Thursday, January 31, 2013

31/365 On the Thirds

"My Boots"

Today's task was to create an image that clearly illustrates the "rule of thirds."  If your frame is divided into nine equal blocks, the interest in the photo should be at the intersection of a vertical and a horizontal line.  With a little imagination, this one works.

As an added bonus, while shooting for today's prompt, I also accomplished the second assignment for the online class that I am taking, which was to photograph "half".  What's up with the fractions today?

This image may be pushing the parameters a bit.  One boot divides the frame in half vertically and the other one divides it horizontally.  I suspect that if I am held to the letter of law, I will be told that this picture has too much in it.  We'll see.

I have always been one to push the limits.  I don't see that changing any time soon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30/365 Faceless Portrait

"Evening in the Park"

I love silhouette shots though I have never taken any.  When I first saw the "faceless portrait" prompt earlier in the month, I decided that I wanted to try to take a silhouette.  What I failed to do was figure in some time to learn how to do it before today.  So, armed with little knowledge and little time, we headed to the park to give it a try.  I can say two things: 1) I tried. and 2) I have a lot to learn.  On a positive note, I am a sucker for just about any image of this guy in his hat so I'm OK with this first attempt.  Everything worth doing in life has a learning curve.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

29/365 Circle

"Making Yogurt"

Some days you just have to take the path of least resistance or simply go with the obvious.  This afternoon I was making our weekly ration of yogurt.  I should have done this two days ago but time got away from me and I didn't get it done.  As I was pushing the "On" button, I was struck with how many circles were present in the yogurt maker.  The maker itself is round; the lids are round; the "aesthetic interest" in the lid also has a couple of circles.  A photograph of a yogurt maker is not exactly the image that everyone wants to hang on the wall in their living room, but it was an important picture in my day today and in our lives in general.  I have to remind myself that my goal here is not to create a masterpiece everyday.  It is to Capture my 365.  Perhaps I waited until today to make the yogurt so that I would see the beauty in a simple thing like the yogurt maker.

One of the things that I love about having a photo prompt every day is that it causes me to look at the world, my world, completely differently.  I am becoming constantly aware of every place's, person's and thing's possibilities.  I have made yogurt every week for a year or more, but today the simple beauty of its many circles leaped out.  As I went through my day I noticed the roundness of many other things as well - my morning tea's K-cup, the "Caution Automatic Door' sign as I entered school, my travel mug, my hair band and the list goes on.  Tomorrow I will notice different things.  My routine will be the same, but my attention will be drawn in a different direction.  I like this newness.  It reminds me that every day brings with it gifts  just waiting to be unwrapped.

Here is today's runner-up photo.  It contains more circles than did  the above image, but it is less obvious what it is.  Which one do you like best?

"Yogurt Circles"

Monday, January 28, 2013

28/365 Sunset

"At Sunset"

Beautiful sunsets are not uncommon around here, but today, when the prompt was "sunset", there was no sun to be found.  During the golden hour the sky was blanketed in heavy gray clouds being blown around by some fairly strong winds.  I had two choices for today's picture.  I could have dug through past images and found a sunset picture to satisfy the day's topic; or, I could take a picture that reflected my day today.  I opted for the second option.  A picture AT sunset rather than OF a sunset.  What''s a little shift in prepositions between friends?

We had just enough time to head home after school, let the dogs out, grab my camera and head to the park.  I was hopeful that maybe the sun would peek out just for a minute or two.  No such luck.  I took some pictures of the bare trees against the gray sky and some of the ducks swimming on the rippled water.  Weber then pointed out this egret catching the breeze.  It was so windy that I had a hard time holding my camera steady and he/she was moving quickly.  I wish this were a little sharper, but its not. I'll have to live with that.

I like the way the water looks.  Its texture is the result of the wind and the aperture setting.  The color is the reflection of the overcast skies.

Today is one of those days where credit comes from remaining faithful to the process of taking a picture every day rather than from creating an exceptional image.

I'll have to put a picture of a sunset on my to-do list.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

27/365 Dislike

"Cookies Are A Sometimes Food"

It's not that I dislike cookies: it's quite the contrary.  What I dislike is that I like cookies so much and thus eat WAY too many.  

I could have photographed mushrooms today, but I dislike them so much I did not even want to take a picture of them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

26/365 Passion

Passion for Rehearsing"

It feels good to say that there are many things in life that I am truly passionate about.  However, when it came time to address "passion" photographically, I wasn't sure where to go with it.  I am passionate about teaching, about music, about knitting, and about photography.  I couldn't decide how to create an image of any of those things that would intentionally convey the same level of passion that I feel for them.

I had a church choir rehearsal this morning for a sung Evensong tomorrow night.  As I was getting ready to leave home, the thought crossed my mind that when it comes to music, our choir director is one of the most passionate people I know.  I'll take my camera with me and ask if he wouldn't mind if I snapped a few shots.  I'm still very uncomfortable with this kind of thing, but I did it and he graciously allowed me to take some pictures.  The problem was that I did not want to be a distraction to the rest of the choir by moving around and I didn't have the best vantage point from my designated spot so the shots I got were not really what I would have liked.  This shot is technically flawed, but I hope that it shows the passion that drove our rehearsal.

After rehearsal, we had lunch with the Denton gang and then headed home for an unstructured afternoon.  One of the things that I had hoped to get done was work on my assignments for an online photography class that I am taking.  It is a class that addresses both the technical and the more creative aspects of photography.  The current lesson is on half lighting.  It was challenging for me because I am not always as aware of lighting as I should be and I don't do portraits very well.  Fortunately, I had a willing and patient subject.  For a first attempt at this process, I am fairly happy with the result.

"My Better Half"

As a bonus, this shot fits the prompt of "passion" as well because I am pretty darn passionate about this guy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

25/365 Hands

"Write Hand"

"My Favorite Hand To Hold"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

24/365 Cold

"One Down, One To Go"

I would be lying if I said that I did not struggle with today's picture.  A prompt of "cold" when it was 78 degrees, three degrees shy of an all-time record high in Dallas today, is tough.  The best I could do was a shot of the socks that I am working on.  The first one is done; hopefully number two will be done before our next cold streak.  Weber will be happy to have two warm feet.  He is still giving me a hard time about a pair of socks I started for him a year ago that has not yet become a complete pair.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

23/365 Snuggle

"Just Trying to Help!"

I know that I am very lucky that Weber is so supportive of my crazy obsession commitment to take a picture every day.  I didn't realize that the dogs, too, were on that bandwagon.

Today is my longest day of the week - school until 4:30 (though I got out a little early since today was the first day of my MW classes) and then choir rehearsal tonight.  I knew that I was going to be hard-pressed to get any decent picture today, especially of anyone snuggling.  I thought about various possibilities on and off throughout the day, but came up empty handed.  I hoped that when I got home from choir I could find some person, dog, cat or some combination thereof cuddled up together; I would snap a picture and that would have to do.  

This definitely was not the picture I imagined.  It is,however, proof positive of the saying, "Life is what happens while you are busy making plans."  Rather than fight it,  I just laughed and clicked the shutter.

Seize the moment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

22/365 Frozen

"Frozen in Time"

Those in other parts of the world definitely had an advantage when it came to finding something frozen to photograph today.   Last Tuesday we had snow on the ground; today it is sixty-five degrees and there is nothing frozen outside.

Yesterday I discovered this snowman in our guest bath.  I missed him when I packed away the Christmas decorations a few weeks ago.  He represents a bit of Christmas frozen in time.

Monday, January 21, 2013

21/365 Equal

"Equality for All"

Today we celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the inauguration of Barack Obama to a second term as president of the United States.  Nearly forty years after King's great speech, it is sad that we are still striving for the same things for people in this country - equality and respect for ALL people.

It is certainly fitting that today's prompt was "equal."  I wanted to take a picture that had some meaning, not simply an image of two things that are equal.  I had no idea what that might be.  

Weber and I both had early doctor's appointments this morning.  I carried my camera along the way thinking that I might see something while I was out and about that would satisfy the day's prompt.  The only thing that I saw was the equal sign magnet that we have on the back of our car as a sign of our support for the right of same-sex couples to have all of the rights AND RESPONSIBILITIES as are provided to heterosexual married couples.  It is a symbol of the Human Rights Campaign.  Though the magnet has significant meaning, it is not particularly photogenic, if you know what I mean.  That did start a train of thought though.

As it got later and later in the day, I figured that I needed to go ahead and do something.  My day was plagued with a lack of creativity.  I finally decided that I would just take a picture of our wedding bands against a stark white background.  People could read into it whatever they wanted.  As I was getting ready to set up the shot, I had this feeling that I was selling out.  Yes, there should be equality in a marriage and two wedding bands might show that, but that is not the whole story that I wanted to tell.

Then came the spark.  I remembered the colorful bokeh Christmas lights that I shot way back in December.  I printed the image and used it as a backdrop for the rings because of its rainbow colors.  I was fairly happy with the result.

When it came time to post the image on the CY365 forum, I was a little reluctant.  Though everyone is very kind in their comments to one another, the issue of gay marriage is one that can be quite divisive.  I didn't want to be the one to introduce that into that venue.  I asked Weber what he thought.  Being that he is the one who ordered our sticker from the Human Rights Campaign, he told me to go ahead and post it.  I told myself that anyone who recognized the deeper implications probably would appreciate it and the others would just see it as pretty colors.

As of right now, I have received two comments on today's image.  

"Nice colors and composition." and "TES!"

I guess my instincts about the group were pretty good.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

20/365 Playing

"Rock Music"

"Playing" as a prompt offers endless possibilities.  However, this afternoon when I had the time to take pictures, all of my usual subjects were sound to sleep on the couch.  Neither Weber, the dogs or the cat were interested in any kind of playing.  If the prompt had been sleeping,  I would have been in business!

I'm not sure how or why it got started, but there seems to be a "thing" on the CY365 site for photographing the Lego mini figures.  I suspect it began because it is an inexpensive way to practice various photography techniques without having to deal with a moving subject.

I got my first figure last weekend.  Until today, he had just been sitting on the shelf in my office.  In an attempt to photograph to the day's prompt, I decided that I would play with him. Thanks to having our yard dug up yesterday so that the gas line could be replaced, there is a huge pile of rocks out front.  What better backdrop for a rocking out DJ than a big pile of rocks.

As I was sitting on the ground taking these pictures, our next door neighbor was out in her yard with her boyfriend.  I don't know what they were doing or saying, but I suspect their conversation was probably something along the lines of, "Things must be really boring over there if the most exciting way she can find to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon is to photograph rocks!"

Saturday, January 19, 2013

19/365 Bright

"Brightly Colored Socks"

I'm not sure that I had the right take on bright; I suspect that it was intended to have more to do with light than with color.  Oh well . . . Things don't get much brighter than these socks.  I hand-dyed the yarn and then knit the socks.  They are some of my favorites!

Friday, January 18, 2013

18/365 Doorway

"1900's Texas Ranch House"

I struggled with what to do today.  I do have a fascination with doors and windows.  I particularly love the colorful ones found on many of the buildings in New Mexico.  That is the image I had in my head and I could think of nothing close that was even comparable.

I then remembered a picture I had taken when we were in Assisi back in 2009.  It too is full of color.

I spent the day thinking about where to go and what to photograph.  I finally decided that the Farmers Branch Historical Park surely must have at least one building with an interesting door.  As soon as Weber got home from school, we went to see what we could find.  I've never explored the historical park.  We only had about an hour so today's exploration revolved solely around doors.

There were several pictures that I was relatively happy with.  Below is the "runner-up."

I find it rather interesting that I started the day wanting an image of a colorful doorway and ended up with a very stark black and white picture.  I guess I am an all or nothing kind of girl.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

17/365 A Favorite Toy


This well-loved bear was given to my mother when she was born in 1938.  As a child, the first thing that I would do when we visited my grandparents, which was usually only every year or two, was go find "Teddy."  He was always in the same chair, in the same corner, in the same room.  He was a constant companion while I was visiting Delaware.

He now lives with me.  He sits in his chair, which was my mother-in-law's, in the corner of our guest room.  Somewhere along the way, he was dressed in baby clothes.  I believe this was to help protect his arms and legs that are only now tenuously attached by a single string.

My girls never got to play with him much so they don't have the same memories and attachment that I do.  But now that Teddy is out in public and accepting visitors, maybe some day another generation of grandchildren will run to find him when they come to visit.

I am thankful for today's prompt because I don't think that I have any other pictures of Teddy.  Well, with one exception . . .my grandparent's home was featured in an issue of Colonial Homes magazine.  At that point, Teddy was still residing in Delaware and made his way into the magazine shoot.  Anyway, Im glad to have been prompted to take a picture myself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

16/365 Jumbled

"The Last of the Birthday Flowers"

On a photography blog today I saw the following paraphrase of a quote, possibly by Berenice Abbott:

I never take the photograph I intended; they are either better or worse.

This sums up today's picture taking perfectly.  I had planned to spend the day at the knit shop today since I am fast approaching going back to school and my opportunity to do this will be virtually non-existent..  Since today's photo prompt was "jumbled" I figured I could certainly find a jumbled up knitting project at some point during my day.  I had checked the battery in my camera and packed it securely in my purse.  I am trying to become comfortable and carrying it with me more.  As I turned around to pick up my knit bag, I saw the flowers that Weber gave me for my birthday.  They are almost three weeks old.  Though several of them are still bright with life, others have lost petals and blossoms.  These fallen jumble of pieces surrounded the vase still sitting on the curio cabinet in the dining room.  For some reason, this image caught my attention.  I don't know whether it was the colors, the contrast between the flowers still on their stems and those laying on the cabinet or what.  Whatever it was, I was fascinated.  Not having much time before I was supposed to leave, I unpacked my camera and started taking pictures.  I played with the angles and the settings.  I had just enough time to pop my memory card in the computer and look at a few images before I left.  I was fairly sure that I had gotten something that would satisfy the day's prompt.  I didn't take my camera with me.

I thought about these pictures all day.

When I got home, the first thing that I did (after feeding the starving dog) was scroll through them all.  This one just jumped out at me.  I love everything about it.

This was not the photograph I intended to take today.  Happily, it is much better than I expected.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

15/365 Nuts

"Bur Oak Trio in the Snow"

To our surprise, we awoke to a light dusting of snow his morning.  It was the kind of snow that was really pretty.  The kind that makes the leaves glisten.  The kind that makes everything seem more quiet than it really is.  There were some overpasses on the highways that were icy, but for the most part the roads were clear.

To me these bur oak acorns look like little faces all bundled up in their winter caps.  It was a perfect image to capture a snowy morning in Dallas and remain faithful to the day's prompt - nuts.  There were so many ways that one could go with this.

Because we had not expected a snowy morning, I had planned to walk to school this morning.  Though it was cold, the wind was calm so it didn't feel that cold.  I had a wonderful walk.  It was nice to be outside getting some exercise and looking at all of the places where the snow had collected and was still undisturbed.  

I was particularly taken by this snow-lined tangle of branches that I passed on my way.

By the time I walked home this afternoon, all of the snow was gone.  I'm glad that I was out and about early this morning.

Monday, January 14, 2013

14/365 Low Light

"A Kiss in the Dark"

Photographing in low light was the day's task.  Knowing that I wasn't going anywhere this evening, I figured that I would take some kind of set-up shot.  I had put Hershey's kisses in Erin's lunch this afternoon so the kisses came to mind as I was deciding what to try.  I like the above picture compositionally.  The lighting almost makes it look like the kiss is floating in chocolate.  I handheld the camera because I was too lazy to get the tripod out so it is not as crisp as I would like.

As I was playing with the above shot, a man from the gas company pulled up out front in his truck.  We have smelled gas out at the street on and off for quite a while.  In light of the explosions that have taken place in our area due to gas leaks, we decided that we should call it in.  I walked outside to see what was going on.  There was this man standing in the dark and the cold trying to figure out where the leak was.  The only light he had was from the headlights of his truck and a tiny flashlight.  This photo best represents the real life version of the day's prompt of working in low light.

"Working in Low Light"

Gingerbread House Build

Though the Christmas decorations were all put away last weekend (except for the snowman that I noticed in the hall bathroom today), our Christmas vacation really didn't end until today.  Brooke left to go back to Chicago and Erin started back to school.  It was really nice to have both girls here with us last night.  Erin was a real trooper and spent the night with us so that she could get up at 5:15 to take Weber to the doctor.  Neither Brooke or I are useful when it comes to transportation.

Before Erin got sick on her birthday and the plans were adjusted accordingly, the girls had planned to build a gingerbread house together.  The build ended up being postponed until New Years.  They got a start on it that day, but did not finished.  The work in progress has been on the bar in the kitchen since then.  (Fortunately these things are not actually meant to be consumed!)  Brooke was bound and determined that they were going to finish it before she left.  Though she dabbled with it on her own, Brooke wanted it to be a group project so she waited for Erin to be here to help her.

Stage I

Last night they got serious about finishing.

And it definitely was serious business!

It was fun to see them work together.  I was very lucky that the girls have always gotten along and still do.

Once it looked like they would indeed finish this project, they relaxed and had a little more fun.

The details . . .

And finally, ready for a certificate of occupancy!

The finishing touches were added as the girls were heading out the door together this morning.  Erin dropped Brooke at the airport on her way to class.

I have heard rumors that next year's gingerbread house is going to be Dr. Seuss themed.  It may take me that long to get all of the royal icing off the counter, but I am looking forward to it!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

13/365 A Diversion

"What Do These Things Have In Common?"

Today's official prompt was " a stranger's smile."  As you can see, that is not what I photographed.

Weber is having his first ever colonoscopy tomorrow.  Thus, we were at home today.  Everyone says that the prep is the worst part.  So far, he says that it has not been too bad; he is about done drinking 'that stuff" so the fact that he is doing this well is a good sign.

The Capture Your 365 project is intended to help us document our everyday lives.  The prompts are wonderful suggestions and help to give variety and spark creativity in the daily shots.  Sometimes, because of what and where life is on a given day, it just isn't possible to follow the prompt.  There were no strangers in our life today and not too many smiles.  That's OK.  The picture I took is the picture of our day today.

I have always been one of those people that follows, and believes others should too, the rules down to the last dot.  Most of the time, that is not a bad thing, but there are instances where it can lead at best to frustration and at worst to madness.  It was an important step for me to give myself permission to deviate this far from today's given prompt.  I have learned an important lesson; sometimes the best you can do, even if it is not perfect, is better than good enough.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

12/365 Self Portrait


So, I cheated today.  This is a self portrait.  And, I did take the picture - just not today.  I originally posted it here back in November.

For several reasons, today's prompt that called for a self portrait was more than I could grasp today:
  1. I HATE to have my picture taken - by me or by anyone else.
  2. Pictures of me always look terrible.  Or, maybe the pictures just prove a reality I don't want to face.
  3. I HATE being in front of the camera.
  4. I didn't have a whole lot of time today to do a good job with a tough, at least for me, prompt.
  5. I was not meant to be in front of the camera.
  6. The one quasi good idea I had for a picture did not work the way I wanted it to.
  7. It is difficult to properly expose a photo of someone with albinism.
  8. My creative juices were not flowing today.
  9. Having my picture taken is no fun.
  10. And did I mention, I HATE to have my picture taken?
All that being said, I did play around this afternoon trying to get a decent and creative self portrait.  I was tired.  I was not fully committed to the endeavor.  Therefore, it did not work.  So that I did not miss a day, and because I don't have any other pictures taken today that I am willing to post, I cheated - not on the prompt, but on when the photo was actually taken.  In my mind, I rationalize this by telling myself that this is the lesser crime.

I do know that during each month of 2013 there will be some kind of self portrait prompt.  My goal and my promise is that I will take a more positive approach to this task in the coming months.  I'm not sure what is going to get me to that, but I'll work on it.  I have eleven more months to deal with my issues.

Friday, January 11, 2013

11/365 Climbing


I went outside this morning to say good-bye to Weber as he left for school.  I looked up to the morning sky and saw the beautiful contrails left by jets flying in and out of Love Field.  Remembering today's photo prompt, climbing, I headed inside to get my camera.  I love the morning sky with its hints of pink and orange.  

I'm glad this image presented itself.  My only other thoughts for the day's prompt was to catch the cat Climbing up the back of the chair or a curtain somewhere.  That is not a behavior I want to encourage even if it just create a photo opportunity.

Technical note: My ISO was set too high here so the photo is grainier than I would like.  Oh well, next time I will try to remember to check my settings before I take the pictures.  Live and learn . . .

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10/365 Trash Collection

"Real Life Trash Collection"

Today’s photo prompt was “real life.”  That has so many possibilities!  

The other day when the prompt was “movement” and I had no idea where I was going with that, I was sitting at the dining room table drinking my morning coffee as the trash truck came.  We had the last of our Christmas trash out so the pile was bigger than usual.  I watched as the men tossed the boxes into the truck with a rhythm a little out of sync with the truck’s blinking lights.  I thought to myself, I wish that I had my camera in my hand right now rather than a coffee cup because this would be a great movement picture.  I finished my coffee and missed that picture.  But, I did make a mental note about wanting to try to get that picture.

Later that day when I looked at the prompts for the rest of the wee, I saw today’s prompt.  Life doesn’t get much more real than having to collect your trash and carry it to the curb.  I knew what my picture would be.  I  thought again about this picture both literally and metaphorically.

Trash is generally understood to be something that is useless, worthless, broken or something to be discarded.  The stuff that fills the bags we put on the curb for the garbage collector - excess product packaging, paper towel and toilet paper rolls, used tissues (if the dog doesn’t beat you to them), containers from consumables - we all probably can agree are rightfully termed “trash.”  We do our best to recycle what we can and the rest is carried away to a landfill “somewhere.”  Its kind of crazy how this works.  The point here is that dealing with our physical trash is a weekly chore and is usually easily dealt with.

Our metaphoric trash is another story.  We all have the potential to became trash receptacles - either as one of those huge industrial dumpsters where lots of people dump their trash or as just a tiny trash can for convenience.  However much or however little trash our container holds, trash is still trash and needs to be discarded.

Hurtful words, perceived failings, missed opportunities, unhappiness, loss and so on make up our inner trash.  These things clutter the shelves of our hearts and the rooms of our mind.  Just like we throw away that empty paper towel roll (this excludes parents of pre-schoolers who are always asked to collect such things for “a project.”), we also need to throw away the trash inside, the trash of the past.  We need to fill those big plastic bags with the words that hurt us in grade school, or high school or an early personal relationship.  We need to toss all of the “could have beens” and make room for the “can be’s.”  De-cluttering our insides is even more freeing than a clean house.  Yes, I really said that.  Hard to believe, right?

The new year is still young and we are still holding firmly to those resolutions made ten days ago.  It is not too late to add another.  As you are cleaning out those closets, drawers and garages, consider adding the clearing out of the trash in your heart and mind as well.  Make it a goal to throw away those things that are cluttering your inner life and keeping you from living wholly and beautifully.  Toss those things in a bag, tie it tightly  and let them go.  

IMPORTANT: Do not put these things in the recycle bag.  You don’t want them back and nobody else needs them either!

Give thanks today for the waste management professionals in your life - those who literally pick up your trash from the curb and also those family members, friends and strangers who have helped you clear the junk from your inner trash receptacles.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

9/365 Raindrops


Rain without thunder, lightning, wind and tornadoes is so peaceful!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

8/365 Discouraging Birds

"Discouraging Birds"

This title may be a little misleading.  The prompt for today was discouraging.  The birds here are not discouraging.  I was discouraged by the picture that I took of them.

This afternoon, Brooke and I heard this great commotion outside.  I looked out the from door to see what could have been a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds."  There were thousands and thousands of birds everywhere - on the ground in the trees, on rooftops, in the air.  Of course, the first thing I did was reach for my camera.  And then, I seemingly forgot everything I know about using a camera.  I was unsure of my settings, unsure where and how to focus, unsure of which lens to use.  Afraid that I miss the shot all together, I just started shooting, changing settings here and there hoping that I would get something respectable.

The reason that this picture is discouraging to me is because it does not at all capture the magnitude of all the birds.  It seems so less remarkable than did actually seeing the blanket of black across our entire circle.  The picture I got was this one.  Hopefully it will serve to trigger the memory of what this afternoon of birds really looked like.

"Birds in the Trees"

Monday, January 7, 2013

7/365 Movement

"Embroidering Baptismal Stoles"

This was not my "official" picture but it does have its own sense of movement.

"Go With the Flow"

Sunday, January 6, 2013

6/365 With Words

"Words Not Required"

Despite the fact fact that I am a musician by profession, I very rarely write about music here.  I'm not really sure why that is.  Perhaps it is because music is such a huge part of who I am that writing about it is like writing about stop signs or lane dividers on the road way; certainly every knows what it is and whit is here.  That is probably a terribly naive and unrealistic perspective on my part.  The other possibility is that I spend all day at school talking about music.  When I get home, I want to do something else.  

Words are a big part of my life as well.  Books are everywhere.  I have multiple games of Words With Friends in progress.  We have witty buttons and bumper stickers all over our office.  Still, I was somewhat stumped as to what I could do with today's photo prompt.  I didn't want just take a photograph of a word or phrase.  I wanted to stretch myself creatively.  (Some days it doesn't take much to be pushed beyond my creative comfort zone.)  

In digging through a drawer in my office I found the button that I used in this picture.  Since today's prompt was "with words" and the button's sentiment speaks of the failure of words, I figured that there should be something that I could do with it that might be marginally creative.  I went with the obvious - the button on a piece of music.  Admittedly, this not particularly creative or subtle.  From the piano, I grabbed the music that I had been practicing, just to have a background.  I wasn't thinking too much about what piece I actually used.  As I was looking at the images I shot, all of the sudden the title, "Romance", jumped at me.  Well, sort of.  As you probably noticed, the complete title is not present in the picture.  Words fail here, but the music still speaks.    

It is with romance that so often our words fail us.  We turn to a song to express our love or heartache or joy or sadness.  We've all done it.  We all have "a song" that floods us with feelings.

I am reading a novel right now to which the author has included a soundtrack.  After every chapter or two there is a link to a song.  One of the main characters in the book is a music therapist so it stands to reason that using music to enhance the character's emotional appeal is in keeping with the overall affect of the story.  In thinking about the fact that this author uses music to tell her story, I was reminded of a birthday gift.

Every year I give Weber a soundtrack, a mix tape, that is a summary in music of the previous year.  It goes without saying that these collections are eclectic, encompassing many artists and genres.  In creating this soundtrack, I relive the year, its events and emotions, and attempt to find songs that sum it all up.  Consider a musical scrapbook, if you will.  

There have been many events in our lives where words definitely fell short and music was the most meaningful way we had to communicate with one another.

This year has just began.  Consider creating your own Soundtrack to 2013.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

5/365 Colorful Food

"Friends Shouldn't Let Friends Play With Their Food"

You would think that with all of the beautiful food that we have around here that I should have been able to take a serious photo of some nicely prepped if not nicely plated food.  As you can see, that didn't happen.  Sometimes you just have to follow the muse, or whatever it is that causes one to do such things with perfectly innocent fruits and vegetables.

I hope that something about today made you smile!

Friday, January 4, 2013

4/365 Fur


Harley definitely has the most interesting fur of all of our furry family members so the above picture is my "official" picture of the day.  However, I can't play favorites.  Adidas wanted his picture taken too so I posted them both.  He has handsome fur don't you think?

"Fur #2"