Tickling ivories

“Back up you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women. But you can’t intimidate me. Back. Up!”  I love that line. Wish she had said it during that debate. More on this in a minute.

August flew by, didn’t it? It is my birthday month (yay) and I would always stretch out every minute to enjoy it, but these days August brings the dog days of heat and humidity.

Back when I first moved to Los Angeles, it was dry and there were cold winters, hot arid summers, with a bit of rain in winter and spring and very warm but breezy autumns. That is changing fast. It is warmish all year long, rarely dipping below 50F. Sigh.

Still, the cusp of September brings memories of crisp, cold, sunny New York City days, when I was growing up. And the thought of the icy, bright beauty of Ithaca, where I went to school. New outfits — lots of them tailored wool. Snug thigh-high boots shuffling through a crackly carpet of muted red, gold and violet maple leaves on bumpy Upstate sidewalks. I miss the Northeast most in Fall.

Would it surprise you to know that I am somewhat heartened by the obvious developments of the current political scene? The man has lost his mind and is now so disinhibited, his true ugly inner self has emerged in all its pathology. He was in Arizona last night, which always brings out the worst in him (and worst for him is pretty damn bad). There, he made sure he praised a racist criminal, convicted felon and trashed a war hero with brain cancer. We, the sane here, just keep shaking our heads, but anticipate his marginalization imminently. Small comfort, but at least the pain is over. Mrs. Clinton, a virtual hug of support goes out to you, once again.

But, I am rambling.  What have we here? My latest Flickr series.

I finally ventured into monochrome photography. It’s a subject so vast and well covered elsewhere by serious photographers that I don’t feel the need to amplify it further. I am always looking for the next creative experiment and this was the one for August. Something completely different coming up in September.

We are heading down to our house in SD next week and will be there for at least two weeks. It means hauling more furniture, which is always tedious but beats buying new stuff. Our current house in Los Angeles is half the size of the previous one, so we have had furniture packed to the rafters in the garage. Might as well use it. Geoffrey has been busy refinishing some of it and he is so good at this, it looks brand new. Good to have a handy husband!  Well, it’s his hobby anyway. We should always face in the direction the horse is traveling.

The ‘ivories’ reference points to my preference for warm whites in black and white photographs. I tried in each one of these to process the final jpeg with varying shades from eggshell to egg cream. See what you think. I also concentrated on human subjects — something that always makes me nervous, but, for this set I used long lenses and cropped the interim TIFs close.

Some I really liked. Some I felt were so-so.

The full set of 30 shots is on Flickr right now.  What I find intriguing is that pictures I thought were mediocre sometimes garner the most attention and others that I found astonishingly good considering I am not a photographer, people yawn at. Ah well. I have no ego in this!

In fact, the Romanovs occupying the WH right now have sucked all the ego out of America for the moment. So feel free to react to them however you like. I promise you I will not be offended.

Hugs, everyone. I hope to be around to see you all, while we pack up the cargo van.

Images: Chez Bebe assets/Southern California


19 Comments on “Tickling ivories”

  1. Very nice effects with your shades of black and white photos. There’s something to like in each one but my faves are: 2 men in the seaside restaurant (love the look of the reflections in the glass), and the men walking down the street (is that SD? I like the contrast between the people and the shops and trees) and the last one of the man thoughtfully walking along (great detail). The one of the 2 women is interesting with the creamy almost sepia tones. An admirable portfolio – thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So nice of you, Vera!

      The two guys looking out at the sea are in La Jolla, San Diego. The men walking along the street are in Downtown Los Angeles. The two women walking are in Valencia. The top shot is in Hollywood, the others are in Glendale, California, Durham, North Carolina, Ojai, California and Westwood, at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. And one shot taken in Koreatown, just west of Downtown LA. Yay! Variety. 🙂


  2. Beautiful pictures, Beth. I love the sepia tones. Hope you had a wonderful birthday – and we are all watching with hope that the moronic narcissist that is supposedly leading your country right now is not long for the role. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cole! I did have a lovely birthday. Sorry to take so long to get back here, I have been traveling and cleaning and babysitting. Finally able to catch my breath.

      I agree, that individual, who is such a loser, should be ousted by the people who have the ability to do so in Congress. They secretly support many of his hateful ideas, though. It is so discouraging.


      Liked by 1 person

  3. The photograph collection could easily be enlarged and fill a Soho loft gallery or a New York City studio gallery! Awesome depiction of people and I bet somewhere in California, a studio is needing these put up and showing your heart and soul’s true gift, Beth.
    I apologise for my lack of visiting, even when you kindly stopped by my blog this summer.
    I was sad, but oh so busy at the warehouse which is becoming hard on my body! I find comfort in my grandies and family. My Calisto is in my life but a mere shadow of his old, deep and sweet Italian self. He has plans of a business venture and seems distracted. So, in my mind, I have placed him in a good friend category to keep moving forward. Hugs and regret sent. . . I just was at Jen’s rambling poetic blog and discovered her sad double loss in late Spring. That is how long behind I get once auto parts start “rolling out.” (we have had eleven hour days! Yikes!) xo 💖💐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robin!

      I have only been here once a month myself. Too much going on for me too, running up and down between Valencia and San Diego, for example, so I understand being busy, too.

      You must be exhausted. Eleven hour days are hard on anyone. I don’t know how you do it!

      I am sorry to hear about Calisto. I think you are making a wise decision not to have extra expectations. It might be that he is going through a hard time, himself and will be in a different frame of mind in the future, who knows?

      For some reason, in addition to being busy, blogging is hard when the political environment is so toxic. I knew Drumpf would be a terrible President, but I couldn’t imagine all the corruption that is being uncovered. He is just a crook! And he had the nerve to accuse Hillary of being crooked. I am probably not going to be interested in talking about much on my blog until that awful administration is gone.

      It was kind of you to visit so many of my posts. I am off to read them now.

      Hugs to you Robin. I am glad you have your children and grandchildren nearby. I am spending a lot of time with Anna and the new baby, Kevin, so I know how gratifying it must be.

      Hugs! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad you have a new baby in the family and of course, blogging is challenging in this downward spiral mood we all have been in a slump (those who care about people, clean environment and don’t want a nuclear war!) Hugs sent your way, dear Beth. ❤️


  4. Hello from long distance.
    I like the mono-chromatic look. I love the shadows and shading that you find in them. Some have a throw-back kind of quality that you find in the traditional old “black/whites”.

    Good range and love where you go with this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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