Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

Missing Faces.

The first two are raw images scans from negatives but I liked the chalky, dusty look on them.

Missing Faces

Winged Victory

Missing Faces


Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

This face is fascinating! I sat watching the king of the mountain at the SF zoo for a while. He just chilled out watching the crowd making sure his peeps were safe sunning on the rocks. There is an intelligence to his eyes I just can’t get over. The fact that the picture captures it is absurd and creeps me out a little. Dont ask me why. I think it is just a natural or primal reaction bred in us for hundreds of years that requires me to be afraid of this beautiful and powerfully dangerous creature.

I caught him on two different camera’s. One shot he’s looking right at me.


Gorilla SF zoo

Sorry for the raw shot. Thought you might want to see him checking you out 🙂

Gorilla SF zoo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Faces

When I read the theme for this weeks photo challenge, my immediate reaction was ahhhh crap I dont have pictures of faces. Sure I can go into pics of family and friends and pull stuff out and play with it but really I’m not a people shooter. I know that sounds bad, we both know what I mean. I didnt make a career in photography as a kid because I didnt want to be a wedding photographer etc etc. My talent for  ‘people’ subjects just never developed. One day I will focus more time on upping my skills in that area, until then i’ll keep shooting statues instead, they dont move which was what I was thinking when I decided I’m an idiot. yup. me. why? I have an entire collection of faces. One of my favorite things to shoot typically has a face somewhere on it. I may be shooting an angle that doesn’t show it. but somewhere there is a face. My brain is a bit slow today. Dont worry! With all the stress of the move and having a nasty reaction to some vaccines I’m entitled to have a few bad days. Not to mention I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee this morning.

Me and some of the non-face anatomy

Me and some ladies butts at the Louvre

Now, lets move on to the good stuff because I have found my faces!

Peek a Boo at the Louvre

And my personal fav…I’ve taken a few shots of these two and I can never pick out my favorite one. This one fits the color scheme of the other two so i’m dropping it in.

cupid and psyche



SummerTime Design by Sommer on Etsy

SummerTime Design by Summertimedesign on Etsy.

Check out some of the little things I make.

There are many days with my diseases when I dont feel well and cannot do much but lie around. This of one of the things I do when I’m down. I have a bunch more to post but it will have to wait until after our move to Colorado.

Hope you like them!

Character Torture 101

I’m an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction books. The last 2 years of my life have been sucked away while I played with shape shifters, vampires, heriones who can vanquish demons or raise zombies, gargoyles who can shift to the underworld. I could go on and on, I want to go on and on. Don’t worry that’s not the purpose of today’s blog.

After about a year of this reading quest, I noticed something when I was reading.  I began dissecting the novels. It wasn’t necessarily because they were terrible, some were, but it was more methodical. I suddenly starting ‘seeing’ pieces of the stores. For example: Why the author did something specific to a character and how it was supposed to affect the reader. You know that love/hate relationship you have with some characters? there’s a reason why authors create that tension. Sometimes I would even question why they did things at all, it just didnt fit. Some books were so bad I told myself I could write better than this and then would proceed to converse with myself on how the book could have been better and played it out in my imagination.

You’ll never guess what happened next. Ok you probably did but I’ll tell you anyways. Craziness descended. I began creating my own characters in my head. Then they started doing stuff! Conversations and scenes were on autopilot in my head. One day i was so irritated by the constant chatter I sat down and started writing in the hopes that if they were on paper they would quite down. After days of constant writing and episodes of running out of the shower dripping wet to a pad of paper or my computer I had over 30,ooo words and post it notes everywhere. Now you must know that those 30k were not eloquent and organized. A lot were just random scenes, character and world descriptions, gibberish….ideas. Almost all of it was crap. I was proud of every word. The love I used to have for writing came back to me again.

There was a time in my childhood when i wanted to be a writer. Later it morphed into photojournalism. By the time I went to college writing and art were last on my lists of career choices. Why? Unless your very talented or very lucky it’s difficult to make it in the biz. My father is an artist, a very good one at that. Growing up I watched him struggle on and off and knew I didnt want to go down that path. Now almost 10 years after I gave up a career in art, I now have the knowledge and tools to prevent the starving artist mentality.  There’s time and inclination to work on my hobbies again. Now I just need the talent.

One of the things I’ve been doing lately is taking online writing classes.

This site offers classes by accomplished authors: http://www.writersonlineclasses.com/.

After just a few classes I have more information then I know what to do with.  My current class taught by Linnea Sinclair is my favorite so far. My first homework she tore apart and I’m thankful for it. My editing skills are seriously lacking and honestly, I know nothing about writing. The last writing class I took was a basic English class to fill a gen. ed requirement  about 8 years ago. Linnea has provided a ton of sources for me to study and tips to keep in mind when writing. Overall she has been the most insightful with the least amount of fluff to her lectures.

Now to the point. I’m posting my first homework assignment with Linnea. This is a dream sequence I wrote for my main character in my fantasy world. I would love feed back! Did you like it, or not? Did it hold your interest? Did you want to keep reading? Either way I hope you like it.

Subs= Subhuman (vampire, shape-shifter, etc)

I was nine again. I was running away. Running as far and fast as my little legs could carry me.  Frightened beyond belief, wanting desperately to turn around and go back to our parents. We had to go back! We have to help them fight! More than once I tried to stop and turn back but Adam held my hand like a vice, dragging me farther and farther away from our mothers battles screams and closer to safety. We are twins, so why is he always stronger than me?

My father’s shouts only made me struggle harder. As usual Adam listened to our parent’s commands without question. He wasn’t going to stop until we were at a ‘safe spot’.  We ran farther and farther through the dark streets. The sounds of my mother screaming grew distant. Her voice had taken on a demented and defeated quality I had never heard before. My fear grew, choking me with grief I couldn’t define. Tears poured down my face obscuring the night before me. I had never wanted anything more then to turn around and go back to our parents but Adam wouldn’t let me go no matter how much I begged.

‘Adam please! We need to go back and help.’

‘No! We have to get to safety. They will come for us when they are done killing the subs.’ So hand in hand, we ran. Our parents’ voices diminished as we raced through narrow back alleys full of dark shadows and glowing beady eyes.

We sat in the parking lot of a convenient store. We hid in the shadows for hours as the night drained away. Why weren’t our parents here yet?  Adam held me as I cried. I wanted them to come take us away from this dirty place.

I woke up on the couch in our living room. Adam was still asleep beside me. I don’t remember when I fell asleep or how we got home. I heard uncle talking in the kitchen and bolted upright, tumbling over Adam in my hurry to get up. I ran around the corner hoping to find Ma and dad at the kitchen table; except they weren’t there. But Uncle was, his head was down on his forearm that lay on the table top. He was on the phone with someone and he was covered in blood. No, drenched. His hands, arms, even his boots. His beautiful bronze hair almost looked black with dried blood.

I don’t know how I knew they were gone but I did. Somehow my subconscious understood the battle lust caused by the need for revenge. My skin suddenly felt frozen and something snapped inside me as I launched myself at my uncle clawing and kicking all between sobs and screams. Fury ran through my veins and I didn’t know how to stop it, my body itched and ached with it. My skin would burst if I didn’t get it all out now.

I woke in a cold sweat; luckily back in my adult body. I loathe how helpless I used to be.  Every time I go hunting a bad memory turned reoccurring nightmare plagues me and I have no idea why. My parents were attacked on our way home from the movies and their death had destroyed something inside me that night. Only Adam was able to calm me down when I went into my fits of rage. Eventually fighting eased the pain inside but otherwise only my brother could help me control my fury when I snapped. Adam has always been there for me, always taking care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself.  My relationship with him has kept me glued together inside. Without him by my side I’d probably shatter. My direction, my purpose, my family would be lost with out Adam.

Weekly Photo Challend: Textured

A couple blogs ago I stated that it seems to be an unconscious decision that most of my shots have a form of texture to them. I really hadn’t noticed that until recently when someone asked me what kind of photographer I am. Needless to say I was totally confused by the question. I dont solely shoot landscape, commercial, portraits or weddings, so what do I shoot? So I said in a nutshell: pieces of it all. Later, after some time considering this question I decided I’m an abstract photographer.

This weeks photo challenge topic made me look at my stuff even more. Yes I shoot weird stuff but more of it makes me want to run my fingers over it or reach out and touch it. Most of my stuff isn’t  close ups of an object that shows a weird pattern or skin reveling ‘texture’. It is more about the over all esthetic or feel of the image in total.  I like pictures that jump out at me. Thats probably why I love not only black and white but heavily contrasted black and white.  Part of the blame in that particular fascination is my high school photography teacher.  I took her classes from 8th-12th which is funny because there was only BW1 and BW2. I just took BW2 quite a few times.  Actually, every semester. Anyways. My teacher loved pushing me to add more contrast. So for years I printed to her expectations and now I can’t seem to break away from it.

Now that I’ve switched to digital I’ve been trying very hard to concentrate more on color. It’s difficult to develop a sense of decent color shots when my brain was trained for so long in BW.  But a good black and white shot usually has depth, texture and contrast. Otherwise they fall flat. Now do they always need those things, or combination thereof? No. I’m not a photography expert by any means but we both know there are techniques that can create a powerful image or just a cool image without them. I’m just usually attracted to those that do.

One of my fascinations are interesting buildings. To clarify, buildings with character, with details…..with texture. Here are a few.

Victoria Canada

brick building victoria canada

Alternate View….

brick building victoria canada 2


Another one from the Panthéon in Paris, France. I’m not happy with the contrast, still working on it.




All images copyrighted.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textured

Arizona Cactus

Another cactus in Arizona

This post is fun just because there are a million cactus within touching distance of my house so this is almost too easy. I just like the weirdness of these photos. There really kinda creepy.  The top one is totally dead. The bottom one is 3 different cactus smooshed together with some kind of palo verde, maybe, poking out around it.  Half of its dead so again, just weirdness all around.

Venus Williams: What Is Sjogren’s Syndrome? – ABC News



Venus Williams: What Is Sjogren’s Syndrome? – ABC News.


I know auto-immune diseases’ suck. I have sjogren’s, plus lupus and fibro too so I can say it with certainty. I would never wish them on anyone, however I’m happy to see someone with one of these nasty diseases in the spotlight. It forces people to learn about them. It shines a light on health issues that are not widely studied, learned or supported. It also helps those of us with them feel better knowing there not alone and that ‘famous’ people have them too.  We need help from somewhere and if someone can gain focus to raise awareness then I’m happy.