Sunday Morning Sunshine

I love sunny mornings.

Here in Southern California, we usually have an abundance of sunshine. This winter, however, has been colder than usual with plenty of gray days and rain.

This morning we awoke to the sunshine pouring through the windows. The skies are clear and it finally feels like spring.

Kona and I ventured to the local school and he spent the entire morning sniffing pretty much every blade of grass. We came across two little friends peeking into the school yard.

Feeling happy to share a little sunshine and gratitude from our corner of the world.

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Luminesce

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Luminesce: to exhibit luminescence.

Luminescence: the low-temperature emission of light (as by a chemical or physiological process); also : light produced by luminescence

Luminesce, luminous, luminescent. It’s all about reflected light. Painting with light, as though the camera is my paint brush.

I shot these photos recently for my final project in my Art Photography class. I had resisted signing up for this class, even though it is required for the certificate. I figured photography is all about learning technical skills, not creativity. Besides, I already have an art degree…I’m already creative, right?

As it turns out, this has by far been my favorite class. The teacher encouraged us to dig deep and take chances, and she made it feel safe to do so. She gave honest and constructive feedback, as did the entire class. After so many classes with very specific requirements and no room for creativity, I felt very much at home with this freedom.

With a few trips to the 99c store I had a solid collection of colored glass. The sun was out and I lined up the glass on the cement patio and played around with the composition, using various lenses and aperture settings.

This project was more about textures, shadows and light. Not so much about the subject. I wanted to create an image that allowed the viewer to slow down and gaze at the entire photo.

I’ve been fascinated with reflections of colored glass since childhood. The stained glass windows in the Catholic church I attended as a kid was a constant source of inspiration.

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I can see myself creating very large prints of this type of work. The computer screen doesn’t do it justice. Seeing a printed, tangible photograph, is a different experience, especially these days, where just about everything is virtual and on screen.

Thank you for joining me on this mini studio tour of my creative work. I hope you enjoyed it. 🙂

Best in Show

The other night we were channel surfing and I stopped on a dog show. Scout was transfixed, watching the dogs and their handlers glide across the floor. He tends to watch TV when there are animals, especially cats. It looks like dog shows have become his new favorite.

Does your pet watch TV? If so, do they have a favorite show?

Christmas in Lights

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We went to the Huntington Harbor Christmas Boat Parade recently. As always, I had my camera in tow and snapped plenty of pictures capturing the colorful reflections shimmering on the water. My husband asked me why my most of my pictures didn’t have boats or people in them. Honestly, the abstract reflection of light is more dazzling to me.

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I haven’t been to this boat parade since I was a kid. It seemed so much bigger when I was younger! I have a feeling there’s not as many people taking their boats out, at least not as many as in the Newport Beach Boat Parade. Now that’s a parade that takes an entire evening to watch. Nonetheless, the pretty lights and spending time with my hubby on the boat was worth the lack of parking and subsequent long hike to our boat.

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Though the theme of this year’s parade was Route 66, Tom Petty, Steve Miller, and the Allman Brothers filled the night air, which was fun, because that’s my era of music. There were a few boats playing traditional Christmas tunes as well.

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Beautiful lights are my favorite part of Christmas, as well as sharing good cheer and spending time with loved ones.

I’m feeling particularly blessed this year. Nothing too big, just a heart full of gratitude for my husband and my beloved animals.

Cheers to a beautiful Christmas season.

End-of-Semester Celebration

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It’s about time you paid attention to me

This morning I celebrated the end of another semester by taking Kona on a nice long walk near the beach. We strolled through a newly built outdoor mall, taking in the chilly, crystal clear air and holiday cheer.

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This semester was particularly challenging and time consuming, but worth every minute. All of the technical skills learned so far have come together in my architectural photography class, as well as an appreciation of textures and tones.

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Metal and wood textures

Though I’m grateful for having the opportunity to participate in a great photography program, it feels really nice to get back to taking pictures just for the sake of capturing moments that are dear to me. It’s important to keep it fun by spending time with my favorite model.

 

Dog Beach and Inner Puppies

Fact: It is impossible to be in a bad mood at dog beach.

There is something about the ocean that transforms this middle-aged dog into a wild-eyed puppy. Watching him splash around guarantees a smile formation on both of our faces.

I don’t know why mommy keeps calling me Cujo

Because of the gorgeous light, my favorite time to hit the beach is early morning or late afternoon. Weekdays are also better for smaller crowds, which suits us fine since Kona is more interested in water-biting and rolling around on dead things than interacting with other dogs.

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When will I learn that ingesting salt water doesn’t end well?

Although there’s usually a few dogs who catch his interest, they just go for a few rounds of play and move on.

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Thanks for the play time! Gotta move on down the road now.

Beach dwellers often leave behind some interesting items. Kona scouted out this stuffed beaver. I’m pretty sure he wanted to get ahold of it and create a beach snow scene.

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Is this an ocean beaver?

And of course, he poops at least twice in the sand. Every. Single. Time.

Hey lady, when you gotta go, you gotta go, right?

The ocean is so healing and invigorating, especially after a long week. Totally worth the salty-sandy mess it creates in my car. Experience has taught me to always have a towel or two in my car, especially for days like this 😉

Okay lady, let’s go! Time for this doggy to eat dinner.

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