The Family Circle, Travelogue

My Nomadic Family

Even though we are stuck in Denver till May 8th, we are transitioning to a nomadic lifestyle. We say goodbye to my hometown, and head to Maizy’s place of childhood, St. Joseph, Missouri. Then we’ll head out into the great wide open in search of everything. My daughter celebrated her fifth birthday today, and this is her the day before helping us pick out school supplies for the road. Let the Road Kindergarten commence.

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The Family Circle

Watching Children Grow

watching children grow

with unbelievable speed

cherishing this time

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The Family Circle

My daughter Penny

j_nix_streetwork (1 of 1)-332My daughter Penny

creative, intuitive

visual mimic

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Following Penny

down on her level
the world seems more wondrous
the twinkling sea

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Following Penny

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three elevators
three different scenarios
three year-old daughter

defining the three
number, numeral, and glyph
first odd prime number

synthesis equals
thesis plus antithesis
three-ness from two-ness

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Three

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watching children grow

contemplating your own life

wishing them better

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Penelope Jane: 3 years, 10 months, 10 days

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Penelope

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suspended in air
start,jerk,jolt,flinch,recoil
force velocity

My photography flow is in flux as I transition to a new computer. This means that my photography, much like my brain, is scattered all over the place. I’ve always been interested and amused by the jump shot, so I am constantly cajoling my daughter Penny to jump up and down for me. I don’t think she will always be this willing of a participant so I’m taking advantage of her unconditional love and willingness to please me before she grows up and leaves the nest.

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Taken with a Pentax MG, the back door of the camera is off kilter.

Taken with a Pentax MG, the back door of the camera is off kilter.

In my exploration of everything photographic, I have discovered that there are digital filters that do their best to recreate camera errors. I’ve used them on the Hipstamatic app, Color Efex Pro, and several other Lightroom 4 presets. I am an admirer of all things old, vintage, and retro, and I do like the look of an image that seems to have been created with equal parts of skill and luck. The happy accidents. As a creative I am always extremely unsure of myself. I know what I like, but does anyone else really like it? I wrestle with those thoughts all the time. I still can’t help sharing the images though. There are times where I will submit an image to a social group on the internet that doesn’t really garner much attention, and I take it personally. I go out and I try to push the envelope just a little further when that happens. I know that I am still not there, but I want to be.

Posting to this blog everyday has become a challenge. I enjoy it immensely, but it can be a lot of work! I need the practice anyway. I don’t have a shortage of images to share or thoughts running through my head. When the pain flares up it is hard to concentrate, so it takes a little more effort to concentrate on this blog. This too shall pass.

My daughter is having an all-girls campout with her mom and some friends this weekend. The house is quiet. This is probably only the second time that my daughter will sleep somewhere that I’m not right there. I have been accused of being an overprotective father and I suppose that description is accurate. I admit it. I love her, and I watch the news. Any parent that loves their child must always have that little seed of worry when they are not in a position to protect their child from harm. I think it must be biological, but I’m no Scientist so don’t take it from me.

I’m rambling. The point is I love this picture. I love it for personal reasons, and I can’t say for sure if I think this was a “happy” accident or not. Regardless, it is all part of my grand experimentation with photography. My goal is to just try everything until I find something that I absolutely fall in love with. I’m sure eventually I will have to reign it in and narrow my focus, you know, find my niche. Until then, I will happily continue snapping away. Milking that cow in search of something great.  This image is an example of the depths of my exploration. Now I know what actual light leak looks like, not just a button I pushed in Lightroom, but an actual mistake. I loaded the film, I advanced it, I snapped the shutter and held the camera in just the right way for this weird anomaly to occur.  I really do like filters and presets and those fun little effects in photo editing software, but I still believe that nothing beats the original.

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Misadventures In Film Photography | Actual Light Leak

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rapidly increased

testosterone production

left hemisphere jolt

 

A particularly hard day has me wanting to reflect on the positive things in my life. Some days it feels as if the universe is conspiring against you. I was going to rant about the lady who cut me off on the freeway, or the refrigerator that is on the fritz, but instead I will choose to fill my mind with other things. My daughter Penny. Today, amongst all the angry thoughts, all the hustle and bustle of the world outside, all those adults racing around trying to make their meetings and lunch dates, we are all so oblivious to each other.

I glanced back at Penny in the backseat, she was bobbing her head to the music, staring at the world outside the window. She loves going barefoot, and kicks off her shoes whenever it tickles her fancy. To her the world is simple. She wants to watch some Handy Manny and go to the playground. She wants to play with other kids. I am an introvert and she is super outgoing. She has a soft heart, and loves everyone she meets.

Every parent knows that feeling of being bombarded in the supermarket by anyone and everyone because you are pushing around a little newborn, I loved and hated that all at the same time.  I just assumed that it would eventually go away, she would grow up, and people would stop noticing, and she would blend in with all the other kids and it would stop being such a big deal. Wrong. It is almost getting worse. I cant go to the store without having at leas three unwanted conversations with people that Penny puts me in direct contact with.

Penny is awesome. She challenges me daily and drags me out of my comfort zone regularly.  The routine usually goes like this: Penny finds a random family and just barges right onto their picnic blanket,table,tent, or whatever personal space you can think of. I rush in and apologize, a struggle ensues as Penny insists on hanging out with her new “friends”. Random stranger parent asks her name and age. Penny states her name and indicates she is three years old They reply: “Oh my, you are tall aren’t you?”… and Penny proudly agrees that Yes, she is growing really fast.

Half the time, I don’t even know what she is saying, I just let her go socialize until I get the vibe that the family doesn’t appreciate it, then I go and snatch her up. Today after a lady on the highway cut me off, almost killing us in the process, my brain went dark and I lost my cool. I cursed and shook my fists in anger. When it was all over, Penny asks me: “Daddy why did you say: Fuck?”, and I was just in shock. I never swear around her, I tried so hard to keep that ugly word out of her mouth, and here she is saying it with perfect clarity and pronunciation. I was so ashamed of myself. I instantly felt guilt and remorse. All I could think of to say was that is not a good word and daddy shouldn’t have said it. The cool part is, that seemed to satisfy her. She just dropped the whole thing and never mentioned it again for the rest of the day. Hopefully it doesn’t stick.

Being angry is no excuse, but I suppose that every once in a while in my life an F-word might slip out of my mouth when I am angry, I am a Marine after all. I guess I could try and train myself to say something like “You cotton-headed ninny-monkeys, you guys really get my dander up!” or something similarly goofy, but that just is not how anger works is it? It’s usually a knee jerk reaction that you instantly regret. I am grateful to have my daughter with me to remind me right away how pointless it is to let anger consume me. Yes, that lady on the highway cut me off, was driving recklessly, and put my family in danger. All of the terrible things that could have happened did not happen. I should just let it go, but some days that is more difficult than others. Penelope is my reminder to keep cool when adversity strikes. These are my thoughts of the day. Daughters are amazing, mean people suck, and life is beautiful.

 

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Anger Management

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2 Year Olds

2 year olds.
They kick you
In
The
Nuts.
Constantly.

My daughter is actually 3 now, three years, three months, and seven days to be exact. Penny still has that certain ability to land a shot to my groin from virtually any angle you could imagine. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death but the nut kicking has to be put to an end.

Since the big move back to the city happened over the weekend, I am finding myself depending on my iPhone for posts and photography because the Internet provider we chose us dragging their feet getting my Internet up and running. This is a shot I took using the iPhone and the hipstamatic app. I like putting my daughter in front of what I perceive to be a female role model that she is exposed too. I don’t tell her to pose, I just ask her to stand in front of the ad and look at the camera.

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