Posts Tagged With: photographer

a little pre-birthday fun


The folks at Pi Pizza have a great sense of humor.
I’m pleased to report there were no zombies on F Street yesterday.

YBW and I spent our skive day in DC. A little ‘pre-birthday’ fun for me!
Our first stop was NPG for the Sylvia Plath exhibit.

I loved this little look into her life. Hand written journals, correspondence, family photos, even her beautiful wooden desk top built by her brother, from what was once meant to be a coffin lid. (how apropos)
No exhibition catalog. Sad face Robynbird.

In our wandering, we came across this Diane Arbus exhibition. ‘Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs’.

The exhibition catalog was nearly a hundred dollars, um, no thanks.

We walked around the corner to nom some pizza.

YBW’s is the bacon, sausage, and mushrooms. Mine is the prosciutto and spinach.

Since we were in town, I wanted to stop at my most favorite of all the Smithsonian, NGA (y’all we’re so lucky to live where we do with access to all this)
I was looking for a specific book (no where to be found) in the Concourse bookshop when I came across this book.

It’s the exhibition catalog for the Sally Mann exhibit
Y’all! Her photos are absolutely awe inspiring!
Bought that book as soon as we left the exhibit!

The first day of International Week of the Birthday was wonderful!
I got to spend it with my sweetheart doing all the nerdy stuff I love!

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Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

railroad at chapman mill

Chapman Mill is a crumbling ruin standing where Prince William and Fauquier Counties come together. I’ve driven past it countless times. Every single time, I say aloud, “I want to go take photos there.” (even if I’m in the car alone)
Well, Saturday two weeks ago, the sun was shining (for the first time in ages) so YBW and I got bundled up against the below freezing wind chills and headed to the mill.
I got to wear my brand new love YOUR melon beanie for the first time!
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(Little D’s new mom and I were texting about getting together and I took this photo asking her to tell him I kiss him. But at least you can see my hat so it’s cool.)

When we arrived at the mill site we were greeted by this.
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I was livid! THE FREAKING GATE WAS LOCKED!! We couldn’t get all the way down the road to the mill. I will admit to saying one or two bad words…well, perhaps it was one or two bad sentences. How dare you hang a sign to welcome me and then lock the gates? Rude!

But…the railroad runs right beside the mill. So I get it in my head to walk down the tracks to the mill.
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Only the moment I walk up the path to the tracks I hear the whistle of a train…I waved to the engineer and he waved to me. It called up all the many times in my life I’ve stood at the side of the railroad and done that. It brought me great joy and in that brief moment, I was a little girl again.
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YBW decides right then it may not be the safest course of action since the sides are steep and there really is nowhere to go but down. I was like, but the train just came by, this is the safest time. We split the difference and I just stood at the path crossing. Honestly, I didn’t want to go down to the mill by myself, I wanted to share that experience so it worked out OK in the end.

I absolutely loved this curve in the tracks. I think the railroad is so elegantly beautiful for being something so well constructed for such hard core usage.
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You know I had to look for spikes while I was up there. And I found some, just lying around in the rocks. I love how a railroad spike and rocks create these natural sort of collages.
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There were three such collages, but this is the particular spike I picked up and carried home.

The mill really is quite compelling. In a hauntingly sad yet beautiful way.
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I’m eager to return when the gates no longer lock me out. The wheel is still there on the other side of the mill. You can see Broad Run, which is a lovely. The view from the interstate is even more beautiful than this view from the railroad. I’m keeping my hackles up, but I’ll be checking back more frequently as the weather warms.

When we left the mill site, we drove down along the tracks just to see where they went. This was the opposite way of home, but we were on an adventure! We were out with our cameras to shoot things that moved us!

I loved the way this railroad crossing sign looked behind the overgrown grasses.
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Lastly I got on my knees in the middle of another crossing to shoot the tracks from a different point of view.
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The mail carrier who had to wait for me to get my shot and get back up out of the way before he could drive his truck over the crossing didn’t seem terribly impressed by my attempt to create art…of course he had a job to do and I was just out shoot stuff.

We decided to go back out today with our cameras. I’ll leave my warm beanie at home today because instead of upper 20s wind chills, we’ll have upper 60s temperatures today! I might even wear a dress depending on where we decide to go shoot.
Spring is kicking down winter’s door today and I intend to take full advantage of it!

Here’s a quick vid about the mill and it’s restoration.
(My advice to you is: mute the music.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

squirrel study

Outside the window in our back living room there is a tree. This tree is an extremely popular hang out for squirrels.
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Now I know most people don’t like squirrels. Honestly, that makes me kind of sad because I just love squirrels. They’re kind of adorable and they do the funniest things!

I love to watch them in this tree, sometimes there is more than one. They chase and play and race up and down and over the branches. On this particular day there was only one, and mostly he (she?) was having a bath.
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Once he was clean, he began to consider how he might explore his environment.
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I love how his little hand is holding onto that teeny branch.

Then it got interesting when he did a series of somersault-like things around the branch.
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He did it a couple of times in a row before he went back to bathing.
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What a funny little guy!

