Be Here Now

If I'm being honest, I kind of hope a lot of people aren't reading this because well, I don't know if you've noticed, but it's kind of GORGEOUS out. No big deal, 70 degrees, nice breeze...whatever.  I hope everyone out there is taking this gorgeous weather in and really appreciating it. I think it makes such a difference in your mood when you take time to enjoy the unexpected pleasantries life hands out. As for the remainder of today, I'll take my Utley down to the water for the third day in a row, go on another walk & when I have to be in the house, I'll be leaving the windows wide open. I suggest you do the same & take advantage of this absolutely perfect day.


You're Welcome

I swear this winter was for me. Last year was a rough, rough winter for us. We walked around in our jackets & sweats because we couldn't afford to keep filling the propane tank up every couple of weeks. We tried to build fires to keep the house toasty using the woodstove to save on propane, but the fires always went out in the middle of the night & we'd wake up to a frigid igloo.  Besides that, we bought a cord of wood that wasn't seasoned, so it burned terribly.  The house, when it was "warm", was about 60 degrees.  It was the kind of cold that makes everything in your house cold; the clothes you put on, the surface of the couch, and especially (gasp!) the toilet seat. So, at the beginning of this winter, I prayed for it to be a manageable one. I prayed that somehow, it'd be easier than last winter. If you haven't notice, my prayers have been answered. In short, this mild, mild winter we've been having is all thanks to me. Lord knows I prayed for it!

These images were taken on the only day I witnessed snow here in Maryland. All images were taken using a Canon EOS-3 35mm camera with Kodak Portra 400 film.

Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return.

"Look at my ashes...are they HUGE?? Father McCole always does them so BIG." "What are you giving up for Lent? I'm thinking about something that I don't really like in the first place. Like peas."

Not surprisingly, my 6th grade friends and I didn't really have a firm grasp on what Lent was all about. Now that I'm older and have much, much more perspective on life, I always take Lent as a time to remind myself of what could improve & the sacrifices others have made for me.  As the Chaplain put the cold ashes on my forehead this morning, she said, "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Man, that's a little heavy for 11am on a Wednesday. But hey, gotta keep things in perspective!

This Lent, I'm giving up cursing. I curse like a Sailor on leave, so this will (and has been so far, just day 1!) be difficult. I have decided that this rule will go out the window in the following scenarios:

1. I stub my toe or hit my head on something. Because "Foey!" just doesn't cut it during those moments.

2. Someone cuts me off in traffic.  Do I really need to explain that one?


What are you giving up for the next 40 Days?


So, guess what? Film is expensive.  I originally wanted to shoot a roll every week & then post my images.  However, even though I'm not developing anywhere too fancy, it's still proving to be a costly endeavor. That being said, I've decided to post a frame or two per week of the same roll. This will stretch things out quite a bit. This week, say hello to Tomás.  My good friends Anna & Dan had a NYE party & Tomás chaperoned.


Home for Christmas

I am so thankful I have the flexibility at Bella Baby to be able to come home for the holidays.  It is so important to me to be able to participate in all of our family traditions during the Christmas season and I think I would cry big fat tears if I had to stay in Maryland to work.  Every year, I start out at my grandmother's house in the morning to exchange gifts with my parents & Nana.  Then we go to my sister's in our PJ's (which we all agree is cozy until about 4pm. Then we start feeling a little trashy for being in our PJ's for that long.)  My sister & brother-in-law cook a big delicious breakfast & then it's present time (which the boys are excited about from the moment we walk in the door).  It's so much fun to watch the boys open up presents that I've been excited to give them.  This year I bought Jack a cape. I bought it months and months ago and was HOPING he'd react well to it. Sure enough, he put it right on & checked himself out in the mirror. So. Flipping. Cute. Even cuter when he was pouting about a lost Rock-Paper-Scissors bout (see the image of Jack peeking through the cracked door).  It was a fantastic Christmas that went by way too fast. However, I took some pictures this year, and they say that lasts a bit longer.  

All photos taken with Canon EOS-3 Kodak 400 film. No edits.


On Practice. On Film.

The dive into film is going well overall, I'd say. With every roll, I see an improvement. I was never one to rush progress, so any little improvement goes a long way for me.  I am still working on exposure & focus.  The Canon EOS-3 has an interesting feature that seems genius in theory.  It can take the focus point to exactly where your eye is looking in the view finder. After calibrating the mechanism (which operates like a basic vision test), the feature finds where your eye is looking & then locks the focus in there. The problem is, once I recompose & look to the rest of the frame to be sure everything is in it's right place, the focus changes just as I hit the shutter. Insanely frustrating. Initially, I kept thinking, "Wow! I can't believe it can tell where I'm looking! That's amazing! My DSLR doesn't even do that!" Now I can sort of see why the feature wasn't something Canon continued to produce in their products. Much like the thalidomide disaster; only good until rubber meets the road. Okay, so maybe that's a bit too morose of an example. Whatever, I'm pretty serious about this. The first two pictures were taken at home just before sunset.  The rest were taken at "home" in MD on two different mornings. One muggy & gray, the other bright & full of color.  Next week's film post will no doubt feature more portraits & faces. I'm looking forward to it very much & I hope you are too. Again, comments (good & critique) are welcome and wanted.

Enter Film.

We were sitting at our hand-me-down kitchen table when Kyle and I started talking about what I would do to preoccupy my time during the slow winter months. I mentioned to him that I was interested in becoming more familiar with film as a medium & showed him a camera I'd been slightly drooling over. Much to my surprise, he handed me his credit card & offered to buy it as an early Christmas present. Schwinggggg! I bought Fuji 400 film. Correction, I bought Kodak Portra 400, but I bought the 120 (Stimpy you iiiiidiot!) and couldn't wait for B&H to ship me more, so I went out and bought the Fuji 400. Film takes some getting used to, that's for sure.  I kept looking at the back of the camera for the LCD screen with the preview to see how the picture came out.  What a stupid feeling that is! But eventually, once I get my bearings, I'm going to start integrating it more into my business. It's so much fun to learn & experiment though, so I'll be posting a new roll every week.  Here's (some of) what I took over the last couple of days...

hHave any experience with film? Can you give me any criticisms/pointers? I'm. ALL. ears :D