Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
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
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
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"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
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
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?
Labels: The F Blog
Thursday, September 18, 2008
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
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.
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
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)
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.