About Images by Ceci

I am a photographer and writer dedicated to preserving cherished memories through the artistic creation of both visual and verbal images.

Find and Develop Your Story Idea

Some great suggestions from a successful novelist.

Heather Grace Stewart

Hey!
Thanks for coming out to another Tuesday at 2 EST live Facebook Page Video chat and writing workshop. As promised, I’m putting my thoughts on paper for you, too. Hope these hints prove helpful in your search for great ideas!

1 DOES SOMETHING INTRIGUE OR AMUSE YOU IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE? SOMETHING MAKES YOU WONDER “WHAT IF?” TAKE THAT QUESTION AND RUN WITH IT!

Extraordinary stories can come from an ordinary, routine event. I was playing with my Wii Fit machine, a weekly morning routine for me, when it occurred to me that the Wii Fit instructor’s mouth wasn’t in synchronization with what he was saying, and that he didn’t seem lifelike enough at all, which was too bad. I might pay more attention and work harder if he seemed more real. Bingo. That idea sparked a “what if.” What if a woman about my age found a genie…

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Parenting: Are We Getting a Raw Deal?

Ah yes, I was a parent in the 70s and risked my son’s life, no doubt, in some things. But, he grew up to be a self reliant man and one I’m proud to call my son. How far does he indulge his kids’ wants? I’m not sure but I hope not too much.

rhondastephens

12711307_10206480078338131_5829653117437408897_oSummer 1974. I’m 9 years old. By 7:30 am, I’m up and out of the house, or if it’s Saturday I’m up and doing exactly what my father, Big Jerry, has told me to do. Might be raking, mowing, digging holes, or washing cars.

Summer 2016. I’m tiptoeing out of the house, on my way to work, in an effort not to wake my children who will undoubtedly sleep until 11 am. They may complete a couple of the chores I’ve left in a list on the kitchen counter for them, or they may eat stale Cheez-its that were left in their rooms 3 days ago, in order to avoid the kitchen at all costs and “not see” the list.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re getting a raw deal where this parenting gig is concerned. When did adults start caring whether or not their kids were safe, happy, or popular?…

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Creative Freedom and the Fuji X-Series: Guest Blog with Bryan Minear

Having recently added a Fuji X-T1 to my arsenal, I found this post inspirational. Now to start collecting more lenses……

MPEX Experience

This is a guest blog written by Bryan Minear.

XP2_01 1/2500 @ f/8 ISO 200

To me, the X-Pro2, X-T1, and Fujinon XF lenses mean creative freedom. The X Series system, gives users a physical, almost organic connection to the camera through function dials that you just don’t feel when digging through electronic menus. With X Series, photographers are going to get all the stunning image quality and high ISO performance benefits of a high-end DSLR, but in a much smaller package. Truth be told, X Series gear is just way more fun to shoot with. 

With other camera systems, I would find myself spending too much time with my face buried in a digital menu looking for the right settings. But between the dials on the camera and all the programmable function buttons, I can access all that I need without a second glance.

XP2_02 1.2 sec…

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How Bad Do You Want It?

The same issues apply to any endeavour, but perhaps even moreso when it is sometime ‘artistic’. Sadly, there is less support and empathy for anyone struggling to create something – a book, a poem, a photography project, painting, sculpture – whatever – if it is not ‘traditional’ work.
Want to build a house? There’s support for that. Want to write a book etc.? You have to create your support system – one that works for you – and that depends on, as this write said “How bad do YOU want it?”

Heather Grace Stewart

If you are a writer, you’ve likely heard these suggestions often:

“Write every day.”

“Writers write.”

I’ve taken the NIKE Ad a little farther, and often say to myself and other writers, “Just Write It.”

Okay, in theory, these are excellent suggestions. If you want to be a writer, you have to actually put in the time and stay disciplined. But what if you’ve got a day job? What if you’re a single parent? What if you share living space with other noisy students, and have no where quiet to write?

Yup, it’s never easy, but if you want to write a book, you have to remove all the obstacles, make a plan that works for your particular situation, and then stick to that plan. If you have a day job, you’ll have to get up an hour earlier every day for a few months to write. Or possibly stay…

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Wondering where I’ve been?

For the past several weeks I’ve been busier than a one-armed paper hanger revamping my website and consolidating everything in one location. As of early November I have migrated my posts to my main site, www.imagesbyceci.com.

I hope you’ll migrate with me and continue to follow my posts and photographs 🙂

So, if you have a moment, please check out http://www.imagesbyceci.com I’d love to know what you think! Comments and suggestions are ALWAYS welcomed.

‘Tis the season for fall foliage!

Tiana and Samantha

Yesterday was the quintessential autumn day – sunny, warm with a hint of crispness in the air, and a very light breeze blowing. What better day to head down to Sullivan Park in Sussex Corner with two teenaged models happy to play in the fallen leaves!

The colours were absolutely amazing and the girls and I had great fun finding spots that just screamed “here” come “here”!

Colourful trees in Sullivan Park, Sussex Corner, NB

It brought out the kid in all of us!

Jumping for joy!

 

 

Juxtaposition Defined

Juxtaposition Defined at Dawn

Sometimes it is worthwhile to get up at sunrise. I’ve been wanting to shoot this scene for a long time and finally got it in gear to be on hand and ready as the sun rose over the hills of Picadilly highlighting the lone tree in the midst of a hayfield with the towers of the mines in Penosquis peeking through the mist in the background.

This one was done with a wide angle (20mm) lens at shrub height. Now I need to go back, while the foliage is still on the trees, and shoot it again with a different lens so the mine towers are more significant.

Ah – the challenges of achieving one’s vision!

Four generations

Last Monday I had the pleasure of photographing four generations of women, albeit some quite small, in one family. The day was perfect for an outdoor photo shoot and the ladies were all in fine form with much laughter going on.

Despite having been laid low with West Nile Fever, I managed (with their considerable help) to get things set up and the photos done. Normally I’m a lot more animated in my sessions, but everyone was very understanding, thank goodness.

Here is one of my favourites from the session – first generation having a discussion with the fourth.

It really was a good day!

A bit of heaven in southern Maine – embellished

Pulling into the driveway of a charming old stone castle-like home in southern Maine, I had no idea what to expect from a place that had been billed as a ‘horse rescue farm’ by the friends who introduced it to me. I saw lovely stables, befitting the old-world charm of the ‘country estate’ (to call it a ‘farm’ seems a bit of an understatement) and assumed the owners’ horses resided there.

Wrong.

Every inhabitant had been rescued and came with stories of abuse and neglect. Today they receive good care, a healthy diet, veterinary and farrier care, turnout and lots of love and attention.

Stonehouse Farm is a work in progress. Just this summer a new arbor was built and lush gardens are beginning to fill in the walls on this 100+ foot long path complete with crystal chandeliers and stone statuary – everywhere.

Manmade ponds are under development and you can rest in a small gazebo, with yet another set of chandeliers, while listening to the trickling water flow between them.

Bridle paths are being cut into the 50+ acre property and here and there small patios, with more statuary, have been strategically placed bringing to mind a buddhist retreat.

Even the elusive barn cat is a rescue kitty – now well looked after but still frightened of all humans.

Meanwhile, the new stable inhabitants have learned that visitors usually mean treats or a head scratch or maybe even a walk or ride in the cool of the evening.

 

Trust is building again.

The owners, Milena and Erik Banks, are ex-pat New Yorkers. After 9-11 they made the decision to create a simpler life and, after a stint in Connecticut, headed further north to Maine. Milena said, “The horses have their forever home here. We took on numerous sheep, six cats, up to 14 dogs at one time, although now there are only 11. We took in an abandoned rate who ate and lived with the chickens till he died of cancer. We have a rescue quail too. Three of the geese are rescues.

“We thought, after 9-11, that we wanted to give something back to the animals in the world. Seeing the billowing smoke from the towers changed our lives.”

And they, in turn, are changing others’ lives, one critter at a time.

Neutering North America

I spent six hours yesterday driving from Picadilly, NB to Augusta, ME, the majority of it on four lane highways. Truthfully, if it weren’t for the exit signs, I couldn’t have told you where I was, or even if I was in Canada or the USA!

Why?

Because big highways or interstate highways are designed to move large volumes of traffic quickly from point A to point B with little thought to the surroundings being passed.

This morning I decided to explore some of the roads less traveled on my way to meet up with my friend Lauren Blackwell at her brother’s place in Richmond,

Driving in the rain through the dark awning created by the intertwined branches of roadside trees I could easily understand what might have inspired Stephen King’s more frightening scenes. The roads twist and turn and you can’t see what is around the next bend. Hidden driveways lurk beneath many of the overhangs, twisting away into someone’s yard, I assume.

The small town of Richmond exudes charm, if not wealth. A few small shops populate its main street and a charming public park, complete with free public wifi, gives everyone access to the rivers, one for boating, one for the river of information on the internet. Two men launched their boats and, after a short and friendly conversation, started their motors and sailed off in different directions.

Three young girls amused themselves by jumping off the boat dock into the river water, screaming from the shock of the cold water, and then laughing hysterically, having a great time on a now-cloudy Saturday afternoon,

An elderly couple drove their van down to the dock’s edge, windows open, to chat, enjoy their ice cream cones and the time together,

Such is real life off the beaten track!