Tag Archives: 30-day challenge

Photo Blog Challenge Wrap Up

January 2015 – 30 Day Photo Blog Challenge Wrap Up

So it is now going on into the early morning hours of February 1st and I am contemplating the grand finale for this challenge. I found that trying to focus on my own work allowed me a chance to express a little bit of suppressed creativity. I love my words. I love my camera. And to combine them into compositions in answer to the prompts in whatever manner happened was worth the time invested. I found as I went along, the challenge was something that I love do anyway – I am always watching for that perfect shot, that one time chance, that image that evokes a feeling and can be related by words, as well. Although this is a “wrap up” there will be no real end to this for me as it is as natural and as inevitable as sun rise. There are a few prompts on the list that I will admit to passing over, either because they deluded me in attempt or they didn’t spark an interest. Prompts are like that – they either “speak” to you or they are silent. I like to think that I can respond to anything, and I guess I can if I don’t really care what I “say” – however, I enjoyed the posts that happened when least expected. It’s like the moments in life that you either catch on “film” or you commit to eternal memory. So I always look up to the sky for inspiration and light or down to the ground for that unusual shadow or circumstance. I think as I go and realize an offering when it is handed to me. Like spaghetti falling onto the counter, tempting a game of pickup sticks. Synchronicity at work is the greatest compliment to my creative impulse.

Day 26 – Close Up Blog - Jan 26 - image close up>>> The rocks lie below and if you don’t pay attention to them, take a look next time. What do you see? Perhaps, it is just a haphazard arrangement of sizes and colors with no apparent pattern? Do you question the missing spots and wonder if you’ve “left no stone unturned” in your evaluation? Or is it just there, tempting those who might glance down to see something in what is apparently nothing more than a rock gravel parking lot… Interpretation is, after all, up to you and your muse.

Day 25 – Strangers >>> have nothing of note for this prompt so I pass on this one. I have mentioned before that I am not a portrait photographer and think less of imposing upon others around me. I am okay with people watching in order to study habits and characteristics for my writing, but taking pictures of people without their permission would be just creepy. That would be how you would interpret this as “strangers” the noun. Pass.

Horses

Day 24 – Animal >>> Well we all know where this might go given the opportunity… which happened to present itself on a recent drive. Horses will always warrant a stop along the road. It brings back April memories of seeking the wild horses that run west of Sundre.

But, if I keep close to home, the little pest that is poking at my leg to pet him is always around even though he might not be the most willing photo participant at times. He is quick and takes to looking away just as you click the pic. I am going to wrap up Day 20 – In My Bag – by saying that if I had it open on the floor like this box, I can tell you I would have a cat in the bag right quick. So, although I did not really fulfill the Day 20 prompt as best as I think I could, it is another one that gets a pass. So here’s my animal… Squishy in a box ready to ship off. Any takers?Squish

That only leaves Day 21 – Faceless Self Portrait and Day 30 Self Portrait… really nothing has changed enough from Day 1 to insert any other self-portrait here. I embrace creativity, yet have specific things I stay away from – particularly me in a photo. The Day 1 photo was one of those – ah ha moments – it was there on a day out to Elk Island Park and was something to recognize in the moment. It spoke to the challenge and to me and to what I would attempt to accomplish. It really addressed Day 21 as well because with that camera up in front you are, in essence, faceless. What I am going to finish up with, however, is my beautiful Sunshine – it usually makes it into all my photo days because without it I wouldn’t be traipsing all over snow-covered back country roads. The truck is a blessing and has helped to fulfill many adventures already. Memories that will stay with me forever; and isn’t that what life’s all about. This challenge has given me some great opportunity to share, to explore, to create… and for that I am truly thankful.

Sunshine makes winter tolerable

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January 29 – Black and White on the 30th

Day 29 (Black and White) and Day 28 (Flowers) combined nicely to blend a blog themed by contrast.

Black and white depicts a simple contrast in composition. The opposite components often represent extremes with no in between. This is not always true of concepts because it isn’t always as easy as “black or white.” Grey areas complicate the process and produce context for confusion. Thanks to the computer art programs we can use to alter photographic images, black and white is just a click away. I was happy with how this one turned out with that easy conversion!

Blog - Jan 29 - image black and white

Against the sky:

The air was still and the sky had a washed out tone that blended with the snow at the distant horizon. When the windmill was still and there was no bird song or rustling of trees, it was one of those days I called ‘black and white.’ Barren branches extended upward as if pleading with the heavens for sunshine.


In complete opposition to the above is this image of brilliant colors highlighted by caressing sunlight and brilliant blue blushed snow. The opposite of white in this composition is the vibrant pink and it says more than just extremes, it says depth and emotion and compassion.

Blog - Jan 28 - image flowers Against the ground:

The air was crisp and the sky had a brilliant shine that sharpened all the pieces of the nearby earth covered snow. When the wind moved through the trees there was a distant song of wind chimes. It was one of those magnificent days I called vibrant. Full blooms extended upward as if thanking the heavens for sunshine.


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Too soon for a Celebration…

I am posting this in celebration of my attempt to complete this 30-day challenge – how’s that for stretching it! But, really, I do celebrate “sunshine” in many ways and pay tribute to the sun and its many creative aspects. I used it to silhouette, highlight, shadow, brighten, distort, cause to shine… and on and on…

Day 27 of the Challenge = Celebration 

Blog - Jan 27 - image celebration

You just have to click on the pic to see it in a bigger size 🙂

Oh, yes… and the day is what you make it, but so is sundown.

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Oh, ya… PRESSURE

Nothing like a little bit of pressure to get you motivated. Why is it that pushing up against a deadline, self-imposed or otherwise, sparks a need to produce? I should be going to bed now and trying to get some sleep (last night did not fare well in that category)… It’s not that I lack desire, passion, or inspiration. Creativity is abound – I am reek with it (lol… is that what that smells like…) I thought for a little break from the challenge I would look up something that might not have been posted just for comic relief. I found the following in “My Writing” file on the lap top and promptly began to read since it was exactly one year to date that I wrote it. I know that I am possessed by the same routine ink demons who dry up every once in a while only to resurface in a coagulation of words on the page. Eventually, I pull it all together. I just have to wait it out sometimes, all the while making little sense to anyone but myself. Unless, of course, you are a writer – then you might find this amusing, interesting, or slightly disturbed.


Dream – Awakening on January 29th 2014

There was a room where we (not sure all who was there) but a group of people coming in as if to meet. There was a door with a light switch to the right of it, an ornate looking carving with the mechanism for turning the light on and off in the centre of it. I remember commenting about how cool it was, liking it for the different look, but adjusting it allowed a whole panel of switches and choices to open up beside it. It took away from the ornate look and added a functional panel. I remember there being an adjustment for the lighting in the room, which was off to the left past a small alcove where this panel now was – I don’t know why I was in this room, but it just occurred to me as I write that this was the ending of the dream as I was leaving somewhere with bags of stuff and my cat(?) who actually came to me without chase. Back to the panel. There was an adjustment for lights in the room with a “health or illness” setting so you could brighten or dim the lights as required depending upon the use of the room.

I remember others crowding around to view the panel and poking at the functions, changing things rapidly and without reason. Just for fun. There was an opening at the top of the wall, almost like the wall didn’t meet the ceiling. I felt warm air, like a breath exhaled. I commented on it. Then I say a big hand at the top of the wall, its big fingers with long, pointed nails curled over the top of the wall panel.

Screaming ensued as there was now an opening that led behind the wall compartment. The creature (a very large man) attacked a woman. Someone said it was their aunt, don’t know whose. I remember a friend’s girlfriend was attacked, but she came running out, alive (Robin?). The large man then came out carrying the “aunt” on a rack like carrier, saying, “now I have to walk with the dead,” or something to that effect. He came back and approached me – I was not fearful of him, he knelt before me and I caressed the sides of his face, concerned for the reasons he might have had to become a murderer, why he lived behind the wall, and how the use of the panel perturbed him to the point of discovery and destruction.


WELL, that was different! Being a visual person, this dream really stood out and the intensity of the emotions was real. I am not sure what it means, or if, in fact, it means anything. Often I look for patterns in things that might not otherwise reflect a necessary order. I am consumed by my desire to take on more and more, yet continue to become overwhelmed and blocked up, awaiting the creative purge. It must be this pattern in me that is inevitably inspirational. So happy for the yellow pills. They make everything just a little less alarming.

So you might have noticed I threw in Day 22 (Inspirational) and Day 23 (Patterns) without even a warning. I will follow-up with some awesome pictures from last weekend – I am intrigued by the rhythm of nature.

