Sea Blue Lens


14 Comments

Not a Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Our optional April theme for {In the Picture}, the self-portrait project I’m participating in, was “Shake It Out.” Last weekend I took my camera and tripod and headed down to a spot by the river that I knew was likely to be deserted. I experimented with taking photos of myself whirling and twirling and jumping around, though it felt pretty silly. Most of the photos ended up looking pretty silly, too, in my opinion, at least.

Trying for Takeoff

In spite of that, I enjoyed moving and stretching and just basking in the beautiful, warm sunlight. And I did “shake it out” to the extent that I got some nice relaxed selfies at the end of the shoot that I like a lot. Here are a couple:

Perfect Accessory

Life is Good

Though I still feel self-conscious about it, I’m beginning to feel more comfortable in front of my own camera. I realized as I went through these images that the main reason I didn’t care for the “prancing and dancing” ones is that they really do not express who I am. They might picture my physical self, but they do not portray me — my real, inner self. That’s what I want my self-portraits to do.

Windblown

Linking up with Christy at Urban Muser for April’s {In the Picture} linky party.


15 Comments

Back on the Hunt

Since yesterday was such a beautiful day, and since I got so many things crossed off my to-do list, I’m rewarding myself with Scavenger Hunt Sunday. This week’s prompts were Yellow, Something that makes or made you smile, Ancient or Antique, Splash, and In the Sun.

Yellow:

No Respect

Andrew V. Mason once said, “If dandelions were hard to grow, they would be most welcome on any lawn.” I have no idea who Mr. Mason is or was, but I liked his quote and have always remembered it. And I am very fond of dandelions!

 

Something that made me smile:

Take Me Away

These not only made me smile, they made me circle the block and find a place to park so I could take some photos. Of course they made me think of friend Kat Sloma, who has a “thing” for scooters, but it also occurred to me that one of these might be fun for running around town in my next life . . . you know, after I retire and move to the country.

 

Ancient or Antique:

Janet's Beads

These were given to me about 45 years ago by my late mother-in-law. They had been given to her, many years before that, by a Canadian friend who told her they were Indian trade beads. I wish I knew more about them, where they came from, and even what they’re made of. It’s interesting to imagine all the hands they might have passed through.

 

Splash:

Over the Edge

There’s a low dam in the river just behind my apartment building, whose purpose (I think) is to regulate the flow of water through a small hydroelectric facility across the river. The water flows over the dam in many moods, depending on the season and weather. It was peaceful on the evening I took this photo.

 

In the Sun:

Blue & Gold

I’ve photographed this clock tower near my office downtown in every season and many different lights. On my way home this day, I noticed the late afternoon sun illuminating both the golden dome and the forsythia in bloom along the street where I was parked. My attempt to catch the light was only partially successful, but I like the image anyway.

 

Special Bonus All-in-One:

Oh Happy Day

Yellow — flowers and shirt.  Something that makes me smile — going out to play on a sunny spring day.  Ancient or Antique — that’s ME, of course.  Splash — all that bright splashy color.  In the Sun — too obvious to mention! Extra credit — diagonals!!

Wishing you all a happy week filled with sunshine, and some rain, too, if you need it. (We do!)

.


14 Comments

Barely There

March seems to have flown by! I knew I hadn’t done much about my self-portrait project this month, but I didn’t realize just how badly I’d let it slip. Now it’s time for the March {in the picture} link-up over at Urban Muser, and I was hard-pressed to find any images at all. More like remnants of myself than the real deal.

This month’s optional theme is “black & white.” I have admired the B&W photos I’ve seen posted to our Flickr group and linked up by others this month. I wasn’t quite so sure about my own. Maybe it’s an acquired taste? Or something I just have to get used to? As I was processing the photos for this post, I found that the strictly black & white images looked uncomfortably cold to my eye. I warmed some up a bit and liked that effect, but I thought perhaps that was “cheating,” so I ended up with some of each.

The thing is, though, I’m starting to get excited about this project. I’m still self conscious about taking my own picture, and have yet to venture outside into public places. But I have ideas buzzing around in my head! And this week I found something that seems like it might be helpful: a guide to posing the female subject, posted on the Digital Photography School’s blog. (I’ve found a lot of helpful information and inspirational photos over there.)

Maybe posing isn’t a problem for others, but I’ve never done much photographing of people. I’ve been struggling with what to do with myself in front of the camera besides just sitting there feeling awkward. I’m hoping the illustrations in this little guide will inspire some more interesting photos for April and onward.

Here are this month’s photos, more oh-by-the-way captures than intentional self portraits.

little foot, BIG FOOT 2

I already posted this one in color here, but someone suggested using it for {in the picture} and I was desperate enough for images that it seemed like a great idea. Besides, in black & white it’s a new photo, right? (I think I like it better in color, though.) I will let you guess which print is mine.

Diggin' It

No shoes = Happy feet!

Washing Off Winter

Naked feet. At the beach. At the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. In March. In Maine. (See what I mean about the B&W looking cold? Or is it just me?)

