Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Birthday

I love that your birthday is in October. Your adoration for costumes and parties are accentuated during this time of year and with the leaves changing from the bright green of summer to the deep yellows of fall I couldn't think of a better time for you to celebrate your transition into a new year. A lot has happened to you this month; you've taken on a new responsibility which I couldn't be more proud of you for, you've watched your best friend get married and you've changed my life in ways that I couldn't even begin to explain.

There is a reason you are listed as a personal hero to many people in your circle of friends. They all look to you with a respect and admiration that amazes me. Your family, as rambunctious as their personalities can be, are amazingly stable and shockingly normal. When we spend time with them I'm always amazed at how you reflect each personality. Your aunt says you hand picked all the obnoxious traits, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I find all your quirks to be totally endearing. Even when you attack my belly button...which is now in writing so I'll never be able to complain again :)

Thank you for your continued support of me and for sharing your amazing life with me. I'm more than happy to give up the entire month of October in celebration of you!

(ok...I still want my day...but other than that...)

Happy Birthday, tall one. I hope your day(s) is/are as amazing as you are!

sppoky tree

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

fall colors

As I mentioned before I ventured out to take shots of the beautiful colors of fall. The Arboretum was too full for me, but I saw a side street in Madison Park that was full of leaves and huge trees with multitudes of leaves in the process of changing from green to yellow.

fallen leaves

The houses in the area are large, beautiful and expensive, but true to Seattle the cars in the area are run down Subaru's and Honda's. There was an Accord parked on the street that was so covered in leaves you could hardly see the color of the car. I had planned on getting some shots of the water on the leaves but it was wet on the ground. Luckily this car had quite a few of them for me to shoot so I didn't have to kneel down on the wet ground.

reflective

I took quite a few more pictures that I'm posting here, which I alluded to in my last post, but I'm feeling like I need to go out again and capture more of the fall. Maybe I'll take my camera to work with me this week.

fall bokeh

The last few weeks have been hard on me, I was all hopped up on hormones that are luckily subsiding and mellowing out so I'm starting to feel more like me. I was starting to worry there for a minute, but I'm pretty lucky to have some great people around me to get me through it. A big thank you to the tall one. I can't believe that he puts up with my shit. He's like a freakin' saint :)

field of leaves

Also, hello to my 10th follower...I see you, sir! Even if you are all the way down there in paradise. Watch out for sharks!

volunteer park greenhouse

After a lovely, although sleepless for him, first night sleeping in the tall one's new house I dropped him off in Seatac so he could join his friends at Steamcon. With a whole day ahead of me I looked to the sky and it's periods of sunshine and thought I would take a drive over to The Arboretum. However, everyone else in Seattle thought that would also be a good idea so I scrapped it for a nearby street (those pictures coming in the next post) and Volunteer Park. It had been forever since I'd been over there during a time where the greenhouse would actually be open so when I saw people walking in the doors I was pleasantly surprised.

greenhouse

When I'm shooting I don't take the time to look at the signs around me so I have no idea what this cactus was or what the sign said in the other room, but once I processed these two shots I knew they had to go together. This pairing reminds me of something the tall one once said to me about how I see the world. It's a strange shot for a greenhouse series, but it's what I saw.

blue flower abstract

This was actually inspired by my mentor and a series he did, which I totally Sylar'ed from him but I won't post because it's a little like plagiarism...but it was a really fun project to do. He doesn't read this anyway so maybe one day I'll put them up here.

he loves me knot

There was a group of guys with some camera gear that were getting kicked out when I pulled up to the park. I passed them putting their things in the car and overheard one of them saying "I guess that does look like a professional rig, no wonder we got kicked out". The gentleman saying this was carrying all his gear in a small child's pink hello kitty suitcase. Not that professional :)

yellow flower blue sky

I shot almost entirely with my 50mm, intermittently screwing on and off my close-up filters. I know a macro lens would be a fun piece of glass to own, but honestly I get so many shots with my cheap little set up that I can't justify the extra expense.

