Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Beauty of Reality

Yesterday we took a day trip to Bologna, a two and a half hour drive south of where we live. It's been a while since we've taken just a day trip, somewhere near by. We all enjoyed it - seeing someplace new, and then coming home to our own beds and another day of the weekend left to play around.

It was wonderful for me, to get out and shoot someplace completely new again. It's been a while since I've done that since I travelled to the US and then have been focusing on fall in the park lately. Loving every minute of that too, but this was refreshing. It was also amazing to me to notice how differently I see now, as compared to, say, a year ago. Back then, I would have never have "seen" this image. It would have been part of the alley I walked by, with lots of elements I avoid... graffiti, dumpsters, street signs, windows with bars. I mean, where are the flowers, the doorstep beauty? But I love this. This is back-alley Bologna. This is real life, with it's imperfections but worthy of capture anyway.

I think this is just another step along my journey. As I accept the imperfections in myself, I find I am able to accept them in the world around me. Apparently, that also means I am not always seeing just the lovely textures in the places we visit - but the reality of dumpsters and street signs. Finding interest in those too. And while I would not call this image "beautiful," it does appeal to me, and does say "Italy" in a very real way.

It's kind of fun to observe these changes in myself, to surprise myself. I also surprised my husband, who has gotten pretty good at being able to predict when to get out of the way for a photo, what little scenes might catch my eye. Yesterday, however, I messed him up because I was stopping to study things that would have never been photo-worthy to me before. Interesting to notice how it affected not just me, but him to.

And how does it affect you? Does it surprise you too? How do you look at this image? I think you may have to get used to it. There will probably be more graffiti and back-alley reality popping up around here, if my day in Bologna is any indication.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Do you have a song running through your head now? :) The catchy song by Bobby McFerrin espouses such a simple philosophy - "Don't worry, be happy" - but it is often so difficult to put into practice.

I read in Simple Abundance today:
Worry is a future-tense emotion. Worry is a projection of a possible - not necessarily probable - scenario. Will there be enough? Where will it come from? How long will it last?
Worry is part of the habit of brooding I mentioned in Monday's post. Worry does us no good, it just keeps us mired in an unproductive place. Unless we can use our worry to create an action plan to move forward, away from it, through it - it's just wasted energy. I know from experience, I've wasted a lot of energy on worry in the past. It got me no where.

A counter action to worry is to be happy. Find moments of joy and beauty around you, and notice them. Intentionally dwell on them. Find things like these little wooden toys, smiling out at you from a souveneir kiosk in Venice. Painted on smiles, but do you smile back at them? I do, I can't help it.

Happiness can be found, it is a choice to look for it. So don't worry, be happy.

+ + + + + + + +

A couple of random things...
  • I'm on twitter! Come follow me @kateyeview so that I can find you and follow you back.  Let's take this conversation further!
  • Does anyone know of a charity that supports or promotes art and creativity? I'm looking for one! Even better if it has an international presence and focuses on women or children. Post any ideas here or email me kat [at] Thanks!

Share Your View: Rain

I love how the rain fills up these paw prints, and provides the contrast of light and dark on the concrete sidewalk. Can you just imagine the chagrin of the dog owner as the dog traipsed through the wet concrete? Who knows when it happened, but the perfect prints left behind made me smile when we came upon them during our rainy Photowalk in Portland. (Post on that coming soon!)

It's been a week since the Exploring with a Camera post on Rain. Have you been lucky enough to get some rain in your area in the last week? Did you get out in it and shoot? I hope, if life graced you with rain, you had the opportunity to take photographs. We had tons of rain here on Monday, and I was able to capture some beautiful images myself.

But today, it's time to share your view of the rain. Recent or archive shots are welcome, link to them with the widget below (viewable on the blog). I can't wait to hop around and share some blog love with all of the participants - you guys always inspire me and make me see things in a new way!

Note: Please use a permalink to a specific blog post or Flickr photos, so that we can find the image you intended to share later. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Potential of the Day

Yesterday morning, on my walk in Parco di Monza, I saw this. Such amazing light and mist, and mystery. It seems an infinite path, you wonder where it ends.  What a difference a day makes, the intense rain of the previous day contributing the moisture for the mist in this otherwise sunny morning, making this image possible. A moment where you can sense the potential of the day.

