Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Light In The Dark

I had all sorts of ideas that I wanted to write about today. Tons of metaphors about light and dark, negativity and positivity... all the changes I have been going through.... and in the end, I just don't really feel much like writing tonight. So instead, I leave you with the darkest image I have ever shot, taken on a day when I felt fantastic, light and free.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Summer sun, summer sunburn, cooling off in the shade... yeah. Freedom.
This weekend, one of my goals is to try to get my family to stand still long enough that we can get a proper family photo. I haven't shot anything with the three of us in it for almost three years. The last one I shot was just after I left the hospital after the coma. Strangely enough, I was gaining weight at the time... trying to heal a HUGE wound. Now the weight is coming off and it feels very different.

This is not the freedom of which I want to speak.

What I really want to talk about is Aurora.

And the Freedom to wear flippers in the house on your ninth birthday.

Six years later, we celebrate Aurora being free from the tyranny of the past twelve years. We have made it through the court system again. This time, Aurora led the charge. Her eloquent articulation combined with the observations of her therapist and law guardian made it so that she was free to choose where she wants to spend the remainder of her teenage years.

Freedom is such a crazy thing. We have assumed all along that we were free to do what needed doing. Reality has been considerably different. It is only being on the other side of the wall that we are made aware of how much of our life was waiting to happen. Even now, the tears don't hesitate to roll down my cheeks.

It is funny how this new found freedom has pulled us closer as a family, and simultaneously given us each so much more independence. I wouldn't say we are care-free, by any means... but happy and safe sound pretty darned good right now.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

This time of year we start to see the farmers taking advantage of the high heat, lower humidity and longer days to bring in their first cuts of hay. Over night the tall grass that has been verdant since March is suddenly shorn and throughout the fields are these huge hay lozenges. 

Nancy and I stopped at a nearby field to take in the scene as the clouds played across the setting evening sun. So many of the images I shot were totally blown out. Without a split ND filter on my lens, I was out of luck when it came to exposing the sky and foreground accurately. Turned to Lightroom 4 to help balance things out. It didn't quite balance the image the way I had hoped, so I opted for the fall-back-and-punt approach. Hit the image with a red filter while converting to black-and-white. Now we started to see the sky while retaining all the texture in the fields. 

If money were no object, I would order the LEE Filters 150 x 170mm 0.75 Graduated Neutral Density Filter (Soft Edge) which would require not only the filters, but the filter holder, and the adapter to fit the various lenses I would want to use it on.... but it is so worth it! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nearly Two Months Out

Back in the middle of April, I could not have imagined all the changes I would be going through in such a short time. All I can do now is stand back and watch the changes in my body, every single day. I can't begin to express how amazing it is to have energy again! And to feel my strength returning... along with (slowly) increasing stamina.... this is a perfect way to begin the summer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pulling the Sled (or Mushing through the Roses)

After a long day of hot, sweaty garden work, these two like nothing more than to add some serious weight training to their day. This was Aurora's first time pulling the steel sled. Normally, one would add a stack of barbell weights to the sled. Instead, Lee hopped on for a ride down the hill, through the roses.

When it came time to turn around and head back up the hill, the sled would have none of it. Aurora leaned with all her might, but the leaden weight of the sled went nowhere. The hardest part of watching this was holding the camera steady while I was laughing so hard. Here were two of the most serious, intense people I know... playing by dragging heavy loads on a steel sled, in the heat of the summer. Playing, I tell you.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Falling in Love

How do you describe the process of falling in love? I didn't want to fall in love with roses. I am not prone to spending copious time in the garden dealing with pests or pruning, which I always assumed went hand in hand with roses. Meeting Lee converted me to the idea of tough, hardy, gorgeous roses that can hold their own in our climate, easily shrugging off weather that decimates lesser plants. 

This year, I fell in love. 

I didn't expect it to happen. It started with seeing the perfect bud. Each morning I went outside to watch it swell and darken... slowly transitioning from pale green till it started to blush ever so slightly pink. Then yesterday it was nearly crimson... waiting to begin to unfurl. When I woke up this morning all I wanted was to see the night's progress. The color knocked me over. Rich saturated pink fading to white inside. Yeah, I'm in love. Smitten, bitten and I am doomed.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day Two of Der Rosenmeister's Open House

If you didn't make it out to see Lee's roses Friday afternoon, you still have three more days this month to partake of his open house. Get out there while the roses are in full bloom. The smell alone is worth the trip!
Der Rosenmeister Nursery can be found online and on Facebook

I keep getting asked on Facebook: are these real roses from Der Rosenmeister? OH YEAH! These were cut minutes before we shot. Lee and I are hoping to work on a book of all of his varieties sometime this fall/winter during the "off season" for his nursery. So far we've compiled about 100 images of his roses... which means we still have almost twice that many left to shoot!