MyLondon in Real Time – Day 7

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business. This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, but I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home. On purpose.

With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done a million times all over the world, but it’s a first for me.

This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane. Thanks for joining me!

If you missed Day 6, please click here: MyLondon in Real Time – Day 6

Ah, I love lovely London. I'm obsessed with the Tower of London....

Ah, I love lovely London. I’m obsessed with the Tower of London….

....and the Tower Bridge

….and the Tower Bridge

I never tire of the architecture, traditional...

I never tire of the architecture: traditional… 

....or modern

….or modern

I can't get enough of those black cabs....

And I can’t get enough of those black cabs.

While I don't fancy Marmite or blood pudding, I adore roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and....

While I don’t fancy Marmite or blood pudding, I adore roast beef with a heap of Yorkshire pudding and….

....and classic fish and chips

….classic fish n’ chips!

And perhaps, most of all, I love the British saucy and sassy sense of humour...

 Perhaps, most of all, I love the British saucy, sassy sense of humour…

...in all its forthright irreverence...so refreshing and so funny!!

…in all its wicked irreverence…so refreshing and so funny!! Don’t you love London too?

MyLondon in Real Time – Day 6

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business. This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, but I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home. On purpose. With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done a million times all over the world, but it’s a first for me. This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane. Thanks for joining me!

If you missed Day 5, please click here:  MyLondon in Real Time – Day 5

The Brick Lane neighborhood in East London was close to my hotel, so I walked over to see why it is called the famous curry capital of the UK.I stepped into a cozy restaurant called Joe's Kid where the menu is written in colorful chalk on a blackboard and I ordered a sausage and bean omelette. I figured it was a good omen since I, like the restaurant owner, am also Joe's kid -- daughter of the late Joseph Lombardi. The artwork on the side of the building above depicts the owner as a child with her grandfather who started the restaurant.

The Brick Lane neighborhood in East London was nearby, so I walked over to see why it is called the famous curry capital of the UK. Though I love East Indian food, I stepped into a cozy restaurant called Joe’s Kid where the menu is written in colorful chalk on a blackboard and I ordered a sausage and bean omelette. I figured it was a good omen since I, like the restaurant owner, am also Joe’s kid — daughter of the late Joseph Lombardi. The artwork on the side of the building above depicts the owner as a child with her grandfather who started the restaurant.

The Brick Lane is also a vibrant art and fashion area known for it's creative graffiti.

Brick Lane is a vibrant art and fashion area known for its creative graffiti.

More graffiti -- love it!

More graffiti — love it!

Visiting family in Southfields -- a charming and quiet contrast to the city. Brilliant!

Visiting family in Southfields — a charming and quiet contrast to the city. Brilliant!

MyLondon in Real Time – Day 5

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business. This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, but I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home. On purpose.

With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done a million times all over the world, but it’s a first for me.

This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane. Thanks for joining me!

Today’s post is all about London fenestration. If you love it too, check out my post on Montreal fenestration: Fenestration (Yes it’s a word)

If you missed Day 4, please click here: MyLondon in Real Time — Day 4 

The real thing -- no faux finishes here.

The real thing — no faux finishes here. I love London fenestration. So beautiful!

Blackfriar's Pub

The Blackfriar Pub

The Gerkin

The Gerkin

Reflections -- Traditional and modern.

Reflections — Traditional and modern.

MyLondon in Real Time — Day 4

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business. This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, but I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home. On purpose.

With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done a million times all over the world, but it’s a first for me.

This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane. Thanks for joining me!

If you missed Day 3, please click this link:  MyLondon in Real Time – Day 3

Our evening industry event was held in the magnificent Drapers' Hall.

Our evening industry event was held in the magnificent Drapers’ Hall.

The British version of Piano Man -- elegant and classy.

The British version of ‘Piano Man’ — elegant and classy.

Such a fun, creative way to display the Hermes tie!

On this balmy London night, I meandered back to the hotel and discovered this creative window display…….what a fun way to feature the Hermes tie!!

The British wear it well.

And this one…..the British wear it well.

 

MyLondon in Real Time – Day 3

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business. This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, but I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home. On purpose.

With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done a million times all over the world, but it’s a first for me.

This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane. Thanks for joining me!

If you missed Day 2, click this link:  MyLondon in Real Time – Day 2

A close-up look at a section of the Tower Bridge at twilight. What Pantone color is that hot blue?  Cerulean? Periwinkle? Cornflower?

A close-up look at a section of the Tower Bridge at twilight. What a hot blue!  Which Pantone color is that? Azure? Cornflower? Dodger blue? 

A mural on the back wall in the lobby of the hotel depicts a sepia toned scene of the Tower of London.  I paired this with the buttery warm, button seating for an image oozing old-world charm.

A mural on the back wall in the lobby of the hotel depicts a sepia-toned scene of the Tower of London. I paired it with a foreground of buttery warm, button seating for an image oozing old-world charm.

MyLondon in Real Time — Day 2

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business. This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, but I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home. On purpose.

With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done a million times all over the world, but it’s a first for me.

This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane. Thanks for joining me!

If you missed Day 1, click this link: MyLondon in Real Time – Day 1

Twilight on the magnificent Tower Bridge.

Fuzzy twilight on the magnificent Tower Bridge.

The beautiful underside of an archway on Tower Bridge.

The beautiful underside of an archway on Tower Bridge.

A rare quiet scene taken through the window of a cafe near the Thames.

A rare quiet scene taken through the window of a cafe near the River Thames. 

 

 

MyLondon in Real Time — Day 1

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I’ve landed in lovely London, staying seven days — mostly business.  This time I chose to travel light. I still packed six pairs of shoes, however for the first time I left my beloved Nikon DSLR camera at home.  On purpose.

With much debate, I decided to abandon my digital ‘dinosaur’ for a study in snapshots using my iPhone. It’s been done many times all over the world, but it’s a first for me.

This is MyLondon in Real Time. The good, the bad and the mundane.  Thanks for joining me!

On the six-hour flight, I was immersed in a book called Paris Letters, a story of a woman who abandoned a successful corporate life in Santa Monica, California for a more simple one in France. This was my way of multi-tasking --- flying to lovely London while experiencing California and Paris as I zoomed across time zones. Hello ,bonjour and cheerio!

On my way to grab a taxi after arriving in Paddington Station on the Heathrow Express. On the six-hour flight from Toronto, I was immersed in a book called Paris Letters, a story of a woman who abandoned a successful corporate life in Santa Monica, California for a more simple one in France. This must be my way of multi-tasking — flying to lovely London while experiencing the delights of California and Paris as I zoomed across time zones. Hello, bonjour and cheerio!

Yummy caramel-coated peanuts from a London street vendor. Two British pounds, please.

Yummy caramel-coated peanuts from a London street vendor. Two British pounds, please.

A hazy, blown-out shot of the London Eye taken on the cab ride to m hotel.

A hazy, blown-out shot of the London Eye taken on the cab ride to my hotel.

Eye of the Beholder — Santa Monica!

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Would something horrible happen if I broke the rules?

I ask myself that question almost every time I take a photo. What sort of mess might possibly occur if I alternately break the photographic rules of exposure, composition, or focus?

I know the rule of thirds, the rule of odds, filling the frame, leaving space — the traditional guidelines of good picture-taking.

The truth is, I’m a haphazard photographer.  I’m shockingly inept at the mathematics of exposure, shutter speed, aperture setting and know just enough to produce some happy accidents.

I rely more on gut instinct and feel; less on carefully calculated outcomes.

This approach doesn’t win any photography awards to be sure, however it inspires me to create — free from the shackles of dogged perfectionism.  Each risky image is, for me, a psychological triumph.

Eye of the Beholder is my new monthly photo feature showcasing the often surprising results of my experiments.

Thanks to a worldwide readership for following my previous photo series, Scene on Queen

I hope you enjoy Eye of the Beholder and the simple stories behind the images.

Your comments are always welcome! (click on photos to enlarge)

Santa Monica Pier - 2012

Santa Monica Pier – 2012

Story behind the image:  The famous Santa Monica pier is a large double-jointed pier located at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, California.

It’s a prominent, 100-year-old landmark with rides, games, restaurants and shops, and in fact, is the West Coast’s only amusement park located on a pier.

The location has been photographed endlessly from every possible angle and in every conceivable light.  I took this photo while on vacation during the summer of 2012.

It was a crystal clear day — the mountains, an eye-popping backdrop for the sprawling roller coaster and iconic ferris wheel.  A perfectly lovely photo — for daytime.

But in the evening, the scene morphs into a kaleidoscope of color, flashing lights and pounding music. Like all amusement parks after dark, it has a pulse.

A ‘perfectly lovely photo’ of the ferris wheel just wouldn’t do. I wanted to shake it up a bit and convey the “rush”.

So, I had to take a risk and do the thing you’re not supposed to do. Shake the camera — on purpose. Using a really slow shutter speed.

The following photos were captured in a “close-your-eyes-and-go-for-it” frenzy — I swung my camera back and forth…..jerked it violently from side to side……spun it around in tight circles, then took a deep breath and kept on going, snapping randomly again and again, bracing myself for utter ruin.

And then this happened…..

Night Abstract - Santa Monica Pier

…..utterly beautiful chaos…..

2) The chaos and color...

Ferris Wheel Ferris Wheel

In this wild moment, I was reminded of my favorite Latin proverb:  Fortes Fortuna Juvat (Fortune favors the bold).

Inspiring words for truimphs large and small……with or without a camera.

– 30 –

Previous Post:  Eye of The Beholder — Toronto!

Eye of the Beholder — (Toronto)

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Would something horrible happen if I broke the rules?

I ask myself that question almost every time I take a photo. What sort of mess might possibly occur if I alternately break the photographic rules of exposure, composition, or focus?

I know the rule of thirds, the rule of odds, filling the frame, leaving space — the traditional guidelines of good picture-taking.

The truth is, I’m a haphazard photographer.  I’m shockingly inept at the mathematics of exposure, shutter speed, aperture setting and know just enough to produce some happy accidents.

I rely more on gut instinct and feel; less on carefully calculated outcomes.

This approach doesn’t win any photography awards to be sure, however it inspires me to create — free from the shackles of dogged perfectionism.  Each risky image is, for me, a psychological triumph.

Eye of the Beholder is my new monthly photo feature showcasing the often surprising results of my experiments.

Thanks to a worldwide readership for following my previous photo series, Scene on Queen

I hope you enjoy Eye of the Beholder and the simple stories behind the images.

Your comments and are always welcome! (click on photo to enlarge)

Toronto's CN Tower and the little lamp post that grew.

Toronto’s CN Tower and the little lamp post that grew.

Story behind the image: I was on my way home from the city’s east end after having dinner with friends. Travelling west on the Lakeshore/Gardiner in my MINI Cooper, downtown traffic moved at a good clip. Suddenly, cars slowed to a crawl, then a complete stop. There was an accident up ahead.

At a glacial pace, the glut funnelled off the highway at the next exit.

I found myself presented with a rare sight:  I was face-to-face with the CN Tower with no obstructions and had nothing to do except stare at the massive hulk.

I grew up in Toronto; I see the tower every day and barely notice it.  That day however, it was comically juxtaposed with a regular old street lamp that stretched almost as tall as the tower itself.

I peered through the sunroof, grabbed my Coolpix camera from the glove compartment and snapped a few photos, hoping that at least one shot would properly convey the bizarre optical illusion I felt privileged to witness.

This image told the story best – with all its imperfections — including the blur and ghost-like glare.

– 30 –

 

Scene on Queen – The Final Image – (December 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

 Scene on Queen

Life.

Urban Dad. Three kids. Stroll interrupted. 

“Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.”
― Oscar WildeThe Picture of Dorian Gray

– 30 –

(click to enlarge photo)

This is the final image in my year-long series of monthly photos capturing life on Toronto’s Queen Street West. Click on ‘Scene on Queen’ under ‘Categories’ to scroll through all twelve in a row.

The completion of this 12-month exercise has made me a more acute observer of human behavior, of beauty where I least expected it, and of details in the everyday that we often miss in the chaos of it all.

With a lot of luck and split-second timing, a few snippets of daily life in this part of Toronto were witnessed and forever captured.  To the readers of this blog worldwide, thank you for joining in the fun and bearing witness.

