Tag Archives: nwpianthology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Light and Shadow

I notice light…the way it washes over images, bringing vibrance to colors and highlighting details. And I notice shadow, spaces between light and color that create texture and definition. I love the interplay of the two…and the challenge of capturing what my eyes see through my camera lens.

I came home today to my tulip plant opening in the light of the late afternoon shining through the window. The yellow blossom seems to bring the spirit of spring right into the house.

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Last week when I was back east, I was mesmerized by the shadow of bare tree limbs.  Spring wasn’t much in evidence, but the beauty of nature in all its shadow was.  I love the way that looking up into the tree branches creates images of lace.

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And when I looked up inside the the train station in Baltimore, I noticed light playing with the intricate stained glass ceiling.  My photo doesn’t begin to capture the beauty of the glass and the light!

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Earlier this week at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum my students and i entered this Native American kiicha made of willow branches and wetland reeds.  Looking up I noticed the way the light played with the shadows inside.

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And after school today I treated myself to a short walk on the beach–this is the beginning of my spring break–a much needed week off to gather energy and inspiration for the rest of the school year.  It was warm today…and spring breakers were out in full force.  I noticed the kites flying above the lifeguard tower and the way the sun created silhouettes in the distance.

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So, whether you are on spring break or yours is long over, take some time this week to notice light and shadow.  What time of day does the light catch your eye?  What do the shadows reveal?

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

So go into the light and explore the shadows in your life.  I can’t wait to experience light and shadow through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monumental

Yesterday Abby and I spent our day on Capitol Hill talking with congressional reps, exploring the history of our county, and thinking about the multiple meanings of words (more details of that here).  So as I thought about a weekly photo prompt, the word monumental came to mind.

There are the obvious images of monumental, like watching the sun rise behind the Capitol building. (It’s being renovated, giving it an almost Minecraft-like cubism.

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There’s some less obvious uses of monumental too–at least in my mind.  Like the monumental effort it took to capture this image of the squirrel sitting on this piece of branch, facing out, eating breakfast.  I wanted to get close, but not so close that I would cause him to dash.  So I did a bit of editing to bring him more into focus so you could get a glimpse too.

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And what teacher wouldn’t love a monument made of books?  I was a bit flabbergasted by the enormity of the stack–tower–monument of books written about Abraham Lincoln on display at Ford’s Theater.

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I was also thinking about my visit to the desert near my home last weekend…and the monumental majesty of the mountains that frame our local desert spaces.  I love the blooming ocotillo in the foreground, bringing a touch of color to the endless palette of browns against the brilliant blue sky.

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And then there is the monumental beauty in the ordinary…like these yellow flowers that somehow find enough water to survive…and thrive and bloom in this dry, hot environment.

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Back to my day on the hill yesterday…I had a monumental amount of fun with Abby.  We worked hard, talked a lot, and Abby’s playfulness is contagious!  After me filming her dancing on the steps of the Supreme Court (she was tempted to ask the armed security guard to dance with her!), she asked to take a photo of me…and encouraged me to move, react, not just stand still.  I’m no Abby…but I appreciate the invitation to push out of my comfort zone of standing back, out of the limelight, to take in the sun on the hallowed steps of this historic place.

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So…what seems monumental to you?  Is it a place?  An event?  An experience?  An emotion?

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

So explore the multiple meanings of the word monumental and represent it in your way through a photo (or two or three).  I can’t wait to see monumental defined through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Study

 

Anyone who reads my blog with any regularity knows that I spend plenty of time on the beach. And with my camera in hand, I find that I often begin to study the things that I see through my lens.  I’ve been drawn to seagulls lately…as evidenced in the photo gallery above (all images posted on my blog over the last few months).

And as I take photos of seagulls, I have also studied them.  Noticing their habits, their preferences, their personalities…and more.  As I walk along the shore, I am drawn to the crowd of seagulls.  They seem to be social creatures, gathering together to hang out.  They seem to have some favorite spots…and I walk through them on a regular basis.

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I love the way they casually walk away from me as I come near.  Seldom do they take flight as I approach, they just seem to shuffle over a bit as they keep a close eye on my movements.

