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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Shoot, Edit, Submit







Linking with Shoot Edit Submit for the first time.  I'm trying to make a commitment to upping my editing skills.  This may be a good impetus to do so.  So might continuing to the 2nd level of the digital imaging course at the local community college.  I sweated all the way through the first one, spending 8-10 hours on assignments the fresh out of HS kiddos whipped through in an hour, but perhaps I'm ready for that challenge again.  I hear the instructor is wonderful and inspiring-and that's definitely worth the quite reasonable $375 tuition.  Hmmmm.

Onward.  I hope I'm not miss understanding any of the rules for this linky.  Take a pic during the week, edit it and post.  I didn't see any other special rules.  Let me know if I screwed up.



Mansard Roof
Mansard Roof

The last of Christmas Eve's daytime light was gleaming on this turret atop a beautifully restored building. I pulled over and grabbed a few snaps before heading to my early evening get-together.




I noticed pretty slim pickings for images from the past week.  I gotta get out there and shoot to have some better variety.  Have a great week and certainly a Happy New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Holy crap I almost forgot it was Friday.  How does it happen between Christmas and New Years that time oozes and alters, stands still and rushes and soon you don't know what damn day it is?  Thursday seems like Monday and Monday feels like Saturday and you're just all screwed up.  Today IS Friday.  I'm glad I realized that in time to link up with James for this week's Weekend Reflections.  I hate to miss it.  Thank you my sweet James.


Red and Green
Red and Green

All the holiday festive stuff looks really cool in December, but if you let it linger much into January it looks sort of silly.  Odd isn't it?  Personal rule for wreathe hanging.....must be down by February 1st.  Other decor needs to be done sooner.  Hmmmm.

Ornament
Ornament

I found this pink polka-dotted ornament hanging in a shop window.  I'm never shy about selfies...especially round ones.  Such fun.

Open
Open

Outside this shop....there was a mirror resting on the ground and propped up against the side of the entry way.  I think I've given up wondering what people think when I'm out taking photos.  I'm oblivious to them anyway.  When I look at my images at home....that's when I wonder if I was spotted looking sort of ridiculous.  Head and feet.  Whatever.

Looking In
Looking In

The longer I take reflections, the more I think that on this linky is one of the few places they'll be understood and appreciated.  I love the multiple layers of abstraction going on here.  I stopped to shoot the church steeple on the right....but there's the TVs, the man at the bar, the etched waves on the exterior of the window, the seating, other patrons and all the lighting....and the roof tops of the buildings going on across the street.  I don't think anyone but you all "gets" this image, but I have to keep shooting things like this.  Thanks for looking. Please tell me I am not a voyeur....or at least I'm not the only reflection hunting voyeur.

Happy New Year to one and all.  I'm going to try to remember on Tuesday that it's not Monday.  You know what I mean?

Crossroads

Path
Path




As I mention, perhaps too frequently, I took Kat's Find Your Eye series last summer-fall and really enjoyed it.  While "finding your eye" is rather an elusive endeavor or concept, I came away feeling I had a much better sense of myself as a photographer.  Kat provided excellent lessons, and some I vowed to "do again" at another time. 

Today is another time.  The lesson was to choose a random photo-one that sort of jumps off the page at you-and start writing about it.  It was one of my most favorite lessons we did.  I bet I'll enjoy this lesson for the rest of my life.  Thanks Kat.


Paths
I've often referred to my life as being on a path, a curvy winding path where I never know what unexpected pitfalls or pleasures may be around the next corner just out of sight.  Paths have crossroads and forks; choices.  Sometimes they have signs and arrows and sometimes they seem to have nothing; no distinguishing marks or clues to help at all. 

At times I've met wonderful people along my path-people who inspire, take interest, make me laugh or dream....but there are dangerous individuals I've encountered too.  Steering, manipulating wolves in sheep's clothing who've lead me off my path until I've turned around, gotten out of the bramble, and resumed my journey.

A path may be open and beautiful, rocky and hilly, mired in muck and mud, or flat and lush.  My current path is uncertain.  I think maybe I've been sitting here at a crossroads for a long time.  Some days I dare to peek and lean towards one direction, but I can't commit or it turns out to be a dead end if I do.  I slink back to the middle, to inertia, to "stuck" and frustration.  Perhaps I am just resting.

I suppose I could just pick one, go along my merry way, jump in with both feet.  But too often I wonder should I come upon that rocky hill where the going is hard, who will pay my mortgage?  Maybe I just need to bring a tent and sleeping bag.

People have pointed and suggested; they've talked and they've listened, they've sympathized and tried to solve, or nudge.  They are very kind.  But no one can choose my path for me.  Only me.  Rats.  It would be so easy to let someone else lead the way, but I know, as I sit here at the crossroads peering at just the tiniest bit of each direction, that it is me that has to do the choosing.  I sure wish there were a big-ass sign here letting me know what the choices were.



See how great this is?  You never know what an image might do inside your brain.

Today, (thanks to my friend Gilly at The Camera Points Both Ways) I am a guest muse over at mortal muses.  If you want to hear my take on "fresh", pop by and give me a visit there.  Thanks for listening.  I'll let you know when I get my butt off the ground and back on life's path again.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Contrast

A few weeks ago I went on a photo walk with my friend Lee.  We met through Kat's classes, Find Your Eye. (which were super fab....I think she's running them again soon if you're interested)  After a few posts I started recognizing locations that Lee was posting and discovered we live just 20 min apart.  With participants from all over the country and abroad....that's quite a coincidence.

I've wanted to write this post for about 3 weeks and been too busy to sit down and think it through. Hopefully today I can carve out enough time to get my thoughts together.

Laudholm Farm
Laudholm Farm

We met early on Sunday at a nature preserve.  The property is quite vast.  Formerly a farm-the house, barns, and out buildings stand at the center of the property and serve as an education base and the remaining acreage is filled with miles of trails-wooded, marsh, fields, all the way to the ocean.

The early light was beautiful and Lee and I worked around the farm and buildings.

Barn Window
Barn Window

Two Benches
Two Benches

I enjoyed the change from shooting alone. Every once in awhile I'd look over at Lee and wonder what she'd found that I'd missed. The great thing though....there were so many things to see and shoot, it didn't matter.


Peek Through the Fence
Peek Through the Fence

Old Doorknob BW
Old Doorknob

Patterns
Patterns

I have grown to understand that what I shoot is light....early or late day light.  I love the way it plays on "things" and I don't care what's in the light, it matters not. Whatever has been lit is fair game and peaks my interest.  I was incredibly inspired around the farmhouse as the light was just right for my taste.

Shadows
Shadows

Frosty Railing
Frosty Railing

After giving the famhouse and surrounds a good workout we decided to walk a trail through the woods to the ocean.  Suddenly my inspiration sort of died.  Meanwhile Lee was stopping and finding things all over the place.  I was kicking rocks with my shoe.  I wondered what was wrong....why was she seeing and not me?  The only time I even felt like shooting at something was when a signpost, boardwalk, or something "man-made" appeared.


Boardwalk
Boardwalk

As we came through the woods to the marshes near the beach, my inspiration upped a bit when I saw the light playing on the tall grasses.  I'm a sucker for grasses and dunes in light over and over.  I don't NEED another shot of these, but I take 'em anyway.

Feathered
Feathered

Notice the height of the sun....getting past "Susan" time. 
We went on to the beach. While Lee was seeing the waves, stones, sand, shells......I was seeing rusty pegs coming out of the seawall all in a row.......

RustyWallWLR
Rusty Wall
 
.....or making goofy hand gestures in the sun.....

Thumbs Up
Thumbs Up

.....or becoming entranced by beach steps with sand....

Beach Steps BW
Beach Steps

God's beautiful ocean, blue sky, and mile long sandy beach was right there-and I wasn't even looking at it.  And that's when I had my moment of brilliance, my "a-ha" moment.  (Maybe they'll sign me up for one of those commercials). 

In the absence of early or late day light, I need contrast.  I need something colorful in a sea of drab, something mademade in junxtuposition with nature, something textured amidst a smooth terrain, a silhouette against a pastel sky.  Bam!  Why didn't I see/feel/recognize this before?

Here's what Lee stopped to look at:

Tree Line BW
Tree Line

And here's what I was looking at:

Nail Pop
Nail Pop

Definitely not my favorite shot of the day, but it helped me define something about who I am as a photographer.  I think the more I understand that, the more it helps me be a better photographer.  Contrast.  Really important for me.  If it's not happening with light, it needs to be happening in a different way.

The beauty of all this, Lee and I are different photographers.  We see differently standing in exactly the same place.  We contrast with one another.  I would never have picked up on this without having taken a photowalk with her.  Thanks my friend.

Leon
Le'on

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Making Tracks

The sun is shining and I have another blessed day off.  Shhhhh, that's 4 in a row.  Hope I don't jinx it.  This has been wonderful.  Each night I've slept 9-10 hours.  I guess I needed a break.  A little later I thought I'd go for a nice long walk with Tula.  That's a great day.

In the meantime a few photos to share:


Green Sedan
Green Sedan

This beauty was parked downtown a few days before Christmas.  As any good photog would do, I pulled over and took some pics.  I kept looking over my shoulder, wondering if the owner would appear.  S/he didn't.  Perhaps they were watching with delight from afar.  Who wouldn't want someone admiring their prized possession?


Sweet Lines
Sweet Lines


Buick BW
Buick


String of Lights BW
String of Lights


Infinity BW
Infinity

I've been finding myself drawn to black and white images lately.  This is new for me.  I sense it another turn on this winding path of photography interest.  It must mean something....just don't know what.  I'm good with that.  Like this long line of tracks, it will lead somewhere.

Now off for that nice long walk with my dog.  Wishing you a happy day as well, and appreciate you stopping by for a quick peek at my pics.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Breathing Space

On the Tree
On the Tree


Today I'm not linking up with anyone.  Wow.  I'm linking up with me.  Hmmmm. 

Lately I'm having a tough time "keeping up" with blogging.  I'm thankful to my regular linkys and the visits from all of you that keep me going, but have been a poor visitor in return which saddens me.  There's always room for improvement.  Overwhelmed?  Perhaps.

I'm not a fan of Christmas but I do like that after the fact there's a little slow down in pace-space for breathing.  Today I am doing just that.  Breathing.  I wrote on my Facebook page "Zero have-tos today.  Yah frickin'-hoo."  I might even do some extra posting and extra visiting later today.  That would be fun.

I hope that you too are finding a little breathing space in these moments after the big rush of the holidays. 

Bows
Bows

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Linking with James on this Friday right before Christmas for Weekend Reflections.


Last week I stopped along Main Street to do some photographic "window shopping".  All those large windows are such fun to play with, especially in the later light-which seems to be around 2:45.  As my little niece and nephew count down the days until Santa....I count the days until the light starts to turn toward longer days.  It's a slow climb out of the dark, but as my father likes to say "we're on the right side of summer!"  He's incredibly optimistic and positive.  Bless him.

Here are some of my store front captures.

Perfectos
Perfectos
Love their coffee, and their giant windows.

Main Street
Main Street
So much going on here, but I like the way the window lights seem to frame the traffic.  And yes, that is Santa on the far left holding a candle....he really isn't taller than the buildings across the street.

Lookin' Good
Lookin' Good
I never thought myself narcissistic.....might have to think about that again.  Notice that glove tucked under the right arm ready and waiting.  For longer photo walks, those hand warmer things are NOT over-rated.

Across the Street
Across the Street
This is an "oldie" from November.  Caught this across from a graffiti park.  This time I hid myself on that pillar between the windows.  Maybe I'm not a narcissist after all.

Wishing all my reflection loving friends the happiest of holidays. 
And many thanks to James for this wonderful meme.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Creative Exchange

Linking with Lisa for this week's Creative Exchange. 



 
 
Nutcracker Sweet
Nutcracker Sweet
 


It truly is nearly Christmas.  I'm still trying to block it out, to keep it from becoming the extra-huge commercially inspired and fired holiday that it's become.  I find the longer I pretend it's not there, the less the ads and hype, the "have tos", spoil the essence of it all for me.  I've been called a Scrooge, but I am not.  I just want to be able to see through all the smoke and mirrors, ribbons and bows, to something simple and more meaningful. 

Yesterday I went to my parents house to watch a little football with my Pop.  I couldn't escape noticing the gigantic tree my folks have put up right inside the door. Unexpectedly my 3 yr old niece and 5 yr old nephew were there checking out Grammy and Grampy's tree.  THAT is a simple thing.  Legitimate joy and wonder.

As this week rushes towards the weekend, I'm going to keep my pace slow, stay out of the fray, and watch from a distance-like a photographer-for the "un-hyped" parts of Christmas.

Porch Lights
Porch Lights

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Scavenger

Linking with the fabulous and generous Ashley for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  If you're not scavenging, you're missing the fun.  If you are, you know what I'm talking about. 





Yay.  Sunday.  Yay, posting my Scavenger shots, she says with a little smile.  I totally don't get why I like this so much, but I do.  Go figure.

This week's list:  What is It?, Children/Fur Babies Sleeping, Joy, Window, Half....onward.


Shutter Latch
Shutter Latch
What is It?  I don't know if I'm supposed to tell or not, but my title gives it away.  I think perhaps without it, I might not even know what it is, forget anyone else.  This image portrays what I like to say....I'll shoot just about anything if it's in beautiful light.  Cool shadow-that's a bonus.

Tough Job {152/365}
Tough Job
Fur Baby Sleeping:  Yes, coming back as a cat in my next life.

Laughter
Laughter
Joy:  Not only is this a joyful photo, but my friends and the laughter we share, bring me much joy.


Shop Door
Shop Door
Window:  Is it wrong that I keep taking selfies in windows?


Cookies
Cookies
Half:  In celebration of the final class of Art Appreciation, our fab teacher brought in cookies and coffee.  We called the class "Cookies, Coffee and Culture" and the order of those words was definitely intentional.

Happy weekend to you.  Thank you for stopping by.  The remainder of my day will be spent doing a load of laundry or two and watching football.  That's a good day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Home Before Dark
Home Before Dark
Something about that pastel sky and the old car create a mood I like in this photo.

Woodman Building
Woodman Building
Beautiful architecture, reflections, and morning light.

Egg
Egg
I am blessed and oft inspired by the light that comes in my kitchen window in the morning.

Orange Leaves
Orange Leaves
Between fall and winter.

Resting
Resting
I'm constantly a sucker for all things RR....tracks, lines, cars, graffiti, grit.  Don't know why; it just is.


I am feeling a gentle relief.  While many are undoubtedly hustling around in a Christmas flurry, for the first time since September really I've found my pace slowing down.  I've been too busy to think, be a regular blog writer or visitor, spend much time being creative in a rambling/go where it leads you kind of way, too busy to keep up with balancing the checkbook and keeping the cupboards well stocked.  I'm hopeful that this sense of respite I feel will endure for more than the weekend.  I'm ready.

Thought I'd share a few images that got lost in the speedy shuffle of the last few weeks.

I hope you too are having a restful, less stressful weekend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Linking with James for Weekend Reflections....check in if you're interested in seeing reflections from all over the world.


This weekend I'm reflecting that I finally have a 2 day weekend coming up.  I shouldn't jinx myself....I'm hoping not to have any last minute real estate calls today.  I'm also reflecting that I've completed my wonderful but very work heavy art appreciation class today.  Loved it, but happy to give up the research.

Between work and my final project I did snap a few reflections this week.  Get 'em while you can.  That's my motto.

River Bank BW
River Bank
Although we've had no snow (yippee) as of yet, we're looking pretty barren and brown and the light disappears from the sky by about 4 p.m.  My least favorite time of year.  I try to catch photos in passing while I can, like this late day grab of trees and sky reflected on the river near my office.


Arch
Arch
A cart path bridge at the local golf course.  Great place for a morning run with your dog when it's not golf season.

Mill by the Falls at Dusk
Mill by the Falls at Dusk
Across the river from the trees stands this mill building that houses restaurants, bank, barbershop, and office spaces.  Made for a wonderful reflection opportunity.

Round Upside Down
Round Upside Down
Round reflections are so much fun.  This ornament was in an outdoor display of lights, white fake boughs and the silver mirror like balls.  I never mind doing a silly selfie.

That's my quick version of this week's reflections.  Now to finish work and take it easy for a couple days.  Hope you have a great weekend planned too.