Moments, Nature, Tips

Morning flowers…

May 15, 2020
Ledge flowers on my kitchen window.

I LOVE flowers. All flowers. Even this silk arrangement on my kitchen window ledge. Every day I walk in to make a coffee, there they are looking bright and happy—they instantly put a smile on my face. In general I like to find little ways to create joy in my life and this is just one—surrounding myself with flowers. The light was so beautiful this morning that I had to take a photo and share. I hope you’ll have ways to create joy in your life this weekend—maybe with flowers.


“The earth laughs in flowers.”
 ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

With joy,
Kalebra

Steps:
• Shot handheld with Portrait mode on iPhone11pro
Warm Vivid filter in iPhone editor
• Enhanced rays in LensDistortions app

Start to finish and ready to share?
About a minute and a half. 😉

Featured, Nature, Travel

That one time when we could travel to Norway.

May 11, 2020
Lofoten Islands, Norway

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 
― Marcel Proust

I took this on our trip to Norway in June, 2018. At that time I was using the iPhone XS. I now count Norway (particularly the Lofoten Islands) among my favorite places to visit. There is a breathtaking stillness and the iPhone was made for the light that exists there.

Have a beautiful day…

With joy,
Kalebra

Black and White, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

I want to be just like the woman at the coffee shop when I grow up.

May 10, 2020

When I was around 20 years old and playing in a band full time, I would stop by the coffee and donut shop, near my apartment, after the gig. You’d always find me and several other regulars there, night after night, winding down from our “shifts” with coffee and a donut.

Or was that the reason we were there?

I knew that, for me, it was more about visiting with the woman behind the counter than it was for any coffee or donut — but oh the donut! The reason it was so good was that she knew I liked the maple glazed kind so, when she saw me coming in, she would take one and drizzle extra maple on it just for me. She’d greet me with a smile and a hug and tell me how happy she was to see me and then she’d always ask how the gig went? 

But here’s the best part.

She listened (really listened) to what I had to tell her. She’d laugh and smile her beautiful smile — I mean, who wouldn’t want that coffee and donut?! She made sure I knew I was special and she knew how special she was to me. Then one night, many nights into this coffee shop routine, I looked around the room and saw on the faces of others what I felt inside — welcomed and cared for — I mattered. If to no one else, I mattered to her and so did they. 

I listened to her conversations with them, as much as I listened to my own with her — this woman — this wise and beautiful woman was in her way…well, healing people from the inside out. Over the years I watched from across the room as laughter erupted, tears fell, and anger subsided. I don’t know what all the stories were about, but I do know they were made better by her. 

One person — one beautiful, wise, kind and caring woman — intently listening to people and making a difference in their lives.  What a gift! Making people feel…no, scratch that, making people understand that they matter and sometimes (by my observations) for the first time. I felt privileged to watch it happen. 

I was reminded of those times as I watched my mother from across the room, listening to my Yittle, just as beautiful as she was all those years ago in the coffee shop. Listening in that special way that she has always listened, and as I saw the look on my little girl’s face (a look I have seen on so many faces before), I felt privileged all over again. Privileged and grateful that my children have this beautiful woman in their lives to listen and listen well. 

Mom, in case I haven’t told you lately, you pour the best cup of coffee — ever. When I grow up, I want to be just…like…you.

Happy Mother’s Day — I love you.

 

I wrote this a few years ago, and it has now become a tradition to share it every year. To all the mothers — I hope your day is special and Happy Mother’s Day!  💐💝🌺

 

 

 

iPhone, Smartphone Photography, Tips

How to photograph during a pandemic.

May 7, 2020

Since you’re forced to slow down anyway, take advantage of it.

Like most smartphone photographers I find myself being the family historian—it’s only fair since we always have our cameras with us. And even though most of us aren’t thrilled about having to follow “shelter in place” guidelines we can still make the best of it by practicing and getting better at our photography. We’re most likely spending this time with our family and furry friends so let’s take advantage them! I mean, take advantage of the time.

Children and pets make great subjects while you’re practicing, but don’t try to force them to model. As the historian you can get some really genuine moments if you’re patient, and if your children and pets are like mine they won’t model anyway. Remember you’ve got time to just sit back and observe—photograph them when the moment is right.

