May

"Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun."

~ Khalil Gibran

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May 1, 2018

I awake to gray skies but by afternoon the sun has come out of hiding.  The day passes by quickly; there are chores to be done and catching up to do with this project.  I'm entering my fifth month and am pleased that I've not yet abandoned it, though sometimes I am tempted.  I keep pressing on, hoping that I am growing as a photographer in the process.

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May 2, 2018

More play with abstract photography.  I visit Laurel Ridge again, this time with a friend.  The jonquils and daffodils are nearly all in bloom and the effect is a calming of my mind.  I've been distracted lately, my mind fuzzy.  I feel as if I don't have a good handle on each day.  In a way, this picture reflects how I am feeling.

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May 3, 2018

I resume taking walks, aiming for two miles at least 4 days a week.  I don't bring Popeye with me and am glad; it is sunny and hot by 10:00 a.m. and he would have tired quickly.  As it is I finish my trek with a headache, having forgotten to wear a hat and to take ibuprofen before setting out.  This barn is on the route that I take.  I'm dissatisfied with the result, still needing to learn how to effectively take pictures of architecture.  Perhaps if I had focused on just one aspect?

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May 4, 2018

The speed with which the earth turns from ground to green awes me.  I consider doing a four seasons project, focusing on the flowers in our yard.  Although Spring, the past few days have felt like summer, hot and humid.  The quick change unsettles me.

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May 5, 2018

Another shot with the slow shutter cam.  I love the impressionist feel of these shots and am inspired to paint them.  Look closely and you can see the ghost of the flower in the middle of the largest blossom.  I plan on doing more of these.

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May 6, 2018

The bleeding hearts are now in full bloom.  I love how delicate they are and think about lining the perimeter of the woods with them.  A lovely greeting to the new season.  

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May 7, 2018

I continue to take shots of the flowers in our garden.  I am beginning to feel discouraged because my photographs lack variety.  I plan on maybe starting Artist Dates, where I go out and visit different spots and perhaps work around a common theme.

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May 8, 2017

I continue to play with my 50mm lens, which is definitely my favorite.  The hosta is rapidly growing and spreading its leaves.  I worry that it might overshadow some of the smaller perennials.  Fingers are crossed.

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May 9, 2018

I have resumed walking and have made it a goal to walk two miles at least four days a week.  Today I made the mistake of bringing my camera, so the aerobic aspect of walking was lacking.  I am still having so much fun playing with the slow cam shutter app!

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May 10, 2018

Yesterday my new lens arrived and I could hardly wait to play with it.  A Lensbaby Velvet 56, which makes the images delightfully blurred.  From what I have observed on their website, the key is to focus the shot and then it does the rest.  I purposely left this shot unfocused from the start because I love the abstract effect.  Because the lens allows only manual focusing I think I am going to have to use a tripod for many of my shots as my hands are a little shaky when shooting macro.  

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May 21, 2018

Yes, there are dates missing, but it doesn't mean I wasn't taking photographs.  A storm swept through our state last Tuesday, felling trees and power lines.  A number of tornadoes also touched down, one in the town right next to ours.  We were without power until Sunday and it seemed as if I was discombobulated the entire six days.  Thank goodness my mom lives nearby and we were able to stay with her.  This morning dawned sunny and cool, and I was able to capture this chive blossom during the golden hour.  

April

Oh, the lovely fickleness of an April day! ~W.H. Gibson

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April 1, 2018

The table is set early as we prepare for our brunch.  Cheese and Onion Strata, baked honey ham, fruit salad and asparagus with brie need to be made this morning in time for our brunch with family.  There is a lightness in the air, a sense of new beginnings.  I am happy.

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April 2, 2018

I confess:  I didn't take this photograph with my Canon.  I opted instead to use my iPhone and I am glad I did.  It snowed all morning, eventually gracing the earth with four inches that by evening had mostly melted.  Mother Nature was a day late with her April Fool's joke.

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April 3, 2018

The day dawns gray and heavy with rain clouds so yet again I am forced to seek inspiration indoors.  Oh, how I long for nice weather so I may take my camera for walks and shoot something new!  The forsythia add a bit of cheer to this gloomy day.

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April 4, 2018

Yet another rainy day, one good for drinking tea and reading a good book.  I am really enjoying this one, by Tomi Adeyemi.  

