It’s Tuesday

Good Day my friends.

It’s Tuesday to be exact. I’m sure you don’t need the reminder. But for me, Tuesday is the day before I get my next weekly photography assignment.

Most weeks, I sit on the edge of my seat while I wait for the next fun assignment. But this week, I’m not so sure how I feel about getting the next assignment,

Our syllabus reads that there will be some sort of three page report. I’ve been doing a little research and studying for my report, but I truly hope he skips that assignment as we are already one week behind this semester.

In honor of hoping with fingers crossed that we get to do photography instead of a report. I took a little stroll thru the garden to warm up.

I practiced with this bee using the blur motion tools from this week.

Both shots (below) were taken at 1/4000 of a second. All I know is – one four thousandth of a second is a really FAST shutter speed!

I was able to capture the bee, as seen in the shots below.

I had a little fun in Photoshop with this shot. I gave it the oil painting look just for fun. See the bee making his way to the rose?

Today is also a catch up day around the house and a day to run errands if necessary.

  • My car was given (a little TLC) an oil change.
  • Laundry is in the works.
  • There may be a nap in the cards.
  • And I may have to top off the afternoon with a cup of coffee.

Tis a great Tuesday!

Blessings – Debbie

Painting With Light

Huh? My thoughts exactly when I first learned about the assignment for my class last week.

Do share, how does one paint with light? That’s my question exactly when I learned that I would actually be painting with light.

Photo Project – Painting With Light

Using Time or Bulb exposures and a flashlight can genterate fantastic and creative images.

Equipment – Flashlight – A “Maglite” or led flashlight works perfectly. An 8.5 x 11 sheet of black construction paper (recommended) to “cone” the light for more light control. Dark clothing. Cable Release or Romote and a Tripod.

Subject – Friends, family, objects found or placed. Automobiles, trees, buildings,You name it! All’s fair in this assignment.

Procedure – Using lenses of your choice, you are to place your camera on a tripod, open the shutter and, using a flashlight or other constant light source, “paint” your chosen subject (s) with light. Remember, painting with light is just like using a can of spray paint. The more you leave the “spray” (flashlight) in place, the more light and density will build. Be careful of ambient light such as street lights, window lights, etc. They can cause unintended density buildup…HAVE FUN! BE CREATIVE!

Having poured myself into this assignment and reading all of the directions at least 4 x’s, I got my things together and went to work.

Here’s how I created the subject (dragon) below.

First and foremost, I waited for it to get pitch black outside. Then I moved into our bedroom and closed the door. I did not want any extra light interrupting and spewing onto my nice black canvas.

I wore a long black sleeve shirt and dark bottoms “a must”!

I set up the ironing board and placed one of my solid black dresses over the top such that my canvas would be black when light bled onto it.  Then placed my subject.

Next, I got the tripod all set up with the camera. And set the shutter speed for a “LONG” 30 second opening = I used every bit of those 30 seconds to paint the dragon.

Using a small Maglite, I covered the end of the light with my thumb to give a red glow. I won’t go into the detail of how I discovered this, but I love the outcome.

Next I was in place behind the subject (pointing the light towards the camera), grabbing my remote with the other hand to engage the camera.

I had a full 30 seconds to paint what I wanted to achieve (fire).

I started on the right and worked quickly to get all the way around. When I reached the front left side, I had already positioned myself in front of the dragon. Then I quickly released my thumb from the tip of the light to produce that nice white glow at the base of the dragon. My hopes were to achieve the look of him in the clouds and I believe my goals were accomplished in the shot below.

Now, GO have some fun painting with light! Who KNEW this was possible?

For my next subject I used the hubs tools. These guys were placed on the ironing board and on top of my black dress as well.

Only this time, I took a dark piece of (rather thick) paper and formed it into a cone over the small Maglite. The tip (where the light streamed thru) was probably no bigger than an eraser.

This shot was achieved by tracing the tools with that cone attached to the end of the light.

With this assignment, I learned that I just scratched the tip of the gigantic iceberg. Painting with light has no boundaries in terms of what you use for the subject and the light source. Flashlights, glow-sticks, sparklers and fire are just a few things out of many that can be used to paint. And it was so cool to see what the other students came up with. Makes my imagination run “wild”.

