Tag Archives: curves

Curves and Angles: SOL23 Day 5

Pretty much every day is a great day to walk on the beach, and today was no exception. The weather was cool (mid 50’s) and the sun was mostly under cover, but the breeze was light and the ocean offered a nice wide walking beach.

After all the rocks yesterday (find that post here), we headed south a couple of miles for today’s walk. Rocks were few, sand was plentiful. As we walked I noticed the progress on the seawall repairs, a few brave sunbathers in bikinis, some wet-suited fishers, and a couple who seemed to be getting engagement photos taken.

As the distinctive lifeguard tower came into view, I found myself thinking about both curves and angles. Perched out on a rocky “corner,” this tower is all about the angles. It has views of the ocean to the south, to the north, and directly in front as well. And while the shape clearly has sharp angles and squared off corners, there are curves too, its shape seeming to mimic a wave swell about to break. I’d love to know more about the architecture and design process, is this shape ideal for its function?

A bit further on I spied a shore bird (I’m pretty sure this one is called a curlew). I love their long curved beaks, ideal for finding sand crabs and other tidbits buried in the sand. And as I knelt closer for a photo, the bird pulled up its wings, creating even more curves as it ran toward the water.

At the turn around point at Dog Beach, the channel that runs from the lagoon to the beach was full and running strong, creating a long curve angling from the bridge that also serves as part of the road along the coast. Just beyond it , if you look closely, you can see the horse racing grandstands at the Del Mar fairgrounds angled to have both a wonderful view of the horse racing as well as gorgeous color displays as the sun sets into the ocean.

As we headed back to the car after about four miles on the beach, I noticed a bright orange kite in the distance, curving up to catch the wind. I thought for sure it was a kite boarder heading down to the water with a surfboard. To my surprise, it was skateboarder (or something like a skateboard) on the sidewalk in front of the beach working the angles to propel himself along the ocean front.

I love the process of wandering and wondering as I walk down the beach. Today’s walk with all about curves and angles. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

When your week throws you curves…take photos of them!  It’s been one of those stressful weeks.  Our third graders grappled with the mandated state testing, tensions are running high as decisions are made about staffing for next year, and the oft-promised rain actually came yesterday…the day before our annual (outdoor) ice cream social!

In spite of wanting to go home after work and just sit…I stopped by the beach to walk.  I’m so glad I did.  The rhythm of the waves and the wind in my face seemed to wash the stresses of the week away.  I didn’t walk far or fast, but my walk was deliberate and healing.  I went as far as this “corner,” and looked back on the beach from the curves in the wall.


There are plenty of beach warnings after the rain–the surf is rough and unpredictable and the run-off from the storm drains introduces bacteria into the ocean water.  I sat for a few minutes watching the water run through the large curved drain pipes that allow water from the watershed into the ocean at the beach where I most often walk.


Lucky for us, the rainy morning turned into a glorious afternoon and allowed students from our other school to come down for the promised band concert.  It’s fun to watch former students play their instruments…and then stop by afterward to give a hug to their past teachers!  The towering piles of curved clouds suggested there still might be storm to come…


Our school is a place of much natural beauty.  While I was on playground duty earlier this week the curves of these roses caught my eye.  I love the hint of pink…


And I continue to love the way the late afternoon sun comes in through my dining room window.  That light even makes the curves of a dying sunflower beautiful!  I love the contrasts of darks and brights, reminds me of paintings of “old masters.”


When I did finally get home last night and took some time to sit and do nothing, I noticed this shadow and the curved lines of light and shadow. Was it a reflection from the blinds? A recording of my brain waves? Abstract art?


So, what curves were thrown your way this week?  Grab your phone or camera and start snapping!

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

What curves will you document this week?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

Life is filled with curves–just when you think you see what is coming straight ahead, the path curves and brings something unexpected.

It’s been hot, hot, hot here this week…and yes, we do complain about anything higher than 80 in these parts.  Mostly we don’t have a/c…so last night after a sweltering few days in the classroom and sleepless nights at home, we headed to the beach to attempt to cool off.  And while it wasn’t really cool, it was refreshing to have those coolish waves lap at our calves and treat our eyes to the beauty of the sun settling into the curve of the waves.


Earlier in the day my students were exploring water.  They used pipettes to place water drops on a penny…and in the process discovered that water drops stick to each other and create little mountains or egg yolk shapes (in their words).  You can see the curve of the surface tension in this shot.


Last weekend’s adventures led me to some beaches I don’t usually visit.  And with high surf warnings, waves crashed in dramatic ways, shooting curves of salty water into the air…almost creating their own water version of a fireworks show!


Meanwhile, this dancer stood nearby as a photographer worked to create beautiful photos of her in her skirt of curved leaves.


A kite caught in a palm tree turned into curved ribbons of celebration–a festive sight to behold.


And back closer to home, I found a half dollar on the beach…or half a sand dollar!  The curve that is visible suggests the curve that is missing, probably tossed and broken in the surf.


And I am drawn to the brilliant colors and elegant curves the prevalent bird of paradise.  Using my zoom lens, I was able to focus on the bloom and yet, you can still see the ocean blurred in the background.


