Thursday, February 19, 2015

one day

The message came in my inbox; a weekend challenge to create a video of patterns - 1 minute or less.  Well, I may not have been exactly successful in creating such a short video.  And I'm not even sure what I've captured would really qualify as a pattern.  Yet, the challenge prompted me to think creatively.  The moment I read it, this idea came to mind as a series of shots I knew I wanted to capture.  A minds eye storyboard.  

We were up early - Lukas to catch sunrise with Sebastian and me... just because Lukas was getting up.  With the idea, I was jazzed to pull out my camera instead of climbing back into bed.  I set up the shots I had in mind, focusing on focus and framing and light.  

As I headed out the door to yoga before the sun was really up I kept hoping I wouldn't lose my nerve because I wanted to capture just a little clip in the studio.  I was counting on the early hour of a Saturday to mean, just maybe, the studio would be nearly empty when I arrived.  My nerve ran right away though when I saw several people already laid out across the floor.  But then, I bucked up and just went for it.  The background is out of focus and you wouldn't know there was anyone else there.  And that warm light, in the hot room, is some of my favorite of the day.  I was so glad, when I started putting the clips together, that I got this one.  

The video ends with a view of East Brother Lightstation.  Even though I 'cheated' a bit - this was from the next evening - I thought the lapping water of the Bay was just the right way to end things.  

Water is my happy place.  It refreshes me.  It hugs me.  It fills me and clams me.  It is where I want to be when I'm upset.  And being near it makes me happy.  When I'm not thinking about it, I forget how many daily interactions I have with water.  Yet, each day, they are there.  My favorite though, is when we drop everything right before sunset and head for the coast or the Bay.  We watch the sun sink and, if we're lucky, get a display of colors.  If the colors don't come, we're still pretty lucky to spend these moments out in nature.  
Complete awe.  Refreshed.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

a little bit of :: these days

these days...

:: I'm back to working on a photo-a-day.  You can follow along here: two days the same.

:: we watched the Super Bowl with James and Solange - an all around good time.

:: I'm trying to build a yoga habit.  New habits are hard!

:: Lukas got a few mornings of great light.

:: I brought the guys burritos for lunch.  It was a hit... and then I got my favorite food truck {The Chairman Truck} for lunch the next day.  Awesome!

:: been working on a refi.  It's hard work, this trying to save money business.  But practice makes ya better, right?

:: we watched the rain coming down - all three of us {me, Lukas, and the cat} peering out the windows.  

:: and right now... Lukas is napping with the cat.  The groceries are bought AND put away.  Fresh flowers on the table.  I'm counting down the minutes till yoga.  

Friday, February 6, 2015

before yoga :: light play

before yoga :: light play 1

This month, I'm back to feeling inspired and working on taking a photo a day.  So far, so good - just need to remember to think about my next shot the day before.  And so it went for this shot...

The set up... I've been working on building a morning yoga habit {to complement the hot yoga on the weekends}.  After dropping Lukas off at BART I toss open the mat, pull up the Yoga Studio app, breath deeply, and begin.  There's something about the first moments and the warm lamp light that sets the mood and is utterly peaceful.  That's the feeling I wanted to try to capture, but feelings can be tricky to put to screen with just the click of a shutter.

The first picture above is where I started.  Most of the living room lights on - not actually how I practice, but hoping to get enough light to make the picture work.  And, mostly, I think that it does but when I looked at the screen I thought I can do better.  Let's play with the light.

before yoga :: light play 2

In the next shot I shut of all the lights except for the one coming from behind and to my left.  This yielded a much more dramatic shot.  It gave the sense that I was up before the sun.  The tones in the light felt more like it does when I'm actually bending through the different positions.  But the focus of the image was me and that wasn't quite what I was going for... even though it is a self-portrait.  And so...

before yoga :: light play 3

I changed the light source.  Now, from the camera's perspective, I was backlight.  The light spilling in from the doorway in front and to the left.  As I pulled my hair into the ponytail, my arms caught the highlights.  The shadows played differently across each of my legs and there is just a hint of light outlining the side of my face.  In this image, my eyes are drawn to both the prints - grey whale cove on the wall and bryce canyon resting on the floor.  This shot?  This was the one I was picturing in my head.  To me, it tells the story of doing yoga.  The wave sounds in the background on the yoga app fit perfectly with the water flowing out in the image on the wall.  That is my place of calm; where I go to in my mind.  

Each of the above shots tells the same story or actually, tell a different story of the same morning activity.  They are similar, just slightly different, but different enough that I didn't just settle for that first image.  And, looking back at each of them, it was challenging to pick which one was "the one".  The thing about photography is, your reaction to a image is so highly personal.  The story it tells you and the feelings it can evoke are intertwined with your own experiences and ideas.  The best a photographer can do is try to tell their story with light and dark, composition and exposure.  

I'm working on it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

a little bit of :: these days

these days

:: the cold has been lingering, but also going away at the same time

:: Lukas was moved to a new job.  It just so happens to be at the Giant's stadium.  

:: mid-week dinner out with Sam was just what was needed.  Some day I'll get past the Reuben.

:: I'm planning projects in my head... sewing for coming babies, a yard that is over run with weeds, maybe a little something for our 5th anniversary coming up in May.

:: almost done reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.  When I first picked it up I couldn't get past the first few pages, but now I'm hooked.  Looking forward to some science fiction next.

:: this morning marks two days in a row of doing yoga.  The deep breathing is calming and it feels awesome to get moving.  When the voice of the video instructor began to end the session I was surprised - 30 minutes is up already?  I guess that's a good sign.  Craving to be done with this cold and back in the hot yoga studio.  

:: almost finished with all the episodes of The Shield.  I don't think we'll quite get through all 7 seasons by the end of January, but we certainly made a huge dent in just one month.

:: looking forward to watching football with friends this weekend and tackling that aforementioned yard

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

making :: big wheel

big wheel
It was red and yellow and blue, with big black plastic wheels that made a memorable sound when dragged across the nubby cement sidewalk.  I sat in the early morning lamp-light dark remembering growing up with my "little" brother in the first house we lived in.  I can recall just how the orange shag carpet felt and smelled and, disgustingly, how it tasted.  The big trees out back became forts and the park next door was any kid's dream come true.  

I pulled out my crafting bin from the second bedroom and dug out just the papers I needed.  I had fun with the exacto knife - though my skills are on the rougher side of polished.  A little stamping finished off the front of the card and I filled the rest with gushy text and memories.  

Happy Birthday, Matt!