Leafy Halo

Looking up is worth it!

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Glow.  Definitely a natural fit for quite a bit of my photography, as I enjoy backlit images…

There are a number of images that came to mind for this challenge, of which one stood out, as it also connected with one of my posts from a week ago.  During the same outing that I got some amazing beach scenery to photograph, I also decided to look up and noticed how the sun was creating a bit of a halo effect in the clouds.

So I put this effect to use in capturing this…

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Leafy Halo

Silhouetting the leaves and branches tells a story of a cold day, filled with beauty!

Have a wonderful day!

Three Line Tales – In Transit

Sic transit gloria mundi…

Many thanks to Sonya for Week Ninety of Three Line Tales, part of her awesome blog Only 100 Words!

three line tales week 90: New York subwayphoto by Andre Benz via Unsplash

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Traveler, looking,
waiting for connecting train.
Transit Authority!

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Thank you to Sonya of Only 100 Words for coming up with Three Line Tales.

You’ll find full guidelines on her TLT page, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post.
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • NEW: If you want your post to be included in the round-up, you have until Sunday evening to publish it.
  • Have fun.

Happy three-lining!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Bird

If a seagull is all that I’m given…

Welcome to Week 79 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

It’s good to be (almost) caught up with everything and that I had the time to enjoy your entries for last week’s theme of Sand; they were a pleasure to read!

As I was looking through some of my images to come up with an idea for this week, I came across one that made me chuckle, so I jumped on it!  In this rather simple image, the seagull stands proud with that kind of look that seagulls seem to have perfected over the years.  Therefore, I’m throwing you the theme of Bird!

That doesn’t mean that you have to go find the most exotic bird in the world to get a great image; you could find those everyday birds that are often a nuisance in the park and put them in the spotlight, or you could focus on what many birds do well: fly like a bird! I’m sure that your fertile minds will come up with some rather interesting images!!

So, have fun and shoot some birds (with your camera, of course)!

Here’s that rather put off seagull…

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Seagull of Staffa

For this image, I want to share a couple of tidbits; the reason that my wife and I took a boat trip to Staffa was that she would really like to see puffins; allegedly, they nest on Staffa in significant quantities!  Excited with the opportunity to photograph some puffins, I went out to rent a reasonably priced 100-400mm lens to take along on the trip.  When I went to pick up the lens, the one that I was to get had not yet been returned by the previous renter. After explaining my plans, they agreed to rent me a Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens for the same price (a really good deal, as that lens cost appr. $5000 more).

So, my wife and I get on the boat to Staffa, and I’m the envy of every photographer, as they are greatly impressed by my lens.  After arriving on Staffa, we go exploring in all of the areas, where puffins are rumored to be, only to find not a single puffin on the island! Plenty of seagulls, though!  As I had been carrying the rather heavy lens all the way over here, I decided that I might as well work with what I am given; I actually had to back up to get the entire seagull in the frame, as a 400mm lens has a fairly narrow field of view.  I should say that I was very impressed with the performance of the lens, as the optics were the best that I ever used.

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

I’m looking forward to seeing what you find in your sandbox, belt-sander or hourglass…

Also, an appropriate image for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme of Scale.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 78

The shifting sands across the globe

Welcome to the 78th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!  I thought that the theme of Sand might trip some of you up, but that was clearly not the case, as I can see from your awesome contributions this week!

Your entries ranged from a display of purloined sand 🙂 to many glorious beaches that just make we wish that I get the time to visit them all!  I noticed that nobody took a sander to a piece of wood to make it all shiny!  I loved reading through each of your contributions, which I see as my reward to this weekly challenge!  I hope you enjoy each others’ posts just as much!

Thank you all for playing this week and making my reading that much more fun!

As I’m a devotee to patterns, as they are displayed by Nature…

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Alien Snake Tracks?

