Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Nice Gesture for a Sunday Evening

GestureDrawing, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Today I *finally* got around to uploading some drawings from my recent sessions. I hope you like them though I have to admit they are, ahem, a bit "primitive" in nature (translation: I don't know how to draw very well.) I have to admit though that, even though I cannot draw as well as I would like, the sessions were great and I hope to continue with more drawing in the future. If you were paying attention back in January, it was actually one of my New Year's resolutions to "do more with drawing" so, check mark! This has been completed (a bit) though I would still love to do more with this over the course of the year.

I'm at an odd juncture with my drawing. I mean, I'm able to draw people now, I'm starting to get the hang of those old da Vinci proportions and all, but I don't feel like I can draw people quite well enough, and I certainly don't feel like I can capture their true "essence" (if that were even possible.) I can draw people so they look sort of human but I can't quite draw well enough so that, say, somebody looking at one of my drawings of you would say, "oh look! I know that guy. Why, that's..."

So this brings me to my juncture. Do I continue and step up the pace with life drawing or go back and paint more? Do I try to really "nail" those da Vinci Vitruvian Man good looks or do I go back to the ease of things like the landscape and my first true love architecture?

Normally, this would not even be a question for me-I'd drop the people like a hot potato and go back to doing what I love and what I do best but, under these circumstances, I'm inclined to continue on with the humans. I'm actually starting to think about doing more with people as a subject, more life drawing, since I enjoyed it so much. It isn't wrong to put people in otherwise very pretty buildings, is it? (Please tell me it's not.) Maybe I could just stick a few gestural drawings into some of my still life/otherwise empty rooms. That wouldn't be so bad now, would it?

Well, I suppose, only time will tell.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 28

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn't photogenic." - Edward Weston

"500? Even that's pushing it. I'd go 250 and, yes, Regis, that's my final offer." - me

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fresh From the Studio

SolarLanternAndSnow, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

No, it's not more snow in store for us today. Sorry, but I'm only posting this because I've just spent a good part of the day in my encaustics studio, cranking out a few new pieces. I actually finished (finally!) a piece I had been working on for a while, got pretty far along on my "fiasco in plum" and also worked on another piece. It was a productive day, though now I'm, how do we say it? A bit pooped. (Yeah, that about sums it up.)

So, Ive been working on this one piece for a while and now it's finally done. It's an odd piece, even for me, as it's sort of a diptych that's hinged together with ribbon. I know that sounds odd but, trust me, ribbons do cool things when dunked in wax. Anyway, the piece is called "Pool of Hurt Tears" and is about crying. It's got a blue background and half of the diptych is fashioned to look like hair, only it's white, and the other half is made up of marbled encaustic wax with beads embedded into it, to represent a pool of tears forming. Like I said, very odd indeed but it's done now and I'm all ready to show it off. The next time I get around to doing some copy work, you might get to see it, so watch this space for upcoming views (of sorts.)

I also did another piece that started out too dark but turned into a pretty cool piece after some working over. It's almost done and it's not looking too bad either. I'm finally getting some pieces I would be proud to exhibit though I do still sort of feel like working with encaustics is all but a happy accident.

I start out so strong, with a very fixed rigid finished piece in my head and wind up with nothing that looks anything like that but some stuff that I think is almost, kinda cool anyway. It's an odd state of being, that is, as, on the one hand, it's frustrating. As an artist, you always want that control. But then, on the other side of the equation, sometimes a little serendipity goes a long way and it's almost fun to relinquish a bit of that control. It's part of the "fun" of using a new medium that I haven't even begun to master yet. Encaustics are wonderfully difficult and graciously easy all rolled into the one that way. It's only hard if you refuse to give into it, sort of like "Zen and the Art of Wax" (or some such thing.)

It's also shaping up to be a busy weekend photographically, as I might be going out tomorrow to do a bit more of shooting. Not sure about that yet, as the urge to paint is really strong and I really want to follow up today's session in the studio with another-want to really get these ideas in my head out on paper and tangible before they drive me nuts. But then, all that and the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow so, we'll see, we'll just have to see.

