Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The cup is 1/3 full

Most of the shots are more about transformation than metamorphosis but, hey, I'll take it.


120:365 Seasons change




122:365 Unreal city


123:365 At the parade

We had the most amazing snowfall for the duration of the Santa Claus parade. I got some ok pictures but nothing that really captured the beauty of the moment. Part of the problem was that the camera steamed up inside my coat and then wouldn't work properly.




125:365 Barbie bokeh



I've been photographing these berries for about 3 months now. Finally today, a berry shot was my best shot.


So, just like that we're over 1/3 of the way through. Are you still with me? I haven't had a chance to make the rounds for a week. I promise. I'll visit soon. In the meantime, here's a new prompt for you: portrait and/or landscape.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I learned to do something with my camera today. Huzzah!


114:365 Oh book club, how I love you.


115:365 The rising sun made these grasses come alive.


116:365 Snowy love on the line. Or, why don't I just pack them up for winter?


117:365 Hung




119:365 The photo's neither here nor there but it is proof that I have learned how to create a custom white balance. I can now take pictures in my kitchen. Huzzah. It's amazing what a camera manual can teach you.

I didn't really take on last week's prompt except that I found those birds in yesterday's post darn engaging. I also was engaged with my camera manual tonight. Let me try for a better prompt this week. How about metamorphosis? No cockroaches allowed, though.

Monday, November 22, 2010

For the birds

One hundred plus days of looking and looking and looking and I think I am starting to see a thing or two. Like, for example, the season changes. I had never noticed before how valuable summer light is. Sure, I've always appreciated summer heat but it took this rainy November for me to really appreciate the quality and angles of summer light.

And then there is autumn morning mist. How is it that I'd never noticed that heavy morning fog is an autumn phenomenon? Meteorologically, it makes sense and, yet, until I started schlepping a camera around I had never really paid attention to its fleeting nature. Nor had I noticed how mist filters light and makes a photo pop.

And now that we're staring down winter, all I see around me are ravenous animals. The squirrels are plump and just a tad less skittish when you walk by their feasting. Birds everywhere are foraging. Just today I saw a crow trying to get the last bit of tastiness out of an empty bag of potato chips. If he hadn't been poised on top of a power line in a snow storm, I might've tried to snap him. And then there was last Wednesday when I stumbled by a large flock of, uh, I dunno from birds, but they looked a bit like brownish cardinals to me. The tree was along my walk to work and it was covered with red berries. I stood transfixed for 10 or so minutes while the birds flitted about, landing, eating, retreating to a higher tree and then swooping in again. I took so many pictures. There were quite a few I was taken with but these, I think, were the best of the bunch.

3rd runner up

3rd runner-up

2nd runner-up

2nd runner-up

1st runner up

1st runner-up My husband thinks this should be the shot of the day, but I chose this instead:


113:365 I like the detail in the top bird's beak. The lower bird is caught in the act of eating.


So tell me, what have you noticed about the world around you that you had never noticed before?

And, yes, I'll be back again tomorrow night with the rest of the week's shots and with next week's prompt.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Faces from the past


111-365 Origins


112:365 Death Mask


Next week's prompt: ah heck, I dunno. Bonny Prince William has just proposed so let's try the word engagement.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cross, Border, Shopping



This white board is in the university library where I work. Students translate the single word or phrase that my colleague regularly rotates according to the season.


107:365 At the Cenotaph: 11, 11, 11



A cross-border trip to Maine with my girlfriends. Here, fire jugglers perform on the streets of Portland.



Cross border shopping: putting the Christ in Christmas, forever and ever, consumerism without end.


110:365 There's no place like home

I found these shoes on my trip. The picture I really hoped would be the shot of the day didn't have the best focus/depth of field, but its giddy, feet-to-the-sky whimsy best sums up how well the gift was received.

Surrender Dorothy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seven days in November

I simply could not have picked a more appropriate week to chose "grey" as a prompt. In fact, I think my doing so might have brought on these biblical rains. Here are seven grey and soggy shots.




100:365 Not quite a murder. A manslaughter, perhaps?


101:365 Friday night at Victory Meat


102:365 A still from Carol Shields' Departures and Arrivals


103:365 My nightly ritual


104:365 Sodden love


105:365 The tree across the street


In case you haven't seen it, Painted Maypole celebrated her 100th photo by sharing a list of what she's learned so far. I started a comment over there today in response to her and Mary and Gwen, but I ran out of time to finish it. I've clipped what I said over there and pasted it here before adding a bit more on the end. Here then, is what I've learned so far:

"'I do, however, still fall into the trap of mostly taking pictures of my kid and pretty things in nature that strike my fancy.'

Yup. Uh-huh. I also agree with your next statement about those shots not always being selected as my picture of the day.

Let's see, what have I learned?

Like Gwen, I still rely too heavily on words, but if I could only be more like Gwen in my reliance on words, then I would be happy with how those words shape my photos b/c I do envy the way she yokes the two.

I use my DSLR regularly now. I can tell you why a 50mm lens is da-bomb. I have played far more with depth of field, shutter speed, manual focus, shifting focal point/weight, manipulating light with ISO and white balance settings, taking continuous shots in order to capture a moment, and shooting in black and white than I ever had in the past. I've learned the rule of thirds but I usually forget to apply it.

I now know what bokeh is and that I kinda like playing with it a lot. My results have not yet been ideal, though. I've also come to realize that I am drawn to extreme close-ups to the point where I fear my year will look myopic. Honestly, I must force myself to stand back from the object I want to shoot if I want to bring variety to this collection. I also realize that when I go back over my shots, I tend to prefer the long-shots because they are such a welcome relief in what is a never-ending stream of close-ups.

I've learned to lie down to get shots, or alternatively to stand on chairs. I've learned, sometimes not always, to notice where the sun is and why that matters. I've come to realize that there is no good interior light in my house to shoot by. I've also learned that I lack courage--the courage to shoot strangers, the courage to simply pull out the camera wherever/whenever and look like I am perfectly entitled to do so.

I walk down the street now seeking out the visual, whereas before I was always trapped in my wordy thoughts. I've learned not to feel anxious first thing in the morning that I won't get a shot in that day. I have learned to feel a bit defeated when by sundown I still haven't clicked the shutter.

I've come to realize that the people around me are really beautiful and dynamic in ways that I'd never really noticed. I've also learned that I like to take pictures of people even though I'm usually too much of a coward to do so.


One of the things I had hoped to achieve from this project was a slowing of memory loss. I don't know if that's working for me, but given that this week is supposed to be all about remembrance, I think it's high time I had a prompt that dealt with that concept in its broadest possible sense. So for this week, feel free to tackle memory.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November, you will not defeat me




098:365 Spying on the dressing room from back stage


Well, it may be tough going but, dammit, we've almost made it to 100. Stand up. Take a bow. And now put your finger back on the shutter button. Because we've made it to November, I am going to look the blahs right in the eye and declare this week's prompt to be grey.