Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sometimes the most mundane objects are beautiful if viewed in a different way. A few nights ago, I accidently set my camera phone to negative shots while outside attempting to photograph the candlelights in our windows. I deleted the shots, but the results were intriguing, especially in the low light. Delighted with the layered darks and the spectrum of opposite colors, I experimented with some commonplace items around the house. There are so many possibilities...bright sunshine, snow, shafts of light, water and rock, silhouettes and on and on! You could say I'm just fooling around with pixels the way I used to do with paint. Certainly a little nagging voice in the back of my head whispered, "shouldn't you be starting those Christmas cards?" Aagh! Negative thinking!
Friday, November 25, 2011
Lately I have been tackling a back log of photos, organizing, editing and slowly posting to Flickr. Among them are images from a September, 2009 trip to Ireland. The photos here are of Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny. There has been a castle on this site since 1172. The property was purchased by James Butler in 1391 and since that time, the castle was continuously inhabited until 1935. On the whole, we experienced fantastic weather in Ireland, but on the day of our visit to Kilkenny Castle, the sky was overcast, the temperature quite chilly and I recall picking our way around large puddles from a recent shower. The castle looked cold and unwelcoming. I remember thinking one would have a difficult time finding a warm and cozy nook in that forbidding expanse of unrelenting gray stone. Still, there is an ineffable atmosphere, especially walking the perimeter. Parts of the path appeared to be overgrown and remnants of summer roses were visible. When I later looked at my shots, I was reminded of the fairy tale "Briar Rose." I tweaked the photos and this is what I saw in my mind.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
November in Maine has been beautiful! I thought a hypothetical walk around our small village might be a good antidote for any readers dropping by this weekend, especially after a groaning Thanksgiving table! The following photos were taken two weeks ago. I actually had Cooper on leash, so this was not a serious photography excursion...still, I always have a small camera in my pocket and the lovely light and shadows were irresistible. Two weeks ago! Here is the view from my window this morning, a winter wonderland! Wherever you are, wishing you safe travels and a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 21, 2011
I love windows, I look at them them as canvasses with ever changing views of the world, both inside and out. Our cottage kitchen window is my favorite, and the simplest. On a bright day, sunshine pours through tiny panes back lighting objects on the sill. The effect changes dramatically with the angle of the sun during our April to October stay. The following photo is the last shot before closing the house for winter of our 2011 season. Kitchen window in July with a row of ripe Maine grown tomatoes on the sill. A small milk bottle full of black eyed susans in brilliant August light! A shell that has been by the window for almost twenty years in an image I call "July Treasure." The photo has been 'gently' processed. Buttercups in June. High key light in late April. May window. May window...perhaps my favorite, I love this soft light in the room. I've always been fond of the dazzle of prism light in this August window.
Friday, November 18, 2011
The story popped out from my Twitter feed. The whimsical mystery about a Giant Lego Man washing up on a Florida beach in Siesta Key was a happy change from a daily diet of economic frustration and natural and human made catastrophe. The early morning joggers and dog walkers must have been delighted by their discovery, but in spite of his harmless demeanor, Lego Man was taken into police custody. Apparently similar figures have turned up in Holland and England. Lego Man would be welcome on our little beach with its currents and tides that wash up all sorts of detritus, lovely driftwood and the occasional small boat that has snapped off its mooring. The news item reminded me of a series of photos I took last summer of our grandson's alien, a treasured prize from The Topsham Fair. His oversize alien was determined to escape! A rescue not for the fainthearted! That water is cold!
Monday, November 14, 2011
I love camera phones and there is no doubt they are rocking today's world. Whenever an important news story is breaking the first place I go is Twitter and Flickr to see history as it occurs. A lot of the photos are grainy and blurred and few would view these up to the minute shots as art, but many are real gems! My first camera phone had a 2 megapixel camera. I took hundreds of photos with that camera and none of them are particularly good, although I did capture an interesting mood from time to time. My newest phone has an 8 megapixel camera, multiple settings and editing capabilities. Even so, I seldom use it for serious photography. This is my camera for fun, for experimenting and these are the pictures I throw out there...just to see what sticks. The following images (with varying degrees of manipulation) are from four different phones!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Photo by Emma Lynn B. My granddaughter was born in the Chinese Year of the Tiger. She arrived with a roar and has never stopped testing the boundaries and for Emma, there are certainly no intellectual boundaries and it is this, that makes her art shine. What started with crayons, markers and pens, when she was a small child, has evolved into nuanced layered images that can be seen on Emma's Flickr stream. My son encouraged all the children to experiment with his collection of cameras and computers. It was hard on the equipment (his house is a digital ossuary) but the learning curve is spectacular! Now, I watch Emma's fingers fly across the keyboard experimenting with apps and effects, adding and discarding faster than my eyes can focus on the screen. Emma's photography began in earnest nearly a year and a half ago...and this is one of my favorite memories: She arrived at the cottage full of restless energy. I suggested a leisurely row around the bay with a little talk and a lot of drifting. After awhile I asked, "would you like a camera?" "Yes!" We flew back to the dock, jumped in the car, and a new camera was in her hands within the hour. Below, some of Emma's remarkable work, shown in chronological order. All images posted with permission from Emma Lynn B. Emma celebrated her thirteenth birthday Tuesday.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
It's not difficult to imagine the house as it once was, described in the opening sentences of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, House of the Seven Gables. The past vividly comes to mind, especially with a bit of planning to avoid the height of the tourist season, a little luck and timing. The historic site is popular for events and weddings. Workers carrying long poles and gaudy blue tenting arrived within minutes after my last shot...or rather, their presence determined my last shot! My fragile bubble popped and I was back in Salem on a late September day in 2011. The story begins: Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the old Pyncheon House; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon Elm. On my occasional visits to the town aforesaid, I seldom failed to turn down Pyncheon Street, for the sake of passing through the shadow of these two antiquities,--the great elm-tree and the weather-beaten edifice. The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance, bearing the traces not merely of outward storm and sunshine, but expressive also, of the long lapse of mortal life, and accompanying vicissitudes that have passed within. A few lines from Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Perhaps it was the weather. Halloween was a lackluster affair with just a few frostbitten trick-or-treaters venturing up the old granite steps to the house. Normally we have ninety to a hundred little ghouls and ghosts. Even with the low creature count, it is still the worst night of the year for the dogs. Understandably alarmed by short masked strangers, three generations of very good dogs have left deep claw marks on our laundry room door from Halloweens past. The little wiener dog worked himself into an awful state...Cooper is extremely glad that's over!
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