Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday Shoot-Out Parks Landscapes

This assignment was a perfect one for this time of year. This week's assignment was given by JarieLyn at I really enjoy her blog and highly recommend it!

On Saturday, my sister's neighborhood had a community yard sale. I drove up there to participate and try to get some stuff out of the apartment! John is always excited when I purge. I have tended to over-accumulate in the past and am trying to change my pack-rat ways! During the yard sale, there was a bit of a drizzle. Rain never mixes well with yard sales so traffic was fairly slow, so I decided to take the downtime as a photo-op.

I used to live with my sister in this neighborhood and the landscaping at the entrance of the neighborhood is quite nice. The neighborhood is in the town of Mt. Laurel which is actually where I grew up. There are two man-made lakes on either side with lots of trees and some benches.

Actually, I should give a shout out to my town of Vineland because today is the one year anniversary of the day it became my town! To celebrate, I have included one of my favorite features of Vineland, which is the fields of sunflowers. The sunflower has always been my favorite flower so it was a wonderful gift to discover my new town had fields of them every autumn!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My FSO Favorites

One of the other famous quotes this shoot out assignment reminds me of is by T.S. Eliot, "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." One of the pictures that is most evocative of this idea is the silhoette shot of a little girl on the beach from Nancy at

We all can remember a time when we were children when there was a certain peace with the universe, a deep understanding of joy, maybe because we did not have the need to control or the inhibitions that grow on us as we grow. This picture reminded me of that fact when I think about being a child on the beach.

The other shot that evoked this idea for me was actually the assignment originator, Ellisa at
In one of her shots, her little boy is standing in the surf, with his arms stretched open to the waves. It is a great visual metaphor for how we should approach life, open, willing, and welcoming.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Friday Shoot Out: Classics of Childhood

Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." This assignment reminded me of this quote. So thanks to Ellisa at for this assignment.

I had to include a couple of pictures from a playground near where I live. I have many happy memories of swinging on a swing or going down a slide. If adults played more, we would all have a lot less stress!

I also had to include a picture from the beach. This summer, being there with M, John's daughter, I watched her play in the sand and then started playing in the sand myself. The feeling of the sand through my fingers, the sensation of wet, cool sand on a hot day, and the act of mounding up sand and digging holes just because there is so much sand!!!!
Another memory I have from childhood is how I loved collecting pine cones. I do not remember why I liked it or what I did with the pine cones. Just thought they were cool and liked collecting them.

John and M share a birthday so I have a picture of their gifts. What's greater in childhood than birthday gifts!!

Finally, I included a picture taken at the Smithsonian of Dorothy's shoes. Who doesn't have memories of watching Wizard of OZ? It is in our collective unconscious and is definitely an American archetype.

Hope you all enjoy and have a child-like day!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Favorites of the FSO

I love the my town FSO. It is a wonderful experience and it has been a joy to look at everyone's pictures. Usually, I discuss two of my favorites for the week. However, I must say that every post that I went to had such wonderful photos this week that I could not pick any favorites! Whether people captured all the ranges of colors that the sun creates in its ascent and nascent, or they captured the haunting colorlessness of the slow diminishment of light on a cloudy day, the photos came out brilliantly. It must be the nature of the subject, so kudos to Sherry for picking such a great assignment for the fso. Her FSO can be seen at

One of the great things that go along with the fso are the posts. Some people really write funny or profound posts to go along with their photos. I did have a favorite post this week that went along with the fso. It was from Barry and his fso can be found at
His post is well-written and poetic--definitely worth a read!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Friday Shoot Out Sunrise Sunset

Well, this assignment was a good one since the lighting is so unique at these times of day. I realized that I am rarely outside of my house at sunrise or sunset. So, some of these pictures were taken at dusk. I love getting moon shots. Also, I had to include a shore shot since there is no place better at sunrise or sunset than at the beach. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My FSO Favorites and my New Blog Direction

This Friday's shoot-out assignment really generated some great shots. I loved looking at everyone's shots. It seems like almost everyone had really great tree silhoettes!! Also, it seems like silhoette shots often end up from accidents in photography--I guess they can be seen as divine accidents in the world of art.