Would you believe that this is straight out of the camera, and a point-and-shoot camera, no less? This supports my fundamental belief that it's not the equipment that makes the photographer, it's the eye. I keep coming back to this quote, "The best camera you have is the one you have with you." I keep my Canon Elph with me at all times in the park, so I'm armed for whatever inspiration is shown to me. And lately, things are shown to me often. I must have just started to see it in a different way, because I doubt the park has changed substantially in the year and a half I've been here, but my enjoyment of it has deepened substantially and it's become a wonderful source of inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, have you been keeping up with the 9 Days of Inspiration on the Mortal Muses sites? If not, go right now and read this post by writer Cara Lopez Lee. Her words are incredible. And while you're there, look around and leave a comment or two on the different sites to win some of the cool giveaways (including a set of my postcards - I have more on the way!).

I hope you have an inspirational day! The potential is there, in every day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Words for Breakfast

Yesterday, it rained. And rained and rained. I seem to recall that last week I wrote the words, "When life gives you rain, take photos anyway!" in more than one place. Well, here was my chance to live up to my words or to eat my words. I decided to live up to them, as words for breakfast don't sound too nutritious. My shoes were soaked and people might have thought I was crazy, but I had a big grin on my face and I managed to get this image for the "Fall Color" prompt in Picture Fall.

I realized with yesterday's rainy situation that this blog keeps me honest with myself, if nothing else. I mean, if I'm going to write about it here, it would be false to not follow my own advice. I think you would eventually see the truth of the matter, feel the hypocrisy come through, and abandon me to my own devices. I would be writing in my own little dream world.

Since I would rather be connecting with the real world, with real people, I'm going to have to assess myself honestly. Flaws and all. Thankfully, so far, I haven't had to eat any of my words for breakfast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Habit of Being

As I was reading in Simple Abundance this morning (yes, there's that book again!), I was struck by the concept of the habit of being. As opposed to the habit of doing, constant movement on the "to do" list, or the habit of brooding, focusing on the past or the future. The habit of being, just existing in the moment. Such a simple concept, yet one I am constantly re-learning. I keep turning back to this idea of late - of being in the moment, conscious of the now. There must be something to that.

So this morning, this image from our Bath hotel room jumped out at me. Seeing the beauty of light and dark, the monochromatic composition that presented itself. No other reason to take this photo, than to capture an observation of the moment. And yet, it pleases me. Brings me some peace and stillness, even now. My eyes wander over the details brought out by the light and the shadows.  Marvel at the beauty of the simplicity and the artfulness of the composition that the designer created in this space.

A reminder that along with the habit of being, you gain the habit of seeing. A good habit to have, as an artist.

Marking a Milestone

Last Sunday was my birthday. 40 years old! With the craziness of my life in that moment, it just wasn't on my mind to write about it here. I'm not a big one for birthdays, perhaps because I spent my childhood not celebrating them (religious reasons) and perhaps because I feel uncomfortable with the attention. It's just another day to me. But a milestone birthday is not to be ignored by family and friends, and I was celebrated. 

Part of "sorting the piles" this weekend included looking at all of the birthday cards I received. Sometimes I save them, sometimes I throw them away - but this was my 40th, I felt the need to do something with the cards. I decided to create a fun collage with the images from them, and cut out the words that spoke to me, which turned into the poem. In the back I tucked the personal notes people had written. This is why I needed to get organized, so I could be creative again! Creating a fun marker for this milestone, with the bits and pieces of my family and friends mixed in, was a joy.

My friends in Corvallis planned a suprise party while I was there, which was a bit foiled by the fact that I disappeared from the face of the earth in the time they were trying to get me to the location of the party. In reality I only turned off my phone for a couple of hours for a massage appointment (wouldn't you turn off your phone?) but it was quite funny the voice messages, emails and Facebook posts that happened in that time. You can see below that I made it, although late, to my own surprise party. It was a great evening of laughter and friends, margaritas and Mexican food, along with the perfect cake made by my friend Becky!

I am truly happy to be 40 years old. I feel like there is so much ahead of me, and I'm no longer weighted down by trying to be something I'm not. I'm just happy to be... me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Inspires You?

Maybe it's light coming in through the window, maybe it's color, maybe it's a wonderful quote. What is it that makes you want to perfect your craft, become a better person, explore new things? We all have different sources of inspiration. I was inspired a few weeks ago by this random composition in my window after I was done playing around with capturing the plant shadows. Lines and light and plants peeking out, it was interesting to me.

Today I'm musing on inspiration over at Mortal Muses. We're in the second day of 9 Days of Inspiration, with lots of giveaways - every day! Come on over and comment to enter. Also visit our More Musing site, where today's post of Muse University - a repost of this week's Exploring with a Camera on Rain - has an awesome giveaway for rainy day photography! Every day for the next 9 (well, now 8) days you will see inspiring posts from amazing women around the internet on the More Musing site in addition to the usual daily inspiration from Mortal Muses. Hope to see you all over there.

Today's update on the piles: Thanks for all of the advice yesterday, last night I took it easy and just talked to a friend, then put my feet up and watched a movie and read for a while. Today the piles are slowly disappearing as I work through the house, but I've also made pancakes with my son and done some other organizing, so it's all been good. In the words of one commenter: What needs to get done, will get done, with plenty of time. :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Curly Fence

Yesterday I started to look through my photos from the Portland Photowalk, and here is one of my early favorites, of a beautifully curly fence. I still need to finish reviewing photos and write up a post on the Photowalk, it was so much fun!

I am feeling so behind this week... even though I got back home a week ago, we went to Venice for the weekend and had house guests here for most of the week. There are piles everywhere in my life - on my desk, on my bedroom floor (suitcase is still not unpacked!), on my "to do" list, in my email inbox, in my google reader... everywhere. I don't like this feeling, to be honest. This weekend I hope to get things under control. Anyone have suggestions for me?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Exploring with a Camera: Rain

With the change in seasons, in the places I've lived the last 12 years or so, we wave good-bye to the consistently sunny days and welcome the wet. Rain will be a consistent part of life for the next few months as winter comes on, with the occasional break in the monotony for snow or sun when we're lucky. A rainy day is a great time to curl up under a blanket, with a book and a cup of tea. It is also a great time to get out and photograph!

A while ago I wrote a blog post that said when life gives you rain, you should take photos anyway. Today let's explore the ways to capture the beauty to be found in the rain...

The light is completely different in the rain. First off, it's usually cloudy during the day, which provides softer, indirect light. Second, the wet surfaces reflect the light in completely different ways than dry surfaces. The photo at the top of the post is a good example of this - the leaf and the stones are highlighted by the reflections of the light. What would be an interesting composition for it's contrast when dry, gains even more interest for the way the individual elements stand out from the light on the water. 

This photo from Orvieto, Italy is a daytime example of how the wet ground reflects the light, drawing your focus along the ground from the bright doorway in the top left down toward the scooter in the bottom right.

The wet ground in this photo of Bath, England at night serves to contrast and highlight the row of benches along the sidewalk. As I mentioned in my Exploring with a Camera post on Night Photography, wet surfaces at night can add much needed light for taking photos at night.

Not only is the light reflected, but you can great image reflections as well with a smooth surface or a puddle. The thin layer of water on this smooth concrete makes a wonderful mirror for the leaves on the ground.

This puddle in Piazza San Marco in Venice serves to reflect the geometry of the famous tables and chairs, making a more interesting composition than the tables and chairs alone.

And while we're talking about puddles, how about capturing some splashing through them? Of course, this image is a bit more sedate than most puddle-splashing pictures, a capture of Italian rain fashion more than splashing but you get the idea. The movement of water in the puddle along with the reflections makes the photo more than just photo of rainboots.

Out in the rain, look for ways the water moves across and off surfaces. This restaurant table was so highly polished that the rain water beaded up into interesting shapes, a nice backdrop for the flowers.

Look for the drips ready to fall...

Look for the drops that grace the leaves.

It's also fun to capture people in the rain. They are more "anonymous" with their hoods and umbrellas, hunched up and hurrying along. I like to capture groups of colorful umbrellas, as on this bridge in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Or the lone traveller, trying to get someplace at night in Venice. People with umbrellas are quite the artistic staple, if you look at paintings through history.

Here we have quite a few different elements that I love in one rainy shot... umbrellas, multiple reflections, at night, and it's Venice. How could you go wrong?

There are so many ways I have yet to capture the rain, these are the images I'm still looking for:
- Looking out of a window covered in raindrops. Focus on the drops, with the scenery out of focus behind.
- Rain spilling out of our very cool dragon-shaped rainspout or off the edges of eaves.
- The rain in a downpour - I want to figure out how to capture the "look" of the world when you look through rain.
- Drops of rain splashing in puddles - oh those perfect, rippling circles just tantalize me!

So, how do you do shoot in the rain without ruining your camera? Here are a few tips:
1. Use an umbrella. If you have someone along with you, ask them to hold it over you and your camera when you shoot. If you don't have that option (or don't want to ask your companion to hold your umbrella every 15 seconds), a bigger umbrella works better than a small one for this "solo" technique: Rest the handle between your neck and shoulder with the umbrella resting on the top of your head. This will enable both hands to be free and your camera to be covered while you shoot. It does take some practice though, but try it out.
2. Find sheltering spots. Store awnings and overhangs, doorways, under trees, etc. can be great places to pause and have a little bit of protection from the rain while you shoot. Watch out under trees though - the drops might be less frequent but they are often bigger!
3. Keep your camera protected between shots. Work out a system that enables you to quickly and easily but your camera in and out of your bag. I carry my camera across my body, and my camera bag the same way. I can take my camera in and out of my bag easily, so when it's rainy I can put it away between shots but easily get it out for the next one. Another thing I will sometimes do, especially when it's light rain, is just tuck the camera between my body and the bag. It's mostly protected but easily accessible. When it's heavier rain though, I keep it in the bag!
4. Use a camera cover. You can buy rain covers for your camera, but I've found them to be kind of pricey and I don't want something bulky I have to carry around "just in case" it rains. Another practically free alternative for an SLR camera is to use a plastic grocery bag (you know, the ones you get in just about any grocery store) and a rubber band. Tear a hole at the bottom of the bag near one corner, this is where you put the lens looking out. Use the rubber band to secure the bag at the end of your lens, then just wrap the bag up around the camera with the handles coming around the back. When you want to shoot, just open up the handles and hold the camera as normal inside the bag. It might look weird, but it's cheap and easy, and a spare bag wrapped up with a rubber band does not take up much space in your camera bag.
5. Don't worry about a few drops of water on your camera. I don't. A few drops on my equipment have never hurt anything - I just make sure that it doesn't get completely wet. By keeping the camera mostly protected in the ways I've described above, my equipment has remained in good working order even if I shoot in rainy weather. Keep something soft and dry handy to wipe off the lens though, you will experience drips now and again! 

Now that you are armed and ready for the weather, I would love to see your rain photos! Come back next week to link to your rain photos (recent or archive) in the "Share Your View" post. Whatever you do - don't just put the camera away when the clouds start rolling in. Enjoy the different photo opportunities that the rain provides.

Remember this motto - "When life gives you rain, take photos anyway!" 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010


Present - not as in gift, but as in being in the moment. How often are we really and truly present in our every day lives? Aware of the world around us, aware of ourselves. Not often enough, I would have to say, for me. And yet, when I am present, amazing things happen. I discover more about myself. I see the beauty around me. I see different ways to interact with others. It's as if the world opens up as a new and wonderful place to be.

So positive, and yet so hard. One of the things that I love about photography is that it ties you to the present moment. There is nothing beyond the image you see in front of you at the moment you press the shutter button. You can't be thinking of the photo you captured yesterday, or tomorrow, when you capture the one of today. When I first saw these seed pods, while looking for pretty leaves, I thought they were ugly. But then I went back, and studied them with my camera, and discovered their hidden beauty.
Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life."           -- Thick Nhat Hanh
To live life, see the beauty in life, we have to be present. A thought I will carry with me today.

+ + + + + +

My friend Jenny, a life coach, asked me if I wanted to share my experience in Italy and how it's changed me with her readers. I'm writing a series of articles for her newsletter and blog, about how my time in Italy has helped me to find my passion and purpose, and how I think you can apply the lessons I've learned to your life. If you are interested in reading the first article, visit her blog at Rising Sun Coaching.

(By the way, does anyone know that type of tree this seed pod is from?)

My Muse

Another weekend in Venice, this makes visit number five. Can you believe it? Five. Today's photo prompt for Picture Fall is muse - what is my muse, my inspiration right now. So a photo from this weekend is my answer... my muse is the light at night, reflections, textures and the rain. All came together for a beautiful photo of Venice at night.

For those of you who share my interest in night photography, I'll give you the details on this photo:  I used a tripod, and my 35mm lens at ISO200, f/4, 4sec. I now have my remote in the camera bag and that came in handy for the long exposures I was using to avoid camera shake. No post processing, except to crop. It was raining quite steady, so my husband was holding the umbrella over the camera for me but I personally got soaked. Mental note for next time: Waterproof jacket, so that I can stay out shooting longer!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where is Home?

I’m home! Back in Italy. But I was also home, back in Oregon. And sometimes I visit home, heading to my childhood haunts in Colorado. This trip has made me stop and ask, where is home? What makes a home? I certainly felt at home these last couple of weeks in Oregon, spending time with friends and being in a familiar town, even though I was staying in a hotel. And it also feels like I’m home now that I’m back in Italy in our apartment with my husband and son and very needy cat.

I was thinking about a few of the sayings about home we Americans have….

Home sweet home.

Home is where you hang your hat.

Home is where the heart is.

I think I can define “home” as any where I feel comfortable and accepted. It’s a feeling, not a place. I carry it with me, across the time zones and oceans and cultures. I find that I have multiple homes, even one here, in the virtual world. What a comforting thought!

With these thoughts on “home” I’m curious – where is your home? How do you define it for yourself?

PS - Wasn't the view I had of the Alps on the way into Milan gorgeous today?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Share Your View: Photo Essays

This is one of the Oktoberfest photos I liked, but that didn't fit my photo essay last week, so I'll share it here! I'm also musing on Food, Glorious Food over at Mortal Muses today, so come by and say hi!

But today is the day that you get to share your view in the Exploring with a Camera series. You've had a week since the Photo Essay post, what have you seen since then? Have you tried a photo essay of your own? Do you have one from the past you want to share? Did you find a photo essay in your online reading that you want to share with other readers here? We want it all! 

Please use the linky widget to add your link below (you will need to visit the blog to see the widget) and share your view with the rest of us today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Special Place

Today I am musing on "where i live" over at the Mortal Muses More Musing site. Come by and see more about this special place near our home in Italy, and then look around at all of the other wonderful posts from people around the world about where they live.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Portland Bound

Time to head to Portland! I'll be spending the weekend in this beautiful city with my sister and apparently everyone who is coming for the Portland marathon - it should be busy. I look forward to time hanging with my sis and, of course, visiting Powell's books. Best bookstore in the world! (And yes, I expect the invariable comparison to the Tattered Cover from the Colorado contingent of blog readers...)

I'm also looking forward to the Photowalk on Sunday! Yes, this Sunday, October 10th. Everyone is welcome, bring your cameras - any kind - and meet up with some other photographers to explore part of the city. We'll be meeting at 10am, at the Starbucks at NW 23rd and NW Overton in the Northwest District of Portland, two blocks from the 23rd and Marshall streetcar stop. Look for a bunch of people with cameras!  (Plan your travel route such that you avoid the Portland Marathon route.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Exploring with a Camera: Photo Essays

In the last year I've explored a vast range of art and photography. Visiting galleries, taking online classes, searching out photography blogs, looking at Flickr. What I've found, in all of that, is that my enjoyment of art, and especially photography, significantly increases with understanding of the back story... either the story of the artist or the story of the subject. It gives such a wonderful insight into the artwork that has been created, it's like an additional dimension to the art itself.

