Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Photographic Resolutions

I have a few resolutions for 2o10...

1. Use a tripod more often
2. Learn more about light
3. Find new things to photograph
4. Keep photo files organized
5. Be brave!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

One Year on Etsy

It's been just about a year since I opened shop on Etsy. To celebrate this "anniversary" I'm going to have a sale for facebook fans. If you haven't already signed on as a fan and are looking for some new pictures for your walls, now's the time. I'll be announcing the sale on January 1st on facebook.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Think I'll Stick to Photography

Cooking is not my forte. Never has been. But, usually, I can follow a recipe when it comes to baking.

Today, this was not the case.

Actually, come to think of it, I did follow the recipe. But out of two kinds of cookies, two kinds did not turn out. By the time I got to the third, I had neither the will nor the patience to try another one. (Many thanks to my husband for rescuing me on that one!)

Lessons learned:
1. Stick with what you know.
2. Never try new recipes 2 days before Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Concerts

No matter how much I use my camera for creative expression, the most joy comes from recording my growing children.

My son overcame a serious case of nerves this week for his grade 1 Christmas concert; I was able to capture both the trepidation leading up to his moment at the microphone, the joy he felt using it, and the obvious relief he felt knowing it had gone well.

My daughter, sweet and shy, showed amazing confidence in her first stage performance. I was fortunate to be close enough to be able to record her excitement.

Now those moments, among others, will be frozen in time for us to share and remember.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Busy Season!

W0w--I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted.

Just in from an overnight trip for Christmas shopping...

I finished teaching the photography class on Wednesday night. While I am happy to have a break, I'm also looking forward to starting a new one after Christmas. This time around, I will not have so much preparation to do, since I've now made all my PowerPoints and lesson plans.

One more week left of teaching the little ones, then Christmas break. SO looking forward to that! May actually have a chance to pick up my camera, which I've done little of lately. I'm also looking forward to lots of family time and sharing the excitement of Christmas with my own little ones.

I love this time of year, but it's a busy one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Appreciative Moments

I love my kids.

A LOT.

But when I come back from teaching photography class on Wednesday nights, and I pick them up at my parents' house, they are even cuter than ever and I adore them even more than ever.

Doing something for myself makes me happier, and more relaxed. So after I've had that little bit of me time, I am even happier to see them. And I am grateful for both of those things--those little moments that intensify my appreciation for all that I have. Most of all, I am thankful for my two sweet children whose lives have enriched my own immeasurably.

Who could ask for more than that?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

End of Season


I've always loved the colours of November.

Everything turns gray and gold, the sign of one season ending and another soon to begin. The lushness of summer has dried into mere allusions of what was, not long ago.

And yet...

The parched and withered leaves hold the promise of summers still to come.
They are memories of times ended, and hopes for times not yet begun.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

When Sleep Won't Come

Every now and again, I have a night where my mind just won't stop. The other night was one of those... I keep a notepad and pen in my bedside table for moments like these. I wrote a silly little poem that I thought up when I should have been sleeping:

Random thoughts won't let me sleep
Through my mind they casually leap
No destination, no road to follow
They jump and dance and seem to know
Rest won't come until I write
And release these thoughts into the night

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pines and Bunnies


Thanks to Annette of http://www.etsy.com/shop/dragonhouseofyuen for including my photo in her treasury on Etsy!

Here I was at the pet store with my kids just before returning home, looking at the fuzzy little bunnies, and when I checked my e-mail there was a message about my photo having been included in a treasury. So I clicked on the link, and here are all these wonderful images of rabbits!

Thanks again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Back Seat

As much as I can't stand it, sometimes photography has to take a back seat to other priorities.

Like report cards.

Those much loved, anticipated, dreaded, fraught over report cards. Ours go out on Monday, and it was only today I was able to see some light at the end of the long report card tunnel. It is satisfying to have finally made some progress.

Tomorrow, though, photography class.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Many Hobbies, So Little Time


As I was knitting on my daughter's sweater tonight, I was thinking about the book that I am reading, and about what pictures I might make next.

There are so many things that I love to do, but time is always short. Too bad there is no way to do all of them at once!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Can't Help It

People often ask me where I've taken my photography course, or how I do it.

For me, it's more a question of, how do I not do it?

I am so drawn to the visual design of things around me, that I can't help myself. I see potential compositions everywhere. And I mean, everywhere: When I am cooking supper, driving my car, running the bath, even cleaning. The possibilities are endless.

