Friday, August 6, 2010

The Vermillion girls

I recently had the opportunity to spend my morning with Jessie, Mandy and Emma for shoot at Kensington Metro Park. Although it was incredibly hot and muggy out the girls had a great time. They were incredibly well mannered and it was a pleasure to spend some time with them!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Take Me Home

Okay all ... I'm not one for excuses (who am I kidding?! I totally am!) ... I am fairly certain my Nikon submitted a missing person's report for me just the other day!

However - I have a few really good reasons for being MIA lately. I have been busy hoe'ing all of our belongings on Craigslist, secretly throwing away clothes a certain man hasn't worn in 7 years and refuses to get rid of (KIDDING - kinda ...), walking hundreds of dollars worth of shoes, clothes, towels, sheets and dishes across the street to the Salvation Army Donation truck every 10 minutes, and drawing up diagrams to determine how on God's green Earth we are going to be able to fit my dear, dear Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in to the car.

You see in exactly 92 hours (insert expletive) Myself, Matt and Duke will be stuffed in to our Commando with all our Worldly belongings like a clown car at Barnum & Bailey and heading East on Interstate 80 for oh the next 2436 miles or so ...

I expect to see a lot of this for a good 2200 of the said miles ...

I hope to document our journey in great detail so be sure to check back next week for an update. And in the mean time ...

pray for us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Little black (& white) picture

If you ever took a peek inside of my closet you would be hard pressed to find a bounty of vibrant colored blouses. I adore emerald's and ruby's, but prefer them in gem form on my fingers rather then dyed in to my top. I'd say I am the queen of the basic black anything. Dress, slacks, t-shirt, pullover -- no, it's a cardigan, but thanks for noticin'! You probably won't find me rockin' Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat out to the bar on a Friday night.

So when I was scanning through my pictures the other day and realized they were all colorized I knew I had to even the score.

Years ago I owned your standard college bar, tailgating approved point and shoot Olympus FE-190. It did the trick for a year or two, but I am afraid the thousands of crashes it took to the pavement on my stumbles home from Firehouse (R.I.P.) and the few hundred rum and cokes that were spilled on its delicate frame didn't aide in extending its precious life. I loved my point and shoot, but was always disappointed that it didn't allow me to take pictures in b&w. I mean sure I could edit the photos after the fact and transform them to grayscale, but I never felt like it did the trick.

Enter -- love of my life #2 (Hi Matty!!)

The black and white shooting option on my Nikon is fan-freaking-tastic! The contrast, the contour. Oh la la, I'm in love! Shooting in black and white was more challenging for me, but I was up to the test. Below are two of my favorites. Let me know what you think!

An espresso and bottle of Pellegrino on a lovely spring afternoon outside of an adorable French Bistro! I enjoy how the sophistication and simplicity of the classic beverages is translated through the pure black and white contrasts.

This fantastic light fixture was hung outside of Brooks Brothers. I really enjoy the contrast of the matted white bulb against the hard metal fixtures.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wordless Week in Rewind

Each Monday I will post various photographs from the previous week - no jibber jabber included!!

Without further ado ... May 17th - May 23rd 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Through my lens: Part V - LIFE

"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

So maybe Ferris Bueller wasn't a scholar, or a Noble Prize winner, but my best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night ... that he might be on to something with that quote.

... I digress ...

Oh yes, about life. It does move pretty fast. There are probably 5 - 10 times a day when I am somewhere, whether it be the local produce market, the dog park, or just plopped down in my recliner watching Duke chase his tail in the middle of the living room for oh say 5 or 6 minutes when I regret that I am unable to Edward Scissorhand my camera to my hand.

(seriously how cool would that be?!)

But that is the tricky thing about life. It just happens, whether we are prepared or not. It sure as heck isn't going to pause, wait for me to get up snatch my camera, check the settings, get all Camillo Villegas style

and then begin again on cue. But sometimes, believe it or not, I am prepared! And when that moment happens and I get that shot I am floating on air!

"Life" isn't simple. It's not carved in to marble like the gorgeous Grecian statues at Villa Montalvo. It is fluid and evolving. So in some aspects my life photos bring an extra skip to my step and manipulate my silly grin a little bit wider. Below are just a few of my favorite photographs. Milliseconds of my life caught in the instant snap of my shutter.

I feel like I should add a disclosure to this photo. Something like "Animals in this picture are not as they generally appear. Some jumping, flailing and chaotic behavior is to be expected." That would be a more apt example of the wonderful, polite and loving dog known affectionately in this house as Dukey would be acting on a regular basis. I can't remember how I managed to get him to sit there without running up and trying to eat my lens, but I am willing to bet it involved Skippy peanut butter, or a giant knuckle bone. Or perhaps it was just Matt in the background grasping the nape of his neck and threatening him with his bark collar :) Either way, he looks incredibly handsome and well behaved which makes my day!

This little hearbreaker is Adrian. We met at the playground. I think I propositioned his mother with free babysitting until the age of 18 so we could spend everyone glorious sun drenched day at the park together. He loved the camera more then Heidi Montag. He would waddle over, scrunch down right in front of me and repeat over, and over, and over ... "CHEESE. CHEESE. CHEESE." It was adorable and so is he.

Have you heard the slogan "Great milk comes from happy cows, happy cows come from California." Well, this cow clearly didn't get the memo. He doesn't look quite so thrilled. I think he needs to get a lesson in etiquette from Bessie. I found him on the side of Highway 1 in Big Sur, and I will tell you what, if that is where I was living I'd be happy as a clam, ahem - cow. What he lacked in enthusiasm however, he made up for in persistence. He'd win any staring contest any side of the Mississippi. He glared at me the entire time, following my every movement. The piercing look in his eyes is incredible. I never imagined an image of a half ton steer, calf deep in manure could make me so happy, but this does!

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And if you can't join 'em, or are an 'ol curmudgeon afraid of breaking every bone in your body like me, take a picture of 'em. This little girl could teach Tony Hawk a thing or two! She was up and down that ramp as if she was born with a skateboard affixed to the soles of her feet. What I love most about this photo is the focused look on her face and the shadow from the mid-afternoon sun on the metal pipe. She could teach me a thing or two that's for sure!

Through my lens: Part IV - LANDSCAPES

It has come to my attention recently (thanks in part to the copious number of Pure Michigan and California - Find Yourself Here television spots) that I was born and raised, and now stake my claim in two of the most spectacularly gorgeous landscapes in the good 'ol U. S. of A.!

We I always manage to find something regarding where we I live to complain about. The pristine blanket of glistening snow draped over the towering pine trees makes for an arduous commute to work in which we I cure the entire way at the driver ahead. The glorious sun that streams between the slats of the mini blinds in the early morning and warms up a cloudless afternoon becomes a nuisance and "wayyy too hot" when the desire arises to enjoy a dinner on a restaurant patio. Pesky mosquito's there, heavy fog here ... the grass is always greener ...

The seasons change, leaves come and go, crops bear the fruits of their labor and then are consumed. But the landscape of the land on which they affix themselves remains relatively unchanged and spectacular! defines a landscape as:

"The category of aesthetic subject matter in which natural scenery is represented."

which I thinks suits that aspect of my photography quite well.

Years from now a certain Meyer Lemon tree (which I happen to find delightful) which showcases its bounty in the front lawn of a neighbors home may fall victim to a cold winter frost or be torn down to erect a new taqueria or Subway. Or perhaps the rugged terrain of costal Big Sur may erode from the harsh Pacific gales further inland or collapse upon itself in an epic earthquake. However, the photographs of their lives will remain forever.

Highway 1, notably the stretch through Big Sur, is often referred to as the most beautiful stretch of highway in the United States and has been quoted as being "the most spectacular meeting of land and sea in the World". I couldn't agree more. I love the way in which the heavy costal fog creeps up along the rugged land and the pure teals of the ocean water.

Vibrance. Life. Enough said.

The adorable community which I call home has a fantastic farmer's market each Sunday morning. The fruit, vegetables and flowers are the most fresh and in season picks you can find. Each stand is covered by the sellers with an awning to shield the shoppers and workers from the prominent pulse of the glaring sun, but I love the way in which it managed the peek through and fall upon these vegetables.

Through my lens: Part III - FLORAL

I never thought when I began taking pictures that I would become so consumed and borderline obsessed with photographing flowers. However as the seasons turned this year, and the rain gave way to glorious sun drenched afternoons I became enchanted. The sleepy buds which decorated the limbs of hibernating trees spanning the Bay Area woke to the warmer days and enchanted my eyes and my lens.

What I enjoy most is the life which is exuded through the colors and shapes of the various flowers. I look forward to the new blooms which will awaken with each new season and until then below are a few of my favorite floral shots thus far.

I came across this Calla Lilly while at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga. What I find most beautiful about Calla Lillies are their strong form, causing them to almost always appear "fake" to me. I love the contrast in this photo of the stark white against the rich green foliage in the background.

This photo (along with many, many more of my floral shots) was taken at the Heritage Rose Garden in San Jose. It was shot in direct sunlight, which I often find quite challenging. As I mentioned earlier I love the ability of flowers to emit life in photographs which I think this does exquisitely. The stamen resemble little bugs which I adore!

There is a wonderful trail here in San Jose which is spotted with thousands of these flowers along side. They must be very sweet and delicious flowers because theses bees were workin' hard for the money! I love the vibrant purple against the deep greens and actually find myself slightly less terrified of bees for a moment!