Art, Photgraphy, San Francisco

Photo Walk – early in March

I was happy to go for a photo walk recently with someone who was great company and did not complain once about my nonstop chatter.

This was a pleasant and peaceful walk, aside from my mouth kept saying words and then more of them.

While not a large gallery of images, I am happy as far more significant than a pile of photos was the company and just getting out for a stroll where I happened to take some pictures along the way.

Art, Creative, Dissent, Humanity, why

Experimental Creations

If as a creative spirit I am an artist, then my genre is experimental in the human and emotional inter and external landscape. General and likely applies quite openly to a great many. No claims on being special or above anyone here.

When I create, be it digital or in real life, like many I am exploring or endeavor to understand some aspect of life. As life is an experience and in one way or another an exploration and or a series of trial and error or experiments. Words, images, color, shape, etc. they all convey thoughts and ideas where understanding is hopefully a component.

I think we misuse understanding and saturate or better yet, dilute what is understanding in the process. I do not understand and therefore I create.

I tend to focus on emotion and humanity. While big, deep and wide topics, I dive in and explore even as I do not know what I may find; kinda the point of an adventure or exploration.

I am not set on making something that is simply pleasing to the eye. In actuality what I or others may see in a visual, auditory or other physical sense we may have is simply a vehicle or transport from what I feel or think to what others do. All the interpretations and adjustments that happen in the process is just that, part of the process.

When I see what other create I also look at what the cost was to bring this into the world. I could look at the time, effort and cost it took, but no, this is not the most significant parts it likely cost to create. It is the emotional labor and in some cases trauma and or struggle to get to where whatever piece is in existence required this to be.

I want to feel something that can inspire me in an emotional or human way. It does not need to be pleasant to look at. It does not even need to be easy. I could continue down this path of words, but why belabor this.

Art, Dissent, Humanity, My Opinion, Trans, transgender, why

A Dragon

Anyone who attacks the lives of others is just a small heart, small mind and no soul worth redemption. A convoluted pile of fear coated in a Napoleon complex bathed in narcissism. The fear is buried and distorted by hate that attacks the very fabric of what those people claim.

Attacks on Transgender people Non-binary, Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Intersex, Queer plus, plus plus. The long standing history of Black suppression. Asian discrimination against the mere presence of of people not nearly enough effort has been given to understand. This is pitiful and holds no valid excuse or reason of good, noble or even human.

We let these attacks hurt us when we the marginalized can see these for what they are and laugh in the face as they show what they really stand for; money, power, control and to wear a costume to look good for others while their attacks reveal the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The devil in disguise. The pointing out of a red herring. These distract others and themselves from the the inadequacies they bear the weight of.

As a trans woman I have to face my daemons every moment I am. I must think anyone part of a community under attack is pushed to do the same.

Our aggressors are too weak to do the same and make us their targets rather than face what is too much for them, their own daemons. The emotional baggage they carry is too much so they feel they need to distract themselves and others from noticing they are the ones with the issues to be resolved. Too weak to work on themselves, they must attack others.

I do not wish evil upon them unlike what we the oppressed receive. I do not ask for a formal or public apology for their atrocities. I hope they find a way to reconcile what deeply troubles them and find peace in a world of diversity and change.

Calm down, relax and take a deep lifelong breath of unity and peace.

I am not here to throw stones but beg for a better tomorrow for everyone, everywhere regardless of demographic, culture or difference. Communicate and strive for understanding over winning or being right and not wrong. Cooperate and not to demand. Pursue understanding and hold back judgement.

The idea of a dragon changes and one way this is in culture. The symbolism of a dragon is a protecting mother much as a bear will defend her young. The dragon mentors, protects and nurtures and when she must draw on her wisdom and strength, defend against the aggressors.

Let us keep the nurture and caring mother dragons doing just that and end the need to defend as aggressors are nowhere.

The noble and just will let the past be and work tirelessly to forge a new beginning on solid ground with a clean slate.

Can we open the door, negotiate, even if informally, to begin again and vow to an eternal ceasefire for the prosperity of humanity.

My blog is titled Empress Em and this can illicit notions I am aware. The thoughts of a ruler or any standing above is not who I am or what I stand for. I am a peasant Empress of a life full of struggle and not one of privilege or power. I rule only my own choices and mind, no one else.

I also dilute the ideas of Queens, kings, Empress and Emperor to President, Chairman, dictator and the entire list possible to make here. These should not be titles on authority but strive to be Buddha or flow as the Taoist.

If we are to kill anyone we should do so not in hate, desire, power, greed or otherwise but in the warmth and comfort of compassion and kindness.

Forgive and move forward without combat. We are not gods and as such we are fallible and have no authority in the judgement of others. This goes both ways and in every direction.

Can we stop hurting others and can we stop denying ourselves?

