Archive | December 2017

A Face….

DSC_0282bwOf dementia.  This face.  My grandmother’s face.  Helen.

She’s in her late 80s and she and my grandfather have been married almost 70 years.  This is a face four years in the making.  Several years ago, she fell and broke her hip.  From working clinicals in a nursing home, I knew that it would be the beginning of the end.  Sometime later, she broke her pelvic bone.  She can no longer walk very well on her own.  She sits in a chair most the time.  My grandfather is her caretaker.  He, too, is in his late 80s.

They have always had the kind of marriage that I would have hoped to have.  It .is rare to be married as long as they have been. At least in today’s day and age.   They bicker. They love. At least once upon a time. These days, he loves and she fights.  I know that somewhere in that mind she is aware of what is going on and she’s angry.  She’s scared and my grandpa catches the brunt of that….because he is the one that is there and he’s the one that stands by her side.

DSC_0215This face doesn’t recognize me most the time.  When she does, she remembers the child me.  The one with pigtails.  She once said I was too young to talk to her when my grandpa tried to give her the phone.  I laughed, because I knew….and it was okay.  She’s still my grandmother, but now she is also someone else.  The hardest thing for me sometimes is watching my dad.

For the longest time, he was in denial.  Everyone, but me, was.  They thought that it was just the meds that she was on.  I tried to tell them the truth, but you cannot tell people what they do not want to hear.  Now it is evident.  Every time he is there. Every time my grandpa calls so that my daddy and convince grandma that he is alive and well.  She confuses him with my uncle, whom is dying of cancer.  That will be another post another time, one that may or may not have pictures.

I became one of those people who let life get in the way. I never meant to be that person, but it happened anyway. In small part because of finances.  They live in Illinois, which is only a short drive from here but $50 a gas tank makes it difficult to travel there often. Working as much makes it difficult.  I know I am not alone on this, and this was not a whine. It is reality. It has made me that little girl who my grandmother remembers, because that is the one she saw the most.  Even a younger 20ish me. but not the adult me. The one that let life get in the way.

DSC_0222I apologize. I think that the feelings that I have tried to muster up, were actually hidden and came to the surface when I look at these pictures.  I took them, yes, but there is a difference between taking them and looking at them. They didn’t turn out the way that I wanted.  The lighting in my grandparents’ house is very yellowish and without flash, I struggled to get the lighting to do just what I wanted. Post editing made them even more frustrating and so I chose to go the black and white method.

The first picture of this post is my favorite. It is also the most heart wrenching for me, because I think that is the most powerful image that I could have taken of her. The colored one has the emotion, but the one posted…it is the emotion.

I have not known what to say. I have felt cold and heartless, because I’ve not had the words.  Maybe it is because the grandma that she has become, I was prepared. I knew.  Maybe it is because life did get in the way and I’m not directly affected, because I do not see her everyday.  Maybe it is just the reality and I didn’t know what to say, because there is nothing to say. What can you say?  My heart hurts, but sadly I am at that age in life where these moments are inevitable.  That is why I will just cherish what I have and just remember that everyday she is here is a blessing, but that it is also hard on her and that it is okay for her to let go.  But until she is ready, I will just smile and hold her hand and remind her every time that she ask that I am indeed her granddaughter.

DSC_0218.jpgI don’t know if you made it to the bottom. If you did, I don’t know what you took away from this post. I am not even sure that it conveyed what I wanted. Power. Emotion. Time. I just hope that whatever your day has in store that it is a beautiful one, today and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

That….

DSC_2006bwBecause I really cannot think of anything else to say.  This boy was hiding in a ditch as I was driving the back roads of Wind Cave/Custer State (Mainly because I really cannot remember which part I was in when I saw him).  He is a beauty though. At least I think so.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Something About the…

DSC_1880.jpgBadlands. I don’t know what it is, but there is just something. I’m still in debate about whether this will be next year’s destination.  Apparently, there are wild horses in Arizona that are calling my name…if I can find them. So, we shall see.  Maybe I should. Just to see the aftermath….and of course check in on the animals that inspired my visit to begin with.

