July 31, 2009

Portrait vs Landscape

Ah! So you have heard these words before....

So which way do you usually hold the camera? landscape

And, which way do you usually type on a page? portrait
And why is it called portrait?

If you are taking a photograph of a person, you will want to turn the camera 90°, so it is portrait like you are typing a letter. And see what happens... Put their eyes about where hers are 1/3 of the way down from the top. Do this because people are shaped tall and not wide (for the most part...) Here's my latest photo titled "Freckles" -- you'll have to zoom in (click on it)!

And, so I will write about one of my favorite children's books, which I did not read as a child, but was published in 1971, so I could have. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume is an endearing story about a little boy who WANTS freckles. It is short, just 47 pages, so early readers can manage. It's about second grader freckleless Andrew Marcus who wants freckles and an enterprising little girl named Sharon who is willing to sell the recipe for freckles for five weeks' worth of allowance. You can just imagine what happens...

At summer camp, everytime I see a child with freckles I ask them if they have read this story because Blume certainly provides a new appreciation for freckles.

July 29, 2009

Legally Blonde Musical -- Motivating Girls and Women!

Ok, so Elle Wood's style and reason for applying and enrolling in Harvard Law are not exactly what I would wish for my own child... (chasing a guy, Warner Huntington III). But the idea of my daughter wanting to attend Harvard Law is appealing. This show is about much more. If you haven't seen the movie, take a look with your children! If nothing else, Harvard Law and Harvard becomes a place in their minds. My youngest wanted to know where Harvard was. (What a nice conversation to have!)

The broadway musical is based on the original movie and follows it very closely. I saw the musical at the Fox Theater in Atlanta recently and rewatched the film last night. The musical was well done. Even though the songs started out slowly and the "Omigod" song, I could have done without the G-d... the music was fresh. And I did shed a very few happy tears at the end and love the messages: to stick by our honor (Elle keeps her word in spite of a feisty law professor, Professor Callahan.) we can do ANYTHING! And, Elle uses her brain in the show to solve a murder mystery. Oh and contacts in the form of friends and sorority sisters do have a place.

The show is on tour in the U.S. and separately in London. Indeed, it was a mostly clean show except the "Bend and Snap" song and the UPS innuendos about packages. The movie is rated PG-13.

And for your viewing pleasure... there is also a Legally Blonde 2, which I like even more.

July 28, 2009

All about Etsy -- A Mega Mall

Etsy is like a big art festival and antique shop that is open 24 hours a day. There are both hand-made and vintage items. What a great place to shop for unique gifts that you cannot find at the real mall.

Yesterday, we were busy shopping for back to school... (wait till Thursday in Georgia, for tax free shopping this weekend!) and I wanted some unique items for my daughter, so I started searching on Etsy. Here are some of the items I have found. I created a Treasury called Girls Go!, which is a list of 12 items that are all around one topic. I thought about theme, placement on the page and color as I selected them.

Oh and, it is hard to get a treasury; you have to wait for previous lists to expire. I secured one for the first time, last night at 1 o'clock. http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=62520 Let me know what you think. These earrings pictured are one of the items in the treasury. You can click on the word earrings and move straight to them. These earrings are designed and handmade by BeadDesignsByEllen, not me.

And, don't forget about my photography shop. http://www.magmoment.etsy.com/. Thanks for MayBeads for adding me to a Treasury, so I could learn about curating them!

July 25, 2009

Degas at the Met

This past week I taught science camp at Roswell Park and Rec. We painted each day to learn about opaque and transparent light. We used matte medium with acrylic paint on 8.5 x 11" canvas boards to experiment. I instructed the children to paint fish, butterflies or flowers because we could experiment with color mixing on parts of the fish, butterfly or flower.

I did not allow the children to use black paint because I don't use black and also because the masters did not either. We talked about this. I mentioned Degas and did not have time to further discuss his art. But, having just visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I have just the photograph to share.

Pictured here is Edgar Degas' oil on canvas, on the left, titled The Dance Class, 1874. And to the right, is The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, one of his models out of wax that he created later in life as his eyesight waned. There were many of Degas' ballet images in the Met, 149 total works including a variety of other subjects.

July 22, 2009

Stone Mountain Bike Path

This past weekend I entertained children at the Mariott resort for Cystinosis Research Network Conference in Stone Mountain park. I am so glad I did because on my way I passed so many bikers. The path to Stone Mountain looks amazing.

To see exact directions click on the Path site. The bike ride starts at the Martin Luther King center and is 17 miles one-way to Stone Mountain Park; 14 miles are on a wide 2-way, paved trail, off-road. The other 3 miles are on the street.

