Thursday, December 10, 2009


(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

You might say that I have been traveling the last couple of weeks. But, in my case, not the sort of traveling that probably first came to mind. Yes, there have been the usual one-day errand-runs to Bakersfield and Los Angeles—journeys to the city to stock up on on various and sundry types of supplies—but, most of my time has been spent on excursions of another type altogether.

The photo here represents one of those departures. Back when I was living in Los Angeles, I occasionally took on assignments to photograph people and their horses. This wasn’t a regular thing, since I was working full-time running the acting studio; but, it was quite satisfying when I found someone I really wanted to work with. With so much to photograph here in Bear Valley Springs, I had thought that I wouldn’t miss that part of my photography. I reasoned that with our horses never really out of sight here, I would be more than happy just taking pictures of them and I wouldn't need to make pictures of other people and their horses.

I was wrong. It turns out that I miss recording those stories about that relationship between human and animal. Finally, I dipped a toe in the water, and now that I have done a couple of these sessions, I am eager to further explore the possibilities.

And, yes, I continue to spend huge chunks of my waking hours in an exploration of lighting with speedlights. Talk about fun! I am having a blast. My test photos are not something I want to post on my blog—or anywhere else for that matter. I now own North Amerca’s most photographed teddy bear, and I have taken pictures of The Husband that I could publish only if I didn’t value my life. Nevertheless, I am learning and no longer intimidated by terms such as ETTL, channels, groups, and ratios. Moreover, shocking as it is to me, sections of my 580EX flash are beginning to make sense to me.

Anyone who has read more than five posts on my blog has picked up on the fact that I am more than a little obsessive, somewhat disturbingly moody, and totally unreliable. Consistency and steadiness with communication are not part of my profile. Therefore, I’m confident that most folks realized when I disappeared that Anita was simply off on some tangent again. I always feel a little guilty about not at least posting a note to all my blog-world friends whose fellowship I so much enjoy. At the very least, I could have put up some type of note—at least “Gone fishing” or something, but the fog had invaded my brain and, as is often the case in these situations, I was totally tongue-tied.


  1. Obsessive I understand, moody I understand, somehow any description of me uses the same two words. Tthe images that come from such are worth the wait.
    The relationship between horse and human is the real story to my mind and I am glad to see you telling those stories.

  2. Ray - Thank you for the encouraging words. Sometimes I really envy those who hum along at any even pace. I tend to move in lurches, then plunge into deep ruts to remain stuck for much too long.

    When I looked at the images from this session, I realized just how much I missed doing this. I am delighted that these stories appeal to you.

  3. So good to read one of your posts again. First, I love the image and the sepia feel to it. I can see why you miss taking those type of images.

    I've come to realize as we celebrate more birthdays we begin to know ourselves better and gradually become comfortable with that knowledge. And, yes some of us are obsessive, moody, unreliable, and in my case add the words procrastinator, undisciplined, etc. We'll stop there. :-)

    I'm also glad you have the presence of mind not to jeopardize your life by publishing any images of the Husband! Of course now we all will worry you may have gone too far the next time we don't hear from you for a few days.

  4. Monte - The longer I live the more resigned I become to who I am. I can can continue to reach, but I don't strain as much as I used to. And, thanks for reminding me of a couple of adjectives I could have used to describe myself.

    Not to worry about my welfare in regards to posting photos that ought not be shared. I know the limits. Besides, as long as I "play nice", I can photograph without resistance. Sometimes, even an exhausted, or busy eating, or aborbed in an old movies model is better than no model at all. ;)

  5. Anita: You've heard it before, but I must repeat it ... you are quickly, not slowly, becoming a geek. I love it! I see you stretching out and trying new things and using all types of cool words like: " ETTL, channels, groups, and ratios." Not only are you using the words, but understanding them, too. Soon, you'll join a Strobist group, be making your own lightboxes and whatnot, and who knows what else. Impressive, ma'am! Impressive.

    Now, about that photo. Gorgeous! You do look stunning standing next to the horse. ;-)

    I'm really glad that everything is just peachy and that you are happily distracted learning new things.

  6. Paul - Geekiness, from me. Whuda thunk it? I still don't know about the DYI part, though.

    I will be sure to tell our friend, Elya that you think "I" look great. She really is a lovely young lady—and not just physically. We have become fond of her in a short time.

    I confess to being easily distracted, but all this learning truly is consuming me.

  7. Anita - First, welcome back! It sounds like you have some wonderful projects underway. You should feel very good about your efforts and progress.

    The photo has such harmony between the horse and the young lady. From the color of the her hat matching the color of the horses mane, the color of her hair and coat matching the coloring of the horse, even her boots matching the hooves -- beautiful balance, symmetry and color tones. Then there's a sense of peace and acceptance between them. I like!

  8. Earl - Thanks. It was a great "trip", but it's nice to be "home". With all these projects, I have to discipline myself to be patient about the end of winter. I can't afford to be wishing away that many months of my life! For now, I will continue to learn and build skills along with confidence.

    I am delighted that you like the photo and you pointed out many of my favorite things about this picture. Elya was absolutely wonderful to work with—totally focused, relaxed, and willing.

  9. Oh, of cource I understood you were out fishing. But I know what you mean. I would love to be able to get into photography like you do, being able to live and breath images to that extent that I shoot a teddybear until it screems for mercy. Hm, that sounded cruel, if you dont know we speak photography... But you do. Hope we get to se some of your work with composed light later on. Until then, welcome back from the fishing.

  10. Wow, I had a closer look at that image, and what an image! The light is fantastic and the lending composition really makes it all. Good work!

  11. Ove - And, I wish I had delved into photography years ago, while I didn't have as much time to devote to it. I would be much further along by now. But, better late than never and now I'm convinced that there are some positive things about retirement.

    Your comment about the teddy bear screaming for mercy gave me a good laugh. Fortunately, T-Bear's eyes are never dull; he doesn't squirm; and, he's always smiling. Not bad for an unpaid model.

    Thank you for those comments on the photograph. It's a wonderful bonus to produce an image that connects with others.

  12. Pretty cool duster coat! Glad everything is OK.

  13. Mark - I have long admired those coats. Everything is hunky-dory, in spite of being swamped.

  14. When I first saw this image, I thought it was the cover of a western novel, just stunning and gripping at the same time. We should talk about your acting studio at some point. I forget that was your background; it seems like you've been photographing a long time from the quality of your work.

  15. Chris - Thanks a million for your comments. If this image says to you that there is a story behind it, I am one happy camper. This is what intrigues me so about photographing people and their horses.

    Your comments you got me thinking even more about how my photography is related to teaching acting. I hope someday to have a better handle on that. When I think about these relationships, I really do wish I had picked up a camera earlier. Still, I suppose we encounter the experiences we need when we are ready for them. You have given me a lot to chew on today, Chris, while I continue with the latest chapter in new deadlines.

    By the way, if you got me started talking about teaching acting, you might never shut me up.


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