52 Weeks Of Photo Challenges

A theme based photo blog


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A2. Christmastime

Christmas is a busy time of year for Tiny and Lola. Taking family photos for Christmas cards seem to begin the minute all the turkey sandwiches are finished.

Christmastime


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18. Hidden From View

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.

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52. Yellow

Well it doesn’t get more yellow than this!  I have learned all about the minions thanks to my grandson Greyson. If it has a minion on it he wants it.

I was on a Walmart run to buy mailing labels and took a side trip down the toy isle. Because that is what I do now because of this ridiculous blog… I think I may have let out an audible giggle when I saw this 8 pack of tiny little minions. Let me introduce you to Carl, Kevin, Phil, Jerry, Stuart, Tom, Dave and Tim.

So here you go, more tiny toys that the grandkids think will belong to them in August. HA!

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6. Celebration

Tiny was part of the best kind of celebration last night. She was able to document the birth of a baby with her camera. Each delivery is always unique and this one was no exception. When the baby was born and the new dad saw his beautiful new baby he was overcome with emotion and passed out cold. Fortunately the Dr. was able to patch him up quickly so he could get back to his wife’s side.

When Tiny left both mommy and baby were resting comfortably.

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page2 celebration


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44. Speed

Yes, I am out of control… who knew that at 50 years old I would revert back to a 5 year old and be having this much fun playing with little toys. What can I say, I needed to try something new with my 52 week photo challenge. Tiny has freed my imagination to run wild. I have no excuse to be behind on my weekly posts because most of the photos have been taken in my office, yard or the street in front of my house.  And when the year is over my grandkids will have some new toys to play with. Well maybe… 😉

What can I tell you… Tiny and Lola got stopped for speeding on the way to a photo shoot. She’s sorry.

Speed

 


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7. Circle In A Square

One of Tiny’s friends recently told her about crystal ball photography. It can give the effect of taking a photo through a fish eye lens. Or if photographed from further away she can get even more creative, especially during sunrise and sunsets. The ball turns the reflection upside down similar to taking a photo on the inside of a spoon.

She ordered her 80mm crystal ball on Amazon for just $16.00. She can’t wait to take it on future trips with other photography friends to experiment and see what kind of fun shots she can come up with!

Circle In A Square


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41. Shades Of Gray

Oh yes I did! This post idea is not mine alone… I won’t begin to take credit/blame for this idea. Recently I volunteered to drive myself and 3 other photo blog friends on a photo outing. You can see where the conversation went while discussing upcoming blog themes…

Disclaimer- Tiny was not hurt or abused in any way during the making of this post.

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3. Before/After

Tiny’s very favorite style of photography is contemporary glamour and her favorite photographer is Sue Bryce. She owns almost all of Sue’s Creative Live video classes and even belongs to her members only convocation, critique and feedback group. She has been studying Sue’s techniques for a couple years and loves it when she has a client who wants to have a makeover before a photo shoot. She is always sure to do a Before and After photo during each session.

Before

Before

After

After


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9. Complementary Colors

Tiny and two of her friends spent the afternoon sorting and painting sea shells in complimentary colors for a craft project. Sometimes she gets inspiration from Pinterest for her crafts. And sometimes she even finds inspiration there for her photo shoots!

complimentary colors


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16. Frame Within A Frame

This week Tiny and her little dog Lola attended a show at a gallery showcasing the work of a local pet photographer. She was pleasantly surprised to see that a large framed portrait of her and Lola had been included.

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51. Upside Down

The air is full of laughter in my office this morning. As I sit and edit photos Tiny and one of her friends have been enjoying a game of Twister on one corner of my desk. They are certainly finding themselves upside down over and over again! I couldn’t help but pause from my work and snap a quick photo of them having fun.

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35. On The River

Rain in Florida is not unusual. What does feel unusual for me is rain lasting for days upon days. The rains we have been getting in the last couple weeks feel more like the rainy seasons we used to experience when we lived in Panama. The morning news has been full of flood advisories and warnings not to drive through flooded streets.
I decided to take another tiny Playmobil man out to the street/river in front of my house for a little creative photo shoot. The gutter must seem like a river when you are 2 1/2 inches tall!
All my clothes are now in the dryer….
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14. Four Letter Word

Last year when Patricia, Mary Nell and I were finalizing the themes for this year I thought this theme was going to be a breeze. And I had a lot of giggles wondering what everyone would come up with. It ended up being much more difficult than I thought… hence the reason why it is the last post of the year for me.

