Monday, December 24, 2007

What's in a Tree?

Today I am reflecting on the reason for the season, the true meaning of Christmas. This probably has to do with my dad's sermon yesterday, or maybe it's just because I feel the need to see past the material aspect but whatever the reason, I'm contemplating.

My dad was saying yesterday that one of the messages of Christmas is to "Fear Not," this is clearly true for it was said 3 times in the story of the birth of Jesus. First it was said to Mary, then to Joseph and then even more importantly to the Shepherds who represent the common folk- like us.We should not fear, for Christ is near(Ok, yes, I agree that was a bit corny, but it's true.)

This message leads into another which is that Christ came for us, to free us of our sin. He came to this earth to die. He was born to die a horrible death, nailed to a tree, and He knew it and did it willingly because He knew it was not in vain. He went through every imaginable pain just so that we might live forever-how amazing and incredibly unselfish is that!? So then the second message of Christmas is to give, willingly.

Also I was thinking about all the symbolism that is shown in our Christmas traditions.
  • Think about the Christmas tree, what does that symbolize? Well, as I mentioned before, Jesus was nailed to a tree, and also being an evergreen could it could definitely symbolize the everlasting life he gave us by dying.
  • The Candy Cane, how is that symbolic? Well, it's stripes are reminiscent of the stripes which Jesus bore on his back from the beating he received before his crucifixion, the white signifying His purity and the red His blood. It's crooked top is reminiscent of a shepherds staff used to take up the lost sheep. All together this small piece of candy basically reminds us that He washed away the sin of all men. (Read more about this here)
  • The Candle represents the star which led the Wise Men to Bethlehem. (more here)
  • Gift Giving represents gifts given to Jesus by the Wise Men and also the Gift God gave us through His Son.
So Christmas isn't only about receiving gifts or about making sure the tree is just right or about the food, or the cookies and cakes, or Santa it's about remembering why we're alive, remembering who gave us life and more second chances than we deserve. And even though we may often discard these symbols as tradition they are still there to represent the fact that He came to this earth expressly to save us from sin. He took the persecution, the pain, the death, all so we wouldn't have to. He loves us that much- no matter our beliefs, no matter what we've done, He loves us, and that's the Reason for the Season.

Wow, that got long, but with that all in mind today, I wish you a Very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Work of Grace

I have been saving the picture for a special occasion, because I really enjoy it's symbolization. Today I have posted it because I need a work of grace. My brother has informed me that it took 26hrs to move the pictures from my external drive to his spare computer, and after such a tedious process, is not sure the pictures all transfered correctly and are viewable. I'm doing my best to stay calm and collected about it, but it is my life as a photographer that we're speaking of-literally ALL of my pictures from the past 3yrs are on there not to mention even older family photos. SO ANYWAY, I just ask you to please stand in agreement and prayer that I'll get them all in tact.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Pass the Cheer"

Not really been keeping up too well with the blogs lately, sorry for that. I will continue to post what new photos I have, and hopefully I'll not run out of the ones that are already on my computer while awaiting a fixed external drive. I am still shooting tho, so when I get the drive back I'll have a ton to add to it. I've also been doing my best to catch up on my studies, which is another reason for less posting and also less commenting. So if you're not getting many comments from me, you know it's not because I've stopped visiting, only because I glance and go.

Anyway, enjoy a Starbucks capture and "Pass the Cheer" ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Let it Snow

We have about 5 or 6 inches of snow here, they're saying we'll get 2-4 more inches tomorrow night, and yes, I'm in love with it ALL. I was thinking yesterday that if you gave me snow, a blanket, proper snow clothes and a camera I'd be set for life. But then I thought about the beach and I was like, wait, I'd want that too.. SO anyway, moral of the story, I love living in Chicago where I can have both.

