Thursday, October 29, 2009

.hello there!.

Howdy ya'll! Ha ha! For those of you who have been wondering where I've been, I have actually been putting up posts on my photoblog. My hope is to have more to share there as I seriously need to get off my butt and start shooting again. I have so many ideas in my head that I need to work on bringing them to light. Confidence. It's been something that I have been lacking and honestly, it's been paralyzing. But things are changing. I'm changing. For the better. Perhaps this metamorphosis that I keep saying that I'm in is almost over. Maybe, real soon, I'll be able to fly again.

.on a mission::nashville.

So I need a project. Seriously. I am more motivated now than ever to take on something that will keep my camera from thinking that I've abandoned her. Today, I began reading the chapter titled Photographing Places in David duChemin's book, Within the Frame, and it got me to thinking. Scary, I know. Now most of you know that I currently live in Nashville, Tennessee. Already you've got words floating in that noggin' of yours (I've lived here too long!) like "country music", "The Grand Ole Opry", "honky tonk". I know you do because that's what comes to mind when I say Nashville. With that said, there are SO many images out there that reflect what most people perceive of this town. I think that's why I haven't shot any more images of Nashville. In my mind I was aiming to get shots that people could relate to. Suddenly the word "postcard" comes to mind. "Okay, so here's a photo of another music venue downtown." Really, do we need more? Granted, downtown is a colorful place, especially at night on a weekend. NashVegas, as some folks call it. This time though, I want to capture this town differently. I want to see Nashville without the rhinestone studded sun glasses. I want YOU to see the Nashville that I see. But in order to do that, I will need to slow down, stop looking and start truly seeing. How about you, when was the last time you truly explored where you live?

Monday, October 26, 2009

.rodney smith.

"Composition is to photography what rhythm is to music. It is about symmetry and proportion, resonance between the photographer and subject; where everything fits just so. Almost like iambic pentameter in poetry, or natural cadence and body rhythm. . . It seems to me losing a sense of composition is synonymous to having an irregular heartbeat." ~Rodney Smith

In the photography world, there are a small handful of wellknown photographers out there that I would love to meet. Fortunately, most of them are still alive. One being a Mr. Rodney Smith. I first learned about Rodney Smith while flipping through the pages of a scrapbooking magazine many many years ago. A young lady had taken a self-portrait of herself leaping over a bale of hay in the same style as an image taken by Mr. Smith. After doing some searches, I found out who this man was, and I've been a fan of his photographs ever since.

Today, I found out that he has started blogging on his website. If I didn't have enough respect for the man already, I am even more intrigued and grateful that he has chosen to share his images and his thoughts with the rest of us. After reading his entries, I am reminded again of why I love film, and why taking the time to make a picture is more important than having a memory card of full of worthless images. As an aspiring photographer, I am truly motivated by the words he shares with each entry.

"To say a photographer has a vision is to say the photographer has something unique to say about the world. Why do some photographers have something unique to say, when so many others just shoot pictures that are general and lacking vision? Most people would say it has to do with talent. Maybe. But maybe not. Maybe it has nothing to do with talent. Maybe it has to do with the ability to express one’s feelings. The person who presents a strong vision has figured out a way to express his or her feelings, while others are struggling to do that. Talent, then, becomes not so much artistic talent, though that may be a good part of it, but rather emotional talent.

This applies to music as well: much of music, obviously, is a technical skill, as is photography. However, the difference between a good musician and a great musician is, I think quite obvious: emotion. . ."

I would hope that you would head over to his website to view a few of the images he is displaying in his new book, The End. Perhaps you'd want to stay a little longer, maybe even make a cup of tea, and spend a little time in his company. I am glad that I did. Now if only I had $800!


allows ones heart
to flourish
once again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

.deeply moving.

When I saw this video on a recent post by Rowena, I was absolutely captivated. A brilliant Ukrainian artist, Kseniya Simonova, beautifully creates these emotional scenes with sand animation. In this particular clip, she brings us to remembrance those who lived and died during World War II. . . please, stay and watch.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

.pumpkin pie.

.pumpkin pie.

Today was the kind of dreary, chilly, need to cuddle up on the couch with a good book kinda day. Wuthering Heights perhaps. But it was also a "let's bake a pie!" kinda day too. So I did the latter. I realized, in the midst of gathering all the ingredients, that I didn't have a rolling pin. What the heck happened to my rolling pin?! I scanned my kitchen for anything that would work. Empty paper towel roll? Not sturdy enough. Can of green beans? Not long enough. Hmm. . . oh wait! What's this? A wine bottle. Perfect.

I ended up using the recipe that was attached to the Libby's brand of canned pumpkin. Not bad. I've had better though. Do YOU have a favorite pumpkin pie recipe?

Friday, October 16, 2009

.JPG mag::Inspire Me.

I have been meaning to put up a post about this magazine for awhile now and FINALLY, here we go. Many of you may have heard of the photography publication JPG. In January of this year, the popular magazine announced that due to economical reasons, the publication would shut down. Of course, fans of this magazine would not except that and decided to do something about it. Another example of the "power in numbers" JPG was happy to let folks know that they are back in business. Although the actual publication of the long overdue Issue No. 20 is still in question, JPGs online site is cracking with folks sharing and voting for images to be included in upcoming issues. With a long list of themes and a handful of monthly challenges, JPG Mag online makes for a wonderful source of inspiration. To join the thousands of photographers who make up the JPG community, sign up for a free membership here.

October Challenge::Orange


Inspired by JPG Magazine's October Challenge. . . Orange.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

.take time to.

Take the time to be courteous.
It is the mark of a gentleman.

Take time to play with children.
It is the joy of joys.

Take time to think.
It is the source of power.

Take time to play.
It is the secret of youth.

