Tag Archives: Litterati

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow

In lots of ways it’s been a colorless week as I struggle to recover from a nasty cold that found me somewhere between the east coast and home, find myself pushing against the impending report card deadline, and anticipating the demands of next week’s parent conferences.  Luckily, opportunities to get outside always brighten my attitude…and that makes everything better!  And better yet, my week went from colorless to vibrant as yellow began to pop up everywhere!

As I left the doctor’s office earlier this week, the wildflowers growing along the side of the road called my name.  I had to pull my car over and pull out my camera.  The vibrant yellow of this sunflower-like variety screams sunshine.  I’m not sure what this little beetle like insect is (I don’t think it’s a ladybug) that has latched itself firmly to the bloom.

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As I started to feel better and with most of the report cards done, I set off midweek for a beach walk.  The #litterati in me couldn’t help picking up these abandoned minion sunglasses…after I took a shot or two of these yellow frames laying on the beach.

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And as I looked up at the cliffs as I walked I couldn’t help but notice the brilliant green growth along with the patches of yellow flowers.  This is such a difference from our usual drought year hillsides.

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For a change of pace, I headed to the lagoon the other day.  The sky had turned overcast, but that didn’t take away from the beauty of the scene all dressed up in yellow blossoms.

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I tried to capture the density and pervasiveness of these blooms…they are literally covering huge swaths of ground in their sunny yellow.

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I always admire the tenacity of natives that seem to grown in unexpected places.  I found these blossoms creeping up the fence line as I watched children play on recess duty.  I love the juxtaposition of the rusty chain link fence and the pretty yellow wildflowers.

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And just to shake up the prompt a bit, I found myself mesmerized by the yellow bees doing what bees do best…pollinating!  I stopped and watched and waited, trying to capture this guy in action.  My patience paid off!

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So what yellow are you seeing this week?  Don’t feel confined by the idea of flowers or blossoms…you might notice that banana shifting from yellow to brown as it sits on your counter or maybe it’s that scarf you notice your friend wearing.  Be bold!  Capture yellow!

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

Be on the lookout for yellow!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

This week I’m borrowing the prompt from the folks over at the Daily Post since so many of my photos this week fit their theme: shine.

I had such a busy weekend last weekend–happily playing with my twin 7 month old grandsons.  We purposely took a late flight back to maximize the precious time we have with them, getting home near midnight on Sunday.  That meant that the alarm on Monday morning came sooner than I would have liked.  Surprisingly, I had plenty of energy at work and set out for a beach walk afterward.

The tide was low after work this week, creating perfect conditions for long walks.  Monday was cloudy–we’d had misty conditions during the school day.  Not enough to keep the kids in, but enough to wet the ground and make us feel a bit soggy outdoors.  When I arrived at the beach, I could see the shine of the sun in the distance, reflecting on the water, almost like there was a portal above.

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Further down the beach, I came across an algae covered reef, exposed by the very low tide. I started thinking about the way the algae creates the fall colors that others usually see in the foliage of trees–this really is fall on the beach–browns and oranges along with the blues of the sky reflecting in the shine of the water.

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As the week warmed up, the sun made itself more prominent.  You can see its shine peeking through as I leaned in to capture this shot of the tree roots.  I was thinking about how they remind me of feet and toes in the sand.

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I noticed that the sun and light kept changing this week.  The days are getting shorter, affecting the trajectory of the sun, making the shine feel more diffuse and muted.  This shot reminds of the light of those “endless summer” surfing posters.  Maybe when you can walk on the beach barefoot and in a sleeveless top in the fall, it is endless summer (if you look closely at the surfer, you’ll see he’s in trunks rather than a wetsuit)!

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I love it when light shines in a way that creates a mirror-like reflection. You can see this seabird has a colorful reflection in the wet sand.

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Things felt a bit less shiny when I spied this seagull with the plastic baggie.  The amount of plastic that ends up in and near the beach is staggering, even when people make an effort to reduce their use and pick up trash.  The beach I walk is pretty clean…and even though I got close enough to take the photo, this bird was not letting me get a hold of his treasure!

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Yesterday’s walk was near sunset–that magical time when the light shines softly, creating a wonderful glow.  I noticed this surfer sitting on her board watching her friend head into the water.  I like the way the sun shines on her face, while everything else has a soft glow.

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By the time I got back to where I began my walk, the sun was just about down, replacing the bright shine with an orange glow.  And I was lucky enough to catch a green flash in the moment the sun set into the ocean…confirmed by the cheers that went up by the other sunset watchers!

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So, where are things shining in your life this week?  What shine catches your eye? Although my examples of shine are from outdoors, I can imagine plenty of shine indoors as well.

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.

