Monthly Archives: July 2011

National Geographic, Maybe….

by Piper & filed under Wild life.

About a week ago I was on the National Geographic website doing some research and on a fluke clicked on the best shots photo gallery. They were requesting to upload your best animal shot, so I grab an image, uploaded it and forgot about it. Then last week I received and email, which I thought was from National Geographic, stating that my image was photo of the day. Well that was not exactly right, nor was it from NGO but I was  in the daily dozen and the email had been sent by a friend.  Soon I discovered that your image is voted on and rated, and if it wins they print it in the next edition of National Geographic. With  less than a week to go, I have decided it would be a hoot to win and  am asking for your help to vote and keep my rating.

You have to click on week 3 at the top right corner and then rate all the images. Helpful is to just rate all the other images as a 1 (as it lowers thier rating) but only if you feel right about it, and then rate mine as a 10:) which raises my rate….. LOL. My image is #39 Thanks for your time and VOTE and sharing this link with your friends.


Please click on the link and vote

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.​com/your-shot/voting- machine


Was Facebook wrong?

by Piper & filed under Blog.

A few days ago I posted the first picture below on Facebook. I had received many lovely comments and then went out to enjoy my day. Upon returning later that day I received a notice/warning from Facebook that my image had been removed due to the content; nudity. At first I was stunned, as it never occurred to me that I had put up such an image and then I realized that in the beautiful sepia image of a mother and her child that the mothers breast was showing. This brought up some emotions for me as it was a beautiful portrait showing love and dignity of human beings that are, except by their geography and circumstances, the same as us.

In my photography I try to break down the stereotypes that because people live and dress differently than we do in the western world that they are not equal and are without dignity. When I visit different cultures and tribes I am usually overcome by their beauty and pride even when living in harsh conditions. I photograph the beauty I see and forget about the views of the western world. On occasion when I  later view some of my photographs I find I may have a great portrait of a young girl but realize I should have remembered to have her cover her breast as it would now be inappropriate by US standards to share the beautiful photograph. However, when I posted this photograph I did not even notice the breast was showing as I was overcome by the beauty of the moment.

If this had been a painting from one of the masters would it have been removed? If so is photography not considered art?

I have now burned out the portion where you could slightly see the breast so I can repost it. I have posted it under the the original.

AUTHENTIC AFRICA of days gone by…

by Piper & filed under Africa, travel.

This past January, after many years of traveling through Africa, I was able to visit one of the most unique area’s on the continent, the omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia, a place I had longed to visit for many years. Dropping into the Omo Valley was like going back to an Authentic Africa of days gone by. As we came upon the ridge overlooking the valley my guide and friend asked if I need to make final contact with the outside world as this was the last place to get a cell signal. .  This area has just begun to be touched by the modern world and is still free from cell towers, the internet and facebook. It is one of the last most intact tribal area’s thought Africa and it was magical. As we ascended into the valley by dirt roads I began to see the beauty of  these tribes in their ancient clothing of skins and bright colors wandering through the landscape.

What makes this area so unique is that there are so many different tribes living in close proximity to one another along the banks of the mighty Omo River. They depend upon the floods to raise the river over it’s banks and when the waters recede the tribes plant their crops. This allows then to live a stationary life unlike most of the nomadic tribes throughout Africa, always on the move in search for green pastures to feed and water their livestock.

This is a place that has captured my soul and I will return again this September. The following images show the beautiful traditional clothing and style of the Hamer women.


by Piper & filed under Blog.

I have been challenged in my writing and creativity lately. Myself, I am very effected by my environment and having that special creative space is extraordinarily important especially when so much of my time can be spent in front of a computer. When I began this  journey of risk and transition to pursue my passion, one that is so strong I simply understood that not taking action was not an option and selling my big house was going to be a big part of it. I had a big beautiful house but one that had been torn up and under construction for years as after purchasing it and starting on the renovation with my own sweat and tears,  I discovered  my true path and  lost interest in the renovation. Traveling to Africa, being in the moment and exploring this amazing planet with my camera in hand became my true love.

Almost a year ago to date I was planning to be in Africa for at least 6 months or longer if all continued to fall in place. When life took a turn for me about 9 months prior to that, I took that as a sign to have the courage to follow my dream and never look back with regret. It became more the fear of looking back much later in life and knowing this is a one way ticket, and if I did not take the risk there were no do overs.  It was at that point that I discovered my motto of inspiration “what stories will  you tell in the rocking chair?”

When I put my house on the market, it sold in less than 24 hours and after being there for over 8 years I was really not prepared for how much security it gave me, but I quickly rented a place while I figured out the rest of the plan… perhaps the plan should have come first….hmmm. but like love, passion has it’s own destination… and matters of the heart have a life of their own.

For me, I had decided that it was important to have a place to come back to just “incase” all did not work as I hoped it would. So I wisely decided to reinvest in a place that I would like living in, one that I could rent and the rent could cover the mortgage, one that I could be creative in, and one that was easy to maintain.  When I began looking for that space the first thing I would do when entering a place is look for where my desk and computer would go. If it did not feel empowering, one that I could be creative in, I moved on and kept looking. As everything seemed to continue just fall into place I found that wonderful place with great light, 2 wonderful large private outside spaces and  one that I could feel very creative in. I lucked out and got it  in a short sell.   Looking back from where I now sit, it was a great decision! I moved in for 3 months and then leased it for a year, putting my stuff in a small storage unit.

I share this with you as things did not go as I had hope and dreamed and if you have followed this blog and story you know that I returned from Africa in only 6 short but very long weeks. I then landed at my parents for few days followed by a hotel for the next 10.  I found a place to rent and that was a disaster and moved again the next month to the place I am now renting. I was here only 6 weeks when I returned to Africa. I landed in Ethiopia on a journey that restored my soul and where I discovered a true focus in my work, so if you are still reading this, smile and know the journey continues…..

When I return I had so many deadlines over the past few months that I was able to just focus on them and ignore my surroundings but lately those walls have been closing in on me and it has effected my creative ability.

Your creative space is extraordinarily important so do not discount it! If you are finding it hard to sit at that computer and create then sit down and with the computer turned off  see if it feels good and it empowers you to create, if not, and a walk and a bike ride does not work, rework the space, rearrange the whole house, build a new room, but create the space that empowers you to flow with your vision and know you are not crazy even if everyone else might think you areJ

The biggest advice I can give to you when taking that leap of faith and risking it all for the passion that burns within you is to secure your creative environment. I may continue to be more quiet over the next few weeks as I struggle with the challenges of  my own creative space BUT I will move back to my space of  tranquility in 8 weeks,  just 6 days before I depart to my magic place, Africa. I will be there for month and then I am sure you may want to put on the headphone to drown the constant chatter and excitement of  this girl who is continuing to follow her passion and dreams through all ROAD BLOCKS  no matter how big they may seem.