Tag Archives: photography

All I Want for Christmas…The New Lytro Camera

Have you seen the new Lytro camera?

You can get full details on the science behind it (light field mumbo jumbo) on the website. But putting theory into practice, the user can take a picture and then play around with the focus later. Here are examples of two pictures focused two different ways AFTER the image was captured:

The perfect camera for a regular Joes who are never going to become serious photographers with all of the lenses and technical training. And particularly good for events or action that you don’t want to miss while fiddling with camera settings.

While I love my “real” camera and do want to learn how to do more with it – this little guy would come in pretty handy for on the go – every day picture snapping.

Now I’m curious to hear what users think…

More Holiday Cheer

I just heard from my friend Lindsey of GreatFull Day that she’s added holiday cards to her fine art photography shop on Etsy. How cute are these little guys?


Each of the eight cards measure 5.5″ x 8.5″, and come with white envelopes. The front of the card reads “Wishing you joy” and the inside says “And a very merry Christmas” (so it is holiday specific). She can also do bigger orders upon request. My kids would especially love these.

There Will Never Be Another…

Did you see the November cover of Town & Country? It features a beautiful photo of Gloria Vanderbilt with the headline “There Will Never Be Another Gloria Vanderbilt.” At first I thought this was a tribute and that she had recently died, but was happy to see that it was simply a retrospective of her more famous and/or breathtaking portraits. Here is one of my favorites:


I remember reading her early memoirs (Once Upon a Time: A True Story and Black Knight, White Knight) in high school and ever since, I’ve been fascinated with her life story. At the time, I just thought they were good books, but having re-read them later in my thirties, I was struck by her ability to write in the voice of the age she remembered in each chapter. Starting with sense memories and a small child’s perspective of the turmoil surrounding her, through the romanticized drama and angst of her teen years, the books end with the growing maturity, disappointments and hope accompanying her early marriages and introduction to motherhood.



Sadly, she didn’t continue the stories until much later in life (possibly due to personal tragedies such as her son’s suicide). But it was interesting to read the more recent, It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir, which covered some of the same memories with a far more frank and analytical perspective.


No matter what she designs, paints or writes though (the most recent book being erotica of all things – at age 85!), Gloria Vanderbilt is an icon, as well as a favored muse of accomplished photographers for well over half a century.

The last Wishing True post featured pictures of my Grandma Olive. I love the dramatic formality captured in old photography, and both my family pictures and the Town & Country spread on Gloria Vanderbilt inspired me to search images of other famous faces…












Didn’t recognize the last three? They are pictures of my Grandma Olive’s sister, Eleanor who was an actress in Hollywood back when people “got discovered” and pictures of the greats featured above her inspired women to dream of glamour and celebrity.

My only question is WHY I didn’t inherit any of these blond goddess genes?! Ah well – I guess I’ll just have to escape into the fantasy world of celebrity memoirs.

*Other good Gloria Vanderbilt related reads include Little Gloria…Happy At Last by Barbara Goldsmith and Trio: Oona Chaplin, Carol Matthau, Gloria Vanderbilt: Portrait of an Intimate Friendship by Aram Saroyan.

The Glamorous Life

My father just sent me several e-mails with pictures and information about my grandparents and great grandparents (even the great-greats), but my favorites are the ones of my Grandma Olive.


She was quite lovely and the old photographs show her in wonderful vintage fashions.






She died very young at 43, but she did a lot in her short life. Aside from having three sons with my grandfather and traveling all over the world, she was Vice Chairman of the Red Cross in Los Angeles as well as Chairman of Volunteers (over 1000 people). The National Red Cross had actually asked her to be the Head of all Volunteers in the US, but it meant she would had to move to Washington, DC. Pretty impressive for wife and mother in 1957!









As I went through the ancestor pictures, I marveled at how there were so many (almost 90). But it then occurred to me that compared to now, there were hardly any. People once had just a handful for an entire lifetime. Maybe that’s part of what makes the old ones seem so glamorous. They were special. An event. Each one a treasure to be put in a box, not archived in a digital folder. I wonder what the younger generations will make of us and our thousands of photos. I doubt they’ll be quite as enchanted with the 100 pictures of a three year old’s birthday party! Or maybe they will. Only time will tell…

Guest Post: Robin from Around the Island

I’m on vacation this week and asked a few friends to fill in for me. Today’s guest is Robin from Around the Island Photography. We first met through our personal blogs (she originally started writing at Around the Island), and I’ve so enjoyed watching her photography business take off. I love it when people turn a hobby into a career – so inspiring. And I’m thrilled that she was able to do today’s guest post. She always reminds me to look for beauty in unexpected places.

Welcome (AND Happy Birthday!) Robin!

As a photographer and avid travel nut most of my consumerist fantasies tend to revolve around either travel or camera equipment – or better yet – new equipment to be used in some fabulously exotic location – but when reality sets back in again (no, we won’t be jetting off to Tahiti or Bali this year, or for that matter next year or the year after, unless my very fiscally conservative economist husband is secretly buying masses of lottery tickets without telling me – not very likely) I like to refocus and reframe a bit, reminding myself that to find joy and beauty and wonder, all I need to do is to look around me.

It’s in my child’s smile, or in the perfect petals of a single flower, or in the flight of a parrot as it wings its way by my kitchen window. It’s even better when I have my camera at hand and can quickly capture this fleeting vision to save and savor another day, bringing a smile and a feeling of peace on a day that I need them most.

The ability to share the beauty I see all around me is the driving force behind Around the Island Photography, my online store. Beauty and joy grow best when they are shared, not hidden away. My camera gives me the chance to capture and create this beauty, and then to offer it to you to bring into your own home so that it can bring a smile to your face as well.

It can be simple



It can be dramatic


It can be serene


It can even transport you to faraway lands


So what says beauty to you? How do you bring it into your home and your life?

Help Save the Gulf

As a lifelong Louisiana resident, my blogging friend, Lindsey of A GreatFull Day and The Bright Side Project feels a strong connection to the tragedy unfolding daily along the Gulf Coast.

In her own words:

“Generations of fishermen who are following the only trade their family has ever known are jobless. Innocent animals are swimming in the effects of our human error and meeting their demise. Our delicate marshes and waterways despite efforts are being flooded with oil and our native plants are faltering. The beaches lining the coast show signs of the spill as tarballs wash ashore. Each day and hour that passes makes the situation more dire and leaves the gulf coast (and the world) wondering just how much damage will be done. And we all are praying that a solution is found before hurricane season rears its head.”

So she’s decided to offer a photo print from her Etsy shop and donate 100% of the proceeds to the Audobon Society who is helping preserve wetlands, heal animals and clean up the mess.


Please help our coast by purchasing a print or donating directly to one of the organizations aiding in relief.

Lindsey – you have a good and generous heart. Much love to you.