Aug 282011
 

This past week has seen several natural disasters here in Maryland.  I’m sorry to say I don’t have pictures to share.  I guess I should have gone out this morning when the tail end of Irene buffeted at Maryland, but it was dark through the worse and didn’t think flash would do it credit.

 

For the earthquake I was at work at Children’s National Medical Center in DC, so slightly closer then I would have been if at home.  I swear that I thought a 500lb person was jumping up and down between the floors or in the room next door.  The booms that came with the shaking helped me have that idea.  I didn’t feel any of the aftershocks…and truthfully just kept working and taking care of my patients.  That was the end of it all for me.  I did look at pictures online and such, but other then a crack on a door jam at my boyfriend’s house and a few things falling to the floor in my room at home that took me a whole 30 seconds to clean up that night, that was the end.

 

Hurricane Irene affected me a whole lot more.  It lasted a lot longer, the winds and rains kept me looking out the window, and my home has been without power since about 3:30 am, although I haven’t been there.  I do feel bad for my Mom, step-father, and brother.  They’ve had to go through the day without power and who knows exactly how soon it will be back up.  I sure hope they get it back tonight or tomorrow!  I spent the day Saturday glued to the tv watching all the news on the storm, staying awake until about 2, at least I think I was awake that long.  I may have fallen asleep about 1 for a while, but went to bed about 2:30.  I got up this morning and by mid-day the sun was shining.

 

I do wish this storm didn’t go through, the worst part being that my plans to attend the Jimmy Buffett concert with my sister on Saturday evening was postponed until Thursday.  That is a much less convenient time, but luckily I can still make it.  The 3 days of work afterwards may be a bit harder, but I get to see a great artist and get some much needed time with my other half.  Don’t get near enough time with my sister!

 

Mother nature sure has been letting herself be known lately.  I don’t know the meaning behind that, but maybe she is trying to show us humans that we can’t control everything.  We have limits and as hard as we try there is going to be upheavals, there is going to be deaths, and the air, sea, or land is unpredictable.  They can shake, rock, and roll with no notice.  Life is full of unknowns, and we have to always be ready for them.  Sometimes I think that is what makes life worth living.  If we could control everything what would be the adventure in that?

Aug 282011
 

Wrote this a while ago and swear I published it, but here it is unpublished, but it deserves to be put up, so here it is.  🙂

 

In the last few months I have found myself learning more and more about NASA and the shuttle program down at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island in Florida. I lucked into a spot at the NASA STS134 Tweetup and was able to make it back for the second launch attempt as the first one was scrubbed for a couple weeks. I have re-found the enthusiasm for space exploration that I had as a child watching Space Camp, this was back when each launch was played in our classrooms, that is until the fateful day that Challenger exploded during launch.  I’m not sure I ever saw a launch live at school again.  It is sad that a tragedy such as that could stop us following NASA as closely.  Maybe it was because it was hard to explain to school children that the astronauts on that shuttle were dead and what that meant for us as a nation, those families, or the program itself.

 

Space is full of unknowns.  There have been deaths along the way.  There were two shuttle explosions, Challenger and later Columbia after their mission was completed that occurred during their re-entry.  There were deaths before that, almost at the very beginning of the United States space exploration, Apollo 1 caught fire during a Launch-pad test.  Apollo 1 showed the risks.  A cellphone that we carry in our pockets now has more technology in it then they had when the first manned spacecraft went into space.  If we could launch a man into space with that little bit of technology, what can we do now?

 

It has amazed me during the last few months how many people seemed to be relieved that the program was ending, stating that the cost was too much.  When informed how little NASA actually gets of the federal budget these people were surprised, they all seemed to think it was much, much more.  They also seemed surprised to learn what all NASA has given us technologically speaking.  They did not know it was NASA who gave us Velcro, Tevlon, Light-weight metal alloys that we use in bathrooms/kitchens/in vehicles, they didn’t know it was communications technology from NASA that helped make modern cellphones available and usable by the public, or the amount of medical research that is done in space.

