Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Down on the Ground, Day 5

Today's prompt is to get a worm's eye view.  I had the option of getting down on the ground with my camera or just taking the photo without looking through the view finder.  I opted to use my remote and stay vertical.  

No GI crawling for this one!

I'm not sharing all the photos I took but since most were less than successful I'll share the good and the bad ah - not so good.

Garden Sculpture

Garden Sculpture with Foliage

Porch Sculpture

The View from My Feet
The biggest most noticeable issue with taking the photos unaided by my eyes, was orientation and focus.  I don't know if orientation is the correct word or not, but I really needed to put an eraser or some small 1/4" - 1/2" object under my lens for just a little lift.  All of these photos were cropped leaving at least 3/4 of the photo behind.  Most of the picture was a huge expanse of sidewalk, mulch, or floor.  

And obviously the focus was not good.  There were parts of the photo in focus, but again, it was the sidewalk, mulch or floor.  

All in all, though, I loved doing this exercise.  I'll definitely get down on the ground more often.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Looking Up, Day 4

Canadian Goose in Flight

The sky, the clouds, look up and take a photo.  Editing with filters is okay because clouds are tricky.  

That's the basics of the assignment today.  I felt like I missed a great opportunity since I woke up to a thunderstorm that filled the sky with bolts of lightning every few seconds.  It was amazing!  

However, the sky that remained after the storm provided me a decent subject and I had a particular lot of fun with my editing program.  I'm sharing the before and after photos, today.  The afters are not really what I could consider photo shopped.  I simply played with exposure, mostly shadows and contrast, and color.  I only saturated or de-saturated existing color and/or played with temperature.  In essence, I didn't add anything to these photos that wasn't already there.


Monday, April 28, 2014


Cabin Life in the North Cascades

My daughter Kristen is presently doing a post-grad internship at a business called Curiosity.  When I ask her about it, she says, "Think Madmen."  That makes me laugh, but I seriously doubt the advertising industry is still in operating in that model.  At least I hope not the Don Draper model.  

Krissy was recently featured on their blog and being the proud mama that I am, I have to share with you.  Please enjoy!

Spotlight: Design Intern Kristen Gully

30 Days of Spring: 30 Steps, Day 3

I thought this challenge would be much more difficult than it was.  The prompt was to pick up the camera and take only 30 steps from that spot to find a subject.  Fortunately, I left my camera on a table near the front door.  Whew!

Our little Oriental Maple was leafless just a week ago, so I wanted to capture it's new coat.  More difficult than I anticipated because I did not want houses in the background.  I don't love this photo, but I decided I would keep it.  

My fascination with photographing tulips straight down continues.  I love how this photo turned out.  The contrast and colors almost make it appear to be a painting rather than a photograph.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

30 Days of Spring: Capture the Beginning, Day 1

Capture the Beginning

Um, how do I say this?  I'm totally and blatantly ripping off this idea from a friend.  

Sorry, friend. I hope you understand. 

She has found a program to encourage her to open her eyes and look around and photograph what she sees.  Being a less-than-awesome-photographer, but a complete photographer-wannabe, I'm following her blog and her prompts and I'm going to try to open my eyes to the world around me, too.  

Join in or follow along - the more the merrier!

I didn't really want to use my opening photo as my selection for "Capture the Beginning" because there is so much more to the story of the baby birds in the nest.  But it's the best photo I got for the prompt.  

Mama bird has been sitting on this nest for a week or so. It's right along our walkway and I have been trying like crazy to get a good photo of her with my phone.  She glares at me when I walk by her.  I thought it would be an awesome shot! 

So today I take my 'real' camera out to capture her sitting on her nest incubating the beginning of her new family. But she was missing and this is what I got.
Mama's Out to Lunch
I figured she'd be back so I wandered around the house looking for more photo-ops expecting to catch her glare when I returned.  Instead of her glare, I got her babies!  I loved the surprise!  

So what else did I spy in my yard?  Let's take a peek!

Notice the Little Things
 A weed is only a weed when it's a flower blooming where you don't want it. 

