Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DT13.2 Blogging Non-School Related Photos

Shoot Week included catching up on some wink eye. I slept in several mornings, even took some afternoon naps with The Pack. Here I had fallen asleep, then woke up, reached over and S-L-O-W-L-Y lifted my camera off the dresser with one hand, careful not to disturb The Pack. Initially the dogs stirred when the camera clicked but they soon began snoozing again. I was able to capture my husband snoozing with our dogs Einstein and Shadow.

We celebrated both my sister's birthday and our family Christmas dinner on Dec. 21. My sister brought over a bouquet of flowers which I placed on the table by the Christmas tree. The bowl of oranges is another holiday tradition we enjoy.

My sister also brought over a box of citrus fruit that had just arrived from Florida by courier. Our other two sisters always send us a box of fruit to share at Christmas. We look forward to this treat every year.

On Dec. 23 my husband and I drove to the Victoria Hospital to sit with our brother-in-law while my sister was having surgery; one day after her birthday, two days before Christmas. We visited her in the hospital every day until she returned home Dec. 28.

Christmas Eve I prepared a meal of twelve meatless dishes to celebrate my husband's Ukrainian heritage. We count twelve ingredients: fish, buckwheat cabbage rolls, tomato sauce, perogies, sour cream, wild cranberry sauce, onions, mushrooms, baked apples and ice-cream, bread and wine.

On Christmas morning my husband and I gave each other EXACTLY the same card, moments after we shared exactly the same thought ... each wondering if this was our tenth Christmas morning together. We then attended Christmas Mass together.

In the early evening we enjoyed the final two pieces of chocolate brandy cake from the family gathering.

On Christmas evening our furnace STOPPED. Luckily we have a company on contract. It took five attempts to contact the them; finally a groggy voice answered, resulting in a serviceman being dispatched. He arrived around midnight, found the problem and fixed the furnace.

On Boxing Day I thought about hitting the stores early, then turned over and slept in abit longer. We later ventured out to buy a few books and some music videos, then dropped in at friends for their annual Boxing Day party.

A few days earlier, on Christmas Eve morning, the phone rang. "Joyce?, Its Norma". Hearing that voice brought back childhood memories. "Yes, Norma," "Its been awhile, is everything okay?" "Mom died this morning" ... In this case, "mom" was Emma. Aunt Emma died on Christmas Eve. I attended Emma's funeral on Wednesday. I felt good paying final respects to an aunt that had given me such good childhood memories ... she hid Easter baskets for me ... took me to Assiniboine Park ... treated me to ice cream on a hot summer day.

Then there was the picture that didn't get taken. Just before Christmas one of my closest friends informed me that her mom, my ex-aunt, was terminal. I planned to bring her mom some flowers and tell her how much I appreciated her over the years. On the morning I was scheduled to visit, she was taken to the hospital. And so it went ... to the hospital, home again, back to the hospital, back home again, until she was admitted to the palative ward at Riverview. Family kept a round-the-clock vigil until she passed away New Years Eve. I had wanted to take a closeup photo of my friend holding her mother's hand ... just their hands.

Its Saturday morning, January 2nd ... exactly eight months until my husband and I celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. I read the weekend edition of the local newspaper, which included an article on notable Manitobans who left us in 2009. Among them was a dear neighbour, Irene Grant. Each year my husband and I have enjoyed looking at a large Evergreen tree lite up on her riverside every Christmas. When Irene passed away just before Christmas we expected the tree to stop twinkling.

What a beautiful surprise to look out the window and enjoy the beauty of Irene Grant's tree again. Her daughter decided to keep the tradition alive with the help of a timer. What a joy!
The tree photo is part of another assignment but because it is image #11, I added it.

Now its back to class, new challenges, new group-mates, new skills to acquire. Let us all have a happy, healthy and successful 2010!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Karsh Exhibit

Image Link:

I selected the "Duke & Duchess of Windsor", taken in 1971, a year before the Duke's death. The Duchess later wrote to Karsh, telling him that that this photograph was the truest representation of the couple taken in their 34 years of marriage. I wonder if Karsh suggested to the Duke that he undo the top button of his suit jacket, symbolizing that the Duchess was the cause of his royal undoing. Or did Karsh burn-in the dark background to symbolize the dark past the couple wove together, casting them into the role of exiled "royal wanderers". Karsh was known as a Master of Light, having studying theatrical lighting at an early stage in his career. It looks like he created a dramatic back/side chiaroscuro effect to produce the sharp silhouette. He then burnt in the dark background to lose the stream of light, emphasing the silhouetted couple. They stand compositionally framed by a set of opened white doors, in front of the darkened background, perhaps symbolizing acceptance after exile. Here they are, turned towards each other, visably touching and supporting each other, she looking at him, he looking downward. They do not look outward, or want or expect the viewers acceptance or approval, as they have each other for support. They lived one of the biggest soap opera scripts at the time ... him, a young single heir to the throne, with three married mistresses; her, a once-divorced, married woman, romantically involved with the young heir. Once he became king, his royal duties fell by the wayside because he spent most his time with this married mistress. He historically abdicated his right to the throne, and finally married her, only to have them exiled and shunned by the royal family. Karsh framed his subjects within an open door The harsh light cast a heavy shadow across the front of the face of the Duchess, like she cast a shadow across the face of the monarchy? Karsh also used side lighting to add texture and drama. It would be delightful to research the background of each person Karsh photographed to discover the details of their lives captured within their image ... a photograph is worth a thousand words.