Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Linky #1 (June)

#21 A photograph of myself with something that symbolizes the season
Welcome to the June linky for the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt! Below, please link directly to a post on your blog about the Hunt. It can be a new post written for today or it can be a link to one of your favorites from the first few weeks of the Hunt. Please try to visit a few others who have linked up as well. It's so much fun to visit and be visited! So far, I have posted six finds; today will be number 7, and that's one third of the way through. You can visit all my previous hunt posts by clicking on this link. I've found these pretty easy to find. How are you coming along on the hunt? Is it easier than you expected? Or harder? Remember, there's still plenty of time (you have until Sept. 23).
Today, I'm sharing a photograph of myself with something that symbolizes the season. It's me at a baseball game - definitely a staple summertime activity for my family. In fact, here's the rest of my gang at the game:
I love this photograph because it shows a happy milestone for our family. We've been attending S.F. Giants games together for years. Sometimes, when the kids were little, we would only last 4 or 5 out of the 9 innings. Some years, the kids were snarly or only wanted to spend the whole time shopping in the gift shop. But, Paul and I persevered, taking the family to at least two games each season. Sometimes insisting that everyone go because it was a required family activity. And this season, for the first time in my memory, both kids started asking "When are we going to go to a Giants game this season?" or saying "We should all go to a baseball game." It made me smile so big inside that I went ahead and got tickets last weekend. And, we all had a great time together. The required family activity has become pleasant time spent with my favorite people in the world. And that's a scavenger hunt find worth blogging about!
Now it's your turn to share yours. Please link directly to your post, rather than to your blog in general, and do try to visit a few other participants.

Let's Sit and Have a Cup of Tea

Welcome! And come on in; sit down and let me pour you a cup of tea. Abi, over at Creating Paper Dreams, created this wonderful space to have a virtual chat once a month. 
If you were here sitting with me, we'd be enjoying a beautiful, mild summer day. The World Cup (or commentary) would be on the television in the background, as it has been almost nonstop for the last several weeks. We love our soccer around here, and we've thoroughly enjoyed watching the games and getting together with friends. We are rooting for the USA, Costa Rico and Mexico, although we think either Germany, Brazil or the Netherlands will go home the winners. I'd ask if you watch soccer or football, depending upon your nationality!
I'd tell you that I'm hoping this summer will be one of growth and learning for the family. Some summers we plan to do lots of fun activities or vacation. Instead this summer, we're all working on some things.
This summer, Henry is back from University and is getting his first taste of the working world. It's a half-time unpaid internship, but it's still the first time where he has to go to an office and do work for strangers. They're very nice (have even given him time off to watch world cup games), and he's learning a lot about data base management, mass emails and web site management. The nonprofit he's working for recruits, trains and matches college-age coaches with communities which need them, but he's having a hard time seeing the connection between what he's doing and what he imagines the world of "sports business" or "sports marketing." I see it, but then I've got a few years experience on him! He's also already complaining about the commute (it's in Oakland, about an hour total commute time including a train ride and a long walk), although it's only been a few days. He's also taking a night class. But don't worry, he's still managing to have plenty of fun!
Clara has a fair amount of summer reading for her AP English class next year. I was a little taken aback by the novel selections - Beloved by Toni Morrison and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I don't know if you're familiar with them, but they're both so dark! Clara and I watched the movie, The Road last weekend, and it was much better than I expected. She's also taking on on-line writing class (not for credit). Other than that, she's volunteering 2-3 days a week at the Humane Society. She had hoped to be volunteering at Guide Dogs for the Blind, but I made a mistake about the required orientation, so that's been pushed back for a while. We're also still investigating the possibility of becoming puppy raisers during the fall. Plus, she's running (going to a residential cross country camp at Stanford), raising her chickens and trying to pick up a little money walking dogs and house-sitting.
Me? I'm supposed to be writing an article. I admit to being a little stressed because I'm having a hard time making myself sit down to write it. I need to, though, because even if I get an extension on the due date, I have another big work project (my casebook update) that I need to complete in July. Anyway, let's not dwell on that!
I'd steer the conversation instead to creative projects. And I'd remind you that the first linky gathering for my 2014 summertime photography scavenger hunt will go live tonight at 6:00 p.m. (my time), since that will be Monday, June 30 for many of you. It will remain open indefinitely. I'd tell you that I love hosting the scavenger hunt, although it does take up a lot of my blogging energy. I'd tell you that I'm also really enjoying making little houses for the Summer of Color and hope to do some work in my faces journal and complete the "Studying Under the Masters" class I bought back in January.
Oh look, the Mexico-Netherlands game is about to start. I better go. You're welcome to sit and watch with us, and we can chat some more at half-time.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Scavenger Hunt Ear Wig (and, yes, more gnome talk)

