Tuesday, February 22, 2011

You're only as good as your last lens


204:365 Texture 1


205:365 Texture 2


206:365 Texture 3


207:365 Texture 4 This was the last shot taken with my 50mm 1.8 lens (aka, the nifty 50). Moments later my favourite lens died in my arms. Given the circumstances, this happenstance abandoned heart is far more literal than what I thought it would be when I spotted it on the pavement.


208:365 We made 100 paper dolls for the 100 days of school celebrations


209:365 Just one moment on a Monday after dinner


210:365 Texture 5: Topsy-turvy weeds in winter. It looks as if they are framed against the sky when actually they are poking up from the snow.

Oh the feeling in the pit of my stomach when my 50mm lens fell apart. A simple fall while nestled snugly in my Lowepro case seemed like nothing, but then when I tried to shoot, the auto-focus failed to engage. I tried to focus manually and was able to do so for a couple of shots even though the focus ring felt stuck. And then, just like that, the lens was in pieces in my hand. I plan to replace it, nay upgrade it, in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I'll be using my zoom lens and my kit lens and hoping for lots of light and plenty of time to shoot in the out-of-doors.

This week's prompt is courtesy of my old friend Patsy: I Fall to Pieces.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Black and white and re(a)d all over


197:365 Strange bedfellows in the shelvers' sorting area


198:365 The tracks of my tears




200:365 Natalie brings joy.




202:365 This heart in my chest




Do you see that? We're in the 200's? Yay! And for the second week in a row I've gone 100% manual in my shooting. Heck, I even took pictures of people--well, only one person other than my daughter is featured here but I took lots of pictures of friends on Saturday night. It helps to be in a room with 5 other people, all of whom own Canon Rebels.

This week's prompt: texture.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beyond the 4" x 6"


190:365 Before the show




192:365 After the show


Those tulips I bought last week gave themselves up to the light this week.

still more light

light, light, light


193:365 Not fade away


We went to Winterfest on the weekend. This was the best photo from the day:

sleigh ride

...but this was the best moment:




195:365 I was due for a self-portrait.




Over the past few weeks I have taken several pictures of other people's kids--pictures that were happenstance but compelling, children who are a part of mine and my daughter's lives. I've posted only one of those photos here--that ethereal shot of the girls playing dress-up from last week's grouping--not because I think the parents will mind my doing so, but, rather, because I feel too shy and embarrassed to ask them for permission in the first place.

"Hi. Thanks for letting your daughter come to our house. M adores her. By the way, I'm doing this project online wherein I take pictures everyday and post them to the Internet. I think I got some great shots of the kids together. Would you mind?..."

Nope. I can't bring myself to say it out loud. It always sounds so geeky and amateur. And yet, and yet, I look back over the pictures I've posted in the last six months and it appears as if I live in a capital N, capital F Nuclear Family that is surrounded by nature and consumer objects. What a false reality I am creating. My little family is part of a vibrant community of people, but I'm too damn shy to promote the photography project with them in order to ask for permission.

"I have this blog, see..."

Watch the colour rise to my cheeks. I've always known that the photographer is the main subject in any photograph; I guess I just didn't realize that this awkwardness of mine is in part what the truism means.

So far, I'm ok with actually photographing kids that I know (even if I don't post the shots), but, when it comes to adult friends, I don't seem able to hit the shutter button in the first place. Our mutual self-consciousness is crippling.

It's not as if I took on this project as an exercise in documentary photography--hell, I could spend all year just trying to figure out what documentary photography is. It's just that now that I'm half-way through Project 365, I realize how much my own limitations as a person, not just as a photographer, are shaping the year I present here.

What about you? Is your year in photos a reflection of how you live your life? What narrative are you creating in spite of yourself?


BTW, I stuck to last week's prompt all week long. Every photo was taken entirely with manual settings--even the picture of the hands thus making it doubly manual. So, this week's prompt. What to do, what to do... how about black and white and red all over.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let there be light


183:365 Measuring up on her birthday


184:365 Found object


185:365 The director backstage


186:365 That place where 5 and 6 year-olds live

It was brutally cold at the beginning of last week, so cold that my daughter's bed felt decidedly frosty in the mornings, nestled as it was near her window. "This must change," I declared and we moved the bed to the far side of the room as far away from the window as possible--allowing for the first time her blackout drapes to be opened and closed with ease. Let there be light. And there was. My first over-exposed, backlit picture was the last one from last week's grouping.


Here, I was still working in aperture priority on my Canon, but seeing what the light could do in the dead of winter was like a speed-thaw to my brain. On the weekend I started to play with the possibilities. I've taken and posted a couple of fully manual shots during the course of 365, but largely I rely on the semi-manual settings (aperture and shutter speed priority), tweaking exposure and film speed here and there. Sure there's be deliberation to what I've done so far but I've relied upon the camera to fill in the blanks for me. "Pshaw," I now say. Here are 3 shots from my weekend manual shoot.

Let there be light

And there was light


187:365 I may change which one is my pick of the day once I can see the shots on my full-size monitor at work. As an aside, can I just say that it's a bitch doing this project when all I've got to look at at home is a netbook screen? I never see my shots at a decent size until after they've been selected and uploaded.

Once I started playing with back-light, I became hooked.






This week's prompt: manual dexterity. I hope it will prompt me to take deliberate, fully manual shots all week long.