Time to let the lie of the red herring no longer be a scapegoat.

Art, Humanity, Photgraphy, San Francisco

Friends and Healing

When a dive about and ending up watching the last light of the sunset from the beach I took a few photos as we chatted about this and that.

We had both been having a day of our own and the conversation with all the twists and turns in topic and tone provided me with a healing. I hope she felt the same in this.

As she drove the car the shutter on my camera made the sound each time I pressed the button, we chatted and kept on. The car turned here and a photo there as we winded and wondered around.

The ability to help someone and be helped at the same time is a reciprocal wonder to have. It makes each better than on their own or individually.

The colors and the dimming light contrasted in a way, mirroring the conversation. The recounting and spoken or not, the revelations and realizations of how to see perspective on what was or what may be.

As the setting sun gave outline to the foreground, separating the people on the beach and holding a togetherness simultaneously.

A chance frame makes for a serendipitous find. A mistake turned to have meaning and purpose. Yes, more of this in life please.

While I will never know what this person was doing or thinking I can take the moment and tell a story about what I saw and see to connect in many ways. Imagination is a wonderful way to see what is so difficult to find.

The last moment of sunlight for the day as I put my camera away. I see the sunset as the end of the day but also an opportunity to begin something new and anticipate what could be tomorrow.

Healing friends – friends and healing. It works both ways.

Art, Creative, Photgraphy, San Francisco, why

The Morning Fuzzies

After the moment of fuzzy minded I am overcome with upon waking and like a dream it all dissipates into a forgotten memory, the day begins. I use the descriptor day for ease of communication sake, as the sun is never (again “never”, a word not used literally) as it is enough to say and communicate to get closer to a sense of understanding. So, the morning, yes, Coffee, often music and WTF am I in-store for today? The typical temp and sometimes precipitation, wind, UV may be a thought or what is on my work or personal calendar?

Now, to get on with this ramble, my post-fuzz thought is what is under my umbrella of influence to encourage a day I would like to have?

I went to the SFMOMA a while back. Taking a peak at photos I took there and inspiration starts to burn off more of my fog obscuring ‘stuff’.

Not the museum photo that could be a first thought. I was interested in something else that day.

Another one in the similar exploration in search of something.

I will get to a typical, show the whole piece, eventually.

Just like past posts, if you look at the same things in the same way how could you find something new? Maybe one can or not but this is not my style.

Here are a couple, you can see all of what we tend to look at in the frame images.

Yes! A bit of queerness!

I intend to chose how I see today and what will happen for a vantage that is good over, well duh, bad.

Just as you probably have a different take on the images here than me, I can chose on many levels how today sits with me. If I end up screwing up, then I may look at today down the road and see what I missed.

Art, Creative, Humanity, Photgraphy, San Francisco

When it seems to be the worst time to…

When doing or making a change feels daunting and will just end up being counterproductive, making this even worse – this is an opportunity. When stress and or anxiety is crushing and hope is just a pipe dream, this is a chance to do something.

Progress, growth and getting someplace does not just happen as luck. When was the last time you heard of anyone just minding their own business and a stranger just walks up and gives them a pile of money or whatever. I know of none. Mundane or blending in as indistinguishable does not (as far as I know) get one anywhere but where they already are, which is nowhere new, better or in some cases worse.

You will never know unless you do. There is no growth without struggle. Tiny incremental changes can inch forward or maybe just a mm here and there is probably more accurate. I personally want more from my life than a few centimeters of possibility. So, I push into the uncomfortable or at times stressful and then the anxious or frightening when I should.

I am lucky in the sense that I can sometimes see an opportunity, then times it takes amazing people to help me realized those. If I can find anything in me that shows I have some level of preparation then I have just become lucky. The meeting of a possibility and some however fuzzy ideas I might be able to handle whatever is there, this is the fortune I simply need to work moving towards.

I had an amazing morning recently. This is a short video I took that morning.

And later on;

My videos do not conform to the TikTok mentality, nor my words to the Tweet size bit. This is not my intention or desire. The next video is in the same revolt against the compulsive media cessation of a populations addiction.

These videos for me anyway need more than just the visual and sound. They need thought added in to build them with context of feelings and emotions as they may relate to the world I experience around me. Think of it as an augmentation of empirical data from reality over augmented reality from simulated visuals to bring whatever data into view. Feel something, do things amazing with what one senses and make life better and not simply inundate more data on top of more data for the sake of data.

Now, back to what I was saying;

Then it felt as it all crashed down to rubble. A wise person (whether they know it or not) suggested I say screw it and get out over just retreating to the couch in my own sorrow. I did pick my ass off the couch and get out to see the city and take in the views. My camera bag loaded up and I set out.

