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The Quest

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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…

Keep connected by following https://www.facebook.com/kerstenbeckphotographicart or @ErikKerstenbeck on Twitter or https://www.facebook.com/ekerstenbeck

Also Visit http://www.kerstenbeck.com

Business Contacts: contact@kerstenbeck.com 🙂

Cheers, Erik

 


Friendly Faces

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! 🙂

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This is Crystal Montes – she is a trooper, runs through mud, climbs anything and likes to make goofy faces!

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Dani Kovache introduced me to many wonderful people this year, set up a bunch of fun projects – thanks D

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Chary from Temptress Fashion – Thanks Temptress for inviting me to all the special events – always fun

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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!

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Carmel – always willing to try new things, and is an exceptional Burlesque Artist

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Lady Borgia – A Temptress Fashion Model, Burlesque Artist and just good people

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Eva Mae – a True Southern Belle

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Erica Joleen – mysterious creature “Nevermore” 🙂

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Veronica from Ramona – her first time doing pin-up, how exciting!

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Melanie Monsters – Gave up a lucrative career as a Shrink, Classical Pianist, plays in a Ska Band, Pinup Model…its all about the Music for her *meow meow* 😉

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Caitanya Cook – yes she can hot wire a car!

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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!

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Catherine Madinger – always scheming about new Projects and a fine Lady from Riverside

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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!

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Chewie – RIP my Friend 🙂

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Simone Strauss – meticulous self preparation for any project

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Gia LaDolce – wowza, a Spanish Doll from SoCal, and her Mom is awesome!

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Kitty Von Rose – always smiling and happy

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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

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Jean – mysterious and strange animal 🙂

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Carrol Morrow – legs! Also really fun!

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Megan Martine – Model and Ex US Marine …Semper Fi!

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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 🙂


Closure

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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


Partner Makeovers

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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

 

 

 


Broken

The space between

The Space Between

 

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!


Towards Happiness

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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!

Link: http://www.kerstenbeck.com/International/Domestic-Landscape/23603331_JrbKxX#!i=2302913962&k=JtVqgtm&lb=1&s=A


Transformations

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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!