Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bit of Blue

Yesterday I was outside with my grandson in the foot of snow the weekend storm had dumped in my yard. As I cleared away what had accumulated on the back step, Brody picked up a smaller shovel and built a sailboat of snow beside the deck. To complete the picture, he gathered a few broken branches and a piece of metal that had fallen off my screen door to create the mast.
Awed by his imagination, I looked up at the sky and saw a vivid blue breaking through the clouds. Cheered by the sight, I ran inside, grabbed my camera and long zoom lens and ran up the outdoor steps to the second level.
How could I render it through the mass of branches, I wondered. Moving the lens closer and closer, I fiddled with the focus until this image came into view. With 2010 almost behind us--a difficult year on most fronts--I found hope and comfort in this bit of blue. I hope you do too...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mug Shot

On this Christmas Eve, although I don't celebrate the holiday, I do rejoice in its celebration of family, its gravitational pull, the way the idea of Christmas brings families together against all odds. This morning I read about the travellers still stranded in London's Heathrow airport for days because of five inches of snow, longing to be home for the holidays. It made me feel so grateful to be here at home, two miles from my daughter--unusual for families spread around the globe these days.
Here's an image of my grandson taken a few days ago when he was under the weather and I was called in to watch him so his mom could go to work. For hours we played with his enormous fleet of cars, trucks, trains and planes. As he rolled around with them on the floor, I joined him at his level.
At first he was very aware of the camera, but then relaxed into a variety of poses. There were many to choose from for this post, but this one, the very first is my favorite. Full frontal, wife-beater, cowlick, furrowed brow.
"It's a classic mug shot," I commented to his father as we flipped through the images just before he too left for work.
"Great," he said. "I hope that's not what's in store."

If you have been directed to this blog as per my "Holiday" e-mail, it refers to "Miracle" posted on Dec. 17th just below. Although this one fits the bill as well...

Friday, December 17, 2010


It's a miracle! That's the best way I can describe what I saw through my lens when I leaned over some shallow ice in my favorite park yesterday around noon. I had been circling the pond at Sears Bellows Park in Hampton Bays. With the temperature below freezing, I had thought I might find some interesting ice formations, but on my second loop around nothing inspired.
Then as my dog, Copper, skidded across the ice, I looked down and noticed an array of leaves frozen beneath the surface. Moving my lens in and out, from side to side, I started to create a variety of collage-like images.
Then this frosted heart appeared before my eyes. I know it sounds corny, like a bible story. But it was so divine Tiffany couldn't have come close. At first, I thought it was my imagination. I zoomed in closer and closer examining its many facets, its three chambers. It loomed larger, captured my fancy.
But moreover, it presented the perfect metaphor for this holiday season when so many have broken hearts, have lost hope for the future. Yes, times are terribly tough, many people has lost their jobs and their homes, the tides are rising, the war continues...
However, if we all just take a few moments to stop, breathe, and look around, miracles can happen and will if we just believe...

Please share this with your friends and family through e-mail or on your Facebook page if you are so inspired...the link is

Friday, December 10, 2010


Earlier this week I was visiting a friend who lives in an old farmhouse in between some wide open fields in Southampton. When I was about to leave at around four o'clock, I looked out the window and was awestruck by the sky. Behind her house the sun was already sinking low, but shooting yet another sunset didn't interest me. So I swiveled around and peered out the front window where I saw the clear, cold light bouncing off a farm structure across the way.
Wrapping myself in my down coat, I pulled my hood on, headed outside, and trod across the frozen earth. When I got within shooting range, I peered through the lens and realized there was a wire fence between me and the image I had envisioned.
Hmmm....what to do? I thought for a few moments. I couldn't remove the obstacle, but perhaps I could use it to enhance the composition somehow. Zooming in closer, I threw the wire out-of-focus and moved to the left. I had created a frame within a frame and transformed the fence into an element that added interest to the image.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


As Copper continues to grow so does his boundless energy and constant need for exercise. During the summer I would ride my bicycle around the block several times while he ran beside me on the leash. But with the cold weather coming on that no longer seems to be a viable option.
A few weeks ago, I joined a dog park at Bide-A-Wee, a local animal shelter and adoption center. As we approached the gate on our first visit, about ten dogs--all larger than Copper--came rushing toward us. For a few moments he hung back but then mixed right in, even with two towering Great Danes. Within fifteen minutes, he was circling the perimeter leading the pack.
This morning I brought my camera hoping to get some images of him stretching out in front. Today however, he spent most of the time playing tug-of-war with a large black lab mix. So I leaned in as close as I could.
For an instant he took his eye off the worn-out softball in order to strike a pose for me. Luckily, he was positioned on a 45-degree angle with the sun producing this dramatic Rembrandt light signified by the triangle of darkness covering his right eye.