About Me

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Somewhere in the Mojave Desert, California, United States
Gazing into this abyss called Life and wondering.....what's next !?!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wait for the light

Oh my! Where, oh where, did my summer go? I start back into the throes of school preparations on Monday so this post will be a short one.

The following are two images from my summer workshop with Ralph Nordstrom - a wonderful human being and outstanding landscape photographer. I am not one who likes to sit in front of a computer working on producing my images. However, I did learn the value of understanding the post processing tools in bringing out the best perspective in what my camera captures. I also learned the value of patience and perseverance and not giving up too soon....  It was the end of our 3rd day. Gray. Chilly. Been up since dawn, looking for the light. McWay Falls is in a spectacular cove tucked under the bluffs in the Pfeiffer Big Sur area along the famed California central coast. There were several photographers, all set up with tripods and such, waiting to see if the sun would give us illuminating rays to brighten up the falls and rock faces before its final dip below the horizon. My bet was we would get 'skunked' again, like we had the other day. Fog too thick on the horizon. No real breaks that seemed to stay and let some fabulous light through. Too tired. Too chilly. Too hungry. Let's just go find a warm cafe someplace. Our workshop leader wouldn't hear of it. Wait and see. Be patient. Be ready! Because when it decides to shine, it will be quick. I didn't bring my tripod. That sure I was that there wouldn't be any interesting light to shoot even though the scenery was breath-taking.

I was wrong.

This photo is looking northwest-ish. The water begins to glow from the 'golden hour' sunset. The seaweed sparkles like taupey-gold baubles on the water. Parts of the shoreline are streaked with soft light. 

After I snap the shot, I see people running, literally running, to the other side as the rays reach behind us.... 

This is what I see:

Two, three minutes at best. My first shot was blurry. I quickly reset my camera settings to compensate for my lack of a steady surface and take several more quick shots. Got it!

Summer lessons learned:
  • Until the sun has completely dipped below the horizon for several minutes, never give up on the possibility of a great show
  • Always bring a tripod with you
  • Pay attention
  • Get up before the sun
  • Be comfortable with waiting for the right moment
  • Be ready
  • Pay attention
  • Wait for the light

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Sketchbook Project: A universal language

This week, I had the privilege of spending a few days in Santa Barbara with an artist friend and her son. What brought us to share the adventure was the Sketchbook Tour, a mobile library of art books - coming from Brooklyn and landing in Santa Barbara for a couple of days as they toured the United States. My friend and I had both submitted art books we each made so we thought it would be cool to see our own touring books along with all the other creations, like over 27,000 of them, traveling the country in the mobile sketchbook library. (And, no, we didn't even scratch the surface of viewing the art books in this traveling library....)

Here is the link to the project: The Sketchbook Project in case you want to know the origin of this fantastic opportunity and, perhaps, join in the fun and submit your own creation. Art books are usually due mid January in order to prep for their nationwide tour. After the tour, they are housed, permanently, in the Brooklyn Art Library. For a small fee, you are sent a sketchbook and directions along with theme ideas. ANYONE can do this. Anyone. I highly recommend it.....

Maybe you can even catch them on tour near where you live. Check out the mobile tour schedule here: Where is the mobile library now?  Tell Steven and Sara I said hello!

One of the many best perks of this trip was getting to meet the co-founder of the Art House Co-op, Steven Peterman, and his wife, Sara. They are taking these art books (submitted from ALL over the world, by the way....) on tour in the mobile art book library. Just the two of them. Pretty awesome, I think. Great people. Wonderful vibe. I have already started working on getting the Mobile Library to land in my area sometime in 2014 or soon after....

A few scenes from my Sketchbook Mobile Tour experience...

Co-founder, Steven Peterman, with his wife and partner in Art House endeavors, Sara.

First, get your special Sketchbook Project library card. A bit of information, a few clicks, and it's yours! And FREE, too....

The mobile library was open from 5pm to 8pm. It was stationed in the back parking lot of a micro brewery on this day. The following day, they were setting up behind the Santa Barbara Art Museum. Lots of great exchanges as we all shared our books checked out. Friendly, open vibe. Old friends met up; new connections made.

Goes to show you, art breaks down many perceived barriers....

The event was to end by 8pm. My crew and I left around 8:30 - maybe even a bit later than that. Steven and Sara were still handing out art books for people to enjoy in the dimming light....

<---------   Here is Bonnie with her memoir art book. Her signature style - a beautiful collage of handmade and found papers with pictures and simple words of her very richly experienced life. It was an honor to read it. I understand a bit more why my friend is the special person that she is.....

(That's what art does to people. It lets you see inside....)

And here I am with my narrative book, "Fortunate Words".....each page had a fortune from a cookie with my interpretation of it in collage form ------->

<----- This is the art book touring on the shelf right next to mine. The artist is from, I believe, Viet Nam. Many of the books I randomly chose to read were from the far east.

Thank you, Steven and Sara, and everyone at the Art House Co-op and Brooklyn Art Library who has put a dream into action for the rest of the world to participate in and enjoy. Looking forward to meeting again....