Tuesday, September 24, 2013

by the lake, part II

Since I'm stuck living back on Long Island for the time being, I thought it might be nice to really explore it while I'm here. I've lived on LI since I was 9 years old (read: many many years) and there are still *so* many places I've never been to. I'd even lived in the town of Lake Ronkonkoma for awhile when my ex-husband and I first moved in together, and I had never actually been to The Lake. There was a restaurant there, The Bavarian Inn, which I knew to now be abandoned and all grafittied-up (bettye-ism), a setting which is much to my liking. Sadly, when we got there that day we discovered that the restaurant was newly fenced-in (urgh) and not in a "oh, *I* can get in THERE" way, but...yeah. We were not shooting there. So we moved to Part II: The Lake.

My thought for the lake portion of the shoot had been a) capturing backlit and sun flare-y photos and b) evoking soft femininity in this vintage nightgown. It was a big fail on the sun shots (!) as I miscalculated our time, AND had been unaware of the tall trees around the lake, which knocked off 15 minutes of our sun-time. Live and learn! I should download one of those sunset time apps! It's amazing how much earlier every day the sun sets. I always sort of thought it set one minute earlier each day...but it's more like ten! So the difference from one week to the next is pretty drastic.

I like the softness of the water and sand shots...and so enhanced their paleness and fragility in post-processing. The images with the trees in the background, however, were a little more contrasty so I edited them with stronger tones. What do you think?

Even though we didn't have the sun directly, it was *such* beautiful light that evening, even after the sun dropped down below the trees, its glow lit the model's face so nicely. 


Saturday, September 21, 2013

by the lake, part I

I'm so glad I'm finally getting back to doing personal photography projects. I try to have a little something in mind to learn, a technique or camera feature...and then create a styled shoot around it. This part of the shoot, up the hill from a lake, I was shooting in a bit of a challenging situation - lots of dappled light - which meant lots of camera adjustments.

It's funny, I still get nervous during shoots with other people...I fumble around with my camera, and I get self-conscious about directing and posing. Then driving home afterward I'm always like, oh that was awful, they must think I'm such a beginner, I've wasted everyone's time...and then I get home and start playing with the images and find I have some really lovely photos. Yay.

I love soft focus, hazy photos...sun flare, backlighting, sort of a dreamy ethereal look...don't you?

It's nice, in-between doing photographs for other people, to allow yourself the freedom to photograph *your* vision, to nurture your own sense of creativity. I think it's important to spend time on creating your own style. It's what will set you apart from other photographers. 

Stay tuned for Part II...down on the beach.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

getting back to normal

My boy has been out of commission for awhile. Lyme disease. Anaplasmosis. Yucky things caused by ticks. Pain. Depression. Trembling. Lots of laying around moaning, unable to get up and down easily. This is my BOY. It was breaking my heart.

But the meds have been working wonders and he's almost at the end of the first 28-day cycle. A good friend has suggested he do another round as 56 days is better than 28. So yeah. I'll talk to the vet this week about that. In the meantime, yesterday was our first real outing in about a month. He was perky, in spirit mostly, but still.

He made a couple doggy friends and tried to keep up with them for a stride or two, but couldn't go much more than that. Mostly we just did a rambly walk through a nearby preserve, stopping when he was tired or I wanted to snap a shot of something suggesting autumn is actually on its way.

In all, a good afternoon.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weekend Wrapup

What are you up to this weekend? With the clock ticking towards the real end of summer (I refuse to accept Labor Day as "the end of summer"), I'm trying to squeeze in as many beach days as I can before it truly gets too cool, so...weather permitting, I have two long days of sun, sand, reading, floating, and negative ions ahead of me.

Here are some things I've wanted to share with you...

Cute lil lamb. I can't.

Jumping Leaping for Joy!

Pinterest come to life

Why you shouldn't date a photographer

Cute lil lamb again. Cuz...come on. You know you want to.

Thinking of adopting a rescue dog? This should put you over the fence.

Okay. That's enough. The beach is calling meeeeee.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Birthday Girl

Today, she is my birthday. Which means...I can do anything I want! And I just want to share some favorite photos from near and far and long ago and yesterday...

This is my puffy man, Madison.

I loved this day, spent with a special friend. He took me to a place I never would have found by myself and it was so serene.

This is *long* ago, like 35 years ago. Me and my girlfriend being silly on the ponies. I don't know why I'm making the goofy face (photo left), but our times at the barn were always fun.

Me and my first horse, Elmer J. Fudd (Millionaire. He owned a mansion and a yacht).

Me and my baby. And donuts. 

Nice glasses, Bettye from the past. Nice. Giant. Glasses.

Me and a llama :-)

My mother and me when I was just a wee one.

My boy, just in from a blizzard, with his most sincere face.

My beautiful baby.


My baby Katie, Leroy, Robbie (aka The Boy-os), and my ex-husband. When he had big hair.

Fleurs on my desk at work.

Tiny Jane in the packing peanuts. She loved diving in and swimming through them. 

She kinda looks like one of those blow-up alien dolls, right??

My best girl and my best boy.

Sweet Katie 

Mommy & Daddy

Spring at Planting Fields Arboretum

My beautiful New York City

All photos by me. Unless I'm in them. And then I don't know.

Happy Birthday to me. I'm off to have a fun day. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

ch-ch-ch-changes.... Part I

I mentioned some changes in my life over the past year, and that I'd "get back to that." 

Change is good. change is exciting and about growth. But it's mostly just those good things when the change is at *my* hand. I had a significant change thrust upon me last September that I was not too happy about. The Brooklyn brownstone that I'd called home for over two years was sold out from under me. I was told by my landlady at the last minute, so I had only 30 days to get out (gah), and was *totally* unprepared for a move - financially and otherwise. With a 50-lb dog and two cats, poor credit, and no money to put down, it's *very* hard to find an apartment in Brooklyn (or anywhere!). Rents in Bushwick had gone through the roof while I was living there, and I could no longer afford *anything* there. With little time and fewer options, returning to Long Island was the only thing I could do.

Moving from the suburbs of Long Island to Brooklyn in 2010 had been a huge change for me...but one that I'd looked forward to for YEARS...I'd been excited about it, planned for it, dreamed of it.....it was *my* change. It was *my* big adventure.

And I LOVED living in Brooklyn. It is always interesting and entertaining and active and vibrant and energetic, at all times of the day or night. I could be a single person there and not feel so *alone.*

But at the time I had no choice but to come back. To the suburbs. Out in Suffolk County. Close to work, but far from friends and the things I enjoy doing. This change really lay heavy on my heart. In the beginning I promised myself it would only be for six months. I'd get back on my feet and return to Brooklyn, or at least to Nassau County, closer to *my* things. But here it is - another September has rolled around and I'm still in the same spot. 

Let me just say this - this apartment was a saving grace when I needed one. They let me and my animals in when I had no money to put down and poor credit that had been rejected by the other places I tried. Mr & Mrs Landlord are super nice, I work with their son, Mr Landlord gives me tomatoes from his garden and I dog-sit for them when they travel. 


But. I feel very isolated. That was the feeling that motivated me to leave Long Island in the first place. So. And that isolation wears on me. 

But for now...for reasons financial and canine (this is a good place for Caleb as he ages - he can walk right out the door to the yard, no steps or elevator...and there are several very good nearby places we can sneak into dog-friendly spots that we visit a lot), this is where we'll stay. I'm trying to let go of the *temporary* mindset and finally focus on making this our *home.*

Stay tuned for Change #2....

(all photography by me, except for the first picture of me and my daughter - taken by random guy on the Brooklyn Promenade)