Thursday, December 2, 2010

I'm back!

I confess. I've been a lazy photographer. As a matter of fact I've been feeling fairly uninspired for most of this year, but I do have a really good excuse. Or at least, I think it's good. I had a baby. I'm not sure why, but while my body was busy with the whole creation process, my mind just wasn't. So throughout my pregnancy I would occasoinally gaze lovingly at my camera and wish I had some great ideas of what to use it for. And that's about it.  But baby is here now (hooray!) and we are all starting to settle back into life (hooray again!).

The other day I was looking out my window and the sun caught the icicles just right and the motivation I was looking for in my last post (a *few* months ago...) settle back in too. Then my toddler needed to eat lunch. Sigh. But, don't worry. I managed to catch some good light during naptime the next day. So there you have it. Photography is as much about luck as anything. At least when you have to work around the kiddos.

Enough chit chat, here's the photos.

I am grateful for the return of motivation, for a little luck and for something to provide a mental break from the kid related stuff. A 15 minute break in my work day if you will.

What is your 15 minute break?

Monday, March 29, 2010


Does anyone have any? I need to take my camera out for a walk again. It's been too long. But I have to get up the motivation to walk. (lazy? um...yeah.)

What do you do when you just don't feel like doing what you should? (other than binge on ice cream like me) What I mean to say is how do you get yourself to get up and do it?

Monday, March 22, 2010

To make up for the cliche (I hope)

Here are some pictures from the same trip as the lighthouse pictures. I spent a few days camped right next to the beach with my family. It is still one of my favorite family vacations I have ever been on and these are some of my favorite pictures to this day, maybe they are good photos, but they also remind me of a lovely time. It seems that art is as much about the emotion it evokes as it is lighting, composition, etc. These photos remind me of being relaxed. They remind me of waking up early which is something I love though I'm not good at it. They remind me of camping and all that goes with it; bandanas, camp food (read good food. Food cooked outdoors is inherently better than normal food), camp fires, and just plain simplifying. There is a lot to be said for simple living.

From cliche lighthouse photos we get to inside the cute little lighthouse for a great view.

A detailed shot of the railing the goes around the top of the lighthouse. I love the weathering, the layers of rust and the way the salt water has altered the paint on the ball. Of course the roman numerals. Each post around the railing was numbered. I'm not sure why, but I do love it. I wonder about the care that went into building a railing that needs numbers.

This fern was on the hike up to the lighthouse. I love ferns. period.

The underside of a sand dollar on the beach. I'd never noticed the veiny underbellies until this very day. You learn something new everyday.
And this picture of my brother. I love the story this one holds. Him looking around, trying to figure out how to get this kite launched on his own. Or I suspect, more likely, looking around in order to look like he needed assistance launching the kite, so that I would put down my camera to help him out. I did. But I'm glad I got this photo first.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My brother recently posed the question of originality. Which, though he applies to writing, I thought a curious thing when it comes to photography. Admittedly, every photo you take is your own, therefore a bona fide original. BUT, does it make it original in the sense of thought. We've all heard the phrase, "there's no such thing as an original thought". Maybe. I'm not too sure about that though.

Remember in grade school when you thought of some great picture and when you started drawing it the person next to you said, "hey! don't copy me!" and you said, "I'm not, I thought of this on my own" and they said, "I thought of it first". Invariably it comes to "you copied what I was thinking". This speaks to a couple aspects of originality I think. Firstly, I suspect that the need to be original is pretty important. Why else would we have had these silly little tiffs? Secondly, I wonder if it still counts as original thought if you thought of it on your own, without ever knowing someone else did. Even though someone else did in fact think of it too. Is it possible for two separate people to think of the same original thought without the influence of the other? Is is an original thought then?

I know you are all thinking that this a pretty cool post about the philosophy of originality but I want to know more about photography (don't worry, I do too) so here it is. Two relatively cliche photos of a lighthouse.

Decent photos? Sure. Originals? Most definitely. Original? Debatable. I saw the shot, composed the picture and all that goes into making a photo. But has this been done before? Yup. So what makes a photo original? What makes it creative and not just copying the stuff that's been done before? Is this the stuff that makes it good? I mean really good. Not just decent. As someone who is trying to get really good at photography, I've been trying to put a finger on this for some time now, but it is so hard to define. I guess that's just one of the many reasons art is so subjective.

So what do you all think about all this? What makes something original? and what makes something art? (seriously, you don't have to write an essay response, but if you chose to, you have no idea how delighted I'd be)

What are you trying to get really good at and how will you know you've gotten there?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Well, the picture is focused. Still working on life. I tried to slow things down today and just give me and my thoughts some time. I suppose I was thinking of sleep because that's what happened. Sigh. Reflection was lost, but I must have needed the sleep.

Although I have technically put photography on the to do list now, it is one of those things that helps me focus. No, not the photos. My glasses help me do that. Seriously though, making photos gives me the chance to see things. I mean see things. Do you know what I mean? I love it when I find something lovely somewhere I've been hundreds of times before. All of a sudden something shows itself and I feel like I've just learned something new and something beautiful all at the same time.