 

Other people were unaware of the discontinuation of the shuttle program and shocked to learn about it.  They just assumed it was going as strong as ever.  Some don’t realize that the shuttle program was around for about 30 years now, that it could only ever go to low earth orbit.  I acknowledge that now that the international space station is build, our need of the shuttle is less.  They don’t need the large cargo bay to hall up parts to the station.  I do think we’d be better off keeping one shuttle in working order, just in case, until we have our next vehicle available for space travel.  (This point has been proved with the crash of the Russian vehicle into space…could ending our shuttle program bring about the ending of the ISS many years earlier then planned?)

 

Where is NASA going now?  Will there be further manned space flights from NASA, from the US?  I don’t know.  I sure hope so, and I hope that the American people realize the importance of that dream, of reaching for the stars!  The dream of being an astronaut is important for our children.  It keeps the imagination open and allows us the dream of going out into the universe, away from Earth to try to find other lifeforms.  It keeps the imaginations going and expands our technology.  It forces us to come up with better communication modes, of faster ways to travel, of ways to keep our astronauts healthy in an anti gravitational environment. The problems we have discovered from space travel have pushed us to keep motivated to change, to find better ways of doing things, and to grow as a people.  Who would have thought when the space shuttle program started back in the 1970s and 1980s that one of our closest allies in the 2000s would be Russia?  That they would be one of the key allies to get our astronauts into space now that we are ending our space shuttle program?

 

The dream is alive and we need to keep reaching for the stars.  We need to keep our children’s eyes looking up.  As tight as our budgets here on earth are, the jobs that are created by the NASA programs are invaluable to our future.  People just need to open their eyes, see what is there, and dream of touching it.

 

 

Aug 212011
 

 

 

This summer has sped by and though it isn’t quite over…fall is fast approaching.  This fall watch for a few blogs on The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October, Disney and Shiprocked Cruise in November, and few smaller events in-between.  But this summer has found me gaining experience with a few other things.  I had the honor of doing my first child shoot with 2 beautiful girls (ok, one was a 13 year old).  I did a couples shoot.  I also did my first maternity shoot with a wonderful model Fallyn.  I also did a couple shoots with a couple local roller girls who are Roller Derby players here in Baltimore.

 

Working with children is something I do daily, but it is very different working with children and young teenagers in the studio then working with them in a hospital.  They can be more cooperative because this is something they actually WANT to do, unlike being in the hospital.  It is fun to watch them start to have fun changing positions and loosen up in front of the camera as you work with them.  Sometimes the camera can be a daunting thing, and the pictures improve as model gets more used to working with you.  The pictures become more natural.  Sometimes the studio isn’t the best place to have younger kids, they need to have toys or fun objects to interact with in order to get good pictures.  But I worked with an older school aged girl and her 13 year old sister.  They both seemed to have fun and relax once we got shooting, creating a few very good images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When a couple is together for a while they want photographs together and Anna and Mick are no exception.  This was fun to work with a couple friends and to get some great shots of them as individuals and together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new model, Brittany, also modeled for me this summer:

 

 

 

 

 

Fallyn is a model I’ve worked with in the past, but it also happens that now she was expecting a little girl to come into her life, so I was given the chance to get some beautiful maternity pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last couple shoots I participated in were with Ela Trick and TwiBite a couple local roller girls who play in Baltimore.  This was fun and added the challenge of having roller skates in the studio.  This was fun and the girls were thrilled with some of the images I was able to provide them with.

Ela Trick

 

 

 

 

 

TwiBite:

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are just a few pictures from each shoot.  I’ve shared more on my Flickr site, feel free to check them out there!  This has been a great summer with a lot of portraiture on my part.  Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the images I’ve collected this summer and I look forward to what the fall has to bring!  Think I’m most excited about going to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October.