"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, May 04, 2018

these lemons make the most delicious lemonade...

'Parisiens Jaune'

"One doesn't stop seeing. One doesn't stop framing.
It doesn't turn off and turn on. It's on all the time."
- Annie Leibovitz

It's been five long years since I've been able to return to Paris. Oh! How I miss her so! I especially miss wandering the city with my cameras: all those images waiting to be captured, all those stories waiting to be told. Encore, my Paris drought has prodded me to re-invent this blog - a joyful, stress free challenge to expand my creative eye here, at home. Now the only editor's timeline and deadline I have to adhere to are my own. Thus, not only do I continue to carry my camera with me wherever I go (and click, click, click) I have the space and time to research, explore and experiment with my craft: technique, lighting, viewpoint, editing, etc. here, at home. With this in mind, for this post, a challenge for self-taught me: curate a post with photographs taken in the month of April, applying  the technique(s) and photography-genre(s) I've been researching...  

"There is only you and your camera. 
The limitations in your photography are in yourself, 
for what we see is what we are." - Ernst Haas

'Spring Snow Shower'
"...my dreams might let me know, all the stars are closer." - Kendrick Lamar
'Sauk, Meskwakis, Kickapoos'

Temple's Lesson Learned: Occam's Razor-there are no short cuts

"I'm thinking balls are to men what purses are to women.
Just a little bag, but we feel naked without them."
- Carrie, Sex In The City

My favorite camera weighs about 3lbs and is bulky; always necessitating a pretty large camera bag/purse (God how I miss my discontinued Epiphanie Ginger camera bag/purse!).  I'm not ashamed to admit that there are times when I just don't want to lug it. I tell myself I can capture anything that catches my eye with my trusty high quality iPhone camera. And wouldn't you know it, that's when I see or experience something I have to capture - and I'm almost always disappointed with the results. The quality, scope, range, clarity, 'edit-ability,' and dependability of a 'real' camera just aren't available with a phone camera. Lugging a well stocked camera bag far outweighs the frustrating results of not lugging one. The moral of this story: bite the bullet to get the shot. Lesson learned.

Still Life...

'Mercury Spectacles'                                                                  'Paris L.S.P.'

"The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer." - Steven Pinker

'Coffee Table Hiatus'                                                                               'Finklestein' 

One thing that prompted this assignment was my realization that most of my Paris photography focuses on the 'exterior' of my experiences there - capturing strangers and images that catch my artistic eye and speak to me emotionally. Makes perfect sense since, although I visit often, I'm still a short time visitor.  Thus, for this assignment, I added another caveat, focus on the 'interior' - keep it personal, intimate: days in the life, with the loves of my life; champagne with beloved friends; a Spring snow shower viewed from my bedroom window; scenes from an Indian Trail during a late night convertible drive with Mr. G; my spot at the barre (last week, after a four year hiatus, I've returned to my love); vintage bleachers (I spend an inordinate amount of time on courts); my collection of defunct eye glasses (I use when I misplace my glasses, which is often ;-} 


'Executive Meeting'                                                                       'Sage Repose'

"Don't shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like." 
- David Alan Harvey


'Barre'                                                                                      'Numbers'
"I looked around at rooms that I did not see as rooms but more as...a biography of memory." - Anne Spollen

'This or That' 
"Sports do not build character. They reveal it." - Heyword Broun


"There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment." - Robert Frank

Oui, I lament my too long Paris hiatus but my city of light and love continues to inspire, no matter how long my time away; encouraging, forcing me, to grow, technically, aesthetically, artistically. And, in the interim, during the journey, I've found so many facets to capture that further deepen my appreciation and love of home. Yes, these lemons make the most delicious lemonade... 

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

P.S. Check out my: A Photographer's Kit series...

Saturday, March 24, 2018

postcard to paris #6: flower of the universe...

"They come to see the fire burning in your heart. They want to witness, this love..." - Sade

Last Sunday was my mother's 89th birthday! We're in the midst of planning a trip to Paris for her 90th, and mom was expecting our usual trip to our favorite French restaurant for this birthday. She never suspected I was planning a surprise party instead. Little did I know, while planning, plotting and scheming, that Celebrating Dorothy would be my next Postcard to Paris.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to plan a surprise birthday party, in your home, for someone who lives with you? I invited 20 of mom's closest lady-friends and had to be creative about it. No traditional posted invitations, I couldn't ask mom for addresses. So I texted one of her closest girlfriends, she created a text group message, for all the invitees, leading with this adorable bright pink invite. 

"[Paris in Springtime] exudes a special atmosphere of elegance, freshness, joie de vivre." - Miruna, Travel Away

Ma mere's birthday is two days before the calendar start of Spring + Paris is her favorite place on Earth (this apple doesn't fall far ;-} Thus, the theme for mom's 89th was fait accompli: Springtime in Paris, with more than a bit of Sistah-Spice...

In my foyer, a vase of white roses stood guard over iridescent bejeweled picture frame-keepsakes, with each guest's name.

The Green Room:
Yellow Daffodils, blue and green Hydrangeas, white and pale pink Hyacinth. 

The White Room (my photography-studio): 
My second guest keepsake: a group photograph. Rory patiently stood while I arranged the lighting.

Temple Tip: Ask for help!

