“It's mind-boggling to think about how many families I've been a part of in my career as a human.” Carol Ellis
Through my photographer’s lens, I’m able to witness, to be a part of, to get to know, and to share the joy of family experiences. Family… that feeling that warms the heart, provides comfort and shelter, fills one with kindness and caring, and whose likeness ends up as a magnet on the refrigerator door.
Like so many others whose job depends on tourism, working holidays and weekends during the “season” is a fact of life. Yes, while during these times, the only family that comes to visit is the cat in the middle the night, there's that other family to which we belong: the family of humankind.
A neighbor out for a morning stroll with her visiting family stops to ask me if I would be going anywhere for the holidays. I reply, “No. I’m here. Part of what I do, is being there for what you do.”
At a recent birthday celebration, the hostess pinned a number 17 sticker on my shirt; just by showing up with my camera, I represented one of 85 gifts, one for each year of the honoree’s life. That Friday night, as the family sat down to eat, they did so in celebration of the Shabbat, and began by lighting candles 17 minutes before sunset. I thought, the number 17… I have been doing this job of photographer full-time for 17 years, my studio occupies the former living space of my mother-in-law “Saint” Helen, born St. Patricks Day, March 17. Something is telling me I was meant to be in this place and time witnessing this event. Ya think…
I’ve been told that to be successful in life, you must be passionate about what you do. The other part is knowing when it is time to move on.
While in my early to mid twenties I went to sea as crew, despite protests from my family who could not understand why I’d risk my life in pursuit of the unknown. During my first passage across the Atlantic, we encountered a hurricane, whose wind force broke the main boom, and I had to learn how to navigate in order to survive. Those were the days when I learned that God protects drunks and little babies, and I was not too sure which category I fit into. While sailing I became a part of another family, that of boat bums, mariners and adventurous souls.
Five years, and seven trans Atlantic's later, I woke up and I said “I’m out of here. Been there, done that.”
My next stop was Ocean Reef, where I became a tennis fanatic, racquet stringer, and tennis club manager, until one day I woke up and said “I don't want to do this anymore. I want to be a photographer.”
As with family, and that feeling of belonging, so too I find inclusion through my camera work. I have played a part in many a joyful, to the verge of tearful, moments. A fellow worker’s comment sums it up: “Upon my return to Ocean Reef after Irma I had happy tears, for it felt like I had reconnected with family.”
And now when folks my age are thinking about retiring, I say retire from what? Retire from being me?
My wish for everyone during the holidays and throughout the year, is no less than I would want for myself: to have a loving family, compassionate and encouraging friends, good health and the courage to fulfill your every dream.
Have a JOYFUL holiday.
And it is smaller and more efficient
Have you noticed the new image format on the iPhone running OS 11?
The name for the new format is HEIC which stands for high efficiency information format. It replaces the 25 year old image standard JPG. Technically the HEIC isn't really a format, but more of a container, that can store images in half the amount of space as a JPEG.
Let me ask you this: if it takes an hour to figure out what the heck is HEIC and why Photoshop won’t open it, google a solution, download it, convert it and then finally use the photo. This is the new efficient?
And to further compound the digital confusion for those of us in the over 40 crowd, the image marker (those letters such as JPG at the end of the image name) is now HEIC and it stands for HEIF.
It is supposed to be a more streamlined, advanced, modern compression format that allow images to obtain smaller file sizes yet retain higher image quality. As the dirt farmer from Michigan would say, it’s kinda like putting 10 pounds of manure in a 5 pound bag. Better except Photoshop cannot open it!
So here’s what you do. If you have unknowingly taken images in this format, (and you will have done this since it is the default after the OS11 upgrade), you just need to get the free iMazing HEIC Converter.
If you're Mac user and you upgrade to High Sierra, an OS able to read the new format, there is no problem so long as you don’t have to use a program outside of Apple, like Adobe Photoshop or share it with an Android user.
And while Apple has revealed that iPhone users take more than 1 trillion photographs each year, the truth is that the web and Android users still make up the majority of everyone.
Alternatively you can set your iPhone to shoot in JPEG rather than HEIC. To do this go to Settings>Camera>Formats and then select most compatible.
IOS 11 automatically converts images to JPEG when you share on social media, email or airdrop a HEIC photo. Where I got into trouble with HEIC was when I took an iPhone image I had previously text messaged, and later shared the image (while in the Messages app) via airdrop to my laptop, so I could edit it in Photoshop. For some reason, while airdropping from Messages, the HEIC was not automatically converted to a JPG.
My iPhone is not my real camera, and I am good with JPG quality, and I don’t have storage issues on my 256GB iPhone.
It's just another example of Apple trying to dictate what we do… anyone else here not wanting to set up Apple Pay? That dialog box that continues to nag me until I comply… which I may or may not want to do.
And what about that little Apple gizmo that you need an order to plug in a regular radio earphone jack… how many of you have lost yours already and had to buy another one just so you could use your noise cancelling headphones which worked perfectly fine before Apple changed their connection port.
Steve Jobs… I miss you.
We just hung this artwork “Thatch Palm I & II” in Connie and Rich’s guest bedroom in Pumpkin Cay. The canvas diptych measures 5’ x 5’ overall and fits the atmosphere of their Florida Keys home, better than oil painting of Tuscany that it replaces.
A second piece entitled “Card Sound Sky” looks great on the blue wall of the master suite. It gives the impression of looking out a window, and onto a cloud filled sky.
View Carol's full portfolio for Art in Homes & Public Spaces:
This photographic website provides me the opportunity for self-expression, for sharing