Thursday, December 31, 2009

When I started this project 365 days ago, I called it Photo a Day (in theory), because I wasn't quite usre I could pull it off. I'd tried once before and made it part way into April, so I wanted to give myself some wiggle room. On this last day of the year, I am delighted to be able to say that I did it! It has been a wonderful undertaking. It caused me to keep my eyes open, to see more, to be aware of my surroundings--even the seemingly drab ordinary ones--and of the visual possibilities all around me. Enriching the experience was the fact that I wasn't doing this in isolation, but as part of a group of over 50 other photographers, the 365ers. Their comments were insightful and helpful. Visiting their blogs was like browsing though a photography museum that changed its exhibits every day. It was a delight to the eye and a stimulus to the mind. Thank you all!

Now what? Well, I'm entering what I'm calling Phase Two. This year, I'll also be taking a photo a day (in theory); but this time, with my iPhone. I'll be following the "rules" of iPhoneography--the photos have to be taken and processed within the phone. I've downloaded a number of photo-editing apps, and I've been playing around with them for the past few weeks. I expect that these photos will be less formal and studied, more personal and spontaneous. I'm eager to begin!

I'm also participating in the 2010 Virtual PhotoWalk:

I wish all of you a joyous, blessed and creative New Year!

The last day of the year, and a gentle snow is falling, delicate flakes collecting on this dried weed. Cutout and Pencil Sketch work nicely together to give it the look of pen and watercolor painting.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tonight, I made a salmon risotto for dinner. This is the arborio rice just as it was being gently sauteed and coated with the olive oil. Arborio is a beautiful rice with a gently oval shape, a creamy color that is punctuated with an inner kernal of white. Combining Accented Deges with Cutout delineates the grains and the texture of the wooden spoon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The stained glass windows at the Kensington Methodist Church were lit tonight by both Christmas and Taize candles. I decided this might be an appropriate time to play around with the Stained Glass filter. I used the Difference blend mode, then selected all the white dividing lines generated by the filter and filled them with black to create windows with essentially the same design, but a more abstract character.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My daughter had her wisdom teeth taken out today. The dentist--who is an excellent communicator as well as a skilled surgeon--uses this skull to help explain the nature of the problem and the solution. While we were waiting for him this morning, I snagged this photo of the skull. Old Photo and Pencil Sketch make it look like an illustration from an old anatomy text.

The procedure went very well; poor Sierra is beginning to feel some pain, but the dentist anticipates that she will recover quickly.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It was a day of contrasts: we had fog, then yellow sun, the drizzle then brilliant sunlight again. The water at the reservoir was part ice, part running current, and part water still enough to hold reflections. Accented Edges with Watercolor plays up the varied textures and the contrast in lights and darks.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I don't know his story, but every weekend, this man sits at one of the little front tables at our gym. He hunches over a sketchpad, drawing cartoons. Since he's a sketcher, I used Pencil Sketch and Colored Pencil to render him into a sketch himself.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Quite honestly, pointsettias give me the creeps. Maybe it's because the things in the middle remind me of the poison dart thingies were shot out from plants and nearly offed Mr. Spock in the classic Star Trek episode, "The Apple." Be that as it may, they are still emblematic of Christmas, and churches are festooned with them. These were on the altar at our church this morning. The Watercolor filter given them some needed depth and definition.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The granddudes were over tonight to celebrate Christmas Eve. At four, Aidan is still at a place where everything is a surprise and a delight. Here he is, wearing (as he puts it) his "handsome pants and shirt, reacting happily to one of his gifts. Flourescent Crayon and a Radial Blur recreates the excitement of a young child's Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The morning light casts shadows in the snow. Since this is the end of the year and the end of the challenge, I thought I'd just play around with some of the filters I've never used. Plaster, Plastic Wrap and Glass create sort of a 3D map effect--I think I see Ireland and Iceland, maybe after some serious plate tectonics have brought them closer together--and in a different geographic orientation.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday evenings means Taize services at the little Methodist church around the block from us. There were only four people there tonight, including the pastor; but it is a deeply spiritual experience. This is the church just after the service concluded. The larger candle on the table in front of the altar is flanked by the small tealights each of us brought up during the service; they represent our prayers. Old Photo with Accented Edges puts the focus on the sanctuary and the candles.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today is the winter solstice. From now on, the dark will be retreating. What better time to feature these sunny flowers--zinnias growing in an AeroGarden to brighten up our living room? Combining Rough Pastels and Accented Edges softens them a bit, adding a painterly touch.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We had the first significant snowstorm last night. The simple design presented by these branches sticking out of the snow caught my eye. The photo is so stark that it doesn't give filters a lot to work with; but Charcoal did render it down into a few strokes, like Japanese brushwork.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When we went to get our Christmas tree today, we found Santa's laundry hanging out to dry. Selective colors was the obvious choice for this snap.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paper Goods Pond is beginning to freeze over. This flock of Canada geese (which, like many others has forgotten both where Canada is AND that it should fly south for the winter) settled in the last stretch of open water. I used Pencil Sketch and Graphic Pen to explore the textures and shapes of the water, the geese and the trees beyond.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It is WAY too cold out there to be roaming around looking for something to photograph, so I was stuck looking for subjects within the confines of our tiny house. The spice rack caught my eye. i like the way that a combination of Poster Edges and Cutout play up the different textures and colors of the herbs and spices.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunset created a mauve glow in the northern sky as I was leaving work today with the naked trees traced delicately against it. Pencil Sketch simplified the silhouettes; then I applied a gradient based on the original colors behind it to create what looks like a woodprint.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The low winter afternoon sun really lit up these grasses. Personally, I like the original, but Accented Edges does boost the glow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

