Archive | May 2010

Sunday May 30, 2010

Hard to believe that this year is almost half over, which also means that I am almost half done this project!

I definitely feel like I am resorting back to my old ways; flowers, flowers, and more flowers.  Truth is I’m frustrated, I thought I was going to eventually hit a “block” and with determination and force I was going to push past it and miraculously my horizons would be broadened.  This has not happened, yet.

So my week consisted of flower; dog and tree; tree and sky; flower; and hot BBQ coals.  Boring? I think so!  If it wasn’t for the fact that I chose to write a blog whilst doing this year-long project, and that I am afraid of looking like a quitter I probably would have quit by now.  I am dedicated to this project and I will complete it even if for the next 7 months there is nothing but flowers, I will finish.

We haven’t really been going anywhere or doing anything, so by the end of the day when I remember that I “have” to take a picture I usually head over to a neighbour’s house or nearby park and take pictures.  I desperately want to break out of this, but I am really starting to think that flowers are just “my thing”.  I guess I can live with that, mainly because I have tried to break free of my habits and occasionally I have come up with something quite fantastic (tooting my own horn) that doesn’t involve any flowers.  I relish those moments.

Anyway, I am NOT giving up on photography,  I will always try to push myself beyond my personal boundaries.

Saturday was fun with the kids, we all cleaned up the yard together and then we lit up the charcoal bbq.  When mixed with the smell of beer always takes me right back to being a kid…actually it’s a smell that I associate with my father, it’s a happy feeling and when I smell it I just close my eyes and let it take me back to a time when I was young and things were simple.  Minus the beer  (not much of a beer drinker myself), I am more than happy to bring that famous smell of summer fun into my own backyard and share it with my children.  They enjoyed every minute, hotdogs followed by roasted marshmallows.  Great fun!

Signing off for another week…Oh and by the way, just incase you were wondering………209 days till Christmas!!

Have a good week!

~Linda

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Sunday May 23, 2010

Happy May 24 people!!!

Hope you are all having a fun and safe long weekend.  Now that the rain is behind us it’s time to enjoy the beautiful weather.

I am feeling very unproductive with my pictures this week.  My assignment was “image effects”.  I tried it once, on Monday…and I hated it, I turned the picture of my cat into a watercolour.  Don’t get me wrong I take full advantage of my processing software, 100% of the time I alter the image in some way, shape or form.  Making a photo look like a watercolour or any other effect  that is not natural is not my deal, although maybe I am just inexperienced.  If I thought I had a picture that could be altered that way I am sure that I would try it again, but I assure you I am in no hurry.

So I resorted to flowers this week.  I love flowers, they are naturally beautiful even when they are ugly weeds.  They are the perfect subject to photograph in my opinion.  My favourite picture this week would have to be the wheel, mostly because of the story behind it.  My son and his friend like to hang out in the creek near our house, they found an old beat up three-wheeled bike buried in it, covered in mud and weeds and grass.  The boys were determined to dig it out, bring it home and fix it up brand new.  I laughed so hard watching these two 12-year-old boys walking down the sidewalk one on each end of the bike carrying it with all the trimmings of dead muddy weeds leaving a trail of mud behind them leading right to my house.  That’s what I should have taken a picture of, it was hilarious.  Anyway, the bike has sat untouched in my backyard since then…about a month now.  The picture of the wheel is from that bike, and as you can see it still has the dead weeds attached to it.

I’m not sure at this point what next will have in store.  I am not a fan of distorting pictures so I may go on to the next chapter or I may take more advantage of the beautiful flowers that are in bloom in my neighbourhood.

Have a great week everyone!!

Until next Sunday…

~Linda

This entry was posted on May 23, 2010. 2 Comments

Sunday May 16, 2010

Hello everyone, hope you all had a nice week.  It was chilly and rainy last week and it made for unfavourable conditions for taking pictures outside, so I did the best I could with what I had in the house and also from previously taken pictures.

My assignment this week was working with post processing software, which I am a huge fan of.  Every single picture I take is always processed in some way, some more than others.  I love to take an ordinary picture and turn it into something fabulous.  I did this a couple of weeks ago with my cat Oliver (April 17, 2010).  The original was pretty ugly in my opinion, it was just my cat sitting on the stairs, but with the right processing software and some time and patience and Voila!

In the assignment description it was to have me making layers of my photos and then “cutting and separating” the foreground from the background so that I could process them separately and then put them back together instead of processing the image as a whole.  When splitting the image into layers it would allow me to change the background darker while I make the foreground (focal point) brighter and crisper.  I have good software and I did try to figure out how to do this, unfortunately I was unsuccessful.  I had a few really good pictures from the zoo that this technique would have worked well with but I lost those pictures last year when my computer crashed.  I guess I’ll have to make a trip back to the zoo.

So on to the pictures from the week.  First we have french lilacs, I used the spot removal tool on this to remove some of the brown spots that made the leaves look dirty, I also cropped, adjusted the exposure, definition and sharpness.  I always use those for flowers.

I think I actually missed a day this week, I’ll have to make up for that!

Then we have Molly.  This picture was taken a couple of months ago and I liked how she was posing but never did anything with it…until now.  I also like the negative space, although when I look at this picture I think maybe there is too much of it.

The next one is a granite statue that I purchased for my husband last year on Valentine’s Day, it weighs about 400 pounds.  I wanted to make a layer with this one so I could trim the statue out of the picture in order to make the  background darker, I know the layer part but I don’t know the trimming part yet.  I wanted the statue to be brighter but when I adjust the exposure it also made the background lighter which is what I didn’t want because you could see other details that I didn’t want in the image.

Next is the handsome young man, that’s one of my little guys, he went on his first sleepover this weekend and I was missing him so I made him my picture of the day.

