Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gawd Its been a while!

Am LOVING THIS! Look how thin I was in 1993. I'd been shooting in my dining room and printing in the darkroom, when Jessica and I finally sat down and said, "Why don't I run the Sarber's Studio?
Sarbers Camera with Peter Sarber (yes I am dating myself) then his son David and wife Jess, has been an integral part of my professional life from the start.
I took workshops there in the KC days.
They are a total resourse for learning, community and supplies.

After a few years I bought the Studio Space and continued to work with them.

Just down the street from me, this priceless couple adheres to the shop local model that we call normal in Montclair.
I really hate it when people come in there to
check out a camera and then buy it on line, but Dave brushes it off. "These are my people, I want to service them". Mostly what he is doing is
create a strong village of photographic enthusiasts. Like his daddy before him, he is all about the relationship. The classes they are offering right now are top notch.

I featured Dave in my book, My Town Montclair
because he is my village and my home. He has been so good to me; showing me that YES you can have a business, you silly twit! He might possibly be responsible for teaching me, not only how to work as a photographer, but how to take on the village restorative project in my spare time....... more on that later

Our Town, our people are a very good thing. and thee is much on the horizon.

Stay in touch here and with the Collective

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Awesome Town

The continuing saga of me combing the village and lands around for interesting folks. I am energized every single friggin day by how great my homeys are, and what has it been? Twenty three years and I still alight new relationships with little more than a smile.

Yesterday I went to meet Jeannie who is farmsteading down off Thornhill. She claims her house was built in 19 gosh was it 24?

I have done all of the research on Montclair history and never heard about this farm. We know about Hayes, The Dingee Estate and Meadeau, but this place is a total NUGGET of history. When I walked in I felt the souls of a LONG time ago. It was, as a Montclair fanatic, a very HEADY experience.

So Jeannie, who is a music teacher for elementary school kids at Windthrust is doing very cool things at her house

She has chickens that are making her eggs and she has goats that are making milk for her cheese
She is making cheese for her own consumption that is totally amazing.

She is making Elderflower Soda and this amazing butter with sugar and goats milk reduced to a honey like pulp.

I plan to attend her Cheese y Yoga day on July 9th to learn more about her and her lovely style.

She just showed up out of the blue..........
and how wonderful she is!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Village life

Very nice day today.... well I guess we don't need to mention THAT again..... that we live in what feels like Rio De Janiero with sweeping views, balmy gentle winds and glorious people.... that we eat cheese and have dogs, talk progressively with one another and.... bla bla bla.. I had three friends call about garden cues today, what to put in, how to irrigate etc.. even the amazingly busy Peggy Orenstein apparently spent today in le jardin betwix her world travels. Go Peggy! I am personally pushing for dinner plate dahlias, zinnias and rubra lillies. If anyone needs help with thier garden, please call, and please, please, take the time to do the work. I am hoping to initiate what I call a "garden Groovy" where we do this stuff together.

I went to the farmers market and gathered a mountain of food for Tuesdays LAST TEST RUN of Market babies; a fundraiser for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. We are making a calendar, but not of naked ladies, rathersweet precious babies. I have a lot of strawberries right now.... not to mention chard, bread, rhubarb, artichokes, potatoes, BIG breads etc.. Stay tuned. By Thursday I should have some images posted of our six newborns in these awesome sets created by the fab Victoria Cullen. I can't wait to spend the day with new friends fresh from the Milky Way. It will be a win/win as we allow new mothers to get aquainted and work toward our fundraiser for hungry folk in our town. Hungry? Disgusting!

I then went to Great Good Place for Books and listened to Gayle Foreman read from her books, If I Stay and Where I Went. There were a hundred people there, steadfast fans and I came home with an autographed book for Alice, 17 tanning on the balcony who said, "MOM!!!! I have totally read these. Where have you been?" Apparently not in the right place.....She reads like a beaver chews wood, and when she gets her summer job down there at the bookstore I will feel like president Lincolns folks....... dumb..... yet proud.

I am however, good with a camera, and I love my village. I love my peeps. I love this life on the hill.

And this camera's gonna make a difference. Darn it!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love Squared

This Friday will be poignant and wonderful at Uptown motors. A friend told me she was working with a charity, AASK (adopt a special kid) and I said, "Ina help!!!!" (toddler lingo for I want to or I want a)

I volunteered to shoot three families that had adopted a special kid. I hadn't foreseen how joyful it would be. Just a wee sampling.

John and Dennis are wonderful parents to Issac, Brian and Chris. Three brothers they adopted five years ago. Wow! Such lovely kids, and is that alot of men in one house, or what? Friday we are having a benefit to raise money to help support and organize cool things like this

Here we have Martin and Allison who were blessed with Havanna and Harvey. Just adorable!

Marilee and Emelio are just two peas in a pod.
A single gal who simply knew what she wanted and went out there and found love.... a two way street. The whole experience makes me feel warm inside.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beautiful, Inside and Out

That'd be Christa Pfeiffer

A truly, "full of light" woman.

When I heard her sing, a whole new door of my heart opened.

Her classical voice is a sculpted work of art. I tell ya, she shames a dinner plate dahlia.

It is worth the trip to spend an evening to hear her sing. Her site has a calendar, as well as some samlings of her music. Check her out

I make a very good date, should anyone wish to join me at one of her gigs....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We shall call him wonderful

He has arrived, and I have never had a tool that is a male but here he be. I have named him after my father because dad cherished his equipment and I him for giving me my first camera. In scanning through images of us as kids, we sometimes had a toy in our busy hands..... a light meter. An insurance salesman by trade, he loved light and the cutting edge gadgets that were invented to capture it. He played with pin-holes as a child, invented an imaging machine that he sent to Eastman Kodak at age 9. He bought everything that came out, Brownies, Leica's, Poloroids, movie camera's, Olympus' and Nikons.
The countless carousels of organized slides he left for us to enjoy were his gift..... Slideshows of his heart, my passion. It is no wonder at all why I do what I do.

Thanks Dad. You live on forever.

Alice and I went to Looking Glass in Berkeley for our adventure. I have been working along side this place for ever. It's a place I used to go to to get my supplies for printing.

If I had a nickel for everyone of these I bought........

I showed Alice the dark room where I used to spend countless hours handmaking hundreds of prints for my clients. This had been my favorite enlarger.
I can remember christmas card orders of 100 5x7's, which I made individually. Isn't that a riot? The smell of the developer made me dizzy with delight.

they have a huge collection of old gear (not that I don't) that just made me swoon with old memories. When Grandpa was filming Alaska in the thirties he would mail his film to Eastman Kodak on Battery Street in San Francisco for development. I still have those boxes.

Since Alice's gear was also stolen, she needed a replacement as well. She didn't want another SLR, since she can use the school's gear any time. ( The light of my life is in AP advanced digital photography 4 :) She wanted a super high end fixed lens that she can take on safari, to concerts and carry easily. She landed this Nikon P7000. A super fast, ten M with a 7.1 zoom, light capability to 6400, shoots RAW and has hi def movie capability. WTF? Dad is now trying to sit up in his grave.

I went for the D700. I now have a full frame sensor, light to 6400 and a very similar handling capability as my D2x yet it's considerably lighter, cause I ain't getting any younger! I popped on a motor to beef it up a bit and I slide the battery in there. Since I got a deal on lenses if I bought them as a package I went all out.

Got the 24-70 2.8 for portraiture, which was what I had but this has MUCH better optics than my previous lens and is faster. I named her Dorothea, for Ms. Lange who did such fine work in the 30s of the
immigrant farm workers to illustrate what was going on. Dorothea died swearing she "was not an artist" as Ansel kept telling her, "but a documenter." What EVER! Lets just call her GREAT, shall we?

Got the 70-200VR 2.8 for long distance day in the life. This one works well in the park. The long focal length allows for lovely edge blur. This one shall be named Henri after Cartier Bresson who said in a delicious French accent "Fuck the focus! Get the shot!" He was a lovely man with a lovely Leica.

Then, and now we need the violins, cause this matters a whole heck of alot to me. I got a 16-
35Vr F4. Yes, that is not a typo. SIX-FRIGGIN-TEEN. And for those that don't know what that means, it means WIDE! I can see everything and it also means that my dream of publishing the My Town Montclair book is now within my reach. I cried when I looked through this lens. Just sat down and cried like a baby. There is only one suitable name for this beauty and that is Bill, and Im gonna send a link to him cause he's still alive. Bill Owens did a stunningly gritty comical look at Livermore in the 70's. Two of his pieces hang in my house. He shot with a veriwide. I love you Bill!

And here's the Dude that made me ten thousand dollars poorer but a million times richer. His name is Brian and he really knows his stuff. DON'T BUY YOUR STUFF ONLINE. Camera stores are the salt of the earth and we need them to stay

All in all a very emotional day for a mother daughter imaging team. We'll both remember it forever. : )