52 Weeks Of Photo Challenges

A theme based photo blog


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5. Bird’s Eye View

This past weekend Tiny and Lola attended a charity event at the Longboat Key Club in Sarasota Florida. One afternoon, while relaxing with a glass of wine, she and Lola had a birds eye view of a lovely beach wedding and the pool area below.

beach wedding

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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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23. Lamp Posts

I have been struggling to find a lamp post that fits my personality. Today I think I finally found just the right one. I loved the game Barrel of Monkeys when I was a kid!
If you are interested in seeing more silliness I recommend stopping by The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota, Florida.

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31. Panning

Today I was finally able to take some photos to fulfill the panning theme! I had a few shots that I was unable to use because they were taken before last August 1st. That would be against the rules so I had to start from scratch. With the help of my photography partners in crime, we stood on the streets of downtown Sarasota practicing until we got it just right!

Shutter Priority; 100 ISO; 1/25 sec; f/7.1

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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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47. Summer Fun

Yesterday I had a lot of fun photographing my niece and her family at the beach while they were in town visiting. I think this photo in particular captures the fun they were having as well!

Summer Fun


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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!

Untitled3stackedcopyright


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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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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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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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26. Masked

Today I took a stroll through the farmers market in downtown Sarasota. That is one place that you are sure to find a photo or two that will fit one of our themes.
It didn’t take me long to notice this very cheerful woman walking down the street with her market purchases. I loved her brightly colored umbrella that she was using to shade herself from the bright sunshine. I imagined that she bought herself fresh flowers every week to brighten her downtown apartment. Next to the vase of flowers I picture a wooden bowl filled with fresh fruits.
I chose to do a layer “mask” on the photo in hopes to show others what a scene looks like to me when I am holding my camera. Sometimes it feels as if I have tunnel vision. My eyes dart from person to person, place to place. My mind imagines what people are thinking, where they are going, what they are feeling.
I saw this video post recently on a friends Facebook page. I think about it a lot when I am out walking around taking photos. You just never really know what’s inside others’ hearts.
masked


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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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43. That Reminds Me

Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to watch a beautiful sunset over the water. The reflection of the setting sun reminded me first of an abstract painting I saw once in a gallery. Then as the sky changed so did the water. It reminded me then of a river of molten lava, then of an artists palette of paints. In the end it mostly reminded me how lucky I am to live in a place that I can watch beautiful sunsets over the ocean.

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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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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! 🙂


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A1 Black and White

I know, I know I am about to post yet another photo of my dog. This week I learned about the smudge tool in photoshop. I’m showing what a rookie I am in photoshop by admitting that I didn’t know about this tool already. I found a really cool tutorial on Facebook that taught how to do a painterly effect without needing to buy a software package or some fast app. I’d rather learn how and why things work and not just take the short cuts all the time. At times it can be very frustrating but in the end I feel better about it.

If anyone is interested in learning more about this check out Gavin Phillips on Facebook. He does some free brush downloads and has short videos demonstrating his technics. I’ve had a lot of fun learning some new things from him this week!

Lola in black and white


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A6 Animals At Play

This is only meant to be a joke! But it fits a theme for my photo challenge so I am going with it! We have two dogs that think they are little people. When I am in the studio setting up for a shoot they like to follow me and try to get me to take their photo. They always go straight for the ottoman… When I tell them to sit down and smile I really think they know what I am saying! For me and my dogs that is just one of the ways we “play.” I thought I’d show you a photo of each of them “At Play” with me in the studio this week!

This is Louie!

This is Louie!

Louie always tilts his head to the side just a little bit. It’s his go to pose. And Lola can be a real glamour girl! I had my box of silk flowers out as part of a shoot I was planning. I was giggling because I told her lay down and she let me lay several of the flowers around her. She wasn’t thrilled about it but she knew that she couldn’t leave until I got a shot! I can’t help it, they make me laugh…Glamour Dog

 

 


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“Hair” It Is

Yesterday I did a photo session with real sweet heart. Lada is one of the kindest most gentle women I have ever met.  I asked her to let me photograph her wearing black on a black back ground so I could emphasize her fair skin, beautiful green eyes and her rockin’ red hair!  She was afraid she would look pale. I was like, “Are you serious?!” Who wouldn’t love to have that complexion!? Oh how I wish I could show more women all the beautiful things about themselves through the lens of my camera… Time to start focusing on all the positive, wonderful things about one another.

"Hair" It Is


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5. Bouncer

I took a little trip downtown Sarasota this morning to visit the weekly farmers market. I was in search of photos to fulfill some of my photo blog themes. I am finding some of those remaining quite difficult. That includes the theme “Bouncer.” I thought of bouncing babies, kids on a trampoline, a group of people playing basketball etc. None of those felt original to me even if I were to actually find someone doing that!  Today I finally had something jump out at me. I noticed the little wooden figurines bouncing up and down before I even read the sign! They are handmade in Germany and the Czech Republic and come in over 150 styles. I especially loved the little pink princess.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II  EF 50mm f/1.8 1/400 sec; f/6.3; ISO 100

Canon EOS 5D Mark II EF 50mm f/1.8
1/400 sec; f/6.3; ISO 100

Canon EOS 5D Mark II EF 50mm f/1.8 1/800 sec; f/6.3; ISO 100

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
EF 50mm f/1.8
1/800 sec; f/6.3; ISO 100


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38. Ready For A Book Cover

A friend texted me this little saying over the weekend. She knows me well! Much to the chagrin of my husband I have become a fan of mermaids lately. I thought it would be great as my book cover theme if I paired it with a photo I took at the beach!


mermaid book cover


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3. An Expression of Love

Recently I celebrated a birthday. I gathered my cards and flowers for a photo to represent my “Expression of Love” photo. I have to giggle a little when I look at all the other things that are being said in this photo… A funny reference to pushing up daisies, a card about my weird dreams, growing old, dogs, love and of course a man with a big clock! My friends are warped! Another reason I love them too.

Warped


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26. Light and Airy

Light and Airy

Little Miss Mindy
had a great plan
to take a photo she loved.
Along came a spider
who wove a web right beside her
that fit her theme like a glove.

On a recent frosty morning I admired the work of a spider in my back yard. I thought it fit the theme, “Light and Airy” perfectly.

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48. There’s nothing better than…

…learning new things in photo shop!

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I know it isn’t perfect.  But it sure is fun figuring it all out!


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37. Rainy Day

What does a photographer do on a rainy day when they are itching to take photos? Well I brought the outside in to my little studio. I went to an orchid show over the weekend and bought several really pretty new plants. I decided to experiment with my ice light and a black velvet back drop. I really need something to do!

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Photo taken with Canon EOS Mark II, Lens: EF100mm f/2.8 Macro, Exposure 1/80 sec; f/2.8; ISO 640, Aperture priority; Evaluative metering, with a tri-pod and a black velvet back drop. Natural light from a nearby window and an ice light underneath.

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Photo taken with Canon EOS Mark II, Lens: EF100mm f/2.8 Macro, Exposure 1/32 sec; f/2.8; ISO 640, Aperture priority; Spot metering, with a tri-pod and a black velvet back drop. Natural light from a nearby window and an ice light underneath.