I wish you a very Happy Anniversary on your 20 years today. I miss you more than I ever thought possible. You are always in my thoughts and always by my side in the meetings.
I love you,
(Your sponse and very, very good friend)
Here’s the deal I’m making with myself. I am going to post a photo a day from now on.
I went out to shoot this morning. I’ve been curious about why in the last 9 days I continue to see 20 or more egrets hanging out in the trees by the lake in from of my office window. Yesterday I got the ah HA when I looked closer at what I thought was just play between the birds around the water’s edge. They were mating. I can’t stop watching out my window now.
This morning I woke up. It was cold. I entertained the thought of bundling up and going out to photograph the birds by the lake’s shore. I ate breakfast instead. But I kept looking at the birds. I finally put on some warm clothes over my pjs and carried my tripod and camera out. Thank god the golfers hadn’t teed off yet. 200 shots later I knew I didn’t have one good shot. They should have been great but I could see in the LCD nothing looked crisp. Seeing the photos on my computer confirmed what I had suspected. CRAP. I deleted them all.
I worked, or tried to work, on some other things I needed to do but found myself setting up the tripod and camera again. This time it was the little birds coming to the bird bath just outside my window that caught my attention and heart. I set the camera up right by my computer. I put the shuttle release cable into the camera and continued working. The birds came back and I was ready. Click, click away. Lots of photos later, I uploaded the card to my computer. All out of focus. Damn.
By 3:30pm I hadn’t exercised (AND I hadn’t gotten much work done). I changed and left for a walk around the neighborhood. With my camera of course. I knew one of my upcoming classes was called – Reflections. So I walked down Turnberry where I knew I’d see lots of lakes. None of the water shots I took did it for me.
Click here to view the rest of the photos on my Flickr photo site. Look in the Turks and Caicos folder. This photo of Quincy is a teaser to get your interest up. Quincy and Alex were in one of the evening shows dancing with a group of about 6 to the song….uh oh, I forgot the name…it’s something like Leave your Hat On. Ray just told me the name of the song, You Can Leave Your Hat On.
Today is my sister Ginny’s birthday. Happy Birthday Gin! How is it possible I have a sister 55 years old?
There are four of us Sher kids. The age order is: Me (the oldest), Don (2.5 years younger), Leila (6 years younger) and Ginny (8 years younger).
Back to my newest obssession and love…….So there has been some online photography course dialog that I’d like to share (minus names of course). Now all of us students can see each others’ work and critiques. The following correspondence was posted by someone in the class following something I’d posted online after I’d read my photo critiques:
“Okay, I knew it was time to stop when I started shooting the bubbles
on a raw egg. I have had SO much fun with this assignment, which was
perfect for an LA Sunday in Oregonian weather. And I second Linda
Jeffers’ comment about not being able to put the camera down to get
back to real life! Now…the search is on to find some neon.” (Neon lighting is our next assignment)
I, of course, wrote this person back saying, “I’m so embarrassed. I DID shoot the bubbles on the raw egg as one of my 3 Kitchen Art photos!” She replied to me saying that she had not seen my posted egg photo before she wrote what she did. I thought it was funny. I’m usually the one doing something like that.
Ok, one last photography related comment and then I’m really going to get into my day my REAL life….
Here is my friend Susan Lowery’s result of play with my mechanical pencil shot. She is an ARTIST!
In two days, January 30th, my dear friend and sponsee, Celine, would have turned 20. She really wanted to make it to 20. I wanted her to “make it” for much longer….I miss her very much. I’ll call her mate Cliff, and then I’ll call my sponsor, Celine’s 1st Grandsponsor and friend, Jane on the 30th.
Now I’m really going offline (HA!) to get my thoughts ordered and on paper in an outline to help me know what my next actions will be for the day and week. I WILL exercise today. I WILL. Really. I probably better do this now then.
