Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week 33 - Blue

This week's theme is Blue.  I was blue because of the level of humidity we had this past week.  As a native Angelino, I am not used to humidity.  I am used to dry heat.  Dry heat is different, as those of you who visit Las Vegas and Palm Springs know what I'm talking about.  It can be in the triple digits and the dry heat will bake you skins as the dry air blows your skin even dryer.  It's not my preferred weather, but if I had a choice, I'd choose dry heat over humidity any time.   But yet I digress.    

Our blue skies have been hidden by the clouds from all of the humidity.  Many local areas have sufferd from golf-ball sized hail and flash floods.  I had sweat more this past week than all year.  So to mark this unusual weather I have taken a picture of clouds that are formed by the moisture in the air, as the blue sky peeks through.  I wish cool summer days to everyone.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Week 32 - Flight

The theme this week is Flight.  In order to take a photo I ran through my mind all of the definitions I had of flight.  A flight on an airplane, to flee, the Hebrews flight from Egypt, birds flying, and a flight of stairs,.  Well with all of these choices, I chose a flight of stairs, and I had one particular in mind.

In Culver City, there is a commercial complex called Conjunctive Points.  It houses many types of companies, that I assume do business in movie or music industry.  This is a photo of the Gateway Tower, designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects.  There influence can be seen all throughout the Hayden Tract near downtown Culver City.  It is a flight of stairs that goes nowhere and leads to nothing except to the top of the flight of stairs.  At night it becomes a spectacle of lights, design and color.  Those photos you can see at my flickr site, (click the thumbnails to the right).

I've missed posting my website information to the FOCUS 52-12 websites lately, but I have continued to post on my site.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 31 - Water

This weeks theme was Water.  When I think of water, two quotes come to mind, "Water, water everywhere and nor any drop to drink." from Samuel Taylor Coleridge from the poem,  Rime of the Ancient Mariner and "Water always wins." from the Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, David Tennet, in the episode, The Waters of Mars.  I know I should have put up a nerd alert for that... sorry.

Anyway, water in Southern California is an easy thing to find with the Pacific Ocean, Marina de Rey, lakes, and creeks all within twenty miles of my home.  So what did I shoot?  Kids at a fountain.  Out of all the photos I shot last week, this is the one that I liked the most.  It is summer and another quote comes to mind from the Sly and the Family Stone song, Hot Fun in the Summertime.  My favorite line is "Boo-boo-poo when I want to, out of school."  These girls are out of school and doing what they want to.  That is summer.

I hope your summer is as enjoyable as this moment the two girls are having.  Enjoy your summer and all of the fun it brings.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week 30 - Floral

Vacation is over, for me!  I'm back at work.  But Summer is still here and the fun-filled events of summer are too.  Some of those things are nights at the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek Theater, the free concerts at the Santa Monica Pier and Culver City City Hall, movies outside at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery or Exposition Park.  All of these events mean food, friends, family, fun and an evening under the stars.  These recreational gatherings help you enjoy specific events, the people around you and delight your soul.

When summer is over these events will go away until next year.  I am going to try and enjoy a few more of these activities before they do, but I need to change my recreations to more rejuvenating activities.  Work is stressful because of all of the new things that are happening in our organization such as,  layoffs, reconfigurations, limited resources and decision to be made based on a shifting reality.

This week's theme is Floral, which I thought little of at the time because there are always flowers available to shoot.  But because I'm back at work, I no longer have access to them.  For those of you that know me, I have a black thumb, literally and figuratively.  My plants are artificial or are cared for by someone eles.  So, I made a special effort to and find flowers.  In the process I was able to get some of the rejuvenation I will need for work.  I went to a local park, early in the morning and walked the around and finally ended up sitting at the pond and watched the duck and the flowers.  In those moments I was able to exercise my creativity, reflection and rejuvenate my soul.  Please enjoy this photo and see the others I've shot on my flickr site, click the blue and red dots to the right to go there.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week 29 - Hit the Streets

Street Photography is one of my favorites.  For me, it's the ability to capture and hold a singular moment. It takes the mundane and raises it to something extraordinary.  When you look at some of the pioneers of Street Photography; Henri Cartier Bresson, Alfred Stieglitz, and Robert Frank who are the paved the way for many of us.   