And lastly we have the lily of the valley flowers.  I liked both of these pictures but I couldn’t decide which one to use, so I used them both.  I asked my husband which one he liked and he preferred the colour one where as I preferred the black and white one.  The only logical thing to do was to put them both up and put it to a vote, I had an overwhelming response for the colour one.  They are different pictures and each of them evokes a different feeling.  The winner is the colour one (seen above).

I don’t know yet what this weeks assignment is, I’ll worry about that Monday morning.

I hope you all have a fabulous week, the weather looks like it’s going to be nice so get out there and enjoy it!!

Until next Sunday…

~Linda

Sunday May 9, 2010

Flowers my little man made for Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day!!  My boys woke me up this morning with breakfast in bed, homemade cards and construction paper flowers (see above picture).  Over the last 8 years of my children being in school I have thoroughly enjoyed all the mother’s day gifts that they have made for me.  I’ve had tissue paper flowers, clay candy dishes, pins made from puzzle pieces, painted flower pots with their finger prints on them and a plethora of homemade cards, all of which I keep safely tucked away.  Mother’s Day usually brings tears of joy for me as I have always wanted to be a mother and I am truly grateful that even on days where they drive me up the wall I’ve still been lucky enough to experience it.  I was never really concerned about a career outside the home, since I was about 14 all I ever wanted was to get married and have lots of babies, both of which I have successfully accomplished.  This is also a day for me to reflect on how much my mother means to me, how proud I am of her.  She has been through things that any human being should never have to go through.  At a time in life when things looked bleak she found the strength from within herself to take her girls and find a better life, because of that she is a hero to me.  It would have been easy for her to give up, but she didn’t, she landed a good job, bought and furnished a house all on her own.  Mother’s are special, and everyone one of them is different but one thing is the same throughout all the mothers in all the world and that is that they love their children and they sacrifice a great deal for them.  I hope you all have a wonderful day with your family as I will definitely be having a wonderful day with mine.

Pictures this week…

The assignment for this past week was less than desirable for me.  It was portraits…taken with a flash.  First of all I don’t like using a flash if I can help it at all.  I never use my on-board flash, I have a separate flash that goes on my hot shoe but I still only like to use it when I absolutely have to.  I prefer to use natural light as much as possible.  Maybe when I have more money to spend on photography gadgets I’ll buy a flash that I can have off to the side of the camera.  Instead, I took advantage of the blooming trees in my neighbourhood, the lilacs and the blossoms…everything smells so good.  The little boy against the tree is my youngest little man, he was feeling lonely after school one day after all his brothers went for bike rides with their friends and he had no one to play with, so I did the only thing that made sense…I grabbed my camera and took advantage of his misfortunes and I’m glad I did because this picture is so cute and it totally captured how he was feeling.  I had purchased some wild flowers and they were wilted pretty bad, my husband put me to the challenge of finding the beauty (if any) left in the dead flowers.  I did the best I could with what I had to work with, I wouldn’t necessarily call it beautiful but I did like the way the left side of the flower was lit up as if to represent the bit of life left in it before it was thrown away to die completely.

The next three chapters of my book will focus on post processing.  This is my favourite part.  I like to take an ordinary picture of nothing really spectacular and turning it into something fantastic and then show the before and after.  I am really looking forward to seeing where this takes me.

Happy Snapping!!!

~ Linda

Sunday May 2, 2010

Another month gone.  I can’t believe how fast this year is going.  Kids will be out of school next month, my oldest will be graduating grade 6 and getting ready to go to middle school in September.  He just turned 12 this past Thursday, time is definitely flying.  It seems like it was just yesterday he was born and already he’ll be a teenager next year, I don’t even feel old enough to have a 12-year-old, mostly because some days I still feel like I am 12!!  Oh well, such is life!

On to photography…

This week was rather random.  I didn’t have time to read ahead in my text-book to find out what assignment was next so I just took pictures this week of whatever.  Monday was a cute little flower I found in my backyard, I wasn’t sure what it was but my friends all said it was periwinkle, so periwinkle is what it must be.  Then we had some big fluffy clouds in the sky, it really was a beautiful scene and I couldn’t help myself but to grab my camera and dart outside to take advantage of it, it’s quite lovely I think.  Then we had the full moon.  Every time I have tried to get a picture of the full moon it is always blown out and blurry, but not this time.  My friend told me what I needed to do in order for it to turn out this way, so I’m sending a very big *Thanks* to her for that.  Then there is my husband, a.k.a. the love of my life!  We were sitting outside enjoying the afternoon sun and since I knew I needed to get a picture I chose to make him my guinea pig.  He detests having his picture taken almost as much as me but he was really being a good sport about it.  I think this picture is absolutely adorable, but I may be a tad biased.  On Saturday we were out in the forest with the boys and there were Trilliums galore.  Kids kept asking if we can pick some and take them home…to which we answered “would you like to get arrested??”  We had to explain to them that the Trillium being out provincial flower makes it illegal for us to pick especially since we were at a conservation area where they are protected, we were very careful though not to step on any while we were admiring them.  The above picture is of the daffodils that are growing in my garden.  Flowers are always the back-up plan when I don’t know what else to photograph, at least I feel like I’m making progress because when I started this project flowers were always the first thing I would go to and now I turn to flowers when I can’t find anything else…this is good!!!

As I said this week was very random, hopefully I’ll get a chance to read the next chapter of my book and get back on track.  I really like using the text-book, it gives me a direction.  It’s too overwhelming to just go at it everyday without having a clue what to take a picture of.  Unfortunately there are only 22 chapters in this book.  Not sure what I’ll do when I’m done it, maybe find another one like it, guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!

Have a wonderful week

~Linda

This entry was posted on May 2, 2010. 1 Comment