And then.....

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Sharon is the manager of the choir and, as such, has been my contact for doing this work.
She is also a major player in the New Directions organization. Not only does she write the grants for the agency - ND is associated with the VA but is not completely under it's financial umbrella, she produces the annual golf tournament that is the major fundraiser for ND.
When the seamless threatened blow across the VA grounds, when we couldn't find various members or the choir, when we had to block out strong sunlight from a two story stairwell, when we had to wait for a VA official before we could shoot in George's office - Sharon stayed calm. When I think of Sharon I think of the reminder at her desk: Be Here Now. In this and in many other ways, Sharon is an inspiration to me.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


George is a computer whiz. He has an office at the VA ( the little grocery cart sits in a prominent spot) where he handles all of New Directions computer related tasks.
To my eye, George is someone who personifies wisdom. He is serious and joyful and grateful all in a moment.
It is George who made me consider the next wave of veterans who, inevitably, will need the support of this agency. We spoke of the consequences of war and specifically of his own experiences of being in a persistent and deadly war in the DMZ in South Korea that " no one even knows about". He made me consider what it is like to wake up everyday and wonder if this is the day you will be killed.
He, along with the other members of the choir, have traveled a road in life that few of us have. Where they have been and who they are will never cease to awe me. I can't say it enough: these are the heros.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Directions Choir

From top to bottom: Michelle, John T., Sharon, Gary. Heros all.
At the moment, the choir totals 6.
The exhibit, a fund raiser for New Directions Agency ( ), will have these pictures, or some other versions, in life sized prints. Along with these prints, there will be pics, in small frames, shot from their lives today as well as memorabilia contributed by each of the singers.
I havent finished all of the shooting but will follow shortly with some of the smaller pics. I will tell you a bit more about these fine people then.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

New Directions Choir

What a priviledge it was to take pictures of the New Directions Choir! They are all heros to my way of thinking. They all have endured the impact of war and all have reached their own personal bottom layer and all have clawed their way to the top, to health and productivity and, above all, happinness. Not only are they among the most admirable people I know because of who they are and what they have done but they also sing like angels.

The picture directly above is Carlton who is the deep, deep bass of the ensemble. The top picture is George, the main spokesperson. George keeps the little grocery cart in his office at the VA as a reminder of what he fought to be free of and where he never intends to return.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Anne Scrubbed

I have been a tad remiss about daily posting of late. This is because I have been hard at work on pics from the CHLA project on The Caregivers. The New Directions Choir was shot at the same time so there has been lots and lots of editing and working on shots and printing. This continues. I am not half way through. I hope, though, to begin posting some of these pics soon.

A highlight of shooting at CHLA was that I was able to go into OR AND up right rather than on a gurney - a first!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Not Yet Winter in Wyoming

Hard to believe from the looks of it this morning but this isn't winter, just a frosty October morning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Getty Villa

The Getty Villa remodel is evidenced in this picture. Much of the villa looks as it always has, the courtyard, the beautiful garden surrounded by the peristyles have not changed. However, a second floor to house even more of the collection is entirely new as is the dining area where I am seated. The area beyond this terrace is new as well. In this section there is an ampitheatre - that you can see only a bit of here- where special performances are frequently held. The ocean is visible from this terrace.

The villa is, in part, designed and constructed to match a specific villa in the southern part of Italy that was destroyed ( I think I am correct here! ) by the eruption of Versuvius. As with the new museum, Getty, did not live to see the completion.

Admission to this magnificent structure is limited to 1200 people a day. That seems like a lot of people to this country girl but, in fact, the tickets are not always available due to the demand.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Garden At the Getty Museum

tomorrow, the Getty Villa.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Getty Museum

Last weekend, while in LA, we went to the new Getty Museum. Clearly we were a bit overwhelmed because, while we have pictures of the magnificent garden, this is the only picture we have on the sight. ( Tom is holding two debit cards that we had won the week before.)
This picture is taken just outside the restaurant and does, at least, give you an idea that the museum is atop a significant hill.

And what was so overwhelming? First, the size. Approached by the tram, it looks like a proud new city. There are numerous large buildings, each designed for a specific art to be exhibited. In addition to the handsomely designed structures there is a coffee stand, places to sit and relax, garden walks with water features and, for the kiddies, a huge long slanting lawn that demanded to be rolled on or run down.

When we finally found the much anticipated photography space, we were dissappointed to find it closed. This, we later discovered, is so that the space can be significantly enlarged as " photography is finally coming into its own as an art form". ( LA Times). It reopens at the end of the month and looks as if it will be a major exhibition space.

Another facet that, while not exactly overwheming, was surely impressive is the design's ability to handle crowds. It is not only that the museum and it's attendant garden are so massive and can easily absorb large numbers of people but also the way the space gently moves one along is exceptional. You never wait in a line.

Check it out on the web for more info and for pics. Tomorrow the garden pics .

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bhutan and Journeys School

The exploration on the part of Pema and Tashi of the Journeys place based education was made with the intent of enhancing the entire Bhutanese school system presently based on the Brittish model.
The king of Bhutan, back in 1982, modeled his government on The Gross National Happiness instead of gross national product. I was stunned, in listening to Pema as he spoke to the students, to learn that this is not simply rhetoric. All governmental decisions are made with this intent and, in fact, this is spelled out in the constitution. An example: when a new hdyro-electric plant was to be built, it was decided that, at greater expense, it would be placed in an extremely rural area where there was no power rather than attaching it to an existing system and moving a bit further out into suburbs. This decision was made in order to make more people happy. It has, as a result, made positive changes in many, many lives.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pema and Tashi at Journeys School

The first above picture is of Pema who is the Minister of Education of Bhutan. The second is of Tashi who is affiliated with the UN in Bhutan but who is also a leading naturalist. His daughter, Tinley, also pictured, is a student at Journeys.

I spent many hours taking pictures as they toured Journeys and, as I did, I learned more about this impressive school. A summary in a few words of the approach might be: why read about a worm when you can hold one.
It is all about going out into nature, into the community, into the world to learn. The student teacher ratio is a luxurious 8 - 1. The teachers are in more
or less in constant communication about each student as well as about curriculum. All of the classes are related during the year by a specific theme chosen by the teachers. Teachers are employed 12 months although there is no school during the summer.
The grade level is not fixed. A fourth grader gifted in math might take a high school math class. All of the students are lead to have their own opinions and to voice them. Leadership is fostered.
One of the more impressive facets of Journeys is the emphasis on kindness and consideration. There is a thank you circle everyday for middle and lower school. This is held right after a brief period called Hands to Work where the students clean their own classrooms - vacuum, dust - the works. These fortunate kids are made aware of what they have, how to care for it and the importance of gratitude.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Journeys School fall 06

The week before I went to shoot in LA two representatives from Bhutan came to Journeys to explore place based education. They came to be known, despite their advanced degrees, as Pema and Tashi because Journeys is on a first name basis all the way around.
Place based education is the concept of Jack Shea of The Teton Science Center and Journeys, in addition to being an amazing school for the fortunate children who attend it, it also set up as a model of the concept. The axiom is connecting people through nature.
On one of the days that Pema and Tashi were visiting I noticed the preschoolers out on the wooded hill adjacent to the playing field. Thier assignment was clearly to find and collect natural things and to gather all of the information- including smell ( see above)!- they could think of about these things.
Even though I have previously spent a good part of a year shooting at Journeys, I learned a tremendous amount more about it's approach and will pass some of what I learned on to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Back in Bidnis

Just back - literally - from Southern CA where I have been shooting two different project. One was The Caregivers. A project that focuses on the nurses of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The other will be used as a fundraiser for New Directions about the New Directions Choir.
Before I left here I had the priviledge as well to shoot the visit to The Journeys School by two important officials from Bhutan, one The Minister of Education. So pics of all of that to follow!
web solutions : redtopia