Remember when Alice was lost in Wonderland? She serendipitously stumbled upon The Cheshire Cat and admitted innocently, “I am lost and not quite sure which way to go”
With a wry Grin, the Cheshire Cat responded with a question of her own…”Where do you want to go?”
To which Alice responded, “I am not quite sure”
Grinning from ear to ear the insightful Cat dropped some clever Wisdom and said…”If you’re not sure where you are going, then any road will take you there”
“…there is only one success in Life, and that is to live in such a way that a skilled Mortician is gonna have a very tough time wiping that grin from your face” … (Rosita Perez)
This shot is from Bombay Beach, Salton Sea, California. Multiflash, long exposure Photography with special Friends!
Thanks for the kind visit to my humble Blog…Erik…
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It has been a long time since I have blogged and my Year End Statistics are lame. I used to blog every day, time to get back on the horse! 🙂 2013 was a Roller Coaster of a year for me due to rapidly changing circumstances – perhaps I will discuss at some later time, but not today. Day One 2014 is one for reflection and watching Hockey!
I would simply like to post some pictures of all the wonderful people whom I have met and gotten to know as friends. (Hopefully I don’t miss anyone, and if so please chastise me with a comment or two). They are, for the most part, Artists with their own special talents, troubles, turmoil, but as I have noticed, always positive, smiling and happy (at least when I am Photographing them). So I will write a brief note for each…no particular order, I am not that organized! 🙂
This is Crystal Montes – she is a trooper, runs through mud, climbs anything and likes to make goofy faces!
Dani Kovache introduced me to many wonderful people this year, set up a bunch of fun projects – thanks D
Chary from Temptress Fashion – Thanks Temptress for inviting me to all the special events – always fun
Felina Vie – first real photo shoot with her – it got a bit nuts with the Voodoo Theme 😉 Thanks May for the Makeup work and Daniela too!
Carmel – always willing to try new things, and is an exceptional Burlesque Artist
Lady Borgia – A Temptress Fashion Model, Burlesque Artist and just good people
Eva Mae – a True Southern Belle
Erica Joleen – mysterious creature “Nevermore” 🙂
Veronica from Ramona – her first time doing pin-up, how exciting!
Caitanya Cook – yes she can hot wire a car!
Remele Sparks and Josie Bunny – creatives that will set you back on your heals 🙂 …with 150 lbs of Organic Carrots as props and hours of body painting preparation!
Catherine Madinger – always scheming about new Projects and a fine Lady from Riverside
Dean LeCrone – Chauffer, Creator of Doc Smith Comics and one tough fella – he was so hot in this outfit with temperatures in the high 90s that there were pools of sweat on the ground!
Chewie – RIP my Friend 🙂
Simone Strauss – meticulous self preparation for any project
Gia LaDolce – wowza, a Spanish Doll from SoCal, and her Mom is awesome!
Kitty Von Rose – always smiling and happy
Sandy Summers never needs direction unless you ask her to use a prop that does not make any sense, like a huge spanner to fix a car
Jean – mysterious and strange animal 🙂
Carrol Morrow – legs! Also really fun!
Megan Martine – Model and Ex US Marine …Semper Fi!
And me, Erik Kerstenbeck, Owner of Kerstenbeck Photographic Art from Ramona California, which is close to San Diego. I am an Army of One. I don’t have a Production Crew, Marketing Manager, Sales Team, Social Media Machine and yet I seem to get along just fine. Always learning from peers and like-minded people.
Remarkable things have happened in 2013 and I feel like I am on the cusp of something really special (More details later, don’t want to jinx it)
Thanks so much for the kind visit to my Blog and wish all a healthly, prosperous and Stellar 2014…Erik 🙂
Life is a collage of Beginnings and Endings that run together like wet paint. Before we can begin any New Phase in Life, we must first achieve closure to the current stage we are in. That’s because many of life’s experiences call for closure. Often, we cannot see the significance of an event or importance of a lesson until we have reached this. Or, we may have completed a certain phase in life or path of learning and want to honor that ending. It is this sense of completion that frees us to open the door to new beginnings. Closure serves to tie up or sever loose ends, quiets the mind even when questions have been left unanswered, signifies the end of an experience, and acknowledges that a change has taken place.
The period of completion, rather than being just an act of finality, is also one of transition. When we seek closure, what we really want is an understanding of what has happened and an opportunity to derive what lessons we can from an experience. Without closure, there is no resolution and we are left to grieve, relive old memories to the point of frustration, or worse. Its been somewhat difficult recently, writing seems to help.
Thank you for the kind visit to my humble Blog, Erik
A relationship, in the truest sense of the word, means relating to another. Usually when we say that we relate to someone, it is because we’ve found common ground. But part of relating is finding ways to make ideas that seem different come together. So often when we choose relationships, we try to fit another person into our predetermined ideal. When they don’t fit perfectly, we may try to make them over, creating our own vision from the raw material they’ve brought. But unless someone asks for guidance and direction, entering into a relationship with someone we want to change is dishonest. Then our relationship becomes with someone we’ve imagined, and anytime our partner steps outside of that imaginary projection, we will be disappointed. An honest relationship is one in which we accept each other as whole individuals, and find a way to share our life experiences together. Then, whenever we want, we can choose as a couple to give the relationship a makeover by renewing the way we interact.
By wanting to give another person a makeover, we are basically saying we don’t accept them for who they are. If we take a moment to imagine the roles reversed, we can get a sense of how it would feel if our beloved only committed to us because they thought we were, or would become, someone else entirely. In such an environment, we are not relating to each other from a real place, and we are keeping ourselves from being able to learn and grow from the different viewpoints that our partners offer.
If we feel that a change is needed in our relationship, the only makeover that we truly have the power to make is on ourselves. By accepting our partners for exactly who they are—the ideal and the not-so-ideal—we will create an energetic shift in our relationships, and we may find ourselves really appreciating our partners for the first time. Working from within, we determine how we relate to the people and the world around us, and when we can accept it and embrace it all, without conditions, we make every act of relating a positive one .
This shot was taken recently at Huntington Beach in California after a difficult day with my Partner. We had been to this location during happier times and now circled back. There was a certain sense of release and calm this day and yet an undercurrent of unresolved troubles and emotions remained. Technically, this is a 30 second exposure using a Singh-Ray Variable Neutral Density Filter. This allows the waves to smooth out into their ethereal glow….Magic of sorts.
Thank you for your kind visit, Erik
Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like the in rushing tide. We are soaked with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness with feelings that often cannot be put into words. The idea of healing can seem so enormous that often we don’t even try for fear of further damage. This leaves an enduring mark upon us and by no means does recognizing that this is not permanent dull its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to listen to our feelings and be in them fully. There is a saying that time heals all wounds, and this may be true to some degree. Time tends to dull the pain. Most importantly, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced.
I discovered this fissure in the rock at Sunset Cliff’s in San Diego during a low tide at sunset. It is quite a challenge to get to the beach from the cliffs above, the final descent is down a 30 embankment where a rope has been secured to assist hardy souls getting up and down – a beginners introduction to rappelling of sorts. Having a hefty Manfrotto Tripod and a pack full of photo gear made this even more fun! The waves were quite vigorous this afternoon and this called for a Neutral Density Filter which allowed a 30 second exposure to smooth things out and capture the many tiny waterfalls. I used a Variable ND from Singh-Ray on a 10-20mm lens. Mounting the tripod on a sturdy rock outcrop stabilized the shot with the tide sweeping around its feet (and mine). There are many such geographical features along the coast of Southern California which emerge during the low tide and will be subject of further exploration in the coming years!
Please have a look to our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com for more scenic landscapes and other gems which would look amazing framed and on your wall!
Thanks so much for the visit!
One of the most wrenching decisions we ever make in life is leaving a long-term relationship that just isn’t working. When attempts at repairing and working out issues aren’t working, it may be time to examine moving on. We are emotional creatures, and when our hearts are tied to those of another, separating from that person can feel like an act of courage. It is not something most of us will take lightly, and many of us will struggle with our desire to stay in a relationship simply in order to avoid that pain. We may question whether the happiness we seek even exists, and we may wonder if we might be wiser to simply settle where we are, making the best of what we have.
We may also almost think the idea that true happiness is not out there so that we can avoid the pain of change. On the other hand, we feel within ourselves a yearning to fulfill our desire for relationships that are vital and healing. Ultimately, most of us will follow this call, because deep within ourselves we know that we deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be happy, no matter where we find ourselves in this moment, and we are all justified in moving, like plants toward the light, in the direction that leads to our greatest fulfillment. First, though, we may need to summon the courage to move on from the relationship that appears to be holding us back.
Taking the first steps will be hard, but the happiness we find when we have freed ourselves from a situation that is draining our energy will outshine any hardship we undergo to get there. Keeping our eyes trained on the horizon, we begin the work of disentangling ourselves from the relationship that no longer fits. Every step brings us closer to a relationship that will work, and the freedom we need to find the happiness we deserve.
This was shot on the beautiful island of Oahu one early morning. Sunrises can be very dynamic with colors, temperatures and winds changing very rapidly so it is important to arrive early and scope the scene and compose your image. Using a sturdy tripod and a Neutral Density filter allowed a 30 second exposure which smoothed out the seas and gave a bit of blur to the clouds. Somehow this lone stump of a tree struck my attention as being symbolic somehow and now fits perfectly with the text of this post.
To purchase a copy of this fine image, visit our Website where you will be presented with a multitude of choices and thank you for visiting!
Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.
Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.
To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short-term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative.
This was shot one evening on the beach in Del Mar, California before covering a Press Event for a local Artist. The smooth waves and ripples were achieved by using a very long shutter speed (30 seconds ) and letting the waves wash over the sand. Using a Neutral density filter, the available light was reduced by 6 stops – these filters are great for making silly waterfalls, flowing rivers, musty waves etc. Also, and often overlooked, one can use these filters in strong sunlight to control the exposure to allow portraits to be shot with a wide open aperture. There are many manufacturers of such filters, this one was from Singh-Ray. Lee, B&H and other also make great products – The Big Stopper by Lee is a 10 stop Neutral Density filter, which can allow exposures of several minutes – awesome for moving clouds against fixed foregrounds!
This image is available for purchase on our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com/International/Domestic-Landscape/23603331_JrbKxX#!i=2293421194&k=9X4jJsP&lb=1&s=A
….or just drop by and have a look around!
The essence of all being is Energy. Our physical and ethereal selves depend on the unrestricted flow of Life Energy that is the source of wholeness and wellness. Though the channels through which this energy flows are open systems and influenced by factors outside of our control, we ultimately choose what impact these will have in our lives. It is up to us to identify and clear blockages in the energy field to ensure that flow is maintained. A healthy, grounded individual absorbs some portion of the energy emitted by other people and the environment, but this does not interrupt the continuous stream of balanced energy sustaining them. The same individual copes constructively with stress and upset, and they are not subject to the stagnation that frequently goes hand in hand with negativity. When we keep the energy in and around our bodies flowing harmoniously, we are naturally healthy, vibrant, and peaceful.
This image was shot during a Record Negative Low Tide at Point Loma, California. My Photographer friend, Jimmy Denham and I scrambled down the steep rocks to get up close to the beauty. Using Neutral Density filters (from Singh-Ray), I was able to slow down the sweeping waves as they washed, oh so close, to my tripod.
Thanks so much for visiting our Humble Blog and if you like, check out http://www.kerstenbeck.com for more of our work!
Happy Holidays to All!
Having a vision for our future that differs from our current circumstances can be inspiring and exciting, but it can also keep us from fully committing to our present placement. We may become aware that this is happening when we notice our thoughts about the future distracting us from our participation in the moment. We may find upon searching our hearts that we are waiting for some future time or situation in order to self-actualize. This would be like a flower planted in Iceland putting off blooming because it would prefer to do so in Argentina.
There are no guarantees in this life, so when we hold back we do so at the risk of never fully blossoming. This present moment always offers us the ground in which we can take root and open our hearts now. What this means is that we live fully, wherever we are, not hesitating because conditions are not perfect, or we might end up moving, or we haven’t found our life partner. This can be scary, because we might feel that we are giving up our cherished dreams if we do not agree to wait for them. But this notion that we have to hold back our life force now in order to find happiness later doesn’t really make sense. What might really be happening is that we are afraid to embrace this moment, and ourselves, just exactly as we are right now. This constitutes a tendency to hold back from fully loving ourselves, as we are, where we are.
We have a habit of presenting life with a set of conditions—ifs and whens that must be fulfilled before we will say yes to the gift of our lives. Now is the time for each of us to bloom where we are planted, overriding our tendency to hold back. Now is the time to say yes, to be brave and commit fully to ourselves, because until we do no one else will. Now is the time to be vulnerable, unfolding delicately yet fully into the space in which we find ourselves.
This beautiful shot was taken on the spectacular island of Oahu. We used a 100mm f2.8 Nikkor lens wide open mounted on a Nikon D7000 body all on a hefty Manfrotto tripod (yeah, kinda heavy to lug around, but word every calorie) and lit up with a Nikon SB600 Flash. The flash was handheld and off camera. This is a really good tip for shooting many scenarios. To do this, you will need to purchase relatively inexpensive Radio Triggers, such as Pocket Wizards. Install one on the camera Hot-Shoe, the other on the Flash, and then you can move the source of illumination to provide optimal results. Having the flash on-camera often results in flat images with uniform lighting. With the flash off-camera, amazing things can happen – try it and have fun!
Have a look at our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com if you would like to explore more, perhaps even purchase a download or image for to adorn your beautiful spaces!
Like pieces of a puzzle, the many different aspects of your being come together to form the person that you are. You work and play, rest and expend energy, commune with your body and soul, exalt in joy, and feel sorrow. Balance is the state that you achieve when all of the aspects of your life and self are in harmony. Your life force flows in a state of equilibrium because nothing feels out of sync. While balance is necessary to have a satisfying, energetic, and joyful life, only you can determine what balance means to you.
Achieving balance requires that you assess what is important to you. The many demands of modern life can push us to make choices that can put us off-balance and have a detrimental effect on our habits, relationships, health, and career. In creating a balanced lifestyle, you must ascertain how much time and energy you are willing to devote to the different areas of your life. To do so, imagine that your life is a house made up of many rooms. Draw this house, give each part of your life its own room, and size each room according to the amount of importance you assign to that aspect of your life. You can include family, solitude, activities that benefit others, healthy eating, indulgences, exercise and working on self. You may discover that certain elements of your life take up an inordinate amount of time, energy, or effort and leave you with few resources to nurture the other aspects of your life.
A balanced lifestyle is simply a state of being in which one has time and energy for obligations and pleasures, as well as time to live well and in a gratifying way. With its many nuances, balance can be a difficult concept to integrate into your life. Living a balanced existence, however, can help you attain a greater sense of happiness, health, and fulfillment.
Shot at Oceanside, California, for a 2013 Calendar Project for a Corporate Insurance Client, what is interesting is not only the gorgeous sunset about the Fisherman in the background setting off to catch Dinner for his family.
You can see more images at our Photo Website: http://www.kerstenbeck.com Please take some time to look around! …..We appreciate you kind support of our work!
The most important relationship we have in our lives is with our selves. And even though we are the only ones who are present at every moment of our lives—from birth onward—this relationship can be the most difficult one to cultivate. This may be because society places such emphasis on the importance of being in a romantic partnership, even teaching us to set aside our own needs for the needs of another. Until we know ourselves, however, we cannot possibly choose the right relationship to support our mutual growth toward our highest potential. By allowing ourselves to be comfortable with being alone, we can become the people with whom we want to have a relationship.
Perhaps at no other time in history has it been possible for people to survive, and even thrive, while living alone. We can now support ourselves financially, socially, and emotionally without needing a spouse for survival in any of these realms. With this freedom, we can pursue our own interests and create fulfilling partnerships with friends, business partners, creative cohorts, and neighbors. Once we’ve satisfied our needs and created our support system, a mate then becomes someone with whom we can share the bounty of all we’ve created and the beauty we’ve discovered within ourselves.
As we move away from tradition and fall into more natural cycles of being in the world today, we may find that there are times where being alone nourishes us and other periods in which a partnership is best for our growth. We may need to learn to create spaces to be alone within relationships. When we can shift our expectations of our relationships with ourselves and others to opportunities for discovery, we open ourselves to forge new paths and encounter uncharted territory. Being willing to know and love ourselves, and to find what truly makes us feel deeply and strongly, gives us the advantage of being able to attract and choose the right people with whom to share ourselves, whether those relationships fall into recognizable roles or not. Choosing to enjoy being alone allows us to fully explore our most important relationship—the one with our true selves.
The image here is from one of the most beautifully desolate locations in Southern California – The Salton Sea. It is truly unworldly and seemed appropriate for the subject of this post. This was a long exposure taken on the East Shore close to Bombay Beach. The crust in this old pier is from accumulation of salt from the sea over time and extreme temperature fluctuations – the shoreline is not sand, but millions of dead Tilapia, dried and bleached by the hard desert sun!
If you would like to purchase this Limited Addition image just follow this link to our Photography Website http://www.kerstenbeck.com/International/Domestic-Landscape/23603331_JrbKxX#!i=2206685615&k=LT4Mj78&lb=1&s=A
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Of course Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person/being. This year, we decided to play a bit on this theme with the help of some wonderful models at a photo shoot in Riverside, California. The stage was the historical downtown area and at an old church. Now why Vampires would like to be there is beyond reason! We found that Vampires come in many shapes and colors like this one blow from Russia, having a tasty Cigar after a good feeding!
Sometimes, they are Vampire Brides, left wanting at the altar!
Teaching the young the tricks of the trade!
Or Just dropping in for a quick snack!
Lighting in outdoors shoots needs to be effective and portable. For most of these scenarios we used a Quantum Q-Flash as Key and an old Vivitar V285 as fill (dropped many times and still kicking). Some light modifiers helped, like a diffuser in front of the Q-Flash. We tend to think of this as Guerilla Lighting. Many on location Photographers used studio strobes, portable batteries and huge beauty lights on rolling stands. This is something perhaps we can do, but in the mean time, basics work just fine until we hone our talents to a new level.
Hope you enjoyed our Halloween Set and have a visit to Kerstenbeck Photographic Art to check out some of our other Projects, maybe even purchase a Print or Digital Download!
There are times when we may not feel our best and our brightest and this is the time to look at what we might do to let our inner light shine fullest! Because we are physical, mental and spiritual beings, we need to determine where our light is being filtered or blocked. We can work from outside and inward, knowing that we are the only ones with the power to dim our lights. As we clear away the layers, we can get out of our own way to feel the warmth of our own light shining again! As we practice steps to keep our energy flowing freely and without obstruction, we shine our light brightly, illuminating our own paths and making the world around us glow as well.
This was taken after a long hike in the geothermal area around Rotorua in New Zealand during a brisk winter morning. Here the morning light was breaking through the thick forest and shining onto the bubbling hot water of this thermal stream. The steam rising added magic and mystery to the entire scene….and a few interesting odors as well.
If you would like to purchase a Digital Download or Print, just follow this link to our Photographic Website where we have many options – take some time to look at some of the other cool images from Enchanting New Zealand while you are there! Thanks for dropping by and feel free to leave a note.
On a cold day in January, Kathleen was drawn to this window as we walked down the street heading for The Bean…she said, “Erik, you have to get a shot of this, there is something about it” What do you think?
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike visions. The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance.
The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures. Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to appease the spirits of the dead. Ghosts are generally described as solitary essences that haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life, though stories of phantom armies, ghost trains, phantom ships, and even ghost animals have also been recounted.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that everyone has a story to tell, if we only take the time to listen! Sometimes, the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and biggest dreams – it is just up to us to find out! Some people travel the road of Fame and Fortune, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on – both have great stories to tell. Each has learned lessons, made critical choices and has developed a unique perspective which is theirs to claim and a treasure to be explored. You never know who you may run in to and the tales that can be exchanged!
This image, as you might have guessed, was taken in downtown Chicago or (as you may also have guessed, Marilyn Monroe. She decided to pose for us during this cold day in January! After spending much of her childhood foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a “probable suicide”, the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as of homicide, have not been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been cited as both a pop and a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol.
To purchase a Digital Download or Print, just click on the picture and you will be transported to our photo website where many choices abound – have a look around while you are there!
In a world of six billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.
This was shot in New York on a cold and rainy day in Central Park – you can tell it was late in the season by the subtle colors of the leaves of the trees. There is a calm to this image – one can almost hear the rain drops dancing across the water!
For better or worse, many people have been raised to believe that communicating in an honest and open way will not get them what they want. They have learned, instead, to play mind games or go on power trips in the service of their own ego. As with all relationships and situations, we must look within for our difficulties and the solution. By disengaging, being still and going within we can begin to see what has hooked us into the mess in the first place. We will likely find unprocessed emotions that can be released into the stillness we find in meditation. The situation will untangle itself and we will slowly break free. Whenever people come into our lives, they have come to show us something about ourselves that we had not been able to see. When unhealthy people try to hook us into their patterns with mind games and power trips, we can remind ourselves that we have something to learn here and that a part of us is calling out for healing. This takes the focus off the troubling individual and puts it back on us, giving us the opportunity to change the situation from the inside out.
This was shot recently at The Salton Sea just east of San Diego. The area is beautiful for its desolation – you may recall several other posts with this same Harley and Model. Here we wanted to capture the Ghost Rider zipping off into the distance with the thoughts of two women on his mind, the old and the new. The old, he carries with him as a shadow of what once was, the new still fresh in his mind.
To purchase a Digital Download or Print of this unique shot, click http://www.kerstenbeck.com/Things/Things/23228532_wZgQtf#!i=2050290494&k=j7nZKSn and you will go straight to our photo website – you might want to check some of the other Salton Sea pictures while you are there!
A tradition that was born in Europe has migrated to the US! Amorous couples seal their devotion by attaching a padlock to a bridge and throw the key into the waters below! I am not certain what the Municipal Crews think of this practice, but for now, makes for a cool shot!
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We recently went to see The Dark Knight Rises and it struck us that we think we discovered where he is hiding out! It is in the farthest alcove of St. Johns in New York! The church was vacant except for a few visitors that weekday so was perfect for some amazing uncluttered compositions!
This is an HDR shot, but we did not use a conventional tripod to execute the brackets, but rather a flexible little contraption from Joby called a Gorilla Pod! These things are ultra portable for travel and better yet, inconspicuous so as not to draw attention from “The No-Tripod Enforcers”
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This image of the Brooklyn Bridge was taken during March of last year- surprisingly at a time when most of the people on the bridge were completely out of site- as you can see- sometimes patience makes the shot!
Stephen Covey, a former Brigham Young University business professor who blended personal self-help and management theory in a massive best-seller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” died Monday, July 16th at a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was 79. The cause was complications from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, said Debra Lund, a spokeswoman for the Utah-based FranklinCovey leadership training and consulting company he co-founded. In April, Covey lost control of his bike while riding down a hill in Provo, Utah. He was hospitalized for two months with a head injury, cracked ribs and a partly collapsed lung but “never fully recovered,” Lund said Monday. Covey became a household name when “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was published in 1989. On best-seller lists for four years, it has sold in excess of 20 million copies in 40 languages and spawned a multimillion-dollar business empire that markets audiotapes, training seminars and organizing aids aimed at improving personal productivity and professional success. I have had the privilege of attending one of his seminars – a truly inspirational awakening. His message is a philosophy for living – he will be missed and his message lives on in the hearts and minds of all who have taken to time to listen and learn!
Whenever we lose something or somebody we love, it is important for us to take time out for ourselves and truly feel the weight of what we are experiencing. Although it may seem that doing so will push us into a deeper state of sadness, truly giving ourselves permission to be with whatever arises actually creates space for us to begin the healing process. This is because the act of grieving is a natural process, allowing us to sort through the range of emotions that are present in our everyday existence. Even though it may sometimes seem easier to involve ourselves in activities that take our minds off of our sadness, this will only make the route to healing more difficult. Unless we listen to where we are in the moment, the emotions we experience will only grow in intensity, and our feelings will manifest themselves in more powerful and less comfortable ways. Once we consciously acknowledge that these emotions are present, however, we are more able to soothe the sorrow of the moment. When we allow ourselves to accept and deal with our loss fully, we will then be able to continue our life’s journey with a much more positive and accepting outlook. This will make it easier for us to see that our grief is ephemeral and, just like our moments of happiness, it will also come to pass.
Somehow this lone bench, overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Coronado seemed appropriate.
Living in the moment: It is the basis of a many philosophical movements and embraced by almost every spiritual practice. It is both simplistic and complex in concept; living in the moment is about just being. Being fully present in every situation, body, mind, and soul, so that you experience everything you do totally and absolutely. In those moments when you engage yourself completely, nothing in the future exists – and nothing in the past is holding you back. While it might be a challenge to always be present, you can start small. Be aware of your surroundings. Notice the color of flowers, the scent of rain, even a leaf on the sidewalk. Pay attention to what is happening at every moment, but don’t fight what is. After all, there’s nothing you can do about it anyway. By simply accepting each moment as if you have chosen it, you’ll be surprised at what the day has to offer you.
Photographers tend to try to exercise this with every shot they take, watching the scene, gauging the light, composing the image,and most importantly slowing down and enjoying the moment. It is amazing what happens when you forcibly slow down the shooting process and take some time to breathe – sometimes using a tripod helps, even though you may not need one. One has to lug it around, set it up, make adjustments….and in the mean time, the vision for the shot formulates… slowly. The image today was taken at Dog Beach in Del Mar, California. This is the only beach where people can take their canine buddies to play in the sand and the surf. Using a 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkor lens and shooting wide open (full aperture) allowed us a discreet distance to our subject and her friend and at the same time gave a delicious blur to the background. Shooting wide open is fantastic for portraits or other subjects where you don’t want the main subject to be distracted by a busy background. There is a tranquility to this shot as the puppy watches the action on the beach from a safe spot.
Mountains have always captured our imaginations, calling us to scale their heights and to pay homage to their greatness. Mountains can be seen from hundreds of miles away, and if we are lucky enough to be on top of one, we can see great stretches of the surrounding earth. Mountains symbolize vision, the ability to rise above the adjacent lowlands and see beyond our immediate vicinity. From the top of the mountain, we are able to witness life from a new perspective—cities and towns that seem so large when we are in them look tiny. We can take the whole thing in with a single glance, regaining our composure and our sense of proportion as we realize how much bigger this world is than we sometimes remember it to be. Mountains are almost always considered spiritual places, and the energy at the top of a mountain is undeniably unique. When we are on top of a mountain, it is as if we have ascended to an alternate realm, one in which the air is purer and the energy lighter. Many a human being has climbed to the top of a mountain in order to connect with a higher source of understanding, and many have come back down feeling stronger and wiser. Whenever we are feeling trapped or limited in our vision, a trip to our nearest mountain may be just the cure we need. Whether we have a mountain view out of our window or just a photograph of a mountain where we see it every day, we can rely on these earthly giants to provide inspiration, vision, and a daily reminder of our humble place in the grand scheme of life.
You may recognize this shot of Yosemite National Park – it is what you see when emerging from the long, dark tunnel as you drive into the valley. It is appropriately called, The Tunnel View. This is an extremely popular spot for everyone and their dog to stop and take a snapshot, so if you have the opportunity to go there, use a bit of caution as many vehicles execute unexpected maneuvers once seeing this spectacular vista upon emerging from the tunnel. In our opinion, the best time to visit would be early spring, late fall, or even better, during the winter…the summer is peak tourist season and this place gets somewhat congested. Make sure to take along a sturdy tripod, a variety of lenses and a compass – you want to be aware of where the sun is rising and setting as this will make all the difference in your shots.
Our lives are defined by the decisions we make each day whether we are selecting a restaurant or considering a cross-country move, we shape our lives. The decision-making process can be empowering, allowing us to enjoy the benefits of self-determination. Yet it can also be a source of anxiety because decisions force us to face the possibility of dissatisfaction and inner conflict. As a result, many of us opt to avoid making decisions by allowing others to make them for us. We consequently turn our power over to spouses, relatives, friends, and colleagues, granting them the stewardship of our lives that is ours by right. Though the decisions we must make are often difficult, we grow more self-sufficient and secure each time we trust ourselves enough to choose. Ultimately, only you can know how the options before you will impact your daily life and your long-term well-being. Within you lies the power to competently weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each selection. Even if you feel incapable of making a decision, your inner wisdom and your intuitive mind will give you sound counsel if you have faith in yourself. Try to come to your own conclusions before seeking the guidance of others, and even then, treat their suggestions as supplementary information rather than votes to be tallied. When your choices are your own, you will be more likely to accept and be satisfied with the outcome of those choices. Your decisions will be a pure reflection of your desires, your creativity, your awareness, and your power. Since you understand that you must live with and take responsibility for your decisions, you will likely exercise great care when coming to conclusions.
This was shot was taken at The California State Railroad Museum. The museum features 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars, some dating back to 1862. The “Sierra Scene” shows a large scale mockup of a construction scene high in the Sierra Nevada representing Donner Pass circa 1867, featuring the locomotive Gov. Stanford. Other exhibits show how the influence of railroads changed American society, influencing travel, commerce and daily life, as well as the lives of railroaders and the diversity of people who work on railroads. Changing exhibits featuring photography, ephemera, and artifacts from the museum’s collection, add depth and incidental information to the overall story of railroad history. The Museum has an extensive educational program for elementary students from across the region to help them learn about railroad history using re-enactments, costumed docents, and including train and handcar rides.