I was able to get a few photos, but as I quickly found that I was not searching for pictures, I was searching for a way to turn my crappy day into something good. I was successful. I shed the doubt. I left the anxiety at home. I found a day walking SF that was golden beyond the sunshine or the bridge’s name.

We, or I see the world as I do. This is so often a product of my emotions, thoughts and I have to include a heavy helping from my subconscious. It is not easy when I feel like hell but I can shift the angle of my lens or change the focus, aperture, shutter ISO, etc. Any adjustment can have spectacular results that change what is a dark, damp and dreary mood into the sun and the moon and all the stars.

Art, Trans


I recently made it through the last step on this project. I made previous posts of part of the creation and now it has all come together.

Here is a photo of the finished piece.

I made many decisions throughout the process. I started with the text in the acrylic. I am happy with the results even as it is not without flaws. I am not a machine stamped kinda girl, give it some character and a helping of one-of-a-kind and I am far happier.

The painting is 18 x 12 inches and the acrylic is 24 x 18. I mixed the colors as close but not totally accurate to the point I could color grade them and get a exact match, again an ‘error’ made with intent. I did do color grading, which is a process, as it makes mixing easier in the CMKY codes to know how far I was off where. Then lighting and or monitor setting combined with white balance accuracy in my camera all play a role here.

The text in the lower right has the color codes for RGB, CMKY, Hex and Pantone.

The lower left is the description of the colors meanings.

The bottom center is the description from the flag creator Monica Helmes and her name at the top with the created and first shown information.

The text at the right has more information on the original flag.

I may have gone a bit far into the ambitious realm to complete this, I did splurge on the frame to mention just one.

I would like to do more Pride Flags and having learned from a few redo items and do betters I may. I will not go as far with the frame on future flags though.

I have no expectations but if anyone is interested in more info or would like one made of any of the official Pride flags I would be happy to consider the possibility.

It feels good to have made this!

Creative, Photgraphy, San Francisco

Life has an inertia

When on a trajectory, change is so often not an simple effort. If it is, perhaps perspective is what is changing not a given path. As I measure and exert effort of the line I have been traveling a calibration is overdue. Balance and align my direction and how view my own motion.

As I may have my head in the clouds, my gaze is on finding the arc to accelerate to escape velocity to get a closer view of the stars.

I stepped out recently and found people I have missed far more than I have been admitting to myself. I recommend taking the time to say hello and the hot chocolate.

Creative, My Opinion, Photgraphy, San Francisco, Written

Riding around

Recently I was asked by a friend if I wanted to ride around on the way to pick up her daughter a little later. I texted back “I can put clothes on, what time?” I was wearing PJ’s contemplating how I could get sleep as I have deprived myself for far too long of this simple and essential part of living. With her response as it was I pulled off my pajamas and tossed on clothes. My smaller camera bag was already packed minus a camera. Into the bag went a camera and as I stepped out my door texted I was ready.

As we pulled away she asked a question that prompted me to tell a story about moments in my life and off my mouth went as my camera emerged and the shutter sounded with the lens looking out the window. We wound through the park, Golden Gate Park for non San Francisco residents. It was glorious to see people out doing what they do. Bike riders, walkers, joggers and everything else. As we wound through the Presidio I just kept chatting away with each ask on what I had been rambling on about.

I am always surprised when anyone comments on my incessant chatter that I am a good storyteller and have had interesting experiences. I take this as a complement and yet, I am just me, another person and human, what makes a good story about me and what I have gone through? As I think through this today I find inspiration.

My thought have turned to sharing some of these stories. How about a memoir style journal series of some snippet or moment as I recount the events that some find they like to hear. I like to write and I hope I can incorporate media of multiple types; photos, audio, mixed media of the digital and physical form.

This comes to mind, aside from the lyrics gender reference that is obvious to anyone who has the wrong pronouns lobbed like grenades in their direction is often more attune to, good match lyrically, kinda, but only knda.

I am flipping through the card catalogue of some of the vocal reenactments searching for one to recount here as a start. I think I will let you know when I find one I want to step out with. OK?

In the mean-time, photos for your eyes (and audio above, I bet you noticed that though), I do hope I might entertain you while I try not to get a paper-cut searching for a memory to tell.

Just why does this seem appealing to me? I ask this question to myself my description begins with the duh, obvious response: Maybe someone will like it, then quickly moves on to more meaningful things. As the story teller it could help me and may have the same effect on someone who takes this in. Yep, that is a big broad statement and says next to nothing I know. In sharing these stories there might be those who relate or see something in themselves just slightly different than before to nudge a part of them in the direction of whatever it is that it does, better be a good nudge though. Least of which is to entertain, but this is just a symptom or side effect. not a goal. Then there is those who might be challenged and to those the phrase “Art is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

When I start compiling these I will tag them with #memoir and whatever title is settle on.