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Change…and a Leap of Faith

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

I don’t like change. It is not unusual that most people don’t. But it seems that when I make a change, I do it in a big way.

I have moved, not something I recommend for the faint of heart. Especially not after 20 years. And, 75 miles from my old home. I pushed myself daily to keep moving forward, to do this. Three weeks into the new home, I can say I have have no regrets. It feels like home. It is a new beginning.

There were obstacles, of course. But they are in the past. I have a big one yet facing me. But, when I left work before taking 2 weeks vacation to move, I envisioned a parachute as I thought I might be free falling from a cliff without a net. I know the parachute is out there. Every day, I thought of three things some wise people (yet unknown to themselves) said to me:

  • “You can direct your own life, or someone will do it for you.”
  • “Sometimes the hardest decisions are the best ones.”
  • “Change can be a good thing.”

I took these pearls out often, marveled at their poignancy and timeliness in my life at the moments they arrived (this all must be happening for a reason for people, some I hardly know, to shine such wisdom at me at the most appropriate moments, causing me to pause in my tracks as I read the words) and I have held them dear while I moved through the struggle to move.

For the first time in a while, I feel happy and at peace. I have some struggles to go. But when you lose the fear, it’s easier to move ahead.

There are two more recent life thoughts shared with me that will continue to drive me forward:

  • “I am going to win.” And…
  • “Write the last chapter.”

These two are entwined as I can’t do the first without doing the latter. Thanks, SD.

I envision baking in my new kitchen. It will be great fun. It will be a comfort. It will be…everything and anything I want it to be. Biscotti rules. I envision family, brought closer together. Thanks to all for supporting me and believing in me. I envision a glass of wine on the patio. Holidays that are happy. Sharing life. A life to be lived.

And then there is the trip to Il Campo Cucina in Radicondoli…leaving 5 weeks from today. The trip of dreams…cooking in the Tuscan countryside with my sister, my inspiration. Where we go from here is the next dream in the queue.

In the face of what seems like a miserable time for me, there is an awful lot of good going on. I will look back and remember it as a very good year. Sounds like a win to me.

I have leapt with faith that everything will be okay. And life will be good.

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New Year’s Champagne & a Mini Photography Lesson

Posted by on Jan 2, 2012 in Photography, Uncategorized | 2 comments

If you read my post yesterday, I only posted some of the bad things that happened last year. I promised the list of the good things, but I don’t think I need to do that. I’ll just share those goods things and how I am applying them as I move forward.

This actually wasn’t supposed to be a post, but as I was taking (not making, just yet) the photograph, I started seeing things in the photo I may not have been aware of a year ago. I started seeing the things I DON’T WANT in a photo. If you are a professional photographer, you don’t need to read any further. You know this already. This is just me, working out what you guys already know. Maybe it will help someone else, maybe not.

It started like this. Today, we finally popped the cork on the champagne we were going to have New Year’s Eve. I LOVED the stainless steel label. Gotta photograph it, right? Well, here was the first shot. Please forgive me, I am using a new lens (Canon 100mm 2.8 IS; Christmas present to myself) for the first time and I haven’t found it’s sweet spot yet for product photography.

I was shooting this in natural light, so I thought. On the left, you can see incandescent light from my kitchen lighting. So off it goes. Next…

Hmmm, that red is still there. Oh, it’s my RED Giants sweatshirt on the kitchen chair. So off it goes…

Okay, still some unwanted color elements, but I need to share one of the best things I learned this year. White Cards (and reflectors). It could be white paper, white foam core, aluminum foil, a mirror or even a chef’s hat (used recently to photograph a chef). On this shot, just needed to light up the left side of the label. I positioned the white foam core to the left and under the label, which also blocked out the color cast from something in my kitchen. It was positioned pretty close to the bottle, but since I was focusing only on the label, the foam core was out of the frame.

So, the final shot is still not perfect. I was shooting on a tripod but was too lazy to go get my cable release. Also, at f8, I thought it would be in focus, but since I am dealing with a macro lens, I guess I goofed, so please don’t berate me too hard.

The moral of this story is… I am not a professional. I am working through things I have learned this year. I am committed to shooting more this  year. You can watch online workshops, like creativeLIVE, which I HIGHLY recommend, but if you don’t shoot, you won’t improve. After the tough year I’ve had, I am committed to shooting more and take the (painstaking) time it takes to improve my work. Yes, painstaking. But it will be worth it.

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