Following the third year of a holiday letter comprised
of my (increasingly complex) life via a (increasingly complex) year-in-photographs, I
wondered what it would be like to join the great experiment of 365 days of photographs.
I'm not a photographer,
I'm a writer. I'm a visual thinker, and if ever there was proof that a photo is worth a
thousand words, it would be the story a photo tells me, or in this case, about me.
Follow me on this adventure, where I
learn about photography, my ability to record my life, my dedication to something (I've
never been known for doing anything everyday) in my posts. I've also discovered I'm
learning about time, the history of it, and the odd practice of recording it, measuring it,
turning it into something tangible, and I'll record these explorations in the sidebar.
As always, feel free
to say anything. My experiment is not a spectator sport.

April 30, 2009

April 30 2009 Riding

We rode to the river boating access today, the first time the kids ever rode in the back of a pickup. They had a good time--were quite fascinated, actually.

Nothing really special about my photo today. 

April 29, 2009

April 29 2009 Recovering

Managed to get really pissed off today, to the point where study suffered. The babysitter I hired and the kitchen help who have been playing with my children took my kids really far away for a hike and the kids were not appropraitely dressed, nor did they have water with them. Apart from mild dehydration, they are fine, but I was so mad. I'm feeling better now though. Where did they go? This cave: 

What you don't see it? Look at the peak center frame. Look at the rock ridge just below and follow it to the left until you see two rocks forming an A shape. That's the cave, way up there. Shot this from my camping spot, no zoom, for perspective. 

April 28, 2009

April 28 2009 Pushing

Stayed up really really late last night playing push hands with people. Wow, I'm actually pushing hands with people, I'm not as shy as I thought I'd be. Anyway, the lateness made posting unavailable, so I'm cheating again today. Here's a pretty moon in our late-night-sky.

Put the camera against a wall for this one. No tripod.

April 27, 2009

April 27 2009 Inspecting

The kids have enjoyed their camping experience and have done really well not getting bored. Today the cook's children arrived to hang out a bit, girls, 4 and 2. They were darned cute inspecting bugs on the patio area. Ladybug, moth, little black bug. 

Stood on the wall to get this one with all the tops of pretty heads and the object of their affection.

April 26, 2009

April 26 2009 Cheating

No photo yesterday; Day 113 is my first missed day of the year. However, I can cheat for consistency's sake and date this yesterday and show you a photo and call it a photo for the day.

This is where we played frisbee. I suck, he sucked, so it was good for some laughs. The dirt is soft and there's a goodly number of things to trip on, so it was also good for some slapstick comedy. We played again today.

Walking while taking photos is not the most convenient of scenarios. Also, the dust of the desert is not friendly to my auto-lens-retracting-covering feature. Not so cool. 

April 25, 2009

April 25 2009 Raining

It got really wet and cold today.  Only have one raincoat for two kids. Tents held well, wind was high, practice this evening was the bundled variety. 

Also only have one chance at photo posting. Used regular camera today, and the limited internet access. I am limited. 

April 24, 2009

April 24 2009 Evening

Day one's evening, with push hands, catching up, watching and playing. It's the mellow version. Stay tuned for the more energetic evening.

This is the first post via cellphone. Barely service, limited internet.

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April 23, 2009

April 23 2009 Marathoning Avatar

One kid is recovering from a cold, the other is just catching it. Me, I've been working most of the day. So as the evening closes, we're all watching the invasion of the Fire Nation by a rag tag team of the Avatar's invaders. We've been watching since Book 2, Volume 2 non stop.

I actually liked the flash on this photo. Other than that, it is nondescript. A photo of a screen.

April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009 Giving New Meaning to "64 Box"

Happy Earth Day! Today, we harnessed the sun's energy to rebuild some old crayons, with the help of some old candy and soap molds. My daughter gave crayons to all the guests of the Earth Day Picnic she threw as a thank you. She had spent months planning, given she didn't have a concept of time necessary to plan such a thing. She put thought into every detail, from transportation of each of her guests, to water usage, to the fabric the clothes she wore were made from. She studied the environmentally friendliness of local, organic, energy for cooking, shipping, home-grown, and more. After the picnic, she planted her Easter Tulips. The boy saved some of the broken crayons for his picnic, which "will not be an Earth Day Picnic." He does "not want an Earth Day Picnic."

Shooting 64 non-round crayons is a bit harder than just photographing a box: takes up much more surface space. Auto, shooting from above-ish and away-ish. Composition is pretty much the only variable different between the shots I got.

April 21, 2009

April 21 2009 Setting Up Camp Early

Headed out across the Utah border today to scout both tent locations and group photo locations for the upcoming week of camp. Nearly never left. Truly, the life my instructor has built out in the desert is exactly the kind of life I want to live. Heck, it's even near the train tracks. There are mountains in the distance, the river a short walk away, no neighbors, no traffic. He built the home himself, and all the intensive training camp amenities, like showers, clothes cleaning, hot tub, kitchen, training hall, and privies. Anything else you want you get it yourself. It's a dream.

