Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hope I'm Not Too Late

Linking with Ashley for my Good to Wow edit.  Nothing like waiting 'til the last stinkin' minute.  I did do a whole bunch of other stuff this weekend though.  Does that count?  Thanks Ashley and Jill.

The theme this week was laughter.  Strangely a tough photo for me to find....neither my dog nor my cat do much laughing, and I'm just starting to get a little more comfortable taking photos of people, at this point preferring candids.

LaughterI found a photo of my friend Annie from last April.  April Fools Day-the last time it snowed.  I wonder why she was laughing....the both of us should have been crying.  Annie was gracious enough to let me edit her image. 

I have just started doing Good to Wow, so I followed Ashley's suggestion and checked in with Amanda over at Everyday Elements and got my first lesson on "a clean edit".  Who knew?  Here's my new and improved Annie.  There are still things I'd like to do to make the image better, but I also want to finish the laundry and get to bed early-priorities please.

This is the SOOC.

Annie (Clean Edit)
This is the edit version.  I think she looks better, but with that smile, she looks good no matter what.

Sunday Scavenging 337,338/365

Yay!  Sunday...time to link with Ashley for Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

This week I was on the look out for:  Walking Empty Streets, Repeating Patterns, Floor, Then and Now, and Fingertips.

Playing In Traffic
Playing In Traffic
Walking Empty Streets:  I had a vision for this topic....this isn't it, but I like it anyway.  Can't believe I could catch an empty street in high tourist season on a Saturday evening at 7:00.  Everyone must have been checking in at their restaurant of choice for dinner.  Confessing I did have to clear the roadway between shadows.

Lines with Flowers
Lines with Flowers
Repeating Patterns:  I love this topic Kat offered for "exploring with a camera".  The more photos I took, the more patterns I saw.  This was a lucky find outside of an antique store, closed for the day.  I was drawn to the chair, but got the shadows and window panes as bonus.  Cha-ching.

Circles and Squares
Circle Gets the Square
Floor:  Ok, weirdo...I'll own that.  I don't make a habit of taking my camera to the gym...but each time I use the pool I have the urge to shoot the beauty in light and reflections I see in the water.  I'm going to need a water repellent camera.  I also found some great patterns in the locker room after my swim.  Thankfully it was off hours so no one caught me shooting towel racks, locker doors, and.....shower drains.

Pitcher {337/365}
Then and Now:  In an "art barn" old pitcher still able to be used today.

Had a wonderful and fun day trip to Star Island-a throw back to another era.  "Star" is an hour from the coast of NH-access by passenger ferry.  No cars only walking, old buildings, a huge old "Grand Hotel" complete with wide front porch lined with rocking chairs (and views to die for), a lobby with tables for puzzles/card games, a dining room for family-style meals, and a piano that someone will randomly play from time to time.  It is a center for retreat and conference...appeals to artists, writers, environmentalists and me.  They offer all kinds of personal growth and artist conferences throughout the warm weather months.  Need a respite from reality?  Check it out.

Fingertips {338/365}
Fingertips:  I felt almost guilty taking this shot of a young couple at sundown.  There's a part of me that wishes I was that girl.  I suppose it would have been good to crop this down, remove the signs, but they were perched there at the edge of the quiet parking area-and I was doing a sneaky grab-and well that's part of the charm of young love-doesn't matter where you're sneaking off to.

Thanks for checking out my scavenger finds, now on with the rest of the day.  I hope you have a pleasant and restful one planned for yourself.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Reflections 331/365

Linking with James today for weekend of the most beautiful memes out there.  James never fails to delight with his reflected images and there are many more beauties in the linky.  Check it out.

Today is the FIRST day this summer I am taking a day off from work...playing hooky....(not hockey) and going off with a group of friends.  I'm posting my weekend reflections early and will hit the link up later today when I arrive home exhausted and all laughed out.  While I've had some weekends unencumbered by work schedule, I've not done any getaways, stay-cations, nuttin'.  Looking forward to this little oasis in the midst of summer.  Desperately needed.  Hope to get some snaps too.

Reflections from out and about this past week.

Patio Tables
Patio Tables {331/365}
I think this is one of my favorite reflections I've even taken.  I love the street scene ringed in the gold colored writing on the window.  Perhaps it's just my romantic side thinking how lovely it would be to sit at those umbrella covered tables under the bend of the trees.  Would not a glass of red wine paired with a light entree taste 10 times better here than someplace else?

