Friday, November 29, 2013

A new London Nightscape...

 ...from a photographer's notebook

A Photo-Moment podcast about the shoot...

A November afternoon in the classical beauty and serenity of the Italian Gardens in London’s Kensington Gardens had given way to twilight, as I stayed on to photograph the twinkling lights on the bridge over The Long Water. 

At this time of year, twilight can rather quickly give way to full dark, and that’s what was happening as I left the park through the Marlborough Gate, just across Bayswater Road from Lancaster Gate Tube Station.
I love London. Even the streets are courteous, with bold lettering on the pavement telling us which way to look before crossing. I don’t actually know how long that’s been going on. I do remember almost coming out second best in a confrontation with a very large lorry on a busy downtown London street in 1984. Perhaps that street did come with a warning message and I was looking upward rather than at what my feet were about to do.

Or maybe they just got tired of cleaning up body parts of Yanks and others whose inborn inclination is to look the “wrong” way when crossing the street. In any case, in the last few years of visiting London, I’ve been much more aware of these useful messages just ahead of my shoes.
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

They're now pumpkin pie!

Goodness, it seems like mere weeks ago that I posted a little Thanksgiving message on this wee bloggie with a photo I shot in Scotland last year of something that caught my eye in a shop window in Inveraray.

“Pussy’s Prayer” depicted two sweet looking kitties, a butterfly, and a ball of yarn, with a homespun verse about the simple gifts of love…the unquestioning kind our furry companions give of so generously.

It reminded me of the importance of taking note of, and being thankful for, all that warms and enriches our lives, whether with love, pride in accomplishment, travel, good health…all the good things that make this journey positive, and make up for the bumps and jolts along the way.
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

A really nice honor...

At the 2013 TIVA/DC Peer Awards Gala at the  National Press Club, with Writer/Producer/Videographer Raúl Ríos-
Díaz and his  mom Diana. Raúl proudly holds a Gold Peer Award for the documentary on the 18th century Puerto Rican
Privateer Miguel Enriquez, which he directed and which I had the pleasure to narrate.

Last night at the National Press Club was a very special evening for the scribe of this wee bloggie.

Each year, TIVA/DC (The Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC) presents its Peer Awards, honoring "The Best and Brightest of Washington, DC." These prestigious honors recognize "the professionals of the Metropolitan Washington (and mid-Atlantic) media community who have demonstrated excellence in their work, as judged by their peers."

The Peer Awards are presented every November at a lovely gala at the National Press Club, and it means so very much to be honored by one's professional peers on this special night.

While I have been honored to receive Peer Awards in 2010 and 2012 for Long-Form Narration, 2013 was not my lucky year in that category. 

But a lovely surprise came earlier in the awards presentation, when awards for video documentaries were announced and a Gold Peer Award was presented to Raúl Ríos-Díaz for directing his heartfelt documentary "Miguel Enríquez: The Real Pirate of the Caribbean," the story of a largely forgotten Puerto Rican historical figure, the privateer Miguel Enriquez, and a clip from the production was shown.

Raúl approached me several months ago and asked if I would narrate his pilot for this project. I was intrigued by the script and the story of this influential figure in the early days of Puerto Rico, who died a broken man, persecuted by the Spanish government he had served and largely shunned by his own people.

It wasn't until several months later, when Raúl  invited me to a screening, that I realized how well the narration, music, and location video had come together. I'd no idea Raúl had submitted this pilot; but, from the Peer Award judging panel's reaction, I guess we must have done something right...

All good wishes to Raúl for getting funding to complete this project and bring his vision to fruition. Meantime, it was a great honor to participate as his voice talent. A clip from Raul's Gold Peer Award winning entry is available here. If you are interested in hearing more, please e-mail me and I'll provide an audio mp3.

Congratulations to Raúl, his mom Diana, and all of his warm and supportive family for helping to make this happen.

©2013 Steve Ember

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