For a Cause

I have been thinking a lot about who I am in relation to you know, everything. And what effect I’m going to have in the world. How am I going to leave it. I’ve decided that one person can make a difference, and that I am going to try and put into action my beliefs. One thing I believe in is children. I think it’s obvious that I love kids, babies, teenagers, love them. I love that they can still be anything, that there is so much hope. And it really makes me sad when children have very limited opportunities in life, and when they can’t get as much love as they really need.
      I had heard about the problems in Uganda and about the LRA’s kidnapping children, but had not heard about the "night walkers" until a recent Oprah (I love that woman). She had on her show three filmmakers who had gone to Africa and came face to face with these children. They walk every night to find a safe place to sleep, all crowded together so they can be guarded. They do this because most abductions happen at night. And they walk miles, every single night, and then miles back to their homes in the morning. It’s really so crazy to think about. Last Saturday night there was a movement by the filmmakers called the Global Night Commute. I asked Bj and Sciarrino if they wanted to go, and Sciarrino had seen the film when it toured through Willamette, so she was on in a second. Bj said he would come after a little prodding (he had not heard of the situation before and did not know about the night walkers). We packed up and rode the max to Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. The sunny day turned really chilly and it was amazing to see so many people laying out sleeping bags in the middle of the city. We signed in and wrote letters to the president and our senators. We also did a little art project with pictures of ourselves and statements about our feelings.
       Sciarrino and I settled in for the night (Bj left at 11:45 because he had a bunch of stuff to get done before he headed back up for Seattle). We slept for about an hour and a half when we decided we couldn’t stay any longer. It had turned into a giant loud smoky sleep over. It felt like the mood had completely shifted away from the somber recognition of what was happening in Uganda to a party like atmosphere. Sciarrino and I took the last max (1:32am) back to Bj’s when we just couldn’t take all the smoking any longer. This is a rant for another day, but dude, make smoking illegal already, I see nothing good about it, it is so so gross. EW. Anyway so I didn’t stay for the whole night, but it did impact me, and I hope I had some impact with my letter, and just being there to show support. I do think this is a problem that needs to be solved. I know many people think this isn’t "our" problem, but I believe it is, because I would hope if this was happening here someone would come to our aid, and we should do the same. They are just children.

In answer to some questions:
-Yes Sarah, I did finish my sweater. I even got the same dyelot. Since Bj works in Seattle every week he was able to go back to the shop and get a ball for me to finish it.  Check out my picture of the day from a few days ago. It’s way too hot to wear any time soon, but it will be fun to get it out in the fall.   
-I even finished those green socks that were causing me so much pain way back when. And they fit, and I’ve worn them all day. And now I need a new sock pattern, something besides stockinette, dare I think I’m ready?
-About my pictures. I use my Nikon D50 most of the time. I also have a little point and shoot Canon that I keep in my handbag. I really believe it’s not the camera, but the photographer who gets the shots. That being said, a nicer camera does help for resolution and control.

I was taught in a really traditional way I would say. My college courses were all in black in white, hand developed and printed on fiber based paper. So what did I get out of that to use in this digital medium? A freaking lot. My professor was a genius I think. Teaching us to appreciate every little shadow and gradation. Looking for rich blacks, and perfectly placed highlights. I also learned some kick ass tricks, like the cookie sheet thing. And metering for light even when you don’t have a separate light meter. That is one thing I love about my D50, it has a movable single focus, that sort of allows you to cheat and get to a good combo of light/exposure quickly. Here’s what I do.

-When I look into the viewfinder I see five boxes. I can use controls on my camera to change the focus to any one of them and then depress the shutter halfway to bring that section into focus. At the same time I am getting a light reading from that new point. Now say I really like the light reading from one area (usually a grey area if the picture was going to be in black and white, a really bright, or really dark spot can screw you up), but I don’t want that to be my main focus. I’ll pick the spot out, depress the shutter, and the camera automatically adjusts it’s setting (speed and aperture – the amount of light the lens lets in) and focuses on that spot. Then keeping the camera steady I switch my lens over to manual and turn the ring to focus on what I really want with out having to manually change any settings. I do go on true manual and true auto sometimes, but with this kind of easy manipulation it’s easy to get a nice hybrid, great for time saving quick shots. I really recommend a grey card, but then I turned mine into a art project when I was desperate impatient for some grey mat board. What can I say?

Any other questions? I’d be more than happy to answer! They can be about anything really. Obviously I like talking about myself, otherwise I wouldn’t blog.

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  1. We were going to do the GNC, but with three children, we figured it would have been a logistical nightmare – and maybe even unsafe for them. I felt guilty lying in my bed all night Saturday night. We had seen the whole Invisible Children movie a few weeks before.
    I’m sorry to hear that the atmosphere at the one you attended became so lighthearted and yucky. That’s disappointing, eh?

  2. yay!
    SO happy to hear you finished the pink sweater . . .
    BJ’s a trooper for hunting down the yarn for you! 🙂
    I don’t have the attention span to knit a sweater…
    shoot, I started a scarf for me in December and it’s still not done and I’m just plain knitting it (no fancy stitches!).
    p.s. how great you took a stand for a cause…I also LOVE children and was horrified by that Oprah episode. 🙁

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