Tag Archives: nwpianthology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sky

Sunday marked the summer solstice (along with my anniversary…and this year, Father’s Day) and our gray skies are finally clearing to let the sun shine through.

And it was a beautiful first day of summer, especially as the setting sun gave a golden glow as I looked to the sky.

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As the sun dipped low, the sky was painted in pinks with a tiny sliver of sun still shining through.

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After a delicious celebratory dinner, we headed out for a walk on the pier.  And as we looked to the sky, the moon appeared above the palms, a sliver accompanied by two bring planets nearby.

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The nighttime walk was a perfect ending to the day…as the lights of the city reflected on the ocean water.

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Earlier in the weekend, a beach walk allowed me to catch the sky’s sun silhouetting these surfers…making this unedited photo look like it was taken in black and white.

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As our San Diego Area Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institute began this week, I found myself not paying as much attention to the outdoors as I focused, instead, on developing this community of educators, writers, and thinkers.  And then today, three days in, I had to take a few minutes at lunch to re-discover my surroundings on the UCSD campus.  It’s cold inside the building, but outdoors the skies are blue and the scenery spectacular.  I focused on this piece in the Stuart Collection (art on our campus).  The Fallen Star is perched atop the engineering building–visible from the room where we hold the SI.

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And when I turned around, there was the Geisel Library–another favorite subject for my lens, framed by the blue sky and the tall eucalyptus trees.

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So, look up.  What does the sky have to offer in your place this week?  What are you noticing when you look skyward?

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

So look up toward the sky…what does the sky have to offer or what does it draw your attention to?  I look forward to seeing what the sky will bring through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abundance

There’s nothing like going to the county fair to experience abundance.  And when your county fair is the San Diego County Fair…a huge extravaganza, it gets to be a bit over the top.

I’ve noticed that over the years, there seems to be fewer animals on display.  But I love to visit the ones that are there and see the young animal exhibitors working with their livestock.  There are so many different varieties of goats…and they’re all pretty cute.  I love the ways this one peered out to see what was going on beyond the enclosure.

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There is also an abundance of food at the fair.  Everything from deep fried Starbucks (what?!) to huge turkey legs and corn on the cob dipped in butter, there are plenty of choices (although many are deep-fried or bacon covered).

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And sweet treats are also in abundance.  We can never resist the cinnamon rolls that have become a family tradition over the years, but there are also options like cotton candy, ice cream, funnel cakes and more.

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As we explored the abundance of talent from local artists–from woodworking to photography, graphic arts to textiles, we realized that we never spend time in the fun zone with the wild rides, bright colors, and flashing lights.  Looking up we saw people with an abundance of courage dive from a high tower with only a bungee attached to their legs.

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And some with an abundance of disposable cash testing their gaming skills to win something from the abundant collection of stuffed animals.

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And then there are the rides.  Crazy, fast, spinning, dropping, swooping…  We even saw one that covers up the riders as it gains speed (ugh!).  But they are spectacular to watch and to photograph!

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And as the sun began to set, I wanted to capture the differences in light.

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As we headed out after a long day having an abundance of fun, we paused to admire the fair in the dark with lights flashing and the sliver of the moon above.

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So where is abundance in your life this week?  Maybe in your garden, at the beach, in your classroom (if you are still in school), in your community, or somewhere else.  It could be an abundance that frustrates you…an abundance of trash, mosquitos, traffic…

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

So take a look around and notice abundance.  I can’t wait to see abundance through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Tonight was Open House at my school, that wonderful evening of celebrating all the learning that has happened all year.  The third graders (and their parents and teachers) are feeling a bit melancholy, realizing that the end of three years is in sight and there is change in the air.

In addition to spending time chatting with families we currently teach, we also met many of the students who will be our first graders in the fall.  Those shy, unfamiliar faces will soon be a part of our learning community.

Tonight’s Open House featured MACville–our student created community made up of twelve 32 x 32 inch grids.  Each grid was planned by a group of four students working within the constraints of a building code.  Here’s a peek at our cardboard community.

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And when I got in my car to head home after a very long day, the sea and sky called to me.  The weather forecasters have been predicting rain, but we often get a chance of rain in the forecast that comes to naught.  But with the sun setting into the ocean and storm clouds gathering, I headed toward the beach with my phone in my pocket.  As the wind whipped my hair and my jacket billowed around me, I snapped shots of the amazing colors of the sky and sea.  No editing was needed, the light and clouds and water did all the work.

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So where is the change in your life right now?  In the weather?  In your classroom?  In your personal life?  In your art?

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

Change is the air for me right now.  What change will you capture through your lens?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

There’s a storm heading our way (or promised, at least), and clouds have gathered.  I’ve caught myself staring up into the sky, noticing the ways the clouds race across the sky, gather in delicate puffs, and capture light.  At UCSD today, I was mesmerized by the clouds behind the Geisel Library…a very space ship looking building.  I played around with the app Paintereque…I love the way it draws attention to the sky.

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I’ve been paying a bit more attention to the ways my surroundings impact the way I feel…and have been picking up flowers now and then and putting them in my dining room.  These red tulips were closed buds on Saturday, began to open up on Sunday, and yesterday I noticed them drooping gracefully and casting delicate tulip shadows when I got home from work.