Stonewall Kitchen
Stonewall Kitchen
Here is the window from the opposite view.   I had a good time playing with this storefront.  BTW...if you don't know of Stonewall Kitchen, they make delicious jams, spreads and sauces.  If you see them in a grocery or speciality shop, they are worth purchasing....may I recommend any of the berry jams or jellys.  Champagne-Strawberry for example.

Windows on the Water
Windows on the Water
Local pool.  I had to sneak my camera in when no one was swimming....people might think I have an odd agenda taking photos at the gym.

Another Sundown
Another Sundown
I've taken this image over and over-each one unique, yet the same.  I'm moved each time I see a sunset from this vantage point...and I wouldn't really call myself a sunset enthusiast.  That stunning copse of trees providing silhouette makes most any shot a winner.

Those are my reflections for the week.  I hope your weekend is fabulous and perhaps you are able to get some "hooky" time as well.  I'm headed back to work tomorrow....rats!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creative Mash-Up 318, 324/365

Linking with the sweet and talented Lisa (are not her images just fantastic?) for the Creative Exchange.  Love this link, but feel like I'm always jumping in at the last moment.  What is it they like to say?...."last one in is a rotten egg", but I'm going to let that bounce off and go with and own the more adult, more practical, "better late than never".  There is a giant 6 year old that inhabits my being most of the time.  Do not get me going on the "trick or treat" phrase or the whole Batman smells portion of Jingle Bells.  Am I off topic?  Again?

I don't look at (I learned that phrase in the south-in lieu of "watch") much TV.  Mostly if I need a fix I flop in a Netflix-guilty pleasures: Project Runway (and I am sooooo a jeans and t-shirt girl; I own no skirts or dresses or pumps-no one believes me on this selection), LOST, Boston Legal, and....what brings me finally 'round to my point; Glee.  How can you not like that show?  I feel as though I should shut it off each time I watch it and then I can't.  The musical numbers are totally unrealistic for HS kids to pull off (in a week-no less an entire semester), but they are amazing!!  Even without being able to hear them completely, I'm blown away.

I mention Glee, because I'm calling this week a "mash up" which means a group of things and in this case unrelated.  Hodge-podge, pot luck, hit or get the idea.  I'm really behind on my images, so this is a good opportunity to share some that got lost in the shuffle.

Summer Susans
Summer Susan's

Riley {sh 66}
Relaxed Riley {324/365}

Mother and Child
Mother and Child

Flower Escape
{318/365} Flower Escape

Trees {sh 80}

Fallen Bricks
Fallen Bricks

Thanks for checking out my summer "mash-up" and helping me pare down the growing pile of unused images. And a wonderful summer day to you-unless of course you're down-under and then I'm hopeful that the darker season is being kind.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Taking Photos


I am delighted to be participating in Kat's "Find Your Eye"....has anyone seen mine?  Have I seen mine?  Is my lens my eye or is my eye on the backside of the camera?  Or has it nothing to do with the camera at all just something that creates an urge to pull out my camera or wish I had brought it along?  Is my eye actually in my heart?

Questions and wondering-I can fill my mind with thoughts, questions, doubts, dreams, until my head gets so busy I forget what I'm doing.  Doesn't Winnie-the-Pooh do that?  Head out in search of something,  get distracted and forget what his initial search was for?....thank goodness Piglet usually goes along-then he's not lost alone, searching for Wuzzles, or honey, or what to do with the stick he's carrying.  Or maybe it's not Pooh, but Rabbit who gets confused, or Owl, or maybe it's Tigger bouncing around so much he's forgotten to think at all.  We'll leave poor Eeyore at rest for now.

What am I supposed to be thinking about?  Oh yes.  Why do I take photos?  If you're tired of reading already, I encourage you to skim read.

I have asked myself this question before.  Why photography?  I still don't know.  Maybe it's just a work in progress and the "why" is really the progress and process of the work.  (OMG that's a very abstract thought for an anal retentive sort like me) I know why I started taking photos.  I was broken hearted and tired of no longer being a worthy musician.  I needed to find a place to expel the creative energy within. I'm working at morphing my creativity from one sense to another-transferring my aural know-how to visual know-how.  Indeed it is a process; at times a frustrating unnatural one. But at other times it's filled with amazement that it is really happening-that it is possible.

Tall Shadows

Therefore I believe I take photos for intrinsic reasons, but totally fessing up to enjoying some extrinsic rewards-those fab comments on my blog or Flickr stream, my friends who say "you have a killer eye" when they mention the images I occasionally post on Facebook, or the couple times I've won the weekly photo contest the local newspaper runs.  I'm good with all that...... 

