Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I just received a message from my PBase friend Jessica who said that today the temperature where she lives in China is 40C (104F)!!! I dedicate this composite image to her in hopes that they will soon experience relief from the heat.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Protect the children!
It is always the children who suffer in wars. And it pains me greatly that my own country is causing such suffering to so many innocent children and adults in Iraq. I have placed a handpainted (by me) hamsa hand in this composite to help ward off the evil eye. This symbol is one that cultures in the Middle East and elsewhere have used since ancient times. May it protect them from harm.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The unsung heroes of music
At last night's jazz concert by the James Carter Quintet, I sat beside Stephen McLallen who was working the sound board. Yes, James on sax, Gerard Gibbs on keyboards, Dwight Adams on trumpet, Randy Armstrong on bass and Leonard King on drums were brilliant, but so was Stephen on sound. And if it hadn't been for him, we wouldn't have heard anything. Because, according to Stephen, we almost DIDN'T hear anything!
At the sound check at 4:30 p.m., the entire stage-left PA system went dead. So with only 3 1/2 hours until the performance, he and the other sound engineers had to scramble to build a new system! They cannibalized equipment from all over the Detroit Institute of Arts, brought it down to the theatre and performed major techie magic to make it work. And the audience never knew the difference.
Let's hear it for the unsung heroes of music!
Friday, July 27, 2007
My tattoo artist, Caryl Cunningham of Eternal Tattoos, is among the best IMHO. Yesterday I experienced her artistry from the inside and the outside. It was time to freshen up my one year-old earth armband, so Caryl took care of that (three new photos on my Inbox), but then she tackled the much more complex task of covering up an old tattoo with a new design. You can see that process by going to my new gallery, Heidi's tattoo step-by-step.
Whoever says tattooing isn't fine art hasn't seen Caryl Cunningham at work!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tagumpay Filipino Dance Ensemble composite
I created this composite using two photos I took of the Tagumpay Filipino Dance Ensemble during their performance at Detroit's Concert of Colors on Sunday, July 22.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
community drumming at the Concert of Colors
Yesterday I traveled around the world without ever leaving Detroit. That's what the Concert of Colors is all about. That and bringing together all the peoples of our region of different ethnic, national, racial and religious backgrounds, not to mention different ages. New Detroit, ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Soocial Services), the Arab American National Museum and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra colllaborate in producing this amazing three-day free music festival in the middle of Detroit. And EVERYONE is invited, suburban families as well as the folks who call the streets of Detroit their home.
But to get back to where I traveled yesterday, I started in the Philippines with young dancers from our area. Then it was off to Beijing, China on the strings of XD Wei's fushion/progressive/classical band. After a delicious vegetarian combo lunch from India, a woman named Nawal, who was originally from the Comoros Islands off the eastern coast of Africa and has lived many places since then, had me dancing in a trance state to her rhythmic, meditative vocals and instrumentals. Next it was off to Morocco with Hassan Hakmoun and his Sufi-dancing and cajon drum-playing band partners. They were joined by Detroit's own jazz greats, Wendell Harrison on sax and Rayse Biggs on trumpet. What an amazing collaboration! Then I returned to the United States with the alternative rock icons, They Might Be Giants. That group brought in whole new crowd of on-their-feet, singing-along-with-every-word young people. Oldsters like me loved them too! But we weren't done yet. The final big act was Steel Pulse, England's famous roots reggae band primarily made up of musicians from Africa. Then, those of us who still had the itch to dance, finished the night with DJ Dolores and his band from Brazil. And there were a dozen other musical acts that I couldn't fit into my busy schedule!
I didn't take many photos because I was up on my feet dancing for HOURS, but I did manage to get some shots of the community drumming led by Drum Devil at the Rhythm Stage outside. This is always a wonderful time where everyone is given some kind of percussive instrument to play and the beat becomes like the pulse of our hearts.
Oh, I SO love my city!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Come to Mommy!
This is Kirsten with our great-niece Betty in her lap and nephew John holding little Katie's hand. We had a wonderful time with family this weekend as everyone gathered to celebrate my husband's brother's 80th birthday. His surprise party was even a surprise!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Detroit's Concert of Colors
Yes, it's another free music festival weekend here in Detroit! This one--the Concert of Colors--celebrates our diversity and connection to all the peoples of the world. It is one of my favorite weekends of the entire festival season.
This photo--NOT a composite for once!--shows us dancing to the final act of the evening, the Basiks, a reggae/ska/motown band that really rocks. Before that, I'd experienced a wonderfully diverse line-up of performers including India's Sikh musician Dya Singh who now lives in Australia, Tish Hinajosa, the popular Mexican-American vocalist and her excellent guitar/mandolin & bass players, and South Africa's Hugh Masekela and his band.
Today (Saturday) we're celebrating Ed's brother's 80th birthday with our out-of-town nieces, nephews and grand nieces--I can't wait!--so the Concert of Colors will have to get along without me. But I'll be back tomorrow for the final day.
Friday, July 20, 2007
art fair composite
This is a composite I made using two of the photos I took at the Ann Arbor Art Fair on Wednesday. You can see those two and 32 other photos from that day by visiting my newest gallery called--drum roll please!--the Ann Arbor Art Fair 2007 gallery. By the way, I followed this little girl and her mother for blocks, hoping they'd stop so I could take a picture. Her hair was like spun gold, much like Rapunzel in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
She's not herself these days
Nothing is more of a threat to creativity than success. Not that I've ever known great success, but even hints of it can throw me off track. I lose that edginess that creativity requires. I start thinking more about how my art will be received than how it feels to make it. It happened last night.
I cannot tell a lie: I felt pretty darn good about yesterday's photo-a-day, and those feelings were confirmed by the very kind comments folks made about it. I should have known I wasn't myself when I sat down to create another composite for today and found myself trying to copy, well, not copy exactly, but comparing my creative efforts with yesterday's...and nothing measured up. I went to bed last night feeling quite discouraged. But when I woke up this morning--very early, I might add--I was in a completely different place. The demon "success" was gone and I could play again. So that's what you see here--pure and simple FUN!
I hope folks won't be too nice in their comments today or I might get stuck again!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Who's that hiding in the bushes?
You might have guessed I was going to have some Photoshop fun with my images from northern Michigan! It feels SO GOOD to back in my creative mode again!!!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
A frog and its spirit-partner, Pan
I have PBase photographer Giselle Borgwardt to thank for this title. She posted a comment about this photo on my now-completed Northern Michigan gallery and it felt so right. From Michigan to the Canary Islands, I send my thanks to you, Giselle.
This frog lives with three companions in the garden of my former art professor Peggy Midener whom I visited on my last day up north. A statue of Pan playing his pipes is the reflection you see in the water.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
At the turn onto County Rd. 48
I guess it's becoming pretty obvious that this city girl couldn't get enough views of barns and fields during my week in Northern Michigan. While most vacationers either stay in resort towns close to Lake Michigan or rent cabins beside one of the countless smaller lakes nearby, I was fortunate to be with friends who live out in the country. I was also fortunate to be there when the long-awaited rains came.
After five weeks without a drop of rain, the land was looking pretty sad on my drive up north on Sunday. And it didn't help that the temperatures that day were in the mid-90s F (35 C). But as you'll see if you go to my Northern Michigan photo gallery, the weather turned my first night there and precious rains soaked the earth until midday on Monday. Then more showers came through on Tuesday, so that everything became lush and green with that marvelous earthy smell that, for me, always brings back sweet memories of childhood.
By the way, I'm continuing to add photos to that gallery, and I'm not done yet...
Friday, July 13, 2007
the fog rolls in...
I've just put up the first part of my "Northern Michigan photo gallery." Click here to view it. There is more to come...
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I paid dearly for this shot. It was shortly after a rainstorm that I ventured out onto Casey and Jeanne's land to take some photos. But I wasn't the only one out there; the black flies were there too. Yipes! They love to dig into your hair and nip you on the scalp. I was scratching my poor head for hours.
