I hope you're not getting tired of anemone shots. The weather has been so utterly craptastic here all winter that opportunities to get out and shoot something new have been few and far between.
On a happier note, I had the wonderful opportunity today to begin helping out a group of Palestinian women who make the most beautiful textiles, combining traditional embroidery with more modern design. They're looking to put out a catalog to begin selling their products internationally and have asked for some mentoring-style help in learning how to photograph the items.
After an explanation of the program and how it seeks to empower local village women who would otherwise not have very many opportunities to earn a living and support their families, followed by a delicious traditional Palestinian lunch (yellow lentil soup, a type of chicken musakhkhan (I think), and lots of homemade pickles, followed by cookies and a chocolate cake the women in a cooking and baking workshop had made the day before (they also host meals for both small and large groups, if anyone is interested contact me for more details)) we talked some basic photography - composition, natural light, the basic building blocks of a good image. While I'll be returning next week to shoot some of the production process for the most part they'll be doing their own photography using a small point and shoot camera, so I kept the discussion focused on simple methods and techniques they'll be able to implement on whatever equipment they have available. Their textiles are really lovely, and I was very touched when they insisted on giving me a beautiful embroidered bag that was just the right size for that wide-angle lens that was sitting bagless in my camera bag (and then I was completely taken aback when the director insisted on giving me another bag as well after that, what a treat). Of all their projects, one of the ones that stood out the most was a joint effort with an Israeli women's organization to produce desk accessories (memo pad holders, etc.) that combine swatches of Palestinian embroidery with recycled cardboard accessories made by the Israeli women, all in the name of peace and mutual understanding.
All in all, a really special way to spend a day (once I finally managed to meet up with the friend who'd invited me and head to the village just outside of the city! My GPS went utterly insane when it entered Jerusalem today and sent me on an hourlong wild goose chase all over East Jerusalem, complete with bumper to bumper traffic, competing directions from passers-by, and my ever-increasing frustration as I saw my much needed bathroom break growing farther and farther away! When I finally found the meeting point - an hour late - my GPS was STILL telling me to keep driving, that I'd be there in another 12 minutes!).
Visit Ruby Tuesday 2 for more red images from around the world.