......but I shoot photos alone and I like that.  I "see" alone, and I talk to myself when I do. I like the chase, especially when the light is golden and beautiful. Taking photos is something I do for myself, and share the results, just a little, with others.

I am frightened about my ability to keep my motivation going.  I've had many dreams and passions that ran their course too quickly....they faded away.  My former interests sit idle, cast aside, while photography now captures my time and it just the passion du jour?  I sense my desire to shoot photos is changing; the honeymoon is winding down.  I need to find what will make this a long term relationship and what will keep it away from the scrap heap of half-fulfilled interests.  I wonder too what that pattern is about.  Sometimes I think I'm afraid to really soar.


I wonder too much...had I mentioned that?  Thanks for listening....and if you happen to see my eye around, let me know.

PS...I am trying to include my "Find Your Eye" posts as part of my photo journal page/tab.  At present the page will not allow me to make multiple posts.  I'm working on that.  Hopefully later entries will be located under my photo journal tab.  If anyone has any quick, easy-to-do hints about that....I'm all ears (pardon the pun).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good to Wow-week 29

Linking up with Jill and Ashley for this week's Good to Wow....where the theme is laughter.  Looking forward to seeing if I can make this shot a little better.  My friend Annie-a beautiful smile and personality.


Exploring Repeated Patterns

Linking with Kat for "Exploring with a Camera" where I've been looking for repeated patterns and repetition....she makes it look so easy, I'm not sure I'm quite on the right page yet.  I'll keep on looking. 

It's been hot here in Maine; I'm not complaining-I hate January.  You don't have to shovel heat.  In some ways the heat was good as it made me slow down.  You have to do that walk I used to do when I lived in Florida for awhile, or like the islanders do when you visit Martinique or St. Croix.  They know how to get someplace with a laid back lope that keeps them from getting overheated.  They know how to conserve movement.  I need to see that modeled for me again. do I get off topic so stinkin' fast?  The other day I was looking for those patterns and while slowed down, I actually found a few.

Iron Fence
Iron Fence
I think I noticed the flowers poking through the old iron posts before the repetion they made.  I rather like the diagonal shadow cast across the bars, but perhaps that takes away from the pattern.

Backside Reality
Backside Reality
The front of this building is "all that", restaurants and quaint shops....behind the scenes is a little more gritty.  I like me some grit from time to time, in fact perhaps a little more often than that.  A few different repetitions here-and a touch of graffiti.  Hoo-yah.

Bar Hop
Bar Hop
Oh the things we do while waiting patiently.  If I have my camera, I'm always playing with things.

Four Boats
Four Boats
I took this shot for the reflections in the water a few weeks back.  While the marina in the back drop is a little busy I like the white shells, and the masts in reflection on the water.  Too bad that Boston Whaler is in the way.

Thanks for checking out my patterns.  I'll be looking for more that aren't broken up by other items.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Scavenger 317/365

Linking with the fab Ashley for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  Seriously, great link for one and all.  If you haven't taken the plunge, do yourself a favor and join in for the next one. 

This week's list I found a smidge tricky, but still got it done.  When in doubt, interpret in an unusual way....always gets me out of a jam.  I was looking for: Music to my Ears, Hat, Clear, Out of this World, and Sprinkles.

Waiting on Randy
Waiting on Randy
Music to my Ears: I have a lot of musician friends.  Yesterday Randy tribute to a lost friend.  The friend had wanted his memorial to be a celebration, so it was held in a bar-any musician who cared to play could.  I waited with the summery seltzers and sunglasses. 
Even with limited hearing....I always enjoy his ethereal, spiritual world music.  He is a pioneer of the musical fusions in a world more globally aware.  Check out his site.  An amazing talent and I'm lucky enough to be his friend.

And It Has These Two Little Ears
"And It Has These Two Little Ears"
Hat:  Speaking of friends.....don't you love them?  Here's my best trying on a hat she found at an artist gallery.  Can't you hear her?  She was saying "Susan, come on, don't you want one of these?"  I really don't, but she was making it work.

{317/365} Raindrops
Clear:  I've really enjoyed the daisies in my yard....and in other people's yard this year.  Last year I was all about peonies.  This year the daisies have captured my heart, in all weather conditions.

Out of this World:  It's been hot.  I've not yet complained, though it is complain-ably hot.  I hate January....
Stopped in this garden near a church.  Despite the heat out on the street, I found some shade, beautiful sights, inspiration, and a breeze to chase away the heat for a bit.  Lovely....felt like I was "out of this (weather) world" of the last few days.

Watering {sh64}
Sprinkles:  Watering at the farm stand.  I've taken this photo before....several times.  I think I've even shared the previous versions, but when I drive by this sight with the light reflecting through the sprinklers, I can't help myself, I have to shoot it again.  I wish you could see it in person-it's dazzling.

Thank you for visiting.  I appreciate you taking the time to check out this week's snaps.  Hope you're having a great day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekend Reflections 323/365

Linking with the fabulous James for this week's weekend reflections.  Zip on through if you'd like to see reflections from all over the world.

Last week I was a reflection nut....found billions of them.  This week, not so much.  What's with that?  When you're hot you're hot, when you're not, you're not.  I guess my photos this week in general seem to lack "umph".  My grandmother used to say "umph".    Oh well....there's always next week and I do have at least a couple to share.  I hope your week was rich with reflections.

Oh here's Tula Dot....stopping for a little sip.  It's salt water though; rising tide.  This dog hasn't quite got that whole salt/fresh water thing worked out. She's not much of a swimmer either....this is about as deep as she gets in-up just past her wrists and no more.  Can't quite figure out what goes on in that dog's head;  good thing she's cute-smart, not so sure. 

River Weeds
River Weeds
While Tula was sipping, I was checking out these grasses.  Most were covered over by the full moon tide, but these were tall holdouts.

{323/365} Bumper
I don't know what made me snap was an impulse grab.  I had parked beside the car and on leaving the spot, well had to snap a few.   Kind of like it.  What I didn't know was there was a police officer parked on the other side looking for speeders.  Wonder how he fared.

Thanks for checking out my reflections and have a great weekend.

Good to Wow-week 28

Linking with Ashley for my good to wow shoot and edit.

The other day I shared my SOOC:
Summer-week 28

Here is my edited version of the same view......


Frankly, I don't know what I did to this image, and I don't know that it's much better.  I am new to using camera raw.  I did try to adjust white balance as that was the biggest issue with the original.  I think true working lobster boats are pretty grungy so I wanted to preserve that feel as well as the sense that it was a cool overcast and foggy day.

So, I played with all those fancy sliders.  I couldn't decide whether to up the saturation or perhaps even take it down a notch.  This was shot with a long zoom so clarity was an issue and I made use of that as well as the high pass sharpening.  I also added a layer and blurred and screened out some of the grey boat to make it seem less vibrant than the  Katherine Rose.
I then cropped and used the lasso tool to remove and patch out the yellow mooring in the lower left.  I don't know, from here it doesn't seem like there's too much change.  I'll try again next week.  All this editing is an art-and takes time and trial and error.

Now I need another cup of coffee.  Thanks Ashley for the tutorial help.  Hope I did some justice to the process.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Shoot and Edit-week 28

Had a fun time linking with Jill and Ashely last week for "Good to Wow" I'm going to give it a try again.  Call me crazy.

This week the topic is Summer.  Last week it was Skies the Limit.....this week summer....thankfully the topics offer a broad sweep for me with interpretation that works in numerous ways. 

I've taken a gazillion boat shots this summer,'s another one.  Why not?  The summer is short yet often glorious in Maine, really 1/2 of June, July, and August.  Labor Day brings a quick turn to cooler weather and rapidly shortening days.   Being near the ocean is one of summer's treats. 

Let's hope I can take this photo up a few notches with this week's editing tricks-or perhaps some from an earlier week.  Thanks Jill and Ashley.

Summer-week 28
Lobster Boats

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Scavenger Time 308/365

Linking with the fabulous Ashley for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday.   Great link, give it a try. 

This week's items were: Black and White, Reflections in Glass, Headlights, Seeing Double, and Bare.
In Style
In Style
Black and White:  Would like to say that this is my ride.....but it's not.  Maybe someday.
Window Shopping
Reflections in Glass:  Another great reflection op in Kennebunkport tourist district. 
Headlights at Dusk
Headlights:  I had fun playing in traffic....isn't that what parents used to say to kids?  Go play in traffic?  Consider it done.
White Linen {308/365}
White Linen {308/365}
Seeing Double:  Are not two dogwood blossoms better than one?  Thanks to Kim Klassen for the linen texture.
Bare:  This shot was about the late sun shining on the bike.  Rural lock-up, remove the seat and leave it next to the tree.  I wasn't so sure about that, but there were two bikes, both without seats.  Guess that's how they "do it".
Thanks for peeking at my scavenger hunt and have a fabulous day.