day 8 ~ keeping it simple

on 28.10.14

I am a little late, ok, really late getting this out today.  Our prompt today was to keep it simple and find the light.  With photography it is all about the light, and many of us define out style by the light we use.  When you find that beautiful perfect light, it is amazing!  A couple of weekends ago, I met several beautiful, creative women for the first time in the flesh that I had taken a year long online workshop with.  We met up in Oregon, which was my first time there.  The weather was grey, cloudy, misty, foggy, and down right beautiful!  Natures perfect filter. Of course when the sun peeked through the clouds that evening, we were so excited, at the urging of one of our co-consirpitors, we ran to the beach to take some beautiful reflecting shadow shots.  It's always about the light! 

While I was in Oregon, one of the things that blew me away was their signs of autumn.  There was beautiful Oak trees, with leaves littered everywhere you walked.  I was in heaven.  Here were all these leaves, that I would pay good money online for, scattered everywhere.  I was picking them up left and right.  I came home with a suitcase full of leaves. Wonder what the airport security checkers were thinking?  

So for this prompt, I used some of those beautiful leaves, and one of my little antique bottles to showcase and contrast the light.  I took photos on my window sill in the early evening light, I also took photos on my dinning room table that was about 3 feet from the window. 

......I see

the turning of a leaf
dancing in an autumn sun,
and brilliant shades of crimson
glowing when a day is done...
~Hazelmarie "Mattie" Elliott

I was already on Tracie West's blog to see the prompt through her eyes, and it is as you would expect, so be sure and check it out!   She always has a way with words, and everything she does always has a personal touch.  She is very gifted that girl!

Day 7 ~ after the fall

on 13.10.14

Today I gather. I scoop. I find what has fallen, and gone unnoticed.  I may not be as big of a collector as Tracie West, but I do collect.  She collects hearts, feathers, grocery carts {insert smile} and other things that tickle her fancy.  I collect  naked tree branches, acorns, leaves, and eggs, beautiful but abandoned.  I have a nest or two that I fill with these little egg treasures.  I envision what I look like when I find these natural wonders: like a dog with a tilted head.   How did the bird get out of the egg without breaking it completely apart, hmmmm.  Yes, today I gather, I find what has fallen. 
                                  The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats

Don't forget to check out Tracie West.  What has she found. scooped. gathered. 

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

on 12.10.14

I came across this video, and knew immediately I had to share it.  It is in spoken word form, and the message is amazing!  I have several friends that I know through technology, because of technology,  rethinking their use of technology.  They are trying to consciously reconnect with people in old school ways.  I love what they are doing, and I am purposely trying to partake in those old school ways as well. But for me it is not an issue, personally.  You see, I do love technology, to the extent I would call myself a techie.  I love electronic gadgets.  I do. However it is a love/hate relationship, because I do not love what technology does to people, or should I say, what people choose to let it do to them.  I agree, it's a CHOICE.  I have strong opinions when it comes to this.  I despise people using their cell phones in the car, talking or texting.  It boggles my mind that we are so cavalier with peoples lives including our children, and ourselves.  Actually what I should say is I despise cell phones, PERIOD. When the cell phone craze began, I was confused, is not the telephone one of the most despised things among people.  It's always ringing, why are they calling me, can't I have a moment of peace, and on and on the complaints went.  We had answering machines so we could avoid answering the phone, so we could choose who we wanted to talk to.  Then came the cell phone. Now we REALLY can't have a moments peace, even when we are outdoors.  We can be reached where ever we go.  Suddenly people are so important, that they are on their cell phone in the store, in line at the coffee shop, in a restaurant, on a picnic, at a concert, in church.   It makes no sense to me.

We know cell phones today are used for more than just talking.  They connect us to the world wide web instantly.  I get it.  Information is at our fingertips, and convenience is just a swipe away.  I get it.  I also get the safety issue.  That is why we do own a cell phone, a slider without internet access.   There are four of us in our family, and one cell phone is all we have ever had.  We used it for emergencies, like when somebody was leaving, or if we left the kids at home, or we went out of town etc.  It wasn't until my daughter graduated and went on a 6 month trip to Asia, that she purchased her own cell phone, again with no internet access.

Certainly there have been moments when we wished we could look up an address, or a phone number, or looked to see what restaurants where in the area when visiting.  But still I am glad that we have resisted.  Well most of us, eventually my daughter did get a smart phone at her cost.  And very quickly she was drawn into the world of constant distraction.  It is a bone of contention between us.  She knows absolutely no phones at the dinner table, and if she brings it out too much, I will say something.  I warned her that if she started dating a guy who took out his phone during dinner, I would scream a high pitched squeal until he put it away.  I adamantly taught the kids never to use their cell phone in the car, always pull over.  They seem to agree, but it doesn't hurt that they know if they did use it while driving, I would come unglued.

