Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tierney Gearon-Photographer

Tierney Gearon-The Mother Project was off my radar until Netflix suggested this to me.  I was like an assistant again watching her shoot. I loved how revealing the documentary was. (I am such a voyeur.)   Reviews were mediocre for the film.  You'd have to be a photographer to really appreciate this film or a psychology student or someone who had experienced or is experiencing a deconstruction of your childhood.

My feelings towards her fluctuate between anger and understanding.   Part of me sees Tierney as a self absorbed artist driven to the point of addiction and someone who was exploited by the Art World as she exploited her mother.   Then again, I see what a gift Tierney and her mother and children have given us by this opening of their lives.  I see them as brave and innocent, strong and giving.   I am moved by it all.  So I guess it is successful as an art film, and a project and, she, as an artist.  I am emotionally stirred by the whole experience.  

The image that stands out to me the most is the one of her mother standing on the frozen lake with the most comfortable, relaxed expression.  She is beautiful and Tierney was honoring and loving for shooting it.  The film has this particular shoot or day recorded.  I guess by seeing what her mother gave her makes the image that much more powerful for me.  I was very anxious for them walking out on a thawing lake.  I saw everyone was profiting from this venture except the mother.  She was making it all happen.  And Tierney was obviously thankful. 

Her mother may have been lacking in nurturing as Tierney was growing up but she certainly is giving to her now.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dropping the Rock

Being the last Monday of 2008 and in the spirit of resolutions for the New Year I want to add to the pool of commitments blogged about, preached about, talked about.  I will be carrying no guilt, resentment, remorse or any negativity into 2009.  Rev. Buchanan's passionate sermon yesterday was themed "Shakin' the Dust Off Your Shoes."  So I am heading into the New Year letting go, dropping the rock, loosing the chains.  I plan on living my life more thankfully.  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Unseasonably Warm Holidays

I am at the age where Christmas holds no excitement for me but I am glad to have the holidays surrounding it. (only now am I really paying attention to all the Christmas lights and Christmas trees.)  All is quite and I am purposefully treating myself to little things I don't do throughout the year like reading fiction in the middle of the day, baking cookies or riding my bike to no particular place. And I am loving the weather.  It was so windy last night; we took a bike ride in the moon light.  

Today after attending a very emotional and passionate sermon at the Fifteenth Ave North Baptist Church by the Rev. Buchanan, I drove around North Nashville and Germantown area and explored the way people had decorated for Christmas as well as how the neighborhood is living. Couches and chairs at storefronts, basketball goals rolled out to the street, chairs place out in the driveways, ribbon woven thru the picket fences, back alleyways opening out onto the streets - things I don't see in my neighborhood.  I love this area.  So much of North Nashville, up and down Buchanan, DB Todd, Herman St, Jefferson St is unchanged since the 70's or even earlier.  So to me it is wonderfully unique and exciting.  I saw St. Vincent de Paul for the first time. Being Catholic I heard of St. Vincent de Paul all my life.  We collected money for St. Vincent at my parish.  It was sweet small church with a sweet, small school beside it. Nuns ran the school from 1934 to 1973.  It is the only Catholic school dedicated to educating the African American children in Nashville or the state.  I will have to revisit to get my fact straight.  

In the back parking lot, behind the school and church were basketball goals and the baskets had chains instead of nylon rope.  I hadn't seen this in years.  It is those simple things I see in North Nashville that are nostalgic to me.  Rough or not the neighborhood has a community, small town feel that I miss or long for in my life.  Living in the whitewash, generic, conservative area of town can be uninspiring.  It just seemed as if I had driven into a new city.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bah Humbug

I just don't have it in me anymore to get excited over Christmas.  My attitude towards purchasing gifts is dead in the water before I ever head out the door.  Nothing in the stores seems to have staying power for even a year that I could afford as a gift. And I see this whole Christmas thing a commercial brainwash.   I am always at a loss to buy a meaningful gift for my love ones anyway.  Today my attitude was so poor that once the potential gift was in my hands and I was turning towards the cash register or putting the thing into my buggie even I had seen the thing broken, passe or a big ole waste of space in the lives of my family or friends.  I was not one to be around today.   I hate all this spending.  With the economy the way it is I was amazed to see anyone out anyway. Where the hell are they getting their money and why spending  on just stuff.  I've been feeling very UnAmerican by not circulating my cash; I'm not doing my American part.  I don't go outside into the world lately just b/c money always seems to fly out of my hands.  Hell,  breathing spends money.  Momma use to say that "money is not the most important thing in the world, but it's right up there with oxygen."  How true it seems to me today.

