Lens-Artists Challenge: Negative Space

Inspired by Lens-Artists Challenge #114: Negative Space

This week we will explore negative space in photography. Negative space is the area around the main subject of your photograph. This space is empty or unoccupied. 

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Negative space shows up in many of my photographs.

I like to use it to accent flowers as they wait for the afternoon sun to make an entrance in the dining room.

And then…many shots later…the fun with editing begins. Sometimes by altering the surrounding space around the image.

I will attempt to use one of the (sliding) block editor features to compare two different versions.


Well, that’s the magic “before and after” block for what it’s worth! (never mind how long it took to get that to work, but there it is)

Negative space also shows up when I am taking pictures looking down:

…when I’m looking up:

And when I’m looking out the window of an airplane (hard to remember those anymore)…looking forward to Christmas with my family.

December 2019
Logan Airport, Boston MA

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: A Labor of Love

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #113: A Labor of Love

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When you are only 13 years old and decide to sew a patchwork quilt for your parents, it’s a labor of love. That’s what my daughter did 25 years ago amidst her very busy life as a middle school student.

She sewed our Christmas gift that year (and I think it took all year!)…by machine and by hand and presented her father and me with a quilted king sized bedspread, which has lasted to this day.

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Christmas Day 1995

Lens-Artists Challenge: Pick a Word

Lens-Artists Challenge #112: Pick a Word.

Pick a word and illustrate it with a photo! Choose one (1) word or more – choose all of them if you like! The words available are the following:

Comfortable, Growing, Tangled, Crowded, Exuberant

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What could be more comfortable than a choice spot on the beach?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Coronado Beach, California

I did a double take during a walk in March when I noticed a vine (or another tree) growing around…a tree! I had never seen anything like it before. As you can see in the lower portion of the photo, the vine actually grows right into the tree. Apparently both still alive. Co-existence in nature…

wraparound tree & vine

Also in March, I discovered a display of tangled vines and such. Perhaps a signal of the bizarre times just beginning…

tangled crowded vines

Last but not least, I was treated to an exuberant crowd of zinnias on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont last year…

crowded exuberance

I missed being able to make the trip again this summer to such a beautiful destination. When I said to my husband last September we can take more photos next summer!, I had no idea what I was taking for granted.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Everyday Objects

Lens-Artists Challenge #111: Everyday Objects

…we’re challenging you to take another look at everyday objects and see them from a new perspective…

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vase

It’s not often one admires a vase without the flowers or single bud on display. But this vase does fine all alone. It originally belonged to my mother-in-law (a gift from my husband to her years before I knew him). I am glad we saved it. It reminds me of her.

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baking tools

This pie pan had been my mother’s, but originally was passed down to her from her grandmother. If I remember correctly. Add in the peeler and corer and you’re halfway (well almost halfway) to making an apple pie.

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watches old & new

Last but not least…going way back in the way-back machine…these are my wristwatches. I’ve been wearing a watch since I was at least 5 years old beginning with this Mickey Mouse watch. I don’t imagine I could really tell time when I first wore it, but the significance of knowing the time took root in my psyche. Which Mickey has frozen forever at 6:36.

The watch I wear now is a simple Timex with one of those twistable bands. Every few years I need a new one, but otherwise it does what it’s supposed to do. I glance down and know the time.

It is truly my most “everyday object.”

Lens-Artists Challenge: Sanctuary

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #108: Sanctuary

This week we invite you to share what Sanctuary means to you, where you find it or how you create your place of calm and healing.

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“Preserve, within a wild sanctuary, an inaccessible valley of reverie.”

Ellen Glasgow

sanctuary path
June 2020

Since the pandemic started, the Squamscott River that runs through Exeter, NH has been my sanctuary of sorts. The town “parkway” runs next to it and has been closed to traffic since March. Walkers have been able to go “one way” on the sidewalk and “one way” back on the street towards downtown. Social distance and all.

It is peaceful and calming…and what more could I ask for during these times?…

Unsure of what’s to come…

window sanctuary
August 2020

A chance to step back from life’s new realities.

sanctuary river
July 2020

Reflect on what remains to give comfort.

sanctuary reach
August 2020

A sanctuary…a safe place.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Winter

Lens-Artists Challenge#107: Winter

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand, and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

Edith Sitwell

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Winter brings back the cold. Reliable get-out-the-thick-sweaters cold. Gotta put on a coat before stepping outside cold. Hats and gloves cold.

Most of the time, however, this season of cold shows off…with spectacular displays of snow. My favorite time is right after a snowfall…while it is still fresh and new.

snow maple

Before the city plows started piling it up at the end of our driveway…

snowplow

That’s how I remember winter days back when we owned a house with a driveway and a walkway and a deck. Where the oh-so-beautiful snow couldn’t remain where nature dropped it. When we had to shovel and snowblow and move it out of the way.

snow deck

Color exploded in the sky our last Christmas at the house where we lived for over 36 years.

sunset69
December 2015

Along with Christmas comes a gathering together of family. Complete with holiday lights and decorations.

Winter also brings about changes at the beach – the sand is groomed into hills to guard against storm surges. At least that’s what the hippy guy from town told me – who I crossed paths with the day I took this picture.

winter beach
Hampton Beach, NH – January 2020

A January walk in the woods isn’t totally devoid of color…if you look closely…

winter berries

And last…but not least…in my growing family winter always meant…
…are you ready for some basketball? 

