Monthly Archives: February 2015

Considering Scale

Exploring different camera lenses changes my experiences with scale.  With the macro lens, I am able to magnify things that are small and make them appear larger than life.  The blossoms on this flowering tree look much different when you get up close.

cherry tree

cherry blossoms

Yesterday I was playing with my telephoto lens, and exploring the options it gives me when I take photos.  Pelicans up close are huge birds…here’s an old photo I took on the Oceanside pier with my iPhone standing pretty close to the bird.

pelican in flight

Here’s another I took yesterday using my telephoto lens looking out into the distance as I watched the pelican soar over the waves.

peleican in flight

I also noticed these hang gliders in the distance as the fog began to roll in.  They are tiny specks in the distance, framed by the beach cliffs.

hang gliders in the fog

I also had the opportunity to zoom in as the glider came closer and closer to me.

hang glider up close

What I know is I have a lot more exploring to do with determining which kinds of shots lend themselves to which lenses.  I was wishing for my smaller lens at some points during my beach walk yesterday when I had my telephoto with me.  And I definitely have moments when I am wishing for my telephoto when I have my smaller lens.  I’m not all that comfortable changing lenses in the moment…maybe I just need to accept that I will work with the lens I am using at the moment.

And as always, I find myself thinking about how this idea of scale works in the educational area. When do we need to pull back and look at the big picture, dismissing the fine details to see the overall view?  And when do we need to zoom in…with the telephoto to bring things that are in the distance closer or with the macro to magnify the small details and make them visible?  I definitely love the way my camera helps me think about my work…the macro, the telephoto, the big picture, and the individual learner.  Scale definitely matters.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reach

February has been a whirlwind and we are less than a week into it!  I’ve been across the state…and across the county, lucky enough to squeeze in a few  minutes to appreciate my surroundings.

Yesterday I spent the day at the San Diego Natural History Museum as part of the Intersections project my writing project is involved in.  After a full day spent observing a class in action on a field trip, my teaching partner and I headed off to a local cafe to do some planning for our upcoming focus on community with our class.  And as we walked we noticed the cherry trees in bloom.  When I headed back to my car to head off to another meeting, I took a few minutes to snap a few shots.  I love this one of the tree reaching up toward the warm February sun.

reach-cherry tree

Using the macro feature on my camera, I reached as high as I could to snap some close ups of the buds.  When I got home, I decided to play around with a new app called Waterlogue that transforms photos into watercolor paintings.  It was fun to experiment with the changes that the watercolor effect made to the photo using this app.


Over the weekend I had been at UC Davis with my California Writing Project colleagues and a group from our local writing project learning about Connected Learning.  And part of our connecting was some playful photography.  In this photo you can see a photo of my colleague taking a photo of another colleague…and me taking a photo of the two of them, and all of us reaching up.


After work on Tuesday, feeling a bit stressed by the demands of the month so far…and a kitchen remodel in full swing, I decided to stop by the beach.  And as I parked, I noticed that the tide was low–and I had thrown my tennies into the car with me when I left home that morning. So I headed out for a walk with the seagulls.  At one point as I almost reached this group of seagulls, they took flight, soaring and swooping, dipping and turning.  And I snapped and snapped trying to capture the energy and beauty of the moment.


And I can feel my students reaching too.  In their rolling systems lab they had to work in groups of five to complete a number of tasks, rotating the jobs with each trial.  Coordinating their efforts and coordinating their actions was challenging.  Making the stopwatch work, lifting the starting line, measuring distance, lining up wheels…and getting along in the process kept them reaching.  Luckily, they will get another try…and an opportunity to reach again.


So this week’s challenge is about reaching…up, out, beyond…  To help, to learn, to explore, to lend a helping hand.  Where are you reaching right now?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!)

I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #reach for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So reach out…and take some photographs.  What are you reaching for?  Show us through your lens!