Monthly Archives: April 2012

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***2012 Michael H Kellicutt International Photo Show***

I’m so honored today.

I have heard word

that one of my images

has been selected as one of 45

to hang in the

2012 Michael H. Kellicutt International Photo Show entitled ‘Vibrant’

in Half Moon Bay, California

starting this coming July.


my image, Forgotten

which I will display as an image transfer



where? Bad Canstatter Fruelingsfest, Stuttgart Germany

when?  April 25, 2010

how? D3, with my handy lensbaby, ISO 100, 1/5000 sec

what?  The big bad ‘Sky Ride’!  My boys were riding it at the time.

Why do I love it?  I see this image from my own point of view – standing at the bottom, left out of the ride, watching everyone else have fun.  Motion sickness has me sit out of all rides like this.  But I also feel that way when I think of my friends still in Germany going to Fruelingsfest, as this year’s fest is currently in full swing.  How wonderful and ironic that this image was selected at this particular moment.  Must be some sort of cosmic energy.  Of course, who is to say that I can’t find a way to have my own party?  I merely celebrated the fest mit dirndl und hofbrau right here with a backyard party this past Saturday in Lemoore.  And, on this particular day, I dealt with my sad by taking a photo that I would one day sell to a girl with fabulous fashion sense, but would also hang in show outside San Francisco two years later.

***mixed messages***

mixed messages.

stand?  or walk?

go? or be?

which is it?

it can’t be both at the same time.

oh wait.

walk on the left side

stand on the right side.

i could use more specific directions like this,


now tell me if I am right or left?

if someone could just tell me what to do

it would a lot easier.

then again, i probably wouldn’t listen.

i’d still have to do it my own way.



Where?  Marienplatz Ubahn station, Stuttgart

When? October 2011

How? D3, ISO 200, 24mm, f/2.8, 1/800 sec

What?  Riding back up to ground level after taking the U bahn street car from Vaihingen.

Why do I love it?  I love the lines and tone.  And, I love the mixed messages that are confusing at first glance, but make perfect sense when put in a cultural context.



being gifted

can feel rather empty



where?  Zurich

when? eons ago

how? with my D3

what? a funky bike

why do i love it?  i don’t feel like talking about it.

***unravel – self portrait***


how are we going to make it work?

moving overseas is hard

far more hard that it seems

there are the obvious details

starting over

meeting new friends

waiting for household goods to arrive

transitioning life



sadness to leave

knowing we will likely never return

but other stress exists

for instance

i have been living in my house

with all my shipments

for 4 months

we have been unpacked.

i was careful, so careful

very organized


yet i cannot find anything.

it gets old.

i remember exactly where it was

in germany.

can’t find it in lemoore.

but everything shifts.

how we raise our son even changes.

what are his new rules


what was unheard of before


because we are in new surroundings.

my position in his life

night and day

compared to 6 months ago.

perhaps that happens to all parents.

but not this swiftly.

i scramble to pull together all my loose ends

but lose his in the process.

the more i figure out

the more i am confused

and it starts to unravel

i don’t do well with a lot of details

i only write a phrase at a time


too many details overwhelm me

and i get lost

so does he – this boy i am trying to set straight.

how can i do it all???

what is it for?

is it even possible?

i don’t even know what IT is???

still waiting for all the pieces to fall.



Where? Stuttgart – our old flat

When? Oct 27, 2012

How? You can see my D3 in the mirror!  ISO 2000, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec.

What? the empty shell of the place we had to leave.  My husband and I sad to move to the next chapter.

Why do I love it?  What a rush of emotion.  I can remember exactly how I felt this day.  And, it was not good.  What an amazing room.  What an amazing view.

***comparison of perspective***

so, i have been chatting with Ashley

we talk cameras

and lenses

and metering

and white balance

and mm’s.

not the little candies.

perhaps we should snack next time she is over?

i forgot to offer even a drink?

i get wrapped up in chatting and forget to be a hostess.


this is kind of a funny reminder

of a difference in point of view



where? my old flat overlooking the lower part of the Stuttgart valley

when? oh sigh.  after we had moved out.  Oct 10 and 27.  For the middle shot, we were waiting for a slacker US Army civilian employee to pick up the shranks.  all day.  and he never showed.  The first and third shot were me testing and comparing my lenses with the teleconverter on the 70-200.  We were days from packers…

how? both D3 from opposite extremes, taken in the same spot (give or take a couple of feet)

picture 1: ISO 200, 340 mm (I used my 70-200mm VR II with a 1.7 teleconverter), f/4.8, 1/400 sec

picture 2: ISO 200, 34 mm (I used the 24-70mm – the middle lens, not even my super wide), f/2.8, 1/250 sec

picture 3: ISO 200, 14mm (I used my prized lens at the widest it goes), f/2.8, 1/400 sec

what?  the gorgeous catholic cathedral a block from our flat.  gosh, I really miss the bells.

