Saturday, October 30, 2010


This post is in response to "dynamic" from Maegen over at for her Sunday favorite photo challenge out there.  

The Sunday CreativeAs I try to make custom, I like the Sunday Creative word to reveal itself to me, rather than me go hunting for it.  I guess I use this not only as a photographic prompt but as a soul searching prompt as well.  There are times when that doesn't really work, but I'm surprised how often it actually does.

When I read the word "dynamic" it spoke to me right away.  Not photographically, but as if knocking on the door to the past.  Dynamic, well dynamics is/was an important musical term that I had a hard time getting my students to understand.  Since I taught elementary school I had to get it to it's core in a simplistic, yet big picture way: "dynamics is how loud or how soft".  Simple.  They just had a hard time remembering the word dynamics.  So when I saw made me think of my career as a musician which is something I dearly miss.  I wondered how dynamic would reveal itself this week.

Last night I had a visit from an old college friend, Donnie.  I hadn't seen him in more than 15 years.  He lives in Georgia and I in Maine.  He and his partner decided to do a "foodie" tour to 10 places they'd heard were known for good food and the Maine Diner has a reputation, I guess, for seafood.  Donnie was one of my dearest friends in college.  We studied in the music department together-tho' he was a year ahead and head and shoulders above me as a musician.  Anyway, we supported each other through the ups and downs of college and through life's woes as well.

Donnie, love him....and his partner Carey waiting for Maine lobster.

It was great to see him last night, if only for a couple hours.  He arrived in his private plane and after dinner I dropped he and Carey back to the airport.  They suggested I wait and watch them take off.  I'm glad I did.  It was pitch black and chilly.  Standing there waiting for all the plane checking I wondered if I was foolish to wait.  However, as the plane started toward the runway.....the dark night lit up with brilliant blue lights all throughout the open space before me.  I was awed and struck with a strong sense of melancholy.

Not much to see in the dark night...just a few lone lights and a lit signal flag in the field.

I didn't have a tripod, but you get the idea.  This is just a minute portion of the field.

As I stood there watching this field of colored lights waiting for the plane to go way out....I found the experience very dynamic.  I thought about Donnie and the accomplished, successful musician he is.  I pondered the way you start out on a journey and the numerous forks, intersections, freeways, side roads, and dead ends that come along that alter the dreams and visions of what you think you want or will happen.  And I wondered if only this or that or the other had happened how it would change my life's course.  Seeing Donnie was like having my present reach out and touch my past.  It was very moving, both happy and sad.  And it made me wonder what's next for me.  It was an intense and moving feeling.

And just then his plane came roaring from the left and up into the sky.  I waved and waved and wondered if I'll ever see him again, and if I do how will I look back at this window of time from that one.  Will this time reveal itself as filled with laughter, with heartache, with regret, or with satisfaction?  I'll have to just wait and see.

With little success I've been trying to take a Bokeh photo all month.  I think this might be it...entirely by accident.  Thanks Donnie....

If Only…..
There’s a sadness when your past touches your present.
Reminding of what was, what might have been, what isn’t, what is.
What didn’t go the way it should, could, or would have,
If only……

Glimpsing the you that used to be….
When dreams were big, laughter was louder,
And the future seemed larger than it really is
Brings pause and reflection of life’s present path,
And whispered prayers there’s not been too many wrong turns along the way.
If only….

For a moment you taste the sweet honey of youth,
Hear the echo of laughter, and see the visions and hopes.
Then they morph and wither into something entirely different
Unrelated, unfulfilling, cold and meaningless
Meant to be life.
If only…..

Are there new dreams?
Will one day this be a past my present touches?
Will it cause regret, relief, reflection?
A melancholic grasp of the soul?
Or a sense of satisfaction perchance?
If only….


Friday, October 29, 2010

Macro Friday

It's time for macro Friday over at Laura's Blogging from Bolivia.  I've got (as they say in Maine) a "wicked" busy day coming up including a visit from an old college friend I've not seen in nearly 20 years, so I'm posting nice and early so I don't forget, get distracted, or otherwise too encumbered to link up.  Head on over by clicking on the button and check out the other macro entries today.  There are always so many beautiful contributions.  

