Our Christmas tree is down now, but I took this shot with my Velvet 56 on New Year’s Eve day as kind of a last hurrah. I don’t know what aperture I used, but Lonnie’s hands are pretty glowy!
New Year, New Word . . .
I started my photography journey in the summer of 2010; it’s been 5 1/2 years of excitement and learning and practice and discouragement and more excitement. I am now starting the sixth year of this blog, which has become a record of my photography progress and also a bit of my life. I had no idea it would extend beyond the first year, but I’m not thinking of stopping. Things got more manageable when I stopped the whole photo a day commitment; some days my photos are just not blogworthy. I still have the commitment to myself to publish five days a week, which may not be the best practice either, since I sometimes just post the best of the mediocre shots I’ve taken lately. But my photography, like life, is a work in progress.
Pondering my photography goals and the progress I’ve made in the last year is something I do as the new year approaches. I’m happy I can point to a few areas of progress:
- Lensbaby- What a challenge that has been! I can’t say I have become a Lensbaby master, but I have produced some photos that I really like. And I love Lensbaby photography!
- Landscape photography-Although this often involves getting up early and using a tripod (two things I’m not crazy about doing), I’ve done it enough now to feel better about my skills and also enough to know it’s not my favorite type of photography to actually do.
- Showing my work- This year, I again participated in my photography club- and also showed photos at the fair and our group show at the Raven. In thinking ahead to next year, I thought one of my goals would be to have the courage to submit photos to a local gallery or two. But then, just before Christmas, two opportunities were presented to me unexpectedly, and, before I could think about it, I now have four photos in two juried shows at two different galleries in town! It’s a fun experience- and not as daunting as I thought. I don’t know how often I will want to do this, but it is nice to get the pat on the back of having your work recognized.
So then- what are my goals for 2016? I was talking to my friend Carol about what she is learning on all the photography trips she takes with expert wildlife photographers. One of the things that resonated with me was the importance of being intentional when taking photographs. I know this. I’ve read this over and over. I intend to be intentional! But somehow, I just keep clicking away- especially when I am out and about. When I am at home doing macro or still life- or just walking around the yard with my camera, I find it easier to look and really SEE. This process all too often disappears when I am out in the world. So my over-riding goal is to be more intentional.
A couple years ago, I started the practice of picking one word for the year, rather than making New Year’s resolutions. My previous words- TRUE and JOY are great words, but this year I wanted something that would have a meaning that could be interpreted broadly but also very specifically to photography. My word is . . .
I love my word! It can be about bringing light into my life, living lightly on the planet, spreading light- but it also has a very specific meaning for me in photography. Photography is all about light and using it to enhance the image. My goal is to be very intentional about finding the best light as I shoot. The photographers I admire all use light in beautiful ways. I want to become better at that- that’s my word, that’s my goal!
What are your goals for 2016? Do you have a word?
Photography notes: The tulip photo above was taken using the Lensbaby Velvet 56. I was intentional (I am wondering how many more times I can use intentional in this blog post?!?) about finding early morning light and placing my tulip in the light. 🙂 I have no idea how the beams got there- they just appeared! I’m not sure if this is a quality of the lens (I have had this happen with the Edge 80)- or if I was using my new diffuser at this point and it had anything to do with that. Something more to figure out!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
It’s actually looked a lot like Christmas since Thanksgiving! I love my house at Christmas- all the traditional little knicky-knacky things brought out- and then there’s the tree. It’s fake, which was never our tradition, but it’s decorated with ornaments from our kids’ childhood and some newer ones picked up over the years. I started acquiring snowmen in the last ten years or so; here’s one that sits in our entryway.
Yes, it’s taken with a Lensbaby!
White and whiter
Blowing in the Wind
Today’s photo was shot with my lensbaby and includes a couple leaves, part of a bunch I gathered while walking down our hill, and some old books of my mother’s (yes, I love to photograph old books!). Way in the back is a little clock- a gift from my god-daughter for hosting her wedding shower (8 years ago?!?). The wind was blowing into my garage studio, causing the pages and leaves to shiver and shift while I took the photo, making focusing with the lensbaby a fun challenge. Fall is slow to arrive this year, but it is on its way.
Van Gogh Peaches
One of my AAUW photo group friends was giving away peaches yesterday- a perfect opportunity for me to finally get back into my still life “studio.” I have been so busy lately that I have had to put still life photography and macros on the back burner and just rely on the travel shots I’ve done throughout the summer.
I used my Lensbaby with the Edge 80 attached for these photos- and then ended up doing a version in Topaz Impression as well.
I added a texture to the original photo below to soften the black background.
I used one of the Van Gogh filters, although there were MANY other options that would have worked well too. I usually take the photos back into Photoshop and mask off portions to reduce the painterly effect, but I really liked them straight out of Impression this time.
Have a great Friday!
Santa Fe, again. . .
Golden Hour in Santa Fe
My Friday Find is borrowed from my friend, Debbie, who graciously allowed me to photograph it this week. You may see it again, because I have some other ideas before I return it. And my goodness, there’s that straw hat again!
This is a Lensbaby shot with added textures. I like the look that some of my textures give my walls- wish they really looked like that!
And here is the same photo (in the original proportions- I “stretched the canvas” of the top one in Photoshop) with a black and white preset I adapted from one I had gotten from somewhere. I wanted a light-ish black and white conversion, which I sometimes do by adjusting tones etc. This time I decided to save it as a preset, hoping it will work on other photos as well.
In the morning
A Chair and a Straw Hat
Hats on Chairs- catching up on still life challenges for The Studio Online!
If you have been following my blog for awhile, you have seen this chair many times- and if you’ve been following it for a LOOOOONG while, you seen the hat. Oh well- you’ve seen them, because they’re great props for still life photography! And, no doubt, you will see them again!
Playing with Dandelions
I think dreamy macros of flowers, weeds, or leaves are my favorite photos to take. There is something so relaxing about seeing objects so closeup, so different from the way you would ordinarily see them- and then moving the camera or changing the aperture or area of focus just a slight bit to get an entirely different view. It’s like a mindfulness meditation. And then there’s the editing- so much fun! I used different Lightroom presets as starting points in editing the dandelion macros below- I’m not sure which I like best.
Newsprint, from Clickin Moms Paparazzi Collection:
Documentary, from Clickin Moms Paparazzi Collection:
Same photo as above, kk_toucha from Kim Klassen:
kk_light and airy from Kim Klassen:
kk_litely from Kim KlassenAll photos taken with Lensbaby Sweet35 with both macro converters
Santa Fe- Seeing the Sacred
The final assignment in my lensbaby class is a photo essay using mostly lensbaby images, and it can be either narrative or thematic. One can’t walk around downtown Santa Fe without noticing churches and sacred images everywhere, so I chose to focus on this theme for my photo essay.
Seeing the Sacred
The first image- I’m not sure what building this was!
The next two are the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, and the third is a statue of Kateri Tekakawitha (1656-1680), the first Indian of North America to be promoted a saint. The simple cross was hanging over our bed.
The rest of the photos are from San Miguel Mission, the oldest church in the U.S., built between 1600 and 1620.