Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Ten Years

Can it really be ten years since Kona passed away? Sadly yes, Sunday marked that tragic anniversary. Ten years — 3,652 days — 315,532,800 seconds. However, the passage of time has not changed the feeling of what a special person she was — she touched my heart in so many ways. I miss her every day.

As I have said on many occasions, Photoshop became my grief therapy. Most people know that Photoshop can be used to make mediocre photos look good and good photos look great. But did you also know that you can turn photos into artwork? Knowing that, I experimented with some photos of Kona. I was a rank amateur in those days — the important thing was the therapy — not necessarily the results. In that spirit, I would like to share these very personal photo-artistic memories with you.

Kona and Anthuriums By using the filters in Photoshop — applying multiple filters — perhaps on multiple layers (excuse the techno-speak) you can produce a result that is strikingly different than the original photo — yet retaining aspects of the original image. The picture at right started with a photo from our wedding day on Maui in 1996. Kona was looking at some anthuriums growing in the central atrium of the Hyatt Regency Maui. The result is a rather ethereal image that brings back memories even more strongly than the original photo.

Kona in Tucson A second example was based on a photo of Kona at the Sonoran Desert Museum (actually a zoo) down in Tucson. One of the fun aspects of this type of artistic expression is that you can change reality. In the photograph, Kona was wearing sunglasses — but I felt that they were distracting when I began to play with the photo. So I cloned them out and then played with the filters. The result — a sketch using color pencils (oh, I wish I were that good at drawing).

Kona with Hibiscus This picture started rather mundanely as just a snapshot outside our townhouse where a hibiscus plant had produced its first flower. The actual background was an ugly concrete block wall and the sun cast bright shadows on Kona's face. Again, the filters came to my rescue and produced an image not unlike an Asian print of some kind — which was appropriate for Kona since she was Korean.

Paniolo Kona This final shot shows the playful Kona — we were in a condo in Hawaii and she put on my cowboy-style golf hat together with the floral leis on both the hat and around her neck. Also with this image, the background was distracting (closet doors) — so it was replaced with more orchids. Here I actually used a technique called posterization — where you limit the number of colors, making it look like a poster (you may have noticed some TV commercials using this technique currently). Regardless, you can still feel that playfulness without the excess colors.

These images became a series of note cards that I gave to family members in memory of Kona. Unfortunately, HP stopped selling the note card stock — I guess there was not much of a demand — people don't send note cards much any more — so much easier to call or email. Regardless, this is what kept me going through those devastating times. This and support from you — my family and friends.

Remember what I wrote previously — "So when I say to you to remember the important things in life, I am not referring to your job — work will always be there — take the time to be with your family and friends — and make it quality time. Those are the memories that you, and they, will cherish forever."

 Life is precious.

 B. David