Green Abandonment

I love taking photos of abandoned or forgotten objects.  There’s something about the natural processes taking over that reminds one of nature’s constant dominance and that nothing lasts.  It’s a melancholy feeling.  I tried a little something different in the editing of these photos.  The first one has minimal editing, just a bit of level adjustment, the second uses Photoshop’s “auto-color” option, and the third uses Photoshop’s “auto-tone” option.  The grass really was a super-vibrant green!  I’m not sure how I feel about intense editing of photos.  For me, I want to be good enough at my craft that editing isn’t needed.  Thoughts?  Which one do you like best?

Fence1 Fence2 Fence3 Tree1 Tree2 Tree3


Black Lab Day

It’s unseasonably warm here in Maryland, to the point that Garth, the office Lab, leaped head-first into the stream at our restoration site.  Just a couple shots of the crazy pup in the midst of his joy at life.

Garth-02 Garth-01

October Wedding

Last month I had the honor and pleasure of photographing my mother-in-law’s small and beautiful at-home wedding.  We crowded in front of their Pennsylvania stone house as my husband walked his mother down the path in front of a few family and friends as Bryan anxiously awaited the opportunity to say their vows while identically dressed with the pastor.

Congrats Barb and Bryan!  I love you both!BBL (22) BBL (27) BBL (33) BBL (35) BBL (48) BBL (52) BBL (69) BBL (80) BBL (82) BBL (84) BBL (85) BBL (88) BBL (89) BBL (103) BBL (107) BBL (110) BBL (111) BBL (115) BBL (116) BBL (120)

If any family or friends are interested in having original copies of any photos, please contact me directly.

A Morning By the Stream

Long Green Creek is down the road from Boordy Vineyards, where my company recently finished a restoration project.  This is a trout stream that was suffering from bank erosion and cattle crossing. Here are a couple shots from a slightly chilly morning!DSC_0682 Gabriel-M1-02 Gabriel-M1-03 Gabriel-M1-01 Gabriel-M1-04

From: Emily Date: January 15, 2006 7:23:34 PM EST Subject: Sunday

Hello All,

I had the most fabulous day ever!! By far the best day in Rome since I’ve been here… This morning I got up to go to the American church by Piazza della Republica, Santa Susanna, which took 45 minutes to walk to; here in Rome that doesn’t seem so far when you are doing it, you just sort of do, nothing like at home where we drive for everything out of convenience. It was nice to be in a place where people speak English yet are still living in Rome. I met one of the sisters who is positioned here from California and who encouraged me to sing with the choir on Sundays- anyone who wants to can do it, not a very formal thing. I may when I am here to try to meet more people. I did a tour of the church after mass; it’s an interesting church, Santa Susanna. It was completely redone by one of the popes around the time St Peter’s was being built so they commissioned a student of Michelangelo to do the frescos. It was closed to the public for 300 years while it was under the control of the cloistered nuns up until 1920, so it is in very good condition; no cleaning had to be done from burning of oil or candles. It was built on top of the remains of the house where Susanna lived. I met a man who works for the American embassy and his family and talked about my studies with him; he said that if we wanted a tour of the embassy for our class to give him a call and he would set it up for us.

Image by Fotografo Matrimonio Roma

After church I wandered around for awhile on my own to sketch. It was so nice to be on my own for a bit instead of with people/roommates like I am 24/7, even sleeping.  During my explorations, I literally turned a corner and saw the Colosseum for the first time.  What a moment!  To be going about your own business and stumble upon one of the most famous sites in the world.  I had a few people ask me for directions and if I spoke English so maybe I am beginning to blend in! Near the forum I had a British couple tell me to watch out for a group of teenagers ahead that tried to accost them, so I held on tight to my bag, put down the shades and walked like I belonged there, looking straight ahead. I could see them sizing me up, but they left me alone. There were other people around as well or I would have gone to the other side of the street.

Closer to the apartment, I wandered around the Campo for a bit (Campo di Fiori the site of the market and many cute shops and boutiques) then headed home with many hours and miles of walking behind me. Early evening went to the grocery store with the girls and bought Harry Potter 6 in Italian. I figure that when I don’t have anything else to do I can take the book and my dictionary and sit and translate to practice.

Later on, back at the Campo, there was a crafts market going on- wish I had more money with me because the things were fabulous! That was on the way to the Irish bar, the Abbey Theatre, to watch dem Stillerz play da Coltz. L and I have now developed a tradition of doing Irish car bombs during the games to ensure the victory of the Steelers. I think we may get known for it because we challenge each other to who can finish first and everyone watches the two crazy girls chug their beer… Our goal was to only pay for one drink and get someone to buy us the next since we will go broke if we keep getting our own! It ended up working better than we had planned… we got a shot each from each of the bartenders for 1) congrats on the car bombs and 2) for putting up with the insane old men Steelers fans next to us. Then convinced old man #1 to buy us a drink and later old man #2 bought us each a martini. Pretty proud of ourselves as were only hoping for one and ended up with 4. Feeling good when we left (but NOT drunk mom, so don’t worry, just happy. Mom’s fallingasleepreallyfast” story has caught on with my friends and is now a favorite expression).

Guilio, an Italian we met last night, called me to meet up after the game so L and I met him and his friend in Campo di Fiori. My roommates and I have a strict policy of not going anywhere with people we don’t know by ourselves, especially at night. So we met Guilio and Vincenzo in the Campo and went down the street to a Turkish bar/cafe, which was one of the coolest places I have ever been. The four of us spent most of the time there swapping English and Italian tongue twisters, i.e.- how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? They are well educated, traveled, and just really cool people. Not like most of the creepy Italians we’ve met, like the high school boys who tried to hit on all of us last night! They started singing opera when we left and were telling us where and what we should go see for the opera.

All in all it was by far the best night in Rome I’ve had yet. And only on day 8 or so it can only get better! Tomorrow morning I’m going back to the Campo to market so I can cook our roommates dinner tomorrow night and perhaps sketch if it’s not too cold! It definitely can get rather chilly here in January. I hope to buy a cool coat here since it is too cold to take off an outer layer and would like a second option. Slowly beginning to feel like I’m Italianizing… I love it.

Off to bed now and to try to memorize Rascal Flatt songs so Lauren and I have something to sing back to the Italians in exchange for their opera…

Lots of love…

Stream Restoration

I’ve been lucky enough to be asked to do the photography for my new-ish company, capturing construction, new techniques and post-restoration over time.  It’s a great opportunity for me to get out and hone my own techniques and have my photos used for more than just taking up space on my own harddrive or publishing here for kicks and giggles.  Here are a couple from a site we completed this past summer.

Rigdon05 Rigdon04

Summer Kitten

It’s taken me aWHILE to post some photos from this past summer, so here’s a start from August when some friends visiting from California had a picnic in town and the guest of honor was a tiny black kitten, determined to become everyone’s best friend.  He succeeded.

DSC_0237 DSC_0264 DSC_0268 DSC_0279 DSC_0286

Rome – finding art


From: Emily Date: January 12, 2006 2:31:53 PM EST   Subject: Moving into Rome

Ciao Ragazzi!

This seems like a good time to write again. We’ve explored, begun class, and met some more people. We have taken to hitting up the market at Campo di Fiori several mornings a week, picking up what we need for the day, for me mostly being oranges. They have bags of spice mixes for various recipes; I bought one for pasta sauce and it smells like everything Italy encompasses. Mix it in with some sauce over fresh made ravioli and there is no reason to ever want to eat frozen dinners again. Class has pretty much been the death march of Rome, Monday and Wednesday walking for 3 hours each to see both the sites we will be working on and others to compare them to.

Tuesday night we went out to explore Trestevere again and discovered that Tues is perhaps the least happenin’ night of the week. I went home to sleep while the other roomates met some Italians at a very Bohemian bar. We had two of them over for dinner last night, one who speaks English very well and sings like a canary (as in too much) and another who knows about as much English as I know Italian. It was amusing trying to converse back and forth, quite a struggle, but interesting being able to have two totally different knowledges of the English language to talk to, learning bit by bit of Italian. One thing we are learning about italians is that their idea of time is totally different from ours. It takes a half hour to say goodbye and they don’t understand that whole overstaying your welcome thing.

The more I walk around Rome the more I think Trastevere is the best place to live. Yes, I am becoming a Trastevere snob. I hope the Christmas lights stay up along the streets for awhile, it ads some more of that Bohemian character to the area. We are slowly trying more places, restaurants, bars, ect. Yesterday I got gelato “pinoli” that had pine nuts in it and was AMAZING.

Today we woke up late and L, Kelly and I decide to go to the gallery at Pallazio Barbarini; we literally power-walked two miles to get there in time. Luckily it is still the off-season so there weren’t many people there. We were there for only a few minutes when an old man named Alessandro who worked there started talking to us and gave us a private tour around the gallery. It was fantastic because it made the visit mean so much more, actually understanding what they meant instead of just looking at them. The ceiling of the main hall is the famous “Triumph of Divine Providence” by Pietro da Cortona, which took 7 years to complete. I believe it is in most of the art history books, look for the ceiling with the three gold bees, the crest of the Barbarini family. The first thing that took my breath away there was the paintings by Carravagio. It was just too bad that my art history class was 4 years ago!

Just up the street was the Church of San Carlo delle Quattro Fontane. There were two men at the front of this tiny church playing an organ and pipe whistle, sounding like we just stepped into the Middle Ages. The inside is a bright plaster-white, the light enteing from glass windows in the dome and gold details highlighting the paintings. Carved flowers adorn every nitch and doorway.

Up the road is the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria which houses the Ecstasy of St Teresa by Bernini. Gold and marble of every color and pattern adorn every surface. Cherubs and angels climb the arches and play on the cornices. Candles sit and lamps hang down- I wish they were real because I can just imagine the erie casts of light they would make against the gold. Theresa is on the left in her own theatre, the men watching as the firey arrow of God pierces her. Simply amazing. Across the street is Santa Susana, the American church in Rome where they conduct services in English. I think I may want to go there this weekend, it is a much bigger church, comparatively.

Back from our church exploration we walked past all the government buildings of Rome and realized for the first time that all the police carry machine guns. Terrified me rather a bit…. walking by the second time L smiles and says to me “See? They didn’t even shoot you!” Well, thank god for that.

Saturday our class is doing a tour of the villas around Rome then we are meeting some of the Italians from the other night to hang out.

Ci vediamo!

Ema (as Alessandro spells it!)


Art Gallery


Church of San Carlo delle Quattro Fontane


Super blurry picture of Bernini’s Saint Teresa in Ecstacy


Working through my photography course, experimenting with just about everything and snapped these pictures laying across my husband on the couch so Trish wouldn’t move before I could capture the light on her fur.  Glamor shots 🙂

DSC_0124 DSC_0132