Sunday, December 26, 2010

Family portraits

Christmas seems the perfect time to update family portraits. Here are two portraits taken yesterday of visiting Maryland family. Good thing we found the time yesterday because today is miserable and snowing - in Charleston!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

I set my alarm for 2.30am this morning to see the eclipse and it was worth getting up and getting cold for. It was a huge challenge to photograph and this is not good! Photographers will notice that the stars are streaked which happens when your exposure is longer than a couple of seconds. Everything is in motion so the image is not sharp. This was 8 seconds at 400 ISO with a 200mm lens using a 1x1.4 converter - the trade-off when you don't have a $2,500 camera and fast 500mm lens(yet!). Anyway, lousy image aside, it was wonderful to see.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thanks Don

video
A great photography mentor and all-round great guy Don Gale died today. He lost his battle with cancer in the early hours of the morning. His houseboat workshop on Lake Powell, AZ about 7 years ago was the first one I ever attended, and so began my passion for landscape photography. I subsequently attended his workshops in Yosemite, Sedona, Zion, New England, Cades Cove and probably a couple more that I can't remember right now. He taught me a lot, always with great humor, encouragement and patience. He had many friends and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight. This short slideshow features Don and a whole bunch of fun characters that he introduced me to along the way. For a better resolution version of the slideshow, I posted one on my photo website here: www.vanessak.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Most Challenging Time of the Year

(To the tune of "It's a most Wonderful time of the Year")

It's a most challenging time of the year
All the pipes they are bursting
and drivers all cursing
devoid of good cheer
It's a most challenging time of the year

It's the wack-wackiest season of all
With way too much eating
and diets a-cheating
My jeans are too small.....
It's the wack-wackiest season of all

Bridge
There'll be houses and backyards
with such little regards
for proper and tasteful decor
With brightly lit planters
and bloated fat Santas
and garish big reindeers and more ...

It's a most penniless time of the year
All the gifts we're a-buying
My checkbook is sighing
But why should we care?
We'll just make a whole bunch more next year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Whatever happened to global warming?

My friend in Oregon tells me the temperatures haven't been this low in 35 years, and here in Charleston, temperatures have been in the twenties consistently overnight for almost a week with not much relief in sight. We're just not equipped for this, but I guess I shouldn't complain - after all I could live in Minnesota or Chicago or somewhere. Actually I couldn't. I don't understand why anyone would choose to live there. Anyway the heat pump is working around the clock and the outside taps are set to drip all through the night. This is what my back hosepipe looked like this morning.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good weather for Studio Portraits

The one thing I love about having a studio is that if the weather is miserable, it doesn't have to ruin your plans. Here are a couple of family portraits I shot this afternoon.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Photographing Real Estate from the Air

I had an assignment to do some aerial real estate photography early this morning, so I bundled up as warmly as possible and we were in the air shortly after 8am.The visibility was disappointing, especially since yesterday was so clear, and there was also a lot of cloud cover so the light was boring and blah.Nevertheless we got a few reasonable shots and will probably plan to watch the weather patterns over the next few days and take another stab at it.I can never resist taking another photograph of the Morris Island Lighthouse, even in bad light so I grabbed this as we buzzed past on our way to Sullivan's Island.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

What a wonderful gift to have four free days. No place I have to be, a few things on my "to-do" list granted, but in no particular order - sometime over the weekend at a leisurely pace. To wake each morning when your body wants to, and not because the alarm says so. Ah ....
Anyway thanks to Jackie, Mike, Nancy & family for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. I had vowed so spend the entire day in my pyjamas, but was finally pursuaded otherwise. The deciding factor was knowing that Jamie was home from Seattle for the weekend, and I hadn't seen him for awhile.
This white egret is a regular visitor to Sunrise Park in the early morning and is almost always sitting on an old piece of partly submerged log in the middle of the lake. He modeled very obligingly for me and then I gave the photo an oil painting treatment.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Protection of God

Leigh called me during the night to let me know about the latest skirmish on the western border of North and South Korea. I know they know that God watches closely over their family, and that there is no safer place to be than in His will.

Psalm 32:6-7
Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The early deer browses in peace

I went back to the James Island County Park early this morning to check that everything had been cleaned up and dismantled after last night's festivities and came across two deer close to the shelter. They didn't seem to be too bothered by me, although Logan was barking up a frenzy at these "big dogs".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Annual GEL Oyster Roast

This year we had our annual oyster roast at the James Island County Park. It was a great family affair and the kids loved the festival of lights.Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this such a successful event.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Solo Exhibition at the Saul Alexander Gallery

I just heard that my work has been accepted for a solo exhibition at the Saul Alexander Gallery, Charleston County Public Library for the month of December 2011. I had entered some examples of my photography of the local area and chose the title "Spirit of the Lowcountry". The selection committee liked it. It's great that I have a year to plan which images to show and how to frame them etc. etc. I will be calling on all my friends to come by, so heads up ... if I don't see your name in the guest book you're in trouble!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wrapping it up ...

So today was Saturday and Josh was not working, so we had a quiet day. Did some grocery shopping and also took a few family pics. Gideon was in the middle of a big nap, so he wasn't very interested in participating, but at least he was there. Tomorrow it's back to the USA. Yes! Korea is ok, but it's been a huge challenge for Leigh and Josh to live here for a year. The cultures are so vastly different and very few people speak English where they are in Sangju. All the signs, menus, etc. are in Korean and people stare at you because you are a "wae gook" (foreigner).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sangju Street Vendor Fresh Produce Market

We have to get creative with our outings because of various constrictions; lack of transport, a young baby in tow, etc. Today we decided to have lunch at an Italian restaurant downtown and then visit the fresh produce market that happens every week in one of the side streets. I had forgotten how long it takes to get moving with a baby. You just can't rush the napping, feeding, burping rituals (try at your peril) so we finally made it outside at about noon today.Here are a couple of pics of our day; Leigh and Gideon at the restaurant, then various scenes from the market. One more full day here before I head back to Seoul, Incheon airport and the Delta check-in desk on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another day in Sangju

Only two more days before I head back to the good old USA. Today we bundled up and walked down towards Leigh's school. I wanted to photograph the crop of persimmons I'd seen air drying by the 1,000's but they had been all covered up so that was disappointing. We turned and walked back uptown to one of our favorite coffee places - Coffee Holic and had a couple lattes. Leigh and Gideon took a cab back home and I took the long way, down some side streets. Leigh and Josh have a date night tonight, so I'm in charge. I'd forgotten what it was like to be up every couple of hours and how much I celebrated a burp!Leigh got her hair cut this afternoon and Josh shaved off his beard. Here they are heading out for their date.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Alternate views of every day stuff

Sometimes things just catch your eye, like a bunch of garlic for sale, or a dirty old junkyard. It's fun to play with them and see where it will take you. The cable was down yesterday so we couldn't update, but trying to catch up and will do another entry later. We're going for a walk, so who knows what we will find ...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For family only (boring for others ...)

So today's blog features our trip this morning to the hospital for Gideon's Hep.B vaccination and general check-up. The boy is growing like a weed - now weighs 5kg - and doing fine. He was outraged when they stuck the needle in his little thigh, but came away with a handsome bandaid and apparently no memory of his traumatic experience. Here are some pics of what will probably be our only outing today, since it's turned cold and windy outside.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Korean hospitality

Tonight we were invited to dinner at the home of Mr & Mrs Kim, friends of Leigh & Josh. They were so hospitable and gracious and the food was delicious. We took a group photo before we left (see below).Garlic is in season at the moment, and it is sold in bulk in the local grocery stores. I took a photo because I'd never seen it displayed quite like this before.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Seoul

It's late so I don't have any torrent of poetic prose today - sorry to disappoint my throngs of regular readers .. We decided to hire a car and drive to Seoul. The train ride (with one connection) takes 4 hours, and Leigh can't ride a bus (2 hour trip) because of motion sickness, so we left early this morning and hit the road. One little problem was that our GPS only spoke Korean which sent us in a few circles. Another little problem was dense fog so needless to say our trip to Seoul ended up taking 4 hours and was stressful. We met up with the Han family, friends we hadn't seen for years, and they took us for a traditional Korean lunch - an education in plant and animal life never before seen by me on a dinner plate. After that we wandered around Itaewon, a trendy area of Seoul frequented by a melting pot of international residents and visitors. Fortunately the Korean GPS guided us home via a more direct route and only took about 2 hours.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mount Geumosan, Gumi, S.Korea

This morning we packed up Gideon and all of his attendant paraphenalia (which took awhile) and caught the 11:48am train to Gumi. It was a 45 minute trip through mostly agricultural countryside; rice fields, apple and persimmon orchards, dairy farms and towns of varying sizes.Mount Geumosan is a provincial park with hiking trails, temples, a fortress, and great fall color on the mountain.It was a long day, especially for Gideon and we arrived back in Sangju on the 4:50 train. Here are some pics taken along the way.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday I think ...

It's so funny when you're away and completely out of your routine. I don't even know what day it is most of the time - because it doesn't really matter. Anyway here are a couple of photos taken today - nothing exciting, just spending family time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ho Hum living in Sangju

Images: Harvested rice fields, shopping at the e-Mart, and taking a napThe pace is definitely slower - for me at least. Our days are dictated by Gideon's schedule which is predictable for the most part. He is a very good baby, and only fusses when hungry, windy, or dirty. So we shop at the local grocery stores, go for walks, or stay at home cooking, doing laundry, and for the last 24 hours watching the election news on the web.We have plans to get out and about a little more over the next few days and will spend a day in Seoul over the weekend - second largest city in the world.