Mar 31, 2009

NEW THEME: Most Treasured

For the new theme, take a photo of your most treasured thing(s).

What's most important to you?

Mar 28, 2009

Down Under: The Burner

An oily, amber crust collects
under the grates
where it burns.

Mar 27, 2009

Down Under: Unveiling




Swathed in blinding green plastic tied down with twine in grommets to withstand the winds and rains of California winter, not much of either this year, probably due to global warming, the garden furniture is unwrapped, unveiled today. A glimpse of chair and table legs, their shadows falling across the concrete umbrella stand and flagstone. A view from down under(neath)!
love,
ama

Mar 26, 2009

Down Under: Beyond The Fringe

the california hotel
viewed from under the 580 overpass
san pablo ave
oakland, california

looking up san pablo ave
from under a bottlebrush tree
oakland, california

laurie

NEW THEME: Down Under

flip over that rock
scan through leaves
peer through that mop
look beyond that overhang

show
us
what
you
see

laurie

Mar 24, 2009

Spring Is Busting Out!: Smelling the Sunshine


Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin,
a kiss on your cheek;
the breeze blowing through your hair.
Take a deep breath.
Smell the soft sweet blossoms,
the grass sprouting up through the earth.
Spring has arrived...


Spring Is Busting Out!: All Over!




And in my garden Spring blooms. Tiny violets, wild trillium, yellow and white sparaxis, the ornamental crabapple, quince bushes. Even the Japanese maples put out little red flower puffs, ferns unfurl their new fronds. Mornings I walk into that exhilarating display, the swelling buds, almost-open flowers, brilliant new leaves.
love,
ama

Mar 23, 2009

Spring Is Busting Out!: What The Camera Saw

mystery box
emeryville, ca

new zealand flax
berkeley, ca


these are
what the camera
picked up
for spring

laurie


NEW THEME: Spring Is Busting Out!

And our new theme is: Spring Is Busting Out!
love,
ama

Game On: Portraits of Old Things



The dominoes were my mother’s. Precious objects, austere in their
black-and-whiteness. Maybe 100 years old. My inheritance.
The Chinese checkers from my daughters’ childhood. Maybe 50 years old.
I admit it, I save almost everything!
You never know when something will come in handy, right?
love,
ama

Mar 22, 2009

Game On: Life Seen Through the Eyes of the Joker

We are all just pawns in the game of life.
Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose, 
but we are always able to pick ourselves up
and play another round.

When GAME OVER finally comes, we know we have played our best and the game was good while it lasted.

Plus, there's always time tomorrow for a rematch...

Mar 21, 2009

Game On: Stop. Smog Test. Where Is Your Family?

When my son announced the new blog theme--Game On--I assumed that this was a post that would require a light touch. I'd just been out shooting groovy urban landscapes and was all pumped about that and in no mood to stalk playgrounds and the like to capture pictures of toys or kids at play.

Last night, I was kind of guilting myself for having missed two check-ins (?) with the Spirit I channel--daily dialoging being a recommended part of spiritual practice. When I opened the file I discovered that the last entry had Spirit comparing life on earth to a game. Big coincidence, considering the new blog theme. Spirit's offering was triggered by a transatlantic telephone call my ex-husband made to our son a couple days ago. During that call, my son spoke to his father, then to his English Grandparents, as they are called (one's actually a Yank), and then to his father again. Then they hung up. It felt weird for my ex to call all the way from England and ring off without saying hi. After all, we've known one another 20 years. I didn't especially need to speak with my ex. Still, it felt strange.

I brought my confusion to Spirit--He of the big picture--and this is what He said:

Dear one, you are right where you want to be, where you need to be. It is no longer necessary for you to be cruising around, tracking down people to love and to have relationships with. You would only find yourself right back in the soup you toppled into before. You would still feel just as unsatisfied with those relationships as you were at first. Is this what you would again desire? Is this--the thing you already pursued and relinquished--what you would again want? This puzzle? This game? Do not return to the past and hope that something new will come of the games you once played that you believed would mend and satisfy. Do not return to the past. Keep moving, and you will return to your actual home in peace.

This is what I want
no games
only truth
peace

Laurie

Mar 20, 2009

NEW THEME: Game On

Take a picture of a game.
(Open to interpretation)

It's time to play...

Old Vs. New: Reflected in the Blue

Exploring the Emeryville industrial area, I found an old red brick building reflected in the new glossy blue windows of the Bayer Protocol Data Unit Building. 

(Click the pic to make it bigger)

It was so surreal – low tech next to high tech, the old literally mirrored in the new...

Mar 16, 2009

Old Vs. New: Oaktown Versus Oakland


"There is no there there," Gertrude Stein wrote
of the West Coast city of Oakland, California.
Oakland's been jacking up the heat ever since.
Locals still call it Oaktown,
and, unlike other fast-track metropolitan cities,
Oakland city planners have a respectful regard for
Oaktown architectural antiquities,
demonstrated by the fresh proliferation
of mirrored monoliths cropping up
next to renovated Victorians
and revamped Deco entertainment palaces.