This was taken on a February day, walking along the beach somewhere on Cape Cod.  An invasion of Extraterrestrial Reptilians had just left this location after an exploratory mission; luckily, they didn’t come during tourist season, so the planet was marked as uninhabited…

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  • This week’s entries were started off by Land of Images‘ contribution that gives us a Meditation on Sand.  Go check it out!
  • Poetry in Pictures brings us a view of farmland, into which some sand has been plowed to ready it for planting.
  • Bushboy brings us a wonderful array of images in Bushboy’s World, particularly those that are artistic expressions by crabs!
  • Charles brings us a view of landscape and painter in charlesewaugh, captured on the US Virgin Islands; hopefully folks are all safe there!
  • Maria’s post in CitySonnet brings us to the beach, where we can walk barefoot in the sand and write names that the tides carry with them.
  • Gwenny sunburnt her feet for art, as her pink feet show in Field Notes from Over the Hill!
  • This week, theonlyD800inthehameau takes us to Abu Dhabi near the town of Al Ain, where I wonder what animal tracked through the desert…
  • Stella takes us to the dunes in Denmark in Giggles & Tales; I’m particularly impressed by the sand sculpture!
  • Xenia’s first entry in whippetwisdom.com takes us splashing through the water on the beach with Eivor and Pearl!  Her second entry in whippetwisdom.com brings us to the shifting sands with beautiful images and words!
  • This week, pensivity101 takes the prompt image and writes a wonderful poem that focuses on the interplay between sand and the tides!
  • Nicole’s photos of sand in Une Photo, un poéme really capture the essence of sand through her skillful composition!
  • This week, iball round the world shares the enjoyment of the beach at Fort Kochi in the South Indian state of Kerala.
  • Na’ama Yehuda brings us the sheer joy that can be experienced in the desert by a mother and child in beautiful image and verse.
  • In Folly’s Photoworld vol. 2‘s we find out that there was no beach nearby, but with a little sand she created a beautiful scene that is a wonder to behold!
  • Mara’s post in her wonderful blog Mara’s Artistry shows us that Batman and the Hulk are just not getting along these days!
  • We sometimes like to catch some rays on the beach, so Ed brings us an image In my Mind’s Eye that shows rays in an even better light!
  • Miriam shares wonderful memories in her post in the Shower of Blessing, both from travels in Australia and the beach where she got married!
  • Candace shares her sand collection with us in Netdancer’s Musings, which does make me wonder if all those beaches are missing a bit of sand…
  • Ladyleemanilla presents an array of images that show some of the things that we like about sand; the turtle is my favorite!
  • Sarah’s view in By Sarah is that of a most lovely beach in Australia with some magnificent driftwood!  Get me there!!
  • Sunshine’s Snapshots takes us to Ocean City in Maryland for a trip to the beach; the sand has rather intriguing ridges in it!
  • Robert’s photo in Photo Robert’s Blog leaves one wondering whose footprint that is? Will we ever find out?
  • In Bajezen, Tachira takes us to the beach with some rather stunning locations!  Find your favorite among them!
  • This week in Linda’s Cr8tions 365, we get to explore water by the beach and find a perfect starfish in all its glory!
  • Bullyboy explores sand in two posts; in his first in Travel387, we visit several sandy locations.  In the second one in Travel387, we look at the impact of pedestrians!
  • In Urban Liaisons, we go to Algarve in Portugal to visit the beautiful, and windy, beach of Sagres!  It is gorgeous!
  • In Pilgrim’s Photography, we go to the beach in the morning to see the almost wavy nature of sand that is accentuated by the morning light.
  • This week, Susan’s post in Musin’ with Susan presents us with a stunning image at the beach with a beautiful variety of color tones throughout!
  • Debbie’s photo in her wonderful blog Travel with Intent shows us how old traditions persist, as people walk to Mont St’ Michel at low tide.
  • As demonstrated this week in BlackBody there are more things between heaven and earth, but none so wonderful as Nature’s creations!
  • Debbie’s post in ForgivingConnects is truly inspiring, as she shares her sense of what is really important in our lives and how we connect to it.
  • Frank’s post in Poetry, Short Prose and Walking takes us to Tyrtle Beach, where turtles are made of sand and returned on a regular basis.
  • In the Blog of Hammad Rais, we get to see a wonderful photo with many sets of footprints!
  • Lacy finds a great way to spend the day in Adventures of a Busy Mom, as she finds the beach with lovely sky and water, and a good book to read!
  • Sheena explores the sands of time in Leaking Ink, as she looks at those leaving an impression on those sands!

