Photo 101 Recap

“Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.” – Oscar Wilde

I really enjoyed this project. It was a lot of fun, and I hope I can find more like it. Here is a recap of the prompts with my favorite shots.

Day 1: Home

home

Day 2: Streets

streets

Day 3: Water

water

Day 4: Bliss

Day 5: Solitude

solitude

Day 6: Connect

connect

Day 7: Big and Small

big and small

Day 8: Natural World

nature

Day 9: Warmth

warmth

Day 10: Mystery

mystery

Day 11: Pop of Color

pop of color 8

Day 12: Architecture

Golden Gate

Day 13: Motion

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Day 14: Scale

Scale (3)

Day 15: Landscape

DSCF8077

Day 16: Treasure

Day 17: Glass

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Day 18: Edge

DSCF8216

Day 19: Double

the twins

Day 20: Triumph

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Day 20: Triumph and Contrast

 

“Veni. Vidi. Vici.” – Julius Ceasar

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I said I wanted to photograph a flying bee, so that’s what I did! Victory! Of course, it took an hour, in the heat, with bees buzzing around me to get it done. But hey! It’s done. Now, to be honest, I am terrified of stinging insects and bugs. If there is a wasp or bee in the house, I retreat to another room until it is taken care of. So this accomplishment is more than just a photo triumph, it’s a triumph over a fear (for today at least).

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Day 19: Double and Rotation

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” – The Witches
Macbeth (Act IV, scene I)

Difficult day today. Injured my back again last night, and didn’t think I would be able to get any photos, so I found these, just in case. However, even after I did the prompt today, I couldn’t leave these little monsters out. The first picture is the only one I have of the twins, Mickey and Jack, together by themselves. The second photo is of Reinette (laying down) and Poe. And the last is of Mickey and Poe looking at birds.

So, after the storms last night, I went out and found the ants building their homes for the season. They haven’t been there the past three days, so I’m guessing the rains woke them up. I know it’s hard to see, but all of these photos have two or more ants in them. They correlate to the “double” prompt because there are pairs in each, so that even if there are more than two ants, there are still pairs of them.

My mom dropped these petals from her Easter Lilies while doing her daily photo prompt. I saw them, and thought it was a neat photo opt for the double prompt.

And finally, these beauties. My mom was outside looking for Poe when she spotted something odd. These flowers sprung up over night, and we have never had them here before. We didn’t plant them, and have never seen anything like them in the area before this afternoon. Not only was it a treat to have something new to photography, but I got a “double” treat because they are purple, my favorite color. (See what I did there?)

Day 18: Edge and Alignment

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Another day, another difficult prompt. I actually had a great plan, if only mother nature had cooperated. It was supposed to storm all day here in Central Oklahoma, and I had hoped to photograph some nicely formed storm clouds, especially some with sharp edges. But it’s been sunny almost all day. I few storms here and there, but nothing until I gave up. So instead, I chose to focus on three distinct subjects. The first is horizons. Recently, a new housing edition started going up down the street from us. The top photos are of the horizon view from one hill in that edition.

Above, I took one of the photos and used the straightener on it.

This next series is a view of the horizon from atop the hill in my neighborhood. When I was taking the photos, I thought I could see all the way to Oklahoma City, but I realized that I was seeing trees not the Devon Tower.

The last in the horizon series is of a valley down the road from us. I’ve always loved this valley, and the beautiful view it gives.


 

“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out”. – J. R. R. Tolkien

There is a very rich man who lives down the road from us. I few years ago, he bought a large parcel of land, and built a monstrosity of a house on it. Fortunately, he made up for it, by damming the creek and creating a pond for his livestock, and built this beautiful rock fence. I tried to do the whole “looking down the row” view, but it didn’t really take, so I tried to look above the fence. These are my results.


 

“The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” – Hunter S. Thompson

My final subject is a little subjective. Instead of an actual edge, I chose to look at the “edge” of tornado season. We have been warned for days now, that today would be a good chance for tornadoes. The first realistic chance we’ve had so far. As I have mentioned before, I really hate tornadoes, and seeing these types of clouds really puts me at ease, since there will be no chance of tornadoes forming from them. Below, I had my roofline in the picture, so I decided to use the straightener again.

 

Day 17: Glass and Square

“In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room.” – Lewis Carroll (Through The Looking-Glass

I had a hard time thinking of how I was going to do this prompt today. I was seriously just going to skip it. I never have any good photos come from taking pictures through windows or glass. And then last night, my mom grabbed my Galileo Thermometer, and said I should use it. I was sold.

If you have never heard of a Galileo Thermometer, you have now. They are quite interesting little instruments. They use beads filled with colored liquid that rise when the temperature does. Each bead has a different temperature degree on it, so you can guesstimate what the temperature is. Interesting side note, these were not invented by Galileo, but by a group of scientists including one of his pupils. I use to work with kids, and this is a BIG hit with them.

I know this has nothing to do with the prompt today, but while I was out taking my photos of the Galileo Thermometer, I saw this little guy. He/she was very bright, and I had so much fun following her/him around. Of course, his/her shell is so shiny, it does look like it was made of glass.

Day 16: Treasure and Close-Up

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

If you haven’t guessed by now, my pets are my everything. I treasure them deeply. I really enjoyed trying to get my babies to pose for close-ups.

Alonso was the easiest, he loves posing for pictures.

Chewey, was the most difficult. She would look away every time I pushed the button.

Siggy and Poe were neither here nor there about it. Poe just wanted to go outside, and Siggy just wanted to play with my lens cap.

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” (Sunset Boulevard)

I also wanted to mention that our apple tree is blossoming! In terms of photography treasures, there are two things I want to take a good picture of, but have been unable to do. I would treasure a great picture of 1) a bee in flight, and 2) the red-headed woodpecker, who keeps tormenting me. He never stays still enough for my camera to capture him.

Day 15: Landscape and Cropping

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”  – Ansel Adams

This quote really spoke to me today. I really had a hard time finding something to photograph around here. Everything is so bland. The green of spring has yet to bloom, and it’s just a pallet of brown, brown, and brown. At least, that is the way I felt today. Because I was disappointed, I decided to add previous photos.

What kind of landscape challenge is it, if you can’t include miles of land? When I travel, I love taking photos from the plane, just to see how they will come out. These were from 2009, on my way back from Anaheim, California.

Even if there isn’t a lot of color on the ground, there is tons of color in the Oklahoma sky this time of year. These are all sunsets taken during the springtime, but not necessarily this year.

Earlier this year, I woke up to a British morning fog. I may complain about the lack of color, but I love the drabness of greyness of fog and rainy days.

I’m starting to think this is a project on seasons. This type of scene was a rarity in Central Oklahoma this winter. This is the same picture, but the second one, I cropped to take out that ugly utility pole.

I have a confession. I have a terrible fear of tornadoes. Spring, even though I love the arrival of flowers, insects, and babies, also means the arrival of severe storms. I started photographing storm clouds in an effort to conquer my fear over storms. It works while I am photographing the clouds, but then I have to leave to seek shelter. I’ll take twitterpated animals any day of the week.

Lastly, I thought I would add a few seascapes from my vacation in San Francisco. These are the coasts of Half Moon Bay. We traveled there to visit the infamously haunted Moss Beach Distillery. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any ghosts. Oh, and I missed out on the whales that decided to make an appearance while we were there. But when you have a view like this, none of that matters.

Day 14: Scale and Observation

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Today was horrible! Nothing went right, including my photography. I’m not even sure I understood the focus of today’s prompt. I think it was saying use two objects to compare the sizes, but I could not think of anything to do, so I did a bit of micro-photography. I guess the dandelion looks bigger than it is, but who knows. Since I wasn’t satisfied with today’s outcome, I decided to include a few pictures in which things are comparable.

Here are some small insects that are bigger than life in the pictures. One thing I noticed in the prompt was the concept of observation. Interestingly, when I take photos of insects, I sometimes never notice them until after I load them onto my computer. With the two purple flowers, I never notices the insects until afterwards. Take a look at the second purple flower picture (on the right). How many bugs do you see?  I never noticed any of them, and when I posted to Facebook, my entomologist friend pointed out that there were more than the two I noticed in the editing phase. Nature always has a way of surprising you!

Last spring, we had a lot of rain, and one day while strolling through our yard, I noticed little black swimmy things in the water. Lo and behold, they were tadpoles! I remember catching tadpoles when I was younger, I had so much fun. Remembering those times, I decided to go out each day and document the growth of these little cuties into toads.  The photos above demonstrate how small these critters were. They were tiny!

As these buggers grew, I wanted to show everyone how small they actually were, because I was taking über close photos at the time. The chance came when my mom found one under my Mini Cooper. As excited as I was, I don’t think the photos above really tell the truth. Maybe I should have photographed the whole car instead of the bumper.

Here are some other reference photos to show how small my Taddy McFrogson’s were. Yes, I named them. By the way, that’s an acorn in the first and last picture.

After one particularly rainy day, I went out to photography my toads, and I saw a snail. I’ve lived in Oklahoma 34 years, and last year was the first time I have ever seen a snail in the wild. And I didn’t just see one, I saw dozens! I was hooked. I started taking pictures of them every chance I got. I even photographed the slugs. Most people cringe when they think of slugs, but I think they are neat. But hey, I get excited over snails.

Day 13: Moment and Motion

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” – Isaac Newton

Spring has sprung here in Oklahoma, which means allergies. I have been sick for the past two days. It is also close to 80 degrees here, and I am extremely heat intolerant. This means that I am stuck indoors for the most part. However, I did try to get some photos. I was able to stay outside for about 30 minutes before the heat and sinuses decided to attack. Unfortunately, even though I braved the allergies and heat, nature didn’t want to cooperate. The only things moving were bugs and squirrels. My bug pictures were horrible, but I got a few squirrel pictures I am proud of.  Since I really couldn’t get what I wanted, I decided to include some of my better photos from times past.

Earlier this year, my mom and I witnessed the annual reenactment of The Birds. For some reason, every year a swarm of black birds, numbered in the thousands, surround our house, and threaten to peck us to death. Just kidding, they just sit there and stare at us, a la the playground scene in The Birds. It’s quite an amazing event, and I enjoy it immensely.

For the past two years, I pull out my camera and a blanket, and open the window to photograph birds in the snow. Because it’s snowing, the birds swarm our bird feeder, and I can get some great pictures. I really enjoy it when I am able to capture the birds in flight.

Of course, I couldn’t leave out my aircraft photos when the topic is motion.  I live near Tinker AFB, and in the middle of Tornado Alley. This means that at any given time, I am guaranteed to be able to see an aircraft flying over my house. My favorites are the fighter jets, but those are ridiculously hard to capture. The helicopter photos are from two different storm disasters that have occurred here. The top one was from when a tornado hit a housing edition down the road from us. This was the first time a tornado has ever come close to our house, and we actually had damage from the downdrafts. The bottom photo was from the 2013 floods that basically isolated us for a month. The floods were so bad, that the bridge on the main road out of our valley collapsed. Interestingly, I was headed into town, and had I not been distracted by some of the storm debris in our yard, I would have been on the bridge as it collapsed. Fun times in Oklahoma!

I love going to concerts. But it is really hard to get good photos. I was pleased to see that I could get some good ones, without looking at the screen the whole time.  Special mention to my favorite band in the world, Avenged Sevenfold (First picture)!

There are two places I try to visit whenever I am in a new area; the zoo and the aquarium. I love watching the animals, and revel in trying to make my pictures look like they were taking in the animal’s natural habitat. The pictures above, were taken at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. I definitely recommend it, if you haven’t been.

One of my absolute favorite exhibits at any aquarium is the touch pool, especially when you can touch the rays. They are the cutest things you can imagine. They love being petted, and will jump out of the water in order to get a little lovin’. They also exhibit an interesting behavior, one that none of the employees and trainers can explain. They flip upside down, and swim backwards while halfway out of the water (upper-right photo). These pictures are from the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco.

While in San Francisco, I visited the zoo. I was lucky enough to be there on their annual March of the Penguins, which is adorable! While there, I saw a rhinoceros kicking up dirt, and caught some great photos of it. And don’t even get me started on the primate exhibit. Any day I get to see a monkey or lemur, I am in heaven!

A few years ago, I was required to go to the Oklahoma City Zoo for a class. No hardship for me! I didn’t get to spend a lot of time there the first day, so I went back the next day, and caught these lovely gorillas being gorillaey. It was so awesome!

So sorry for the long post, I get wordy when I am sick, and when I am reminiscing. Have a great day, and don’t let the allergies get you too.

Day 12: Architecture and Monochrome

“Every house has a story…” – Stephen King (Rose Red)

When I was told the prompt for today, the first thing I thought about was my visit to The Winchester Mystery House in 2009.  I had always wanted to go there, and I was not disappointed. I really couldn’t pick one photo for this assignment, and since I couldn’t just pop over to San Jose, California, I chose to do a compilation of my favorite shots. Sadly, our computer crashed last year, and some of the photos that I loved were lost. These are the ones I took and added to Facebook.

Winchester (2)

Let’s start with the exterior. It’s beautiful. What else is there to say. I never thought of changing the photos to black and white, but I am even more in love with them now. It fits the era and also the story. If you’ve never heard of the Winchester Mystery House, you have definitely missed out. Sarah Winchester was the widow of the heir of the Winchester Rifle Company. She had a lot of tragedy in her life, and this along with her strong belief in mysticism, led her to build this house. As long as she was alive the house was never finished. She would even hold séances to ask the spirits what to build next. Her eccentricity created this wonderful work of art.

The interior is just as beautiful and eccentric. There were stairs that led to the ceiling and doors that led to nowhere. One door led to the outside, but it was on an upper level, and would result in death or injury if you actually went through it. There were also doors without handles, and skylights in the floor! It’s said that Sarah Winchester built this house to confuse the hostile and angry spirits who were killed by Winchester rifles.

But the most intriguing items in Sarah’s house were not the trick staircases, or the deadly doors. It was the intricate details that she added. One of my favorites was the Green Man light switch in one room. It seemed so out of place, yet fit perfectly. I was drawn to the windows and had to limit how many pictures I took of them (I actually had my battery die half way through, and had to steal my dad’s camera). And don’t even get me started on the garden! Exquisite! Unfortunately, because of my computer’s death, the garden pictures were lost, and I never posted them on Facebook (don’t ask me why).

So if you’re ever in the San Jose/San Francisco area, the Winchester Mystery House is a must! And don’t forget to visit the Golden Gate Bridge!

Golden Gate