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Dreamreflectionz by Lee Jorgensen

Passionate about people, travels, wine, critters, nature and all the other magic moments of life!

Slide Show of the Nordic Diaries

Watch this new video I made with Ezvid:

If anybody knows of software with better resolution, please let me know!

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Gellin’!

Magmods are fabulous light modifiers!  They seem to be mostly used by wedding photographers, but you can have lots of fun with them at home, too!  These photos were created with two speedlites, gels and masks for the patterns on the wall:

The Many Faces of the Buddha and other Deities

Asia brings me inner peace (I can prove it – my Fitbit shows BPM numbers that I never see in the Western World)!  The colors, the smells, the buildings, the temples, the food, the people – everything feels like a comforting blanket and I feel strangely safe and calm.  I can spend hours in temples and gardens looking at the many faces of Deities of the East.  I still have not figured out if I prefer the Japanese version of the Buddha or that of Southeast Asia.  Regardless of the origins, they are all very photogenic!

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Our Children

60 million people are currently displaced because of war, persecution, famine, climate and other disasters.  For those of us who cannot grasp numbers of such magnitude, that is roughly the entire population of France or that of the US West Coast if we include Arizona and Nevada.

You may feel helpless or think that it is not your problem.  I would like to be bold and say that it is everybody’s problem.  Not only is none of us an island – rather, we are all interconnected as humans and have a moral duty to help each other.  These people could be us, might be us sooner than we know it.  I truly feel that we cannot ignore the fact that there are 60 million souls out there who are traumatized, desperate, hurt, afraid, hungry, and angry.  Many of them are children who have been separated from their families and have not received any love or education for years.  What kind of people do you think they will grow up to be?  Balanced, loving people ready to take on a job and participate in a daily routine?  How do you think they will feel about us, the people who turned their backs on them?  We are creating a whole generation of children who are living through horrors we cannot imagine and who are in deep need of a future.  We must help ensure that this future holds kindness and hope. Failure in doing so, and pardon my cynicism, may very well create an army of millions of angry people and disillusioned souls who may not think very kindly on us.

I sadly have no children of my own, but am fully convinced that children are our future and that nothing is more important than our kids.  History will judge how we chose to ignore refugees, how we refused to treat this planet like their (and our) future home and how we are at risk of failing the kids in our own backyard.

To this I say:

Humanity First

Light Painting

One of the most difficult aspects of photography to me is flash and other ways of creating and sculpting light.  That may be why I find it so fascinating!  It is like a whole new three dimensional world and yet, it really should be so simple, because you are in control!  Truth be told, I do not feel very much in control when I am standing in a room with flashes, ambient light peeping through the windows, reflectors, gels and flashlights!  Here are some examples of (attempted) controlled lights:

 

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This was taken in a dark room with a black background with only a flash  used for painting light on the bottle and the ornaments.

 

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My first attempt with gels and a Speedlite!  Another pitch dark room with nothing but a flashlight to illuminate the flower.

Next assignment for me:  Outdoor night shooting with flashlights and gelled flashes!  Stay tuned!

 

 

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Cats are Magic!

Growing up, I was frightened of cats.  They seemed unpredictable, mysterious and generally not of much interest.  It was not until I had my first cat, Bigoudi, in my twenties that I discovered how magic these beautiful creatures are!

Pixoto has voted!

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Happy Halloween!

Unfortunately, it would seem that we will be covered in most needed rain tomorrow and so I will not have the great photo ops that I had last year in the little town of Benicia.  People get very creative decorating their shops on Main Street for the annual competition and it is a fun and colorful experience to stroll up and down the street.

 

Odd Formats

Greenland seems to be made for Odd Format Pictures!  With gorgeous landscapes all over, the pictures are almost beginning for panoramic formats.  I had these pictures done in 20 x 10 prints and must say that they look completely at home like that!

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Fall is Here!

Fall used to make me sad.  Being Scandinavian, I could not bear to lose the sunshine and the long days.  Now that I have lived in California for almost 20 years where the weather seems to get warmer every year, I treasure the cooler temperatures and the many photo ops!

I went to my beloved Lake Tahoe a couple of weeks ago where the colors where just beginning to turn.  How can these warm colors not put a smile on your face!?

Ol’ Blue Eyes

It looks like Pixoto Members found this beautiful cat just as irresistible as I did!

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The Sled Dogs of Greenland

Once you cross the Arctic Circle, only the Greenland Sled Dogs are allowed (and they are not allowed south of the Circle!).  These beautiful creatures are definitely not pets, but working dogs.  They do get to vacation during the summer and you can see hundreds of them lying around the hills and towns.  Naturally, I could not resist approaching two tail wagging sweeties and was rewarded with joy and kisses

 

And so it begins!

This marks the official start of the Nordic Diaries!  I have landed in Copenhagen after close to 24 hours of travels from San Francisco via my beloved France.  Such torture to only stay 3 hours!  Saturday morning, we start very early early in the morning when we fly to Iceland to spend 6 hours of sightseeing and then…… Greenland!

Get a Life!

Some people may find it slightly sad that my four-legged neighbors give me such joy!  Having lived most of my life in Cities, I am just enchanted with the nocturnal visits that I have every night around sunset.  For 11 years now, I have a new generation of raccoons arriving each summer with Momma Raccoon proudly showing off her babies and have lately also made friends with a family of skunks and possums.  The beauty of it all is that they all get along and that MeiMei the cat patiently waits for them every evening so that they may dine together.
If all these species can live together in peace, why, pray, can we not?!

I want to call this post “Why the Anger”, but it is not a sufficient expression for the emotions, hurt, despair, need for hope and all the other feelings that are having a very unpleasant “party” in my heart, head and soul right now.

Like everybody else, I hear the names of places that get attacked by hatred; the Twin Towers, Oklahoma City, Norway, Paris, Istanbul, Miami, Baghdad, Brusells, San Bernadino, Kabul, Jerusalem, Dublin, Ankara, Moscow, Thailand, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, London – places we have never heard of and/or places we love dearly.

And now Nice…. Un quatorze juillet.

This year, I have personally been so emotionally affected by the places that mean something extra special to me, but there are people in places I cannot even place on the map who are crying and feeling hopeless and helpless just like me right now.

The rational me can fully understand anger, jealousy, fear of the unknown, social injustice, desperation, lack of education, lack of communication.  The caveman (and of course I include the cavewoman) has evolved so very little in spite of their gadgets, but I had hoped that history would have taught us that war, brutality and hatred have never solved a conflict or embellished our world.

Neither has passivity.  Not reading the news because it will ruin my day will probably make me feel a bit less pain, and so I have gained 10 minutes of living in a bubble.  My world will still be as ugly as before when I open my eyes again.

I am a Buddhist and I do not say that proudly, as if that would somehow make me a better person.  Nor am I “die-hard-Buddhist” who feels the need to observe rituals that make no sense to me.  If a two-year old were to ask me what it is to be a Buddhist to me, I think my answer would be “I want to create ripples”.  It is the only thing that is in my power and the only thing with which I can affect the world.  My ripples would be love, a smile, a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, absence of violence, an open heart to listen to the person on the other side of the room.  We all have that power regardless of our background or religion.  To choose a positive or a negative ripple to send through the Universe.  Not just on Christmas, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, but every day, every moment.   So when I hear that people say that  there is nothing we can do, forgive me for stating that you are wrong and just start sending out a little baby ripple in your own backyard and see where it takes you.  I guarantee no overnight miracles, but have to believe in positive ripples over retaliation or my life has no purpose.  And as far as I am concerned, we only have this life, this planet and each other, so let’s cherish it all with respect – and together.

There you have it.  No photo to become the next Ansel Adams, no brilliant philosophy.  Just my two cents in an ugly world, but that still makes me hope that Louis Armstrong was right.  Namaste.

 

Do photos always have to be in focus?

No, they do not!  Sometimes, you can get really creative with zooms and swirls, panning and shaking.  Play with it and enjoy the fun.  Every result is a total surprise!

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