Tag Archives: photoessay

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!


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!


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.


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!




Exploring: A Family Trait

Yesterday’s holiday offered me the opportunity to do some exploring…with my son.  Now that my children are grown, married, and living in cities away from me, I treasure the time we get to spend together in any configurations of our family.

So yesterday morning, with a day off from work, I got into my car and headed up the freeway to Los Angeles to spend the day exploring with my son.  In many ways, he is my inspiration for taking photographs.  He has fancy cameras and takes amazing photos.  I use my phone and continue to learn.  And he is quite the cheerleader for my growing skills and like me, enjoys looking for interesting photo opportunities.

Los Angeles has its downside: most notably, traffic!  But it is rich in interesting history, eclectic neighborhoods, memorable landmarks, and famous people along with a beautiful natural environment.  So after an amazingly quick commute in light traffic from my home to his, we set off for a day of exploring and picture taking.

We spent the morning at the La Brea Tar Pits (can you believe neither of us had even been…even though we both grew up in Southern CA?), the Page Museum, and the sculpture gardens at LACMA.  Then after lunch, we decided to drive the surface streets of the greater Hollywood area as we ventured off to find the Ennis House, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural gems.  (More about that later this week!)

And in the process of driving up the narrow, winding streets of the hillside above the greater LA area, we found so much more than Frank Lloyd Wright’s treasure.

We found a place to park on the steep streets of an obviously exclusive neighborhood and set off on foot with lenses in hand.  As we walked, I found myself searching for a space where I could see the view beyond us.  I did sneak this view through the opening in a fence.


But I wanted more.  A side road beckoned with what looked like ruins of some sort.  A closer look revealed stairs leading to a door…to something that is no longer there.


But when I turned around…the view I was looking for revealed itself!  I’ve written before at how hard it is to capture distant landscapes with my iPhone (but it never keeps me from trying!).  With a little help from post production, I did manage to create a photo that gives a glimpse of what I was able to see!


I love that I could see the Los Angeles skyline in the distance.  And you can see what a beautiful sunny day we were experiencing (it was easily 80 degrees at its peak).

And best of all, Nick and I had a wonderful day together exploring his city through our lenses. The fun thing is that we don’t have to do something “special,” just spending time exploring and talking and being together was enough.  I can’t wait to see all the photos he took…and you’ll get to see some of the other photos I took later this week.

What traits do you share in your family?  How do you enjoy spending time together?

Ordinary: A Photoessay

When I get busy I don’t take the time to pursue my personal interests, instead I get bogged down with the intricacies of my work and the demands of my schedule.  When I finally get a chance to catch my breath, I also find myself needing to tend to demands of ordinary life…you know, housework and errands and such.  And my exercise routine also falls to the wayside (even though I know that exercise is essential to energy, health, and well-being).  So today I decided to do two things that have been neglected…take a walk and take some photos.

And continuing my theme over the last few days of ordinary…this was an ordinary walk.  I threw on my tennies and took a walk around the neighborhood.  And while I was walking I was also taking a close look at my surroundings…alert for interesting images.

Lots of people in my area have hibiscus bushes with beautiful red or yellow flowers.  As I walked by one house today I noticed this blossom with snails nestled up in the center of the blossom!  While I’m sure it isn’t good for the flower, I love the idea of the snails becoming the center of the flower.


I often hear about how people in other locales have four seasons…and we, in southern CA, don’t.  (Somehow our temperate weather gets construed as sameness)  As a native to the area I feel like the seasons are quite distinct…and fall is definitely in the air!  There’s a difference in light, in the way the air feels (even warm feels different in the fall), and in the foliage.  We do have plenty of evergreen trees…but there are deciduous trees like this too.


Sometimes when I walk, I find myself “in my head,” not really paying attention to my surroundings.  But today I was alert and tuned in to the dragonflies flitting by, the abandoned Santa toy wedged in the ground cover, the granny smith apple in the gutter, and this tiny lizard that skittered in front of me.  He was cooperative enough to stop and let me take a photo…unlike the dragonfly!


I’ve been noticing the variety of palms in my area.  I commented just yesterday about the fact that the banana leaf palms are pretty uncommon…and then I saw one on my walk today.  And as I headed back to my house I noticed this palm with all these little berries at the center.


I love the way the ordinary…a neighborhood walk…becomes something more when you take the time to pay attention and notice details.  And I feel refreshed and relaxed…ready to tackle another busy work week.  I’m sure I will need to remind myself to take time to notice, to tune into the ordinary, and enjoy the moments in the moment!