Friday, March 20, 2015

Heritage and Props

One of my favorite photography sites if Capture Your 365. This site is about everyday photography. Once you sign up, you get a daily email based on the daily prompt. (You can download the list as well.) There was a series of prompts that offered the opportunity to explore your family heritage. We all get busy and don't often take the time to look at the old pictures. My Mom gave me the family pictures when she went into a senior apartment. The cold weather has forced me to learn to play with props. As I progress, I find myself getting better and more imaginative. It's kind of fun to find something at a dollar store or consignment shop and realize you can use it in photography. The top photo is very special to me. My Dad read to me every night when I was growing up. I can remember his frustration when I insisted on the same book every night for quite a while. Later he took me to the library to get signed up for my first library card. When I started reading so much that I had to go to the library every week, he got me a big basket for my bike. I fell in love with the library thanks to him. As I got older we would talk about books. He was the one who told me about Ernest Hemingway. (See my top photo.) When I was growing up and got my first card through the Free Library of Philadelphia, you got a children's card until you were 14. By the time I was 12, I was bored with the kid section. So I lied about my age. Luckily, I was tall for my age. At the age of 12, I started with Hemingway's short stories which gave me some sex education. They really weren't that good, but at the age of 12 I thought they were pretty cool. I can still remember the line from the woman who is having sex with a lumberjack "Jim, oh, Jim!" Heritage means different things to different people. I appreciate the heritage from my parents - especially the love of books.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Fun With Toys: Getting Through Cold, Gray Days

I admit it. I'm not a winter person. This has been a long, cold, gray winter. I photography daily despite that and try to keep up with the daily prompts from three sites on Facebook as well as weekly challenges. This year I found myself checking out the dollar stores and other places as well as checking out the Lego minifigures for sale on Amazon. It's been fun, but I'm ready to get out more. We did manage to get out and about a bit. We joined Longwood Gardens which has been great. We were there for their holidaye exhibit, then went back more than once for the orchids. We may go back one more time for the blue poppies. There will be spring flowers starting at the end of March in the conservatory. However, I DID find that I had to use a lot of creativity to meet the prompts which was kind of fun. When a prompt called for pink or bokeh, I had to think about that because I don't have a lot of pink things in my house. I DO have some battery powered Christmas lights that I've used for a wide variety of table top photography. I enjoy the  challenge of finding something interesting to present when it comes to those daily challenges. I admit to obsessing about them more than I should, but the creativity it affords seems to strike the right chord in me. I have some catch up to do with this blog so there will be more posts. Readers are welcome to comment in a constructive way.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Blahs

I've never been a fan of winter. In fact, bitter cold and wind can usually cure me of any desire to go out and take pictures. However, I am a member of three photo sites on Facebook that have a daily photo challenge. So usually my first thought is what to photograph. I like the idea of "every day" photography, but I don't have young children or grandchildren nor do I live in a particularly interesting place. Luckily there are some nice areas not far from my house, but even those areas have limitations. I'm not a fan of suburban scenes. How many pictures can you take of the same place and still make them fresh and new? This year I decided that no matter what, I would take NEW pictures only for my photo challenge sites. That's forced me to think. 

I was at a consignment shop that I like and found these old ballet shoes: 

 They are very worn and apparently once belonged to a little girl - or a young girl with small feet! (When I was a little girl, I took ballet lessons for a very short time. I'm not sure why my parents stopped sending me. Perhaps the ballet teacher told her I was hopeless! 

For years, I drew "stories" on any paper I could find including inside my picture books that were nothing but ballerinas. I grew very tall and on the big boned side. (Although my doctor described me as having "medium bone structure" whatever THAT means.) I was also clumsy, unathletic and not in the least elastic. In sure, I am as far from a ballerina as you would likely see. 

Still, I wish I had continued - at least for a while. Perhaps it would have taught me grace - something I sorely lacked and still do. Years ago I knew a woman who took ballet lessons in her 30's. Watching the way she walked and carried herself was interesting. I don't know if she continued them or not.)

We went to the Paul Strand exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the 26th of December. It was magnificent and inspiring. It made me feel pretty good about my own photographic eye in many ways because I tend to seek out details & oddities just as he did although I'm nearly as well traveled. However I did like THIS splash of color on this house in Philly that is apparently owned by artists.  

Plus we DID discovered no only where the old Philadelphia water works is, but also that there is parking. Alas! We had planned to go again,yet when we did, it was bitterly cold. So, for now, I have to be satisfied with this view. It's not bad, but I need to get down closer to the water. 

Some would say it's picture postcard perfect. Perhaps that's the problem. I'll bet it's pretty there about now with all of this snow, but I"m not going anywhere! 

A day trip to Lancaster County as well as a corner of Chester County, yielded some good backroads stuff including this really awesome tractor: 

But mostly, it's about trying to find photographic expression at home. I think I had some success today. I'll know as soon as I load the photos into Lightroom. Meanwhile, snow has been falling all afternoon. It's supposed to be 1-3 Inches, but it sure looks like more than that already. This is the second snow this month, better than last year when it seemed like it snowed constantly. It's pretty, but I hope it melts. And yes, I'm looking forward to spring!