Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

January 23, 2011

Picture Winter Day 23

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 2:53 pm
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“High Strung”

“From lights, to streamers, to celebratory garlands, a simple strand of something special makes everything more festive. Look around you and discover what’s ‘hanging’ around,” read today’s photo prompt.  I was stumped at first, as I usual am with these daily emails.  The idea of celebration and being festive gave me the clue that led to today’s photo:


Dear friends of ours have a Mardi Gras party each year.  Although that party is still more than a month away, I thought of our large stash of purple, gold and green beads.  These “disco ball” style beads are a recent addition to the collection.  The sun again graced us with its presence here in Massachusetts, so I thought these beads and the sunshine might make a fun combination.

This simple looking shot took a bit of ingenuity.  First, I wrapped the three strands of beads together with a smaller strand, and used the smaller strand to hang the whole cluster from the curtain rod above my sliding glass door.  I started taking pictures.  They were okay, but not what I expected with the beads hanging in beautful sunshine.  Next, I went back to the white sheet I used the other day for the flower backdrop and tried with the sheet hanging just behind the beads on a near-by cupboard.  Couldn’t get an angle I liked.  Then, I spread the sheet along the curtain rod, opened the slider, and went outside into the briskly cold day. (Daytime high of 20°F today)  I clicked away at my sunshiney beads until a cloud moved in, all the while leaving the sliding door wide open so I wouldn’t have the glass interfering with my shot!  (Hubby,  if you are reading this, I apologize if the heat bill spikes a bit for today!)

January 22, 2011

Picture Winter Day 22

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 4:49 pm
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Today’s photo prompt reads: “The table (be it coffee, dining or otherwise) is usually the one place where our family comes together at least once a day. What is really at the center of your table? Picture it in a way that says something about you.”

If my photo today was truly honest, you’d see a pile of clutter. Newspapers, books, magazines, hot sauce, salt, pepper – that is what is really at the center of my table.  I didn’t think anyone would really enjoy seeing a picture of any of that.

Ms. Clark must have realized that not all of us taking this class would have that decorator’s touch naturally sitting at one’s table and said that it was okay to get something today about which folks might like to gather.  I remembered a pretty centerpiece I used to keep on my bathroom counter until it started gathering way too much dust and was too difficult to clean.  It was a glass bowl with sand and shells.  I wondered if I could clean up some of the pieces and create something new and interesting from it. 

I’m embarrassed to tell you how many shots I took of this little creation before I found one I wanted to share.  I tried so many positions for shots, all around my kitchen, hand-held and tripod, 50mm lens and 55-250mm lens, auto and manual focus, large and small apertures. 

 In the end, I think the fact that it took me so long to get a shot that I liked helped me out; with how long it took me to get the shot, the flames on the candles got taller!  Those were brand new tea lights when I started and only a tiny bit of wick was available.  They burned long enough to unveil more wick for a bigger flame, which I decided I liked about the picture.

If you know anything about me, I hope it is how much I love the beach and my family vacation.  The shells, sand and water help to bring on thoughts of warmer days spent with my family, just the four of us, for one blissful week each August.

January 21, 2011

Picture Winter Day 21

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 1:24 pm
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“Winter’s Pull”

I thought today’s photo prompt, though eloquently written, was really very wide open to possible shots. “Winter doesn’t push you a thing. It requires you to go out there and pull. Work harder to find shape and line in composition. Work harder to bend whatever light you have. Change your position: capitalize. Work harder to find colour and depth in monochrome.”

We had another fresh snow fall, and our fourth snow day in two weeks, this morning.  Once again we are adrift in white.  Where would I find color and light today?  My first thought was, wouldn’t it be nice if a male cardinal was to stop by my feeder?  That would add some color to the white and gray.  Then to my surprise, the clouds parted and the sun broke through, at least giving me some nice light with which to work.

I used a small aperture to get the sun streaks, then warmed it up just a tiny bit in PSE.  It reminds me of childhood drawings we all did with a yellow ball and orange streaks to represent the sun.

While I didn’t get a male cardinal, a northern flicker obliged me with at least a little touch of red:

The focus is far from perfect here, but I forgive myself because this bird was not content to stay in one place for long.  I was just happy it turned its head ever so slightly so that we could see its face, and not just the back of its head, as it poked at the tree hoping dig up a tasty insect morsel.

January 20, 2011

Picture Winter Day 20

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 5:35 pm
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Today we were instructed to “visually translate the word frosty.”  Meghan wanted a Frosty from Wendy’s.  I didn’t think that would photograph all that well, and there really isn’t one very near by here.  Hubby thought I should mix up one of my famous frosty margaritas:
Electric blue margarita

Made with a splash of Blue Curacao – I guess this shot from my 365 project could actually fit the bill today.

This is the shot, however, I submitted to the gallery today:

This is a photo of ice covered snow lit by the setting sun.  I thought it had the kind of neat effect of being both warm and cool at the same time.  I got some of my inspiration for this shot from Becky Sue, who is also doing the “Picture Winter” class.  She did a very cool shot of her driveway at sunrise this morning.

