Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas - Happy Holiday!

Ah - I just discovered 45 free minutes while my pecan pie bakes. I am thoroughly enjoying this holiday season as I have made time to make some presents from my heart, stop and enjoy the company of people who have been tremendously meaningful to me and take walks as often as I can (thank you weather for remaining mild) to help me ward off the abundance of sugar and unneeded calories.

Life has been hectic as we bid on a house but lost it to a higher bidder and then discovered another that is a truely lovely house, but it did require a relatively unplanned trip to Austin Texas last weekend.  All-in-all, life is good. The engineer gave it a great report and, despite the need for cosmetic surgery, I believe we will live many long and productive years in this new house.


In other news, I won Print of the Year at the Dutchess Regional Professional Photographer's annual print competition. That blew me away! There were so many gorgeous photos - I was stunned when I realized they called my name.  I feel like I've come full-circle. A few years ago I joined that group because I saw a photo in the newspaper of someone showing their award-winning photo that had just won Print of the Year and the article gave info about the group, so I joined. Now I have that kudo under my belt. Pretty cool...and yet, it's just another day and I still feel the need to go out and take better images and more compelling photos. Here's the winner:
I am really looking forward to going to Big Bend National park in March and try to capture the cactus' in bloom.  Which reminds me, I just saw an EXCELLENT movie called Desert Flower. Awesome - enlightening and frightening at the same time.

But I digress, I just wanted to take the time here to wish all my friends, followers, fellow photographers a wonderful holiday season, surrounded by good friends, good food and good photography,

Keep shooting!  And have fun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keeping Busy

Well, as if packing up a house isn't enough to do, my past year's worth of marketing is finally paying off. A few lucrative jobs have come up and I'm doing what I do best - photographing events. I felt "part of the family" recently when I shot a Ribbon Cutting for Nerak. Maria and Simone were so much fun to work with - they and the Nerak staff - transformed an industrial site into a warm, inviting setup for a celebratory luncheon.

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce came out in full force for a lovely, Autumn Ribbon Cutting at Nerak.

Many people were fascinated about the conveyor belt system and the success of this German based company in our local area.
That job reminded the Vice President of Development at New York Academy of Science that I am a specialist in candid shots and getting people who are socializing to pause and smile for the camera, so she hired me for their recent Gala at Cipriani's in NYC. Close to 500 people showed up and squeezing in front of them to ask them to pose momentarily was no easy feat.  I just received an email from them telling me that they are quite pleased with the images, so all-in-all it was a successful venture.


Editing is always the challenge - whether to give the client ALL of the photos of the night or only my best picks. In the case of Nerak, they were thrilled to have all of the photos - it was like re-living a wedding.  I was a bit more selective for NYAS, getting rid of any images with closed eyes or too many backs. As a rule, though, my husband has learned to stay far away from me on editing days - I am very hard on myself and am meticulous about giving the client the very best images.

When I head out to relax, I don't always bring my big guns (lenses, that is). I generally carry my old Nikon D200 with a 24 mm lens because it is the lightest gear I've got. But it's tough looking at my finished images - they are not as tack sharp as my D700 and the better glass.  Still, it's fun to throw the old camera in my bag and be able to grab a few fun shots on the run.
My sisters and Mom in NYC last Sunday.


As Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, I am grateful to be a photographer who is getting some nice jobs. I am thankful to have a talent that allows me to capture some of the beautiful vistas this word has to offer. And I am thankful for my wonderful family, good health and the fun of writing and sharing the great adventures I get to experience. Happy Thanksgiving, all and Keep Shooting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life is one great adventure

“Do not go where the path will lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson



So, I was surprised to see that my last post was only 2 weeks ago and a lifetime ago. I've been to a memorial service in South Carolina, shot school photos in New Rochelle, did an engagement shoot,


a Ribbon Cutting at a Conveyor Belt company, and visited Austin for our granddaughter's first Halloween.
My little lobster with her carniverous Mommy and Daddy.
 Oh, and we sold our house in New York and are buying one in Austin. This is more of a shock to me than to anyone. I never WANTED to move to Texas. I am the Hudson Valley Gal. I wrote tourism articles for years boasting about all of the amenities the Hudson Valley has to offer. I have a website, www.HudsonValleyScenes.com! And yet, we experimented this past summer and rented a condo in Austin and fell in love with it. There is relatively no snow in Austin, the price of living is cheaper than NY and our beautiful little Granddaughter is there and we so want to be a part of her life.
 