Well-Happy Spending.  Bah Humbug.- 

Speaking of that-  Mom and I have been reading "A Christmas Carol" and Dicken's writing is absolutely wonderful.  Reading it out loud is like a roller coaster for the tongue.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sam Wagstaff

Yesterday while lying about on the couch mending a sick body I watched the biography/documentary Black White + Gray by James Crump about Sam Wagstaff and his lover and friend, Robert Mapplethorpe.  I knew all about Mapplethorpe but nothing about Sam Wagstaff.  He was a huge influence on photography and its rise to popularity as a true art form during the 70's and 80's.  If anyone is interested in learning a little bit about how this man contributed to the art scene and history of these two men check out the film.  It is not as much information as I'd like so I will be doing more research on Sam Wagstaff if possible but there are interviews with some interesting people about their relationship with Mapplethorpe and Wagstaff, such as Patti Smith, Dominick Dunne.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Xmas Tree Lot

I wish so much to be out shooting in this magical weather we are having here this evening.  The street lamps are casting long shadows of the trees onto my front lawn.  The fog has created a soft backdrop for them.  The night has an eerie glow.  

Last week I had the privilege of spending time with Susana Raab.  She was on her way home from NOLA and stopped for a rest.  Thank you Susana for your help with the shoot at the Boy Scout Tree Lot and the much needed belly laughs.  I love your cynical humor.  I hope to meet up with you again and my home is open to you anytime.

If you are not familiar with her work please visit her site.  Her photography is just as humorous and sharp as she.  It was great to talk business and then just hang together.  It reminds me how important it is to stay connected with other photographers, especially other women photogs.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Where do I begin.  It is early morning and thoughts are running through my head so fast I can't pin one down to apply to my writing.  Let's see if I can settle down long enough.

The thought that seems to resurface most is the experiences I had yesterday at the 
"Team Meeting" for my mother at her nursing home.  (This part of my life seems to be taking the dominant place.)  Reasons behind these "Team Meetings" is a place we can voice our concerns about the care our mother gets (and learn about her health). The people who have the most contact with her are not there.  So all of this really makes no sense to me.  We express our needs, the head nurse, the program director, the assistant director make notes and then we are encouraged to bring  attention to the problems as they arise to whomever is in charge on the floor at the time.   The problem here is that we would be spending our time focusing on problems and creating resentments towards us with the very people who care for our mother.  The ADirector didn't seem to understand our/my issue with this.  Why are we to do their job monitoring their help.  I just would rather not have to work on bringing up issue each time  I go see my mother.  I prefer to spend time with her and hell I'll do the work.  Brushing her teeth, flossing her teeth, washing her faces, cleaning up her nails, doing her hair, changing her if needed, the list goes on.  I once cleaned out her ears and the wax build up was huge.  There is no way the Techs are going to put any time in caring to this degree.  When I go the tuck her in at night, her barrettes are still in her hair, earrings in her ears and of course her teeth are dirty. When we are not there who does those little things, but necessary things.  Why not have a liaison for the residence, a monitor for the Techs.  So I guess all the Techs are responsible for letting things slip.  How can they do all of it.  We are learning as we go to the degree to which we need to care for her. What they do at the nursing home is keep an eye on her, sort of.   Why if I spent the time with these issues instead of doing them myself which is far easier to do then go hunting down and bring attention each time to the situation I'd never see my mother.  Somehow I must work this out in a good way for myself in my heart and head so I am happy and comfortable.  I don't want to create an atmosphere of discomfort for all the nurses and Techs anyway.  This is my home to visit my mother.  I don't want to have to be greeted by sour faces.