At least it's been a creative weekend for me. I hope it's creative too, where you sit.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 27

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"The tricks of today are the truths of tomorrow !" - Man Ray

"The crap of today is the classic of tomorrow!" - me

Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo Quote Number 26

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"As a child I dabbled in the arts but I wasn’t raised to know that I could be an artist. I didn’t come from that kind of background....I came late to photography, but I came late with a lot of life tools, life experience...The idea that I could translate something in my head, metaphorically, and put it on paper, through the use of photography, was so astounding to me that it didn’t even take another thought." - Elizabeth Opalenik

"As an adult, I still dabble in the arts." - me

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photo Quote Number 25

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"I often think of my work as visual haiku. It is an attempt to evoke and suggest through as few elements as possible rather than to describe with tremendous detail." - Michael Kenna

"Old pond... a frog leaps in...cameras click. It's a Shutterbug club meeting, not a Michael Kenna exhibit!" - me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photo Quote Number 24

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"I am a "photoholic". I love photography, I love photographs and many of my best friends are photographers. And, therefore, I don't think that color photography is better than black and white or vice versa. It's just that they each speak a different language." - Arthur Meyerson

"Hello, my name is Carol and I'm a photoholic. Yeah, too bad they don't have rehab for photography. Yet." - me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snow Day

SnowDay, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's snowing in Austin today. We're expecting between one and four inches where I live. As you can see from the photo here, we've already gotten about an inch (or so) on the ground. The weatherman expects more to come over the course of the afternoon.

It only snows here about once in every five years or so and it's actually been a long while since we've had an accumulation of this nature. The pundits on the TV are saying we haven't had snow this heavy since about 1989 or so. Maybe they are correct or maybe they are exaggerating a bit, but I do remember a few snow storms since I've moved here (in 1992) though I can't say I recall any where they projected we get four inches. We typically get a dusting of sorts and it's almost always gone by the next day.

So, yes, this is heavier than typical and, yes, it's actually snow. Chase is besides himself though I think he's starting to get used to it by now. When he first sees snow fall, he thinks something's wrong and he tries to chase it about a bit (I guess that's how they gave him his name, right?) Now, he sort of accepts it all piled up on the ground, though I can tell he does not like the cold and the wetness of it. He'd much rather be inside, all comfy, curled up in my bed.

I might try to get him outside later to see if I can take some shots of him playing in it. In the meantime, I'm going back to work and I'll let him stay curled up for a bit longer.

Does it snow in your world? Do you get storms like this? Even the large, sort of fluffy flakes like we had today? Those are sort of cool, even if you don't much like winter, aren't they?

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 23

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"You only do exercises in art school. That’s not the real thing. A little bit tells you so much. You have to find your own self. And you don’t know what you are! But that’s what you have to search for." - Harry Callahan

"Great. I don't do exercises in the gym and now I don't do them in art school either. On the whole, I'd have to say, I'm way more out of shape than even I thought I could get." - me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photo Quote Number 22

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time." - John Berger

"And luck. Don't forget dumb luck because, as I've found, that gets your very far as a photographer." - me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life as a Photojournalist for Only One Day

If you're familiar with my photographic style you probably know how, on the litmus scale of photography, I'm very far from the photojournalist side of things. I'd go so far as to say that, if photojournalism were blue, I'd be red. I'm really all that far away from it.

To give you a concrete example, I think nothing about photoshopping my work. I move things. I stage things. I direct lighting. I hire models. On the grand scheme of "I'm a reporter now!" things you can do in life, none of these really fall into the "photojournalism" side of life. No, if I had to classify myself, I'd have to say that I'm about as far away from photojournalism as I can get. I'm a fine art photographer, always have been, always will be, nothing more, nothing less.

For those of you reading this who *aren't* photographers, allow me to explain. Photographers, like musicians, cooks, or others of the many artsy types out there, fall into several "basic camps." A "basic camp" is really even more than that-it's more like a philosophy, and it cuts right to the "what drives you to take pictures" pressing questions of the day. Some people, for example, take up photography because they want to "cover stories." They want to be on the front line of the war, they want to be there as actions and events unfold. They bring us the news and we, in turn, rely upon them to bring us truth, justice, and all of that goodness and light. Other photographers don't do that at all. No, instead what they do is more like "make pretty pictures for you to hang on your walls." That's where I (usually) come in. I do that. I make art. Photographic or light-based art, yes, I'm still a photographer at heart, but art really-nothing more, nothing less. It's what I do. I'm a visual artist at the core, not a photojournalist, reporter, or any of that good stuff.

Now, it's not that I mind photojournalism; I don't. It's not that I think photojournalists are "not good." Some of them are quite good, some of them aren't any good at all. I like to think I'm a good enough photographer to spot a good picture, regardless of the approach of the photographer-remember that I'm still a photographer too, right? So even though I don't cover news events, I don't drag my gear to wars or historic events as they unfold around the globe, I do know a few things about making great pictures. Well, at least, I try.

And, that's where my little foray into photojournalism comes in. This week, with the events unfolding in Austin, I turned into a photojournalist, if only for a day. Yes, for one day and one day only, I put the paintbrush down and picked up the reporters credentials. I covered a story. I shot news. News that you can read, news that you can respond to, news as it was unfolding. I was on the scene, reporting live, in much the same way those reporters on the evening news do it. And, I'm happy to say, as you might guess, I learned a few things along the way. I learned a few things about photography, about myself, about Austin, about people. It was an interesting...experiment.

No, I'm not going to get all mushy on you and tell you that "I'm a reporter now!" No, that's not going to happen. I'm still, in my heart of hearts, a fine art photographer. But, this week, if only for a day, I got to wear the hat of a reporter. I got to stretch my photographic wings a little and see how the other half lives. I made some mistakes, yes, and I learned a lot. At the end of the day, I'd have to say, it was a good thing to do, even if it had painful points and fumbling moments over the course of events unfolding.

Some of the things I took away from the experience:

  • Not everybody shoots in RAW. Reporters, especially, sometimes don't shoot in RAW because they don't want to use Photoshop. It's that pesky "truth" thing-images should not be "processed" or should be "processed" as little as possible. Report the truth, show the facts, and nothing more.
  • This means no burning in the sky, and, horror of horrors, no clone stamp. Now, I'll be the first to admit that, while life without the clone stamp can be difficult, it's not impossible once you get used to it. It can be done, really, if you just think and try it a bit.
  • No cropping. Same rules apply here. Get used to shooting the entire frame and deal with it. Learn to love what you get.
  • At the end of the day, it's all about being there, not about seeing it (or making it.) Good images coming from this type of photography don't get designed, they happen unexpectedly. Learn to live with chaos and accept unpredictability. Life is full of these things.
  • The story isn't always the story. Sometimes, it's people's reaction to the story. Sometimes it's how the government handles the story. Sometimes it's a story within a story. Hunt "the story" like it's becoming extinct. Track it, follow it, watch it unfold, and hustle until you see it.

I could go one but you get the idea here. It's been an interesting time, shooting as a photojournalist. It's different, it's fun, it's not what I'm used to, and I've met a lot of interesting people over the course of my albeit brief travels. I can't say I want to do it again, but I've enjoyed my brief foray into this type of photography. It's been fun, a bit of a challenge, sometimes even a test. All I can do now is hope that I did well enough to capture things, in some small way, the way I saw them when I was there. At the end of the day, I think, that's what all photography, any kind of photography, is about, isn't it?

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 21

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"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

"If what we see is what we are, I'm a bunch of doll heads and a couple of drive by shootings." - me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Aftermath

The-PilotDidnt, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It was a sunny Thursday morning, warm and mild with a slight breeze. I was running late, as always, scurrying down highway 183 as fast as possible without drawing attention. It was one of those days you seriously want to open the sunroof and put your foot down a bit. I had the radio on and was making pretty good time despite the late start and there were even some happening tunes on the radio. That's when I heard the news. The morning DJ broke in to announce that a small plane had crashed into an office building along Highway 183, just a few miles from where I was stopped at a traffic light and very close to my intended destination. "No word on casualties," she said in her annoyingly chipper voice, "but traffic in the area is snarled."

It wasn't until later on the in the day, almost mid-afternoon, that we learned of the sinister plot behind the morning's events. The pilot of the small plan, Joseph Andrew Stack, had actually targeted the Echelon building, home to (among other things) the local Austin office of the Internal Revenue Service. He owed back taxes and was angry at the government, so he torched his upper middle class home to the ground, drove about 20 miles north, to the small city municipal airport in Georgetown, Texas, boarded a freshly fueled plane, and slammed his small Piper Cherokee aircraft into the IRS office in Austin. It was a suicide mission-a demonstration of his anger against the government, the aftermath of an argument with his wife, and his unwillingness (or inability) to pay his back taxes that drove him to do this.

Nobody anticipates that events like this will ever happen in their town. Nobody expects this. Everybody now says, "but he seemed so nice/normal/ordinary/loving/kind/happy/and so on." Nobody thinks it will ever happen here but, on a sunny Thursday morning, warm and mild with a slight breeze, it did happen here. We saw it and felt it and heard about it and wondered about it and feared it. We became unwitting witnesses to a crime we could never imagine would happen here, in our otherwise quiet corner of the world.

I can't proclaim to know what could possibly make a man, an otherwise ordinary mild mannered man, slam an airplane into an office building, killing innocent people in the process. I can't image what would drive him to do this, in a small town, my town, on an otherwise ordinary Thursday morning. I just can't picture what caused it, why it happened or what kind of monster would even think of doing this. This sort of thing, it just does not compute.

No, I don't have those kind of pictures for you and, I almost hate to say it, but, somehow, I doubt anybody does. Instead, I intend to provide you something else-something I'd have to call "the aftermath." This is what was left behind. This is how we changed and will change. This is how our lives, each in some small way, will be forever molded, after witnessing the events of that otherwise normal Thursday morning. This is what was left behind in the wake of those events on that Thursday, that warm and mild with a slight breeze of a Thursday morning, a morning when nobody expected to bear witness to such a tragic turn of events yet, somehow, in some small way, we all did.