Air currents create patterns in clouds as they streak across a soft blue winter sky.

Air currents create patterns in clouds as they streak across a soft blue winter sky.

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A fluffy cotton ball texture dots the AB blue sky.

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The most amazing inspiration in nature – sunset filtered through a frosty January sky.

 

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Taking it to Day 19… Blog-Photo Challenge

Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 1I am standing in a valley surrounded by large hills and rocks and precipices that tower above, stretching into the darkening evening sky. As the sky changes from brilliant yellow and red and pink, finally fading to indigo, the silhouettes become almost eerie as I continue to take note of my immediate path with a cautious eye to the journey ahead. Even in the darkness there is light and it is a good habit to always try to look for the positive in any situation. I feel overwhelmed, a minute speck in a desert of sand… part of the bigger picture yet so insignificant on my own. I cannot call out – the row of wind turbine sentinels drowns out my voice, and even with all the advances in technology, there is no reception in that low-lying spot. Besides, who would I call to come into my deepest fears with me? I attempt to reason why I find myself alone here staring up into the astronomical abyss…

 Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 2

At times, this is how I feel when it comes to dealing with everything that goes on around me. My desire is to just write and create and yet when I get Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 5stuck in this valley it is hard to focus on my own words. By taking on too much, I make things so complicated that it’s hard at times for me to fill my own shoes.

So I withdraw and I hide. The confusion manifests itself as physical pain and then the climb out is even more difficult – it’s not only mentally and emotionally taxing, it is physically exhausting.

 

Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 3

The golden dream in the dark valley is the reason I push myself. There is something I want and only by working toward it, never giving up, and always dreaming… do I stand a chance of achieving it. I seek it. I reach for it and use it for leverage when I need a hand. Don’t ask what it is because it is hard to pinpoint exactly – it could be happiness, it could be leadership, it could be my passion, it could even be love. It’s not a thing – it’s a state of being.

Day 15 - 19 collage blog image 4

 

The day is what you make it – in a valley or on a peak… dream it. Do it. 

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30 Day Photo-Word-Blog Challenge: continued…

Day 15 main image

 

30-Day Challenge

Day 15… Silhouette

I love to watch from my fourth floor apartment window as the sun slides past the horizon for another day. Its progression is slow, at first, with a bright show of rainbow colors bursting at the edges of the distant rooftops. The upper expanse of deep blue is amazing as it stretches into the great beyond. Then, as it always does at this time of year, the day disappears in short time leaving us to late afternoon darkness. The orange pop of streetlights against the darkening sky is a cool contrast.

Day 15 slide show image


30-Day Challenge 

Day 16… A Good Habit 

Day 16 - A Good Habit image

Just click on the images to see them larger in a separate tab.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your likes and/or comments.

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January 6, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 6>> Obsession

Day 6 Blog image Obsession

I have a confession – I have an obsession … or perhaps even two, or three…

Thesaurus: mania, fascination, fixation, passion, preoccupation…

The definition of obsession in one dictionary indicates that it’s “a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal” or “it is the object of that attention, as in, an obsession.”

Other variations in defining this term take it to the lesser extreme of “an activity that someone is very interested in or spends a lot of time doing” to a full definition claiming “a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.”

If I considered the things that are my obsessions, I would not describe them as “disturbing” or “unreasonable” but I guess that could be the case, depending upon what your obsession is. When a writer talks about being obsessed with words, it is because there is the realization that words are a deep part of who we are and what we need to do. It is a passion. A visual artist could be obsessed with the effects of their work and manipulating their work to present something totally different and original. I like using the special effects on my phone or on my computer programs to change the photos I take – sometimes. Most times I choose not to manipulate images, preferring to catch the picture in the moment. Other “obsessions” for me are ones recognized by others, such as the lovely Shakespeare mug, a horse calendar, and horse pocket watch – all received recently from dear friends. Thank you for accepting me and my obsessions – it is what makes me, “me.”

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January 5, 2015 – 30 day Photo / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

January 30-day Photography / Blog Word / Freeing the Creative Spirit Challenge

Day 5>> After Dark

Day 5 - 30 day challenge After Dark

The darkness can be your friend where you can hide from the bright lights that act as spotlights upon your every day move. Is the darkness a mask that conceals the truth? Our minds never turn off the memories. After dark, when other things around us slow down, recollections can be much brighter in our minds.

SONNET 43

“When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me. ”

~William Shakespeare

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