I've been thinking, which is always dangerous, about macro and how the word macro sounds like something big, but you're taking pictures of something small.  I guess you're shooting something little with big results....blowin' it up.  There's also micro and I wonder if this shooting of tiny details shouldn't be called micro instead of macro.  Maybe I'm just having a little memory slip through Economics 101.  I don't know; sometimes it seems all backwards. I shouldn't think so much as my mind gets lost wandering in the pages. 

It's likely there's a scientific reasoning behind the name.  I'm really, really poor at science and I'm also fine with that.  I've accepted that as my nature.  I don't need to know why it's called macro not micro; I will just take that as the way it is and get my thoughts away from the micro thing.  My brother loves explaining things scientifically and when he gets to about the 3rd or 4th sentence of his explanation of "how this works", I think my eyes glaze over and my ears shut down.  I'm just perfectly fine on the not knowing.  Math....I can do math; that makes sense.  Science stuff I prefer to live in stupor land eternally and hopefully "the force" will be with me when needed.

On to my micro macro photos.

This curly little leaf caught my attention while walking yesterday.  It shouldn't have there were millions of leaves everywhere, not to mention beautiful views....but sometimes one has to think small.

And these little funky things at the end of the bare branch....they were pretty cool too.

We actually talked about macro in digital photography class this week.  Macro and then using the flash.  That's how this photo came about.  The photo I took of the ear of the guy who sits next to me wasn't nearly as good as this.

I think maybe it's best if I stop now, before this entire micro macro post falls to shambles.  I've been working really hard on my Skinny Mini e-class and on finishing up the last of my October Photo Challenge and trying to wade in the water of Photoshop before my 30 day trial ends...I fear the photo quality may have dropped a notch in the chaos.  All for good cause tho.  Thanks for checking out my pics.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Autumn 59, 62, 63/365

This post is in response to "Autumn" for You Capture over at Beth's blog "I Should Be Folding Laundry".  Isn't that a great blog title?  If you'd like to see other responses to autumn, head on over and check out what's there.  She often has lots and lots of participants with lots and lots of wonderful takes on her themes.

I've posted a lot of autumn photos already this season.  I've also received so many generous compliments (thank you all) on what I've posted.  Until this year, I never much paid attention to the wonderful colors of fall.  What I've realized is living in New England is an asset if beautiful foliage interests you. 

I can hear myself as a grumbly teenager saying "what's the big deal?  It's another red tree...who cares?"  I was too busy listening to music to care about the colorful vivid world my eyes were taking in.  That just seemed commonplace I guess.  Now with my hearing limited, my eyes are paying much more attention.

I've also read other's comments about only having drab brown leaves where they live...which is something I'd forgotten about.  I did live in Florida for several years while attending college.  I was so busy enjoying the green and the lack of snow (and lack of snow shoveling and the wearing of shorts and sandals in December), I forgot to miss the changing colors of fall.  Wisdom comes with age....I think to help make up for the aches and pains people groan about.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...I'm noticing more.  A camera's viewfinder stuck to your face will do that to you apparently.  Here are some of my latest autumn finds.
Kind of cool what you see when you bend over to tie your shoe.

I'm continually a sucker for river bubbles.

{62/365} Sometimes sitting at a stop light for a moment has it's benefits.

{59/365} I don't know....something about the fragile single leaf next to the heaviness of the steel RR tracks appealed to me.

Isn't Maine delicious?  I lived a little further down this tidal creek when I was a little girl.  Nice spot, huh?

Quintessential New England autumn.  I don't make this stuff up....I just happen upon it.  Not my bike.

Thank you for checking out autumn where I live.

63/365....had to tuck this in for my 365.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Learning the Ropes 61/365

For the last week or so I've been doing the "Skinny Mini" over at Kim Klassen's Cafe learning about how to do something with Photoshop to start to edit some of my photos.  For several months now I've been seeing references to Kim and her classes as I've been traveling thru blogland...often the references include "thanks"....and I've started seeing a theme evolving.  When the opportunity to take her miniature class popped up-how could I say no?