January 19, 2011

Another Snow Penguin!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:20 pm

The consistency of the snow has changed recently due to another snowfall with a mix of sleet, rain and wet snow.   Due to this change (and a half day of school), Meghan felt compelled to create a new snow penguin (she claims she will eventually make the full army of snow penguins!)


The artist and her creation:

What do you think, Brian?

Picture Winter Day 19

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 7:49 pm
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“A Different Kind of Story”

The photo prompt got personal today: “Today, share a little something about you: where you’re at, what you’re doing, how you’re feeling. It can be serious, revealing, playful or a little of each. Anything goes. Capture something that will give us a glimpse into your world.”

I realize this shot is no masterpiece of photography.  It is, however, a glimpse into my life.  I was trying to think of a way to show the general tumult of my daily life, while still showing some of my interests that help to make me, me.  While I was arranging the books and trying to fit them into my shot, Meghan popped in under the table and I started catching little corners of her face.  Then Teddy’s nose snuck in too, and it just seemed right.

January 18, 2011

Picture Winter Day 18

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 4:21 pm
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“Center of Attention”

Today was an easy prompt for deciding the subject: “Today, pay attention to one subject that tends to keep showing up in your work – something that captures your eye, time and time again, and begs to be the center of attention for your creativity.” 

 It just so happens that I was going through about 8 months’ worth of photos yesterday to order prints.  I like having photo albums to flip through and realized I hadn’t ordered any prints since May of last year.  To help keep organized, I uploaded by season to Snapfish, creating 4 online “albums.”  On the cover of the albums,  it just so happened that Teddy showed up 3 out of 4 times!  He certainly does beg to be the center of attention, quite literally.  I did submit that photo of Teddy that is currently my header image to the gallery today, but I also worked on photographing another favorite subject; convinced my dear hubby to buy me some flowers!

When I say I “worked” on this subject, I really did!  I read the chapter in Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography book on shooting flowers like a pro, and used some of his tips.  I put the vase on the floor in front of my sliding glass door and draped a white sheet behind the flowers at a 90° angle to the door.  I set my tripod at its lowest height and used the 2 second self timer for the shutter.  I sat on the floor taking pictures of my bouquet for about 40 minutes I think!  Here are some of my favorites:





That last one was taken with my macro converter attached to my 55-250mm lens.

My other centers of attention are busy hanging out in their pj’s and playing video games on this snow/ice day off from school.  Decided not to force them into being my subject today – flowers are more cooperative anyway!

January 17, 2011

Picture Winter Day 17

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 3:03 pm
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“Stark Raving Magnificent”

 (That heading is Ms. Clark’s title, not mine, BTW!)

At first glance, today’s prompt seemed simple enough, with no real interpretation needed: “Whether your world is covered in snow or you’re on a white sandy beach, capture some kind of starkness today.  Think minimal beauty. Think simple.”  One of the pictures of the dogs racing through the snow popped to mind when I read the prompt.  I thought maybe if I went back to the part of the yard I was in and shot the scene without dogs, I’d have that stark, minimal beauty.  Somehow it didn’t feel quite the same today, so I tried different angles, settings and lenses.  Out of my backyard shots, I ended up liking this one the best, but I’m honestly not sure if it goes with the prompt.  What do you think?

While I was musing over whether this shot actually fit the prompt, I glanced out the window that faces my front yard and noticed what a gorgeous blue sky we have today.  I wondered if I could capture that gorgeous color with something that fit the prompt.  I also submitted this shot to the gallery today:

It is definitely stark, but I’m not all that excited by it.  Maybe I needed to move beyond my own yard to have a truly, starkly beautiful shot today. Spending lots of time outside searching for the perfect shot, however, isn’t part of today’s agenda, especially with the high temperature at about 20 degrees. (BTW, does anyone know how to make a degree symbol here in WordPress?  The code I found for Microsoft Office doesn’t work.)

I’d be curious to know your thoughts here.  Do either of these shots seem to fit the prompt to you?

January 16, 2011

Picture Winter Day 16

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 3:13 pm
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“Wrapped Up”

Towels? Really? That was my first thought when I read today’s prompt: “Today, your challenge is to consider ways you can evoke some kind of emotion in a picture incorporating a towel, or towels.”   Emotion with a towel.  A challenge for sure.  Here’s my interpretation:

So, what emotion do you see in this shot? Teenage ennui? Maybe so, but I remember the little girl who I first taught to wrap her long, wet hair in a towel turban and how cute and funny she thought it looked.  She’s not so little anymore, but I think there’s still some little girl left inside.

Practicing Food Photos

Filed under: Photo assignments,Recipes — Karma @ 2:58 pm
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Last night I did something I don’t usually do.  I made homemade bread!  I thought this unusual occasion deserved a photo or two.  I tried to keep in mind the tips that Ivoryhut offered over at Scott’s place; unfortunately, natural light was out of the question by the time the bread was done.  Overhead recessed lights and the nifty-fifty however, allowed me to avoid flash.




Tasty looking, huh?  If you are not familiar with this simplest of bread recipes, take yourself over to the Ivoryhut and find out just how easy it is.

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