Sunday, November 28, 2010

Project 365 - Holiday Preparation

Holiday Preparation

In preparation for the holidays, the Leshinsky family always takes a photo that we use in our holiday card.  Joel had an idea and wanted to make sure that we took the photo before Rachel left for school so we went out to find this perfect location and I set up my tripod and put the camera on the timer feature and snapped away until we got the perfect shot!

This is NOT the shot.  But I liked it a lot.  The girls look happy, rested and comfortable with each other and in front of the camera.  I like the way the tree is the frame around them.

As we made our way back to the car we saw this branch that was incredibly long and crooked.  So I was trying to get the whole thing into the shot while they were yelling at me to hurry up and let's go!  But as always, I ignored them to take the photo at the right exposure and angle.

The other shot was of the family getting ready to get into the car, but of course they couldn't because I had the keys!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Project 365 - Photo of the Day - November 27, 2010 Part II

The Leshinsky Girls Get a Haircut

We all needed a haircut so after we spent the afternoon at the Kaplans watching the Michigan/Ohio football game.  Needless to say, Michigan lost and it was a very quiet ending to a very loud beginning.  But I know that my friend, Leon, was extremely happy!  As for me, I am not really into football so it doesn't matter to me who wins as long as someone I know is happy.  I am a baseball girl myself.

Well, I digress . . . as soon as the girls sat in the chairs, I HAD to take photos!  These are the results of the fruits of my labor.  Nothing earth-shattering, but I like them.

Project 365 - Photo of the Day - November 27, 2010

Photo of the Day - November 27, 2010

I am back to my normal routine!  I think about photography, see photos with my eyes and carry my camera everywhere that I go so that I can capture, well, capture whatever!

As the Thanksgiving Holiday continues, and I get more rest, I have the energy to roll out of bed, throw on my sneakers and one camera on each shoulder . . . one with my 28 - 55 mm lens and one with my 55 - 200 mm lens.

I was totally uninspired by the drab lighting.  However, I like a challenge.  So I stayed out there for more than an hour.  I wandered around the lake, looking for anything that I could shoot.  I found some ducks and these other birds that I don't know their real name, but I call them swamp chickens, and then I found one perfect moment where this bird was perched on the edge of the dock.  So, after be uninspired, I found what I was looking for!  The photo of the day.

For more visit my Flickr site.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Project 365 - Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Our annual tradition on Thanksgiving is for Joel to get up really early and start cooking, he makes me a cup of coffee and then reads the paper.  It is a quiet start to the day.

By 9 a.m. Rachel walks in, sleepily, carrying her laptop and blanket and climbs into bed with us  . . . usually in the middle!  Then in swaggers Adina with her laptop and blanket and at this point, Joel leaves.  We turn on NBC so that we can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Our favorite part is the first hour where we get to see snippets of the newest and hottest Broadway shows.  This year . . . American Idiot, Memphis and Elf!  Adina and I saw American Idiot this past July and LOVED it.

We are still sitting in the same position and it is more than two hours later, but we don't move until we see Santa Claus!  Aren't we good Jews??

Seriously, it is great fun and I wouldn't miss it for the world.  This last photo is my view of the morning!

Project 365 - South Beach Photo Shoot

South Beach Photo Shoot

I am taking the Level III Advanced Photography Course offered by Jeremiah Jenner.  We meet every Saturday at a different location.  We have gone to the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum and worked on PhotoShop at his studio/gallery/apartment in the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts.  This past Saturday night we went to South Beach in Miami Beach.

I drove to Sailboat Bend and picked up Jeremiah and and Doug (a fellow student) and we got to Lincoln Road at about 5:15 p.m.  With the failing light, we were offered MANY challenges to take good photos.  Two rules . . . no flash and no tripod.  So there is a lot of standing VERY still, elbows tucked in, and holding your breath but letting it out as you squeeze the shutter!  We also experimented with using walls and other surfaces to balance our cameras, not to mention our knees as we were sitting on the ground watching traffic fly by.

But South Beach offers an eclectic array of subjects to shoot, from diverse faces to neon in every color on the planet.  The colors of South Beach are unlike anywhere else . . . pastels, brilliant pinks and greens . . . remnants of Miami Vice days and art deco architecture.

To see more, simply go to my Flickr account to see them all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Project 365 - It's Potter Time

It's Potter Time

Oh to be 15 and carefree again.  My daughter and her friend, Amaris, went to extreme lengths to dress up like the characters that attend Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.  I think they did a fabulous job!

Then my neighbor, Robert, took them to the midnight showing of the film on Thursday, November 18.  I would have taken her but I just got off the plane at 7 p.m. after flying for five hours from San Francisco.  There was absolutely no way that my eyes would have stayed open past 10 pm.

I am a Harry Potter geek too, but I am waiting for Rachel to come home and we are all going to go together the day after Thanksgiving!  I don't think I will be dressing up though!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Project 365 - Napa Valley Winery Tour

What a Day!

When in Wine Country what else do you do but take a tour of the wineries!  In my head it was going to be like a day in the movie "Sideways.' Nothing was further from that image!!

The day started out with a simple breakfast of yogurt and fruit while we read our emails and uploaded photos.  By 10 a.m. we left for the train station.  Sitting in the train station was an experience as we listened to Mike Grgich, a local winery owner and Napa pioneer.  The man is about 86 and his daughter is now running Grgich Hills Winery.  He was charming and spoke lovingly about making wine.  His daughter also spoke about the different wines and especially about the two that we were tasting today.  One was a Fume Blanc and the other was a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The white wine was "spice" a very interesting taste.  One I wouldn't normally choose, but I really did like it.  The other was very dark and rich and smooth on the tongue.

Then we got onto the train.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I am visiting my cousin Rebecca.  Our parents were siblings and since she grew up in Brooklyn, we spent a LOT of time together as kids but as adults, we only see each other occasionally, but thanks to Facebook, we talk quite a bit.  So Rebecca took a few days off to spend with me and she is treating me to two days of wineries!

So the train took off, headed north and we talked and drank, caught up and then we walked out on the platform of the back of the train and I shot lots of images of this pristine countryside.  The colors are so rich.  This time of year is after what they call the "crush" but there are still a few grapes still on the vines here and there.

Then we moved to the dining car where we shared our lunches . . . I had chicken with baby carrots and polenta and Rebecca had salmon with baby red potatoes and spinach with a curry avocado sauce.  Are you hungry yet?  We topped that off with Tiaramisu and Creme Brulee.

Needless to say, we were both so full that we really never ate dinner tonight, but after a trip to downtown Napa and a walk through the Oxbow Public Market, we both selected something extremely simple and continued to talk well into the evening.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Project 365 - Campaigning Photos (Still Catching Up)

Thought I might upload a bunch of campaign photos all at one time.  These photos were taken in the last few days prior to the Election.  The first photo was sent to me by Rachel.  We insisted on a photo of her at that ISU seal in a campaign t-shirt.  Ok, so we asked for it back in September and she finally got around to it.  But hey, she is busy!

The next was the amazing display of signs at the Tamarac Branch Library where both Adina and I worked Early Voting campaigning for Joel!  I just couldn't believe the dedication of the volunteers.  It was hot as the middle of the summer out there.  We all took care of each other, telling each other to sit down, get out of the sun, have a drink, etc.

The next photo was taken during a Jazz Concert near City Hall.  The crowd in my living room are all of our volunteers hearing our strategies for Election Day.  And Joel is hugging Margaret Bates at a Halloween event at a park.

Definitely a whirlwind of activity.  It was fun.  It was a lot of work.  We found out who are friends are and made new alliances.  But no wonder why neither one of us could get out of bed the day after the Election!!   Not to mention that I was standing on my feet from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then had to go to our friend's home for a "victory" party, which was actually a victory party for Richard since he ran for Mayor unopposed.

Glad it is over, but glad Joel ran.  He got is name out there.  He will definitely have good come from all of this.