Of course Momma is oblivious or rather has no issue to these problems.  She just is so congenial and grateful. And I don't want to bring her attention to problems-so I just do what needs to be done with my mom rather than spend time with issues and not worry when I am not there to do the little things.
We are blessed.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Halloween 2008

Halloween is my favorite time of the year.  I needed to work on something tonight that gave me a happy thought and fond memories of my childhood innocence. 
 Too much death and dying has been on my mind.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

We just got back for the movie The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  And Friday Mom and I watched Autumn Hearts about Drancy.  Both movies deal with Concentration Camps.  

Earlier this year I was in Dachau.  The museum there is probably one of the best I have ever seen.  There was so much information that 1 day would not do it justice.  It was a dark, overcast day the day I were there, but at the very end of my visit the sun broke through.  I was one of the last to leave the camp that day.  It was eerie and quite, cold and dark.  The horrors that took place there those many years ago were too much to take.  I finally had to cut away from all the information and just wonder the grounds.  The evil was hard to get away from but thankfully the museum has put  beautiful memorials and a chapel and convent on the grounds.  It left a feeling of hope with me.  After seeing this movie though I feel as if I didn't give Dachau the attention necessary.  What a horrid place to live near.  I wonder how long it took the citizens of Dachau to make peace with living in such a strong presence as a death camp?

The following link is actual footage taken at Dachau at the time of liberation.  It was finally release and aired on Frontline in 1985, 40 years later.  Link here

Monday, November 24, 2008

Neighborhood Redux or Changing of the Guard

This particular home has been without a warm body living in it for over 2 years now.  It sits lonely and cold on a slight hill just past my mother's home.  I pass it nearly everyday.  The deer have it on their grazing route.  At dusk I occasionally spot a doe or two darting across the road to the woods beside and beyond the house.  

I have always loved this home and its location.  The woods seem to snuggle up behind it and the knoll it sits on gives it a pedestal of protection from the road below. She painted it pink and there were a bank of aluminum louvre style windows, very 50ish, prominently positioned at the front as if she was proud of them.  The concrete stairs leading up to her front door were poured so well that even as a young girl I was impressed.  

Radnor Lake

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Interesting Connections

I love the way these two images looked together.  It is part of my find on the work I'm doing for the exhibit on Spirituality in Nashville.

Yesterday I was exploring and shooting at the Congregation Micah.  I had  the whole temple and grounds to myself.  It was so peaceful.  The openness & receptiveness of the place was in itself spiritual.  I so appreciate the respect, the trust and the welcoming that was extended.  I do not want to work too hard in this project.  I want to glide through the process.  I feel I'd be defeating the purpose if I turn this into to a job.  So I don't even carry lights.  I don't even want to use a tripod.  Impressionistic then it will be. "Focus is over rated." (Henri Cartier Bresson). It is about experience for me, this process.  I am letting go of the results.  

As the sun was setting and I had pretty much finished shooting at the Temple I was standing quietly at the window looking out over the fields and a buck lopes by towards the woods.  His rack looked like a Menorah. ( I've never noticed the similarities before.  But I'm not Jewish and so my mind isn't conditioned that way.)  It was magical; a special moment.  It was just me and him.

I love the feeling I have in spaces.  Just below my diaphragm and deep in  my gut I get a flutter of excitement when I am in a world alone yet comfortable.  Nothing else compares to this feeling.   It is the place of a place that is magical to me.  As a child I'd sneak into people's homes when they were gone.  I was as young as 4 too.  Amazing that I had the desire to do it so early.   I still try to get into empty schools, abandon buildings, vacated homes.  I love going to open houses and estate sales too.  Not so much to see the house but to see the evidence of its history. The chipped paint, the dirty door knobs, the hooks in the walls all tell a story.  

I've been shooting the homes around my neighborhood that are empty.   I live in an area where the older owners are dying and leaving them in different stages of disrepair.  The homes are either torn down or moved or repaired.  Much of the time they're left abandoned for extended times.  It is part of saying goodbye to this part of my life b/c it is the neighborhood I grew up in as well. It all seems to be falling together in someway.   My mother's home, my childhood home being sold, my aging mother, the shift of the neighborhood, the search of peace and spirituality in my hometown all seems to be connected.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Purpose #8

I haven't seen a photographic magazine that I 've so thoroughly enjoyed as this one.  I would love to share it with anyone interested.  And for me to find the very issue that is so meaningful for me is magic.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tibet-The Cry of the Snow Lion

Talk about putting things in perspective.  We watched this documentary last night and it certainly was humbling for me.  

