Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year, Everyone!
While I haven't been posting here, it isn't as if I have been loafing. Jim and I are going to be moving and life has been quite chaotic. Packing is no fun. My nightmares include giant cardboard boxes. I am looking forward to getting back to shooting and posting soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Keeping Chickens in Oak Creek Canyon

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Early into the hike on the West Fork Trail, we encountered this wonderful old chicken coop. I loved the shape of it and its rough textures. I wished I could have spent more time exploring that part of the trail, but we had a great more to see. Maybe on the next trip.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Keeping My Feet Dry

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High on my list of things to do for 2008 is a return to the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon. This year, it was so new to me that I was a bit overwhelmed. I think I remember correctly that for this shot I was balancing on a rock in the middle of Oak Creek, thinking about keeping my feet dry (not to mention the camera), the amazing color, and hoping to leave a little space in my brain for technical matters. I look forward to the next go at it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


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One day last week, I spent some time with the original of this image from the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona. As I processed the shot, I began exploring my feelings about the scene and wanted to see if I could produce something that would convey some of those impressions. It was a Photoshop kind of day. What you see is the result of losing myself in memory and listening to impulses disconnected from literal reality. I will know more about my response, when I get around to printing it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Revived Ghost Town

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I have visited Jerome, Arizona three times now, and each visit has been to a very different town. In the late seventies, what had once been the fourth largest city in the Arizona territory was not much more than a few rundown buildings threatening to collapse and a handful of inhabitants; in the mid-eighties, there was a growing art community; by 2007, it has become a bustling little town clinging to the side of Cleopatra Hill and filled with visual treats, including a dizzying array of art galleries. From 1876 to 2007, Jerome transformed from copper mining town and "the wickedest city" in the west to charming tourist mecca.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Early Settlers of Oak Creek Canyon

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With this picture, we're back in Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona again.
I never grow tired of photographing old building or tools. But, here's a guy who truly specializes in vacant and forsaken buildings:

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ranches and Palm Trees

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After all these years in Los Angeles, I'm still taken aback by a view including a ranch-type gate and palm trees. This gate is at the stable Jim manages in Lake View Terrace.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


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I celebrated a birthday a few days ago, and my husband not only took me to to Samy's Camera Store for some new toys, but surprised me with two dozen roses!! A dozen each of red and white. We both got a huge kick out the fact that they weren't the expensive florist shop style bouquets. (Sorry, if anyone has a florist in the family and is offended.) I just had to take a few pictures to savor their beauty. Now hubby is sick, so today has been a trip to see the doctor followed by plenty of sympathy and pudding. I think he liked the pudding best of all.

In case you are thinking of making out your Santa list and you are interested in developing your photography skills, you might think about Scott Kelby's book, “The Digital Photography Book”. His Volume 2 is available for pre-order now, if you have already read volume 1.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Trees—You Know Me

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So many distractions since the last post that to go into all of them in any detail would be...well, distracting. The brief version is a couple of family members in crises, some travel for us, and some big projects in the works.
The photo above was taken during one of my favorite stops, at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Arizona. I wanted to move there. Unfortunately, you can only visit. Like so many others, I imagine, I was curious about the odd name for this beautiful park. I found this at the website
"How Dead Horse Ranch Got Its Name
The story of the park's name begins with the Ireys family, who came to Arizona from Minnesota looking for a ranch to buy in the late 1940's. At one of the ranches they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road. After two days of viewing ranches, Dad Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best. The kids said, "the one with the dead horse, Dad!" The Ireys family chose the name Dead Horse Ranch and later, in 1973, when Arizona State Parks acquired thepark, the Ireys made retaining the name a condition of sale."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day

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I am pathetically late, but I wanted to put up something to commemorate Veteran's Day. This picture from an old, rather isolated cemetery, near Del Norte, Colorado seemed an appropriate way to salute the vast numbers who have protected our freedom for so many decades.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tossing Logic Out the Window

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Of course if I had any self-discipline I would post the shots from Arizona in some sort of logical order. But, what the heck, too much self-discipline in areas where it isn't necessary may be bad for the digestion. Who knows?
This is another shot taken on the West Fork Trail in Oak Canyon. I found it difficult to cover much ground on the trail, because every twist and turn in the path revealed another amazing delight. I had to pause for a few minutes and breathe it in before I could even think about raising the camera.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our Green Friend