Click below for my favorites:

Dorothy & Toto Do Queen Street West

Mainly Books (and sometimes cats)

If you like what you’re reading, click on the FOLLOW button to receive updates.

New once-a-month photo feature:  Eye of The Beholder (details to come)

Scene on Queen (November 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

"Animals are such agreeable friends -- they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms." -- George Eliot

“Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” — George Eliot

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." -- Roger Caras

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” — Roger Caras

"Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten." -- David Ogden Stiers

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” — David Ogden Stiers

– 30 –

(click on photos to enlarge)

For other cool Toronto street pics, click on Gone Snap Happy!

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

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'What could be more fun than one of me? TWO of me!"

‘What could be more fun than one of me? TWO of me!”

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Habit

Habit is defined as a “regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up”.

My cat, Simba, has a habit of aligning himself against a wall (or mirror, as shown), and, after a high-pitched squeak, flips over on his back to stare at the world upside down.

My little ‘cream puff explosion’ does this several times a day, every day – his legs stretched out, paws flopped over — a perfectly serene expression on his face.

I’d say he has no intention of giving up what comes so naturally to him.

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Weekly Photo Challenge — Eerie

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Shrouded in fog -- The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Shrouded in fog — The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

This Week’s Photo Challenge:  EERIE

I took this photo while walking the 4,200-foot span of the Golden Gate Bridge in high winds and soup-like fog.  It had all the makings of a classic murder mystery —  shadows disappearing in the mist and the occasional blare of fog horns from passing ships below.

A little eerie not knowing exactly where the edge was……..

– 30 –

Scene on Queen (October 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

A stand-out Mom!

A stand-out Mom.

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.” 
― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth

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(click on photo to enlarge)

For other cool Toronto street pics, click on Gone Snap Happy!

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

 

Scene on Queen (September 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

The rain paints a streaky abstract on my windshield.

The rain paints a romantic, streaky abstract on my windshield. (Queen Street)

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” 
― Langston Hughes

Ghostly mist on Bay Street.

Ghostly mist on Bay Street.

“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.” — James Dickey

(click on photos to enlarge)

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

– 30 –

Scene on Queen (August 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto.

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

Feet on the Street

Feet on the Street

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” 
― Coco Chanel

(click on photo to enlarge)

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

– 30 –

Weekly Photo Challenge — Masterpiece

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What better masterpiece is there than a replica of oneself?

A tiny masterpiece.  (Tulum, Mexico – April 2013)

“Do not ask that your kids live up to your expectations.  Let your kids be who they are, and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit.”  ~Robert Brault.

– 30 –

Scene on Queen (July 2013)

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Scene on Queen is my monthly single-photo feature capturing the teeming life and oddities on Queen Street West in Toronto

(Click on Scene on Queen under ‘Categories’ at the left to see posts)

I take the photos with my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot camera on my way home from work — all from the comfort of my MINI Cooper cabin.

Lightning quick and in-the-moment.

Street photography at its wildest and weirdest.

At Scene on Queen, typical photography ‘sins’ like blurriness and bad composition are forgiven in favor of the story behind the photo.

Twelve months.  Twelve photos.

It’s all subjective, but know that in the split second just before I press the shutter, something clicks inside me — moves me to record it.

A strange pattern or reflection; juxtaposition or gentrification.

When the street light turns green, the moment’s gone.

For the full modus operandi and other cool Toronto street pics,

click on Gone Snap Happy!

Scene on Queen

I collect antiques. Why? Because they're beautiful. -- Broderick Crawford

I collect antiques. Why? Because they’re beautiful. — Broderick Crawford

J. Dy’s Antiques & Collectibles — A picture-perfect storefront window arranged “just so.”  I love the symmetry of the sofa flanked by antique stands and the cluttered luxury of a ceiling dripping with over-the-top chandeliers. 

The piece de resistance? An unexpected live ‘prop’ — the dog —  his kerchief echoing the pop of color on the front door. 

(click on photo to enlarge)

– 30 –

If you like what you’re reading, click the Follow button on the sidebar to receive twice-a-month updates.

Previous Post: Stat and Secrets — One Year Later

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

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This was m golden hour in lovely London.

