Sunday, January 27, 2013

4/52 - Photo Project 2013

Week 4 found me a bit buried at work, but not too much so. It was a good week - better than I've had for awhile. I remembered to take photos, and more than once to boot. I recently did a sewing project in which i made my own camera bag insert to adapt a thrift store purse into a camera bag for a fraction of the price. I borrowed our vintage-looking (and probably vintage) sewing machine, and ended up doing a small photo shoot with it. This is the winner of the week:

Singer Sewing Machine

Close second - Tommy in B&W:

Tommy January

And an accidentally back-lit flower on our tabletop at Dad's birthday dinner:

Backlit Table Dressing

It's always nice to have a wealth to choose from. I like them all equally, so I may revisit "Who's On First" on this week down the road. Don't be surprised if I change my mind. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

3/52 - Photo Project 2013

Week 3 brought me to the Trail of Tears State Park, near Jackson, Missouri. Two hours away from St. Louis, richly historic and very beautiful, even in the dead of winter. Yesterday was a gloriously beautiful, uncharacteristically warm January day. My parents and I took a drive down, pups in tow. We attempted to get a hike in but the soil was pretty muddy and the trail pretty unclear. With Tom's unreliable leg strength and endurance, we didn't want to risk it.

I took several pictures, but this was the top one. Oddly enough, it was taken from the car on our way out. With all the farming landscape around us on the drive down and back, I was hoping for a beautiful single tree on a flat landscape.

Trail of Tears State Park

And I got it... but just barely.

This was a close second:

Trail of Tears State Park

I'm not sure what it is - but there is no image enhancement at all on this. Not a drop. Those colors are THAT vivid unaided.

Off to take more photos... or not. A lazy day might just be in order. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

2/52 - Photo Project 2013

I blogged about it earlier, but the Zoo really provided the best fodder for my photo project this week. I really must remember that when the weather has unexpected changes, apparently it makes the animals more 'feisty'.

It's tough - this one is probably my winner for the week. I like my composition (framing and color) better:


But this one is a near second - because of the slight adorableness and the calm before the storm in the Kangaroo Fight:

Kangaroo Fight!

I took a smattering on the day of the deadline - but these were just better.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fun at the Zoo in January

Unexpectedly -  St. Louis had a slightly warm turn in weather. Combined with sunshine and a day off, I decided to spend a morning at the Zoo. It was well-worthwhile. I wanted a good walk and a lot of the animals were feisty.

Like these kangaroos - for example. They're not playing peek-a-boo or hugging. They wrestle with their very short arms and then balance on their tails and kick the daylights out of the other. I wouldn't want to mess with one of them.

Kangaroo Fight!   Kangaroo Fight!   Kangaroo Fight!   Kangaroo Fight!

As much as it was scary, it was impressive. Then I moved to my favorite part of the Zoo, Big Cat Country.

There were two new pumas, and they were the only two not napping at the time. Puma was doing a McKayla Maroney impression:

Puma Is Not Impressed

While the other meditated:

Meditating Puma

The snow leopards were snoozing, and then grooming each other:

Cuddling Snow Leopards   Snow Leopards!

The lone Amur tiger, spent most of the time napping, but deigned to look up at me (sort of) after lots of patient waiting:

Tiger Tiger

The lions were particularly interesting - it's a whole family - mom, dad, and 2-3 offspring or at least younger lions.

Two of the youngest were wrestling each other:

Fiesty Lions 

And Mom and Dad had a bit of a fight:

Fiesty Lions

And I think the oldest walked away:

Fiesty Lions

I also visited the "River Wild" where animals like the elephants live... an area I rarely get to because it is on the opposite side of the park than I usually go to - it's also the newer part.


These are just a few of the 80 or so that were keepers - with such feisty animals, it was really hard to pare down similar photos from the kangaroo fights or the lion wrestling matches. Check them out on my photo stream here.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1/52 - Photo Project 2013

Well, I think I'm off to a pretty good start. I had a great drive on New Year's Day where I explored a few places I'd been and a few nearby neighborhoods that I hadn't.  Since then I've found a few more here and there. I'm on my way to adding to my blue set, my window and my doors set, as laid out in the Photo Project 2013.

I ended up with about 45 photos from this fun set, but this was the clear winner to me. I really enjoyed finding this treasure:

Liberty Bell Oil Company

Here's to the next 51!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Self-Goals

Soapy Rainbows Take Two

Resolutions are funny things… You want to make ones that are specific so that you have something to strive for yet you don't want to set up yourself to fail.

There are things that I'd like to accomplish this year, but don't necessarily want to beat up on myself if I fail, such as (in no particular order]:

-I want to find the positive in things better than I do now. Sometimes it is still hard to see the forest for the trees, or whatever the saying is - seeing past the bad and seeing the good, or at least the big picture. If I have to resurrect the Happy List, I will. 

-I want to try to learn how to let go of things that are out of my control. I'm a fixer by nature and sometimes I drive myself nuts trying to fix what can't be or isn't my problem.

-I really want to stretch and learn more about photography. How to use my camera better, how to do new techniques - expand my horizons.

-I want to learn how to be more unplugged. Put my devices down and spend more time away from the computer. I can't give up any of them cold turkey, but I'd like to find a better balance.

-I want to work on my personal life - friendships, relationships, long-distance and local. 

-I want to find a better balance with work and home. 

-I want to read more books - I've gotten out of the habit (shame on me!)

-I want to learn how to manage my money better - hence the making of a budget and sticking to it. I'm not doing too bad of a job now but I can definitely do better. 

-I want to travel more - which may upend all the well-intentioned budgeting.  

-I want to find new-to-me-places in St. Louis.

-I want to try to do the Couch to 5K thing again. And stick to it. [notice that I did not make an ultimatum on this one - it is hard for me to find time that many weeks in a row] 

-I want to eat healthier - or at minimum, get better and realistic about portion sizes.

-I want to accomplish as many of these items as possible but not beat up myself if I don't do them all or don't succeed at them. 

So I'll check back periodically and let you know how I'm doing on these goals. Make sure to check in with me if I haven't - see what you can hold me to.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Photo Project 2013

I almost wasn't going to do another Photo Project, but certain people weren't going to let that happen. I did have the worst time trying to figure out what I wanted to. I really enjoyed just having one photo to strive for during 2012. Sometimes it was really easy to choose the photo and sometimes it was extremely hard.

So that part was easy - another 52 week project it is. But I virtually ignored most of the themes last year, and I enjoyed that freedom. I let inspiration hit me whenever - and I only had to push myself a few times to get photos in under the deadline.

That being said, I didn't feel that I could restrict myself to a specific theme for the month or anything like that - because my work schedule is varying in its intensity. So I compromised.

52 weeks. 52 photos. And a handful of side projects - such as colors. I'm particuarly excited about the windows and doors. I've been driving around in places I don't normally go and I'm finding great fascinating looking doors and windows - and I wanted to capture them. I've also happened across two former firehouses in my travels, and I know there are several around town that were built in the late 1800s, early 1900s and are beautiful. Some are still active, but a few are retired.

I'll decide at a later date whether those 'side' projects are one day, 30 day or cover the full year.

Photo Project 2013

As always, a few rules for myself:

1. Items must be taken from Jan 1, 2013-Dec 31, 2013.

2. Take at least one photo at week. Hopefully take several to choose from and post the best one.

3. Post the best picture at the end of the week, on the designated Sunday.

4. Photos can be taken with the Digital Rebel XSi, G12 or iPhone. 

5. Photos can also be enhanced via Lightroom or any other imaging program. 

Wish me luck - and join me if you wish!