The LDS church goes to great lengths to make Temple Square beautiful all year. I’ve walked through and paid attention this past winter, spring and summer. The plantings are crazy. I don’t know if this is a Summer Dahlia. So let me know what I’m looking at besides crazy reds/purples and yellows/oranges.
I’m really pleased with how this one turned out. These flowers are so vibrant as to look fake. I didn’t do much work on this, save some exposure adjustment and a hint of saturation. The photo still doesn’t quite capture the beauty of these flowers.
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I’ve been listening, on mega-maxi repeat, to this song by Passion Pit:
The drums are wicked and nearly seizure inducing. And the intro drums are the perfect emotional underscore to this summer. The crazy vocal chipmunk samples thrown in bring back beautiful and bittersweet memories of the summer of 2001, cranking Third Eye Foundation’s “What Is It With You”:
You’ll have to get almost to the end (around 3:19) before the drums turn buzzy and the vocal samples threaten to push you into a nervous breakdown. It’s worth it.
“I’ll Be Alright” has a weirdly hopeful melody and chord progression. The lyrics are not so happy on first listen, but I think that’s the point; lemonade can be made at some point, should lemonade be desired. Still, I love the contradiction of super catchy chorus (using a Baba O’Riley-ish progression in the chorus; V-IV-I??) and bridge with sad lyrics. I’ve had a hard time with letting this song go. I’m likely going to listen to this one until I can’t stand it and can never listen again. It’s working for me on a lot of levels for now, so I’m going with it.
I suppose the above image of a beautiful flower is also misleading; my emotional state isn’t super awesome fun time happy. When you have all the facts, sometimes that can be brutally painful. It can also enable big change. And that’s the hopeful part for me. I’m not out of the woods, but even recognizing that fact in the real light that knowledge of one’s personal truth, eyes wide open, is beginning to transform me. I welcome it, no matter what.
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Affirmation: Let the pain transform you. All the way.
Small town parade on the 4th of July. This image, intentionally taken at child eye level, contains what every summer parade featured: dignitaries in sweet cars. And salt water taffy. A lot of it.
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My trip to Colorado with Leta was fantastic. I’ve got another one coming up with both of the girls and while it will be vacation for them, I know that it won’t be for me. Just like every parent, vacation with young children is no vacation. Despite that, I’ll try to make it a trip full of memories, sun and hope. This will be the first 2+ hour car trip with just the girls and me. I’m starting to plan each 15 minute segment. Leta won’t be a problem. It’s Marlo. I’m not saying that Marlo will be a problem per se. She’s just a wildcard. Marlo hasn’t had the same car training that Leta had at three years old. However, Leta can keep her company. Right?
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Affirmation: It’s always going to feel weird.
A Paintbrush Across the Sky
Caught this last night. Out of my window. Ridiculous.
There are probably a ton of sensor dirt spots all over this image. The Canon 5D is in desperate need of a damn good hiding. I think that’s how you spell it in Lancashire. Right good washing up.
Gonna be a nutburger week it looks like. Battery croaked in the car/truck/SUV. Fun times. It’s in these moments when you realize, even if very slightly, why people pair up: backup. In modern terms, backup means something different than it did for our ancestors. With parenting, backup means someone steps in when the other is at the end of their tether. I realized something the other day. I’ve never fully lived alone as an adult as long as I have the past 4 months. Crazy to fathom. I’m still getting a handle on the nights when I don’t have the girls. Hell, I have them tonight and I’m still up past midnight working on stuff. I’ve got to re-balance myself. I think the lack of equilibrium comes from living life as a unit and all that entails and having the balance that such a unit inherently provides. I’m still adjusting to not having the unit aspect full-time. Super weird. Still feel like a stranger in the condo sometimes. I’m having homeless dreams where I am living close to the edge and I lose it and end up homeless. That feeling of dread upon waking is the most super special way to start a new day.
Still, the glass is full-ish. I’m going to stand by that for awhile. Sit with it. Maybe take a sip or two.
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Daily affirmation: You are making progress. Notice it.
Into Your Fire
I’ve been trying to get better at sunset shots. I’ve probably shot a couple thousand frames from March or this year until now. I’ve driven places, planned, not planned, tried just about every lens I have access and I’ve got maybe half a dozen killer images to show. So instead of driving last night, I shot this out my bedroom window. Good thing, because the girls are with me this weekend and I couldn’t have driven anywhere to shoot this without two very grumpy sleep deprived girls the next day. I’ll be watching the skies for the next several months and trying to grab the best sunsets I can from my window.
One thing I’ve been noticing is that my favorite and best shots come from the blue hour (wikipedia; Flickr pool; Google+; 500px). This is the time of morning/night where the sun is not visible, the sky is blue and the colors turn fantastic.
Soundtrack for this image is Mark Knopfler’s “Smooching” from the soundtrack to the great 1980s movie Local Hero. I won’t link to the Wikipedia page for the movie, because the ending is so nicely done.
The chord progression is delicious and Knopfler’s playing is the embodiment of precise, super technical finger picking, yet full of emotion. Nerd note: fans of 1980s tenor sax might recognize the late great Michael Brecker weaving some really nice playing around 2:43. I bought the soundtrack for this song and it was a staple on all my college era mix tapes. This track shows where Dire Straits was going pre-Brothers in Arms. A lot
All of my breakups during the 1980s featured this song as a soundtrack. Something about the chorus turnaround chords kills me every time I hear them.
My introduction to the film was via Gregory’s Girl which was also directed by Bill Forsyth (Wikipedia; IMDb). Even if you don’t like the song, see Local Hero because Burt Lancaster is fantastic. Plus, Scottish accents galore.
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Daily affirmation: Show up.
This is from the same session as this shot. I really didn’t do much. Bumped the contrast up. Pulled the blacks toward “more black”. Tiny bit of saturation and vibrance to the overall image and then bumped up the saturation in the purple and blue range. I also applied some noise reduction due to the higher ISO value. This may sound like a lot of work, but it wasn’t.
I’ve cropped this one to fit a panoramic sized print. This is entirely selfish. I’m going to print this for my own wall. This may get me unstuck in my printing dilemma… I still can’t decide which shots to print. This one practically jumped out of the Lightroom grid, even before my tweaks.
Daily affirmation: Quit whining and smile. It will do you good to smile.
Left on Green Only
From almost a month ago. Stopped at the light. Grabbed the 5D. Boom. Didn’t know what I had until I pulled it onto the computer. I’m kind of liking the similarities between that style of shooting and the wait for film processing in the olde tymes.
I’ve struggled all spring in trying to capture this species of tree; the dark trunk and bright blooms have called out to me and I think this one is the closest I’ve been to capturing the trunk/bloom contrast.
It’s Friday. Live it.
All that stuff you thought was cheesy crap? It works.
Let go of the small attitude and open up to big.