SuperDewa Photography

Welcome

I am new to blogging, so bear with me as I learn what the heck I'm doing. Until I am fully comfortable here, you will continue to find me and my photos more often on my flickr stream. Feel free to look around, leave comments, and ask me any questions. I'm open to suggestions if you play nice!

Coming Soon!

Details on buying prints and/or hiring me are in the works. In the meantime, if you would like to buy a print of one my photos or hire me to take photographs, please send me an e-mail.

Monday, August 1, 2011

it’s been too long…

…so I’ll just jump right in with some family photos.  If I don’t deal with family photos immediately, they don’t get dealt with. I had to force myself not to spend too much time post processing these and just get them up.
This weekend I had the rare experience of getting to spend time with all my siblings at once. This only happens once every few years, as we’ve been a bit spread out. I have a feeling it will happen more often now as we are, at least for the time-being, all on the East Coast now.
As exciting as it was to see my family, getting to meet The Philly Lily, my sister and her boyfriend’s new dog, was certainly the highlight. Diana and Matt gave Lily her first bath at my parents’ house:
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My girls had a party to go to after the bath, so we had dinner without them. My Mom served a lovely meal out on the lawn. Despite my being “the photographer,” I forgot my tripod so didn’t get a photo of us altogether. I didn’t even get a photo of one of my brothers. Lame, I know. Here are my Dad, Mom, sister, one of my brothers, and my sister’s fabulous boyfriend.
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I’m way behind on my Picture Inspiration photos. I’m trying to catch up with some other stuff – getting my Getty images sorted out and uploaded, for example, and pulling photos together for some other projects.
Leaving you with one last photo of Miss Lily:
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Next, maybe I'll manage to get some photos from our trip to Philly up (in honor of Lily?).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Two

Tracey Clark, our guide through Picture Inspiration and all the other Picture ___ classes, likes pairs. She likes them so much she made them a project and put a slideshow together. Her photos are honest and ordinary and beautiful, and they actually make a me a little teary (those toothbrushes!!!), but me? I don’t tend to see in pairs. I see in ones and threes and larger groups. One of the Picture Spring prompts asked us to look for pairs. I had a hard time last year, and I just skipped over it this year. So I groaned when I saw that this week’s Picture Inspiration prompt was “coupling.” I really want to get through this whole year. I don’t mind getting an entry in late, but I want to do each of them, and this was going to be hard.
But I managed to find something, and only a few days into the week, and I’m actually a little excited about it because I think I might actually have the start of a series of my own here.
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I saw them at an estate sale on Saturday, and they instantly reminded me of this favorite photo of mine, that I took back in April at our doctor’s office:
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The yellow estate chairs even cried out for a similar processing to the doctor’s office chairs (using CaraRose Presets).
The yellow chairs bring me back to kitchens of my childhood, and the color reminds me of my grandparents’ gold Chevy.
Now my mind is working – a series of chairs – ideally a series of vinyl chairs processed in a filmy style – what if I even started shooting some in film? I don’t know how often I’ll find these, but I’ll be keeping my eyes open for them from now on. I think I can do this pair thing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Farmer’s Market

I’ve fallen behind in blogging (see below), so I’m starting fresh. Here is last week’s Picture Inspiration assignment (week 14: double vision):
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Have you ever seen a more beautiful head of lettuce? I fell in love with the bunch, and took the one on the right home (in the photo on the left, it’s in the back on the right). It made a lovely salad. I am so happy to be eating fresh local vegetables again!
Why haven’t I posted in over a month?
I actually think that as much as I love how assigments challenge me and keep me on my game, I’m in over my head with them right now. There’s Picture Inspiration (weekly) plus I did much of Picture Spring in May, and now I’m doing Picture Color, and while all this is going on I’m trying to get photos ready for Getty Images, which is pretty awesome, of course, but it’s taking some time. And I have a few gallery possibilities to think about (exciting, but I’m overwhelmed), and I’m also trying to start an online shop (probably at fineartamerica.com). Then there’s the rest of my life… eek! I'm having a hard time getting just one thing done.
I think I’m going to enforce less photo posting in July. I’m thinking of posting to flickr two or three times a week, no more, and hopefully I’ll have more energy to post here. I have no idea how people who work full time and and/or have young children manage photography and online sharing as well. 
Speaking of trying to manage one’s time, my friend Holly posted a great link on facebook today:  How to Browse Flickr Like a Pro