For those that have not heard, there has been a wildfire wreaking havoc on Custer State Park. It is about and hour away from the Badlands, but I always visit both.  I think at last heard they had it contained, but alas there were still some animals unaccounted for.  The wondrous begging burros. About half the herd was missing, but as of last night had been located but they had suffered burns and were being treated. The majority of the buffalo and pronghorns had been found, but I do not know about the others.  Those are just the ones that are monitored and auctioned.  Here’s to hoping they are all okay.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

I am…

DSC_3707.jpgOne with the tree and you cannot see me.

I still do not know if I love this picture. I like the subject. I like the vision, It is just the picture itself.  I don’t hate it, but it needs something in my opinion…just not sure what.  Maybe I’m just in a funk, rut, hole…..That is kind of how my week has gone.  The good news is….it’s finally Friday (Key the George Jones) and tomorrow I will be off to see Stars Wars.  That is my excitement…yes, I’m that girl.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.  May the force be with you.

Montana Rose Photography

Revisited….

DSC_0688 (2).jpgThis picture, I revisited this picture. Not the spot.  Someday, I’m sure that I’ll be back.

I am not sure what made me decide to revisit this picture. Something to do…maybe.  I had originally intended on submitting this picture for one my entries to the juried show next September, but the file size allowed wouldn’t work for this picture.  In the process of not knowing that though, I had posted it to facebook looking for opinions on which pieces I should submit.  A fellow blogger and experienced photographer that I respect suggested that I try to add some blue to make it look colder.  At the time, I just couldn’t get it to work right and so I gave up.  Then, as stated, I discovered the picture wouldn’t resize and still look good for entry anyway and I abandoned it.

The other day that same photographer posted on his blog how he had participated in a 365 photography challenge.  I believe that it had been in conversation before, but this time it kind of stuck to me a bit more as I’m constantly on a path looking for something more.  As challenges are usually about finding out more about yourself, I decided to try and challenge myself daily for at least a year….but truth be told, I’ll probably be lucky to succeed even a week.  Don’t know until we try, right?

I don’t know how I am going to approach this challenge.  It won’t just be about photography.  There have been things that I have wanted to learn and get back into and I think that I’m going to challenge myself to do that.  Read more, cook more, bake more, write more, learn to play that guitar that is collecting dust, and so many other things.  It’s a long list, and I’m 41 now so I’m not sure how realistic some of them are-but here is to a new year of figuring it out.

In the meantime, I started with this picture.  I’ve always liked it, but it has always needed something.  I’m not sure if this version is what it needs…but I am quite fond of this version. I hope that you are too.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

The Essence of….

DSC_8111b.jpgLilly.  I love this picture.  I’d love it better if it was bit smoother, but that could because I know that it is a little rough around the edges.  Literally.  This isn’t the original picture. The original picture she is standing in a run-in shed and it was exposed decently enough, but it didn’t say what I wanted. It didn’t show what I wanted.

I had made a couple of different versions of this picture, but the still lacked that little something that I wanted.  I had seen pictures like this before where the horse was against a black background.  I was reluctant to try it, but then I did. Then I was reluctant to post it, for other reasons but that is a completely different post.

I took the original raw photo and dialed down the exposure. At least on the background.  I used my little magic wand to separate Lilly out and then I basically made the background the most underexposed picture I have ever intentionally taken.  I then took Lilly and cleaned her up a bit as well as tried to smooth out the lines around her edges.  I needed her to look like she was part of the background. I think I nailed it, but I’m sure that under the right light…I might not be.

I love this look, though. Is it necessarily one I will continue?  I don’t know. Maybe.  I’ve seen it done and I’m sure with the right amount of practice and opportunity, I could make some amazing pictures.  It would also be nice to do it on purpose and not have to work it as much as I did to get the look.  We shall see.

In the mean time, I hope that you like this photo as much as I do.  Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography