Saturday, January 27, 2018

Week 4: Quiet Moment

The photo assignment for week 4 is to creatively capture a 'quiet moment.' This chair sits in a tiny chapel along the Lot River. The chapel is dedicated to the river men sailed and poled barges up and down the river hauling goods from village to village and then onto Bordeaux and the sea. The chapel was gated with iron bars which I had to shoot between to get the chair.

And I'll confess....this is a photo I took a couple of years ago. Too many other things on my mind this week to get out with my camera. However, to be fair....I could drive into Cajarc right now and take this exact same photo. Nothing's changed, not even  the fake flowers on the stone..

Friday, January 19, 2018

Week 3: These Boots

This week's challenge for the 52 Weeks photo project is to only shoot in Manual mode. For non-photographers out there, this means choosing all the parameters for the shot...speed, f/stop, and ISO. No point-and-shoot allowed! I shoot almost exclusively in AV mode, so it's been both fun and a learning experience to have to choose all the settings for each shot. This was not a week of taking beautiful images for me. Thus the hiking boots. There's a reason for this particular image, though, which will be revealed in a couple of days in another blog post. Stay tuned...

Here's another image from the week that's a bit more representative of what can be done when you choose certain settings...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Week 2

This week's photo challenge was all about color composition, looking at the color wheel and playing with opposite or complementary colors in your photo. As you can see by what I chose to put in my photo what the other challenge was this week...the weather. Kind of hard to get out and look for suitable things to shoot in the rain! I ended up just sticking my umbrella on the stone wall. The warmth of the orange pops nicely against the cool color of the green.

Besides experimenting with color, I learned something else about my photography practice...I don't do planned shots or set-ups! I tend to look for spontaneous inspiration when I'm out and about. I think I'm really limiting myself by doing that. After all, no one is inspired or spontaneous all the time1

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Earth as Original Monastery

As you might remember, I'm a huge fan of Abbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery led by Christine Valters Painter. I've done two Ireland pilgrimages with the Abbey (Christine and her husband, John) as well as numerous online retreats and study courses. Every year the Abbey invites followers to submit their word for the year...the word that will inspire or guide them as the new year unfolds. On Epiphany names are drawn to win some lovely Abbey gifts. And this year, I won something!

My word for 2018 is CONNECTION which I see already at work in my life as it's connected me once again to the Abbey. As my gift, I chose an 8-week online self-study course called 'Earth as Original Monastery.' The video above combining Christine's photographs and Peter Mayer's lovely song illustrates the beauty this course offers as we explore 'retrieving our lost intimacy with Creation.' I'm very excited to work through Christine's rich offerings.

If you'd like to know more about the Abbey in general or this self-study course in particular, you can click of the links.....

Friday, January 5, 2018

52 Weeks

A friend posted a link on Facebook last month to the 52 Weeks photo challenge. Each week the photographer is challenged to create a photo in one of five categories: Vision, Composition, Technical, Creative or Wild Card. This week's theme is Vision, and the challenge is to look ahead to the new year, new beginnings, new you, etc. I've had most of the week to think about what I'd shoot as it's been too rainy to get outside. It wasn't until this morning, though, that I came up with the idea to use a ladder as a symbol for this new beginning.

Let me explain my reasoning: looking ahead to this new year, I've dreamed some dreams and come up with some challenges for myself to raise the bar in 2018. And just how do I do that? Not by sitting still and waiting for things to happen. I have to actively DO raise a ladder to climb from here to where my dreams might be. So putting one of these ladders in place is the start of a new beginning for me!

What was the photography lesson I learned this week? I had no idea where I might find a ladder. As Lucie and I made our regular morning walk today, I kept my eyes open and sure enough, I found several ladders along our route. Ladders that I'd never noticed before! Lesson learned: Keep your eyes open, You never know what you might see.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Into 2018

A friend remarked in a recent email that she hoped all was well with me as she hadn't seen any blog posts in awhile. Which made me realize just how much I've neglected my blog this year! I've written about some of the year's highlights...trips to Ireland and London...but not much else. Just kind of lost my enthusiasm, I guess.

The new year brings new beginnings and as Benedict of Nursia taught....'always we begin again.' So 2018 begins with the resolution to push through the gates and cross the threshold into new possibilities and new adventures this year, to step into the challenge and make 2018 great. To not wait for that to happen, but to actively engage to create goodness and joy and connection. Out with 2017 and its anger, despicable behaviors and divisiveness. In with 2018 and all that makes life, peace, open hearts and generous spirits.

That's my New Year resolution! What's yours??