76-77/365 Photo Challenge 2015

IMGP7289 IMGP7304

I keep telling myself that photographing something–anything–every day for an entire year will help me become a more proficient and creative photographer. I am beginning to have my doubts. But I’m sticking to it. Mainly I’m tired after a long day’s work and find that I just grab the nearest item and start shooting in the hopes of getting something half-way presentable. Maybe when I am able to spend more time outside I will get some good stuff to post here.

I’m off to bed now. Sweet dreams everyone. ;-)

75/365 Photo Challenge 2015

IMGP7271 IMGP7286

These were yesterday’s photos. I posted them in FaceBook was too tired to post them here before going to bed last night. So here they are. And now I’m a day behind because I have nothing to post for day 76! MAYBE I’ll come up with something in the next couple of hours (but doubtful….I’ll just post two photos tomorrow.)

Monthly Photo Challenge: North Chagrin Reservation — March

Spring is just around the corner and most of us in this neck of the woods are anxious for its arrival. Winter on the Great Lakes is brutal and lasts too long for this southern gal’s liking! No matter how many winters I survive here in the north country, seeing snow–and lots of it–still on the ground in March (and sometimes April!) seems a cruel thing to endure. For the third month of this challenge, I have more snow pictures. Sigh . . .

But change is coming. In the midst of winter, walking on snow made crunching sounds. There was a silence in the woods broken occasionally by a distant bird calling its cohorts. A cold breeze would rustle the branches from time to time, but all was generally quiet. Meditative. Even though I complain about the seemingly never-ending winters here, in all honesty I love my weekly winter walks in the woods. I go there every chance I get. But too much of a good thing is still too much!

Now I am noticing significant changes as we reach the cusp of a new season, things I never noticed in earlier years. Despite all the snow you will see in the following photos, there was a change in March! I still have to wear winter coats and scarves, gloves and boots. But the sounds are quickly evolving suggesting transformation and renewed life. Crunching sounds of boots on snow have softened as the snow has softened and begun to melt. One hears running water everywhere. Snow is melting and forming small puddles that create rivulets that run down hills to larger creeks that are no longer covered in ice and hidden by snow. The cacophony of chirping birds would be annoying any other time of the year, but now signal the activities that precede nest-building, mating, laying eggs, and hatching chicks. For the first time I have seen deer on the reservation. They have always been here, but they, too, signal more activity as spring approaches. Yes, there is still snow at the reservation, but one also recognizes a change is about to occur!

Enjoy the following photos and see if you recognize differences from the previous two months of this challenge! They were taken over the course of the month since February’s posting so some look like they were shot in the dead of winter (they were) and others suggest emerging life!

thechangingseasons_6367

https://cardinalguzman.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/monthly-photo-challenge-the-changing-seasons-03/

71a&b/365 Photo Challenge 2015

IMGP7162 IMGP7164

This challenge is intended to force the photographer to experiment, explore different viewpoints, learn her or his camera, etc. Today I did all of those things. The photos are of a candelabra and the view point is from directly above looking down. Once I got a few shots that I liked, I played with them in post processing. They were both shot in black and white, but I added sepia to one photo along with blurred edges, increased contrast, etc. I left the other photo as black and white, but I cropped it differently. I also increased the contrast on that one.

I am ambivalent about these photos, but I had fun experimenting for sure!

70/365 Photo Challenge 2015

IMGP7141

I had the opportunity to go for a walk at the reservation today. The sun was out. The snow is melting. And the cacophony of birds chirping and pecking, including this Downy Woodpecker, was music to my ears! Soon comes Spring!

68-69/365 Photo Challenge 2015

68/365

68/365

69/365

69/365

It’s a cat’s world tonight at our home. After driving home from Chicago I was not really inspired to photograph anything for this challenge. Not only that, I was a day behind so I needed two photos to be caught up. As I wandered through the house looking for something to “shoot,” I saw the kitty votive candle holder and for lack of anything more interesting, the candle holder became my subject. To be honest, I didn’t put much time into it, just lit the candle and placed it on a crumpled up napkin. I was a little disappointed in myself but then I told myself that when I am posting a photo a day, there will be “down” days photographically speaking.

Now, what to do about the second photo. As I was sitting on the sofa trying to think of something a bit more creative than a candle holder, Willy, our Russian Blue, jumped in my lap and curled up for a nap. He missed us while we were gone and has not let me out of his sight since our return home. While he slept I turned the camera on him and shot a few frames. That became my entry for day 69 of this challenge.

So, tonight the motif was cats, and now I’m caught up with this challenge. Thanks to those of you who follow along. This is proving to be challenging for sure. Hopefully by the end of the year I’ll be a better photographer and I will know my camera with all its advanced settings much better.

66-67/365 Photo Challenge 2015

IMGP6839 IMGP6843

This is not my usual fare, I know. But I was in the Chicago area this weekend to celebrate the upcoming grand opening of my daughter and her family’s new business. They held a private opening for family and friends, which we were fortunate to be able to attend. The french doors in the back of the show room open to a state-of-the-art kitchen where their chef will give cooking classes and more. The place is beautiful and my kids have done it all. They took a large, empty store front space and turned it into this! Many years in the making but finally they are seeing their dream come to fruition. If you are in the Chicago area (northwestern suburbs, Palatine to be exact) drop in and see them, book a party, or purchase some really cool and useful kitchen utensils and gadgets. Needless to say, I am proud of Mica, John and Jacob!