Monthly Archives: September 2008

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{tough day}

we had a tough day.  had to do a lot of talking.  made me think of self control and delayed gratification.  how do i instill in my 6 yo patience if i myself have a hard time with this issue?  first grade is surely a glimpse into the frustrations of ‘real life’, isn’t it?

such ironic juxtaposition

{it is all in the interpretation}

the amazing thing that separates a photograph from art is interpretation of a scene.  To me, a photograph is merely a split second record of facts.  But art?  is up for interpretation.  In art, fact can be totally irrelevant.  Anyone can see the scene the way it lays out in front of the naked eye.  It takes an artist to view that scene from a different point of view, to record that image, and then to let that image take you to the magic land of fantasy.

{neptune festival}

my dear friend, terri, dragged me out of the house today.  and i am thankful because i really needed to get out.  i actually felt close to normal this afternoon, so my detox seems to be progressing nicely.  😉

Now, keeping track of two boys at a crowded boardwalk fair is not for the faint of heart.

we visited all the dogs in VA Beach today, i think.

we met lots of new friends, actually

had some yummy treats

we didn’t get everything we wanted

but we still had a good time

all in all, the Neptune Festival was time very well spent.  However, I think I am pretty easy to please.

I did have to add extra butter and salt to the kettle corn.  If I can’t have diet coke I should at least be allowed to indulge in one of my OTHER vices, right?

{shocked by how crap i feel}

i am in detox.

wow.  i decided to quit diet coke.  kind of on a whim.  i do lots of things on whims.  anyhow, mostly for health reasons.  i am now over 35 and i have to care about myself.  attempting to eat more ‘whole’ foods.  i have been drinking diet coke since I was in my teens.  several per day for over 20 years.  i didn’t think it would be a big deal.  why would it?  often the only diet coke i drink is caffeine free.  i fulfill my caffeine addiction with coffee.

that was over a week ago.

excuse my language but i have felt like ass for the entire week! at first i thought it was the champagne on friday night.  not so much because it keeps going and going.  so i did a little googling.  turns out if the information i have found is true – it could take weeks – even a month – to get over this!  but i am a full week in.  i am not giving up.

i admit during a previous ‘migraine’ incident i was drinking coffee but NOT soda.  i noticed that i felt better with a diet coke.  like freaky immediately.  i was an aspartame addict and i didn’t even realize it.  of all the things to be addicted to…. talk about NOT WORTH IT.

i cannot believe i used to let Evan drink that stuff.  one per day.  good thing he isn’t in withdrawal with me!

{for jennifer}

a photo that could never have been taken with any other camera.

ok.  i have bragged enough times about this photo.  yada yada yada.  i was standing on the second tier of the eiffel tower long after dinner and the wine bottle was on E……  No light.  at all.  at. all.  my camera couldn’t even find me to focus on me. Hand held by yours truly.  Passersby were looking at us like we were INSANE. But then when it could finally focus I would pop off 15 photos at a time.  click click click click click…….

ISO 25,600.  Yes, that is TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED.  2.8, 17mm, 1/80.  I did my typical black and white super secret conversion method but I did NOT do any additional noise reduction beyond what can be done in Lightroom…..

Ian – please vouch for me here.  I am totally not making it up.  The D3 is a very very powerful tool.

Oh, and Jen?  Go see if the measurebators on your forums find any important ‘details’ missing from my photo.  Cause I am really caring.  or not.  you can even see the darn freckles on my nose.  if that isn’t more detail than necessary, what is??

this next picture actually demonstrates the lack of light a little better.  Look in the shadow where the people who are barely visible are standing.  yep, that looks about right.  we were right there.

yes, this one was taken in much brighter conditions.  It was actually ISO 6400.

{a little more concept work}

imagination is a beautiful thing.

what a thrill to have creative license. and fabulous models.

{a little family documentary work}

When Evan was born, we had anticipated that Ian would be getting out of the Navy when his initial commitment was complete.  8 years after winging – plus three years of flight school.  11 years.  April of 2007.  Evan was not even 5 yet.  That meant that Evan would have little to no recollection of his cool dad and his dad’s cool job.  Well, 2007 came and went.  To make a long boring story short, Ian did not get out.

I know Evan will appreciate how amazing it is to have wonderful documentary photos of his life as a ‘Navy Brat’ when he gets older.

And, truth be told, he really doesn’t like jet noise.

{we love jet noise}

ian got to regain some of his ‘cool dad’ status today at the Oceana Air Show.  He flew the superhornet demo back in 2005 but the glory days are long gone and much missed.  Back then, Evan was only three and considered daddy’s performance to be too loud for his taste.  The jet truck was far more captivating and memorable.

Well, VFA-211 had two jets in the big formation and Ian was selected to pilot one of them.  I think he enjoyed his 15 seconds of fame.  Not quite the thrill of the police escort and Jennifer and Vince in the VIP room out in downtown Chicago.  But fun to feel ‘cool’ for a bit.

