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on
February 16, 2015
Painting created by Dale E. Landsman. (my dad).

Self portrait and painting of family photos created by Dale E. Landsman. (my dad).

Last week was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 81 years old. Sadly, my dad passed away in February of 2001, 14 years ago, and just a couple weeks after his 67th birthday. Too soon.

My dad was the most creative person I have ever known.  I’d like to think some of what I now share with all of you, comes from him. My dad loved his job. He loved his life. During the week he went to Chicago every day to “play” Creative Director. I say play, because work for him, was not work — he liked it too much. He spent weekends up in his studio drawing and painting. Always using a different medium, always changing his style. He encouraged my brother and I to be creative. To draw, to paint, to write.

This week I was out walking on the beach and thinking about him and it hit me. After all these years, I am finally understanding who he was. Without even realizing it, I have found my passion — just like him. And that passion has been discovering nature, finding the beauty in it, taking photos, and sharing it with you. Being able to write this blog has allowed me to express myself even more, and I appreciate you all for letting me do so.

Although I’ve lived in the dunes for 10 years, I really just started getting outside and in touch with nature about 4 years ago. I’ve always loved the beach, but hadn’t really discovered all the trails until a few years back. It was a couple years ago that I started taking pictures — just for fun. As I posted them on Facebook, I was surprised by how many people liked them. I never thought of myself as a photographer (and actually some true photographers probably don’t care  much for me saying that I am!) All my photos are taken on my iPhone. Rarely retouched. I’ll bump the contrast or saturation every once in awhile, but not much else.  — Mainly it’s just me, my phone and my eye. I love it. Posting my photos to Facebook and receiving such wonderful comments is what keeps me going. I am not a professional photographer by any means.

Kemil Beach. My favorite spot.

Kemil Beach. My favorite spot.

With this week’s blog, I’m calling all of you to get outside and take some photos. I promise you that when you are taking a photo of something beautiful, your photo will be beautiful. When looking through your phone frame, just use your eyes before you snap. Take notice of the surroundings — where is the tree? would it look better off to the side or in the center? is the horizon line straight? (a crooked photo is a peeve of mine!), where in the frame would you like your horizon line? All these things can make a difference.

This time of year, there are so many beautiful spots to take photos. The beach is always the perfect choice. The shelf ice, sand and waves bring something different every day. Drive down Kemil road (off of 12) and when you hit the end of the road you will see my favorite spot. I think it’s impossible to take a bad photo from that corner. The way the trees frame the beach makes it picture perfect! The Indiana Dunes State Park also has some wonderful places to take photos. When looking to the right of the main parking lot, the board walk can make a beautiful shot. The stairs, bridges and creeks also make for very interesting photos. Don’t be afraid to crouch down when taking those pictures. Your camera (phone) can almost be touching the ground. You can also play with the light with your phone. Try holding it at different angles.

Last week I took a photo in Beverly Shores and thought it looked so much like a painting. I mentioned that someone should try to paint it. Susan Pfeuffer-Powel and Robert Stanley did! They both created beautiful paintings on their computers. It made me smile to know that someone saw my picture and it inspired them to create something.

Painting by Robert Stanley inspired by one of my beach photos.

Painting by Robert Stanley inspired by one of my beach photos.

Painting by Susan Pfeuffer-Powel. Inspired by one of my beach shots.

Painting by Susan Pfeuffer-Powel. Inspired by one of my beach shots.

 

A Facebook friend posed this question the other day… “Are there people who actually enjoy life or is everyone just making the best of it until they die?” This made me stop and think. I was somewhat surprised by answer. “I do enjoy life. More so now then ever. I stop and take moments when I’m enjoying things so that i can remember it and appreciate it. Over the last few years i’ve started getting outside a lot. Trail walks, beach walks, time outside alone with my dog. And that is when I truly, 100% enjoy life!”

I get it Dad. I finally get it.