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans     – John Lennon

And so we are starting a new adventure in life. One that I hope is filled with family and friends coming to visit, lots of new travel experiences and a new perspective on the Southwest. A photographer buddy told me yesterday that the color balance we get used to here is very different than the color balance that is accurate there. Interesting. 

One thing I know for sure, I will always enjoy coming home to this view from the airplane.

Happy shooting, friends, and may you encounter many fabulous new adventures, too.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fly Me To the Moon

Note the plane about to land that is BELOW us!
A pilot friend of mine has been offering to take me up in his Piper Cub - a 2 seater that was built in 1946 and refurbished more recently - and our schedules just never seemed to mesh. But last week he called and I jumped.

The Hudson Valley is a spectacular place to see from the air and we are right smack dab in peak season!
For the most part, the trees are not all changing at the same time and there is still a lot of green, but there are some outrageous clusters of shocking color, especially in eastern Dutchess County,  that make up for the lackluster year. The reds and oranges in these clusters just seem to pop. 

What made our flight even more fun was spotting sites that I've written about or visited in the past. 
Mid Hudson Bridge and the Poughkeepsie waterfront.
Walkway Over the Hudson
Walkway
Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
Innisfree in Millbrook
Vanderbilt's Estate - one of the smallest of their homes.

It was an awesome experience. We flew west from Eastern Dutchess over to Ulster County, then up the majestic Hudson and back east again to Sky Acres airport. I was like a puppy dog salivating at every sight, turn and view we experienced. Thanks again, Michael, for making it happen!!!!

Enjoy this beautiful Autumn, friends and keep shooting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kelby's 4th Annual Photowalk

Trophy Point
Cadets paused to pose.

It still amazes me to discover there are folks who don't know who Scott Kelby is. As a Photoshop nut, I've been following him for years.  He is the founder and president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) as well as a prolific writer of books, magazines and educational materials for many software programs as well as photography, how to light it and process it. He has made a huge difference in the lives of most photographers and everyone who uses Photoshop. I remember reading his blog 4 years ago and realized I missed the first "Photowalk" where he suggested that photographers get together and help one another learn new things about their photography.  Since missing that first one, I haven't missed another. Three years ago I walked with about 50 other photographers in Coney Island. Last year I stayed local and walked across the Walkway Over the Hudson and this year I was fortunate enough to be invited by leader Catherine Bale, an amazing photographer herself, to participate in a walk on the West Point campus.
West Point Chapel is gorgeous with many stained glass windows and spectacular architecture.

We were blessed with a glorious Autumn day, after weeks of rain. West Point not only has magnificent architecture, but awesome views of the Hudson River, as well.

The camaraderie of other photographers was wonderful. There was even one very young photographer who was happy to play model as well as photographer.


As always, I took way too many photos, so if you'd like to see more, go to www.chriscina.net. Be sure and sign up for a Photowalk next year, or just grab a group of photography-nut friends and plan a photowalk for yourselves. I currently have a very long list of places I'm dying to get out and shoot. I'll work on that list, in the meantime, you have a great time shooting yourselves!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Looking at life vertically

Chrysler Building
Browsing through my images, I realize that I take a tremendous amount of vertical images. Perhaps that's because I used to work as a magazine editor and I see everything as a potential cover. But there is something about vertical images that I really like. It especially works well in NYC with the many spectacular buildings.

Grand Central Terminal
 Even Grand Central Terminal, which also looks wonderful horizontally, manages to still look stately in a vertical presentation.


Not sure what this building is. I saw it in a movie last night and was excited to see that I had shot it not so long ago. Any readers who can help me name this building?