 

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April 5, 2018

None of our bulbs have begun to blossom yet.  The temps are still in the 40's and we have had snow at least once a week.  I resort to store bought tulips to bring sunshine into our home.

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April 6, 2018

I eagerly await the appearance of these delicate blue flowers each year.  I am not sure of their name but they appear to be some kind of tiny orchid...

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April 7, 2018

Finally, a daffodil begins to poke its head above the ground.  April is being true to its reputation; it has been gray and rainy all day.  I yearn to go out for a walk in the sun.

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April 8, 2018

The gray continues to grace us with its somber beauty.  

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April 9, 2018

He's a little out of focus but this guy had a lot of fun taunting poor Popeye! 

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April 10, 2018

Remember those daffodils from a few shots ago?  This morning they received a coating of snow.  Thankfully, it melted pretty quickly!

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April 11, 2018

The sun decided to come out today and the temps were in the 50s.  It felt so good to walk outside with just a fleece jacket on.  This spring has been taking its time in arriving.  Popeye and I walk up to the pond behind our neighbor's house, looking for signs of spring.  There is something so tender about new buds, isn't there?

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April 12, 2018

I started lessons about a year ago and am learning about so much more than how to play piano.  The importance of showing up every day, setting aside fear of mistakes, trust, focus and, yes, mindfulness.  So many teaching moments when I sit down on the bench and place my hands on the keyboard.

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April 13, 2018

Today I purchased a new lens, a 40mm 'pancake' lens.  I've heard so many good things about it, especially how convenient it is for when you are traveling.  I don't normally photograph people but I wanted to try the lens out and he was a ready subject. 

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April 14, 2018

Finally, a beautiful spring morning!  The type of day where I just want to be outside all day.  So much pleasure was found in cleaning out my garden beds, discovering new growth underneath last year's debris.  I look forward to the fragile beauty of my bleeding hearts every year.  

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April 15, 2018

It's just the two of us this week.  Outside the skies are overcast and a cold wind makes it feel like winter again.  Inside it is quiet, the only sound the settling of this old house and the quiet snores from Popeye as he sleeps.  When I was a child, Sundays always felt lonely to me but now I find them comforting.  A day to pause and reflect.  

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April 16, 2018

When I look at this photograph I see tenderness.  Resilience.  Fragility.  

What do you see?

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April 17, 2018

There will be times when I will have to resort to my iPhone, such as today where it seemed as if I was running from one place to the next.  I head up the stairs to access the cancer center in order to have my yearly CT scan.  I always pause on this landing because I love the geometry of this wall.  It reminds me of the work of Piet Mondrian.  I feel hopeful today that my tests will reveal a body still free of disease.

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April 18, 2018

I had a lot of photographs I could have chosen from today but I settled on this one because it is so unlike what I usually share.  I was playing with light and color today, capturing the reflection of light on this wind chime.  I recently purchased Lightroom for my laptop and I had fun playing with the hues and vibrancy in this photograph.

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April 19, 2018

I am supposed to be practicing piano.  I am supposed to be painting or answering emails or (ugh) cleaning the bathroom.  Instead, I am captivated by the bluebirds who have taken up residence in our backyard.  I have waited years for them to notice the bluebird house and for years wrens or sparrows have taken up residence instead.  This year was different.  This year I had no sooner cleaned out the house when I noticed bright spots of blue flitting around the weeping willow that provides ready branches for keeping watch on.  Watching them build their nest (by essentially taking away the moss that lines my hanging strawberry plant) has been a joy. 

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April 20, 2018

She is our middle daughter, the only one who still lives on the same continent as us. : ) I am so thankful that she is only a few hours away.  Today we had a lovely mother/daughter day catching up with one another and strolling through her Park Slope neighborhood.

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April 21, 2018

Capturing light.  And hearts disguised as leaves.  A quiet Saturday.

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April 22, 2018

We took a field trip to Laurel Ridge in Litchfield, hoping to catch the daffodils in full bloom but finding that we are still a week or two early.  Fortunately, some of them were already blossoming and I was able to get a few good photographs.  Next week I will return and try again.  It is breathtaking when the entire ridge is covered in yellow.

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April 23, 2018

Out of focus these flowers are still beautiful.  Playing with abstract photography this week, part of the Master Your Craft course I am taking with David DuChemin.  