Wavy Hair

My only “head shot” this month.

Me and My (iPhone) Shadow

Taken on that outing when I accidentally left my real camera at home. I like this picture, and B&W seems to suit it.

I’m going to post one more here that really is a cheat. I took this photo last month but never processed it. Tonight I tried it out in black and white, and I really like the results. It is certainly true that black & white can conceal many flaws. Would that I always looked this good!

White on White

It’s not too late to join the {in the picture} journey. You can click the button on the right for all the details. See you next month?

.


20 Comments

Word Has It

It’s time for the February linkup over at Urban Muser for the {in the picture} self-portrait challenge. This month’s theme, which we could either use or ignore, was “write on,” the idea of incorporating words into our self-portraits.

For some reason I’ve struggled more with my self-portraits this month than last. As several others have mentioned, I’ve felt almost discouraged enough to give it up. It was encouraging to know I’m not alone, and to read Christy’s comment that it took her nearly five months to really get into it her first time around.

I’ve also been inspired by the work of others in the group. Ideas are starting to come, and with spring and warmer weather will come opportunities for trying to shoot some selfies in outdoor settings, which I think will be more fun and interesting.

Here are some of my February shots:

Team Spirit

Showing my Patriot(s)ism on Super Bowl Sunday. It didn’t help the team, unfortunately.

What the Single Woman Wears for Valentine's Day

Actually, I saw this on a post-Valentine’s sales rack, told myself I didn’t need it, and left it there. I kept thinking about it and how it would be perfect for this month’s selfie theme, and went back for it the next day. The second trip to the store probably cost as much in gas as the shirt cost.

The message on the shirt has a double meaning for me. Not only the obvious –about having a healthy self-regard — but ME is the postal abbreviation for the state of Maine, where I live and which I love very much. And which I will be leaving soon. But that’s a subject for another post.

No Words Necessary

I looked at this image multiple times before I suddenly saw the connection between me and my affectionate friend, and the picture on the wall behind. I wish I could say I’d planned this, but it was a total accident. I was just snapping a few pics with my iPhone for fun, and had no idea what I’d captured. Not a flattering or technically great shot . . . but I love it anyway.

Best of Friends

This is my favorite selfie of the month, and probably the most typical “me” that you will ever see. As the saying goes, “So many books, so little time.”

And that’s it for this month. Go on over to Urban Muser to check out what everyone else is doing. And it’s not too late to join in! Yes, it’s challenging, but it really is fun.

.


27 Comments

Scavenger Hunting

It’s here again — Scavenger Hunt Sunday over at Ramblings and Photos. This week’s topics: Facial Feature, Shadow, Spicy, Gold, and Fabric. Let’s get started!

Facial Feature:

Finding My Eye

This is an outtake from my {in the picture} self-portrait project. I was having fun playing around with Lightroom presets, and this was my favorite effect. This photo has become completely abstract to me. I mean, obviously it’s an eye, but it no longer seems like my eye. I find that I like it quite a lot.

Shadow:

Stairway to Nowhere

The late afternoon sun cast this fire stair shadow into the back of the office last week. Yes, that bright orange wall is inside.

Spicy:

Hot Jam!

Sounds strange, but wow, is it ever tasty! I bought this at a craft fair last summer from the local woman who makes it. It’s a flavor combination to warm your heart as well as your tongue.

Gold:

Liquid Gold

This one is from my archives, a sunset reflection on the river behind my apartment, from the summer of 2010. It was the first image that came into my mind when I saw the prompt “gold.” Between car troubles and a persistent migraine, I wasn’t able to get in a lot of fresh photography this week.

Fabric:

Winter Warmth

Edge stitching on my favorite winter blanket. Soft wool in beautiful shades of cream, blue, and green. . . oh yes, and warm, too. I spent a lot of time Friday and Saturday in its comforting company. Feeling better now, thank you very much!

That’s it for this week. I’m going to go check out what other people have found this week. Care to join me?

.


10 Comments

Self Images

Self Image
This image is one of my favorite “self portraits.” It was taken in the evening on a late spring day, Mother’s Day, in fact, a few years ago.

This photograph says a great deal about me.

I had already spent the earlier part of the day with my daughter and her boyfriend, and had been taken out for a lovely brunch. I love my kids and love being with them. But the late afternoon found me wanting and needing to seek solitude and enjoy the last of the beautiful spring sunshine by myself, just me and my camera, alone in my favorite place.

The beach that is so crowded with vacationers during the summer was nearly deserted, except for one or two locals and their dogs. The water was calm and the breeze was light.

And so I walked, and took pictures of . . . nothing exceptional. And this one of myself. Notice the lightness of the bare footprint at the bottom. That’s mine. Notice the lightness even of the shadow. The light-colored blur across the middle is actually a few strands of my hair blowing across the lens.

This is how I see myself: traveling lightly through this world, leaving not much of a mark behind, not even footprints. Even my shadow is quiet. I like it that way.

This post is in response to a Find Your Eye lesson in which we were to choose a photograph and then write “intuitively” about it in our photo journal.