Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fleet Week in NYC Navy Ships on the Hudson Getting Ready for the Upcoming Memorial Day Weekend

Fleet Week in New York City: Navy Ships on the Hudson Getting Ready for the Upcoming Memorial Day Weekend


Today I got to watch a parade of navy ships on the Hudson River, a reminder that Memorial Day weekend is coming up. A reminder of the main, original significance of Memorial Day--remembering our war heroes. 

Through fog, rain and then shine, I watched ships floating down the Hudson, displaying flags of different countries, including the U.S. and Canada. Here are a few of images:

Navy ships parading down Hudson River announcing the upcoming Memorial Day 2012. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Say "Hello" : The Navy Ship & the Sailing Boat meet-and-greet on the Hudson River. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Navy ships parading down Hudson River announcing the upcoming Memorial Day 2012. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Navy ship parading down Hudson River announcing the upcoming Memorial Day 2012. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Close-up of Navy ships parading down Hudson River announcing the upcoming Memorial Day 2012. Photo by Alina Oswald.
"All Aboard!" Close-up of Navy ship on the Hudson. Photo by Alina Oswald.

B&W photography of Navy ship displaying the Canadian flag, parading down Hudson River, for Memorial Day 2012. Copyright 2012 by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
Navy Ship displaying the Canadian Flag on the Hudson. Black-and-White Photography by Alina Oswald.

Navy ship on Manhattan and Empire State Building background parading down Hudson River days before Memorial Day 2012. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Navy ship on the Hudson, against Manhattan and Empire State Building background. Photo by Alina Oswald.


Navy ship displaying the Canadian flag, parading down Hudson River days before Memorial Weekend 2012. Photo by Alina Oswald
Navy ship displaying the Canadian flag, on the Hudson River. Photo by Alina Oswald.
Hope you enjoy the images. Wish you all a fantastic upcoming Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In the News: Award-Winning Photographer Kurt Weston, CNN iReport Awards Nominee

In the News: Award-Winning, Legally Blind Photographer Kurt Weston Is One of This Year's CNN iReport Awards Nominee


Photographer Kurt Weston and his guide dog Ambrose. IPhone photography by Alina Oswald.
Kurt Weston & his guide dog Ambrose
It's that time of the year again, that of CNN iReport Awards. This year one of the nominees is no other than award-winning, legally blind photographer Kurt Weston. On CNN iReport, Weston shares his compelling story in "From Blind Vision to Vision Beyond Sight"  post. I encourage everybody to check it out and vote for it.

To learn more about Kurt Weston, please visit his sight or check out his biography in Journeys Through Darkness.

Thanks for visiting and voting! Here are a few images from Kurt Weston's outstanding body of work, published with photographer's permission.


Enjoy!

Alina Oswald
Author of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography of AIDS



Excerpt from Journeys Through Darkness:

Blind Vision, by Kurt Weston, from Blind Vision series of self-portraits.
Blind Vision by Kurt Weston
The Blind Vision series is only one of Weston’s works to capture an allegorical portrait of the visual artist as he traverses through his journey. In that sense, art becomes an amazing vehicle for Weston, allowing him to use his own life experiences to communicate, inspire, inform and also to visually intrigue his audience. From his perspective, Kurt Weston considers art a means through which people can experience the nature of their humanity. Art can be silly and fun, and it can be entertaining. It can communicate a tremendous amount of information, emotion, and inspiration. In today’s society, consumed by superficial realities, Kurt Weston’s art goes beyond the physical realm of human existence and into a metaphysical dimension, connecting with the viewer on a more profound and spiritual level. 

Losing the Light. Photo by Kurt Weston. From Blind Vision series of self-portraits.
Losing the Light by Kurt Weston
[Blind Vision series of self-portraits include: Losing the Light, Blind Vision, Journey Through Darkness (which I used on the cover of my book), Peering Through the Darkness, Blind Hell, Requiem]  
Peering Through the Darkness. Photo by Kurt Weston. From Blind Vision series of self-portraits.
Peering Through the Darkness by Kurt Weston
Peering through the Darkness is part of Kurt Weston's Blind Vision series of self-portraits that show people the physical and emotional impact that visual loss can have on an individual. In order to represent his visual disturbance, which he described like "pieces of cotton stuck in my eye, floating every time I move my eye," he sprayed a glass with foaming glass cleaner and took a self-portrait sitting behind it. "You see my hand pushing away the foam, which is what I would love to do," he explains, "I would like to be able to wipe away all that cotton that keeps floating in front of my eye and get a clear view of what I want to see out in the world." 

Weston believes that black-and-white offers his art a concentration of expression. And he likes that intensity, in particular in his portraits. He uses regular film and prints his images on silver gelatin paper so that they can last forever. He wants future generations to be able to look at this work and say, "This was happening at this time in history and this is the impact it left on people who's lives it touched, this pandemic."



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Random Thoughts While Listening To Dust

Random Thoughts While Listening To Dust



I’ve spent many days and nights thinking about what to say about Listening to Dust…  or maybe how to say it. And now I understand why. Upon finishing Listening To Dust, one is left with a feeling of loss—not only because the reader already misses the characters and their extraordinary journeys, but also because of Dust’s story itself. While a work of fiction, Listening to Dust offers a remarkable view of the surrounding reality. That’s because Listening to Dust is also a reflection of our times, a timeless and timely story where life’s worst and best elements intersect and interact, allowing room to listen... and learn.

Brandon Shire is a master of storytelling who, in his new novel, takes his readers on an extraordinary journey that grabs them from its very first words—the dark, reflective intonations of its title. Truth is, when something evokes so powerful emotions as Listening to Dust does, it leaves readers speechless, breathless, and wanting… to read more or to reread the story, if possible, to interact with its characters and their journeys.

Yet the story of Dust ends where it should, leaving its readers yearning, longing for more. Readers cannot change the story as much as maybe they’d like to, under the powerful feelings the story awakes within them. And they shouldn’t. Dust is perfect just the way it is, a fictional tale reflecting an intrinsic part of reality, one that not many are brave enough to acknowledge, yet many more are forced to live through, day in and day out.

I couldn’t put down Brandon Shire’s Listening to Dust and felt compelled to devour each page. And, through Shire's words, I became part of the story they paint, a story of love and hate, loss, passion and compassion. Listening to Dust, readers get to feel each level of pain, loss and love Dust's characters feel, and also maybe catch a glimpse of hope. 


For those who want to learn through reading, for those who love masterfully crafted literary works, for those eager to learn how to make the world a better one and are brave enough to face reality raw as it is, for many others yearning for a good read, Listening To Dust is for you...

One thing it's worth mentioning. Listening to Dust is not a "good" read, but a brilliant one, offering readers a unique opportunity to make the world a better one.

Hope you'll check out other works by Brandon Shire, including Value of Rain and Listening to Dust. As for myself, I look forward to reading more of this author's upcoming books.

As always, thanks for visiting!
Alina Oswald