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Posts tagged ‘photography’

31
Mar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

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30
Mar

and all that jazz….

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26
Mar

Let Justice for Trayvon Shine

I’ve been very upset about the Trayvon Martin tragedy.  I’ve started to write about it a few times, but I end up so angry and frustrated that I have to walk away from the computer.

That poor child, all of seventeen, had not even begun to live his life!  A handsome and bright-eyed boy full of promise….. and he’s gone, in the rain.  Guilty of wearing a hoodie.  Guilty of walking while black down a Stanford Florida street teeming in ignorance.  The ignorance of the Neanderthal white man cannot be tolerated!

There was the sad and tragic case of Emmitt Till.  And now, some sixty, or so, years later, we have another tragedy born of the same white Neanderthal ignorance.

Jeb Bush and his ilk are nearly as guilty of the death of Trayvon Martin as is the Florida nutcase who pulled the trigger.  Zimmerman was made bold by the 2005 Stand Your Ground law in that says it’s okay to shoot when threatened.  But Zimmerman was NOT threatened, as we all now realize.  Zimmerman clearly murdered this young man in cold blood.  In Cold Blood.  This law is being misconstrued to call a “perceived” threat a real threat.  That’s what Zimmerman believed – he perceived he was threatened by a young man in a hoodie, in the rain.

This Florida law, so despicable, disgraceful and bold is often misunderstood with TRAGIC consequences that are too many to list here.

I remember 2005 and the arguments about this law’s passage.  I remember being outraged by it.  And I remember feeling hopeless because Jeb Bush was then Governor of Florida.  Need I say more?  (Jeb’s middle name may as well be NRA.)

If you live in Florida, as I do, you know the harm that Republicans like Jeb have done in this state.   Just as his brother did so much damage to the United States, so too did Jeb to Florida.

I wrote about a similar situation last year about the NRA drafting a Florida bill.  (That’s no typo – yes, the NRA helped write a Florida bill.)  I kid you not.

The Florida law makers make gun laws like the Wild Wild West because they believes more guns will improve the crime problem.

Below is a snippet from my blog post.  To read the full post, click Oh, That NRA Second Amendment.

….lawmakers in Tallahassee are pushing a new gun bill that is backed / written by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The purpose of the bill?  To loosen current regulations on the use of gun and ammunition ownership, and to prohibit lawmakers in Florida from fashioning stricter gun laws that would change or supersede the law.

Senator Joe Negron (R), has been working with the NRA for six months to craft this bill.  Negron said it’s entirely coincidental that this bill was filed this week while the tragedy in Tuscon was unfolding.

As if that is not bad enough, Senator Greg Evers (R), and Rep. Jason Brodeur (R) filed identical bills that would make it a felony for health care professionals (doctors or any medical provider), to inquire about whether a patient has access to firearms.

Currently in Broward County, a three day waiting period (a “cooling off” period) is in place, and has been law since 2001.  Negron’s bill would do away with the cooling off period entirely.  In addition, the law would prohibit all lawmakers from making changes to the gun laws once this bill is in effect.  All of Florida would have to abide by one state gun law, one standard as opposed to variations from county to county.

Trayvon’s blood is on the hands of the good ole boys of Florida.

How many more young black men have to be killed???  The media and the politicians might call this tragedy a “culture” issue.  I call it a hate crime.  I call it murder.

I can’t write anymore …..

Below are flowers for the Martin family, and for all of us who grieve….  I named this photo, Shine Shine Shine!  Let justice shine for Trayvon, and soon.

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

 

25
Mar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through …… Odysseo

 

Yesterday I had the great fortune of seeing the dreamy, magical and brilliant show, Odysseo, playing in Miami.  It was an amazing experience.  We were front and center – close enough to smell the horses and see the sweat glistening from their beatifically coiffed coats.