This was my golden hour in lovely London.

This week’s photo challenge is The Golden Hour. In photography, it’s referred to as the first and last hour of sunlight of the day.  In my photo of a London cab, the ‘fuzziness’ of the street lights is the first indicator of approaching twilight.

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Previous Post: Stats and Secrets — One Year Later

Upcoming Post:  Scene on Queen (July 2013)

Stats and Secrets — One Year Later

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One year ago this weekend, I gave birth to a blog and named her Angelina Carrera.  The gestation period was ridiculously long — at least three years. Time to celebrate!

Growth has been steadily measured in numbers gathered day by day, month by month, via web stats in WordPress.

I’d like to commemorate this anniversary by providing a glimpse into some statistics and  sharing a few behind-the-scenes secrets:

  • 365 days.
  • 22 posts
  • 200 photos.
  • 120 followers.
  • Over 2600 views from 57 countries.
  • Countless extracurricular hours.
  • Much encouragement. Many accolades.

One heart —  full of gratitude and appreciation.

Very First Post: What’s in a Name?

Jodie Angelina Carrera

Jodie Angelina Carrera – What’s in a Name? (Archived in July 2012)

Secret: A friend of mine inspired me to ignore self-doubt and get down to the business of publishing the story of why I changed my name to Angelina Carrera.  She and I met last year in a photography class and hit it off instantly. My tale resonated with her.

Her response reminded me of the excitement I felt years ago after receiving the official document in the mail containing my brand new name.  So, a woman I hardly knew, unknowingly triggered the DNA of my first post, What’s In A Name? Thanks, C-L.

Most Popular Post:  The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA

The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA

The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA (Archived in September 2012)

Secret: This post was a fluke. I happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right lens — a long one — photographing a group of surfers while I was on vacation in Huntington Beach, CA.

To this day, The Hunks of Huntington Beach, CA is the most-viewed and most-often-searched of any post I’ve published — including the one about CATS!

(We’ll get to that later).

Best Writing Experience: Gone Snap Happy! and Flirting with Valentino; Going Home  With Versace

Gone Snap Happy!

Gone Snap Happy! (Archived in July 2012)

Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace

Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace (Archived in March 2013)

Secret: I LOVED writing and organizing these two posts for the sheer joy of working ‘a la Carrie Bradshaw” — in a cafe — just me, my laptop and a frothy hot chocolate.

With Gone Snap Happy!,  I spent the afternoon in a Los Angeles Starbucks writing about Toronto.

For Flirting with Valentino; Going Home with Versace, I spent the evening in Toronto’s Artisano’s Cafe writing about Los Angeles!

Am I the only one who thinks this dichotomy is cool??

Introducing Monsieur:  Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs (Archived in August 2012)

Secret: I first introduced Monsieur in Must Love Dogs and refer to him in the following posts:  I Love, Therefore I Take Photos — Part II, Seven Feline Longevity Laws and Valentino/Versace The references are occasional and leave him mostly unidentifiable. During my foray as a published author, Monsieur and I discussed how I would preserve his anonymity in posts where it was essential to the story to actually mention his existence.

We decided to come up with a nickname for him should my life suddenly become that of a World Famous Blogger. We honored his masculinity and French Canadian roots with the moniker Monsieur. In any post that even whispers his presence, no matter how peripheral, we agreed this is the name I would use.

Evidently we both suffer from delusions of grandeur. ‘Nuff said.

Closest To My Heart:   Unlikely Inheritance — The Bird Gene

Unlikely Inheritence -- The Bird Gene

Unlikely Inheritence — The Bird Gene (Archived in November 2012)

Secret: My brother and I shared a moment because of this post. Unlikely Inheritance — The Bird Gene is about a memory of my father who was fascinated by birds, and photographed them endlessly. I share the same trait, hence the inheritance.

My brother wrote to tell me that my recollection brought back memories for him, too.  In a rare display of sentiment, he expressed gratitude for our family pointing out that we are “as much relatives as we are friends”. He encouraged me to continue writing, saying that reading my posts helped him gain insight into me and our relationship.

Before you conclude that I’ve betrayed a confidence — I haven’t. His beautiful comment, and my response, appears under Comments in What’s In a Name?.