So what helps you focus, or stay tuned in to life? Does cooking help you keep your cool? Singing? Running? What do you do?

Monday, March 8, 2010


I've been feeling a little out of focus lately. So much to do and  so little time to just do one thing right. In spite of the lack of focus in this picture. I still love it. I love the red. Really love the red. And I guess that's sort of how life is sometimes. A little out of focus but still lovely. And if you really want to see a focused picture, maybe I'll put one up tomorrow. (of the pretty red even!)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fresh Take: In which I explore new things.

One of my goals with this blog is to try new things. It is so easy to get stuck in a rut and take shots of the same things that I love and that I know turn out well. But that doesn't help me grow or progress. So I took a job doing something new. I took some textile shots for a couple who are starting up a cloth diapering business. It was kind of a fun job actually. It was a challenge to get the lighting right to get things like the texture in this fabric

It was good for me to think in terms of what a consumer would want to see. As someone who uses cloth diapers I've done the research and the shopping around and it is nice to feel like I was able to help people out as they go through the same process I did. ("but will the legs fit MY baby? and what's so great about velcro?")

 It was also really pretty fun to "pose" the diapers too. To find a um...flattering angle. (do diapers care? I dunno, but I do)

 All, told. I learned a bit and tried something new. Have you done anything new lately? What have you learned? If not, do try something and then come back and tell me about it! It will be fun, and maybe you will inspire me to try a new hobby.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I just joined Flickr! It's really about time I did. I think I tried to a long looooooong time ago, but it didn't work thanks to faulty internets, or something. Well, my nets are in much better shape these days and I thought that as a photographer maybe I should start hanging out with some other photographers. Flickr is pretty cool. You can browse other people's photos and I swear there is something for everyone. You can use it to organize your photos. You can upload photos so you have access to them if you want to publish them in your own blog or something. I think it's pretty great. I already spent waaaay more time than I meant to browsing over there tonight. And, check it out, I have a little link to my photostream in my sidebar now. And. you make a nice easy to say the name of URL (sort of). Mine is or if you want to see my profile and not my photostream  it's Yeah. It's pretty cool.

And for anyone who is waiting for more photos (what is the point of a photog blog without the photos?). No worries. They are coming soon!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spring is my Favorite Season


I took this photo several years ago, but I always think of it around this time of year. This is the time when I'm ready for the snow to melt and the sweet spring green bits to start popping up and peeking out. This photo was actually taken in April to be completely honest, but it's what I wish it looked like in February. I grew up with early springs (odds are good that my mom will be admiring crocuses soon where she is at and I'm jealous!) and I guess I just got used to them. My clock says it's time for spring! I guess the clock around here is set a little differently. This is one of the reasons I love photography. It's like an itty bitty reminder that warmer, greener times are coming soon!(ish.)

Friday, February 12, 2010


The 27th of January I drove all morning through freezing fog. The kind that sticks to everything coating it all in white crystals that beg to be photographed. But I didn't take any pictures that day. I was driving for work and I don't feel especially honest stopping to take pictures while I'm on the clock (it's not my clock after all). I've also heard somewhere that it's not safe to drive and take photos at the same time and so I have no photos to show you all how wonderful it all looked. It broke my heart. But I guess God loves me because the very next day we had freezing fog again, so I hurried out before work, froze my buns off, and took some shots in the time I had. Here are some favorites.
I learned a couple things from this shoot. One is to wear layers, but you probably already knew that.

As far as the photography goes I learned first to be flexible. I went out with fantastic frost covered trees in mind, but when I got out there I found I was most attracted to man-made things. So I guess it's good to go out with an idea, but it's definately cool to let that idea morph into something else, if that's what strikes your fancy.

Second I learned to take the opportunity when it presents itself. January 27, I spent the whole morning pining for my camera and it got me nowhere. The 28th, I knew I had a really limited amount of daylight hours before work and that is kind of a road block. But it's better to go out for 5 minutes if that's all I have than to go out for no minutes. No minutes = no photos.

So what do you guys think? Which is your favorite? Why? What would you do differently? Inquiring minds want to know!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Fool and Her Treasure

My Grandma once showed me a picture she has of me taking a picture. We were visiting the tulip fields near where I was raised in Washington and I was holding my mom's precious film SLR catching what was probably a mediocre image of the ocean of flowers there every spring. My mom was always willing to let me try my hand at it, even though I was probably better at wasting film then getting good pictures back then! She did of course have some limits. I had to tell her what I was going to take a picture of before she would even let me lay a finger on that coveted piece of equipment. Sometimes she obliged my request and sometimes she didn't. At the time I wasn't really excited about being told no. (who is?) But it did help me become more discerning about what I even asked about. I would walk around composing pictures, and gradually I started recognizing the pictures that I knew she wouldn't let me take. I didn't ask so often (but, oh, how I wanted to!) and slowly but surely I started learning how to make photographs.

I'm certainly still learning. It's been said that "The more you know, the more you know you don't know" and boy is that a fact! I'm trying to keep learning to improve my photos and this seemed an excellent place to document that. Fools Gold is a place for this silly old fool to keep track of her treasure.
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