I put "garden gnome" on the 2014 Photography Scavenger Hunt mainly because there was a sleeping one in the Hunt badge and thought it was the sort of item which people could find relatively easily or with some hunting. I hadn't thought about the potentially creepy nature of gnomes:
Seriously, don't these look like they're massing for an attack?
I had thought of them as just kindof generic and cute.
It's funny because I have intentionally left clowns off the list for several years due to their inherent creep factor. But, more and more with gnomes, it's really hard to say if they are cute or creepy.
My previous informal survey (click here) revealed that many of you also feel that garden gnomes have a very high creep factor. Oh well, live and learn.
Finally, all this gnome talk reminded me of a 1967 Disney movie called The Gnome Mobile which I remember watching and for which I think I owned a 45 recording of the title song.  I linked a video of the song above for your listening pleasure. Do you remember that movie? Or the song? Play the song to see if you do. Now that you've heard the song, is there any way you can now get it out of your head? No, probably not. Sorry about that . . . and sorry for the gnomes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Backyard Fences (Good Fences Link-Up)

Out in the back-back, in the small orchard next to the chicken coop, we have this fence. I like the texture; I like the knots; I like how it looks as a backdrop to the ripening plums. You can click on the image to see it larger and in more detail.
And in the backyard, we have this scenic, if somewhat ineffective fence. Nasturtium growing wild; green garden fencing; a well-placed cinder block. . . . lovely, but obviously in need of repair. Again, click on the image to see it larger and in more detail.
I'm sharing a bit of my backyard fences this week with the Good Fences Link-Up at the Run Around Ranch Report blog. You can see more good fences at this link

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ZIZO #26: Laverne Needs a Bath

We're in a bit of a  drought here in California, and the chicken's aviary has become quite dusty. I've read that chickens give themselves dust baths and generally don't need to be bathed. But, seriously, Laverne, you're looking really scruffy. And Clara is thinking about giving you a bath. Clara's friend, Ashley, who shows chickens and runs the egg program at the high school has volunteered to come over and help. I'm planning to stay back. . . and take lots of pictures! Linking up with Helena's zoom in zoom out meme.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer of Color Houses - Week 3

front of houses
back of houses
I've been participating in Kristin's Summer of Color blog meme making little houses in her suggested color palettes. These are my houses from the first three weeks. To answer a few questions, they are tiny (the one on the left is a standard size dice), which will give you an idea of the scale). They are made of wood, generally painted with acrylics. The base of the one on the right is covered in coral colored paper with a wood grain. You can read more about that house at this link. You can read about the house made out of the die here.
The color palette for week three is grey and lavender, with a pop of plum.  I used grey and lavender paint and added plum die cut paper. I call this one "The House of Timeless Miracles." I added a grey star to the front and words on lavender paper on one side.
On the back, I added a clock and a grey circular window. I also put a version of 14 (for 2014) on the side. To see what other people are doing with the week three colors, click here.  The meme is only half over, and it's not too late to join in. I'm sure having a good time with it!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blogs v. Facebook: Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt Update and Questions