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This fellow was unbelievably cooperative when Jim urged him to climb aboard the stick you see and was amazingly patient for his close-up. When Jim first coaxed him aboard, I desperately snapped at the first opportunity thinking I might well get in a single shot before Mr. Grasshopper was on his merry way. To my surprise and delight he decided to enjoy his moment in the spotlight. He did keep a wary eye on both of us to make certain our motives were pure. He lives near the enchanting lagoons in Dead Horse Camp State Park in the Verde Valley. Near the end of our Arizona adventure, we camped there for two and a half wonderful days soaking up the peace,quiet, and beautiful scenery. As always, we had to move on far too soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The West Fork Trail

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We spent the better part of a day hiking the West Fork trail in Oak Creek Canyon. While three days there would have been much more to my liking, we had a limited amount of time to spend. So, the next day we explored other areas.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Wupatki Pueblo

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After a week in central Arizona, I have too many favorite pictures and couldn't decide where to begin this series. Finally, I picked this shot from the Wupatki ruins north of Flagstaff. We enjoyed the fact that we could walk around in and explore the structure. This pueblo was built by the ancestors of the Hopi and Zuni tribes, among others, and was an important trade center approximately 800 years ago.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Home Again!

We just got home from a few days in central Arizona where we had a wonderful time. We saw beautiful places that were difficult to leave behind. As usual, I am already looking forward to getting back there.
We didn't always have WiFi, so I was out of touch much of the time. I will be posting some shots soon, but tonight is about unpacking, laundry, and catching up on phone and e-mail messages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Standby and Devastation

What people in southern California are enduring during Inferno 2007 is heart-breaking, yet the behavior of most of them is profoundly inspiring. People all around the area are pitching in to help one another and so many of those who have lost their homes are managing somehow to hold their heads high and look to the future. Jim is on standby to help evacuate horses for a fellow who is a cousin of a friend. (That fellow and his property appear to be safe now. Still, like many in our part of the world, his trailer remains packed and headed out in case he has to load animals and get out in a hurry.) Monday evening, that friend of ours left dinner with us a little early to evacuate cats for a work colleague. (In that case it was only a precaution, thank goodness) On the other hand, a woman who is a key figure in the southern California endurance racing world (she and her daughter run a couple of rides) lost everything Monday evening except their eleven horses and what tack they could throw in the trailer. When I heard about a fire in the Temecula region, my heart stopped for a second. We have a friend down there with forty-fifty horses on her place. I can’t reach her, but after scanning the internet for fire updates I feel somewhat relieved. It appears the fire is far enough from her to make her anxious, but not require evacuation. San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium and Del Mar Race Track are packed with refugee humans and horses. Let’s hope the weather predictions are accurate and we get some changes fairly soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Smoky Sky and Wind Damage

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Earlier today, I grabbed the G7 and stepped outside to get some snapshots. I was intrigued by the eerie light resulting from the thick smoke hanging heavy in the sky. Within seconds, I was coughing and choking. Ultimately, I was concentrating on breathing, not getting pictures. I grabbed a couple of shots before I dashed back inside, where I gave thanks for our blessed good fortune to be a safe distance (so far) from the center of these fire-storms and for air conditioning.

The first candid shows the small band of clear sky between the horizon and the wall of smoke. The second one shows what happens when a mere fence meets a Santa Ana gust. The fence is across the street. We came through all right. You don't count small broken tree branches as damage during one of these events and so far that, along with a couple of plants toppled off tables and some lawn furniture left in strange positions is all we have on our property as evidence of the Devil Wind that swept through our part of the valley. We are deeply grateful. One report I heard said that a million people have been evacuated.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Mustang Sighting

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I couldn't resist one more of handsome Walter. The title of this post is for my friend Paul Maxim who lives in Las Vegas and actually lives near an area where he will one day see mustangs in the wild . They are easy enough to spot if you have a friend who has adopted several. Paul has something else entirely in mind.

Smoke, Ashes, and Drive-by revisited

I am ashamed of myself for complaining about anything while we are safe and much of Southern California is in ashes. It's more than unnerving to be surrounded by all the devastation. All the news we hear is bad and it promises to last for days. Almost every route out of Los Angeles takes you toward a major fire. North, West, East, Southeast—fires everywhere. Traveling due south from our house to the ocean would be the only exception. In this part of the world, "fall color" takes on an unpleasant connotation.

