31 August 2010

Do What You Like or Lose That Creative Outlet

Both of these just seemed appropriate today...

Sometime last year, I made the call to stop doing nudes for a while. It actually may have been the year before and I was just settling down in 2009 as I still finished up some promised gigs. Oh-9 got pretty darn hectic which also made slowing down easy... to a crawl in fact. I was working a job with the State that took up a really good chunk of my time. I wasn't shooting anything of much during that spell. There were other projects that kept me busy and some that threw me for a loop. Up til recently, I've worked with 2 models since October of last year. Before then, for all of 2009, I may have worked with 5 total models.

Rework of 2007 version of Dana

I'm not stopping my nude work ever again. This has been the pits getting started back up again. As I said, I've worked with 2 models this year and they were both by request. That sort of jump started me to getting back in the game again, but now I realize just how rusty I am at it. Since March, I'm pretty sure I've had at least 7 maybe 8 models that expressed an interest in doing some work after I initiated the contact and asked them for their consideration. Actually, I should down play that number a bit. Three come to mind who were also ones that contacted me first. All of them however have backed out, for one reason or another. Two chose to not model for anyone at all. One had a husband that objected. One was in school and between working and a toddler, just no longer had the time. Two gave no real reason other than to say they had a change of heart on the matter. Only one was just absolutely rude and wasted my time, by being a no-show twice. I'm not making good selections.

Rework of 2007 version of Elizabeth
Models I've worked with in the past have also not panned out for different reasons, whether that be no time to do it, no longer doing nudes, or they moved away like two Brittanys have done this year. One to New Jersey and another to New Orleans. Good Gracious! What's a photog to do? Keep at it, I guess. Part of the problem has been mine. Aside from quiting doing nudes to begin with, I no longer cultivated the relationships I already had nor did I try to build fresh relationships. I have a tendency to stop looking for new models when I get one that I really click with and get great material. Then when that model isn't available, I'm stuck without anybody to call up. I noticed that last week sometime. I can go through my phone contacts and there's no one to call as opposed to the options I had when I got her in 2007. I know I had listened to some friends who told me they wanted to see more of my work besides just nudes, which is understandable. I don't solely shoot naked women. I'm very proud of my other artistic endeavors as well, especially emotive portraits, landscapes, and abstracts. I love shooting, period. However...Nudes are my thing. Take away a painter's brushes and canvases and see how he feels. Leave a musician without his instruments and see how she behaves after a month. Granted, no one has taken away my camera. So rather, I should say tell the jazz musician he can only play bluegrass.

A simulated scream, Samantha
My point is that I need to stick to my core. I can do everything else as well, but I can't give up my core. It doesn't matter if my core doesn't make me money or win me critical acclaim. It doesn't matter that my nudes won't see a mag cover or centerfold. Its not hanging up on exhibit in exclusive art galleries. The Bellagio Art Gallery has not extended that offer to me yet. Will they ever? Who's to say. The good thing is that I don't do my nudes for recognition from the Bellagio. I do it for me and my model. I care not who else likes or appreciates it. If I achieve the objective I set out for in my head and the model likes what is produced then that mission was a success. I don't want to be in this spot again. While I don't need a bunch of models, I'll make sure I keep relationships cultivated. I'd rather have one to shoot all the time, but even when that one isn't available, there needs to be somebody on the depth charts. The rejections and the change of hearts is just part of the cost of doing business. All this used to come really easy to me and I let it go. I'll get it back.

....Patience, Grasshoppa...

"One of these things is not like the other", Joanie
On another note, I'm killing the ability to make anonymous comments on this blog for a while. I've come up on somebody's spam list and I hate getting all excited about a comment that shows up in my inbox only to find that its spam. That blows. So rather than do the word verification, I'll try this for a while. So, you don't have to have a Blogger ID to comment, but you can't be unknown.

Interestingly enough, yesterday, another guy and myself where commenting on a nude image that was a "behind the scene" type shot. My eyes were drawn to the camera the photographer was using. It was a 50MP Hasselblad H3DII-50. I stated that I wasn't sure why it was necessary to use a $50,000 camera for this shoot and I brought up the fact that there were no elaborate light set-up, no dramatic color scheme that needed the extra capture potential, and the model wasn't especially made up by a make-up artist. The other guy responded, "Dude, you do see the nakkid chick in the picture, right?"