#3 Birds on a Wire
For the first time this year, there is a facebook page for the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I toyed with the idea last year but shied away from it because I have traditionally not liked classes where there are multiple places to post work, as things get too diffuse for me. Also, I surveyed people and found that there were many people who don't like or don't use facebook. So I shelved the idea. I liked having the Hunt be mainly a blog-based event, and those without blog managed with flicker or other photo-hosting sites.
Birds on a wire, part 2 (filtered instagram)
Oddly enough, I did not have the same hesitation about creating an instagram hashtag. Last year, it was #summertimescavengerhunt (and it's fun to look at the photos there). Instagram just seems like its own little world; different somehow than blogs or facebook. The instram hastag for this year is #rindas2014photohunt.
This year, Kathryn took the initiative to set up a facebook page, and it's been GREAT!  None of my original fears were realized, and I don't feel like I have to monitor or manage it.  And there have been some really wonderful finds showing up on facebook that are not showing up in blog land.  Here are a few of them:
Eileen Taylor's Bakery (#9)
Paz Padrid's Horns
Catherine Channing-Hutt's sign in language other than English
Fiona Patch's Public Garden
Lindsay Coleman's prom photobomb
Julie Jeavons and her undersized gnome.
That's not to say that there aren't wonderful blog posts popping up all the time, too. In particular, Lady Ella at The Flowers of Progress has been posting great finds, like these gnomes (which I think will now be on BIG SALE - sorry England) and colorful horn:
And Alison of Life in the Slow Lane has already posted 11 finds, including this very meaningful tattoo:
And, finally, there are others, like Joy Shallcross who are posting on both facebook and her blog, Daisy Row.
Summer Solstice Sunrise
So, I guess the lesson learned is that there's room for all kinds of participation in the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. I'm glad that facebook has made room for folks who don't have blogs to participate, and I am glad that people are blogging about their finds. And I enjoy seeing photos pop up on instagram as well (although I don't know how to easily put those into a blog post - technical help anyone?).  
This post put me in mind of some of Seth Apter's musings on the extent to which facebook and instagram displaced blogs for a while and whether blogs are making a comeback. What do you think? Blogs? Facebook? Both? And what about instagram? Is there room in your life for all three? Has the presence of more than one platform hurt or improved your Hunt experience? Or has it not made any difference at all? Feedback welcomed!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Shooting Kuk Sool Won

(a nicely composed portrait)
As regular blog readers know, I love shooting sports photography. I have shot a lot of baseball, soccer, swimming and track photographs, as well as a few volleyball and basketball games. So, when my best friend's son was being promoted to a second degree black belt, she asked if I would photograph the event. Gulp. I wanted to do a really good job for her, but I knew nothing about what to expect, and she said the lighting in the studio was bad. 
I just did my best to capture Ian as he went through a variety of demonstrations. First up were a variety of flips, falls and leaps:
(capturing athleticism and action)
Ian jumped flew over six students! Unfortunately, because of where I was sitting, I couldn't get a good angle on the shot. The best I could do on the spur of the moment was to take the last shot in the mirror. After tumbling, Ian performed with a bamboo pole.
(capturing beauty and rhythm)
I tried to get a variety of different shots, in order to give a sense of the beauty of the performance. Finally, Ian displayed a knife fight/disarming series he choreographed.
(capturing the bad-ass aspect of KSW)
Rebecca was thrilled with the photographs. She especially liked the knife fight because she thinks Ian looks "bad-ass." I agree, and I'd like to have him by my side if I ever have to travel down a dark alley!
Overall, I was happy with the shoot. I decided to shoot the whole thing with my fixed 50mm lens because it lets in a lot of light and autofocuses on my camera body. Because of the nature of the promotion, I couldn't really move around much, so I couldn't really do much to zoom in or zoom out, but I still think the quality of the photos is better then if I would have used either of my zoom lenses because they just aren't fast enough in low light situations. I was able to crop to get the close ups that I wanted, but I did miss some of the wider angle shots that I would have liked to capture. I also used my monopod to get better clarity (this was a GREAT decision) and shot the whole thing on "running man" mode since I knew I wouldn't have time to adjust levels. All in all, it was a good experience. An illuminating experience. I came away from it happy that I have learned enough shooting sports photography over the last few years that I could do this for my friend. I was able to draw on my other experiences to make choices that worked. I realized that I am growing and learning and honing my craft. And that felt really good. Have you noticed how you have grown as a photographer or artist over time? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

