Sunday, December 29, 2013

Where the lovelight gleams

Real Simple Magazine does a feature each month called Life Lessons. They usually pick a theme and invite famous and non famous writers to explore the theme. Their theme this December was "where the love light gleams" from the Christmas song "I'll be Home for Christmas".  The magazine introduces the theme by saying, "For some people, coming home for Christmas or Hanukkah literally means returning to the house they grew up in. For others, it's less about a place and more about the people they're with. Either way, there's no time of year when home matters more, as five writers explain."

I read all of the essays, but my favorite was Anne Lamott's story of her son Sam learning to have Christmas at both her house and his father's house since Anne and Sam's father John had divorced. She ended it with a line..that...well, you know when you read something so beautiful and simple and yet profound and how it can just stop you in your tracks right then and there? Well this line did that to me. She writes: "Not long after, John moved away to a more modest home, where Sam always visited during the holidays, {Are you ready for THE line} ....a place filled with warmth and welcome and the ordinary light of family." What a beautiful, poetic and yet simple way to describe home and family.

After I read that, I just kept thinking that is such a gift...the ordinary light of family. It doesn't mean your family is perfect, but it means that in all it's ordinariness, it's extraordinary. And wherever your family is, that is your home; where the love light gleams.

My photo this week hopefully shows the ordinary light of family and it really shows where the love light gleams for me. It's Christmas morning, and everyone in this photo (human and furry) is so important to me; they are my home and where the love light gleams for me and I am so grateful to God for the gift of them in my life.

Merry Christmas, Happy Feast of the Holy Family and many, many blessings to you and yours in 2014.

P.S. Please note that Sean has been set in a corner and is officially in charge of opening and assembling the gifts as they are unwrapped. I'm sure in every house where toys were opened, Moms and Dads were uttering the same curse words as they attempted to open the packaging that had to have been made by the same people who designed the space shuttle. Most toys could be strapped in their original packaging to the outside of the space shuttle, and survive a trip into space and back. -Dina

Gleaming light makes me think of sunsets, which is a favorite subject of mine. Of course, a photogenic sunset during any given week is certainly not a guarantee, especially during the bleak month of December (for weather, anyway). I got lucky, however, when I was walking my dog a couple evenings ago. A nice foreground element in this photo is the TV antenna, which looks like an arrow and is pointing the way to this gleaming sunset.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Clean Slate

Monday, December 23, 2013

Silent Night

Note - Our blogger application is altering the colors in this photo, and I have not been been able to fix the problem and restore it to the original intended version.

During this past week we marked the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, and so I thought this would be a good week for a nighttime theme. I really wanted to take this photo with snow on the ground, and I missed it by one night. This is my house, and I left for Omaha just hours before we got several inches of snow in Kansas City. So unfortunately, this photo falls a bit below my own hopes and expectations. Timing is everything with photography, and sometimes time just isn't on your side. Anyway, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! -Cort

 This Christmas snow globe is a favorite of mine. I immediately thought of it when I saw the theme, because it plays Silent Night. Peace and Merry Christmas!!!!! -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Where the lovelight gleams.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry and Bright

I love this time of year. I. love. it. ONE of the many things I love about Christmas is the Christmas tree. My Christmas tree. Mine is artificial (to me, the only way to go) and though it's a 6ft tree, it's a little bit scrawny (like a real one without the needles, ha!) but once I get done loading it with ornaments and garland and extra lights, it's one of the most beautiful things in my house. :)

For the first time in this project, I re-created a photo that I took last year. I used my Dad's star filter from his old 35mm film days and viola! a fun, merry and bright photo.

This week's theme finally gave me the impetus to break open the boxes of Christmas decorations. Even though I enjoy doing this, some years I don't actually get around to it because I never spend Christmas at my own house, and I'm busy with a million other things. 

I also enjoy using my extension tube for macro shots. I dusted off this favorite photographic tool of mine so that I could get some close-ups of a shiny ornament reflecting the lights of the tree.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Silent Night

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Getting Away

This week I really was getting away - from work, from home, and from most other people. I took a couple vacation days and spent some time at a bed and breakfast in Weston, Missouri with my girlfriend. It's a very quaint, quiet, small town about a half hour out of Kansas City. Since it was midweek during the off season, it was particularly empty of crowds and noise, which was very pleasant.

We spent most of the afternoon strolling up and down this downtown street, exploring the shops and museums. In the foreground of this shot you can even see directional signs telling you how to get away from there to other points of interest, which is exactly what we did. It was perfect little respite during a busy time of year for both of us. -Cort

When the weather gets snowy and cold, there are many people who dream of getting away to somewhere warmer! I'm fine with the cold and snow through December; once January hits, spring should begin. -Dina

 Next Week's Theme: Merry and Bright

Sunday, December 1, 2013


One of the things that I (and I'm sure many others) love about Thanksgiving is that it's a holiday that is rich in tradition. The traditions can differ from family to family and can even change a bit over the years, but it's part of what makes the day so special. And creating new traditions is also something I am very thankful for. I love comparing photos, so I found a photo from my childhood taken on Thanksgiving to compare to today's Thanksgiving. I am thankful for my family, then and now. I am thankful that we got to spend many Thanksgivings with my Nana and Nanu. I am thankful for the abundant food that we have every year. I could go on and and on, but both of these photos show so many blessings and why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. 

Fun photo fact #1: Please note the pyrex bowl on the table in the old photo. And though you can hardly see it, there was plenty of pyrex on this year's table as well! 

Fun photo fact #2: One of our new traditions is that we watch the movie UP after we eat Thanksgiving dinner. This year, after looking at the old photo, we noticed the uncanny resemblance that my Nanu has to Mr. Fredrickson. (Squirrel!!!!)  :) 

Fun photo fact #3: You can see the Pepsi bottles on the table in the old photo; and you can see the coke cans on the table in the current photo. My nieces have no idea that pop used to come in a bottle.  -Dina

It was a small Thanksgiving gathering this year for me. My parents and I joined my grandpa at his retirement home, which including a delicious meal and even a small private dining room. Too small, in fact, for a decent photo of the table setup or the people gathered around it (I didn't bring my wide angle lens with me). But it was a beautiful table setting, and nothing says Thanksgiving like lots of turkey and stuffing on the good china. -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Getting away

Sunday, November 24, 2013


 At some point during this year-long project, I wanted to pick two themes from one week to the next that are opposite one another. I think it can be interesting to see the contrast in our photos in subject matter and execution.
Last week's "new" photo had bright colors, clean lines, and lots of energy. This week's "old" photo is duller, darker, more organic, and more lonely. I took this photo in the West Bottoms neighborhood of Kansas City, which is actually one of my favorite parts of town, and one of the oldest. It has lots of brick streets, antique shops, haunted houses, and art studios. It sort of feels like the march of progress has left it behind, for better or for worse. I think that's why I like it so much. -Cort

I was super excited that Cort chose the opposite of new...what a great idea! I decided I wanted to photograph an old building. There are so many to choose from in the older sections of Omaha, closer to the river, but I decided to challenge myself to find an old building farther west. I landed on Boystown, which when it was founded was located on the outskirts of the city...pretty much out in the country. I photographed Father Flanagan's House.  It was constructed in 1927 and was the home of Fr. Flanagan until he moved into the Dowd Memorial Chapel's Rectory in the early 40's. The entire Boystown campus is beautiful and it was fun finding an old building out "in the country".  -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Thanksgiving (of course!)


