Sunday, March 29, 2009

Visiting Mom in Florida

My mom went to Florida for a vacation earlier this month. My dad died last year so the trip was a big deal. My sister and her family went for the first week to help my mom and Jack and I were there for the second week. It didn't feel like a "week in Florida". The weather was strange: very cold and windy every day. I was glad that I brought my fleece coat and I only went swimming in the ocean once, the first night that we arrived. I love the ocean - it feeds me on some base, elemental level.
Then there was taking care of Mom. Its been really hard for her since my dad died, they were married for 54 years. She's changed in this year and her mind is going a bit; she's in the early stages of Alzheimers. We walked every morning on the sidewalk and she watched a lot of tv.
I had my Holga with me and shot a few rolls of film. I like going back to film. I like the deliberateness and the mechanics of "loading the camera". I like to wait for the results and I like to decide which frames to scan. I like the spotting in the computer and you can't beat the look of the Holga images. It's comforting to take the time and make the time to do all this. I just have three images for now as I'm still deciding which others to scan.
When I looked at these three images this morning, I noticed how muted the colors were, the single element in the middle of all the space and it felt like they weren't about "florida" but more about my mom: alone and fading but still there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

it helps me pay attention

Two more photographs from the table. Today I found it helps me pay attention.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

on the table

I'm the first to admit that I'm a sucker for pretty light, simplistic as it may seem. Ever since we moved in to our present home, I've been swayed by the light on our table next to the kitchen.

I was reminded about over thinking and not doing yesterday when I finished a marvelous book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I noticed the binoculars left on the table from looking at some deer (we live out in the country) and a coyote earlier in the morning. And then Jack's birthday present which he can't open until Friday and my favorite (well, my second favorite) coffee cup. Today when I thought about posting the images, I thought, well crap, they're just pictures of stuff on a table, what's so special about that? I don't know about special, all I know was that my eyes took over yesterday and my heart raced a bit and all I "thought" about was that pretty light and filling the rectangle.

Almost Home

Another image from the animal shelter in Virginia. I didn't really pay too much attention to it until Marcy pointed out the irony of the "painted home" with the cookie jar.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Virginia SPCA

I spent five days in Virginia with Ben Hernandez ( a former student and great guy) photographing at an animal shelter, the Nelson County SPCA, named Almost Home. I am hoping to create a book for them of portraits of their animals that they could use for fund raising and also to help increase awareness in the area about all the amazing animals available for adoption. Rita Mae Brown (mystery writer and writer of Rubyfruit Jungle) will be writing the forward - cool.
It was an experience. The place is warm and inviting and the staff bent over backwards for us. They are a "no kill" shelter which means they try as long as possible to place their animals. Some of the animals have been there for years. No matter how nice a facility it is - its always heart wrenching. The animals just want a home, its that simple. When you see all these animals that have been thrown away by their owners for one reason or another, its impossible to harden your heart. Some of the animals would cling to us as we sat in their kennels trying to photograph them. We had limited time and many photos to make, but we still needed to calm ourselves for these animals. I didn't want our stress to add to theirs. Some of the animals shrunk in to the corners, many were afraid of the camera.
Here are but a few of the faces...