I honestly admit that I am not a Dickens scholar, hardly a Dickens reader. Although I do confess to being one of the only people I know who liked A Tale of Two Cities when we read it in high school. This photo is a result of happenstance more than planning.I should claim to have known exactly how it would turn out, but I didn’t. Merging a photo of a Dickens collection and a photo of a doll’s face from an antique shop, together with a variety of blending modes produced Little Dorrit. Through trial and error I did learn a technique by which I can repeat the process.I’m anxious to hear what you think of the photo.
Monthly Archives: July 2012
Seaside Country Door
An old country door cried out for something extra. Wanting to prolong my seashore vacation longer than reality would permit, I used a photo of the shoreline off Newport, Rhode Island and divided and layered it into the door’s sections.It suits the mood of the area perfectly.
Pink Buildings Call to Me
There’s something about a pink house , maybe it reminds me of birthday cake decorations or happy spirits, but I noticed that I shoot a good number of pink buildings. The ones I’m sharing here come from Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Maybe it’s a southern thing, but the color is lighthearted . Even in their states of disrepair, there’s beauty.
A Lighthouse and A Lesson on Egmont Key
So there was this lighthouse I wanted to see. Sounds a bit like an earlier post from this week…. This one’s not all about me.My son and I took my mom on a vacation.To get to Egmont Key, you take a boat. No problem, we told my mom (who also grew up in New York City and never learned to swim), not to be afraid because we’d probably see some dolphins and all would be well. The water , a bit choppy , the boat zooming over the water, sunshine on our faces, we all relaxed. I couldn’t wait to land at the dock and start shooting. We drew close to the key and there’s no dock… There’s nothing but water. The crew is instructing us how to descend the ladder and then to wade to the key.My mom’s face said it all. I spoke to a crew member and asked if it would have been too much to tell us before we started out as to how we would get to land. His only answer was that the boat remains anchored until time to leave and if we didn’t want to leave the boat, all we could do was sit. Other passengers weighed in on our side as to how expecting this eighty year – old lady to wade through the water was wrong.But there still was no dock. A surprisingly strong voice next to me said, ” I’ll do it! ” The ladder was the easy part. My son , the first part of this sandwich, hit the water, felt the cold and the current., and grimaced at me.Mom ventured down next. One hand connected to her grandson, the other holding on to me. I descended and put my arms around her. She was shaking. The strong current and uneven bottom made trudging through chest high water difficult.Mom didn’t say a word, her teeth chattered and she put all her energy into holding tight.When we reached the beach, a crew member handed me our things. He had held them over his head as he followed us in. Mom set up camp on the beach, hung out some of her wet things on nearby branches, smiled bravely, and told us to go explore. Totally shocked, I wandered off. The key ‘s beauty is unquestionable. The lighthouse, wide swath of beach and remains of an old fort, all called to my camera. But what remained with me that day , was my mom’s strength and desire to accomplish something that terrified her in order to please us. I’m not sure I would have , but there’s a great lesson in courage for me to learn from this. After all these years , I’m still learning from my Mom.
Egmont Key Florida, Bend with the Wind
I am a fighter. Sometimes that’s a strength. Speaking your mind and standing up for things you are passionate about, those are worth doing. Sometimes I forget there are small things – those you need to let go by. This photograph is a daily reminder for me that there comes a time to bend with the wind – whether that means letting someone else lead, saving your resources for other battles or just realizing that bending is much better than breaking.
Hiking the Provincetown Breakwater
After reading about the breakwater in a guide book, and that by walking across at low tide would bring me to two lighthouses. All week I talked to people that gave me advice. Go after low tide begins, go while it’s high tide and wait.On that hot ( for Provincetown) afternoon, low tide began just after 1:00. Walking through Provincetown to a part I hadn’t explored kept my camera delighted.Finally reaching the breakwater, it occurred to me that my mental picture of skipping along rocks and gravel was far from the truth. That’s what I get for living near the Mississippi for so long.The breakwater stretches about 1 1/2 miles. The length , not a problem.It was the rocks themselves. Large spaces between threatened to bite my ankles. The water recently retreated left many slick . Uneven boulders reminded me of my trek through Cornwall. But there I wore my hiking boots, not Tevas, and I hadn’t been alone. I told myself I had come too far not to do this and what kind of message did I believe if I didn’t make the attempt.I started out and began smoothly. The further I ventured, people passed me as if I stood still. They rock hopped like mountain goats and I , the beached whale , foundered.( Just for the record, I am not whale-sized).I continued and joked with everyone along my way .I was doing fine, albeit slowly,until one man told me about water still across the path and how there was a jump. Next, a young mom with her little boy told me about swarms of black flies as you reached the other beach. They weren’t helping. Then I reached a step from one to another that slanted uphill to another. The landing space was small and the drop off deep. I stood there summoning my courage when a young man offered me his hand to guide me across. I continued. For about 3/4 of the way.All I could think of was that if I broke an ankle, my vacation was ruined. My daughter wouldn’t know where to find me. The rest of the summer would suck.That inner critic stood in full-fledged screaming mode and still I stumbled forward.Little kids with their parents met this challenge without fear. I certainly could do this! It was hot, my sunglasses fogged up and I decided an impromptu picnic would help. I sat on the edge, ate my sweet Portugese fried pastry and drank cool water. Sun on my face, I pondered, and sweated some more. In the south they say things like glistened. I still call it sweat. The view of the lighthouse at the end of the spit kept my camera busy. About then, I realized that my purpose in coming was to shoot the lighthouse and enjoy the scenery. The only person I need to prove something to was me. If I could see my experience as a success, then it was. Proving to myself that I could hike in a dangerous spot (for me) wasn’t really the issue, it lay in determining whose expectations I needed to satisfy.The people coming back hadn’t visited the lighthouse, it didn’t interest them.I could take good shots, go to the beach in the later part of the day and enjoy the rest of the summer without feeling like a failure. I started back with a smile on my face. Rock-hopping became a bit easier. At the junction , the young man waited to offer his hand. He said ” I waited here in case you needed me, it looked like you were o.k., but just in case.” The fact that he had given any thought to me at all warmed my heart. I retraced my steps more easily until I reached the end. Sometimes, regret isn’t appropriate. Next time, I’d bring reinforcements. The next day , there was mention of a young girl who had broken her leg on the breakwater. Maybe her inner critic didn’t yell as loudly as mine did. Sometimes mine ‘s a real shrew. Other times, she’s right.