Sunday, November 17, 2013


Here is a photo of me in my NEW winter boots: just standing around, waiting for snow. And by snow, I mean just a nice light layer, nothing anyone needs to shovel.  -Dina

When I saw this week's theme, one of the first things I thought of was the word "NEW!"  that you see on every other product at the grocery store. In our consumerism culture, it seems that new is always better. So on my most recent trip to the store, I checked out the cookie aisle, and sure enough, there it was splashed all over the place. By my count, that word appears 28 times in this photo. -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Old

Sunday, November 10, 2013


On my commute between home and work, I see this weird county government office building. Everything about this building is square - the windows, the tiles, the fixtures, everything. When you add in the reflections of squares in square windows, it's like they're exponentially increased - squares squared! -Cort

I wanted to use a square format to take a photo of something square. But wait, isn't that a 45 record. A round, 45 record? Why yes it is. And if you look close enough, you'll see that song #3 (3 songs on a 45: crazy!) is "You're so Square (Baby I don't Care) by Elvis Presley. So two squares, make for a squared theme. Sort of.  [Please note this is side two or side B and a second release. Bonus points if anyone can guess what's on side A.] -Dina

Next Week's Theme: New

Monday, November 4, 2013


I love Halloween. It's such a fun kid's holiday, not to mention it's smack in the middle of the best time of the year. I knew I wanted to capture some part of Halloween night. My brother-in-law makes a delicious batch of chili every year and we fuel up before taking my nieces around their neighborhood. After dinner, I was hoping to get a photo of Lucy and Sophie in their awesome costumes...a vampire and a rose fairy. I envisioned all the gorgeous photos you see on photo blogs and pinterest: where the kids are happy and smiling and the lighting is perfect. Cut to reality; a very upset vampire who can't find her collar and a very anxious rose fairy who could care less about the vampire collar. By the time everyone got it together, it was dark, the collar-less vampire and rose fairy were running from house to house and no one would stand still for a photo. The one photo I did get when they stood still long enough, Lucy's eyes were glowing green, she was moving and she really looked like vampire. So I chose my second favorite part of the evening: checking out the candy. My dog Johnny was very tired from tagging along and thought it a good idea to take a nap on top of the Halloween loot! I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  -Dina

Every week or two, in my role as a support person, I help facilitate a "community night" with the Kansas City Jesuit Volunteers (I was a JV myself in Tacoma 10 years ago). This past week we spent the evening carving pumpkins. They have a wonderful front porch, which provided the perfect setting to show off our creations.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Squared

Monday, October 28, 2013


I knew when I picked this theme that I would probably focus on one of my favorite subjects - the changing fall colors. However, I challenged myself to find a new way to shoot this familiar subject.

I traveled to Branson, Missouri this weekend, and had plenty of opportunities to photograph bright leaves. However, I struggled with finding a new perspective until I noticed wonderful colors blurring past my passenger window. I decided to point the camera out the window, set a slow shutter speed, and click away. The rapidly changing scenery actually provides wonderful brush strokes of color, and in this particular shot, we even get a peek of trees in the distance, between the gaps of foliage closer the road. -Cort

I too, love this time of year with all of it's changes. The trees are really kicking in their changing of color and everything is so beautiful. But I decided not to go that route for this theme. I couldn't get the the line "I've got a little change in my pocket going jing-a-ling-a-ling" from the Georgia Satellites' song "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" out of my head this week.  The only reason I like the song is that a local cover band mashed it up with some other song (can't remember what right now) and we always had the best time dancing to it. Because I had this line running over and over through my head for the entire week (I blame you Cort! ;0), I decided to photograph this type of change. -Dina

Next Week's Theme: [cue spooky music] Halloween!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I chose this theme because this past week, the Turco family got to walk down memory lane. Growing up, my family spent every Sunday morning at my Nana and Nanu's house. I can count on one hand the number of times we didn't go; usually due to weather or illness. Other members of the extended Turco family would come too..some every week, others a couple of times a month. There was always delicious food--Orsi bread, spaghetti sauce and meatballs (for breakfast of course), homemade cookies, cake etc. There was also a lot of laughter and a lot of yelling. It wasn't real yelling, but more "Italian family talking loudly over one another" yelling. My Dad would bring his barber tools a couple of times a month and there would be haircuts. There would also be projects, mowing the grass, fixing up things around the house, etc, etc. We would also spend a lot of time sitting around, listening to my Nanu's stories and just hanging out. It defined my idea of what family is, does and should be to this day. Like most good things, I didn't realize what a gift those Sunday mornings were until they were gone. My Nana and Nanu's house still belongs in the family, but the family who owns it is ready to sell the house.