So while I don't have a smart phone, I do have an iPod, and an iPad.  Both of these rely on there being wi-fi if I want to connect to the internet.  You see, I love photography and thus iphoneography. Since I didn't have an iPhone, I had to wait until Apple finally put a real camera in their iPods, which didn't happen until 2012.  I have over 10 pages of apps on my iPod, almost all of them photography related.  I love it.  I took a year long self portraiture class that taught me a lot.  It was all online, but through it, I have made many online connections with several lovely creatives, several if not most who run in the same internet, blog, flickr, instagram, circles that I do.  It's a whole community.  In a very short time, I will be flying to the Oregon coast to hang out with several of them in a beach house.  That would not have happened without our digital connection.  So it is not the technology that is bad, but how we CHOOSE to use it, and how we ALLOW it to change us.  I digress.

Day 6 ~ Subtleties

on 11.10.14

One of the best things about autumn is color! Everywhere you look there is vibrant color: yellows, oranges, reds, browns, and greens.  Truth be told I am a cool color person, with one huge exception. autumn.  This time of year I change like the weather. I can't get enough of these warm colors.  These colors that are purposely avoided in my garden are suddenly welcomed with open arms.  I'm weird like that.  Todays prompt has to do with capturing an image in monochrome or all one color.  It was a little challenging for me.  I have been trying to use my prime lens more, but it does not auto focus, and I like to shoot at wide open so my images sometimes don't have the sharpness I desire.  Working on it.    

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints. 
~Henry David Thoreau, 

Tracie West lives in California.  Not only are they having one of the worst droughts, but they are having much higher than usual temperatures.  I believe she said the other day was 98 degrees. Wonder what colors she found to capture?  Be sure and check it out!

day 5 ~ little reminders

on 6.10.14

Here we are, day 5 in Picture Fall, such a great way to slow down and purposefully enjoy autumn. Our prompt this week has to do with words, reminders, little whispers that speak to us.  The word i chose, did not find me, but it is a word that whispers to me often.  create. do. i don't know why i procrastinate creating, but i do.  i often spend a lot of time preparing, learning, dreaming and then nothing. or maybe a little something but not completely.  i get so excited about creating that i think i get lost. sometimes i want to create but perfection gets in the way. sometimes i want to create but there is fear. i need to stop thinking and start doing. create. do. don't wait. jump in. create. do. 

Tracie West is very attuned to finding hearts and feathers, wonder what word found her?

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Day 4 ~ morning light

on 3.10.14

Well it is 2:00 am and I am just writing my post.  I just got done watching the movie Ragamuffin about Rich Mullins on Netflix.  If you have the desire to watch a great movie, you can't go wrong! I have a lot of opinions about it, but I will get on with the post.
So our prompt today is morning light, beautiful, moody, sunny, rainy, gloomy, bright, soft morning light.  The goal was to find something that whispered the quiet reassurance that we need individually to ease ourselves into the day.  Well the fact is, I am not a morning person.  It sounds like a great idea, but it just isn't the way I was made.  I am in fact a night owl.  I have to make myself go to bed at 1:00 am (that is my self inflicted curfew), otherwise I could easily be up until 3:00 am.  
When I do get up, it isn't pretty.  With short hair, I look like I was licked by a camel.  I shuffle my feet for the first several minutes I am up.  I don't eat breakfast very often, and I don't drink coffee. The one thing I do is drink a chocolate protein drink from Bolthouse, that is my nod to breakfast.   I can't jump into the days activities until I have showered. Sometimes I am too tired to shower. Sometimes I end up back in bed, just laying there wishing I knew what it was like to get up in the morning and feel brand new, refreshed, renewed.  After a short time, the guilt gets to me and I get up, don't pass go, do not collect $200, and jump in the shower.  It is amazing the effect it has, a new person, ready to take on the world.  My kids have never been fond of the "after shower mom" as they called me, that mom likes to get busy.
I love the idea of morning.  Honestly I think that if I lived near the ocean, I would be more of a morning person.  Summer has a similar effect on me.  The outside calls my name, the sun, the birds, the morning coolness, and the sound of a distant lawn mower (remember I sleep with my window open).  I love the idea of getting up, sitting on the deck, reading, while nibbling on ........toast?   I do get up early, very early, when we go camping, does that count?  
So when it comes to the whisper that I need to ease myself into my day, it is clearly outside.  So to capture morning light, I did just that, I went outside.
I wonder how Tracie West captured her morning light, no doubt beautifully!