All posts tagged: black and white

Looking Back

Looking at your past is not a bad thing. Not to brood over it, but to cherish fond memories; see what you’ve done right (and wrong); and to learn from your past mistakes. When you take it all in and reflect, you figure out what’s worth repeating, what you should do differently next time, and—more importantly—what you should never do again.

Sneakers: Family Portrait

It’s been REALLY hot this week. I’ve been spending my time inside, trying to stay cool—and thinking of ways to be creative. I went through my archives, looking for ways to use old images in new ways. I stumbled on an old family photograph, and I couldn’t help but notice that the whole clan was wearing sneakers.

Yin and Yang

The poetry of earth is never dead. On the Grasshopper and Cricket by John Keats After the vibrant colors in last night’s image, I woke up feeling rested and ready to tackle a black & white project. —The dark flower image was taken this morning. It’s a bloom from the geranium buds that I shared just days ago on Coming Soon. I tried very hard to keep it original, but the temptation to go dark was too strong. I caved. Honestly, I’m not a huge geranium fan (shame on me!). They’re nice, but the color photograph was boring. Once it gets bigger I’ll try again. The wind was blowing, so it was tough to get a clear close-up. Just one has bloomed, so I left one of the buds in the frame—at right—to show off it’s little hairs. You can really see the grains of pollen too. No wonder my allergies have gone haywire! Anyway, this was another shot at macro photography. The actual flower is not much larger than a quarter. —The light flower …

Gypsy Eyes

If you see with innocent eyes, everything is divine. —Federico Fellini— A photograph of our cat, Gypsy, for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Black. If it wasn’t for her eyes, we might not be able to see her in the black of the night.

On Solid Ground

Be sure and put your feet in the right place… and then stand firm. Abraham Lincoln That’s a great quote for me today. I’m beginning to realize that sometimes “self-learning” doesn’t really teach me anything. Well, it does but it doesn’t.

Yesterday’s News

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be. —Author Unknown I’ve been thinking a lot. That’s what happens when I have time on my hands (did I just say that in an earlier post?). What I’ve noticed lately is that—in certain areas—I’m a bit of a control freak. Nothing huge, mind you, just little nagging issues that bother me.

The Man Cave

Boys & Their Toys It started with skates, Then a skateboard or two. The toys just got bigger, As the little ones grew. A bike; then a car, With a rack on the top, To haul all these toys… Oh, when does it stop?! Toys for water and sand, Three wheelers and such, Soon the car had to go, Since it didn’t fit much. A board for the snow, One for catching a wave, The garage has been shrinking, Now we need a Man Cave!

In the Distance

I think this photo was made for color, but I thought the lake and mountains in the distance were perfect for Cee’s Black & White challenge today. Also… I found an interesting quote that I’m going to keep in mind when I go back to school… The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it. Ansel Adams

The Blues

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Anything Related to Music I thought it would be fun to take part in another photo challenge, and ‘anything related to music’ sounded like a great theme for an old Memphis road trip photo. I’ll get back to writing soon. I needed a little breather! Peace & Love…—Janet

Which Way?

Today’s Accomplishment: Post an Image for a Photo Challenge ( I do find that very challenging) Which Way Photo Challenge There are so many awesome photographers that I follow, and each time they post their beautiful black and white photographs (and color too) I get inspired… so for that I want to say “thank you!” Your images brighten my day. Anyway, I thought this photograph from my days in Colorado was perfect for this particular challenge. The sign is obviously confusing once the snow has finished thawing (Snuck the Word of the Day challenge in there too). That’s about all for now. I’m going to work on the weekend writing prompt: Foundations, and that’s a great word so I’m going to take my time on that one. Happy Saturday!!

Playing the Game

Well, I never made it outside yesterday (Boooo). Honestly… it is freaking COLD here! Not as cold as so many places, but in California these recent “extremes” are quite shocking to some of us natives. Anyway, even though I made a silent vow to stay away from my archived photographs, this morning I remembered some images I took at the park some time ago, and this one seemed perfect for today’s thoughts. Par for the course, I played around in Photoshop to make it appear a little “dreamy.” I couldn’t help but wonder if this young boy was dreaming a little himself at that moment; feeling hopeful about his future in baseball. I don’t know if I mentioned it before… but this past summer I played coed slow-pitch softball. I’ve now joined a winter league, and this weekend is our first practice game. A friend of mine—who has never played before—has also signed up, and this past Sunday the two of us went to the batting cages. After showing her how to hold the bat, …