Last week, we had an impromptu gathering at the house, for probably the last time ever. There was delicious food (Thanks Aaron and Tracy) and lots of laughter, and some "yelling" and a lot of memories shared. I'm sure my Nana and Nanu were really happy to see their family gathered in their home one more time. My Aunt Mary was in town, so all of their living children were there once: Mary, my Uncle Tony and my Dad. My Uncle Louie passed away too long ago, but his kids and grand kids were there too. It was also fun to show off the house to Lucy and Sophie who had never been there and we took lots and lots of pictures.

The house has been modernized so there are a lot of changes, but the screen door to their porch is the same screen door that was around back when we were kids. We were all in and out of the house a lot that day and I couldn't believe that every time I grabbed the handle to open the door, it felt so familiar and memories would rush back of the 25 years worth of Sundays I spent there. It was comforting and bittersweet at the same time. And amazing that just one little thing, a screen door handle could do that. So out of all the photos we took that day, this picture, which is pretty ordinary to most, will always bring back memories and remind me of the blessings of family I had and still have to this day! Thank you God for the gift of my familia!   -Dina

About a mile from my house is Shoal Creek Cemetery, which was established when the area was first settled in the mid-1800s. There are many gravestones from then until the 1920s. Obviously I don't have any memories of these people, nor does anyone else still alive. However, whenever I visit a cemetery, I always wonder what the stories are of the people who are buried there. For a long time, survivors came here to remember their loved ones.

I also love the imagery of this particular photo, with the tombstone in the foreground, the dead tree not far behind it, and a living tree in the background, perhaps providing a glimpse of what the bare, stripped trunk once looked like. All in front of a setting sun. Not a bad metaphor for a cemetery.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Change

Monday, October 14, 2013


I knew that at some point during this one-year project, I would want us to do a self portrait. It's always a lot more fun to do this outside, and to do it when the weather is nice. It occurred to me suddenly that we're rapidly running of nice weather, so I decided this would be the week.

I think it's important when doing any portrait, whether it's yourself or another person, to do it in a setting that says something about that person. I always feel at peace when I'm alone in nature. One of my favorite places close to my house is Maple Woods Nature Preserve. It has a few miles of hiking trails, and for an afternoon I can pretend I'm far from civilization.

This was a challenging shoot. I wanted to use a long lens so that the foreground and background would blur out. That required that I place the camera about 50 feet away. I would set the timer, click the shutter release, and then dash through the woods to that log in 10 seconds or less. Then, with whatever time remained, I had to compose myself so that it looked like I was relaxing on that log the whole time. I did at least a couple dozen exposures, so let's just say I got my workout. -Cort

Here is a photo I took of me taking a photo of myself.  :) -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Memories 

Monday, October 7, 2013


My dog Johnny and I attended two pet blessings this weekend. The first was at Cathedral and there were a lot of fun animals there. I adore how the Police make sure to bring one of their horses and one of the police dogs along. They were even mentioned in the blessing...prayers for the those animals who help protect us. What I love about this photo is how the dog is standing on his police officer partner and looking back at the horse. I don't know if he is saying my officer is cooler then yours or just checking in to see if his horse buddy is still there. The horse has such a gentle look on it's face. The added bonus to the photo is the awesome photobomb: the man in the back whom I assume is asking the boston terrier to pull his finger.   -Dina

I attended the Kansas City Renaissance Festival on Saturday. There was an interesting assortment of animals there, including horses, camels, and donkeys, and I got some photos of all of them. However, I was most drawn to the stage where they were showing birds of prey. The bald eagle has always been one of my favorite animals, and I couldn't resist focusing in on him. This poor guy is in captivity because he was hit by a car and his wing was broken, leaving him permanently grounded. It took awhile for him to position himself in such a way that showed off his magnificent profile, and it took awhile for me to position myself in such a way that the background was not cluttered and distracting.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Self-portrait

Monday, September 30, 2013


In addition to the requirement of shooting a photo that satisfied this week's theme, I also gave myself the assignment of shooting the photo on my new iPhone! The quality of camera on this phone ranks right up there with any other point-and-shoot model, which was one of the selling points for me. I will continue to use my Canon 30D whenever I can, but I don't always have that with me when a good photo opp arises, while I always have my phone with me.

I bought some peppers at the farmers market this weekend, only $2 for a whole basket. I had to think of a dish that uses up all of them, so I grilled stuffed peppers for dinner, which involves cutting them in half, and spooning in the filling. I love the bright colors, interesting shapes, and varied textures, and those elements almost always make for a compelling photograph. -Cort

I love this time of year, especially all of the fall color. It was fun to catch this leaf that was half way through changing from green to red. -Dina

Next Week's Theme: In honor of the Feast of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals (which falls on October  4th), the theme is Animal. Special challenge: Ringo, Johnny and Bella the pug are ineligible to be photographed for this theme. :) 

Monday, September 23, 2013


If you visit the older section of many cemeteries, you will find the headstones to be much more elaborate. They often have statues attached somehow....angels, Mary, crosses, and more angels. It's pretty interesting to see how beautiful all of these grave markers are. This is one of my favorite, found at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery. This angel is almost life size and is standing to the side of the headstone. She is writing "In Memoriam" on the stone. It's so unique and so beautiful; what a great piece of history.   -Dina

Do you ever wonder what is underneath all of that stone and bronze on these statues? This guy is daydreaming out the window, longing for the day that he will become a fully-formed statue, enjoying the birds and the fresh air. 

Actually, this is a teaching skeleton in the osteopathic manipulation lab at the medical school where I work. There are at least a dozen of these spread throughout this large room, and they usually end up randomly scattered throughout the space. Sometimes their poses amuse me, and I tend to affix human emotions and motivations to these wire and plastic "statues."   -Cort

Next Week's Theme: In honor of reaching the halfway point of our Double Exposure project, the next theme is Half.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Roughing It

For those "Lost" fans out there, this looks like something straight out of the Dharma Initiative. I went to a backyard barbeque of some friends who live in a rougher part of the city, and this is what I saw in the small alley between their house and the neighbor. I don't know if someone actually lives in that van, but if they do, it would certainly qualify as "roughing it." -Cort


I love spending time outdoors. One of the things I miss when it's not summer, is being able to go outside whenever I want and eat, read, garden, play, etc, etc. Having said that, I would have no trouble roughing it, as long as I get to come home and sleep in my bed at night. So maybe I would have trouble roughing it. :) As comedian Jim Gaffigan says, "My wife always brings up 'camping is a tradition in my family'. Hey, it was a tradition in everyone’s family until we came up with the house." HA! -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Statue

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I chose this theme because one of my favorite poems is called September Afternoon at Four O'clock by Marge Piercy. I thought it would be fun to try to capture the poem in a photograph. A line in the poem that makes me think of fall is "There is a turn in things that makes the heart catch." I love, love, love that line and it's so true as fall approaches. On one hand, we say goodbye to summer (sometimes wistfully), but on the other hand there is so much goodness that comes with the season of fall. It's a bittersweet time. I took this photo today a few minutes before 4:00pm and even though it was at least 150 degrees out, the light was a different light. You can tell it's not the same light that is normally found on a late summer afternoon. And when you happen to notice the difference, it really can make your heart catch.  -Dina

I love how poetry can sort of be a nonobjective literary art form. You can use letters, words, and phrases to convey a concept or feeling without saying something literal. It still uses the building blocks of language, but in a way that lets the reader form his own idea of the message.