Keep digging those dunes!
~ Eve

——–

My family and I created the Dale E. Landsman Arts Foundation in memory of my father. This week we are excited to announce that we have given $1,000 to Jim Musial at Sand Castle (Citizens Concerned for the Homeless) for his Art Awareness project with Nichole Renee Scheaffer. 

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13 Comments
  1. Reply

    Cynthia

    February 16, 2015

    Hi love your site, how did you make it? I send your pictures to friends on FB and here is a good “one”, Barry Manilow was in Chicago Sat for his concert. Flew to Detroit via right across the lake. His manager tweeted me back, the frozen lake was amazing! See! We are all equal at that moment! I get what you mean, loved your post (always do) and sorry about your Dad. Bittersweet moment I know.

    • Reply

      DigTheDunes

      February 16, 2015

      Thanks Cynthia! This website was a wordpress template. I had a programmer help me, but there are a lot of blog sites out there that are pretty easy to use. Great story about Barry. Thanks for following me!

  2. Reply

    Dan

    February 16, 2015

    Eve
    What a great tribute to your Dad
    I am proud to say that I felt him as a friend as well as being my son’s father in law .Also proud of you
    Your father in law
    Dan

  3. Reply

    Mom

    February 16, 2015

    Eve,
    Dad used to say “she doesn’t know how talented she is, but someday she will”. I am glad you know it now.
    The blog is wonderful, but even more wonderful is how happy you are doing what you do. Keep at it, sweetheart,
    for both reasons. xo Mom

  4. Reply

    Sharon

    February 16, 2015

    i loved reading this tribute to your Dad. He left the world a better place and far too early in life. We really enjoyed knowing him. He would be so proud and pleased by your beautiful photos and their contribution to the people who love and appreciate the lake and the dunes. I don’t know who the person was who commented that she wondered if there were people who actually enjoy life. I find it sad that someone would ask that. Anyway, I wish you the best, Eve and I love your photos. I post a lot of them of the lake myself, but my don’t capture its beauty the way yours do.

  5. Reply

    Jan Huffmaster

    February 16, 2015

    Beautifully said….

  6. Reply

    Connie Kassal

    February 16, 2015

    Hi,
    I tell everyone who comes to the studio that those are Dale Landsman rolling benches that I use. And I have another plexiglass painting that is going down to the Framing Station for short Area Artists Association exhibit, plexi and frame from your Dad too. I will post a snap shot tomorrow if possible.

  7. Reply

    Ann

    February 16, 2015

    Eve,that is truly beautiful and very touching. Yout dad is smiling down on you and very proud indeed.

  8. Reply

    Pete Grube

    February 16, 2015

    I wonder if I may have been on the same South Shore train with your Father. I also commuted to Chicago for 35 years where I held several graphic designer positions in Chicago art studios. Did he commute by train by any chance?

    • Reply

      DigTheDunes

      February 16, 2015

      Hi Pete, he mostly drove! Not much of a train rider. Thanks for reading and posting! Which art studios did you work for?

  9. Reply

    renee cecere

    February 17, 2015

    Renee February 17, 2015
    Your Dad definitely loved life . You could see it in his wonderful paintings and from the pictures he took with his camera. He would be so proud of you.. Keep taking those beautiful pictures. You have a great eye. I love opening my facebook page and seeing your photos.

  10. Reply

    Bob Cotton

    February 17, 2015

    Eve, thanks for your insiteful posts and blogs. I have been “Digging the Dunes” since I was a teenager in the mid ’60. I have walked the beaches and trails by myself, with friends, lovers, and dogs. I always leave feeling rejuvenated and spiritually enhanced. Truly enjoy your pictures and so glad “you get it”.

  11. Reply

    Angie Lovejoy

    February 18, 2015

    Hi,Eve: I’m forwarding this one to two friends who are pretty good artists ,they will be interested in your quest. One of them (Dr Dufour) creates wonderful things eletronically.
    I have five of then hanging in our house. Keep up the good work! Love, Angie

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