Hope that you enjoy these posts!

A Weekend Retreat

A wonderful, creative weekend!

As many of you are aware, last weekend I was at a guitar workshop for the entire time.  Even though I have only been playing for about 3 1/2 years, I wanted to see what the experience of focusing on guitar playing for an entire weekend would bring.  It was truly enjoyable, as well as educational!

The weekend started on Friday, as the five students gathered at a wonderful location near the coast of Massachusetts in Essex; after a wonderful dinner (the chef did a great job all weekend), we gathered for some informal jamming, playing an assortment of classics ranging from Tom Petty (what a loss) to the Beatles.  This was a great way to start and Janet, our teacher, talked about her plans for the weekend.

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Early Autumn

On Saturday, after a jog and breakfast, we started on songwriting skills with an excellent variety of exercises to get our minds engaged and open to writing lyrics.  With a bit of time spent on song structure and the narrative of songs, we created some rather interesting songs by writing a line at a time and passing the task on to the next person in line; this underscored the benefit of clarity in getting the idea across in each line.

The second part of the morning, included an exercise in co-writing, which was highly enjoyable.  In this exercise we first wrote the lyrics, after which we worked on the melody; melody is best worked on without the guitar by singing the song in an effort to find what sounds good.  Once we had the basic melody, we worked on the chords that would support the melody.  A great exercise, and even though our song is not likely to be a hit, I felt pretty good about my first song, and really excellent about the process and interaction.

In the afternoon, we focused on performance skills, which was in preparation for open mike in the evening.  Set structure, audience interaction, how to start that first song in your set and others were the topics of this session.  The level of this session was likely to be a bit too advanced for where I am in my guitar development, but still had a lot of valuable learning in it.

On Sunday, after another light jog and breakfast, we started on voice maintenance and development; as I’m one of those people who were told that they couldn’t sing as a kid (and told to mouth the words), this was very interesting and probably most useful of all sessions.  This led us to singing harmonies and playing together as an ensemble, in which we played different voicings on our guitar to create a more interesting palette within a song.  After a number of exercises, and lunch, we took what we learned to play and sing a number of songs together.  My favorite among these is Crosby, Stills and Nash’s Helplessly Hoping, in which our harmonies came together pretty nicely!

All in all, this was a great weekend!  If anything, I would have liked to have worked more on guitar playing skills, which is something that I will look at more closely with any future workshops.

Succumb to Decay?

Advancements cause decay…

The WordPress Daily Prompt has the theme of Succumb.  While there are many ways to approach this prompt, the one that came to me first is to document the ongoing decay and how it threatens to the buildings that once were the backbone of a vibrant community.

The village of Turners Falls was established as a planned industrial community based on the ability to harness the power of the Connecticut river by building a dam and power canal to drive industry.  As the power canal still rushes through the town, one can imagine the din of that era, as mills next to the canal were actively producing their goods.  As with many of these towns, industrialization slowly moved away from them, as water power was replaced by fossil fuels, causing the town to succumb to slow decay.

These days, Turners Falls is a charming little town to visit with an interesting historic district.

One of the old mill buildings along Powers Street…

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Powers Street Decay

As you can see in this image, this mill building was already in an advanced state of decrepitude, as the window on the right side shows the sky behind it.  I’m not sure, if the building still stands, but it called from a past era on this autumn day!

Have a wonderful day!

Cloaked in Silence

Snow’s gentle cloak wrapped the landscape

The WordPress Daily Prompt has the theme of Cloaked.  This is a very interesting topic, as it can range from deep space to simply wearing a cloak (whatever happened to good old-fashioned cloaks with many pockets?)

The one thing that came to mind immediately was one of the images from a beach excursion during January of 2015; we had just had a tremendous amount of snow, which created one of those rare opportunities to photograph the beaches in the snow.  The beaches were very much deserted, as it was not great swimming weather; and with the snow, the landscape was silent and beautiful.

A cold day at the beach…

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Silent Beach

With the gorgeous light and frozen scenery, it made for a fantastic day to be out there photographing.  With ample layers and warm boots, there was no limit to what we could see!

Have a wonderful day!