Sea Blue Lens


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Scene & Story: February 2017

My favorite photographs are often the most serendipitous ones, the unexpected subjects that catch my eye and take me by surprise. I took a lot of photos in February, most of them outdoors: landscapes, seascapes, and snowy nature shots. Maybe that’s why this one stood out when I reviewed my photos for this month’s Scene & Story.

LightMagicA Trick of the Light

One morning in early February, I got up at a ridiculous pre-dawn hour to meet a friend for breakfast. (I’m not much of a pre-dawn sort of person, but she’s worth it.) Now, my apartment’s windows all face west. Therefore, I never get morning sun in my home, and it was still dark as I got out of bed and quickly got ready to go.

The sky was brightening by the time I came downstairs, but the living room was still dim and shadowy. Imagine my surprise when I turned toward the door to leave and discovered this beautiful golden light and shadow there. It must be some kind of magic!

In reality, I quickly realized it was just ordinary…what?…physics, I guess. The rising sun was striking the windows of a building across the river, and the angle was just right for the light to reflect into my west-facing windows and shine all the way across the room to illuminate the door on the opposite wall.

But you know what? I’ve never seen it before in the two and a half years I’ve lived here. There are probably only a couple of days a year when everything lines up perfectly, and I just happened to be there at that exact moment. It felt like a gift, and I left the house with a smile on my face and a skip in my step.

Serendipity. That’s magic enough for me.

 * * * * *

Click here to join our Scene & Story link-up at Paisley Rain Boots.

**Scene & Story is a collaborative creation that Sarah Huizenga of Paisley Rain Boots and I dreamt up to encourage one other in our photography and writing. We’d love for you to join us. Just share a favorite photo from the previous month along with a short story or description and link up your blog or Flickr photo. Please remember to visit the other story sharers and leave a little love everywhere you visit. It’s a wonderful way to find and build a community of kindred spirits.


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Photo-Heart Connection: March 2013

DSC_0269Illumination

This photograph is a mystery to me. I walked into my living room one afternoon and was immediately attracted by this shadow on the wall. I picked up my camera and took three shots of it, then went on about my business. It wasn’t until I reviewed the images that the mystery occurred to me.

Where did that light come from?

This pottery jar of dried California buckwheat has been sitting in this spot on my mantel since fall. My fireplace spans a corner of the living room and is the one spot in the room that receives no direct light at all. Ever. The only explanation I can think of is that the afternoon sun must have bounced off my car in the driveway and reflected through the window and into the corner. But I’ve never seen it before or since, and when I peer through the window from the outside, I can’t even see the mantel.

So there you go. There is a perfectly rational explanation — probably. But the point is that I don’t need an explanation. I like the mystery of it. This photo reminds me that there are things in this world that don’t have easy or pat explanations. There are many things I don’t understand or have the answers to. That’s okay. I don’t need to have all the answers.

I just want to be ready to catch the light when it comes.

Linking with Kat Sloma’s Photo-Heart Connection, a monthly practice of journaling about the one photograph I’ve taken during the month that speaks most strongly to my heart.


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SHS Oct 7

Happy Sunday! I’ve enjoyed thinking about Scavenger Hunt Sunday all week, and looking for images to fulfill each prompt. This week the topics are: Shadow, Keys, Smile, Unedited, and Spice. Here we go . . .

Shadow:

Sundial

This noontime shadow of a pine tree in my garden reminded me of the symbol for a tree used on architectural drawings. I liked the crisp outline of the branches clearly showing the circular shape of the tree from the sun’s-eye view.

Keys:

Breakfast Bar

I didn’t find any interesting literal keys to photograph, so I’m going with a more metaphorical interpretation. One of the keys to successful gardening is knowing the challenges to growing things in your area. A couple of days ago I saw for myself the reason why this particular plant never seems to grow.

The other key here is not to believe everything you read on the internet. Many sites state that bunnies will only nibble as high as their noses. My mistake was in thinking that meant from the ground. Clearly my rabbits are smarter and more athletic than average.

The filter-blur effect is from an actual filter . . . my screen door.

Smile:

Hello, Handsome!

This guy has been hanging around a lot lately, making me smile every time I see him. He’s just so darned cocky. Did you know that roadrunners eat other birds, as well as lizards and snakes? And that they stalk their prey like a cat? It’s fascinating to watch him as he hunkers down flat and creeps along the ground trying to sneak up on the smaller birds in the garden.

On this day, I saw him through the window, grabbed my camera, and quietly stepped outside. He came trotting through my open gate and up the flagstone walk straight toward me while I snapped away. About four feet away, he noticed my presence and veered off. He paused on these timbers and had a casual look around (“I’m not scared of you!”) before heading on up the hill.

I think he’s so beautiful. If you click on the picture, you can see there’s a lot of green in the feathers on his back. When the sun hits them just right, they’re iridescent.

Unedited:

Owl Drug

I went into the bathroom one afternoon and my eye was caught by the late afternoon sun coming through the pebbled glass window and illuminating these bottles. I took several images and will probably play with some post-processing later, but this is my favorite SOOC (straight out of camera).

Spice:

Hot and Cold

Lunch — a homemade tamale and spicy green salsa from a vendor at the farmer’s market, with sliced cantaloupe from a local grower for a cool, sweet counterpoint.

And that’s a wrap for another Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Check out the links over at Ramblings and Photos and see what everyone’s been up to this week.

.


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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?

.


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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?

.


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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.