Now for my real post- hehe :)

I think that I've taken to naming my pictures with titles of songs. I think because I love music and because there are so many great songs out there to sing, to talk about, to name pictures after, to be inspiration. Am I saying that I think it's possible for music/songs/lyrics to inspire photography? Definitely! And really until now, I haven't really thought about it like this, but I've done it often. Like last year, I was listening to Madonna when I was shooting the snow.. and Snow Patrol, and Melanie C.. It seems so weird that I remember that. I also remember driving on the slushy highway in a rental PT cruiser listening to George Clinton and the Funkadelics, and Maroon 5 two yrs ago while wrapping presents(tho that one is a bit of a blurry memory, all I know is that "Sunday Morning" reminds me of Christmas break). And also a shot I've taken to back my theory- Through the Glass, a song by Stone Sour and now title of my latest photo on Deux. The lyrics played through my head while framing this shot. My memories and inspirations are constantly triggered by music. Pretty cool, I think.

Please be sure to be checking out La Vie Par Mes Yeux Deux - plenty of new posts there- and also 'Tis the Season!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

While the emotion of the last post was very sad, I happy to say the emotion today is overwhelmingly pleasing. Actually, I think I'm a little TOO happy.. but oh well..

Today one of my pictures is featured on 'Tis the Season, the holiday photoblog put together by Justin Gaynor (who as most of you know is one of my favorite photographers). I was totally ecstatic when I received his request to be a part (Thanks, Justin!) I'm not only overjoyed by participating but also honored to be a part of something that so many other talented photographers have and will contribute to. So, go over and check it out, and be sure to check back everyday for a different awesome photographer's feature.

Ah! what an awesome way to start the day!!! lol

Friday, November 30, 2007

Time Slips Away

September marked three years. She went so shortly before Christmas, adding a tinge of bitterness. This holiday we loved was now bittersweet. The desire to celebrate gone, no decorations but a simple tree. I didn't care, it wasn't right.

No one thought she would really leave, it was just a nightmare, only a dream. She was the light that Christmas brings, the happiness it entails, yet all so abruptly it was gone that year. No one sang the happy cheers, just sorrow and ever since-not the same.

Stories told of loved ones gone to spark sympathy for we who remain, for me still only tears. I pray they never know that pain- reliving the tale o'er again. Like a dagger in the heart, like chills that never stop.

Our only relief, create a fire deep in the marrow with memories never old. Those times of smiles, times of cheer, times she was always near. The way she was and always will, we must remember- the holly berries, the garland and wreaths, the snowflakes and trees, the way she pleased and don't fret, though things change we never forget. Though time slipped by we'll see her yet.

For my sisters and brothers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Crazy, Hectic, and Stressful

Life is interesting during the transition from teen to adult. I'm so not used to being grown. I wish I was more prepared, but what can I say? I liked being the baby of my family- I was always taken care of, but now, I'm almost 19 and I'm working part time and studying and trying to have a life all at the same time. I know what all the adults and parents reading this are thinking- "such is life, Hadassah, you should've known." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my life, I enjoy responsibility, but the one thing I wish was that the transition was a bit smoother, just a small bit. Oh well, I guess, what's done is done. All I can do now is learn as I go.

I can't tell you though, how much I enjoy sharing my pictures here and over at aminus3 and coming back to my inbox to find comments from Don, Sebastian, Justin, Sidney or Jyoti- those of you who's work I admire so much! And then lately quite a few newcomers, you all are so wonderful! I can't thank you enough for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. It's just the thing to perk me up during the day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Blog Review

Thank you, Sebastian, for your comment on the new blog and for giving me an idea..

I just thought of this and I would be forever grateful if you could check out my new site and tell me what you think. Sebastian said he didn't like to have to scroll down to see the full pic, I totally agree, I just have to find the correct pixels ratio to change it to(any tips? I shoot 10 Mpx).

To be completely honest, I usually just wing it when it comes to blogging. I have no idea what half the stuff is and people will ask me questions about blogging or photography or my camera and i'm like "Yeah. Mmhmm. Oh, I dunno..I'm not sure." I end up sounding like a dork, not knowing terminology, but really I think if I how to use it and take good pics maybe that's all that matters, for now. Or maybe I should get some camera/processing/blogging books.

Anyway, please check out the new site as posted below and on the right -> and give me your feedback. Like I said I'll be forever grateful to know what may make these sites more user friendly and more visitor worthy :)

Thanks in advance!!!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

New Blog

I've Created a new version of La Vie Par Mes Yeux! La Vie Par Mes Yeux Deux is up now. My vision for Deux is to focus more on the picture and less one explaining what it is. I feel I would rather have the picture speak for itself and that I need to learn to shut up... ;) So here I will continue to post as usual, but there I'll post my more outspoke shots. Be sure to check it out *here* there is also a link to it on the right, under "More Of My Photos".

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Confined to the car because of the rain. The rain was not my friend on Tuesday. I was hoping to be able to catch the city lights in the foggy mist that we had earlier in the day, but then it started full on raining. Really, I would have stood in the rain and taken my shots but my siblings would have been annoyed and I'm not so sure my camera would have been happy either.

P.S. 'Tis the Season photoblog has kicked off with an image from Kathleen Connally which can be seen here. Enjoy! and please be sure to check back often, it will be updated daily. My shot will appear on Dec. 4 and I'm already working on getting the perfect post.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Laptop Screen Experiment

This is the shot I had promised to show Sebastian. It was an experiment with a combination of the light of the sun catching in my lens and my laptop screen being a background. The result, I think, is similar to that of a pinhole lens. What do you think?

By the way, Thank you for all the wonderful comments and encouragements and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shots Coming...

My apologies, Sebastian, I didn't find the picture you asked about today. I actually didn't even really get a chance to look for it. But, I will find and post it sometime this week, promise. :)

Coming soon: Photos from the city and possibly the first snowfall.

Also coming soon: Justin Gaynor's Tis' the Season Photoblog which I will be participating in. That blog launches this Friday, November 23. Be sure to stay tuned, I'll post more info as I receive it. I'm very excited to see how it turns out. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007


A non processed shot- because I liked it as is. My first "real" photographer shot. I say this only because I literally stopped my car on the side of the road(a busy one at that), walked across the street, camera in hand, to take this. I felt like a photographer.. and it felt good, really good! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I don't know about you, but this is my favorite thing about fall-vibrant color, even on the gloomiest days.

No time for writing today.. but I thought I'd share this shot. Also if you go to my fotki there are more.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Escape

Guess where :) Yes, the local Starbucks! While nothing like those downtown, it has become somewhat of an escape for me. I've been going now for a few weeks, every Friday to study for a few hours. I'm not sure what it is about Starbucks that draws me, the coffee, that coffee perfume I have when I leave, or maybe just the atmosphere? Whatever it is, I'm drawn there a few times a week plus my Friday study time. A way to get out of the house, to treat myself, to enjoy myself a little. So I also find myself taking pictures there, of course! Above is last Friday, and below is the Friday before.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I was very attracted to the fallen leaves last Sunday. These are some more of my shots, the first and fourth are my favorites of the day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Take a Look

My dad sent me an email today with this *link* and I had to share.

Makes me wish I had a fisheye lens. Though, I've been wishing for a better/longer range lens anyway (maybe I should get my own camera

Also, here are some shots from a colored leaf hunt I went on last Sunday, which was on account of extreme boredom.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Autumn Sky

Thought I would take a minute to post these. The first is like time passing by and the second like fire in the sky. It's amazing to me that the sun can do such things to the clouds.

I also would like to thank everyone who comments on my posts. I know I've been horrible at keeping up with posting lately, and worse at responding to the comments, but I just wanted to let you all know that I do appreciate them immensely. And those of you who just look and don't comment, tho I would prefer to have the comments to know and appreciate you individually, I do appreciate that you give my photos the time of day. I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I just really felt that this was needed. Thanks, again!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Autumn Colors

I was in the mood to shoot the other day, after finding the pretty little red tree, and this beautious yellow tree was staring me straight in the eye, just begging for me to take it's portrait. It's about a 5min walk from my house and can be seen from any east facing window.

I was busy helping my sisters with homework so by the time I got to it the sun was setting, and setting fast, casting this reddish pink glow on everything. I think it only added to the Autumn beauty.

****I failed to point out that I walked over to take these.. sorry..

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally Becoming Fall

Well, I guess I got my wish. Finally, I see some Yellow and Orange and Red leaves! This is out a high window at work. I had to stand on a machine that most of the guys use to do pull ups in order to get it, unfortunately it's not as great as I hoped.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Update on last post...

You may have realized that there were not very many pictures in the August 2/ Chapter 6 album... That was due to the fact that my external hard drive and Fotki weren't getting along. Ms. External was a little too hyper and Mr. Fotki was too tired to deal with her at one o'clock in the morning.

Anyway, you may check back now, by clicking *here*, and find more.
I'm not sure I mentioned in the last post or not, but this was the first day having the Pentax, so I kind of went picture crazy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

China Saga- Chapters 5 -6

I'm combining chapters 5 and 6 because I neglected the journal these two days. I know I wasn't really busy on the first, but it was the day that I finally was able to rest and ice my knee(after 3days without, tisk tisk..) So basically I guess I just hung out with on of my best friends, Ting. She and I are pretty good friends and were counting down the days until I left Chicago. So if I remember correctly, we watched movies that day.


First Day in Langfang and I basically just hung out.

Lydia's kisses fix all.

Ok, to explain the last line- Lydia is one of the foster kids with OI. She is about 18months old and the cutest, most photogenic, little girl ever(meaning, you'll see many shots of her). Her thing is blowing kisses. Blowing kisses to everyone, all the time! It's Adorable! Even after she gets in trouble she blows kisses as if it'll fix what she just did. All through my trip I was reminded that kisses fix everything, at least at that age.. lol

Chapter 5 shots *here*

Craft Day for the kids of the families who run the foster homes.
The team went to the Agape Family Life House, while I stayed in the Wyse's house with Ting and Lydia.
Today was cool. Ben and Han are here, so it was cool seeing them.


Okay, more last line explanations. Ben(my brother) is dating a girl from Shanghai named Han. He was in Shanghai earlier this year to meet her and went back while we were in Beijing, then met up with us in LangFang. She is going to be bringing one of the foster girls to Chicago in September to have surgery at Shriners Hospital. It was my first time meeting her in Lang Fang and I enjoyed it very much. She's really a sweet girl. I'll talk about her a little more later.

(Unedited) Chapter 6 shots *here*

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Door and Crank

While we were in Milwaukee a few weeks ago we went to a Scandinavian furniture store. I happened to have brought the Pentax with and took a few cool shots.... I told Don at Slackwater, earlier, that I would respond to his "Handle" post today with another handle. Don, this one about is it, but I think it reminds me a little more of Otto K... The one below reminds me much more of you, as soon as I saw it I thought, "I should take one of this, it's very "Don"" :)
The truth is, when I shoot, I'm always thinking of one of my photoblogger friends, whether it be Justin Gaynor when I'm shooting the beach, Jyoti when I'm shooting scenes downtown, or Don when I'm shooting mechanical things or flowers in the wind, or even Otto K. when I'm shooting abandoned parking lots. I'm always thinking and striving to be better, to be a great photographer. Thank you all for setting the standard (VERY HIGH, mind you)! I enjoy challenging myself as I try to meet that standard.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


I've been so busy lately with everything I feel guilty not posting so I'm taking a minute before I head off to sleep to post.

I was revisiting my China pictures in search of feet shots (yes, I said feet, but more on that later.) and found this -
- it is from a photo walk I took with my friend Ting, another aspiring photographer, the first day I had Ben's camera.