This morning I was reading a post to the LWRDPC facebook page by Morag Reid. The post was a list of 13 exercises to help photographers jumpstart their creativity. One of the exercises reminded me of a little ‘TINY’ photographer I bought while I was on vacation in Maine. I was in a toy store looking for some fun and creative things for my grandkids. Instead I found a whole line of little people by Playmobil for myself! I thought it would be fun to take my little photographer on vacation and pose her in all sorts of exotic places. That didn’t work out so well…. she ended up in the bottom of my purse instead.

So, today I got out my tiny little friend and challenged myself to take several photos of her while never leaving my desk chair. Silly things like this make me laugh… so I fully expect that Tiny will be showing up in more of my photos in the future!

 

Tiny on my hard drive

Tiny on my hard drive

Tiny on my power cord

Tiny on my power cord

Tiny on my Wacom tablet

Tiny on my Wacom tablet

Tiny on my shelf

Tiny on my shelf


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32. Painting With Light

Last night a location had to be confirmed for an upcoming LWRDPC field trip we are having next week. During a practice session two nights ago we found out the original venue has a closing time. Sometimes I forget that we live in an area that everything closes and the sidewalks roll up at 10:00pm.

Not to worry though! A new location has been found! And it’s all walking distance from our meet up location at the town hall. If you are a photo club member you can get all the details at our club website www.lwrdpc.com.  And if your a 52 week blogger as well it will be a perfect chance to fulfill your light painting theme!

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A-1 Blue

I had the pleasure recently to do a senior photo shoot for a girl named Abi. She had never had her portrait taken before and was a little nervous at first. Abi is hands down one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. Hopefully by the time we were finished she knew just how photogenic she was as well.  I think her eyes are a beautiful shade of blue and makes a perfect photo for the ‘Blue’ theme.

Abi


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46. Still Life

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!

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7. Car Lights

I’ve been wanting to try this shot for a long time… Luckily for me our photo challenge forced me to finally go give it a try. I think I may be addicted now to long exposure car light photos! Both photos were taken on a tripod. I included the settings I used under each photo.

Car Lights 1

Exposure: 30.0 sec; f/25; ISO 100; Aperture Priority

Car Lights 2

Exposure: 30.0 sec; f/25; ISO 100; Aperture Priority


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19. Horses and Humans

I was driving near the polo fields today when I noticed a couple riders in one of the practice fields. I really was hoping that if I waited long enough they would make their way a little bit, or actually a lot closer. That didn’t happen, but I was still happy to take a few minutes and just watch them. The photo really doesn’t do justice to the skills of the riders or how beautiful the horse were.

IMG_3668I did a little research when I got home and here are a couple facts I learned. Free flowing manes and tails are a danger in polo because they can become entangled with players’ mallets or with the reins as the rider tries to control the horse. Manes, therefore are shaved and the ponies’ tails are wrapped or braided to prevent the hazard.  Also, lefties are banned from polo. To understand why, consider this: you’re driving down the road when all of a sudden, coming straight at you, is a crazed English person (Patricia) driving on the left side of the road. The panic you’d feel in the situation is just what a right-handed polo player feels when he and a lefty approach the ball from opposite directions.

The polo season is just getting started here in Lakewood Ranch. To see this years schedule click here. It’s been several years since I have been to a match. If anyone is interested, I think we should get together a group and go sometime. It would be fun to pack a picnic and take our cameras out for a little practice. There are a lot of photo themes just waiting there for us: below the knees, panning, at a distance and of course horses and humans!

 

 


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39. Shot Through Glass

My grandson, Greyson, was with us on Christmas morning this year. It was great fun to be able to watch him open a few presents. Like a lot of 2 year olds he seemed more interested in normal everyday things than he did in his presents. This year his favorite thing to play with was the patio door. The perfect gift for him would have been a tiny, just his size patio door to take home to open and close all year long. Of course if I HAD found him a tiny door he would have probably been more interested in the box!

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16. Group Portraits

Today twenty nine 52 Week Photo Challenge participants got together for a luncheon to meet each other and put faces to blogger names, to share experiences, and chat about what we love about the challenge and photography. Before people started leaving, we gathered outside to take a group photograph. Unfortunately one of our bloggers, Julie Alejos, had to leave early, but another blogger, Patricia Reed, took her place unexpectedly!

When Mary Nell Moore approached Patricia Reed and me about doing a photo blog, I never imagined we’d form so many new friendships.

Click here to read the story that appears the East County Observer about our luncheon.

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Pictured left to right, front row- Betty Beckham, Marie Lough, Diane Broda, Julie Zimmerman, Ida McBride, Mary Nell Moore, Mindy Towns and L.B. Blanchard. Second row- Clara Gingrich, Jackie Arrick, Debbie Aitken, Carolyn Eliason, Weezie Eaton, Marc Schweitzer, Ron Owens, Liz Cantarine. Back row- Amanda Sebastiano, Susan Piper, Roxana Walters, Bobbi Aitken, Melody Martin, Pirjo Toivanen, Cathy Smith, Erin Mulvihill, Reijo Toivanen, Vinnie Veneruso, Terry Klopstad, Patricia Reed and Bill Mills.


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4. Bright Idea

A few weeks ago I received an email from a community volunteer coordinator. He was asking for people interested in being team ambassadors for the 2014 IBCPC Dragon Boat Festival being held at Nathan Benderson Park. I wasn’t sure exactly what the job would entail so I had the bright idea of asking if being an ambassador could be a team event! I thought it sounded like a great project for my book club. We call ourselves the DEARS. That stands for Drink, Eat and Read Sometimes. Heavy on the sometimes…. Secretly I have to admit that I thought if we did this event it would be another excuse to not read. 🙂

The women who participated in the dragon boat races were all breast cancer survivors and traveled to Sarasota from all over the world. Teams came from as far away as Australia, Italy and Singapore. Our teams were both from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  As team ambassadors it was our responsibility to answer questions before our teams arrived and then help them navigate the event and answer questions once they arrived.

In DEARS fashion we wanted to do just a little more to make our team feel welcome. We made signs and greeted our teams at the Tampa airport, we attended the opening ceremonies, the parade of nations, cheered for our teams as they raced, the closing ceremonies and a group send off as they left for the airport.

It was one of the most fun things we have done as a group…. and one of my best bright ideas!

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17. High Above

Yesterday I took my daughter and grandson to watch Nik Wallenda practice near the new UTC Mall and Nathan Benderson Park.
He did 2 practice walks both on the regular high wire and the incline wire. In just 13 days he will be walking the high wire blindfolded  between 2 skyscrapers in Chicago. I chose a photo I took of him as he walked blindfolded to use for my theme ‘High Above.”
To read more about Nik you can visit his website here.
Nik Wallenda


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3. Backlit

I love the Muhley Grass that I have planted in my backyard. In the fall and winter the purple haze that the plumes give off is mesmerizing, especially when the sun highlights them. This native grass can get about three feet tall and tolerates salt, cold, drought and cold weather.

In the last few days as the weather has started to change  the color has begun to burst out. I went out two different days so I could catch the sun a little bit different each time. Today was earlier and there was no wind. Yesterday the sun was a little bit higher and there was a pretty good breeze.

I like them both for different reasons so I decided to include them both…

Muhley Grass 1

 

Muhley Grass 2


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40. Simplicity

Last week at our regular LWRDPC (photo club) meeting, a local photographer named Mac Carraway, was our guest speaker. He demonstrated a photoshop technic called ‘Focus Stacking.’  I had trouble reading the chicken scratches I took during the meeting so I did a youtube search to find instructions. Click HERE to see the video I used.

As part of Mac’s demonstration he used photos he had taken of a moonflower vine. I have that same flower growing in my yard. In the past I have taken photos of the flower all opened up. I had never seen the beauty in the half open/ half closed flower until I saw his photos. I decided this morning to give it a shot. I had noticed when I let the dogs out that the flowers were all in various stages of closing for the day.

My photo is a stack of 5 different photos. I followed the instructions from the video then used the quick selection tool to move the flower from the photo to a black background.  I wanted to use a stroke line to frame the flower but white seemed harsh. Instead I chose a color with the color picker in photoshop. It’s a very light green color from the inside of the flower.

It’s not perfect, but I’m happy with it being my first try! I thought it was perfect for the ‘Simplicity’ theme.

moonflower

 

If any of you local bloggers would like some moonflower seeds let me know.  Click HERE to see how to grow them.


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11. Favorite Room

I knew right away what I wanted to do for this theme. Hands down my favorite room is the room I use to take photos. It’s my happy place. I have a large window that I use as a natural light source. I love to experiment with different types of reflectors both made by me and purchased at the fancy camera stores. My favorite is my 4×8 piece of white styrofoam. I bought 4 plastic shelf brackets at Home Depot and attached them to the bottom. It allows me to bounce light when I am working alone in my favorite room. I can easily drape the styrofoam with what ever my imagination can think up to use as a back ground. Sometimes that is something as simple as a piece of black velvet. I love using the styrofoam boards as painted backdrops as well when I am taking portraits. I can easily change a whole corner of my room into a bright cheery color or a lovely neutral gray.

I love to take creative portraits. I have recruited friends to dress up in lace, silk and shine so I can experiment and grow as a photographer. I have made my own tulle skirts to go with  pieces I have found while searching through vintage shops. My shelves hold many treasures that I are available for when ever my imagination runs wild! Sparkly jewels, hats, beautiful wraps, funny glasses, pillows, baskets, stools, chairs, ottomans, a wind machine, a bird in a nest, baby headbands, a tutu, sea shells, mirrors, frames, bean bags, flash lights, wigs, a genie lamp, a tiara, christmas lights, glow sticks and of course a lot of false eyelashes….  because why would anyone want to be photographed not wearing false eyelashes?  Well other than my assistant Lola. She isn’t into makeup but she does know to sit at a 45 degree angle with her chin over her shoulder if she wants to be my practice model.

favorite room

favorite room collection


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Happy Photo Blogging!

Hello all you 52-Week Photo Challenge bloggers! It’s finally here, day 1 of our new challenge year!
For anyone reading about us for the first time let me tell you what we are all about. We are a group of photographers of all skill levels. We use our cell phones, point and shoots or digital cameras to take photos that fit into a list of 52 predetermined themes. You can see them listed in the tab at the top of my blog page titled 2014-2015 Themes.
Once a week we post a photo to our blogs and give a brief description of why we think it fits the theme. You can blog about the themes in ANY order. Our only rule is that you can not use a photo that was taken before today, August 1st.
If you look to the right hand side of this blog post you will see all the other bloggers that are currently participating. That list is growing every day. If you are interested in joining us let me know in the comment section below and I will send you a pdf file that tells you step by step how to set up your photo blog. Before you know it you will be looking at everything around you and trying to match it to a theme. It IS addicting!
We love to see how each other interprets the same theme! We encourage each other by following, liking and commenting on each others photos.
If you would like to read the article that our local newspaper, The East County Observer, did about the 52-Week Challenge click here.

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31. Out Of Control

At a 4th of July cookout we tried to work together to paint the numbers of the current year with the light of our sparklers. Our “Out of Control” laughter was probably heard by neighbors several houses away.

2014


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33. Over The Hill

Today while driving to pick up my friend Patricia for a lunch date I couldn’t help but notice this little lawn display. In the past I have seen lawns covered in pink flamingos to celebrate a birthday but a lawn covered in cows is a new one for me.

I used to think any birthday after 39 ending in a zero was considered an “Over The Hill” birthday. However my next birthday is one of those ending in a zero. That would explain why I no longer think if those birthdays as Over The Hill! I have a lot of climb left in me before I start down the other side!

over the hill

 

tip the cows come home


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6. By Candle Light

I have been wanting to experiment with light painting  since I watched my first Ben Willmore workshop on Creative Live. I have been scouring the racks at Lowes, Home Depot, The Dollar Tree, Staples etc for quite awhile. I’ve collected a lot of CANDLE power and finally started to play around with many of his technics. I have little lights that you can have attached to your keychain that are only a few candles bright all the way up to one I am hoping can light a car with a few swipes out doors.  I have a long chain with a jump rope handle on the end that I’ve made small orbs with indoors. I’m still waiting on just the right no mosquito night to try it out doors!

Below is my best indoor experiment to date. When I showed the picture to my husband I told him with a lot of excitement that I sat up this shot and then photographed it in a pitch black room. I told him the only light was a flash light I used to “paint” the photograph. After seeing the look on his face I reminded myself that I really need to stop telling him these things. The only painting he wants to hear about is when I tell him I’ve repainted the bathroom! HA

Light Painting


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Getting ready for next years 52 week photo challenge!

The last photo post for this year will be the end of July! We will begin again the first week of August. The themes felt a bit tougher this year we’ve tried to make next years list a little easier. Some of you may not want to continue for another year and that is ok. This is a big commitment! Personally I love that I get the themes stuck in my head and am always looking at the world trying to frame up a photo!

If you are currently blogging this is time to count up how many themes you have left! This week you should have 44 for the current year. You don’t need to panic if you are behind, there is still plenty of time. How many photos have you taken thinking you just might find one better? Well it’s time to be happy with that one, a better one isn’t coming along! Also, don’t forget we have 6 more themes listed than you actually need to use. If you forgot about that you can already breathe a little easier!

If any of you are following our photos and would like to get involved beginning the first week of August just leave me a message. Those of you who are currently posting along and would like to continue please let Mary Nell or I know so we can keep you in the loop. We usually send out the themes the second week of July. That gives everyone a little time to add a tab with the new themes to your blog page and to think about the new themes before we begin.

Some of you who are currently posting might have other photographer friends who might like to get involved. This is the time to let them know what we do!

Get snapping! 🙂