When life gives me lemons, I am happy. I love lemons.
What am I nostalgic for?
I was in the big city of Toronto recently. I used to live there in my early twenties — when all things were still possible and the days and nights were long and full of fun, friends and intellectual and cultural stimulation. Art house movies, live music, plays, eating out, exploring and discovering…
I spent a lot of time on the subway in those days, roaming the city. I loved it. I still love the subway, and its speed. I love observing people, listening to their conversations, and chatting with them from time to time. I love letting my imagination run wild.
I had the strong urge to make pictures in the subway on this visit, lo these many years later. When I saw how this image turned out, it grabbed me. It reminded me of me — and captured so well how I felt in those days — and how I remember those days now.
Sharing this with WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge.
Thirteen tall ships were in Brockville, Ontario, last weekend as part of the 1812 Tour.
We had the chance to go out in the St. Lawrence River on the Empire Sandy, the largest of the tall ships there — and I believe the largest in Canada. (It’s 203 feet long.)
It can be hard to convey the “tallness” of these ships in a photograph, which have masts over 100 feet.
I wanted to get a shot that told a story of what we experienced that beautiful June day.
Luckily, it was breezy, so we had a chance to see the crew hoist and lower the sails. Hard work, that is!
I managed to get myself positioned below one of the crew members as he was straddling the boom, in an attempt to flake the sail (put it down). I saw him look up, and clicked the shutter at the right time. The lines on each side of the mast are called “ratlines” and they are what you climb to the top of the mast if you needed to.
Here are a few other images from the day….
Shared with Weekly Photo Challenge, June 21.
I’m always taking pictures of funny and eye-catching signage, but this is my all-time favorite shot. I couldn’t have asked for better timing. Love the irony!
I have a few favorite discoveries to share with you this weekend. Wishing you all a great one!
Two new photography e-courses from Kim Manley Ort (Photos by Design and Adventures in Seeing) (I just finished a fabulous e-course with her. Learned so much!)
It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone, and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally I was what I was again.
Some of my favorite discoveries that you may want to check out too…
…We must help one another rise up so that more people can put goodness into the world. Photographers and artists alike are very fortunate because we are very interconnected. We fundamentally work with tools that allow us to share and give back. We take a picture, we share it. We take a picture for someone else, we give back. The more we can encourage one another to go after dreams and find self-respect, the more the world will be a loving place.
I have been hoping to capture these frangipani blooms with their little faces turned up toward the sun. I finally managed to get an image close to what I was looking for the other morning.
It was only this year in Florida that I was introduced to frangipani flowers. I discovered three trees in a yard neighbouring the marina, and I found them quite fascinating. The homeowners were happy to let me photograph them as much as I wanted. Also called plumeria, these blossoms are used in leis in Hawaii and have the most delicious fragrance.
The trees were all much taller than me, though, so I had to shoot in an upwards direction to photograph them. I wanted to get the sun behind them. But as you can imagine, getting the perfect exposure proved to be a challenge shooting into the sun. When the petals were perfectly exposed, the sky was blown out. And when the sky had some puffy cloud detail, the flowers were too dark and muddy looking. What to do?
Given my recent experiments with HDR photography, it occurred to me that the solution might be to combine two or more exposures. I tried it and was delighted to find that the final image was much closer to the image I saw with my eyes and that I wanted to share.
Why don’t you try something different for a change? (Me talking to myself.)
It’s easy to fall into a rut by doing the same things the same way over and over. More than ever, I’ve been feeling the urge lately to up the ante creatively.
For me, one of the best ways to do that is to change things up — to expand my repertoire of image-making skills by learning and practising new techniques, both in camera and in Photoshop. So I’ve made a list of things I want to learn to do, and when I’m ready for creative boost, I pick one and try to teach myself.
The other day I decided to try in-camera double exposures. You can see one of my first images above. I don’t expect my first tries to be good — that just freezes you up. I experiment just to see if I can and because it’s fun. And each new technique opens up new possibilities and rejuvenates me.
There are so many fabulous free tutorials out there now that it is just a matter of searching a bit to find one that works for you. I tend to like the video mode and YouTube has lots of those.
Personally, I’m a big fan of Kelby online training videos, which are not free, but are worth every penny of the reasonable subscription price. You learn from topnotch pros in the field. The videos are detailed, well-structured and easy to follow. You can easily stop and start them when you want to try it yourself.
I have also taken several online courses from wonderful teachers, such as Kim Klassen and Kat Sloma. I’m looking forward to one with Kim Manley Ort. Some of these courses teach new techniques and some of them help you change and grow more by encouraging a process of self-inquiry. I find I need to do both — work on technical skills and pay attention to my own creative vision.
What about you? Do you feel the need to change things up?
My grandmother had definite ideas about colour. She used to say that pink and orange “screamed” at each other. I think it stemmed from the fact that she was blessed with thick auburn tresses and had been told she could never wear pink because it would clash with her hair! And did you ever hear the one: “Blue and green should never be seen”? That happens to be one of my very favorite colour combinations.
Thank goodness ideas about colour change over time.
I have written about my colour preferences in photography before. It’s fascinating to go through your archives and pay attention to what colours and combinations you are repeatedly drawn to and how you handle colour in your photography. I highly recommend it.
I have noted that I generally steer away from riotous mixtures of primary colour. Well, not always! The image above is a multi-coloured bougainvillea hedge that we pass all the time. Yellow, red, pink, orange and purple flowers all coexist perfectly side by side. No screaming, no clashing! (I do think the harmonious effect is helped by the shallow depth of field though…)
I added the colour storyboard at the bottom as part of the challenge for Week #11 of an online course I’m taking with Kim Klassen. I doubt this palette would have appealed to my grandmother…How about you?
Don’t forget to check the Daily Post for more colourful entries.
The challenge this week is to show a day in your life in pictures. Well, right now, I’m living on a sailboat in Florida with Bob and our two Westies, Angus and Charles. Like everybody else, we have no completely “typical” day, but there are parts to our routine that repeat themselves. This is what a day looks like when we’re at the dock in the marina. It would look quite different if we were on our way somewhere or anchored somewhere. We don’t have a lot of “things” with us so we live simply and enjoy all the small moments that make up our days. And when it’s time to go to bed, our home afloat rocks us gently to a deep, restful sleep.
My one and only selfie so far. Here’s me at home on Windsong II…