I didn’t have time before the show to focus on this weeks’ photo challenge, which asks us to capture an image that says”through,” but I think the glow of the lights and the complicated structure beneath the bleacher seats works pretty well for my interpretation of “through.”

I had my camera with me and as we entered the Odysseo big top to see the show, it was impossible not to notice the massive scaffold-like structures underneath the enormous bleacher seats.  The purple glow that washed through the bleacher support beams, came from the stage lighting.  I love the wild effect the purple lighting made through the bleachers.

Below are a few of photos of the underside of the bleachers.  The photos with a TV screen, were hanging on the outside frame of the bleachers and showed some of the dramatic moments from the show.

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012. All rights reserved

Photo of bleacher support beams with TV showing scenes from Odysseo:

Below is a you tube video that I think you’ll enjoy.  There are a lot of YouTube videos of this remarkable show.  Follow this video to more YouTube links about the show.

Screen-shot image of Odysseo web page. Click photo to access Odysseo website

 

 

 

 

 

 

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18
Mar

weekly photo challenge: Unusual

This week, the WordPress weekly photo challenge asks us to post something that says “unusual.”

I immediately thought, ‘Holy cow, this will be an easy one, I have gobs of unusual photos!’  But there’s the rub – what says unusual best when nearly everything is unusual?!

Then I thought about the beautiful and unusual chandelier I’d seen weekend in the lobby of the Adventura Arts & Cultural Center. in Miami Beach.   I was standing in the lobby of the theatre, and after the show looked up to see this unusual and fabulous lighting design, in the picture.  (I wish I could give credit to the person who designed these unique chandeliers.  If anyone knows whose work this is, please advise – I’d like to credit the artist.)

Anyway, below is what the grouping of one set of lights.  Below this top photo, the result of manipulating the image…

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012

I’ve manipulated the photo to appear like the glass bubbles are shooting up instead of hanging down from the ceiling.

Photo by Andrea O'Connell, 2012

10
Mar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

This week the photo challenge is to find something that represents “contrast.”    I’ve chosen a photo of this fellow contrasted against the blue of the sky and the screen netting – which is keeping him inside the butterfly garden at Butterfly World, in Coconut Creek, Florida.

The butterflies in these gardens have lovely surroundings and lots of flowers and fruit to enjoy.  Seeing this picture, which I captured almost two years ago, again makes me wonder… Is this particular butterfly maybe dreaming of using his large wings to explore a bigger landscape?

Could be.

It’s never good to rob any creature of its freedom…..

Blue sky against a butterfly by Andrea O'Connell

Afterward:  But then again…  I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of this moment if it weren’t for Butterfly World keeping him in…. that’s my dilemma…

3
Mar

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

The photo challenge this week is to define what “distorted” might look like.

The first thing that came to my mind?  Politicians and supposed “entertainers” like the horrible Rush Limbaugh.  A picture of Rush Limbaugh does embody the word distorted, distort, distortion, like non other I can think of.  But, I have never photographed him, nor would I ever want to.

Limbaugh’s recent on-air comments about a Georgetown law student’s appeal to Congress on the contraception issue, were so twisted, so hateful, and so misogynistic that it baffles the mind. We are in the 21st century, correct?

Limbaugh called Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke “a prostitute and a slut” for arguing that birth control should be covered by insurance at religious workplaces or institutions.   But, more troubling than his sick, sick words?  Some GOP politicians see nothing wrong with what Limbaugh said. I kid you not.

That’s not only distorted, it’s incredibly troubling…..

Anyway, about my entry, I captured this beautiful fellow (the zoo docent said though he’s mighty pretty, he’s a real pest!) at Zoo Miami while he was shaking his lovely plume. I am sorry I cannot recall the name of this bird…. I also don’t recall if he is a pigeon or a dove… I will attempt to find the answer though.

26
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulgence (3 flamingos, art and evolution)

This weeks’ photo challenge word is “indulgence.”

How in the heck can I find a photo that epitomizes the word ‘indulge’ in my world?   Hah!  I constantly indulge in something, it seems.