As the weeks go by, I continue to learn that I still have so much to learn. I think I see another photography class in my future (next semester).

In other news: The hubs asked if I felt the “mini” earthquake last night. Nope, I slept right thru it.

Blessings – Debbie

A Fainting Spell

Well, what a night it turned out to be last evening. The hubs had gum surgery in the morning and I fainted and went to urgent care last evening. Crazy stuff all in a day!

Since the hubs had gum surgery in the morning and couldn’t eat anything. We were just getting ready (at 4 pm) to go to dinner as neither of us had anything to eat all day. In the middle of talking, I fell back and hit my head on the bedroom door. After a few minutes, I got up and we called my primary care physician, who recommended I go to urgent care as I have never had a spell like that.

They ordered an EKG, some blood tests and I checked out just fine. Woot ~ Woot! They said I was probably light-headed from not eating/drinking all day. I thought it was because I was out of  Keurig Coconut Mocha coffee. The hubs thought that was a bunch of BS, but he insisted we make a stop on the way home, just in case. Yup, he’s the best!

While I was getting a nice IV and waiting on blood work, the hubs gave me my cell so that I could have something to do. I was feeling on top of the world about now and ready to go home.

The hubs is recovering from surgery but he’s taking better care of me as he feels hitting my head was far worse than getting his gums sewn up with stitches. But I was the one feeling guilty last evening laying in a nice cushy hospital bed when the hubs deserved the bed more than me. He’s not one for taking chances and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I feel so blessed and happy that we are both doing fine. Today was all about getting pampered as we turned it into one great big giant date. I love days like this.

Blessings – Debbie

Beach Daze

Good Friday afternoon! I’m still snapping shots and working that camera. I’ve just been a bit pre occupied with the goodness of a busy life, that I have neglected the blog. Sorry about that, my bad. But I’m back!

I can think of a couple of things to report.

A. I got my very first flu shot last week. I wasn’t so sure about getting one as I have not had the flu in over 14 years. And I can only recall having the flu 3 (perhaps 4) times max in my life. But the hubs wanted me to get it as I’m around students and a lot more people these days. So I agreed that it would not be such a bad idea.

B. Our daughter is moving to So Cal! She landed the job of her dreams in LA and we could not be happier for her.

With our daughter making her way out here next week, she asked if we would check out the apartment of her dreams (yesterday) before it gets snatched up.

So yesterday, the hubs and I made our way up the coast and landed in this beautiful neighborhood. The neighborhood where our daughter wants to call home sweet home.

This shot was taken with the cell phone.

The hubs and I not only checked out her (hopefully) new place, we also took a nice stroll. We think she’s going to fall in love with this place.

What a feel good place to visit.

Shot taken from the pier.

The hubs and I enjoyed our little outdoor lunch with ocean views.

He had the Simmzy’s Burger – loaded with all the yummy fixins’. He reported it tasted as yummy as it looked.

Save the Farm! – I had that killer Grilled Cheese. I will definitely be getting it again and again and again…The best grilled cheese ever!

And we shared this amazing Apple Filled Donut. Let’s just say, we nearly licked the plate clean.

That’s pretty much a wrap of our day in LA.

Today I had to run the hubs into the city for a little “oral” surgery. So while he was in surgery, I ran over to the beach to work on my new assignment this week.

The assignment – Understanding How To Capture Motion and Blur

We are to use a moving subject traveling at a reasonable rate of speed. With the subject moving parallel to the camera, make the exposure at 1/30 of a second or slower as well as shoot the subject at 1/500 of a second or faster.

To capture two different kinds of “Motion and Blur” we are to hold the camera still (in place) and shoot as the subject passes. The outcome will be a crisp foreground and background with a blurred subject.

Next, we are to pan the camera at the same rate of the moving subject. While panning, we are to take the shot and continue panning until the shot has fully taken. This will give a crisp subject with a blurred foreground and background.

For my first try this morning – I captured a shot of this gal jogging. This is a panned shot as she is in focus and everything else is blurred. Taken with a shutter speed of 1/30 of a second.

Another panned shot = subject in focus with everything else blurred. Shutter speed = 1/30 of a second.

This is a shot of the subject passing while I’m holding the camera still. Shutter speed = 1/30 of a second. It gives a real feel of the moving subject while everything else is in focus. Interesting, ay? There you have it, two different kinds of blur and motion.

