Sea Blue Lens


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Scene & Story: December 2017

I’d hoped to discover a really spectacular image when I reviewed December’s photos, in order to finish up Scene & Story with a bang, so to speak. What I discovered instead was that I didn’t get out much in December. Winter set in with snow storms, cold winds, and early darkness, compounding my usual pre-Christmas blues. Most of my photos were of icy landscapes seen through the window.

Light in the Darkness

So this one turned out to be the winner, representing a brighter, happier aspect of the month. The glow of colored lights shining into the night and reflecting back again, and the warm nostalgia of treasured ornaments from Christmases past. The blessing of having a safe, warm refuge from bitter cold days and nights. The sharing of love, kindness, and the goodwill of the holidays with family, friends, and neighbors near and far.

And now it’s a new year, with who-knows-what on the horizon. The decorations are packed away until next time, which I know will be here all too soon. The weather outside is still frightful, even snowier and colder. I’m looking forward to a break, to being able to get back outside with my camera. Until then, I will turn on some lamps to shine out into the darkness, and enjoy the peace and pleasures of being at home.

Home, my “word” for 2018.

* * * * *

Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

This is the last Scene & Story linkup. Sarah and I have enjoyed hosting the linkup for the past year. It’s been a fun practice and I’ve loved the rhythm of this monthly post, but it’s time to move on to new adventures and projects in the new year. A huge Thank you to those who have joined in or followed along over the past year. It’s been a joy to share the first Sunday of each month with you!


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2017 – In a Nutshell

This is my third annual round-up of the Project 365 Pro daily photo calendar I’ve been keeping on my iPhone. This year I did not post each month on Facebook, as I did in the past. But I am gathering them together here, as I have for the past two years. It’s fun to have this collection of thumbnails and be able to scroll through the whole year at once. As before, I tried to include at least one photo of myself each month, since so often we photographers aren’t actually seen to be participants in our own lives.

To be honest, by mid-October, I really felt done with this project. September 1 marked four years in a row of non-stop 365’s and I was tired of it. I still am, and I think the photos show it. I wanted to finish out the year, but I’m planning to let it go for a while and concentrate on other projects.

Of course, I could still change my mind. I guess we’ll find out in a year.

Day’s End / Year’s End

Farewell, Old Year! My New Year’s wish is for the world to be a brighter, kinder place in 2018. I’ll try to do my part to make it so. Happy New Year and much love to you all, my dear friends and family, wherever you may be.


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Scene & Story: November 2017

Ghost Trestle

So there I was, out for a walk around the neighborhood on a dull grey day in Maine, while chatting on my cell phone with my sister in California. I left the house with no expectations of taking photographs. (Stop laughing!)

I also had no expectations of adventure or discovery as I set off down the familiar street. But for some reason, when I reached the old, disused railroad tracks a mile or so from home, I turned down them to the left for the very first time. Now, to the right, the way I usually go, the tracks run between two neighborhoods, and all you can see there are glimpses of houses and back yards. But to the left — things began to get interesting.

There was a vacant field surrounded by brush and trees, their limbs mostly bare already. There were stacks of old railroad ties, weathered silvery grey. The ground sloped steeply down on both sides of the tracks, lined with trees, an occasional bough still festooned with bright-colored leaves. Water pooled in the low ground on both sides, reflecting sky and branches. There were scattered leaves of scarlet and gold along the tracks at my feet.

Photos needed to be taken! I was still talking to my sister via my bluetooth earpiece, and I began using my phone to take photos at the same time. Then…surprise!…I came around the corner, out of the trees, and saw the scene above. That’s my river, the one that runs behind my apartment building! That’s the oh-so-distant trestle that I’ve seen many times from the road. I had no idea it was so accessible, and within walking distance!

I kept walking, chatting away and blissfully snapping photos of all this newly revealed scenery, when suddenly — my phone died. No warning at all, it just shut itself off. That was the end of my walk, my talk, and my picture taking. I headed home as quickly as possible so I could plug in the phone and call my poor sister back to explain. Fortunately she loves me and is very forgiving.

There’s a moral to this story, and it’s this: Expect the unexpected!

There are other lessons to be learned, too. Notes to self:

  1. Get out more.
  2. Take the unfamiliar turn more often.
  3. Always take a camera . . .
  4. AND a backup power source!

I should know by now that I’m inevitably going to spot something I want to photograph. Whether I carry a camera and backup battery, or just a pocket charger for my phone, I want to be ready next time.

* * * * *

Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

NOTE: December’s Scene & Story on Sunday, January 7, will be our last “official” linkup. Sarah and I have enjoyed hosting the linkup for the past year. It’s been a fun practice and I’ve loved the rhythm of this monthly post, but it’s time to move on to new adventures and projects in the new year. A heartfelt Thank you to those who have joined in over the past year. It’s been a joy to share the first Sunday of each month with you!

 


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Scene & Story: October 2017

Oh, October, you most brilliant and colorful of months! I hate to see you go.