I've also decided to finish posting the Journal entries and corresponding chapter shots/albums sans processing (as much as I don't want to, there are just too many.) When I find the time, I will post them.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Joyeaux- Model Extraordinaire

Lately I've been dabbling in portrait shoots. I've had about 2 or 3 real, full on, photo shoots with "clients"( more like family members who were looking to expand their Myspace portfolios). I'm looking at it as practice and experience. This shot is from a shoot I did with my little sister's at Illinois Beach near Zion, IL. Joyeaux is, by far, the most photogenic little person I've ever shot. She has natural model instincts- I shot her all day and she had SO many different shots and poses it was crazy, AND I didn't even have to coach her, she knew exactly what to do.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Encased #2

Another version of the last shot. This one is a little more to the right allowing more of a reflection of the shoreline. The wind had created a ripple which was the reason for the last one to not have this same type of reflection.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Taking a short break from posting China entries (I'm bored, sorry) to post a shot I took while walking around the local bike path/reservoir. It makes me so happy, and it literally blew Yassine away when I showed him. I'm curious to know your reactions. If you click it, a larger version will pop up.
To me it's like being encased in clouds, and the sun is really awesome, but I'm not exactly sure why there is a long strip of white in the middle(suggestions anyone?). I can't stop thinking of how cool it would have been to have fisheye lens to use that day(hint hint, Ben, lol). Anyway enjoy, and let me know what you think.

PS. Thank you all so much for the comments on the last post! I'm flattered that you all have been enjoying those shots. Oh, and there was a mention of the eclipse shots that I took last week(at 4:30am, God, is that early!)- I will post them, probably during this break. I've had a lot of "shoots" lately, and there are TONS of pictures to post, so it's probably a good thing that my brother took back his camera for his trip to Aspen.

Monday, August 27, 2007

China Saga- Chapter 4

Hi everyone, thank you SO much for the comments on the last post! I'm glad y'all are enjoying this second hand trip to China.

I'd like to apologize for my lack of posting last week. I really have no excuse, other than being stuck in a good book, but maybe also because, I'm getting bored of editing and frustrated with the slowness of the process(because of the amount and Lightroom being pretty slow these days). So here is "Chapter 4".

To answer Don's question from the last post, I'm not sure if I will be posting like that.. What I may do is go and caption a few of them in Fotki. Whatever I do, I'll be sure to let you know.

I've also been a busy photographer the past few days.. many shots have been taken! ;) Tonight I'll see what I can get of a Lunar eclipse

Today has been interesting. From the hotel to Tiananmen Square to the Forbidden City, to lunch, to Baihi (spelling?) park, to Lang Fang, such a busy day. There were so many complaints, about everything, but still I had a lot of fun, I'm getting to know Liz better and I'm learning to hold my tongue and handle with care those who annoy me.

The American mentality to be spoiled and picky has really been on my mind. It drives me up a tree. There is so much pride in it. Why can't we just humble ourselves and be open to new things? There is nothing wrong with change, we need to change. Pastor Jordan preached that on Sunday. We need to change, the American race needs to lose it's prideful, "better than you", attitude. Our eyes need to be opened to see how horrid our actions are portrayed.~~~

I'm not remembering what had happened that day, but obviously I was a bit annoyed. People who haven't been out of the United States are hard to travel with, especially in a third world country. I'm sure these Americans were really appreciating their home when they got back.

This chapter's shots are *here*

Monday, August 20, 2007

China Saga- Chapter 3


On the bus, on the way to dinner from the Great Wall. Climbing today was fun, but hard with the humidity. As I was taking video, I couldn't help but recall watching the videos from when I was like two, climbing the wall with my short, little legs. Now, I'm grown and videoing the girls' short, little legs climb faster than me!

I took plenty of shots up on the cable car and through out the walk/climb. Liz and I challenged ourselves, walked quite a ways, but still not as far as those girlies. We had a lot of fun.

Sweaty and exhausted. Now, I'm falling asleep while sitting here waiting to get to the restaurant.

Click Here for shots from this chapter.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

China Saga- Chapter 2


Okay, I'm freaking out. Pitta Plus- a pita place in China! Houkah in China! I'm like in Heaven. There's baklava too, my Lord SO loves me.
I know I promised myself I wouldn't talk about food, but I felt this deserved it. Everything tasted so great.

Temple of Heaven was beautiful as always but a bit eerie because of the smog from the pollution. I took pictures as well as video there.
Hong Qiao Pearl Market followed. There I took pictures to send to Beata(brother's girlfriend), Susan's(our pearl lady) selection is much wider and I think I decided that I want a blue sand ring this time- it's quite a pretty stone.

Click here for this Chapter's shots.

Something that I hadn't written in this entry was that at River of Grace church that morning I met a girl named Laurel from Arkansas. She was there interning for the summer at our friend's foster homes. Later on in the trip saga there will be many encounters with shots of Laurel. She is beautiful and very photogenic so it was really easy to take shots of her candidly(my favorite way). I became pretty good friends with her and hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch.

Another thing is that because of the lack of religious freedom in China we go to River of Grace, which is a church strictly for foreigners. The only actual Chinese you see there are adopted children.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Start of My China Saga

Are you ready for a journey through my eighteenth trip to China? Ok, well, here goes!

07.27(28).07 Journal Entry

On the plane from Detroit to Tokyo- Everything has gone really well so far. We (all 24 of us) managed to get on the same flight with all(50 pieces) our luggage and the wheelchairs safely below us. God has been good (as always)- there was Starbucks at both the O'hare and Detroit gates and the flights attendants have been very helpful with the ice for my knee. The girls have been really good but, at the moment, are overtired. So I'm making them sleep- right now I've got my legs spread in a "v" formation, Charity is laying between- hers spread in the same "v" and Faith laying between, with pink washcloths over their faces to block the light from all the readers around us. I've taken a few pictures, my artistic eye is alert, but I'm hoping my journalistic eye kicks in too sometime soon. Anyway, that's it for now, I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying myself and that it seems this may end up being more fun than I thought.

Here in China, finally. It's hot and humid, just like I remember, but I'm not complaining. I learned how to cope with that (well heat at least) in preparation for Morocco. There has already been some complaints which I'm trying to ignore(Lord God, please give me patience). I'm also a bit emotional, still not used to mom not being here, in China, with us. She always knew exactly what to do/say to make things right. Okay, enough of that, I can't wait to sleep and then get to see Ting tomorrow.

Lord, I thank you for patience, and unconditional love. Help us get through tonight's check in, and of course, the rest of the trip. In Jesus' name, Amen.

CLICK HERE to view the first shots of my trip.

Happy Birthday Yassine!

So, since I can't be with you to celebrate- this is for you, Yassine.

I'd could write out the lyrics to all our songs, explain our radio station, write all about all the times you've made me smile, or all the times you've made me blush; about our quirky little moments, about how you totally rock and I inevitably rule ;) or even tell about how I tried to set you up with one of my friends as to not waste a good guy, but you were there, so you know. You know how much I enjoy "us", how comfortable I am with you, and I hope you know that I will continue to be there for you as I know you will for me. We've had a great start. Here's to years more, I love you. Happy 22nd Birthday, baby!

P.S. You're sharing cakes with Hope, but I'm sure she won't mind ;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I'm baaaack..

Hello Everyone!

I'm back from China. The trip was absolutely wonderful, but I did miss my family, my friends, and my bed. So I'm back now going through pictures day after day(all 1500 of them), deleting the blurs and processing the overexposed, so bear with me. I will try to have up at least one album by tomorrow.

Until then...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Sunday - Beijing

I swear, I freaked out when I found out there was a Mediterranean resturant in Beijing(Pitta Plus)- and then I freaked out more because I found out we were eating there. Well, actually, it was technicallly Israeli, but there was Chicken Sharwma and mint tea and baklava annnnnnd HOUKAH! not that I smoked it there, but I was in heaven. It totally catered to my Mediterranean obsession, okay, okay, my Moroccan obsession. Anyway, it makes China all the more my second home and it just proves that there is a Mediterranean trend going around the world. Here are a couple shots I took to prove my being there.

Ah and before I forget, we also went to Temple of Heaven on Sunday. Here are some of those shots as well.