Sea Blue Lens


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Adventures in…Water

I grew up in a desert. As you might guess from the name of my blog, I have a “thing” for water, especially the ocean. When I was a girl, I dreamt of being a mermaid and half-believed it was true. Now that I can choose for myself, I live with water all around me. There’s a river right behind my apartment building, and the Atlantic Ocean is just a ten minute drive away.

So, when “water” came up as a topic in our Adventures in Seeing group, I knew I couldn’t just post one or two photos and feel satisfied. And so I set off to photograph water, on a day that began with rain and ended with fog.

Rainy Morning

Snowmelt

Peaceful Landing

Solitude

Rock, Ocean, Sky

Shore Lines

Then home again, to my river:

Flow

Total Immersion

 

If I did have to choose just one image of the day’s shooting to express the essential humility and grace of water, it would be this, my favorite photo of the day:

This one has no name.

 

 


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Memories, Dreams, & Reflections: 2012

A friend inspired me to take on Ashley Sisk’s Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2012. It’s like a Super Scavenger Hunt Sunday, with 25 prompts to fulfill using photos from the whole year. You’d think it would be easy, having so much to choose from, but actually that’s the problem…there’s so much to choose from! But I thought it might be fun, and a good opportunity to review my year in photos, so here goes.

1. Me!

{In the Picture}

{In the Picture}

One thing I’m proud of accomplishing in 2012 is the {In the Picture} self-portrait challenge hosted by Christy at Urban Muser. I’ve taken a self-portrait (or several) and posted at least one on my blog every month all year. Here is one from each month . . . mostly outtakes that didn’t get published.

2. I Love You

My Favorite Couple

My Favorite Couple

This is my Dear Darling Daughter and El Boyfriendo (hers, not mine). I’m not sure who took the photo — a friend of theirs, I think — I “borrowed” it from her Facebook page because I love it (and them) so much. It’s a great shot of two of my favorite people at one of my favorite places.

3. Still Laughing…

Hangin' Out

Just Hangin’

Can you see our visitor, the little guy with the skinny neck and really long nose, there in the center of the frame? One afternoon my sister and I were looking out her kitchen window when we saw our resident roadrunner dashing along the driveway. To our surprise, he ran into the gazebo and flew up onto the railing. He sat there for several minutes, turning his head this way and that, surveying the property like the Lord of All. Finally he jumped down and disappeared into the brush . . . probably off to grab some grub. We still laugh about how odd he looked there. He is such a funny and fascinating creature and I absolutely love it that he graces us with his presence.

4. Winter Wonderland

Sea Smoke

Sea Smoke

I suppose it’s not called sea smoke if it’s on a river. But anyway . . . this was from last winter, taken behind my apartment building in Maine. It was a very cold morning, mist rising from the water and the trees white with frost. As the rising sun hit them, every twig glittered.

5. Birthday

Another Year Older and Who Cares?

Another Year Older — So What’s Next?

For my birthday, my sister and brother-in-law took me all the way to Little India in Cerritos so I could have Indian food, which I love, for my birthday dinner. We took the scenic route over the Angeles Forest and Angeles Crest highways. It was a beautiful drive, requiring several stops along the way to take photos. A fun and memorable day!

6. Friends

Painting Pals

Painting Pals

I became friends with these beautiful women over a decade ago, shortly after I moved to Maine. We met through our local adult ed program when Carol, Sue, and I took a series of watercolor painting classes taught by Judith (on the right). During the summer, when there was no class, some of us would get together once a week at Sue’s house to paint. Before I moved away in May, Carol and Sue invited me to lunch and surprised me by having Judith come too. I asked our server to snap this shot of the four of us with my iPhone. I miss these talented and very sweet friends.

7. I Was Inspired…

Me, Myself, and iPhone

Me, Myself, and iPhone

Meeting my friend Susan for a photoshoot after work one day, I discovered I’d brought my camera bag but not the camera! I was very disappointed, but then I was inspired to try my iPhone camera. I hadn’t used it before except for a few snapshots, and I didn’t have high expectations. Much to my surprise, I loved the resulting photos and it turned out to be one of my favorite shoots ever. (I blogged about it here.) Of course, the wonderful company didn’t hurt, either.