Another with the camera, still as can be = the same blur and motion as the shot above. Shutter speed = 1/30 of a second.

I took this at 1/500 of a second. The shot was taken holding the camera still (no pan). I learned with the speed of that shutter, it freezes everything, even the spokes of the tires

I think it’s cool how this dude waved and looked right at the camera as he/they passed by. I especially like his red shoes. This is the shot that made my day.

Again, 1/500 of a second = Everything froze. This was a pan shot but the shutter speed was so fast that everything froze, even with the camera moving.

1/500 of a second. While her hair is the only thing showing motion, it froze in place. If you (scroll up) look at the gal jogging at 1/30 of a second, check out her hair to see the difference between frozen and the blur…

One more fun 1/500 of a second = fun shot.

You get the idea right?

Cheers to spending time at the beach. Cheers to hubby getting thru his surgery just dandy. Cheers to him getting rest as we speak. Cheers to having my assignment complete. And Cheers to the weekend!

I’ll be back in the next day or so to share the assignment I finished last week on Painting With Light.

Blessings – Debbie

San Diego Nights

Hello out there! It’s been a few days, ay? Well at least it’s been a busy few days and that gives me a little to report.

First things first. The hubs and I started our weekend off on the right foot. Since we had an early (Saturday) morning appointment, I asked the hubs what he thought about having breakfast at Panera Bread.

And the rest is history.

I had a wonderful Pumpkin Spice Latte with a pumpkin muffin. It seemed the logical autumn choice. And the hubs had a hot chocolate with a nice warm breakfast sandwich. Cheers to autumn! And starting it off with a big bang!

Then the hubs drove me over to the beautiful Coronado island such that I could work on my night photography assignment.

We (the class) got our assignment early (last week) as class is canceled this Wed.

Our subject is “The City Lights at Night

I can’t help but notice the “AVOID PLAIN BLACK SKY!!!” Yes, it reads just like that on our assignment sheet, three exclamation points and all. To work around the plain black sky, he advised shooting just past dusk.

I believe the shot below is the shot I’m going to turn in for the assignment this next week.

We (the hubs and I) stayed on the island for just over 3 hours. Allow me to say, I have the most patient hubby in the world! He would have stayed longer if I needed.

The shot below peaks my interest. I like the rock in the foreground and the overall feel of the city in the distance. He (the instructor) did say we could change it up this week using black and white. So I played with the shot below.

The shot below could work for the assignment, but I still like the one above the best.

The sky is WAY too black/dark to use for my assignment but I still like the pier, view and the B & W.

Another B & W. The Fairy just arrived with a boat load of people. Again, this shot was taken too late to use as my print, but I still like it.

Another shot of the city. I’m quite fond of the shot, but it will not make the cut this week. The sky is BLACK! On that note, I believe the first shot is going to do the trick and meet the qualifications for this fun Night Photography Lesson.

Before I move along, I must insert a great big shout out to the St Louis Cardinals! Way to go boys, you made our weekend extra special!

Moving right along or shall I say “back” to the light texture lesson last week. For class yesterday, I had a bit of a struggle picking two shots to print.

This q-tip shot taken while the sun was going down – it was on my top three list. But we had to narrow it to two shots.

The shot below of my “molds” made the cut.

I like the way the light hits the plant behind the molds. The splash of light is almost like a fireworks show. The light, texture and depth in this shot says “pick me”, so I did.

Can you say, how low can you go? To be honest, I think a shot of me taking the shot (below) would be hysterical. Truly, I have no shame.

There is something to be said about getting on the same level with certain objects. In this case, I don’t think it would be as dramatic had I taken the shot above the snail. So this guy made the cut as well. To be fair, this is my #1 pick. It was a toss up between the molds and q-tips.

And just like that, Happy Tuesday! Two cups of coffee have already been consumed. My car was taken to the shop this morning to have my alignment done.

What more can I say? It’s a BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Blessings – Debbie

My Chops

What to say for myself?

Well, I got my chops handed to me today. And I thought you would like to know.

Funny, I had no idea my Dentist office would hand over the molds of my teeth in “stone”. They were made to make a guard to stop my grinding at night.