When I found out about the discovery of photos by Vivian Maier, who literally came from obscurity to fame, I was truly inspired again.  The discoverer of her work, John Maloof, has a blog of her prolific work, if you get a chance please check it out.  In the digital age, the photos are instantaneous and can be sent around world.  Instagram, I am a huge fan, please follow me, just click the little camera to the right, has changed street photography for every.  

The week's assignment is Hit the Streets from my FOCUS 52 group.  I started back to work this week so my street time was down.  I did go the Hollywood Bowl to see Smokey Robinson and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and took photos of a long standing tradition of friends, food, wine and song, among other things.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 28 - Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

This is my last week of vacation.  I will be returning to a job that has become unfamiliar to me.  So I am grateful for the time away.  This vacation is the first time I've had to myself in over ten years.  I'm doing a little introspection and reevaluation.  There is nothing like a summer vacation to get that done.  The theme for my FOCUS 52 group is The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer.

This summer, and my vacation time, I'm spending at museums.  Museums are places where you are suppose to spend time in quite meditation and reflection.  The origin of the word is a place sacred to the muses; to muse, to meditate to ruminate.  In Classical mythology the muses are any number of sister goddesses, but more commonly as  the daughters of Zeus and Mnenosyne who presided over various arts.  I'm focusing on photography exhibits, surprise.  I'm also spending time at the beach, another sacred place where the work of art, called nature called nature also allows for muse, meditation and reflection.  At the right time of day or a the right beach, it can be very calming.  Sunset at the beach is also soothing and rejuvenating.  You can see some of my library photo on either flickr or follow me on instagram.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week 27 - Celebrate

This week's theme is Celebrate for our FOCUS 52 Group.  Week 27 is a week of celebrations for two of the larges counties in North America, Canada and the United States.  I believe most of our Southern neighbors celebrate their birthday's, Independence Days, around the middle of September.

Fireworks are nice.  I can say that because very few people dislike them.  I am not on of those fireworks enthusiast who attend any and every event that has fireworks.  I am not one of those who even say, "Oh there are firework at this.  That would be nice to see."  I can take them or leave them.  This past Fourth of July was the first one since both of my parents are not here and I felt like going somewhere and looking at them in the distance, far from the crowds.  My mom loved fireworks and my dad always made sure she and us little ones got to see them.  I at a barbecue that day and as it cooled off we went inside, began other social activities and completely forgot about fireworks.  Before we knew it, night time was on us and some of the fireworks shows had already begun.

I decided that I would try and catch some of the programs on my way home.  To my surprise as I turned the corner to my house, fireworks began to explode in an vacant lot of an old shopping center.  I whipped about the corner, along with other motorist and just pulled up to the curb and got out.  A new community was forming around the fireworks shoe.  People were pulling up, double parking and joining us.

I pulled out my iPhone and began to take pictures.  Those you can see on instagram.  Then I remembered my camera was in the car, so I got that one out.  This is an example of what I was able to capture.  For whatever reason, fireworks are mesmerizing.  We all stood there oohing and ahhing.  And applauded when it was finished.  Nothing else mattered for that thirty minutes.  We all left happier and some of us proud to be American.  I hope our neighbors to the North had the same sort of experience on the 1st of July.   Happy birthday to us all.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Week 26 - Half

This week marks the half way point of the 52 project with FOCUS 52.  We are half way through the year.  The weeks leading up to here seem to have gone by quickly.

I have missed the posting deadline to the Focus 52 site for several weeks, so my photos have not been shared on that site.  I've continued to post here consistently.  I thank all of my followers who have signed up and the occasional visitors for taking a look and seeing what i'm doing.