8. Spring Fever

Spring Faces

Spring Has Sprung

You know it’s spring when the daffodils are up in Laurel Hill Cemetery. They sweep down the hillside to the river and people come from all over the area to see the spectacle every year. This image is from another photoshoot with Susan. It was great to be able to share the experience and the photo op with a friend.

9. Travel or Vacation

Bye Bye, Ocean

Bye Bye, East Coast

My last glimpse of the Atlantic, as I flew to my new home in California. This is New York, where I changed planes. I saw nothing of Maine as I left — we were in clouds as soon as we left the ground. It’s probably just as well.

10. Summer Days

California Girl

California Girl

August at the beach in Ventura. Need I say more?

11. A Day In My Life

Where I "Work"

Where I “Work”

Even though I’m retired now, I still spend quite a bit of time at a desk. The difference is that it’s MY desk, and I can get up and walk away from it whenever I want! This is where I process photos, write this riveting blog, peruse Facebook, and watch birds through the window. In case you’re wondering, I think retirement is awesome!

12. All Smiles

Beaky Smiles

Bird Smiles

Do birds smile? No, but they and their antics make me “all smiles.” They are always entertaining and can make me forget any problem. These are only a few of the many species I’ve photographed right here in our yard.

13. Autumn Harvest

All You Can Eat

All You Can Eat

This is just a sampling of the bounty to be found at Sanchez’s roadside produce stand. Some of it is grown in fields and gardens right behind the stand, and most of the rest is locally sourced. Sanchez’s and our local farmers’ market is where we bought our fruits and veggies all summer and fall.

14. Family or Home

Moving In

Moving In

This is my home. I know, it doesn’t look like much here. (Trust me, it’s improved since this picture was taken.) I have moved many times over the course of my life, and some of the contents of these boxes have been with me every step of the way. I’m pretty good at packing and unpacking my life. Each new house or apartment is a new beginning, and I love turning it into a comfortable home.

15. Celebrate!

Aunt and Uncle Sam

Aunt and Uncle Sam?

2012 marked the 50th anniversary of Acton’s annual Fourth of July parade. The parade is a big deal. People start parking their RVs and setting up tent shade shelters along the parade route days in advance. There’s much hilarity as some parade watchers blast floats with water guns, and riders on the floats return fire . . . uh, water. Even the fire truck that opens and closes the parade gets into the act and by the time it’s over, anyone who wants to be is thoroughly drenched. Remarkably, those who don’t wish to be sprayed are respected and stay dry. It was a great time of celebration and good-hearted laughter.

16. Let’s Do It Again…

Friends Through a Lens

Friends Through a Lens

In the fall of 2011, I met in person a fellow photographer and blogger, Susan (Happy No Ears). We’d connected with through Kat Sloma’s Find Your Eye classes and discovered we lived only a few miles apart. Our growing friendship was one of the joys of 2012. We went on several photography outings together, always followed by something delicious to rejuvenate ourselves with. I really miss her and look forward to getting together again when I visit Maine. (She’ll probably want to kill me for posting some of these, but I think I’m safely out of reach!)

17. I Miss You

Dawn

Sunrise at My Beach

Maine! I miss everything about it, except maybe the long winters . . . and long winter nights. But I especially miss being only ten minutes from a beautiful beach, where I could go on the spur of the moment and walk in near-solitude even on summer evenings. I miss friends and loved ones left behind. But don’t worry: I’ll be back! I’m already planning my next visit.

18. Beautiful

Sharing a Cup

Sharing a Cup

These are my daughter’s beautiful hands. We still have tea together now and then — we just do it by phone.

19. Dress Up

No Place To Go

No Place To Go

This is about as dressed up as I get these days. Please note the lovely polish on my toenails. I think that’s a nice, dressy touch. It even matches my fancy, flowered tee-shirt!

20. Macro

After the Rain

After Rain

These are berries of Juniperus Californica, the beautiful native California juniper. There are several large specimens of this tree on our property. I woke one morning to find it had rained overnight, and water was dripping from everything. I took my camera out and took nearly 200 shots of  various weed-and-water effects. This was one of my favorites.

