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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I liked Ashley Sisk's Scavenger Hunt so well that I did it again.
This week's prompts are
smile
stand alone or something old
rusty
artificial
repeating pattern

Smile
Beautiful smile from my youngest grandson.


 Stand Alone
I stood alone in this cemetery and took this photograph of a tree standing all alone on a hill surrounded by gravestones. This is my one picture from my archives. I took this picture two weeks ago and was just waiting for a place to use it. Now, I've found the spot!!



Rusty or something old
These rusty nails and rotting wood are part of a decaying out building on my neighbor's property.


Artificial
I went with the obvious...artificial flowers. This was taken at my daughter-in-laws house. She has such a decorator's touch.


Repeating Pattern
I had several ideas for this prompt, but this one just jumped up and grabbed me while I was looking for rusty things. This is a line of moss growing on a corrugated metal building. It looks like a tiny line of trees!  The metal has a repetitive pattern and so does the moss.

I think I enjoy the scavenger hunt so much because I feel free to interpret the prompt however I want. Really, the only rule is to limit yourself to only one image from your archives. The rest need to be taken during the prompt week. Of course, by linking up, I get to see many beautiful images that inspire me. It's amazing how we all are so different; we see things differently; we interpret prompts differently, but we all have a common interest that brings us together...photography.

Have A Happy Week!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

In The Picture

In The Picture...
One of the hardest things I've done with photography!
I like to hide behind the camera.
I move if I see a camera pointed at me.
I've realized that someday my
family might like to remember what
I looked like!!
This year I'll be taking self portraits,
at least one a week with a group called
{in the picture}
At the end of each month we'll be linking our photos.
Here's my first month, the prompt which we could follow
was ~ a piece of you.







This last one was an extra self-portrait that I took for my One Little Word Project.


I did it!
I can't believe I really did it!

If you'd like to see other links click on the badge below.

In The Picture

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Looking At Windows

old books
old houses
old fabrics
old furniture
old linens
anything old, vintage looking or antique I like!!

So when Kat gave a wonderful post on photographing windows for her Exploring With A Camera series, I was naturally drawn to old windows or those that at least appeared old.


You know me, I like to look up definitions, so here goes, the definition of a window:
an opening especially in the wall of a building for admission of light and air that is usually closed by casements or sashes containing transparent material (as glass) and capable of being opened and shut

I love windows, the shape and size of them. I'm not really great at composing shots of windows. I'm more of a nature photographer, but it is fun to branch out and try something different. Windows like the one below not only bring in light but, make an area beautiful with their shape and size. Although this is not an old home, I love the old Victorian look. By the way, it's my daughter's home and I just love it!!


They're good for looking out of.  I was taking pictures at my daughter's house and wanted one of the window showing the staircase in the background. My grandson asked what I was doing. After I told him, he said he would run inside and stand on the stairs so I could take his picture in the window!  Sweet, sweet boy...helping gramma!


Windows create beautiful shapes in the architecture of buildings. This beautiful stained glass window is in an old abandoned church. The windows are slowly being destroyed. It's so sad!

 Windows also create wonderful repeating patterns. I love the shape of these windows in this small quaint church.

This window is in a historic downtown home built in 1842. I love the shutters, the bench and the rocking chair. I could see myself out on this porch rocking away the day.  Maybe with a good book in my hand.  Inside you can see a beautiful mantel and old furniture. The view is just as beautiful looking in...

as looking out. I really love this porch. The railing and the vines growing on the fence are beautiful! And, there's a peek of the chair.

Recently I was traveling and needed a small break from driving. I stopped in a small town that has several antique stores. I was there on a Sunday and most of the stores were closed, so I strolled the streets taking pictures of windows. I love the vintage table and chairs that I spotted while "window shopping". I wish I had a place for the set! The peeling paint of the window frame just adds to the vintage look.

This is one of my favorite window photos. I love the lines of the window panes and the siding. I love the bowl on the table and the way one window frames another window.

This window makes me curious.  When I took this photo I wondered if anyone lived in the house. It was rundown and neglected behind a very large overgrown hedge. I would have liked to get a closer shot so you could see that the screen has pulled away from the frame at the bottom. I wondered about the people who looked out of this window. I wondered about those papers laying the window? Is it an old newspaper?

This is another of my favorite window shots. The window frame in this historic home is covered with many layers of paint.  Inside there was this worn, but beautiful, cane bottom chair. In my imagination I see a lovely woman sitting in this chair mending her families clothes by lamp light.

This window is in an old college that was built in 1893. I loved the natural colors of the rock and the casings and the reflection of the outside pole. I also love the fact that you can see straight through to another window with a candle on the ledge.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing a few of my favorite windows. I keep saying I'm going to make my posts shorter, but I just can't seem to stop myself. I love to share pictures with you!!

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Hearts

It seems I never get to spend enough time with my grandchildren. I've just returned from a fun week with three of my grandsons who live about three hours away. My fourth grandson lives about thirty minutes away so I'm able to see him a little more often. In between these visits I miss them. I was a little sad today, missing them. The house is too quiet and the day is misty, chilly, and dreary.  I grabbed my camera and took to the outdoors to walk in the woods near my home. As I walked by the creek I noticed these little leaves that reminded me of lacy hearts. I love to find heart shapes in nature.

 

I also spotted this rock that looks like a heart.

Then I really been to look closely for heart shapes and saw the hole in this rock. I thought this was pretty cool!

I even saw a heart shape on my Japonica bush. I think this is a remaining fruit that has dried, but I'm not sure. There are two or three hanging from the limbs.

As I looked for and spotted hearts my spirits began to lift. I began to think about the boy's sweet hugs and the many times they say "I love you, Gramma." I thought about their beautiful smiles and happy laughter. I realized how blessed I am that they are not too far away and that I can easily visit with them. I'm blessed that they're healthy and just really great boys.
My heart overflows with love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scavenger Hunt


Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday is something I've been wanting to do for a long time.
This week it finally came together and I captured a photo for each prompt.

The prompts are:
sunset, black and white, a day in my life, four (as in a set of four images), and colorful.

sunset

black and white
I love the texture of sweet gumballs.

a day in my life
I spent the week with three of my grandsons.  This is what I saw from the kitchen as I cooked dinner.


four
While walking through the woods during a very foggy morning, I found these four spider webs covered in droplets.

color

Have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Learning Is Good

I've always said that I like my photos straight-out-of-the-camera (SOOC). It seemed that If I were a good photographer I could get a picture and not have to post process it.  In reality, I just didn't want to admit I didn't know how to post process! Stubborn resistance and lack of knowledge kept me from experimenting. Then, I discovered Picasa's free editing software at Picnik. There were some techniques I could try, but it was limited. Recently I upgraded to their premium service, which is better, you can add textures. It will never be as great as Photoshop, RadLab or those types of editing software, but this will do for me. I will probably only use it occasionally.

I needed this picture to look stark, barren, and desolate for a winter's prompt. I looked up the definition of "stark". For some reason I like to look up words! One of the definitions is  severe or bare in appearance or outline: "a stark silhouette against the sky".  This branch didn't look very stark with all that beautiful blue sky. It was 60 degrees; not wintry at all.

First, I changed the image to black and white and upped the contrast. That helped, it looks stormy.

This one I used what is called gritty effect and washed out the background. I does look more stark, in fact I really like this one.


I showed all these pictures to my four year old twin grandsons, Drew and Josh, and had them pick their favorite. Both of the them chose the one below. I inverted the colors on this one. Josh said "It looks like it's snowing on the tree when it's dark." This is the image I posted in the class gallery. Here's one of the comments I received, "Wow! This is stunning! Your grandson's have a great artistic eye." Thank you very much!!  I think they're pretty special guys to take the time out of their very busy morning to help me!!!
 

Drew picked his favorite and then had better things to do than look at pictures! Josh wanted to know about every one!  He was pretty fascinated that I could change a picture! He also liked the one below.
 

The rest of these have different textures added. 

I wish I knew the name of the textures, but so far I have never found that information on Picnik.

This one was another of my favorites. I couldn't decided which to post so that's why I asked the boys for their help!

Pretty amazing, what you can do with a photo!! Just a few clicks and you can change something! Makes me wish I could just "click" and change a few things in my life. You know like that red "easy" button on the Staple's commercial!

eat healthier - click
spend my time wisely - click
enjoy every moment - click
house needs cleaned - click

How many times have you wished there really was an "easy" button. That reminds me of the old saying, "good things never come easy."