Dandelions, the Flower of Childhood
When Alyssa was two or three she was with her Grandmother for the day.  Grandpa was going out to "kill the dandelions."  My sweet little girl just could not believe her ears.  Appalled she took matters into her own hands and ran outside and picked as many pretty dandelions as her pudgy little hands could hold. 
Open to the Sun
 I love that my tulips completely worship the sun.  They are so open they look like they are about done blooming, but tonight this pretty flower will be closed up tight waiting for another day of sunshine.
I am the Sun!
My daffodils on the other hand, just bloom strong and steady, being sunshine when there is none.

Let's play!
Lastly is my faithful companion with her ever present Frisbee. She is such a sweetie, but don't be fooled by those sad eyes... it's just her ploy to get me to play.  She's pretty cunning!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Long Island Medium

I think it's about time I follow up to my post of going to see the Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo. 

It was an interesting and fun night spent out with my friend.  We had dinner at a new (to us) restaurant that was amazing and just made it to the theater in time for the lights to flash their warning that it was time to be seated. 

We paid well to have "good" seats near the front of the theater.  That was unnecessary as Theresa spent her time wandering around to the back of the theater.  Camera men follow her and project her and the audience onto a screen in the front of the theater.  No need to pay for 'good' seats!

So the question remains, is she real or fraudulent?  

Personally, I don't really care.  She brought hope and healing to a lot of people that night, and if it's real or not, I think that is what is important. 

As for me, I'm still on the fence.  There were one or two people that she just didn't quite connect with. One in particular that she kept going back to as if she was going to make it work. And there were others who she said things to that were quite convincing.  

I did hope that she would speak to me.  But I don't have the kind of pain that those she spoke to carried.  I wonder if I would feel more convinced if she had spoken to me?  

Here's something that I find curious, though.  And to be honest, it pushes me toward the "believing" side.  They say children are very open to "supernatural phenomenon."  I'm only using that phrase for lack of a better word at the moment.  When I was young, I think I was a little more aware of the unseen or unknown or what is to come.  The best example that I easily recall is of my pre-school years or early school years.  I was completely aware of when I was going to win something.  I can clearly recall being on a cake walk at the school carnival and "knowing" that I was going to win.  It wasn't a hope to win, it was truly knowing.  It was a feeling inside my body.  It used to be frequent and now is less so, but it was very real.  Interesting to me, that very same feeling invaded my body for the entire show.  I was almost certain I would be called on.

I know that falls a little short of my explanation of knowing vs hoping, but here's the deal.  Whoever, or whatever tells me I am going to win something, do something or find something, was there that night.  That's what I was feeling.  There were a lot of people with great expectations in that theater and many needed to hear what they heard. My need was not so great as theirs and my visit wasn't verbalized, but my "people" were there.  Of that I am certain. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Skeptically hopeful?

Tomorrow I am going to an event at the Aronoff Center featuring Theresa Caputo.  

You've either just rolled your eyes or you are saying "Theresa who?"

Theresa Caputo aka "The Long Island Medium.

Okay, you can roll your eyes now if you didn't already. It's okay, I won't be offended.

I'm trying to go with no expectations.  Seriously.  In a theater full of people why should I even be hopeful that I might be the one to receive a message or a "hug" from my loved ones who have passed?  And I imagine you are asking yourself right now, "Does she really believe in this stuff?"

My answer is, I don't know. 

My father has been dead for 54 years.  Growing up I always felt him with me.  Although I knew he'd never walk me down the aisle or hold my babies, I always believed he was here and part of my life that he'd have shared had he lived.  

I don't know.  But in admitting I don't know I think the answer is I do believe, or at least I believe it's possible. Theresa Caputo isn't the only medium I've been fascinated by.  I wished for a long time that I could meet John Edwards, too.  This isn't something new for me.

In the past few years I've lost so many people that were important and close to me.  My best friend, my mother, my father-in-law and most recently my mother-in-law.  I expect nothing personal to come from tomorrow's show.  But I am hoping for more.