21. Holidays

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

I really enjoyed dressing my new little cottage for the holidays. This is the first time in a dozen years that I’ve decorated a Christmas tree.

22. My Favorite

Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl

One of my favorite memories of 2012 is from New Year’s Day, when I went on a photoshoot with my son-un-law and a birding friend of his. The weather was surprisingly warm and beautiful for a winter’s day in Maine, and I’d gotten a new lens for Christmas. We went to Nubble Light in search of a snowy owl that had been reported in the area. As you can see, we found it, as did a small crowd of other folks on the same quest. The warmth of that day of sunshine, nature’s beauty, and casual fellowship have lingered in my memory all year long.

23. Don’t Ever Change

Picture of Contentment

Picture of Contentment

I’ve been a reader all my life. I’m grateful for the pleasure, companionship, consolation, inspiration, adventure, tears, laughter . . . you name it . . . that I’ve gotten from books. They are always there when wanted or needed, asking nothing in return. I can’t see my love for them ever changing, nor would I want it to.

24. Just Because…So There!

Summer's End

Tattered

I don’t know why, I just like it.

25. Hopes and Dreams

Charisma

Charisma

I hope to bloom like this beautiful rose as I continue to explore my new life and environment. I also dream of having this beautiful rose bloom again in my garden . . . and not be eaten by bunnies the very next day!

And that’s a wrap.  Now it’s time to put 2012 in the archives and look ahead to a new year full of possibility. I’m joining the linkup over at Ramblings and Photos and looking forward to seeing everyone’s reviews of 2012.

 


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Out to Pasture

Golden Hour

I’ve hinted around a bit that there are going to be some changes in my life. I will be retiring at the end of April, and a month after that, I will be moving from Southern Maine to Southern California. I am anticipating my retirement with unadulterated delight. I’ve always been one who has worked to live, not the other way around. To have the time to pursue all of my many interests, including photography, is my idea of bliss.

The moving part of this scenario is a bit more complicated. I’m excited about the new prospect in front of me, but at the same time, I’m leaving behind much that is precious. It will be wrenching to move so far away from friends and family that I love dearly, and from this beautiful, unique place that has felt like home since the first time I saw it.

This is not the first time I have uprooted myself and moved far from the known and familiar. I am a native Californian and grew up in the West, so in a way this is a return to my roots. I will be moving close to others who are dear to me, and I’ll make new friends; I always do. (That doesn’t make parting from the old ones any easier, though.)

I’m moving from a small town here to a small town there, and I’m looking forward to exploring that community, getting to know people, and finding ways to get involved. And, of course, finding new subjects to photograph.

My new home will be very different. Instead of a river flowing past my windows, I will be gazing at this:

New Morning

Instead of seagulls and mallards, there’ll be hawks and quail.

Callipepla californica

Instead of buying eggs at the health food store across from my office, I’ll be collecting them myself from the hens that laid them.

The Girls

Instead of a rented apartment, I will be living in my own little cottage next door to my sister and her husband. It has a patio, and a garden, and an apple tree right outside my bedroom window.

Green Delicious

And a fireplace. A real fireplace! The whole cottage has been freshly painted in my choice of paint, and is just sitting there waiting for me to come and make it home.

I will miss my ocean sunrises. But I’ll have mountain sunsets to look forward to. And stars like I haven’t seen since I was a child.

And the Sun Sank Slowly . . . .

And there will still be an ocean. It will be farther away — an hour and a half instead of fifteen minutes — but close enough so I can visit when I’m feeling parched for the sight and sound of my beloved sea.

Atlantic Morning

Pacific Afternoon

The “Sea” in my name will be a different one, but I will still be me, and I’ll still be here.

Adventure awaits!


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Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I skipped SHS last week and I missed it! Here are my responses to this week’s prompts, which were: Water, Light, Chocolate, Animal, and Crowded.

Water:

Just Like You

I was taken by the echo in the lines of these two boats, and that old song “Cat’s In the Cradle” popped into my head . . . I want to be just like you, Dad, I want to be just like you.

Chocolate:

Afternoon Delight

Does this even require a comment? I’ll leave it to your imagination what happened to this setup after the photo was taken.