This film is about the history of Tibet and  the Chinese occupation.  The power for me was the incredible tenacity of the Tibetan people and the love and teachings of Buddhism and the importance of forgiveness. 
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
-Dalai Lama

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cleaning Out My Mother's Home

I lost it today.  I broke my own rules today.  I spent too much time alone at my mother's home, my childhood home and my thoughts get crazy and my heart gets heavy.  

I threw away magazines my mother had so painstakingly saved and organized. Folded and boxed for Goodwill contributions all the clothes she loved and held on to as far back as the 70s.  It broke my heart to do it.  On a good day I could have managed, but today my mind wasn't disciplined to keep it focused on positive. I think sometimes and it pisses me off that the world doesn't see the pain quite like I do.  I feel alone in this feeling. I am alone in this/my feeling. Sometime I even feel my siblings can't appreciate just how I feel about seeing my mother's things reduced to trash.  But I do know other people have suffered this same hurt.  And I do know my sisters and brother hurt.  I am not the first to have experienced the aging and the inevitable death of a parent. 

One of my sisters goes there often and part of me understands why she subjects herself to the pain of it.  It is crazy but in a sick sense it is honoring mom's pain of loosing this part of her life, and ours too, really.  I get angry sometimes when I see someone escape the pain.  It seems to me they are not thankful enough for what she was and is today.  On a good day I am more loving, but today I am sad and I get aggressively angry.  Tomorrow I will probably feel guilty and emotionally hung over.  Today I am in the shit.

I love you Momma.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There are So Many Bloggers/Social Media

I have discovered another world of bloggers.  Another night caught up in it.  I am amazed the discoveries.  There is an intense amount of creative people in the world.  This is what I've found tonight via a friend's blog.  She owns flora vintage and from there I discovered style rookie and Sally Jane Vintage and it goes on from there... and on and on and on.  I guess this is Social Media.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day and Daddy

      "JOSEPH REYNOLDS, Technical Sergeant, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 22d Infantry, for heroic service in connection with military operations against an enemy of the United States in the vicinity of Buchet, Germany, 15 September 1944.  In the absence of the platoon leader, Sergeant REYNOLDS, platoon sergeant, was assigned the mission of clearing a path through enemy mine fields, in order that tanks might advance in support of his battalion, which was engaged in an attack upon the enemy.  With the exercise of courage and initiative, he led his men forward, locating and removing all mines within the path of advancing tanks, despite additional hazards and difficulties imposed by intense enemy artillery and small arms fire.  The task was accomplished with very slight casualties, and tanks and troops proceeded, unimpeded by mines, to the successful completion of their mission.  Sergeant REYNOLDS' superb performance at a critical time reflects great credit upon himself and the military service."

                       By command of Major General BARTON:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Estate Sale

Saturday was the long awaited estate sale of my mother's things.   I purposely kept my mind from letting the significance take over and so I concentrated on the positive aspects of the event.  My cousin Donna was a huge help in keeping the experience a pleasure.  We were "recycling."

We had several visitors from family and oldest friends stopping by to see the passing of a part of their life. I have failed to realize that my immediate family isn't the only ones suffering this goodbye.  Seeing my mother's brother and his children and my mother's late sisters' children made me see how much they all love my mother and needed to give emotional support to us and get something at the sale to remind them of her.  It was a support I did not remember I needed.