24 August 2010

The Black Hole

“Black holes are where God divided by zero” 
- Stephen Wright

I've been on some meds lately that have made me tired, lethargic, and basically wanting to just sit on my ass. I try not to do much driving and will relegate my endeavors to quick runs within a few miles of the house. It seems like I can be wide awake one sec and then feel a powerful urge to lay my butt down the next. If I know I have to drive some distance to make an appointment of something, I'll quit the meds that day and handle my business. One thing its given me an opportunity to do is catch up on some movies. I might make it through a show or I might not, but I can always restart it where I last remember a scene. Some of these include watching trilogies, like The Matrix trilogies. However, the ones I appreciate the most are the ones I remember loving when I was a kid. I was watching a space documentary...I love documentaries, especially on space... and one of them about relative size of celestial objects used the theme song from the 1979 hit, "The Black Hole". Many kids can attribute their love for space research and exploration to Star Trek or Star Wars. For me, it was The Black Hole.

"Dark Profile" Model Brittany Sutton

I am a big follower of both Star Trek and Star Wars. In fact, I might add that to my list...to watch the double Star Wars Trilogies. Nonetheless, both these movies still felt like fictional Sci-Fi. I don't believe there is an actual "Force", at least not as portrayed by Star Wars. Star Trek could actually be a reality someday. In fact, there's a documentary called, "How William Shatner Changed the World". Still, I don't see that as my reality. The Black Hole, on the other hand, is. My curiosity was piqued to a level off the charts for a little kid. The problem was, that I didn't have Wikipedia, Goggle, or the Internet. We had a library, but information was still limited and much that we knew about Black Holes was still trickling down from the big brains, which meant they were speaking way over my head. Einstein kicked off the idea in the early 1900's but several more scientists, including Hawking, would have to work clear into the 70's before we could really skim the surface of understanding them. Its only been recently, since we've actually been able to see the visual effects of one, since we can't truly see them.

"Is this Seduction", Model Brittany Sutton

I love studying the physics of stars and one can't help but to wonder what happens inside a super massive black hole with time and space being twisted and warped as it is. Normal laws no longer apply, but you'd think there's gotta be something that governs these things. They are the most destructive forces in the universe. Something has to explain them as more than just God's trash cans. Then again, could it really be just that simple? In the movie, the space researchers were able to come out the other side of the Oblivion after some really freaky special affects. Speaking of which, those kinds of effects could never fly today. That was one of my premier thoughts while watching the film. Back in the day, there were state of the art movie effects.  Kids today laugh at such ancient movie antics. I still enjoyed it, though and am trying to think about other shows I could enjoy again. Not everything will work again. I know I loved the Benji series, but I ain't watching any more Benji, now. Some things are simply good when you're a kid.

"Forward to Make Peace", Model Brittany Sutton

I recently posted a shot of Brittany Sutton and these images are a few more. She's not longer in Vegas, which sucks for me, but is evidently good for her. I've also included this short clip that I mentioned earlier that uses the theme song from The Black Hole. You should definitely check it out. The Earth is like an atom to some of these stars. Talk about HUGE! You can also watch a complete documentary on Black Holes with this link: How the Universe Works: Black Holes. For now, click on the clip below. If you can't see it, try this YouTube link.

13 August 2010

Strangely-Oneiric, Interview

"Art is a lie, which makes us realize the truth."
- Picasso
"Sometimes I Do Wear Clothes",
Model/Photographer: Strangely-Oneiric

Much has been said on this blog regarding virtual friendships, relationships, and communities. The online communications and social media has uniquely redefined how we meet, relate, and thus choose who our friends are. Being a child of both worlds, the other being the more physical in nature, I sometimes struggle with the dichotomy of these relationships. Some people I have never met have become dear friends or people I have simply come to admire. Therein lies my struggle because in most cases, I am not content for the relationship to remain virtual. Such is the case with this lovely model whom I have come to admire from the galleries of deviantArt. I feel like I must needs have her in front of my lens. She goes by the handle, Strangely-Oneiric and is the epitome of my kind of model. I love the shapes and the movement. I normally do no post images that I don't personally take on this blog, but I chose to make an exception here. Honestly, it was her face in the above image that captured my attention. Just browsing through the art nude galleries one day, I came across this thumbnail and was intrigued. The rest is history. I gotta shoot this girl.

