Archive for July, 2007

Last minute checks

Posted in Famiiy, Friends, Humor, Life, People, photography, thoughts on July 12, 2007 by anuvuestudio

Today was full of last minute checks for the trip. I had my own model releases printed so I can use photos of people I don’t know from adam (in case I produce a book and find myself rich and famous). I wonder if they will allow me to take their photo and sign this piece of paper with so much legal verbage it looks as though I’m being added to their will. To them, I’ll just be some strange woman lurking around, with a large lens sticking out of my face.

A friend of mine suggested having some magnets printed with my BLOG address on them so I could pass them out to the folks I attempt to take photos of. That way they can see if I use and post their faces. I thought it was a brilliant idea and I used my masthead for the background. I spent half the day seeing what all they would stick to. I became quite annoying and loved every minute. None ever stuck to anyone’s forehead…but I did give it my best. You never know who has a metal plate in their head…

I’ve never used a model release and am pondering how exactly does one ask a perfect stranger to sign the thing. I tried to put myself in the shoes of the person who would be asked. I’m a very private person myself so I would probably say…go away…you are scaring me… or at the very least I would be suspicious of them trying to use my name and address for nefarious reasons.

I guess I will practise my lopsided grin in the mirror. Maybe I will use my “Southern Bell” accent. I have, I admit, turned to it in big situations before but I prefer to keep it my little secret… after all I was born and raised in Orange County, California and it does take some time to prepare myself… without laughing. Then again, maybe I should just bring $10.00 dollar bills….

List DAY

Posted in Famiiy, Friends, Humor, Personal, thoughts, Uncategorized on July 10, 2007 by anuvuestudio

Today was list making and errand day… getting ready for the adventure. I find when I’ll be gone for a while I start making lists. I made a list for Nicole, my beautiful niece, who will be this years “house and cat sitter”. What to do about this and that… how to care for the fur children… you know all that exotic stuff like when the trash truck comes…

Then I made my “what to do if I die list”…for my sister’s about who gets what and how to go about it without taking a chain saw to my favorite big red reading chair. I’d like to out somewhat organized even though I know the Halloween World would lose a great source of income…

Then I picked up my lens from Canon, the one that reminds me it’s cheaper to repair a lens than your eyeball. That’s a whole different story… but I now have both…as good as ever.

I made my list for the “Friendly State Farm Agent” so if my photo gear decides to take a nose dive off a mountain or a stranger finds my bag left in a restaurant somewhere Nova Scotia… heck, I’ll be ready with my new policy! And just think how happy the stranger will be…

At work, being the scheduler, I find myself promising all the sales people the sun, moon and the stars because…who cares… I won’t be there…and their arms aren’t long enough to get to my neck 3000 mile away! HA!

Hopefully they won’t read this until I’m gone… My office has a lock on the outside of the door to keep “me” in rather than on the inside to keep “them” out. I’ve never fully understood this but they may get wind of it and reduce my intake of oxygen…Come to think of it…I don’t remember ever seeing the last scheduler come back to visit…

Anyway, I’m starting to get excited as I surround myself with little piles of things I don’t want to forget and enough maps to go around the world twice. I wonder just how much of my house will fit in my car?

🙂

Making a memory…

Posted in Famiiy, Friends, Life, Personal, thoughts, Uncategorized on July 9, 2007 by anuvuestudio

My Husband Mike and I are getting ready to go on a vacation / photography expedition (his vacation, my expedition). It’s a 3 week road trip from Southern California to Nova Scotia and back…something that I dreamed up a while back. Believe it or not, this destination is based on a plane that left NYC and crashed into the shores of Nova Scotia . You may even remember it though it was years ago. What stuck in my mind was the people of that area that opened their hearts and homes to the Families that had lost loved ones, allowing them to be there for the recovery. I never forgot it and from that day to this, I have always wanted to meet the folks who populate Nova Scotia.

As I sit writing this, I can’t help but think about previous journeys, two in the aftermath of disaster.

Most of my previous trips were camping in Yosemite or traveling to New Mexico. My greatest dream had always been to see Europe, England mostly, as I love British history as much as American. I’m one of those people who can sit and watch a British mini series period drama from beginning to end, mesmerized. My Husband doesn’t like to travel much. He believes he lives in the best area in the world already, but I’m convinced it’s because he used to travel so much for his job. For my 40th birthday, he broke down and realized I wasn’t going to give up on Europe so the tickets were purchased.

One week before our departure, Princess Diana was killed in that horrible car accident and of course we landed on the day of her funeral procession. There were no black cabs in the streets… no red double decker buses…as a matter of fact, there was no one anywhere! The Tube was deserted, except for one man, as I recall. Now for those of you that have been to England, you will be shocked…but this was my first impression of England! We walked the streets and made it to Kensington Palace just as the people were disbanding. I had my video camera at that time (I didn’t shoot stills then) and I was terrified to used it as I felt like a voyeur to a Country utterly distraught.

I will never forget the overwhelming smell of those flowers nor the sheer amount of them. They were layered back at least 300 feet. I will never forget the items left for her… life size paintings of her, dolls, bears, hearts and endless notes of love and sympathy to her boys. I had made a simple cross and was allowed to attach it to her entrance gate… the fancy gold and black one you see in pictures in front of her home. I felt so honored that they allowed me this small gesture. We had planned to travel to each and every Royale castle so I could see in person what I had read about my whole life. Upon arrival, the flowers were there at every destination along with books to sign. I wrote something in every one, knowing full well that we were all creating another chapter in history, a sad one, but an important one just the same.