why do I love it?  explanation not necessary.  the comparison of perspective is fabulous as is/was the view.  what one can accept as normal………..  not appreciated unless new or lost……..




so much potential

on the other side of the glass

how to access it

nurture it

grow it?

video game junk food


it feels like it is slipping away

trash culture





where?  Zurich

when? last october

how? D3, ISO 800, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/160 sec

what? a music store in the heart of the pedestrian shopping area

why do I love it?  it feels like a view of the most amazing yet overlooked violin ever to be created.  On the inside of the store, its back it turned and the people pass, overlooking what it has to offer.  From the outside, its dark wood and beautiful face are instantly recognizable, yet unreachable and unattainable.  Perhaps the right person will see it on the street and find a way to access it.  Sometimes all it takes is the right mentor at the right time.

***cusp of vulnerability***

it sounds so silly to say it out loud

but i would be lying

if i didn’t say

 that i am worried about this weekend

this is the first fest season

to arrive

since i left germany.

it is hard to be here

and not there.

i am very vulnerable.

and i can’t deal with 9 year old drama.

i need dad to deal with that.

but dad isn’t here.

so be kind,

my friends going to fruelingsfest.

don’t rub it in too much.

i am very jealous.



duh it is in germany

after our last canstatter volksfest

i had my d3 that day.  apparently it was my 85mm 1.4 lens.  I was at 2.5.  my ISO was 160.

this makes me really miss our time in germany.

send me some love.

i will need it for the next three weekends.

and lots of bier.

***mamma mia is right***

mamma mia is right, dude

i think i also need a cigarette break.

well, i don’t smoke.

filthy nasty deadly habit.

but that is beside the point.

perhaps a bier???

that i can do.

anything to get me out of

weirdville for a few hours.



where? Edinburgh out the window of our tour van

when? labor day weekend 2011

how? D3, ISO 800, 14mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sec

what? some dude needing a break from the crazy or perhaps just a chance to kill himself slowly.

why do i love it?  it is so great to capture people in their true, raw state.  getting the chance to see what they would normally hide, had they had the choice.  or maybe seeing what they SHOULD hide if you get what i mean.  some things should just be kept to oneself.  honey.




***forced actions of indecision***

forced actions of indecision

if i were stronger

i could put my mind

above the matter

that paralyzes my self

my barriers

are harder to overcome.

i have read

that my personality type

is the type that is least likely to cope.

it is not that i choose to be difficult.

i have to proceed carefully

to avoid a disaster.

i shut down

in the most unbearable way.

it is just not a good idea

to force myself

to do that which doesn’t come naturally.

my actions must be spurned

from emotions

not from decisions.

but how do i draw out the details

of what i am drawn to do

in a clear and concise way???



where? edinburg, scotland

when? labor day weekend, 2011

how?  D3, ISO 250, 14mm, f/2.8, 1/640 sec

what? one of my favorite cities, fabulous gothic architecture, cobblestone roads, with a gritty conversion to black and white maximizing the light shift at the top of the spire of the cathedral

why do i love it?  i love all these things.  and i surround myself with the things that i love.  but when i was in Scotland, i didn’t feel well.  in fact, I spent an afternoon resting in the apartment we rented, riddled with guilt that i was keeping our family from enjoying the sites.  ian doesn’t mean to make me feel worse, but he is very easy to read when he is disappointed in me.  that only compounded my crappiness.  sometimes i can’t get past the crappy feelings.  i wasn’t ‘sick’ i just didn’t feel well.  and it threw me off balance.  and when i am off balance as much as i was during this trip, i can’t ignore it and make it go away.  but 7 months have passed and i still feel guilty.  i feel frustrated that i could not spend more energy and time exploring one of the most amazing cities i have ever visited.  in fact, no other city has screamed PAULA the way edinburgh did to me.  that is quite a statement.  i could move to edinburgh for a year and not get enough.  well, now that it is 80 and gorgeous in Lemoore I realize how much i missed warm sunniness that is so hard to find in northern Europe.  still.  i really hope i can go back sometime soon.