It was a traumatic evening--locked my keys in the car at work, had to wait for my husband to drive out to open the car; heavy traffic on the way home; then, as I was making dinner, a huge spider with CLAWS came crawling over the counter, and John was out getting wood for the woodstove, so I had to hit it with my bare hand while screaming madly...this is my worst mightmare. And THEN I realized I didn't have a photo for the blog. My daughter, Sierra, was game enough to pose. I let her choose the shot and the effect--a very subtle B&W. I am certainly biased, but I think she's beautiful.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Today was the third Sunday of Advent. In the old days, it was called Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin meaning, "to rejoice." The priest would wear rose colored vestments, one of only two Sundays that this happened. Gaudete Sunday was a way of reminding us--before Christmas displays and ads were up just after Halloween--that the penetential waitig season of Advent was coming to a close, and Christmas was nearing. We light three candles on the Advent wreath, the thrid one being the pink one to symbolize Joy. This is the Advent wreath at our church. Cutout reduced it to its essential elements--the candles, the colors, the flames and the wreath.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa Claus was at Stew Leonard's today. I loved the sparkle in his eye and the way he really interacted with the kids who happened on him in the midst of this noisy rambling grocery store. He really zeroed in on them. I used Circular Vignette to make a portrait of good St. Nick.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It is way too cold out for photography, so I resorted to playing with fire--candles specifically. I attached my P&S to a chair with a Gorillapod aimed at a candle. Reaching around with one hand, I was able to blow on the flame and snap pictures of it as it flickered and nearly went out. The bottom image shows the three best shots as they came out of the camera. I used just the basic tools--cropping and levels--to produce a sequence showing a flame being extinguished.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I know I've featured this scene before, but it just looked different in the crisp light this afternoon--bright and clean and almost utopian. Pencil Sketch gave it a more wintry feel, but retained the lines. making it look rather like an architectural conception of the way the city could be.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First snow of the season, but it was not a nice one: the fluffy stuff fell in the wee hours, but by the time morning arrived, it had changed to sleet and a cold nasty rain. By night, we did have snow fog and even lightning on the snow, which was spectacular. Throughout the day, however, the weather was better represented by these raindrops clinging to the eaves rather than by snow scenes. I used Mezzotint.Gaussian Blur, and Fog to create the misty background that was in the backyard this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Blessing of the Creche at our church will take place on December 12. Baby Jesus has been taken out of storage, but is still awaiting placement in the manger, tucked in a basket by a window. Advent is the season of expectant waiting, and Baby Jesus seems to be doing just that, patiently lying in the sunlight while he gazes serenely out the window. Diffuse Glow and Lens Flare given the statue a bit of warmth and inner light to help one see beyond the plaster to the image of the divine infant.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The parking lot next to ours houses Dial-a-Ride mini-buses. They have these funky wheels that have lime colored lug nut thingies (obviously, the technical term!) on them. The color is just so jarringly bright and out of place in a grungy parking lot on grungy tires. Selective color emphasizes the disparity.