If you’re indoors look for light (the softness of window light is the best). If you’re outdoors look for light (best times are morning and evening walks) think sunrise and sunset but because you have a smartphone you can prolong the sunset hours and look for nice shade if it’s too late after sunrise in the morning. And if you’re shooting in the middle of the day (not recommended but still can be done) I put myself and my camera in the shade—even if what I’m shooting is in direct sunlight. Also, foggy misty mornings or just after it rains are great times to run out and get some landscape shots.

Maki (seated) and Naminé
Misty morning walk.

Or try some flowers in your garden. You’re practicing—you can shoot whatever you want as much as you want. I would recommend not shooting the same subject exactly the same way over and over. If you feel you need more than one shot of something, change your angle and perspective. You’ll be glad you did when you go back to edit. Also, try some apps to add back what the camera didn’t capture. I absolutely love Lens Distortions. It’s perfect for enhancing the rain, mist and lens flares you capture. And I would recommend only enhancing at first, save putting in something that wasn’t there for later—much later.

Miss Magnolia and Lens Distortions

I’ll talk more about apps in another post but for now I hope this is helpful.

Have a great weekend everyone!

With joy,

Kalebra

iPhone

I loved the vibe of this place.

July 26, 2019
I don’t think I’ve ever been on a street that felt more like a movie set than this one. Such a cool vibe — I loved it. What you can’t see is that just behind me and around the corner is a fun Karaoke place where me, the hubby and our kids sang our hearts out ‘til late in the evening. We ended the session with a group sing of Bonjovi’s “It’s My Life!” Now that was fun! In fact, there is a lot of fun to be had in Tokyo…the kids loved the Akihabara area (anime and manga heaven), I loved the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and the hubby loved all the amazing architecture to photograph. (If you look closely, you can see him in front of the taxi grabbing some images from that night). The Japanese people are the most gracious hosts, the city is clean and safe — wish we’d done this sooner.

Thank you Tokyo, for one of the best family trips we’ve ever taken.
😊

Shot on iPhone XS and post in Adobe Lightroom Mobile.
Featured, Personal Side Interviews

The Personal Side of Terry White

August 26, 2018

I admire how Terry White has fused his passions for tech and photography into a most interesting life and story. Even though I consider him a friend I still learned some fascinating things from this interview — things that take us all the way back to his childhood. Reinforcing how some of our early experiences can help influence and shape us. Thank you, Terry, for making “talking tech” so interesting and fun. KelbyOne members can watch the full episode here.

Thanks again, Terry!

Featured, Moments, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Uncategorized

Q. What does visiting my son, an antique store and zebra finches have to do with this image?

August 1, 2018

A. Everything.

I see stories — everywhere — and all the time. I feel blessed this is the case and I do know why. Besides loving to read, I grew up with some of the best storytellers that ever lived. Some are still here but most are gone now, and I owe them so much of my joy. All of my uncles, most of my aunts, my dad, my mom, all of my grandparents, (one grandmother would tell her stories for so long, that as little kids, we’d sneak out of the room before she was done. Hahaha!) However, I’m so grateful to her now. When I was growing up, I remember sitting around listening to the adults tell their stories — so many stories — these people lived life! Even the mundane was made funny and interesting (at least to me). One uncle (who could not hold a note) put his stories to music and whenever he would visit he would bring his guitar and “sing” his stories. I LOVED it! Many in my family are musicians, singers, dancers and so music was ever present. I have memories of my parents dancing to Motown in the living room, my mom having me sing for any company that showed up, singing at the missions with my sisters while my mother played the piano, and listening to my grandmother sing in church (so loudly that it would put Ethel Merman to shame).

Anyway, because of this wonderful cast of characters, I see in stories, and so when I went and visited my son recently, and he took me to a lovely breakfast, and then a walk around town, we wound up in this beautiful, upscale, antique store. In the store was an amazing birdcage (we’re talking the Taj Mahal of birdcages here) and in the cage were the most beautiful sounding zebra finches. I’d never heard a zebra finch before then, but they make the sweetest sounds, and those sounds and the birdcage drew me right in. I started thinking; one could imagine that they’d be some of the happiest captive birds while living in this beautiful cage, looking at all these beautiful things. They were even positioned in amazing light. But when I got in closer to take a better look, I realized, from their perspective, it was still just a cage and looked like it. They were just looking out onto beauty but not living it, you know? I was thinking hard about this (and hearing the song The Lark Ascending in my head) when my son said, “Mom, there are a lot of other things in this store.” Giggling a little, I had to agree, and we moved on but…this is how this image (and the finals from the shoot) came to be. Here’s how I explained it to those on set…

“Our little birdie finally got her wish to be human. Breaking out of her gilded cage she was finally able to live the free and glamorous life she had watched so many live in this room before.”

