Thursday, August 20, 2009

Turn and Face the Strange

World on fire
Where: Somewhere between Great Missenden and Amersham, UK
When: November 1, 2008

My last day living in London, and I'm off to take the dog to the Heath - another beautiful morning.

As a heads up - I may not be able to post for a week or so, as it may take me a bit to get an internet connection, the computer set up, etc. But I'll be back, hopefully with some new NYC based material! Hm, did I pack the camera cord.... better check that.

PS. Title from David Bowie's "Changes", obviously.

The Nazgûl are totally coming for us

The Nazgûl are totally coming for us
Where: Somewhere between Great Missenden and Amersham, UK
When: November 1, 2008

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's All Good

Where: Solterreno, Vall de Laguar, Spain
When: July 2, 2009

Light In the Dark

Where: Solterreno, Vall de Laguar, Spain
When: July 2, 2009

No time for critiques today. It's my last full day in London, and it is gorgeous. Back from walking the dog on the Heath, now we're off for breakfast and farewell city wandering.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Where: Solterreno, Vall de Laguar, Spain
When: June 30, 2009
What I like: the colors, the curving stems below the flower head, and the grass in the background looks painted.
What I don't like: I'm not sure, but it feels fairly bland to me, which is why I've hesitated to post it in the past. I both like and dislike the washed out colors. I think it would have popped more if I had a less shallow depth of field, so the back part of the flower head could also be in focus.

Two Tulips

Where: Queen Mary's Gardens, Regents Park, London UK
When: April 18, 2009
What I like: The textures, the background, the white tips
What I Don't Like: I might revisit this in color when I get my computer with the originals back. I don't remember what the colors were anymore, but I think deep reds and greens. Could be nice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Greek Art

Greek Art of the Fourth Century BC
Where: The Met, NYC, NY
When: April, 2008 (Date stamp was a bit messed up on this camera - this is my point and shoot)
What I like: The composition, i spent some time making sure the title of the exhibit was in the photo at the right place.
What I Don't Like: Meh. I'm not feeling that picky today.

Summertime, and the Living's What?

Where: Bradford, Vermont
When: September 12, 2008
What I like: The subject, the timing, the little wisps of hair around her head
What I Don't Like: The shaft of discolored flare, it could probably stand to crop some off the top.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Where: Somewhere between Great Missenden and Amersham, UK
When: November 1, 2008

Reaching Out

Where: Solterreno, Vall de Laguar, Spain
When: June 30, 2009

Not up for thinking about critiques today. Found out yesterday I have mono, which probably explains the fact that I've been ill almost every month this year. I was apparently relapsing, because I never rested for long enough to kick it. So I'm not allowed any activity bringing my heartrate over 100 for the next three months. I'm extremely bummed. And scared. Fall is a difficult season for me, when I am likely to be at my most depressed and anxious. And Fall without endorphins is going to be even harder. It's a good thing I started meditating and doing yoga this year, as I am going to be relying on them for sanity in the next couple of months.

But I'm happy to have a diagnosis, and I'm happy about the prospect of no longer being sick every month.

Of course, I had what can only be described as a temper tantrum about it all yesterday, resulting in headachey, weepy exhaustion. And today, just exhaustion.

Luckily, I have pet support. Piper curled up against my back, the Kitten against my shins, and Pandora on my pillow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang
Where: Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY
When: October 17, 2007
What I like: The simplicity, the subjects, the movement
What I Don't Like: I think it needs a gentle crop. Too much black on top.

I desperately want my camera back. I thought I could handle not having it for a while, particularly since I wasn't going to have any of my processing tools, but I MISS it. I'll check in today and see if I can get it back tomorrow, maybe.

Feeling lost and depressed last night and this morning. I've been sick all week, and am in that awkward recovery phase where I feel fine lying in bed, and therefore bored with lying in bed, and am starting to fuss about getting ready for the move, and seeing the people I want to see, but as soon as I get up and start to try to do something or go somewhere, it all falls apart. I hate days where I don't feel like I did anything meaningful in them.

This is my last full Thursday living in England. It's raining. The last several days, it has been gorgeous at 6am, then overcast and raining from 8am on, so I'm hoping that the trend will be reversed today. I'm having mixed feelings about going home - lots of change and upheaval, but I'm more excited than nervous about almost all of it. I'm sad for the dog, I hope she'll be ok with NYC. I'm worried she'll miss getting to run around in crazy circles, or having fields and woods to explore, or getting to be off leash. She isn't even going to be allowed on the grass to roll around in it! I'm pretty sure dogs don't compare the present to the past the way we do, but I will, and already feel like I'm letting her down.

Speaking of which, I'm going to try to muster enough energy for a half-way decent walk for her, then get myself some coffee. Coffee always makes everything better. Maybe I'll feel better enough today to do some yoga! That would be such a big deal.

Blackout Survival Essentials

Blackout survival essentials
Where: Bradford, Vermont
When: Oh my god forever ago - August 26, 2007
What I Like: The composition, the candlelight
What I Don't Like: The noise, but I think any camera would be hard pressed with those lighting conditions.

This was such a fun weekend - lost power from Saturday evening through Monday morning. It was awesome.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Barcelona Beach

Barcelona beach
Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: January 11, 2009
What I Like: The focal length, the sky, the colors
What I Don't Like: I probably went a bit TOO nuts with the contrast slider. The colors are AWFULLY bright. It was just so... slidable! I can't be held responsible!


Where: Barcelona, Spain
When: January 11, 2009
What I Like: The reflected shapes and lines, particularly in black and white
What I Don't Like: I think, if I could do it again, I'd like to experiment with getting more of the reflection - maybe splitting it half and half? Or even treating it like a stitched together pano, so I could have fit the top of the trees both in the top and the bottom.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lily Pond

Inside the Botanical Gardens
Where: Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, Scotland
When: March 30, 2008
What I like: The focal length (20mm) gives a unique (for my type of shooting) perspective on the subject. I like the slight soft focus feel it's got (the lens was fogging up), and the greens, blacks and blues.
What I Don't Like: Nothing jumps out at me as obviously wrong. Suggestions for improvement are always welcome, so if you see something let me know!


Where: London, near Victoria Station, UK
When: March 6, 2009
What I Like: The lines, the light, the brick wall
What I Don't Like: There's a harshness to the light that is both appealing and not appealing to me. If I did it again, I might play with trying to get more detail in the opposite building.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Must For Every Truly Distinguished Household

A must for every truly distinguished household
Where: Leeds Castle, UK
When: March 17, 2009
What I like: The subject, the muted colors, the composition
What I Don't Like: The lens distortion. I'd also like to have gotten more shelves in there.

This is kind of an inside joke. My dad was an English teacher (now retired), and has four or five multiple volume dictionaries, including the OED, of course. He bequeathed my husband and me with our own copy on our wedding day.


Where: Sorrento, Italy
When: March 19, 2009
What I Like: The composition, the curve of the road, the clouds on the mountains
What I Don't Like: Should have brought the exposure up, it's a bit too dark.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Turn the Key

Where: Hudson River Park, NY, NY
When: July 7, 2009

I've been having a reoccurring dream. I'm living in a house with dangerous, frightening people, who behave in violent and unpredictable ways. And I decide that I've had enough, so one day when I'm alone I pick a room as deep in the house as possible, and I gather my pets, and all the guns and ammo I can find, and systematically go through the house and lock every window, and lock every door, and I go down the last hall, locking door after door behind me, until I'm in the last room. I lock that door, feeling the cold metal in my hand and hearing the bolt slide in place, and I back into the farthest corner of the room and wait. And then I wake up, sweating, the sick taste of fear in my mouth.

So I had the dream again recently, but this time the ending was different. I lock the last door, and crouch beside it, the key pressing into my fingers. I start to panic, realizing that somehow the people have learned about my rebellion, my betrayal, and are on their way back to the house. And I leap up and rush to a window, thinking I'll escape into the surrounding woods - I can get there before they come home and I can just pick a direction and run and run. But then I remember my pets, and while I could take Piper I can't take the cats, and I can't leave them. So I go back to rushing around the room, and the time to make my decision gets shorter and shorter.