I think that's why I blog the way I do, and I'm attracted to other blogs with wonderful imagery and words. I want the story behind the image, along with the image. I connect with it in a deeper way, and I want you to find that here as well.

So today for Exploring with a Camera I want to talk about Photo Essays - which are beyond even what I normally do on my blog.  Yesterday's post Camaraderie of Beer on Oktoberfest is an example of a photo essay, or my earlier post The Story of the Rooftops on Dubrovnik. There are times that a story needs to be told, and it takes more than one photo and a few sentences to tell.

You might ask, isn't just a regular blog post, with several photos and text, a photo essay? Maybe, maybe not. I've read a lot of blog posts, but only a small few that I would categorize as a photo essay.  Two that stand out in my mind are Kirstin's post Where I Live on the Mortal Muses More Musing site, and Patty's post The Down Side on her blog, Nomadic Notebook.
A photo essay takes a few photos, combined with words, to tell a specific story of a time, a place, an experience, a piece of history. It has impact. It is basically photojournalism, but with a personal twist, by my definition. While you want to convey the information, you also want to convey the feeling you might have had. Why the story or experience is important to you, why you felt it needed to be told. In a photo essay, you focus on a specific point with your photos and words. Every photo tells a piece of the story, every word needs to be there. It's not just the best photos of the day, but the ones that are needed to support the story.

So, how do you go about creating a photo essay? Here are a few tips:
1. Decide the story you want to tell. Be specific for the best impact. For example, I didn't want to try to tell whole the story of Oktoberfest - that's too big for just a few photos, I would lose the impact. So I took one aspect I noticed, the camaraderie in the beer drinking, and focused on that.
2. Choose your supporting photos. In some cases, you might have the idea in your head as you take the photos, which is what I did for my Oktoberfest essay. In other cases the story might develop as you review past photos, which is what happened for my Dubrovnik essay. Go through your photos, pick all of the ones that seem to apply. And then narrow down. Narrow down again. Make sure that each photo is essential to the story you are telling - try to get it down to 3 to 5 photos if you can. As I mentioned above, pick the best photos for the story, not just the best photos of the day. If they don't help tell the story, save them for something else.
3. Write the essay, inserting the photos. You might find that you have to switch them around from your original idea slightly or you need to choose a different photo for the story to flow. That's ok!  It doesn't have to be long, just get the main story written with the photos inserted.
4. Edit. Step back and read it, making edits. Read it again. Take out anything that doesn't flow or support your point. It might be a great idea or photo or brilliantly written sentence, but it has to fit the story. Do with your words what you did with your photos - narrow down.
5. Publish! Share that photo essay with the world. The world needed to see it, or you wouldn't have had the idea in your head. If you ever see or feel a story that needs to be told, follow that urge to conclusion and then see what comes back. You just never know!

Not so many photos today, but I hope that this post has inspired you to look at how you can combine your images with words to great effect, or to notice how others create an impact using the photo essay. Come back next Thursday to share your view and link in to any photo essays of your own, past or present. Or link in to ones that you have found on the web, that have impacted you in some way. You can post your photo essay images to the Flickr pool too - I'll be watching for them there!

Note: This post is part of the Exploring with a Camera series, published every two weeks. See all past exploration topics here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Camaraderie of Beer

Our Oktoberfest trip would not have been complete without a visit to one of the beer tents run by the major beer companies of Munich. We randomly chose the Spaten tent upon arrival Sunday morning, and were lucky to find a spot among the already crowded tables. These tents are giant. There are thousands of people inside, sitting on benches back to back, squeezed in with as many people as possible at your table.

That may seem uncomfortable, it if it weren't for the camaraderie of beer that prevails here. If you are drinking beer, you are friends with everyone else. It doesn't matter what language you speak, tourist or local, you are an integral part of this festival just by sitting on the bench and ordering a liter. That was a surprising and enjoyable aspect of Oktoberfest for us.

And just wait until the band starts up! An entire tent of people raising their voice in song and their liters of beer for a joyous toast. "Ein prosit, ein prosit, der gemutlichkeit," the crowd choruses together, followed by a cheer and a big drink of beer. You can't help but smile! I surprised myself by joining in, apparently I had learned Oktoberfest songs in high school German class all unknowingly.

