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. ūüôā

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.

 

Rain and Replenish

Winter has finally arrived Рat least our version of this season. Several major storms have recently passed through Southern California and left behind a solid snow pack in the local mountains and replenished our riverbeds and lakes.

Kona and I ventured to our favorite neighborhood park and were thrilled to see the small lake filled up with water again. I can’t remember the last time¬†I saw so many ducks and geese waddling and floating around.

It was a perfect opportunity to test out my new super-zoom lens. I was very happy with the quality of the photos and it was fun getting so close to these birds and animals without scaring them or disturbing their activities.

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Mom said¬†I’m not allowed to roll around on any dead things…but I think I’m gonna do it anyway…

Along with the water fowl are plenty of well-fed squirrels. These critters will eat snacks right out of your hand. I swear this little guy was posing for the camera. He waited patiently and gave me his best profile.

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Photos come at a price, lady

This park has been my sanctuary away from the concrete jungle since I was a child. Though we have gorgeous beaches within walking distance, sometimes I crave to be near green trees and hear the sounds of creeks and rivers. I try to make the most out of these small pockets of nature around town.

Having a connection to nature is essential for all humans, especially those of us who live in suburbia. The older I get, the more I feel pulled towards the slower pace of the forest and the trees. Most of all, I love the quiet.

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Mom says I look like a Dingo here. Why does she keep asking me if I took the baby?

There’s nothing I like more than to experience the beauty of nature¬†with my favorite companion. Kona has a blast sniffing everything and attempting to catch the squirrels.

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Enchanted forest

When I was a kid, summer time was my favorite season, hands down. These days, I’m loving the crisp, cold feel of winter. After a solid rainfall, the air feels and smells clean and the colors of the atmosphere have a bluish tone, making for fantastic sunsets.

The perfect end to a long day.

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Onward, driver¬†– it’s chow time!

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!

Wags and woofs,

~ Lori and Kona

Rainy Days, Kitten Style

Rainy winter days are perfect for indoor activities, like taking pictures. Actually, I was just feeling lazy and wanted to get some shots of these little bums who kept following me around the house.

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Hi mom. Can I please play with your mouse?

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My little nugget waits patiently for me to get off of the computer.

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I know I am beautiful.

A Wider Perspective

We made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday and have landed on Cyber-Monday. These are all national holidays, right?

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Yes, please, I’ll have that bacon treat!

I celebrated Black Friday by taking advantage of an instant rebate offered by Nikon¬†and¬†got myself a new camera and a wide-angle lens. I’m¬†excited about my¬†new gear, and you will all be seeing more pictures of Kona’s¬†handsome face as well as his feline¬†brothers as well.

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Let’s BUNGLE in the JUNGLE! I’m a tiger Hear me RAWR!

This wide-angle lens, a Nikon 16-35mm, allows me to see the bigger picture. An ordinary portrait becomes more of a story, like an environmental portrait, allowing for more creativity.

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You know I’m your favorite¬†cat, right?

I’m¬†finishing up my¬†Fall semester and am¬†REALLY looking forward to some time off to play with my¬†new equipment and start getting more posts (and pictures) up on the¬†blog.

Hope you all had a great holiday week, and a very happy Monday to everyone!

Woofs and wags,

~ Lori, Kona, Scout and Pumpkin

Dog Day Afternoon, Ocean Style

On this fine Saturday morning Kona and I started off to Dog Beach. As we were cursing along Coast Highway, the traffic became thick with brake lights and people were swarming the are. Oh crap. I finally realized it was the final weekend of the US Surf Open.

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Luckily, we got through downtown without a glitch and found great parking. This guy found great parking too.

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Good ol’ Ruby’s Diner. Back when I was a kid it was¬†The End Cafe, before it was destroyed by huge waves in¬†1983.

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No, bub, I’m not following you into the water just yet.

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Harbor Patrol keeping it safe.

DSC_0021Remember what happened last time you drank salt water? Highly undesirable after-effects.

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Rottie-love.

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C’mon already! It’s time to get wet!

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Pretty houses on the way back to the car.

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More pretty houses. Some were empty! Do people actually live here?

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 Cheers to a fabulous weekend!

Hot Soup + Cold Night = Winter Blues Be Gone

Lentil soup to warm yer soul

Lentil soup to warm yer soul

 

I’m actually starting to like winter. What used to be my least favorite season is turning into opportunities¬†for crackling fires and comfort food. The winters here on the west¬†coast pale in¬†comparison to more snow-laden areas¬†of the country, but the moisture from the marine layer near the beach can actually be chilly, especially at night.

What better way to warm me¬†bones (aargh, matey!) on a cold, rainy night¬†than simmering a stock¬†pot full of hot¬†lentil soup? These little legumes are my personal favorite. I love the taste, and they’re super easy to cook.

Super Simple Whole Food Deliciousness

Super Simple Whole Food Deliciousness

Super Easy Lentil Soup Recipe:
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2¬†cups red lentils
  • 1 can large diced tomatoes, drained
Instructions:
  1. Sauté onions for 5 minutes, until soft, adding a teaspoon of water to pan as needed. Add garlic and potato chunks. Cook until soft and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika and salt, stirring until fragrant.
  3. Add vegetable broth, lentils and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover and cook approximately 40 minutes until lentils are tender.

Bon app√©tit! Enjoy yer Sunday¬†ūüôā