Sunday, December 8, 2013

Project 365 - December 8, 2013

What I Find on the Corner

I never know what I will see when I am driving.  I know that I am in a place where surprises exists on each street corner in major urban areas.  However, I don't always expect to see these surprises as I am driving in the western areas of Broward County, typically called a bedroom community by our urban planners.

But as I stopped for a red light on Friday, when I was really in a grand rush to get somewhere, I had no choice but stop and wait for the light to turn green at the corner of University Dr. and Oakland Park Blvd. because there is one of those Red Light Cameras that would welcome the image of my license plate in order to immediately transport the information to the City of Sunrise so that within about five days there would be one of those envelopes in my mailbox, you know the type, fold here and here and here and then tear off those little strips of paper so that you can open up the flaps of paper to find, yes, to find that violation that costs a lot of money.  So, yes, I stopped and took a deep breath, turned to my left and saw this person.

Ok, so there are homeless people on every corner in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  I am used to that.  In fact, I am so oblivious to the vast numbers of homeless people that I don't even pay attention much.  Please, don't call me callous, I do feel badly for the newly homeless, the people who really need a helping hand.  There are agencies throughout the country that are available to assist these folks.  There are social service organizations, faith-based organizations and more.  These folks are the ones that want assistance and when the hand is extended the hand is usually accepted.  But then there are the folks that are emotionally and mentally incapable of helping themselves or to recognize that help is available and they just aimlessly move through our streets, almost like ghosts in the daylight.  I feel for these folks as well, but as soon as they are helped, the vast majority are back on the streets because they have trouble with reality and our social system really doesn't' have a good method of sustaining this type of assistance.  But then there are the folks that truly do not want the help.  These are folks that I see in the building where I work.  I recognize their faces.  They just don't want help and they are capable of understanding that there is help.  They just choose to continue this lifestyle.    I have always said that there are three, and perhaps more, levels of homelessness.

But on Friday, I was sure that this person did not fit into any of these homeless categories.  This was someone who had a message to share with the world.  So of course, I grabbed my phone, didn't have the DSLR camera at the time, and snapped as many images that I could until the light turned green.  I wasn't  sure of the quality or if I had even captured what I was seeing.

Not only was he carrying a puppet of some sort so it looked as though he could break out into ventriloquism at any given moment, but also carried this huge sign on his back and an umbrella for shade since it was a typical sunny and hot afternoon in South Florida.

Later in the day when I was showing these to Rachel, we tried to read the sign and make some sense of it.  Not sure that there is a point, but nonetheless, I found this to be one of my more interesting characters.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Project 365 - October 19, 2013

Gold Coast Railway Museum

The Level IV Photographers took a field trip to the Gold Coast Railway Museum.  I would have carpooled with someone, but since I needed to be somewhere with my family at 7 pm, I figured I better drive by myself.  So I situated myself with my phone plugged in, with Google Maps navigating the way, my Beatles tunes blaring and a bottle of water for the road.  Good thing for that bottle of water.  It was so hot and humid at the musuem, I went through two bottles and poured another over my head to keep cool!
The museum has been there since right after World War II.  Originally there were dirigibles in a huge hanger there -- six of them -- that would fly over the ocean seeking U-boats.  It makes you think . . . it wasn't all that long ago when that war took place.  True, it was before I was born, but only 10 years before I was born. Not really ancient history.

But then it was turned into a museum of rail cars.  There were streamlined cars from the 1940s and a fancy schmancy one that was used by many of our presidents, including Truman when he held up the newspaper that announced that Dewey won!!  There were cabooses and military hospital cars.  And, you could walk into most of them.

I was most intrigued by the remnants of buildings against the color of the sky.  I have another series of black and whites images but I am saving them for a potential exhibition.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Photo of the Day - October 13, 2013 - Part II

After Class . . .

Instead of jumping into my car and rushing home . . . I still had about a half an hour to myself . . . so I wandered down toward the water and a very small park, I believe we call them pocket parks.  I had always intended to stop here to shoot but was always heading somewhere. 

This was not the ideal time of day to shoot because the sun was in the wrong place.  Yes, the photographer is always seeking the source of light.  But these are images that I made so I am sharing them.

Photo of the Day - October 13, 2013

Another Beginning

On Saturday I started another photography class.  It has been quite a long time since I have been in class, but I felt like I needed a refresher and some inspiration.  Of course the first class was not photography, instead it was a three hour lesson in Photoshop.  Still, it was inspiring to be around other photographers and see their different levels of expertise and confidence.  I was quiet and listened a lot.  We spent three hours working on a photo, and we all worked on the same photo.  I did learn new techniques with layers.  The trick is to think in 3D.

