LPTG13WK37 (&38&39&40)

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.

Shapes

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.

Red

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.

Cats

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.

Playtime

LPTG13WK35

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.

 

Sunset

 

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.

LPTG13WK34

WindThe 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.

LPTG13WK33

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.

Landscape

LPTG13WK32

DoorwayI 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.

LPTG13WK31

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!!

Extreme Close-up

LPTG13WK30

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!

Low Light

LPTG13WK29

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.

Groups

LPTG13WK28

BoatsI really can’t believe we are over half way through the year! We celebrated my daughter’s third birthday a couple weeks ago and are trying to beat the heat. We aren’t going on vacation until the Fall, so I’m trying to maintain my sanity a couple more months. We don’t really have much going on in the meantime, although that can be good sometimes. The theme this week is ‘boats’. This was really tough for me. I drove around to the river and did my best to capture some boats, however there was construction going on and no boats. I wanted to get some shots of my sister’s canoe on her Jeep today, but it has been raining all day. So, this is my last resort – Legos. My awesome son built me two boats – a house boat and a speed boat. The house boat is absolutely amazing, complete with coffee bar (what can I say, the kid enjoys a good cuppa joe). However, it pretty much looks like a brick when photographed. The speed boat, on the other hand, is super sleek! Naturally, a robber is driving (driving?) the boat as he gets away with gold, money and crystals. The scene wouldn’t be complete without a mermaid. I love mermaids. It’s a pretty simple image, but a lot of work went into it.

LPTG13WK27

Fireworks This week in the world of LPTG, the theme is ‘fireworks’! I was actually nervous about this theme since I have never shot fireworks before. I did a little research and it seemed fairly simple. There are several places to see fireworks locally, however I wanted my kids to be able to come, so staying in the city was really ideal. We have a local baseball team whose stadium is just a few blocks from our home. They have fireworks periodically during the season after games. For the fourth, they put on a much larger show! Since it is so close, I decided on those. I was surprised to see the amount of people there. I guess I’m not the only one who had the brilliant idea to watch from the parking lot behind the stadium!

FireworksThe location could not have been more perfect! Remember the bridge  I posted a few weeks ago? There were people the whole way across it, but there was a spot large enough for me to set up my tripod and wait for the show to start. My son was complaining that his legs hurt from standing and he is also afraid of the bridge collapsing for some reason. So, it was a real treat standing there for about half an hour until they started. It was a really beautiful show and they were only about a block away. Nothing obscured our view and they night air was cool enough with a gentle breeze. Really, it was the perfect night! So, these are my shots. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. You can check out the rest on Flickr.