I thought I'd have time to photograph during the day but photography became secondary in this occasion.  It was too much for me to be a sister, daughter, cousin, niece and sales person to be involving myself in anything but the experience of people going through my mother's things.  I just had to sit and watch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

APA National Competition Awards

I am the proud recipient of a 1st place award from the APA National Photo Competition.  Yeah! The image I entered is one I am very moved by still and I am glad it was the one I sent. The other winners can be view at the APA National Photo Contest

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Difficult Decisions & Respecting Pain

Today a friend was faced with a difficult decision.  It was a decision she has tried to skirt away from for many days but it finally caught up to her today.  I have learned her pain was real and some people may not understand because there are many more difficult and profound decision to make. But I was faced with the same one 3 years ago and before I had been put to the test I really did not appreciate the pain of those who had suffered the same. I am guilty of having been cynical and smug, and sometimes I can forget myself and return to that unsympathetic and unfeeling egotism.  My friend put her dog down today.  Through her tears and struggling breaths she asked for my help and immediately I was taken back 3 years before.  Murphy was 16 and had lived a good life and suffered so little but it was hard for me to make the decision. Once done I was immediately relieved, sad but relieved.  The decision is the difficulty. Afterwards the business of grief and adjustment can get on; healing can begin.  The pain is very real though and I am thankful I remembered today.

My sisters and I struggled with the decision of my mother's care.  Each of us would have our days where the one decision we had made was the wrong one and the other sisters would have the duty of talking the distraught off the proverbial ledge. We can loose touch with reality when we are too blinded by emotions.  I like to think of it as standing too close to the painting.  

One day many years ago during a particularly cynical period of my life a very kind and wise gentle friend  sweetly shared that judging another's pain is impossible.  I try to remember that every chance I have and use the opportunity to love the sufferer towards hope and healing. It is stupid and egotistical to compare pain.  But I must be honest I have been guilty.  Now I want to appreciate where I am going and remember where I have been.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Foto Week DC

I am hoping to get to Foto Week in DC this November.  To me photojournalism is the highest rung on the photography ladder .  I fantasize that I will become a documentary photographer or a photojournalist working for a news magazine or paper.  I'm not saying that I don't enjoy what I do now.  I just would like to leave my mark on the world in the service of education.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sri Ganesha Temple Family

 I could spend my whole project on the Indian members of Sri Ganesha Temple.  

Today in Kentucky

Pleasant drive to Calhoun today to photography a woman of strength and hope.  She is a survivor of two heart surgeries.  As I type this I realize I can't post the image without possibly infringing on the rights of the magazine.  It was a clear day and the sky was cloudless and deep blue.  It was a perfect backdrop for our subject.  I love the autumn sunlight too.  The sun hangs low in the southern sky for hours.  It created a angelic glow around her body.  

I can post this image.  It was a nice surprise for the Monday.  All day Monday we lit each picture and it can stifle the emotion of the subject.  Or is it just me that gets stifled.  Anyway I love how his eyes are dark and he is a man who can pull it off and still look good.   This has been added to my "work in progress" website. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Trees on F Blog

Yeah.  i have images up on F Blog.  Thank you Gruppo F and Fredrik Skott for posting them.

Rachel DiPillo

I shoot many images that never see the light of day.  This is one image I have only revisited today and thought I'd post it for me.  She is such a beautiful person and I'd love to shoot more of her.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The River Inside Review

It was a wonderful turnout at the Tennessee State Museum for the show "The River Inside." Along with the Platinum prints the curator, Susan Knowles, had maps of the Mississippi showing the areas each set of prints were taken.  Also John's canoe and selected equipment was displayed.  It brought home to me the massive undertaking this adventure was for John. Quotations from the book accompanied each photograph and John's openness with the physical, psychological and emotional pain he was enduring was endearing and warming to me. And even though I had some initial negative reaction to the props typical of museum exhibits there was more of an emotional impact.
I have talked a little with John about art and the struggles of being an artist.  It got me thinking after seeing this show how artist almost have to keep an internal struggle going to be creative. There seems to be some driving force to tame inside artist, otherwise there would be no art. The title of the show suggest this symbolically.  Some artist struggle more than others but there seems to be a place of pain until the art is out.  I couldn't help think too that once the struggle is over for John how empty he may feel. I wonder what his next project will be.  This one will be a hard one to follow.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The River Inside

A friend of mine, John Guider,  is finally having his photography show, The River Inside.  I was just at his place a couple of days ago dropping off 20x24 inch developing trays that I no longer use.  John is printing only Platinum prints now.  And I got the privilege of seeing one of his newly finished Easter Island prints up close and unframed.  I gasped involuntarily; it was just so beautiful.  I was able to get one of his books that chronicles his adventures while I was there too. If you aren't familiar with the project, John traveled the Mississippi River from its source to is terminus in 6 months.  

