Lily and Me

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This image was most likely shot in 2009 by my good friend – the late Chris Gulker.

We recently came across a roll of unprocessed film in one of Chris’ Leicas from that era – and my friend Doug Kaye had it processed.

Twice a week Lily and I would go for a 1.5 mile walk with Chris around his neighborhood – and then we’d come back to his place, have coffee and solve the world’s problems. Chris made this image during one of our problem solving sessions! Linda Hubbard Gulker put up with us as we did our thing.

We all miss Lily and Chris a lot. Those were very special times!

Our Girl

Lily

She was born ten years ago today – it’s her birthday.

She brought us much joy – and aggravation – over her years with us. Much more joy than aggravation.

She lived to be with us – hers was unconditional love at its highest measure.

We wish we had her here tonight to celebrate her 10th birthday – but that was not to be. We know that she’s well taken care of and trust that we’ll see her again soon enough.

Oh Lily!…we miss you!

Remembering Lily – Wandering Stanford

Quad - Stanford - 2013

Lily and I used to really enjoy our weekend walks at Stanford. We live close to the campus – a quick trip in the car to one of several of our favorite starting points. On most weekend mornings, there’s not a lot going on around campus – but she really enjoyed just getting out and walking as did I.

Sometimes, I listened to podcasts along the way. Other times I didn’t – just wanting to be in the moment walking with her and enjoying the beauty of this special place. Lily didn’t care what I did – she just enjoyed all of the sights and smells along the way – a semi-regular routine but not one that was frequent enough to be boring!

One of our favorite spots was inside the Quad. She didn’t particularly enjoy all of the stone footing – but when we got out into the outer area with some nice grass she was happy again!

Many times I’ve taken this shot looking back at Memorial Church. Yesterday, I took it without Lily at my side – while remembering all of our great times together wandering Stanford.

Lily

Our Gal Lily by Scott Loftesness

On Friday, we lost our beloved Lily – just shy of her tenth birthday.

Lily was our constant companion over the last ten years – her only desire was to spend time with us, to be with us, to cuddle and play with us. She was selfless in her pursuit of our companionship, just wanting to be by our sides sharing our times together. So many special times.

Lily really selected us – we didn’t select her. We vividly remember first meeting her – along with her litter mates. They were all huddling close – but then Lily noticed us and walked away from the group to come over and say hi to us – her little tail wagging and her big eyes looking up at ours. We knew immediately she was the one.

Her official name was Tigerlily. She had a cowlick on her forehead – a tuft of hair – her own “mohawk” style – that just went straight up and earned her that name.

To us though, she’s always just been Lily. Our very close pal for all of these years – who we still can’t believe isn’t with us tonight. We really miss you girl!

Walking Memories

Lily and I took a walk late this Sunday afternoon along Menlo Park’s Santa Cruz Avenue where this weekend’s Fine Arts Festival was beginning to wind down. I parked on Crane Avenue and we walked down towards El Camino and then back up the other side – ending at Chris Honeysett‘s booth.

Lily

Lily is one of those dogs who everybody just loves. She’s got those big eyes and a curious personality that just makes her a people magnet. When we walk along a busy street like we did this afternoon – or yesterday afternoon on the Stanford campus – she captures many admirers. Some, especially the kids, want to “just pet her” – which she enjoys. They almost always talk about how soft she is – and, yep, she is oh so soft.

Lily and I were walking along Santa Cruz Avenue this afternoon when I heard someone say “I know that dog!” – a woman walking with her teenage daughter. Both with big smiles on their faces. Sure enough, she looked familiar. As she explained, her family and her dog Coco – a black poodle – shared puppy training classes with Lily back in the day – some seven years ago. She didn’t have Coco along – but she talked about how she remembered Lily from those puppy days – and how those Lily eyes could capture your heart.

Driving home, I remembered another random Lily memory – perhaps the one time I was really, really worried about her. We were over at my folks’ house in the Berkeley hills and, as happens, the front door of their house was left slightly ajar. Lily, off leash inside and curious as she always is, found her way outside – silently.

A few minutes later I realized she was gone – and panic ensued! Uh oh, was she out in the street?

A minor posse was quickly assembled and together we went running down the hill shouting her name. A car pulled up and said “Are you missing a dog? She’s right down there.”

And, there she was – coming back to me – running to Dad – right up the middle of the street. Took my breath away. Oh, what a memory! Good memory…

Loving the iPhone 4 Camera with TiltShiftGen and PhotoShop Express!

I’ve become a big fan of the old adage – the best camera is the one that’s with you – and mine of late has been my iPhone 4 along with two great apps that just make my iPhone-based photography more fun!

Last Friday I was in San Francisco attending a conference that was held on the 32nd floor of the Westin St. Francis Hotel – with big windows all around. I had fun taking some San Francisco skyline shots – and then using PhotoShop Express‘ Stylize feature to play with them. Here’s an example:

San Francisco - Stylized - by Scott Loftesness

Yesterday, I snapped this photo of Lily which she was sitting on the couch watching the drizzle outside. This was adjusted using TiltShiftGen to add the blur and the vignette around the edges and then uploaded using the Flickr app (TiltShiftGen doesn’t currently support uploading directly to Flickr):

Lily - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - by Scott Loftesness

The photography that’s now possible with this combination of the iPhone 4’s great image sensor and these photo apps is just great fun! What are your favorite iPhone photography apps?

Our Girl Lily!

Lily (officially Tigerlily – our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) turned seven years old today. She’s a cutie! In dog years, she’s still younger than me – and she doesn’t let me forget it!

Last year, Chris Gulker captured Lily’s sixth birthday portrait after one of our twice-weekly morning walks. She’s really missing those walks lately – and lets Chris know when she sees him!

Here’s her seventh birthday morning pose – as she ponders the day ahead! (Shot using my iPhone 4, post-processed in the iPhone app TiltShift Lens).

Lily Loftesness - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - September 3, 2010

Some Musings on 2009

Looking back at my late December 2008 blog posts, I made a wish about simple and beautiful HDR photography becoming super simple – unfortunately, it hasn’t yet. I’ll restate what I said last year: “But it still feels like we’re living in a 1995 world when it comes to HDR photography.”

On the other hand, on this day last year I wrote about Walking with ChrisChris Gulker to be precise. In mid-2008, Chris, Lily and I began a twice weekly 1.5 mile walking regimen every Tuesday and Thursday morning when our mutual schedules permitted.

We had a great time continuing our twice-weekly walks throughout 2009 – solving the world’s primary technology and political problems along the way – and very much look forward to resuming them next week – on the first Tuesday in 2010!

Riding Shotgun

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, when our mutual schedules permit, Lily and I take a short early morning drive over to Chris Gulker‘s house so that we can take a 1.5 mile walk together. We’ve gradually been kicking up the pace – I think this morning we actually set a record time!

Lily Riding Shotgun

The walk feels great – gets me a nice incremental dosage of weekly exercise (that I undoubtedly otherwise wouldn’t get). Chris and I always solve many of the world’s problems along the way – and really enjoy each others company!

Lily benefits from all that exercise too – so many new smells! – and she’s always very excited about heading to Chris’ house. This morning, for some reason, she had her head up looking out the window almost the whole way over. This picture of her (appropriately blurry and noisy!) captures some of her excitement – as she rides “shotgun”.

PS: Don’t worry about her being loose in the car – she’s always in her crate for anything beyond this few block ride!