slide show

Sunday, September 23, 2012

To Catch a Thief

Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm prime, clean edit with Lightroom 4
PSE10 and a few layers of texture from Kim Klassen and Florabella
ISO 500, 85mm, f/3.2, 1/320 sec

I've said many times that I am far from creative.  I am however a thief and love love love to look for inspiration anywhere I can steal find it.  I was thinking about that famous National Geographic image of the young Afganistan woman and decided to try my hand at replicating it.  

Tess has an amazing ability to morph in to almost any ethnicity depending on her surroundings. Often we find ourselves shopping in Mexican grocery stores, and she blends right in to the little brown children running around . . .  so much so that a few times someone has spoken Spanish to her only to be met with either a blank stare or a growl from Fire Dog.  

I wanted to see if I could replicate this photo somewhat, or at least consider it for inspiration.  Livy has this great blue scarf that we used.  And there always has been something about Tess's eyes that have a way of burrowing in my soul . . .  like she's trying to convey the most important things about life to me through her gaze. These are the images we came up with. I'm far from picking a favorite. You'll have to let me know which ones you like.  
And just a tidbit
After school she was standing on an ottoman jumping up and down. I told her to get down so she wouldn't get hurt.  {Don't miss in this little anecdote that one of the most important things that happened is that Tess did get down without a scene.  No screaming, or saying she wanted a new mama, or curing up into a ball somewhere, or breaking something.} She got down and she still had that infectious smile on her face.  I asked her to come see me. She bounded over and got about 6 inches from my face.

Tess, when I told you to get down and you did it without crying or getting angry, that was very good. Thank you so much!
    ---I love you mama!
I love you too, Tess!
    ---I'm so happy!
Yes, I can see that.  And when you're happy, it makes me happy too.  
    ---Because we're family and that means we will always be together.  We will never leave.  
Yes, Tess, I'm not going anywhere . . .  ever.  

Oh if I could just read the rest of what is behind those eyes.  There are volumes behind them, and she is processing so much these days.
Ni Hao Yall

26 comments:

  1. I LOVE THESE! I especially love the 1st one and the 4th one!!

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    1. Oh I do like the ones where she is looking away too!

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  2. BEA-U-TIFUL!!! I think I like the top picture the best. But I have an affinity for non-smiling pics... I totally see what you mean about her eyes burrowing into your soul. She's just stunning!!

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  3. These are all just fantastic! I have always adored Tess and her beautiful eyes! One of these or all of them should be in canvas on your wall somewhere! Sorry...I have no way to pick a favorite.

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  4. It is a beautiful photo of a beautiful girl. Her eyes are amazing!

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  5. What a stunning photo!
    New follower from the GFC Blog Hop. Hoping that you will come and follow back.

    Kerrie
    http://familyfoodtravel.blogspot.ca

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  6. I totally understand what you mean about creativity. It's my biggest struggle. I love your "stolen" shot, Tess is a beauty :)

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  7. Beautiful girl, and the conversation at the end of the post...even more beautiful!

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  8. Beautiful photos, and that conversation at the end of the post...even more beautiful!

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  9. I visited the Kodak museum in NY quite a few years ago when they had that Nat'l Geographic photo and it's story as one of their exhibits. That was the first time I realized how a single photo could have such an impact on so many people and how powerful that was. I think you did a wonderful job imitating it with Tess and have inspired me to try it myself. I think my favorite photo is the 3rd one down of Tess holding the apple but looking away from the camera.

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    1. Oh I would have loved to see that image in person, Katie! What a treat for you!
      You know, the 3rd one was my favorite at first, and probalby would still be if it weren't for some focus issues. I really really like that one and kick myself in the pants that I didn't get it in better focus!
      nancy

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  10. They are all great and show off her beautiful features! I love her eyes and pouty lips ! She is beautiful , great idea!

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  11. So beautiful! I especially like the one with the leaf.

    I just want you to know, yours is one of the most moving blogs I read. That may seem odd, considering I am a single college student, but your faith and your relationship with God and your family is so inspiring. The way you find joy in even the little things like Tess getting off an ottoman without a fuss is so beautiful to see/read about. Thank you!

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  12. Oh my, she is a beauty and her eyes say it all just .like.my.madelines!!

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  13. Ooh....love, love, love!! I think 1 and 4 are my favorites. She is just so gorgeous!! You're right...her eyes speak volumes!

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  14. Well, they are all beautiful, and the first and the fifth ones are my most favourites. :)

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  15. I am not sure I can choose.. Tess is one beautiful girl!

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  16. Oh my gosh I so remember that National Geographic...still see that face! Great job doing these photos! They do process a lot it seems...breaks my heart and at the same time feel so blessed to be their Mom. Great post!

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  17. Beautiful photos! I like one and six and there is a thoughtful innocence that I love in 5. Thanks for sharing and you certainly are creative. Your photographs are beautiful and so often speak volumes.
    Becky S.

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  18. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text
    Here's a follow-up story to that photo, including a more recent photo. Both Tess and that woman are hauntingly beautiful, paticularly because of their eyes. I like the one where she's holding a dried flower (?) best, but they're all incredible.

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    1. Thank you for the link, Michelle!!! I had seen it before but was SO excited to see it and read it through again!
      nancy

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  19. Nancy - OK - I'm not given to flights of fancy - I think you've gleaned that from me by now.

    the pics are awesome - but the model makes the shots in these!

    But - and I really DO mean this - from our adopted kids I've often seen that look - the one that Tess has - and sometimes I've gotten some comments or words that tell me that they really are "old souls". No, I don't think that they are on their 2nd or 3rd trip through our world - but - I'm thinking that because of how they got their start they have a particularly wise or worldly view on things - that they are, in fact, "wise beyond their years" - and someday they'll have the maturity to speak it!

    love it - wonderful stuff here -

    hugs - aus and co.

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    1. I so agree Aus. And why do they have that old soul "look?" But yes, so many of them do. What a great thought that they'll mature and be able to process the thoughts for themselves one day. What a blessing that would be.

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  20. This are incredible...she has such depth to her beauty. Stunning.

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