Archives for the month of: November, 2009
It rained lightly last night as we slept, fitfully tossing about in bed due to over-full bellies and heads full of fun from Thanksgiving Dinner. A fine time to walk this morning, the air soft and moist, clouds overhead, colors looking saturated and rich. 

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A woman I know from the neighborhood stopped as I sat sipping my morning coffee in front of the cafe. “Aren’t you cold?” she said. “No, not at all. It’s too beautiful out today to sit inside, particularly after yesterday’s fest with friends. How was your holiday?” And with that we chatted for ten minutes, enjoying stories of Thanksgiving Days past. 

I left a little bit later, passing by another friend’s house on the way home. She was there at the kitchen table in the window, along with her friend who helps take care of her husband. She waved me over. More family, stories of the the feast, stories of pranks. Others on their morning walks joined us … half in the house, half outside on the porch. A patrol car driving through flashed his lights, we all waved, he waved back and I was handed a big mug of coffee to give him. 

I walked on, the quiet light still glowing long past the time on a clear day it would have been to harsh to make a photograph. And this red arc of leaves presented itself for my enjoyment. 

Like another time, in a mind far far away: sometimes the neighborhood is just as it always was. 

It’s good to see that there is such strength all around us.
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The gingko trees are turning golden, quickly, and they are beginning to shed. Morning sunrise creeps through their soon to be denuded branches again. The air is cold, breath frosts in front of me as I walk, my hood keeps my ears warm but my nose is icy.

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Too cold to sit outdoors this morning, my coffee gets cold too quickly. But it gave me the opportunity to chat with a few other regulars in the cafe, hear what people have planned for their holidays tomorrow. And make a few photos indoors. 

The Tao te Ching visited me again this morning: 

Verse 4

Tao is empty
yet it fills every vessel with endless supply 
Tao is hidden
yet it shines in every corner of the universe

With it, the sharp edges become smooth
the twisted knots loosen
the sun is softened by a cloud
the dust settles into place

So deep, so pure, so still
It has been this way forever
You may ask, “Whose child is it?” –
but I cannot say
This child was here before the Great Ancestor.

Funny book. I was thinking of tomorrow, of the turn of the year coming, of friends past and present on holidays like this one. It leads me to think of eternity.

Have a great Thanksgiving Day, all ye Americans around the world!
And have a great Day for all ye others!
The weather’s been cold. Very cold indeed at dawn when my walk begins. I shuffle, stumble a little bit sometimes if I’m not fully awake yet. Had to wear gloves this week. But I will not stop walking, such amazing things appear to me on this three-quarters of a mile walk.

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She was out there again that morning, the woman who sleeps in nooks and crannys, by fences of houses in the neighborhood. Every day I see her, almost always down the block pushing a basket of her belongings. I wonder: where is she sleeping in this cold night and morning air? 

I watch the pavement as it passes under my feet. Again, things appear unbidden as I listen to a lecture on Zen Buddhism. I try to capture them, hold them in a brief moment of time and perception, let them expand to an infinity of Present. 

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A little book I found at the used bookstore the other day. Had to have it. ZEN in the Art of the Photograph by Robert Leverant. 

“When we are taking a picture, we are taking a picture.”

Keep walking.
As the Fall continues in its arc to Year’s End and slowly migrates into the holidays and Winter, I find myself becoming more and more meditative and silent. I seek quiet and simplicity, I read books that draw me into thought and away from the world. 

A walk the other day as early evening fell and I came on a sidewalk cafe, all tables ready to serve but empty due to the chill in the air. This composition of spice shakers on a table fit my mood perfectly. Their monochromatic simplicity and the subtle textures lingered in my mind for several hours.

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In the meantime, it has been a couple of weeks of intense business and work. I delivered my fourth workshop (this time on using Lightroom) at the Media Center a weekend ago. Another fine classroom of participants, I truly enjoyed the experience of working with them all. The Media Center folks have been very supportive of these efforts; they have given me the opportunity to offer more workshops in December and January. I’ll put a list down at the bottom of this post. 

The other intense work has been that I signed up for and am taking a workshop on Studio Production for television. Amazing fun, it is a kick to work in a crew environment. As photographers, we spend much of our time in solitary pursuit of our vision … not so in the video and film industry. I’m enjoying it very much indeed, and will likely also try to get into the Field Production workshop next month, if I can find the time. What I’ll do with these new skills is unknown at present, but the joy of doing has a powerful way of getting me involved with new projects and ideas. 

As I wrote this, J.R.R. Tolkien came to mind …

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say. …”

Seems to nail my mood exactly right now. 

