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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baby, It's HOT outside!!!

Memorial Day is traditionally the first day of summer. The community pools open, barbecue grills are dusted off, the first lemonade of the season is made, and cold watermelons are cut.  Families are thrilled! The rigors of school are over, or almost over, and vacation plans are being made.


There are some of us though, that don't look forward to this season; who don't like the heat and humidity! I'm one of those! I won't go on a tirade against summer. Just believe me when I say I'll be glad when it's over. Give me winter any day!!

As I write, I sitting on my swing in the early morning watching a pretty bluebird and the antics of several squirrels. I can hear the clanging of the chain on my swing, birds singing out a welcome to morning, and the pulsing of our water sprinkler.  The sun is rising and so are the temperatures.  We're already 4" short on rainfall with record breaking temperatures! When you look at the photo below, you're not seeing smog or fog, this is Arkansas humidity. So thick you can hardly see the sun this morning!



I'll stay out here for a little while, relaxing and enjoying nature. This is my time. Time where nothing interrupts and my mind wanders. In a few minutes I'll be sweating and headed inside to look for something to do. Maybe I'll piece some quilt blocks. My sewing machine is under a window. For the rest of the day, I'll just have to be content to look at the beauty of summer through the window while listening to the welcome whir of the air conditioner!

Enjoy your day today!!
Inside or out??

Monday, May 28, 2012

Macro Monday ~ May 27

We look at flowers and see their beauty.
We bend closer, sniff, and savor their scent.
We cut some and bring them inside to enjoy.
We grab our camera's and can't seem to stop taking pictures of them.


The beauty does fade.
The petals fall.
The blooms wither.

 

Do we ever stop and see the beauty in the ordinary,
In the fallen,
In the withered?


Withered flowers have a beauty of their own.


It's a gentle reminder to me that we may not all be stunningly beautiful, but we can let our inner beauty shine.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16

MM3

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday ~ May 27

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

For the last couple of weeks, I've thought about not participating in the week's hunt. I've been busy and not had the time to thoroughly look for each one. I guess the prompts stay in my subconscious mind, because come Saturday I usually have an image for every prompt.

this weeks prompts were:
beneath your feet
capturing movement
texture
face your fears
currently

beneath your feet
I love to play the piano although I don't play as much as I used to!  I remember during childhood lessons my feet would dangle about the floor as I sat on the piano bench. I'm glad that now the petals are beneath my feet.



capturing movement
This one is from my achieves, but it fit so perfectly with the prompt. I was playing Geo-trac trains with my two 5 yr old grandsons. We began trying to capture the motion of the train with my camera. I changed the shutter speed and let them see all the different images. The images made them both giggle because their trains looked like they were going so fast! They love for me to take pictures of their trains!

I did take this one this week. I tried a little camera twirl with a bowl of potpourri.  



texture
This is  a lovely gift that my daughter and her family gave me for Mother's Day. It is an old wooden thread spool that has been hand carved. The spool is only 2" high and 11/2" in diameter! These pictures are larger than the spool. Isn't this amazing, all the intricate details and textures!! There's the tree, small painted flowers, a cabin with front porch, and even an outhouse with a moon carved on the door. 


face your fears
I first thought of taking a picture of my face. I always fear being in front of the camera!  Then I decided to go a different route. This is my oldest grandson's Cyco-Cycle.  I really think you have to be psycho to ride on it, but I gave it a try. It's like a great big tricycle without any handlebars. The seat moves and your steer it with your legs. It works great on flat surfaces, but when I rode down a small and I mean small hill, I fell over. Yep, right on my back on the concrete driveway. Thankfully not more than a scrapped leg. My poor little grandson was so worried when he saw me tump over!  Will I face my fears and get back on? I think so for a short ride on the flat drive. Or maybe I shouldn't, after all it isn't pretty when a 58 year old woman bites the dust!!

Here's a picture of me on the cycle that my husband took.


currently
Currently I've been taking tons of pictures of my day lilies!  I posted some more here if you want to see them!  This one was taken at sunset. The bright yellow ball below the flower is the sun.
,
Another fast, but fun week!
Hope next week slows down a little!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

{in the picture} ~ May

May has been an extremely busy month! I didn't have time to plan any shots for this month's {in the picture}.  I just grabbed the moment when I could.  Each month Christy gives us a suggested theme that we can use if we'd like. It helps to keep us thinking of new ideas for our self portraits. This month's theme was "big world, tiny you."  One morning when I was watering my shade gardens I thought, this will work for the theme. My shade gardens have azaleas and hostas in them. I have a total of about 30 azalea bushes in all colors. Sorry to say, they've already finishing blooming this year.