Once you reach Stone Mountain there is a nice bike path around the mountain. And, it is free to ride into Stone Mountain on a bike. For a map of Stone Mountain Park click here. A friend told me it was 6 miles around the mountain. I will check.

I didn't have my camera, but the mountain looked pictorial. Next time!

July 19, 2009

Photography Assignment

Finished up a journalism camp last week. The kids created a neat paper with lots of information about Roswell in it. I'm hoping the campers will check out my blog and be surprised to find a new photography assignment waiting for them--

Go in your backyard and find something textured in a little bit of sun. Take the shot at 5 PM, 6 PM, 7 PM and 8 PM. (Perhaps a Crepe Myrtle or Magnolia.) How different do the photographs look?

Here is my Christmas Crepe that I was searching for. As you remember these are complementary colors.

July 14, 2009

Plant Id

Please teach your children to identify a few plants. I distinctly remember the day my little four year old pointed out the window of our home and said, "Look there is a red blue-jay." So, we taught him a new word "cardinal." But you'll get my point, he did not call it a red bird.

I have the pleasure of teaching children in my photography camps, the names of many flowering plants. Right now the crepe mrytle are in full bloom in Marietta, Georgia. Teach your children that the flowering trees, trimmed by many gardeners, are crepe mrytle. This is easy to quiz them on right now... ask them the name on every street in all the pink, purple and white varities as you drive by. To the left is the whole tree for identification. To the right, is my art version.

The reason I bring this up, is I do not know the id of this plant. I so like to name my photographs by their names to help teach... can you help me out?


July 11, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Mileage 222
TOTAL Road Trip mileage 2884.4

Back home and washing clothes. I think I fell asleep at 10 last night I was so tired. All together we drove 2884 miles. But it is a great way to gain perspective about our country. A large extended family of blue jays have moved in while we were gone. Other than that all is the same. Except that I have three new bumper stickers.

Two canoers pictured "Nickerson State Park Cape Cod" because this was my favorite place.
A Life is Good biker dude to replace my faded life is good bumper sticker.
And a "Basketball is where we live -- Life is just a place where we spend time between games" to support my oldest who loves playing basketball and roots for the Celtics, purchased at the NBA Hall of Fame in Springfield Massachussetts.

I have started adding photographs from my trip to Etsy and will add a couple other products, so take a look. I will be posting here too. http://www.magmoment.etsy.com

July 09, 2009

Back to Tennessee

Mileage 276

Like Billy Ray Cyrus sings we made our way back to Tennessee today.This song is in The Hanna Montana Movie, which I saw twice when Disney released it.I viewed it two times because I wanted all of my children to see the film. It is a great show about the importance of family, love, visiting relatives, decisions, priorities and career. Hanna had to make decisions in the show about what was really important.

Everytime I see her and am reminded that it is also amazing that she is so successful at 16. This is a lesson for both children and adults. Hanna/Miley has a huge impact with her clean, fun songs and TV show. Take a listen and buy her movie when it is released on DVD.

The Clinch river is moving, and I found a new spot to photograph, which is above. At Grandma and Grandpa's we saw many rabbits, cows, a beaver, a heron, blue birds, swallows and
at least five cats.

July 08, 2009

Ride to Roanoke with Scat by Carl Hiassen

Mileage 449.5

It was our longest drive today, but we are ready to get back home. The view of the mountains today was peaceful. Lots of farms. In fact there were so many I wondered if they had very much land. They seem to be almost on top of each other; farm houses and silos within a short distance of each other.

We stopped at Costco before we left Staton Island and I was once again reminded of my idea, which Costco can't do. They just can't have an express lane. It just misses the point of Costco. But for SD cards, it is worth standing in line. I bought two - 4GB SD SanDisk cards for $34 total plus tax.

Can't wait to photograph the farm tomorrow. We will see how my favorite tree looks in the summer minus a huge branch that fell this past winter. On the way we might be able to finish Scat, the latest book by Carl Hiaasen. We really enjoyed his other two books, Hoot and Flush. Hoot was made into an enjoyable movie. All of these stories about taking care of our environment and children and adults who make extra steps to correct wrongs.

July 07, 2009

Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and the Mets

We had a wonderful day in NYC! We rode the 30 minute ferry into the city from Staton Island. A photographer's viewpoint for sure. We learned uptown and downtown quickly. We saw the numbered subways travel north to south and the alphabet travels east/west. We also learned that not all trains on the route stop at all the stops. Lots of success.

I loved the VanGogh, Monet and Degas works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My youngest immediately recognized Monet's bridge because of a Monet art class he took at the Abernathy Arts Center two summers ago. The children wanted to visit the Museum because we listened to The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler another summer. E.L. Konigsburg received the Newbery Medal for this book. The story is about two children who camp out in the museum, explore its art and unravel a mystery. The Met has an issue of MuseumKids devoted to the Mixed-Up Files; ask for it and read the book if you attend.