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With a late meeting earlier this week I couldn’t resist stealing away for a few minutes at the Torrey Pines Glider Port.  This interesting place just a few minutes from the university offers breathtaking views of the ocean and, as an added bonus, opportunities to watch the hang gliders float on the breeze.  From a distance they are like delicate birds, surfing the currents.  Up close, they are much more ungainly.

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Up in the mountains over the weekend, I explored the forest and meadows and noticed forces of nature as they whispered.  The quiet was soothing and as I breathed deeply, I noticed this delicate butterfly (or is it a moth?) that settled long enough for me to take its portrait!

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I loved all the wildflowers carpeting the forest.  I noticed that many of the flowers were small and delicate…and often close to the ground like these tiny beauties.

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And there is also a delicacy to these large, old oaks.  Looking up I could appreciate the delicate branches reaching into the sky.  Some were lush, with brilliant green leaves and others, like this one, seem to be declining.  Maybe because of our persistent drought?

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So what evokes delicate for you?  Is it in the flight of a man-made object or the curve of a tree branch?  Maybe you notice delicate in the smile of a child or the whiskers of your pet.

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

So take a look around, what strikes you as delicate?  I’m looking forward to expanding my understanding of delicate by seeing it through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two

Looking through photos I’ve taken lately, I’ve noticed twos.  Not really pairs, like shoes or gloves, but instead two of something finding their way to a prominent position in the photo like these two bike riders pedaling along the beach.

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And as I stood along the edge of the lily pond at our local botanical garden a few days ago, I noticed a turtle swimming toward me.  And as I continued to watch, there were two.  They swam along snapping up small fish, slipping around and under the lily pads.

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The water lily blossoms also appeared in twos for me, a riot of color atop the brilliant green of the lily pads.

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Out in the school garden students were invited to reflect on their experiences in the garden during the school year (it’s our garden teacher’s last week).  It was such fun to watch them settle in, perched on stumps, leaning on the fence under the sunflowers, garden boxes serving as writing desks…and I caught these two surrounded by the colorful, fragrant sweet peas as they took time to reflect and write.

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Somehow my photo of the flax also focused on two blossoms.  I love the color of these red blooms!

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And even as the petals fall off the sunflowers, they remain interesting and somehow beautiful as they go to seed.  I noticed that this one has two petals still hanging on.

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So where are twos popping up for you? Are you noticing traditional pairs and couples or unusual combinations?  Are they people, animals, plants, man-made items?

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

So, start looking for two and share what you find through your lens with the rest of us!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lines

Not too long ago my son and I were looking at power lines…those big metal structures made up of lots of crossing lines that also hold up more lines.  And then some weeks later, I found myself noticing more power lines in a different place.  I’m drawn to the lines and angles…and to the question, why are there more power lines in poorer communities?

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And thinking about those lines got me looking for other lines…like these that make up the water tower in a small coastal town in northern CA.

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Or these on the lifeguard tower along the pier in San Clemente.  (Notice the line of the pier railing and then the railings and the scaffolding of the tower above)

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Some lines are more organic, like the lines along the cliff that delineate the different rock compositions.  Up close you can see the a line of conglomerate pebbles about halfway up the cliffs.

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The surfboards lined up against this building are each a line individually and then come together to make a line of boards against the wall.

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Nature seems to like lines too.  Like the line of this milkweed stalk behind the caterpillar.  (I’m loving these seed pods that burst open and expose fuzzy seeds that take off in the breeze…almost like dandelion puffs!)

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And the rotational symmetry of this plant, with lines emerging from the center, spreading in all directions.

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So starting looking for lines in your photos.  The straight lines of buildings or the more organic lines found in nature.  Are the lines made of something else?  A row of trees?  Scraps of fabric? Your child’s toys?

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

So, find the lines in your life and share them with the rest of us!  I know I can’t wait to see lines through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sparkling

Today I found a quote that resonated…filling my mind and heart with images of warmth and light.

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.  Theodore Roethke

And I started thinking about my week off from work…which was filled with light and sparkling images.  A long winding drive through a forest of redwoods showered us with shards of light filtered through those tall majestic trees.

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And who knew that wild raspberries grow on the tops of the sea cliffs that overlook the fiercely beautiful waves of the Northern California coastline?  They seemed to wink as I stopped to take their photo!

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How have I missed quaint sea towns like Mendocino, a jewel of weathered historic buildings, sparkling blue water, and tall water towers.

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Even in the shade, an inner glow seemed to sparkle through this luminous purple flower.

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And when we arrived at our destination, Glass Beach…near Fort Bragg, we were greeted by smooth, tumbled beach glass that covered the sand.  This place that once served as a dumping ground is now seen as a treasure.  I watched children clamber up rocks, pretending to be pirates high above the sparkling glass.

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The glass beckoned, urging fingers to search for unique shapes and colors, letting the bits and pieces trickle through our open hands.

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At the end of the day, through the window of our hotel room, we were treated to the sparkling sun dipping down into the Pacific as the fishing boats came in from a day on the ocean.

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So this week be on the lookout for images that sparkle in your life.  Is there an inner light, the sun shining through, or maybe a sparkle less literal that only you can see?

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

What is sparkling in your life this week?  I can’t wait to see what sparkles through your lens!