Sea Blue Lens


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ReTIRED

At the Beach

My friends, I have been missing you. Where do people get the idea that retirement is relaxing? So far it hasn’t been exactly restful.

My apartment is in chaos as I sort, throw away, give away, and pack stuff. And try to figure out what stuff to carry with me as I fly to my destination, and what stuff I’ll need to get by with for the two to three weeks until the rest of my stuff arrives on the moving van.

However, this should not be taken as complaining. I am very lucky and believe me, I know it. I’m sure things will settle down a bit once I get the packing and moving behind me.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Actually, my life feels a bit surreal at the moment. I can’t quite believe I’m finished at work. Last night I had a “workmare” in which I was trying frantically to meet a deadline and knew I wasn’t going to make it. It was a great relief to wake up and realize there was no project due today. Or ever, for that matter — at least, not that kind of project.

Meanwhile, amongst all the sorting and packing, I’ve been getting together with friends, visiting favorite places, saying good-bye. Trying not to think too much about the actual parting part of this adventure. Time enough to deal with that when the time comes.

Afterglow


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Scavenger Hunt: April Already?

Another week gone by — another month, too! I should be packing, but instead I’m playing with photos for Scavenger Hunt Sunday. I’ll go fill some boxes as soon as I’m done here, OK? OK! This week’s items were Clouds, Sun Flare, Seven, High Angle, and Low Angle.

Clouds:

An Ordinary Morning

I took this with my iPhone as I was walking from my car to the office, just because I loved those clouds.

Sun Flare:

Room With A View

Taken on impulse through my living room window. There’s a bit of moisture between the dual panes that adds to the flare effect. I’m going to miss my strange industrial water view when I leave here.

Seven:

And Then There Were Six

I was trying to think of what to do for this prompt. I went into the kitchen a little while ago to put away the eggs I’d hard-boiled, and suddenly thought, Hey, seven eggs! Unfortunately, one of them had already been breakfast. Oh, well.

High Angle:

Between Posts

Standing at the end of the dock, looking down and outward through these posts. They make me think of fingers, or the ribs of some giant, long-ago creature. I loved the ragged heights and odd angles and tried several shots. This was my favorite.

Low Angle:

Coming Attractions

This hillside will soon be covered in bright yellow. It will mean spring has arrived for sure!

So that’s me for another Sunday. Now, off to those boxes. Right after I call my sister. And maybe have some lunch.

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Up a Creek

With a Paddle

So, say you plan to meet a friend after work for a photoshoot. It’s kinda last-minute, so you dash home at 5:00, quickly change clothes, grab your camera bag, toss it into the car and head out. You get to the appointed spot, open your bag, and . . . .

There’s no camera in there, just a lens and some accessories.

What would you do? More to the point, what did I do? Well, after saying a couple of things to myself that I won’t repeat here, I decided I wasn’t going to let it ruin my day. It was another crazy-warm-for-March, beautiful day, and the evening light was gorgeous. It would be great just to be out in the fresh air, enjoying the scenery and the company of my friend. Besides, we were going for pizza afterwards. Life was still good, though I did feel a little silly.

And then I remember I’ve got my iPhone with me — I can take some photos with that! My iPhone is still fairly new to me, and I haven’t used the camera much. So my expectations aren’t very high, but I figure, what have I got to lose? So I wander around, snapping this and that, trying to frame subjects on the viewscreen. In that light, the surface is like a mirror and I’m mostly seeing my own reflection. Still feeling a little silly, but having fun.

Maybe it was because I didn’t expect much. Or because I wasn’t taking myself or my photography very seriously. I wasn’t trying very hard. But to my great surprise, I got a bunch of images that I really like. Here are a few of them.

Dock

All Tied Up

Loner

Seawall

Gossip

Inner Light

Outer Glow

Molten Sky

At Rest

These images were taken with the iPhone camera, no apps involved. Some were lightly processed in Lightroom, but many are SOOC — or should I say SOOP (Straight Out Of Phone)? I was impressed with their color and clarity.

May I just say that I love my iPhone? I’m really glad I gave it a try that evening. It turned out to be a great night. (And the pizza was delicious.)

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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 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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First Time Scavenger

Well, I thought I’d give this Scavenger Hunt Sunday linkup, hosted by the lovely Ashley Sisk of Ramblings and Photos, a try. I love seeing everyone else’s Scavenger posts and it looks like fun, so here goes. This week’s items were: Sunset, Black and White, A Day in my Life, Four, Colorful.

Sunset Smoke

Sunset: I took this image from my living room window. You can blame any lack of sharpness on the two panes of glass and a screen that were between my camera and the outside. What can I say? It was COLD.

Personal Space

Black and White: A flock of pigeons on some power lines, each one fluffed up against the cold. You’d think they’d want to be closer together for warmth, but maybe it doesn’t work that way for birds.

Not Exactly a Cubicle

A Day in My Life: Behind this desk is where I spend most of my waking hours, Monday through Friday.

2 + 2 = 4

Four: Well, I didn’t have four images I wanted to use, and don’t really know how to make a montage anyway, though I could probably figure it out if I really tried. Here’s my alternate take on it – a pair of wine glasses and their shadows in the late afternoon light.

Bittersweet

Colorful: I love the contrast of these bright red berries against the soft, blue-water background.

What do you know? That really WAS fun! Now, let’s see if I can figure out the linky . . . .

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…But I Know What I Like

Is It a Message?

When it comes to art, I know what I like — and I also know what I don’t like. Maybe. Lesson 7 in Find Your Eye: Journey of Inspiration asks us to consider why we have negative reactions to some works of art.

I’ve really been blocked on this assignment. Though I’ve touched on this topic previously, here and here, I’m a person who is very uncomfortable pronouncing judgements. One of the overriding principles of my life is to never say or do anything that will hurt or offend anyone. I know that’s not a realistic goal or even necessarily a good one, but it’s who I am.

Living on the Edge

I realize that art appreciation is very subjective. Something I love may leave others cold, and vice versa. But I have to admit that there have been many times when I have visited an art gallery or museum and have asked myself, “What makes that ‘art’? Why is that [whatever] considered worthy of hanging in a museum?” Sometimes I just don’t get it.

I remember once seeing in a museum a canvas painted entirely white. There were not even any brush strokes visible. It could have been a blank wall, except a wall would have had more texture. The narrative next to the painting went into great detail about the significance of this master work, all of which sounded like gibberish to me. All I could think of was the Emperor’s new clothes.

Hope

I don’t like art that makes no sense, or makes me feel stupid. Drips and blobs of ugly colors don’t speak to my soul, no matter what they are titled or how the critics rave over them or how much they sell for at auction.

For a work of art to be significant to me, it needs to touch me in some way. I need something I can respond or relate to, whether it’s color, design, pattern, or story. I prefer beauty to ugliness, though again, I realize that the perception of beauty is also very subjective. I prefer art to lift me up, stir my imagination, pique my curiosity, or make me think, or feel, or marvel over the skill and vision of the artist.

Solitude

On the other hand . . .

I don’t like it when others assume I won’t like something, based on their perception of me. I don’t like being put into a box. I don’t like being told, “You don’t want to see that – you wouldn’t like it.” Sometimes they are right, but often they are not. In any case, I want to decide for myself. I want to keep my heart and mind open to new experiences. I want always to continue learning and growing.

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