Both of my children played for their high school teams and enjoyed it immensely. As did my husband and I…watching and enthusiastically cheering in the comfort of a heated gym.

Box Out! πŸ€ Defense! πŸ€ Go Team! πŸ€

Lens-Artists Challenge: Autumn

Lens-Artists Challenge #106: Autumn

…share your images of this season.  What does autumn look like in your part of the world?  What does this season mean to you personally? 

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Autumn marks time until the cold darkness of winter arrives…as each day rewards us by unveiling ever-changing shades of yellows, oranges and reds.

Along with greens stubbornly hanging on from summer.

A feast for the eyes.

twisted tree

The line of trees along my street pop with color, one by one.

fall road

Halloween, my favorite holiday, happens in Autumn. There’s no pressure for gifts or elaborate meals. It’s just all about fun and make-believe. Since moving to a condo, I miss the trick or treaters and those knocks on the kitchen door. Little upturned faces covered with makeup and masks…the scary or beautiful or silly masks that have holes made especially for mouths and noses. I absolutely delighted in their joy as the doorbell rang over and over from 5 to 8 pm.

halloween pumpkin064

Autumn also means it’s time for annual fall festivals…including a very special one that I attended last year. It is cancelled for 2020.

fall festival
Apple Harvest Day
Dover, NH
October 2019

Eventually all the leaves turn brown…

brown leaf

…and at the end of a late September day – if you’re lucky – you witness a blaze of gold in a grocery store parking lot…

fall parking lot 2

…in the Autumn.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Spring

Lens-Artists Challenge #105: Spring

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Except for the errant March (or April!) snow storm that rears its ugly head here in the US northeast, Spring changes my world from black and white to Color. Remember the scene in The Wizard of Oz? Almost like that.

The dull grays and browns and monochromes begin to fade. Colors start appearing in the tiniest of places. Since I’ve dived into macro photography, I am noticing these hidden gems.

early spring
March 28, 2020

 

early spring leaves
May 3, 2020

Once Spring bursts onto the landscape full time, technicolor takes over…including my favorites…

IMG_1666

 

forsythia

IMG_5939 2
And let’s not forget the gardeners among us…who look forward to the long awaited beginning of the growing season.

It’s the time of year to carefully nurture life…from seed to plant. And once the harvest arrives…a welcome addition to the dinner table.

Spring gardener age almost 2
May 2018

Lens Artists Challenge: Summer

Lens Artists Challenge #104: Summer

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“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

Up until 2020, summer was a fairly predictable time of year. I could plan trips and get togethers with friends and family…without a second thought. Including return visits to favorite summer festivals and fairs.

I painfully realize now how much I took all of that for granted…thinking oh we can come back next summer…when the 2019 schedule got crowded. This summer…it’s all cancelled.

I actually look forward to the seasonal chore of storing away sweaters, hats and mittens. And then dragging out the “summer clothes” from a high closet shelf. Pulling out shorts, T-shirts and sandals. Ready For Summer.

Well, I can still switch the clothes around…but that’s about it.

However…thinking back on life “before”…

During my earlier days of parenthood, summer always included extra family time together with my children. Camera always in hand.

Nothing fancy. Sometimes just day trips…

summer93 copy
York Wild Animal Kingdom, Maine 1993

For over 20 years we established a family tradition. A week away…to connect and just enjoy each other. Most vacations were only a 90 minute drive to a special place on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. The last 2 were cross country on the California coast.

summer2000 copy
San Diego, California 2000

Fast forward about 17 years…and summer included the next generation…

beach summer
Hampton Beach, NH 2017

During the 36+ years we lived in a house with a yard, we delighted in beds of flowers that exploded into life every summer.

One of our favorites: black eyed susans…

black eyed susans
We have continued one summertime activity through the years, despite moving to a condo and emptying the nest. Picking fresh blueberries! They are amazing when eaten within hours (or days) of being picked.

One of our neighbors, where we used to live, let us pick from his carefully tended bushes. Now we visit a local farm that has a “pick your own” field of blueberry bushes. Fortunately you can still do this during a pandemic by following the posted rules: Wear a Mask and Social Distance.

No Problem.

Here is this week’s harvest…

blueberries
Fresh New Hampshire Blueberries

They taste just like summer.

Lens Artists Challenge: Surprise

Lens Artists Challenge #103: Surprise

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I am often surprised when I transfer the photos from my camera card to my laptop. The images I remember from clicking away do not always coincide with the actual results. Sometimes this is disappointing, but often I am pleasantly surprised…sort of like that excitement on Christmas morning as a child. Or opening the mystery treasure box with a special key in the gift shop at a local restaurant after dinner.

When I took the following photo, I focused on the lamp’s reflection in the window, but the resulting image morphed into the trees instead.

I actually like this one better than what I originally had in mind.

lamp in the trees
Then there was the rain pounding on our living room windows early one evening last week.

Raindrops! Photo!

I thought I was standing far enough to the side to avoid my own reflection. In the camera’s viewfinder it looked like I was. However…

Surprise!

I had to look twice, but…there it was. Do you see it?

screen drops silhouette
And last but not least…

During a quick dash down the frozen food aisle of a local grocery store, I glanced up…and ahead of me…on display at the end of an extensive beer display…

Surprise!

beer bear
Bear Selling Beer

Since this discovery, I have seen the beer bear (now wearing a mask) also promoting chips, crackers and boxes of cookies.

Yogi would have been jealous.