Gratitude Spiral: Day 6

Today, I’m grateful for the beauty of snow.

Plenty of un-beautiful things could be said about it, but today I appreciate the gentle way it falls, the way it lines every branch, twig, and pine needle, the peaceful way it muffles the outdoors, and the way it glows blue in the shadowy places. 🙂

What do you appreciate today?

Photo Project: Wrap-up…

At the end of January 2015, I began this Photo Project. Now, I end with a few last photos and a bit of wisdom garnered from the experiment. Check out my first Photo Project post here. Or you can click on the Kitchen Window tab at the top of this page and scroll…all…the…way…to…the…bottom.

In my previous post, snow had arrived after higher than normal temperatures for Christmas Day. December’s snow almost disappeared by the second week in January.

Pardon the general fuzziness of these first photos…I’d been experimenting with new filters that I got for Christmas and must have left the camera on Manual Focus. Oops!

Then the snow came again…

and began to fade…again.

It snowed a few days later…but that was outside the scope of this project.

What I Learned…

My goal in all of this was to grow in my understanding of photography and to learn more about my camera in particular.  And I did…(while learning a few things about myself along the way). For example, I discovered:

I could choose my subject more carefully next time.

The scene outside my window is peaceful. But that translated into boring when I was hoping for a measure of entertainment! The birds and other wildlife didn’t show up much. And facing northeast at sunrise misses a lot of light and color happening just a few degrees to the right. Oh, well!

There are a lot of settings on my camera!

I’m fairly certain that the settings I ended the project with are not the ones I started out using a year ago. I’d make setting adjustments for other photographic endeavors and then forget to adjust back. Or I’d forget what the previous setting even was! This was definitely not what you’d call a controlled experiment. 🙂 I did learn a bit about the different “white balance” effects this way!

Remotely triggering the shutter is possible and easy.

The last time I “remotely” triggered a shutter, I was using a cable release. The shutter release button on my D3200 isn’t an open hole lined with threads to screw in a cable release. I didn’t know what to do. But I took the easy steps necessary to find a handy little remote device made for my camera and voila! (I should mention that when I first received the remote, I couldn’t get it to work. I complained to the seller and then poked around inside it, digging out a small piece of plastic that had slipped between the battery and the contacts, fixing the problem instantly.)

Change is not as gradual as I thought.

I expected to capture all the subtle changes of the seasons. What I found instead, were long weeks of sameness and then (Bam!) a frenzied week of change! The melting snow at the end of spring suggested a gradual change, but then I went on vacation for a week in May and came back to a fully greened landscape. The autumn colors seemed subtle at first, but then, within a week or two, they were blazing. And within a couple of rainy, windy days, all the leaves came down! The mild temperatures in the fall kept the grass fairly green…until it was all white with snow. In the past, I would’ve chalked up the sudden changes to my not really paying attention. Now, I know…all I have to do is blink!

A year is a long time…and a short time.

I found myself resenting the self-imposed mandate towards the end of the year. As a result, I got lazy. I’d “forget” to stop in the middle of getting breakfast or I’d decide that my sleep was more important and I’d stay in bed past 7:30am. But now, I can’t believe I did it for a whole year already! I won’t be starting another yearlong project anytime soon. I think shorter photographic experiments are in order this year. So, it’s a wrap!

And that about sums it up. Thanks for checking in. 🙂

 

 

 

Photo Project: Now That’s Green!

Another month of taking (almost) daily photos of the scene beyond my kitchen window has passed. To view the beginning of this project, click here or choose the “Kitchen Window” tab above.

The first of May looked exactly like the end of April. But by May 5th…can you see all the little green buds?!

And two days later, the green was multiplying. Compare May 7th and May 10th, below…

And THEN… I went on vacation for a week! You can read all about it in Biking, Birding, and Brews: A Vermont Vacation. Can you guess what I found when I returned home? A whole, heck of a lot of green…

And by the end of the month, it was so thick that the rising sun couldn’t peek through any more, causing a lot more shadows than I was expecting. Sadly, the maple tree on the left also started showing signs of the same worm-attack that practically defoliated my young apple trees while I was on vacation.

I don’t expect much of a change in the scene for a few months. Green is green. 🙂 But I’ll keep taking photos and post more of them sometime during the summer. In the meantime, enjoy the view!

Photo Project: Spring Is In Sight…

Every morning, between 6:30 and 7:30 am, I’ve been photographing the same scene outside the window above my kitchen sink. I’ve dubbed the project Kitchen Window.

With the turning of the calendar page to March, the morning light has increased a bit each day and I actually took some of the following photos before 6 am. I know that was before my chosen time slot, but the light was waking me earlier each day. I also decided to switch my constant aperture from F16 to F22.

Then came Daylight Savings Time…the clocks sprang ahead an hour and so did the sunrise.

Evidently, ten minutes can make quite a difference in the amount of available light around sunrise. Should I shorten my chosen window of time? Maybe. Will I? We’ll see…

In the meantime, the snow is melting. The trees are thinking about budding and I look forward to capturing the transition into spring, one day at a time.

Photo Project: Step One

Well, I’ve continued to consider the photo project I wrote about in my previous post: Museum-worthy Inspiration.

First, I needed to decide what scene, what piece of open space, what part of my world I would DSC_0638subject to daily photographic scrutiny. And I found it.

I was standing at my kitchen sink, as I do several times a day, every day, doing dishes. I love the view from that kitchen window. It’s peaceful: trees, birds, squirrels, fallen limbs, floor, and sky.

There was just one problem with my choice. You know how the mind sees what it wants and ignores what it doesn’t? Well, the back porch railing cut right across the bottom of the scene. Normally, I ignore it. But it looked downright disruptive in the few test photos I took. So, I moved upstairs to the bathroom window directly above. Problem solved.

The photo at right is my chosen scene. Taken at three o’clock in the afternoon on the day of an approaching blizzard, it looks a bit flat. But hopefully it’ll be enhanced by the rising sun in subsequent shots. I think I’ll call my project “Kitchen Window.” (Sounds better than bathroom window!) After all, the kitchen was the real scene of my inspiration. And I can call it anything I want, really… So, “Kitchen Window” it is.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions?