Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ICE for USElaine

This blog thing is more than posting photos and jabbering about them. Through blogging I've learned about my town, made friends and expanded my life. Many folks I've met are in the Pasadena area; many more are virtual acquaintances, scattered throughout the world. I'm old enough to find it amazing that I can talk to friends in Paris, Pakistan and Persia every day. I don't know if we're all on our best behavior or if people are just generally good. I think it's the latter.

One person I've come to admire is USElaine of Willits Daily Photo. With straightforward prose she tells vast stories in few words, letting her readers' minds fill in the shading. She's similarly skilled with the camera. A simple, straightforward image can have many facets - of time, thought or possibility. She posts a jewel so often that Benjamin Madison of Victoria Daily Photo coined the phrase USElaine's gems to describe her style.

This ice house stands in the parking lot at Webster's in Altadena. When I took the shot I thought of USElaine and wondered, "How would Elaine shoot this?" I decided she would shoot it straight on and let the shadows do their thing.


USelaine said...

P, I'm speechless, and tearing up! Thank you!

Ted Thompson said...

Those of us who know you "virtually" are grateful for the honor.

One great thing about the net is that you can easily find yourself in contact with someone of almost any age/gender/race/nationality or even age (within reason) and find many commonalities that would have never been discovered face-to-face.

Virginia said...

E deserved that nice tribute to her style and her blog! Take a bow, girl! I like the straightforwardness and the shadows of this one.

Oh and Petrea, don't let anybody tell you that if you jerk it really fast, it doesn't hurt when you pull the duct tape off. Ouch!

Chuck Pefley said...

Nicely done, Petrea. I like the shadows of the protective posts, and the subtle shading from the nearby trees.

Petrea said...

I think you're hot stuff, Elaine. When I examine a shot in the style of another photographer, I know I'm learning from that person's work. I couldn't post this without saying so. And I don't know when your birthday is so why save it?

Very true, Ted. I remember the naysayers who though the web would isolate us. But rather than building barriers it tears them down.

Virginia: yes, and have you tried the sandblaster?

Thank you, Chuck. I wouldn't call it a gem but I'm a student, not a master. I tried it from many angles but straight on is my favorite.

Timothy Rutt, said...

Wonderful, tight composition of a little-known Altadena monument (I think all the Webster kids started out being in charge of the ice house). For some reason, reminds me of one of my favorite poems, William Carlos Williams' "The Red Wheelbarrow."

But let me put in a plug for the web's potential for meeting people face-to-face -- I think my personal stock of local friends and acquaintances has doubled since I started my blog. This includes the wonderful Petrea.

lynn said...

And a great shot it turned out to be Petrea. I'm off to UsElaine's now... :)

Jilly said...

What a wonderfully generous tribute and a well deserved one for Uselaine. Through our wonderful CDP community I've learned how inspiring certain blogs are. I can't begin to tell you how much I'm learning by following certain people and getting inspired.

And then I read words like yours, Petrea, and it just makes me feel so happy that there is such kindness and generosity amongst us.

Margaret said...

It looks like the cover of a book. I feel like I should be able to lift up this photo and fall into a story.

St├ęphane Kardos said...

Bonjour my virtual friend. Hope we'll meet up someday.

Michael said...

What a great summary of the virtual world and honour paid to USelaine. You see, there is hope in the world yet!

altadenahiker said...

thank you -- I've passed this structure hundreds of times and barely noticed it. As for the web/blog potential, it has certainly allowed my reach to exceed my grasp in oh so many way.

Laurie said...

I would have thought this came from Elaine!

I agree about her blog -- that beautiful heart of hers comes through every post. And her ability to turn the ordinary into art is astonishing. I always feel like I'm looking at the way the world should look when I see one of her photos, rather than how it actually looks. She may shoot things in a straightforward manner -- but she reveals so much in those images.

Great tribute post to one of my favorite bloggers, P.

Trish said...

I usually look at the photos on your page, THEN get around to reading the words that go with it.

I stared at the photo and a few hundred things ran thru my mind.

One---we used to get ice blocks to use at our cabin---no electricity so we had a true icebox, so I thought about the cabin a bit.

Two---damn good shot

Three---the shadow around the 24hours sign drew my attention there a bit. I thought of the old Steven Wright routine about Denny's being locked, with a sign saying open 24 hours. When asked, the manager said "yes, we're open 24 hours, but not in a ROW!".

As to the whole isolation vs worldwide friendship---I do more, see more and talk to more people now that blogs and the internet and email has expanded. I think on the whole, those of us who enjoy what it is we are looking at or discussing really ARE pleasant people, even if we don't meet in person. Susan C can attest I do exist in person.

Alexa said...

Petrea -- What a lovely—and appropriate—tribute!
I agree that our friend USElaine has a real gift for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. I'm so grateful to have stumbled upon PDP one day last year, and for what that set in motion, and expecially for the opportunity to get to know (virtually and in person) so many warm, interesting AND interested, talented people from all corners of the globe.

Petrea said...

Grazie, Tim.

Yes, do go visit Elaine's as Lynn is doing. She has a nice shot up today. Her blog is a good example of why the City Daily Photo Blogs are a good idea, and why you don't have to live in Paris for it to work. I had never heard of Willits before. ELAINE is what makes the blog interesting, and I daresay there's room for several Willits blogs if other interesting citizens wanted to give us their personal take on the subject.

I agree, Jilly. And you're another example.

Margaret, what a nice thing to say. Thank you.

Stephane, we will! Maybe at Doo Dah!

Michael, I hope so. Nice new pic.

AH, me too. Just noticed the structure and reached beyond my grasp. Both.

Laurie, very well said. A good description of Elaine's talent.

Trish, I'll check with Susan C to prove your existence!

St├ęphane Kardos said...

what is Doo Dah?

marley said...

The first thing I noticed about this photo was the shadows, not the sign or even the white building.

I'm never on my best behaviour! People that know me and read my blog tell me that what they read is just like me saying it to them. I take that as a compliment, that I keep it true to myself and don't try to be someone I'm not through my blog. As I read all these blogs, all over the globe I can just imagine the person saying it. Sometimes, very rarely I might read a blog and think to myself that its just too good to be true. I hasten to add that I think your blog is you.

Sorry for waffling on there. I hope you get what I mean :)

Destitute Rebel said...

What a great dedication for a friend, this is an amazing picture, Blogging is quite interesting and true you meet amazing people from all over the world, I too think that people generally are good nature d and friendly, I have had complete strangers offer to help when I have needed to ask something.

pasadenapio said...

Very (n)ice. Webster's is one of my favorite places. I hope they never update or renovate what is a kitchy treasure trove.

elizabeth said...

LOVE THIS. The colors, the structure, the clear edges.

Lovely tribute, too, and beautifully written, Petrea. You have a clear way with words that paints as much as your pictures do, and still leaves room for imagining and thoughts. There are lots of delightful people here, I think. :-)

Cafe Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cafe Observer said...

When I looked at this shot I thought of the Ice House Comedy Store here in Pasadena and wondered, "How did Petrea shoot THIS? This must be a mistake." I decided she found another ice house - the Altadenan version.

Steph K: De Doo Dah parade is the Adult version of our Rose Parade. It's on 1/18 in Ye Olde Pas. See u there.

Christie said...

Very nice tribute to USelaine, Petrea! It is "virtually" a pleasure to meet and greet so many people from all over the world every day through their photos and thoughts as well. I love the shadow on the left side of the ice house. Very pretty.

(Although I must admit, we use the whole outside as an icebox in the winter--literally. We put things outside to keep cold if there is not room in the refrigerator! Very handy around the holidays!)

Ms M said...

Excellent shot. It's fun to watch for shadows and the shapes they make on the most everyday looking things.
And wonderful tribute to USElaine.

Bernie K. said...

Today's post swims in puddles of encomia. Not a dry ice in the house.

magiceye said...

the learning curve inthe blogging world is wonderful indeed!

Katie said...

Great photo - I like how the white is sandwiched between the blue and the green. And thanks for the reminder that I need to hang out in Willits more! USelaine has such wonderful photos from a part of CA that I don't know.

Petrea said...

Alexa our comments must have crossed in the ether. I'm glad I stumbled on Paris Daily Photo, too. What a marvelous thing Eric created, eh? How could he have known what it would become?

Stephane: The Doo Dah Parade is an annual event and you must attend. This year it's January 18th. More information will arrive in your email soon.

I know what you mean, Marley. I admit I edit myself, and this blog is me when I'm smiling, if you know what I mean. I try to be positive and do my growling elsewhere. I could start another blog for my dark side...

I've seen that, too, D.R. What comes to mind is when the Turkish bloggers were shut out by their government, and people found work-arounds. USElaine, for one, came up with an idea for Monoblog (in Izmir, Turkey) to send his photos to Blognote (in Arona, Italy) and Blognote posted for him. Nice, huh?

Speaking of which, I think Monoblog is no longer posting. He's a brilliant photographer, one of the best in the CDPB community, and I miss him terribly. He reached out to me at the beginning and was very helpful.


Yes, Ann, I agree with you. I hope they're doing okay. The new business model hasn't made a lot of customers happy. I think they changed their way of working to suit themselves and not their customers, so the convenience factor has gone way down. But I still love the place.

Elizabeth, thank you so much.

C.O., no stand-up comics there!

Christie, that's so interesting! I remember that now, from growing up in northern Illinois - exterior refrigeration. Very convenient! You've got to be careful not to freeze some things, I'll bet.

Merci, Ms. M.

Bernie, there you go sending me to the dictionary again. (I don't mind, of course.)

Petrea said...

Magiceye and Katie came in as I was typing. Hi!

Speaking of the learning curve, I'll go see what the two of you have cooked up today.

Kris said...

Elaine, you're famous now.

I like the ICE, by the way.

-K- said...

That's really a classic.

Petrea said...

Thanks, Kris.

It's a pleasure to see you, -K-. My eye is drawn more and more to this type of thing as I learn from my betters. You can include yourself on that list.