Sea Blue Lens


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A Natural Spark

This week’s still life exercise was a continuation of last week’s, another “spark” from that same catalog spread. Assignment: to create a vignette and hang or attach pompoms or bunting or something to the background. Well, I’m in full rebellion mode now. I don’t have any bunting, I’m not interested in pompoms, and besides, I draped a necklace over a flowerpot last week. Doesn’t that count?

Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyway . . . .

I collected a few goodies from my bookshelves and carried them up to the spare bedroom my Studio, where I arranged them on my little antique maple writing desk.

DSC_8714What This Country Needs

DSC_8712 Chickadee and Field Guides

DSC_8725Goldfinch & Grapevine

DSC_8729First Draft

Then I started playing with the pieces, trying different setups. After a few tries, I decided the Goldfinch was too much. That bright spot of color didn’t seem to fit with all the other muted tones, so I eliminated him from my next compositions. (Processed with Kim Klassen’s Lightroom preset kk_summersun)

DSC_8719Revision I

I tried a dark background, and I did find something to hang up that made sense to me.
(Processed with kk_darklight preset)

DSC_8722Revision II

With light background (the bare wall) and kk_truegrit preset.

DSC_8709-2Final VersionĀ 

(kk_darklight with some adjustments of my own)

If I had to turn in homework, this would be the one. As I look at it now, I can see things I’d like to change up a bit — maybe the placement of that little hanging ornament, for one — but overall I’m pleased with the way it turned out. And I enjoyed spending some time “in nature” even though it was again too cold (minus 15, brrrr) to go outside.


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Photo-Heart Connection: February

Collection=Connection

Finding the photograph from February that spoke to my heart was not an easy assignment. Due to weather, work, and various other constraints, I didn’t take many photos in February. I didn’t want to use one I’d already posted before. What was left?

This is one I took for Scavenger Hunt Sunday a few weeks ago, but didn’t use. It’s a little vignette in a corner of a bookcase, a part of what I think of as my natural history shelf. These objects speak of my love of nature and wildlife. And each of them holds other memories, as well.

The two little birds and the frog are hand-carved from found wood by an artist in Eastport, Maine. My daughter and I visited “Downeast” for a week each summer for several years, and each piece commemorates something notable about the trip when it was purchased — the summer we saw flocks of goldfinches, the year the frogs in the pond serenaded us all night long, the time the woods were full of flitting chickadees.

The two small black books are from 1920, field guides to Western Birds and Western Flowers “of the Rockies and West to the Pacific.” They belonged to my grandparents-in-law, and there are penciled notes in the margins where they recorded dates and places of sightings. I’ve even added a few of my own over the years, and those bring back memories too, of other places lived, and long-ago camping trips when my children were young.

The white shadow box in the back contains treasures from closer to home: small shells and beach pebbles, tiny pine cones, a bit of driftwood, a moth’s wing. Just junk, I suppose, but precious to me.

Whenever I look at the objects on this shelf, I am reminded of my connections — and of my need to stay connected — to nature, to family, to my history, to the wider world around me and to my own inner self . . . to my heart. And that, dear friends, is exactly why I take photographs.

Linking to Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection at Kat Eye Studio. Come check it out – and even join in!

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