The beginning of a new year and our interviewee for this first month of 2011 was also part of the "dirty dozen" .
Flowers and More is where you will find the writings and wonderful photography of GingerV.
~ In the Limelight ~
When did the photo bug bite you?
In my younger days, as a young mother and wife in the 70s, I had a small 110 instamatic. Do you remember those? Drop in the cartridge, click the 12 photos, take out the cartridge and have the over exposed/underexposed/blurred photos developed. Then somewhere in the 80s I bought myself a small, simple 35mm camera. Again the primary use was snapshots of the family. Then I met Camillo, he changed my life (mostly for the best). He took me to Italy for the first time in 1993, and showed me how to use his Minolta Maxxum, semi-automatic, with wide angle and telephoto lens. I loved Italy instantly; I love the camera even more. For our trips, we would buy 10 rolls of 24 exposure film, and then need more. Camillo would complain about the cost of developing the film – until his sister asked me, “where are your diamonds?”. “Diamonds?” I said. Camillo immediately said developing lots of film was no problem! J I kept Camillo and his camera, now going on 19 year - amazing.
What do you use now?
For Christmas of 2002, Camillo bought me my first digital, a Sony DSCF707: 5mp & 10x zoom lens. I loved that camera. Sony discontinued it almost immediately after I bought it because it was heavy and awkward to hold – them not upgrading this camera was a great loss. It took clear color true photos with little knowledge on my part.
On one of our trips to Europe this Sony couldn’t read the memory stick, it just quit. I had to wait for a trip back to the USA to have it looked at and by the time it was repaired, I had replaced my computer with the Vista operating system and I could no longer download my photos from the camera. I still have that camera – hoping for a miracle I guess.
Now I mostly use a Nikon D40X – also discontinued. I bought a Tamron 18-270 AF lens this last year. Not totally convinced – would not recommend it to anyone. Doesn’t live up to the pleasure I got with my first Sony. I also have a small point and shoot, a Samsung TL 240 – with 14.2 mp and a 7x zoom. I find I use the point & shoot more and more often and leave the Nikon at home.
What is on your equipment wish list?
Not very much, I really can’t justify a ‘better’ camera. I would be jumping up into the next cost bracket and only being a professional would warrant the cost. I would like a mono-pod (as opposed to a tripod) so when I hike I can carry my camera attached to it and I would like to take night shots so a support would come in handy. I find my little pocket camera takes better overall photos and is easier to carry around. Maybe a really good photo edit program to play with – but my wish list comes in the form of travel not expensive equipment.
Where do you look for inspiration? A favorite photographer?
For me to travel to a new town or country works the best for inspiration. To walk down a different street, seeing architecture and gardens that I’ve not seen before – that is what gets me into photo-taking-mode. I enjoy seeing photos taken by others but am turned off by the ‘artistic editing’ that is now, so often being done by modern photographers.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Landscapes and flowers – hence Flowers and More
What aspect of your photography are you working on? Trying to improve?
I am so much of a chicken. I use, almost exclusively, the auto settings on both of my cameras. Digital cameras make this easy for you. I have been thinking about taking out the old 35mm Minolta, buying film, and trying to be more creative. Don’t hold your breath though – I have lots of thoughts like this and don’t actually ever use them..... Except new recipes for dinner, those I will use.
Blogging since …… February 2007
Why did you start blogging?
An American Friend, living here in Brasil during that time, had started a blog. I ask if I could give her some ideas for entries. She made me a guest blogger, and by the end of 2008 she wasn’t blogging and I was 100% doing hers. Gringo Gene (my blogging mentor) asked me why I didn’t do my own blog….. So January of 2009, with his advice and suggestions, I moved all my entries over to Flowers and away I went, finally not hiding behind RioRose’s creation, taking full responsibility for content of my own blog.
Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
While working with Rosemary, I started Flowers so I could show my flower photos, as simple as that. When I separated from her the title seems to fit ME , so I kept it.
What does blogging mean to you now?
I think I am at a place now where I need to refocus my blog. I have lost interest in it as it is. Over the past 4 years it has met a lot of need to be connected with the English speaking world, to have an outlet for expressing of my frustration living here in Brasil. Under my tags of culture / culture shock / and aggressive greens – I have talked a lot about my feelings as an American living in a foreign country - now I need to talk about something else, the frustrations are still there but I am tired of hammering away at them without making any change in myself.
What advice would you give to a new blogger?
Limit the groups you join. Stay true to your cause / reasons for blogging. Don’t count on your audience – they have a short attention span and it can hurt when they move on.
Do you have a favorite time of the day to write posts?
No, my days are pretty much my own; when I get an idea I write. These ideas come to me often when I am walking. That isn’t happening very often anymore and need to move on to new ideas.
Have you set any goal about your blog? Anything you want to achieve with it?
Only that it need to remain mine – and to reflect the changes that are happening to my mind and my body not that I am in my 60s.
What are you favorite places to visit on the web that aren’t blogs?
English newspapers, the Washington Post, the Houston Chronicle, I love to read about weather and volcanoes.
Recipe blogs…. Oh not blogs….. But just about everything is a blog now days.
Guest Interview Questions
From Elaine Dale
Who has influenced you the most in your life?
No matter how old we get and how much we want to say we’ve escaped our parents – it can never be denied that our genetic mix and their nurturing (or not) methods follow us all of our lives. This combination effects the decisions we make early on, the way we deal with our children and how we relate to all others / those at work / those we chose as friends and definitely those we chose as spouses. Their influence lives on well past their deaths, even until ours.
What is the most difficult struggle you have had with something you didn't like about yourself and how did you overcome it?
Assuming I have overcome it – I am impatient and like my Father and Mother and all the seven brothers and sisters - we all deal with the world in the negative.
That is not to say I am a negative or pessimistic person – I believe strongly that there are solutions to all problems if we are willing to plan and set goals. But I have had such problems with viewing and passing on those views from a negative perspective. Even my humor, if you are willing to wade through to the good parts, is more sardonic, or if you will sarcastic. I can count on one hand those who have ‘gotten’ my humor over the years. I, of course, keep those people around me as much as possible… never let go someone who gets your humor.
What would you like to teach others?
One of the saddest things about aging is that you find no one really wants to learn what you have to teach… they have to learn it or not – their own way. So I’d like to teach all grandparents to keep your mouth shut / and your opinions to yourself. Be an observer not a teacher – this is the road to peace in the family.
Which adjectives best describe you?
Loving, but like the rose you have to be careful of the thorns. Loyal – analytical (to the point of being irritating / Hello Butler) – fit – wrinkled.
How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
Imagined from what point? First I wanted to marry for life, have 6 children and live on a farm. I had two children, lived in a large city (or two) and before 40 was divorced. By the time I was 47, I had gone to university, with only the goal to go to university and to prove to myself I could do it….. By the time I’d graduated I wanted the degree to have changed me…. It didn’t - I went back to accounting. I never in any of my imagined scenarios thought I would live in a foreign land, and to have traveled to more than a dozen different countries. And I have. Sometimes our imagination is not broad or deep enough for what happens in real life.
Do you have any special talents; such as singing, dancing, playing a musical instrument?
I don’t know if I would consider it a talent but I love to dance. Latin music of all kinds, German polka, tango, waltz, the only music I can’t seem to concur is the Brazilian carnival steps….you know the one that the girls with those 5” heels and sparkly costumes do? Maybe if I could do that I could finally understand the language.
Not as much fun but I think a talent – I can find errors in other peoples accounting work – I love reconciliation and audit …I can scan a page of numbers and see the one that is not right… all that negative viewpoint really pays in this non-human-relations perspective.
How would you like to be remembered?
As the best Grandmother ever.
What are your basic stats that you would like to share?
If you read the blog you know already that I am almost 61, love to exercise and to read mysteries, have faded auburn hair with a little gray, freckles and a tattoo, and because I like to eat have to diet constantly to stay in my size 10 cloths. Eventually the size 10s will need to be replaced and I then I will let that extra 10 pounds stay put without too much angst.
If you could interview anyone from your life, living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?
This is probably the hardest question for me. I do not have a true ‘hero’. So I will say my granddaughter Marissa; I think she has facets that I am not around enough to know or to understand – I want to know/to learn all about her.
Favorite saying or quotation: (or any comment you would like to make)
OMG - My god, my god! … I say this all the time when driving here in Brasil. You can’t even imagine what that is like unless you experience it for yourself / and then you can hear the tone…. With tone it takes on more meaning.
Ginger thank you so much for being our In The Limelight for January 2011!