Posts Tagged ‘Camera’

I do believe the best photography tips are the ones that tell us how to look more carefully around our everyday world.

Magic is the ultimate ingredient that negates the necessity to lug around the hated camera’s hieroglyphic instruction booklet.

And magic can elevate the photographer to something above novice status.

You can be an impressionistic  art photographer too – in one easy lesson!

To find photographic art in mundane places

peer around in your ordinary world.  

The messy kitchen or family room will do  

for there is Art (no, not a man!) lurking in every corner!

It’s all in how you look at him/it

or how you resort to camera magic to fool your one eye.

Yes, try closing one eye (Um –  I do that anyway)  

But the idea is to get a skewed perspective.

Skewed perspective = Magic = professional results!

I tried this yesterday.

Without leaving the chair I simply moved in close to take a picture of  the details in a paper napkin!  Wow! When enlarged (cropped) it resembled imprints in the sand!  With a bit of imagination and one eye I could even see some little swirly creatures too.

The happy result was that yesterday’s post was a mystery photo of fossil imprints in the sand!

And all the time it was  just an enlarged rendition of a Vanity Fair paper napkin (available at most local U.S. grocery stores).


Photographer graduated to artist proficient in the skill of reflective deception.








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Burning Bush (not really burning of course)

Burning Bush (not really burning of course)

I used to go on walks with my “Pal” Camera – a real camera that felt like a real camera.

But Pal has been replaced by this stranger thing called a smart phone.

It is so much smarter than I am that I need to take lessons and go on practice photo shoots.

Practice Session #1 was this morning and the first problem was the glare.

Cemetery Visit for Halloween

Cemetery Visit for Halloween

I could barely see what I was photographing so had to take photos standing in the shade.  I might have to wear a wide brimmed hat all the time now or miss out on great photo ops!

The next problem was in holding the thing still.  I never felt shaky with a camera before but I need a walker to lean on for this one.

Then if I tried to zoom in with that funny thing you do with your fingers on a “touch screen” the shot would get either too big or too fuzzy.

And finally, the “stupid phone” would not respond to my brutal tapping on the shutter camera icon.

There were only three recognizable pictures conjured from a 30 minute walk on a beautiful fall day.

And people out for a Sunday stroll no doubt wondered why that strange woman was standing so long in one place aiming her phone at a burning bush.

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Did I tell you Bill gave me a “smart” phone for my birthday?

The idea is so I can carry around one device that will manage my whole life.  Oh yes, it is firstly a phone so I can call home or home can call me.

Secondly it is supposed to be a camera so I can merrily snap away on camera walking excursions.

And then it does other things with the application of apps (redundant?).  I already have about 8 apps installed and they make me feel very self-important.

I can even text!  Albeit – S  L  O  W  L  Y!  How do people make their thumbs move around so fast anyway?  I could lose weight exercising at that rate.

But one of the nicest things about being “smart” is that I’m now an accidental artist.

Just look at this still life on my coffee table!

Ode to a Fruit Bowl By Dor

Ode to a Fruit Bowl
By Dor

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What is it about the outside world that always makes me look UP?  The camera wants to point that way too.  So, there I was,  in the middle of the most beautiful fallen snow, with roadways and buildings and vegetation just waiting to have their pictures taken, and instead I looked up.

As always,  I think of each skylight as sending a secret messages. What are the messages here?  Well, they are secret of course, but can you guess?

Winter Skylight 1

Winter Skylight2

Winter Skylight 3

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I planned to camera-walk again this morning but got side tracked pulling weeds.  The wet summer has made a mess of every flower bed and border in the garden.  And once started weeding, it’s like blogging – I simply cannot stop.  Now I can hardly move of course, and  every stiff, awkward movement is accompanied by an audible groan.

Bill felt sorry for me and said, “Let’s go out for dinner.”  Hard as it was to get up and ready, I did not refuse!  Afterward, inspired by the few weed-free improvements in the garden, we decided to buy chrysanthemums to brighten things up for autumn.  Needless to say, I did not forget my camera which I have now named “Pal.”