The Enigma

This photograph has been in my folder for a while now, and I didn’t know if I would ever use it until I saw the One Word Challenge: Enigma. It’s definitely an odd little piece. I could tell you what it is… but then the mystery would be gone. On another note, the long anticipated day is here… a fresh start to a brand new year. No matter what everyone says, and no matter how hard those resolutions are to keep, I’m still making my mental list—and even writing some of them down. One of the things I’ve been avoiding—probably due to fear—is buckling down and learning more about photography. That is probably at the top of my list. It’s fun to use Photoshop, but sometimes I wish I could just go out, shoot a marvelous image, download it to the PC and post it. That’s something I’m really shooting for this year. Anyway, I won’t go on and on about my list… it’s a new day, the wind is really howling here, and I …

Timeless

Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Infinity After going through the photographs of my recent zoo trip, I’m a little disappointed with my “shooting” skills. Lights seem to be the hardest thing for me to capture on camera; even harder than moving birds. True to form, however, I wasn’t going to let a few bad images spoil the bunch. I’ve wanted to do something to transform some of the not so bad shots into something better—and tonight I discovered the “radial blur” tool. What a fun discovery THAT was! I don’t know… but I think it looks like light trails came in to visit us, straight from the 60’s. It also makes my tummy hurt a little when I stare at it; like I’m moving through infinity. Anyway, there is still hope. Tomorrow night I’m going out to see more lights, I’ll have my camera in hand, and I’m going to give it one more shot. We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A California Christmas

Well, here are my feet in my favorite winter boots, standing in a very small portion of our fairly large yard, which is covered in yellow and brown leaves from the ‘giant’ Ginkgo tree. When I saw today’s word challenge, I just couldn’t resist—and it seemed like the perfect setting to experiment with Black & White. Peace & Love! Inspired by the Word of the Day Challenge: Shambles

Mindful

Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.  Thích Nhất Hạnh After last night’s post, I decided to commit to black and whites for a while. I mentioned that I wasn’t sure why I haven’t done more—since I love them so much—but after working on the image that I’ve featured here, it all came back to me; they aren’t easy to do, and they can be pretty tricky. Actually, I think that’s exactly what was needed right now; something to challenge me a little and push me to learn.

Finding Harmony

I think winter break is starting to take its toll on me, and I’ve only been out of school for a week now! I’m not quite sure what to do with myself some days—I find myself overthinking a lot—and lately I’ve been questioning my decision to major in psychology.   Fortunately, I’ve been visiting my sister the last few days, and being away from my ‘normal’ surroundings has given me much needed stillness and some peace of mind.

Carpe Noctem

I realized this evening that I stay up much later than I used to. I wanted to work on this image tonight because I just love the trees. The next thing I knew it was after midnight again! If you ask me, I think all of the lines from the leafless branches seem to make their own art. I love how nature does that; flaunts its beauty without shame, even in the most vulnerable and unexpected places. I was never quite sure if the trees were even alive when I took the photograph, because as far as my eyes could see, it looked like sticks… upon sticks… upon sticks! Still, it looked beautiful to me. I think it has to do with growing up in the city. When all you really know of nature is what’s in your own backyard—or in the neighborhood park—glimpses of natural landscapes, untouched by man, create a sense of awe and wonder that’s truly unforgettable. I love that. Anyway, the later it got, the more I thought about how I’m becoming a night …

Let’s Dance!

Today is my first day off and I’m still trying to get into the groove of the changes. All of my classes over the summer were online, so my face-to-face socializing was minimal. Now I’m surrounded by young people in their late teens and early 20’s, and every class has group activities. Talk about culture shock! I wasn’t sure if I would get on the blog much during fall semester, but I just finished purchasing all of my textbooks and I’m not in the mood for homework yet. Ha! Tomorrow. Anyway, I was trying out a new paint program today and this image seemed perfect for my state of mind. It looks to me like there’s a man with a rather large nose, sunglasses, and some facial hair, peeking through—right around the center of the image. I thought it was amusing; it reminded me of how it feels to try something new. Sometimes you peek inside first, but you take a little step—and you feel the the newness of the experience—then before you know it, …

Street Portrait

When you look at a person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them. I’ve been watching the show Abstract on Netflix, and just finished the segment on the photographer Platon. All I can say is “WOW.” His work is so incredible. It really reignited my passion for photography. Since I was already in do-over mode, I went back to a street photograph that I posted in 2016. It was the first time, and one of the rare times, that I attempted “candid street photography.” Since the photograph was so unplanned and raw, I wanted to go back to it and focus on the man’s face, add some paint strokes to soften it, and make the portrait seem more up-close & personal. It doesn’t exactly shout Happy Saturday, but “Happy Saturday” nonetheless! Peace & Love— Janet