Sometimes I Get Carried Away
This photo collage began as a moody shot of old church remains from outside Savannah, Georgia. While fine on its own, it appeared to need a gothic/romantic element, so I added a ghost.I knew she was there , but to the casual observer ( I used my husband as the guinea pig) , she wasn’t noticeable. The shoe came next, probably too Cinderella, but I pictured an outdoor ball on a dark evening, so of course we needed light. A few filters later and I was done or should I say overdone? That is the question.
A Bonus From Nature: Sunset vs. Full Moon
Full moon and sunset, there seems to be a question of timing. Full moon in all it’s early July splendor seemed so eager to show off that it refused to wait for the sunset to surrender. For my daughter and I watching the battle of wills on shore it captivated our attention. As we walked the streets of Provincetown, we’d check down side streets to see how the view changed. Every time we paused I felt like the Pied Piper because crowds would come up behind us and finally notice.Then all the phones came out! We followed until the sun retired and the moon triumphed in this skirmish.
French Roses or Playing with Layers
I could leave well enough alone and just enjoy the roses as they start to fade. And I do. The scent changes. The edges transform and as the colors watercolor into a softer palette, I let them sit for much longer than I should. All because I hate to let them go and love to shoot their portraits.Today’s photos added French text and illustrations to transform them further.I do love playing with layers. No harm was done to the flowers.
A Visit to Superman’s Hometown in Metropolis, Illinois(?!)
On the way to St.Louis, traveling on Rt. 24, from Paducah Kentucky, I couldn’t resist the signs for Metropolis, Illinois. My first thought was to grab a cute photo of the sign for my husband and to make tracks for St. Louis.As we drove into town, I realized it would take a bit longer. I didn’t know there was a statue, a newspaper called The Planet and a museum.
An old town on the Ohio River, Metropolis sits in the far southeast corner of Illinois. Still maintaining its history and buildings, the town has tied its tourist status to Superman.In 1972, DC Comics named Metropolis, Superman’s hometown.
Every year, the town hosts a four-day Superman celebration in the second week of June.Unknowingly, by only a few days, I had missed the chance to shoot hundreds of people in blue tights and red capes as they swarmed or flew into town.Disappointed at the missed opportunity, I still checked out the museum and store.
As I wandered, my faint knowledge of comics made me question the hometown issue.(While I admit to reading Superman, Archie and Veronica, and Millie the Model; my favorite was a comic about codes and spies during WWII . )I was concerned because I thought Superman, born on Krypton, was raised on a farm in Smallville . I realized that as an adult he worked for the Planet in Metropolis, but to me that’s not a hometown.
When I returned home to Memphis, I checked several dictionaries for “hometown” . The consensus is the town of one’s birth, childhood or main residence. For me ,there’s a difference. I consider New York City my hometown because I was born and raised there. I’ve lived in Memphis a great part of my adult life, but it’s not my hometown. Even today, natives will hear me speak fast and say “You’re not from here, are you?”
The Cambridge Dictionary refined its definition by adding ” especially the one in which they were born and lived in while they were young.”
Back to Metropolis, it seems that DC Comics changed the location of Superman’s childhood in Smallville many times in its comics. Over its history, Smallville has been located in Kansas, Pennsylvania, northeast New Jersey and Maryland.Maybe it was just easier to choose a town like Metropolis and be done with the hometown issue. Of course then there is the town of Krypton, Kentucky (population around 3,400) and Smallville, Mississippi in Jackson County and how they missed out on the title.
I think that Metropolis was smart to trade in on the PR value of its name and has tried to do right by Superman and the town.
But on the highway, next to the Superman billboard, is this man in the grocery store parking lot . If something were to change, he looks ready to help out.
So my question is : what do you consider to be your hometown? If someone asks “Where are you from?” What do you answer?