I imagined this image, but my husband brought it to life with his photographs. I like that about him. ☺

Grateful to all the crew, Christina, Jason, Steve and Viktor from KelbyOne, Julio and Kathy for photo assisting and to MJ for modeling, Hendrickje and Anna for makeup and hair and Julia for her unique and perfect dress. Such an amazing team. Here are the Instagram and social contacts if you’re interested.

Photographer: @scottkelby
Creative Director: @kalebrakelby
Production Company: @kelbyonepics
Producer: Christinam007
Model: @mjbutterly
Costume Designer: @xiaolindesign
Makeup Artist: @hendrickjemakeup
Key Hair: @style.hairandmakeup
Camera Assistant: @julioaguilar
Camera Assistant: @kathyporupski
Behind The Scene Stills/Video: @steven_nicolai_417
Behind The Scene Stills/Video: @darkrequest
Location: @rialtotheatretampa
Special Thanks: @thehiproom
Lighting by: @profotousa

You can see the entire shoot and final images at Scott Kelby’s Adobe Spark page.

Happy Wednesday everyone and I wish you stories.

Featured, iPhone, Moments, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day

I was reminded that…

July 28, 2018

Love is a verb. You can give it by showing kindness, through a shared experience, or by simply listening to someone. If you manage, somehow, to accomplish all three of those at the same time? Well, that’s a little bit of heaven on earth. This image is from a moment like that, and I will hold it in my heart and never let it go.

I wish you peace, joy, and an active verb. 😉

Featured, Moments, Nature, Personal Side Interviews, Travel

The Personal Side of Moose Peterson

July 10, 2018

In this Personal Side Interview, I get to sit down with my friend, award-winning wildlife and aviation photographer, Moose Peterson. Moose talks about his childhood, his family, and how he met his wife Sharon (Mrs. Moose). For Moose, art and photography were always a part of growing up and the combination sparked a true passion for him, making photography a full-time career. This interview was one I truly couldn’t wait to do and I hope you’ll take the time to watch it here at KelbyOne.

Thank you, Moose. It’s always a delight when we get to talk and the times we’ve shared with you and Sharon are some of the most wonderful travel memories I have — you two are the best!

Kalebra

Featured, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Tips, Travel

On Seeing…

June 30, 2018

I started out as a traditional artist, and I mean from the time I had my first vivid artistic memory. My father was drawing a pencil sketch on an entire wall of our home, and I remember watching him (while he whistled) and feeling at peace and thinking how beautiful the drawing was — I felt joy. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s, and questioning my mother about the drawing that I was told, “You can’t remember that you were only six months old!” Hahaha! I was always drawing, painting, singing, feeling and looking for wonder. It’s in my blood. My great-grandmother was among some of the first women to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. It was while she was there, that she met my great-grandfather, who had been invited to this country to perform violin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (He had been brought up in the King’s Court in Austria where he achieved Concertmaster).  There are ballerinas, painters, singers, writers, storytellers, and musicians on both sides of my family, so I don’t think I could have outrun art, even if I’d wanted to. I was lucky enough to know, and be influenced by many of them. However, I never met my great-grandparents — but I feel them all the time.

I told you all of that to tell you this…

I believe that seeing is so much more than seeing. Seeing is also feeling, and making a mental note about how you feel. Take this seagull photo I recently captured in Norway. I was standing hillside and looking onto this beautiful scene when all of a sudden this seagull showed up and flew right next to me, in front of me and soared high above me. I felt joy! As soon as I recognized my joy I went for my camera because I knew that something magical could happen (and so did that seagull). Sure enough, with a little patience, things lined up. Haven’t you ever been driving somewhere and looked out your window and saw a beautiful sky or shoreline, or tree, or haven’t you been present and heard a child giggling and felt joy? Or peace? Or wonder? Whatever the feeling was, you felt something, right? Oh man, when you do, when you feel that something, make sure you stop or go back or do whatever you have to do to see, see what you felt. Once you feel it, you can see it, and once you see it you can capture it.

I wish you joy, peace, wonder, feeling and seeing.

Kalebra