"We were taught that the most important thing a young photographer can do is learn how to see. It wasn't about the equipment we were using. I don't remember being taught any technique. A camera was only a box that recorded an image. We learned to compose, to frame, to fill the negative, to fit everything we saw into the camera's rectangle. We were never to crop our pictures. We went out every morning and took pictures and developed them in the darkroom the same day. Since the prints were washed in communal trays and everybody's pictures were lying there with everybody else's, you tried hard to come back with something good. In the evening we would sit around and discuss our work. We were a community of artists."

-From Annie Leibovitz, At Work.

My brother-in-law just got this book from my sister for an early Christmas present, and I have been poring over it for the last hour. Annie Leibovitz: photojournalist, portraitist, genius, fearless.

I have been pondering purchasing a used film camera lately. Maybe an old SLR. I think it would be a great next step.

It's Christmas Eve. I'm sitting here on the floor of my family's basement trying to "hide out" while I wrap presents. In a couple of hours we're headed to Old Colorado City and the Colorado City Creamery. A family tradition. Old fashioned ice cream in the freezing cold and snow! It's one of my favorite things about Christmas.


Canon Powershot

Sorry about my absence the past couple of weeks. Finals were all-consuming. But they are over and now I am home in the great state of Colorado!! It is so amazing to be home. My sister's wedding shower was yesterday and it was beautiful.

Right after we finished up with finals, a few of us headed down in the freezing cold to Rock Plaza just to see the Christmas tree and festivities. It was totally worth the trip...even though it felt like 6 degrees outside. I had my little Powershot in my pocket and snapped a few (I was too lazy to carry my heavy DSLR with me through finals). It was pretty spectacular...and made me think of the movie Elf. :)

I'm looking forward to a busy but wonderful few weeks ahead. I still have to do ALL of my Christmas shopping, mail Christmas cards, catch up with friends, and my sister's getting married, did I mention that? :)

Also the SURVIVOR SEASON FINALE is TONIGHT. Be sure to watch Brett and vote for him as fan favorite (by texting 4 to 81818)! Also, as a side note, today is the last day you can get TMOOH gear with a 10% discount (the code is Galu).

Wishing you a wonderful five-days-leading-up-to-Christmas!!!


i love this.

"Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled,

each meal I have eaten,

each person I have known,

each room in which I have slept.

As ordinary as it all appears,

there are times when it is beyond my imagination."

--Interpreter of Maladies


Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting (otherwise known as Japanese food)

We didn't make it into the lighting.
But we DID get to eat Japanese food in the Village on a weekday...a nice alternative. :)
I had the Japanese beef BBQ plate (above). It was seriously amazing.
It doesn't look amazing in the photo. But it was.
So all of my grand plans to post photos of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree
and the New York holiday spirit have been negated (at least for this week).
Maybe more of that to come later.
If school doesn't kill me first.


PhotoJournal: A New York Thanksgiving part 2

More photos from my Thanksgiving break. Food, friends, NYC...
and Kermit, my personal favorite from Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
and of course, what is Macy's without Santa Clause? :)
(above) Thanksgiving feast and preparations...lots of people in the kitchen at once!
Michelle, Peter, Clara, Staten Island Ferry
Starbucks break.
i saw Peter sitting by this sign, and couldn't resist!
Clara in front of the Empire State of mind. :)
gahhh, Central Park, I love you!
probably my favorite Van Gogh we saw during our trip to the Met!
homemade cookies.
(these last 3 photos i took with my little Canon powershot.)


Two Men Talking

Today was World AIDS Day. I guess anybody who's visited Google today is aware of it. In honor of today (and of course, knowing I could write an extra credit paper on it for a class), I just experienced the play, Two Men Talking. I say experience, because that's what it was. I don't think anybody in that audience was unmoved. I didn't really know anything about it before I went. I just knew it was informal, unscripted, a conversation between...duh...two men. I knew it was a play, and it definitely was a play. It was so entertaining, witty; the two actors spoke in their South African accents in such an engaging manner it was difficult to look away or zone out into another world. The story was intriguing, creative...two little South African, Jewish boys meet for the first time in 1974 when a teacher asks them to be each other's partners in a little class project to tell one another their stories. Years later, these two cross paths accidentally in New York City, where they develop a close friendship. One is HIV positive. As the play continued on, I began to realize it wasn't just a show and that it certainly wasn't fictional. This play, this conversation was their story. This was it. They were sharing their very personal lives with the audience. They were openly speaking of such sensitive issues like AIDS and homophobia, religion and racism, directly impacting their lives. It was amazing to me. But what impacted me so much was not the issues, but simply the telling of the story itself.

One of the men, Paul, mentioned in closing how freeing and healing it was for him to be able to share his story and how powerful stories are-- not only for the teller, but also for the listener. Both are changed and healed. It is real. It is human. It is the best kind of therapy.

Isn't this what we all crave? To be able to tell our stories to those who will listen. And what amazes me about stories is their power, their ability to change minds, create awareness, mold worldviews, and emotionally involve the audience. Because of this play, I now feel emotionally tied to HIV/AIDS. Amazing. Everyone should be able to tell their story. It is a tragedy that not everyone is able to do this because of social stigma. It makes me wonder...how much do I hold back because of stigma and fear? More than I even realize.

I was reminded again of why I want to be a clinical social worker...to be a part of the healing, the freedom, the transforming power of a story. And to help individuals, if only in my own small ways, communicate and unleash their story.

Here's the website: http://www.twomentalking.com/. If you ever have a chance to experience Two Men Talking...then please do :). I don't think you will regret it!

photo credit: twomentalking