It’s been, what, a month and a half since I returned from vacation in North Carolina? Well, it’s a beautiful day out and of course I’m inside editing photos. The good news is that I have finally finished editing my photos from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. These photos were taken as part of a series I call, ‘My Fellow Tourists’ in which I am most interested in the people within a place rather than the place itself. Countless photos have been made of the asylum; it’s the inmates that interest me most. Here is my perspective on the Biltmore.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been away on vacation in North Carolina. It was a nice change of location spent with plenty of family. Getting back into the swing of things at work has been slow because my mind is still in vacation mode. As such, I thought the best way to ease into the transition would be to share with you some photos from my travels. Let’s go to the rodeo!
I have taken on a new documentary project with the non-profit group, Sisters with Purpose. The group puts together a grand cotillion ball every year as a fundraiser for their youth mentoring program. The mentoring program, called Pathways for Young Leaders, was created to ‘educate and empower every youth to become worldwide impactful leaders.’ It’s a great organization, and you can find out more about the group on their website.
Two weeks have passed, and thus far I have kept my new year’s resolution to do more personal photography. This week I focused on using my 50mm macro lens at a 2.5 aperture. A 50mm lens is basically how your eye sees the world (as opposed to a telephoto lens that allows you to get closer to an object, or a wide lens that widens your perspective). The macro aspect of the lens allows the photographer to get extremely close to the subject. I normally use the lens to shoot details such as wedding rings and cake toppers, but today I concentrated on the resulting puddles and water droplets from this afternoon’s rain storm. Also, there was an odd fog that settled over the city late in the afternoon that was at odds with the sun trying to peek out.
It’s the start of the year, and like everyone else, I have some new year’s resolutions which I would like to complete. My goals for this year are to work on my personal photography projects and to try and achieve more of a life/work balance. I started today by taking the entire day off — a rare occurrence for me. I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spent the rest of the afternoon playing tourist with camera in hand. It’s been a while since I have taken to the street to flex my photojournalist skills (well, without following behind a bride and groom). It felt great, and my hope is that I can start to take one day off a week and feel guilt-free. Here are the resulting images from today’s adventures in NYC:
In the light of day, it seemed so very reasonable, clear, straightforward. But in the middle of the night, in the dark, it all fell apart. No reason, no clarity, no straight path to righteousness.
The circus had come to town. In the cages, the animals waited. Some were quiet, and clung to the sides of their captivity. Others roared, and leapt at any imagined opportunity to burst free. A little girl stood in the middle of the ring and watched it all with wide eyes.
It started out like any other day. I woke up just before the alarm, turned it off so as not to wake my husband. Hauled myself out of bed, put on my faded bunny slippers and padded to the bathroom.
My business there taken care of, I proceeded to the kitchen, put on water, ground beans for my coffee, did my usual calf-firming toe raises, balancing myself at the window sill (grey day, bone-wrenching cold), while I waited for the water to boil. Then: Screeching tea kettle, phone jangling all at once.
That was the call that ultimately ended my life.
Donna Maxon, aka Staten Island’s own Bette Midler, played the Pink Elephant in Manhattan this summer. I was in the audience and captured her discolicious performance.