I also helped Mr. H mow the yard this week. I put my straw hat on and was ready to get started!

As I was traveling this month, I stopped in Yellville a small Arkansas town. I love to take pictures of historic buildings, they intrigue me. Not only do I love the structures, but I love to read about their history. This building is the Marion County Courthouse which was erected in 1905, and then modified from the burned-out shell in 1943-44. There are several historic buildings in Yellville. You can see another behind me in the reflection in the window.


If you read my blog you may recognize this picture. I've edited it a little differently than the one I used for my black and white class here. I took this on Mother's Day in the restroom of a frozen yogurt place. I liked the mosaic mirror. Since the wall behind me is a neon green and not very becoming I converted it to black and white and added a texture!!   Trust me, it's better in black and white!!

That does is for May!
I can't believe I'm keeping up!!
I've still been taking four self portraits a month!
I must admit, it is a tad bit easier than it was in January!!

In The Picture

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Picture Black And White - 2


It's time to post a few more images for the Black and White class I'm taking with Big Picture Classes. I posted my first photos here.

Our fourth prompt was Building Blocks which centered around architecture. Black and white photos can bring out Iines, shapes, and shadows that aren't as noticeable in color. I  was traveling home from my daughter's and stopped to take pictures of one of my favorite old homes.  I was fascinated with the trim on the roof and the windows where the small panes surround a center pane. I wondered if someone was home, sitting up there in the cupola with the window open letting the breeze blow in.

This is the rest of the house. This home in Yellville, Arkansas is on the National Registry Of Historic Homes. The 34 room house was built in 1904 for the John S. Cowdrey family. The house remained within the Cowdrey family until 1971 when the last surviving child of J. S. Cowdrey sold the house to the present owners. The new owners have restore the site and opened it as a  bed and breakfast.  In 1927, Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, visited Yellville.  Due to the lack of hotel facilities in the town, the Cowdrey family opened their home to the future President of the United States. I'm sorry if I've bored you with history, but I love to find the history and stories behind old homes!!


Now, back to Picture Black and White!!
After our studies of lines, shapes, repetition, and architecture we moved on to light. Our prompt was White Out. I have never done any shots like this, so I didn't have a clue what I was doing. You overexpose the photo as you take it and then turn it to black and white. Very interesting, but, I'm not sure I'll use it very often. It's just not my style.


White Out images just seem to fade into the page, don't they. Don't laugh, but I took this one in the bathroom of a yogurt shop. I liked the mosaic in the mirror and thought I'd try a self portrait White Out. Let me tell you, this image is much better in black and white. The wall behind me was bright neon green!



One of my favorite uses of light is Rim Light! Rim Light is when you catch the light along the edge of the subject. I caught a little rim light on this tiny sweat bee's wings and head.

And lastly, Sun Flare which happens when you shoot toward the sun. They can be very stunning with the rays of sunlight and flare that forms.  I had trouble with this one, mainly because I wasn't up early enough and wasn't home in the late evening to catch the low sun. I had to really get down on the ground to capture both the flower and the sun.

I'm discovering that black and white photos can be just as beautiful as those in color. I'm intrigued by all the shades of black, white and grey that are in these images!

I'm looking forward to our next prompts!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Macro Monday ~ May 21

My Day Lilies are blooming!

Each morning, they open their blooms,
face the sun, and reach for the sky.
They could be sad that they only have a few hours
to shine before they close, wither, and fall.
It doesn't seem to bother them though.
They are eager to share their beauty with the world.

We need to approach life this way.
We need to realize that each day is a gift from God.
We need to celebrate and shine each day...this day!
We need to spread a little love and joy to others.

Time is short, for us and the Day Lilly.
Don't waste yours on worry, regrets, or fears.
Live today, enjoy today
Shine every single moment!!




It's been so hot, I turned on the sprinkler to give them a much needed drink!


Ah!! The beauty of water drops!




Day Lilies Haiku
by Cathy H.

Apricot flowers
Glorious only one day
Blowing in the breeze

MM3


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday ~ May 20

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Another week has come and gone!
Swiftly gone!!
Another  Scavenger Hunt Sunday has ended.

Our prompts were:
Rainbow
Fluffy
Letters
Metal
Tree(s)

Rainbow
It certainly hasn't rained around here so I created my own rainbow with the water sprinkler and the sun. I like the way it made this tree so colorful!


