Sea Blue Lens


13 Comments

Shootout at the Cole Road Cafe

I am famous now. Well, maybe not famous, exactly. More like notorious? Yesterday my friend Susan, who blogs as Happy No Ears, wrote about — me! And posted pictures. I had hat hair. I vowed revenge.

Here you go:

Gotcha Back!

This is Susan, gloating over her “Don’t you dare!” capture. Doesn’t she look pleased with herself? I’m not sure if she even noticed that I snapped her back. (I know, what kind of revenge is this? She looks good in this picture!)

When I took an online photography class last year, the last thing I expected was to find a real, flesh-and-blood friend. Because we were supposed to keep a photojournal that we could share with classmates, I started this blog. As I read the blogs of fellow students literally from around the world, it was a shock to see one of them posting images of subjects that looked awfully familiar. That train station, for example — wait a minute, that’s MY train station. The one I can see from my window! Turns out she lives just a few miles down the pike from me.

She noticed it too. “Hey Neighbor,” she wrote one day in a comment on my blog. It wasn’t long before we were tossing around the idea of getting together for a photoshoot. And so we have done, followed by breakfast, several times now.

Cold Hands, Warm Coffee

If you’ve ever read Susan’s blog, then you know she’s a very quirky and funny writer. She’s really like that. It’s even better in person. She’s very considerate, too. She switches to decaf after the first cup, “for the world’s sake.”

As Susan noted, we are very different, but somehow it works. We get together and she does her thing and I do mine. It’s comfortable. And it’s fun!

Going Her Own Way

The wonderful thing about blogging friends is that they stay with you no matter where you or they go. We can connect in deep and meaningful ways, even though we may never actually meet. Getting to know Susan in person has been an unexpected gift, and when I move away I’m going to miss her. But we will keep in touch, and she can be sure I will call when I’m coming back this way. Meanwhile, there are those daffodils to look forward to . . . and another breakfast. With coffee, but please — only one cup of regular for Susan. We’re trying to keep the world safe here.

PS — Like Susan, I highly recommend Kat Sloma’s Find Your Eye e-courses. They got me to look at my photography and at myself in a whole new way. You’ll probably make some new friends, too. If you’re very very lucky, one of them might even be close enough to have breakfast with.


26 Comments

Thawing Out

Thanksgiving Blooms

Despite our continuing unseasonably warm weather, I have been rather frozen in place, wondering how to carry on here. I started this blog as a photo journal for an online photography class I was taking. I finished the last lesson a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m wondering, “What’s next?” What shall I do here now that I no longer have twice-weekly assignments to photograph and write about?

Our final bonus lesson for our Journey of Inspiration was the same as after the Journey of Recognition: to look over our Inspiration File (a collection of our own best/favorite photographs), reread our photo journal entries, and assess what we have gained from the class.

I loved these classes. They have brought me back to photography in a whole new way and have rekindled a new interest in my old love. In the pursuit of that interest, I’ve bought a new “serious” camera for the first time in years — my first dSLR. I’ve updated my Photoshop Elements software and dipped my toe ever so gently into the world of post-processing. And I recently found a good enough deal on Lightroom that I added that to my photographic arsenal as well.

Now, what am I going to do with all of this? First of all, try not to become overwhelmed by having so many new things to learn at once! Spend a little time each day on one thing at a time, taking it step by step. Remind myself that it takes practice to master anything new.

One of the most surprising things I discovered from my Find Your Eye classes is how much I enjoyed writing this blog. Thinking about my photos, about the process of taking them, about art and creativity; combining my words with my pictures here on this virtual page; and then clicking “Publish” so other people could read them … all that has been more rewarding and more fun than I ever imagined.

It’s not easy for an extremely introverted person to put herself “out there” for the world to see. I’ve been warmed by the positive responses not only of my classmates but total strangers who have somehow found their way here. When I despair over all the terrible things the news media stream at us daily, I can visit the blogs of new friends from the next town or across the globe and see the world through their eyes. The desire to seek and create beauty and meaning with our cameras links us into a community that transcends politics, geography, race, religion, education, occupation, or whatever else so often divides people. Despite our differences, we have a connection. This gives me hope and brings me joy.

I don’t know where this blog is going. Perhaps a direction will show itself in the future, but for now, it will simply continue to be my photo journal. I have a lot of ideas for my own self-assignments, and there were a number of class assignments that I’d like to do again, or take further. I also have a lot of things on my mind as I contemplate life changes in the not too distant future.

I hope we can stay in touch, my new friends!

Kat Sloma will be offering her Find Your Eye classes again beginning in January. She calls them “photo classes with heart and soul,” and they truly are that! I highly recommend them, as well as her lovely blog, The Kat Eye View of the World, where she shares inspiring thoughts and helpful tutorials … not to mention her own beautiful images.

.