Cross-Post: Good Luck, Mr. President

Cross-posted from The Neophyte Photographer.

It is Inauguration Day in the United States.

For all the silliness of the election season, and regardless of the winner, I like inauguration day and the peaceful transition of power it symbolizes (or in this case, the assent of the people to the continuation of the current administration).  I’ve got a number of friends who are there and I hope they have a great time.

I took these shots of the White House last March.  You can see the lights on in the Oval Office and I wonder if they are on all the time, or only when the President is in residence. I’m pretty sure President Obama was in D.C. at the time, so seeing the lights on was kind of cool.

UPDATED to add: Okay, now I’m feeling rather foolish. I’ve been operating under the misapprehension that the Oval Office is located in the White House. It is not. Rather it is located in the West Wing, a separate building on the White House grounds.

A Meaningful Day

Cross-posted from The Neophyte Photographer

I spent several hours today (12/23) in downtown Reno at the 12th Annual Reno Firefighter’s Christmas Party for homeless and underprivileged kids.   It was my honor to serve as the Santa photographer.

Santa and Mrs. Claus (Rick & Laura Griffin)

We provided the kids with prints to take with them as a memento of the day.  Obviously I cannot post any of the photos with the kids, but here’s one of us with Santa that I shot later in the day.  The firefighter is in my Freethinkers group and asked some of us to volunteer. The two young woman took care of the printing, and I did the shooting. We worked out a system where I did about ten kids, pulled my card to give to them to download and print. In the meantime I’d do another ten on another card. They were able to keep up with the volume and we never had any long lines of people waiting for their prints.

My dear neglected readers,

First off, my apologies. Between work, family, Reno Freethinkers, and my photography  this house has been sorely neglected.  Excuse me while I brush away the cobwebs.

The fact of the matter is, I’m not quite sure what to do with this space anymore.  Commenting on politics feels like beating a dead horse.  Maybe more “My Life” stories and less “OMG look what the hell they’ve gone and done now” posts?

I mean, I’d much rather work on learning how to shoot good photographs.

Daughter and her Sweetheart

That includes portraits of the critters.

Maya

Seriously, how does a photographer resist this just so she can comment on the latest faux outrage?

Nina

Isn’t this far more interesting than what foot Mitt Romney stuck in his mouth today?

Statue outside the Bill Raggio Building at UNR.

Isn’t witnessing the sheer unadulterated joy your pups get from playing with their favorite toys better than just about anything?

Buddy playing catch

Nina the whirlwind

Making sense

I’m completely wrapped up in my photography right now.  It’s all I want to do.

It is my escape and my addiction.

Still the real world calls. Work. Family. Critters. House work.

Photography makes more sense to me than just about anything going on out there. The Republican primary? I can’t say anything that isn’t already being said by thousands of other voices.

I can’t make sense of the full-scale assault on women’s reproductive rights. Yes, it is a  war on women, one that Democrats/Progressives/Liberals have allowed to happen either by collaboration or apathy. While I agree with Gaius that women’s access to contraception should  be of vital importance to men, it does not appear to be. And contrary to what he says, what is happening right now is not a war on the sexual revolution as a whole as only half of the “revolutionaries” are being targeted. If it were not so, we’d see hundreds of anti-pornography bills being enacted in state houses all over the country. We aren’t. How about anti-divorce legislation? Nada. It’s all about the woman and her baby-making parts. It is all about patriarchy and putting women in their place.

And I can’t make any sense of it.

I can’t make sense of a soldier engaging in wholesale slaughter of innocents. I can’t make sense of the wars he’s been sent to that pushed him over the edge. I can’t make sense of the bloodshed that is sure to come in retaliation. Hearts and minds, indeed.

I can’t make sense of two children dying in a fire caused by their mother’s religious “blessing” and then seeing her front and center at her children’s memorial service as though she is the victim.  Does that sound harsh?  I’ve toned it down.

I can’t make sense of politicians who think government should be run like a business, especially in light of the “blood out of a turnip” nonsense that has been going on at work for three years now.

I still can’t make sense of what happened with my mother, try as I might.

I can’t make sense of much of anything, so I make photographs.

I choose the subject. I control the exposure and the processing.  It is art and it is science, and right now, it is the glue holding me together.

Gentleman in a Fedora

I may have mentioned before that my lighting instructor is an award-winning photographer. His bread and butter is commercial photography, but his photography goes far beyond. On the first day of class he showed us some of his work, and later we learned more of the back story to many of his shots through this program, The Work of Art, produced by KNPB. I highly recommend watching it and it will give you a great idea of who Jeff Ross is as an artist and a human being.

I had a routine visit with my cardiologist today. Actually, it wasn’t that routine as my regular EP, Dr. Dhir, has left the practice and I was seeing a “new” doctor today: Dr. Letitia Anderson.  The last time I’d seen Dr. Anderson was in November 2009 when I was in the emergency room at Renown prior to being admitted for four days of observation. I liked her then, and today’s visit confirmed that I made the right choice in requesting her after Dr. Dhir’s departure.

Yes…there is a connection here. Patience!

Dr. Anderson wanted me to get my pacemaker read and as I was heading into the waiting area I saw an elderly black man checking in with the receptionist. I immediately recognized him as the gentleman in this photo.  A super-sized version of this photo hangs in Jeff’s studio in Reno and it moves me very much.

And there he was, looking just as he did in the photograph. Same hat, same expression, same demeanor.

At first I wasn’t going to say anything to Mr. Marks, but I felt drawn to him. I wanted him to know I knew who he was, and so I walked up to him and said, “I know you from your photograph.”  We chatted briefly; I told him how much I loved Jeff’s photograph of him. He remembered Jeff and the photo.  I touched the sleeve of his trench coat with my left hand, and he reached for my right hand to hold it.  I told him that I would tell Jeff tonight that I’d seen him. We said good-bye.

And then he smiled at me and kissed my hand.

Cross-posted at The Neophyte Photographer

A promise and a pretty picture

Lighting class assignment © Carissa Snedeker

Tomorrow. I’ll have something for you tomorrow. Maybe. It is a work and school day so I may not find the time, but I’ll try. After all, it’s crazy out there isn’t it? So much to comment on and yet I can hardly find the words.  I’m just beyond astounded.

I’m off to reread John F. Kennedy’s speech on the separation of church and state. I’d send it to Rick Santorum, but obviously he is unable to read for comprehension.

In the meantime I’m still taking pictures and getting to know many fabulous photobloggers, still doing Freethought stuff, and making plans for the Reason Rally.

What I did today

Besides cleaning the house and the doggie-do from the backyard, I put together the flyer for our 2nd Annual Reno Darwin Day. We’ve got a lot of activities and presentations on tap.

IN addition to that, I’m stressing about my first lighting class assignment which consists of photographing a white sphere, cube and cylinder against a white background with one source of light so that all planes show, nothing bleeds into anything else, etc.  It’s not easy.  Here are three of the dozens of photos I’ve taken trying to get it just right.  And I still don’t think I’ve quite gotten it.

© Carissa Snedeker

© Carissa Snedeker

 

© Carissa Snedeker

To write or shoot, that is the question . . .

When I go into my WordPress dashboard, it keeps reminding me that this is my “primary” blog, but lately I’ve been far more faithful to The Neophyte Photographer. I’m twenty-six days in to my 365 project.

Right now photography seems so much more compelling than writing, but I’ll be back this weekend. I’ve got a couple of things I’ve been mulling. Until then, feel free to have a look-see over at my other place.

Speaking of photography, the instructor for the lighting class I’m taking at UNR is Jeff Ross, a successful commercial photographer here in Reno. Check out his blog for a sample of some of his work. Amazing.