So, sometimes, it's an effort not to run and get my camera and forget supper on the stove. And I have remind myself to concentrate on the road and not the sky.

I don't know how I could not do photography.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More like an Obsession

I had a busy day today... I even managed to get the yard cleaned up and (almost) ready for winter. My trees still need protection to make it through the cold and the snow, but the toys and the bicycles have been put away. And we all got some fresh air in the process.

Amidst the cleanup, I found some time to make a few new pictures. I even added some items to my Etsy shop, including some photos I had handpained and some special deals on groups of 3 pictures.

My children and I read a book together then cuddled on the couch for a show before their bedtime.

Somehow, I put together a decent supper for us in there as well.

And I spend a lot of time thinking about photography. As usual.

It is my passion, after all.

Lately, though, it's been more like an obsession. But in a good way.

I think.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Busy!

There never seem to be enough hours in the day.

I was finishing getting ready for my class this afternoon, after another busy week leading up to it. Every week I plan to be planned ahead of time, but every week I am at the computer in the hours leading up to my class, putting finishing touches on my PowerPoint presentations and handouts. I always get it done, though.

The drive to the high school before class, it was all I could do to focus on the road and stay awake. I found myself, once again, wondering how to get it all in. How to keep up with everything. Some things don't seem worth it (like cleaning!), others I question. But as difficult as it's been to find the time to plan for the photography class, it is totally worth it.

I don't know whether my students agree or not, but after class I always feel as though I want to get out my camera and start shooting. Not that I need any motivation to do that, but talking about photography for two hours always gets my mind going and the ideas flowing.

If only it wasn't almost bedtime!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Inspiration at the Dollar Store


I was planning a lesson on light for the night class I teach, and I was looking around for some items that the students could photograph using flashlights. The intention was for us to be able to explore the way light changes your composition.


I needed to stop at the dollar store and pick up a few more little flashlights to use. While I was there, I decided to take a look around and see if there were a few things we could use as subjects. The more I looked, the more I noticed... Glasses, vases, Christmas lights, and otherwise tacky little decorations suddenly became possible works of art. I could see the way the light reflected from their surfaces, and knew that with just a little creativity, these cheap items could make awesome compositions.


By the time I'd left, I'd gathered a collection of objects that not only would I use in class, but I also couldn't wait to experiment with them myself.


Who knew such inspiration could be found at the dollar store?


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What Gives

Ever notice that when things get busy, it's sleep that gives? It's about the only place I can steal time from. Sooner or later, though, I am going to have to find some time from somewhere else for sleep!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Feature

One of my photographs was featured in the following blog:

http://www.purplepinkandorange.com/blog/?p=7327

Thanks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seeing the Light

The craziness of getting ready for work and school is sometimes a bit much. Outfits I've laid out the night before in an attempt to be organized turn out to be triggers for meltdowns; a quick bowl of cereal is sneered at in favor of toast; or missing hats and mittens create a frenzy on the way out the door.

Then we are on our way.

I pull out of the driveway and take a breath. When I look out, I notice the sunlight peaking through clouds coloured gray, blue, purple, white. Leaves are outlined in frost. Trees like painted landscapes lead the way.

Things are calm again, and I am reminded of these precious moments and how quickly they pass. These moments when the light is just right, somehow, remind me to appreciate all the little moments with my children.

Even the crazy ones.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guilty

I have a confession to make: I am not one of those moms who has lost herself in the process of having children. Quite the opposite; I sometimes have to peel myself away from my hobbies to read a story or dress a doll.

Don't get me wrong--I love my children more than life itself. There is nothing I wouldn't do for them. I watch them play together with pride, listen with joy to their stories, and cry with them when they are sad. I can hardly remember life before them, and never for a moment have I ever wished for a return those times, those days when I never knew what it was like to listen to the laughter of my children.

The thing is, I have other interests too. I am baffled when I hear about mothers who need to rediscover themselves after years of doting. Nor did I ever stop taking daily showers, putting time into my hair, and doing my makeup. No gym pants for me!

But I do feel guilty sometimes, when I am absorbed in my photography or curled up with a great book. I wonder if I should be playing Lego on the floor with my son or Polly Pockets with my daughter.

Then again, surely they are learning something about the importance of having interests and hobbies. Surely they will grow up with a strong sense of self.

My children are busy: Crafts, K-Nex, marbles, dolls, drawing and writing. They are forever inventing and imagining, their creativity boundless.