When we got to Paris, not looking for it, we came upon the tunnel in which she and the others parished that night. There is a beautiful golden sculpture at the entrance. It’s a replica (or maybe the original?) of the flame that tops our Statue of Liberty’s torch and it had been smothered in a sea of flowers. It was very sad standing there with others in silence, reflecting on this young woman’s life and sad end, but it was a life experience that I am glad to have been a part of. I have never to this day viewed my videos taken of everything I saw. I know I should because they are important to photojournalism. Someone has to tell the stories, both good and bad but I’m not sure it’s something I’m meant to do.

My second planned trip was to see both New York City and Washington DC. The flights were made and yes, we were to leave one week after 9/11 happened. The flight was canceled and we took our first long road trip across the United States, one that is forever burned in my memory. Upon arriving in Washington DC, the streets were deserted. I will never forget the hotel we pulled up to…right to the front door. The Bellhops, the doormen, the waiters and the maids greeted us at the door step. We were two of 4 guests in the entire hotel. They were so grateful to have something to do… it made my heart break. When I saw the Pentagon later, I dropped to my knees when I realized we were finally a Country not as bullet proof as we believed. I will never forget that giant flag hanging over that big hole in the side of that building and the Military walking the surrounding grounds. We were the only non official people but they let us stay. I must have stared for an hour at that gaping, burn hole… just sickened.

When we traveled on, we picked up our friends who had recently moved to New York, then took the train into the city. I will never forget the anger I felt, looking at the destruction, watching tanks park throughout the city. To this day, I still remember how I felt… scared, angry, very sad…trying to make some sense out of something so senseless. The people that worked tirelessly cleaning up the debris were extraordinary heroes and yet just regular folks like you and me. The smells of airplane fluids and other toxins were overwhelming and the field of debris was a horrifying thing to look upon. I took very few shots…it was just too personal for me.

I brought back with me 3 vivid memories, the first being a photo I took in Grand Central Station where the wall of missing people was built to keep photos fresh in everyone’s mind. There was a sign hanging… from a Kindergarden class that made a flag from their tiny handprints dipped in red, white and blue paint. We used that shot at my work for our Christmas card that year. It pretty much said everything needed to be said.

The second memory was finally getting to see the section in Central Park where Strawberry Field’s is. I remember a guy on a bench trying to order gas masks from his cell phone and people suddenly running in terror. We took off pretty quickly in the panic and made it to Little Italy. I remember thinking… how could this be happening here?

This is where my most important memory was defined. You must understand I’m a staunch Californian and the rivalry between NY and CA has always been to be the biggest and best. I remember as a kid, rejoicing when the population of California surpassed New York…I was so proud.

We found an Italian restaurant and sat down to eat pizza, something I do not even enjoy. I realized at my arrival that the owner was an Elvis impersonator but what you have to picture is a restaurant with TV’S in all the corners and handful of very nervous people, sitting together all watching as the first bomb was dropped on Afganistan. As we sat there staring, trying to be normal, eating pizza, the owner appeared with the cooks and the waiters. They began singing together…”start spreading the news…I’m leaving today…”. The entire room broke out in that song and me the staunch Californian, who had never uttered the words of that hated song…was crying as she sang at the top of her lungs…surreal, hell yes…but it wells up my eyes just to think of now… 5 years later. And I Loved New York from that moment on…even got a broach pin to prove it!

As I get my gear ready for this next trip…I feel both the excitement and the fear of the unknown coming upon me. I haven’t decided yet if I will post from the road or take a break. I guess you will see (or not) soon enough… But I promise to take some memorable images along the way and share them with all of you… that care to see what I’ve seen… whether good or bad, when I can.

A 4th HB Style

Posted in Famiiy, Friends, Humor, Images, Life, People, photography, Uncategorized on July 5, 2007 by anuvuestudio

I live in a small town of approximately 200,000. I believe they were all trying to park on my street today. Some of them had so much junk to carry to the beach, I felt sorry for them and started giving rides in my Halloween golf cart! As I type this I can hear sirens, cherry bombs, bike bells, helicopters, children screaming MOM! and honking cars. Geez…Life at Huntington on the 4th.

We also have a parade. They says it’s the biggest West of the Mississippi. Well I don’t know about it being the biggest but I’d be willing to bet it’s the LONGEST! I have to say the highlight was the precision Trash can girls and their Queens, “Trash Queen”, “Recycle Queen” and “Green Waste Queen”. I also enjoyed one group of scouts on a float with one giant kid looking quite miserable amongst the tiny little ones next to him. Oh, and the cow-donkey looking thing sitting on the back of the square dancing float… …it was rather…unusual…

You know, I believe I could probably be in this parade too… as the biggest coffee drinker in the city. Yeah, me in a giant red, white and blue, recycled, paper cup costume on roller blades… This is some of what I saw today… You’ll get the idea. 🙂

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A better finish than start

Posted in Images, Life, photography, thoughts, Uncategorized on July 4, 2007 by anuvuestudio

After a long, horrendous day of work, my sanity was returned by walking along the tranquil paths of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands…Thank goodness it’s only 3 miles down the coast…but those squawking birds did sound a bit too familiar. 😉

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Playing with Nature

Posted in Art, Images, photography, Uncategorized on July 3, 2007 by anuvuestudio

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The Decisive Moment

Posted in Images, photography on July 3, 2007 by anuvuestudio

One of my favorite Photographers (Henri Cartier-Bresson) used this expression to sum up a great Photograph…

“the decisive moment, it is the
simultaneous recognition, in a fraction
of a second, of the significance of an
event as well as the precise organization
of forms which gives that event
its proper expression.”

And…I think he nailed it. 🙂