But I am definitely glad to have my time back.  I haven't moved from this spot since 8 a, this morning and it is now almost 2 p.m.  I haven't had the luxury of doing this in WAY too long.  Very glad to be back!

Project 365 - October 16 (Still Catching Up)

During the day we campaigned.  Then we had to shop for items at Restaurant Depot for a volunteer meeting.   We also needed to waste a bit of time because Adina was working at the Nova Titan Invitational Debate.  I loved this photo of this guy working the forklift.  He was taking his job so seriously but gave me a tiny smile as I walked by him snapping away.

We spent about an hour at the store.  There was one area that I refused to walk into, the freezer room.  You need to wear a parka in there, they have them hanging on hooks.  This sign was on the door and I just thought it was funny.

In between campaigning, I was still able to enter some of my work into two art shows!  I had three pieces at Sailboat Bend in Gallerie Jenner and two pieces at the Girls Club art studio in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

This particular night three different venues worked together (something I have been pushing for a long time).  The Girls Club, Sailboat Bend and F.A.T. Village all had events the same night and they hired minibuses to transport the attendees to the gallery night from place to place so no one had to worry about parking.

The first photo shows my artwork on exhibit at the Girls Club with Post It notes all around it.  The purpose of the notes are to let the judges, artists and the general public make comments.  Each was color coded.  I ended up saving the comments.  Not sure what I will do with them, but something!

I ran into lots of artist friends. This is Onajide.  He runs an online Meetup Group where he helps to educate fellow artists about workshops, exhibition opportunities and just ways to get to know each other socially since working as an artist can be isolating.  Then we boarded the minibus and headed over to Sailboat Bend.  They had exhibitons on each floor of the building and in a lot of the artist live/work spaces. 
This photo was taken in one of the lobby gallery spaces.  The art was an audio piece mixed with the writing on the wall.  So it was an interactive installation piece, or performance art.  These two guys were really into it!

After about an hour, we decided that we were hungry.  So we headed back to downtown Fort Lauderdale and went to 2nd Street and ate at the Taco place!  I had my Avocado salad and fish tacos!!  YUMMY. 

I took this photo of the train going thorough downtown.  I love listening to the train going by.  It reminds me of when I was in Terre Haute, IN going to Indiana State University with Joel.  That was basically the crossroads of America!  there were ALWAYS trains going through and I loved to hear the train whistles.  Wasn't fun waiting for them to pass by, but still liked them.  Made me wonder where they were coming from and where they were going to.

Project 365 - October 12 (Still Catching Up)

Another weeknight. . . . another homeowners meeting.  We arrived early this time.  Too early.  We got to know the park staff and some of the residents.  This lady told us about her incredibly long nails.  She hasn't cut them in years!  It was both weird, gross and intriguing.  And she allowed me to take photos of her nails.

Unfortunately, when the president of this homeowners meeting arrived, we were told that this was not a Candidates Night and Joel would not be allowed to speak.  It was such a stark and cold reception, that we were overwelmed at the response.

So we left, but this was the only meeting . . . which are all public meetings by the way in public facilities . . . where we felt unwelcome.  We didn't dwell on it.  But I had to mention it to get this out of my system.

Project 365 - October 11 (Still Catching Up)

In the middle of all of the campaigning craziness, at work we had our arts consultants fly back into town for the launching of our CreativeBROWARD 2020 ten-year community cultural plan that we have been working on for almost two years now.

In addition to planning and organizing this meeting which was to be held originally at the ArtsPark in Hollywood, but then the RSVPs were too many for the room that they had reserved for us, so we moved it to the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.

Then the equipment wouldn't cooperate, and we had set up and then move the chairs several times because we were in the art gallery and we wanted to make sure that no one would bump into the sculptures.

However, the meeting went very well, and I ended up sitting with my artist friend, Timothy.  He was teasing me about my new piece which I had titled, "Size Matters."  So right above our heads on the ceiling, was this sculpture.  I took a photo of it and showed it to him during the meeting and I had to shut him up because the two of us were giggling so much.  I had to walk away from him for a while so that we didn't interfere with the meeting!