Just up- the critique from my teacher, Carol Leigh
on the 3 photos I posted a couple of days ago……. I haven’t been this nervous in a long time. I don’t know why it was so scary but I sat for 10 minutes with my finger on the upload my photos tab when first posting these photos to be critiqued AND viewed by the other students (many professionals).
What a terrific concept, a terrific idea,
and a terrific presentation.
Your colors are vivid and bright and
catch our eye immediately. You arranged
your pencils like the rays of the sun,
choosing to have the focal point — where
they all come together — in the upper left,
pursuant to the Rule of Thirds. And you
absolutely filled your frame with
repeating patterns and color, cropping in
just perfectly so we don’t have any pencil
“ends” in the shot to take away from the pattern.
Clever you, choosing yellow and purple paper for your background, and making sure the yellow
was on the purple and the purple was on the yellow.
What about the lighting? Is it too harsh? Are there ugly dark shadows and annoying hot spots?
Nope. Your lighting is bright, but it works well in this case. Yes, you have shadows, but they
add to the repetitive pattern that you created, and I think they create a lot of interest.
What about depth of field? You opted for relatively shallow DOF, i.e.
not much in focus from front to back. Is your depth of field too shallow?
Nope. Where the pencil points come together — your focal point — is
in focus, which is good. You’ve made sure that your focal point is sharp
so we know exactly where to look. The focus becomes shallower as the
pencils come toward us, but it’s not SO shallow that we don’t know what
Your first class with me. Your first picture. Your first critique. See? Not
so scary, is it? You should be pleased with this photograph. I wish I’d
thought of doing it. (Note to self: next time at Staples, pick up some
purple and yellow pencils . . .)
NOT BIRD BOOKS
I love what you did here. I like how the books look weathered and rich. I like the subtle colors
in the bird sculpture. I like the combination of the red and the green. Nicely done.
What about the lighting? It’s light and
bright and looks good. There’s a shadow
on the right (created by the bird) that
adds an extra dimension to your picture.
What the light has done, however, is it’s
created a little bit of glare on the spine of
the red book, which is just a hair
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem.
However, look at your Wordsworth book.
Look at the book under the red one. And
look at the dusty colors of the bird. All
this adds up to a certain richness, opulence, oldtimey
feeling, like something we would see on a
shelf in one’s den or library. Such cheerful lighting
on such darkish, moody subjects can be distracting. I
think that if your red book had been a bit more
weathered, the spine might not have been so
reflective and so prominent.
I’m being incredibly picky here, however. You set
this up very, very well.
So what about the composition? I’m thinking that the
items of interest are the three books and the bird. But
it looks like there’s a lighter-colored book to the left
of Wordsworth. And there’s a fair amount of empty
space to the right of the bird. What if we were to
crop in a little bit, limiting your photo to just the
essential bits? Here’s what I mean (middle left). And
then, what if we were to darken the foreground green
area so that it adds to the dark, rich, weathered tones
in the rest of the picture? Here’s what I mean:
(To darken the green, all I did was take
the Burn tool and whiff it across the green.) I couldn’t load Carol’s cropped shot so I quickly duplicated what she had done to show me the difference .
Good picture, good set-up, good idea.
Yeah, I wish this
were me, too . . . The best part about this picture is the
combination of her golden leg against the blue water. That’s
where our eye immediately goes first. Then we look around to
see what else is in the shot.
This is where we begin running into
problems. Is the bit of fabric at the
end of the chair a dress, a towel? Is
she wearing the top part of her
bikini (speaking for certain
members in this class)? Is this
indeed a female? What’s the dark
thing in the sand in the lower lefthand
corner? Most of her body is in
shade and her head’s relatively
So although your photo has a beautifully lighted element in it, there’s so much other stuff going
on, so many questions that arise, that we’re distracted from the golden leg and it loses its
We all do this. We see a lovely form, beautiful lighting, great colors, and we don’t pay attention
to the rest of the surroundings, to the detriment of the key element in our shot.
