Category Archives: clmooc.

Energize Your Leap Year: February’s Photo-a-Day Challenge

Leap year comes only once every four years, bringing an extra day that evens up the calendar with the rotation of the earth around the sun. With all that rotating and leaping going on, it seems like a perfect month to continue the theme of energize with our photographs too!

Out hiking in San Diego’s back country today I noticed this sign advertising the dangers of entering the area…along with the bullet holes evident through the metal!  Luckily today was not a fire risk day and the hike was beautiful!

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On a beach walk I took recently I noticed this surfer with his surfboard carefully balanced on his head.  I couldn’t resist snapping a picture…and he smiled when he noticed me.  It’s importance to practice balance in lots of ways.

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I’ve been noticing other photographers “in the field” and have enjoyed photographing the photographer.  Watching others with their cameras gives me a way to think about and understand my own processes.  I couldn’t quite decide what this guy was focused on.  You can see the fisherman in front of him, but I never did confirm his subject–he might have been photographing the waves.

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I love watching seagulls and capturing their antics through my lens. Many of the photos are static, making this one even more interesting as I caught the seagull wading as the rising surf moved into his space.

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And here’s one from a while back when I went to watch my niece dance at her university. This recital ended with an exuberant African dance to the beat of music played by drummers in the room.  I love the energy of the dance and the way even the small movements seemed to leap from the floor.  (I loved my niece’s dance too…but this African piece was contagious!)

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When I heard the giggles of these kids playing in the surf, I immediately turned my camera lens to catch them in silhouette.  I love all the ways to enjoy the beach–regardless of age–

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from playing to meditating (like this guy crafting a meditative mandala maze)–there is something for everyone!

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So for the not-quite-as-short-as-usual month of February be on the lookout for shots that energize.  Look for action both subtle and obvious. Capture the moment of the leap, figuratively or metaphorically.  To get you started, here is a list of verbs to remind you of the variety of action and energy you might find as you head out with your camera.

  1. Advertise
  2. Balance
  3. Bloom
  4. Craft
  5. Design
  6. Ease
  7. Flip
  8. Giggle
  9. Help
  10. Inquire
  11. Jot
  12. Knot
  13. Leap (of course!)
  14. Meditate
  15. Nurture
  16. Ooze
  17. Practice
  18. Question
  19. Revise
  20. Shine
  21. Think
  22. Understand
  23. Vanish
  24. Wait
  25. Wade
  26. e”X”amine
  27. Yawn
  28. Zip
  29. Your choice!  (This day only comes once every four years!)

As always, our challenge will allow us to learn from each other as we shoot our own photos and study the photos others shoot. The prompts are there to help you find new ways to look at your world, to find the unexpected in the ordinary and the beauty in the mundane. You can use them in order or pick and choose as you like–you are welcome to add a new prompt into the mix if you are so moved. You can post every day, once a week, or even sporadically throughout the month…whatever works in your life.

Be sure to share and tag your photos with #sdawpphotovoices so we can find them! You can share on Twitter (follow me @kd0602), on Instagram (@kd0602), in the CLMOOC community on G+, on Flickr, or even link back to my blog here.

Energize February with your photos of action, leaps of imagination, and innovative designs.  Let February be your muse as you view the world through your lens.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Favorites

Summer doesn’t officially end for a month still, and it will seem like summer for longer than that in these parts, but the beginning of the new school year has me thinking about some of my favorite photos of summer.

Exploring Malibu with my son led me to take this photo of seagulls from behind.  There is something wonderful and whimsical about this shot of seagull butts!

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And there is nothing quite like spending time at the San Diego County Fair–a huge extravaganza of animals, food and light.  I never seem to tire of photographing goats.

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I’ve also been messing with some night photography this summer.  Here a few of my favorites.  Nighttime with the moon at the fair,

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Oceanside from the pier,

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and a Chicago sunset reflected in the windows of the Signature Lounge.

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And I love to photograph nature as I find it.  Bees at work,

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the beauty of a spider’s web in the early morning dew,

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and black sage in bloom.

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I never tire of sunsets,

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or fireworks,

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and water seems to be my life-force!

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So this is your week to look through your summer pictures and highlight a few favorites…or head out with your camera and capture some new favorites before the summer makes an exit.

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

Putting this post together encouraged me to do a bit of photo curating…something I need to be more systematic about…and as I browsed through I also got to reflect on a wonderful summer filled with whimsy, fun, and lots of love.  I hope you enjoy a week of thinking about your summer favorites!  Can’t wait to see a glimpse of summer-in-review through your lens!

Public Privilege

I spend a lot of time on the beach, walking and thinking and taking pictures.  In this public space, even in a crowd, I feel a sense of solitude.  Wrapped in the sounds of the sea, the wind on my face and the sun on my shoulders I pay attention the rhythms of the earth.  I notice the ways the landscape changes, the habits of the seabirds, the movement of the sun and the moon, and the way the tides ebb and flow.  No two days are ever the same…and yet this place is always the same.

I also notice the people who come in many shapes and sizes.  I notice that they are more the same than different, looking like the people who live in my neighborhood and attend the school where I work. Of course there are visitors, vacationing along the shore…and the ever present #beachpeople who constantly interest, inform, and surprise me with all the things they do at the beach.

In this place, people shower in public,

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play in public,

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hangout in public,

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and learn in public.

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And with my camera in my hand, most people pay little attention to me even while I pay a lot of attention to them.

After all, this is a public place.  Everyone is welcome.  Or are they?

Sometimes I wonder about the gulls, often looked upon as pests.  I’ve heard them called “rats,” a nod to their role as scavengers…and maybe to their highly adaptable behavior.

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But who else is not welcome here?  I notice patrols on the beach, mostly lifeguards but sometimes sheriffs in their vehicles cruise the beach.  Are they keeping beachgoers safe or looking for troublemakers?  Do those mean the same thing?

And where does public end and private begin?  At the no trespassing sign?

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What does my privilege allow me to see?  And what does it blind me to?

So much to consider as I walk this beach…