Saturday, May 5, 2012

New Direction: From Blogger to WordPress

I like Blogger and I didn't want to leave the site. But the call to growth nibbled at my hopes, and I've decided to learn Wordpress. I'll use that interface from now on and I hope whoever visits here will take the time to go find me at new blog:

Naming the blog 'See The Idea' came from something I have on my business card.

As a photographer, seeing the idea, is what I try to do each time I make an image. When covering a news assignment the camera acts as a tool to further communicate the essence of the story. As an artist, I use both the camera and software to see an idea I have in my mind, an expression of beauty.

Photography is an every day tool that lets people document their moments, and express their creativity.
Hope to see you and your ideas wherever our paths may meet!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Charity Act Gets A New Look

Creativity knows no bounds when it comes to charity. The Marlin Company employees have a knack for the unexpected in getting responses and raising money that will go towards benefiting a good cause.

The cause is St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancer. St. Baldrick’s Foundation formed after three reinsurance executives John Bender, Tim Kenny and Enda McDonnell turned their St. Patrick’s Day party into a head-shaving event to benefit kids with cancer.
Jack Voss gets head shaved by Terry Carrano as part of exceeding fundraising goal.

What started out as an innovative way to have 20 "shavee" recruits raise "$17,000 on the 17th" turned into a successful sum raised - over $104,000!

Jack shows his legs have been shaved smooth.
Jack Voss, a developer by occupation, put his challenge on when he participated along with his brother and Stamford EMS in an event sponsored by St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

Voss committed to have his head buzzed cut if he made his goal of $200. Additionally Voss promised to shave his head bald and shave his beard off entirely if he exceeded his goal. 

Not only did Jack shave it all off for the cause but he did so wearing the traditional garb of a kilt and shaved his legs in honor of the occasion.

He was able to raise $1,500 personally for St. Baldrick's, which added to the overall total of $25,754 for the foundation.  

Off comes the beard.
Contributions came from the company and co-workers who baked up ideas for bringing in funds. Cake sales and sweet treats of cannoli filling and waffle wafers brought in cash and the hopes of seeing Jack in kilt wear.

Congratulations to everyone who made work fun and who are helping kids with cancer have something to hope for - a cure!

Jack Voss in kilt
Many of The Marlin Company employees are gearing up to walk in Relay For Life for the same reasons Jack had in helping St. Baldrick's Foundation. Cancer is one disease that needs to go away! 

To learn more about St. Baldrick's Foundation organization or to get involved with your own head shaving visit: 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sighting Inspiration

Who knows when you'll get it. It happens momentarily and in its own time. First morning light enters a room like an unexpected guest. Oh - take notice of a fleeting presence!

Inspiration is like Grace - it's spiritual and not to be underestimated. It can sweep you up into a place where time stops ticking. I call it that, inspiration, but it's a combination of things. Willingness to surrender to light and the mood that light creates is when I most want to have camera in hand.

Today I looked for moments. The sun made yellow light in the shapes of angular slanting lines. The sky was very different from this past week where big, blue, black and gray clouds consumed wide expanses of sky, gobbling it up as though wide were not enough. From sharp shards of glass to soft tulip petals anything can be interesting when photographing it with light that accentuates its innate qualities. A handle looks like 'drama' and a flower appears like a painter's stroke on canvas.

Waiting for a tinge of color shift from bright noon to a dusk mood seemed most desirable for picture purposes. Patience yields a rush to capture a pink imbued flora that drinks in the sun before petals close for their nightly repose.

Sighting Friday moments are just the inspiration needed to welcome the weekend! Don't let the overcast light limit image making possibilities. If it's overcast colors are cooler, but are still worth capturing, nonetheless!

Friday, April 6, 2012

What's In A Name?

Do onions, chicken, tomato, hydroponic lettuce, cheddar cheese, and bacon nestled into a grilled tortilla sound like a 'Robert' to you? The Arc Eatery in Meriden would be happy to introduce you to its latest luncheon menu item.
Lunch made to order

Chef impresario Joe Berg prompted staff to put their noodle to the test and invent their own edible creations. Robert, a 3-year employee, rose to the challenge and delivered a hybrid between a panini and wrap sandwich that has been added to Arc's specials for lunch choices.

When Joe told me about the ingredients and how they would be prepared we speculated what name the sandwich would go by. I thought wrappini would be good, but 'Robert' won out, giving full credit where credit is due.
Robert spices up indgredients
I came to try out the delicacy with every intention of seeing how to make it, should I want to recreate it on my own. Robert used dill when spicing the onions.

All the vegetables are lightly sauteed and are placed inside the tortilla, along with strips of grilled chicken. The concoction is then assembled by folding it into a manageable roll, and lightly grilling it again, giving the outer side a toasted golden brown finish.

If dietary concerns are an issue you can custom order the contents. Although I omitted the best parts, cheddar cheese and bacon, it still tasted buttery wonderful. Robert said he enjoyed conjuring up something different.

The sandwich is getting a lot of orders. "We like to try different ingredient combinations," said Joe. "With food it's all been done before, and the challenge was to find something new." 

The Arc Eatery recently installed a greenhouse where fresh herbs and lettuce are grown and the chef uses everything harvested in their daily culinary offerings.

'Next on my list is baking. I'd like to create my own cookie," said Robert. I'm wondering what it will be and how the cookie will crumble. I'm hoping to see something with oatmeal and cranberries ... hmmm ...  just thinking about it may prompt the baker in me!

Do you have any sandwich creations you'd like to share? Or for sweet but healthy treats, I'd love to hear your suggestions! I'm interested in healthy but yummy!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Savvy Strategy Campaign For Businesses Takes Flight

Do you ever feel like you need a shot of enthusiasm to see a project through? What happens if that project is your business? Unless you've already 'arrived' at whatever benchmark defines your success, who couldn't use some networking tips, or actual business services that would assist in advancing their business, and by way of representation, themselves?

Zef Zen of Entrepreneurs that SOAR is someone you should know. A powerhouse of personality, your first impression of Zef will be positive. She exudes "possibility" with every breath she exhales, and in doing so, convinces you that you can do anything you put your mind to. Zef bases her business model on that belief, and can provide needed help by way of interns to assist in all kinds of support, from emotional to administrative to creative.
Zef Zan, left, gives raffle prize to Victoria Fennell during the 1st of several
destinations of 'Souring into Action' Tour. The  Tour campaign is organized
by Zef's company, Entrepreneurs that Soar. 
Zef will tell you the acronym in the business name, SOAR, stands for: Strategies + Opportunities + Alliances + Results = getting from point A, (an idea), to point B, (success). Isn't that the idea than anyone goes into business?

Zef says, "It's not enough to collect business cards, you have to take the next step in networking."

Knowing what to do after you meet a potential client is the difference between turning an oversized and underutilized rolodex into a lead that is actually an opportunity.

One recent campaign underway is the 'Soaring into Action' Tour. Beginning March 28th, Zef's SOAR team is making several stops throughout Connecticut to promote professional outreach. The live social networking is much more effective than a LinkedIn request, making connecting a more realistic experience once you meet a person.

Campaign Flyer
I love the flyer photo. It shows a jet plane literally taking flight and is a perfect analogy needed for getting aboard with momentum and putting yourself into a ready position.

I attended the first destination in West Hartford's Barcelona Wine Bar. I met several new people who are established in their own businesses. What impressed me is the attitude they all shared - you have to keep on growing and not sit back on what's happened.

This isn't to say that taking time to appreciate successes already earned isn't well deserved, but instead, emphasizes there's always room for possibilities of new business when you take action.The second 'layover' is scheduled for April 11th at Javapalooza Cafe in Middletown followed by a Branford location. A fourth and final destination has yet to be determined.

Attendee Dave Marsden, left, draws business card from box for a prize.
Intern Alex Sannicandro on right works with Entrepreneurs That SOAR
during her last year at Quinnipiac University, where she is finishing up degree in
Public Relations.

For more information about networking or to find business services offered through Entrepreneurs that SOAR visit:
Drew Berman, best selling author and business coach left, and Zef Zan, owner of Entrepreneurs That SOAR stand for photo after the event concluded. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

If Color Had Flavors And Other Floral Tales

You’d think that there wasn’t much to see on a rainy, gray day. Unless it pours, overcast days can be great lighting for outdoor photography.
Unlike sunshine which gives warmer tones, a shadowless day loans itself to softer details in landscape photography.
When it’s sunny outside the time of day becomes more of a factor with photography. Sunlight becomes harsh as it rises and given that transition, I've always thought early morning or dusk is best for shooting with sun.
Not so with an overcast light – it seems there’s less of a concern about rushing an image due to the changes in the light that shadows can cause.
Certainly shadows can add to an image, providing contrast and drama. But for a more relaxed kind of pace, photography on a cloudy day is perfect - it feels less of a battle dodging the light and instead focusing on the subject itself. 
Sunday’s cooler temperatures felt much more the way March should be instead of the unusually warm days, Connecticut has seen earlier the previous week. Eighty degrees in mid-March, while wonderful, is a bit weird!
The trees are already blooming, as are daffodils. Hosta is breaking through the soft earth, their stems evidence of life itself.
If you haven’t noticed the growth on the ground, large bushes of forsythia usually indicate that winter has seen its last snowflake. While the magnolias often steal the spotlight with their luscious shades of pink and white, the forsythia is quick to color and offers a cheery yellow you can’t miss.

Forsythia gets too little recognition, perhaps because its bloom is quick and once it changes to green it resorts to being a bush. What I like about the yellow flowers are their cheery color. They seem to be a generous blossom.
Hundreds of forsythia flowers show at once turning from brown wiry forms of winter hedges into mounds of bright yellow florals that resemble sunshine.Magnolias and dogwoods are beautiful in spring and remind me of impressionism paintings. First blooms of white petals perk up any landscape making it look more exotic and picturesque.
Really enjoyed looking for pretty pictures in New Britain, CT and was delighted to find an orange victorian house with a nearby magnolia tree bursting with pink buds. The earthy colors of the house contrasted against the new buds made me think if the image were a flavor, it might be called 'tangy'.  

The forsythia would most definately taste like lemondrop if it had flavor! I didn’t miss the sun at all!
What is your favorite time of day to shoot outdoors? Do you have a lighting preference and do you shoot with filters to compensate for glare?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Celebrating Milestones Is A Personal Choice

We all have them. Birthdays, ah that glorious day we were born! That day is forever the mark of milestone moments  - sweet 16, becoming 'legal' at 21, and of course, turning 30, 40, 50 and beyond, and are reasons worth celebrating. However the higher the 'age' number, the more unfavorable growing older seems.

Who hasn't heard the 'over the hill' reference at any fiftieth birthday party? Is that commiseration or a penalty for the birthday recipient?  It's like banishing them to an imaginary place where their life is compared to climbing a moutnain and they have arrived at the top!

Age is something to be celebrated. How long we live is usually a strong definitive fact about a person, followed by how that person lived ... who they are and what they've accomplished in their life.

I remember my father turning fifty. I was 18, and 50 as an age, seemed a long way off. At the time, my parents had been divorced six years and dad was busy 'reinventing' himself. He had begun to date and in doing so changed the direction of his life.

My son will be 18 this year, and I'll be fifty-five. I wish my dad were here to see Connor's growth, and college bound accomplishments. Dad passed away four days before his 75th birthday, but thankfully there was time between them for a memory of grandpa to form.

My dad and Connor enjoy a laugh. This was the last time we saw dad and (grandpa for Connor) it was a happy occasion.

Connor's grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday and we commemorated this great happening with an authentic Slovak dinner at Zlata Praha, a Czech restaurant in Astoria, New York. The cuisine was delicious -  duck, sauerbraten, goulash, stuffed cabbage, all served by Czechs. Marie, the birthday lady, translated for us when she and the waitress exchanged words in their own language.

Connor and Grandma Marie 

Dinner conversation turned to a disparity between actual age and how a person feels. It was unanimous, the focus on younger years is preferable to any present day's aches and pains. I feel 40 in my mind even though my body tells me differently!

I was named after my grandmother, Margaret.
Pictured are the two of us in her backyard in 1982.
Age is a funny thing. Sometimes it's anticipated with excitement, and sometimes regret. Whatever the number is, age represents your life.

Birthdays prompt annual rituals that lead to nostalgia. I think back to my own grandmother's life and realize her world was completely different than most women's today.

Margaret, my grandmother, remained in the home her entire life, unlike Marie, who worked during her young years on a farm, and then here in the states as a sewing machine operator in a yarn factory. Both women immigrated from Europe, Margaret from Italy and Marie from Czech.

Attitude and approach to life is a personal choice of either anticipation or reservation. It's up to you to embrace the years and do with them what you like to do or the alternative - just settle for survival without reaching for the possibilities.

The Gang 
I like remembering my father and a choice he made - to reach for the goodness in life. He didn't focus on aches and pains and both Marie and Margaret are the same way. I'm sure they have them ... who doesn't as you get older?

Happy 80th to, as we say in my family, Mom, Grandma and Marie!

Do you feel your age and are you living your best life?