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April 24, 2018

I try to get as close as I can to the daffodil in an effort to make an abstract photo but find that my camera will only let me go so far.  In spite of my limitation I do like the way this shot turned out, especially the crinkled petal on the top left.  There is a softness about the picture which pleases me.

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April 25, 2018

I spend more time playing with daffodils, wishing I had a white wall to photograph them against.  I suppose I could use a sheet or tagboard, but I settle on the windowsill.  I never realized until today that we don't have a single white wall in our home; I am just a lover of color.  Tomorrow I might try the sheet idea.  Even as they fade I find daffodils to be so lovely.  

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April 26, 2018

"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature." ~ Gerard de Nerval

We walk up the path to our neighbor's yard and breathe in the beauty surrounding us.  I'm thankful that April is yielding itself to Spring and look forward to the treasures that May will bring. 

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April 27, 2018

Downloaded a new app on my iPhone today.  It's called Slow Shutter Cam, and it does an amazing job of creating abstract photography.  When I began this project my intent was to solely use my Canon but have begun to include my phone as well, as there are some things it can do that my Canon cannot.  Some people call apps like Slow Shutter a gimmick but I believe art is art.

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April 28, 2018

Blossoms from the weeping cherry tree.

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April 29, 2017

More play with the slow shutter cam app.  I love the watercolor quality of this shot.  It was taken in my backyard and the slow shutter cam adds so much mood to it.  

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April 30, 2018

This April has been harsh; cold, snow, few days of sunshine.  I won't miss it.  The hydrangeas remind me of what is to come.  Looking forward to more sun and warmth.

March

March brings breezes loud and shrill,

Stirs the dancing daffodil.

~Sara Coleridge

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March 1, 2018

It is another warm day, a teaser really as tomorrow we are expecting rain and snow.  My store-bought daffodils are in full bloom, adding a spot of sunshine to our family room.  It was my intent to post this picture in color but when I tried out the black and white filter I really liked how it changed the mood of the daffodils from cheery to wistful. 

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March 2, 2018

The rain beats against the windows, blurring my view of our neighbor's meadow.  Inside we are cozy and thankful to not have anywhere to be this day.  As I sit and write I hear a peeping coming from the small windows that face the front yard.  I creep over and spy a purple finch, feathers fluffed, tucked close under the overhang in order to keep dry.  I try to get a picture but she hears me in spite of my stealthiness and flies off before I'm able.

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March 3, 2018

Another cold and dreary day leaves me searching for inspiration and light in our home.  I settle on these onions, purposely leaving them out of focus in order to bring an element of sunshine into the shot.  I'm pleased with how this turned out.

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March 4, 2018

What do I like about this shot?  The blurred background.  The punch of color provided by the label and blue netting.  The way my eye is drawn to the lower left hand corner of the frame.  The composition.  These cold and overcast days are presenting me with challenges to look at the ordinary in new ways.

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March 6, 2018

Warmth.  This week I began a five day mini lesson by Michelle GD titled Turning the Lens on Self.  Our first prompt was warmth.  At the same time I am taking a Master Class by David DuChemin and this week's lesson is about making images about not of and how it is our vision that determines what lens we shall use, what POV, etc.  I have mainly been using my 50 mm lens when taking the pictures for this project and have not been considering whether it is the proper lens for the vision I have.  In spite of this I think today's shot is somewhat successful as I wanted to convey warmth through the softness of the shawl, the light coming through the window, the coffee cup in my hand.  

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March 6, 2018

Strength.  This prompt got me thinking about my hands and what they are capable of.  They have soothed fevered foreheads, wiped away tears, created pieces of art, offered companionship and consolation.  They have applauded the success of others and have been joined together in prayer.  My hands show more age perhaps more than any other part of my body; they represent a life well lived, one that has had challenges as well as triumphs.  I love the contrast between the smooth texture of the tulips and the signs of aging in my hands.

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March 9, 2018

The snow began early and I decided visit White Memorial State Park before the weather worsened.  By the time I arrived the initial snow had slowed to just a few light flurries and I was disappointed as I had wanted to get some good shots of snow.  Looking over the photographs I took while there I decided that this was my favorite.  I like the perspective on it, the way there is an inverted v starting at the bottom center of the picture and narrowing towards the middle, drawing the eye in.  The colors are appealing as well.  As I look at this picture I think of the Robert Frost poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

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March 8, 2018

The snow intensified throughout the day yesterday and when I awoke it was to a winter wonderland.  It is a small miracle and blessing that we did not lose power during the night.  We lost a few branches but for the most part our trees held strong.  