I am always surprised by their adaptations.  The runoff from the storm drains flows into the ocean near the lifeguard station at our local beach.  I am assuming that this is fresh (ish) water (at least not salt water).  I often see seagulls taking a drink from this runoff–in spite of the fact that we humans get regular warnings to stay away from this water–especially after the rain because of the risk of bacteria.  I caught this guy in action, taking sip from the flowing runoff.

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I love to watch seagulls in flight.  They seem so carefree and graceful in the sky…when they are not squabbling with one another over a bit of food.  This guy today was nice enough to fly right in front of my camera.

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And there are times when it seems that the gulls take to the sky in a carefully choreographed dance, floating on the air waves, dipping and turning, swooping and gliding.  I notice this most often in the late afternoons when I squeeze a walk in after I am done with work.  There was a beautiful performance going on this afternoon as I headed back to my car for my drive home.

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So…what are you studying through your lens?  Nearby birds? The light in the afternoon?  The way snow melts? The plants in your garden or the tree you pass on your way to work each day? If you haven’t yet studied…this is your week for a mini study!

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

So take a look around…what are you noticing?  What questions does it raise?  Use your lens as a tool for closer study…  I can’t wait to see what you are learning as you study through your lens!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Action!

Summer has come early here in southern California…with temps in the 90s on the coast today! This is not our normal weather…but it has people flocking to the beaches to play.  People are shedding their clothes and there’s lots of action on the shoreline.

The water is not warm yet, even though you wouldn’t know it by looking at people playing in the surf.  The sign on the lifeguard tower said 64…and my feet agreed as I walked along the shore. These boys show the contrast between the air and water in they way they are dressed…one in a wetsuit, the other in trunks…as they pull the kayak up on the shore.

IMG_4679I love the spring in the step of this little guy.  He just exudes energy!

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There are lots and lots of games to play on the beach…frisbees and footballs and smashball are usual.  I’ve been noticing this game lately…where you bounce the ball off the mini trampoline, with the goal of keeping the ball moving within the group.  These boys were playing an extreme version, throwing themselves to the ground to assure the ball stayed in play!

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And there’s lots of fun to be had just playing in the waves, jumping and screaming with each surge of water.IMG_4689

And when the tide is low, the bikes come out.

IMG_4693And people aren’t the only ones in action!  These birds, pelicans I think, must have found something good to eat as they gather, hovering and plunging into the waves.

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And if you look closely you can see both the action of the seagull in flight and the waves rolling and crashing here.IMG_4688

I love this one where the seagull is still and the waves are caught in action,  I love the colors that are so hard to catch in a photo!IMG_4694

So, for this week, be on the lookout for action.  What’s going on in your little piece of the world? Are people playing? Working?  What about plants and animals…are they in action?  Or like me, you might even notice the action of water…or weather.

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

So take a look around, where is the action in your life this week?  I can’t wait to see what action you find through your lens!

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Overlooked

Some weeks I feel inspired and find lots to take photos of…I spend time outdoors, exploring the beauty of the natural world.  And some weeks, like this one, I feel a bit overwhelmed with the responsibilities in my life and it seems like a stretch to find anything at all interesting to photograph.

But this week, in spite of only feeling like I have had mere minutes to devote to photography, I have been trying to take photos of things I might have otherwise overlooked.  I’m sure my neighbors think I’m crazy as they watch me crawling around my front yard taking photos of dandelions!

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I also noticed the way the light was playing with this crazy thorny tree near my driveway.  The leaves have recently sprouted, bringing a bit of spring green with it.

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With our kitchen remodel done and my hubby back to cooking, we are getting more interesting (and yummy) meals again.  This week he experimented with a “South of the Border” pizza.

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That’s enchilada sauce, red bell peppers, cilantro and avocado.  Delicious!  And today he was baking these vegan raspberry thumbprint cookies in his shiny new oven.

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We had a much-needed rainy weekend that continued into Monday morning…and my morning playground duty (conveniently timed between rainy squalls) had me looking skyward, hoping students would have a little time for outdoor play before being cooped up inside most of the day.  It was hard to overlook the rare dark clouds framing the playground.

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Today I was at the university, thinking about how much time I spend driving around and around the parking lot looking for that elusive parking spot.  I decided I should capture that struggle in a photo…which also had me noticing the light and shadows…and the many white cars!

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I’ve been noticing the jacarandas in bloom this week as I turn from the major thoroughfare into my neighborhood.  The pinkish purplish blossoms are stunning against the lengthening daylight as I head toward home from work.  Today I took my big camera with me to work and reminded myself to stop, park my car, and take some photos on my way home.  Here’s what I saw.

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So, for this week, take a look around at what you may ordinarily overlook as you go about your busy life.  What’s right under your nose?  Out in your yard?  Along the road on your way home from work?

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

So take a look around, what can you photograph that you may have overlooked in other circumstances?  I can’t wait to see overlooked through your lens!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

One of the things I love about photography is playing around with composition…either while I am shooting or in the editing process.  The Daily Post this week focused their challenge on the rule of thirds…so I think I will piggyback this challenge with theirs.

You’ve probably seen more seagull photos from me than you ever wanted lately.  And I’ve been playing around with different angles and compositional elements.  Here’s an unedited one of a seagull standing on the rocks in the surf.

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And this one is also unedited…on a gray day I captured this seagull in flight, in the upper lefthand third of the frame.

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And it’s not always seagulls that capture my attention.  This pelican pair flew overhead, cruising the shoreline…they are almost in the bottom third of the frame.

IMG_4373And this egret was wading in the koi pond at Balboa Park…I especially love the colors and the way its mouth is open in this shot.

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This was a favorite from the other day, taken with my iPhone…walking across the Target parking lot my eye was drawn to the gathering storm clouds in the sky…and the birds perched in this bare tree.

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And just to prove that all my photos don’t include birds, here is a shot of a monarch caterpillar munching its way toward creating a chrysalis.  This shrub was full of caterpillars…and people were delighting in pointing out the crawlers.  We also saw a bright green chrysalis and a few butterflies too.

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So, for this week, let’s play along with the Daily Post challenge and work on shots that follow the rule of thirds.  (For more information about the rule of thirds, look here)  You can frame your shots as you take them or play around with the composition in the editing process.

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

So play around with composition this week and see how the rule of thirds impacts your photos.

Shades of Gray

It’s not what you think…this isn’t about the book or the movie.  Instead, this is about winter and all the grays I’ve been seeing lately.

I’ve noticed icy grays…not here at home, but while I was in Chicago and the temperatures hovered between negative numbers and teens I noticed icicles hanging from the bumpers of cars in the parking lot while I was taking a brisk stroll around the hotel where I stayed.

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And after some adventures in the airport, I found myself in a window seat in the last row of the plane.  On the positive side, I was able to take photos throughout the flight, including this one as we began to taxi to take off for the flight to San Francisco.

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So much of the country we traversed from high in the sky was covered with snow.  At one point when I looked out I noticed this snowy map, with roads and rivers etched into the landscape below.

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I came back home to much more reasonable temperatures and headed off to Los Angeles to spend the day with my son.  (You saw some pictures on this post)  The historic Bradbury building offered a glimpse of some different gray…with lots of ornate metalwork including this amazing working elevator.

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As we headed out of the downtown area, we traveled through this tunnel.  And because I wasn’t driving, I got to take a photo and capture the gray textures illuminated by the row of lights.

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From up on Mulholland Drive, the entire city skyline including the Hollywood sign were on display.  Unfortunately, the day was gray and hazy, making the skyline a shadow in the distance.

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And back at home, I made my way back to the beach.  It wasn’t cold…sweatshirt and bare feet weather…but it was gray.  I’ve been a bit obsessed with seagulls lately, and found myself taking shot after shot.  This one captures the shades of gray visible on the beach this week.

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So, for this week, as we head toward the end of February, look for shades of gray.  Will you find them outside or inside?  The result of weather, the color of metal, or on the feathers of a local bird?

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

So go out in search of gray…all the shades you can find!  Let’s reclaim those shades of gray and capture images that reflect the range of grays that we see.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the shades of gray in your life…through your lens!