Tag Archives: photo essay

sri lanka photos, part ii

silentbeach01This is the second round of the Sri Lanka photos.  Lots of beaches—best to be in a water mood when you view them. They begin at silent beach, which is a five minute walk from ashtangalanka. It’s the beach of the Amanwella resort, though we saw maybe one guest on this beach, and he was in sandals, walking. He didn’t swim. It was bizarre to swim in such a gorgeous place alone, with Andrea, or the other ashtangalankans, but never a crowd. This was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever visited, I think. It was deserted because there aren’t many tourists in Sri Lanka because of the war (which has since officially ended) and because it was the very end of the tourist season. I hadn’t swum in the ocean for years (since India, I think) and it was amazing. There was, at times, a strong current, and there were moments in the water when I considered that these beaches were hit by the 2004 tsunami. I felt very, very small.

andrea&puppiesMoving along, the house and dog belong to Ben and Katrina, neighbors of Fred who came to dinner several times. They’re an interesting British couple who spend part of the year here. Ben made Andrea a proper coffee (actually, Lalith the gardener made it), which pleased Andrea immensely. Then it’s back to Rocky Point, with some pics of me, Andrea, and two puppies in the cafe (at right). The puppies were strays adopted by Kathy Cooper, the ashtanga teacher.

These are followed by photos of the road in and out of ashtangalanka, which led to the path to the surf beach (where the cows were). We passed Samatha’s (the manager at AL) brother, who tried to convince Andrea to buy some jewelry. Alas, it was on to the beach. Andrea body surfed, while I took pics with my semi-dead-battery powered camera. It was fun.

To view the slideshow, follow the link and press the play button in the bottom right. The arrow keys take you forward and back, if you don’t like the pace of the show. This is the last of the ashtangalanka/beach photos. Next up: travels in the hill country.

they’re off

slides01I did it! I wrapped up every neg and slide taken from 1988 to 2003, packed them in a box, and set it inside the back of a UPS truck. Shipped them off to be scanned by scancafe. About 2797 slides and 2936 negs. Total ~5733. Wow.

It kind of took me over this weekend, one of those big decisions that made itself. I thought I’d just send half, but I realized that everything from June 2003 on was already digital, either shot digitally or scanned by my lab when I processed the film. So I kept going and sent it all.

It was a big decision not just because of the cost, but because I’m sending off all of my images. It will take them two months to be scanned. What if they’re damaged or lost? Honestly, I don’t care. It felt great to have those big black binders emptied and packed for transformation. It’s all but impossible to see the tiny film images in there. Now I’ll have jpegs and be able to see what I have. I’ll use it or rid of it, and archive the rest. I didn’t send the grandpa images (yet), and everything else I have paper prints or scanned images of the important stuff. If it’s gone, it’s gone. I will be traumatized, but it’s great to feel that I could handle it and let them go. Before, the thought of losing my most adored possessions? Couldn’t do it. There were so many I had to pack them into a suitcase and take the bus to work (instead of the subway).

slides02I just made the UPS pickup and saw them into the truck myself. It felt fantastic—but I delight in getting rid of things or making things new and usable. I also donated a few books and clothes this weekend, and trashed the 100CDs full of pics that I’d converted to a few DVDs. Yay!

slides03slides04

the sri lanka photos!

Finally! The first round of Sri Lanka photos are up. This slide show is the first of three or four to come.

flower
flower

Andrea took the photos of me, I took the rest. Most are taken around AshtangaLanka, aka Rocky Point. The rest (the cow pics) are at the next beach.

cow
cow

Still to come are more photos from around ashtangalanka and the nearby beaches, then the photos from the travels around Sri Lanka (which I’ve barely looked at much less edited). Enjoy!

sunday night on holiday

It’s Sunday night. 8:09pm. I start an intensive yoga training tomorrow at 8:30am, which runs through Saturday. Good word, I have to get up at 6:30am. Where went my week off?

I’m slowly going though the Sri Lanka pics, only about 70 more to edit until I am done with the pics from ashtangalanka and environs. It’s taking a long time because they are all quite similar and I’m not sure which to cut. I’ve never mastered my digital camera, because I quit professional photog when film was still the standard, and I’ve simply not shot that much digitally by comparison, though my SLR is five years old. The way it reads light is still strange to me, which in Sri Lanka wasn’t helped by the fact that one of the two batteries I took with me was so old as to only hold charge for about 3 minutes, before the meter went mad. I discovered this when Andrea and I went to the surf beach (as we called it, because the waves were suitable for body surfing) and there were two sweet cows on the beach. I kind of fixed the exposures, but alas.

Cows on the beach in Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Cows on the beach in Tangalle, Sri Lanka

I’ve also been reading a novel in the blissful quiet of my home, the most vacation-y thing I’ve done this week. I can’t recall the last time I indulged. It’s quite good, though I’d have cut a hundred pages plus, easily, and tightened up the story (which you’ll be saying upon viewing all the ocean photos in the upcoming photo essay). I’m two-thirds through the book, A Trip to the Stars, and am waiting to get through the rest to see as if ends as I’ve expected since page 37.  I just want the separated lovers to reunite and kiss, damn it.

A week from now will be the eve of my return to the bread and butter job, and the next six days are full of yoga. The last 7 days have been full of yoga as well, lest you think I was clever enough to take the week to laze about my home and stroll in the park. Other than the novel and editing, I’ve been fulfilling the requirements for my advanced training, as well as teaching, and reading about php/wordpress, to see exactly what I can do in this realm. I taught five classes, did five hours of required, supervised privates, and assisted/observed other classes for six hours. That was my week off.  I did lunch with friends three times, squeezed in chats with a few others, and reunited with lost friends Ilona and Narimantas, whom I’ve searched for since I last saw them in Kaunas in 1995 (yes, of course it was assbook). Remarkable. I managed to clean and do laundry in <3 hours today and was delighted to have the rest of the rainy day to read, edit and finally write before it all starts up again tomorrow. I think this might inspire the next post on the yoga blog: what does it take to be a yoga teacher?

My mother told me tonight that Mr. Brown, Herb to my parents, died on Thursday, which was 10 years to the day that my paternal grandmother/namesake died. Mr. Brown lived across the street from us when I was a child. He was incredibly sweet and funny. When I went knocking with my girl scout cookie sales sheet each year, he’d tell me with twinkling eyes what a good girl scout he was in the day—sold more cookies than I would imagine. He’d also mow his lawn in the dark (when it was cooler) and sometimes in circles, walking around in the street to get the edges. The Brown’s daughter, about ten years older than me, was the town’s star softball player, which seemed very tough and glamorous to my eight-year-old self. Mr Brown often practiced his golf in the front yard for hours, and hollered jokes over while I mowed the lawn. “What??” Ah, memories. You were a great neighbor and you made us laugh, Mr. Brown. May you rest peacefully.

grandpa’s house

This might be my best photo essay ever. I love it.

I’m behind on the Sri Lanka stories, of course. Pattabhi Jois died on May 18. He was 93. I’m beginning to feel like the trip will fade out of memory if I don’t write it soon.

It’s not a matter of procrastination but a lack of time (as usual). Any free time I have outside of work, teaching, and teacher training has been spent culling over a hundred CDs worth of images—in the end over 9,000 files. They were burned over time so everything was in chronological order, and I wasn’t sure what exactly was there. Now everything is ordered by place and topic, so I can find it and I know what I have.

oomoot
photo from forgotten essay on Oomoot, a center for the elderly in kyrgyzstan

In the process, I found photos I’ve totally forgotten about. Essays shot but never edited. Because after the work day (and school, and whatever else keeps me busy), there was no time. I did manage to put this photo essay on my grandpa’s house up last week. Though the images are from scanned contact sheets in plastic sleeves—scratchy with imprecise exposures—the result might be my best essay ever.

When I was almost finished going through the images (I began in February, a few weeks before Sri Lanka), I blew out my OS by hitting the power cord while installing software updates last Friday. Lost all the info (it was backed up, of course—in more than one place) but it’s been a nightmare time wise. Googling “restore time machine” did not give me the info I needed once the OS is reinstalled.

grandpa's kitchen. barberton, ohio, 2001
grandpa’s kitchen. barberton, ohio, 2001

(To restore a full system that’s been backed up on time machine using Mac OS X Leopard, go into applications, find Utilities >> Migration Assistant >> restore from Time Machine >> then choose your date. The only info I could find was about booting from the utilities disk, which I did not have).

That’s not quite complete. Regardless, with no time on my hands and too many pet projects in the balance, I need to redesign and reorder my website. It’s become unwieldy. I need to reorganize it, create a new home page, and use blogging software for the blog. Once again, I am overwhelmed by how much I want to do and how little time I have to do it.

This theme has gone on for years (no time!) and my desire to give time to the right places begs, as ever, to be satiated. Oh, this I must do. But how to do it, and pay the rent, is a real question.

xoA

Next: (maybe) ashtangis and other guests

reprieve!?

I finished! I finished my degree. And I finished editing the Vancouver pics (if not yet Victoria). I’d hoped to rest this semester and get an idea of what I want next, which for me requires a bit of quiet and reflection.

But I took on more teaching, so am still too busy to reflect this semester. Still somewhat trapped in must-do-more-than-healthy mode required of grad school (&c.). Why so hard to quit playing by someone else’s rules? Oh, but I will. Slowly but surely.

The Vancouver pics (taken last summer when I met up with Alys, while she was shooting the Time Out Vancouver Guide) are finally posted. Hope you enjoy.

05.crosswalk

Instead of getting straight to the old projects when I finished my thesis, I was sucked out of my media-free vacuum. I’ve spent blissfully little time in the past, oh, seven years (since leaving the photo world, really) with the news media. Given that my experience in the world has so little semblance to the way it’s portrayed in the papers (radio, online, etc), I stopped plugging in. It was delightful. But with the sudden lack of schoolwork, the financial crisis, and the election commotion, I was simply sucked in. I read all the hilarious, depressing news about Palin and corporate corruption, watched Tina Fey time and again, and shared links with friends ad nauseum. Finally I reigned myself in and limited myself, which wasn’t difficult because I became so sick of it all, over and over.

My mother has been campaigning door-to-door for Obama in Ohio. Not an easy task, to be sure. (I’m quite proud of her because, unlike her children, she’s not especially assertive or vocal.) Her Obama sign was stolen from her yard, along with all the others in the neighborhood. When she reported it, she was told it had happened all over Akron. Gross. I insisted she make the effort (and another, and another if necessary) to get another sign. Don’t let the culprits win! At the very least, keep them busy. Happily, she did.

Oh, good heavens. I pray that he wins.