Tag Archives: the daily post

Do You Selfie?

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge on the Daily Post is the selfie–that ubiquitous self-portrait, usually taken on a mobile device.  They highlight the National #Selfie Portrait Gallery, an exhibit of the art of the self-portrait or selfie.

I’m not much of a selfie taker.  I don’t love to post photos of myself on social media and there are just so many other interesting things to take photos of that it doesn’t occur to me to turn the lens on myself.

But when I saw the challenge, I realized that I do have a small collection of selfies.  This one, taken in the Natural History Museum in Denver, is one of my favorites.  I couldn’t resist the multiple mirrors…and then I used some editing apps to transform the image into an artistic interpretation of me.

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I had fun playing with the colored light at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, creating a refracted light selfie.

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A mirrored wall at the Getty Museum created an opportunity to catch a selfie of myself…with my son, and a little of the marble surfaces of the buildings and walkways.

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And since so many of my photo are of landscapes and the natural beauty of the place where I live, I do snap of few shadow selfies.  (Is that a selfie sub-genre?)  This one was taken on an exercise walk…you can see my sweatshirt tied around my waist.

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And then the classic shadow couple selfie…my hubby and I out on one of my picture taking expeditions.  I was loving the long and lean shadow here.

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On social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) I see some people who document their actions through selfies.  They snap pictures of themselves at landmarks, with friends, eating and drinking…  It seems to be a way to create a scrapbook of sorts of the moments they want to remember.  And as you can see, I do a few of my own.  Most of my selfies come from moments where the picture of myself (or my shadow) emerges as a way to play with photography–to try something a bit different and maybe even to prove I am physically present in some way.  I do capture the occasionally accidental selfie–standing in my own light and causing a shadow, shooting a reflective surface and surprising myself with a picture of myself instead of the image I was after.

Do you selfie?  Do you have a signature style or a classic pose?  Do you favor using your front facing camera on your phone, shooting into reflective surfaces or capturing shadows?  Do you post on social media or just share privately with friends?  What do your selfies say about you?

Beginnings

New Year’s Day just passed and everyone is talking about beginnings and goals and thinking about the accomplishments of the year gone by.  But somehow, January 1st seems like an arbitrary beginning to me.  It’s just not the time when I am ready to take stock of the year and make plans for the new.

As an educator, January feels like the middle.  In some ways we have just really gotten started on our learning this year.  Everyone has settled in, we’ve figured out how to operate as a learning community, and with the holidays behind us we are ready to surge forward!

And then the Weekly Photo Challenge presented this week’s prompt–beginnings–and I started to think about how sometimes beginnings and endings are hard to distinguish.  Kinda like the chicken and egg dilemma.  Which comes first?  Which is the beginning and which is the end?

In my pursuit of interesting photos today I found myself at the lagoon–that space where the ocean mingles with fresh water creating a complex environment teeming with life.  It was nearly sunset when I arrived and the briny air was chilled by the gentle sea breezes as the impending fog bank rested off shore.

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The tide was out, exposing the mud flats, presenting a banquet for the marsh loving birds.

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Is this marsh the beginning of the ocean or the end of the river?  Is sunset the end of the day or the beginning of the evening?

I’m not so sure it really matters that we have “hard” starts and stops, but it definitely matters that we take time to reflect, consider the experiences we have, and move forward with intention.  I may not do this on January 1st (or December 31st), but I do take the time at regular intervals to consider my work and my life and make adjustments to its course.

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And sometimes I just take the time to pause and appreciate the moment.  Maybe that, too, is a beginning.

Exploring My Community

When people think of the beach, first thoughts usually go to sunny days, warm sand, and frothy waves crashing on the shore.

And for those of us who live in the beach community and see the ocean in all its glory every day, it can be easy to take this natural beauty for granted.

As I work to grow my photographic eye, I have been paying attention to conditions that will produce photos that are different than those I have taken before.

Today was a rainy day with a dark sky filled with ominous clouds.  Sun broke through periodically…and as I was driving through rush hour traffic to an appointment this afternoon, I decided to stop by the beach to see if I could capture the ocean against the dark sky.

Traffic was worse than usual–a typical side effect of rain in our community–and I missed many beautiful photo opportunities as I drove through the heavy traffic towards my destination (and convenient parking).  When I did park, I wanted to capture darkness…with the light peeking through.

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This is an unedited photo as the sun was sinking behind the thick clouds.  You can see the gray rain clouds above…and the spot of clearing lighting up the sea.

As I was enjoying the dusky beach, I noticed what appeared to be a bride in the distance at the water’s edge.  iPhone photography is not great for distance shots…but I shot anyway, hoping to capture a glimpse of the bride (and her groom) in the distance.  I used Camera+ to crop the photo and the clarify filter to bring the bride into view.

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It’s a bit pixilated…but I kind of like the effect.  (Can you spot the bride in the distance?)

And after I stopped for a cup of coffee (a favorite evening habit), I noticed these palm trees against the darkening sky.  I stopped in the parking lot, set my coffee down on the ground and snapped this view.

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This is another unedited photo.  I love the way the wet roads reflect the street lights and traffic lights and the palms stand tall, an iconic beach symbol.

Paying attention to the nuances of this beach community where I live helps me to appreciate its unique qualities in deeper and more thoughtful ways.

What nuances make your community home for you?

The Grand-ness of Small

When I saw the Weekly Photo Challenge yesterday I started to think about photos to represent the word grand.  Would I choose a picture of the ocean?  A sunset?  The magnificence of the redwoods?  The intricate design of a bridge?  Should I focus on the size…the “wow” factor…or something else?  I went to bed last night without posting because I really couldn’t decide which photo to post.

This morning when I woke up and headed down to the kitchen I noticed that our Christmas cactus had bloomed.  For most of the year the Christmas cactus is a pretty ordinary green plant with characteristic sharp spines expected of a cactus.  But once a year (or more if we’re lucky), usually in December, the cactus develops red buds that open in a spectacular burst of color.

When I saw the blossoms this morning I couldn’t wait to get out my macro lens and try to capture some of that splendor in a photograph.  I love the idea that this small blossom represents grand.  When we look closely and notice the details, we can find the beauty and magnificence in the tiniest of places.

This is the unedited photo that I captured this morning.  I hope my photo helps you see the grand in this blossom!

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