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.