Archive for June, 2010

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Around the homestead

June 27, 2010

I’ve spent some time wandering around the homestead over the last week, taking pictures along the way. Here are a few things I discovered (and subsequently photographed for your viewing pleasure):

  • There’s another robin’s nest under our porch (not the best picture, but it’s the weirdest angle to take), and there are now three little, blue eggs, although this picture only shows one. I bet momma robin was pissed after we took the first nest down, also pictured…notice there are strands of Cricket’s hair in there from when we shaved her the first time this summer.
  • We have a beautiful fig tree. I love the giant ornamental leaves. And the way this tree is shaped…it’s just…beautiful.
  • We’ve become quite the collectors of yard art.

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America’s Next Top (Canine) Models

June 21, 2010

We are dog sitting, Kaiser, my friend Michelle’s boxer. He is a laid-back, very sweet dude. And very unlike our crazy Cricket. I had the opportunity to take a few pictures of him throughout the weekend. While he tolerated it, you can tell he wasn’t really that into it. Funny, every time I grabbed the camera, someone got a little jealous….

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Oakland Cemetery

June 20, 2010

I spent some time around Oakland Cemetery where many famous Atlanta folks are buried. There’s something really calming to me about cemeteries. When I was younger, I remember visiting my grandfather McCrerey’s cemetery in PA. Walking over a number of grave sites to get to my grandfather’s felt extremely creepy, like I was walking on top of people. Now I feel a lot of peace and solitude in cemeteries and really enjoyed spending a few hours in this one on Sunday until my camera pooped out on me (still not sure what that’s all about, but I’m keeping an eye on things). Here are a few of the photos I took. Enjoy!

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Best. Graffiti. Ever.

June 20, 2010

My friend, Michelle, pointed me in the direction of this fabulous graffiti in Atlanta. We made a special trip out to it after dinner on Friday night, and this picture, well, it speaks for itself:

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The Artist’s Way

June 14, 2010

So I dusted off a book – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – that I’ve had for a number of years, but read a little bit of a long time ago and then stored it somewhere. And then I moved, and moved, and moved, and lost track of it, also losing track of the reason I wanted to get the book in the first place ~ I want to be more creative. I’ve spent many years using my logic brain. Not just in my career, where I’ve chosen safe and financially stable paths but also in my everyday life (“I should probably spend the day cleaning rather than enjoying the day or doing something to exercise my creative spirit.”) Over the years I’ve looked high and low for ways to express my creative side. There were pottery classes and drawing classes and guitar classes, etc. you get the point, and after every one I’d just go back to work and the real world and not spend much time doing any of those things.

So now I’m making a commitment to myself to let my creative self out and (hopefully!) thrive. It’s why I’m taking up photography, and why I hope to pursue other interests that once I start spending some time being creative, I think will come alive.

The first step to doing this, per The Artist’s Way, is to recover a sense of safety, giving yourself the freedom and permission to listen to your inner artist, nurture it and not judge yourself, or beat yourself up, or listen to unfair critics that may be jealous of what you’re trying to accomplish, what you’re willing to put out there. It takes baby step – painting bad pictures, writing bad poetry or taking crappy photographs. You can’t judge those first attempts, because that only discourages your artistic self from “continued exploration,” for improving and making oneself better. So you must make mistakes, you must stumble and get back up. You must ask the stupid questions about the camera you just purchased. And you should make slow and steady progress while not expecting perfection.

And on the perfection note, I also recently ran across a newsletter article by Wendy Watkins, a personal and business coach and creator of PassionFruit and The Joy Factor, as well as a fellow Decaturite. The article, 5 Ways to Get Started without Being Perfect, specifically addressed this issue of not starting something until we have it down perfectly. As a perfectionist in almost everything I do, this rang so true for me. Bottom line, in Wendy’s words “Don’t let perfection hold you back from taking the actions needed to achieve your perfect idea of what you want to be, do or have!” And I’m not. So here goes with some more pictures I took this weekend, at home and around Oakhurst. I know these aren’t perfect, and I’m 110% ok with that. My personal favorites are “Camo Cat” (we’re still not sure if Cricket ever saw the cat), “Dog Waste,” mostly because of the very fine illustration (where exactly is the poop coming from?) and “Mirror,” where Cricket’s like, wtf?

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And speaking of Cricket…

June 12, 2010

Here are a few of my very first photos with the new camera and of my less than patient, yet beautiful, model:

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Oh my goodness, new camera

June 12, 2010

Today, we picked up our new camera at Showcase! I can’t tell you how good it felt to leave the store with camera in hand as well as some hopes and dreams of harnessing some creativity and a little passion. I’m very excited about learning the mechanics of photography as well as the fundamentals of good pictures. And oh my, the inspiration that’s going to come along with that – watch out!

So, being new to digital SLRs and photography as an art form in general, this puppy is a bit intimidating. The whole process of researching and asking questions was too. I felt pretty stupid many times. But hey, you have to start somewhere and if you’re too scared to ask the stupid question you’re never going to get anywhere. More on that in an upcoming post….So with my ego checked at the door, I asked even more stupid questions, pulled out my credit card, and gave my new camera a big ol’ hug.

So just for giggles, take a look at the only camera I had prior to today (with the exception of my iPhone which is a great little alternative when you need to take a picture but aren’t lugging around an actual camera, because who does that all the time really, unless you’re paid to do so? Also props to Hipstamatic for the iPhone here because I’ve had loads of fun with the lenses, flashes, etc. If you don’t have this yet, definitely check it out). Ok, I digress. So this is the camera I took on some pretty big adventures in my life – my trip to Greece in 2008, and our honeymoon in May – to name a few:

And here’s the new addition to the family. I feel like I should name it, since it’s almost as big as Cricket:

And now side by side: