Happy Holidays!

The Season of Light is upon us once again, and I wish all of you the happiest of holidays!

2011 has been tough in some ways and amazing in most others. There is much to celebrate and be grateful for as we look back on another year gone by.

I confess, a bit like a kid, I look forward to each Christmas celebration with my family – although,  especially this year – we’ll have a FULL house with relatives and close ones joining us from as far as Arizona and a new addition with my now 5 month old nephew Benjamin.

My heritage is Swedish, and I’m fiercely patriotic to this small and wonderful Scandinavian country and the traditions I’ve been raised with. I’ve been blessed with relatives that give their all in the Swedish tradition of celebrating Christmas on the 24th of December. It’s great fun, filled with beautiful candlelight, music, fantastic Swedish cuisine, wine, toasting and singing with Akvavit at the dinner table (copious amounts actually :)), and much laughter.

I hope you all revel in celebrating with friends and family the traditions that are close to your heart this time of year. May there be peace, joy, health and prosperity as we enter 2012.

Merry Christmas, God Jul, and Happy Hanukkah!

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Africa – Light and Landscapes

It’s been a month since I have posted my Homeward Bound entry. My apologies for the silence. It’s been both busy with a few upcoming changes re: this blog and working on a new website simultaneously, and readjusting after being gone most of January. Until the new sites go live I will continue to post here, however it just won’t have the branding I had wanted to create initially. I am estimating another couple to three weeks before it’s all ready to come together.
So, Africa. I reluctantly came home from Kenya – a country that stole my heart and had succeeded in cracking me wide open. I’ve spoken to a few friends, who having travelled there themselves said that Africa changes lives – be prepared. You’re never quite the same afterwards. I understand now what they meant. The 8 days I travelled with the group of photographers on the safari was a whirlwind of incredible sights and experiences, both high and low – and if I’d had a choice, I could have easily stayed on another 2 weeks just travelling the Masai Mara.
Ever since landing back home, I’ve been at a loss as to what to post here regarding the trip. Specifically, where do I even begin? I keep thinking. It’s taken this long for me to process my experience internally. Coming back to the North American culture has been challenging to say the least.
David duChemin wrote specifically about this on his blog the other day, a quote which really resonated with my own experience:
“I’m often asked if I get culture shock when I go away. My stock answer is that I get culture disappointment when I come home. When I get home people stop looking others in the eye and smiling. They stop shaking hands and asking who I am, how I am, and how my family is doing. They stop offering me tea. We’re either too busy chasing the trivial or we just don’t care. One of my guides during the safari workshop said to me: “Westerners all have watches, but we Africans have time”. It’s true. For people who believe time is money, we sure spend it in some strange ways and on things that will not last. There’s a pace in Kenya that I love, that I’m already beginning to miss, knowing I’m back to schedules and itineraries so soon.”

You can click http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/ to follow David duChemin’s blog.
I’ve been going through and editing over 3000 images – all the while sharing stories with a few close friends who have seen the initial edits and felt that the best place for me to begin here on this blog was, well, start with the biggest impressions I had from a photography perspective.
One of the things I absolutely loved loved loved while shooting on safari in Africa was the light. Amazing. Sunrises and sunsets left me awestruck on some days. Editing the images afterwards was even more delightful – no filters folks, this is what it is – straight out of the box.
I’ve posted two of my favorite images from morning light and sunset, both were taken on the Masai Mara plains.
Morning Light on the Masai Mara

Sundown on the Masai Mara

More to come re: Africa in the next few days, also, San Antonio and Architecture Workshop with Anna Beaudry.