AS a novice photographer, I wanted to challenge myself. Thus I began the 365 day challenge, where I need to take a photo or write something everyday.I chose with the very broad topic "The World Around Me" because my desire to become a capable photographer has it's roots in the desire to share the world how I see it. This is a journal to document my journey!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 28- All that is Gold Does not Glitter

 Today my grandma in law brought me over these wonderful orange daisies! They are completely awesome.
 I was playing around with the detail here and I kind of like the ethereal effect that it left. 

Day 27- I Always Loved the Bearded Lady

Two years ago my mom brought me over a bag of iris bulbs that my grandma had dug up from her yard and was going to get rid of them. I planted them and waited and then waited some more. Then we moved and I had to dig them up and transplant them... twice. Finally, after two years of waiting, they finally are starting to bloom. I have been checking their progress several times a day just to make sure that the instant one pops open I can capture it forever. Today was the day that the first one opened!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 26- Tyranny of the Ballerina

I love fuscia! It reminds me of ballerinas.

Day 25- Inner Sanctity

Day 24- Love and a Red Rose Cannot Be Hidden

Yesterday, my in-laws bought me a great photography book, "Top 100 Simplified Tips and Tricks Digital Photography" and after reading about half it. I decided to change my camera setting to RAW. Well, before hand, I didn't really understand what it mattered. I thought it was similar to saving word documents in various formats, which only really matters when you try to open them up. I also learned how to read histograms a bit. So with my camera adjusted I headed to my grandmother-in-law's flower shop to photograph the merchandise. The above picture I LOVE! I am definitely a RAW fan. In seconds, I had everything the way I wanted it in PhotoShop.

Day 23- Mother Nature Makes the Best Camouflage

 I was grilling dinner and almost squashed this little guy when I leaned against the railing. He was just chilling there watching me cook. Of course I ran and got my camera to take a few shots!

Day 22- Close Enough to Touch

I have not had much luck taking pictures at night. I was restless and couldn't sleep so at 3 am I set my tripod up in the middle of the road and played with my aperture and shutter speeds, photographing the sky. While most of the pictures were junk I did manage to get this crystal clear shot of the moon between breaks in the clouds. While it isn't all that unique of a picture, it is my day 22 because I learned something new! Below is the only other picture that turned out.

Day 21- Yellow Rocket Flower

These "weeds" are all over my yard. While it took about 400 shots to get a picture of them I liked (it was a bit windy) I really love the lemon-lime color scheme.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 20- Caught in her Gaze

Today was another rainy day! Considering portraits are not my thing at all, I decided to practice. Madilyn Grace, my seven year old daughter, loves getting her picture taken. She is a huge fan of America's Next Top Model and it is a great bonding experience. The only problem is that she is too aware of the camera and always puts on a weird expression. Photographing her is frustrating because she is so beautiful and she will get distracted and have a perfect expression on until she sees the camera and then she will completely change. I took over 300 pictures of her and managed to get these photos when she wasn't paying attention. The picture to the left is my favorite of the group.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 19- Driving in the Rain

As a photographer you will undoubtedly find yourself frustrated when you see a picture perfect shot waiting to be captured and your camera is no where to be found. This truck full of dogs has drove past me several times and left me with that frustration. Today, I walked to the gas station and lucked out. The truck was sitting there and the pups were begging me to snap a picture. While their owner was inside paying, I managed to get a handful of shots on my cell phone.

Day 18- Tulips Kissed by Dew

While I don't quite care for tulips as a flower, I slowly have been falling for them as photography subjects. There is something about their simplicity and elegance that just draws me in. Unfortunately, tulip season is retty much over here and most of them have lost their pedals. Well, at leas I captured this great shot. I think it might be one of my favorites.

Day 17- Regret

At the Cemetery there is this one statue of an angel. I could photograph this angel every day. Every picture it looks like she is wearing a different expression which is pretty amazing considering she is made of stone! 