Take time to look around.
IT is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to laugh.
It is the music of the soul.

Take time to read.
It is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to be friendly.
It is the road to happiness.

Take time to love and be loved.
It is the privilege of the gods.

Take time to dream.
It is hitching your wagon to a star.

Take time to work.
It is the price of success.

Take time to live.
That is what time is for.

~The Los Angeles Herald

I found this worn, discolored, newspaper cutout within the pages of my Great-Grandmother Sylvia's copy of Streams in the Desert. I must say, I most definitely needed this today. Thank you, Grandma.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

.a mini picnic.

Today, the little one and I made a trip out to the lake to have a mini picnic. Orange juice, a handful of almonds, and sandwiches made up of wheat bread, Bonne Maman's Cherry preserves and peanut butter. Yum! The sun wasn't shining today as it had the last time we came here. Also, it wasn't so desolate. We had the whole place to ourselves. . . so quiet. . . too quiet. It kinda freaked me out. ha! I didn't take many photos. As a matter of fact, aside from some of the short videos I took, our lunch was the only thing I shot. I was too nervous. Isn't that ridiculous? Had I been there by myself, I think I would have been fine. But when you've got the wee one with you, "Mama Bear" comes out, ears perked up, and ready to mawl anyone who comes too close. Ha ha! We did have a good lunch though! ;o) How about you? When was the last time YOU went on a picnic?

.just 3 more days.

The long awaited movie based on Maurice Sendak's classic children's book, Where the Wild Things Are, will finally make its debut this Friday. Yay! Care to join me in a Wild Rumpus?!

Where the Wild Things Are Official Website

Monday, October 12, 2009

.to feel deeply.

Connection. Passion. True existance. These are things that I have been looking for in my life, especially here lately. Things that I have been looking for in myself. As the days pass, I find myself scraping away layer, after thick layer, the dead skin that has formed this hardened shell over my heart. More and more I realize just how much I miss the feeling of feeling. . . of feeling deeply. I believe many of us wonder how we have reached this point of numbness. At some point in our lives, a decision was made and from that moment on, many more decisions were made, each one bringing us closer, or further from who we truly are. Then we reach another point in life when we want to pick up all the little pieces that have fallen along the way, hoping that they will lead us back to home. Home, to where our heart is.

There is so much more I want to say tonight, but I don't have quite the right words. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

.chicken jalfrezi.

Ask anyone in my family and they will tell you that I will eat just about anything. I LOVE food! I love that food is a wonderful and colorful way to be introduced to a new culture. Perhaps this is why I find myself dreaming of running away with a Mr. Anthony Bourdain, to become a foodie on one of his No Reservation trips. Take me with you, Anthony, for I too long to sink my teeth into some good ol' street food! Tonight, I decided to be adventurous! Before heading home from work today, I found myself buying a cookbook on Indian dishes. Now I have only had Indian food twice in my life. Both of those times, all I can remember was the plethora of aromas and distinct flavors doing this number on my tastebuds! After scribbling down some items that I needed (like many of the spices) I headed over to a local Indian grocer to make my purchase. If you have ever shopped at an International market, you will find that many of the spices (and produce) needed for a particular dish is usually less expensive if purchased there than at your regular grocery store. With a sack full of spices, curry paste, and some Ovaltine biscuits for the little one, I headed home to make this delicious and fairly simple dish: Chicken Jalfrezi. Mmm. . .

Chicken Jalfrezi

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast fillets
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4-inch piece fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry paste
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra to garnish
plain rice, to serve

1) Skin the chicken breast portions and remove any visible fat. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes.
2) Heat the oil in a karahi, wok, or heavy pan and fry the cumin seeds for 2 minutes, until they sputter. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, and ginger and fry for 6-8 minutes.
3) Add the curry paste and fry for about 2 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, ground coriander, cumin, and salt and add 1 tablespoon water; fry for another 2 minutes.
4) Add the chicken cubes and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and chopped fresh cilantro. Cover the pan tightly with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken cubes are tender. Garnish with sprigs of fresh cilantro and serve with rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe from Best Ever Indian Cookbook, by Mridula Baljekar, Rafi Fernandez, Shehzad Husain and Minisha Kanani.

Friday, October 2, 2009

.caught up in a fine frenzy.

The latest addition to my ever expanding iTunes collection is the newest album by A Fine Frenzy, Bomb in a Birdcage. I have absolutely fallen in LOVE with it! Alison Sudol's gift for poetic lyrics and kick ass tunes can only mean that when this fiery red head merges these two together, you are left with nothing less than fabulous music! Below is a clip of her song, Blow Away. Yes, the video leans a little more towards "cheesy", but the song is just too much fun not to listen to!

.breezy days and pumpkin bread.

Every window in my home is wide open, inviting all the cool Autumn breezes to flow through every room with ease. I LOVE it! I love the sounds of trees rustling in the wind, birds singing their little hearts out, an ice cream truck playing . . . is that the theme to the Godfather? These are sounds that remind me so much of home. . . bringing me back to childhood memories of afternoons spent in my Tutu's kitchen in Kailua. What shall we bake? I ask. The answer today is Pumpkin Bread.
Pumpkin Spice Bread
3 c. sugar*
1 c. vegetable oil*
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (15 oz.) can of solid pack pumpkin
3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 c. water*

In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine dry ingredients. Add water to pumpkin mixture. Pour into two greased loaf pans (9-in x 5-in x 3-in). Bake at 350˚F for 60-65 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely.

*Alterations: Based on some of the reviews on this recipe, I did some alterations. Instead of 3 cups of sugar, I used 1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar and 1 cup of packed light brown sugar. I used non-sweetened applesauce in place of the vegetable oil. Lastly, 1/2 cup of orange juice was used in place of water.

Recipe found on