On to following the Fall and another walk on this chill Sunday eve. 

Upcoming Photography Workshops at the Media Center: 

December 10-11 :: Photoshop for Photographers: A Simple Approach
January 9-10 :: Lightroom: Starting In The Middle
January 23-24 :: Creating B&W Photographs: A Digital Approach

Offered at the Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, California, USA
For more information and registration see the website – http://www.midpenmedia.org/ – or write me directly. 
Looking through the Trolley Dance 2009 shoot from a couple of weekends back, I find my photos tended to circle around groups of two and three images at a time: they fall naturally into triptych and diptych presentations. This was a fine dance, and interplay of two women and an organ grinder, in very expressive form around the Balboa Park pool house. Wonderful music, marvelous expressions! 

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I must do more of these. 

It’s been very busy since I posted last. Two weeks between workshop offerings cuts into available time. I still have seats available for this weekend’s Lightroom workshop … here’s what’s coming up. 

UPCOMING CLASS OFFERINGS AT THE MEDIA CENTER 

Adobe Lightroom: Starting In The Middle
SEATS STILL AVAILABLE… 
Instructor is Godfrey DiGiorgi.
A small class focused on your needs and questions. 

A two-session workshop for photographers interested to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom. No prerequisites, some familiarity with Photoshop and image processing workflow is helpful. Students are welcome to bring a library of their own work, either on external hard drive or laptop.

Learn how to transition your work from Photoshop into Lightroom, or start from scratch with Lightroom as the principal tool for your image processing workflow. Explore how to organize your work in order to use the Lightroom Library, Import and image processing tools efficiently. Learn how to integrate with Photoshop seamlessly. Examine and understand the use of templates in the Lightroom modules to make your work faster, easier and more consistent. Learn how to use Export as well as the Slideshow, Printing and Web modules to output finished photographs. There will be time given throughout the session for hands-on and Q&A.


Length: 9 hours
Dates: Sat., Nov. 7, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., & Sun., Nov. 8, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Class Size:  3 – 8 students
Tuition: $135

Adobe Photoshop for Photographers: A Simple Approach
Lab time throughout to practice techniques.
Instructor is Godfrey DiGiorgi

Learn the best professional software program to process your digital photos straight from your camera or scanner. This two-session workshop focuses on learning how to get the most from just a few of Photoshop’s tools to achieve great results: Levels, Curves, Layers and Masks. In both lecture and lab time, we will examine organizing your files and how to work efficiently. You’ll be introduced to methods and concepts for sharpening and printing. No prior Photoshop experience required. 
 

Length:    7 hours
Dates:     Thu. & Fri., Dec. 10 & 11, 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Class size:   3 – 8 students
Tuition:     $130

 

Registrations must be made, and full payment received, prior to the first day of class. 

Classes will be cancelled if minimum registration requirements are not met.

To sign up – please contact Dave Sorokach at 650 494-8686 ext.10, or dave@midpenmedia.org 

… today for the Lightroom class! 🙂

Distraction and too much to do have been the the story of the past couple weeks. I’ve been walking every day, and shooting every day, but little time for finishing and posting little. Yesterday morning, though, I was out on my usual Saturday walk with friends and the Muse visited, compelled me to do a little processing in the afternoon. 

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I guess that’s my Autumn Leaves shot for 2009 … I posted a few more from the walk on flickr.com. This link will take you to a slide show of a dozen photos from yesterday’s walk: 

So … why the heck have I been so busy? What’s going on with the workshops? 

The last Photoshop workshop at the Media Center went very well, that was last Monday-Tuesday evening. Had five students and a very lively conversation both sessions. Teaching Photography and image processing is one of the most satisfying things I do other than doing photography itself. The folks at the Media Center are great to work with, the place is fun with lots of other things going on too. 

I’m working on the next things to do now. I think beyond Photoshop and Lightroom, I’ve gotten enough requests for a “Digital Black & White” workshop that January might be a good time. Stay tuned, you’ll hear about it here. 

Which reminds me: The next workshop is rushing up real fast … next weekend!! There are still some available seats …

Adobe Lightroom: Starting in the Middle

A two-session workshop for photographers interested to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom. Learn how to transition your work from Photoshop into Lightroom, or start from scratch with Lightroom as the principal tool for your image processing workflow. No prerequisites, some familiarity with Photoshop and image processing workflow is helpful. Students are welcome to bring a library of their own work, either on external hard drive or laptop. There will be time given throughout the session for hands-on. 
Saturday-Sunday, November 7 & 8

For more information and registration, see the Media Center website at http://www.midpenmedia.org/ or email me directly. 

I’d love to see some of you there.