I want to complete a photo essay with this work. I hope to show the world, using my humble little camera, the aftermath of the events that happened so that maybe one day events like this can be avoided in another town, perhaps even your town, on an otherwise normal Thursday morning. And, I hope you find my view of things interesting enough to follow along, as I invite you to take this journey with me. As things unfold, I'll post more about this.

In the meantime, this is the first image from my documentation. This is first in a series covering the aftermath of the tragic events that unfolded this past Thursday-the hole that was left after the aircraft slammed into the building. This is what the 9400 block of Research Boulevard in northwest Austin, Texas looks like now. I hope you never find yourself looking at something like this one Thursday morning, as I had to, this past week.

Until next time...


GrassLikeLines, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's green, it's natural, it reminds me of spring. Nothing much more to say about that, is there?

Until next time...

The People's Gallery

FourSeatsAndWoodCrafts, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

So tonight I attended the opening reception of The People's Gallery. It was packed. It was mobbed. There were a lot of people there.

It was held in downtown Austin, right along Lady Bird Lake, at 2nd Avenue in the beautiful new City Hall building. The building itself is a three story modern building, mostly pretty stone with copper accents. The artwork was hung all over the place-upstairs, downstairs, by the elevators, by the restrooms, in the lobby, in the get the idea. The place was dripping with artwork-and it was good artwork too. I have to say that I really enjoyed the show and that the quality of the work was very high, even for a large show with large scale artwork in it. There was a lot of media there as well but, hopefully, I managed to avoid most of them. I did accidentally walk past several setup video crews so, hopefully, I'm not on any TV channels (here's hoping, right? I hate ended up on TV because I usually sound like an idiot and, oh and, I think that's about it-idiot sounding is enough to scare me away from most TV appearances.) Did I mention that there were a lot of people there? Crowded, yes, indeed.

I ran into a few folks I know-Neil Coleman from the wonderful Projex Gallery in Austin was there as was my favorite "cupcake" lady Pam from the wonderful Studio 2 Gallery. I also saw my favorite pastel artist Maria Lyle and a few other folks I knew or recognized from some other art shows and just hanging out around town. There were at least several hundred people there (I did say it was crowded, yes?) and, the best part? I found out that my piece is in a conference room, on the 3rd floor, almost visible immediately as you get off the elevators (the conference room I'm in is almost all glass, so that's pretty cool.) I'm in a same room as a very cool encaustic piece, which is nice and my work was very well received, which is also, well, nice.

It was a fun event. I'm glad I got to go, glad I got to play a small part in it and mostly very glad I got to enjoy some free parking and an evening downtown on an otherwise mild, nice night. Yes, I could think of a million more horrible places to be than under the stars on a pleasant evening, sitting in downtown Austin watching the neon lights twinkle into the night sky. Couldn't you?

Oh, and, on the way home? I drove right past the evil terrorist attack sight-the office building that was hit by the plane earlier this week. It was horrible-lots of broken glass but, at the end of the day, Austin will overcome. I'm confident of that.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 20

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up."- Robert Mapplethorpe

"Mother warned me there would be days like these." - me

Friday, February 19, 2010

Photo Quote Number 19

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"The term accessories has come to include a host of photographic gadgets of questionable value..." - Ansel Adams

"In my case, I'm afraid that would also include the photographer." - Me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Carol is OK

HighwayAndPond, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

In response to the small plane that hit an office building earlier today in Austin, I'm just posting this to let everybody know that I'm OK. I was traveling at the time of the crash and I was in the vicinity of the crash, but I was not directly involved. It missed me. (Phew! Dodged another one.)

There's a lot about this on the news-Austin is making national news today. For those of you who don't know (or haven't heard yet) a small plane crashed into an office building in North Austin, near the intersection of Highway 183 and Loop 360 (very near where I work.) Not everybody in the building has been accounted for and the building (at last update) is still on fire. No word yet on motives, it was assumed to be an accident last I heard though they are, obviously, still investigating the incident. The plane had taken off from Georgetown airport (north of where I live) and crashed into the Echelon 1 building, which is home to Keller Williams real estate and several smaller offices. It is very near (really at) the intersection of highways 183 and Loop 360 (Capitol of Texas Highway.) I was traveling south on highway 183 at the time of the crash, though I was further out, in the vicinity of Lakeline Mall, when it happened. Luckily, I heard about the crash on the radio and managed to avoid the area, diverting over to Highway 620 and FM 2222 instead.

