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Photography

I have been surrounded by paper and ink my entire life. A bibliophilic mother who passed the love on to me, a father who worked in a print shop whose hands always smelled of hot paper and fresh ink, a twenty-five year old book collection that currently numbers closer to 1,000 than 500, and journals everywhere.

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I love journals. Beautifully made books full of blank pages and promise. I have never filled one of my journals, but my heart is in each one. The first pages of each of my journals are filled with words. Sometimes the words form poems, other times they become the prose I write that sounds more like poetry than an essay.

Sometimes the pages are just words. Lists of words in no particular order that I hope will one day become a poem. That is often how poetry happens for me. I feel the urge to write something that I have seen or heard or read, and I write the words that feel like the experience. Like a Rorschach test of sound and meaning, the words come to me, vowels singing and consonants dancing around and around each other until I hear a harmony, or an intentional dissonance, that says everything I feel. It’s like a beautiful audition. The list stops as I begin to feel the rhythm that I need, and then the page becomes a chopping block. Scribbled lines are crossed out, mutilated. Punctuation is trashed, dug out, brushed off, and trashed again. Articles are the hardest — take them out, put them back in, whittle them down smaller and smaller until the lines mean nothing (start again), or they mean everything.

In these moments I wish that there were a literary equivalent of the mathematical term, the inclusive or. It has all of the meaning of “or” and the meaning of “and” at the same time. How wonderful that word would be for poetry. This or this, but neither rules out the other. It’s always seemed ironic to me that this concept is an accepted rule in math, the most absolute sector of academia. Art is never simply black and white.

DH

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This morning I woke early. Everything was peaceful and quiet and ever so slightly tinged with pink as the sun began to break free from the horizon.

Coffee is a requirement today. As I sleepily start the kettle and put the grounds into the press, I listen to birds singing joyously at the morning. Stepping outside, sweater wrapped, reveals a world glistening with dew drops, sparkling in the  now-golden sunlight. The shining blanket, almost as thick as frost, is belied by the warmth that, even in the early morning, is already making my cotton sweater unbearable. Delicately tiny mushrooms have emerged in the night, dotting the green grass with their little white parasols.

Morning Dew -- D.Hitchcock 2013

Mushroom -- D.Hitchcock 2013Dewdrop -- D.Hitchcock 2013 Mushroom 2 -- D.Hitchcock 2013Everything is still as I take in this fleeting beauty. Once the sun is higher, it will take only moments for these watery jewels to evaporate and the sweet mushroom bonnets to shrivel in the heat. A moment so easy to miss. So simple, and yet impossible to recreate. It may be just like this tomorrow, or it may never be again.

Mushroom Dew -- D.Hitchcock 2013

And that is truly beautiful.

DH

Model: John BurkePhoto taken during shoot for his latest album, Reverie.

Model: John Burke
Photo taken during shoot for his latest album, Reverie.

I used to hate taking pictures of people. I realize now that it was because I didn’t know how. I’ve never liked posed photography, so I always tried for candid shots, which would work sometimes, but the likelihood of getting good shots reliably were pretty slim. I was always so displeased with the results that I avoided photographing people all together. It wasn’t until I discovered Jane Bown that I realized that people weren’t the problem; it was me and the terrifying piece of equipment that hung from my neck.

Cameras are everywhere. People have developed a sort of sixth sense where cameras are concerned and typically have one of two reactions: They hide or they pose. It happens every time someone pulls out a device because we are trained to expect it. (I’ve always been a hider, ironically enough) What’s a girl to do? I want those in the moment, genuine reactions, but the camera senses won’t let me have them! I want to capture those priceless moments when all that hidden personality dances across a person’s face while he tells you a story, or is lost in a quiet thought, but if my subject is hidden, either from the camera or behind his “camera smile”, all of that life is lost to me and my lens.

That’s when I realized that I had answered my own question. Those moments that I want to capture only happen when someone is comfortable and willing to share. Candid isn’t about the subject not seeing the camera, it’s about them not minding the camera. I just had to make people forget that the camera exists. The results were exactly what I had wanted my photography to be.

Portraiture is still a work in progress for me, as are all things, but it has become one of my favorite things to do. These are some of my favorite images — I was lucky enough to really capture my subjects’ personalities in these. Hope you enjoy.

Model: Caroline T.From my Interview Series

Model: Caroline T.
“Interview”

Model: John Burke

Model: John Burke

Model: Ryan B.From "Interview"

Model: Ryan B.
“Interview”

Model: Krystal K.

Model: Krystal K.
“Interview”

Model: Victoria P."Interview"

Model: Victoria P.
“Interview”

Can't resist capturing all that silliness!

You just can’t pose this!

A huge thank you to the models from the “Interview” series and John Burke for allowing me to show off your beautiful faces!

Thanks for reading! As always, critiques are an artist’s best friend.

DH

P.S. If you are in the Atlanta area and would like to work with me, feel free to drop me a line :)

Lighting lamps for Diwali, the festival of lights.

You should check out this photo-article on Diwali. Diwali is a festival of lights, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs. November thirteenth was the first day of the five day festival, in which lamps are lit to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, fireworks ward off evil spirits, and prayers are offered to deities of prosperity.

Here are some of the images that I thought were particularly striking:

Do you have a favorite image from the article? What makes it speak to you?

Have a lovely weekend!

DH

Happy November everyone! How about some of last month’s greatest hits?

— Desperately want two (or ten!) of these darlings! They are so cute, and I’d be able to spin my own yarn! I just need a house where I can have a fenced yard…

Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep. Yes, that is actual, adult size!

— This recipe. Also, I just really love this blog. So funny, and sweet, and home-y. It’s a joy to read. And I love the dogs.

— Halloween was brilliant, as always. I made some awesome Star Trek costumes for The Boy and myself. Here’s a really terrible picture of me to prove it!

Looking into the stars! Apparently they are really funny.

— And speaking of Halloween, I want to throw this party next year!

— Also this. Hands down, the BEST family Halloween costumes in the history of EVER.

I think I can still recite most of Where the Wild Things Are. I want to be this family when I grow up :)

–The other exciting event of October what The Boy’s birthday! We had a lovely time. The celebration started as soon as he woke up with a scavenger hunt for his presents and ended with an awesome party and a rather sharp-looking cake!

Battlestar Galactica Crest Cake

Battlestar Galacticake!

— And I’ll leave you with a little bit of music: The Corries — Twa Corbies. A Scottish tune sung by some Scottish gents. Points if you know what the song is about without looking it up!

That’s what was important to me this month! How was your October?

<3
DH

I have a cool thing for you today!

Neat, huh? This is an image by Jean-François Rauzier, a Paris-based photographer who creates hyper photos. What’s a hyperphoto? Well, it’s a image made of a lot of little images and put together to create a work of art that is ten thousand times the resolution of a normal photograph. Why do this? So that you can make a photograph that is the size of two school buses and retain perfect crispness.

Seem too fantastical to be true? Check out this linkHere you will find more of his images, but if you click on them you can zoom in to look at the detail. And then you can zoom in again. And again. Did you see the two people walking through the door to the left of the left-most statue at the bottom of this picture? No? Zoom in.

A screenshot to prove it!

How cool is that?

These are awesome on a technical level, but they are also beautiful. I love the surrealist quality of the images. They are beautifully haunting and I want to crawl inside them and explore!

For more images, visit Rauzier’s website. It’s in French, but Chrome translates it pretty well, and if your browser doesn’t translate, the pictures speak for themselves.

Which image is your favorite? Did you find any cool stuff while you were zooming around?

Have a happy, happy weekend!

<3
DH

When The Boy and I go to trivia, there is almost always at least one science-related question. This is always fun, partly because those questions are interesting, but also because it gives everyone in the restaurant an excuse to yell at the Trivia Guy. Not in a mean way, of course. More in an audience participation sort of way. It goes something like this:

Trivia Guy: “Your categories for this round are sports, television shows, and science.”

The Entire Restaurant: “SCIENCE!”

We always do that. I’m not really sure why, but it’s a thing that happens. Maybe it is because objectively, one might even venture empirically, science is awesome.

So, today I bring you SCIENCE! Well, really scientists, but without them we wouldn’t have science, so it all works out.

This is possibly the coolest thing. So many legendary minds in one photograph — Einstein, Bohr, Marie Curie, Schrodinger, Heisenberg, Planck — I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at this conference just to listen to them talk to each other. Even the mundane must be more interesting when seen through the eyes of such genius.

This is probably the most famous of the Solvay Conferences, which began in 1911. This first conference lead Ernest Solvay, a Belgian industrialist, to found the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry in Brussels the following year. The conferences were called to discuss outstanding issues in chemistry and physics. The 1927 conference was called for the world’s greatest physicists to discuss quantum theory, which at that time was brand-spanking new. Also, at this conference one of the funniest Einstein related quotes I’ve ever come across was said. Apparently, Einstein didn’t care for Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and said “God does does not play dice.” Niels Bohr’s response? “Einstein, stop telling God what to do.”

I also found this:

This is the 1945 high school report card of John Gurdon, the guy who won a Nobel Prize in medicine this year. Boy, was that teacher wrong!

In short, science (SCIENCE!) is rad and no matter how old we are we should always try to learn everything we can. Even if it is just so that we can be superstars at trivia every week.

Did you learn anything new this week?

Have a happy, happy weekend!
DH