Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 31, Project 365

Here I am, one month of Project 365 completed.  Sure, some days were struggles but once I tried to stop over-thinking it, it seemed to get easier.  In some respects it's hard to believe I've taken one (a minimum of!) a day for 31 days, but in others I so often have my camera in my hand it doesn't really surprise me.  What surprises me is doing this blog along with it, documenting the process and opening myself up to more than (potentially) family and friends.

I had to go with two pictures today as there were two big picture-taking events today:  the volleyball tournament continued with the girls finishing in the top eight to start bracket play, in the Gold bracket, tomorrow.  Yay! And after hours of volleyball we drove home quickly so she could all prettied up for the semi-formal dance, Sno Daze.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 30, Project 365

It's the beginning of a weekend-long volleyball tournament, so guess what I'll be posting?  I love the venue because I can get nice and close so I was able to get some fun shots tonight.  It's late and technically when I hit 'publish' day 30 will be over...oh, so close!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day 29, Project 365

We helped with cleaning out my uncle's house tonight and these two ladles brought memories of my grandma flooding back to me and I don't know why other than they so very much remind me of her. They are not pretty, I mean orange?  Really?  And they're starting to chip but they, for whatever reason, started me on yet another trip down memory lane.  I snapped this picture so quickly, I honestly don't think I even looked as I snapped.  I just clicked and that was it so I could have a picture and I have to say that I really love how it turned out.  :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 28, Project 365

Truthfully, this has been a hard week; my uncle passed suddenly.  I spent this evening putting together collage/picture boards for the memorial celebration that will be held.  I somehow became the picture-keeper for the family (for the most part) and it's a role that suits me well.  Because of that I have pictures from my my mom and her brothers' childhood.  I love, love, love going through all of these old pictures even if I don't know who is in the picture; there's some mystery involved with the who and what and where.  It also allows a glimpse into the past: toys, buggies, decorations, old houses.  I could get lost for hours staring at these pictures and I suppose because of that, scanning pictures and putting together the picture boards became a much longer process then it should have been.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed my trip down someone else's memory lane.  Today's picture is of the boards I put together, while working on the whole depth-of-field thing.

As long as I'm writing, I'll share a link to an article I came a cross that resonated strongly with me, Take a few minutes to read it if you're participating in a Project 365.  One line in particular "I can't make magic every day.  No one can." really struck me.  For so long I've had this passion for photography and could feel it drawing me in more and more every day.  But self-doubt and the fear of never being good enough have always held me back from taking whatever the next step might be. I'm getting a little braver but there's still that ugly voice in my head.  I suppose that's where this project comes in to help to quell my fears.  No one wants to fail but it's better to have failed than to have never tried, right?

While I'm add it, here's another article that I found interesting.  I do fear, in some instances, having my camera in public.  Not so much at places you'd expect to see cameras but certainly places where it isn't 'normal' to bust out your DLSR and most definitely anytime I get out the tripod.  I guess I don't like drawing unnecessary attention to myself.  But that's another part of this project that has helped me; I actually took my tripod out in public and at first was extremely timid but then just thought, who cares?  :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 27, Project 365

I spent a few minutes with our dog who decided to become camera-shy on me tonight....what the heck?  He's my go-to guy when I need a picture!  I snapped a few of Fozzie but there was really nothing special.  I went back inside and saw the youngest daughter doing homework on her laptop and noticed how the screen light was lighting up her face so I took that opportunity to capture that image.  And the sweet (patient) girl she is she just kept doing what she was doing and didn't ask questions.  :)  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day 26, Project 365

We had to go to the airport today to pick up relatives and while the reason they're here is sad, it's always wonderful to see family.  I thought since we were going to be at the airport, as we made one of trips around waiting for them to pick up their luggage, I might catch an airplane and that it would be a cool shot for today.  No such luck, however, we needed to pass by the National Cemetery and I managed to grab a couple pics as we drove alongside it.  I've always loved the lines of the headstones and the motion blur adds a little something extra to the picture.  #project365

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 25, Project 365

Today's pic:  My little shorty (for volleyball standards), #2, up for the block; quite proud of her!  I almost wonder if I should have vertically cropped this but I like seeing her team behind her so I left it horizontal.  Just continued to practice on the action shots today but probably need to learn to start shooting a little more selectively; 101 pictures is kind of a lot.  :)  2nd place today, by the way!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 24, Project 365

