When I am in London, I enjoy going to many of the tourist spots– like the British Museum. I am not sure many Londoners ever go there. There is a sarcophagus in the museum that is so beautiful– the first time I saw it, I was overcome. I began to cry. Seeing the Elgin Marbles was a profound experience for me. As was walking amidst the Assyrian and Egyptian statues. I took this photograph of a Buddha statue after spending many hours sketching and meditating with the Buddha. Seeing the photograph calms me even now.
A few years ago I took a photography class. I decided to do a photo shoot for a project for the class. Because it was Halloween, I asked participants to come, dress up in spooky attire, and allow me to take photographs of them. The afternoon and evening turned out to be rainy and so I set up in my basement a backdrop. The lighting I had available was not necessarily what I would have preferred. Many of the photographs were quite stunning and made striking by the harsh lighting provided by several Ott lights. I would like to do another photo shoot with a super heroes theme!
A couple years ago I visited New Orleans at the start of Mardi Gras. New Orleans is truly one of the great cities of the world! There is no place like it! I went on my own because I was researching material for a book and I just wanted a bit of fun. I ate beignets and drank coffee at the Cafe Du Monde. Ghost walking tours are readily available and I walked the streets with a guide telling me of all the haunts such as the LaLaurie House. I visited Marie LaVeau’s grave. Street music played on every corner. I watched the Mardi Gras parades and dodged handfuls of flung beads. This picture was from the Krewe of Cork’s parade as the Krewe was assembling to parade. It shows two Mardi Gras paraders in pink babydoll costumes, which is one category of traditional costumes.
Despite being an amateur photographer for a while now, I decided just recently to start sharing some of the photographs I shot over the last handful of years. For this reason, I offer this photo.
This photograph of three boys was taken in Paris in one of the squares near the Canal St. Martin. Paris is architecturally a beautiful city with many statues and inscriptions declaring liberty and equality. I loved how the lion was so strong and appeared to my eye to be protecting the boys while they played in the nearby fountain and climbed over the statues.
I like to look through a camera lens and discover what stories I can find.
The other morning I was driving my car over the bridge near my house and I looked towards the river. The sun hitting the water in the early morning caused steam to rise from the river. It looked beautiful. Mysterious. There are moments where all the chatter in my soul is stilled by just looking around at my surroundings. I am constantly mesmerized by the interplay of water and light. Snow, ice, steam, waves. All one substance depending on temperature. And there is nothing more playful in all of existence than light. It transforms. It is particle and wave. It illuminates, colors, casts shadows.
I went for a walk this morning to see the ice, snow, waves and steam of the river. This is a temporal thing. These pictures are only from this particularly frosty morning at a particular hour. They could not have happened in exactly the same way on another day. That reminder of being in the moment and overcome by the ecstasy of it centers me.
Over the weekend while I was at the World Science Fiction Convention, I ascended on the escalator to the fifth floor where the panel discussions were happening. I nervously watched the escalator’s teeth pull together and masticate the air in the gaps between the metal protrusions. I have an admitted irrational nervousness about escalators that was instilled in me by my great grandmother on trips to Hudson’s Department store when I was a small child. I don’t know if Grandma Miller actually ever had any kind of negative experience where the hem of her dress or an errant shoelace was pulled into the escalator jaws of death, but she made me very aware that such things could happen if one were not vigilant upon stepping off of escalators. So I was very absorbed when I hopped off the escalator and at first did not notice that a photo screen and lights had been set up in the corridor of the Palais de Congress. When I did happen to shake off my anxiety over toothy escalators and look up– there was the photographer set up.
I have been photographed a great deal in my life. When I was a younger woman, I was an artists’ model. Most of those experiences were very positive and a few were not. I asked someone passing who was taking photographs and why. The person I asked said that it was Neil Gaiman’s photographer and that he was taking photographs of convention goers. I asked what the photographs were to be used for. The person shrugged and walked on. This made me vaguely nervous and I by passed the photographer.
Later that evening I had the delightful experience of meeting a soft spoken man named Kyle Cassidy. He was the photographer who had set up in the Palais de Congress’ corridor.
I asked him about the photographs he was taking in the corridor of convention goers and what he planned to do with the photos. He told me that he was taking a large number of photos of various people and would be picking 30 for a project. He began to show me the portraits he had taken.
They were beautiful. He captured the warmth and beauty of the people whose photographs he had taken. He took his time and worked with many of the convention goers who were exceptionally nervous about having their photo taken. Over the sequence of three or five or seven photographs his subjects gradually became less and less nervous and slowly their selves emerged. I remember what is now many days after several of the photographs because they made such a strong impression on me. There was one of a young woman with red hair that glowed with highlights. Another of a corpulent older man with fragile rosie coloring and a brilliant smile. Yet another of a thin aging man with a grey beard like smoke and piercing eyes that seemed to to see into the impenetrable depths.
I am always in a type of awe of brilliant photographers who have the ability to not merely capture the reality of their subjects, but are also capable of sensitively seeing into the essence of their subjects and giving them life.