Sometimes I like to try the same thing with photography. People aren't used to nonobjective photography - it's usually the most literal visual art form. I like using the building blocks of photography - color, value, shape -  to convey a feeling without actually taking a picture OF something. -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Roughing it

Monday, September 2, 2013


A few weeks ago I posted a photo of the locked gate leading to the abandoned neighborhood pool. Now it's time for a peek inside. It's been sad watching this once-vibrant gathering place decay. Paint is flaking off, concrete is crumbling, weeds are taking over. The pool itself is filled with trash, leaves, and putrid, green water, as well as at least several dozen frogs. The entire property reeks of decay, in every sense of the word.

Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon. I am on the board of the neighborhood association, and we're proceeding with plans to demolish and clean up this eyesore later this year and convert it to green space. Eventually, we want to put in a playground, picnic shelter, or some other useful community resource. It will soon be a place not of decay, but of growth and happiness. -Cort

There are always a few casualties when growing tomatoes. Due to either birds, squirrels or gravity, a few tomatoes end up on the ground. Hopefully they still end up as food for someone, and in this case, it looks like some bugs were having lunch, which sounds super cute and sweet, but looks pretty disgusting in real life. I decided not to zoom in and get too graphic of a shot. I think experiencing a decaying (but still food giving) tomato from afar is the way to go! -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Poetry

Monday, August 26, 2013

Black and White

I chose this theme because, as much as I love black and white photography, I am always drawn to making my photos as colorful as possible. So I wanted to challenge myself to take a nice, colorful photo and see if I could make myself like it more as a black and white. Don't get me wrong, I really do love a good black and white photo, and have enjoyed processing many a picture black and white. But, I thought it would be fun to choose a photo that I would normally do in color.

I love how this one turned out. Miss Nora is running around having a blast (despite the intense heat). I like how the black and white make the texture of the trees and grass really stand out. I also think that since the photo is black and white, you focus a bit more on what Nora is doing, rather than say, the color of her dress or hair. It's always fun to see things in a different light. I might have to do a lot more black and white in the future!!!!

Quick side note that has nothing to do with black and white, but everything to do with Nora. Nora just turned the big 6 and I am going to hire her to style all of my photo sessions. (What child labor laws????) She brought props, told me how she was going to pose, suggested places to stop to snap away, brought a really cool change of outfit and advised me on the best way to photograph her. And she was right!!! The photos turned out great! :) -Dina 

Whenever I travel, even to a relatively frequent destination like my sister's place on some rural land near Kearney, Neb., I relish the opportunity to take photographs in a different setting. It seems like every time I go there, no matter what season, I see something new that catches my attention.

This time it was an old piece of farm machinery - a rickety tractor that apparently still works. I've always been interested in using farm implements for artistic inspiration, whether it's photography, painting, or sculpture. Shooting it in black and white adds a certain timeless element to it.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Decay

Sunday, August 18, 2013

In The Shadows

I usually end up walking my dog right around sunset, so I had my eyes peeled for interesting, long shadows as the sun dipped toward the horizon. This week's photo was right at my feet as I looked down while walking across an empty parking lot. -Cort

I "encouraged" (or cajoled or threatened...isn't it all the same?) my nieces to play in front of their fence after dinner tonight. Love this shadow shot of them holding hands and twirling and dancing. And sometimes you never know what you will see in the shadows: I think Sophie's shadow looks like a genie! -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Black and White