In response to the incident, highway 183 was closed briefly and traffic was very backed up. I've taken to using 620 as an alternate, even though it's a bit longer and takes me around the lake. I'm sure this is going to be a mess tonight, as Loop 1 (also called Mopac) is one of the major commuter highways in Austin and the accident happened very near the intersections of Loop 1, Highway 183 and Loop 360 (it's a cloverleaf in case you can't follow that logic.) This is one of the busiest intersections in Austin and closing it down during rush hour, I'm sure, will take its toll on Austin drivers though, it goes without saying really, our hearts all go out to anybody who was injured or killed in the crash this morning.

Apologies for the lack of a "real" blog post today and, yes, I know it's strange for me to be posting in the middle of the day, but I wanted to post to let everybody know what's happening and keep everybody up-to-date. Sorry, but it's easier than calling each and every one of you to let you know that I'm safe and sound.

Back to our regularly scheduled blog tomorrow.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 18

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"One photo out of focus is a mistake, ten photo out of focus are an experimentation, one hundred photo out of focus are a style."
-Author Unknown

"So what you're really telling me is that I'm an entire art movement all by myself?"-me

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Photo Quote Number 17

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst." -Henri Cartier-Bresson

"Still counting...still counting..." - me

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Fat Tuesday Y'All

FrenchQuarterFlags, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's Fat Tuesday! Happy Fat Tuesday, y'all!

I hope you have a great day. I hope the revelers down on Bourbon Street have a blast once again this year and I hope all the beads find new happy homes. Remember to get all your partying in before the clock strikes midnight for, at precisely midnight tonight, Lent begins, the fat lady sings, and that's the end of the festivities-it's time to repent, repent all ye sinners-so enjoy it now while it lasts. Eat lots of cakes, party down, and enjoy yourself quickly, before that glass slipper turns into a pumpkin yet again.

In other news, I got a happy email this morning alerting me to the fact that I've sold some artwork over the weekend. Oh happy news, indeed.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 16

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

“Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment - this very moment - to stay.”-Sam Abell

"Sit. Stay. Good photograph." - me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Who Are All These People with Five Foot Long TV's?

TwoMicroscopes, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

By now you probably know all about my battle with the great Gods of Television, how my TiVo has blown up and I've been left watching nothing but late night re-runs and odd infommercials at strange hours of the day and night.

What you don't know is that yesterday, I started fixing all of that. I got up early, I got the newspaper, I sat down with my reading glasses (oye!) and I went to work. I started scouring ads and looking for bargains. "Oh look, they have a 46 inch one on sale over here and this one comes with a free Blue Ray player." I circled. I added. I shopped. It was long, it was grueling and I *so* wanted to read the funnies instead but I somehow muddled through and picked out a few sets that I thought were reasonably priced, on sale, and well, suitable for my living room.

Next, we went to the store. Since I have but a small, humble hatchback, I opted to drive my parent's car, a small SUV actually, because I thought that the TV would be too big to fit in my hatchback. I went to the electronics store, fliers in tow, hoping to secure my bargain.

All I can say is Wow! I never knew TV sets were so *big.* Huge is more like it. When did TV sets get the size of an entire room? It's amazing. It's mind blowing. They had 68 inch televisions there. Who are these people who buy 68 inch televisions? Are they blind? Or do they like to watch from the driveway? Do you really need to see your television set from three city blocks away? Geesh.

I started in the 30 inch TV's and I thought those were about the right size. The salesman kept looking at me like I was from mars. "I don't want something big" I kept telling him. "The number one complaint, that people have, when they return TV's," he said to me, "is size. They are too small. Everybody wants them bigger." Bigger? Bigger? So 68 inches is not big enough? What the heck?!? I'm amazed. I'm stunned. Maybe I'm just not watching it right?

I really wanted a 35 inch model but they didn't have many to select from. I wound up checking out the newer LED TV's and found one that was only slightly ginormous and was on sale. It was 40 inches, so I would up getting a Samsung 40 inch LED TV. It barely fit in the car. Luckily, I didn't have to ride with my butt sticking out the window the way I did when we got the workbench.

I got it home and placed it in the room. It's big, I tell you. It's almost too big for my room and I have a big living room. Really. It's 27 feet long in one direction, since it's together with my dining room. I'm now convinced you could watch this TV, this new, "humbly sized" TV from orbit, it's that large.

So now I want to know, I really want to know, who are these people who buy all of these 68 inch televisions? What do they do with them? Do they really watch that much TV? I mean, seriously, that's a lot of television. I can't watch that much TV. My eyes would grow tired and weak, seriously, they would.

