Monthly Archives: June 2016

Weekly Photo Challenge: Leading Lines

Lines can mean linear–straight lines from here to there and in my life I can be resistant to those neat and tidy pathways.  But in photography, sometimes the lines can create interest in an image.  I started to look at photos taken this week and noticed a number that highlight the photography technique of leading lines.

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Here’s a pretty traditional leading line I noticed in downtown Seattle where the arch and the sidewalk lead your eye down the street…but what I was seeing in the distance was this:

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and I’m not so sure that it qualifies as a photo with a leading line.  (It is a fun neon sign!  Can you imagine a hotel room for 75 cents?!)

As we were looking for the light rail, I caught sight of the train coming along the tracks below.  The lines converge and diverge, with the train following a clear line.

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I started to notice some lines in nature too.  In Seattle these purple flowers are in bloom everywhere.  They are made up of tiny blooms and dangle from the branches of bushes (or are they trees?).  I’d love to know the name of these beauties.

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I chased down this swallowtail as it flitted from bloom to bloom while I walked around the hotel grounds where our resource development retreat was held.  Sometimes you just need to get outside to clear your head and take a mental break!  It seems that the butterfly creates its own line in the photo.

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I liked the way the window created some interesting lines in this image from the restaurant window where we enjoyed some clam chowder and musical entertainment…you can catch a glimpse of the Pike Place Market outside the window.

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And the sign itself–which does not include a vertical line, uses horizontal lines to draw your eye across the words.

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And today, as we drove from Seattle toward Tacoma and beyond, we crossed this lovely big bridge.  Through the passenger window of the car, I was able to capture this view.  I love the clouds in the distance…with just a tiny hint of blue toward the top.  After leaving a heat wave in southern CA, this weather is almost winter-like with temps in the low 60’s and occasional rainfall.

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So, try your hand at leading lines in your photos this week.  What lines will you find?  Will you capture a traditional vertical line or will you find some other variation?

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 #leadinglines for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So follow some lines and see where they take you!  I can’t wait to see what you find.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spaces

I’ve been thinking about creativity and making and the spaces we need to thrive and grow. Watching my baby grandsons as they wake up and stretch from the tips of their toes to the tops of their nearly bald heads reminds me that we need spaces, both physically and mentally to grow and develop.

My cats seek out spaces, even now that they are old.  They are particularly partial to spaces with sun where they stretch and curl.  Phil even posed, turning his face to me and the sun when I called his name.

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I watched a little girl as I walked down the beach today, she came running from behind me at full speed in the shallow surf along the shore.  She was small, probably not more than 5 years old.  I wondered where the adult in charge was.  When I turned back I could see mom in the distance–and the girl kept running.

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She seemed so at ease, running with abandon and delight, occasionally looking back to see where mom was.  The distance between them was too far for my comfort, so I watched, especially as she got closer to the crowd near the lifeguard tower.  Mom did catch up before I left the beach–and she was mad!  I guess we have to find the balance in the spaces too.

I do find myself looking up…at the spaces between the earth and space where the birds and the clouds float by.  Birds are hard to capture with my camera, especially pelicans that tend to fly higher than my lens can see.  I was delighted today when I looked up and snapped these three pelicans in the spaces between the heavens and the palm trees. (Sometimes timing is everything!)

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Sometimes you have to make spaces in your life for micro vacations, time for a break from the everydayness and responsibilities of life.  Last night we headed to the beach to watch the sun set and put our toes in the sand.

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We watched a family with a bunch of balloons as a prop for a photo shoot for their daughter.  I have mixed feelings about balloons.  They are colorful and festive, floating and bobbing in the breeze.  And they are dangerous to the ocean and its inhabitants.  I both gasped and clicked when I saw the balloons float free into the expansive spaces of the sky.

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As the sun began to set, we walked back up the hill toward the parking lot and sat on some benches to watch the sun in the spaces between the palm tree and the sea.

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So where are the spaces in your life? Where do you find inspiration, relaxation, reminders to run free and appreciate the little things?

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 #spaces for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Take a look around for those spaces that allow you to grow, to create or even to breathe and snap that shutter!  I can’t wait to see the spaces in your life.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

Sometimes you meet someone who simply has a spirit that shines.  This week we had the opportunity to have Shannon MacMillan, the soccer player, speak to our class about the importance of following your dreams.  This talented and humble woman shared her story of hard work and dedication, of following her passions, and of the importance of a mentor to urge you forward.  We’re lucky, Shannon lives in the community where I teach and has a son that attends our school…so she was happy to share some time with us.  And we’re also lucky to have a successful and talented player remind us that being part of a team means helping each other, that being kind is more important that being good at your sport, and that passions don’t always have to be about sports.  She brought her Olympic and World Cup medals and let all of our students hold them and run their fingers over them.  She explained she had originally placed her gold medal in a safe deposit box–where it was safe, but not doing anything.  Thanks Shannon–your spirit, your message, and your medal all shine!

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We got to watch the spirit of our third graders shine as we scaled the walls of a local climbing gym.  We invite our outgoing class of third graders each year to go rock climbing and to dinner as a rite of passage in our class.  It’s fun to watch them gain confidence (like they have over the course of three years with us) as they navigate the walls and learn from each other. There’s something symbolic about finding the footholds, navigating new pathways, and cheering each other on.  And it’s lots of fun!

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And I find myself searching for the shine of the sun on these gloomy June days.  After the last day of school on Friday as I headed home I noticed the sun breaking through, bathing the afternoon in its warm glow.  This seemed like the perfect beginning to summer…

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Although I still have work ahead this summer–work I love…my heart was shining as I boarded a plane this morning to visit my grandsons.  And just to make things interesting, I decided to take BART rather than rent a car. It was fun to navigate the system…and frustrating to have to wait for the trains when my arms were aching to cuddle those little boys.  The journey was worth it…and I am happily writing this as those little guys sleep nearby.

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So…what is shining in your life this week?  What makes your heart sing, heals your soul, or brightens your day?

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 #shine for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Capture some shine in a photo (or two or three…) and share your shine with the rest of us!  What will shine look like through your lens?