It felt really good to take the camera out today. It's been a while.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

pumpkins!!

albertsons

yay fall!! and also burrrrrrrrrr


Monday, October 19, 2009

putting up walls

For once, I don't mean that in a metaphorical way! The tall one worked on his house this weekend and I sneaked my camera in for a few shots of the manliness.



The tools were laid out and the supplies were bought. The boys hammered away downstairs while I laid upstairs listening to the heavy metal rising up through the floorboards.



They worked for two days and both Dodi and I marveled at the idea of us ending up with such manly men. The first evening we had dinner at an Indian restaurant close to the Ave. It was super yummy and it made me excited at the prospect of a new area of Seattle to explore. Once I get over the idea of my boyfriend not being 8 blocks away from me I think I'll really love this neighborhood.

first fire

While waiting for them on Saturday the tall one brought me a log to light in the fireplace. It made the entire room warm and inviting. I can't wait to spend the cold winter nights snuggled up in front of it.

rainy day shooting

flower matted


small flowers

thank you for the flowers :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

photobooth fun

Amy and Andrew are in town...yay! I didn't think I'd get to spend much time with them as today is Casey's birthday...yay!!...and we're having dinner tonight with him and a few other friends but luckily Amy was craving Bimbo's so the tall one, Casey and I met up with her and Andrew last night.

Today I'm feeling slightly happier. Not sure how long that's going to last, but luckily there is a well rested, and hopefully drunk, adorable tall boy in my future. Perhaps I can sneak my camera into his new house this weekend and catch him doing man things...like nailing sheetrock...in a wife beater...with a beer in his hand.

That would be all kinds of awesome.

To be honest I've actually been exploiting his house buying ways. I'm not to proud of it, and the damn thing isn't mine, but he's just been so great with involving me in the process and helping me through my freakouts when I think he isn't including me, that I'm feeling a little guilty about having used his fortunes for my own gain. Funny thing is I've never been much of a gossip and I loathe talking behind someone's back, and I still played a part in it last night. Must remember to be adult. Bad Stacy.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

my birthday

If you were born with Saturn in Leo, the issues during your Saturn Return will be about being "chosen" or "special", melodrama, the heroic myth, relationship to the Creator, children, creativity and love affairs.

I've been acutely aware of that planet Saturn and it's return after being blissfully absent in my life for 28 or so years. Not that those 28 years were a cake walk, but I had a feeling that true to it's harvesty roots, I would be reaping what I sowed during my Saturn Return. I was pleasantly surprised to see that wasn't the case.

I looked up where Saturn was when I was born and laughed when I read the quote I posted here. Being "special" is a central theme to my only child, fatherless, childlike mother and irrationally selfish issues. I hate to share; I hate sharing people, I hate sharing traditions and I hate sharing moments. It's so ridiculous and yet I'm constantly pushing that to all who are around me. It dissipated quite a bit when I hit thirty, but it's rearing it's ugly head again and I can only assume it's because of my intense infatuation with a very tall man.

Melodrama is a given. I was born in the week of the theater. It's hard to think back to some of the childish, immature and bullshit things I would do just to get attention. I would throw fits, I would start fights, I would act like a little 4 year old that didn't have words to express what she was feeling so she would just lay down and scream in the middle of a crowded store. Oh yeah...that was me.

Love affairs is easy. In the last 4 years I have been with three men who drastically changed the way I think, the way I see the world and the way I see people. Bill pulled the little girl right out of me and made me grow up. Del gave me my eye and my outlet for the creativity I've always had inside me but had no idea how to let out. Lucas has given me forgiveness, acceptance and communication. Something only my Uncle George and Carolyn ever gave me. To have a man who I am dating give me that is so mind blowing that I still try to sabotage it because I don't think I deserve it.