Bottom line? Your first two photos, the ones that you set up, were your best. Your outdoor “as
found” shot turned out to be your weakest. Who woulda thought?! I think (based on your “gotta
go” signature and the photos I saw on your website, that you’re a zoom, zoom, zoom sort of
person. This class is going to slow you down a bit, but I think it’s going to make you a much
better photographer as a result. You should be pleased with what you’ve done so far. Thanks for
Turks and Caicos was great. I only wish I were younger so I could have gone on the trapeze like some of the others. I also wish I’d known to bring the very specialized camera card for the new underwater camera. The SD cards I brought didn’t fit. Snorkeling was wonderful but frustrating not being able to take photos.
We knew many of the speakers on the trip. It was wonderful hanging out with Vince and Pat Y.
The weather was perfect – sunny, breezy just like you’d expect and my skin finally felt normal from all the moisture and humidity.
The vacation required a vacation. We went non-stop all day long: walking, meetings, eating 3 sitdown meals a day, at the bar ordering and drinking like water Pina Coladas. I gained 3 pounds.
All in all it was a wonderful trip but now home, as you might suspect, I feel behind in all the to do’s and projects. My photo class started the day before I left for the Bahamas. All week since I’ve been home, I’ve been reading all the critiques from the student’s first and second assignments. This last week I probably shot 400 photos to get the 3 I posted here. Well, really the 2 I posted here. The beautiful young lady on the beach was supposed to be my example of the complementary colors orange and blue.
This is the photo I worked on for about 3 hours today. Setting up shots is something I’ve never done before. The photo would look ok in the camera preview, but once I uploaded the shots to my computer for viewing I noticed one book upside down, vertical and horizontal lines askew and inconsistent, unflattering lighting.
Off to bed to get some sleep before meeting some of the Mission Hills CC hikers for a 5 mile hike on the PCT tomorrow morning early. We’ll head north from the I-10.
Ray and I were totally packed when we left the desert. I had everything I needed. But………NOT everything I wanted. So Ray and I spent the day shopping, our favorite thing to do. First stop was Michael’s where I bought an embroidery hoop to create a diffuser for macro shots. Next unplanned stop was Adventure 16. This is the sporting good store that was a 2 minute drive from where we lived in Tarzana. Kevin, a manager 11 years ago helped me spend my money and get my backpack weight down 5 pounds for my first “real” backpack trip – the John Muir Trail in 2001. A-16 was a great store back then. Not now.
After spending 10 minutes in A-16 while buying some luggage locks we drove to REI in Northridge. Ahhhhhh. A good shopping fix. I bought two pairs of synthetic pants (good for travel – quick drying after a wash!), a new backpacking cookbook (I don’t have this one), a little compass and spot light to hook onto my new larger fanny pack.
In the parking lot, on our way to the car, Ray spotted a Penguin Yogurt place. He not only spotted it but he made me aware of it. Now it’s nearing lunch time. So I say, “Let’s have a yogurt, skip lunch (cause yogurt is less calories than lunch) and later have an early dinner at California Chicken Cafe (our favorite especially when staying at the Courtyard Marriott like we are).” Ray says, “Ok.” Three minutes into eating our yogurts outside in the sun at a little table, Ray and I discussed the yogurt. Almost at the same time we said, “This isn’t doing it for me. I’m not liking this yogurt and look, the consistency isn’t even right.” He said, “I’m not going to eat it.” I panicked and said,” Let’s eat half.” Ray said, “That’s old thinking….that’s Fred and Jim in Chapter 3!” I knew at this point Ray was done eating the yogurt. I started taking big spoonfuls of the carobs and French Vanilla yogurt, just in case we weren’t going to eat again before the early dinner. Then we both threw the remaining 2/3rds of our yogurts in the trash. You have to understand. Ray and I have a long standing understanding that we aren’t going to eat yogurt. So, today there wasn’t a cloud on the horizen……
Off to Costco to buy me a cheapo “pretty” watch that I could also swim in – my favorite the Swiss Army Watch.
Heading back up to Ventura Blvd. I almost convinced myself I’d not bought the right watch and I still needed to go look for another.
Ray had his mind set on getting a book, he ended up with two books from Borders. While Ray was in Borders I sat in the car and changed out everything in my small fanny pack to the new larger REI fanny pack, of course attaching the new compass and light-thingy to my new fanny pack set up (that can hold EVERYTHING I’ll need at Club Med.
I’d had my toes and nails done at home before we drove into LA but I didn’t like the color I’d picked. I wanted red on my toes and a french manicure on my hands. We were right around the corner from my old haunt Rose’s Nails when I asked Ray if he minded if I went in for manicure and pedicure? He didn’t mind because he had it in his mind he needed a new watch. He’d forgotten to change out the Rolex watch and didn’t want to wear it in the sea. So Ray dropped me off and went down the street to the watch place he likes.
I have my nails done, Ray has his new watch. Now I want to go to where he bought his watch and see if they have a different, you know, better watch than the one I bought at Costco. The man in the watch shop assured me my watch would be ok to a depth of 100 feet of water. Good. Now I’m satisfied, but could he please take out a few links in the new watch as it hund too loose.
We were exhausted from our day and now needed to get dinner out of the way so we could go back to our hotel. Yummy dinner at California Chicken Cafe. Dodi called while we were eating. We will be on our vacation when she is having the memorial for Mark. Too bad.
I spared details on all the times I asked Ray to stop the car so I could photograph Complementary Color, my new photo assignment. Tonight I was very disappointed in my shots. Boy is it hard to get the lighting right, find orange and blue, yellow and purple and red and green good shots.
Ray and I are about to go to bed. It’s 8:15pm. Our alarm is set for 2:30am. Our flight at LAX is 6am.
Here is the Club Med we’ll be at for the next week.
If it’s possible I’ll upload some photos while we are away.
I’ve been trying to remember how to post photos to my blog from my cell phone camera. I don’t think I can. But I am able to post cell phone photos to my Flickr photo account which is accessible from this blog. To see the photos I’ll be posting using my camera phone to Flickr.com, click the link for Flickr.com at the top right of this blog over the small photos. Right now, since I’m home, I’ll post this photo here.
I learned some new things I can do with the photos I take with my cell phone. The photo of Ray’s clothes to be packed and the scribbles on the photo of these clothes tells the tale.
Why didn’t I lose those the 10 pounds I’d intended to lose before this trip……. where I’ll be in a bathing suite probably 70% of the time? Probably for the same reason I couldn’t stop myself from going into the See’s store today to buy lollipops for the trip. It’s an old idea, needing Sees lollipops on vacation while you’re reading. If you’ve been to See’s you know they always give you a free piece of chocolate of the day. I did NOT decline their generous offer. I also yogi’d my way into one of my favorite pieces for free too.
Off to read the travel books on Turks and Caicos.
photo 1- 5::00pm last night. A pose before the 3 of us – Me, Sandi, and Cindy head off to dinner before our 6:30 meeting.
photo 2- On our way to dinner last night, I noticed the color changing quickly. I hoped we’d make it to the intersection where I knew I have a better view of the color change. I stuck my camera out the window for this deeper-than-red-ever sunset.
photo 3- Today, Cindy sitting on the floor with her P-Touch working on the files. My mood picked up as Cindy got closer and closer to completely relabeling all of my files. Cindy did a great job. She and I also set up some new files in anticipation……..of what?
photo 4- …..of the upcoming photography class I’ll be starting while I’m away in the Bahamas!!! I’m so excited. And now I’m ready to walk through the fear of what others might think and begin to learn more. All of us (Carol’s 25 students plus some auditing) were asked to introduce ourselves briefly and share our photography experience. From all the student’s introductions I’ve been reading online (in this Yahoo Group our teacher Carol Leigh set up for us all) almost every one has taken Carol’s classes more than once. I’ve checked out some of the other student’s photo websites. They are REALLY good. And they still keep taking Carol’s classes.