His opening is Oct. 14th.  I hope to see you all there to support an artist who continues to live life to it's fullest.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Take the Test

Color Test

I found this on Tethered and Elizabeth did so well.  I can't say I did.  When I get better I will show my results.   I am aiming for 0.  Check out Elizabeths at Tethered

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ganasha Temple & Chua Tinh-Tam Temple

This morning earlier I was at the Buddhist Temple Chua Tinh-Tam again.  I am loving it.  I plan to return at some point to record the chanting.  It is the entrancing.  An hour and a half gone from me without notice.  This photo of the nun was taken last week.  It is amazing how much she looks like Buddha.  

I am mesmerized by her ears.  I want to take a picture of them really close so you can see how they are fleshy and large like Buddha.  Her teeth are perfectly straight and perfectly white which makes her smile that much more jovial.  It seems she has lived a comfortable life, but a scar on her left hands leads me to believe otherwise.

This image is from last weekend at the Sri Ganasha Temple.  He is a precious 3 year old, who shares a birthday with my great niece.  He is learning to JJ, which is prayer for the little ones. Notice his bindi smudged onto his nose.  

Today the Temple was busy and I am a becoming more comfortable.  I received a blessing today and a gift that was handed to me in a white paper bag.  I got a banana, 10 grapes and a mum bloom. The temple is exciting, festive, bustling.  Families bring offerings and ask for blessings and the comings and goings are all morning long.  It is serenely chaotic if that is possible. 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Yard Sale

Today my sisters and I will be preparing for a yard sale.  It will be the sale of my mother's things she has held on to all these years that will not make it into any of our homes.  Although much of what Mom has has come home with us. We do have to draw the line.  I was over at the house recently by myself, the home I have only known as a child, and it was emotionally exhausting.  If my time isn't limited to 30 minutes I will be in a depressive state for who knows how long.  I am predisposed to see sad in things.  It is work for me to keep "the glass half full." I'm improving, hence the time limit on being there by myself.  What I tell myself about it all is "it isn't my home any longer.  That home and my heart is at West Meade Place with  momma."  It is the having to say goodbye on all so many levels that is so sad.  Being there with my 3 sisters softens the edge.  So I am reluctant to photograph this process and her things, but I am compelled.  I fear doing it because I may be going out onto a very delicate emotionally limb and I fear it may be disrespectful and trivializing to this part of  my mother's life.  As I am writing this it occurred to me to even photograph some of the things I have brought home already, like all momma 1950's style shoes.  My mother loved shoes and clothes.  I remember when I was little how beautiful my mother was to me particularly when she dressed up for an evening out with Daddy.  I dreamt of having long hair that curled up in a neat flip at the shoulders like my mothers, wearing evening dresses that sparkled.   I wanted big bosoms like her and to be able to wear calf skin gloves and high heels.  

A friend of mine lost her father prematurely 1 year ago this week and she took me to a stone bench she and her siblings had engraved by Bessie Stanley winning poem of "What Constitutes Success" and placed in the neighborhood of her childhood.  She felt so strongly that this wonderful man not be forgotten. Today the kids gather there each morning to catch the bus.  Where ever Donald is, he is smiling.

So part of me wants to record in my way this process of life and to commemorate my mothers beautiful spirit.  I feel blessed I get the opportunity to go through it with her.  I feel me growing, maturing painfully so, but with gratitude and love.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Heart Photograph

There is so much photography in the world.  How naive I can be.  I am constantly amazed with the minds of artist.  This blogspot inspires me to shoot and shoot anything that moves me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Buddha Collage

I felt like I needed to do some playing today so I've put together a grouping from images shot a week ago from Chua Tinh-Tam Temple.  The grain is luscious to me after seeing so much digital files.  I almost don't even want to spot tone the dust and hairs off the photos.  It is like hearing the snap, crackle, pop of an old lp.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Day for Myself

I spent the whole day to myself shooting and exploring. I started my day at the temple.   I've been the last three Sundays to Chua Tinh Tam.  Each Sunday Diem promises to bring something for me the next Sunday.  It is keeping me coming back.  I followed along with the chanting today; not aloud but in my head and I was able to drift away from my head mili seconds at a time.  I understand nothing b/c it is all Vietnamese but the process is working.  I am in a state of mind that is good.  Diem has given me more reading material; hopefully the reading will be easier then what I am reading about Buddhism now.  

