A blurry month

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For the last seven weeks (with one more to go!) I’ve been in a Google+ Photographer’s Mentorship called Blurs and Unsharp Photography: Guided Play 2016. This has been an eye-opening experience. For years all I learned was that a good photograph had to be sharp and clear and I bought it except for the odd Lego photo here and there. Then I began to see beautiful photos that were blurred, abstract and very interesting. When the opportunity came along for me to get into this learning experience I nervously jumped in and discovered a whole new world of fun. This is my second mentorship and I hope will not be the last because I am learning so much, meeting so many great people and having so much fun. If anyone tells you that no one is on Google+ don’t listen. Go check it out for yourself. I guarantee the photography community is large, active and incredibly diverse. If you approach with an open mind you will enter a fantastic world. Hope to see you there!

Memories

2016-07-05 chipped chicken copyEncourage your children to keep some of their worn out treasures. I won this china chicken back in 1954 when I was turning five. It was the 4th of July and there was always a little carnival put on by the civic association. A family friend gave me the money to play the game and this little guy came home with me. Battered and chipped as it is, ever time I see it my mind takes me back to that one July 4th and the sounds, sights and smells of a wonderful holiday.

There are stars in the sky!!!

2016-07-01 stars in the sky copyI am still dancing around today even after a long day yesterday and getting up too early today! I’m in the middle a mentorship on G+ learning how to play with blurs and unsharp photos. This has been a remarkable time for me as I learn to relax and have fun in new ways. That’s not what has me dancing around today though. Last night while out at a camp I managed my first ever starry sky photo. Award-winning? No way except in my heart because I learned the technique and got a shot. Yea! It’s going to be an awesome summer. Happy 4th of July!!! PS: Click on the picture and make it large to see that there really are stars in there. I did say this was my first, right? 😀

Balloon Festival!

2016-06-25 balloons 12 copyMark and I went to the hot air balloon launch in Tigard, OR on Saturday. We’ve been going for years – there’s a magic feeling as you walk across the field as each team pulls out their baskets, fans, and then the envelopes themselves. You have to be careful not to step on things or walk into another photographer as the sun breaks over the top of the trees, lighting the field as the balloons begin to take shape. After what feels like an eternity the first balloon straightens up and stands tall, eager to rise up into the sky. First one, then two and all too soon the balloons have all headed into the blue bowl of the morning sky and wandered further and further away from those of us still on the ground. It’s a wonderful morning and well worth getting up in the predawn hours to get to the field. Then it’s time for a doughnut and push on to the next event of the day. 🙂

Summertime and the living is busy!

2016-06-21 flower composite copyWhen I was a kid summer stretched on forever with long, lazy days. No school. No scouts. Fewer chores because Ma wanted us outdoors. I’d walk to the library, play at the park, walk to the beach. Summer is still the same length on the calendar, but as an adult time seems to fly by and there seems to be too many things to fill that once-magical time. Now we need to make the time to enjoy summer. All of those other tasks that seem so important can take a backseat if only for an hour at a time. Take back the magic of summer.

Play is not just for kids

2016-06-15 lego supermarket copy

Sometimes we adults get too tied up with being grown-up. We only do the efficient and practical things even if our free time. I know I get tangled up with chores and forget about reading a book, playing games, even doing nothing. Then I get stressed out and tense and lose my temper for no good reason. Today I spent time playing after I did chores. I love to play with legos – building kits is a great way for me to relax. I’ve started to occasionally build my own designs too. They’re simple little things now but who knows what will come along in awhile – as long as I remember to play. You should play too – with legos or whatever else you like. “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” (Chieko Okazaki)

Whoops – I missed a day!

2016-06-09 gorge 2 copyActually, I missed two. Life got a little crazy but I’m including a picture from my trip to the Columbia River Gorge on the 9th. I got a notice from the electric company that they needed to turn off our electricity for a couple of hours as they changed out some cables. It was a dark and gloomy morning so there was no way I was staying home. As soon as the power went out I grabbed my purse, keys and camera and headed for the Gorge. Sadly I quickly learned that the tourists were also up and out early. Vista House was mobbed. The volunteers at this 100-year old landmark were cheerful and were handing out cookies to all of their visitors. I moved on quickly to my favorite waterfall, Latourell Falls. Too many tourists at the main way into the falls, so I slipped around the the back way. (It pays to be a frequent visitor,) The walk is longer but there were flowers, moss and a spectacular view of the underside of the bridge (also 100 years old) before I got the falls. I enjoyed shooting from a different angle and played a little with the blur techniques I’ve been learning. This time of the year the water is swift and powerful as the snow on Mt Hood melts. There are the volcanic walls of the cliff, a huge bright green mossy section of that wall along with the water. Photographer’s heaven.

Music makes the world go around

2016-06-05 old church 30 copyMy community choir just finished our spring season this past Sunday – Springtime on Broadway. The show was filled with the music of four Broadway classics. Our audiences, mostly seniors in assisted living communities, brighten u when they hear music – they sing along, look at their friends with memories of when they first heard the songs on their tongues. I love visiting with them after the shows – one of our traditions. I also love watching the younger audiences as they hear the music for the first time and realize that it’s pretty darned good. Music really does make the world go around. 🙂

Signs

2016-06-04 albany 9 copyI’m not talking zodiac here – I’m talking the signs we all see on buildings and billboards or as bumper stickers. Tall signs! Neon signs! Stores! Whatever. Whenever I’m out and about my eye gravitates toward a cool sign. Last weekend Mark and I drove to Albany, OR and I found one of my favorites was still hanging so I grabbed a quick shot in spite of the 100 degree heat.: No-D-Lay Shoe Shop. How can you resist that name?

Having fun with photography

2016-05-02 ridgefield 10 copyWhy do you take pictures? Any type from selfies to your kids to flowers and the food you eat? I take/make/create pictures because I have an inner need that drives me to pick up a camera at the drop of a hat (or almost anything else.) Partly I’m preserving my life but mostly to keep the things that grab my eye in a ‘box’ so I can remember it and how that picture helped me get through my day. And to have fun. Never put down having fun – we’re too serious all the time. Relax. Breathe and grab a photo.