Author Archives: Janine

Shopping Cart Christmas Tree

Just what it sounds like. Anthony Schmitt has been creating holiday trees for 14 years at the Edgemar Complex on Main Street in Santa Monica. This year he used 86 carts, it’s 33 feet tall. Probably a comment on holiday consumerism, or perhaps the area’s homeless population. Either way, it’s pretty darn festive.

Kindred Photography Souls

What I learned from guest blogging for Scott Kelby yesterday: there are a lot of people out there who love photography and need to make it a part of their lives. I heard from young and old, employed or not, beginners or longtime hobbyists. Some stories were sad, some inspirational, some both. Some hesitated to call themselves photographers. I love Paul Simon’s quote: “If you make music, you’re a musician.” Same for writers, artists, photographers. It’s not about whether you get paid, it’s about what you create.

One woman summed it up when she explained she felt guilty spending money on her “hobby” but photography feeds her soul. Exactly. Don’t we all need to weed out the things that drain us in life, and make more time for the things that feed us? Continue reading

My Photo Project’s Finally Done!

I’ve been working on it all year, and it’s finally done. I created a visual diary of the year 2010 by taking photos of all the places and things around me every day. I especially included things that are likely to look very different in a few years. They’re all in a book that I can flip through any time I want to remember what 2010 looked like for me. It’s great fun, I’ll be doing it again in five years. I wish I had this project from five years ago, and ten, and….

(Left, My Publisher; top right, Mpix, bottom right, Adorama)

You can see much more about the project here, including my comparison of three different photo book companies. Why not do your own, or one for someone you love? Continue reading

Why my camera is upside down…

Here are a few basic camera tips that will make your life easier and keep you from making annoying mistakes when you’re shooting.

When I go to pick up my camera and it’s lying upside down, there’s a reason. Any time I take out the battery and/or memory card, I turn the camera over. That way I know something’s missing and needs to be replaced. If everything’s there, the camera is right side up. Continue reading

Nepal Day of the Dog

Michelle Page runs Danger Dogs from Nepal. You send her a photo of your dog, then Nepalese artists paint metal signs with the slogan of your choice. She usually has three different artists paint each dog. Any signs you don’t purchase are sold in museum gift shops. It’s a good deal for you, the artists, and the museums. Those are my dogs above, Stella and Johnnie.

Michelle’s in Nepal right now, and today is the Day of the Dog. She told me to drape my dogs in marigold garlands and give them treats. Treats? No problem. Unfortunately, marigolds are out of season here in Los Angeles, so we had to improvise. Continue reading

An Auspicious Day

For the rest of you, this is 10/10/10. The binary is 42 (the answer to the meaning of life in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers series). A lucky day all around.

But this is also my half birthday. So I’m 55.5 today. And it’s halfway through my champagne year (I was born in 1955 and I’m 55).

I got my face painted at an event at my vet. The big dog persuaded people to share their hot dogs with him (they were veggie dogs, but still tasty). The event raised lots of money for Friends of Animals.

We met 300 Special Olympics attendees on the Santa Monica Pier and I think 299 of them petted the dogs. It’s sunny and glorious in Southern California.

Someone told me I should buy a lottery ticket. It felt better to donate to some charities. A lucky day for all of, indeed.

Rainy day, let’s look at pictures

It’s raining again in Los Angeles. God knows we need it as we head into fire season. But it’s a good day to sit inside and look at some work by talented photographers.

Daniel Milnor is one of my favorite photography teachers ever. He’s inspiring, encouraging, and always brings out the best in his students. And his work shows the same energy and imagination. I’m particularly fond of the “Dogs Can’t Read” series, but check out his photos of kids–just amazing.

If you ever get a chance to hear David Doubilet speak, grab it. He’s an amazing underwater photographer with wonderful stories about shooting down under the sea. You’ve seen his work in National Geographic and many other places.

Reviews on a rainy day

Book, product, TV, and movie reviews are going to be regular features here on the blog. Here are some current favorites.

BOOK: Room, by Emma Donoghue, is the best book I’ve read in a long time. It’s hard to talk about this book, because I don’t want to give away what happens. You really want to take this ride with Donoghue. A boy and his mother live in one room. She has raised him there his whole life. Then things change. The story is told by the boy, and his perspective of the world is just fascinating. This book had me on the first page, and kept me enthralled right up to the last world. Very well done.

TV: Sons of Anarchy is one of those shows that a few friends were raving about, but, really? Motorcycle club in Central California? I don’t think so! Until I watched the first episode. This is Macbeth in biker duds–a gripping family drama that happens to involve gunrunning. Get the old episodes from iTunes, Amazon, or Netflix. Katey Sagal, Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam, and the rest of the cast are amazing.