Travel – Kalebra Kelby
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Featured, Things I hope my children will read one day, Travel

Because sometimes you find yourself doing the last thing you thought you’d ever be doing. That’s weird.

October 23, 2016

I’m calling this “Slingshot Sunday” because it’s too early for “Throwback Thursday” (even though a slingshot and a throwback are not quite the same thing…whatever…bear with me, lol)! Anyway, I was going through some old vacation photos and was reminded of the time when…

We were spending a glorious week of family vacation on the beautiful island of Maui. It also happens to be the ONE AND ONLY time
I ever went surfing.

You see, I’m one of those people who was never quite the same after seeing the movie JAWS and before you say anything — I absolutely know that my fear of sharks is irrational and because of that I wish the sharks no harm. Instead, I just avoid them at all cost. And until the ONE AND ONLY time I went surfing I had done a very good job of keeping out of their house.

But then we went to Maui on vacation…

And our son who was known at that time as the “Little guy” (because he was only six at the time) decided he wanted a surfing lesson. When he asked me if he could go…well…it went something like this in my head…

Oh my god — my baby! My bite size, shark bait of a child wants to go surfing in shark infested waters?! How can I get him to change his mind without him knowing I’m terrified and without terrifying him?!

But in that moment I realized that making him afraid of something he needn’t be afraid of was even more terrifying to me than letting him get in the water so, I stood in front of him, swallowed hard, gave a sort of reassuring (something just broke a little in mommy’s head) smile and said,
“Okay, I’ll make the arrangements.”

Morning of the lesson…

Got to the beach and was greeted by…hmmm…how to describe him? Well, did you ever see Keanu Reeves in that movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Right. He sounded like that, except he was like 55. Putting his voice with his face was a challenge but we carried on. He gave our son his (on the beach) instruction and they were about to head in the water when my son stopped, looked at me and said, “I’ve changed my mind Mommy — I don’t want to do it anymore.”

Oh no! He sensed my fear! I’ve ruined the water for him! What can I do to make this right?!!!

I should preface this next part by telling you that it was at this moment I realized that I was pretty much dressed for the mall. Pants, shirt, shoes, (and all the undergarments you would expect) but why was I taking a mental inventory of what I was wearing? Oh no! I knew what I had to do…Ack! Ack! Ack!

My heart is racing, my breathing becomes rapid and before I even know what’s coming out of my mouth, (my stupid, stupid, mouth), I say, “What if Mommy does it first? Then would you go?” Yikes! What did I just say?!! Maybe he didn’t hear me?! Maybe it’s not enough to make him try?!
Maybe, but then…

“Sure Mommy, that would be great!”

Ack! Ack! Ack! I hate my stupid mouth!! I’m dressed for the mall! I am terrified of being in the water and with the eating machines that live there! Aargh!!

I finally accept my fate and let Grandpa Keanu pull me out into the depths and when I was sure I was far enough out that the Little Guy couldn’t see me…I start to cry crocodile tears. I’m not kidding. Full on, facing your greatest fear, crocodile, terrified tears. And that’s when Grandpa Keanu says, “Dude! Why are you crying?!” And I say, “Because I’m terrified of being in the water — with sharks — but I didn’t want my son to be afraid of them because of me!” (Insert BIG ugly tears here).

It was then that Grandpa Keanu and I bonded for life because he yelled (while pointing his finger in my face),“You are the best mom…EVER!!!! Woohoo!!!”
(I still say Woohoo to this day) “Now here’s your wave Mom! Don’t miss it! Get up! Get up! Get up!”

What?! Wait! No! I’m not ready!! Oh for the love of everything holy I am not going in this water!!

So, I stood up, bent my knees, held my arms out for balance and rode that wave all the way to the shore. Truth be told I would have walked on that water before I would have fallen off that board! Hahahaha!

From behind me I heard, “Woohoo!! Dude! In 25 years of teaching I have never seen anyone ride in on their first wave!!”

Thank you Grandpa Keanu—I love you too!

I came in so fast that I practically fell onto my son and husband who were both standing on shore, jaws dropped, staring at me (looking like I had just surfed in from some underwater mall’s wet t-shirt contest) and trying to catch my breath through the tears and giggles of relief and joy. I couldn’t believe what I had just done — what I had accomplished?! I mean, I just faced one of my all time greatest fears and in front of my darling baby boy — what a moment!! I looked down at my precious Little Guy and said, “Okay Honey, it’s your turn and you’re gonna love it!”