October has always been a favorite month, no matter where I lived. Where I grew up, in southern Nevada, there wasn’t much color to speak of, but by October the weather was always pleasant — not too warm nor too cool — and life would be well-settled into the fall routine of school or work or whatever.

October is usually quiet month, before the excitement and anticipation of the winter holidays set in. It brings with it a touch of nostalgia, as my father’s birthday is (was) in mid-October. He died in 1994, but would have been 99 this year. I still miss him.

The year after Dad’s death, I moved eastward, first to Ohio and later to Maine, and experienced the “real” autumn that I’d previously only read about. It’s been over 20 years and I still haven’t gotten over the wonder of it. So, even though it’s a total cliché, my October scene is all about the leaves.

High winds and heavy rain last weekend brought an end to the peak color, but I have memories and I have photographs to remind me of its glory until October comes around again.

* * * * *

Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 


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Autumn Musings and Summer Reflections

October Marsh

Well, I can no longer kid myself that there’s anything of summer left. October is definitely autumn, though it feels like fall has been slow to really take over. For the most part the weather has been quite warm and mostly clear. The leaves are slow to change color this year, and many trees seem to be letting go of their leaves without the usual spectacular display first.

Autumn Solitude

Today really does feel like fall, though. The morning was overcast and there’s been some rain, and I can see a few colorful branches among the green ones outside my window. A light wind is fluttering the leaves in the trees and scattering them like confetti on the ground.

Dawn Beach Patrol

With the new season I’m thinking about my blog again. It’s been a year since Sarah and I started our monthly Scene & Story posts, and since May that has been the only post I’ve published each month. Last year in September, I took Susannah Conway’s Blogging From the Heart course, thinking it would revitalize my blog. That didn’t exactly happen, but I still have hope — and tomorrow’s another day!

Noontime “Crowds” and Clouds

Today I looked through WordPress’s blog templates, thinking perhaps I’d select a new one to change things up a bit. While there, I learned that mine has been “retired.” I also learned that there’s none I like better, so I’ll be keeping it as long as they will let me! It’s clean and simple and it suits me. I can always change my header photo for a new look now and then (and in fact I just did).

Evening Falls

I have ideas for posts and a mass of photos to sort through! Though I haven’t been blogging much, I have been taking photographs nearly every day, mostly with my phone. I love my iPhone for its convenience, spontaneity, and ease of sharing. Lately I’m feeling drawn back to my Nikon for its creative control and photo quality, but now I almost have to learn how to use it all over again. I think that “A Year With My Camera” may be 2018’s project.

Lone Leaf

The photos in this post are a random sampling from summer and early fall. I am so glad to be able live in this amazing place.

Wishing you all a wonderful week!


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Scene & Story: September 2017

I hope you don’t mind coming back to the beach with me for this month’s Scene & Story. I had thought of several different photo/story possibilities for September. It’s nice to have an abundance of material to choose from, though that can bring problems of its own! In the end, this image turned out to be one of my favorites, and it happened quite by accident.

DSC_1926Summer’s End

A couple of weeks ago, I went over to Ocean Park to see the surf, as we’d had high surf warnings for several days as Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Jose made its way northward up the Atlantic. You may recall that people photography is not my “thing.” But while I was watching the waves, this couple walked down to the edge of the water and stood there with their arms around each other. I thought, “That’s sweet,” and thought it might make a picture. I got off a couple of quick shots and was disappointed that they broke apart just as I snapped the shutter the third time.

Much to my surprise, the third time really was the charm. I love this photo — the wind blowing her skirt and hair, the action, the perfect postures and clarity of their two shapes. The slight angling of their heads and bodies towards each other feels more intimate to me than when they were actually touching.

I don’t know them and they didn’t even notice me, but I’m grateful to them for representing the joy and beauty and wonder of summer for me and my camera. It was pure serendipity, and I love it when that happens.

* * * * *

Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. 


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Scene & Story: August 2017

When I reviewed my photographs for the last month, I was surprised to come across the ones I took when I stayed at the beach for a few days in the second week of August. It was only three and a half weeks ago, but somehow it feels much longer. Perhaps it’s because being at that place seems so far removed from my normal daily life and routine. It’s like something in a dream, where time doesn’t really have any meaning. Was I really there?

Oh, yes I was! And I have my photos to remind myself, to remember what it was like to get up before the sun to walk on the deserted beach. Listening to the waves and the gulls as the sky lightens and a new day begins. Feeling the water on my bare feet and the breeze on my face. Not thinking. Just breathing. Just being.

August Sunrise

I’m grateful for this hobby of photography that helps me revisit the past, whether special moments like that August morning or just the small moments of my ordinary days.

And so I say goodbye to summer, and welcome autumn. Just breathing. Just being.

* * * * *

Click here for the Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

Scene & Story is a monthly collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one another in our photography and writing. We’d love to have you join us! Share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo.