Project Athena - Day 329 (Metal)

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

Lightening bolts and metal. Huh. I think I will shoot indoors today. I wanted to create a large "Pyramid O' Nuts" to photograph, with a reflection, but that turned out to be much harder than it sounds. After more than two dozen attempts to stack the nuts and position the light without the nuts falling over, I settled for a big "Pile O' Nuts and Bolts" and a different sort of texture photo. I am still gonna get that pyramid shot someday. All I need is a super strong magnetic tray that is perfectly flat.

Pile O' Nuts and Bolts

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 135mm • F/9 • 1/7s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 328 (Metal)

Metal Umbrellas

I shot this image several weeks ago while on the CSU Campus. I was drawn to the shiny metal umbrellas, reflected in the metal framed windows. This is actually meant to be a "scouting shot" since the golden light was not quite there and I did not have my tripod. I am super excited to go back and take the this one again.

Court Yard at Lory Student Center, CSU Campus

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 46.6mm • F/22 • 1/5s • ISO 200


Project Athena - Day 326 (Metal)


Copper is such an awesome element especially because it's atomic number is 29, my birthday! It's great for conducting heat or electricity and it's so soft and malleable. My favorite thing about copper though is when it corrodes or gets heated up, it turns amazing colors with on a sort of patina look.

I purchased this copper coil for the photo tonight thinking I could just return it to Home Depot when I am done. But now, I feel a creative project coming on. I have never worked with copper but what's the worst that can happen, eh?

Copper Coil

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 116.10mm • F/9 • 1/12s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 325 (Metal)


I really didn't want to shoot metal today. I kept getting a cold, empty feeling every time I imagined my picture. So I decided to take a walk at the Benson Sculpture Park and hope for some inspiration. Today was one of those days when everything seemed to be coming alive in this little suburban sanctuary, even the bronze sculptures. As I slowly walked the paths, I could hear so many different sounds, so many different voices. (And no, I did not have any pain killers on board). I felt like I was in the middle of a group of excited party planners who were making preparations for a grand celebration called Summer. Birds were merrily chirping, bees were busily buzzing, flowers were happily blooming, trees were bravely budding and water was freely flowing. As I walked around, it dawned on me that Bronze is a metal. So I just started listening even closer to all of the sounds, especially the sculptures.

Today, it was "Flora", as she is named, who spoke to me the loudest. She reminded me to let nature take its natural healing course and to make time to stop and appreciate even the smallest blade of grass. This is nourishment for the mind, body and soul.

"Flora" by Jo Hess, Benson Sculpture Park, Loveland, CO

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 46.6mm • F/13 • 1/125s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 324 (Metal)

Lori or Bhadra

If you are confused about my name these days, you are in good company. Lots of people politely ask, "WTF is going on here?" Others are terrified of mispronouncing the new name so they just stopped using my name all together. Let me clear the air on the whole name thing...

A few years ago I decided I wanted a name change. There were a number of reasons I went down this path but first and foremost, I wanted to honor the true essence of this being. I chose Bhadra (pronounced baah-draah) because it translates from the ancient Sanskrit language as "gentle one." It can also mean prosperous, lucky or fortuitous. And Lakshmi is of course the Hindu goddess of wealth, love, and prosperity. For me, these meanings are vibrationally in alignment with who I am and who I am becoming.

Secondly, I wanted to choose my name. I can be fiercely independent at times and I love the idea of being in control of something so often seen as ‘out of our hands’. I like knowing that I’ve done something many people would assume is not even an option or not even on some people's radar. Choosing a name is not an easy thing to do. It took me over 5 years to get up the courage and then another few months to actually decide on the name I wanted. Ultimately, I chose mine through a process of "divination" and deep listening.

Lastly, I am passionate about my family but my definition of family goes beyond those who share a name. To me, family is whoever we choose it to be, without titles or roles. We get to choose the people we love and hang out with, mostly. These are the people who I call family and they don't really care what my name is or if we share a bloodline.

When I first decided to change my name, I wanted to immediately go through the legal channels of making this name official but some other personal matters kept me from taking this action back then. As time has gone by, there have been a wide range of reactions to the whole name change thing. Some folks just refuse to acknowledge the new name. It's like I came out and they think it is a phase I will get over. Other people, like my corporate business clients, thought I had closed my business to run off with the Hare Krishnas when I changed my name on Facebook. It took me awhile to realize they were not tracking as my income was declining. So, for my bottom line, I still keep my given name.

I have come to realize my name does not make me who I am and people will always gravitate to the name they are comfortable with. It takes conscious effort to change old habits. I have many different circles of friends and family so I am now used to Bhadra in some places and Lori in others. preference is Bhadra. Maybe some day I'll get a Bhadra pin made.

"Lori" Metal Name Pin

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 135mm • F/16 • 1.0s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 323 (Metal)

Kitchen Utensils

Yesterday, I purchased a book to help me learn some of the features of this camera that are still a mystery to me, "Fujifilm X-E2: Beyond the Manual".  I haven't had much chance to dive into it yet but I spent a few hours today learning all sorts of cool stuff in just the first few chapters.

Long exposures are something I want to master. Tonight is just the beginning of playing with this creative  technique. The colors of this shot were achieved using our essential oil infuser that not only lights up, it changes colors, sending out soft shades of purple, blue, green, yellow, red, and orange. So if you like this picture and want to add it to you wall, I have one in every color. ;)  The infuser also blows a small stream of vapor into the air, so I practiced with some longer shutter speeds to allow the vapor to pool a l bit. I need more steam.

It was a fun shoot and Sophie is a ROCK STAR!

Mystic Metal Utensils

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 49.4mm • F/14 • 15s • ISO 200