As I was leaving the temple after lunch one of the members, a mother/grandmother type and wife of  the chairman, dropped 4 apples forcefully into my purse.  Just like my mother, she was not going to let me leave empty handed or hungry.  I am getting quite comfortable here, but I must move on.  I feel already this project should have been started long ago and the time at each place needs much more delving and dedication; there is so much to learn.  Focus and determine my approach. It is not so easy when so much is available.    So I started the exploration of the Ganesha Temple this afternoon.  Oh how wonderful it was to see the activity of the temple and the smells of the incense, the brightly dressed women and children, the necklaces of marigolds and chrysanthemums, the bindis, the coolness of the marble on my bare feet, the ringing bell at the deities .  I miss India.  

The permission to photograph will not be as open here as I had hoped. " No photographs in the temple" and "leave the priest alone,"  I was told by the temple board, a room of men sitting at a table eating babaganoush  and counting all their money from the days collection. That was a picture...coins spilled out all over the table, three men hunched over it counting.  It was everything I could do not to shoot it, but lifting that big ole 65mm wide lens and squeezing the clunker of a shutter on my hasselblad is not so inconspicuous, plus I would want to be right in their face with the lens.  They were not so friendly and rather not be bothered (understandably).  One of the priest approached me later, though, so kindly and open and the rest of the people were friendly and  receptive to me being there.  I will be going back next week. Persistence and patience.  And I am at peace with it.    

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Originally uploaded by Marcin Górski
Wish I could go. If anyone is in the area go to the hoe down

Full Circle


Originally uploaded by JAYSON BRINKLER


Originally uploaded by JAYSON BRINKLER
Amazing similarities to the little box of baby faces above.  They are both precious things in life-the beginning and the end.

Found on Flickr

Originally uploaded by JAYSON BRINKLER
Lovely images of our elders found on flickr.  I think the images are honoring and respectful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Now for You Commercial Photogs.


"Teacher, all the stories have already been told.  There is no need for me to write.  Everything that needs to be said has already been written."  
"It's true that there are no new stories,"  the teacher said.  "The universal lessons have been taking place for a long, long time.  And the same themes have influenced humanity since time began.  But no one sees that story through your eyes.  And no one else in the world will tell that story exactly the way you will.  Now return to your desk, pick up your pen, and tell the world what you see."

And now believe I have a perspective understood and appreciated; yet let go of that need to be validated outside self.  Love the process;  live the process.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Love My Mother

My mother had a stroke a year and half ago and it has been so painful for me to see her go through this tremendous struggle in her life.  Only now have I been able to photograph her. There is an incredible amount of meaning for me in each photograph of her. She may be broken in body and her mind may be drifting but her spirit and soul is at its fullest.   I want people to see her courage,  grace,  love and strength.  She is the most beautiful person I could ever hope to know.  

I love you Momma.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The F Blog

Chain in Grenada

While getting to know Cafe Selavy I found The F Blog.  I am having so much fun.  I feel like I am in school again.  Everyone is talking about photography and taking pictures.  I am so tired of reading about equipment and marketing.  I guess that is why I go to flickr.  I just want to look at pictures again.  

Image off to Workbook today.  I've taken a big chance in running only one image for the spread this year.  I think this will make my 8th time in the book.  It takes so much money to be a commercial photographer. Where else would I spend my money though -  not six packs of beer and bottles of wine?  