Monday, August 12, 2013

Close up

What I really enjoy about our 52 project is seeing the world through "creative" eyes. I chose the theme close up because I love taking macro shots of my garden. There are so many interesting close up things to see. As I was walking through my yard yesterday morning, a very tiny bird feather caught my eye in the grass. Normally I would have just kept moving, but I picked it up and looked at through my macro lens and was delighted to find all those beautiful dew drops just hanging out. I would never had given the feather a second look, but I'm so glad I did. It was a lot of fun capturing nature's bling. I'm glad this project is encouraging me to take a second look! -Dina 

I'm thankful that Dina chose this theme, because it had been a VERY long time since I had strapped on the extension tube to my camera, and like Dina, I had a lot of fun exploring my back yard in magnified detail. 

Unlike most photos I take, in this case I had to wait for my subject to come to me. One of my bushes is in bloom now, and there was one bee flitting around from place to place, but not long enough for me to get a shot composed and focused. So instead, I parked my camera on one bloom, and waited a couple minutes for this guy to enter into the frame. -Cort

Next Week's Theme: In the Shadows

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nothing to See Here

Whenever I hear the phrase, "Nothing to see here," it makes me think that there IS something to see here, it's just that the person saying it doesn't want you to see it, and wants you to go away. A locked gate is a way of saying that without words, and it just makes me want to peer inside.

This gate leads to an abandoned, decaying pool in my neighborhood, which is kind of sad, especially in the summer, when it should be filled with children and squirt guns and beach balls. At night it's downright creepy, but since I can't get inside, there really IS nothing to see from this side of the gate, except the orange glow of the city night sky in the distance. 
By the way, the pool is scheduled for demolition later this year, and I can't wait for this space to become a vibrant part of the neighborhood again. -Cort

Nothing to see here....for now. In 27 days though, there will definitely be something to see! -Dina

Next Week's Theme: Close up 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

That was Then, This is Now

My house back in 1972 when it was brand new and now in 2013. I love seeing the differences (TREES!) but I was happy to take the picture on the same kind of sunny day with blue skies and fluffy clouds and with another red car in the driveway (too bad it's not the same red mustang, ha!). -Dina 

Then: My nighttime companion when I was a young child was Dappy Dan, and if he wasn't around, I felt lonely and somehow incomplete. Now: My nighttime companion is my dog Ringo, and if he is not around, I feel lonely and somehow incomplete. I have held onto Dappy Dan all these years, and watching Toy Story 3 guilted me into bringing him out of storage and letting him see the light of day (I can't be the only one to have this reaction to seeing that movie, right?). Anyway, I tried to pose them together, and Ringo was having none of it, so I left to do other things. When I came back, there he was asleep, embracing Dappy Dan, just like I did about 35 years ago.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Nothing to see here

Sunday, July 21, 2013


During what is typically one of the hottest weeks of the year, I thought it would be fun to photograph the opposite. But instead of frozen temperature, I went with frozen time. I used a really fast shutter speed (1/1000) to shoot a water fountain. I love the abstract shapes and patterns that are formed, which the human eye misses because it's all happening too fast. Freezing the action like this allows you to see something mundane in a whole new way. -Cort

One of the things I love about photography is the ability to capture all sorts of moments: wow moments, beautiful moments, and day to day moments.  I am lucky enough to have dinner with my Dad and my Sis and her family a couple of times a week and I wanted a picture of this ordinary event. It isn't that remarkable of a photo, but someday I hope that my nieces might look back at this moment frozen in time and realize how special our ordinary dinners really were. -Dina

Next Week's Theme: That was Then, This is Now

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Happiness is watching a mama hold her brand new baby. -Dina 

I am showing you a photo from one of my happiest moments this past week, which was riding The Hulk, the first Universal Studios attraction we enjoyed on the first day of my week-long trip to Florida with my 12-year-old godson, Jerad. We spent two days at Universal, and this coaster was one of our favorite rides. Jerad rode it three times, and he's somewhere in this photo.  -Cort

Next Week's Theme: Frozen