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March 9, 2018

This week I have joined Michelle GD and others in a one week project titled #turnthelensonself.  Today's prompt was ritual.  I make my bed every morning, finding comfort in the straightening and smoothing of sheets, the folding of quilts, the fluffing of pillows.  I read a story once where the main character compared the state of the marriage bed to the state of her relationship with her husband.  Her bed was hastily put together; sheets rumpled, bedskirt askew.  Our bed is made with care, love for my marriage imbued within each layer.

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March 10, 2018

We took a walk up the hill to our property today, amazed by how much more snow Kent has than Woodbury.  We strapped on our snowshoes and took our time, pausing every so often to marvel at the quiet.  On the way down the hill I discovered this heart-leaf and of course had to take a snapshot.

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March 11, 2018

There are some days when I have to resort to looking for inspiration around our house.  Today was such a day as I battled the effects of a migraine.  I recently took up knitting again and am in love with the autumn like colors of this yarn.  Fingers crossed that I am successful in completing this project!

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March 12, 2014

A day where I was uninspired.  I just couldn't motivate myself to find an interesting subject and the day was overcast, leaving me with no opportunity to capture light.  I do love tulips, however, and am grateful for them during this wintry month.

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March 13, 2014

What a difference a day makes.  Today we suffered through yet another nor'easter, the third in as many weeks, but the snow gave me so many options to photograph that I played all day.  It was hard to choose which shot to feature here but decided on this one, a return to my climbing hydrangea bush.  I feel that really captured an essence of quiet with this shot.  

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March 14, 2018

The birds are congregating at the feeder this morning, cheering me with their song.  I set up my tripod and camera in order to capture them at feeder.  We have had two cardinal couples visiting all winter, a constant reminder of my father and brother.  Their visits comfort me.  

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March 15, 2018

I go searching for signs of spring in a corner of the yard and these small mushrooms greet me.  Until I started taking photographs of nature I never realized just how beautiful they are.

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March 16, 2018

Finally, snowdrops.  Spring is just around the corner.

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March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Day and we head to our friends' house for a traditional dinner of corned beef and cabbage.  We are greeted by their two golden retrievers and basset hound, who welcome us with wagging tails and wet snouts.  Molly takes a shine to my husband, hanging out by him while we visit.  

March 18, 2018

I had begun to worry that the day would pass without me finding any inspiration for today's photograph.  Luckily, the afternoon light provided me with this shot.  I love capturing light!  I love how it illuminates Popeye's toys in this photograph.  

March 19, 2018

I have been on the hunt for signs of spring.  As I walked out to the mailbox early this morning the light was falling on the branches of our forsythias beautifully so I hurried back in to grab my camera.  I am learning that I need to have the camera nearby for moments such as this, because the light is fleeting and if I dally my opportunity is lost.

March 20, 2018

I knit and knit, loving the soft texture of the yarn as it slides between my fingers and onto the needles.  For the first time in a while I am experiencing success as a knitter.  Usually I start, err, tear, repeat.  I'm glad I haven't given up.

March 21, 2018

They are calling for snow tomorrow, which worries me because my bleeding hearts have begun showing themselves, rising up from the winter's mulch to greet the sun.  Spring has begun and I am crossing my fingers that the snow will not show.

March 22, 2018

The snow delays then delays some more.  During the afternoon the sun briefly breaks through the dense clouds, casting a ray of light into the living room.  It's cold outside and windy as well and I am glad to be indoors.

March 23, 2019

So often the subject of my photographs is simply light.  I love how elusive it can be.  In this photograph, however, I am drawn to how only a small part of the composition is focused.  To me it appears that focus and light are engaged in a dance, my eye eventually settling on the small white flowers on the stalk.

March 24, 2018

Looking out the kitchen window I was surprised to see a wide swath of white in the woods beyond our house.  I ventured out with my camera and sure enough it was a small field of snowdrops which I had never noticed before.  Our house is very old (over 250 years) and at one point was a barn.  Every so often a random patch of flowers pop up here or there on the property and I am filled with delight.  

March 25, 2018

There are some days where I feel so uninspired to take a photograph but I have not missed a day and am determined to keep my record going.  I spotted this candle holder on our kitchen table and was taken with the way its curves reflected the light from the window.  Looking at this photograph I think it could be even more effective if I crop the windows out of the shot. 