I realize that I've yet to figure out what the end result that I'm looking for in my photos should be.  I'm trained as a musician, not a visual artist....I wasn't even familiar with the color wheel until just recently.  So Kim says "just pop this" or "bump that" until it looks right-and I'm thinking...."when does it look right?"  I guess I'll figure it out down the line.  Meanwhile I am having fun playing with all these gizmos and gadgets.  Here's some of my "stuff".

We first learned some cropping and adding text.

Which now seems sssooooo easy peasy Japanesie.  Please do note, that the orange matches the rust coming from the old sink....who knew you could do that?  Not me.

We kept cropping and texting and then we adjusted with some solid color, soft light, opacity shifts and stuff like that.

This puppy looks like it could be in next year's Down East Calendar.  Maybe they'll call me this week.  I could use some extra folding money.

I don't like this one as much....maybe by the end of the Skinny Mini I can do something nicer with it-but I'm trying.  You know bump this and pop that.

Now we're talking.  I needed a quick fix from the DQ the other day...and a picture that represented cold.  I snapped a quick shot of my ice cream before devouring it.  Then along came texture class.  I could be wrong, but I think Kim is like "the" texture lady.  Here's what happened to my simple ice cream after a few layers of texture, some multiply, soft light, opacity shifting, put your right foot in and shake it all about....

Textured ice cream.  Cool.  I don't know if this is good, bad, or what I'm going for, I just know it has a lot of layers on it and it looks different from what I started with.  I even rotated one of the textures so it was upside down.  And of course the text matches the ice cream...I know you saw that already.  You're on to me.

{61/365}  Here's another before and after.  I claimed this as my best photo of the day yesterday.  I wish I'd waited.....

...look how beautiful it looks today using one of Kim's photoshop recipe's called "the Old Barn" recipe.

Well, there's how smart I've gotten to be thus far.  Today's lessons are still rambling around in my brain.  There's burning and dodging and healing and conversions.  I think I'm going to have to review all that before I "get it" or at least give the illusion of "getting it".

I've done all this braggin' on Kim and now you're probably wanting to do the Skinny-Mini too.  I'm attaching button below, just in case you want to check it out.  I understand she's offering the session again in a week or two.  I think you'll be happy if you join in.  If you're already "wicked smart" about all these textures and things-she's got lots of cool stuff on her site that might help you out including a new recipe book.  Get cookin'.

Kim Klassen Cafe


Communal in my part of the world.

This morning I had an appointment first thing at 8:30.  When I parked my car and stepped out I could see 3 different church steeples from one vantage point.  That's my today here in Maine.

This one has a Halloween ghost in the window.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Scavengers Delight

Don't tell anyone, but it's Monday.  It's not that I missed Sunday, I just missed posting on Sunday for the Sunday Scavenger Hunt over at Ashley's Ramblings and Photos.  Busy....what can I say?  This week's list was kind of tricky, but I did get it done.  I was searching for 5 Senses, Child/Children, Dining, Night, and Sky.

5 Senses:  I was stumped on this one....not sure how to cover all 5.  I figure you can see, smell, and touch this.  But you could also taste the water drops and hear them splash when they landed.  Does that cover the 5 senses enough?

Child/Children:  This topic should be easy, but when you don't have's tricky.  People aren't too enamored of strangers taking pix of their kiddos.  I settled for this beautiful statue located at the Franciscan monastery in town.

Dining:  I was invited to dinner in celebration of my friend's birthday.   I was delighted when lobster was her birthday dinner wish.  Yum.  The chocolate mouse birthday cake was delicious too.

Night:  The end of night, or early morn.  Full moon. 

Sky:  I found this morning sky enormously appealing.  Beautiful reflections on the river below too.

Those are my finds for this week.  I'm looking forward to searching out the next list.  Hoping it might be a smidge easier this week.  Thanks for checking out my finds.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

41, 42, 43, 47, 49, 51, 55, 57/365

This post is in response to my lazy ass.  I guess that's not entirely fair, and perhaps I'm being a little hard on myself (my best friend would be smiling and nodding now).  I have been absolutely true to my self-imposed task of doing a 365.  This is a challenge to take at least one photo every single day and if desired document your progress.  I haven't missed a day yet.