I started this blog, as you can see on the side, in 2008 when I was reading a book, Reinventing Project-Based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age by Suzie Boos and Jane Krauss.  It is about integrating technology in the classroom through the use of Project Based Learning.

I have been using the sire with greater regularity over the past two years because I have been trying to developing my photographic eye through the participation in the 52 projects.  Now that you have the history, heres the photo.  This a street lamp on Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica.  This one of my Drive by Shootings.  I chose the because of the deep blue sky in the background and the half of the reflector pedals being lit from my angle.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Weeks 24 & 25 - On the Windowsill and It's a Guy thing

For the past two weeks I have been closing up the end of a crazy school year.  This year there will be  staff leaving at different times, vandalism, staff being laid off and preparing for a new year not knowing who will be there.  I was a little distracted and could not make my posts.  I did do some shooting.

Week 24 (6/10 - 6/16) 
On the Windowsill
I shot the outside of several windows on an industrial building.  I was downtown for a meeting and drove by this edifice that has been around since early part of the last century.  This is also one of my Drive by Shootings* series.  

I'm not exactly sure what this building is but it's been around awhile.  If anyone in the LA area knows, please fill me in and I'll put the info in here.  It's a great old monolith of a building and is still being used.

Week 25 (6/17 - 6/23) It's a Guy Thing  
This was officially my last week of work, although I has been in this week several times, and the only thing I had on my mind was closing out work.  Now a days it's hard to find anything that is specifically "a guy thing".  Most things are pretty unisex these days.  I was at a meeting held at The Huntington.  The Huntington is a library, art gallery, botanical garden and restaurants.  So, we walked through these lovely gardens to get to the Tea Room where we were having our meeting.  On the way I had to take photos, with my iPhone 3Gs - the old one, because the flowers were so beautiful.

Home gardening, for the most part, is a girl thing.  Most of the home gardeners I know are women.  But at The Huntington all of the gardeners I saw were guys.  So, these flowers are my guy thing.  The guys I was were working hard at keeping these lovely grounds immaculate.

*Drive by Shooting is what I call the photos I take when I am driving by something.  I do mean driving in a car, or a passenger in a car driving by.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another Voice on Public Education

I found out about Adam Bellow today through the ISTE Remote Conference.  The annual ISTE, International Society for Technology in Education, conference was in San Diego this year.  I was not able to make it, but like the true practitioners they are, they provided access to a portion of the day of the conference online.

I enjoyed the entire day viewing the Keynote Speaker for the day, Dr. Yong Zhao, three sessions and a visit to the virtual lounge in between sessions.  The running chat within each session allowed for the interaction of participantes that I had not counted on.  I felt a sense of community and could interject and learn in return.  Virtual community at it's best.

I would have preferred to be there, but still it was a very fruitful day for me and everyone I chatted with.  Adam Bellow was a new discovery for me.  I'd like to share him and his ideas with you.  His website is a great resource and he's developing something similar to Pintrest that is a little more education specific.  Visit the sites, view the clip and enjoy.  I did.  Let's continue the conversation.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day 2012

Back in February 2011, I wrote a blog about my Dad's 90th birthday because he was awesome guy. I say was because he passed onto his next life on July 12, 2012.   I am sad beyond belief, but he passed away peacefully and in his own home. That's how he wanted it and how I'd like to go.

The night before he left, we had a long conversation about life. We talked about the family and friends who have passed on and how they spent their lives and eerily enough, we also talked about future plans that he wasn't involved in.  His wife, my mother, passed on eighteen months earlier in January 2010 and he seemed to miss her terribly.  He said on his 90th birthday, "this was the first one that Mother, has missed."  The inside joke was that my mother was the older women because she was born a month earlier.

He signed all of his greeting cards to all of us, "Your Ever Loving"

Well Daddy, Happy Father's Day!  I miss you so much.  With all of my love, you daughter, Kim, Your Ever Loving.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Week 23 - Get Down

This week's theme from FOCUS 52 group is Get Down.  The intent was to shoot at the ground level.  If you didn't want to get on the ground and shoot, the suggestion was to shoot blind.  Shooting blind means to put your camera down to that level and shoot and see what you get.  I thought it would be adventurous and kinda exciting.  I shot with the hope of finding pearls hidden on the ground level.  Not so.  I didn't like any of the photos I shot.