A year ago, I walked into Bibliomania Books
looking for a used copy of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love.
Turned out Eat, Pray, Love used wasn't "used" enough.
In Bibliomania, used means vintage. Old.
I guessed the proprietors were probably tired
of people wandering in looking for last year's
New York Times bestsellers in a vintage bookstore.
I tucked my tail between my legs
and beat it.

Oakland's Fox Theatre has just reopened
after 2 years of extensive renovations.
It shares space with the new
Oakland School for the Arts.
The Mission Revival Style complex
is large-format camera material,
too grand for my little Kodak Easyshare.

Laurie
 

Mar 14, 2009

Old Vs. New: Toddle Vs. Totter!



And here we are, enjoying each other. One toddles. The old ones totter. We’re symbiotic. We need each other! Me, hubby Chuck, baby Truman. Not our grandchild, just borrowed for a minute.
love,
ama

NEW THEME: Old Vs. New

You are to interpret Old Versus New

One condition applies:
The old must be captured with the new,
both must appear in the same frame.

Good luck, Photogs!
Laurie

Mar 13, 2009

Urban Landscape: Pieces




The urban landscape is composed of many parts
that coalesce.
Fracture.
Its beauty held in the camera’s lens.
The eye of the beholder.

love,
ama

Urban Landscape: Emeryville, California

The fog didn't burn off until late this morning
I'd promised I'd be home by 9
but was waylaid by the vision of a makeshift church (not pictured)
and a discarded cigarette box I saw in the street on
my way back to the car after shooting the church
When I got home, Evan was just waking up
or maybe I woke him up when I opened the door to his room at 10:10
Emeryville, California, I like you a lot

Laurie

Mar 11, 2009

Urban Landscape: Oh, Picnik, What Would I Do Without You?

This just further proves my love for Picnik.com
Every picture deserves to be Picnik'd.
We drove around in the car all afternoon, just taking pictures. It was really nice to get out of the house and get some fresh air.
Fresh air > Stale musty house air
I love capturing the old rundown industrial areas. 
It reminds me that beauty can be found anywhere...

NEW THEME: Urban Landscape

Let's capture the beautiful city we take for granted 
   every 
                 single 
                                  day...

Mar 9, 2009

Escape!: Into the Nursery




An hour on the parking meter. Hardly enough time for my escape. To lose myself among the blooming helleborus, the deer fern, the little four-inch thymus to plant between the flagstones. The festuca glauca, shining blue-green mini-grasses; the pink-white cherry blooms, the cyclamen, white, red, pink, their heart-shaped marbled leaves. I am an escapee to the bloom, the leafing-out of spring. I dare you to find me!
love,
ama

Mar 7, 2009

Escape!: They're Like Two Thugs in a Pod

"I gotta break outta dis joint! Who's wit me?"
"We is, Frankie!"
"Right, boys, lets do dis!"

"We's almost dare, Frankie! One last push ta freedom!"

"We did it, boys. We's finally free! I thought we's was gonna be sleepin' wit tha fishes!"

Mar 6, 2009

Escape!: ANTM

When I want escape I flip the TV on
for a hit of America's Next Top Model.
I'm a discriminate ANTM watcher.
I record so I can fast-forward over
the messy stuff - the squabbles.
"Mama" Tyra, Jay Alexander, Miss J -
they're family.

Laurie

NEW THEME: Escape!

Escape! Let your imagination and your camera roam, unfettered!
love,
ama

Mar 4, 2009

Rule of Thirds: The Downtown Sweep

Today was my last day at my job. Sort of. My manager, who is always swamped, has been ditching me for weeks, trying to avoid saying good-bye. I walked the urban sweep at noon and shot photos till the charge ran out. The view above was taken from Snow Park, a small stretch of green directly across the street from work. 
The Winnebago turned up at the foot of the park. That's corporate headquarters in the background. The company is installed in five buildings in the area. I call the one I work in "The Palace". I got lost on my floor once. Left the elevator and thought I'd arrived in an alternate universe. A team mate took me back out into the lobby and showed me some landmarks to look out for so I wouldn't get stumped again. Gave me all his little tricks for staying on track. The tour worked. I never got lost again.

Thanks,
Laurie 

Rule of Thirds: Ok, So Not Really...

My feeble attempts at following the rule of thirds:


I just kept straying from what I was supposed to do... I mean, I guess you could call this thirds... It's ironic that I'm having so much trouble following the rule that we named the blog after.

Hmm. With the new theme will come new inspiration...

Rule of Thirds: Rule of Thumb






“Rule of thumb: A rough measure or guide. The part of the thumb from the knuckle
to the end is approximately one inch and has often served as a measure
when a more precise one was not at hand.”
From The Dictionary of Cliches

Rules are made to be broken. Stick to the rules. Rule of thumb.
Cliches are what we live by.
Or not.

Love,
ama