March 26, 2018

An afternoon in the city.  We wander through Union Square, where a Farmer's Market is being held.  The city so often comes across as cold and impersonal but here people are greeting one another as they wander from stall to stall. 

March 27, 2018

I'd hoped to go out on a hike today and capture some shots of spring blooms but the weather quickly turns overcast and cold, dampening my enthusiasm.  I opt instead for a hot cup of tea and a snack of instant sunshine.  

March 28, 2017

Today is gray and cold once more and I resort once more to inspiration within the house.  This sprout growing out of the top of an onion humors me.  Perhaps it is time to stop buying onions by the bag...

March 29, 2018

I head out back to search for my favorite spring flower, these tiny blue flowers whose name I've never discovered.  One or two have already popped up.  By the end of the next week there will be a small patch of them spreading across the backyard.  

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March 31, 2017

Holy Saturday.  The tulips have opened just in time for Easter Sunday.  It will be a small group of us this year so we settle on having brunch rather than dinner.  I like the idea of having a casual meal to celebrate the day.  

 

February

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within. ~ William C. Bryant

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February 1, 2018

To anyone else she is merely a philodendron but to me she symbolizes a cherished memory.  My grandmother loved plants but because her apartment in Queens received limited light throughout the day she favored the hardiness of this shade loving plant.  My grandparents lived in a railroad apartment above my grandfather's fish store.  Basically a series of rooms that flowed one into the other front to back, there were only two sets of windows.  One was in their bedroom overlooking the boulevard below, and the other was in the kitchen.  This is where she kept them, on top of the kitchen cabinets, over the sink, side by side on a cart stand.  The kitchen is where we would all congregate, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins, chatting over Entenmann's danish ring and coffee, the limited sunlight streaming through the windows, a pot of sauce bubbling on the stove.  I now have two, one on this window sill and one on the sill over my kitchen sink. They remind me of my grandmother, beloved and missed.

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February 2, 2018

It snowed during the night, leaving a dusting over the trees, bushes, stone walls that surround our house.  I grab my camera and start taking shots of a nondescript bush in the back garden, one I hardly pay attention to throughout the year but in the morning light sparkles with diamonds.  I am already learning so much by taking a picture (or two or three) a day.  I'm paying more attention to composition, with the direction of the light, with contrast.  I am happy that I began this project.

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February 3, 2018

We decide to go visit the land we have purchased for when we retire and are surprised by how much snow there is in northwest Connecticut.  Neither of us thought to bring our snowshoes and we wish we had.  On our way home we decide to stop by Bull's Bridge to see if there is still evidence of the ice jam that occurred a few weeks ago.  Because of the dam the water is flowing freely and there are no longer signs of the earlier flooding.

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February 4, 2018

The past two winters we have been surprised to find robins visiting our yard.  When I googled 'robins in winter' I learned that most robins do not migrate but rather spend most of the winter hunkered down together in bushes and trees, their diet mostly consisting of berries and fruit.  As a matter of fact, worms make up only about 15% of their diet!

I'm not happy with this shot; the robin is a little out of focus, but I promised myself that I would post even the photos that I was disappointed in.  It's all part of the learning process, right?

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February 5, 2018

Our house is a converted barn and still retains all the original post and beam work from 250 years ago.  Most of the beams have small nooks and crannies which I have filled over the years with little bits of whimsy such as buddha statues, Santas, small jewel boxes, etc.  In this nook rests a horseshoe my husband was given as a child.  What I like about this shot is that I captured the rough texture of the beam as well as the way the light illuminating the horseshoe.  

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February 6, 2018

His name is Franklin, and is a gift from our niece who attends Franklin Pierce University.  He sits on the bannister in our family room and I have been trying for a while to get a good shot of how the sunlight falls over him each afternoon.  As always I am drawn to images with strong contrasts between shadows and light.  In this shot I also like the contrast between the softness of his fur and the smooth beam he rests against.

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February 7, 2018

On rainy gray days like this one it is hard to find a subject to photograph, so I ventured out to the backyard early while there was still frost on the garden.  These strawberries continue to hold their own in spite of the cold snaps and snow.  I was unsure how to keep them over the winter so I placed the pot in a sheltered spot on our back patio.  So far so good.

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February 8, 2016

It was late in the evening when it occurred to me that I had not yet taken a photograph for the day.  We had been away all day to celebrate the life of a dear friend's mother who had passed away.  Try as I might I couldn't not quite get this subject in focus; perhaps I was holding the lens too close to the subject, was trying to be too clever with the angle of the shot?  It probably did not help that I had had wine earlier in the evening and was tired.  I even used autofocus and my lens kept whining in and out, trying to figure out just what it was I wanted it to focus on.  I couldn't blame it for it's complaining; I had approached the shot just wanting to fulfill my commitment to a photograph a day, and my impatience is reflected in this shot.  

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February 10, 2018

Our piano had sat silently for many years in a corner of our family room, every since our daughter graduated from college and moved away from home.  Every so often I would sit on the bench and pluck out a tune on the keys...I had taken lessons for a few years as a preteen and still knew my way around an arpeggio...but for the most part its cover remained closed, its heart untuned.  

Last year I attended a poetry and art workshop facilitated by my watercolor teacher and a writer, whom I discovered also taught piano to children and adults.  I returned home from the workshop with a seed planted in my brain; why couldn't I take lessons?  Are we ever too old to learn something new?  I don't believe so. In fact, I believe that we never stop growing and learning and, as I begin to reach my 60th birthday believe more strongly than ever that the best way to remain young at heart is to learn something new.

It's so important to approach life with a beginner's mind, don't you think?

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February 11, 2018

The day is gray and dreary, rain falling steadily and creating large puddles on the still frozen earth.  A stream is running down the side of the house, carving out a channel to flow on our gravel driveway.  I walk over to the window to look at my flooded garden and this bottle catches my eye, a reminder of a warm and sunny afternoon spent in Liwa, UAE with our oldest daughter many years ago.  We spent an afternoon roaming the desert, delighting in the warm coppery sand beneath our feet and marveling at how endless the terrain appeared.  At one point I dropped onto my back and made a sand angel, marveling at how soft and fine the sand was.  We scooped some up and put it into a cup to take home with us so we would always remember warmth of the sun, the softness of the sand, the joy of discovering a new part of the world together.

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February 12, 2018

It has been such a dreary start to February that I decided tulips were necessary to bring some cheer into the house.  As much as I love winter this stretch of gray skies have put a damper on my enthusiasm and I find myself longing for spring.  

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February 13, 2018

I love the clarity of this shot,  the beautiful contrast between light and dark, the smoothness of the crystal against the rough texture of the pinecone.  

I have been taking so many still life photographs because it has been too cold and unpleasant to go exploring outside.  It is supposed to warm up by the end of the week; I hope to be able to go on a field trip and work on some landscape shots.

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February 14, 2018

Ah, Valentine's Day.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...

This Valentine's Day I decided it was time to let my poor husband off the hook from having to take me out for a romantic dinner.  He is not a big fan of the holiday but he has always indulged me because he knows how much I like it.  Instead, I cooked him a lovely meal consisting of bruschetta with ricotta and sautéed mushrooms, boneless rib eye with (again) a mushroom wine sauce, roasted brussel sprouts and roasted tiny yellow potatoes and onions.  It was delicious, probably because of the extra helping of love I added to the recipe.

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February 15, 2018

A quiet view of my daughter's bedroom.  I often spend mornings up here reading and catching up on emails because of the lovely light.

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February 16, 2017

I am painting again.  This week I moved most of my art supplies upstairs to our kitchen because it is too cold to work in my studio.  I don't know why I didn't think of doing this sooner.  I miss the light of my studio (it gets the most sun out of all the rooms in our home), but the space is poorly heated and I noticed it affected not me (some days I would be down there with a hat on my head) but also the quality of the paint.  Come spring I will move all the supplies back downstairs but for now this will allow me to create a routine.

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February 17, 2018

We head to New York, to the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.  There we meet our daughter's boyfriend for the first time and enjoy a lunch with the couple and our oldest daughter who is in the city for a conference.  We spend a fun afternoon, first having burgers at the Hope and Anchor, then visiting the wine shop next door where we pick out a number of bottles to bring home.  Our last stop was to Baked, my favorite bakery in Brooklyn.

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February 18, 2018

We wake up to a blanket of snow covering the earth.  Normally this brings me such joy but the weatherman has warned us that the temps are rising.  The snow will be gone by tomorrow, followed by rain and two days of spring temperatures.  Am I the only one who is not quite ready for spring?  I miss the days when winter was winter all season long.  These up and down temperatures frustrate me.

