Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Charleston, SC

Chris and I took an incredible photo workshop in the Outer Banks a couple years ago with Barefoot Contessa Photo Adventures (see December 2016).  This spring we joined Margo and Arnie for another workshop, well, actually two, in Charleston.

I had never been to Charleston, so that was a draw.  But the push Margo and Arnie gave me in the Outerbanks, even though I struggled mightily during that week, drew me to doing another session.  This time they had a two day Lightroom instruction before the field workshop.  Great idea although I confess I still think the downloading, filing system is unnecessarily cumbersome.

Yes, I learned a lot.  But mostly I felt frustrated with the Lightroom sessions.   However, the actual field workshop was challenging, but not the struggle of the one in the Outer Banks.   I think I felt more relaxed which meant I was able to work better.  It was challenging and challenging is good.  Struggling is frustrating.

I am including some of the photos I took during the workshop in March, plus some views I took later. Chris had to leave early for a conference but I stayed to spend a little more time exploring Charleston, to take part in their March for Our Lives as I would have missed it in California had I traveled right after the workshop.  And it was time to play tourist for a bit.

After dinner in Charleston.  A grab shot, no tripod, but loved the reflections and uneven surfaces of the sidewalk.

An assignment was a sensual photo inside one of the gardens using the statuary.   This was my photo of a boy sitting.   

Another assignment was an environmental portrait.   This is not something I am comfortable doing, but this woman, seamstress at the living history portion of the plantation, and I got into a lengthy discussion.  The light from the window was great, I got down on my knees and was pleased with my result.   And I was pleased that the reaction from classmates and the two instructors was also positive.

Early morning shooting.  On the opposite side of the street were the wonderful pastel colored houses of "Rainbow Row."  Everyone did photograph those, but here they are looking out over the water.

Evening beach scene

Morning at Magnolia Cemetery

Loved this reflection

Early morning shadows and wrought iron on a balcony.  Charleston is known for the
wrought iron

Here and below are more reflections

Audubon Gardens.   Nice swamp area with lots of wildlife, here and below.  The egret caught not one but two fish in one attack.

Not one but two fish in a single catch.

These porch doors are common in Charleston.  The narrow houses, also called Charleston Singles, have a door which leads not into the house but to a  front porch.     Several reasons include finding ways to increase the outdoor livability,  greater cross ventilation (these houses a one room wide) and  probably allowing more houses to fit on narrow streets.  They are also known as hospitality doors.  If this door was open, it meant the family was  ready to receive guests.  I also heard a story that with the door closed there was some privacy and a gentleman walking by never peered because the ladies might be cooling off by having their ankles exposed to the air.

Slow shutter speed at sunset

Members of the group at Folly Beach....Below, "phantom at the seashore"

Spanish moss at the Magnolia cemetery

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A little glitch

There has been a delay in posting photos from our incredible photo workshop in Charleston, SC.  On the trip home, the very last leg, my foot slipped as I tried to hoist myself onto the AMTRAK train.  Why they think travelers should have to pull themselves up with a grab rail on a step bigger than two stair steps, but vertical rather than at a slant, is beyond me.   There isn't much time to board, and there are not enough staff members to have someone at, or at least watching, each open door.  For that matter, why open doors if you don't have staff.  I have helped others in the past get on and off because the interface between station platforms and train cars is poor and varies greatly depending on both the station and where the train chooses to stop.  This opening was where there was a wide depression in the platform to allow a crossing to the other track.

Anyway, the upshot is I got onto the train in Martinez, only to exit at the next major stop.   In the meantime I had wrapped the wound in all the gauze they had in their wimpy first aid kit, just to keep from bleeding all over, and got off the train in Stockton, a couple hours ahead of my Fresno destination.  A video of me trying to stand on one leg, wrap the other, in a moving train would probably have been amusing. 

