Monday, December 13, 2010

not last week, but the week before

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(ha... I'm posting this so much later, after we've had a much larger dropping of snow, that I can only laugh at this old photo. that's what I get for being slow at the editing and posting)

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Waiting for Santa?

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Country Church

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Things are looking up

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I can't remember the last time I had to scrape ice off of a windshield. YEARS. The scraping wasn't fun, but I thought it might make for interesting pictures.

I had fun playing with the focus:




a different view

Which is your favorite, and why? (I'm curious about how other people look at their photos and pick their favorites or "best." Sometimes I have clear reasons, and other times it's more just a feeling)

Dappled Grey

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Dappled Grey


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Rotating Joy

I took a lot of pictures of this carousel (and my favorite rider) both in motion and still. I played around with shutter speed (that makes twice! hey, I'm learning) and got some interesting shots, but nothing great. If I had had more time I would have played more... I got great blur, but what I wanted was something clearer - like some animal faces - in the blur. But still, glad I played.

One thing that these photos also reminded me is that often I get into editing my pictures, and see all the great shots I missed because I never tried to get them, like a shot of all the horse's legs. I got a bunch of legs in a shot, and tried cropping, but the focus and angle was wrong. But I learn from those mistakes (hopefully) and I will try that the next time.

In this shot I wish the light on her face was better, but no matter where I stood the open pavilion created a backlit effect for any shot but straight into the carousel. Still, I smile just looking at it, so it wins best picture.

Friday, November 26, 2010


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First first place

(it was for a relay, not an individual event, but still... we're all pretty proud)


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Midnight showing

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I see you
Self Portrait #5
(more fun at the library)

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Bird Bath

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After dinner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4 hankie post

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I've had the handkerchiefs since my paternal grandmother died over 8 years ago. The handkerchief box belonged to my maternal grandmother. I came home with it just a few weeks ago, after my grandfather died. It seems lovely to me to be able to put the two together.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


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An eye for books

We stopped by the library after swim practice, and while The May Queen browsed I decided to pull out my handy point and shoot camera (almost always in the purse) and play. I didn't want to use a flash so the low light made the pictures grainy, but I got some fun shots. I'll definitely be trying more. I chose the pic of the day based on the eyes on the books in the background and MQ's eyes creating a great theme, but I liked this one a lot as well:

Monday, November 15, 2010

memory layers

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Angel girl

No, this is not some photo editing trick. Ladies and gentlemen (crickets??), this represents the first time I used a tripod, referred to my manual, AND played with the shutter speed and aperture. Basically, I set up my camera in front of my computer and took long exposure shots of multiple photos (a little trick I read about on Photojojo a while back. This week's memory prompt finally prompted me to DO it.)

I found that while my manual sort of told me HOW to adjust the shutter and aperture, it was pretty useless in terms of telling me how to read it, what the numbers meant, etc. Once I finally figured out how to get the shutter speed to the bulb setting, then I had to adjust for how much light the computer gave off. I knew that was aperture, but did I want a higher or a lower number? Thank God for google. I still have lots to learn, but I was finally able to get pretty close to my desired result. I think it would be fun to really pull together some great photos... like a baby photo and a current photo of my daughter (I actually went about trying to do this, and realized how precious few good pictures I have shot of her recently. Even with all my photo taking. So now I am on another mission.)

I did just peek through my facebook photos, and decided to try it with the four pictures I had in an album from when I did Proof:

Needle and thread

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First sewing project

Friday, November 12, 2010


i'm getting a spot on all my photos. I cleaned the lens (with lens tissue) but it didn't go away, so I tried using a different lens... and the spot is still there. Which means whatever is causing the spot is in the camera (a Nikon D40). What to do? Do I just need to take it to a camera shop? and what will that run me?



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Glistening web

Veteran's Day

My father in law (a WWII vet) and a friend of ours (Korean war vet) came to my daughter's class for Veteran's Day. The kids gave a brief presentation, then the men told a little about their service, and the kids asked questions. At the end, the class presented them with thank you cards and practiced shaking hands.

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Thanking the Vets

I learned some interesting things, like how the Navy pants can be quickly taken off in the water and used to trap air and become a flotation device. And that the collar on the back of their shirts is a design holdover from long ago, when the men would take their long hair and harden it into a ball with tar, and in hand to hand combat would swing their head and use the hardened hair ball as a weapon. The collar kept the tar off the blouse. The kids were, of course, FASCINATED with this little tidbit of info. Who can blame them?

The most important lesson though, I think, came when one boy asked if fighting in the army was fun. My father in law very quickly and emphatically replied "No."


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I did it! I actually took some photos using the prompt! On purpose!

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Bridge in Fog
I am obsessed with this bridge. It has appeared once before, in a close up of the rusty rail. There's a park not far from my daughter's school that I am learning is rife with picturesque locales, and when I dropped her off and the fog hadn't yet lifted... off I went.