This week, 23, I was near Pasadena on Saturday, I love Pasadena, and had to travel by the Rose Bowl and Suicide Bridge.  I snapped a few shots of Suicide Bridge and the surrounding Arroyo.  As I was under the bridge and thought that shooting up at the bridge would fit the down portion of getting down.  It is not Getting Down as the theme suggests but I was down underneath the object I was shooting.  At times like this, I try to think about what Jan, the moderator of our 52 Group, writes at the end of each week, "Whatever you decide to do this week, follow the prompt or no, ... just have fun".

So I had fun shooting the Arroyo and it's surrounding.  I know I will return to Pasadena and shoot some more.  I didn't even have it on my list of what to shoot.   But it is now.  A few of those photos are on my flickr site.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Week 22 - Right Now

This week I took many photographs at my school's Academic Challenge Medal Ceremony, Annual Spelling Bee and the Star Party all in four day week.  This week's theme is Right Now, something captured in the moment.  This week, was so busy that I captured this light.  You can see this light while in the Drive Thru window at the McDonalds on the way to my house from work.  I was in one of those moods where I was so tired and the wait in line was taking too long.  I looked out the window, and for what ever reason, I thought this was interesting shot.  I took my iPhone and snapped it.  I gave it some effects from an app and this is what I got.  I like it and I'm sharing it with you all.

I am really enjoying this group, FOCUS 52-2012.  I get to know many of the photographers and their styles which help me.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 21 - Delicious

The theme this week is Delicious from FOCUS 52-12 group, the project 52 group I participating in.  When I hear that word, I think of food or drink.  Food photography for me takes time, lighting, and a whole bunch of stuff I don't have this week.

I did, however, take a picture of the annual solar eclipse on the West Coast.  I was returning from the seeing The Avengers, a good movie, when I remembered that the solar eclipse was occurring.  I pulled over and realized I had no special equipment to view the eclipse.  I could see people staring at the sun, a big no-no. So I started shooting something else, when it began to get dark.  I don't know if it was the marine layer or cloud coverage but the sun was visible to the naked eye.  I pulled out my iPhone and began to shoot when it moved behind som trees.  I realized I had my camera with me and got out and began to shoot.  This is one of the better one.  It may not be food or drink but it was delicious to see this very rare spectacle.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 20 - Nurture

Week 20 theme, Nurture, I saw in many places, just not when I had a camera or my old iPhone 3G was not fast enough to capture it.   But shooting every week and having fun are what we are encouraged to do my by group, FOCUS 52, so that's what I do.  

This is part of my Driving by Shooting series, to be seen on my flickr page as it grows.  These photos are taken as I drive by something interesting.  If you are like me, my brain click over into beta and just floods with non-sequitur thoughts.  This is when I'll just see something and think that scene would make a nice photo.  So I shoot it!  I don't get out of the car.  Rarely do I circle back, therefore I call it a drive by shooting.  I hope your like my non violent adaptation of some thing horrible.  My version of senseless acts of beauty. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Week 19 - Free Week

This is the first time I can remember working a seven day week with late night events.  The week started with a Big Sunday event at my school.  I had to go in to turn off the alarm.  Tuesday was Open House which started with our Academic Challenge Science Super Quiz and ending with the LEGO Robotics culminating display.  Wednesday night was a CUELA Board of Director's meeting.  Thursday and Friday were normal days with student injuries and disciplinary issues.  Saturday I have to open for psychologists to so testing.

I say all of this because I shot more photos this past week than I have in the past several weeks combined.  I don't know if the fatigue that lowered my filter on what I could shoot, or not having a prompt freed me to shoot everything.  This week's prompt was Free Week.  Either way, I had a great time.  I also found out about Instagram, an iPhone photography App on Wednesday.  I've had an fun time learning that too.  If you get a chance, you can see some of the items I shot this week.  Just take a look at my flickr photostream to the right of this post.

And Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Week 18 - Morning

Morning is Week 18th's theme and I must say, has rarely been a friend of mine.  I was always a night person.  I enjoy staying up late, even as a child.  My mother said she would fall asleep with me in the big white rocker, and at 11:00 p.m. when my dada came home, I would get up and welcome him home from work.  I enjoy the night for many reasons.  One is because it seemed quieter than day light hours.  I lived on a busy street and cars where always going and coming all hours of the daylight.  At night, it was quieter because less traffic and I  seemed to think better  My head clearer and calmer at night.  I have only learned to be a morning person because I stopped fighting the need to stay up.  And someone is paying me to be up early.

As an elementary school principal, I feel the need to be at school before everyone.  When I'm at work before everyone, I feel I can collect my thoughts.  I can prepare mentally for what might be thrown at me.  I can watch and feel the school come alive with the voices and energy of the staff, students and their parents.  So, I'm up between 5:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. and push myself out of the house and on to work.  I have trained myself to do this I know, because when I am on Winter or Summer break, I slowly slip into going to bed and waking up a little bit later everyday.   And toward the end of the break I have to re-train myself to to reverse that process.

Morning for me is when I wake up.  Sometimes that is before the sun or after the sun comes up.   But every morning, with few exceptions, I read scriptures or something uplifingly spiritual.  This too, helps me prepare for my day and all that may be thrown at me no matter if I am going to work or not.

The ultimate morning to me is sunrise.  I have seen and photographed many a sunset.  I do want to and have plans to shoot a sunrise.  So look for that one.  That photograph will be the reason I will get up in the dark, but I will also do my reading.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week 17 - Signs of Spring

Our seasons and weather are moderate all year round, so the signs of spring are very subtle.  Birds singing and the longer days of sun light are a few of the indicators of spring.  But the best way to know for sure it's spring around here is when you see the Yard Sale signs.  When you see more than a few signs, you know it's spring.  What is means is there have been enough good weather days to allow the novices and the experts alike to spread all of the wares out on the lawn or the driveway and not have to worry about it being spoiled by the rain.  This is a sign of spring, when you know you can put all of your stuff out on the lawn and people can stroll by from one yard to the next without the worry of wet weather ruining your day of selling or your day of strolling.

I was not able to get a shot of a yard sale or a yard sale sign, but I did get this shot of the windows between two storms.  I was in a stormy city council meeting where the panel and the audience did a lot of thunderous talking and rained threats on each other.  On the other side of this was high humidity, thunder and rain.  In between the thunder outside and the thunder inside, I saw this and was impressed with the symmetry, geometry, lines, shapes and repetition.  The sense of order between the chaotic storms was comforting.  I felt a calm between two storms.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"I can't die yet!  I haven't seen Gloria Estafan in concert!"  Woody the Coroner, on the TV show Psych. 

I agree Woody. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Creativity and Learning

There was a time when, creativity and learning went hand-in-hand, especially in elementary school.  Pre Schoolers, Kindergarteners and some times first and second graders were encouraged to learn through play.  They learned through finger painting, gluing, pasting, coloring, drawing, dancing, moving, singing and making music.  They learn colors, shapes, sounds, what their bodies can do, how paint feels on your fingers and what it does when you wipe it on objects like paper, their clothes, the furniture, etc.  They love to sing and move without inhibitions and with great joy.  They learn how their body feels as it moves through space and how some sound are loud and harsh and other are soft and pleasant.  There is so much that is learned through play, exploration, discovery and being creative.  

I saw a clip of Sir Ken Robinson from a 2007 TED Conference.  I have no idea how I found this clip but his talk with the audience resounded within my very soul.  He eloquently delivered and explanation one of the major reasons why our education system is failing.  Below is a edited version of the one I first saw on

Creativity and literacy should be seen as equals, as much as creativity and teaching.  Pedagogy's first definition 'is the function or work of a teacher.'  But the second definition is 'the art and science of teaching.'  Just as we have push art and creativity to the lower levels of importance in education, we have also done the same with it's importance in the realm of teaching.  When creativity is present, the student is not the only one doing the learning. We have enough of the science of teaching.  Let's get back to the art of teaching.  Let's get creative.  That is were the passion of learning and teaching lives.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week 16 - My Town

My town, this week's theme from FOCUS 52.  I was born in Hollywood, California which has not be an incorporated city since 1910.  Hollywood is more of a state of mind and an attitude than a city.  I have lived in an unincorporated part of the City of Los Angeles for the majority of my life.  What that means is I don't live in a city.  I am represented and served by the county government.  I'm kind of a woman without a city.  But I prefer to look at it as a woman surround by cities and I have adopted them all.

The entire county of Los Angeles has 88 incorporated cities and 10 unincorporated cities.  Some of the unincorporated cities are more famous than the incorporated one, they include Hollywood, Venice, Watts and San Pedro.  In the little area that I live in, I'm a few blocks from Los Angeles and Inglewood, less than 10 miles from Culver City.  My job, which is less than 20 miles from home, I am less than 10 miles from Beverly HIlls and Santa Monica.  The Beach Cities of Venice, Marina del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan, Hermosa and Long Beach are all places that are visited regularly for restaurants, shopping, theaters and other social activities.

I chose a neon sign from Hollywood and Vine because I was born in Hollywood and it is one of the many icons of Los Angeles. There was a television news anchor that would say something like, "From the deserts to the valleys and from the mountains to the sea this is the news.  As a native Angelina I agree, this is Los Angeles.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week 15 - Perspective

Perspective -

Noun:  the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth and...
Synonyms:  prospect - vista - outlook - view

This is the quick definition I found online to start this entry and it fits.  It, as you may have guessed, is the theme for Week 15 of FOCUS 52-2012.  I have done those perspective drawings in the couple of art classes that I've taken over the years.  I understand how to draw a solid object on a piece of paper with a pencil or pastel.  Perspective in photography is done with light and position.  If you look at the synonyms, they seem to fit photography closer.   Vista, view, outlook are position and what we do more of with a camera.  How the camera is placed can change how the viewer interpretes a scene, object or person.

This sculpture, Urban Lights by Chris Burden is breath taking.  I have seen it in daylight and by it's own light.  It's one of those works of art that looks different from any angle.  And the number of observers and photographers that were there on a late Saturday night says that I'm not the only one there enjoying it.  As a secondary note, across the street is a man playing an upright piano, just to add to the ambiance.

I hope you enjoy my photo.  I have a few more on my flicker page.  You can access them from the widget in the upper right of this blog.  I should really go and see this work of art for yourself at LACMA, (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).  There's no admission fee to see this, just go.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week 14 - Pastels

This was Spring Break for me week 14.  I just rested and tried to spring clean.  Needless to say, even with more time and opportunity, I didn't get out there and shoot.  Even with the lack of motivation, the shot came to me.  I was in Ralphs and saw these flowers.  They needed to be shot.  Here they are.  Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Week 13 - Stacking it Up

Stacks of ladders and wood.  Construction and craftsmen might come to mind.  This was taken from the street through an open door to a studio.  A studio for film or television is a place where other worlds are created.  Or where this world is recreated.  I imagine these ladders could be used to build sets that we may see, if the film of TV show is popular.  Or they may construct a set that is only seen by the craftsmen who built it, the actors who acted on it and all of the behind the scenes people who make the decision to not air the product. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making the magic of television and film.