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Photo Editor Blog

Today I got an email from a photographer friend of mine, MT, telling me I had an image featured in an interview with Bill Black of Readers Digest on Rob Haggert, A Photo Editor, blog.   It was so fun to hear a little history about someone I've worked with for a few years now.  I've never felt like I could get personal (time, professional boundaries etc.) and I've never seen him.  I got a chance to get my curiosity satisfied today.  Rarely do I see the people that hire me.  So much of my work comes from out of town and the PE or AD is usually in NYC. I enjoy playing the imagination game with myself, though.  I try to match their voice with what I think they'd look like.  Bill's voice is rich, deep, soft and kind.  I imagined him older and taller.  And for some reason I thought he'd have dark hair with a sophisticated greying at the temples.  And my gosh, he's a photographer.  Now I Am intimidated.   Photographers can be our toughest critics.  Or maybe in my case here, my champion.  Thank you Bill and thank you, Mark.  I needed that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reluctant Blogger

It is 12 noon and I have puttered away a morning by reading blogs.  One I stumbled across was of a photographer I don't even know who claims I must read to know him and hell, it is a personal diary, and beautiful photographs along the way. (his blog) My gosh, I've got to get a life.  And here I am blogging about it.  I am the reluctant blogger.  What is it in me/us that is compelled to share our thoughts, opinions, dreams, mistakes and successes?  Who really cares?  Who is listening?  The only reason I didn't continue reading was my day was disappearing.  But he was writing about things that I needed to read; he was sharing his feelings.  I had to read on.  I connected;  I didn't feel so alone.  I guess I figured it out why I am doing this.  If only for me I must speak out, I must shoot, I must share.    

Diana Photos of Grenadine Islands

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Shooting for my show at the Parthenon led me to the Buddhist Temple today.  The chanting carried me away to my experiences in India.  What fond memories I have of the temples there. My mind was floating, relaxed and comforted.  I  want to go to Vietnam.  After seeing the movie Indochine with Catherine Deneuve many years ago I have wanted to get the Vietnam.  Diem told me so much about his home and his life there and I started dreaming of my experience to come. He is from the Kings City, Hue City, just north of Danang. And he was a POW for 13 years under the communist.  His aunt is a queen and he has seen and had experiences of ghost.  He taught me so much today-the 5 accents of their language, Vietnam history of the kings, the significance of the blood of a black dog and geography of the new Vietnam.  How am I going to get to all these places I want to explore? 

I was invited to enjoy a hot bowl of vegetarian soup as the rain poured outside.  Hearing and enjoying the words not understanding the conversations of the members over the long cafeteria style table and fantasizing myself in Malong Bay was wholesome and surprisingly familiar.    

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Boys in Chatt

So on our way home from completing a job we stop by our favorite place in Chattanooga to eat and walking down the street I see these great looking guys so cool, happy and young.  I remember bumming around at that age and the styles have come full circle.  I had to photograph them.  It was just too wonderful.  Particularly interesting was the little guy who looked just like Elijah Wood. There was an elfish quality I wanted to get on file/film (whatever)

Back from Grenada

It was a wonderful trip to Grenada this past week where the top side was just as beautiful as the diving.  I was able to do some land exploring with my Diana camera.  This was a vacation so I traveled light.  And I wanted to be relaxed about the whole shooting process so I am holding lightly to the results.  Visit later for more diving notes and island photos. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Today we shot in a beautiful home two beautiful children for one of Vanderbilt Magazines.  Felt good to be out.  My assistant comes bright and early marveling over the sweet smelling air of the morning.  Draggin' butt now tho.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another day in front of the computer.  Seems like all I do is move images around.  I mostly did office work and emailed quite a bit. Oh and checked out this link.  I got an education on this site as well as the photographers site. 

I discovered these thru Readers Digest.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Well I did get out and I shot for my show which will be next year in July at the Centennial Gallery.  I am exploring different places of worship.  I found that every time I went out of the country I was drawn to the cathedrals, small village churches and temples.  I questioned myself why I don't do this in Nashville.  We have so many of them.  To quote  mother of another photographer I have recently met, "there must be a lot of sinners in the Nashville.  There is a church on every corner". Boy do I know it and it can be off putting but I do get satisfaction and comfort being in them. Even though it is not the only place I get a connection to the spiritual part of me I seem to get it in most the old Catholic churches-childhood memories I suppose contribute to the feeling of ease, security and comfort.   In doing this project I want to allow myself the time to enjoy, relax, and connect. Who knows. My best work may come of it.  

Today I did some visiting with my dear friend Donna.  She is the "wind beneath my wings" when I need comforting, connection, hope and love.  Thank you Donna.

Here is one of her most special contributions to our world.