Thursday, May 5, 2011

International No Diet Day

    I Pledge:
  • That I will not diet for one day, on May 6, International No Diet Day.
  • Instead of trying to change my body to fit someone else's standards, I will accept myself just as I am.
  • I will feed myself if I'm hungry.
  • I will feel no shame or guilt about my size or about eating.
  • I will think about whether dieting has improved my health and well-being or not.
  • And I will try to do at least one thing I have been putting off "until I lose weight."
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Dieting is something I think about a lot these days. I have a loved one with a severe eating disorder. When I see what she is going through, I want to ban diets and any thoughts of weight loss from this world. But I am conflicted, because I have fallen into the obese (or more) category on any medical chart for nearly ten years, and I have not been happy with myself. Most of the weight came on post children and post moving to the country from NYC (living here has slowed me down significantly). I have taken it for granted that I am fat and that I need to lose weight and that there is something wrong with me for not being able to lose weight. I’ve tried dieting. I’ve been on weight watchers. I’ve counted calories. I lose weight, and then I gain it all back plus more. While dieting, I become obsessed with food and numbers. Thankfully I recognized that tendency in myself and was able to stop each time without it turning into a disorder. I will never do weight watchers or count calories again, because I see how close that mindset is to the mindset of someone with an eating disorder. Some people can do these things without it getting out of hand, but I feel like I’m at risk.
It’s quite possible I would never have started my steady rise upward on the scale if I had never started in the beginning. I really have no idea. And I don’t really know what to do about it now. Perhaps taking for granted that where I am now isn’t healthy is what needs to change. I eat well. I am relatively active. I get clean bills of health from the doctor. Why not learn to be happy where I am and stop letting worrying about my weight affect my life?
The last line in the International No Diet Day pledge struck a chord with me. What have I been putting off until I lose weight? I never thought that through before, but I realize I’ve been putting off a lot. I have put off seeing myself as beautiful. I shrink from certain things because I am afraid of how people will see me. I see myself as worth less. I give up on doing things that are good and healthy for me because I think “what’s the point”? These are big things, and I need to work through them.
One smaller thing I have put off is taking a full-body self-portrait of myself. It’s can be hard to see myself that way, and because most of the people who see my photography are friends I’ve made or reacquainted myself with through the internet, I’ve deluded myself into thinking I can present a different and better side of myself by hiding certain things.  So I decided the full-body portrait was how I would honor the last line of the INDD pledge. I took my camera to a local orchard where I knew I would have some privacy and gave myself what I am coming to look at as a gift. I know I’m off in the distance here, but it’s a big start toward presenting myself as I am. I hope this is the beginning of my loving myself more and showing myself more respect.
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What have YOU been putting off until you lose weight or until some other obstacle in your life changes? If you care to share with a photo, I’ve started a flickr group for International No Diet Day. I welcome you to join.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sisters

We've been through a lot this past year, and sadly it's not stuff I can talk about openly and not the kind of stuff one can EVER say good things have come out of. There is no silver lining.

However, even in the worst of circumstances there is always something positive to focus on and always something to be grateful for. This is probably the inspiration behind most of my photography. One of the positive things this past year has been my daughters' relationship. They have always been close, and they have always felt comfortable with each other even when they weren't able to feel comfortable elsewhere. In the lead-up to our crisis, their relationship suffered, and it was hard to watch. But now, as we are trying to heal, their relationship has blossomed once again.

My younger daughter has a school assignment to create a doll representing a part of her ethnic background. My daughter has chosen to create an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish doll (from my father's side of the family). Most of the students are drawing their dolls on paper, but my daughter wants hers to be special, so she is sewing hers. Thing is -- sewing doesn't come so easily for her, and this is where her sister stepped in. Her sister made a point of coming straight home from school yesterday so she could help plan, cut out, and sew the doll.

sisters

I hope to get a photo of the doll when it is finished.

