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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Monkey waiting for his buddy

Since I was a kid, I always liked stuffed animals.
Of course, I had my favorites. A 3 feet tall Pink Panther... A very realistic bear... A very ugly cat... Some of you know Spidey (Spider-Man) who operates my car...
Up until recently I even had a specific teddy bear collection.
I have a very active imagination and I love to bring these furry inanimate objects alive. Some people love to play along, some others do think I'm missing a few screws in my head.
Thankfully, my wife is one of those who would play along.

Back in November, we had a co-ed baby shower and the theme was "monkey". It was a very fun day and we received tons of love and our soon-to-be-born baby girl received her first few possessions.
One of our great friends, Musetta, brought a great stuffed monkey among other things.
Jennifer was the one who first met him. She showed him a little love and than Monkey landed on me.

We first shared a banana and than he wanted to have the tour of the house on my back and I introduced him to our friends.

The following first 2 pictures are courtesy of Jen Castle Photography and the third one was taken by another friend.

Monkey was happy to come with us to his new home, while Jennifer and I were sorting all the clothes and other gifts, he sat on the bed, had some tea and asked us tons of questions in order to get to know us... Or that is what I imagined.

When we were preparing the nursery, he was the first one in there and I was finding him places. I made him hang from the side of the crib. (The revolutionary genius technology of Velcro allows Monkey to hang on things).

For all these months, Jennifer was not really messing with him, but then she put the last few touches to the nursery and she kind of threw Monkey on the bed and we joked around about how he was waiting for "his buddy".

A few days later, I came home from a very long work day. The last couple of hours was spent in the Los Angeles traffic and I was not particularly in a good mood, and on top of it, I was feeling I was coming down with something.
My office is reached thru the nursery, so I walked in, did some paperwork, went to the kitchen to grab some tea, and on my way back, I noticed, that Monkey got comfy!

Jennifer took an extra step and changed the way Monkey was sitting and this little change made me laugh out loud and made me forget the long day's stress. Of course, for this I am grateful to my wife (I am actually grateful to Monkey, but don't tell that to my wife).

We look forward to all going according to the plan, and to have an addition to our family next week. So, like Monkey, we are waiting for her. I am not promising anything, but if I can pull it off, next week's Friday Photography Blog may be all about our bundle of joy. If not, I may take the next week off.

Until then, take care!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Trip Back to Film Days

I was browsing some of my pictures a few days ago and I wanted to revisit my film days. Although there is much, too much to share; the following are only a select few. I did not spend a lot of time to chose them from my archive, only 10-15 minutes to go thru some of them. But these were the ones that I still have a personal connection to. Please note that the prints are old and the scans are not high quality.

Tea is a huge part of Turkish culture. Not only is it consumed at all times and for all occasions, it is also the symbol of hospitality, friendship and human connection. Years ago, we spent a week in a small Mediterranean village called Palamutbükü in Southern Turkey where my family has a summer house and we would spend the entire day on the beach. It was a pebble beach and we would start the sun bathing around 1030am. We would have delicious seafood along with cold Efes Pilsen beer at the restaurant by the beach. And a round 5-6pm, right before we would get ready to get back home for a shower and dinner, the restaurant would bring us tea, on the house. I really miss this little village.

One of my best friends, Fabrice came to spend some time with me in Los Angeles. I know Fabrice from the years I lived in France and we experimented and advanced our photography skills together. When he was in town, we had lunch at Louise's Trattoria in Los Feliz and I snapped this picture.

Contrary to many Parisians, I love Le Métro de Paris.

When I took Jennifer to Turkey for the first time almost a decade ago, I made sure we packed as many locations as possible to our trip. While we were seeing as many places as possible, I thrived to give her the taste of "living" there as opposed to visiting the country as a tourist. When we were in Pamukkale, instead of following the tourist tours and taking the exact same picture as thousands of others do, we purposely got lost in the back ways and had an amazing hike under a very gloomy, gray sky, which in turn provided the rain as we were getting back to the hotel. I love this picture and the memories it brings.

South of France, Montpellier. I was playing volleyball for the university team and we had a Beach Volley tournament in Palavas Les Flots. Of course I brought my camera and snapped gorgeous B&W pictures capturing the partly cloudy sky and the silhouettes of the players... Good times!

I might revisit my film and slide archive sometime soon... It's nostalgic and fun! See you next week!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A fish in a pond

I was down in Newport Beach for a corporate headshot session last Wednesday and we were shooting on location, in an office and in the little courtyard of the office building.

During wardrobe changes, I was looking around to find something to keep me busy, and the nice fountain in the middle of the courtyard caught my attention. It was a big circle of pebbles, and water was streaming inwards from tens of little faucets forming many arcs and falling close to the center.

Under these water arcs, on either side of the inner circle formed by the falling water, there were two fish statues.

I started to take a few pictures from different angles, but the water stream was bothering me as no matter what angle I would take the picture, at least one stream of water would "cut" the fish and the openings in between the streams were not large enough for my lens to pass in between without getting it wet and I wasn't willing to go back to the office to get my zoom lens. What if I only had this one lens with me?!

Nevertheless, as I really wanted to have a closer shot of the statue, I found the largest opening at an acceptable angle. I carefully put my lens thru the stream, making sure I was wetting only the hood of the lens and not the lens itself. That particular lens is a bit expensive, ya know?...

Was it worth it? You tell me. :o)

Also, I heard that some of you had problems leaving comments on this blog page. Would you be willing to email me and let me know?

Thank you!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

J-Preggo Part 2

After three brutal weeks filled with work, hospital visits, family time etc. Jennifer and I found ourselves with a little time in our hands today and we took advantage of this unexpected opportunity o spend the day tete-a-tete.

We drove up the coast to one of our favorite locations, Circle X Ranch and took a few more pregnancy pictures, two of which I am sharing with you below.

If we can manage to squeeze a day or two before the arrival of our daughter, we would love to take a few more pictures.

I guess time will tell.