If it were that easy I would miss the joys that come when I accomplish something I wished to change. There is even joy at the end of a day spent cleaning the house!! The house looks good and smells good...smile!!

Wow, this got pretty rambly didn't it!  One things just let to another this morning!!

I hope your day is extra special!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Moments


Blessed ~ I am truly blessed.
Blessed with good health, a wonderful family,  and a quiet life. But, no matter how blessed we are, something can happen in a matter of moments that can rock our world and devastate us. I became very aware of this last year, which made me begin thinking about the moments we live each day. It made me realize that I could make better choices and not waste precious moments. I choose what I will do with my day. I can choose to live it or waste it!

 
I've heard a lot about choosing one word. A word that is kept in mind for the year. A word that brings awareness of what we want to embrace in our lives. I decided to take the One Little Word workshop at Big Picture Classes.  As I began thinking over words that I might want to concentrate on,  I thought about the word "moments". It kept haunting me, following me. It wouldn't leave my mind. It wasn't what I was looking for, I wanted an action word. So, I ignored "moments" and began to think about embrace, savor, and capture. These were good words, words I could easily focus on. But, they just didn't fit. I'm back to "moments" those little snippets of time. I'll be focusing on embracing the moment, savoring the moment, and capturing the moment.

 
Part of keeping this word front and center in our minds is creating a journal. This is the opening 4"x6" page. On the front is my word, on the back a self-portrait.


 Once a month we receive an assignment to keep us motivated all year. For January, I looked up the definition of my word and used a thesaurus to find synonyms. I wrote why I chose the word and what I wanted to invite into my life through this word.

I'll also be exploring ways to photograph my word and related words.

It's really surprising how already my word is in my head; how I think about it each day. It will interesting to see where it takes me through the year.

Every time you wake up and ask yourself,
What good things am I going to do today?
Remember that when the sun goes down at sunset,
It will take a part of your life with it.
                                    ~ Native American Proverb

Friday, January 13, 2012

Picture Winter - Days 6 - 10

I'm faithfully keeping up with Picture Winter. As I mentioned, this is the second time I've taken this prompt class. It is so much easier this go round. I'm not intimidated by the other photographers. They know me by now. They know I can take good shots and not so good shots and they are very forgiving and encouraging!!   I don't feel like it's winter. We've had a couple of cold winter days. Most of the time it's been unseasonably warm. I was looking at my pictures from last January and on this date we had heavy ice!  Not this year, it's supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow! I'm headed to the northern part of the state for a few fun days with my grandsons, and maybe it will be colder up there. They had snow yesterday, we had sun!! Enough about the weather, on to the pictures!!


Day 6 - Cracked Open  -   She had a quote on her page I liked, "Everything has cracks in it. It's how the light gets in."   - Leonard Cohen
The picture above is the one I posted in our gallery. It is just mind boggling to think that a mighty oak tree can grow from a little acorn. This one has cracked open, letting the light in and the roots are seeking soil.

On my morning walk I found these long seed pods hanging from a tree. They're about 5" long. There was one little seed left in the pod!

Day 7 - Quiet Beauty - we were looking for beauty among a resting world.
Several years ago my daughter gave me two of these gorgeous bushes. They're called Japanese Fringe Flowers. They bloom in the spring and in the fall. This year with the warm weather, they're still blooming.

Day 8 - Texture Seekers - looking for texture in the kitchen or anywhere else we chose
If you had asked me a year ago if I would be taking a macro photo of coconut; my answer would be a loud "no way"!  But, this year has taught me a lot. I've realized how much of the tiny details of life we miss. Our eyes just can't see them, but, my macro lens can.  Did you know coconut was so sparkly and sugary looking?

Day 9 - Bundle up - capture how we bundle up to go out in the cold
It's been so warm I haven't bundled up much this winter. It was cold enough to put on a sweater and pull up the hood for a photo. I even put on a little bit of lipstick for you!!

Day 10 - Seeking Balance - find a way to portray the balance we need in our lives as we start this New Year

I just had fun with this one. I kept thinking of something that I could balance on this block. "B" is for balance you know!  I found a little Lego man, but he wouldn't stand on one leg without his walkie-talkie in his hand to balance him!  I've been seeing a lot of Lego photo shots and I think they are so much fun!!

Hope you enjoyed the update!!
And, hope you're enjoying the winter!

"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"
~P. B. Shelley