Well, you might say that I indulge in most everything I do.  In phases.  There have to be phases because if one spent their days indulging in everything, it would be a bit much!

So, like the moon has its phases, so do my indulgences have phases.

I imagine we indulge in something because it gives us pleasure. (Chocolate, shopping, eating, desserts, hobbies and grandchildren are a few indulgences that spring to mind.)

Blogging is one indulgence that gives me pleasure.  Although I spent last week away from my blog – which is very unusual for me – it was due to indulging in the pleasure of my new job!

Tomorrow will be the start of my second week at my new job. . I’m indulging in the pleasurable sense of security and freedom from stress that this new job has brought into my life…..

However, as for capturing an image of indulgence…. Well, I had to think about this one!

Friday I indulged myself and purchased a new bike.  That indulgence is to cure, with exercise, another indulgence: Food!

I bought a pretty Schwinn 26″ bike that has 21 speeds…. Why do bikes have 21 speeds now?  I don’t need to indulge in all those speeds  But, all the bikes I looked at had 21 speeds!

On my first bike-ride I tried changing a speed and ended up locking the pedals for a few minutes…. I eventually figured out how to unlock them.  Thankfully.  I was a few blocks away from home and it looked like rain and I didn’t want to walk the bike all the way home.

Then, when I finally pedaled home and attempted to stop the bike – I fell off!

Yup!  I fell off of my new bike – skinned and bruised my knee, and bruised my arm above the elbow because I fell partly on the pavement and partly on a parked car.  (The bike is okay. The car is okay. I’m okay too.)

The reason I fell?  After I’d fixed the gear issue, I decided to adjust the saddle, but I moved it too high for my height.  It caused my feet to be nearly six inches above the ground.  Then, when I got home and tried to get off the bike, I tried to leaned to the left and land on my left foot, but the saddle was too high to allow that, so BAM!  Down I went with the bike on top of me!  (My first thought was the hope that no one saw me…. no one did!)

So, as far as a photographic representation of indulgence….  I’ve decided to illustrate it using these 3 Flamingos.  For hours I indulge my passion for making photography look like art…   I do love to sit at the computer and play with the images I photograph.

Here are yesterday’s indulgences – I was working on flamingos.

Here’s my Flamingo On End:

And here’s my Flamingo Shine:

This is my Soft Flamingo:

I’m a novice at it still.  However, I can tell I’m getting better the more I work at it.

And, one reason photography is an indulgence for me is because the work (on the photos) constantly evolves… at least for me.

Next week, or next month, when I look at these 3 Flamingos again, chances are they will change.  It’s all part of my indulgence in the learning process, and realizing there is evolution in it.  And that’s a good thing!

17
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

Thankfully, I’m not looking or feeling down!!

I’m feeling the opposite of down largely because I begin my new job on Tuesday!!  Yesterday, though, I went to Zoo Miami and captured some photos that I think are sweet “down” photos.

The animals were really lively yesterday – they were surely enjoying the beautiful South Florida weather.  Some of the animals, like the Gorillas, were having fun just being sleepy.  And the Giraffes, well…. their life involves always looking down – they fit the bill rather well.

So, here are the photos for my interpretation of “Down.”   I guess you could say this is my interpretation of an animal’s down-time…. 🙂

Here’s a gorilla that we resemble, don’t you think?  He’s either feeling pretty down about something, or his head is itchy!  I’d wager his head is itchy!

And here he is just a moment later contemplating the grass:

And here he is…. praying?

And here’s another gorilla snoozing in the grass, under the shade of big rocks:

And here a lovely giraffe is doing what they usually do…. look down onto those of us below:

13
Feb

a valentine in white and pink

Although it’s not quite Valentines Day…. I’m getting in the spirit a bit early this year!

Happy and loving wishes to all….