I find myself often converting to black and white for indoor shots. Sometimes the indoor colors can be a distraction from the meaning of the photo.

This past week's Picture Inspiration theme was Observation Mode, and we were supposed to take shots with a documentary feel. The photo on the left is my entry for the week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eggs and Randomness

This past week's Picture Inspiration prompt was to bring our camera everywhere so that when something random and wonderful popped up, we'd be ready. This was hard for me because I already take my camera everywhere with me, and most of what I shoot is actually totally random. So I had to look harder for something that said random to me. More on that at the end of the post.

Yesterday our friends came over to dye Easter eggs with us. We (actually S) blew out the eggs the day before and used the eggs to make matzoh brei for lunch, because we do elements of both Easter and Passover. I love mixing the two traditions like this.

We used Ukrainian egg dying tools and dyes, not because any of us hails from the Ukraine, but because they are a lot more interesting than food coloring or drug store dyes. If one is making true pysanky, one uses raw eggs and goes through an elaborate process of turning them for months to keep them from going bad, but we blew ours out first.

This type of egg dying involves scraping beeswax into kistkas, melting the wax over a candle flame, and then using the kistka to draw designs with it on the egg. After drawing a design, one dyes the egg and then adds another color of dye. I was going to say it's harder than it sounds, but I'm realizing it doesn't sound that easy. I find it very difficult and can't imagine being able to get the intricate designs of traditional pysanky.

easter egg dying blog boards

As you can see, the candle flames add a lovely atmosphere to the dying process.

Here are some of our finished eggs (mostly one of my daughter's):

easter egg dying blog boards

We will thread these like ornaments and hang them on forsythia branches, which aren't quite blooming here yet but will be at my in-laws, where we celebrate Easter.

Oh, and about the total randomness I needed for Picture Inspiration -- I thought our kitchen table looked pretty random after the egg dying.

totally random

I want to say thank you to our friends for coming and helping and making this such an enjoyable day. And I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday, whatever way you celebrate.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mortal Muses: happy memories

I'm guest musing for Muse Mosey on the Mortal Muses blog today. Please come pay a visit!

Mortal Muses: happy memories: "Many thanks to Muse Mosey for asking me to guest post today. The concept of repeating patterns is little out of my comfort zone, and I enjo..."

the shape of surprise

It's time for another round of Picture Inspiration. This week's prompt was "The Shape of Surprise," or to take a photo of something interesting, perhaps a shape, in a reflection. Unlike in last week's prompt, this week we were asked to pay attention to the reflection itself -- whether the item being reflected is actually in the photo is not as important.

I noticed my kitchen faucet reflected on my wet counter and thought it fit the prompt well.  Please notice and admire that I did not crop or photoshop out the flaws in my sink, the raggedy dishcloths, or the bit of rust underneath the breadbox to the right. That's the surprise -- I know how to use my camera and my software to make my world look prettier, neater, and cleaner than it is, and I use those tools often, but I resisted them here. This is my messy kitchen. Surprise!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

seeing double

four eyes

This past week's Picture Imagination assignment was Seeing Double. Tracey wasn't looking for a self-portrait, but I figured it was about time. I try to take self-portraits ever few weeks.

Self-portraits are hard for so many reasons. First, they are a challenge to take -- taking a photo without being able to look in the viewfinder is always hard, whether you're holding the camera out, using a tripod and remote, or doing the "10-second dash" (using the timer and running into the photo). Second, I know very few women who are fully content with how they look, and I am no different. I can come up with all sorts of excuses as to why today isn't a good day for a self-portrait, but I don't think there's ever a good day, so I just have to do it. It's extra hard when you have children with their own self-esteem issues and you want to present a happy-with-yourself front to them.

That's a big reason why I do self-portraits -- to present that happy-with-myself front to my children and also to myself. I'm hoping it's infectious. And since I tend to be the one behind the camera most of the time and run away from other cameras, I want to make sure there are a few photos of me for posterity's sake.