I made an attempt to get sunrise pictures...missed it by about two minutes.  You don't realize how quickly the sky changes until you are trying to photograph it.  Oh well.  Instead I got to snap some pics of my adorable Godson while his mama and I had coffee/hot chocolate this morning.  Those eyes are a killer, I tell ya.  I spent a lot of my day at Caribou and both visits were fabulous.  The second visit cracked the door open a tiny bit, possibly, to my dream.  Stay tuned!  :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 23, Project 365

I got outside about five minutes too late to capture the gorgeous sunset.  I was able to get a couple little peeks but unfortunately missed it.  The great thing about this time of year, though, is that every day gets longer so catching some good light should just get easier and easier.  I saw four deer foraging while I was on my walk and although I wasn't close enough to get a nice shot, they sure were beautiful to watch for a bit.  Even though I wasn't able to really capture the sun, I had hoped that I would get the beautiful pastels in the East sky.  Mother Nature did not disappoint.  Not long after the sun set the most beautiful shades of lavender, blue and pink appeared.  When I see the sky like this I'm always reminded of something I read years ago: something to the effect of while everyone else is watching something in one direction (the sunset, perhaps) turn around and capture the opposite view. Rarely am I disappointed when I remember to do this.  #project365

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 22, Project 365

Tonight's picture was completely unplanned and spontaneous.  How awesome is that when it just falls into your lap?  The youngest daughter flopped down on the couch with our dog, Fozzie, and they snuggled.  It was too cute to pass up so I quickly grabbed my camera and started snapping.  I first shot with ambient light (the lamp) and I liked that and how just a little bit of each of them was highlighted but since I had also had grabbed my flash I threw that on and tried it that way, too.  Either would be fine but I ended up liking the composition, or maybe it's the story it tells, of the one I took using the flash, much better.  Side note:  I love how their hair/fur always has.  :)  And now that I've finished typing I went with the 'my blog, my choice' train of thought and have added both pictures: with and without the flash.  You can be the judge!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 21, Project 365

As I had hoped, I made it back downtown to get some shots of the Cathedral lit up for the Red Bull Crashed Ice event.  Spectacular!  My awesome hubby was my 'assistant' in that he drove and took direction from me as to where I wanted to go to get the 'best shot' and patiently waited for me.  It wasn't lit up quite as blue as it had been Monday night but it was still beautiful.  I had to quickly get over feeling like a dork toting my tripod around and it was SO worth it.  I had a tough time deciding which picture to use but after about half an hour of comparing my three favorites, I finally decided.  Definitely still learning things; looking back there are a few things that I would have done differently but all in all, I'm pleased.  The Winter Carnival is just around the corner and I'm anxious to get out and take some fun winter photos (thanks for the reminder, Tara!).   #project365

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 20, Project 365

Long, headache-y day so I didn't put much effort into today's shot.  Actually, I did, a little, but the pooch wouldn't really cooperate.  I was trying to get him sleeping and every time I was ready to snap he'd peek and then turn away from me (sneaky little devil).  After numerous tries I flopped down on the floor and he proceeded to follow me then laid on top of me - interesting perspective, I guess.  :)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 19, Project 365

My husband and I went to the hockey game tonight and I brought my camera hoping to get today's picture.  What I got instead were some beautiful shots of the Cathedral.  Here's the kicker though:  We pulled up to an intersection and came across the Cathedral draped in gorgeous blue lights for the Red Bull Crashed Ice event.  So, I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped a couple shots through the window of the car.  I knew they'd not be great because there were buses and traffic lights and a parking ramp partially blocking the view but I wanted to attempt and I knew I could go to the upper level of the arena and be able to get a 'perfect' shot from there.  We watched the first period and made our way upstairs only to find the blue lights had been turned off.  I was so bummed about that but was still able to get a pretty picture, even without the blue lights.  When the game was over (okay nearly over; we left a couple of minutes early since they were losing), we walked outside and guess what?  The blue lights were back on,  Figures, right?  So, back to pretty much the same vantage point but at least this time I didn't have a windshield to shoot through.  I'm sharing all three since it seems fitting to show my before, middle and after.  I will make an attempt to get back that way and find somewhere else to take a picture or two from before the Crashed Ice event is over; it really was too beautiful to not at least try.  #project365

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Day 18, Project 365

I brought the 'big camera' with me on our shopping trip today with the intent to find today's picture. On the way there we saw an eagle on the side of the road with some kind of prey.  By the time I realized what it was and attempted to turn around he grabbed the prey in his talons and flew away. Bummer - that would've been a cool shot!  And on the way home from the mall there we three military plans going in for landing at the airport but I was driving on the freeway so I missed that, too.  Both would've been neat to just have captured for the day.  After a few hours of shopping nothing had really jumped out at me picture-wise but then we walked by the amusement park and I thought I'd try and get some blurred motion pictures.  I learned that it takes some patience and timing but I think for the first time of purposely setting out to blur some motion it didn't turn out too badly. Something about this picture, compositionally (is that really not a word?), is bugging me but I like the overall effect of a couple rides in motion as well as people walking.  My back-up picture for today was, yet again, another of a pet and it was really sweet but it's nice to be able to post something a little different today.  As always, constructive criticism is welcome.  #project365

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Day 17, Project 365

I decided to mix it up a little and post a few pictures today.  My oldest and I took a walk through the nature center this morning and this post kind of documents our walk.  And, I should probably admit that I can be a terrible decision-maker so it was hard for me to choose just one today.  I like different things about different pictures.  I had fun with the sun that was shining so nicely this morning so attempted to get some nice 'burst' of the sun.  Still learning on so many thing I have to remember is to really think about what I'm shooting and the best settings for each shot.  Sometimes I get too rushed and just click without thinking.  As always open to constructive criticism.   #Project365

Friday, January 16, 2015

Day 16, Project 365

And I'm here with half an hour to spare!  Tonight's photo is our cat, Nala.  While I had all three pets surrounding me as the oldest and I watched a mini-marathon of Friends, I noticed how the lamp light was reflecting onto each of them.  I especially liked how the light was resting on Nala.  Of course, by the time I realized that and begged my daughter to grab my camera Nala had twisted around the light wasn't hitting her as well any longer.  But, pulling this into Lightroom it still is kind of neat.  I like how she's looking at me with almost a 'why are you bothering me' thought to her and the light still kind highlighted her face.  With the low light I had to really bump my ISO and I still brightened it up in Lightroom a little.  This was shot at 1/100, f4.5 and ISO2000.  As always, constructive criticism appreciated.  #project365

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Day 15, Project 365

Re-inspired!  After reading this post on Click It Up a Notch today I felt like I had a plan to get through these dark, long, winter days.  I still do, but it was somewhat put on hold after I decided to take a few shots of Fozzie again.  Or rather, maybe I feel better about making Fozzie my go-to subject after reading the CIUAN post.  Either way, I attempted again to try and get Fozzie in motion (I enticed him with carrots and then he was a willing participant) but alas his sweet, curious face got the best of me and that is what I'm sharing for day 15.  As always, I am open to constructive criticism.  #Project365

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Day 14, Project 365

Honestly, today I just wasn't feeling it. But I'm not giving up because more than anything I want to prove to myself that I can commit to the whole 365 days. Today's is with my phone and while it's not practicing with my 'big camera' I did take multiple shots, trying to be aware of composition. This is Kitty (incredibly original, right?)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Day 13, Project 365

I decided to torture our dog with a game of 'who's at the door?' just to be able to get a picture of him running at me and an attempt of getting some motion blur.  Yeah....not what I envisioned but I like playing around to see what could get and laying on the floor gave me a different perspective, as well. I decided this might be best saved for a day with better light or even outside.  But, as I was on the floor I looked over to see our cat, Nala, had wandered over, sat under the kitchen table to check out what was going on.  Amazingly, there was a slash of light across just her eyes, it was kind of cool just on her eyes so here is that picture.  There is way too much noise in the picture but I still like the effect of the light across her eyes.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Day 12, Project 365

I got home from work today and the essential oils I ordered were here waiting for me!  I am so excited to try essential oils, especially for headaches.  One more new thing to add to my list for 2015. Of course, my excitement of my receiving the essential oils dictated that's what my picture would be today.  I thought I'd try to narrow my depth of field  -  just to play around with that and I think I was pretty successful.  It's definitely not my most favorite picture ever but as always, it's good practice.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Day 11, Project 365

I had thought today's picture would be easy: volleyball tournament day.  I do not have a fast lens so my action-gym pictures leave much to be desired anyway but normally I'm pretty happy with the results.  Well, today the lighting was horrendous and the distance from the bleachers to the court was too far for my liking so I didn't quite get the picture(s) I was hoping for.  Nevertheless, it's a picture and helps to capture my day and day 11. The girls won the tournament so I guess that makes up for poor lighting, right?  ;)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 10, Project 365

Wahoo! 10:00 AM and I have my post and pic for the day!  Our dog Fozzie's favorite place to sit is on the foot stool in the living room but only if we move the stool in the sun,  I knew I'd be able to catch him there today and the light coming in through the window hit him perfectly for this shot.  He looks so innocent here but don't let him fool you!  He's a seven-year-old Yorkie-Poo who loves to get in the garbage and chew on slipper laces.  He loves to be outside but forgets he's only 16 pounds and gets cold quickly in the winter.  He's also a great snuggler and I suppose that's most important.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Day 9, Project 365

Not only because I am not a winter person am I longing for warmer months but also because I know I will be inspired daily, easily.  New growth, buds on trees, flowers blooming, kids outside, dog outside, longer days...for now I am making do with looking around my house for interesting things or the 'right' light.  Tonight, it was almost a divine intervention: I was wandering around debating what today's picture would be when I looked up at our 'Amazing Grace' cross and noticed the way the lamp light was shining on it - Hallelujah!

Then when I brought it into Lightroom I decided to see how it looked in black and white; the result was kind of powerful, I think.  So, Day 9 is complete.  As always, I welcome feedback.  :)

I forgot to mention when I started this challenge and blog that around Christmastime I tried shooting in RAW for the first time ever (I've had a 'big' camera for five or six years) and my only question is: why didn't I try sooner?!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Day 8, Project 365

After reading Jennifer McCallum's Day 7 Post and the post by Click it Up a Notch on offering encouragement, support and offering critique I’m feeling a little braver than I was eight days ago when I started this challenge and decided I would welcome constructive criticism and feedback for my photos (as well as for this blog I’m certain I’m using at the barest of bones capabilities).  I know this is one way I will begin to improve, so once again, this leaves me feeling vulnerable (which I am not very good at) but new year, new things, right?  There are some days I feel downright uninspired. Some days are hectic after working all day and then whatever is going on at home.  Miserably cold weather certainly doesn't motivate me yet I refuse to give up on this project. 
Last night my oldest daughter sent me a text to look at the moon and how pretty it would be in a picture and after I almost shed a tear at her thinking to tell me what, I grabbed the camera and ran outside to attempt some photos.  Well…with the wind-chill being well below zero and the moon having rose higher in the sky by the time I got out there and our house/driveway being positioned so that I didn't have a fabulous view, the pictures were straight-up crap.  BUT I was still inspired in that I would one day love to get a fabulous picture of the moon and with that thought some great sunset pictures (and sunset because I don’t realistically see myself rising and moving quickly enough to take sunrise pictures!) which made me wonder where I could go in my neighborhood or even within a couple-mile radius and determined I know the perfect spot; another goal for me this year. 
I read an article the other day about often being in the passenger seat and what great opportunities that could create for some interesting pictures, so I’ve resolved to start carrying my ‘big’ camera with me more often.  So very often I wish I had it with me because let’s face it, while a phone camera is better than no camera, it’s just not the same.  Since I resolved to start carrying it with me more often, that now leads me to how best to carry it around: I’m now on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ purse/camera bag at a price that won’t break the bank.  J  Happy shopping!

