The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Return to Fireworks!

Yes, I shot these on July 3rd, and I’m just getting around to posting them. July has been one crazy month for me. Family reunion, physical therapy, dentist for the first time in more than a year, etc. I had 5 appointments in one week! What was I thinking? I suppose I was trying to make up for all the stuff I didn’t do last year. Maybe I still am.

It naturally follows then, that after spending the afternoon with my sister, I would try to catch the fireworks on the way home. Mind you I was recovering from foot surgery and having some trouble walking. It also follows that after getting to the point of recovery where I was again permitted to walk and drive, I wasn’t letting a little hobbling hold me back. Well, not too much anyway. I accidentally parked farther away from the fireworks than I wanted to. Walking took longer, as I mentioned, so when the show started, I stopped walking and started shooting. Perhaps I was a bit too far away. Maybe there were some trees in the way, but I could use them for artistic purposes in some shots.

In a way, shooting fireworks is like life. You try to be prepared. You check and adjust. But it just keeps coming at you, and you don’t know what’s next. You have to learn to use what you have and make the most of the time you have to enjoy and capture the show.

It’s Dairy Month – Have a Cookie

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I grew up in 4-H (suburban 4-H, we didn’t even have a cat back then) and spent the month of June promoting dairy like crazy. Cow spots everywhere (I had a scrunchie). So in honor of good old Dairy Month, here’s a picture of milk and cookies. I ate them while editing.

Three chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk.

Woodland Spring

I’ve been preoccupied by work and some personal issues. (I’m fine, just temporarily physically limited). I knew I’d have to be off my feet for awhile, so there were many things I wanted to accomplish first. One was a spring photo shoot in the woods. It wasn’t the best of conditions, but I there were still some flowers blooming. Yes, yellow violets are a thing (https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/viola-pubescens/).

Yellow violet because I was intrigued.

Cat and Books

My parents wanted three photos of their cats and mine to hang in their home. For their two cats, they used photos I took of their cats with books some years back. However, I could not find a picture of my Maggie they found suitable for their project. As I thought about it, I realized I hadn’t taken any serious photos of Maggie for several years. Yes, I have numerous phone photos of my darling, but nothing of better quality.

Therefore, I decided to put my prop books on the floor and sprinkle them with a little catnip to attract Maggie. Perhaps I should have used something else. Maggie got a little high on the nip.

Maggie settled down a bit and decided to “own” the books.

She continued to move around and I continued to take photos of her. I think this is the one my parents settled on. Dad probably edited it a little bit differently, but this is my girl.

So, I am a little behind on my posts for this year. I did two shoots in March, but I didn’t think snow photos were the best for right now. Hopefully, I will be able to photographs some wildflowers soon.

Love is . . . ?

Love is a word people throw around a lot, especially this weekend. If you’re anything like me, you’ve found yourself asking what love really is. It seems pretty clear to me there is more than one kind of love. After all, I don’t love chocolate, my cat, and my parents in quite the same way. Nor do I love them in the way I would love a significant other. According to an article from psychology today, there are seven basic kinds of love. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201606/these-are-the-7-types-love)

Some of these seven types remind me a bit of the Agape – Philia – Eros I was introduced to as a student at a strict Christian college. Agape was prized there, Eros was shunned, and Philia was undervalued. However, the word “love” got thrown around a lot, especially in a disciplinary context. I developed a disdain for it. “How can you love me?” I asked in my mind. “You don’t even know me. To you, I’m just a collection of stereotypes, an underling who doesn’t fit the mold of what you wish I was.” You can’t throw the word “love” around in the context of punishment and not confuse some people.

Since college, I’ve started to slowly unpack the baggage this word carries. I rejected the institution’s idea of love. I don’t find it biblical.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love

https://www.biblica.com/bible/?osis=niv:1jn.4.18

So what is Christian love? Can we love those we don’t know? Aren’t Christians told to love their enemies? How does this all work? Yes, I’m still a bit confused. I believe that deep, true love requires really knowing someone and accepting them in spite of or sometimes even because of their flaws. But there are many kinds of love. So what do I know for sure?

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails . . .

https://www.biblica.com/bible/niv/1-corinthians/13/

Maybe I can’t always deeply love some people. Maybe throwing the word around, saying things like “we love everybody” does cheapen love. However, I can always show people a facet of love. I can be kind, I can have hope for them, I can watch my actions so I don’t dishonor them, I can forgive them, or even just keep my cool and trust. May we all find ways to love today, tomorrow, and in the weeks to come.

Even this season . . .

I don’t particularly like winter, but every season has it’s own beauty, even this season.

Best of 2020: Not All Bad

I apologize for not doing a Christmas post this year. Most of my time and energy went into figuring out how to celebrate the holiday during a pandemic while still bringing some joy to my older, more at risk relatives and spending some time with my immediate family. (Not to mention, COVID precautions can be time consuming.) I hope we will be able to celebrate together in 2021.

Outdoors was the place to be for most of 2020. Nature is good for us. Some of my most fulfilling hours last year were spent out shooting. I hope to spend more time out photographing in parks this year. But, as someone who wants to do more things than I have time for, I also want to practice and improve my still life skills. And, I have some photos from the fall I haven’t edited yet. Never enough time. Whatever 2021 brings us, may we all make the best of it.

One Last Nice Day

We had an unusually warm day in November. Most of the leaves were down, but it was such a nice day, so I decided to go out anyway. Who would want to waste the one last nice day of the year?

Christmas is coming soon. I do plan to do one last post for the year with a Christmas theme, but there is something that has been on my mind lately. I know the holidays will be different for many people this year. They will certainly be different for me from this year on. So take the pictures. Everything ends. Everyone dies. You never know when it will be the last day or the last Christmas for a loved one, a home, a relationship, a tradition, or a pet. I made the decision to haul my DSLR and speedlight to a crowded family gathering last Christmas. It was the last Christmas for someone there. My sister recently asked for the picture of us. We would not have a good one if I hadn’t brought the camera. Take the pictures. No regrets.

October Shoot

My apologies for not blogging in October. I will have to blog twice in November to make up for it. Fortunately, I’ve been out to shoot three times since I last blogged, so I have material.

My first shoot for the fall was at a local forest preserve I enjoy. There was lots of colorful ivy on the trees.

One of my favorite things about going out in nature is that it is always changing and full of detail. There is always something different, something I haven’t seen before or haven’t seen in this light. To me, this tree trunk looks like the head of an animal with its mouth open. What do you think?

I don’t think I’ve ever photographed the pond much, but I liked it that day. I liked all the leaves blowing in the wind and the late afternoon sun.

I hope you were able to get out and enjoy some lovely fall scenery where ever you live.

Knit-Cro-Sheen Flowers

This is my quick, late blog for September (still September in my time zone, but not for long at all). I didn’t forget. It’s just been one of those months. I lost someone quite dear to me. Before arthritis, she was skilled in crochet – her primary handiwork. She made numerous items including doilies for her living room tables, afghans, doll dresses, and fake flowers.

Like the doilies, the flowers were made from a fine, threadlike yarn known as kint-cro-sheen. They also had to be starched. I’m sure it was quite the process. There’s been talk of washing and redoing them. Perhaps I will someday as a relative knows how and has offered help. But for now I will leave them as they are: still showing the skill of their creator and reminding me of her and how much she enriched and nurtured my life.

20200930_CrochetFlowers_0005

Next Time:

It’s fall. I hope to have a few good fall color shoots this year. We’ll see.

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