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February 19, 2018

Why a radicchio shot?  Because of the ridges, the contrast, the shimmer of moisture all make me pause and look more closely.  I see trees,  a red the color of sorrow, of heartbreak, the promise of renewal.  A rising up in how the branches reach for the sky.  Whoever thought I would be inspired by a simple vegetable?

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February 20, 2018

I venture outside and (in spite of what I wrote above) I delight in the sun on my face and a day so warm that a coat is not necessary.  Looking around for inspiration, I settle on the moss scattered along the top of our stone wall.  I struggle with focusing when my subject is small and the surrounding terrain is so busy but I like how this turned out.  Looking at it makes me smile.

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February 21, 2018

Went searching for inspiration in my backyard again today and these seedpods from my Yucca plant caught my eye.  Have you ever looked at them carefully?  I took a series of photographs and they made me laugh out loud; they reminded me of the musical "The Little Shop of Horrors" (what was the name of that plant again?).  I plan on writing a post on this series in my blog because I was so taken by how animated these pods are.  Who knew that something in decay could still hold so much life?

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February 22, 2018

This was a day where I struggled to find inspiration.  I imagine I will have a lot of days like this and I think I need to start giving myself some challenges.  Perhaps one week only post photographs in black and white?  I know that a number of people who do these 365 day challenges use prompts provided by photography bloggers.  I have looked at some of those but find they don't inspire me.  I'm sure as the weather continues to improve and I am out and about more that I will find new subjects to shoot.  As for this photo, I do like the single shot of orange and  the contrast between light and dark.

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February 23, 2018

These petals are what remain from what had been a lovely bouquet of tulips.  I went to freshen them this afternoon and one by one each stem released its hold on the petals.  It saddened me because I had only had them for a short while, but what could I expect from grocery bought flowers?  I did love how they fell alongside this book,  their brilliant vermillion color vibrant against the black of the table and book.

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February 24, 2018

I decided it was time to bring a little spring into the house into the house today.  Purple for Lent, hyacinth for new beginnings.  I love the promise of spring.  I'm ready.

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February 25, 2018

He is always so patient with me.  

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February 26, 2018

One minute it is snowing, the next it is raining.  Mother Nature can't seem to makeup her mind this year and I, for one, am getting a little aggravated with her.  I will admit that her mercurial nature did allow me to capture this beautiful shot.

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February 27, 2018

I went on a scavenger hunt in my backyard for inspiration and came across this fungus growing on a tree stump.  An acquaintance told me that it could be a Turkey Tail.  Such a fitting name!  I love its colors, they make me want to knit a scarf in those same shades.

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February 28, 2018

The last day of February and it is 64 degrees outside.  I pass a number of barns on my way to piano each week and today I decided to stop and try my hand at shooting something different.  Landscapes are not my strong suit and I think it might be time for me to challenge myself a little, especially since we live in such a beautiful part of our state.  I almost converted this shot to black and white but I loved the red barn against the muted tones of winter.  

 


Original Photographs ©️GraceVanAkin2018

January

"And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

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January 10, 2018

The sun beckoned us out to take a walk in the woods.  It was a welcome respite from the stretch of bitter cold weather we'd been having.  The three of us caught up on each other's lives, relishing the time spent together.

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January 11, 2018

Patiently he waits for me to complete my morning yoga practice.  He likes to be wherever I am, my little shadow.

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January 12, 2018

Fog greeted me this morning, so thick I was unable to see down to the end of our road.  It cast an eerie feeling over landscape and I hurried back inside to the warmth of our home.  Rain arrived shortly thereafter, turning the snow into a memory.

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January 13, 2018

Dinner at the new sushi place in town.  The line cook on the right spent most of our time there perfecting his skill at creating the perfect first layer of rice.  Gathering a ball of sticky rice in his hands, he'd pat it over and over before smoothing it down onto a bamboo mat.  Satisfied (or not), he would then gather it up, toss it out and begin once more.  

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January 14, 2018

I awoke this morning to a soft light easing into our bedroom window.  It was a gentle start to my Sunday.

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January 15, 2017

These hang over the kitchen table throughout the Christmas season.  I am not yet ready to put them away until next year.  Snowflakes last all winter, right? 