Landscape setting, 4x zoom.

April 20, 2009

April 20 2009 Packing, Preparing, and Piling

It must be late: I find my alliteration amusing. I've spend the day making lists and crossing things off of it. I've written lesson plans, taught, studied and researched, and I've organized, mended, laundered, washed, dried, and packed. This here a visual representation of what I've accomplished, though there is still a sleeping bag hanging to dry and stacks of other achievements around the house (not the least of which is that I have finally found my printer ink). Camping in the high desert with two children and their babysitter--for the hours I'm studying--is no small task. Also, the dirt and dust has destroyed zippers on my tent in the past, so I am packing everything in zipperless bags. I found straps to wrap around the sleeping bags, I'm using diaper-wipes boxes for electronics (which also hate the dirt) and toothbrushes and such, and I think I only have about ten more hours of packing and loading until I'm actually ready to be on my way. Call me crazy, but starting early never hurt anybody.

Auto+stand-back-and-zoom= photo. A bit of composition to avoid showing the stacks of clothes that still don't have a closet (stay tuned, maybe a closet will be in the photoblog works for May or June).

April 19, 2009

April 19 2009 Reiterating Something I Mentioned

I did say Montrose is a pretty place. I was severely underrepresenting the scenic nature, even with a photograph of a photograph of the mountains in that other post.As we headed further east for part of our class, I knew that this view would show up. I aimed out the window and shot at every moment I had a clear field as far in the distance as to not have trees or buildings between my view and the mountains, not that you couldn't see this mountain above said trees or buildings, but it's the layering that really takes your breath away.

Landscape setting. This camera's stabilizer is remarkable, in that we were in our stiff-shocked van on windcarved pavement, and the photo came out fantastically.

April 18, 2009

April 18 2009 Disturbing Teaching Aids

In class for 12 hours today. Long and tiring. Early again tomorrow. Still, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Nothing special.

April 17, 2009

April 17 2009 Travelling Day

I spent all day getting ready to go an hour away for the weekend. Really, it was that stressful. Pack the girl, pack the boy, secure a sitter for the dog, hand of the girl, hand off the dog, hand off the boy. Teach students, pack myself and my husband. Finish paperwork for the weekend's class. Lock the doors. Forget the seabands and the husband's pile of shirts from the other room. Go back and thank goodness--dang running toilet would have cost a fortune in water over the weekend. Make it out of town into the rain. Stop for dinner at the pub, eat buffalo chicken sandwich and watch NASCAR and baseball. Sip rootbeer float.

Get hotel. Climb into bed. Oh crud, I didn't take any pictures today: here's the table, mostly. Montrose is a pretty place. Those are seabands. They help me keep my sanity. Flash auto photo from an I-don't-care perspective.

April 16, 2009

April 16 2009 Knitting Comfort

Overheard during today's violin lesson: "It hurts me right here." Oh yeah, I have been commissioned to knit a chin rest for the little musician, and have forgotten for at least a month. Also, I have been disinclined to create anything of value: I have frogged more knitting in the past few weeks than I have actually knit, which does indeed suggest I have finally frogged some random pieces laying around half-finished for ages. So as I was deterring my fidget while watching some crime show dramas, I contemplated finally producing something for this task. Violins and violin players have always, in my mind, exuded a sense of luxury: The Red Violin, my friend a room over in the dorm, the girl I have hired to teach my daughter. I chose black, a common orchestral color, and silk,* to complement the connotation of luxury. It's a wonderful sensation to knit with. I'm also knitting with too-narrow needles, so my hands are getting a workout. Care to challenge me to a thumb war?

Auto + stand-back-and-zoom= today's photo. It has not been easy to care to take pictures throughout my day. It is not uncommon that I take them just before I go to bed, and often of the thing I had just done before bed. One of these months, I'm going to challenge myself to a pre-noon photo every day. I have eight months left. I do like it when I get cheered on. Is there any cheering out there?

*Many thanks to Heather in Progress [item 3] for winding my silk from hank to ball for me!

April 15, 2009

April 15 2009 Observing the Tea Party

Yes, I went to the tea party. I've already written about it twice, so peek at my other blogs (if you're not subscribed to them, hint hint) and see the different perspectives I've taken. * For this one, though, it was a gorgeous day, it was an interesting experience, and it was a heck of a walk that my hips are really really arguing with me for.

I took over a hundred photos on auto on this fully sunny day from various ranges with various zooms. This one struck me for its variety: the woman with the fur, the man with the sign, man with huge flag sitting on walker, young guy in hippiehat with protest sign, veterans, cell phones, lawn chairs. Taking photos of groups like this reveals a lot of juxtaposition. This one I got by pure chance.