As we were leaving the store, the electronics store that sells all the giant nearly 70 inches of television, I noticed something else. My favorite store, located in the same shopping center was going out of business. This other store, called World Market, sells food from around the world and small trinkets from afar. I couldn't help but try to rationalize this-I mean, here we have a store that sells global foodstuffs, going out of business on account of the economy and yet the electronics store, the one that sells giant nearly 70 inch TV sets was filled with people, even, yes, in this economy. I mean, what does that come down to? People are starving and yet still buying giant TV's? I just doesn't make any sense to me.

But, you know, I have a new TV now. So now I have this giant, honking new set that glows all pretty, has fancy glass all around it, and still features 300 channels with nothing much on. And I do really want to meet somebody who can justify having 70 inches of television, what, when there are places like Haiti in the world, though, really, that's not somebody I'm in all that much of a hurry to meet. Sorry to be a downer on you this morning but, man, something here just doesn't sound right. Am I missing something? Is there really a genuine need for somebody to have a giant TV set that's five feet long? I mean, I know some people smaller than that and, frankly, I'd rather look at them all day that what's typically on television. No, this just does not compute in oh so many ways and really falls into the category of "somebody please explain" in more ways that I can count.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 15

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"I don't own a camera, so I travel with a police sketch artist. - George Carlin

"It's probably lighter. And takes better pictures." - me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Photo Quote Number 14

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"I have gradually confused photography with life." - Jerry Uelsmann

"I have gradually confused my photography with crap." - me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Photo Quote Number 13

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"Photography is not cute cats, nor nudes, motherhood or arrangements of manufactured products. Under no circumstances it is anything ever anywhere near a beach." - Walker Evans

"Puppies, don't forget puppies. And those shots of famous celebrities posing with fake looking pouts on their faces. That's not photography either. What, like we're supposed to really believe Paris Hilton is a bit despondent today?" - me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo Quote Number 12

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated." - James Nachtwey

"So, what you're really saying is that you don't want to stage that war again? Not even if we could do it on a day the light was better? Wow. Now, that's commitment." - me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trying to Get A TiVo

YForLeaf, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

So, I broke down and decided that I would order myself a new TiVo. I went to the website and they are out of stock! Backordered! Harumph! They said that Best Buy might have some, but it's about 30 degrees and rainy outside so I'm not going out tonight. Bummer. I so wanted to get a new TiVo.

I've been thinking, in light of the fact that my TiVo has now blown up, that I might go ahead and splurge-get myself a whole new, big TV for the living room, complete with a big honking TiVo that's not only HD but can store everything. Connect it to Netflix. Hook it up to UTube. Get everything setup so that I never have to leave the house again. Ever. Wouldn't that be great?

I have a very comfortable couch in my living room, really I do, but I never seem to sit on it. No, instead, I go inside, to my bedroom and watch TV, because, well because the TV set in the living room blew up. (And now the TiVo in the bedroom blew up, so I need a new one of those.)

In my bedroom, I have one of those pillows that allows you to sit up in bed. I bet they have a fancy name for them, I think they are called "bed lounge pillows" or some such thing. Anyway, I can sit up in bed, read, watch TV, eat, the works. (Like I said, it's a wonder I ever get up at all.)

Originally, I got this "bed lounge" pillow for Chase-I thought he might like to snuggle up against it. Turns out, well, typical for Chase, he's slightly afraid of it. He prefers to sit next to me instead of the pillow, but I actually started using the pillow. It's quite comfortable for a pillow actually, though I'm always slightly afraid that I'm going to learn to fall asleep sitting up. Once that happens, look out, that's the end of me.

I hope I get a new TV soon because, well, I'm growing tired of all this TV talk. I want to go back to just sort of watching it a bit and photographing more.

Speaking of photographing, this upcoming weekend is a long weekend. I might try to get out some-to actually go take some new pictures. Here's hoping, right?

And, yeah, I wish I could say it beats staying at home, in bed but, in my case? It doesn't.

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 11

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"The first photos taken of the Moon by the US Surveyor 1 have been very disappointing. They show the Moon to be completely lacking in first-class restaurants, tourist attractions and bathroom facilities." - Art Buchwald - "The New York Herald Tribune," June, 1966

"And it doesn't even look anything like like Swiss cheese either." - me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Photo Quote Number 10

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." - Mark Twain

"Spoken like a man who's never looked through the back of a Holga." - me.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Photo Quote Number 9

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"Amateurs talk about equipment. Professionals talk about photos.
" - Anonymous

"And bloggers who ramble on endlessly about what's on TV or the price of tea in China? I don't even what to ask what you might call them." - me

Monday, February 08, 2010

Nothing Much To Say Today-Nature's Quiet Contemplations

Tips, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's one of those days-I don't feel like saying very much today. New Orleans won the super bowl-I'm actually a bit happy about that. I love that City, it feels like my home away from home, even though, on the grand scheme of things, I've not spent all that much time there.

