Monthly Photo Challenge: Urban Seasons/Cleveland, OH — February, 2016

This month was more challenging than I anticipated. Due to work schedule and other obligations I was unable to get into the city to photograph. However I was able to drive through a park on my way home from work one evening and took time to enjoy the winter wonderland. I hesitated to post in this forum because it wasn’t really the “urban” challenge I set for myself. But in lieu of city shots, I am posting these images of a metro-Cleveland park. After all, even urban areas have parks and forest areas set aside for human enjoyment and relaxation/rejuvination. A bit late, I know, but all shots are in the urban Cleveland area during the month of February.  Enjoy.

 

Please feel free to comment/critique/suggest ideas. Hopefully I will be able to shoot more urban looking photos in March. Have a great month everyone!

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The Changing Seasons is a Monthly Photo Challenge started by CardinalGuzman.wordpress.com.

 

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Dreamy Landscapes on a Dreary Day

As you know, if you read my earlier post, I’m a bit hampered when it comes to writing/blogging these days. Since “upgrading” from a plaster cast to a more functional brace however, I am able to navigate with more ease and typing is at least possible. (I’ve discovered the “overdo it” point, too.) As before stated (last post), I shot some pretty neat photos (blindfolded, with one hand tied behind my back, haha, or so it felt!) and decided to share them with you. I shot this album entirely along I-80 between Chicago, IL, and Cleveland, OH, on a cold, overcast day as we were returning home to get my disabled arm tended to. Enjoy.

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These shopped photos are quite a departure from what I usually produce. There is a lesson here! Sometimes an occurrence/event/experience/whatever can actually be the door that opens us to seeing, hearing, doing something delightful and life-enhancing we never would have considered before. Hope you enjoy the photos. 🙂

Sunday Post: Architecture

 

 

 

Nuttin But Fountains, Statues and Architecture!

I had a very productive and fun day earlier this week on my jaunt to the Botanical Garden! Today I post photos of nuttin’ but a fountain, statues, architecture, etc. I hope you enjoy this slide show as much as you have enjoyed the nature shows. 🙂 It is all beautiful to me.

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Orchids! Orchids! and then there were more Orchids!

What a gorgeous day it was! I was on break from classes, the sun was shining bright, the temperature was almost balmy. It was a great day to hop a bus into Case Western Reserve, wander a bit through gardens, and finally pay a visit to the Cleveland Botanical Garden to see Orchid Mania that is in its last week here. If it is possible to overdose on flowers and beauty, I sure did! The problem I face now is how to choose which of  hundreds of photos to share with you. (Don’t worry, I’ll only give you a sampling!)

I hope you enjoy the following slide show.

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Thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed the show. 🙂

Challenges! Challenges! Challenges!

January 1, 2012 and the challenges have begun! So, here is a rundown of my day:

Today was rainy, cold, dark and forbidding. I gazed out the window wondering if the rain would ever stop. Rain saturates the ground here in Cleveland. Native Ohioans cannot remember when it rained this much for this long a period. Since moving here in September, the rain has been constant, the days dreary, the moods sullen. I had hoped to get out and photograph some today, but not in this rain. Around dusk, the rain turned to snow. No comment.

I could not get out to photograph today. Bummer. Good photographers though, photograph in all kinds of weather and see beauty in just about any circumstance. What could I do to create a beautiful image in this situation. Camera in hand, I stood at the window and shot off a few frames. Puddles of water, wind-blown trees, darkened sky. There is a beauty to it all and I wanted to capture it.

I am not savvy re technology. I am also a purist when it comes to photography. I will tamper with the photograph to enhance the picture somewhat, but none of that off-the-wall photoshop stuff. I am a purist.

But, if the truth be known, I am a purist because the many photo programs available for editing photographs intimidate me. I don’t have photoshop, and the real reason I don’t is because it scares me. I do have Aperture however, Apple’s photo editing program. Had it for years. Never used it. Afraid to try. Today, with lousy photos, I decided that it is time to step out of my comfort zone and see what I can do with a photograph. I played with Aperture, changing colors and brightness and moving things around and painting things in. I didn’t get quite as wild as this sounds, but for the first time I did play with the program and I had fun!

The part that really gets scary for me is the second part of pushing that boundary. Gulp. I decided that to show my sincere desire to stretch and grow and all that good stuff, I would publish my experiment. I have waited all day, and fiddled with the photograph a good part of the afternoon. But the time has come. Please be gentle with your criticism. Here is where my experimentation took me today.

Original photograph looking out my window at the courtyard below.
The Apertured photo.