*As of date of post, one has not been published, pending purchase. Yes, I am a paid writer. This will be updated when it is bought and posted.

April 14, 2009

April 14 2009 Shopping Sucks

I had to buy stuff for my pending trip to Michigan today: simple things like tank tops and a belt. I really really hate shopping, but if it must be done, I go to Kohl's something like an hour before it closes and shop the starred clearance racks. If it's not there, there's nothing worth buying. Why? Well, I just bought five seventeen-dollar tank tops for seven bucks a pop. What's not to love? Oh yeah, the shopping part. Yeah, that sucked. (Who would pay seventeen dollars for such a tiny bit of cotton fabric?!)

I used ambient light and the macro setting so the text would come out.

April 13, 2009

April 12, 2009 Playing and Building in 3D

I have amblyopia. I can't interpret any of the information that my right and left eye share that comes from my left eye. (Sorry, there really is no simpler way to explain this. ) I do not see in 3D. I've heard there are people who've retrained their brains who are twice as old as I am, so I can't say that I can't see in 3D. I just don't. So with all this odd nature of my perception of the world, I've been noticing my increased fascination in the manipulation of 3D objects: origami, legos, connecting magnets, tying a double windsor, the movement of my own body in a 3D space (tai chi). It's as if I am searching to intellectually comprehend a world I cannot see.

My cool little creation was the product of some hours of playing and constructing. I took this with no flash as I was being too lazy to get far enough away to keep it from being a glare. Now, as far as a 2D photo of my 3D creation, it looks great to me. How about you?

April 12, 2009

April 11 2009 Plating the Celebration

"Why are you taking pictures of my plate?" "Because it is a beautifully arranged pile of food. Get your fork out of the way, please." The goal today was to enjoy each other's company and share a dinner together. The food took all afternoon, wafting into struggles with origami instructions, stringing beads, peeling potatoes, hide and seek, hide-and-seeking easter eggs, managing rowdy dogs and rowdy children and rowdy uncles, and other sundry activities. Of all the 9 plates served, it was the one prepared by and for my 12 year old niece that caught my eye as the exact right combination of all the contributions to the meal.

The photograph was not as well executed as the presentation itself. Florescents and flash, and an impatient and hungry owner of said plate contributed to the intensity of the glare here. Lesson: prepare camera and settings before stopping the action.

April 11, 2009

April 11 2009 Snowing With a Chance of Rainbows

The weather today was remarkable, cloud cover until you've decided to turn on the lights, then sunny until you let the dog out to play. You stepped outside into the rain only to see snowflakes on your hair when you come back in. On days like today, I always look towards the Mesa, in its magnificence, five thousand foot uplift that creates its own weather. Today it looked as if maybe it shared Mother Nature's indecisive nature with us. And yes, before the sun set over the desert, it left us with a double rainbow vivid and transient in the distance.
It was raining or snowing when I took this photo. Landscape setting at the maximum mechanical zoom, no digital zoom. I think that comes up to 7x, but I'm too tired to check right now.

April 10, 2009

April 10 2009 Stringing Beads

The string my son threaded is MIA right now, I took a good look for it, but he's asleep and I'm out of ideas of where he could have put it. I'm pleased with the symmetry skills my daughter has developed in these two strands, interrupted only by an extra bead my son wanted added on to the one she gifted him.

I chose to stand on a chair to get far enough away from the subject for flash tolerability. Standing away raised the perspective on the lip of the lid and blocked some of the contents.

This is post one-hundred, for anyone interested in the milestone.

April 9, 2009

April 09 2009 Eavesdropping On The Lesson

From the moment she saw the stringed instrument, she was hooked. She wasn't even five yet, and she was all about, "When do I get to play the violin?" After her sixth birthday I told her that if she could do something, anything, every day, because she would need to practice everyday, she could have the violin. Two months later, she had made breakfast every morning for herself and her brother. The violin was ordered, and placed in her tiny hands, and she just glowed. Her teacher is, right now, merely for the introductory "stand right, hold it right, draw this way" sort of instruction. A month later, this tiny girl conducts herself during this lesson with remarkable skill and maturity. She responds perfectly, listens acutely. For a kid who can't carry a tune in a bucket, being a musician is as natural to her as walking.

Zoom of 18x before the violin is put away for the day, from back there, somewhere.

April 8, 2009

April 08 2009 Seeing The Same Moon

I am here, and he is there, and we are looking at the same moon in the same sky, and mathematically, the angle of him to his moon compared to the angle of me to my moon makes our distance nearly inconsequential.

Setting on night scene with no flash, no tripod, and is that dirt on my lens that does the streaky thing? How can I make the shutter stay open longer?