House of Stars and Dreams (Summer of Color Week #2)

the front of the House of Stars and Dreams
I'm participating in Kristin's Summer of Color, where artists make creations of various sorts, all using the same colors. I'm making teeny, tiny houses, and the colors for Week #2 are coral and teal, with a splash of white. I call this week's creation "The House of Stars and Dreams." 
the back of the house
And the woman who lives inside? They say "she has stars in her eyes and a dream in her heart." Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Pretty Main Street Fence (Good Fences Link-Up)

Just a little white picket fence. A little green, purple and white bit of pretty to brighten up your Thursday. Inspired, as always, by the Good Fences link-up sponsored by the Run*A*Round Ranch Report blog. If you want to see more good fences, why not click out this link?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ZIZO #25: Garden's First Fruit

It's that time of the year where the garden has gone a bit brambly. The amount of work to be done outpaces our somewhat itinerant interest in gardening. Regardless of our presence, nature marches on, and the trees begin to bear fruit.
The plum tree is always the first to blossom and the first to bear fruit. The pear and apple won't produce until early fall. I often use Helena's zoom in zoom out meme to capture the garden's progression, so I decided this would be a good week to capture our garden's first fruit.  How is your garden getting along this year? 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Scavenger Hunt Update, News and Answers to Questions

#5 A Rack of Post Cards
Welcome to a new week and a rack of post cards with some views of my local area (and one from boysmum2 in New Zealand )! The 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, where people all over the world search for and photograph the same 21 items, is up and going strong. You can read all about it at this link. If you're reading on the full blog, feel free to grab the hunt badge. The instagram feed at #rindas2014photohunt is filling up nicely, and there's a fun facebook page titled Summertime Picture Scavenger Hunt 2014.
I wanted to answer a few questions that have come up and highlight some interesting finds that I have seen while cruising around blog land:
First, there's nothing "official" you need to do to join the Hunt. Everyone is welcome, and it's not too late to join. There's still over three months left in the Hunt, and summer (from a solstice/equinox standpoint) hasn't even officially started. If you leave me a link to your blog, I'll add you to my feedly reader and come visit. I also check in on the instagram feed and facebook page all the time.
Second, there will be an official linky at the end of each summer month (June, July, August) where everyone can check in and show off their finds to each other, as well as go visit fellow scavenger hunters. 
Third, there will be an official END OF HUNT linky on September 24, 2014 for everyone to check in and let me know how they did with this year's hunt.
Fourth, in the mean time, feel free to blog about your finds as your photograph them. I love seeing them pop up all over blog land. And, every now and then, I collect a few and feature them here (see below)
Finally, several people have asked "Is a street light or a light standard the same thing as a lamp post?" The answer is yes! Part of the fun of the hunt is seeing how people interpret the various prompts (I'm thinking there's lots of different ways to capture #11 a horn, for instance) and seeing how similar or different common items are around the world. Really, the only hard and fast rule is that your photograph needs to be taken during the time frame of the Hunt (not found in your archives). Other than that, have fun and thanks for joining in!
And now, here's a round-up of some of my favorite posts from the last week or so:
Just Jimjams posted this fantastic bus with a picture painted on the side:
How's that for getting your Monday morning off to a fresh start? Want something a little more scenic? Check out Karen's gorgeous water fall and rural landscape (Stacey at Havoc and Mayhem also featured a wonderful rural pairing at this link):
Karen's post, here, also has a fantastic tattoo photograph and lamp post. Speaking of lamp posts, my blog friend over at Cool Quilting has become a bit obsessed with them:
I could go on and on, as there are so many wonderful Scavenger Hunters posting out there, but I thought I would end with this pairing from Deb Turtle and Jo C., featuring signs welcoming us to their hometowns (which are 5,110 miles apart) because they illustrate the international nature of the Scavenger Hunt, which I love so much!
Thanks again to everyone for participating, and let me know if you have any questions!