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January 16, 2018

Hydrangeas in winter.  Seeking beauty on a bitterly cold day, I realized I needed to go no further than outside my front door.

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January 17, 2018

An unexpected snow day.  Piano was canceled so I was able to work in the studio all morning.  I'm trying my hand at making my own collage paper using a Gelli plate.  I had mixed results but keep reminding myself that I am a beginner and this is part of the learning process.

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January 18, 2018

There are still reminders of Christmas around our house.  The snowmen stay up until March and the candles are lit each night until the evenings grow shorter.  Small comfort and joy scattered here and there cheer me during the long winter nights.

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January 19, 2018

Late afternoon tea.  Because of his long commute we usually don't eat dinner until 7:30 or later, and on Fridays he likes to have a glass of scotch beforehand which means dinner is often served at 8:00.  A steaming cup of tea and a small treat tides me over until dinner is served.

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January 20, 2018

He has been struggling with his weight and is therefore more tired than usual.  His favorite spot to be is on the back of the loveseat, where he can look out the window and keep an eye on things.

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January 21, 2018

Behind our barn there is a small woodpile sitting amongst the brush.  It caught my eye today as we were walking to the small restaurant down the road for breakfast so when we returned home I grabbed my camera and took some shots.  This one is my favorite.  I like how well focused it is and the mixture of textures found in the logs.  I am learning that through the lens of my camera I am capturing beauty that is not always evident to my naked eye.

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January 22, 2018

I once read that a photographer often needs to take dozens of shots before she captures the image that speaks to her heart and I am rapidly learning that this is true.  There is a stillness in this photograph that reflects how I was feeling as I was capturing the image.  Love.

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January 23, 2018

The sun made an appearance late this afternoon, bringing with it temperature in the 50's  It felt so good not to have a chill in my bones as I stepped outside.  The first thing I noticed was how the sun illuminated this small leaf by the side of the house.  I am learning that late afternoon is an ideal time to capture the light.

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January 25, 2018

Plant. Hope. Grow. Love.

I have photographed this cupboard often, usually head on because I like the way the light plays across it in the morning.  This time I decided to play with my perspective, shooting instead from the side of the cupboard, capturing the ornament that hangs from the knob.  The light is so fleeting in my house that I often find myself following it throughout the day.

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January 26, 2018

Finally we have a day where the sun is shining and the roads are dry enough to go for a walk.  Popeye and I stay in the neighborhood taking our usual route, down the road and up again, and then up the street that runs perpendicular to ours.  I am quickly out of breath and realize I need to make more of an effort to exercise.  This road once led to nowhere, just acres and acres of forest that we were assured when we bought our home would always stay that way.  Unfortunately, the realtor was wrong.  The land was sold to a developer and now there are cookie cutter homes lining the street.  

We head back down the road and turn into the driveway of our absentee neighbors.  They live in the city and rarely use the house anymore so Popeye and I often walk up their long dirt driveway, enjoying the quiet and being off the main road.  Their drive way is lined with pines, many of them hosting these tiny cones.

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January 27, 2018

A trip to the city to see Hello Dolly.  I so rarely take selfies, often choosing to obscure my image one way or the other.  

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January 28, 2018

I'm not happy with any of the shots I took today but because I vowed to post a photograph a day I settle on this one.  I'm not sure why I don't like it, it could be the composition, but most likely it is because my heart wasn't in it when I took the shot.  I was feeling very uninspired all day and am quickly learning that my state of mind is often reflected in the photographs I take.

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January 29, 2018

It isn't uncommon to find reminders of Christmas throughout our house during January and February.  This ornament has been hanging around on the windowsill waiting for me to pack him away with the others.  Even after snapping the shot I leave him on the sill, enjoying his whimsical presence.

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January 30, 2018

It snowed during the night and we were greeted this morning by a winter wonderland.  One lesson I am learning is that if I see a shot that appeals to me I need to take it right away.  I loved how the snow is tucked into the crevices of the rock wall, the contrast between dark and light, rough stone covered by soft snow.  I played with this shot a lot, trying to decide the aperture I wanted to use.  I finally settled on this one because I liked how it starts out unfocused and then in focus and out again.  An hour after taking this shot I looked out the window and saw that the snow was already beginning to melt away from the stones.

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January 31, 2018

He's ready for his closeup.


Original photography ©️GraceVanAkin2018