 Had I known I would not get sewn up until 6:30 pm (accident happened between 10 and 11 am) I think I would have stayed on the train and gone to the great Kaiser hospital in Fresno.  Oh well.  Eleven sutures.  Unfortunately they did not hold and so healing was by "secondary intention."  That means it had to heal by itself with the addition of wound care.   I won't bore you with the whole thing, but it took over two months to heal, mid-way thru the opening tunneled and I was referred to a surgeon, not for surgery, but for the department's expertise in wound care.   Fifty mile round trip 3 days a week for weeks, and spending time at home with leg elevated to help circulation, swelling and the healing process.

Hey, I did get a lot of reading done.

I haven't seen it yet, but Amtrak is to pay for my medical costs, travel expenses, a night in a motel as it was too late to catch the last train home once I finally got out of the emergency room.

This also meant a later start to my trip north, but I am now in Medford, OR.  Favorite mechanic is nearby and I have an appointment for tomorrow. 

Now on to blog posts that are more fun and more visual (yes, the medical folks took lots of photos of the leg and I took some "selfies" but I am NOT posting them.  However I am posting two photos taken during Stagecoach Daze, the big fund raiser held each year at Park of the Sierras where I am a member.   The theme was the Wild West, a tribute to the gold mining history of Coarsegold.  My costume (much of which I assembled for 4th of July and the weekend fund raiser when I worked at Bodie) won me first prize for costume and a $50 gift certificate!  Bill McGrath, one of our members, set up a photo booth and did these.

I also had a role as a "Lady of the Night."  Not sure bandaging under the fishnet stockings looked good, but might have been an authentic touch to a rough life.  At that point, I still had stitches and thought recovery would be a couple of weeks!  The umbrella is one of a group Chris gave me last year for my birthday.  They make great props.  The one with the bright yellow sunflower was great with my historic yellow bus.

Scar isn't as bad as I expected so the story my Yellowstone co-workers concocted about me saving tourists from an angry mama grizzly have been downgraded to getting swiped by a little black bear cub.

Greeted by the blogspot with notifications about cookies.  I hope I have done this all correctly.  Despite all the admonitions about this, the instructions for actually doing anything were vague, at least to this Luddite.  I am trusting that their auto system is taking care of it.

Monday, January 22, 2018


In January I felt like I had stepped back to the 1960's and early 70's when I marched in San Francisco and Arcata.  The period was my coming of age era.  In the course of one week in 2018, I attended two marches.

The remarks from the man in the White House regarding immigrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador pushed me to action.  On a foggy holiday Monday morning I joined a contingent from the Fresno Unitarian-Universalist Church for the Martin Luther King, Jr March in downtown Fresno. Our bright yellow hats stood our in the fog. 

Next was the  Women's March.   I missed the Women's March last year and was determined to lift my voice this time.  A group of women in my park formed a group last year to share our concerns, vent, write letters and emails.  In honor of  Elizabeth Warren, we wanted to be persisters.  But we also wanted a distinctive name for our closed Facebook page and we wanted to honor our solidarity as women.  So, we are the Purrsistahs.  Last week we had a sign making get-together and car pooled to Fresno, along with three great male supporters.

Here I am with some of our group.  We were early.   The grounds were packed before the speeches began.

The speakers represented the diversity of Fresno.  Latina, Black, Native American, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hmong, Anglo, lesbian and straight, victims of sexual harassment, and victims of childhood sexual violence,  young, middle-aged and elders.  The keynote speaker was a vibrant and young 87 year old Dolores Huerta.   She is eloquent and enthusiastic and after speaking, led the group on an approximately mile and a half march.   I'm not good at judging numbers.  Media used numbers from hundreds to over a thousand.  The over 1000 certainly seems closer to the reality.

A recent  refugee-immigrant from Syria, mother, wife who is making her way in her new home.
This young woman drummed and chanted as members of the local Native American community presented the colors and led an invocation.    The photo below includes one of the color bearers.

All ages
Dolores Huerta.   We headed out chanting !Si Se Puerde!

DiAnne, Barb and Marta cross a street on the parade route. Streets were not closed, so we crossed in sections
at crossing lights.   

And here are a few from the MLK, Jr March

Gathering before the march.  The U-U members are in yellow hats.

Love that men are standing up