Yes, I mainly played with the color and the exposure, but it is a start. AND, I had fun.

I am excited. Hope your first day of this brand new year was a good one. Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment. (Just remember, be kind; I’m still trembling about publishing the photos.)

First Snow

Looking out from the window beside my desk.

Surprise! First snow has fallen. Cleveland, here we are, ready for whatever you have in store for us! First snows are clean, lacy, light, romantic. Later we grow tired of white whether it be clean or dirty. But now, now it is new, fresh, first snow. It will be gone soon I suppose. But what a delight to open the shades to this late-fall surprise. 🙂  The child in me wants to go out. I will. Later. Finish my studies for the day, and then forge out into the crisp cold snow. Isn’t that like an adult? Enjoy the beauty later. Keep the nose to the grindstone. Glance at beauty but can’t enjoy it now. Wow. When did that happen? When did I become so adult I fail to enjoy a few moments outside in first snow? Well, not today. Today is different. Where are my boots, coat, camera! I’m going out to play!!! 😀

Looking down from our living room window.

New Places to Explore!

Recently Richard and I took a few hours to explore the area. Besides getting acclimated to a new city, we wanted to find a “walking” garden, or trails to hike. The beginnings of our search didn’t look so great. Richard wanted to show me the park where he now runs almost every morning. I excitedly anticipated seeing the place thinking we were actually going to a park where there were trees and flowers, various shrubbery and possibly even picturesque park benches to sit and contemplate the beauty all around. When we arrived at our destination however, I was a bit disappointed . . . to put it mildly. Richard’s park was a high school athletic field! Richard’s morning runs at the “lovely park” he wanted me to see was a soccer field with a running track and other obvious game fields, maybe for baseball and the like. Unfazed at my protestations, Richard encouraged me to walk the track and get some exercise myself while he ran his allotted time. What else was I going to do? So camera in tow, I began to walk around the field. And as I walked I began to remember my years as a track-and-field and cross-country runner Mom to three athletic children. The memories rushed my mind’s eye as if the track meets were just yesterday. I got wrapped up in the memories and began shooting photographs of the objects that were triggering the memories. We were on the field of a school I had never been in, and still don’t know the name of, but the memories were of familiar sights.

As I shot photos of the field, other sights began to come into view as well: a late summer dandelion with a bee buzzing around looking for nectar; a squirrel, actually a slew of squirrels, scampering around the field looking for food (which it found); flowers, some small and delicate, others were not really flowers at all, rather flowering heads of some seed (I think.) In other words, while this was not the beautiful gardens I had expected, there was ample beauty to behold!

After Richard’s exercise run and my walk-around with the camera, we headed out to a nature reservation Richard remembered from years ago when he lived in the area. When we arrived and began walking up the path, I realized with a start that this is where Richard took me on one of our first dates. I had come to Cleveland to meet his mother, and while we were here he took me to a beautiful nature preserve for a hike. I think that is where I knew that I could love this man for a very long time. That was a little over ten years ago. As we approached the first pond, I remember sitting on a bench bundled up in layers of sweaters and wraps as the damp autumn was colder than this southern gal was accustomed to. Despite the shivering and bundling however, I remember the awesomeness of seeing the place for the first times. During that first visit we watched the activity at the pond. We strolled along the walkways through the bogs and read every posting describing what we were seeing. I remember telling Richard that I would like to come again. That was ten years ago, and today as we approach our tenth wedding anniversary, here we are again. The weather today was much warmer, in fact it was downright humid as we watched the storm clouds roll in and listened to the booming thunder portending a drenching rain soon to follow. We only got as far as the pond, but I was able to shoot a few frames. Now that we live here, we will make many more visits to this place, I am sure.

Finally, on our way back home Richard wanted to show me where the synagogues were located. We arrived at the first and Richard pulled into the parking lot, drove around and out. We never got out to see the building, only what we saw from the car as we made a loop of the parking lot. The second synagogue, same thing. By the third lot I spoke up, telling Richard in no uncertain terms that I was not interested in viewing parking lots. I had better things to do. Richard being Richard however, “just this one” and by that time he had already pulled in and we headed toward the back of the lot. Then I saw. This was not planned by Richard. It could not have been. But, see for yourself, and read more about the experience here.

By the end of the day, I was yet again reminded that one does not have to travel afar to find natural beauty. It is everywhere if we open our eyes and minds and hearts to see. As with any move, the transition here is disorienting. There are certainly places and people I miss from before. But a bit of exploring gave me a peek at what is waiting here for us to discover. I look forward to the exploration!