Tonight is the first night I “get” to wear the guard. I hope it turns out to be a joyous experience. I’m sure you don’t sense a hint of sarcasm in my tone.

My sweet Dental Assistant said it shouldn’t take longer than two weeks to get used to wearing it. Fingers crossed!

Back to my joy in receiving the molds, as seen above.

Have you any idea how excited I was to have them handed to me?

Do allow me to share. As I posted yesterday, our assignment (this week) is about light and texture. And I think this makes for a great shot to turn in. Do you suppose these will come as a surprise?

Don’t mind me, I’m having more fun than a barrel of monkeys. And some days I may seem a little off my rocker. I’ll be back soon with other fun findings.

Would you like to hear something else totally off the subject? I thought so.

Sometime around the noon hour, I went over to meet the hubs at the Firestone Tire place. He was going to have his allignment done while we went out to lunch. His appointment had already been made and his visit was legit.

Hubby goes to the counter.

Man Behind Counter:  Hello sir, how can we help you?

Hubby: I have an appointment to have my alignment done.

Man Behind Counter: What’s your phone number?

While hubby is giving the “Man Behind Counter” his number, Man Behind Counter picks up the phone and makes a phone call. I kid you not. No, the phone was not ringing, the Man Behind Counter, made a call. Yes, I repeated myself, it needed a repeat. It was not only rude but laughable.

Man Behind Counter finishes his call.

Man Behind Counter: What’s your number again? “No Joke”

Needless to say the hubs did not get off to a good start. Man Behind Counter Then went into the big “up sale” pitch…

Later they walk out to the hubs car. Man Behind Counter said to the hubs, “where did you get your tires? We could have given you a nice bargain.”

I forget what else the guy did that totally went against our grain, but the hubs kindly asked for his car keys back and we “hit the road” for a nice sit down lunch.

And just like that, Firestone lost two cars in need of alignment.

It turned out to be such a great date and we ended up laughing about the exchange that went down.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Blessings – Debbie

Light and Texture

What a day it was (in class) yesterday. Some students were well prepared with their (I’m a Scavenger at Heart – ABC’s) assignment, while others seem to be taking this class, just to put the check in the box.

At any rate, we are at the point in this class where we are beginning to learn how to put our work on mat board and then go through some serious critique from the instructor and our classmates.

It inspires me to look at others work, especially my friend “Sarah”. It’s a joy taking this class with her.

It’s that time of the week for a new assignment. A new challenge. And new personal goals.

And yes, my panties were already in a twist yesterday. I read the assignment “due date” wrong and thought we had several assignments due next week. Twas a big sigh to learn we have over the next two weeks to meet these goals. Allow me to insert another sigh.

Light and Texture

That’s what our assignment is all about. But it is our choice of subject this week. The subject must have strong textures and a real sense of depth and space. We’re to do this by using natural light only (no setups, man made lighting…) and remember – the best time of day is right after sunrise and an hour or so before sunset. We’re to remember to use the tools we’ve learned thus far. And to remember good composition is a BIG DEAL…

After class, I wanted to get my feet wet in the assignment. I checked the backyard.

Shot a pic of the lime tree.

Took a shot of the bougainvillea. I’m missing the light in this shot, but the practice was good.

I was hoping to get out there this evening, but we folks here in So Cal just experienced our “first rain” of the season. We get excited like the northerners do when they get their first snow of the season. Let the rains come! Although we only average 6″ per year in these parts. I think that’s why it’s a grand celebration.

I was so excited to not only hear the pounding rain on the rooftop but to watch this spectacular rain dance from the sliding glass doors.

The view with the rumble of thunder was something to behold.

And I think this was just what I needed to feel the autumn spirit that I’ve been waiting for.

One last shot of the day. Taken right after the rain and during a burst of sunlight before the clouds moved back in.

Yup, I cropped the above photo to my liking. Since we’re not allowed to crop in class, it will not work for the assignment, but now and then, it’s nice doing something “just because” and not because it’s an assignment.

However, one of the many shots I took of that guy should work.

I’m off and running on yet another fun assignment. Laters!

Blessings – Debbie

The Calm

Calm is when the flurry of scurrying and scavenging is done. It’s when I finally say (to myself) I’m happy with the result. There truly is something to be said about the sweet peace that tags along in the end.

