Thursday, March 26, 2009

Leading Lines

Last weekend, Tom and I went to the beach. Tom went to party and I went to shoot. As soon as we arrived on Friday, I dropped him off at a restaurant to meet some friends, and I hit the road to begin my adventure. I love trying to get different shots of the beach. I mean, how many different shots can you get?

To add a little pressure to this adventure, my photography instructor assigned different types of composition for us to experiment with. Yes, I'm taking another class. Every time I take a photography class, I learn something new. The instructors focus on their expertise and that makes it interesting. Some are more nuts and bolts and some are more creative. This instructor is a combination of both. He brings a lot of humor into the instruction and makes it fun. Back to the assignment. I chose to work on leading lines. The concept is for the line to draw the eye into the scene. Here's the first shot.

I've taken this shot several times. There are millions of lines in this shot, so I wanted to get closer and get more of a side view. Well, when I did that, I looked over the side and look what I found.

Oops! Nevermind. Not wanting to disturb anyone and really wanting to stay alive, I quickly decided to change my location and move on down the beach. I tiptoed to the car and drove south towards Myrtle Beach, hoping to have time to get to Litchfield or Pawley's Island. In addition to looking for leading lines, I was also looking for beach letters. (See blog dated January 28 to see what I'm talking about.) As I was driving south on Ocean Boulevard, I spotted this hotel near Windy Hill. It was colorful and yes, it had leading lines. I also saw the reflection of the sky and clouds in the windows. It would have been great to get the ocean in the reflection, but I would have had to have a crane to swing on, or perhaps a high-rise and a very, very, expensive camera lens. So for now, I'm happy with the clouds.

Continuing down Ocean Boulevard, I approached an area where the Ocean Forest Hotel was located many years ago. After the hotel was demolished a walking path and a small park were built. There are two small beach huts on the same property and I guess during the season they sell drinks, snacks, etc. Attached to one of the huts, in the back facing the ocean, is a staircase with a sign posted. And, yes, it has leading lines. It's a joke. As far as I know there is no nude bathing in Myrtle Beach. At least not while you're sober.

I didn't make it to Litchfield on Friday, but I did go on Saturday. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and there were only a few people walking on the beach. Maybe because it was so darn cold!

In a few weeks, we'll be back at the beach. Hopefully, it will be warmer, there will be little or no breeze, no one will be walking on the beach, the sea oats will be green, and the new beach fences will have aged a little. I'm not asking for much.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I just got home after attending a yoga class. This was the first in a new session of ten. We just finished the last session last week, and I was hoping we would have at least a one week break. No such luck. I've taken yoga classes several times in the last few years, but I haven't really stuck to it like I have this year. It wasn't a New Year's resolution, it was an out of shape realization.

During this last session, I started remembering prior issues from earlier classes. In this post, I will call them "my do's and don'ts" of yoga. Things that one must know before embarking on this adventure. I guess the first "do or don't", depending on how you look at it, is this... arrive late. If you arrive early, your yoga guru will MAKE you go to the front. I attend this session with my friend, Barbara, whom I've known for many, many years. Barbara is a rule follower and a pleaser. She is also always on time. This has been a problem between us for many years. As a result of her time issue, she always arrives before I and gets our place ready for the torture...side by side in the front row. In previous classes, I managed to get a spot in the back; that's where I like it. Fortunately, there aren't many in our class, and certainly no guys, so it isn't that bad being in the front row.

Another "do" is listen. This can be tough for those of us who are visual learners. Something happens to me when I can't see the pose because I'm on the floor and she is calling out directions. Clasping hands under our knees or putting our arms between our knees to push them apart is hard for me to process. It kinda reminds me of that dreaded yearly visit to the gyno.

Closely related to listening is another "do"...know your right from your left. Seems simple enough. But when she starts giving directions of the next pose, you have got to be able to locate the body part she is telling you to use and put it where she tells you to. Processing is important here. Here's an example from today's class. We are on our mats, lying on our backs,
looking at the ceiling, and she tells us to pull our knees up to our chest.