Suddenly, pressed against the door again, frantically listening for the people's return, I am aware of my breathing, the feel of the door against my cheek, and the key in my hand. I stand up, and turn the key, and walk down the hall. I open the next door, and the next. I walk to the front door, turn the key, and step out into a cool, crisp fall day. As I head for the driveway, I hear the growl of a car's engine, tires crunching on gravel. The late day sun slants past the corner of the house, marking a blinding path. I hear car doors slam, voices shouting. I put my hands up, and step into the light.

My body burns like fire, clean and bright, and the dream slowly fades away.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Old Things

Where: Crap. I can't remember. These are the doors to the gates of a castle somewhere in England, and they are apparently some of the oldest wooden doors of their type in the world, or in England, or something.
When: May 2, 2009
What I like: The angle, the details, the DOF and the fact that they are old.
What I Don't Like: The composition could probably be improved. Maybe a more deliberate angle, perhaps a bit straighter, or a bit more tilted?

Catching Crickets

Got 'em
Where: Bradford, Vermont
When: The Before Time, in the Long Long Ago. Otherwise known as September 12, 2008. I'm running out of material here, bear with me.
What I like: The depth of field, and the pose
What I don't Like: Kind of wish you could see the top of the net, might make it more obvious what's going on. But maybe that's not necessary.

Well, a new camera may or may not be necessary. Got the quote back from the repair place, and they seem to think that I'll need to replace the sensor to fix the hot pixel issues. Which they also seem to think will cost 460 POUNDS STERLING. Given the original estimate of 65 quid, this was a bit of a shock. It is also, conveniently for them, nearly the cost of a brand new D90, which they also happen to sell. This is convenient for me too, cause I'd LOVE a brand new shiny camera. But I still haven't decided whether I just want to go for the D90, or if I want to go for the D300. I'm not 100% convinced on the benefits of going for the D300 over the D90 - the D90 has a lot of the same features, and is smaller and lighter. Hrm.

Having just had an enormous sum of money spent on me for my birthday, however, I'm thinking I'll just suffer with the occasional hot pixel and the annoying noise levels until the end of the year, and take the time to do some research and figure out exactly what I want.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Where: British Museum, London, UK
When: March 18, 2009
What I Like: I'm not sure, I'm having trouble defining why I like this one, I just do. I think I like the shadows, and the poster, but I'm not sure quite what it is that made me take the shot, and why I like it now.
What I Don't Like: I'm not sure, but there is also definitely something I don't like about this, but again I can't define it. Sigh. Indecision, everywhere!!

Harder Than It Looks

Where: London Buddhist Center, Bethnal Green, London, UK
When: June 24, 2009
What I Like: The subject, the depth of field, the light and the textures, and the balance in the shot between the focus and out of focus areas.
What I Don't Like: Maybe I'd like the background to be brighter, a little more interesting? Maybe I'd like more color? But overall I'm happy.

20 minutes of meditation first thing in the morning is working well so far. In that I'm doing it. The meditation itself is frustrating though, for some reason when I do it on my own, I feel a lot of tension in my abdominal and chest muscles, which is a feeling I associate with anxiety, stress and panic. So I'm working on disassociating the feeling from the emotion, and on exploring the sensation and getting to a place where I really grok that all I'm feeling are muscles contracting. There isn't anything bad happening, I'm just sitting, watching my breath and feeling muscles contract. Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don't.

What's funny is that when I go to the zen center, or sit with my friend Magda, I don't feel this. It's just when I sit by myself. And the pattern of thoughts seem to be similar in both places, so I'm not sure what's causing the tension. I'm trying not to focus on the cause, just on helping myself recognize that physical sensation is not emotion, and does not have to be responded to WITH emotion. If that makes sense.

In other news, I'm 30 today! I have to change my profile description! So far it feels like being 29. My husband put an enormous amount of thought and secret planning into the day, and as a result I'm off to one of the nicest spas in London for the whole day! Then we're going to have a delicious meal in a fancy French restaurant. Best husband ever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Where: British Museum, London, UK
When: March 18, 2009
What I Like: The patterns, the light, and the abstractness
What I Don't Like: I wish it were more focused in terms of abstract pattern, I feel like it's a bit too much on the edge of just being a random shot of a ceiling. Particularly with abstract shots, I've learned that you can't go half-assed - either the subject is a pattern, or the subject is a ceiling, but both together can be a little blah.