We enjoyed the Mets game with all the tradition of the National Anthem and also the 7th inning stretch. The Mets played the Dodgers at Citifield, which was easily reached via the subway. Here is an image from the game, which happened to be Manny's first game in New York since being reinstated.

July 06, 2009

NYC via National Basketball Hall of Fame Springfield, MA

Mileage 350

I took a few photos as we left Nickerson State Park today. This is a photo of the pond near our campsite in area 1.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) was amazing. There are times it crosses streets (road Xing), but it was really beautiful with scenic overlooks. Here is a shot below.

We stopped at the National Basketball Hall of Fame. It was a nice exhibit and a large store (which needed a little more merchandise) and some fun games for the kids. It wasn't crowded, so we got to do some activities more than once. All of the employees were very professional. I appreciated the positive spin on all the coaches and players.

We definitely drove through the city again. I thought I would stay in Staton Island, so I wouldn't have to drive through New York. We will be riding the ferry to Manhatten tomorrow.

July 05, 2009

Provincetown, Massachusetts


Mileage 17

Bike Mileage 15.4

Provincetown is located at the "fingertips" of the arm hook of Massachusetts. Here is a shot of the town from the beach. We are driving to Nickerson State park, which is 17 miles from our hotel in Dennisport to camp for a night. This park has a nice bike path. I don't think we will have internet today, so I am uploading two photos from earlier.
Hydranga is one of my favorite flowering bushes. Hydranga is abundant here on the Cape. The bushes are old and larger than any I have seen. These must have been trimmed because the large blooms are all sticking out like bobbing boats or a sea of people.

July 04, 2009

Fourth of July, 2009

Mileage 130
Bike Mileage 15.4
This is my favorite holiday! I love to prepare food and have it hot when we eat in the hours before fireworks, which is a challenge... I love listening to music and then watching fire works. Tonight we watched the sky light up in Hyannis (without a gourmet dinner because we are traveling). There was a band first and then a nice fireworks show. Here are a few photos from Hyannis. My fireworks shots were hand-held and the shutter was open for 4 seconds for most shots. We were overlooking the bay, so there is also a reflection and perhaps a full moon in the photos. The image on the right is unaltered.

Earlier today we were in Provincetown where we saw a drum corps play music.

And, the night before we listened to a band in Chatham. I'd say we got our money's worth as Fudge would say as he learned about money in Double Fudge by Judy Blume. This was our listening book for the Cape Cod drives. This story had many twists to its plot and kept all of us interested. We definitely celebrated the nation's holiday.

July 03, 2009

Dennis Port to Chatham

Mileage 46

Bike Mileage 10.81
It has been my personal goal to learn "how to bike" and then bike cape cod. We did it today. We rode to Harwich Port today to purchase a kite. It was a nice ride. I took photographs many times on our ride. The yards are quaint and well-cared for. Here is one image. More tomorrow.

July 02, 2009

Plymouth and Cape Cod Bay

Family members have traced John Howland to our tree, and he was one of the 102 people to travel to America on the Mayflower. We visited Massachusetts every year when I was a young girl. But, I don't remember the ocean, which makes the biggest impression on me today.

I do remember being with my grandfather and grandmother the most. She taught us to love coffee ice cream and clam rolls. He took us for rides on the tractor and walked in the yard. We had marvelous clam bakes in the yard at the stone fireplace. I smelled the trees of their yard in Connecticut on our bike ride, and it took me back there walking from their garage to house. She could sew and he garden. I love both of these activities now. My grandparents have passed, but I can conjure a bit of them, which lives on in me.

Here is a photo I took last night of Cape Cod Bay near the Mayflower II, a reproduction of the original ship. We arrived just before a late closing night and got to step on board. But, Plymouth Rock is now inside a monument so we cannot touch it. It bears the famous 1620 mark and I know I have personally sat on it in the past. I'll look for the photo.

July 01, 2009

Boston Harbor -- It's Magnificent

I love how our country is connected by rivers. The Charles River empties into Boston Harbor. We did not start the car today!

Instead we took a ferry to Georges Island one of the 34 islands and peninsulas in the Boston Harbor. Georges Island hosts Fort Warren. While on the island, I photographed many sparrows darting about, two cormorants and various flowers. Cormorants are very common birds with a huge population across the globe in different varieties. It looks like they may have an over population from quick Internet research. We stayed on the Georges for one hour and that was plenty of time to explore the island. Park rangers are a plenty, so this is a nice segue.

It did not rain until our return trip, but it did rain for a lot of the day. Hilton provided an umbrella, which was a much appreciated amenity. But the view of Boston from the boat was so cool. Take a look...