I started printing some pictures of Chase that I can draw from. I'm trying to get good enough to be able to draw a comic strip featuring Chase. I think he would make a great comic strip. I've not been able to draw well enough to really consider doing a comic strip before, but now that I'm older, wiser, and more able to concentrate, I just might do it. I really could see Chase making a nice comic strip. He's already a charcoal drawing if you think about it, I mean, what with his black curls and all. He needs to be done up in charcoal, at least, that's how I feel right now.

My G-safe is happily humming along. I can hear it spinning quietly in the background as I type this. Did you ever have one of those days when you just want to enjoy some quiet? Relax maybe collect your thoughts a bit? Yes, I'm having one of those days. Perhaps, if we're lucky, the snark will return tomorrow but, for now, tonight, I'm all about quiet contemplations. Even today's upload is a bit, well, quiet for me, isn't it?

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 8

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know."
- Diane Arbus

"Ahhh. So that's how I got so dumb-I've taken a lot of photographs!" - me.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Not All That's Broken Around Here

ChurchFieldRoad, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Ok, when last I checked in I might have reported to having some kind of rare bird flu. *Ahem* so nice to see that I was overflowing with "hope you get better soon" messages from all, well, NONE of you. Kidding, kidding...I'm sure you'll be happy to know (or not) that I'm feeling a bit better today.

I wish I could say the same thing for my TiVo.

Yes, you read that right. You see, while I was stuck in bed, being, well sick, the TiVo was just sort of stuck. The very same murdering TiVo, the very same TiVo that brings me Top Gear and American Idol, and far too much Nicolas Cage for my liking, has gone well, kaput would be the only way I could describe it. In technical terms, it's started to reboot itself constantly. Yes, now there's this constant "swoosh" of a sound, which sounds like the wondrous DVR is springing to life, only to be followed by a horrible clanking noise, which sounds like, well, to use a Top Gear euphemism, "that's not gone well." It's clanking when it should be clinking. It's sleeping when it should be waking. It's, well, it's all but dead now, Jim. (Somebody put a fork in it, it's done.)

Now, after all of my trials and tribulations with the TiVo, after all the murders, all the missed Law & Order re-runs, all the wild, free roaming Nicolas Cage nightmares, you might expect me to be furious and throw a hissy fit at that happy little thumb's up dude. You might expect me to get all angry, to rant and rage about how I'm going to miss all of my favorite shows, about how TiVo has let me down yet again, about how the known universe has conspired against me once more, yada yada. Well, I'm happy to tell you, you'd be wrong. Nope, not this time. This time? Well, this time I'm going to enjoy my downtime. Yes, you read that right. I'm going to enjoy spending a few days without the television. After I start feeling a bit better, I'm going to try to keep myself out of bed long enough to do something a bit more productive, like, say, painting. Or surfing porno on the Internets. Or learning how to cook. Maybe even getting out and shopping a bit. Why, almost anything is more productive than watching TV, right? And, when it comes down to it, that's really what I should be doing anyway? No, not this time-this time, my TiVo breaking is actually good for me. I'm taking it as a sign, a bit of an omen, I'm going to enjoy life a bit, without the television. Besides, after this fifteen minutes without the TV is all over you do realize what's going to come next, don't you?

Ah, yes indeed. It'll be time to go shopping alright-time to get myself a new TiVo. And you know, you just know, from the bottom of my cold little black heart, that, when I say, "Oh, now I can hardly wait to see what joy and happiness that will bring into my life" that *this time* I really do mean that. If past history is any indication and all, you know, you just know, that this is going to be one Mr. Toad's wild ride none of us will want to miss, that's for certain. Yes, now I can hardly wait to see what a *new* HD TiVo will *boop up* for my viewing pleasure. (You get the popcorn, I'll hide here, under the couch.)

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 7

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"A good photograph is like a good hound dog, dumb, but eloquent." - Eugene Atget

"And some of mine, it would appear, are infested with fleas too." - me.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Photo Quote Number 6

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"The Chinese have a theory that you pass through boredom into fascination and I think it's true. I would never choose a subject for what it means to me or what I think about it. You've just got to choose a subject - and what you feel about it, what it means, begins to unfold if you just plain choose a subject and do it enough." - Diane Arbus

"...All that and they gave us fried rice too." - me.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Two Things You Need to Know About Me

LookingUp, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Well, I was going to tell you all about the great, exciting things happening in my life right now, but...

As of right now, there are really only two things you need to know. One is that I've got some kind of swine/bird/dog/other assorted rare animal flu and the other is that I'm almost dead. Really. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I've got some kind of animal flu scientist's haven't even identified yet. Do Do bird flu is starting to sound about right (and all this time, you thought they were extinct. Ha!)