And he says, “Oh, that’s okay Mommy, I really don’t want to do it anymore, I’m having a great time collecting these shells with Daddy — aren’t they awesome?!”



Tips, Travel

Cropping your way to creativity. Really? Really.

October 12, 2016

This is the second half of my conversation with a friend. Someone new to photography. Someone now using her iPhone to take images that are becoming more interesting and more important to her. Someone trying to figure out how to find her way in her images (compositionally speaking) and tell her story. How fun! How wonderful! However, please keep in mind, if you are already a comfortable photographer this suggestion may not be for you.

Where we left off…

Me: Okay, so I know you’ve had it happen where you’ve been walking around a city on vacation and turned a corner and something about the scene made you want to take a photo, right?

Friend: “Right.”

Me: But when you looked at the image later it just didn’t “feel” the same — not to you and certainly not to anyone you showed it to, right?

Friend: “Well, that’s kind of mean but right — I hope this gets better.”

Me: Hahahaha! (I have the best friends). It’s because you didn’t tell the story in your photo that you felt when you were standing there and you do that by how you compose it.

Friend: “Right, and I’ve already told you that I don’t know how to do that.”

Me: Yes, but you can get better with this easy (no-pressure) exercise.

Friend: “No pressure? I’m in.”

Me: Alright, alright, alright. (I say with my best Matthew McConaughey impression — no, I don’t know why I have one). Anyway…

After you take a picture, take it into an app (or even just with your phone’s editing app) and start cropping the image in different ways and around different elements within the image to figure out: (a) What exactly was it that you found so interesting? And, (b) How might you show it, crop it, compose it, (or tell the story) next time so that others can experience it in the same way you did? It’s free, it’s easy and it’s fun to see what could have been different had you thought differently about how to take the picture.

Remember, you’re new at this so you need to experiment in order to help train your eyes to see differently than they have seen before. Cropping can be a quick and easy way to show yourself what could have been and helps to train your eye for the future. Do this a lot and with practice you’ll start shooting differently and the need for cropping won’t be as great. (Though with a phone you might find you still need to crop from time to time because you don’t have the ability to zoom like other cameras but that’s another post).

I have included some example images below to illustrate what I mean.

So you wandered down this street and something struck you, you felt something, saw something and so you took the photo. Now, try cropping it in different ways to figure out what it might have been that moved you. You can crop your own images as many times as you’d like — it’s up to you — it’s play time so have fun!

Above: Was it the table and chairs, or the stairs?

Above: Was it something low? The cobblestone street? The puddle? The people?

Or was it that there was just enough mist about this deserted entrance that it reminded you of the page of a novel and you knew
(with just a little editing) it could be this? Yeah, I think that was it.

Anyway, after you’ve started to take notice of how you feel, use this little trick to start to compose differently, and then you can start the fun process of learning some really helpful “rules” like the rule of thirds. But first have some fun because if you do, it makes learning the rules a lot more fun, too.
I promise.

Have fun and have a great day everyone!

Featured, Nature, Travel

“Alice: How long is forever?”

September 27, 2016

“White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.”

— Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

I often have moments that feel that way and this one, on the Oregon coast, felt just like that.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Featured, Travel

Goodnight boats

September 8, 2016

Portofino, Italy

Shot on: iPhone 6s Plus
Edited in: Adobe Aviary App


Can’t wait for my (new) trusty iPhone 7  Plus! Whee!!!

Featured, Kids, Things I hope my children will read one day, Travel

Moments, Rocks, and Yittles, Oh My!

September 1, 2016

Yittle: “But I want to lead Mommy so, you wait here.”

Me: Haha! Dear Yittle, I’m not sure that’s how it’s done.

Yittle: “What?”

Me: Leading. You can’t ask others to wait behind you. If you want to lead, you just have to lead. If it makes sense to me, I’ll follow.

Yittle: “If it doesn’t?”

Me: You might be stuck out on some dangerous rocks in the middle of the water all by yourself.

Yittle: (Long pause…) “I’ve decided to explore the rocks that are a little closer.”

Me: Right behind you! ☺️ Hahaha!

In reality, our rocks were at a beach near home but this photo illustrated it well. 😉

Have a great day everyone! 💛

Vernazza, Italy


Oh Alice…

August 7, 2016

“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.”
– Lewis Carroll

Roman Gardens, Prague