Fluffy
These wildflowers grow along the road where I walk. They're beautiful, but like roses their stems are covered with thorns. I guess that's where they get their name, which is Catclaw Brier (Mimosa nuttallii).


Letters
These three letters always stir my heart!  Made in the U.S.A. is stamped on some of the corrugated tin that covers our barn.


Metal
This is one of three wind chimes I have hanging near my home! I love the sound of the tinkling metal tubes.


Trees(s)
The sun peeking through my Bradford Pear tree.

 
I just realized so many of my prompts had the sun in them!  I guess I'm more aware of the sun this week. It's been in the 90's everyday. I'm really not ready for the heat and humidity of Arkansas summers. Spring was just not long enough!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Exploring With A Camera ~ Visual Weight


We can all take pictures. You just look through the view finder and snap, right?  Yes, we can if we just want snapshots. Let me say this right here, there's nothing wrong with snapshots, I have hundreds of them and many of them  mean more to me than the most beautiful photo I can create!  But, as photographers we sometimes want a photo that's more than just a snapshot. We may want to capture a moment or a story or just the exquisite beauty of nature. In order to do that there are many things that need to be considered.  How do we draw the viewer to focus on the intended subject of the photo? One way is through visual weight which we've been considering in our latest exploration with Kat Eye Studio.

What is visual weight?
It's anything in a photo that attracts the eye of the viewer. It's the first thing you see when you look at a photo and it's what we spend the most amount of time looking at.

So what does attract us?
Bright colors - Let me show you a couple of examples. There's a lot of green and little purple flowers in this image, but it's the bright yellow flower that attracts our attention first. We then look at the rest of the photo. Most likely your eye will again travel to to the yellow flower. This was what I wanted to capture, the single yellow flower in a sea of green.


In this photo that small red seed catches the eye! I took this photo to show the unusual magnolia seedpod which has wonderful shapes and textures. Even though you see the red first, it leads you to see the complete pod.

Brightly illuminated objects - The sun illuminating the dandelion makes it bright; therefore our eyes see it first. Then our eyes begin to wander around the photo and we see the dew drops shimmering on the grass.

In focus objects - This photo is full of pink and blue flowers. The subject of this photo is the front flower which is half pink and half blue. In order to draw  attention to it, I made sure that it was in focus. The rest of the flowers just make a beautiful, blurry background.

Objects on the edge of the composition ~  I took this photo because I like the bunch of grasses along the edge of the pond.  I put it near the front edge of the photo so you would see it first before you looked at the water, trees, and reflection.

Isolated objects - There are many things in this image; grave markers, monuments, a big sky, and ground. But what intrigued me was the shape of this tree. To make it the subject of the photo I isolated it. There were several other trees just to the right.  I made sure they weren't visible in the picture causing your eye to focus on this one.

Human faces - This is a busy picture with lots of things to look at and lots of bright colors. Even in the busiest of pictures our eyes will always go to human faces. You see my grandson first. You see his eyes, his little bashful look, and his curly hair, then you see the table with cake and watermelon. By then, you're beginning to  know the story behind the shot; my grandson's birthday party. I can't believe he's three!! We really had a wonderful time. He had a "Picnic Party" complete with hot dogs, watermelon, grape and cheese kabobs, cake, ice cream, and lemonade.  I've gotten distracted here haven't I!

Back to the subject of visual weight! As I looked through my images I realized that this is something I need to work on. I really, really just want to snap quickly and take lots of photos. In reality, I need to spend more time looking through the view finder and composing my shots using the many wonderful tips that Kat has given us.  I know I've said it before, but Kat's explorations, her blog,  and her website have helped me enormously!! I'd encourage you to click on the button at the top and spend a little time on her blog. Her Exploring With A Camera  series is free. I'm not getting any kickbacks for saying this, I'm just sayin' that I'm thrilled with her teachings!!

Until next time...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Looking Back Over Spring

This spring seemed to exceptionally beautiful! I don't know if it was the warmer winter we had that made the flowers extra beautiful or if maybe I was just seeing more this year!  I'm beginning my second year as a photographer, not just a picture taker!  I now see the world with different eyes. The macro world of nature has left me in awe!  There is such beauty in the details that normally our eyes would not even see.  As summer fast approaches I want to share a little of the color and beauty I've captured in the past couple of months.







 







Viewing and capturing nature fills me with gratitude. I am grateful that our God created this gorgeous world we live in for his pleasure and for ours!

"You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you." (Nehemiah 9:6)


 (All of these images were taken at the botanical gardens in Wildwood Park For The Performing Arts.)

Linking with

MM3         Leap Into Spring! Photo Challenge