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In Sight Out

snapshots, impressions, expressions

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2013 has been yet another year rich with creativity, work, and personal evolution.

Reflections at the end of the year for the latter can be summarized into two parts:

1.   Circumstances, events and emotions do not rule us.  We always have the power to observe and choose our reactions. Our choices in the face of difficulty are what determine and, ultimately, build our character.

2.  Pretty much everything I can identify as areas where other people can improve are actually areas where I can improve.

Here’s to your great success in 2014!

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Part Two of this perfect trip takes us East and into the desert, where highlights included:

the peak of San Jacinto Mountain

the Horizon Hotel

and

Cree Estate

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Thanks to Chris and Marcy for creating the unforgettable event and the excuse to travel!

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Still fresh from a perfectly timed, perfectly long, perfectly serendipitous vacation (with a couple days of work), I am eager to share some of the visual feast I had: From Los Angeles to San Diego to Palm Springs…I here enclose, Part I.

Location Highlights:

Tannis and Jeremy’s backyard

Jimmy’s pool and jacuzzi

Encinitas Beach

Matador Beach

When Anna, 3,  in the water, sweetly asked me to bring her a gift of something beautiful, I immediately honed in on a pink leaf I had seen earlier across Jimmy’s yard, and I made the trip to obtain it for her, as a knight would for a princess.  Upon my passing it into her hands, her mood changed from excited anticipation to disappointed disgust, and she crumpled and crushed the leaf, leaving it on the wet stone beside the jacuzzi.  I, mildly hurt, didn’t know what I had done wrong.  Tannis, her mother, intervened, and asked her why she had done that and intuitively asked if she had wanted a different presentation, as Daddy had just brought her a flower by holding it behind his back. When Anna nodded, Tannis politely (as she always speaks to Anna with the respect due an adult) explained to her that I hadn’t known what she had wanted, and that she must communicate her wishes if she wants them to be satisfied; Tannis added that perhaps Anna’s receipt of the gift had hurt my feelings because I hadn’t known her expectation and had offered my gift with care, and it was destroyed.  Anna agreed that her feelings would be hurt, too, if someone had done that to her offering, so we tried again.  She asked me sweetly for another beautiful surprise and I discovered a ripe, red berry in another location.  This time, I arrived with it behind my back, and added a guessing game, “Can you guess what it is?”  Anna: “A flower?”  “No, can you guess what color it is?”  Anna: “…Red?”  “Correct!” And with that it was hers, accepted with eyes of delight.  It was her favorite color.

We repeated this scenario several more times, and Anna created this altar with all of her gifts:

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Other images from these first days:

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A few images from a recent weekend road trip, again reveal my propensity for taking pictures while driving…

Stops included Port DEPOSIT, Maryland; RICHmond, Virginia; and New HOPE, Pennsylvania–all appropriately named.

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A very special thank you to Elf Power and Neutral Milk Hotel for their exceptional performances at The National and the reason to travel.

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Aside from giving me life, the greatest gift my parents ever bestowed upon me was my first “real” camera.  It was a Minolta SLR, and I received it right before moving to Paris, France, the summer after graduating from college.  I made good use of it during my three years in Europe, taking pictures of everything, everywhere, mostly in black and white.  I became a regular at the photo development boutique two minutes from my apartment on the rue de Rivoli, where I always ordered development and contact sheets–sheets which I treasured and scrutinized. I consider this easily the birth of the photographer in me.  In which case, my parents gave me life two times.

By the time I went to ICP in New York, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my faithful SLR was imperfect, and that I needed an upgrade.  I was lucky to be able to replace her with my beloved Leica.  A few years later and I gave in to trying digital, a form I now love equally and which provides me with some advantages which I am sure most photographers also appreciate.

My father gave me another invaluable gift, and that was a lifetime art education.   I was fed early and often, with weekly trips to MOMA, classes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, art games, exercises, and projects; poems written on napkins in every restaurant; musicals; dance; and on and on.  It is complete and still ongoing.  And all of this goes into every photograph that I create.

Last night I completed a job which has spanned some time, and I am flush with relief.

Juliette was the star of my first maternity shoot – on a whim at her first baby shower – and that shoot became the gateway to the expansion of my craft and the development of my love of portraiture.  Here, her family has grown, as has my passion, and we have been astute enough to have intersected the two on multiple occasions.

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One of my dearest friends, Mariana, became engaged to her longtime love, Bernardo, and they recently asked me to take some Engagement pictures for them.  I knew just the place to start: Pastis, in the Meatpacking district; afterward, we cruised the Highline (which I wrote about in a previous post here.)  Finishing the event with a cab ride to work, all in all, it was a very fruitful endeavor.

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These shadows reminded me of a field of reeds and flowers, bordered by an old wiry fence.

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Happy New Year!

I’m extremely grateful for all of your support, views, likes, and comments along this journey. This blog has been a great source of joy and learning.

Here’s to your abundant health and happiness in 2013!

Uncle and Aunt (Godmother), December 2012:

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Browsing through one of my favorite and too often neglected websites, coolphotoblogs.com, I discovered a new photographer to watch, Andrey Samolinov, and this striking image, Summer Star.

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