Unfortunately, my better nature is not winning out. I am still grousing about Time Warner. I see that I am making some crazy mistakes in my posts. And, I am not surprised. After all, I rush through the posts like a mad woman with breath held, waiting for the the connection to evaporate any second. Calling Time Warner produces nothing but accusations that we must have a bad modem, or maybe it's the router. Strange that when our equipment fails , so does that of hundreds of other customers. Coincidences abound.

At any rate, I realized today that in the post on Drive-by photography I labeled the shot as having been taken in the Eastern Sierra. Actually, it's from our June excursion to Colorado. Blogger supplies a spellchecker, but not a fact checker. So, Doug, that is why my reply to your post made no sense when compared to the original post. I am feeling stupid.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

At Liberty--Almost

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It's been difficult to check comments on my blog, much less do any posting. We are among the poor slobs suffering with Time Warner cable service. Although we pay through the nose for broadband Internet service, what we actually get is not a lot better than the old AOL dial-up. A pox on the company Ted Turner unleashed upon all of us. Ain't monopolies grand?
On a happier note, the great looking Arab gelding, above, belongs to one of the nicest people in my life. This guy is no youngster, but you would never know it by his fiery spirit. There is actually a lead line on this guy—in the interest of everyone's sanity and safety, including his own—but, the line was a nasty distraction. I couldn't resist. So, I opened Photoshop and "set him free".

Friday, October 19, 2007

Drive-by Photography

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When we take one of our road trips, I do quite a bit of what I am starting to call "Drive-by Photography". (The picture above was taken on the way home from our Eastern Sierra trip.) Since my husband is driving on those trips, I don't have to pay attention to traffic while I shoot. I shoot outside the car window, or sometimes through the windshield. Granted most of the shots are throwaways, but every so often there is one I am glad I shot.

A short while back I posted another one of my shots taken through the window and got back a fun response from a viewer who linked to his own examples of this type of madcap shooting. Apparently, Beau Harbin has done his share of photographing scenes while traveling down the highway. Now, I have learned that some of those wonderful images at Doug Stockdale's site were taken from a moving vehicle. Hmmm. I think I will apologize less now for this style shooting and consider myself having joined a growing movement. On a more serious note, Doug Stockdale has a unique style and his work stays with you. (As a bonus, he is a master of shooting from a moving vehicle.) And, speaking of work that stays with you, check out the beautiful black and white titled "Fingers", at Paul Maxim's site. Especially if you are a cloud person like me, you will be hopelessly smitten. (By the way, this photograph was taken from a totally safe and sane position according to Paul's post.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ghost Stories

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I have long had a soft spot for things that are old and connected to the past. I have spent a good number of hours at flea markets and browsing so-called “antique” stores (meaning old stuff, not nearly all of which is necessarily precious or valuable and much of which no longer works or is noticeably scarred or damaged). In fact, much of what decorates our home consists of such borrowed memories. Recently, a post at Doug Stockdale’s Singular Images got me thinking about my penchant for nostalgia.

Specifically, I realized that I really do believe in ghosts. Thinking about ghosts this afternoon is, of course, an interesting coincidence, since Halloween is just a few days away. However, I’m not talking about ghosts that lurk in the attic and scare us in the middle of the night. I’m not talking about the Casper type of ghost or the ghouls that populate those scary Hollywood movies designed to give you nightmares.
I am thinking about the ghosts who drift about in places where they once lived, worked, and sometimes played. These spirits aren’t threatening and they don’t do evil things. But, the voices of those spirits do get inside my head. They make we wonder about their lives, their loves and losses, their triumphs and defeats, their struggles and where they found the courage and strength to continue. The buildings they built, the tools they worked with, and their means of transportation fascinate me. This certainly explains why one of my greatest passions is photographing old abandoned buildings, vehicles, and various belongings. Looking through the viewfinder and viewing the pictures later, I feel the reverberations of the people who lived with those things and I am stirred by that sense of connection with those who came before me.
There seems to be so much about contemporary life that serves to detach us from our reality. In what is perhaps a peculiar sense, the connection with the past helps to ground me in the present. Our lives go by so quickly and our footprints disappear so quickly. But, perhaps something of our spirit does linger. The ghostly voices of the people whose things I am photographing or holding in my hand remind me of my humanity and serve to keep me both humble and grateful. Yet, they also remind me that I have untapped resources and they challenge me to continue.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Addictions Come in Many Forms

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This is the sort of thing that sometimes happens when I decide to spend just a few minutes playing in Photoshop. (Really. Promise. I won't be much longer. How much time have I been doing this?! That's not possible. Are you sure?) I still say there should be a warning label on Adobe's product. "This software can be addictive for certain personalities. Side effects include lost sleep, damaged relationships, poor work habits, reduced productivity, depleted bank account, large numbers of destroyed brain cells during the learning process, and, in some cases severe dependency. Use with caution and at your own risk."