"Oh, baby I get by with a little help from my friends." The Beatles

The Plan: while the grandchildren were at church with mom, I would arrange the decor (tables, champagne, glasses, napkins, plates, silverware, etc) and prepare the appetizer table and luncheon buffet - all within a two hour window. The Reality: given that timeframe, there was no way I could cook for 25+ people and set up the house - so I asked a few of mom's friends to bring a French cuisine inspired dish and asked two of my Lady-friends (Ellen and Sylvia) to come over, as soon as mom and the kids left, to help set up (they also brought several amazing and delicious pre-prepared dishes); and served drinks, cocktails, food and did cleanup, alongside Mr. G and me. Dorothy's birthday party was truly the result of a loving group effort. The Takeaway: never, ever be reluctant to ask for a little help from your friends.

The stage was set, the guests arrived on time, all that remained was:

time to party

Essential Sustenance: a perfectly chilled case of bubbly- Flor Prosecco Rose Brut NV

Red Roses in a vintage Tiffany ice bucket (a wedding gift to my parents, forty years ago), 
vintage French lace and silver, large and small votives made from chandelier crystals (an Ellen contribution) 
accompany Texas flea market glass dishes (one of mom's engagement gifts to Mr. G and me, twenty-one years ago).

Menu: a Paris inspired buffet Plat du Fromage et Fruits, Charcuterie, Salad Nicosie, Smoked Salmon Platter, 
Cream Cheddar Saffron Asparagus Soup; Shrimp Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas; Poulet Cuit

Birthday cake, bien sur. Eighty-Nine candles plus one for luck!

"Like diamonds, like my love, they want to know it's true there's someone in the world, lovely as you." - Sade 

What to do after a decadent luncheon, free flowing bubbly, gifts, a birthday cake and song? Dancing of course!

Oh how we danced!

My beloved mother is the jewel of our family. She equally co-parents our three, has an incredibly close, loving relationship unique to/with each of them. She is a true friend to Mr. G. She is my  heart, reminds me who and what I am in my moments of weakness and strength, augments my feminine power with her mighty own. Her wisdom, sassiness and grace are constant blessings to us all. But it wasn't until this day that I realized that she has touched, positively effected and is greatly loved outside of our family circle as well. Throughout the festivities, at some point, each one of the ladies stood and testified to how la Dorothy personally touched their lives, gave them advice, listened to their problems and/or simply gave one of her sweet but firm hugs of love that make everything right and remind you how wonderful and special you are. Dorothy is not just the jewel of our family, she's a jewel. 

"This love is far and wide. When you smile the stars align. Flower of the Universe." - Sade

My mother was born ten years after women got the right to vote in this country (1929); was raised by her grandmother - the last enslaved person in our family. She was sixteen years old the day WWII ended (1945); twenty-six years old the day Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama (1955); thirty-five years old when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law; thirty-eight years old when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated (1968); forty years old the day the U.S. landed on the Moon (1969,  my sister was one, I was one day old); seventy-two years old on 9/11 (2001); seventy-nine years old the day Barack Obama was elected U.S. President (2008). After nearly nine decades on this Earth, after witnessing and living through some of our brightest and darkest days, she still believes in righteous justice, that hard work makes the humble man and woman mighty, loving simple things keeps the world spinning on its Axis, nothing beats a no but an ask, a strong unified family can get you through anything, and there's nothing a perfectly chilled glass of champagne can't help fix. Dorothy is a living testament to all that's right, bright and beautiful in this world. At Eighty-Nine years young, la Dorothy is a Flower of the Universe.

!Happy Birthday Mommy!

Vivre! Aimer! Rire!

Friday, March 16, 2018

paris playlist #26: and a child shall lead them...

"Can I hear a hey? [Hey!]. Now get a yo! [Yo!]. You gotta hay? [Huh!].
- The Choice Is Yours, Black Sheep (1991)

Ya'll know, I love music - from every continent, every era, every genre. But I'm the first to admit that I tended to stay in my, and my parents', generational comfort zone - lightly sprinkled with contemporary selections - when it comes to the jams I shake my booty or slow dance with Mr. G to. At least I did, until our children came of age and introduced Mr. G and me to the music 21st century youngster-Cool Cats are jamming to. Listening to my 2 teenagers and 1 tweener's music has greatly and joyfully expanded my musical acumen. I'm really loving their music, thought you would too, so I asked our Three to each give me 5 of their current favorite songs for Paris Playlist #26... 

Rory (16)
"Man I feel just like a rockstar." (Post Malone)

1. Fuck Love (XXXTENTCION)
2. Strip That Down (Liam Payne)
3. 1-773 Vulture (Lil Dirk)
4. Rockstar (Post Malone)
5. Love Galore (Sza)

Sage (15)
"So maybe tonight I'll be the libertine." (Panic At The Disco)

1. Stressed Out (21 Pilots)
2. Dancing Queen (Abba)
3. Collar Full (Panic At The Disco)
4. Unforgettable (French Montana)
5. Hard Times (Paramore)

Never (12)
"Caught in between ten and twenty." (Five For Fighting)

1. God's Plan (Drake)
2. 100 Years (Five For Fighting)
3. Sugar (Maroon 5)
4. That's What I Like (Bruno Mars)
5. Not Afraid (Eminem)

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...