Biggest Disappointment:  Seven Feline Longevity Laws

Seven Feline Longevity Laws

Seven Feline Longevity Laws (Archived in October 2012)

Secret: Imagine my dejection when, after posting Seven Feline Longevity Laws —  which is about cats in general, and MY cats in particular  — it didn’t go viral. In fact, it didn’t even catch a cold!!

C’mon! They’re cats! And they’re adorable! See them up there sharing a ‘bunk bed’?

I’m biased, but c’mon! Next time I’ll post a video of the two of them ‘cat-boxing’ or Simba drinking from the bathroom faucet….yes, it’s all been done before but maybe video is the key to going viral)

The Post Where I Learned The Most:  Fenestration (yes, it’s a word)

Fenestration (yes, it's a word)

Fenestration (yes, it’s a word)   (Archived in April 2013)

Secret: One of my friends, a lawyer in Washington DC, read Fenestration (yes, it’s a word) and commented on a reference I made to defenestration — the act of throwing something or someone out the window.

He gave me a link to the Defenestration of Prague which describes the conflict hundreds of years ago that led to members of town council and a judge being tossed out the window — events which also precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.

I’m always fascinated by the way a post develops. I began this one with only a vague idea of the best way to showcase my photos of pretty windows.

I ended up with a mini-education in architectural design, and a history lesson on the Defenestration of Prague. This was definitely the post where I learned the most!

Weirdest Post: A Tale of Two Sunrises

Secret: I got out of bed before dawn on a Saturday morning two days before New Year’s Eve, in pitch darkness in the middle of a blizzard, and drove to the lake to take pictures of birds.  (I’m exhausted just thinking about it).

It’s obvious I’m a bit of a loon myself. But look at the wild-and-woolly abstract I captured in A Tale of Two Sunrises!

A Tale of Two Sunrises

A Tale of Two Sunrises (Dec. 29, 2012)  (Archived in February 2013)

A Tale of Two Sunrises

A Tale of Two Sunrises (Dec. 30, 2012)  (Archived in February 2013)

I HAD to return at sunrise the next morning to prove what a difference a day makes.

In sub-zero temperatures, I was fuelled by my own curiosity of what it would be like to stand in the exact same place, 24 hours after the storm, witnessing a vastly different view of the world.

This, in fact, is life. And that’s why I posted it.

Least Popular Post:  Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!!

Venice Beach, CA -- Kumbaya!!

Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!!  (Archived in May 2013)

Secret: The fact that Venice Beach, CA — Kumbaya!! is decidedly my least popular post is a little ironic.

It’s ironic because Venice Beach is where I bought my lucky “writing scarf”.

You see, my bright orange talisman is supposed to ward off writer’s block, inertia, bad writing, and the like, because it’s imbued with the free-minded spirit and bohemian lifestyle of Venice Beach where everyone is in their happy place and ideas flow like water.

Where else on Earth except Venice Beach can I justify this kind of thinking without someone accusing me of being high?

I plucked the scarf from a bin of $12 dollar discounts and declared it to possess these mystical powers. And so it does. I wear it (almost) every time I write and I haven’t missed a self-imposed deadline yet.

As for bad writing……wait! Where’s my scarf??

Scene on Queen: Top 3 Posts:

River Trading Company -- Mainly Books (and sometimes cats!)  Archived in February 2013

River Trading Company — Mainly Books (and sometimes cats!)  (Archived in Feb. 2013)

The Painted Table -- Queen and Ronscesvalles

The Painted Table — (is that a wedding dress in the window??) – (Archived in April 2013)

Modern day Dorothy and Toto!!

Modern-day Dorothy and Toto!! (Archived in June 2013)

10 Countries That Yielded The Most Readership:

  1. Canada
  2. United States
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Russian Federation
  5. Italy
  6. Germany
  7. Australia
  8. Philippines
  9. Netherlands
  10. Ireland.

While Angelina Carrera isn’t a statistical success, she grows everyday and the fun factor is off the charts!

Maybe by the time Angelina reaches the “terrible-two’s” the stats might not be so terrible.

– 30 –

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Upcoming post: No clue. (Shall I consult my writing scarf?)

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