My first favorite comes from the assigner for this week Carrie at
I love the shot of the kids all lined up together. That one represents to me what is great about silhoette shots, which is capturing an overall mood or idea without the distraction of details--the concept in art of balancing "universal versus personal".

My other favorite comes from Jen who is one of my favorite photographers in the FSO. She's the one that picks the shots of the week. I recommend all of her shots and posts. However, I really liked the one of the bride and groom with the wine (I think it is wine). I really like the color of the liquid in contrast with the bride and groom silhoettes. As an aside, I also love the picture of Jen herself against that beautiful stained glass.

For my blog, I have been contemplating how to layout my different blogs and have been so inspired by the FSO, that I have decided to make this blog my photography blog. I am going to do reviews and discussions of the creative process on another blog

It took a lot for me to finally have the courage to jump into the visual arts. Since my strength has always been in the area of writing, I focused most of my energy there. However, I was always drawn to the visual arts. Finally, I decided to not let fear hold me back from my passion.

At first, I thought that I would try it and exhaust this passion. What I have found, though, is greater passion for it and a deep enjoyment. So, I am going to really delve into photography and practice all the past assignments and really try to self-educate through this process. I am going to blog about my progress because comments are really helpful in the growth process.

To see some really great photographs from all over the world, check out
On the left side of this site are the names and places of those who take amazing photos of their towns.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Friday Shoot-Out Silhoettes

Wow, this assignment was a real challenge. I had to go into my archives on this one, except for the moon shot. As I was thinking about the assignment this week, I realized what a challenge it was to get good silhoette shots. It made me ponder the role of light in a photograph and also the shape of objects. After I thought about these things for awhile, I eventually came to the realization that I had no clue how to plan out a silhoette shot and I still have no clue. The moon shot I took just because I am always trying to get a good shot of the moon; I just love the moon on a number of levels. It happened to turn out that the trees came out like a silhoette.

The father and daughter shot was also luck in terms of getting a silhoette. I just liked the idea of a father and daughter making pancakes together and the sun streaming through the window caused the silhoette affect.

I am not sure if the statue counts as a silhoette shot but the shape of the statue makes me think of a beautiful silhoette. I also love the way the shadow is cast. I think the museum lights the sculptures this way on purpose so that the shadow becomes a form of art.

I have to thank Carrie at for this assignment. It really had me thinking a lot about light in photographs and the shapes of objects in a new way. I felt like I learned a lot just from contemplating these things.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Favorites of FSO--Study of a Building

First, I must say that this assignment was a fantastic learning experience. Also, seeing everyone's work was a great learning experience. I will probably do building studies many more times as practice to improve my technique. I am such a newbie to the art of photography that I love any chance to improve. Therefore, I must thank the more experienced members of the FSO for taking the time to give tips and comments. It is a reminder of how generous people can be and how many people are driven to have a positive affect on others.

My first favorite photo comes from Germany. The door is just wonderful.

My second is a perspective shot by Sarah Lulu. I just love it! It is the one of the walkway to the water.

Both of these places are outside of the US and I am extremely thrilled to get to see these places on a personal level!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Friday Shoot Out Study of a Building

What a great assignment! When I read this was this week's assignment, I knew right away what building I wanted to do. I drive by this place almost everyday. I find it fascinating; I am just drawn to it. In fact, I feel like I could have spent hours taking pictures of it.

I guess it used to be someone's house and is now abandoned. In truth, I have no idea about its real history. I find as I get more and more into photography that as ee cummings might say, "the eyes of my eyes are opening".

Many of the subjects for photos that I like are old buildings, things with age, history, and character. There is just something inherently interesting about an object that has survived through many events and show their wear in their own unique way.

Hope you enjoy!