{elevate} the april installation


welcome to this months fine art exploration called Elevate.

in this blog circle we are

putting to the forefront

those images which speak a little deeper

than the average.

for this months installation

mine is ‘red car’


see the red car

watch it go

it goes fast

down the road

The Croation Sensation

drove it too fast

perhaps crashed it

and ran out of gas?

i don’t know

we passed at 80 kmph

did you know

there aren’t any

public restrooms


the little fishing village called Mimice

where we stayed

and the Split airport?

i found a shrub

alles gut

we were back on the road

only minutes later

i was no longer in dire pain

and we barely lost a minute on our journey

to make our flight.

ok and i gave up on goofy the rhyme.

i am really not into rhyming.



where?  Croatia – outside of Split

when?  the first weekend in July, 2011

how?  D3, ISO 100, 14mm, f/2.8, 1/1250 sec

what?  a red car on the side of the road.  we were heading to the airport after spending the weekend in a fishing village outside of Split over the fourth of July weekend last summer.  It was a wonderful weekend.  The weather was ideal.  We were mere steps from the waterfront and a few more steps from a beach.  Our apartment was amazing.  The furnishings were eclectic and classy and homey.  We could take a siesta in the afternoon and open the windows wide and let the cool breeze pour in.  The owner of the flat was wonderful.  Except, she didn’t speak English.  Of course, when we booked, our address was our apartment in Germany, so it seemed not to be a problem from her point of view.  She naturally thought we were German tourists and there was no reason to explain further even though our interactions were in English.  And, since she wrote back in English, we felt no need to explain further.  We were American’s who happen to live in Germany for a little while.  But when we met at the pre-scheduled time, we did not speak Croatian or German, and she didn’t speak English.  It was …. awkward.  How do you explain how you can live in Germany and not speak German??  No, wir sind Americanker.  Wir sprecken kein Deutsch.  Wir  are typical and only speak Americano.

OH well.

why do I love it?  I love to take pictures out the window.  It gives such an interesting perspective in my photos.  Not only does it freeze that split second in time which can never be created again – that split second which happens so fast my brain cannot record what it has seen, but it allows me to go back in time to those lost seconds and examine the scene.  So many rich details are lost in the hubbub of life.  My camera acts as my memory device.  I learn so much more about a place I have visited when I have snapped photos of the journey, not just photos of the landmarks.  What would have faded into the mixed calm of the past stays vivid and unique.  The reflections of the window and the mirror give me the chance to put myself back in time so I can conjure the feeling I had the moment I took the photo.  For that reason, I rarely try to open the window or crop out these pesky details.  In this case, I love old funky dented European cars.  And, this one was red.  And, I got three images of the same car.  in fact, I got 4, but that was just too many for this series.  What is not to love.


i invite you now to continue op to the next installation in this exploration with McComb, Mississippi photographer Maureen Wilson …..


 revisit last month’s installation

***carnegie museum***

today i went to the carnegie museum home tour

we started with tea

at the museum

and as a tea addict, i must say thank you!

it was not lovely day for tea

in the garden…..

but we didn’t get wet even if we were cold.

i took photos at the museum

that (they say) desperately needs a new roof

(so go visit, locals…..)

the building was beautiful.

next door was a neat building, also.

but it must be a new sign.

how would you know to write ‘old’ otherwise……


we looked at the old relics.

an old deer on the wall.

that is always creepy to me.  sorry.


a real ice box.

the old style stove.

a crazy telephone that looked like a face.

some dolls that would scare the bejeesus out of my husband.

Cherese loved them the most.

on a side note, it think that little dude

in the middle

might be boy george.

there was

a piano I would have PAID to hear Steph sit down and play.

she didn’t.

oh well.

they even had my outfit hanging on the wall.

during the home tour

i did not take any photos.

however, the highlight was the Stone house.

the sprawling estate was awe-inspiring.

clearly, my husband is in the wrong business if I want to live there…..



where? hanford

when? around 11 pm

how? fuji

what? an old museum

what do i love about it?  i love old stuff.  just ask Evan.

what can i say though?  i don’t know my way around the fuji just yet.  it takes beautiful images.  but i can think ‘nikon d3 14-24’.  I can stutter ‘fuji x pro-1 18mm’ at best.

and it doesn’t see the ballet as well as the big rig.


***rantings of a crazy person***

watch out

if you put a big blank scratch paper

and a bunch of pens

in front of me

you never know what you are going to get

sometimes i just have to write everything on my mind

song lyrics

and general rantings

 in a cathartic way

to just get stuff off my chest

i write about whatever pops into my head

and it is a relief

not only to say these words

in a cryptic way

 but to just do something that is NOT virtual

photo editing all day

on a computer

is cool but it just doesn’t

get my hands dirty.

i need art that gets my hands dirty.

my left handed messiness

smeared all over the side of my pinky

and a gray palm.

that is art.

right handed people miss out, by the way.

they don’t get that.

they don’t smear their hand thru the words they write ruining the perfectly formed letters

on their paper.

every card i have ever sent is a dang mess by the time it goes into an envelope.

how many white sleeves have i ruined???

call it the rantings of a crazy person

but i say

that you should not try too hard

it ruins the flow



where?  the kitchen

when?  five minutes ago

how?  fuji.  35 mm lens.  ISO 1000, f/1.4, 1/125

i kick butt.  i guessed the exposure before looking thru the viewfinder.  nailed it.

what?  a bunch of rambling i needed to do

why i love it?  clearly i needed to ramble.