Set My Spirit Free

Where: Queen Mary's Gardens, Regents Park, London UK
When: April 18, 2009
What I Like: I like the desaturated post-processing, it gives it an antique, moody feel, and I LOVE the texture on the petals - it looks like brush strokes, and that and the shallow DOF creates a feeling of movement in an otherwise static subject/image.
What I Don't Like: I actually really love this one, I don't think there's anything I'd change. It's funny, when I first uploaded it, I kind of dismissed it and thought it was pretty boring, but now that I'm looking at it again, and in a larger size, there are so many little things about it that I like.

Title from Arcade Fire's song, My Body Is A Cage, which I happen to be listening to at the moment. I love this song, it reminds me of an incredibly intense moment when I was 16, where for the first time I fully grokked how LIMITED my experience is to this one perspective. I felt utterly trapped in my body, and there was this sensation of my self crashing against my ribs, wanting to explode out and infuse everything around me so that I could see and feel what everything else was seeing and feeling in that moment.

I still have moments like that, it scares me sometimes that no matter how well I know some of the people in my life, I can only know the shallowest part of what they experience, so that in some ways they may as well be complete strangers, with behaviors and reactions that are impossible to predict.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Unexpected Perspectives

Where: Vajrasana Retreat Center, Suffolk, UK
When: April 21, 2009
What I Like: Reflections are fun. And I like the sky.
What I Don't Like: I wish there were more surface objects, to make the reflection part of it more obvious. A different angle, farther away, maybe. Also, more space around the Buddha generally - I'd still keep it to the right of the shot, but more sky/water would be nice.

Glow in the Dark

Where: Queen Mary's Gardens, Regents Park, London UK
When: April 18, 2009
What I like: The textures, and the glow of the whites, the composition
What I Don't Like: If I had my computer with Lightroom, I'd take another look and figure out what aspect of the editing is causing the slight halo effect around the white tulip.

Feeling dark but hopeful today, so this picture seemed appropriate. My friend's child recently had a bad accident - during a game he took an elbow to his forehead, which resulted in a fractured skull. He has had to have surgery to insert a titanium plate, and frequent CAT scans to be sure there isn't any hemorrhaging, and is in a lot of pain. He is an amazing child, sensitive, caring, intelligent, funny and absurdly talented. My friend is one of the best mothers I know, and Ashley is proof of what a wonderful job she's done.

The prognosis is excellent, and the most recent report very encouraging. I can't imagine being in her place, she is such an amazingly brave person. I spoke to her at 4 in the morning her time, and she was calm and collected, her priority at all times to project confidence to Ashley, while also being completely honest with him about what was happening. They are both remarkable people, and I'm thinking about them constantly.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rush Hour

Rush Hour
Where: Whitehall, London, UK
When: March 18, 2009
What I Like: The dude on the horse! I love that statue in this context - he looks like he's wandering down the street with all the cars, his head tilted like "What ARE these moving, metal contraptions?" I also love his poncy hat. Photographically, I like the moment and the composition.
What I Don't Like: So, I think that the silhouette feel works here, but I wish I had a touch more detail in the foreground, to be honest.

Dropping off my camera for repair (getting hot pixels, arg. And have some dust spots I can't get off), I might pick up another camera to rent, see how I like it. I'm thinking the D300, just for kicks.

Barren Branches

Where: Regents Park, London UK
When: May 28, 2009
What I Like: The bokeh, the DOF, and the way branches look when they're pointed straight at you. I also like the composition.
What I Don't Like: I don't know, I'm not getting any strong "man, I wish I could have done x" vibes here. I just woke up, maybe it's too early for being critical, I tend to be fairly mellow and happy first thing in the morning. Particularly when I have both the Kitten AND Piper cuddled up next to me! Which I do. Total bliss.


About Me

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New York City, United States

About This Blog

This is my first blog attempt. It hasn't been kept up over the last year, for some reason being pregnant really ate into my creativity, and I picked up the camera very rarely. I am thinking about starting it up again, but am not sure what direction to take it in.

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