A Respite

Over the past two days I’ve been going through the first year of posts on my blog, reorganizing information, and fixing things that were out of whack. Although the old stuff doesn’t get looked at much, or maybe even at all, I still feel better. It’s sort of like moving your couch to vacuum behind it. Nobody knows, but YOU. Yet it’s still gratifying. Regardless, I’ve made a pact with myself that changing themes will no longer be allowed beyond this point; too much tweaking can be required. Anyway, I shot this image in photography class and it made me think of “respite.” It seemed perfect for the moment, as I’m taking a little respite myself right now. After forty-eight hours of working on the blog, I’m barely into 2017 and it appears that I may have posted at least once per day for the entire year! At first I was a little upset with myself, thinking about how carried away I had gotten, but I quickly realized that during that time I was living sober …

When Evening Comes

Evenings are the beautifully sweet spot between the harsh light of the day and the dead darkness of night. I thought I was back in action over a month ago, yet time has whizzed by and here I am- still working on homework on a nightly basis. The good news is that the fall semester is over in two more weeks! In all honesty, the digital photography class is- thus far- a bit of a struggle for me. Something happens when I move from shooting randomly at whatever catches my eye, to going out and doing intentional shots for the class assignments! Nevertheless, I have learned a few things and I’ll never give up. The featured image is an evening shot- no flash- that we had to do for one of our modules. I thought the Christmas lights were perfect for the fast approaching holiday. It was the first time ever that I used a tripod and I think me and the old tripod are going to become pretty good friends in the future. 🙂 Anyway, …

Through A Crack

Art is anything you can get away with. – Marshall McLuhan I wasn’t planning to post anything tonight. I was about to turn off my computer when I saw this photograph from my previous adventure at the old zoo. I altered (slightly) the look of the cave exterior, and that really IS my friend inside. She was posing for me. I never really liked how the photo came out, but I have to say that this new effect adds interest! Peace and Love!!

New Reflections

After working on my last image The View, I got an idea for a new series I want to try. And I’m going to try and stick to my guns this time! I’m going to focus on images that have views or reflections within the photograph, similar to when I set out to do that “frames within frames” project some months ago. But I’m going to do varying effects on one image- like my featured image that retains the photograph in the window reflection, but a sketched effect for the building and trees. I’ve been wanting to jazz things up, and this will give me some great practice and a new approach to some old images as well. I love change!

The Facade

Don’t trade in  your authenticity for approval. The photography book that I’ve been browsing through is really inspiring me. I’ve said before that I prefer black and whites, and that was actually the only thing I would hang on the walls of my old place, but I rarely finish and/or post one here. So… I thought I would try one today. It was a struggle to go through with it, because the original photograph had some awesome color! But, I stuck to my guns. My goal here was to create contrast. I think I did pretty good lightening the sky, but the bushes and mountains in the background still leave some clutter that I’m not crazy about. I think I like it though! This photograph was taken in Jerome, Arizona- the old 1800’s mining town I talked about before. I love old places! I liked the idea of a “facade” for this post, because I was thinking about authenticity last night. I’m SUPER excited about being in a classroom full of people come August, but I …

A Moment in Time

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis Last night I viewed my previous image via my cellphone, and I felt a little knot in my stomach. It barely resembled the piece that I had looked at on my computer. I can’t be certain, but I’m thinking that creating images that reflect our mood for the moment might be a bit risky. 😉 Anyway, I wanted to counteract that crazy color scheme this morning… with something simple, calm and serene. A dreamy view of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier. Also… about the going back to school… I don’t want to get ahead of myself (yet again), but I can tell you that when I decided that it was something I wanted to do, I had NO question about it. It was like one of those Aha moments, when you just KNOW that it’s the right place, and the right time. Truth be told, I have …

Sweet Serenade

Life is just one grand sweet song, so start the music. Ronald Reagan Yesterday was an absolutely wonderful day! I took this photograph from the Santa Monica Pier. Sometimes something (or someone) just captures your attention, and this was one of those moments. I saw this musician from the boardwalk and took a long distance shot.

The General Store

An old General Store, that I took in Leadville, Colorado. It looked old & lonely—sort of how I felt when I lived in that tiny old town— so I added a few effects to give it some company. …and another version in color for those snowy days when you need something extra.

My Own Drum

“They can’t hear my drums, but they can see me dance!” -Anonymous So… the drums were never in my head this morning- it actually happened by accident. I’m still experimenting with glass over images (and probably will for a long time), but I wasn’t feeling it this morning. The glass seemed to hide the image too much.

Stand Tall

Say it as it is. No need to hide the truth, to deny the painful journey made nor to dwell in the experience. But move on in you life. Share with others. Being open is the only way, honesty being the best policy. Be frank. Be sincere to yourself. Use your hardship to navigate others through theirs. Grow strong from vulnerability. Stand tall and feel proud. —Author unknown I had a great little walk today and was able to take quite a few interesting photos. I’ll be back later to share more. As a side note… I thought of many fellow bloggers when I found the above quote about honesty. Share your story and your ups & downs. Be honest, be brave… … and STAND TALL.