I am posting both the before and after images here for your comments!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Photo of the Day - August 1, 2013

A Walk About

Since we had dinner so early tonight and the sun was still way up in the sky, I decided to take a walk.  It is still the middle of the summer here and oh so very hot, even at 7 p.m.  Even in a pair of shorts and tank top, I was sweating by the time I crossed the street.  

Yes, I know, I know, it is South Florida, it is the subtripics and yes, I know I run 2 miles in this heat, but when I am trying to take photos and standing still, it is oh so uncomfortable.

That's why I always head down to the lake first.  Someone left their sprinklers on too long and I had to slosh through really soggy grass.  That is when I found the lizard staring at me.  Then I wandered behind some of the homes along the lake to see what I might find.  I really never know what might surprise me . . . hopefully not another alligator like last year!!

I found some interesting mold growing on a stump of a tree.  I liked the texture and the colors and with a bit of Photoshop I was able to get some depth.

Then I followed the birds.  I love these birds, and I have been taking images of them for years.  I never get tired of watching them fly low across the lake making very cool trails along the water to carry food back to their nests.  And then their sounds are so very loud.  My girls and I call them the monkey birds because that is what they sound like.

Then I found this lovely rusty lock wrapped around the trunk of a tree.  I saw two guys walking along the edge of the lake and I knew they were looking at me.  I figured if I ignored them they would go away.  But, no luck.  They struck up a conversation with me and that is where I lost my light.

It was a very nice conversation but a very short photo shoot.  Oh well.  There is always tomorrow!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Photo of the Day - July 28, 2013

12 Days and Counting

The Leshinsky sisters seemed to have grown closer than I have ever seen them.  The realization that Adina is leaving in 12 days and that Rachel is staying is starting to hit them.

The girls have done EVERYTHING together for the past few weeks.  I have not heard one argument, disagreement or raised voice.  It is a bit spooky, but kind of nice to see them get along so well.

Over the past 18 years, the girls have certainly gotten along, but there was always some underlying tension.  Whether it was a sisterly competition for attention, the one who has to be right or the one that has the last word, there was always something.  But this summer that has melted away.

Today the girls went to Forever 21 and sort of hinted that they didn't want mom along, which was fine with me since shopping is the last thing in the world that I enjoy doing.  When the came back, they each had to show me their items that they bought.  Then they retreated to Rachel's room to watch a movie and do art.  I am savoring each of these tender moments.  And of course, when I interrupt with my camera, they whine and tell me to leave them alone, so I only took this one image.  It is good enough for me today!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Photo of the Day - July 21, 2013


This weekend was devoted entirely to cleaning out Adina's room and separating everything into piles -- one for Goodwill, one to pack for college and one to save.  Actually we ended up with a fourth pile -- garbage!

Adina and I spent both Saturday AND Sunday working on the room.  I just can't believe the amount of stuff she has amassed over the years!  I suppose I have too and if I ever have to move
from this house, it will take weeks and perhaps months to clean out the stuff that Joel and I have collected over the 33 years of our marriage.

Well, these photos tell a little of the story.

What you don't see is the garbage can in my garage that we filled to the brim and also filled not one, but two recycling containers!!  There are also three boxes filled and taped and ready for UPS next week.

I must say, I am tired, but also a bit sad because everything that went out was a little piece of Adina's childhood.  We didn't throw it all away, only the junkie stuff and the stuff that we know could be used at Goodwill.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Photo of the Day - July 19, 2013

Elemental Forces

In celebration of Jeremiah Jenner's third anniversary Galerie Jenner, he threw a shindig in his Sailboat Bend Artists Lofts apartment which is ALSO his gallery.  All of his students, friends and colleagues came out in support of this fabulous exhibition that he curated.

I had two pieces on exhibit.  It has been a VERY long time since I participated in the visual arts world but it felt right.  I was right at home with my fellow artists, standing around chatting about the pieces on the walls, catching up on gossip and talking about what is next.

I did get the spark of an idea and that is why these events are so important to artists.

Photo of the Day - July 18, 2013

My View of the Cultural Tour

Every other month the Business for the Arts of Broward presents a Cultural Tour.  I am the tour guide and provide all of the historical background of each of the 12 cultural institutions that we visit and, Lois Marino talks about BFA's programs.

It is a long day, I am on my feet not only in the bus but also at each facility that we visit.  So what do I do to entertain myself?  Take photos of course!

This time I didn't bring my camera, so I used the iPhone.  These are the miscellaneous images that I see along the way that I feel the need to capture.