Thanks Nancy Thanki and the folks at Daily Post for the inspiration this week…and feel free to share your shine with them too!  I’m looking forward to seeing all the shine that catches your eye this week.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Appreciating the Ordinary

Some weeks just don’t lend themselves to extraordinary photography. Now I’m not complaining about my week–it’s been fun and busy, with lots of writing and thinking as we complete week two of our 4-week SDAWP Summer Institute.

Sunsets are not always a sure thing here on the coast–night and morning low clouds can interfere with sun sightings.  Last weekend, we decided to risk it and headed to the beach near sunset.  We were treated to some pretty orange as the sun dipped low.  If you look closely you might noticed the pelicans in the upper left corner flying through the frame.

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It’s not unusual to see these flying billboards–banners attached to small planes that buzz the coastline mostly advertising alcoholic beverages.  I noticed these two different planes flying by and saw that they would cross paths right overhead.  They were not dangerously close, but I’m glad they were paying attention to each other!

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We’re pretty fortunate that the beach we frequent is mostly free of garbage in spite of the heavy usage, especially in the summer.  Balloon trash is pervasive though.  This balloon looks to have been around for awhile–with most of the words worn off.  The #Litterati movement (and my friend Janis) reminds us to pick up trash where we find it and dispose of it properly.  I love the sky and the sea in this unfiltered photo, there’s something about the clouds and the sea foam of the waves that creates a texture and an echo.

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The walk from the parking lot to the building where the SI takes place each day can be both ordinary and interesting.  I noticed these two small orange birds as they perched on the sign near the sidewalk where I walk. Using the app Colorsplash, I turned the photo to black and white and then allowed the bird color to remain in my hopes of highlighting them.

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I was reminded of the power of nature…even just a tree in a parking lot…to affect my mood.  Rachel Carson’s quote captures the jolt of strength and sense of oasis that I experience when I look up through the leaves of the tree.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
— Rachel Carson

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The practice of noticing makes an incredible difference in my life.  The photos I take capture only a fraction of what I notice, and noticing helps me appreciate the little things in the ordinariness of my life. So take a look around, how might you view the ordinary in new and more appreciative ways?

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

What will you find when you pause to appreciate the ordinary?  I can’t wait to find out!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Here

Exotic photo shoots just don’t happen very often for me.  Most of the time I take pictures here…right where I am.  And most days the only camera at my fingertips is my phone, so I take it out and look for something interesting or just ordinary and snap away.

On Monday when I stopped to check the mail on my way home from work, the magnolia blossoms caught my eye.  In particular, I was drawn to this one that seemed to be unraveling–well past the prime of the bloom.  I pulled out my camera and captured this.

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Light traffic on Tuesday meant that I arrived for an appointment with plenty of time to spare.  So I headed to the beach nearby to take in a breath of two of salty air.  Right here I found a secret pathway down to the beach.  I love the way the ocean peeks through.

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But right here I also found an abandoned mylar balloon.  These things are simply too common on our beaches.  I picked this one up and placed it in the trash.

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This week has been beyond busy with too many meetings, too much to do, and Open House!  (I love Open House–the perfect celebration of learning, but it definitely involves a push to get ready and to help students be ready too!)  With a few minutes to spare before I needed to get back to school for Open House last night, I stopped by the beach (you might notice a theme here).  I didn’t have enough time for a walk…but I did have enough time to stack up some rocks and watch the waves roll in.  Sometimes balance means taking available minutes here and there to let my mind wander and refresh my perspective.

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My students got some of those minutes today.  Our third graders had won extra PE by averaging the greatest number of laps at our school jog-a-thon, so here they are enjoying the parachute with our PE teacher.

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And right here, outside the classroom door, the monarchs are back!  The butterflies we saw last week obviously laid some eggs and now the caterpillars are munching away on the milkweed. This is a favorite place for students to stop and study the caterpillars in action.  No chrysalis yet…

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So, what’s happening in your here this week?  Where’s your go-to “here” for a mental break, for a moment of relaxation, to enjoy the moment?

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

So here you go…find here with your camera and give us a glimpse!  I can’t wait to see what you find.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure

How many photos is too many to take of the beach? That question runs though my mind as I take photo after photo at this place I treasure. Looking through my lens I see the constant change…in light, in tide, in surf, in people, in rocks, in sand, in shells, in surfers, and more.

The unseasonably warm temperatures (80’s in February) and convenient after-work low tides collided to make perfect conditions for walking and taking photos all week long.  I found the most unexpected treasures as I walked.

The warm temps created different layers in the sky…and early in the week an almost misty condition.  These seagulls seemed to be playing tag, chasing each other into the sun.  I love the golden glows in this treasure.

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Early in the week the tides were particularly low, exposing large expanses of reef.  I walked way out toward the end of this outcropping where the treasures of tide pools were exposed.

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Walking north instead of south another day revealed the treasure of tiny shells instead of rocks under my feet.  I love the colors and textures of the thousands of shells.