I'd like to think they get some of this from me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

image imagination

Once again, I am trying something new... Thought I'd take a couple of my poems and print them on my pictures. I made this one last night, and another one tonight. Both are available on Etsy.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wake me when the Light is Right

I am half-awake, gradually gaining consciousness on this Sunday morning with the help of some caffeine. As I head toward the kitchen to once again heat my lukewarm coffee, something makes me stop. The morning sun is beaming through the glass on my front door, creating a rainbow of light on my husband's guitar.

I grab my camera and work quickly to capture the colours before they are gone. As I do, my senses awaken and I make as many compositions as I can before the sun rises higher in the sky and the reflection disappears.
Now, I am awake.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Craft Fair in 2 Weeks

The fall craft fair is coming up in two weeks. I have been working on some new cards (Halloween and Christmas) to add to my collection. I am also waiting on some glass and will get started on some 2-inch pendants as soon as they arrive in the mail.

It seems I have been spending a significant amount of my free time preparing for this and the previous craft fair. Once this one is done, I am going to concentrate more on Etsy and adding my necklaces, cards, and fabric prints to my shop.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Life through Photography

I spend a lot of time thinking about photography.

I also spend some of that time wondering what it is that draws me to photography, especially this desire to get up close and simplify.

Life is in the details, in the small moments. Life is about appreciating the little things. It is also about getting closer, building relationships with people and the world around us. It is about getting to know things inside and out.

Life is not about the big picture. It's about the moment when a child is born, the moment he smiles for the first time; it's about moments that stop you in your tracks.
And so, I try to capture life's little details: The petal of a flower, the ripples in the sand, the reflection in a glass. Try to get closer to the small stuff. Try, in some small way, to capture life's essence.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Capturing Memories

I wrote this short poem in August, thinking about my children and how quickly they are growing.



memories
they fade so fast
we capture them
so they will last
snapping photos everywhere
aiming our cameras here and there

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fleeting Light

Twice today I looked out at the fall leaves and the light was perfect. Twice, though, I missed the opportunity.

In the morning while I was getting ready for work, the sun was coming up over the tips of the trees, creating a glowing light. But I had to get ready for work.

In the late afternoon, lower leaves were touched by the warmth of the sun. It was suppertime.

Photographs untaken, these moments are exposed instead in my mind.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Little Assistant

I went to the dollar store today and purchased some orange & black things, and some green & red things to do some holiday photos. My son thought that was a great idea. In fact, from the moment we got home, he was after me to get that stuff out so he could be my assistant. He stacked packages on top of each other in his own idea of a photographic composition. Then he used the beads to make a heart and other items inside it for a face. Of course, I took those photos, too, and we looked at them together on the LCD screen.

I love that he wants to help me, and to be a part of the process. He was a great little helper!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Two Children

my son and my daughter
sweet innocence
in peaceful dreams
sleep

I want to capture these moments with my camera, but I don't dare wake them with the flash. My daughter has fallen asleep, once again, on the books she has read before bed. My son, curled lovingly around his precious moose. I want these moments to be etched in my mind forever, never to forget the sound of their even breathing while they dream.

I wonder what they dream about.

I think I will always treasure that moment, before heading to bed myself, of checking in on each of them. They will be teenagers and I will still do it, I am sure.

At the end of each day, I take this gift with me to sleep.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crazy for Cameras

I am so excited that I was finally able to get a treasury page on Etsy!

It's basically a page where you can showcase your favourite items to show appreciation for other Etsy sellers/items. I have been checking it for ages, waiting to get in, and could see a chance coming up on occasion, but it would be in the middle of the night. I wanted one--just not quite that badly!

Anyway, it's up for three days. I called it "Crazy for Cameras" (since I am!) and chose a variety of things I'd found searching Etsy for camera stuff and really liked.

If you're on Etsy this weekend, check it out: http://www.etsy.com/treasury.php?ref=fp_nav_treasury

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Hours of Photo Talk

The first class of Taking Better Pictures (offered through UNB's College of Extended Learning) was tonight.

I had prepared a couple of PowerPoint presentations on composition, and tried to get a feel for what the group would like to see in the course. I hope I am able to share some new things with them that they will be able to use in their own photography. It is a learning experience for me, as well.

The weather did not cooperate for getting outside, and inspiration did not come easily in a computer lab. Maybe next week we'll be able to get out and capture some fall colours and downtown details.

At the very least, it is an opportunity to spend two hours a week talking about something I love.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Welcome Distraction

I love photography because it gives me something to focus on!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Frosty Mornings

I think I am a bit of a fairweather photographer.

In the mornings, now, the frost rests on still green leaves in my yard. I am drawn to its patterns, and the way the warming earth sparkles in the morning sun. I can imagine endless photographic possibilities.

But it is cold!

Maybe some morning or some fall day, I will dress warmly and take my camera out to examine the tiny frozen droplets.

Then again, I might just stay cozy in my fuzzy slippers and wooly sweaters in the warmth of my house!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Always Something to Learn


I think one of the things I love about photography is that you can never know everything. There is always a book I haven't read yet, a tip I've never heard of, or a subject I haven't thought about shooting. I love learning, and there is always something new to learn about photography.


No matter how many photos I've created over the years, and no matter how many I am pleased with, there are always some that I learn something from. For every one that I am satisfied with, there are many more that need improvement. I study them and look at the composition, the lighting, and the angles to see what I can do differently next time. Sometimes I play around with them in Photoshop and discover something I never expected. Other times, I just delete and move on, taking the lessons with me.


There is something I find truly satisfying about a great shot. All the things I've learned over the years about photography come together and it just works sometimes. And the longer I stay on a subject, it seems, the more likely this is. I often start out with the tried and true, then begin experimenting just to see what will happen. Many times, these become my favourite.


Photography is ever evolving, and I strive to have my photography do the same.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Picture This

The only thing missing was my camera: Out on a drive to yesterday, on motorcycles, warmed by the late afternoon sun. Seaside cottages and sailboats on one side, bails of hay and barnyards on the other. I was grateful for the beautiful weather and the ocean breeze.

My husband absolutely loves motorcycles. We don't own any (yet!), so he borrowed one, and I was a passenger on another. It had been a number of years since I'd been on one, and I'd forgotten the feeling of freedom, riding like that.

We had supper at a little restaurant in Caraquet, then headed back in the early evening. The light was beautiful, and I found myself wishing for my camera, so that I could have captured the sunset and the reflections in the calm waters of the bay.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Journaling

Years ago, I kept a diary: Typical young girl diary with a lock and key, later progressing to pretty journals with lined pages. Then I got married, had kids, and stopped. Somehow, the reasons I had habitually written for had become unimportant. But I missed the writing part.

I think that's why I decided to start this blog... Now I have reason again to write. Someone may or may not read it, so it is unlike the private diaries of my girlhood. Yet, it is a record of my days, or parts of them altleast. It is writing without deadlines, without pressure, and without the assessment of school writing.

It is, really, writing for fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Night Light


I'd seen this done before, but this was the first time I tried it: Painting with light. Now I can't wait to try it again! Who knew a dark sky and street lights could result in such artful fun?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Late Night Lists

So I started this blog not knowing how long I'd keep going with it, but at this rate it will go on for some time... I actually lay awake in bed last night and ideas kept jumping into my head for things to write about in future entries. So much so, that I'm so tired today I couldn't even attempt one of them!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Next Time

Back to the beach yesterday... A gorgeous September day. There were no herons or sandpipers, but the sand had gifts of its own: Hundreds of little bird tracks everywhere you looked. I took many shots of these, taking the time to explore them with my son.

Later in the evening we went for a walk to the playground. At the last second, I grabbed my camera and zoom lens and headed out. The reflections in the water of the boardwalk and surrounding trees were breathtaking.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Last Days of Summer

I took my camera to the beach yesterday, hoping to get a few more shots before summer ends. The sun was shining, and although it was a little cool, I was looking forward to wandering along the shore. The thing I did not account for, though, was the wind. And boy, was it windy! I sheltered my camera for a few quick snaps, but realized quite soon that I had better get it put away. Blowing sand and D-SLRs just don't mix!

Of course, no sooner had I put my camera back in the cottage when we came across some baby sandpipers fishing in the shallow water and a lone heron perched in the lagoon.

Maybe next time.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The coffee is on!

Here we go...

While I wait for my coffee to brew, I will attempt my first-ever blog! The kids are playing, all is quiet, and I have a moment to try this out.

I have no idea where this blog will take me, but it begins here, with the intention to share what inspires my photography.

Where I am right now:
  • About to begin my seventh year of teaching, including a couple of years of unhappy supply teaching;
  • Soon to teach an evening photography course called "Taking Better Pictures";
  • With two children about to start school--in one case, gr.1, and in the other, preschool;
  • Married to an incredible man who does so much for our little family; and
  • Just finished one craft fair and preparing for one in the fall.

Among other things, of course!

Coffee's ready...