Day 16- Reflecting on the End of the World

Last night, I laid awake in prayer. Well, I wouldn’t consider it prayer, more like a conversation with God. With prayer, I find that most people are asking for something and I really don’t want anything in return other than a few minutes of time to express myself. Apparently, the world is going to end on May 21st and I felt the need to discuss this with the almighty father.
Of course, I can no longer count the number of times the world was supposed to end in my lifetime. It seems every few years they are predicting that our Lord is going to destroy us. It could just be that these warnings of immanent destruction really don’t have much sway on me and I find myself just going on with my daily life.
I have never been able to take the threat seriously. Perhaps it is the artist in me that prevents me from believing. I look at all the beauty that the Lord has surrounded us in and just can’t buy it. Each and every blade of grass, pedal and thorn has its own beauty. One click of a button, capturing the perfectly placed dew drop on a crisp green leaf, makes me wonder how God could ever doubt his own ability and see the need to destroy everything he has created.
Perhaps, I am a bit haughty to believe that my little self is capable of empathizing with the almighty. However, I am an artist, a parent and a creator and not once have I looked down at my works and not been able to find a sliver of good in them. There is always something about them that is worth keeping. They say that we are created in the Lord’s image and since these are my natural reactions and pure emotions, would they be that far off from another parent, artist or creator.
While I was discussing this with God, I couldn’t help but feel just a bit frustrated at the people that come up with these theories. I went to a few websites and they had all these passages from the Bible, justifying their claims. Did they really read the Bible and only take away that God was going to destroy the world? How many hours did they spend sifting through all the passages to predict our end?
I have never believed that the Bible is meant to damn us. I have always felt that the Bible is meant to inspire us when we are lacking a muse, guide us when we are lost, comfort us when we are in need and remind us of who we are when we are swayed. For every trial we face, there is a passage to help us along our way. How could a book capable of all that have such hidden meaning?
I was even more frustrated by the fact that people devote their lives to such a cause. What sad miserable existence to focus on the end of the world. At any given moment any person any where can die. Life is fleeting and in an instant it can be ended. You can live a healthy life abstaining from harmful substances, exercising and doing everything in your power to extend your life only to be hit by a car. There are no guarantees on the time we are here. Why would anyone waste their precious life thinking only about the end?
Death is the final journey. It doesn’t matter if it comes when you are sleeping at a ripe old age, if it is a tragic plain crash or the end of the world, because you can’t take anyone or anything with you. Even if you are surrounded by people, you die alone. All that is left, are the memories of the life you had once lived.
So Saturday, the world is going to end. I will wake up to my family. I’ll probably snuggle under the covers and try to get fifteen more minutes of sleep, like every other day. I’ll fight with my daughter because she doesn’t want to eat her lunch and change my son’s poopy diapers. I’ll kiss my husband and he will probably tease me through out the day. I’ll take pictures and do chores. We will live, laugh and love, just like any other day. I will be grateful to be blessed with everything I have.
If Sunday comes, I’ll do it all over again. If Sunday doesn’t come, I will be okay because it was a great ride while it lasted. At least, I won’t have to pay off my credit cards.

Day 15- Fenced In

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 14- Mother Nature's Fury

Loving the grainy feel of this shot and I couldn't have shaded the clouds better my self. A storm is about to be unleashed and it seems to be clashing with the sunshine.

Day 13- Drifting Through

 Today was I think the hardest day to choose. The zoo has always been one of my favorite places. We went to the Akron Zoo, which may be a little (okay a lot) on the small side but it was made up for by being a relaxing place and a beautiful environment. We could take our time strolling through the beautiful designed place and spend as much time as we liked looking around because there wasn't a bunch of people and I felt safe enough to let the kids run around a bit.

Ok on to the pictures. The picture I ended up choosing for my challenge is Drifting Through. I had never seen a jelly fish before and was taken aback by there beauty. They have a very serene feeling to them and I could have watched them lazily drifting for hours.

Below I am posting the other pictures from the day that made it hard to choose. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 12

Today, I snapped pictures like a fiend to make up for the past two days. My choice for todays picture, might not be the best out of the 500 pictures I took but I am really fond of it. While the photo is rather simple, I really like the shadows that have fallen across the blossom.

Day 11- Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day, so I hope it was a happy one for all the mothers out there. My day was pretty satisfying, even if I didn't get to play around with my nice camera. Still, I managed to get my photos taken on my cell phone which is equipped with a pretty decent camera. Since the quality isn't what it is normally, I will provide you with quantity. My sister and her boyfriend made the 2 hour trip up and we all went to Buca de Beppo for dinner. It was the first time I had gone and was rather impressed with the food. The spicy chicken rigatoni was amazing.

Before dinner we had fun waiting and Mario decided he was rather found of the tulips. He played with them for a while. He was completely devastated when I ushered him away from the flowers for their own safety. He spent the next 5 minutes collapsed on the ground in protest. Since I am somewhat used to his stubborn, two-year old ways, the silent protest showing that his world had ended really didn't phase me. On the other hand, it made a darn cute photo. 

The final photo I have is for sheer laughs. For those that have never been to Buca, the art on the walls tends to be a bit risqué for a family restaurant. While, I had no desire to show the art that left my seven year old possibly scarred for life and uttering the phrase "Mom, that food was really good, but I think they should re-decorate before we come back cause it wasn't very kid friendly," as soon as we reached the sanctuary of the car, I couldn't help snap a shot of the wall across from me while I ate. So, for the entire course of dinner I had a giant finger directing my attention to the worst case of "plumber butt" that has ever been documented on film. 

All in all it was a great day! We laughed, ate delicious food and spent it with loved ones. I couldn't ask for a better world around me. 

Day 10

Today, my photography time was limited and I only managed to sneak outside for about 5 minutes and snap a few photos. Here is my photo for day 10. It is kinda generic and commercial looking with very little creativity but  some days the photography gods just aren't blessing you.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 9- Blossoming Tree in the Midst of a Forrest

Rain again today! I didn't have much time to get outside and shoot between storms. I ended up taking about 15 minutes to walk through the woods on the back of our property and found this tree in full bloom amongst all the other trees. I am not sure the type of tree it was, but it was just standing there alone. I snapped a few pictures. Once I got inside, I found that the close ups I took were all rather commercial looking and kind of boring. Thus playing with HDR ensues. After failing over and over to get the image to merge in a way I was happy... I got this.

After looking at it close-up, on the screen, from across the room, and zoomed out; I still can't tell if I like it or not. I really like the softness it has and it gives me a "whispy" feeling. Below are the original pictures used to get this image.

Yes, the more I look at the picture the more I like it.