Photography

Human Element

Finding a Vision

Vision

 

Vision is seeing the potential purpose hidden in the chaos of the moment, but which could bring to light new possibilities. In our current and probable future environments a certain amount of chaos is inevitable. Often emerging possibilities must be sought out and acted upon before all relevant information is known. Old predictable patterns must be relinquished as comfortable as they seem. For many, this is a terrifying prospect. Vision is seeing what life could be like while dealing with life as it is. Vision deals with those deeper human intangibles that alone give ultimate purpose to life and in the end, vision must always deal with life’s qualities and not with its quantities.

If we wish to be open to new possibilities we also need to be aware of the unexpected ways in which they can surface. Limiting the creative process to officially designated “brainstorm session” we may miss something that may have been there all along, something not visible catching the sun. We must be aware that spontaneous moments of possibility exist, the things that owe cannot touch but know instinctually that they are there.

Take a moment to think about your own experience, core values and what you truly care about in your life. What types of habits, people, things, situations do you gravitate towards and what do you avoid and move away from? Recall your past and identify times where you felt closest to inspiration and vision, and the times you were furthest from it. This should provide a few useful signposts.

In the words of a great German writer, Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”

It all starts with a vision…


Inspirational Leadership… “Shine on you Crazy Diamond”

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Hi, Erik again….

I used to Blog every single day for almost three years! Crazy! I have been a Slacker as of late…must get back on the horse that bucked me off!

Anyway, at my other work , I found a book that was discarded like a piece of used snot rag …. I grabbed it! (Wiped off the snot)

It was written by Richard Oliver and it is all about Henry the 5th and interpretations of Shakespeare. It is called “Inspirational Leadership””

“Henry V is Shakespeare’s greatest leader – inspired and inspiring, visionary yet pragmatic, powerful yet responsible. In this fascinating book, acclaimed director and creative consultant Richard Oliver draws on his intimate knowledge of the play, and its absorbing central character, to unmask the secrets of Inspirational Leadership and reveal the timeless lessons it holds for Managers and Leaders today.”

….from the back cover…I am not so eloquent…..such a good find!    Here is but a tiny  snippet….

“O for a muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention…

         But pardon gentles all

The flat unraised spirits that hath dared

On this unworthily scaffold to bring forth

So great an object….

And let us, ciphers to this great account,

On your imaginary forces work.”

………………………………………………………………………

Thank you so much for visiting my Humble Blog

http://www.kerstenbeck.com

@ErikKerstenbeck


Friendly Faces

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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! 🙂

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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 🙂


Networking

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I hate “Networking”…I do not have “The American Smile and Hand Shake”
I am uncomfortable in crowds of more than One
Once, a special other said, “Get yourself out there” So, I did
Volunteering to be a Grip, Humping Lights around, told to do This and That by a wonderful Friend and Photographer from San Diego, Ken Williams
He looked at every picture I had taken, and was Harsh in his comments – like Daggers sometimes. But, on occasion he would throw out his Iconic Statement of Approval “Well Seen” (now I use that on occasion, only)
 Ken is not with us any more, but strangely he Opened a Door for me as I have met so many amazing people since that time. I guess it was the start of “Networking”. It still terrifies me!
I kept pushing myself and opportunities somehow arise. I do a lot of “Free” work – Events, Models, etc. Why? Because it pushes me to be a better Photographer!
Yeah, so what you say? Because….
There are so many Creative People all around you, Musicians, Writers, Designers….Just reach out! Creatives will enrich your Life
I met Melanie Monsters from “Networking”
Listen to Her Music…I think it is Profound….
 
Melanie Monsters is a Cassically trained pianist that has been playing piano since the age of 5. Even in elementary school she remembers writing music and entering it into contests and was in every school band since fourth grade up until high school. After college, Melanie did a brief stint in a funk band and later joined the ska/ reggae/ jazz band, “The Amalgamated” and also the band “Unsteady” 
 

Piano: First you must learn to play by the Rules. Then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.”

“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable” – Leonard Bernstein

 


Time to Recharge

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All of us have emotional batteries, which keep us going, and they need regular re-charging! If it becomes run down, or gets too cold, we have troubles coping with ourselves, and others. Cold relationships affect our emotional battery. Some people may act cold and withdrawn. They may be afraid of being hurt. They may be afraid to open up, with their feelings. Sharing yourself, your feelings and your emotions may be risky. Yet it is contagious. The idea can catch on. Energy gained from a warm emotional relationship is a great source of power for your emotional battery.

Your emotional battery has limits as well. It needs regular recharging. It can be drained if you overload your system and place too many demands on it. Burning a candle at both ends is a common way of letting this happen. You can make use of your inner generators to recharge your emotional battery. Taking time to relax, to enjoy life, for fellowship with others, or giving yourself a treat, are all ways of recharging your battery.

Our natural state of being is vibrant, happy to be alive. Yet, there can be times when we feel run down and worn out. This does not mean that we are lazy or unfit for the tasks in our lives; it means that we need to recharge our batteries and find a way of keeping them charged. If we are willing to delve deeper, we may discover that there is an underlying cause for our exhaustion.Whenever you are feeling run down, take an honest look at how you have been thinking, feeling and acting. You will likely find a belief, behavior pattern or even a relationship that is out of alignment with who you really are. Perhaps you believe you have to be perfect at everything or you have been bending over backwards to get people to like you. Maybe you are dealing with mild depression or simply have too much on your plate right now. There may also be people or situations in your life which are draining your energy. Once you get clear on the root cause, you can weed it out and better direct your flow of energy in the future.
In time, you might notice that the reasons you feel run down have less to do with how much you are doing and more to do with the fact that in your heart, you would rather be doing something else entirely. From now on, try to listen to what your heart really wants. It may take meditation, or just a moment of silent tuning in to gain the clarity you need, but it is well worth the effort. When you know what you truly want to do, and honor that in all situations, you will find that getting run down is a thing of the past.

 


Self Examination – Go Deep

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There are times when life urges us to seek more. Small changes to our comfort zone may fail to alleviate any sense of stagnancy or frustration, and we may need to examine our lives and ourselves more deeply to find the right place to start. Everything we need for success and joy lies within. But so often, life’s debris accumulates, building layers around our core that makes it difficult to access the truth that resides within. To reach the depth we wish to access, we must dive below these layers to the deepest parts of ourselves.

The first layer can be found in our minds. Our to-do lists and busy work are usually less important than we think, so we must look past them to examine the thoughts that matter most to us. The next layer can be found in our hearts, where past hurts and disappointments can sometimes cover up our vulnerabilities, as well as the truth of who and what really stirs the love within us. We can choose to go even deeper – to our center. If we can go beyond anything has affected us to the point that it blocks us at the gut level, we can reconnect with our power, our raw instincts, our organic yeses. Here, at the core, lies our truth. Our core is our foundation that supports us and what we’d like to build our authentic life upon.

When we examine ourselves to these depths, we are able to find what we wish to bring to the surface and what we wish to let go. When we remember what lies beneath our layers, we can look at what was floating on the surface, causing blocks and pains, and understand the purpose that they served. Oftentimes, it is the built up debris that causes us to go deeper, so we can search for the truth. Go deep, live life from your truth within, and watch your innate beauty manifest outward.

 


Pushing Buttons

button

 

We’ve all had our buttons pushed to the point where we feel we can’t take it any more, and chances are, we’ve all pushed somebody else’s buttons, with or without knowing it. The button pusher may not be conscious of what they’re doing, but in the end the buttons belong to us, and we are the ones who must deal with what comes up. The more we take responsibility for our own feelings and reactions, the less tender these buttons will be.

We’ve all had the experience of having someone snap at us, seemingly out of nowhere. This happens when we unconsciously push a button in someone else we didn’t even know was there. This can happen with a complete stranger and sometimes with a person we’ve known and been close to for years. We ourselves may have a relationship with someone whose buttons we secretly like to push. Buttons are just soft spots that have been touched one too many times, and they symbolize some pain that needs to be acknowledged and healed. This may be a wound from childhood, or some recent trauma, that we haven’t adequately tended. Whatever the case, when our buttons get pushed, the person who most needs our attention and caring is us, and blaming the button pusher only distracts us from finding a true resolution to our suffering.