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There are lots of varieties of seagulls too.  These guys always crack me up…I swear they look like Groucho Marx with their thick eyebrows and funny hairdos.  And I caught this guy in quite a pose!

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And thanks to my husband and my friend Janis, I can’t walk the beach without noticing the trash that washes onto shore.  This was a week for interesting trash…shoes, pvc pipe, electrical cord, and many surfboard fins.  I’m kind of a trash snob, I prefer to photograph and pick up the most exotic trash…like this piece of shoe that seems to be turning into its own island!  (Thanks #litterati for featuring this one as your Facebook and Twitter photo of the day on Thursday.)

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Yesterday as I bent down to photograph this fin, I was in the perfect position to catch the surfer in the background.  I can imagine him thinking, “Where did that fin go?”  Once photographed, I pick up the trash and carry it to the trashcan (or sometimes take it home–I seem to be starting a surfboard fin collection!).

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And I can never resist taking my favorite shot as I head toward the parking lot…one that features the sun setting behind the lifeguard tower, truly a treasure to behold!  (Complete with sun flare)

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So where do you find your treasures?  Are they revealed as the snow falls?  As you dig in the garden? Exposed by the light shining through the window of your house?

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

The beach revealed many treasures for me this week.  I can’t wait to see the treasures you find through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

As I looked through my photos this month, I noticed that many of them are monochromatic (grays and blues and whites).  Maybe this is a side effect of winter–a time when flowers are less likely to bloom, people wear dark colors, and the sun may be muted by cloudy skies.

And although my photo-a-day prompt for today was black and white, I went out in search of color when I stopped to walk after school.  I walked along the beach for a while, watching the extra large waves crash onto the shore (we’re expecting a storm this weekend).  I noticed this bright plastic piece among the rocks and bent down to investigate.  After taking a photo, I picked up the electronic chip to dispose of (in the spirit of #litterati) and continued on my way.

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After watching kids playing tag with the waves, I headed up some stairs in search of a different view.  As I neared the top these orange plants came into view…along with the view of the ocean behind them.

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As I continued my walk back through an alley, I spied a bouquet of balloons in the park that overlooks the beach.  They were tied to the top of a small doll house…and they glowed in the sun.  I did play around with some editing apps to see what I could create…and here is one version.

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Yesterday I also did some filter play…enhancing the sunset that was already irresistible. The colors in the sky were inspiring!  (I do wish you could see the paddle boarder out there, silhouetted in the sunset.

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I take lots and lots of photos of this tree near my driveway…especially when the sky calls out to me.  We’ve had lots of pink and orange skies lately…like this one I snapped earlier this week.

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Last weekend I had my zoom lens out on the beach (you can read more about that here), and noticed this girl laying in the warmer, shallow waters of the tide pool.  I wasn’t quite quick enough to catch her laying down, but I did catch her brightly colored wetsuit as she flipped her hair forward and sat up.

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And I love playing around with night photography–and the full moon offered a great opportunity over the weekend.  I love the bright red and yellow colors of In and Out Burger foregrounding the full moon.

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So, even though it’s still winter and colors are harder to find, search out some color to feature this week.  Or you might do like I did, and experiment with some editing apps to deepen or brighten the colors you do find.

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

So go out in search of color.  What will you find when you search for color through your lens?

Weekly Photo Challenge: #litterati

I’m working to get back to more regular exercise…more than just on weekends.  On Monday I made it to the gym and felt good about getting my heart rate up and logging some miles on the treadmill.  But when I considered heading back there on Wednesday, the beach called my name instead.  And because the low tide coincided with the time I had for exercise, I headed outside to log my miles.

I always walk with a camera–either my Sony a6000 or my phone, so taking pictures is always part of my beach walk practice.  Most often, I walk with my husband and his practice is picking up the trash he finds on the beach.  When the trash is interesting, I take photos of it and post it to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #litterati.  Litterati is an effort to bring awareness to the problems of trash in our environment–they encourage people to photograph trash, throw it away, and post the photo to social media.  My friend Janis takes the most amazing photos of trash–they are truly art!  Some of them are currently on display at the Bay Model Exhibit in Marin County, near San Francisco, CA.  She also picks up pounds and pounds of trash on the beach.

This past week I have found lots of sunglasses.  Here’s a favorite from yesterday.

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Here’s a pair my husband found (and I photographed) over the weekend.

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And then there’s the random horse you find intertwined in the kelp.

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Today Geoff picked up a full bag of bits of plastic.  Wrappers, bags, cups, water bottles, plastic balls, and more.

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So let’s make this week’s photo challenge be about raising awareness about litter in our favorite places.  Where do you find litter?  Take its photo, pick it up and throw it away, and share the image with the hashtag #litterati to help others remember that trash is a problem for all of us.

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

Enjoy your favorite place (or places) and be on the lookout for litter!  Let’s all make an effort to keep our environment clean so it can be enjoyed for generations to come!