By the way, I'm using this as my Thursday photo-a-day since today my camera was battery-dead. Silly me had forgotten to bring along my battery charger. Yes, I missed some gorgeous photo-ops on the way home, but I arrived in five-and-a-half hours instead of who-knows-how long it would have been if I'd stopped to take pictures along the way. Sometimes I save myself a lot of trouble by forgetting things!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Outside of Elk Rapids, Michigan
After two days of much-needed rain, the land was again showing herself to be green and lush. On Wednesday I drove the 80 miles from Casey and Jeanne's home near Honor to my former art professor's home in East Jordan. I'd not seen Peggy Midener in twelve years and was delighted to find her as warm and lovely, and her work as uniquely imaginative, as ever. I'll be posting a portrait of Peggy with her art, as well as some photos of her magical garden in my upcoming Northen Michigan photo gallery, but for now, I wanted to show you our beautiful Michigan farmlands.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Casey the happy farmer
Casey says all she ever wanted to be was a farmer, but she had to wait 60+ years for her dream to come true. And now it has. No one could be happier than Casey when she's up on her red tractor mowing the meadow or the area around her truck garden. She and Jeanne made me feel so at home and did everything they could to make sure my visit with our beloved friend, Mary White, went well. While it was Mary's fragile health that got me up North, staying with Casey and Jeanne was pure gift. We laughed, talked, shared silence, ate delicious homecooked local food, feasted our eyes on the beauties of Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula, and even managed to see Michael Moore's "Sicko," which is a heck of a terrific film. Oh yes, I'll be back.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Skipping stones on Lake Michigan
While adults sat on the beach waiting for the sun to set--a daily activity for local and vacationing folks alike--the kids had their priorities and it wasn't the sunset: it was skipping stones on the water. Interestingly enough, the champion stone-skipper was also one of the youngest. The boy you see kneeling down to pick up a stone could get as many as eight skips a throw.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
My piece of Juneberry pie
Before my visit to Northern Michigan, I'd never even heard of Juneberries much less eaten them. But after just one bite of this pie that Jeanne served at my first dinner on Sunday, I can say that Juneberries are one of the world's most perfect foods! Of course the fact that Jeanne and Casey had picked the berries the morning we ate them didn't hurt. Nor did it hurt that Jeanne made one of the best pie crusts I've ever tasted.
What a great beginning to my holiday!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
I know the statue seems either Italian or Greek while the background has an African feel, but hey, that's the joy of creating composites, you can mix methaphors to your heart's content. To tell the truth, the background isn't African at all: it's patterns I created using shadows cast by a chaise longue on the cement surrounding our community pool!
This will be my last photo-a-day until next Friday, July 13. Tomorrow morning I'm off bright and early to go visit friends in Northern Michigan. If I'm lucky, I'll bring back some lovely photos of a sunset or two over Lake Michigan. Until then, I send good wishes to all for a glorious week of summer fun!
Friday, July 06, 2007
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Celebrating our one-year anniversary together
July 5, 2006 I bought my Canon Rebel XT and set off on this marvelous adventure into the land of SLR photography. At that time I didn't know an ISO from an aperture, even though I'd spent the last six years taking hundreds of thousands of photos for my blogs with my Fugi Finepix point-and-shoot digital camera. In fact, I didn't start setting my own aperture/ISO/white balance on my Rebel until after I'd taken a Photography Basics class three months later. But my obsession was already in full flower and has only increased with each passing month. When I took a Photoshop for Photographers series of classes this spring, I was a total and complete goner!
This composite was created using the eighth photo that came out of my camera one year ago today. I was using my first lens, a Tamron AF18-200mm F/3.5-6.3. The insert of me and my Canon Rebel XT--or "nonaC" as it shows up in this mirror image--was taken in late November 2006. And yes, for this composite, I "photoshopped" the flower. I can't help myself!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Above the law
While Americans celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks and parades, our President and Vice-President continue to grind their heels into the fabric of what our founding fathers sewed together in 1776. American Democracy was to be a lived ideal where everyone—leaders and peoples alike—was to be equal under the law. In many ways the experiment has failed—consider persons of color and immigrants in America today—but our judicial system is constructed to right those wrongs.
So how is it that the two most powerful men in America are blatantly living above the law and getting away with it? Where are the consequences they should be facing? Where are the checks and balances that are guaranteed in our U.S. Constitution? Where is the peoples’ outrage?
You;ll forgive me if I find it hard to celebrate this day with the patriotic fervor it deserves.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
This image is from a new gallery I just put up called--guess what!--Fireworks. The effects I ended up with were not intentional, just one of those happy accidents that resulted from lots of luck and a bit of ignorance. But that's OK. Photography's like that sometimes!
By the way, this and all my fireworks photos are uncropped and unmanipulated except for the usual editing.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Waves of sound
When listening to music, do you ever feel like a surfer poised on the crest of the wave? I do. Other times it's like I'm bouncing along as gently as when I rode my one and only mosh pit.
Sound can enrapture, energize, soothe, disturb and heal. I wonder how the vibrations of sound felt to my mother's parents, both of whom were deaf. My grandmother was a gifted hymn singer in sign. Don’t tell me she didn't "hear" the music. Sound comes through the soles of our feet and the pores of our skin much more than simply through our ears. If newborn babies like Jim Larkin's little Ella could speak, what would they say of the symphony of their mother's heartbeat!
RSSify at WCC