Category Archives: Photography

Day 1

[Why don’t I ever start these things before midnight?!  I swear, what is wrong with me?!?]

There’s been this thing floating around the interwebs; I only saw it yesterday, but I’m sure it’s been out there for a while.  This thing poses a very simple question:

Can You Be Happy for 100 Days in a Row?

I personally think there’s a subtle difference between the answer to this question and the proposed assignment.  The project asks that you take photos for 100 days in a row of something that makes you happy.  I can always snap a pic of chocolate, a great beer, a good book, but does that mean that I am inherently happy?  I suppose I’ll have to let you know in June.

However, as I cursed the city road crews for using matte white paint for lines on the freeway while I struggled to say in my own lane during my waterlogged morning commute, I reminded myself that today was the first day of this challenge and that, rather than snarling about something I was powerless to change, I should try to find something happy.  While I failed miserably – come on, rainy commute, no coffee?! What’d you expect? – it did take the edge off my burgeoning bad mood so that I at least walked into work on a more even keel.

For now, I’m posting snaps on my Instagram feed, but I may switch to Flickr if I can. 

#1:

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Although it makes me sad that I won’t be able to attend, it makes me exceedingly happy that Dorothy and Dan are getting hitched this year. Friends, co-members of “NASCAR H3” and fellow purveyors of silliness, I wish you all the happiness in the world!  

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Saturday’s Experiment

It’s strange – I’ve been unemployed for years and I still think in terms of work days and weekends.  I wonder why that is?

In a slightly different turn of events, I spent yesterday afternoon photographing a meeting that my cousin was hosting.  She feels her faith very strongly and decided to organize a group of like-minded women to get together and discuss issues of faith, gender and life in general.

As I sat in a room with these women who are incredibly passionate about their beliefs, I felt decidedly out of place.  To say that I am not a particularly religious person would be an understatement.  I was not raised in a church-going home; my parents were different denominations and attending church regularly simply wasn’t something we did.  A part of me wishes I had that unshakable faith that there is a master plan for me, that if I believe enough then life would all make sense.  I don’t know if I’m too old or too cynical or just too…me, but I have difficulty embracing that mentality.  Maybe I’m not there yet; perhaps I never will be.

Anyway – TANGENT!  While I roamed the room ensnared in my own existential, ecumenical crisis, I realized once again that I’m either just terrible at taking photos of people or I just don’t like doing it.  Part of it I know has to do with my own issues – I love snapping photos but I despise shoving my camera into someone’s face in order to do so.  At a glance, I’m disappointed in the photos I took yesterday.  My kit lens kept limited the zoom I could get on some of the women’s faces during the discussion, and frankly, a dozen women sitting around a table talking didn’t make for terribly dynamic photos.  What’s more likely is that I didn’t have the skill to create interesting photos given my subject matter.

Intellectually, I understand that the only way that I’ll get better at photographing people is to make a point of doing it with more frequency but I really prefer inanimate objects.  I think this is likely because I can take photos of things over and over again until I get a shot that I like; whereas with people, you pretty much get one opportunity to get it right (unless you’re dealing with models, I suppose).

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Farm Day

May 1 marks the first day of planting season in the land of my community garden, so I swung by to see if where things stood.

dustbowlThe phrase “dust bowl” comes to mind.  They claim that the large plots were tilled, though I’m not sure that explains why I still have this straw strewn across my small section.  Most people have started to mark off their plots; I’ll head back over tomorrow and do the same with my little corner of the world.  It’s hard to say which is larger – the rocks scattered throughout or the hard, dry clumps of dirt.  HRG claims that there’s a tiller somewhere here on the homestead; we’ll have to go digging through the garage this weekend and see if we can turn it up.

After checking out the sorry state of my plot, I decided to check out the rest of the farm at Possum Creek.  This little fella was the first to greet me:

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Mostly, I think he was begging for food.

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yellingI know he was.

I felt bad, but there’s a big sign that says I can’t feed the little guy so he’ll just have to make do.  The final photo shows him yelling at me, which he continued to do until I finally walked out of sight.

sleepy sheepyIt was a little warm this afternoon – the high temperature was somewhere in the mid-80s – so these sheep were trying to keep cool in the shady grass.  They were a little wary of my presence, but not enough to leave their comfy spots.

warrenI’m not entirely certain what this structure was supposed to be.  It’s located near where the map indicated the rabbit house should be, but those fences don’t look like they’d do much to keep rabbits inside.

polloI believe this is one of the two chicken houses.  The majority of the chickens and turkeys were scratching in the yard behind the other house, but there were a couple of rowdy roosters caged in this one.

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Wrapping It Up

Another month has come and gone, so it’s time for a Fat Mum Slim update!

Somehow I managed to not do ANY weekly updates this month – sorry y’all!  You can see all of the photos in detail on my photoblog or my Flickr feed, but here’s my month in review:

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I missed a couple of shots while I was in North Carolina and Virginia a couple of weeks ago, my first misses this year.  If I’ve only missed two out of 120 opportunities, I feel okay about that.  Knowing me, I’ll make up the photos before the year is over, just so I can have the complete set at year’s end.

Unfortunately, out of the 28 photos I DID manage to take this month, I’m only happy with maybe three or four of them.  Photography is a patient man’s game, and I am exceedingly lacking in that department.  In some instances, the prompts didn’t speak to me on a given day and in other cases, I just punked out & phoned it in.  My personal goal for this project is to try and be more mindful and deliberate with my photography.  With this in mind, my goal for May is to double the number of photos with which I am pleased.

(Yes, I did just do the English major double-take and reword that to move the preposition away from the end of the sentence.  No, I’m not going to fix the other sentences with the same oops.  No, you shouldn’t judge the rest of my writing based upon that proclamation.)

I also need to look ahead in the prompts a little.  Sometimes, I’ll snap a shot of something at the beginning of the month and two weeks later, realize it would’ve been PERFECT for an entirely different prompt.  Aiming for ten photos I don’t hate this month – wish me luck!

Words of Wisdom

I spotted this bit of graffiti on the corrugated fence of what I assume is some sort of junk yard a few weeks ago and finally found the opportunity to pull over and take a photo. Something about these simple words speaks to me and makes me take them to heart.

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Mid-March Madness

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New Tricks

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Wednesday night, Rebekah Bucnis-Thompson did a presentation at the Franklin-Springboro Public Library on digital photography.   It was a “Learn Your Digital Camera” talk and, while I’m fairly familiar with my D90, I figured even if I picked up one or two things, I’d be worth the trip.  It was.

Most of what she discussed were things I’d picked up either on my own or the course I took through Arlington County a couple of years ago, but it was good to have things reinforced.  The main thing is that I have GOT to start shooting in manual more.  If I don’t, I’ll never learn.  Generally, I shoot in aperture priority mode – or Program, if I’m feeling SUPER lazy – but my brain doesn’t work quickly enough to evaluate a scene and immediately know that I want to use an f-stop of 5.6 and a shutter speed of 1/150 with ISO 400.

The women sitting behind me and I both agree that we would like for Ms. Bucnis-Thompson to do another, more-advanced course, but I think everyone in the room came away from her presentation with enough information to take better photos.  She taught a month-long class at a local arts center last month; I may look into seeing if she teaches another in the spring.  I did stay after class for a minute or two to ask her silly questions, like what her go-to metering and focus points were (center all around) and what her go-to lens was (50mm, 1.8 is her workhorse).  She had both Canon and Nikon DSLRs, and – in her opinion – Canon makes the better bodies but Nikkor glass is superior.

In Like a Lion

03.01 – L is for…, 03.02 – I Made This!, 03.03 – Key, 03.04 – Lucky, 03.05 Under, 03.06 – Chair, 03.07 – Fear, 03.08 – Favourite, 03.09 – Faceless Self-Portrait

The first third of March’s photos are under wraps.  Some photos are insanely easy; others a great deal more difficult.  I need to get back into the habit of planning my photos in advance, instead of looking up at eight o’clock at night and frantically looking for something in the living room that will fit the bill.

Time sprung forward yesterday morning and, like most of the rest of the U.S., I’m all discombobulated today.  Doesn’t this seem absurdly early?  I feel like Daylight Savings Time didn’t used to kick in until early April.  This – on top of my regular insomnia – isn’t a good thing.

 See my PixelPages for daily updates on my Fat Mum Slim contributions.

February Fortnight

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02.14 – Love is…, 02.15 Inside Your Fridge, 02.16 – Perfect, 02.17 – In Your Hand, 02.18 – Something You Don’t Like, 02.19 – I Am…, 02.20 – Where You Stood, 02.21 – Full, 02.22 – Makes You Smile, 02.23 – A Word, 02.24 – Cloud, 02.25 – On Your Bedside Table, 02.26 – Quiet, 02.27 – Playing, 02.28 (tie) – Upside Down, 02.28 (tie) – Upside Down

Fell a little behind in updating the blog with my latest Fat Mum Slim photos, so here’s two weeks at once.  These 16 photos represent that last two weeks of February.  I can’t believe we’re already a week into March.

Fat Mum Slim Week 5 Roundup

Just finished up week five and I’m still going strong.  I’m kicking myself for missing some photography opportunities earlier today just because I didn’t want to be intrusive.  Something I am REALLY going to have to work on in the future.  I have over 300 days to get it right.

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01.31 – Yourself  Wiped out after watching my young cousin, AKA “Spawn”
02.01 – Fork
02.02 – Pattern  The modified rib section of my Molly hat
02.03 – Something Beginning w/ E  Exposure  Something I really need to work on behind the lens
02.04 – Hope  I really hope I have enough yarn left to finish my mittens
02.05 – Something I Smelled  Part of grandma’s perfume collection
02.06 – Soft  Spawn’s squishy blanket