So where are the curves in your life this week?  Did they sneak up and surprise you?  Delight you? Create chaos or celebration?  You might find your curves in the natural beauty of your surroundings or they might be metaphorical curves expressed in an image.

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

Take a look for your curves this week.  I look forward to seeing them through your lens!

Beach Curves: A Photo Essay

Summers are always busy for me…but this summer has been busy in extreme!  Between Geoff’s schedule and mine, we haven’t found time for a traditional, go someplace, kind of vacation.  Instead, we have had to grab vacation time wherever we could find it.  Today was one of those kinds of days…and we squeezed in a fun and relaxing one-hour vacation at the beach.

It was sunny and warm today…and the ocean water was on the warm side too…perfect conditions for a summer beach walk.  The marine layer stayed off the coast and we got there early enough that parking was easy!  We had just had a lovely breakfast at one of our favorite local haunts and were ready to walk and talk (or not)…and as always is true of me these days, take a few photos along the way.  This week’s #sdawpphotovoices theme has been curves, so I was on the lookout for curves on the beach.

When we parked, the very first thing I noticed was this giant pipe on the street and immediately headed over to take a picture.  I got Geoff to stand at the other end so its size would be noticeable–and I love the way the curve also becomes a frame for the portrait.


As we headed down to the shoreline, the tide was approaching high.  This can be a limiting factor for how far we can go, so today we headed north.  The waves were small, but the surfers and boogie boarders seemed to be having great success catching the curves and enjoying their rides.


Curves seemed to be everywhere.  Erosion is a major issue along our local shoreline.  The northern walk takes us below expensive homes that seem precariously perched above the beach.  One section was still barricaded with yellow caution tape…and the crack we had seen a month ago seemed more pronounced today as it curves along the layers of sediment that make up the sea cliffs.


Giant kelp, which my students know by it’s scientific name Macrocystis Pyrifera, is a constant on our local beaches.  Piles are evident as it washes up along the shore.  Holdfasts, the rootlike structure that hold onto rocks in the water, are home to many fascinating sea creatures and we often see locals rummaging in these wet piles and finding brittle stars and tiny sea urchins hiding within and enjoying a close look before returning them to their wet and salty homes. The long stipes frequently form tangled webs although this one reached out in a gentle curve away from the rest of the pile on the sand.


Sand castle makers have been hard at work this summer.  I passed this creation and just had to stop and get close for a photo.


I love this turtle version of a sand castle with its curved head, shell and limbs…and the extra touch of bucket-molded sand on the top.  Ocean washed rocks became eyes and the proximity of the kelp seems like a perfect touch!

I was surprised to find this coconut laying in the surf.  It had clearly spent some time being washed and worn by the sea, not quite round but definitely curved.  Had me thinking of Tom Hanks in Cast Away.


There were quite a few holes dug with curved banks that began to hold pools of seawater as the tide continued to rise.  I took a few pictures of the water in the holes and then stopped to wait to see if I could capture the waves coming over the bank to fill the hole.  I love the sense of movement this still photo captured.


And then before finishing my walk, I came across another yet another sand castle.  This one in more classic style with a moat, some bridges and curved turrets, and stones and shells for decoration.


I love the way #sdawpphotovoices themes focuses my attention and helps me see familiar places in new ways.  My one-hour vacation was relaxing and exotic!  The photos represent only a fraction of the curves I saw at the beach…and yet give a glimpse at the variety of curves along the shore.  Tomorrow begins angles…I can only imagine what I will find as I look at the world through that lens.

Carousel Horses: What Stories Do They Tell?

With my photography this week, I have been focusing on curves.  And somehow, when I am out taking pictures that concept/word “curves” keeps getting translated in my head to “round.” Now I know that round and curves are related–that curved surfaces often result in roundness. So yesterday when I parked for a meeting in Balboa Park–our city’s urban park–the carousel immediately drew my attention.  I could hear the festive music as the merry-go-round started its trip around and around.  I took a few pictures as I thought about this curved trajectory and the combination of movement around and up and down.


I like the way this photo (with no filters applied) shows the movement of the carousel horse.  I can also see the curved lines above.  The people riding–adults and children–were energetic, giving off that feeling of summertime fun.  I decided to move to my hipstamatic app–and dialed a couple of film types and lenses.  One of them, this gangsta lens creates a round frame.


And while the curved frame works for my photo-a-day theme, what I love about this picture–and I knew it when I tapped to take the picture–is that somehow I had caught the guy with the while cowboy hat in the frame.  In some ways this particular picture feels timeless–the “tough” guy in the white cowboy hat (doesn’t that make him a hero?) with the white t-shirt and jeans on a carousel horse with the young woman nearby.  He’s on the outside so he can reach out for the brass ring, showing everyone his skills on this classic summertime ride.


This third photo is another hipstamatic photo using Americana film and lens that gives a retro feel to the picture.  It also gives the sense of movement–but doesn’t have the same feel of summer as the other more colorful photos.

I’m wondering how photos like these might prompt my students’ writing and storytelling.  How does the visual invoke the powers of imagination?  What evidence is contained in these photos that leads to character development?  An advertisement?  An argument of some sort?  Where would you go with one of these photos as a prompt?