Sunday, October 14, 2007


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This lines in this one remind me of a fireworks display. The colors, on the other hand, make the image feel cool and soothing rather than packed with excitement. Just one of the many treats at our tiny local park where I take my almost-daily walks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mountain Tops

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By standing atop top a bench on our deck, I can get a good look above the rooftops and telephone wires at the mountains across our valley. This was one of those glorious fall days embellished by stunning cloud formations. When I took this shot, I was reminded of a post I read on one of my favorite photoblogs (It may have been Paul Maxim's site --I stop by there regularly to enjoy seeing the world through his eyes). He was mulling over the perverse nature of photographers. To paraphrase the observation that caught my attention, most people might look up at the sky on a given occasion and say something like, "What a gorgeous day. Not a cloud in the sky." The photographer standing next to that person is thinking: "Drat. Not a cloud in the sky. Oh, well. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day."

Check out Paul Maxim's blog and enjoy his beautiful work

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What a Face!

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How could you resist a face like this—and why would you want to? Jim and PJ are lucky to have such a handsome friend.

Luminous Leaf

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Another reminder that it's all about the light. You will find the larger version of the picture in the "Outside My Window" gallery. Have a lovely Tuesday.

Monday, October 8, 2007


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On the day I shot this, I was experimenting with adding an extension tube to my Canon 50mm f1.8 lens (often called the nifty fifty) for some macro work. I enjoy focusing on detail when I am exploring what's "outside my window". This tiny flower has bloomed on one of the many spider plants that flourish in our back yard. Come to think of it, creepy-crawly spiders flourish in our neighborhood as well. Hmmm.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Another Tree in My Life

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You didn't think I could go very long without posting a picture of a tree, did you? I fell for this one at Silent Knight Farms. It was rather late in the morning for shooting, but I couldn't resist getting out and seeing if I could beat the odds.

Borrowing a View

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I thought it was time to change the subject. So I went back to the Eastern Sierra file for this one.

When we spent the night at Brown's Town Campground in Bishop on the the way to Bridgeport, this was the view our golfing neighbors were enjoying. All we had to do was look over the top of the open wire fence and we, too, had a clear view of the mountains to the northeast.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Walter, the Black Mustang

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This mustang, one of the herd at Silent Knight Farms, is having fun stretching his legs. I especially enjoy the fact that in this shot you get a good look at the distinctive brand that is often hidden under his mane. (Be sure to click on the photo for a closer look at the brand.)
BLM Mustangs are freeze-branded when they are captured. If you know how to read the markings, the brand identifies details such as the animal's age, registration number, and the area where it was gathered. I definitely don't know how to decipher the brands, but I think Walter is from a Nevada herd.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The G7 again

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I have been back in town for several days, but recovering from a little bug that slowed me down. Before we left town, I shot this with the G7 during my evening walk. While I find I am not using my pocket camera all that often, on certain occasions it is perfect.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


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This monument at the entrance to the state park provides, for the visitor, fascinating background on the preservation of Bodie, the once "wild and wooly" gold-mining town in the the Eastern Sierra region of California. I am a newly converted and enthusiastic fan of this state park--you can probably guess that from all the photos you see here featuring old structures, wagons, etc in the town. I could have shot there for a week and still found things to intrigue me. I hope you will click on the image above, and when you get to the gallery please stick around to see some of Bodie, as well as other Eastern Sierra scenes.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Photographers Supporting Photographers

Doug Stockdale, who posts some haunting images at, takes the time to lay out a description of a photographer’s exchange in the southern California area. It sounds like a terrific organization.
Stick around to browse after you soak up the valuable info. You will never again view those roadside memorials without thinking of Doug and his homage to those poignant scenes.

I'm Not Alone in My Madness

If my post titled "Training for New Careers" and the comments about shooting from a moving vehicle, made you smile or shake your head, check out Beau Harbin's "Speeding Monument" post today at It seems I'm not the only one who sometimes can't resist shooting even when it's not practical to pull over and take that "serious" shot.