When Thing 1 and Thing 2 were little girls, we had a squirrel that loved to hang out on our back porch out by the pool. They realized their father put treats out for the squirrel so they named him “Little Buddy” because he was Daddy’s little squirrel buddy. Soon, Little Buddy began to bring around a friend. They named him “Fatso” because he was a really big squirrel. When we moved to SC, Thing 2 was rather serious about bringing Little Buddy and Fatso with us. She was concerned the new people who were going to live in our house might not take good care of them and they would be sad and miss us. She also pronounced the word squirtle instead of squirrel. I still say squirtle when I see or talk about squirrels.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

clouds at the end of the day

end-of-the-day

Can I please stay in the clouds forever?
‘Cause I really like it here
Can I please stay in the clouds forever?
‘Cause I really like it here

If they can see what I can see
If they can hear what I can hear
If only they can see what I can see
They would really like it here

Just look at everything in front of you
Then look from above
Just look at everything in front of you
Then look from above

Come and please stay in the clouds forever
You would really like it here
Come and please stay in the clouds forever
You would really like it here

Categories: peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Manassas Battlefield

I absolutely adore Manassas Battlefield. I used to love to go there as a child and spend hours wandering aimlessly. I go there now as a grown up to experience that nostalgia.
I love the history of my home state. I love the fact that these places have been preserved, the physical places as well as the history.
When I go now, I almost always experience the battlefield from behind the camera.

The Henry House is my favorite place to visit. I love the view from the hill there. The story of Mrs Henry, stuck in her home due to illness as the first battle of bull run raged around her always resonated in me. She wasn’t able to leave her home before the fighting and ended up mortally wounded by Union fire.

The Henry House

The Henry House

I love how the changing light affects everything.

The Henry House

The Henry House

YBW likes to wander and play Ingress (To me it seems like a kind of electronic version of capture the flag for grown ups.) on his phone, “capturing” and “hacking” “portals” all around the battlefield.
The cool part of him playing this game on his phone is that I’ll tag along with my camera. We get out of the car, go our separate ways, and come back together after an hour or so.
I get time behind the lens, joy of being in a place I love, and he gains important “points” and “badges”. It’s pretty much win-win.

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The Stone House as seen from the top of Henry Hill. It was used as a hospital during both the first and second battles of Bull Run. I remember being at a post sledding bonfire there once when I was really little. I remember feeling a combination of excitement and fear. I was so tired after a day of up and down the hill but the bonfire was so thrilling. All the people, the chaos, me feeling very small and vulnerable and afraid to get separated from my mom caused great anxiety within me.

The Stone House

The Stone House

Sometimes folks get their nickname here.
Thomas Jonathan Jackson became “Stonewall Jackson” when General Bee of South Carolina observed his resolve in battle and cried out, “There stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!”

There stands Jackson like a stone wall.

Stonewall Jackson

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choosing a photographer and the s’mores bar

Wedding planning is in full swing.
I’m equally excited and anxious. That’s normal I suppose…but somehow doesn’t seem quite right.

The most important things to me are a photographer and the venue.

The venue is sorted, Naked Mountain Winery. (Beautiful inside and out and such delicious wine! Sundance especially loves the fact our invitations will contain the word ‘naked’.)

The photographers I had my heart set on are booked on our day. (Though I didn’t stamp my feet, I did have a teeny moment of pouting, with the protruding lip and everything.)¬†
I rallied quickly and began the search, eventually settling on three photographers.

I sat with YBW and looked at their online portfolios…I’m not all that sure it was easy for him. In his defense, he admits it’s not as important to him as it is to me, and he’s also quick to point out my eye is very different than his. But I noticed he made pretty astute observations and had enough feedback to help me understand where he was coming from.
I spent Saturday afternoon and evening emailing with our top two picks setting up appointments to meet with them this week. The first one Tuesday, the second on Thursday. I like the idea of meeting with the both in one week, it will be easier for me to make my decision.

Been emailing with the caterer too. She’s absolutely spectacular! We’re going to meet with her a week from Sunday for a tasting and to discuss the contract.
When we talked originally, I told her how fall was my favorite season and YBW and I have this quirky love of chicken pot pie. (Of our children, only Thing 2 enjoys this dish, and only recently. So it’s normally just we two.)
She presented us with a sample menu filled with delicious looking foods including roasted root veggies and roasted brussel sprouts. (Yeah…that’s pretty much just me.)
But the thing (apart from the pot pie) that piqued our curiosity is the inclusion of a s’mores bar. Handmade marshmallows, handmade graham crackers and artisan chocolates. (Um…yes please!)
Looking forward to meeting with her and trying some of these yummies and goodies!

All in all now that the planning is active and not preliminary my excitement is growing exponentially. I think YBW’s is too. Obviously different aspects are more important to one of us than the other, but it’s been fun to plan with him. I like hearing his ideas. I enjoy sharing mine.
I’ve learned he’s much more traditional than I am when it comes to the idea of a wedding. We’ve had more than one conversation about how cupcakes are a great alternative to a fancy (and expensive) wedding cake that nobody will eat. (Duh! S’mores bar!)
I suggested letting Thing C wear Chuck Taylor high tops because they are his daily shoe and I want the personalities of our children to be represented. YBW wasn’t too sure about that…but I think he’s coming around. He was very specific about writing our own vows, something I hadn’t even thought about.
I’m adamant about being “prayed over” or “blessed” and he has no care about this one way or another.
We’re figuring out how we want to present the joining of our lives the the people we love. We’re figuring out how we want to do this together. One step at a time. We’re walking these steps together and that’s really all that matters.

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