Then she tells us to extend our left arm to the left, straighten our left leg, ground our heel, use our right hand to lower our right leg to the right, while using our right arm to create resistence. Here's another one. Lying on our back, bend our knees, keep our feet flat on the mat, take our right leg and cross it over the left knee then roll to the left keeping our shoulders on the mat, extending our arms to the sides. Then cross our legs the other way. Be sure and inhale as we bring our legs up and exhale as we roll to the side. Breathing is important in yoga. It's a definite "do."

Here's a "don't." Don't look at others in the class. Now it's kinda hard not to look when there are mirrors on two of the walls. But you must keep your eyes straight ahead, on the ceiling, or on the floor. Never look at another person in the class. Rude. Sometimes I sneak a peek, just to see if my leg is higher that the woman behind me. So that's about it. When the clock strikes 3:45, it's time to roll up our mats,

fold our blankets,

place the blocks on the shelf,

and get a Coke.

Now that's a "do."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Television Has Gone To The Dogs

Last night when I should have been working on my web class I decided to take a break. The stress is taking a toll because I still have to take the final, complete my web page and actually shoot it out to never, neverland, aka the World Wide Web. All of this must be done in one week, but I'm livin' on the wild side, daring time to run out. So in the mist of all of this panic, I plopped myself on the couch to watch a little television.

While Tom was upstairs working on his music, I grabbed the remote and begin to work it. So many choices, so little time. I didn't want to watch Idol...too soon. I like to wait until the final twelve are selected. Too much drama...watching friends and family members standing on the balcony overlooking the stage. Please. Who's idea was that? They should be in the audience with the general public. Then came CNN with that woman who used to be on the Today show on the weekends. Campbell, that's her name. Too slanted. Too much of a big fake smile. Then there was FOX. I really don't like O'Reilly. He's such a chauvinist. Talk about slanted! After his show came Hannity. Please! Where do these people get their confidence? So I kept flipping.

Then came Dog. What a man. Who wouldn't want to watch him...Dog, the Bounty Hunter! What a family man. There is Beth, his lovely wife who has fingernails so long they could be considered legal weapons, his two sons, Duane Jr. and Leland, and a nephew, Tim, who does most of the legwork. Baby Lyssa, the daughter, is in a few of the shows. Then there is Bobby, the bail bondsman, who loaned those criminals the money to get out of jail. Beth is the glue in the family. Bless her heart, she needs a little guidance in the wardrobe department as does Dog, but it all seems to work. When I first saw Dog, I was somewhat surprised by his appearance. His hair looks something like the Wrestler's...long stringy blond. To make matters worse, sometimes he has jewelry braided into his locks. Can you just imagine how much noise that would make when he tries to sneek up on a fugitive? Hasn't he ever watched Venus play tennis for goodness sakes?

As luck would have it, the station was running a mini-marathon. I was lucky enough to see three episodes. The show starts in the morning before going on the hunt. Dog and family stand in a circle, hold hands, and have a word of prayer. Then they jump into two huge SUV's, get on their cells and get busy. After a lot of jumping in and out of the vehicles, knocking on doors, and talking with liars, they usually nab the jail bait. After the cuffs, it's in the car for a short therapy session. Beth is the best. She tries to convince them that they should be happy and thank them that they're on the way to the big house. She tells them this is their chance to start over. Hummm. I can think of better places to start over. Dog, on the other hand, likes to tell the riffraff that he has been in their place. He feels their pain. The compassion oozes. They seem to believe him. They set a date to do lunch when they are released. Not really. The reprobates are dropped of at the pokey and escorted in by one of the sons. All in a day's work.

It's a good thing that Dog isn't on every night. I have got to finish this class. For those of you who are snickering about Dog, I ask you, "Would you rather watch a blond hunk who wears sleeveless leather shirts with Mr. T jewelry, packing a pistol, or a small handsome batchelor who breaks hearts with his constant vaciliation. I like a man who knows what he wants.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Good Grief!

It's March 1st and look at what's happening in Atlanta. The snow has been non-stop for two hours. Enjoy the images. Let's just hope this wet stuff doesn't stay on the powerlines or it'll be lights out for a day or two.