Oh well, it is a very nice sculpture, and the other ones in the exhibit are too.  I guess the two of us just interpreted this one the same way!

Project 365 - October 6 (Still Catching Up)

Happy Birthday to ME! 

No rest for the weary.  Even on my birthday I went to work (which I usually take the day off but I figured that if I did that, I would be working on the campaign anyway). 

After work, we had only one meeting, but since it was a "Meet the Candidates Night" we couldn't just leave.  The questions from the audience went on for a while and we didn't get to the restaurant until after 9:30 p.m.  Both my dad and Adina were with us since it was my birthday and they wanted to celebrate with me!

So my choice was the Korean restaurant near the house.  Great food, great sushi, great atmosphere and if you want the stir fry stuff, they cook it right in front of you!

I was really shocked that my dad tried all the different foods.  When I was growing up he had a very, very limited food range . . . if it wasn't something that his mother cooked for him, he didn't eat it.  Especially if the food was fish!

But I was quite impressed with the fact that he ate EVERYTHING!!  I ate the veggies that were a bit too spicy for him.  It was all good and I enjoyed my birthday, even if it was a very late meal!

Project 365 - October 5 (Still Catching Up)

On this evening we actually had THREE homeowners meetings to run to.  We were just heading back to the northwestern part of Lauderhill as we were driving up and over the hill that goes over the Florida Turnpike and I captured this image of the sun setting.

I love sunsets and sunrises.  The colors are reminiscent of a watercolor painting.

Project 365 - October 3 (Still Catching Up)

This was one event that I didn't attend, so I sent my camera with Robert.  He did a great job!  This event was the Caribbean Democrat Club (I think, they are all running together in my memory now).

The first photo is of Joel with Ruth Lynch a community activist.  Loved the hat!  And the look on her face is priceless.  She really, really believed in Joel.

The second photo is of Joel with Mitch Caesar, the Broward County Democratic Chairman.  They have known each other for a very long time.

Since I wasn't' there, not much more to say about the event, but just that there was so much support out there for Joel.

Project 365 - October 2 (Still Catching Up)

I know that I blogged most of these photos in Joel's blog, but I really liked this photo.  The City of Lauderhill Firefighters and Police really, really believed in Joel and helped him on a daily basis. They volunteered their time to walk neighborhoods and place door hangers on everyone's doorknobs.  They knocked on doors and spoke to the neighbors about Joel (and Margaret too). 

They were incredible.  This photo was taken at Margaret Bate's campaign headquarters early on a Saturday morning.  We were talking about the strategy of which neighborhoods to walk, who would be in which neighborhood and how long we were to do this.

We can't thank them enough.  They were out there in FORCE during the two weeks of Early Voting and on Election Day too!  Joel made 70 sandwiches and put them into a huge cooler and the guys took turns driving from polling location to polling location to feed all the volunteers!

It really takes a village. 

Project 365 - October 1 (Still Catching Up)

Another weekday night, more meetings to attend, before I fell into bed and put away my campaign materials and my camera, I saw this shot and had to take it.  Adina was scratching Newton's head while he sat on her stomach.  The two of them looked so peaceful when I took this.  Of course, immediately afterwards Newton wanted to play and dove under the covers!  So I am glad that I caught this shot!

The second shot of Grace sitting on the edge of my sink is the typical scene that I find when I flip on the light to go in there.  Grace will sit there in the dark waiting for me to come in and turn on the bathroom sink, just a tiny stream of water, so that she can drink the water.  She thinks she is a lion drinking out of a pond in the middle of the desert! Or that is the story I make up in my head!  I just think it is funny that she sits there waiting for me.  And she will do this several times a day.  When I come in sometimes I forget that she might be there and it always makes me laugh.

I really love the way her eyes look in this shot.  Grace has hauntingly beautiful eyes.  Sometimes I can't catch the color, but I think I did okay in this shot.  Even when Grace was a kitten her eyes were sort of scary looking. 

Project 365 - September 30 (Still Catching Up)

Another weekday evening spent running home from downtown Fort Lauderdale, no changing clothes, but grabbing campaign materials, my campaign notebook and my camera and off we went to another homeowners meeting.  After listening to the other candidates do their "blah blah blah" we finally went to dinner at about 9 p.m.  This was a typical evening for us for the past two months.  Can you understand why I the day after Election Day I just couldn't get out of bed until about noon?

So as we were driving from point A to point B . . . I was sitting in the back seat because Adina wanted to sit with her Dad in the front seat.  I was playing with my camera, which I didn't get to do much of, only took campaign-related photos . . . not my favorite photography.  I really do NOT enjoy taking photos of people!

I snapped this shot of Checkers as we were approaching the traffic light.  I loved the way the puddle reflected the red neon.  It looks like the puddle is glowing.

The other photo was taken at the restaurant.  Adina and Joel were bored (not to mention very hungry) as we were waiting for the food to arrive.  So they were playing that hand-slap game.  I made sure to move all of the glasses of liquid far away from them so that I wouldn't be the one wearing their drinks on my lap or worse, on my camera!!

I really liked this photo because it showed the impish look on Adina's face as she was playing this dumb game.  She is still a kid and it is nice to see this look on her 15 year old face now and then.  Most of the time there is absolutely NO expression on her face . . . that is unless she is with one of her friends.  But then again, I remember being like that with my parents too.  I don't think I got over that until I was about 30!

Project 365 - September 29 (Still Catching Up)

On September 29 there was a "Meet the Candidates Night" at Lauderhill City Hall.  This was one of the better forums that I attended because it was conducted by the League of Women Voters.  They explained how the evening would be handled.  In addition, the best thing that they did was to distribute a four page hand-out that explained, in layman's terms, the amendments and resolutions that were to be on our ballots.  They didn't tell you "HOW" to vote, they only told you what it meant if you voted yes, or if you voted no.  Sometimes the language, no actually, the language ALWAYS is confusing to voters as to which way to actually vote to get the outcome that you actually want.

So, this photo was taking just prior to the event starting.  For some unknown reason, there was a roll of toilet paper on the Commission's dais.  I thought of the irony and then someone moved it. 

And I thought I would just add this in to show that Joel looked very good as he answered the questions posed to him by the League of Women Voters.

As you can see, there were not many folks in the audience, however, it was being videotaped.  I have a copy of the event, I just never uploaded it to the website, but I might.

Feels Good to Be Back

As I am sitting here in my nice clean living room, listening to Bob Dylan, my feet propped up on a pillow on the table in front of me, my family fast asleep upstairs, I am taking advantage of the fact that we have one extra hour of sleep tomorrow morning thanks to Daylight Savings Time.  So instead of crawling into my bed, I am busy editing photos.

I edited photos from today's Advanced Photography class which was a blast.  We met at the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, had a tour by a very, very knowledgable docent, and then we were on our own.  The only restrictions, we couldn't touch or get into any of the Packard cars.

By the end of the photo shoot, I was not only filthy, but I worked up quite a sweat.  And that says something since the temperatures dipped today into the 50s this morning and again this evening.

So these two photos were taken in September when we first started to work on Joel's campaign for City of Lauderhill Commissioner.  I found the snail on Joel's car.  It was a really big snail and I loved the way it was reflected on the car.  I played with the exposure a bit and the levels, but other than that, it is what it is.  The other photo was a magnificant sunset over Veterans Park.  We were just exiting the building after an appearance at a homeowners meeting.  This field is the baseball field.  I have many photos of my girls playing at this park so there are great memories here. 

Since I am tired, I am only uploading two photos tonight.  But there are many more to follow.  And I still have to finish editing my NYC photos from July!!  My friend, Marc, must think I forgot about him!  I have really cool shots from the "Top of the Rock" that I never edited and uploaded.