No Sleep Till Brooklyn

I have been busy scanning my rolls of film from our trip to New York.  When I started to scan my roll from our trip to Brooklyn, I was reminded once again how much I love Ilford HP2.  It is definitely my favorite black and white film.  It is so flexible, you can shoot two or three stops under or over and it will still deliver beautiful results.  I put this roll in at 2 in the afternoon and the last shot was taken around 8:45pm after the sun had set.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

While I have visited New York several times in my life, I have never crossed the bridge to Brooklyn. Luckily for us, we have a wonderful friend there who wanted to meet with us and show us around.  I fell in love instantly! What a beautiful city.  The views of New York’s skyline can’t be beaten!

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2

I am not a fan of the tripod (something my husband would love to rectify this year) so this last shot of the New York skyline was handheld.  And while my Hasselblad is much easier to hold steady than my Mamiya 645, I was still impressed with the results. I thought for sure the last shot would have been rubbish but I was pleasantly surprised.

Hasselblad 500CM | 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar | Ilford HP2


I had so much fun exploring Brooklyn, and for me, exploring is always a little better with a camera in hand.

For more from some of my photographer friends and what they have been up to this month, hop on over to Alison and Vanessa’s blogs.

my hope tree

Each year the Japanese Magnolia blooms in late January or early February and each year I document it with both my digital and film cameras.  I love my hope tree, who right in the middle of winter and while empty of leaves, blooms the most glorious large white flowers.  The symbolism isn’t lost on me.

Hope is an odd emotion.  Poems have been written about it and songs have been sung. When you speak about it, it evokes positive emotions of contented expectations.  And while hope can come with bits of joy or eagerness, you don’t usually get to hope without going through despair.  Despair comes in and breaks your heart and tries to crush your spirit and just when you think all is lost, hope tiptoes into the room.

For Equilibrium, a Blessing:
Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.

John O’Donohue

“Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.”

Meister Eckhart

While my tree blooms once a year, hope is something we need to hold in our hearts all year long.  Life doesn’t bring us pain and regret once or even just twice, it comes again and again and again.  If we stop and listen carefully, we can hear the light steps of hope come in and bring us a taste of lightness and rest.  We can feel the warmth of spring’s sun in the middle of winter’s cold.

Is your heart in the middle of a long winter? How do you find hope in the midst of despair and sadness?





*All images were shot with my Hasselblad 500CM on Ilford XP-2.

10 on 10: June

I had some time with my middle daughter, Dani, in June.  We had breakfast and went thrifting. I always love time with my daughters, especially when I have them all to myself.












I’m doing this project with some great photographers. Click on through to Jennifer’s beautiful blog then, continue on through the blog roll. 

10 0n 10: April

My oldest daughter, Kyle, is a very busy girl.  She is in her last year of college. She works as an art teacher.  She has an active social life.  While I don’t see her often during the day, she is my morning workout partner.  Every once in a while, she has a few hours during the day and we get a date together.




She has always been my shy girl and at the very same time, she is very brave.  She loves doing the hard thing… the impossible thing.



She has her mother’s love for food.  All food.  She especially loves ice cream. There is a new ice cream shop in town. It serves ice cream in donuts.  I think she goes there two times a week!





It has been such a pleasure and honor to be her mama.  And as we slowly transition from a mother/child relationship to a mother/grown woman relationship, I am enjoying the friendship that is blooming.  I feel like I not only raised a strong, courageous young woman but a wonderful friend.



All photos were taken with my Mamiya 645 on Ilford XP2 film.


I am telling stories in ten images with a lovely group of photographers.  Hop on over to Maite Pon’s blog for her 10 on 10 then journey through the rest of the stories.

Ilford XP2

I shot a roll of Ilford XP2 for a blog post over at the Viewfinders.  I am in love with this film! I plan on shooting much more of it.  I don’t shoot black and white very often. The film shop I take my film to be developed takes 24 hours for color and a week for black and white. While I realize the humor in me saying I am not patient for the film to be developed, sometimes I can’t stand waiting the whole week. However, the Ilford XP-2 is developed in C4 1 type processing, which means it is developed with the color film. This means I can get black and white film in 24 hours without waiting the week.

I love all the grays this film produces.  It has a great contrast in low light without much grain.


Do you have a favorite film?  Please share it with me.  I would like to discover some more new films to shoot.

Olvera Street, 10 0n 10

For my daughter’s anthropology class, she needed to go to a cultural enclave in LA and observe the sights and food.  She asked if Andy and I would like to join her and of course we said yes! If I had known college homework was so much fun, I would not have dropped out. We went down to Olvera Street, one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles. It has been established as a historic landmark since 1953.  We went down in the morning so that the street would not be quite as full.


It was early in the morning so the street was just starting to open up.

While some of the stores and carts were still closed.


We didn’t mind.  We were able to roam slowly through the street, enjoying each other.



We tried making new friends.


I sometimes forget that my city is a major destination for tourists.  I love that people want to come see our city and I hope they see the beauty I see.


We stopped at our favorite spot for some taquitos.


We also went into the Avila Adobe, the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles.  It is now a museum and cultural landmark.


It was a fun day with my girl and my man.  We love our time spent together.


For more 10 on 10 hop on over to igotcha photography.


at the end of the day

I knew I wanted to get my 5pm for The Hours while away at June Lake. I had my Mamiya 645 loaded up with Fuji Reala and waited for 5pm.  My sweet husband was driving me to a spot I had seen the day before. There was one problem.  We were in a huge fight.  Not the kind where there is a small misunderstanding and we can work it out quickly with some patience and explaining.  The kind where old wounds are rubbed raw and we both are sitting in pain.  We needed one of us to be brave and vulnerable, but stubborn suffering wasn’t allowing any heroes.

When Andy finally got me to the location I wanted to shoot, I was in tears.  I didn’t want to shoot while so upset at him. I didn’t want to look back at my 5pm and remember this moment. However, my image was due when I got back into town and I had no other choice.  So wandered the area, shot a few frames, and got back into the car. The short time away from each other had allowed both of our hearts to be softened.  We talked.  We understood. We apologized.  We held each other.

Last week at my compassion class my teacher read this poem.  It reminded me of my 5pm image. I had not loved perfectly, nor was I loved perfectly.  Still,  I know the freedom that comes from a real and vulnerable relationship. I know the beauty of being completely known and completely loved.  I know that I have the grace not only from my husband, but from my God.  I know that every day that ends with pain, I have the hope of a new morning.   I decided my 5pm wouldn’t just remind me of the pain and imperfection of that day, but of the love and grace that was given.

May this prayer bless you as it has blessed me.


I seek your presence, O God, 

not because I have managed to see clearly

or been true in all things this day, 

not because I have loved perfectly or

reverenced all those around me, 

but because I want to see with clarity, 

because I have tasted freedom, and joy, and healing

and I desire to love as I have been loved. 


Renew my inner sight, 

make fresh my longings to be true

and grant me the grace of loving this night

that I may end the day as I had hoped to live it, 

that I may end this day restored to my deepest yearnings, 

that I may end this day as I intend to live tomorrow, 

as I intend to live tomorrow. 

From the book “Sounds of the Eternal”, by Philip J Newel


To read more on prayer, visit Susan’s blog.