Monday, April 30, 2007

Photoblogger Meet-up 2007

I am really privileged to live here in Chicago. Not only is it one of the greatest cities ever, it was this years choice of venue for the NAP Meet-up 2007, this weekend. Now, I didn't even know really what that was until about a month ago when Don asked if I was going to be there. I had no clue, but I thought it would be a great opportunity. I only went to the announcing of the Photoblogger Awards at the Apple Store, but just that was enough to know I should have been at the rest of it, it really would have been a blast. It was so great to see how "close" everyone had gotten and only over two days with each other. I was very inspired by their photos and by their passion for photography, I'm happy that I am able to become a part of that.

One of my favorites buildings in Chicago(tho, I've never been inside) because of it's Arab flare- it used to be the Medinah Temple.
The side of the glass stairwell at the Apple store- it's blurry, and I have a focused one, but I like this one.
My beautiful sister again-loving her city.
The church across from the John Hancock building.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Black Beauty....

Black Beauty has been treating me better than I thought she would. What an absolute dream to use! I love having options and of course the wonderful 10 Mega pix!
Last weekend, I borrowed the beaut, knowing I had a family event going on. My mom's side of the family lives in the "country", so I knew I'd have a wonderful time shooting some of their property, plus the wonderful 80 degree days were practically begging me to document them.

These were my favorite shots of the weekend:

the little rippling brook in the back yard...
the drive way and my favorite- pine trees!

my beautiful sister, Hope, above and below..

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Covetousness and Getting Closer

Ok so my brother, yes, Ben, just bought one of the most beautiful digital cameras I have ever seen/held. Super high quality, 10MP, awesome lenses and he's getting all kinds of filters.... Oh my, am I coveting that thing! Get this tho, he said I can use it! *HUGE smiles* but of course, there's a catch.... I have to LEARN how, not just play with it. So I actually have to learn how to use his Pentax K 10D SLR and you know I'm not complaining. *sighs* It's gorgeous...

I don't have to covet it much
longer I don't think tho... He said that he'd drop some hints to my dad for my graduation present(as long as I finish, and let me tell you, with that as one of my incentives.... NO PROB).

Now for the "Getting Closer" portion of the title up there, it actually means quite a few things. The first thing I meant by it was- getting closer to the "boy", as I have been affectionately referring to him. For a week now, I've had permission to use our land line(sparingly) to call habibi(my love) in Morocco. So far, I've called him twice and we've had short conversations followed by msn chats. I really enjoy being able to hear his voice, as he does mine, more often than before, and I do feel that maybe my theory of typing being one of the best way to communicate is a tad flawed. So that's the first "closer".

The second thing I'm wrapping into that title is getting closer to finishing school- I've finished typing all my essays for literature, except one that I need assistance with writing; my dad and I have put together the Report and Identification sheets(R&Is) for Art, Music and P.E. which he evaluated and graded; and I did a full Algebra2 exam earlier this week and I am thinking I did pretty well on that. We will send in a bunch of things, hopefully, by the end of the week, and at that time also request they send the curriculum list(so I can somehow, figure a way out of English literature). I will then receive that list and my second-to-last report card. That's that "closer".

The thir
d and last is that I feel like my meeting with my habibi will be soon. It has been an 8month road, but we've stuck together and we'll have something to show for it soon. And I've been thinking that it'd be better if I had my license while he was here and eliminate the possibility of sitting around doing nothing or having to take the train into the city. So, I'll be driving constantly this weekend and for the next few weeks until I rack up my 50hrs, that I don't think I even have half of. That's what I get, I suppose, for waiting so long to get my permit. So, anyway, I'm getting closer to having my license too.

I'm sorry to bring too much mushiness into my "photoblog" but it's also about my life, I guess, anyway, so hey... :) I will keep this all of this updated as much as I can, as it goes down and I hope to be posting some shots from this new beauty of a camera as well as some shots of habibi and I together relatively soon, inshallah(
God willing).

What I'm now calling "Black Beauty"- Check it out!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Plan B and Moroccan Trends

Now finished with the Nashville/Gatlinburg series I would like to share a bit about what's going on with me and the Morocco situation.
I was really trying to get there as soon as I could, but my dad has made it pretty clear that going to "that part of the world" with out a reason (i.e. wanting to and having a boyfriend there isn't enough) is not a good idea. Okay, so I feel him, I understand where he's coming from- he's my dad and he refers to me a "beautiful, 18yr old, blonde hair, blue eyed girl" as being "the one they'd be after" or something like that. In other words, he's afraid I'd be a target for predators(and here I was thinking it was about terrorism, silly me).

