Sunday, October 27, 2013

And I'm lost behind the words I'll never find

"And I'm left behind
As seasons roll on by..."
Seasons by Chris Cornell

There's no denying it.  It's fall.  This weekend was cold and windy, almost stormy, and tomorrow will surely rain.  It's an interesting weather change for California, but it's not very welcoming and we stay home a lot, reading books and eating food and taking naps.  The only walk we took today was to the Library, where we read more books.  Here are some shots taken with my phone - the only image that doesn't belong is, of course, the one of the skeleton sitting at a bar.  That I took in Redwood City a few evenings back during an outing with friends.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seeing Double

This week was quite busy with domestic chores, so I took a short break from my writing and I spent more time with my family.  I also had the time to notice that fall is here - the early mornings in Belmont are misty and cool, and when the sun finally shines over the trees and the houses in the afternoon, they glow in their warm Autumn attire like little golden fires.  Also, people have started to decorate for Halloween, and the usually quiet and fairly uninteresting suburbia now looks festive and fun.  

I am still testing my skills in medium format and I hope to be able to post a few 120 mm images from my Mamiya here as soon as I develop the last film, but meanwhile I decided to take my camera for a walk in the hood and experiment a bit with double exposure.  

Here are some random shots for your viewing pleasure, and remember - there is a 20% discount on all Halloween shoots till the end of October!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Taking it Easy

Oh, weekends!  I love weekends, those mini-vacations, when everyone is home and we can do fun things or just hang out and take it easy together.  Making the most of such seemingly unimportant moments suddenly becomes the ultimate act of appreciating life, and I cannot be more grateful, happy, and proud of having a good home and a strong family.  All great things stem from that love we give each other, and I know that as long as I have an island of love in my home, I can conquer the vast ocean of life easily.

Happy weekend, my friends!  

P.S. I discovered that I can actually see the SF bay from a hill near my house.  Unfortunately, even the iPhone 5s can't capture that view well...I must bring my zoom lens along one day soon.  Plus, it's getting chilly out there!  I love the quality of light at this time of year, though.  It's magical!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Brighton by the Sea

In 2010, our last year in London, John and I decided that we must visit as many places in England and Europe as we could before we moved back to the States.  Our budget didn't allow much, but we made it work and we did travel, and looking back now I even envy my old self a bit.

We spent a long weekend in Brighton and we had a great time.  Brighton is one of those super party-oriented English towns and at night drunk and yelling people practically flooded the scene.  It was crazy in an awesome kind of way, though we didn't join the celebrations but just observed them from the safety of our hotel windows, convinced that they were a huge part of the tourist appeal of Brighton, along with its pebbled beaches, the Pier, and the Royal Pavillion.  

Here are some images from that trip.  I am particularly fond of the memories of the sunset the first night - there was this rainbow cloud in the sky, a magical air and light phenomenon.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Silicon Valley Code Camp 2013

If you are a humanities major, like I am, or if you can't do math to save your life, like I hate to admit I do, the one event you might want to avoid is the Silicon Valley Code Camp.  Some would argue that one feels smarter just by being in close proximity of science, but that's a fat lie.  I won't become a great writer by simply surrounding myself with the prose classics, and their genius won't rub off of me by occasionally flipping through the books.  So you could probably understand that visiting the annual SVCC this weekend made me feel really dumb.  In a very funny and benign way, of course, but still.  While I am comfortable with my intelligence and confident enough that I am good at many things, in the world of technology I will always remain a friendly stranger.  I like to think of myself as of a smart user.  I have no idea how something works, and not much interest to learn either, as long as it does the job.

Along with TED, SXSW, and Techcrunch Disrupt to name but a few, SVCC is a must if you are a part of the Second Bubble (a term coined by my husband John, who is responsible for my being there in the first place).  It is educational, good for networking, and it provides the wonderful sight of two thousand people queuing in line for free pizza.  So I brought my camera along today, and I hung around while John attended few of the classes.  I didn't learn much - striking conversations with the guys working at the tech booths proved to be proverbially awkward, and even though I eavesdropped on a few lectures I could have as well listened to someone speak in Sanskrit - but hey, look, I took pictures! Plus, if not else, I looked smarter than most people.  I might not be able to write code (apart of a few lines of basic html, that is, thanks to Flickr), but I do know how to dress.  In short, it was a regular episode of Freaks and Geeks.

Foothill is quite a fancy place for a community college.  They have ponds, artworks, solar-panel roofed parking lots, a library, and an observatory.  All in all, it was a morning well spent.  

Taken with my 17-105 lens and my iPhone 5s.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Ally is my niece.  She's 11 now, and she is absolutely awesome.  I call her Punkin because, well, she does look like a pumpkin a bit.  She's round and sweet and has the very special skill to make me laugh even when I feel the least like laughing.  I love this kid to pieces; she's so grown now and she'll soon become a teenager, blooming into a young woman and her baby girl days will be a history.  I don't mind keeping this history fresh, though.  It helps me miss Ally and home a little less, and it tricks me into believing that I'm not really getting old.

Here are a few of my favorite Ally portraits; I will add more to the Portfolio page later today, but this set just deserves a separate showcase post.  The swirl photos with the Teddy Bear are a part of a series I did for a Flickr competition (which I won), and the rest are just random shots of Ally's cute face when she was about 9 years old.

You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.

~ C.S. Lewis

I found those images in my backup files - they were taken in Lovech, Bulgaria back when I still used to shoot in jpeg.  Too bad, because even though I have spent maybe 1/3 of my life in this little town, I have never managed to capture clearer reflections of the Baroque Houses and the Covered Bridge in the Osam river.  Everything about this makes me so happy, the smooth as mirror surface of the water, the sunset light, and the pigeon flock frozen mid-flight.  I think I actually shoo-ed them to make them take off that day...!  In fact, I love these so much I made a special tag for them :)

Gosh, I miss Lovech.

London Calling

As I near the end of my portfolio update setup, I am amazed by how many favorite images I have sitting in storage - I really need to start printing posters...the only trouble is, I don't have enough wall space!

Therefore, I will share my favorites here. I hope you enjoy them as much I as I did, both taking and experiencing them.

This small batch is of London pictures taken between 2007 and 2010.  I have conflicting feelings about this city; I had a wonderful time there and I loved the culture, but the weather was so dismal most of the time I just wasn't fundamentally happy.  Besides, London is a metropolis, and my heart belongs to the country.

With pleasure spiked with just a tiny bit of nostalgia, I give you the streets and the people (and the animals!) of The Smoke: