The theme last week was smoke. I really dislike smoking. My husband, on the other hand, enjoys the very rare cigar. He is not permitted to smoke in the house and must change his shirt, wash his hands and brush teeth upon re-entry into the house. As you may have noticed, photographs of my husband are missing from all of my posts. He does not enjoy being photographed. However, when he heard what the theme was, he jumped at the chance to smoke a cigar – and be photographed. Lucky gal, eh? He picked up a cigar made with hops, which is fantastic for him because he really enjoys craft beer. He sat on our front steps and smoke half the cigar and I shot away. (This was at night and I was shooting with a flash. Our neighbor came out to see if there was lightening. Nope, just me shooting the cigar smoker!) While I do not enjoy smoking, or being around smokers, I do love smoke. It’s beautiful and so free. I may have to start shooting more smoke (I’m thinking incense) to see what I can some up with. For now, here is my darling husband – smoking.
Soooooo, things got a little backlogged. Things have been a little hectic for me and a few LPTG projects were taken via my iPhone. It’s difficult for me to transfer them over and get them blogged, so I got lazy. Here I am to get caught up and back on track. I have started working outside the home again and having fun taking my kids to work every day. We are finally enjoying cooler weather and getting very excited as our vacation nears (18 more days, but who’s counting?). I plan to shoot a few thousand photos while we are there, so look forward to a post on Maine! I really hope I can get enough that I absolutely love and have some giant canvas printed for my walls and maybe even publish a book on MDI. It’s my favorite place in the world (thus far) and I’m really excited to share that with you.
Let’s get down to it, shall we? For week 37, our theme was shapes. I was outside playing with the kids and cleaning up the yard when the sun started setting. The light was coming through the trees in such a beautiful way, the leave just popped out to me. I took this shot and absolutely love it. This is through the leaves of our Japanese Maple. It’s one of two we have in our backyard and I really love it. We do live in the city, however we are fortunate enough to have many trees throughout our city, including a gigantic Oak in my neighbors yard that comes over into our yard. It is my favorite tree, although I could do without the acorns.
For week 38 we shot red. This was my first week back to work (after a week of training and testing) and I was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. My mom, who I work with, told me about a field with pumpkins free for the picking. You don’t have to tell me twice. After work on Friday, I drove down with the kids and we went pumpkin picking. We loaded up my red car with 28 pumpkins! It was so wonderful! The kids had such a great time running from patch to patch choosing their pumpkins. They were so incredibly excited and it kind of chokes me up. To see simple and absolute joy on the faces of your children is just priceless. Autumn is my favorite time of year – the cooler temps, changing leaves, the aroma in the air, baking pumpkin everything, Salted Caramel Mochas, Halloween… Really, it doesn’t get much better.
Which takes us to week 39, cats. Seriously… I don’t enjoy cats too much. It comes from my career as a Veterinary Technician. Cats can be pure evil and my worst injuries came from them. However, there has been this scruffy stray cat trying to get into my house for a couple months and I really want to rescue him. He just won’t get close enough. I was unable to get a photo of him for the project, however I captured my daughter coloring a cat by numbers. Her intensity and concentration are something I envy. The wee three year old has so much determination, it is incredible. She colors so wonderfully, I have no doubt she will be a fantastic artist.
And finally – week 40 – playtime. My son asks every week what my theme is and offers suggestions. This week he was very excited and immediately wanted to blow bubbles. How could I turn away such a willing participant? We went outback right around sundown and he swiftly began blowing bubbles. He’s another person whom I admire. His eagerness and enthusiasm for the littlest things excite me. We are currently hatching butterflies and I have overheard him congratulating and welcoming them to Earth. He also told them how to make tea. He is such a sweet, thoughtful boy; I hope he continues to grow into a gentle, loving man. I have no doubt he will make me proud.
Dogs! I love dogs and was excited to have it as a theme this week. My puppy, Desmond, a 10 month old Australian Cattle Dog, just went under the knife for the greater good of stopping unplanned doggy pregnancies. So, this theme could have come at a better time. He was unable to take a bath and was ratty and stinky from his stint behind the clinic bars. Combine that with his ramminess of being pent up the last 8 days so he didn’t tear his stitches out – he was a ball of energy and my photos were mostly blue-grey streaks of a dog running by. I barely got the boy to sit long enough to capture this photo. You can see how excited he was – grass on tongue and all. We leave for Maine in 47 days (who’s counting) and I can’t wait to hit the awesome trails and get this boy on the mountain. Here’s to dogs! What’s your dog’s name and breed?
Sunsets. What a beautiful topic! I’m really excited to see all the beautiful work the photographers put out this week. Some live in such beautiful landscapes, the sunset just puts the beauty over the edge. Have you ever cried because the beauty of something has moved you so intensely? Call me a sap, but I cry easily. I love looking at landscape photos and seeing myself there. Imagining the smells and sounds. How the air would feel. It’s an imagine that I can easily do that that moves me the most. It takes a special talent to capture that with a camera. To give your photograph feelings. That is my wish as a photographer – to have the viewer get lost in my photographs. To be able to put themselves right there in the image. If it’s a place they’ve never been, or wish they could return to, for them be able to feel like it’s home to them.
This week I had an equality photo shoot, as well as shooting family portraits for my aunt and uncle. They live just a few miles from my mom’s house and my children stayed with her while I did the portraits. On the ride up the hill to her house, I could see there was a beautiful sunset working its way down behind the trees and fields. I drove to the far entrance of her road (it’s horseshoe shaped) to see what it looked like from that angle. It was beautiful. I parked my car along side the road, cornfields on either side and just took it in. There is something so peaceful about watching the sunset in the country. There wasn’t a single sound around me, just quiet peace. I took a few shots and then went on my way, leaving the sun to fall beneath the horizon behind me.
The theme given to us this week was wind. What first came to mind are the turbines Turkey Hill put up a couple years ago in Washington Boro. Photographing those enormous turbines couldn’t be that difficult… I drove around and around looking for a location that I could clearly see the turbines, that didn’t have power lines straight through the shot. A bit more difficult than I imagined. There is a hiking trail that goes right up to the turbines, I just didn’t get around to hiking there this week. Perhaps I can do that in the near future and post those images. What I ended up with is satisfactory. I wish I could have been closer to them, but we work with what we have, right? You always see turbines on hills in the middle of nowhere – at least while driving through New York, where I have seen them. There are usually rows of them. To anyone not familiar with Turkey Hill, it is a local dairy – huge, commercial dairy. They also make drinks like lemonade and a variety of teas. A couple years ago, they put these turbines up on the hill by their plant. It’s kind of amusing since it’s right beside a landfill. The irony does not escape me. At any rate, it’s neat to see these two beasts sticking up out of the Earth for miles around. It would be awesome it more companies hopped on the green bandwagon and did things like this. Baby steps.
The theme this week is landscapes – my favorite. Which is why I’m so disappointed with my shot. I guess you could say I’m a landscape snob. What I mean is that I don’t find the landscapes in my area particularly worth shooting. I prefer mountains, rocky coastlines and oceans in my landscape shots. Not to say PA isn’t beautiful, it’s just not my kind of beautiful. I was really hoping there would be a landscape theme after my trip to Maine. We are going late-October and I can’t wait to see all the Fall foliage and feel the crisp air. I plan to shoot every day and hike, bake and drink hot chocolate in between. We will be there for Trick-or-Treat, which my kids are really looking forward to. It will almost be like we live there. Almost. Until we have to pack up and head back to PA, which always results in heartache and tears. There is just something about Maine that makes me feel like I am home. Every time we leave I feel like I leave a little part of me behind and I’m reunited with that part each time we visit. I’m not quite myself, unless I’m hiking in the mountains of Maine. Alas, I live in PA and this is the landscape I have at my disposal.
My husband started running a few weeks ago and is really enjoying it. So much so, he signed up and completed his first race this past Friday evening. A 7K along the river in Harrisburg. The kids and I waited for him at the finish, which is where I took this shot; overlooking the Susquehanna River at Sunset.
I have no idea how the week got away from me! I am busy getting together a personal project of mine to spread awareness of marriage equality, and had a meeting last week. I was so excited and nervous, I must have let this post slip my mind! Last week’s theme was doorways. There are so many awesome doorways in the city. Lots of colorful doors and an assortment of knockers. My favorite set of doors is actually a private home with a double door entrance that has these huge, amazing Green Man knockers. I absolutely love the Green Man – he reminds me of my father. I felt it was a little inappropriate, however, to go around and shoot people’s personal entryways. Instead, I shot a set of the doors of Lancaster Central Market. Of course you know we go every week and enjoy getting our fresh, local milk there (in glass jugs!), delicious muffins, tea, coffee, veggies… It’s really a great place and the people there are so amazing and diverse. It is also the oldest, continuously-run market in the United States. It’s pretty rad to have that history a few blocks from my home. The building is so big and beautiful, made with brick. There are large lanterns by each door that add character. Cobblestone streets surround Market on all sides making it that much more charming. Here are Market Doors – where thousands of people have passed to help sustain the local economy for over 120 years.
Another exciting week; I finally got a Nifty 50! I am pretty excited, however it’s taking some getting used to. It’s really a different way of shooting and I hope it pushes me even further to be a better photographer. The theme this week it ‘extreme close-up’ and I used my 50 to shoot it. While I wouldn’t call it ‘extreme’, it’s as close as I could get! Sorry for a short post this week!!
This week was pretty exciting! I modeled for my friend’s photography class and it was all around a nice week – perfect weather after a heatwave. My garden is pretty much burned to a crisp and the mosquitos are raging, making it very difficult to get outside to play with my kids. The theme this week is ‘low light’. I was struggling with what to do and waited until the last possible minute. I took my son outside in hopes to capture a good silhouette, failing miserably. It was too dark by the time we went out. I got the idea to have my husband bring my car out and turn the lights on, with my son standing in front of it, thus being backlight and silhouetted. It worked, however I just wasn’t with the results. As my husband was backing my car in, I noticed the patterns of lights on the ground from my brake and reverse lights. I had him sit there with the lights on, and he turned the blinker on to add orange light in, and I fired of a few shots. I’m pretty excited with how they turned out!
We shot groups this week. I decided to shoot the Purple Cone Flowers (aka Echinacea) growing in my garden. These babies were a gift from my sister, and boy do I love them! They are so beautiful, bright, delicate, yet edgy with the yellow spikes on top. I love that they attract honeybees. My kids will go out there and watch the bees work for minutes at a time (hey, how long is your attention span?). I’ve been admiring the work from a fellow LPTGer for weeks now. He uses textures in a lot of his photos and they are pretty amazing. I’m a little nervous about photoshop; I don’t really use it that much and there’s so much you can do, it’s a little overwhelming. I decided to take a chance this week and go for some textures. Wouldn’t you know, I couldn’t figure out how to get the textures into Photoshop… So, I just winged it and messed around with stuff on my own, creating my own texture. The end product is fairly nice for a first run. I’ll have to figure out how to get the textures off Flickr and mess around with those.