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Grey Hair
self portrait # 4

Have you ever tried taking a photo of the top of your own head? Not easy. Nor flattering.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I tried to take some photos of Thanksgiving decorations, but the results were uninspiring. Still, it's all I did that day, so here you go:
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Fake abundance

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Last leaves standing
through the briars

Saturday, November 6, 2010

100+ What are we learning?

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Young Buck

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Pumpkin Graveyard

I didn't sign up for this project365 because I thought I took great pictures and wanted to show them off. When I signed up for this project, I wanted to use it, like Sue, to improve my photography skills. So... how am I doing?

-Using my DSLR more. I'm getting better at taking the good camera with me when I'm going someplace I know I'll be taking pictures. It also pretty much lives on the my kitchen counter, so it's the camera I grab to take a photo around the house. I'm always amazed how the better camera improves even the average photo. A prime example of this is back when I took the pictures of my brother in laws ashes at the bottom of a jar. I began with my tiny point and shoot, then grabbed the DSLR. The difference in the pictures was great.

-Using more of the functions on my DSLR. I'm pretty much failing at this. There have been several times when I WISHED I knew how to do something, and several things I've planned to look up how to do, but I haven't done a single one yet. I did get out the manual. Months ago. I haven't actually used it, though. I want to do that. I also want to dig out the tripod.

-Taking more pictures that aren't of people. I am FAR more likely to grab the camera and take a picture of something that strikes me as pretty (a sunrise) or interesting (a dead mouse) or fun (the May Queen jumping). I've also tried to take more pictures of non humans that tell a story. I do, however, still fall into the trap of mostly taking pictures of my kid and pretty things in nature that strike my fancy.
***As I scan back through my pictures, though, I find that pictures of people are rarely the photos I post (even though I take a lot of them), and are really not among the top pictures. And since one of things I wanted to do was have better pictures of the people in my life, maybe I need to focus MORE on pictures of people. Hmm....

-I'd like to play more with setting up shots. Most of my pictures are spontaneous things I take when the mood strikes. Maybe if I paid more attention to the prompts I would do this.

-I don't take many urban pictures, or pictures of everyday things inside. They don't tend to strike me as photo worthy. However, I have seen some really cool shots of everyday items by others participating in the project and hope to do more of that, if for no other reason than to stretch my muscles. Mostly, to stretch my eye. How can I make this inanimate thing interesting in a photo?

-I am learning that perspective changes a photo A LOT. I play around with the angle from which I'm shooting. I've also played around a bit with the manual focus, particularly when taking closeup shots, and like how that can change the quality of the photo.

What about you? What are you learning... both about photography and yourself... though this project?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


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I'm trying to figure out how to take action shots of The May Queen swimming. This is obviously not what I was going for, but I kind of like how she looks frozen, and everything else appears to be in motion. I think I moved the camera, following her leap, so she is less blurry than everything else.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Seasons change

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The sun was hitting the tree from the front, with the dark clouds behind. It looked otherwordly. The picture just can't capture the contrast, but I tried.

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We're not in Louisiana anymore


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Flop-eared bunny

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Like a knife to the eye

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Shine your light


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An Actor's Toolbox

I'm not using this much lately, but dug it out to get makeup for my daughter's Halloween get-up. Then realized I hadn't taken any pictures that day. I would have preferred not to use a flash, but, alas. I was too lazy, apparently, to work that hard on the lighting. I can look inside that Caboodle and see a history of the shows I've done... the blue eyeshadow for Any Wednesday, the glitter and green lipstick for The Tempest, the eyelashes for Beauty and the Beast, the Top Stick (used to keep a costume in place) for Anything Goes...
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Before School

I realized, when uploading new pictures, that I had incorrectly numbered the previous two photos, so those have been fixed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mourning and Celebration

My grandfather died last week... here are some pictures...

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Three Kleenex Breakfast
When The May Queen woke up we broke the news that her Great Grandfather had died. She barely touched her pancakes, and when her plate was cleared this is what was left on the table.

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Sanibel at Sunset
A view from the plane

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Young Driver
Driving the golf cart was a kick for me as a child, and The May Queen and her cousin were thrilled to be deemed old enough to drive it themselves. My cousin was patient- and strong stomached- enough to let them drive round and round the cul de sac. I love the joy on their faces and the way the sunlight is captured. Grandpa would have been smiling. And then telling them not to drive with two feet ("You'll strip my brakes!" ... like mother, like daughter!)

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I have a picture at this same beach of a 2 year old May Queen holding hands with her great grandfather... wait... let me see if I can dig it up...
There it is. Nov. 2004. We decided that taking the kids to the beach was a great way to honor Grandpa... by doing something he loved doing.

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Fancy Dishes

We spread out the stuff, and each took what we wanted to remember, and thought we would use. The rest... most of it... we boxed up to donate.

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Grandpa's Garden

Still blooming...