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When we stopped for gasoline on the way to Bishop from Bridgeport, we were treated to this view just across the 395. Not a bad scene to look at while the tank refills.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Training for New Careers

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On the way back from Bridgeport, I started teasing my husband that I was working on my technique for shooting out of helicopters. That would explain all the shots I took through the windshield or hanging outside the window, as Jim guided the RV along the 395 at roughly 65 miles per hour. This one wan't quite straight and there was more than one throwaway shot, but it was a great learning exercise. My technique for quickly setting exposure improved another notch. This experiment also increased my appreciation for IS lenses.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rain, Rain, Stay and Play--Come Again Another Day

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This afternoon, I stood inside the door and deliriously shot pictures of plants covered with beautiful raindrops. Yes, I am giddy. You can't imagine what an amazing and welcome sight this rain has been to those of us in southern California. It's been a long time since we had anything more than a fine mist--just enough to to remind of what we were missing. And the sound! As exquisite as any symphony I have ever heard. Could this be the beginning of the end of this drought? That's something to dream about tonight.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Road To Bodie

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I have added several images to the Eastern Sierra Gallery and I hope you will drop by to visit. (If you click on the image above, you will be taken to the higher resolution version of the shot and you will be at the gallery.)
I have been raving about the region and advocating a trip to Bodie, the ghost town near Bridgeport, CA. I thought I would mention that if you make the trip, Bodie is about twenty miles off Highway 395 and you will have to endure scenes such as the one above for the entire trip. (Believe me, it will get you through even the three miles of dirt road at the end.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Hoosegow

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Based on what I have read about Bodie, it was a fairly typical gold-mining town—meaning the jail was rarely empty.

Although you can't walk into this building, you can peer through one window to get a fairly good look at the cell door. I managed to poke my lens between the bars and get a shot with the help of a little fill flash.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


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I took this shot after sunset while we were at an RV campground in Bishop, CA. While you are at the Eastern Sierras Gallery, look for a couple more shots from that evening (including the rising full moon).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


This is at least a day late, but i just got it today and had to pass it on to viewers. Take a moment to look and you won't be sorry. It is a beautiful tribute.

Leaning Outhouses of Bodie

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Plenty of structures in Bodie need a little help remaining (somewhat) upright.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9-11

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I decided to remember that September 11 in 2001 by posting one of my favorite photographs of Old Glory. I'm old-fashioned enough to get a little weepy each time I see her. Long may she wave.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Night blossoms, Frustrations, and Lessons Re-learned

One my favorite things about this journey with my camera is the continuing high of learning as I discover more about photography and, simultaneously, explore the creative process. For several decades, I have been teaching acting and writing about the acting process. Part of my fascination with my work has always been the endless exploration of the nature of creativity. Tuesday night, I had one of those painful and confusing, yet invaluable learning experiences that one hopes never to forget.

For a few days, I had watched the progress of the night-blooming cactus ensconced in its massive pot outside our backdoor and waited for one of two buds to open. Timing is critical, since this amazing white flower opens when night falls and begins to close with the light of dawn, never to open again. The splendid celebration lasts one glorious summer night, then it’s gone forever. I had hoped to do something different the next time I had the good fortune to participate in the one-night fling of the pungent white blossom. Late Tuesday, I checked the ripest bud and I was convinced that it would thwart me by blooming on a night when I would be unavailable to shoot. At about 10:30pm while I sat robotically processing images, because I was too tired to get up and get ready for bed ,my husband announced, “Your cactus has bloomed.” Rather than relishing what should have been welcome news, I was almost paralyzed by disappointment. Why at a time when I was already too tired to move? Why had I not checked immediately after the sun went down? I began to stumble about looking for the lights, flash, (the batteries were dead, of course), off-camera cord, reflector, tripod, and—most of all—some energy and serious motivation. I swore at myself—again—for not having reorganized gear since returning from the Eastern Sierras trip and for never having dealt with buying a reflector stand and some type of light stands. By the time I finally had my gear set up (something that, ideally, would have been completed a full half-hour before the flower opened), I couldn’t fully connect with my original purpose for shooting.