Relationship to the creator and creativity go hand in hand for me. Last year I would wake up every sunday morning and climb the highest mountain I could reach and look out over the beautiful view and cry. Not because I was sad, but because I felt so lucky to live in a world so breathtakingly stunning. Those moments I felt closer to the spiritual world than I ever had in a church. Plus, finally I had a way to capture it. My photography, even if it's not the best in the world, has been such an outlet for me that I see the world different now. I feel like every blink of my eye is a shutter click. My eyes see the light in a way that I've never known.

Casey asked me what it's like going through the Return as a woman and I really couldn't find the right words to be able to explain it. I'm glad that I've kept a journal since I moved to Washington as I think it's the best way for me to really remember that I've come along way and to not go back. I was laying in bed with the tall one on Sunday crying because I feel like I have no idea how to be in a relationship. I've never had the tools given to me, I've never been in a stable and healthy enough one to really be ok with myself and my partner, the only one I ever did witness was George and Carolyn and thank god for them or else I would have given up a long time ago. I still have no idea how to tell the boy I'm in love with him. One day I'll stop being so guarded and let myself say it but I still have no clue how.

It's weird, my Saturn Return was way easier than actually putting the lessons I learned into practice. Being a grown up is hard.

My 32 year was very different from my 31'st. I haven't really settled on a pattern yet here. My first year was hiking, mountains, drinking rum on saturday nights and playing video games. My second year was exploring all that the city of Seattle had to offer, new friends, concerts, finally being able to hold the hand of the man next to me and kiss him whenever I wanted...and boy did I ever! Perhaps it's the constant change, the fact that I haven't settled that's making me panic. I'm a creature of habit and I'm shaking that up. I need to appreciate that instead of resenting it. Embrace the change instead of fearing it. Don't fall into the complacency I so hated in the personalities of the people I left behind in Washington when I moved to LA. Be proactive instead of reactive.

My list of resolutions is growing...

So it's my birthday, and I'm grateful to still have my mom on this earth, to have the amazing friends that I have, to have met an adorable and wonderful boyfriend, to have been included in his circle of friends, to have a best friend that calls me almost every day to chat, to have my health, to have my family....and to just be.

Thanks all.

Also to note: I just rambled on this post...please excuse run on sentences and misspellings :)

Dodi and Michael's Wedding

preparing

A zombie / rockabilly wedding where the bride was sewing her own dress, the ceremony was officiated by a skeleton, two different venues and under $2500 dollars to do....in two weeks. Oh yeah, they pulled it off.

looking on

I quickly found out that there was no way I was getting good pictures at this thing. It was completely at night, the entire wedding party was in black and red, the only light at the ceremony was from a campfire and the lighting at the reception wasn't much better.

bride and groom

Flashbulbs were abound at this wedding so I figured it was well documented. I sat back and observed. Hanging out with the tall one's parents, eating the yummy sushi that was provided and the eyeball cupcakes for desert.

getting ready

The tall one was mucho grumpy for most of evening and I had no idea it was because he was super scared to give his speech. Dodi is one of his best friends and of course she had him in her wedding. I joked throughout the evening that he was a bridesmaid, but we eventually settled on bridesman. His speech went well and he was able to calm down a little and enjoy the wedding.

















I swear to you I didn't get one shot with Dodi's eye's open. I suck as a wedding photographer. If I'd had the speedlight I'm pretty sure I would have done a lot better, but I just couldn't swing the purchase. Oh well, I learned a lot on this one and was able to enjoy the wedding without a camera in the way for once.

beautiful

Dodi wanted a picture of her excellent makeup so they could recreate it for a photo shoot they will be having in a couple months. She looked down so I could get the length of her eyelashes and I ended up with my favorite photo of the evening. They say if you only get one... :)

I felt really lucky to be with this beautiful couple the whole way through this process. From Dodi's frantic text messages to me because her maid of honor was out of town, to shopping for the perfect tie and dress, to watching the tall one nervously write out his speech for his best friend's wedding, to helping the bride get ready, to driving with her to the ceremony...it's been an interesting October!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

blue lake

Last year I was on a mission to find the beautiful yellow larch tree. They pop out around this time of the year and are notoriously high in the alpine wilderness. Most of the time people hike up to the Enchantments to really get the alpine larch experience but I didn't have the time nor the stamina to hike the 'chants so I asked the tall one to accompany me on what is becoming my annual trip to Blue Lake. Always up for adventure, he agreed to come along.

Unfortunately for him this trip marked the day where we discovered his threshold for car trips in my tiny little Acura. It's about 150 miles out to the trail head and since I was doubting my directional abilities, plus we got stuck behind an unyielding semi truck, the drive seemed like it took forever.

liberty bell

Soon the surrounding peaks became familiar and I saw Liberty Bell through the trees. Moments later we were at the trail. I added the above picture to show how clear and perfect the day was. The sky was such an amazing blue that every time I took a picture of it I would show the LCD screen to the tall one and exclaim "it's just so blue!".

big tree, blue lake

The trail is nice and easy at about 4.4 miles round trip, which is welcome after a two hour drive. About 1/4 mile away from the lake we hit snow, but luckily it was just a light dusting and the trail was more muddy than slippery. It was chilly, that's for sure, and as we sat down to eat pinwheel sandwiches we both put on our hoods to keep the body heat in.

shoe shot

Finally, a shot the tall one will pose for! After eating we wandered a bit around the rim of the lake and then hiked over to the ridgeline east of the lake to look down towards the direction of the freeway. There was a small pond there with larches surrounding it in varying shades of fall. I was aching for a wide angle lens to really capture the scene. At least I'm starting to justify the need for additional lenses.

yellow larches

We noticed the lake settling and eventually becoming still enough to reflect. I was very excited to get the above shot. I think it may be my favorite landscape shot to date....to my untrained eye. There is a lot of good detail in this photo. I can't wait to print it out large.

reflections on blue lake

Vertical shots were abundant so I figured I'd try my hand at a horizontal. I loved the green of the trees, the yellow larches, the white snow, the blue sky. It was such a perfect hike. I love taking the tall one up to the mountains. He goes on and on about traveling the world, camping, hiking, photography, how we'll make money off the home he just bought so we'll be able to live without working. It's awesome, but it fades once we get back to town. However if he gets to feel for even a moment what I feel every single day it's totally worth it. Work is getting harder every day. I wish that I was doing something I loved. I wish I didn't have to worry about money. I wish I didn't have to answer to anyone who isn't my friend or family.

I guess that's the nice thing about hiking. When I'm huffing it up a mountain the only things that are on my mind are how beautiful it is, how lucky I am and my next photo. Other than appreciating the adorable boy by my side, my mind is typically blissfully blank.

When we got back to the trail head I realized that I had left my lights on and my car battery had died. We tried to push it to pop the clutch in the parking lot, but we didn't have enough hill. After flagging down a truck who attempted to jump the car but failed we all pushed my car down the road. Luckily we were on a very large mountain! Finally after coasting for a bit I popped it down into second and YIPEE!! I was worried there for a second. Unfortunately the battery is done and the tall one was kind enough to get one for me on his trip to Costco with his friend Dodi, who will be getting married in just a couple days! Yet another photo opportunity that I'm not going to waste! I can't wait.

My apologies for the sporadic posts. I'm in the midst of a bit of a funk. I can't put my finger on one particular event, but I think an accumulation of stuff has surrounded me and I'm in a bit of a cave. Claustrophobic and anxious, I've tried to keep my mouth shut. My emotions are coming out in tears which I can usually laugh off but sometimes need to close myself away for 10 minutes to compose myself. It sucks. I'm ready for it to be done now, but in the meantime please be patient :)