Sea Blue Lens


Photo-Heart Connection: August

Coming Home

I think I’ve mentioned here before that when I left California in 1995, I never expected to call it home again. Yet here I am. Life is full of surprises.

There is much to criticize about Southern California. The smog. The excesses of Hollywood. The congested and crazy-making freeways. The explosive growth that has covered over mile after square mile of farmland and natural, open space with new subdivisions and shopping centers. And let’s not talk about politics, or the economy.

But . . . the sky is blue, the sun is warm, fruits and flowers grow in abundance, and there is much beauty to be found.

I took this photograph at the San Buenaventura Mission during my sister’s and my day trip to the coast a couple of weeks ago. This image speaks to my heart this month because it reminds me that there is much to appreciate about my new-old home state. It reminds me of things I had forgotten.

One of the things I loved about living in New England was the sense of history all around me. Visiting the mission and museum in Ventura reminded me that California has a rich history, too, and brought back to me how much I always loved the missions.

I love the architecture, the gardens, and the artifacts of lives lived long ago, in a simpler time. I know life was not easy or peaceful then, but I find a peace there now. This photo reminds me to open my eyes and heart, to step through the gate and seek the beauty hidden within.

Linking to Kat Eye Studio’s Photo-Heart Connection for August.


This Is My Life

It’s time for the next installment in the {In the Picture} self-portrait project. This month’s theme, optional as always, was “My Life, Right Now.” The idea was to capture a memory, an emotion or mood, something that would reflect our everyday life, right now.

Since I am retired now, I suppose you could say my whole life is a vacation. Nevertheless….

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I have been missing the easy access I had to the beach when I lived in Maine. A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I took a day trip to Ventura, where we had lunch, poked around the many second-hand shops on Main Street, visited the mission, and wrapped up the day by getting our feet all wet and sandy at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It might have been short, but it felt like a real vacation! I took a lot of photos, but these were the only ones with me in them. That middle one is SOOiP (straight out of the iPhone) and not very flattering, but who cares? It records the fun I was having and that’s what counts, right?

Window On My World

I will always remember this summer as the beginning of a new chapter in my life. In Maine, I worked full time and lived in a rented apartment that looked out over a river. Now I live in California, my time is my own, and my view is of chapparal and mountains.

Dreams Fulfilled

And…instead of an apartment, I live in a cottage that is mine to make exactly as I want it. I’d been considering the possibility of this move for over four years before it actually happened. During that time, I’d visited and had taken photos and measurements of the cottage. I drew up a floor plan to see where my furniture would fit. I’ve spent the last three months bringing that floor plan to life, and it’s turning out just the way I imagined it. As you can see, I”m enjoying the fruits of my labors. For me, this is the picture of retired contentment.

And that’s it for another month. This was a fun theme, and I can’t wait to see what Christy has in mind for us for September. I knew this would be a year of changes for me and I wanted to record it in self portraits. Having {In the Picture} to look forward to each month has helped to give me focus and keep me going when I might otherwise have given it up, and I’m grateful for that.

You can see what everyone’s been up to this month over at Urban Muser’s {In the Picture} linky party.


Repeating Myself

In this month’s Exploring With a Camera: Repetition, Kat Sloma presented an excellent tutorial on the various ways repetition can be used to enhance our photography. These can include repetition of object, shape, color, line, and light, as well as combinations of these and more.

As I read her explanation and viewed her examples, several of my own images came to mind immediately. It was interesting to look through my archives and more recent photos to see what part repetition plays in my photography.

Here are a few examples I found:

Resting at Reny’s

Danger – Work Ahead

Let’s Scoot!


Multiple Mugs


Spring Jewels


Three Birds

Four Birds

Mission San Buenaventura

Ventura Pier

I love Kat’s explorations. Each one is like a mini-photography class and I always learn something valuable. As I look at the photos above, I realize that I took each image precisely because of the repetition, even though I was often not consciously aware of it. I’ll definitely be thinking about it in the future.