10
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

The weekly photo challenge this week is a tough one.  The word is “regret.”  I looked through all my photo archives and I found a few photos that would maybe resemble the emotion “regret.” But, not really.  Regret is a complex emotion, not easily recognizable in a photo because it could look like so many other emotions.  Regret is pensive, but pensive is not “regret.”  Regret can be sad, but sad is not “regret.”

You see what I mean?

Regret is a multifaceted emotion – layered with either a tinge or a great deal of sadness, or anger, or longing, or remorse.

Regret may consist of angst, too.  Regret rears its elusive head over things we did, or didn’t do; things left unsaid; things left undone after it’s too late to change the things we did.  Generally. saying “I’m sorry,” cures the regret.  Well, in fiction and other fairy tales that’s true.

Regret also takes the form of wishing we could turn the clock back to redo or undo things.  (If only life had the same “undo” or “redo” button that Microsoft Office and other software has.)   Wouldn’t it be nice if that”Easy” button in the Staples televisions commercials really worked?

So, I found a couple of photos that captured an element of regret.  I have a photo of a butterfly whose wings are badly damaged and who is clearly close to death.  But, when I saw that photo tonight what I felt was sadness and then I realized I regretted taking the photo.

Another photo I looked was of my niece with a sad and pensive look with tears forming in her eyes.  She wasn’t feeling regret, she was having one of those meltdowns that all kids have when they don’t get to do what they want to do.  It wasn’t regret.  Does a 6-year-old feel regret?

And then I had a picture of a Florida Panther that was really cute.  He has his forehead between his paws, down on the grass as if he’s trying to scratch the top of his head on the ground.  And I almost chose that photo because it was as close as I thought I would get to embodying regret. Of course, I know the panther was just giving his head a good scratch in the grass so it really didn’t look regretful.  And after all, the more anthropomorphically realistic our animal photos are, the more we love them – the funnier they are.  And funny is fun but it doesn’t say “regret” plus the photo is a bit blurry – horrors!

So, I kept looking for photos and nothing said “regret” to me.  I looked up the dictionary meaning, too:

Regret:

1. To feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about.

2. To remember with a feeling of loss or sorrow; mourn.
(verb)

To feel regret.

(noun)

1. A sense of loss and longing for someone or something gone.
2. A feeling of disappointment or distress about something that one wishes could be different.
3. regrets A courteous expression of regret, especially at having to decline an invitation.

I was about ready to skip this photo challenge when I remembered what I’d bought tonight at the grocery store!!!!!   And I said, out loud, BINGO!  Talk about regret…. There’s guilt there, too….. Double whammy.

Mind you, I bought this in the grocery store tonight after I’d had a HUGE steak dinner at Outback Steakhouse.

After all, they say, it’s best NOT to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, right?  Well I went to Publix grocery store, still full as a whale, and look what I bought and what I immediately began to eat?!!!!!

So, here’s my chocolate chip-yummy-frosting-early-valentine-to-myself-definition of regret…. 🙂

7
Feb

good stuff to put in the “that’s life” file….

Darn!  I’ve been under the weather these past couple of days with something that feels like the flu but it’s not as bad as the flu but it’s wiped me out.

It started Saturday night after I came home from seeing an old Neil Simon play called, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”   It was a good production – very funny.  But, for about ten minutes before curtain and during intermission, I was craning and straining my neck to chat with people sitting behind me, like this:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

I knew I was straining my neck, but never realized I’d disable it completely.

Only today has the pain subsided.  But what it left in its wake is a horrible clogged throat and head and nose blah.   It can’t decide if it wants to be a reasonably common cold, or a hateful and feverish flu.

So, I’ve laid on the couch and in the bed waiting for it to decide how mean and nasty it wants to treat me.

I think I’m getting better though.  I finally got out of my PJ’s and into real clothes.

Now, for the good news…..

I got a job!  I don’t have the written offer yet….so it’s not a completely done deal, but I have a start date!  It’s February 20th.

