Welcome to my blog! I love to write as well as capture life in photographic images. I use this space for whatever comes to mind... random ideas, wobbly ruminations, haikus, imperfect poetry, rants, and various projects. I hope that some of these words resonate with you in some small way.

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
~ Anaïs Nin


Living and Photographing in the Time of Covid-19

These five images and short descriptions were entered into a juried competition at The Photographer's Eye Gallery in Escondido, CA. None of them made the exhibition, but I really enjoyed this process. Imagery places a visual on our thoughts and feelings that we otherwise couldn't express.

"Living and Photographing in the Time of Covid-19"
Online Juried Exhibition
May 8th - August 1st, 2020
The Photographer's Eye Gallery

a gnome_cat_treegnome_cat_tree

Image #1: Gnome
Binocular Disparity
We found this amazing gnome during a yard clean-up project. I love old, neglected things and the texture that time gives them. This gnome and his little bluebird embody the disparity we are all experiencing right now. “Binocular disparity” refers to the difference in image location of an object seen by the left and right eyes. In normal times our brains focus reality pretty well. I feel like we are all a bit out of focus right now and not able to see the location of our daily lives… it’s all very surreal. He also has a solar panel on the back and the binoculars actually lit up, but the light is out now.

Image #2: Cat
Ben Undercover Of Sun
Our pets are providing hours of distraction and 24/7 unconditional love while we torture them with endless pictures and snuggles! I don’t know what I’d do without Ben’s constant purring and snappy 14-year old attitude. I chose this image of him because it symbolizes us undercover of a shadow looking out for sunshine. He is also my tolerant #meowdel for the new @purrbenhur Instagram I created for him, well really for me! I do marketing and social media for a living and am now out of work for the near future. Ben keeps my spirits up and my creative social art mediums inspired. I may even venture him into Tik-Tok!

Image #3: Tree
Cotton Ball Tree
The only way to get out of the house right now, without any personal protective equipment, is a quick drive around your neighborhood. I’m so grateful to live in an area that has beautiful landscapes of hilly vineyards, barns, livestock, flowers, and trees that bloom with cotton balls in the sky. The earth is very happy the humans are taking a break. As my Mom says,“Change always comes bearing gifts.” We don’t always know immediately what the gifts is… sometimes we have to stop moving and look for it.

Zimmer_On The Fence_4Zimmer_On The Fence_4 Image #4: Quail On The Fence
This little guy was on a mission, getting to someplace very important. He didn’t seem to be “on the fence” about his goal, just using the wooden highway to facilitate his travel. I used to be on the fence a lot, never quite committing to a destination. I recently, just before Covid-19 (BC19), made a major life change and landed in a loving, happy, forever state of being. Sometimes I feel guilty about doing okay right now, in the midst of so much suffering. Helping where I can, keeping in touch with friends and neighbors, giving blood, and supporting local businesses makes a difference. Also, I believe that keeping true to my art and not denying my need to create it, serves the situation as a whole. What are we, if not what we create?

Zimmer_Dad's Chair_5Zimmer_Dad's Chair_5 Image #5: Tom’s Chair
This is the view from my back patio. This beautiful landscape of trees and flowers and seemingly wildness was created by my neighbor Steve’s dad, Tom. Steve planted the chair in the midst of this loveliness when Tom was 80, so that he could rest while he gardened instead of returning to the house. Tom spent hours in this chair contemplating the trees he planted as seedlings decades before and lavender and poppies surrounding his tool shed. I’ll never know what it’s like to “be” in one place for a lifetime or even half a lifetime, but I love to hear stories of people who have. Tom’s ashes are buried here and now I’m his neighbor.

Images © 2020, Katherine Zimmer, all rights reserved


Becoming an artist

Locals Beach CaboLocals Beach Cabo

I recently entered a call for art in a juried exhibit and part of the application process asked me to answer several questions, one of which was: How long have you been doing photography?

For the first time, this question stuck in my head and reappeared throughout the next few days as I sorted out the "doing" from the "needing to do" and why.  I reminisced about how I came to own my artistry. It was very difficult for me to actual say, out loud, "I'm an artist." Especially in public! Fortunately, I had a few mentors along the way, mostly people who admired my work and pushed me to say the words out loud. I'm still astonished to this day when someone looks at one of my images, thoughtfully, and then says something profound... something that strikes them about the image, no matter how simple the thought.

I started creating photography as an artist in 1995. It's when I realized that I was bringing home images from trips that had very few, or no people in them, but did show things that others claimed they "didn't see" even though we were there, in the same places together.

Some travel mates would either wait patiently with a local beverage or get annoyed at the amount of time I would take to capture an image... waiting for crowds to move or reposition and, of course, I'd have to get several angles of a building or a statue or a tree or a piazza, or a table setting that had been used and abandoned in the carnage that happens when wines and appetizers collide with lively conversation.

My biggest fan, my beautiful Mom, whom I adore traveling with, would be my unexpected, but always willing, assistant. Carting around multiple cameras (which we had to do with multiple films and formats, pre-digital), scouting scenes, striking up heartfelt conversations with locals, unknowingly helping me gain access to secret places, and keeping us fed and hydrated as time flew by for me and was inspiringly consuming for her.

I started studying and self-teaching a bit, but was never obsessed with the technical side of this art form. I relied on my passion for what I was seeing and hoped the camera was set well. In hindsight, that was magical in the moment, but there's so much more flexibility and randomness available to you with knowledge. Since then, I've evolved a bit with the gear, but still depend on my instinct and eye.

I also love graphic arts and was an early adopter of Photoshop for photographically altered art. I enjoyed sitting on art organization boards fighting for photography to be accepted as readily as paintings were for mixed-media exhibits and then for altered imagery to be accepted as art. And now all of the digital apps have opened a whole new world of digital artists and spaces where they can thrive.

I've done many art shows and exhibits throughout California and Arizona over the years, but my passion was always commercial or private work - completing someone else's vision of their space with my artwork. I took a break in 2012 when I moved to San Diego from Napa Valley and I'm now regenerating my creativity and starting to put it all out there again.

"Honor your dreams with persistence!" has been my tag line for over 20 years... the trick is figuring out what your dreams are.