I spotted this on my hunt for things that are Stacking it up.  The color of the ladders surrounded by the gray building and the gray rainy day jumped out at me.  It seemed as if everything was gray, even the plants.  All of the colors seemed to melt away into the rainy overcast day.  My assignment come from the FOCUS 52 site.  I found a few other things that were colorful on a grey day.  I hope you can find some colorful things to enjoy on your gray days.  Please check out the few I caught on my flickr site.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 12 - Minimal

My last entry was the week I fell through the porch.  That sounds tragic and funny at the same time.  I am on the mend, but am a bit slower than before the fall.  Anyway, I didn't shot much for week 11 - luck or green.  I didn't manage a few photos using my iPhone.  Photographically, I don't care for those photos because my iPhone, a 3GS, is old technology.   It does not have the flexibility of a low-end digital camera, rendering most photos blurry, fuzzy or dimly lite.   I'm not trying to blame the equipment.  I just have to learn to shot better with it.  Week 11 was also the week I went to CUE, Computer Using Educators, Annual Conference.  A great place for edu-techies.  So I was busy attending what seminars I could while coddling my wounds.  But that was last week.  You can see those photos at my flickr site.

This week, Week 12, I didn't have the opportunity, that I would have liked, to shoot.  Next year's school budget is due within a 14 day turn around.  I don't want to go into the details, but let's just say that I had worked 34 hours by the time I left work on Wednesday, and had made plans to com in of Saturday.  As a side note.  When I saw the doctor on Tuesday of last week, regarding my fall, she noted I should add vitamin D and calcium to my vitamin regime.  I don't think I'm getting enough sun.  Go figure.  But I digress. I saw this lone calla lily and thought of it's simple beauty and realized that simplicity was minimal and snapped the shot.  I hope you can enjoy it too.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 10 - Words

This weeks theme from the FOCUS 52 group is Words.  Even though you can't see them here, the words are fallen, swollen, pain, left leg and now what do I do, those are just the ones I can repeat.  I wasn't able to get any shooting done this week because I fell through my porch.  I was taking out the trash when the plank just gave way.  I fell through all the way up to my hip.  I am so fortunate.  I broke no bones.  The skin was only broken in two small places, but the soft tissue damage is extensive.  My right hip was re-injured,  a pulled flexer muscle, and sore arms from pulling myself out of the hole.  All and quite an experience.  I am using arnica montana, cream and sublingual tablets, rest (as much as possible).  The arnica has helped with the swelling and healing.  I just hope I'll be better, and or able to do more for next week's theme.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week 9 - Starts with J

This year's Project 52 helps me get outside of my day to day insanity.  The weekly assignment was "Satrts with J"  I could only think of the same few things, junk, jacket, jump and people whose names begin with J.  As I was leaving work after the sunset, I drove by the Santa Monica Airport and noticed the the windsocks on the edge of the entrance were lit up.  They were beautiful.  I made a note to myself to come back and take some photographs.  That's when it hit me, Jets starts with a J so I returned to the airport.

The Museum of Flying is located at the Santa Monica airport.  There was one of the Blue Angels.  They are the US Navy flight demonstration squadron.  They put on many thrilling air shows and are used to recruit for the US Nave and US Marines Corp.  If you have not seen one of their shows you should make an effort to see one.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 8 - Bring on the Light

I was looking for shadows and sunlight objects but to no avail.  The 11 hour work days this past week allow little time to see light artistically.  As I was leaving the market on my way home I noticed the a few homes with there porch lights on some of the surrounding homes just as night was falling.  I thought to myself, are they waiting for someone in particular or just for anyone who may show up?  What ever the reason, it seemed to me that the occupants of these homes must be the sort of people who are welcoming and friendly.  They receive friends and family readily with open arms.  This may not be the case.  The residents of these homes my just be in the habit of leaving the light on for security purposes and nothing more.  I would like to thing the believe the former.  As Week 8's theme is bring on the light, looking at these homes as welcoming and inviting, I hope that you can have some of these moments for yourself in the coming week.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 7 - Love or Red

Last week was a hum dinger because Valentine's Day was last week.  At elementary schools, Valentine's Day is basically a day to show each other how much you like each other with a card and something sweet.  This day allows students to be filled with the second highest level sugar consumption of the school year. Halloween being the first!  So, Valentine's Day is a day that is driven  and crashes on pure sugar and happiness.  That was Tuesday...