***absurd expectations***

call me an airy creative

but I think we should all get training in school

beyond how to read, memorize historic ‘facts’, and the concepts of math.

i think we should have regular training

about free thinking.

I know that goes against everything that public school stands for.

Hear me out.

i think that we should be told every day that there is always another point of view

there is always another way to achieve.

i love to read about the thought process

of other artists

what brilliance to get into their brains.

i particularly enjoy doing this in one sitting

i read about 10 different artists

and they all have points of view that conflict with one another

one says that you cannot plan

one says you must

one says you have to have a long exposure to capture the essence

it is deliberate and missed if not allowed to emerge.

one says the essence occurs in a split, unguarded second

there is nothing deliberate about it.

and they are all right.

even if it seems that they cannot all be right at the same time.

they have made it.

there is no one right answer.


I can do whatever I want!!!

i don’t have to look in a magazine at a perfect model

watch the perfect actress

and gather the nose of one

the eyes of another

the body type of this one

and the height of that one

and go to a surgeon to help me construct the perfect me.

i can just be me.

and it is not wrong.

imagine the absurdity of this concept – cosmetic enhancement

from the perspective of a tree.

it is sort of goofy,

don’t you think?



where? four of these images were captured out the window of our moving vehicle in Tanzania.  One was captured in Richmond, VA

when?  The African images were taken last November.  The Virginia shot is from the summer of 2009

how?  they were all captured with my D3.  African images with 70-20omm VR II, and Richmond with my beloved 14-24mm

what?  a bunch of trees, layered upon one another.  a total of 5 images

why do i love it??  I love the layers.  Clearly, as I not only captured the images but then felt the desire to create this.  I created this image to give a sense of silliness to our desire as a society, and most specifically those of the female gender, to never be satisfied with ourselves.  We are constantly looking at images of others to judge ourselves as too big, too small, too young, too old, too this, too that.

i am not the first to say this.  i won’t be the last.  perhaps we need to remember that lessons are learned from repetition.  we cannot get this message enough to overpower the way we have been programmed for a lifetime unless we say it every day again and again.  repeat repeat repeat.


***hwy 198***

waiting for the california sun




this is not the lemoore i remember.



where? hwy 198 between Hanford and Lemoore

when? yesterday morning after a trip to Target

how? fuji x pro-1, ISO 200, 35mm, f/1.4, 1/4000 sec

what? out the window – farmland, green

what do i love about it??  well, the color is lush.  the mood is dreary and heavy, so while not my favorite emotion, it is fitting and it is part of life.

it’ll pass.


***quantification of experience***

quantification of experience

it does not

fill a check box

go on a resume

look good on paper

qualify for credibility

or job promotion

it does not put money in the bank

pay for a car

or fit into a box.

it does fill my passport

and the hard drive of my computer.

it changes my entire take on the planet

the people I meet

and my interpretation of all the stimuli i encounter.

every image my brain interprets gets matched against a memory bank a million images thick

each one put there first hand.

the circuits in my brain connect and match


more thoroughly

with ease.

i can feel a stark difference between the cognition i had 20 years ago

and that of today.

understanding of this magnitude

cannot come from a book.

perhaps the criteria

we use to value

is too simple.

i believe experience should be

the ultimate criteria.



to some

seems to disappear

as if it does not exist.

for, what one does not understand

one may not actually see.



when and how? complicated question

I created the layered image today.

The forum image was from Nov 2011 – D3.

The images of me are from last week – Fuji x pro-1.

The D3 image had three different layers of texture added to it with various blending styles at varying opacity.

Of course, there are 5 different images here of me.

3 were made into a ‘series’ last week.

I used various blending styles at varying opacity to create this.

Some images were inverted (turned to a ‘negative’ image).

I won’t even begin to detail all the ways that I edited these images – in camera, in lightroom, in photoshop, aspect ratio, adding borders, etc.

how did I know to do this???  experience.

what did I get from visiting Rome?  this was my second visit.


why do I feel I need to discuss this and point out my own attributes?


why do i love this?  it is cool.

I can’t decide if I prefer the tree?  or the shoes…..