Oktoberfest is a happy festival. A time of gathering, with old and new friends. Everywhere you looked there were knots of people toasting, singing, eating, cheering, laughing. Calling back and forth across tables to each other. You can sit and talk and happily drink your beer all day long. And when you finish one liter, the empties are cleared away...

...and before you know it, a new round makes it's way to you, to start all over again.

If you ever have the chance to go to Oktoberfest, don't hesitate, just go. Enjoy a few liters, with thousands of your new best friends, in the camaraderie of beer. Pros't!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Motion and Movement

I am musing on motion and movement over on Mortal Muses today. I thought I would share an extra bonus motion shot here along the same theme - of what else - Venice at night! I just can't get enough. I hope you all aren't bored. :)

Oh wait, it's my blog, so I can post what I love as much as I want to! Sometimes, in my desire to make other people happy or live up to other's expectations, I forget that important little point...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Visiting Home

Today I am heading to Oregon for a two week business trip, probably my last one before we move back next summer. I am soooo looking forward to some good Mexican food and visits with friends. It is always a whirlwind trip of work and socializing and shopping, since I'm there for such a short time. I'll be here on the blog off and on, a few scheduled posts, a few live posts, whatever I can squeeze into my frantic schedule.

Today's photo is of the wreck of the Peter Iredale, on the northern Oregon coast near Astoria, taken in early 2008 before there was any inkling we would ever have the opportunity to move to Italy. For all that I love the travel and the unique places we have visited in Europe, along with the photographic inspiration that it has given me, this image is a reminder that beauty is everywhere around us. No matter where we live, we just have to seek it. It is there for us to find.

I have sometimes thought that I "found my eye" here in Italy, but when I look back at a photo like this I realize that's just not true. I already had the vision and the passion, long before this move. What has happened during my time in Italy, is that I have recognized it as my own. I have learned to see myself as the artist I am. The artist I have been, unknowingly, for quite some time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Leaf Me Alone

A single leaf, the first colorful leaf of autumn, captured for Picture Fall. Most of the trees around here still have green leaves, firmly attached to their branches. The leaves that are on the ground are dead, brown, dull. This one little leaf was the exception - full of color and vibrancy and personality. A leaf ahead of its season.

I enjoyed photographing this one little leaf - capturing the light, the interesting shadows, the contrast of the lines of green moss in between the stones. You should have seen me, down on the ground on the path in the park. Brandon, who is now 9 years old, was quite embarrassed by my behavior. "Get up Mom," he said, "You look weird."

I find it ironic, that as I finally get to a place in my self that I don't care what other people think, that I'm willing to lay down on the pavement in public for the sake of my art, that my son starts to care. Apparently, we are changing seasons in more than one way around here. This single leaf, a harbinger of fall, also has brought the realization that the teen years are, eventually, on their way for my son. Life is nothing, if not interesting, that's for sure.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where I Sit

This is where I love to sit, under my happy cat quilt my Mom made me, reading in the natural light of our big window, with the cat on my lap and a cup of tea on the table beside me. If I'm at home, you can usually find me in this spot or at the computer. (OK, lately, more at the computer.)

This photo was taken today for the online class "Picture Fall" through Big Picture Classes. It's a photography prompt every day for the month of October, to celebrate the change of season and get you out and photographing. I've realized lately that, while I am loving the travel photography, I'm not doing so much "every day" photography and I'm in a bit of a rut. So you'll see these images creep into the blog I'm sure, along with the normal photos of various places I visit. I'm taking this with my fellow muses and other online friends so it will be fun to have this virtual community all in class together.

(Oh, and thank you for all of the well wishes yesterday. I am feeling much better today! So nice to have all of these people out there hoping you feel better.)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Good Medicine

Today I am not feeling so well, so I went to my photo folder with the desire to find a photo that would calm my stomach. Yes, I meant that, calm my stomach. Looking at images of beer from Oktoberfest just wasn't going to work this morning. And I found this one, of a sculpture in Barcelona. Just lines and light and sky.

Guess what? I feel better already.