Letters to My Children – July 2018

 

Dear Ariya,

The countdown is on….for beach week!  It’s our annual beach trip with the cousins!  Your Grandma, Auntie Anjuanette, Uncle Kashiff, Uncle Eric, Mekhai and Jayden were with us for most of the week and it was glorious.  It rained…alot.  But there were pockets of time when the sun was shining, and we would race to the beach.  We did spend the day at the aquarium.

The waves were fun.  You tried boogie boarding for the first time and you loved it.  You were so sad that we didn’t have our own boogie board.  I think next year, we know what we’ll need to bring to the beach.

Mekhai introduced us to youtube kids, and you were hooked.  What is up with the obsession of watching OTHER kids play with their toys?  It just boggles my mind.  But you loved it.  Watching the tablet, watching youtube kids, was an addiction.  When we came back home, we had to wean you off of it, because wow, did it put you in a cranky mood.  20 minutes of tablet time was never enough.  You wanted more more more.

 

Dear Asha,

We spent a lot of time at the pool.  You watched Ariya and followed her lead.  You started taking a deep breath, putting your head under water, kicking.  I had to sign you up for swim lessons, because you were getting it.  You wanted to jump off the diving board after Ariya (with your noodle, of course).

The beach was great.  you loved playing with the sand….a  little too much, if you ask me.  You would eat it.  I don’t know what the big deal was with sand, but you wanted to eat it.  Drove Daddy and me crazy, but you loved eating sand.  You were a huge fan of the water and the waves.  Spending time with Grandma, your auntie, uncles and cousins were great too.  You got to stay up late, and sleep in.  There was a bunk bed and you always wanted to sleep up top.  But Daddy and I thought you were maybe a bit too young to sleep up top by yourself.  You were not happy about that, but you did love sleeping with Mommy in the king size bed.  Poor Daddy had to sleep with Ariya because she didn’t want to sleep by herself.  Maybe next year, you two will be able to sleep in the same room together.

 

Next month will be the last bit of summer before kindergarten starts for Ariya and pre-school starts for Asha.  Let’s soak it all in.

 

The Film & Roots Workshop Review Part 2

A few weeks ago, I had written Part 1 Review of the Film & Roots Workshop here.  For the afternoon session, we did a family session.  I decided to try some B&W film and used Kodak Tri-X 400.  I’ve never shot black and white film before, and this experience was interesting.  There were some situations where I was like “oh man, I wish I had color film to capture this really neat sun flare”.  But it was cool to see how the shadows and contrast translated in the film.  I underexposed quite a few frames, but hey, this was my first time, so I give myself a pass.  Anyway, if you want to find out more about this workshop, click here.  Without further ado, here are my favorite shots from this session.

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The Film & Roots Workshop Review Part 1

I’ve always loved capturing moments.  First with a point and shoot olympus film camera in high school, and then on to a Nikon dslr.  As I’ve reflected on my personal journey of photography, I’ve always found an appeal with film photography.  The fear of loading the film correctly, not knowing whether I got the shot or what it will look like, the anticipation as I send my roll in to be developed, receiving the prints or scans and reliving that day.  It’s a great feeling.  As I’m learning more and more about photography and editing, I long for a simpler time, where I don’t have to spend as much time in front of the laptop, staring at a photo, trying to get it right.

Some time last year, I “met” Jennifer Warthan through Facebook, on one of the film Facebook groups.  I’ve always loved her work, and when I saw that she was offering a workshop, I jumped at the chance!  I won a Nikon F100 off ebay and shot a roll of film, playing around with the settings.  I still need to send that in to be developed,  I had no idea what I was doing!  Thank goodness for Jennifer!

The workshop was amazing.  It was from 10am – 6pm, set in the beautiful peanut country of Waverly VA, at Jennifer’s cottage.  There were 2 other lovely ladies in the workshop along with me, so it was nice and intimate.  Jennifer provided breakfast, lunch and snacks, refreshments, and we had everything we need to feel right at home.  But I was anxious to jump in.  As soon as we entered the cottage, there was a table FULL of different film cameras and film stock.  And I was drooling.  Just 2 days after attending the workshop, I’m already searching for a medium format camera.  Jennifer went through the difference between 35mm and medium format cameras, and then moved on to the different film stocks out there.  She had an easy way of explaining how to apply the exposure triangle to film.  It was hard not to trust my camera sensor and to let go.

Shortly after our discussion, our sweet model Ally came.  She was the perfect model, up for anything.  I already had Kodak Ultramax 400 loaded in my Nikon f100, so I used that roll for part of the session.  Then, as we moved outdoors into the full sun, I switched to Kodak Ektar 100.  And throughout the morning session, every time I took a picture, I would look at the back of the camera to see how it came through.  The anticipation was killing me.  However, shooting film did cause me to slow down, really think about what I wanted to shoot, carefully compose and then go for it.

After our morning session, we broke for lunch.  Jennifer showed us how to develop our film, which was pretty cool stuff.  Not sure if I trust myself to develop my own film just yet, but it was neat to know that I could if I wanted to.  She then scanned our film rolls using her Pakon scanner.  It was amazing seeing some of the shots that we took.  It really was like Christmas, the anticipation, not knowing if any pictures came out ok. There were definitely more than a few keepers.  The colors were amazing!  The detail in the sky came through.  Honestly, I did not have to do much for post processing.  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

These are Kodak Ultramax 400.

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These are Kodak Ektar 100

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Watching the pro in action

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We shot a family session for the afternoon.  I thought I’d try a black and white film stock, Tri-X 400, I believe.  I hope they turned out ok,  I still need to send it in to be scanned.  I’ll keep you posted!

If you’re in or around the Waverly, VA area, you have got to check this workshop out!  You can find more info here.  You won’t regret it!