Picture for today was from rush-hour traffic, stopped because of snow and ice-covered roads.  As I sat, I noticed the clouds and the line that they had formed and the sun reflecting back to them gave them a pretty color.  Not a great picture for many reasons, however, taken from my phone through the windshield of the car and given that I was noticing and observing the sky and lines it works for today's post.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Day 6, Project 365

January 6: Hubby's birthday (and Epiphany) = celebration!  The four of us and my in-laws had a great dinner at Pizzeria Pezzo (FABULOUS server!) and I knew today's picture would be easy.  I wanted to capture my hubby with only the ambient light and the light from the candles on his cake.  I was fairly successful - a little grainy for my taste (my own worst critic, right?) but it works.  I am truly blessed to be able to call this man my husband and he deserves to be celebrated; hope he enjoys Neil Diamond (who am I kidding -  he'll be in heaven!).  Cheers to number 43!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Day 5, Project 365

Monday...back to work...didn't really put a lot of thought into the picture for today but I've got one and that's half the battle.  This is our sweet kitty, Nala.  I do like, even if it wasn't necessarily intentional, the window light reflecting in her eye.  :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Day 4, Project 365

I woke up this morning thinking about my day and where I might be able to take pictures or how I might be inspired (maybe it's becoming a habit already?).  

As I snuggled with our cat, Nala, this morning and snapped an adorable picture on my phone I thought, hey, that's it, I've got my pic for the day.  Then we ventured out in the sub-zero cold to watch my nephew's basketball game. While there I thought maybe I could snap a pic or two and that could be my post.  I didn't bring my 'big' camera and only had my phone.  Action pictures on a smartphone?  Not happening.  But, I told myself it was the attempt and it would suffice for today's post.  However, I just happened to walk by the front door and took a peak outside and saw the most beautiful dusk sky with our Christmas lights in the foreground and decided I had to try and capture (even in the sub-zero cold).  So, I ran and grabbed my camera, adjusted the settings, threw it on the tripod and voila!, today's post!  :)  #project365 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Day 3, Project 365

Hold on to your hat, folks (this is with the assumption there's actually more than one person reading this), things got a little wild today:  Not only did I reverse my route on my walk through the nature center BUT I veered off the beaten path.  Crazy, right?  All sorts of adventures and we're only three days into 2015. It was a gorgeous winter day and I wanted to take advantage of it as this was probably the last mild winter day we'll see in awhile.  I took my camera on this little adventure today and forced myself to look around, observe and enjoy. Truthfully, I was hoping to come across some wild life but only happened upon numerous dogs with their humans.  So nature shots it was; I snapped a few dozen shots and really worked on composure and lighting.  I chose this picture for Day 3 of Project 365 as the bench with barren snow in the middle of the woods has such a quiet, isolated feeling to it yet the Oak tree leaves still hanging on gave it a little warmth; it seemed appropriate for a mild winter day.  

Friday, January 2, 2015

Day 2, Project 365

Day 2...I was gung-ho yesterday, then I spent what was probably too much time reading blogs and 365 posts and it left me feeling inadequate, maybe a little envious of all of the talented people out there.  I've spent some time today with some pep-talks to myself
and trying to abandon my pity-party for one.  What I'm left with is that of course there are people more talented than me but I can learn from them and enjoy the beauty they contribute to this world.  So, I grabbed my camera and knew exactly what I wanted to attempt: photographing one of my favorite ornaments of my grandma's.  This particular ornament is at least 40 years old but I'd guess older than that.  As a child I was fascinated by it - there's a whole 3D scene in this ornament and to this day it mesmerizes me.  I decided to try and capture some beautiful starbursts from the Christmas tree lights and used a flashlight to brighten up the ornament.  A few shots later (after I realized I was on manual focus but trying to focus automatically- face palm!) I got one that's a 'keeper'.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015


2015 - a time for new things?  Here's my attempt at a blog (I may be crazy...) and to partake in Project 365.  I was inspired by  Click it Up a Notch and thought I'd give it a shot.  The idea is to practice photography whether it's with my 'big' camera or with my phone and to spend a few minutes daily taking photos.

I haven't the slightest idea how blogging works so I am totally punting right now with the hope that by the end of 2015 I have gotten comfortable enough with blogging so as to not feel silly doing it or feel lost/inadequate/sub-par, etc.

So, here I am, a brief but true first attempt.  I have to admit this leaves me feeling a little vulnerable and that is darn scary.  :)

Below, one of my favorite pictures from our New Year celebration - my three nephews.