April 7, 2009

April 07 2009 Running Errands in Traffic

Always good to find something to amuse oneself while driving around town during the pre-total-rush-hours. I'm not so good at listening to the radio and driving; furthermore, the radio drowns out the sound of my 38-year-old German engineering under the hood, and who would want that? Nah, while I drive, I read things. Like bumper stickers and license plates. I think I am easily amused. This one was fun: I do like to feel someone is being clever, not cursing me, but suggesting that they are cursing me, though they aren't. It's so, well, clever.

At the light, I aimed, zoomed, and shot. It was really nothing special, except I now know why I want to kill drivers on cell phones when they're at lights. People get dumb when they multi-task. I felt so...disoriented.

April 6, 2009

April 06 2009 Enjoying End-Of-Day Sweetness

My month of April is proving more stressful than I even imagined, especially with poorer sleep than I should be getting. Misplacing ink cartridges (really, I'm confused), being a messenger of information instead of the destination for that information, children feeding off my mood, little bits of frustrations speckled around my day. I make everything pleasant take longer than necessary: a walk to a friend's house for fresh eggs, reading Edward Gorey, a slideshow of the children's photoshoot yesterday, dessert.

Nothing special today, though I did mess with the composition. I read that portrait settings blur the background more. I will try that if I remember next time I take a subject shot.

April 5, 2009

April 05 2009 Folding Paper Cranes

My cousin-in-law is getting married and decided on the 1000 paper cranes for good luck. We live half a continent away, so we chipped in with our own crane party. Not many of us were brave enough to conquor the steps of origami, but we concluded the evening with 133 paper cranes--the lion's share built by me, a good portion by my neice, and a few by other brave souls.

The photographer took this picture. I was too busy folding.

April 4, 2009

April 04 2009 Springing Out, Crayon Style

With work to be done by the photographer at the office, the rest of the family accompanied him, because that's one of the joys of everyone working and going to school from home. I put together about two hours worth of schoolwork to do with the kids topically about spring, Earth Day, and Arbor Day, and curricularly about writing, cutting, construction, problem solving, drawing, tracing, counting, number formation and sequencing... The fabulous nature of my job as independent teacher is that I don't have to write down every projected concept a project is supposed to cover and I can change and adapt any topic to the needs of my student at any given time. My 6 year-old and my 4 year-old did the same lessons today, getting exactly what they needed to from each lesson. Freedom, served and consumed as necessary.

I stood across the office and shot this for composition more than anything else, tickled to death that the office is in an old school building with the kid's homeschooled work was taped to the wall. I just love the juxtoposition.

April 3, 2009

April 03 2009 Looking Through A Lens

Played around this morning from my chair with my uber zoom on my little camera. I like that it has a digital zoom and I just aimed and shot around the living room at things with words. I really like this picture of our pinboard of ticket stubs. You can read all the cool stuff I have done with my family or with other people or just by myself or that I have sent other people to do, though that information is only held in my head and not in the photo. Looking at the photo, I discover how many movies I had seen in a theater. I don't remember them any differently than I remember watching a movie at home, so it was a surprise to see some of the stubs on the wall. On the other hand, it is great fun remembering all the live performances that I remember looking forward to, preparing for, sitting through, and talking about afterwards. Furthermore, to see all the little pieces of paper in one shot, well, that's a memory in itself.

About twelve, maybe fifteen feet away, I was not at full 24x zoom but greater than 14x, because I was experimenting with the digital zoom capacity of the little machine.

April 2, 2009

April 02 2009 Discovering Odd Things

We bought our house nearly two years ago. The inspector took a look in our attic, some normal reviews. We finally tore out the bad closet solution and had practical access to the attic, so we went up and look, and wouldn't you know, we have a mobster house. There is a full two feet of dropped ceiling all across the original portion of the house. Seriously, someone went to the trouble of making a fake ceiling. We never knew. Now I'm really psyched about the concept design I had for making the living area seem larger, with exposed rafters and lofted ceiling, kind of like a chapel. Anyway, notice the old-fashioned wall paper.

This photo was taken by the homeowner-photographer-husband with my camera. Whatever setting it was on.

April 1, 2009

April 01 2009 Drinking Dessert

Fools are in the air, but I had no tricks today. It was a long, serious day filled with trying to make sure everything I have planned for April will actually fit into April. The numbers boil down to 16 days of this 30 day month at home with my husband. The other days one of us will be gone. There will be much missing happening, so I am determined to make the days we have together be good days, with fun, laughter, and nice things. Tonight we were gifted a bottle of tasty wine. We started it a bit for dessert; not enough for tipsy, just enough to remember sweet things.

I did not like the flash on auto, so I tried portrait. Surprisingly, it was a different kind of flash. Good to know, though I must have suspected enough to try it.