Animal:

Above the Dawn

This image could just as well have served as “Water” or “Light” this week, but I’m counting that lone seagull as my token animal for the week.

Crowded:

Tight-Knit Community

Mussels snugged up tightly together under the dock, with barnacles clinging fast on top of them.

Light:

Susan in Sunlight

Saved the best for last, because I love this image. My friend Susan and I went out before the crack of dawn this morning for a photoshoot, followed by our now-traditional after-shoot breakfast. There’s more than one kind of light, and special friends bring that into my life. It’s such fun to have a companion to chase photographic light and share light-hearted moments with. Thanks, Susan! (Does this photo remind anyone else of that scene from Titanic? You know the one.)

That’s it for this week. I’m linking up with Ashley Sisk for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Can’t wait to see what everyone came up with!


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Scavenging at the Beach

Another Sunday and time to go scavenging! Yesterday friend Susan and I went on a photoshoot at a popular summertime destination for visitors and locals alike. I much prefer it off-season . . . or at off-hours in season . . . when I’m likely to have it mostly to myself. I’m not a great one for crowds, which will come as no surprise to anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time.

Anyway, this week’s Scavenger Hunt Sunday items are Strike a Pose, Footwear, Hobby, Shiny, and Color Me Green. It may be a bit of a stretch, but I’m using some of my beach shots for all of them.

Strike a Pose:

Ready, Aim, Fire

This gentleman didn’t know he was posing for me. He was totally absorbed and I am very quiet. He didn’t even know I was there. How could I resist?

Footwear:

Be Prepared

Please note what the well-dressed, early-morning, ocean-sunrise photographer wears on his feet: waterproof waders that go all the way up. Later we saw him under the pier, photographing the waves as they rolled in, and he was in the water all the way up, too. But he was dry!

Hobby:

Wings

One of my hobbies is scavenging the beach for real — looking for sea glass and shells. (My daughter calls it “shopping at the beach.”) Sometimes I bring them home with me, but sometimes I just take a photo and leave them for someone else to discover. I loved the colors of this shell and the way it lay there in the sand and ice. My first thought was that a tiny angel had shed its wings. Or perhaps it was a fossilized butterfly. In any case, I took the photo and left the shell where it was. It didn’t seem right to move it.

Shiny:

Greeting the Dawn

It was a beautiful shiny sunrise, until it started snowing on us. Only on our little piece of beach. Even then we could see sunshine on the beach to the north and south of us.

Color Me Green:

Diamonds and Jade

It’s hard to find any green around here this time of year, and I didn’t feel like taking a picture of my recycling. I thought maybe this wave backlit by the sun would do the trick.

So that was our morning in a nutshell. By the time the snow flurry started, we were cold and about ready to pack it in anyway, so it was off to breakfast to warm ourselves inside and out. It was a great way to start off the weekend and felt like a special reward after a wicked hard week.

Be sure to check out what everyone else has posted over at Ashley’s linkup!

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Photo-Heart Connection: January

My online friend and teacher, Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio, is starting a new series today, a once-a-month link-up called Photo-Heart Connection. At the beginning of each month, we will look over our photos from the previous month, choose the one that most strongly speaks to our heart (for whatever reason), and write about it. This reminds me of one of my favorite assignments from the Find Your Eye classes, the intuitive writing exercise, so I’ve been looking forward to trying it.

Earth, Sea, Sky

As I reviewed the photographs I took in January, I kept coming back to this one. It’s from the same photoshoot as the lighthouse and snowy owl you might remember — my wonderful New Year’s Day outing.

I remember that when I took this picture, it was the reflected sky that caught my attention, and that I deliberately framed it as an experiment in using the Rule of Thirds. But that’s not what draws me back to this image.

What I see here now is a circularity, a repeating cycle, maybe even the “Circle of Life.”

There is the sky, with its watery clouds, reaching down to the sea. There is the ocean, stretching to the horizon, embracing the rocky land. And there, at the edge of the sea, is a huge mass of granite with a hollow in its top, filled with water tossed up by wind and waves . . . holding the sky.

Sky.  Sea.  Earth.  Sea.  Sky.

See?

It makes my heart soar and ache, and my body long for wings.

You can read more about the Photo-Heart Connection and see other responses to the prompt here.

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