This wasn't actually the photo I intended to take. I wanted to get more of me, and I had an idea of how it would look. But I got this first and I liked all the eyes. I bumped up the contrast in the reflection significantly to bring out the reflection. And I resisted my usually-present urge to warm it up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

finding my own rhythm

Interesting that the last post I put up here was about finding rhythm, because I clearly haven't yet learned to add this blog to the rhythm of my life. Between flickr and facebook and family and work, I have so many communication and creative outlets, and figuring out how to make this blog meaningful and how to fit it into my weekly schedule is a little daunting. Those of you who blog regularly, perhaps you can help me out. If you have a few things to write about on one day (perhaps because you missed a few, like me), do you fit things into one post or would you actually create a few different posts on the same day to separate your ideas?

I'm going to start here by updating my Picture Inspiration progress, and see where that takes me. I'll save this past week's assignment for it's own post, because I have some thoughts to share.

Working backwards, because that's how it would be if I'd actually kept things up-to-date:

Two weeks ago, our assignment was "to infinity and beyond." Exploring linear perspective is actually one of my favorite things to do with my camera. As far back as I can remember, I've been fascinated by vanishing points in art. My younger daughter is following in those footsteps -- lately she's been drawing roads vanishing into nowhere and talking about the metaphorical side of this. I can't get over the fact that before the Renaissance, noone could conceive of drawing landscapes in perspective, and now even a child can do it.

Tracey used a fence as an example. I participate in the Fence Friday group over on Flickr, where I've shared photos of fences with vanishing points many times over.



















So for this assignment I wanted something a little different. It was surprisingly difficult to think beyond the fence for me, but on an evening walk with my husband I found these railroad ties basking in the sunset, and they seemed the perfect subject:
infinite

The previous week's prompt was "how things stack up." She asked us to photograph stacked objects. She was hoping we'd stack something ourselves and photograph that. I tried -- really, I did. I stacked bowls, I stacked books, I stacked candy... But I wasn't happy with any of those photos and preferred this springy photo of trays ready for seedlings at our friends' farm:

stacks

Okay, I've really missed a while, haven't I -- I have to go back one more week to catch up.

The theme for the third week of Picture Inspiration was Motif, a spin off the previous week's "rhythm" theme. Now I'm aware that the definition of motif in visual arts is "a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration"and that one might usually look for a graphic pattern, such as one might find on fabric, but I was having a rough week emotionally and decided to squeeze a another photo I'd taken into the definition. This one has repeating lines, and leaves and ripples.

pool of tears

Okay, mostly caught up. This past week's assignment will go in its own post.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rhythm

The assignment for Week 2 of Picture Inspiration was Finding a Little Rhythm.

I have learned recently that I am a literal thinker. And that makes assignments like this both challenging and fun for me. To me, rhythm is a pattern in sound, and translating that visually was difficult. It was interesting asking other people what they thought vision looked like, because apparently rhythm is not so difficult for others to see. My Mom sees rhythm everywhere.

I ended up going with three different interpretations. Since this is a weekly class, I feel entitled to three entrees.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So, let's try this.

I've been considering giving blogging another try (I've tried a few times in the past but never got very far), and figured now was the time because I am beginning a year-long photography workshop/class with Tracey Clark over at Big Picture Classes. The class is called Picture Inspiration, and it's a spinoff of some other wonderful but shorter classes Tracey's given there and I've had the good fortune to take in the past year. There is still time to join the class, if it interests you. Seems to me that blogging what I do for that class each week will at the very least have me blogging once a week, so it's a perfect way to start. And ideally I'll blog more often than that. I've had things I've wanted to share that don't really fit the flickr or facebook formats.

So on to the Picture Inspiration assignment of the week (Week 1). Tracey asked us to share a self-portrait. I've taken a number of self-portraits over the past year and I find that sometimes they are easier than others. Right now is not one of those times. I am having trouble being happy for the camera, and there's more going on that makes whole dealing with my self-image thing confusing. I tried to hide behind blur and bokeh and creativity, but I finally went with a simple self-portrait, setting my camera across the table from me.

About Me

photos and life