There were objects in the assignment (this week) that were shot many times in several different locations. Like the cups (below). I wasn’t happy with the shot I posted the other day. The background was boring and needed some pop.

That’s when I got the bright idea to use this colorful blue paper for the background. This is the shot of cups that made me happy in the end.

C is for Cups

S – Remember the stack of scissors I posted the other day? Well, there was something about it that just didn’t jive. The more I looked at it, the more I didn’t like the shot.

While searching the house (high and low) for something that started with s, is when this little stapler in the office “SCREAMED” at me. From the moment my eyes hit it, that’s when I knew this little guy would be perfect for S.

I grabbed a large dinner plate to set up the display and scattered the staples for interest.

S is for Stapler

I is for ice. Try as I may, I did not capture the shot I was hoping to get. But in the end I captured something I like even better. I’m learning to continue shooting, from all angles as you never know unless you try.

The thing I like most about this shot is the reflection of the glass on the table. I like that little element of surprise.

I is for Ice

Last but not least. The Z! Oh the z nearly put me over the edge. The shots I worked on with my dresses (the zippers) just didn’t cut it for me. I think they lacked excitement and there was nothing about the shot that caused me to “want” to pause and look further. It was then that I accepted it and began to look for another object.

It was another lightbulb moment when I discovered this pair of boots with zippers. I knew at once that this boot was “just” what I was searching for.

It took a bit of time to find the right background, but once I found it, I knew.

Z is for Zipper

I learned a lot from this assignment. It was a challenge, I had a TON of fun! And I learned not to accept something just because it will make the grade or get me thru.

It’s a constant challenge to improve and to use what I have to see the world around me thru the lens. My wish is to grow daily thru this process and to feel calm (knowing I did my best) at the end of each assignment.

Blessings – Debbie

My Scavenger Days Are Numbered

Or are they? While my assignment this week has nearly come to a close, I hope to keep the scavenger challenge ever in my thoughts. It’s amazing how we can use the simple things and create great images from them.

I still have one more letter to shoot before I can call it complete. V, that’s my last letter. I intend to shoot a vase (filled with fresh flowers) and hopefully get a nice shot at sunset. At least I’m hoping for a nice sunset as I know just how I’m going to shoot it. Fingers crossed…

The photo below was shot last evening in the kitchen. The sun was behind me shining on my subject (about an hour before sunset). The bright light (directly behind the “Queen”) is from a window on the other side of the room. I like how the light sort of makes a halo around the Queen’s head.

Q is for Queen. I had a great shot of Q-tips but realized they are not right for this assignment. The Q-tips are a proper name for swabs, thus I needed a new subject. I think the Queen works well for q.

The last pic I’m showing today.

F is for Faucet.

Cheers to wrapping up this assignment before class tomorrow! Onward and upward with the letter “V”

Blessings – Debbie

I’m A Scavenger – Continued

Happy Saturday afternoon!

And what a happy day it has been. The fun with the camera continues this weekend. Since I’m focusing on the alphabet, I thought I would continue sharing a little bit more of my project with you. If you are just joining me, see I’m A Scavenger At Heart for more details. I’ve had a list of items going every day. Even the hubs helped with brainstorming for different objects around the house to capture.

Without further ado, let’s look at a few more scavenged shots.

D is for doll – I know, I posted dice the other day but I could not seem to get a shot that I really liked. So I switched to doll.

O is for Onion – Every time I see an onion this time of the year, I think of that prank. You know, the one where an onion is covered with caramel? So if you receive a carmel apple as a gift this year, be SURE to cut it with a knife before taking a bite.

C is for Cups

I have seven letters to go before I call this assignment complete. I will not be posting all of my finds, but it will be complete for class Monday.

Blessings – Debbie

I’m A Scurrying Scavenger

I can’t get over the amount of fun I’m having with this “Scavenger A B C” assignment.

If you have not checked out the details, run over to the post I’m A Scavenger At Heart. There you will find what I’m up to, as well as see the explanation for the A B C Scavenger hoopla this week.

As soon as I said goodbye to the hubs this morning, I checked my list and started in on the assignment right away.

Here are a few more letters that I covered today.

B is for Bell

G is for Glasses

J is for Jug = One of the last pottery pieces I made this year.

L is for Lock

N is for Necktie – Who knew I would be tying this guy today?

P is for Pebbles

I have quite a few more letters to cover before class next week. But I will not be denied as I’m having WAY too much fun.

I’m calling it quits today for now as I have a few things to wrap up before the weekend. But I’m not so sure that I won’t be picking up the camera again today.

Blessings – Debbie

I’m A Scavenger At Heart

It was a lovely and busy day. A day that called for a lot more thought than the norm. A list was made and this scavenger is on the prowl.

Our photography assignment this week is “I’m A Scavenger At Heart”. We’re getting tested to see how well we know our A B C’s.

Starting with the letter “A” and ending with the letter “Z”. We are to photograph objects that begin with that particular letter.

Our photographs MUST be of the real object that begins with that letter. And we are not to use similar objects for different letters. Like J for jewelry, n for necklace, r for ring…

We may use a person for “Human” but not as their name. So there will be nothing like D for Debbie…

We may not attempt to capture emotions or feelings or use colors as they are intangible.

No proper names allowed like: XBox, iPhone and there will be no taking pictures of signs with “zoo” and using that for z. S is for Sign, not what the sign says. We may take a shot of a restaurant for r but not the name of a restaurant. Reminder, it has to be tangible.

He spelled it out in black and white and the rules must be followed. 4 points will be subtracted for each unacceptable object.

Total points possible = 100

That said, I’m so excited about the challenge this week. I’ve already had a great day capturing a few letters of the alphabet including the letter X! Wanna take a guess what I snapped? I got really lucky with my x this week as my dentist appointment was scheduled for today. Can you guess now? I’m sure you guessed. Check out the pix to see for sure.

D is for Dice

H is for Hat

M is for Magnifying Glass

S is for Scissors – I scavenged every pair of scissors in the house for this shot.

X is for X-ray – Lucky me, I had my checkup this morning. That is one of my X-rays on the screen. She was such a good sport to pose for this shot.  Cheers to another great visit and for crossing X off my list!

Z is for Zipper

While I know my A B C’s, it’s tricky taking them in order. I’m still brainstorming with some of those letters and having lots of fun with this assignment.

There are still many letters in the alphabet. Stay tuned to see what I come up with.

Blessings – Debbie

Beautiful Moments

Are you ever faced with wanting to take a shot of a beautiful moment but don’t have the nerve? Well, I was faced with that very issue at the dentist office this morning. But I did have the nerve.

Here’s how I danced around my nerves. I gingerly took out my cell phone and pretended to be busy (which I was) as I got the shot all set up.

This cell phone pic makes me so very happy.

And I snapped this lovely moment without them having a clue of what was going on around them. In moments where the “camera” just won’t do, I urge you to go ahead and whip out the cell. And snap those beautiful moments. I’m so glad I did.

And I’m so glad that the hubs wanted to see me for lunch. It’s these extra special moments together that make my day brighter.

I’ve already put a check in the box for making beautiful moments today. It’s these moments that make lasting memories.

Blessings – Debbie

Happy October

I would like to argue that we’re somewhere back in May. But the calendar tells me otherwise. So, Cheers to October, I just hope I’m able to catch up to speed with this year before it ends.

It’s been one of those rewarding days. However, I can’t say that I made it thru class sans a panic attack here and there.

Boy can I ever get myself worked up over the smallest thing. Like today, my panties were all in a twist worrying if I was printing to the right printer. Or did I save things properly such that I could get back to Photoshop without starting over. It’s the little things I fret over and I think the teacher is getting a kick out of it. It’s a good thing somebody is, right? I think there’s reason enough right there for therapy.

And thank goodness for my sweet neighbor Sarah. When she gets the slightest inkling that I’m struggling, she’s right there to see to it that I’m ok and not to worry. Love her, I’m so happy we sit next to each other.

In the end, I’m glad that I was able to get my assignment turned in and “hopefully” get another really good grade.

It seems I’m reminded daily of all the things I’m learning. I’m amazed with what I’ve learned over the last 6 – 7 weeks of class. And I still have such a long way to go. It’s almost like a daily growth as we continue to build on the foundation we started weeks ago.

Wednesday is the day we get our next assignment.  I’m sitting on the edge of my seat ready and waiting for a brand new challenge.

Blessings – Debbie