This week I joined Tiny and a group of her friends on the beach for pizza and wine. I will call them Stacy, Morag and Roxana. Hidden from view were Carolyn and Patricia who ran back to the car for plates and napkins.
I live in Florida so of course we all have a fear of sharks! I used to go occasionally, pool noodle in hand, to the beach with friends and float for hours. Now I prefer water aerobics at the YMCA or floating in a friends pool.
Disclaimer- No Playmobil people were harmed during the making of this post.
I took this photo yesterday while visiting the South Florida Museum. Our group was allowed special behind the scenes access to the museums shell collection that totals over 20,000 pieces. One of the curators, Tiffany, placed the shells of our choice in a lighted box used by the museum to catalog their pieces. We were allowed to adjust the lighting as it suited us to create our own special photos.
In this photo I took 4 separate images each slightly different in focus. I then stacked them in photoshop to give me 1 sharp image. The tutorial I used can be seen by clicking here. I also ran across this tutorial that teaches how to use photo stacking for landscape photos. I’m looking forward to giving it a try as well!
The holiday spirit has been a little hard for me to find this year… yesterday I may have finally found it!
I went to visit my daughter and her family to take their annual Christmas card photos. It was a beautiful day at an uncrowded beach in Florida. It didn’t take us long to figure out that our list of Pinterest ideas wouldn’t be necessary. Greyson, my almost two year old grandson, had his own ideas. We decided to just make it a lifestyle shoot… we followed around the little Mr. and tried to do whatever necessary to just get him to make eye contact with the camera. Both a smile and eye contact were rare this year! I don’t want to ruin the photo surprises to those on my daughters card list who might see this post. But, I am going to include my favorite from the day. Sorry Lis… 🙂
And thanks for getting me into the spirit. I watched the movie ‘Elf’ twice while I edited photos this morning. I have all my silly movie lines stuck in my head now… “I just like to smile, smiling is my favorite!” or “This place reminds me of Santa’s workshop, except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me…” HAHA
My husband surprised me for my last birthday by taking me for a short mini vacation to Clearwater Beach. At first I hesitated to include a photo taken so close to home under a vacation theme. But then I thought about how many people spend time planning a vacation to a place right in my own back yard.
I was in my mid 30’s before I saw the ocean for the first time…. maybe that is why I love being near the water so much. I don’t think I will ever tire of it’s beauty.
Anyone who knows me well knows that Lido Beach is my favorite beach in Sarasota. I know Siesta Key wins all the awards but I find Lido to be much prettier and less crowded. It’s also easier to find a place to take photos without people walking through your shot.
Last week I went with a friend at sunset for a little picnic. Ok, it was carmel corn and red wine. Close enough. A young fisherman showed up for a little sunset fishing and provided us with a perfect silhouette against a very pretty sky.
I found this wonderful story online at, http://www.beyondreligion.com, while googling the Nautilus Shell. I think it is so beautiful. It made my shell photo even more special to me and also fit my theme, “Outside The Box,” perfectly.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, a century and a half ago, saw the metaphorical significance of the chambered home of the Nautilus. These fascinating seashells are spiral in shape and consist of a series of ever-larger chambers in each of which the sea creature lives for a season until it outgrows that particular space. The Nautilus then enlarges its shell by the addition of a new chamber suitable for the next stage of its life.
Holmes wrote, in a poem entitled The Chambered Nautilus, “Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul….Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!”
What a perfect image for spiritual evolution! In order to begin a new stage in our growth, we have to think “outside the box.” Yet, every time we abandon an old worldview for a new and wider vision, we merely find ourselves in a larger box. And while each box serves its particular function for a time, we are always in danger of claiming that the chamber we currently occupy is the ultimate one.
The spiral shape of the Nautilus shell suggests that it can keep growing forever. There is no design for a “final” chamber. The creature must keep building new chambers as long as it lives. It cannot go back to the previous ones; they no longer fit. It cannot stay in its present space or it will die. It has no choice but to move on. And on.
Perhaps one day we might be able to create for ourselves a box so large that it would encompass all of God. But that space would then include everything, even those realities which we now purposely exclude by limiting the size of today’s chamber.
Like many of my fellow bloggers I have been looking at my world with new eyes. My camera is ALWAYS nearby… after a few times of NOT having it with me, and being sure that I missed a gazillion photo opportunities because of it!
Earlier this week I was in my house by the ocean and heard a low flying helicopter. When I looked out the window I realized it was actually landing in a nearby beach parking lot. Of course the first thing I thought about what grabbing my camera and going to see what was happening! When I got to the beach I realized that this helicopter wasn’t the Coast Guard or beach analyzers or researchers checking on the red tide or erosion. But instead a medical emergency transport helicopter.
In Indiana we called them Samaritan helicopters. We would see them regularly following the path of a near by interstate highway. I always told my girls to take a minute and say a little prayer if they saw one because surly it meant that someone was in trouble and could really use the good thoughts.
I am both impressed and comforted knowing that in times of trouble we have such wonderfully trained professionals so accessible to us. The helicopter hadn’t landed for more that just a couple minutes when an ambulance pulled into the parking lot. The patient in crisis was quickly whisked away to the waiting helicopter and almost before I could get a good focus was “over my head,” and on their way to get the much needed medical treatment.
Then I took a minute to send the unknown person my good wishes and prayers to the family that was certain to be feeling very anxious for their loved one…
I have been spending a lot of time roaming around Lido beach at sunset lately. Soon we will be moving to our new home in Lakewood Ranch. Although I am really excited that our home is almost complete I know I will miss being just a short walk from the beach. On one of my recent sunset walks I went down a byway I have walked past many many times. It’s hard to believe that this photo was taken just a couple blocks away from the very busy St. Armands Circle.
I hope all of my fellow bloggers are as excited as I am that August 1st is finally just around the corner! I already love how this project has me looking at everyday things trying to think of how they might fit one of the different themes. I even carry a list of the themes in my purse. I use it to keep notes about where I saw something I might want to go back to after August 1st to photograph!
I have been out snapping photos a lot recently. Some with other photographer friends and some alone. I have especially been taking a lot of sunset photos at the beach. I’m trying to really appreciate living so near the water because soon we will be living back in Lakewood Ranch.
Recently while walking the beach at sunset I had a pretty special photography experience. I went to a favorite lifeguard stand hoping to get a good shot but was disappointed to find a large group of sunset watchers had already laid claim to it. Instead I was forced to move further up the beach to try and get another shot. I kept popping in and out of the sea grasses in an effort to block out the people walking the beach. As I walked further I noticed a young man and his girlfriend taking photos of each other along the sea grass line. When I got close enough I offered to take a photo of the two of them together with their camera. The girl was so sweet and very appreciative. I told them that if they were interested I would stop back by after I got the rest of my shots and take a couple practice shots of them with my camera. She said, “oh yes please!” I smiled and kept walking and told them I’d be back! I went on for a few minutes and did a few more practice HDR shots. When I turned around and headed back I noticed them snuggling and kissing. I didn’t think much, I just thought they were young and enjoying the beautiful sunset as a young couple would. When I got closer I shouted out, “I’m back!” They stepped apart and I asked if they still wanted a photo!? The girl was smiling ear to ear and said, “He just asked me to marry him!” Then held up her hand to show me her new diamond ring! I was so excited for them! I snapped off some photos with my camera to help them remember the moment! I had goosebumps and was actually struggling to hold the camera still! I jotted down their email address so I could send them copies of the photos after I returned home. I didn’t stay there for long because I felt like I was interrupting something so special. As I walked away I turned back around and snapped a couple more shots of them embraced in each others arms with the sun setting behind them. I was really excited and happy that I was able to do a little something to help them remember such a special time.
I sent them the photos I took and after seeing them they have asked me to take their official engagement photos! I’m looking forward to more unexpected adventures after I begin my 52-Week Challenge next week. I’m looking forward to both sharing and hearing about other photo surprises in the coming months!