Anyway, so this brings me to my next not so original, kind of difficult, idea- Why not bring the boy here? Oh, did I mention that it's not so original, and also kind of difficult? I've thought of it before but we didn't think it would work, for multiple reasons. We've ruled out some of those reasons and now we think we only have one reason it may not work- the visa. It's kind of difficult to get, but considering my dad is on board now, I think it's possible to get it anyway. I've had my nay sayers critique already, but me and my family think that it may not be as difficult as it is perceived. Did I mention my family is in on this too? Yes, my family... Aaah, I love it! Okay, so this I guess could be considered as Plan B and habibi and dad are on board. Can life get better at this point? (Actually, yes it could, but I'm just really happy.)

So now I must say to the other nay sayers out there, please, don't send any nays my way. I don't need or want to hear it. I need all the positive energy and prayers possible for this effort. I do believe it is a good sign that my family is open to this idea and that maybe it just wasn't time yet to go to Morocco and when it is time, assuming all goes well, my dad will know someone personally who he would be able to trust with my safety.

Pictures from this weekend-
Proof that God knows the desires of my heart, look what I found (at Old Navy, of all places)...

Yep, the best spot to get lost is indeed, Morocco.. :)

And see here is a slightly modified necklace and earrings also from Old Navy.

Do you see the tiny Hand of Fatima on the bottom tier of the necklace and on the earrings?
I also saw a lot of other earrings that looked a bit Moroccan and was tempted to buy them but I've wanted some Hand of Fatima jewelry for a while now.

This is how I interpret such ethnic things being in American stores- America is seeing how wonderful the Moroccan and Arab cultures are, finally! I love being ahead of the trend.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Part 3 - A Photographer or Dreamer?

This trip was a lot about pictures for me. I felt like a real photographer, someone who knew what she was doing and knew what techniques she needed to use to make certain things happen.
I loved how sepia made everything look more interesting and pretty than plain color...
..gave a bit of a country tinge to a plain old bus ride and made certain things stand out that wouldn't in a color shot...
Details are just totally out there it seems plus there is a softness to it all... left room for imagination and I used a lot of that this trip. Dreamer, I am.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Gatlinburg/Nashville Trip Part 2

A song that continually was brought to mind during this trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee was 3x5, by John Mayer, which is funny because the song is about not taking pictures and capturing things with both eyes. There is a line in this song tho that says, "And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky are next to mountains anyway.." This(above) is probably my most favorite picture taken on my whole trip. There is something about the way sepia brings out the detail of the clouds, but John is right, what is shown in this picture is only a fraction of the beauty of this place in real life.

Another shot of the clouds, I swear, I tried just about every setting on my camera to see if I could capture what I saw with my eyes. These were what our cabins looked like- I loved how rugged it all was.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Gatlinburg/Nashville Trip Part 1

Traveling alone, ahhh, what a lovely experience! I have to tell you all that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don't think I've ever been in an airport and felt so free. Now, don't get me wrong, I love traveling with my family, but it just gets burdensome sometimes. This was the first time I have ever traveled alone and I am tempted to do it more often. It all went so smoothly and seamlessly that I'm still waiting for something to turn up missing, because it seems too good to be true that I didn't lose or forget anything.

Ok for those of you who do not know, I spent March 31-April 4 in Gatlinburg and Nashville with my dear friend, Diamond, and her family. She had invited me to go on a retreat with her youth group early last month and wonderfully enough, my dad bought me a ticket and Friday afternoon I flew out to Nashville to get on a bus with 40-50 teenagers. Hehehe, Diamond knew what she was doing, she knows rowdy teens and me don't exactly mix all that well. She knew that my comfort zone was adult interaction, not teen interaction. She knew all that and still expected me to have fun and act civilized(in other words, not to chuck a shoe at the little screaming mimis on the bus), and guess what, I did. I knew she knew all this and I knew that the point of this trip was for me to learn how to adapt to my surroundings even if it meant I had to act retarded 95% of the time( I didn't have to btw, you'd be surprised how civilized Christian teenagers can be...). Anyway, so I did, I learned how to come up with things to say to them, start a conversation- something I really wasn't all that good at, especially about 2 yrs ago when I met Diamond, Oy! I had a ton of fun, learned a lot about myself and about the body of Christ and that was only in Gatlinburg!

There is so many things to talk about and so many pictures to share from this trip that I'm going to break it up a little. I'll expand on everything more a little later. But for now, these are some of the things that I've learned this week:
~All teenagers are somewhat mature, they just find it easier to ACT immature.
~Sharing a bathroom with 7 other people is tolerable.
~I'm one of the Committed.
~I am who I say I am.
~I control how I react to a person, group,or race.
~There is beauty in Punk Rock...
~I really am a Photographer.