But instead of photos of mums, I got sidetracked again.  On the way out,  Pal was impressed with the weed bed along the road.  Mind you, I was not tempted to pull these.  I’m not sure what kind of weeds they are, but the mustard yellow show is lovely.

Then in the parking lot of the garden center, there was an unusual sight.  It was a van covered over with bumper stickers and toys, and all manner of objects I could not readily identify.   I tried to imagine the owner.  One of the stickers says “Camp Divorce.com,” and another says, “Kiss Me!” so I suppose he (she?) is a footloose and happy individual.  What do you think?

Meanwhile the home improvement center also proclaimed a SALE of twin red kayaks (I think they are kayaks. I know they are not canoes anyway) which were standing bravely against a fence.  Bright as they were, they seemed a bit sad as they faced a disinterested crowd and the loss of another summer.

I never did get pictures of the mums we bought but will try again when they are planted and erupt in a profusion of happy color.  Bill will have to do the planting since I can no longer bend over.  Well, yes I can actually bend over but unbending would be the unsightly, painful problem.

The real hero in this story is Pal, my trusty new companion.  I am amazed at the new kinship we have formed.  Pal is usually quiet, but tends to see things I would miss otherwise, and then gives me a gentle mental nudge as if to say, “Picture THIS!”

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I discovered a new motivation for walking – a camera!  I also discovered a new motivation for blogging – a camera!   O.k., you may already know about the power of the little gadget, but this morning I actually took it on a walk and learned about a whole new world.  As I left the house, I thought, “Maybe a photograph will give me a blog post idea. It’s worth a try.”

So, this is the story about how I learned walking is more fun if my sole purpose is to take photographs to blog!  And this is the story about how a blog post and more than one came from walking and “seeing things” from my camera’s eye view.  

It was a surprisingly beautiful day, with clear blue skies and those big fluffy white clouds that make irresistible photo ops, and there was a cool breeze after last night’s rain.  I parked on Main Street right next to our city cemetery.  I love cemeteries – not because I expect to wind up in one, but because they are always so serene and somewhat haunting.  Did I say haunting?  By the way, I love steeples too.  They are so uplifting.

But, my mother is buried in this city cemetery and my best friend, Meche, along with many soldiers of the American Civil War, including Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  Jackson was a Confederate general who won many a battle against the Yankees.  Before the war, he lived in our downtown in a neat little house on Washington Street and he taught at the Virginia Military Institute.

Approach to Jackson’s Tomb

After paying my respects in this haunting cemetery, it was back to Main Street where I was struck by an overhead street banner announcing a local Pie Festival.  Where else but in a rural community like this would you be urged to enjoy a pie festival?  Our ice cream social was such a grand success I suppose someone thought pie would be a good idea too.  After the serenity of death in our lovely cemetery, this sign screams “life” and the enjoyment of luscious living.

Onward I walked, and I took a few photos of our main thoroughfares.  The tourists were out enjoying the sun, and the Lexington Carriage Company was clip-clopping them around town by horse and buggy.  I stopped in at the carriage company tack room/preparation center and met two new horses who were being introduced to the city.  They had just had their baths and were enjoying lunch.  Their owners invited me to take pictures and said I could learn more about their operation by “liking” their Facebook page at LexCarriage.  Amazing what sporting a camera will do in terms of introducing you to new folks.  It’s much like walking a dog!

As I roamed around town this morning, always looking for likely photo ops, I suddenly realized I was panting and could hardly trudge back to the car.  And checking my watch, I discovered I had walked 40 minutes!  True, it was not fast power walking, but I wandered much further than I would have without my trusty Camera.  The fact is, until the final slog back to the car, I was having a grand time looking around town for likely photographs that might be the inspiration for a blog post.

All the experts advise that walking is the best exercise.  Walking in fresh air and sunshine is even better.  They also advocate finding an exercise you like to do, something you can have fun at.  I must admit, I have never found exercise of any kind to be “fun.”  I much prefer the couch and have to force myself into the right state of mind to actually move.

Now, however, I see myself as a foreign correspondent, looking at the world through my camera’s lens. O.k., so the pics are pretty amateurish.  And the locale is local and not foreign.   But the act of photographing while walking is my newest inspiration.

“I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age and calling it Pumping Rust.” ~Author Unknown   

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