Photo of the Day - July 17, 2013

Typical Summer Morning

Standing on the corner of Andrews Avenue and 2nd Street waiting for the longest light in Broward County to change, I snapped this shot of Downtown Fort Lauderdale.  You can feel the heaviness of the humidity in the air.  You can imagine that as I stood there with my briefcase slung over my right shoulder and my lunch bag over my left shoulder with the umbrella shielding me from the raindrops, that the clothes that I selected earlier that morning were beginning to plaster themselves to my skin.  To take my mind off of the discomfort of the typical summer morning, I pulled out the iPhone and trained it in the direction of the Museum of Art with the two residential buildings in the background which were stuck in the very low clouds but didn't photograph the way I was seeing it.  However, I was very pleased to see that I caught the raindrops bouncing off the puddles in the bricked walkways.  And just like that, the light turned green and I was jerked back into reality and my workday began.

Photo of the Day - July 16, 2013

What's the Buzz

As I was getting out of my car in the parking garage I looked over at this beautiful branch of a tree that was hanging into the garage.  I was just going to take a quick shot of the flowers, but then on closer observation, I noticed a bunch of bees flying around the blooms.  I did my best to take a shot of both the flowers and the bee, but this was the best I could do with the iPhone.  That was the moment that I wished that I had grabbed my Nikon.  Note to self . . . .start carrying your camera all the time!

Photo of the Day - July 6, 2013

Pure Terror

This HAS to be my most favorite photos ever.  My daughters couldn't be any opposite.  If you look at the pleasure on Adina's face and the pure terror on Rachel's face, you can see exactly how different they are.

I provided the close up just for effect!

Photo of the Day - July 5, 2013

Rainy Day in Fort Myers

Joel and I took a long weekend trip over to Fort Myers while the girls went up to Orlando to Universal Studios.  Both of us wanted a weekend where we did absolutely nothing.  So we got our wish!

I drove across Alligator Alley and about 20 minutes into the drive, torrential rains greeted us like a wall of water.  It was very scary driving across the alley but I kept the car in front of me in
my site, we drove about 40 mph and I cranked up the music while Joel snoozed.

The rains continued for most of the weekend, with an occasional break in the clouds.  That is when I took the opportunity to pull on my workout clothes and take a 2.5 mile run around the property where we were staying.

During the rains I sat on the screened in porch on one of the most comfortable chaise lounges I
have ever sat on, with a sweet smelling candle burning, watching the wildlife and reading a book.

This blue heron was fishing in the rain and he let me take these photos of him as he tolerated me.  I tried to be as quiet as possible and he got fairly close to me.  But, as with all wildlife, he wandered away in search for his dinner.

Photo of the Day - June 28, 2013


I did not take this photo, but felt the need to post it because my cousin Michael took this with his iPhone and it was such a great image that I had to share.  We were having a nice family dinner and of course, Michael couldn't put his iPhone away, so he was playing with it and just reached up and snapped this shot.  Great eyes, huh?

Photo of the Day - June 22, 2013

Girl's Night Out

Art. It brings people together. It makes you think. It gets people talking. It is also an excuse to have alcoholic beverages and be social.

Rachel and I decided to attend the opening night of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual and Media Artists Fellowship Recipients exhibition at the Museum of Art l Fort Lauderdale. We started by picking up Samantha and heading
over to the Riverside Market in Sailboat Bend. We had a couple of hours to burn so we relaxed on the couches, shared a bottle of wine and snacked on tasty sandwiches.

By the time that we arrived at the Museum there was already a healthy crowd in attendance. I never know who I will bump into and that is part of the excitement and surprise of these events. Rachel and I ended up losing Samantha as we wandered through the exhibition, which was by far, the best I have ever seen in my quarter century at the Broward Cultural Division! 

There were 14 artists in total on exhibit from the five counties -- Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and and Monroe. There were very interesting pieces -- one in particular was a performance piece where the artist sat at a desk, flipped through her journals and sketchbook, then rhythmically ripped out the pages and ran them through a shredder. People were fascinated with the artist and stood and watched for very long periods.

There was another exhibition upstairs by Bunny Yeager, but that was not open to the public at the time we were there. I was a bit disappointed but gives me a reason to return! 

Rachel and I drove home in silence. Each lost in our own thoughts. Not upset, not emotional, just quiet and perhaps sleepy. All in all, it was a very satisfying evening with my grown up daughter.

Photo of the Day - June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day

The Leshinskys celebrate EVERYTHING, so of course we HAD to celebrate Fathers Day!

This year we gathered in the living room with my Dad in attendance too!  He had recovered so amazingly well from his broken hip and surgery, that he was able to walk (very slowly and with assistance) down the five stairs to my living room and to the dining room with a walker.  For a 94 year old, he has unbelievable strength and will.

We enjoyed watching as my Dad and Joel opened their presents and then we had ice cream cake!