side of this gate. I hope she didn't mind too much...

This gateway led to the original homestead of the Maloof's.

 The rooftops had weather vanes and this bell

    This was another entrance to the private home. How beautiful the woodworking.

I really enjoyed this day, and may go back in a month or so, when even more trees will be in bloom. I also want to capture more detailed pictures of the buildings and their masterful craftsmanship. 

This assignment was not difficult, even though my main study was different for me. I still managed to capture a lot of nature, and several pieces of sculpture that I did not share here. I had fun!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


The assignment this week was to visit an art gallery and to get a feel of how I connect with other types of artists. I was unable to get to a showing, so I explored the masters of long ago, via the internet!

Years ago, when I had an art appreciation class in college, I become acquainted with many of the names of those masters, and grew to appreciate Impressionistic art. I loved the colors and inflection of light, and so was hoping that perhaps my style was along those lines of Claude Monet.
This is me and my 10 year old niece in 1993.
We were pretending to be Victorian ladies and
 I asked a passerby to take our picture.
 It was late afternoon and I loved the way the photo turned out!

Early Impressionistic art  used compositions of light, unique mixtures of bold colors  and the allusion of movement to capture the scene. Artist who worked in the Impressionistic style painted their perception of the scene and accentuated the colors rather than the details.

As I did a study of other artists, I sensed that post-impressionism may be more my style.  These painters were more focused on color and form and used thick layers of paint; creating areas saturated with dots of  intense colors, much like the digital pixels known today. I found paintings from Vincent Van Gogh that were quite similar to photos that I've taken over the past year.

My photo is a close-up of silk sunflowers that I have gathered in a basket.
When  I first  saw this photo on my computer,  Van Gogh's Irises immediately came to mind!         

 I am really amazed  at the similarities in these two photos.

 This one may be a stretch...but the reflections are similar!

This has been an incredible experience. I never would have even considered that I could relate to the artists of another era! It's all very overwhelming.