If you read my previous post you know, that tiny little things can make me happy. Wondering what put a smile on my face this morning? Waking up to a foggy day.
During a walk on a very foggy morning I noticed a scene, that completely mesmerized me. I finished the walk, got my camera and tripod from home, and walked back to the area. Unfortunately, by the time I started shooting, the previously pitch black background started lightening up as dawn arrived. I have been waiting for the same conditions since then, hoping for a similarly dense fog in the early morning. Sadly, today’s fog was not enough for my image.
This short post is not about photography – in fact, this is not one of my best images. But it is part of my story.
My daughter loves animals: cats, dogs, bunnies... you get the point. She also adores little creatures, like rollie pollies, earthworms, caterpillars, and the list just goes on. Time after time she comes home from school with a "rescued" animal that she wants to take care of. The last one was a ladybug. We own a Insect Lore Ladybug Land habitat, which became the insect's new home - at least temporarily.
Similarly to other photographers, I have my special interests: the leading themes on my list are nature and architecture, and some that never made it to my roll are street and sports photography. If I had to describe the majority of my images in one word, it would have to be „peopleless”. There is just one exception: I take a great amount of pictures at my daughter’s school for various purposes. I’ve decided to tell you about my „school photography” a bit, because most of the time I do not post these images publicly.
In Colorado I started taking candid photos at my daughter’s class events. No, not secretly from a hiding place, just without posing the kids for my images. I wanted to capture their actions and true feelings. Then, I shared these images with the parents, because many of them only saw one picture of their child from school, the official – posed – one.
I got permission from my daughter’s teacher last year in her new school (in California) to continue my quest for a collection of non-posed school images. Soon after I started taking pictures at the school, I was approached by the Yearbook coordinator... and yes, I became part of the team. I started taking more images at school’s events. A large number of these pictures were used in the Yearbook, and some even made it into the local newspaper (click for larger image). But...
My daughter is in fourth grade, and in social studies she has been learning about the Spanish Missions of California. Twenty-one missions were built in California between July 16, 1769 and July 4, 1823: The first one in San Diego, and the last one in San Francisco. A really fun part of the studies was Mission Building Day in mid-January. During a four-hour period of time the students – with the help of parent volunteers – constructed a model of one of the Missions.
Now, that the family picture wall is finished, I will need to start working on my daughter’s school yearbook soon. Before I start it, I decided to take a break from the “must/needed” projects and do something for fun. I’ve heard about a long exposure tutorial/class on Kelbyone.com taught by Matt Kloskowski. I watched the class Friday night (I really like Matt’s teaching style). Saturday morning I grabbed my camera bag on the way to my daughter’s art class, and decided to try out the technique Matt presented. Although the location didn’t have the perfect setting for a (daytime) long exposure photo, it did have a lake and it was a pretty bright, sunny day. So it was kind of ideal for trying out an ND (natural density) filter, and follow Matt’s recommendations.
I spent the last three weeks with a project I started thinking about even before we moved into our house. We wanted to decorate our staircase wall with family pictures similarly to our old house. Due to my digital picture hoarding habits I literally had to look through thousands of pictures to find the ones that carry the best memories for us. Finally we had some printed, and I framed them.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was looking forward to designing our new backyard. It was very hard to leave my gorgeous flowers back in Colorado, but living in Southern California gave me a chance to learn and design something new. The sub-Mediterranean weather allows us to plant vegetation that stays green all year long. Some plants will even flower almost throughout the year. In addition to finding these evergreen plants for our outdoor, we also wanted to have as many fragrant flowers as possible. The biggest challenge was finding plants that do not grow too large, since we have a very limited outside space.
I started my project in June with the observance of the sun and shade patterns of the backyard for a whole day. I knew that the amount of sunshine reaching the backyard changes with the seasons, but I wanted to get a good idea about how much sunlight the area gets and where. We are now in the middle of winter, and in fact, the backyard gets about 2-3 hours less total sunshine than in the summer time.
It has been over five months since my last post. Lots of things happened during this time; some related to art, some are not. I'll share about a few of these happenings in my upcoming posts.
After spending six awesome weeks in Hungary with my family and friends, my daughter and I returned to the States in August. Since we had just moved into a new house before our trip, we continued unpacking, organizing and decorating. Her school year started pretty late, on September 10th, so we enjoyed a few mommy-daughter programs together in the last four weeks of her vacation.
If you are expecting a photography related post, you might be disappointed this time. If you are interested in learning about me, my past and present, I invite you to read on.
Every summer I have the luxury of taking my daughter to my birth country, Hungary, for a few weeks. We used to come for four weeks, then five, and in the past few years it has been a six week long vacation. I know many other families who spend a few weeks, sometimes months in Hungary. Plenty of them seek deep cultural experiences for their children and themselves: folk music concerts, folk camps, visiting numerous museums, etc. I also try to include some of these in our trips. But my main goal is to have my daughter experience the culture I grew up in. Of course, the country has greatly changed in the past twenty plus years. It is impossible to show her what it was like when I still lived here. What I am able to have her experience is this: she can spend time with parents and other family members, especially her cousins. She can socialize and talk with Hungarian kids of her own age, which is nearly impossible at home, in Southern California. We need to come „home” to be able to do this. We take public transportation in the city instead of driving to every place. We eat simple but home made food that my daughter describes as the „best in the world”. I think you get the point.
In the Spring of 2013 I've attended two workshops at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA. You can read about my thoughts about former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro visit in my previous post. As part of the workshop series we were also asked to submit any or all of our images, which were then juried by The Legacy Project. I am happy to announce, that two of my images were chosen to be displayed at the exhibition entitled A Different Point of View. Please read the formal announcement for dates and other info. If you are visiting the Great Park during the Summer, come see our images of the places usually hidden from the public view.