Hi Dr. Paul Paolini,
Hope all is well, all things considered.
During this spring season, Estralita and I hope you are feeling a heightened sense of restfulness with your loving family in your comfortable home in La Mesa and that you are experiencing marked improvement in your health and well being during your rehabilitation from your injuries earlier this spring.
Estralita and I want you to know that you’ve been on our minds during your lengthy absence from SDSU. We are so accustomed to your omnipresence during the SDSU graduation season and look forward to your eventual return to the scene. When you are ready spring into excellence and engage with your friends, colleagues and the multitude of student admirers who wish you well, be prepared to enter stage right. Your updated script awaits…
Paul, I’d like to share with you this recent charming narrative between me, Harmony, Lateefah and my good friend Bob, an experienced photographer from Bonita. Through serendipity, our little quartet started a loosely formed, no name photography club last winter… okay, we’ve had one breakfast meeting. However, in our defense, we have shared a multitude of interesting emails among us, like this one, which elevates our synergy so we’re beginning to feel connected by purpose.
Lateefah and Harmony appreciate Bob and my efforts to share our knowledge and wisdom about photography (well, mostly Bob’s wisdom) and compliment us about how fortunate they feel having seasoned entrepreneurial artists elevate their photography skills (okay, paraphrasing, of course). However, these two lively photography enthusiasts may be unaware that Bob and I, as their elders, feel blessed by the opportunity to be teaching photography tips and giving advice, sharing global experiences and raising consciousness of younger generations. Teaching the next generation elevates us more than our receptive BSSO alumni realize. The task of focusing our minds to benefit our no name photography club causes us to reflect and appreciate our own rewarding artistic paths we have chosen to pursue over the decades.
Just like the benefits you receive from thousands of students after a lifetime of teaching in academia, Paul, I’m sure you would concur that sharing knowledge innately ricochets and consequently everybody benefits immeasurably from the educational process… true? As an unofficial SDSU faculty support representative, I know I have benefited immensely over the years from my union with SDSU in general and your and Maureen’s support of my community efforts to elevate undergraduate and graduate students in particular. Your acknowledgement of my core identity and your compassion for my mission to participate in mentoring buoyed my status at SDSU.Thank you both for being my lifeguard..
Well, as you know, Estralita and I have hosted many SDSU organizations at our home over the years in Mission Valley. Enjoy Harmony’s awesome photos and Lateefah’s ten year old progeny's photos of the BSSO students at the monthly BSSO Potluck below… a few whom you may personally recognize. I’ve bcc’d this whimsical narrative to a few of your admirers so you may get a shoutout or two in response.
Everyone misses you on the scene, Paul. Remember, when you’re ready to surprise us with your presence, casually enter stage right and face a harmonious and gleeful audience… Your Script Awaits…
Keep the Faith…
Stephen & Estralita
From: Harmony Saunders
Subject: Flash shopping!
Date: April 26, 2018 at 12:01:13 PM PDT
To: Robert Jones, Stephen Martin
Hello Bob and Mr. Martin,
Thank you for the great email about thinking we are better than we actually are! I wish I thought I was better than I am haha..but I know many who feel that way.
My new camera has been AMAZING! But one frustration I have already had is needed a flash....I've done a little research and I can't remember the name of one you recommended...I see this is known as a good beginner flash…
But I should get a Canon one right?
I am also thinking about getting another lens...either 85mm or 24-105 (remember the camera I got is full frame, WHICH I AM SO HAPPY I GOT).
Enjoy some of these portraits I have taken. Also the photo of the shoes as an example of "stuff" - I actually took that one with my rebel and my 50mm lens, the others were with the 50mm lens on the 6D Mark II. All of these were in manual mode, as inspired by you, now its the only way I shoot! SO much better and so much control, I love it.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Mr. Martin
Subject: Re: Flash shopping!
Date: April 27, 2018 at 5:16:47 AM PDT
Cc: Bob, Lateefah
Thank you for sharing such lovely portraits of l’il Avery with your new, seductive black Canon 6D Mark II DSLR. Someday I look forward to shooting in manual mode. I’m just worried that if I achieve the esteemed status of shooting in manual I’ll get “The Big Head” and won’t be able to hang out with the masses of regular point & shoot people any more. I know me… I’ll seek perfection and have to reorder my life priorities. Do I have the willpower as you have, Harmony, to magically tune out the world and suspend time to capture images within your own space? Remember, I’ve seen you in action… You are MY inspiration!
I agree with many of the commenters of the video Bob shared, "Why BAD Photographers THINK They're Good” . The YouTube author’s advice would apply to any professional or hobbyist and to all of us to varying degrees in our day to day creative efforts. Some days I feel mightily skilled at my craft and other days I feel less so. Some days even nine year old children sporting cool, slick golden shoes makes me wonder if I'm missing the mark. Attached are the wonderful photos taken by the youthful, charismatic Kennedy Brown earlier this month at the BSSO Potluck with my Nikon D3300. Kennedy’s photos are really special. You’ll get my drift…
Self reflection, endurance of criticism and intense focus are important character strengths to cultivate. The application of these virtues stimulates success in multiple arenas in our lives… including photography. Evaluating and accepting recognition from others that we’re actually improving our art form is often elusive, Harmony. So having confidence in our abilities as artists and developing self esteem is essential. It's important to admire, love and elevate oneself while crafting art. Click On!
The subjective analysis of our skill sets we personally contemplate, measure and proclaim positive when looking in the mirror each day may be true, though likely fragmentary because there is always much to learn. Yet, despite our vulnerabilities, it is our duty to plunge ahead and try to sustain forward momentum in our lives with fresh humility and earnest intent to make a difference on earth. This process seems fair if we’re honest with ourselves. Recalibrate!
From my vantage point and from what I have experienced in your presence, Harmony, I know your photography skills are way better than mine by a factor of ten, better than many and in a room full of one hundred people… better than most. Truth is, Harmony, if we can make someone else smile as you made me smile this afternoon by sharing your amazing digital photos, mission accomplie! Click On!
Keep the Faith…
Mr. Martin & Dr. Martin
Love the shoes sans laces!
The subjective analysis of our skill sets we personally contemplate, measure and proclaim positive when looking in the mirror each day may be true, though likely fragmentary because there is always much to learn.