I am not really into aviation photography.  at all.  Just as I don’t get those people who haul their cameras to the zoo to capture the sad expression of a captive animal, I, frankly, just don’t get the excitement.  With that in mind, I was happy to catch a couple of snaps of my hero hubby.  And, I can say I appreciated the reminder of how much better an airshow is from within the VIP tent with the excellent parking, shade, and free food.  It is just not so fun to be one of the masses.  :-)


I am getting rather excited.  The doors are beginning to open with new ideas and possibilities.  I have several commercial shoots under my belt with FANTASTIC results.  I have some leads in the art world.  Appreciation for my eccentric style is spreading.  What a rush to get such praise from other artists.

Research Research Research.  It consumes my time in addition to all my other endeavors.

{frank warren is brilliant}

And, it was an extreme pleasure to meet someone who has created something so profound.

This past Thursday I had the incredible pleasure of attending a Post Secret event at Old Dominion University here in Norfolk.  If I were to boil it all down to the most basic of me-ness (love that analogy, Melissa) I would say that the BIGGEST influence that challenged me to create this blog and start sharing my own confessions would be the weekly bravery I see over at Post Secret.

If you are not familiar with this community art project started four years ago by Frank Warren, a man who simply printed some post cards off his computer and managed in the process to touch the hearts of millions of people across the world, then you simply must check it out.

I might go so far as to say that Post Secret has changed my life.  I have always been a FREAK about honesty.  In my opinion, one simple lie may be enough to break the trust in a friendship forever.  It is not as though I cannot forgive.  I just believe that lies are reckless, insulting and incredibly disrespectful – quite revealing of  character.  Yet publicly I hide behind a stoic front just as most people do.  I must admit that I have plenty of emotions below the surface that I tend to repress.  I am sure that I am not alone in the fear that if I actually SHOW WHO I AM that no one will LIKE ME!  From Post Secret I have learned how utterly important it is to share who you are.  Everybody has secrets.  Everybody is trying to pretend that they have it all together.  Life is PERFECT!  I am SO HAPPY!  I don’t buy it.  It is perfectly ok to be feel negative emotion.  I believe that it is fabulous to be different.

It is that vulnerability – when shared – that gives my work a depth and realism that it was previously lacking.  Baring ones soul is scary and intense but it makes for profound and important art.  I challenge myself to find a way to show my vulnerability in my work and not just on the screen.

The event was an incredible experience.  I had wished I could scribble down all the amazing things that Frank had to share.  I am tempted to become a Frank groupie and follow him to other venues.  :-)

Enjoy this brilliant YouTube by Frank with the music of one of my other favorites, Sia. (coincidence?)

Here’s my secret.  I totally repressed the BAWLING I felt inside watching this video on the big screen.  I didn’t want to look like the emotional old lady next to the fresh-faced college students.  LOL!  I could just hear it, ‘OHMIGOD, did you SEE that woman CRYING?????  Like, I hope I don’t become a total FREAK when I get that old.’  LOL!


life in suburbia is really tough.

all the housework.  bake the cakes.  keep the kids in line.  please the hubby.

how is there time for it all???

(just call on sassy smox to help!)


what a beautiful day to be on the water.  what an amazing opportunity.  I have never been sailing before.  Well, once in Lake Mendota in Madison but I just don’t think that really counts.  If only every Saturday could be so amazing and peaceful.

has my dream come true?  Did I get to be a vacation photographer for the first time??

{thunder wishes it could be the snow}

sometimes you need to abandon your preconceived ideas about what is beautiful.  It is such a multifaceted thing, that beauty.  Life is beautiful.  The good the bad.  The happy, sure it is great.  But why do we only want to remember the good?  As if the bad never happens.  Is anyone really fooled by that?

Well it is true.  I do have bad days and pissy moods.  Wouldn’t change it if I could.

It is funny – how strong the current of what makes a ‘great’ photo can be.  I remind myself all the time to close my eyes and ignore the rules and the fads.  Close my eyes – don’t let what is expected cloud my judgement and reshape who I am.

Block it out.  Anyone can see the beauty in the basic.  It is shallow – flat – empty.  It is the beauty in the complex that is far harder to achieve.

Courage.  Strength.  Depth.  Wear it with pride.

quite possibly when of my very favorite songs of 2002.   I hear it very differently in 2008 but I love it no less.

{spark of inspiration}

I really want to hate you tropical storm Hanna.  You ruined my weekend and then sputtered out with hardly a shower on my lawn.

But I would be denying the truth if I didn’t admit it is wholely because of my solitude in my art room that I had an amazing spark of inspiration yesterday night.

has my block ended?  whew.  relief.

It was a lot easier to hate you.  But if you keep it under wraps – you know, between you and me – I will admit that I thank you.  a little.

{not exactly blowing me away}

ok, hanna.  you ruined my weekend.  because of you, my husband had to HUREVAC to St. Louis.  And, this is all you got?  i am really not shaking in my boots.

seriously?  this is why the entire base moved to the midwest for a weekend?

we are soggy.  but that seems to be about it.

could you have at least come for a visit DURING the week???  a free day off is always appreciated.  But Saturday??

this settles it.  you are never invited to my house again.