To make matters worse, for some crazy reason (exhaustion I suppose) the dull logical part of my brain took over, and I struggled against dreadful obstacles to light every petal evenly, get all the elements in focus and just finish the wretched job. All this with no end of frustration. I had failed to check my CF card and filled it with two test shots. Another delay. There was no way on earth for me to turn the pot toward a light source. The plant is at least ten feet tall and I have no idea how much the pot weighs, but I wasn’t going to find out. I experimented with off-camera flash trying to solve the seemingly hopeless lighting situation. Every shot looked over-exposed, under-exposed, or out of focus. The flash cord was annoyingly short. I didn’t have enough hands to do everything. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Once, I smashed my right index finger between the camera and tripods, because in my cloud of fatigue I loosened the wrong knob. Yet another reason to give up. The pine tree was in the way on one side. A second cactus dared me to move too far in another direction. I wasn’t prepared and I began seriously trying to wriggle out of the shoot. I just wanted to go to bed! Nevertheless, some stubborn part of me knew I had to follow through on my resolution to catch the next “grand opening” and to move beyond the basic “catalogue shots” I had gotten of a blossom last summer.

After fumbling through what was never fun for one moment, I finally felt I had satisfied the inner demons who had demanded that I take the photographs and fell into bed about 11:30pm tired, dejected, and certain that the entire procedure had been a waste of time and energy.

The next morning, I was in no mood to view the results of previous night’s debacle. Why ruin a perfectly good morning with a reminder that I have along way to grow? However, a kind of morbid curiosity ultimately won out. Why not end the misery and put it behind me, I reasoned? Lo and behold, when I unenthusiastically opened one lone frame in Lightroom, I was shocked to see that my subconscious had somehow managed to take over and there before me was an image that looked very much like what I had imagined two weeks ago. Sure enough, viewing another three images demonstrated that—almost in spite of myself—I had managed to get some elements in focus, not everything was over or under exposed and I had succeeded in seeing the night-blooming cereus in a slightly different way this time. While my intellect had served mostly as an impediment, my subconscious—like it or not—had obstinately persisted with the assignment I had given myself. Self-discipline is a wonderful thing. Sometimes, years of training won’t let you stop or get in the way even when you are determined to throw in the towel. Sometimes it leads you by the nose regardless of how much you squirm and squeal.

The experience was exhausting and humbling. Still, I wouldn’t take anything for the beauty and inspiration of the lesson re-learned. Trust the creative process—a concept I preach to my students and strive to live by. I read, recently, that John Houston the film director once said some of the best moments in his films were the results of accidents. While my product from Tuesday night’s exercise in frustration and discovery may not fall into a class with Houston’s iconic work, the lesson reflects his keen and honest observation. While there can be no doubt that Houston knew his craft, and committed always to full preparation in anticipation of nothing short of excellence, he knew that, in the execution, one must let go and trust the unconscious—the creative voice/vision—to function as the brilliant “heat-seeking device” it is and allow it to find its target. Most of all, we must embrace the unexpected. We must abandon once-and-for-all the desire for full conscious control over every element of the creative process. In a nutshell: never stop learning; do everything necessary to prepare; and then, in the moment of truth, Get. Out. Of. The. Way.

I hope you enjoy the night-blooming cereus.

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Monday, September 3, 2007


I suppose I will use the holiday as an excuse for beginning the Eastern Sierra Series with some "silly" stuff. We spent four nights at Mono Village near Bridgeport, CA and were amazed at the number of critters who freely roamed the campground. Jim spent a portion of one evening "training" chipmunks to take peanuts from his sock. The next three shots give you an idea of his success.
"the bait"
"Hmmm. Peanuts. Yum."
"Is that all you've got"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What I am loving about the G7 is I can throw it over my shoulder and carry it even when I go for my walk. Sometimes I am at the park rather late, and a couple of nights ago I couldn't resist this low-light shot because the sky was so beautiful.

It was a lovely, peaceful time at the park that evening, and I particularly enjoyed the people-watching. There are always two or three soccer games in motion, and I usually see a few people barbecuing and mothers (sometimes fathers) walking with very small children. The night I took this shot was a a wonderful example of the warm feelings of family that sometimes dominate the space. The day's heat was behind us, and my mile-and-an-1/8, twice around the perimeter, seemed short that evening.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Trees, Trees, and More Trees

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We just returned from a few days in the Eastern Sierras, and I haven't yet gotten into photo processing. In the meantime, this shot has been in the files for a long time, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to continue this "cooling trend".

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

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This tree is in an area where I never grow tired of shooting and the trees there are wonderful year-around—leaves or not.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cool and Green

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Browsing through files from Kern River country makes me start thinking about when we might be able to spend some time there. Especially on a day like today with the high temps here, I think how lovely it would be to relax by the Kern. Maybe sometime in early fall? Hmmmm. Jim, we have to talk.