(Let me interrupt for a second and throw out this caveat. This is not to say every other model I've worked with are any less satisfactory to me, so no offense should be taken of any kind with my reference to "epitome of my kind of model". You already know I can be flattering at times, so let me just talk about this girl with the hopes that you appreciate her as much as I do.)

"How Could You Know"
I like that fact that she's a simple girl. She's not the perfect model that you'd find on the cover or centerfold of a major editorial. She doesn't try to be and she loves herself the way she is. That's probably the first thing I respect. In one of her journals, I saw a quote where she said, "I always prefer to photograph those that do not have perfect bodies. I feel as though we see enough of the stick-thin models in the media." She started this adventure of self-discovery and has been evolving it as she goes. She is both model and photographer and often uses lyrics as descriptions of each image. Her images are as much of a chronicle of how she feels, her moods, and what's on her mind, as any one else's verbal descriptions might be. This is her journey and she travels it with honesty about who she is, why she does it, and holds no attachments past its inevitable end. When the journey/experiment is done, she'll let go. So, I'll just appreciate her gifts while they last.

[If the text color shows up poorly for those subscribing by email, please click over to the actual blog post for better readability.]

"But I Wasn't Concentrating"
1) So how long have you been doing this model/photographer thing? How does it correlate to your art studies? 
I previously had a different site here on dA, that would have been 2 years ago (so 2008-2009). I acquired a decent fan base, though nothing in comparison to what I have now. After a period of time, I closed the account, just lost interest in continuing the site, maybe even became slightly self-conscience to have such a practice. I began again afresh a little more than a year ago on the site I currently have. I began partly for something to do, and partly because I wanted to create beautiful images with my body; Or if not beautiful, provocative. 

"These Arms"
2) How exactly did you get started and how did you come to use the name Strangely-Oneiric? What’s its significance? (I had to look up oneiric. Now I have to find a context to use it!) 
How did I get started? Well, it’s not an exciting story. I decided to start one day and I did. I don’t remember it real vividly. I have limited technical abilities (especially when I first started with my little point and shoot), so I would try to time it right to have good natural lighting that I could "bathe" in. I have much more success with getting good images when I start with good lighting. 

On my previous dA site, my favorite image was one where I had a backlight behind me and was hold a beautiful veil like material in front of me. People noted how dreamlike it was. So when I began again, I felt that should be my starting point--this very vague, cryptic, dreamlike feeling where you're getting bits and pieces of a larger, though somewhat strange story. Because I feel this is a very strange story--to see or be told only the most vulnerable, intimate part of this exposed woman. "Strange dreams" doesn't have any ring to it. So I brainstormed other words I knew to be "dreamlike." Oneiric came to mind (good old vocab words from who knows when coming to the surface). And there the alias was born. 

3) What are your feelings on nudes or nudity in general? Is it reflective of your lifestyle? What makes you so comfortable with your body? 

I personally am very comfortable with my body (usually) but I understand this is not true for everyone. As a result, I don't go walking around my house in my underwear and certainly not in public. Also, taking pictures and posting them on a site where you know no one and vice versa, very different than if I hung these up in my living room. As it is, I don't feel very brave to be posting under this alias. 

"Tired of the Routine"
4) What about role models or people inspire you as a photog and as a model? 
I have to admit I didn't begin with an inspiration and still don't have one. I just post what I feel. 

5) You previously wrote a post stating your goal is to allow images to be your expression where words were insufficient. I really like that, btw. What exactly is it that you are trying to articulate with your photos? 
Well the photos are a visual journal to me, at least some of them. I can remember very clearly how I was feeling when I took, "Beautiful, I guess" for example, though I don't remember why I felt that way. But it speaks to me to be able to look back and see that raw emotion, feel it again in a sense. What am I trying to articulate? Well I never know in the moment. I just take images that usually express what I'm feeling that moment, though sometimes the images are just something I've had in my head for a while and then truly pose for. So hopefully each image articulates something a little different. 

"A Scene Begins"
6) What makes self-portrait nudes so appealing to you? How did you decide to go there? Do you think you’ll begin photographing nudes other than yourself? 
No, I don't think I'll be photographing nudes other than myself. I tried this once with some friends. We all got all giddy being naked with one another. Got a couple great shots of two friends laughing hysterically together, but we never repeated the shoot. And now I've lost touch with them. It's strangely hard to find people willing to do this. And I don't ask around much. This is my thing. Self-portraits in general are appealing to me for a few reasons. One, I don't have to work around other people's schedules when I want to shoot. Two, to toot my own horn, I know I'm decently photogenic. Few of my friends are. Three, it's a bit therapeutic.

I like to do them in the nude for a few simple reasons: I don't have to worry about color schemes in clothes. One less thing to think about. Also, it's instantly more raw and intimate to do a photo nude. More humane. More timeless. We will always have our bodies. Finally, for my own amusement of seeing my undulating weight patterns and how my body proportions change as a result. (also, it’s interesting to see when others notice this, though few have noted it) 

"Death on a Sunny Road"

7) I saw that you were reading a book called, “My Name is Asher Lev”, by Chaim Potok. You mentioned that it opens with a quote by Picasso, “Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth”. What does it mean to you? 
Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth. This parallels to my images in that, well they are not real life. Or they do not show a full "picture," the full story. They freeze a moment, and in my case a staged moment or one that was manipulated and forced to the surface, and there it stays. And then we draw from these moments and realize something… Perhaps the truth. 

8) You don’t have to reveal your true age, but I’m guessing you’re not older than 22…23 max. How does a young woman learn to close a chapter in her life, as you mentioned in your journal, so early? Has modeling taught you any life lessons? 
"How You Laughed"
There have been various guesses on my age, though never over 24. Anywhere in the 20s I'll take as a fair guess. How do you learn to close a chapter of your life? You channel your energy and emotions somewhere new and then move forward. So maybe you never close a chapter, but you can begin a new one. Has modeling taught me anything? If it has, I have yet to realize it. I think modeling with another person where we have to communicate with one another what our visions are in the moment would be a very telling exercise. But modeling for myself eliminates this communication. So it isn't really a growing experience, though you do learn how to do it "better."

9) How have you changed since you first began photographing yourself?
I suppose I've become more aware of my sexuality and femininity. Other changes I would attribute to general life growth/progression, though, not because of modeling. 

10) You have a fairly decent fan-base. How do you think they have grown so quickly? Why do you feel they come back? Do you feel any sense of responsibility to them now? 

"Nobody Knows"
I have built up a decent set of followers since starting here on dA. It is certainly an unexpected, though certainly not unwelcome occurrence. It certainly seems to grow exponentially the longer I have a site--maybe because I show up higher in the popular searches now. I'm not sure exactly what the key is to "success" here on dA. It helps to have a jump start of an image that's somewhat explicit or provocative; your numbers go up real fast. I believe I started getting more attention after posting, "Nobody Knows." To get people coming back, it seems to be this honesty that everyone sees. I'm not sure what exactly that looks like or how that comes across; I just take pictures and post ones that I like. It's really that simple. When I first started posting to this gallery, I was very concerned about making it "artistic" not pornographic. So then I put a lot of thought into more interesting poses, angles, composition, etc. (A few months ago, I randomly went on an image purge to "clean up my gallery" a bit, so much of this experimentation is now lost.) Then as I started establishing myself more, getting more affirmation, and just caring less, I now think less of that and just take images. Or maybe it’s because my more racy images have been so well received as nude art.

Do I really responsibility to my "fans" now? Well, I suppose this is the wrong thing to say, but no, not really. There are so many artists here on dA, if I stopped posting people would be sad for all of like one day and then we'd all move on and then we'd all move on with our lives. 

11) What would you say are your most challenging issues or concerns as a photog/model? 
Being that this isn't a career for me or even a serious pursuit, I can't say it's really that challenging or concerning of a hobby typically. I do it for my own amusement and enjoyment; when it loses that air, then I'll stop. Security issues are definitely in the back of my mind just because that is so out of my control and I probably won't ever know if my work is/has been misused or sold for pornographic purposes and such. 

12) You range from images that are relatively benign in nature to some that are more explicit. How do you decide how racy your images will be when you decide to shoot? Is it a mood? Do you alternate benign one week and explicit the next? What boundaries do you set for yourself? 

"This Low"
Boundaries? System? Planned out thought? Negative. You are giving me too much credit. If I have a stretch of time to myself and happen to see good lighting, I might say to myself, "Hey, I should get out my camera." And then I try to take photos that will document how I'm currently feeling that day. If they were posed/planned out, I think I would get in a rut of what kind of images to post. I suppose if I had to name a boundary is that I like to post things that have some beauty in them, in whatever way that may be. Sometimes I see an image that I kind of like, though I feel it didn't quite hit the mark. And then I do an iteration of that at another date. I did this with "Nobody Knows" as well as "This Low." In fact, "This Low" I'm still not satisfied with. At some point, I still hope to redo that one, really nail it. That one would be so much easier to take not by myself though...I can never get the angle that I see in my head. But then how on earth would I communicate this faint image in my head to another photographer. To hand over your vision is to compromise much of it between yourselves. 

13) Would it bother you if someone suggested your work was pornographic rather than art erotica?
It would probably bother me a little if someone suggested my work belonged on a pornographic site. I would probably go through my gallery and analyze for myself if I thought I had overstepped appropriate lines. But I try to be mindful of this before posting, typically. So on this site, I would probably just say, "uh huh" and not reply further. 

"Your Skin and Bones"
14) What is the next level or the next step for you? 
So what next? A valid question. I just don't know. As for modeling, at some point later in life (when I have more money to go taking trips and flying throughout the country), I do think it would be fun to do a photo shoot with an accomplished photographer. And then like 40 years from now do another nude shoot with a photographer. That would be a truly interesting show, I think--to have prints up in a very similar style of myself at different stages/ages in life. As for life itself? Graduate with flying colors. Get my dream job. Be awesome. 

15) What advice would you give to another young lady wishing to do what you are doing? 
I don't think that I would advise other young women to do this. It's not exactly a safe thing to do and you have to kind of ignore a lot of crude comments from men. If her mind was set to do it, though, I would advise to just do it for yourself. Post what you feel and make it meaningful. 

16) If you were interviewing yourself, what good question might you ask that I’ve missed? And what would be your answer? 
Other questions I would ask myself if we switched roles...well...I'm not sure really. You didn't leave any holes, from what I can see. I'll let you know if I think of anything else, though.

"Thinking About Tomorrow"
**Note: All images on this blog particular post are property of and copyrighted by Strangely-Oneiric. No stock, please.

07 August 2010

Three Years and Counting

"A bachelor is a guy that comes to work every morning from a different direction."
 - Sholom Aleichem

Word for the day - From Science,  Dark Energy

That's how long I've been running this blog...Three Years now, this August. I really didn't know what the hell I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to get with the times and get my art in the eyes of my viewers and readers. A few people picked up on me and I acquired a few mentors with bigger names that put me on the map. Eolake Stobblehouse of Domai.com and Chris St. James of Univers d'Artistes were among the first to spot me, advise me, and feature me on their own blogs. Along came Iris Dassault, model/photog, who came to notice me somehow and even scared the mess out of me when she later told me said she'd be in Vegas soon and would like to model for me. Iris is a world renown art model who has been shot by the best of the best and featured all over the place. The first thought that came to my mind, naturally, was "WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO WITH, IRIS DASSAULT!?!" I didn't see how I was going to do anything that would have compared with anything she'd done before. How was I going to produce a photo shoot that she'd deem as worth her while. I began to scramble and get some help from some locals. One guy understood my plight and offered me the use of his studio and his expertise.

It was only after a few others did the same that I began to think to myself that I might be getting set up by those that were more intent on shooting Iris themselves, more than helping me. That actually helped steel my resolve a little more. I came up with a plan and calmed down. I kept telling myself that she is just another model, which may not have been true but I needed to believe it anyway. I gained more confidence by understanding that I did have something to contribute and I had my own unique style and editing that, for damn sure compared with the "greater" artists. They may have had more resources than me, lights, props, etc., but when it came down to the shot...I felt I was right there in the mix. Then Iris' travel plans changed and she didn't get to come to Vegas. I never got to shoot her. It was still a lesson learned though.

Dave Rudin was another powerhouse that got to come my way. I saw his work and felt I could identify with his style. He's got my fave pic of all time...not just favorite nude, or favorite B&W...I'm talking favorite picture that has ever been photographically captured. It's his shot of Carlotta Champagne amongst some rocks shot out here near Vegas that I simply adore. Dave has come to Vegas often and we've gotten to visit on several occasions mainly having breakfast, a few dinners, and we've caught a few shows. He even made one of my workshops when I was running my Las Vegas Art Models Group and hung out with me at my favorite camera shop, B&C camera. I don't want to miss him when he comes to town. At the very least we always have breakfast at the Original Pancake house. I get the French Toast. We also talk often on the phone and I was surprised when he put me on a three way call with he and Dave Levingston...another icon in the business. DaveL would I guess be DaveR's mentor of sorts. I wish I could get around to visit DaveL sometime. I've only got to visit DaveR once in New York when I went there this time last year for my birthday. DaveR hung out my myself and my Malaysian/Grad-school friend, Shwu Huoy (who at 90 pounds is one of the smartest women I know who can still lead a managerial team like a drilll sergeant.)

I've had several other mentors who have kept tabs on me but none quite so much like Unbearable Lightness. Now THIS woman is a phenomenon. Yes, she's over 65 and is a model of hotness...pun intended. I noticed her for the first time when she became a co-blogger with Iris Dassault. To be honest, (and she doesn't know this so don't say anything), I was a little perturbed that she signed on with Iris. I didn't know who she was and I followed Iris' blog to read Iris, not anybody else. I didn't know why she was taking up space on a blog that was already a great one. The first time I read one of her posts was by accident. Up until this point, I'd skip over her postings to get to Iris'. (Damn, she's going to never talk to me again after this.) She had a point of discussion that I thought was from Iris and I read it with glee. (Did I just say "glee"?) It wasn't til I had finished it that I began to go back over some of her points to organize my own comment that I realized that it was a post by Unbearable Lightness.

I sat back for a second and the thought occurred to me that I may have erred in judgement. I began to go back over some of her other posts and was quickly becoming a fan. When another blogger joined Iris' blog, I reverted back to the same sentiments. "Damn. Who is this other person invading Iris' and U.L.'s space?" Eventually, U.L. got her own blog...a few actually, and I followed her around like a puppy. You have to ask yourself what has made her so popular. As much as I'd love to say its her brain, methinks it's her body first. Yes, she's hawt. And the fact that she didn't even start modeling til she was 59 is an enigma. Why did she deny us for all those years? I'd have loved to have seen a journey of U.L. from back in the day til now. But I also submit that hotness and good looks will only grant you favors and boons for only so long. What has kept us is the fact that she writes with an ability to command your attention, make you feel relevant, and entertain you as well. In a span of 2 hours, she'll have had 23 comments on a blog post. This isn't over a day's time. This is as shoot as she hits the little orange button that says, "PUBLISH POST", people know about it and are all to eager to be first to leave a comment. I know this because I've gone "Damn, somebody beat me!" when I thought I would have been first to make a post. Don't act like I am the only one to do this. A recent post had 23 commentators in less than 2 hours! I think the most I've had is a little over 10 and half were my own responses.

To many of us, I think she's like that really good looking 3rd grade home room teacher, or your 9th grade Spanish teacher who's got the really big boobs. Yeah, they get your attention with the physical aspects, but they keep you with their ability to involve you and interest you in what comes out of their mouths. The fact that she is a teacher, professor actually, is a testament to that analogy. She has the gravitational energy to attract us into her orbit. I've watched her followers grow to over a hundred now. Hell, I've got 18 and I feel special. She collects followers like a hobby. But she is not only being followed. She's also a follower herself. I have no idea how she tracks so many artist's works the way she does. Nobody has commented on my blog more than she has, sometimes being the sole commentator on many of my posts. I can find some obscure artist with a blog post and U.L. has already noticed it and left a comment. I gotta say, its encouraging for anybody to get interest and blog participation from U.L. I constantly refer beginner models to her site who ask what an art model should be.

I think a greater question can be made when we decide what we will do when or if U.L. decides to no longer participate with us. We've had this discussion before. If you've tracked her long enough, you may have seen a few times, where she's been pissed enough to call it quites. Right now, she blogs almost daily as if its her responsibility to us. You might even wonder if there was some Senate bill that was passed into law over the last few years mandating her to blog. So if you're reading this, Don't friggin' piss her off! We'd like to keep her around as long as she wants to do this. We all like her for various reasons. She's kind, but thorough in her criticisms and observations. She's relevant and factual in her debates. She's not afraid to bring up subjects that some might conversely shy away from. She has the gravity of the sun and she perspires sugar. Okay, so she's a superwoman and the fact remains that she's a phenom. Where is your comparison? There is none. I may take flattery to the dramatic heights of a soap opera, but you cannot deny my facts.

The pics you see are my top 5 pics that have received the most hits on my website, PhotoAnthems.com, for the year so far, in order.