Where the lazy part comes in is the posting portion.  Between numerous photo challenges, trying my hand at Photoshop, taking a digital photography class (w/homework), having a computer that is nearly ka-put, oh yes and the ever important JOB....the posting portion of my 365 has been a little hit or miss.  I thought I'd use today to do a little catching up.  I have kept up to date on my Flickr account which I'm grateful that I did....or I wouldn't have a clue what photo goes with what day.

One thing I've noticed about this 365 is at times it has no mercy.  One day I'll have a variety of what I feel are quality photos at "where I'm at" as a novice picture taker and then next day I'll have a bunch of disappointments and struggle to choose something I want to stand behind.  In fact sometimes I'd like to stand in front of it so no one can see it, but that's not what this year is about. 

I also need to cut myself some slack as I'm into a new camera just one month now.  I think it was a big jump to go from point and shoot to DSLR....straight to manual.  I still have a lot of understanding to get to with my new friend.  Enough blabbing....on to the pics.

{41/365}  I like this photo.  I've shown it to a couple friends who were luke-warm on it.  I snapped it one day when the workmen re-pointing the brickwork on the mill building next door were on coffee break.  I'm discovering this type of photo is currently one of my fav shots to do-the shallow depth of field.  A couple months ago, I didn't even know what that was.

{42/365}  Garlic over at HB Provisions.  I took this on a rainy day when outdoor shots weren't possible.  It was for a Flickr daily challenge group where the daily topic was "no thanks".  I like garlic, but I can certainly say "no thanks" to the bad breath.

{43/365}  Another of those shallow DOF shots.  Budweiser cap on a park bench at the graffiti park.  I don't know what the "grunge" appeal thing is...what can I say?

{47/365}  This was from one of those days when I had a bunch of great photos and choosing "the" photo of the day was difficult.  I selected this one because the light was so gorgeous at this little beach in York first thing in the morning.

{49/365}  When I pulled into school on this particular Wednesday morning the reflections on the nearby pond were too beautiful to let pass.  Fall in New England....ahhhh.

{51/365}  I entitled this photo "I'm Not Happy".  This day it poured rain all day.  I took horrible photos all day....this is definitely not the best or the worst, but I decided to choose to it to remind myself how awful the day went down.  This is one of those pics I'd like to stand in front of.  The paper on the table is in focus....yah, that's beautiful. Grrrrrr.

{55/365}  I love my cat.  This photo is a little too bright, but I love the way "Princess P" was basking in the sun.  Maybe when I learn a little something with Photoshop I can make this photo wonderful.  For now it's SOOC and it's the mood that I love about it.

{57/365}  When your name is feel some ownership in Black-Eyed Susan's.  At least I do.  We're into frost and chill most nights now so I was pleasantly surprised to see these outside the college when I finished my studies the other day.  Nice little rain drop on a petal or two also.

I feel so much better now that I'm caught up.  I didn't include today's capture because the day is not over yet.  I have some fun things in the camera, but there's plenty of daylight left.  Big pressure too, because for the 20 item October photo challenge I'm busy completing, one of the items is your best photo on 10/23-that's today.  I better keep shooting.  Thank you for viewing my mash-up of photos.  I'm always delighted to have your visit. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Macro Friday 58/365

Did I mention I love macro shots before?  Probably.  Today is Friday and time for macro shots over at Blogging from Bolivia.  My shots are not true macro shots, as I don't yet have the lens (nor the money to purchase the lens) that will get those hyper in focus close ups, but I'm trying to get the feel with what I've got.  Hope you like today's finds.  Please check out the other submissions by following the button above.  Happy Friday.

I found this colorful cabbage at a farm stand this morning.  I love the vivid purples.

Seaweed is pretty cool.  This was sparkling in the sun next to the incoming tide.

Maine is called the "pine tree" state.  There are plenty of pine cones around so I guess the moniker is fitting.

{58/365} This is my favorite of today's shots.  Hard to believe this dandelion is still hanging on to sow it's seeds.  I've not seen one in weeks. 

Thank you for checking out my photos....