And it’s a good one, too!  I’m not going to jinx it by talking too much about it.  I can tell you that it’s a good company, with super nice people!

Here’s the bad news though…. I had to tell Microsoft that I have another job.  I emailed the recruiter today.

I was still in the interview process with Microsoft.  I’d had 3 interviews and the 4th one was not scheduled until next week. This meant I’d have to stall on the job I’d just accepted to wait for Microsoft. I didn’t want to do that.  Plus, if I had gotten denied by Microsoft and I’d put off the other job, I’d be the real loser.

I didn’t want to play games or gamble.  I sent my Microsoft recruiter an email and said thank you for considering me and….. I hated to send that email.

So….I didn’t get this:

It’s okay.  But I really really really really REALLY hate leaving that great opportunity on the table….

Then again, I love the job that I got – I am very excited about it – it’s a perfect fit in so many ways and I am very happy.

So, my “that’s life” file is looking pretty good.

(I still heart Microsoft.)

 

6
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready? Splash!

This week the word for the photo challenge is, ready.

This little guy is deciding whether to jump into the water.

To splash or not to splash?  That is the question!

He stood there a while just looking into space.  Perhaps he was just dreaming, or maybe he didn’t like the water fountain.  Or, maybe he was wondering if he needed a bath.  Do birds decide when they’re ready for a bath?   Maybe!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

He seemed leery about the water fountain. He wouldn’t jump in until the fountain stopped…

By Andrea O'Connell

Then the water suddenly stopped and he was ready….

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

And then, not two seconds later, big splash!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

Love those splashes!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

He is having a grand time, until another bird came and he flew away…. you can see the wake he left!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

3
Feb

it rains and pours good things

Although this little fellow looks somewhat miffed at being in the rain, I am happily enjoying the fact that it’s raining (opportunities) for me…

There’s one really good opportunity, with a company and people I really like, there’s still Microsoft, too…..  I’ll have an update soon.

In the meantime, Happy Friday everyone…. I’ll be back with a story soon!

photo by Andrea O'Connell

29
Jan

life’s a beach and other beauty secrets

Update:  Until now, I didn’t know the difference between a Florida Panther and a Bobcat.  As it turns out, what I’d been calling a Bobcat is really the endangered Florida Panther. Apologies to all the big cats for my error…. 🙂

In my earlier post, a Panther bobcat photo had made its way into every one of the pictures I’d exported from LightRoom 4 (LR 4).   Well, I figured out how it happened!  And, it was not at all the fault of an errant or stalking Panther Bobcat, either!  It was silly me.  Now I know how it works…

I’d inadvertently made the photo of the Panther Bobcat my “signature” when I was trying to create a photo-signature.  Each time a new photo was exported, the Panther bobcat photo appeared as a signature.

Here’s a whole new crop of pretties that have been to the beauty parlor of LR 4.  They’ve gotten manicures, pedicures, new hairdo’s and brighter smiles, too.

Click any picture to see a slide show of the enhancements.

Basically, what I’ve learned to do is sharpen, adjust the exposure, saturation, hue.  I’ve learned to change the “clarity” settings by playing with shadows, highlights, blacks and whites.  And so much more.  The hardest part for me was the export and import process, but I’m getting that down now.

It amazes me that up until now I have worked with my images completely untouched when all along I could have livened them up with a trip to an LR 4 Beauty School!

About the photos: 

The beach photos were captured from the balcony of a condo in Pompano Beach, Florida, in July 2010.  The other photos were captured at Flamingo Gardens, in Davie, Florida, where they take care of injured and endangered animals of every kind.  The two Muscovy duck pictures (babies and Mother duck) were captured from my (former) back yard, on the canal.  And, the lizard I captured at Butterfly World, in Coconut Creek, also in Florida.

I love visiting all these places.  I especially enjoy being at the beach and watching the waves roll in and out.  There’s nothing so restful.

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