NYC is always a place of inspiration and offers so many photo opportunities, no matter what time of day, year, or where you find yourself in the city.  You can even find cows....

And there's always the famous Empire State Building with it's ever changing colors.
Empire State Building
But you can't lock yourself in. Playing with verticals is lots of fun and I highly recommend it for a creative change of pace. But some things just look better horizontally.  Try it both ways and see what you like best.

Happy shooting friends!

View from 7 World Trade Center.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Trying different things


OK, so I had a tough time explaining to my family and friends why I was taking a trip to the Thimble Islands, mid-week, with a busful of senior citizens, without my husband on our 13th anniversary. We rarely do anything celebratory and this trip was only available to Marist CLS (Continuing Lifetime Studies) members, a group I applied for and was fortunate enough to be accepted in (a few years earlier than I anticipated). It seems most of the members are 10-20 years my senior. I am actually the baby.  As I am always up for a worthwhile photographic journey, especially when it includes lunch and no driving, so I signed up.

Those seniors really know how to have a good time. They started out by playing with bubbles.

I was afraid I'd be like a fish out of water, not knowing anybody. But I pulled out my trusty ipad2 and started showing it off. Before long, I had shared that I used to work for our local newspaper and pretty soon folks were calling me "Miss Poughkeepsie Journal"

Bubblegum pop music from the 60's played on the bus radio - "The Purpose of a Man is to Love a Woman," "Tracy Never Let Go," "Oh, Sweet Pea, C'mon and Dance with Me," - songs I had long forgotten.  The bus pulled up to the restaurant at 11 am.  Mmmmm. Lobstah!


The Thimble Islands themselves are 25 small islands with some ritzy, New England summer homes situated on granite off the coast of Branford, Ct.  Charming to look at, they are not all electrified or have water available to them. One is nothing more than a gazebo.


But many have large, magnificent mansions on them, including pools and tennis courts. One of the islands, Money Island, has several homes and was once a bustling, self-supporting community.  Today, they are all just summer inhabitants and many of them took a beating with the recent storms.

The Seniors were a fun bunch. They all seemed to like my photography, so I felt like quite a celebrity. We lucked out and had wonderful sunshine as we cruised around the islands. The trip home, however, the skies opened up. But, it was a nice day and I made a few new friends. Next time, though, I'd like to bring the old husband along. He loves the sea and sharing my silly adventures with me. He probably would have liked Chuck (below) who was happy to have his picture taken.

Any day taking pictures is a good day.  Happy shooting, friends.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sure has been awhile

It's important to blog on a regular basis. I read that all the time. You have to keep your audience interested and coming back. That said, I see that I have not lived up to my own expectations. However, I have been active in researching new places, new technology and new ways to try and communicate. While sifting through my images, I see I have been a very busy photographer, even if I haven't been a dedicated blogger. 

One of the new places I explored was Asheville, North Carolina. We visited very dear, old friends....

Who took us to see the Biltmore, the largest privately owned home in the US.  Surrounded by lush, rolling green mountains, the Biltmore is as exquisite inside as it is outside and the grounds are spectacular as well.
Getting closer to their own home in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, we even had time to fool around with Einstein.


As the owner of a new ipad2, I showed my toy off to friend, Judy, who immediately had to have one. (Hey Apple - do a get a referral fee?) I am having a blast playing with the ipad - discovering new apps and new ways to look at the world. It's astounding to be able to take a quality video on it, use it as a dictaphone, read current magazines with awesome graphics and play games when I am bored (which rarely happens, but I have become an Angry Bird fanatic). I am reading more and more about the importance in Twittering (tweeting) and, while I haven't quite grasped the language, I do like to follow the wisdom of other photographers and social media mavens. My challenge for the week is to become even more adept at utilizing Social Media. 

So, with that in mind, I really hope to get some more followers and provide some really good, quality information in the coming weeks.  Keep shooting, friends, and PLEASE tweet me, follow me, tell your friends about me....or just let me know what you DON'T like, so I can work to improve it. 
Oh, and here's a link I stumbled on today that I thought was absolutely outrageous!