To add to the frenzy, my Student Council was sponsoring a President's Penny Parade fundraiser.  Student Council shares Presidential Trivia with all of the students and encourages them to bring in as many coins as possible for your classroom to win a Pizza Party.  Everyday, the Student Council Members would collect the coins from all of the rooms and count them to give the class their running daily total.  Well this, for what ever reason, excited the students as much as did Valentine's Day candy and cards.  So, this was a swirly wurly week for me.  Even now, I still don't want to see any coins.

I share all of this because I have been a little too frazzled to thing about the shot for this week, let alone shoot.  But I remember that I'm doing this to develop my creative side, photography, and it is usually pushed out by all of these things I stated above.  So I have to make the time!   I shot this red canister with the names of our Birthday Club on it.  We meet several times a year to celebrate birthdays, and Christmas.  My earliest memory of us meeting, was on my 30th birthday.  I'm 53.  That's 23 years.  We have managed to stay together that long, through, marriages, births, children, graduations, divorces and deaths.  That is love, because it shows the test of time.  The theme of love or red, I feel are captured in this canister.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Week 6 - Still Life

Sometimes seeing examples can stifle the imagination.  That's what happened to me this time when I saw the beautiful examples of this weeks theme, Still Life.  No, that's not true.  The examples were beautiful, I'm just using that as an excuse.  My imagination was more stifled by the stress of work this week.  But that is another story.

Anyway, I could not come up with a subject for my still life photographs for this week.  Then it came to me on Friday, after work during my evening ritual.  The ritual I'm referring to the one we all have.   You know, when we come home and we remove the professional self and put on the evening person self.  We all have one and they are all basically the same.  We put down our keys and cell phone.  We put away the tote bag or briefcase.  Then we clean out the lunchbag and wash the thermos, containers and utensils.  We remove the professional shoes, clothing, etc.  The ritual of putting away everything from our professional day in a place that we can retrieve it the next morning to become that person we are at work.

Part of my ritual includes removing all of my jewelry.  That's when I saw my subject for the Still Life theme.  I don't have lights to get the best lighting for a still life.  Nor do I have a camera that can show depth of field.  I have a point and shoot digital camera. I use whatever lighting that exists.  With ambient light and a macro setting I took this.  I did add some fading to the photo using iPhoto effects, but this is it.  The fact that my Goofy watch on it's side, kinda says it all for the week we've both had.  I hope you enjoy my shot for this week.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Week 5 - Cold

Southern California is not known for it's changes in the seasons.  We have basically have a cold fall-spring, a cold spring-fall, spring and summer, depending on how you look at it.  Compared to the rest of the country, we have a mild winter and our cold is cold for So Cal.

We do, on occasion, have weather other than sunshine and temperatures in the 70's.  Last winter, we was actually a wet one.  There was a lot of rain and snow, for us.  Now the snow was at the higher elevations, which is within a thirty minute drive if you just want to see and play in the snow, and as close as an hour if you want to enjoy winter snow sports.  We did have heavy winds earlier this winter, which caused power outages lasting anywhere from a few minutes to more than a week in some places.  The utility companies just couldn't handle the repair demand.

All of this unusual weather, for us, creates a disequilibrium for the urban flora and fauna, as well as the city folk.  I chose this tree to represent cold.  This tree just seemed to be hanging onto it's leaves.  There were many trees that had given up the struggle of hanging onto theirs.  This tree, on a major street, Pico Boulevard, not far from the intercession Pico and Sepulveda.

Trivia Alert    Trivia Alert

Pico and Sepulveda was a very popular song on the Dr. Demento radio show.  This one is for all of the fans out out there.  This link will tak you to a video that uses the song as background music.


This tree stands tall above the smaller trees that have succumb to our mild winter season.  There are tens of thousands of cars that pass by here on a daily basis not noticing this tree's determination to enter spring with some of it's leaves.  So, I thought I would take this photo and show how it is championing it battle.  If you look closely, you can see it waving at you while it continues to overcome the winter in the hope of restored spring.