Seriously. Bed for the past two days. Fever that won't quit. I've got the virus. Last time I kiss that Stiggy fellow on his face mask, I swear. Kidding aside, we need to seriously come up with some way of blame Nicolas Cage for this. It's either him or David Tennant who infected me. Last time I trust that time traveling Doctor in some tiny little blue phone box! That interplanetary weasel sneezed on me and now look what he's done. I'm dogged by the virus, I tell you. *Achoo*

Oh the humanity!

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 5

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express." - Francis Bacon

"...And yet we try and try again." - me.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Photo Quote Number 4

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"Nothing is ever the same twice because everything is always gone forever, and yet each moment has infinite photographic possibilities." - Michael Kenna

"Unless, of course, your battery's dead. Then, I'm afraid, you're left with no photographic possibilities." - me.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Photo Quote Number 3

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"All that I have achieved are these dreams locked in silver." - Paul Caponigro

"Well, if it isn't locked up, it's usually illegal, immoral or, in the very least, fattening." - me

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I've Got Half A Face to Tell You

HalfAFace, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Sorry, but I just could not resist the pun in this one.

Just got back from drawing session, still wiping the charcoal from my fingers. This week was much better than last-much more in the mood and much brighter, not to mention my work is getting better. This week, I did torsos. I just keep putting the waist too darn low. It's like I've moved it way down near where your knees are supposed to be. They say everybody always has something about the way they draw-some little kind of "flaw" if you will-mine is totally that. I won't put your waist where it's supposed to be and then, when you call me on it, I'll try to pass it off as, "well, at least I tried to make you look taller." I've learned that and the fact that extra soft vine charcoal is your friend, take my word on that one.

So, the other day, Damien comes into my office and he says to me, "I'm sorry, I smell like a cigar. I was just outside smoking a cigar." On Tuesday, before drawing sessions, you see, I don't get to eat, so I usually grab some kind of quick food, anything I can find in five minutes or less. Last week, I went to Sambatt's Cajun Deli and got a quarter of a muffaletta to go. Just before class, I dumped the bag with the wrapper into the back of my trunk and forgot about it. The next day, as I'm driving to work, I can still smell the Cajun spices. My entire car stunk like a half dead quarter muffaletta with extra hot sauce, really it did.

Poor Damien. I had to tell him I smelt like, "dead Cajun food, hot trash, and old charcoal." I'm guessing he doesn't want to know how I got that way, but now, I guess, everybody knows. This week I got smart and went to Firehouse subs to get a quick cheese sandwich with a pickle. I love pickles, really I do. Best damned condiments on the block, really they are (well, except for maybe Cajun hot sauce but, I'm guessing here, pickles will smell better tomorrow, after my nose has had a chance to clear.) No word on how Damien feels about pickles, hot trash and old charcoal but, I'm guessing, after last week's debacle, he won't get close enough to find out.

All this fun and it's only Tuesday. (And, how is your week going?)

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 2

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"Sharpness is a bourgeois concept." Henri Cartier-Bresson

"And yet Canon and Nikon keep build cameras for the proletariat." -- me

Monday, February 01, 2010

What Have You Done with the REAL Carol?

GrassLikeLines, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

"Alright you, what have you done with the REAL Carol? First, you post a photo quote without a picture and then? For your next trick? A picture of some green grass? What is going on here?!?"

Ok, ok, allow me to explain. For starters, I thought it might be a good idea to explore, in a particularly irreverent way, my take on some of the more popular quotes about photography. Now, I know most of you can Google, and many of you have come across these quotes before so, rather than merely splash them up here, I decided that it would be a fun thing for me to post not only the quote, but my take on the quote. So, for the next few days (maybe longer) you'll see my take on popular quotes about photography. Each post will sprout up sometime after midnight and, for those insomniacs out there, just after midnight. In case you are, say, in another time zone, that roughly translates to 12:02 AM central standard time. I do hope you enjoy those completely off the cuff take on some of the more popular photo quotes.

As for the grass? Well, let's just say I grew a little bit tired of seeing brown grass in all of the photos posted from Flickr in the past few days (weeks?) It's the dead of winter, nothing is green, so I thought, hey, why not, right? Why not spread a little green in an otherwise endless sea of brown? Spring will be here soon enough and we could use some new turf so take that, old man winter, I've made a sort of "virtual spring" for all to enjoy.

Yes, yes, I know, I'll be back to my (usual) snarky self soon enough, so you'd best enjoy this unusually optimistic Carol while she's here. (Queen Snark shall return soon enough.)

Until next time...

Photo Quote Number 1

Today's Quote(s) on Photography:

"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

"Well, it's easier than making soup. I think." - me