February 8, 2011

Shoot and Edit: Hearts

I’m a day late and uninspired.  But the snow Matthew plastered on our back storm door caught my eye and this is the best I could come up with.  I wish I had thought to do this when the sun was still in the east this morning and the light was shining on the back of the house.  Oh well.  I thought about skipping this week but the point of this is to get me to use my camera and practice, practice, practice.

My SOOC shot:

February 7, 2011

One Little Word | Captured

Week 6

This week I was not focusing on renewal.  The blizzard hit Chicago on Tuesday afternoon and at 8pm we lost power.  I agonized over whether to tough it out through the night at home, or pack up Matthew and head on foot to a neighbor’s with power.  We stayed and by the morning it was COLD but we were fine.

On Wednesday the day could have been awful but was instead lovely.  Our neighbors took us in and we were delighted with their warmth and graciousness.  I shoveled snow for the elderly woman who lives 2 doors down, and it seemed the whole community took to the street and sidewalks to catch up and play in the snow.  Matthew had a ball playing outside for hours – thank goodness for our great friends who fed us and kept us warm until our power came back on!

I think the lesson for me is that renewal can occur in unexpected places.  I renewed some connections with neighbors and had a terrific snow day with my son.  That carried me through what turned out to be the rest of a pretty crappy week.

What’s interesting for me as I explore my word is how its meaning seems to be changing for me.  I had picked it as an opportunity to take a life-reset.  Start over. Do things differently.  But it’s turning out to be the case that I’m finding renewal by accepting and appreciating what I already have.   Like a blizzard and no heat in 20 degree weather.  Which turned out to be a pretty OK thing.

February 7, 2011

Shoot and Edit: Red, the edit

Well I missed the linkup on Thursday because I was dealing with a blizzard, losing power for 24 hours, trying to actually work, and entertaining a 5 year old with 2 snow days.  Last week was NOT the best I’ve had in recent memory.

Even though I missed the linkup I’m posting this picture anyway so I can hopefully look back over my progress as I get better at using Photoshop and learning to edit.  Here is my edited photo:

I would have preferred to keep the photo all color.  I played around with many different edits, but struggled with how to correct for the over-exposed yellow bucket in the original.  I couldn’t get it right…I think I’m supposed to apply a correction and using a layer mask paint off the correction everywhere else but I have no idea how to actually do that.  I think it’s time to buy a CS3 manual.

After several frustrating attempts I did this.  Which is OK.  I also think I need to get into the “less is more” mindset where editing is concerned.  If my original photo is OK I need to be OK not editing very much.  So much to learn!

February 1, 2011

Shoot and Edit: Red

I’ve stalked.  Each week I’ve looked and followed along.  And finally I’m joining the shoot and edit fun.  I’m nervous b/c I think that my skills really aren’t up to par, but I’m hoping that by participating I’ll learn and improve.  I think my photos are entirely average, and my Photoshop skills can be best categorized as “rank amateur”.  I’m learning to be OK with that, and already I’m amazing at how much I’m learning just by trying.

Here’s my SOOC shot:

Anyone visiting from Jill or Ashley’s linkup…would love your constructive critiques on this or my edited shot once it goes up!

January 31, 2011

One Little Word | Captured

Week 5

It was a great, lazy weekend at home with Matthew.  At one point he grabbed my camera and asked me if he could take some pictures.  I’m incredibly nervous letting a 5 year old handle my Nikon but he did great, and he actually took the below shot.  He had me throw the mousie up to Max over and over until he got the shot he wanted.  Not bad, kiddo!

January 28, 2011


So this lovely quote was included in Ali Edwards’ recent blog post and I LOVE it.  I just had to repost so I could remind myself of it when I needed a little boost.

January 25, 2011


I was sitting at my desk thinking about the fact that I haven’t taken any pictures today and Max jumped up for some love.  My iPhone was sitting right there so…

January 23, 2011

One Little Word | Captured

Week 4

This weekend I spent a lovely several hours finally working on my pages for Ali Edwards’ One Little Word workshop.  What a great exercise, I’m so glad I signed up for her class!  It really helped me focus on what my word meant to me, and gave me some new food for thought as well.  It also resulted in my first trip to a scrapbooking store (completely overwhelming…and expensive)!

The most surprising finding from this exercise is that all the synonyms for my word are “re-” words.  Recharge, refresh, rejuvenate, restore, revitalize, reclaim, replenish, rewaken, rekindle.  How wierd is that?  Turns out the definition of the prefix “re” is “again” or “anew”.  That says as much about what I want out of the year as anything else.  Who knew?

January 23, 2011

Week Three: Discipline

This week’s focus is discipline, specifically self-discipline.  I happened to be in Cancun on vacation this week, so I am responding to this prompt from that perspective.  While I am still figuring out exactly what my specific goals are for the year (starting a yoga practice, etc) I am very pleased with how disciplined I was at staying mindful during my vacation.  I tried especially hard to stay in the moment and found that I’ve never enjoyed a vacation more.  Mindfully enjoying a vacation was so much more joyous an experience than simply letting the days flow by.

January 23, 2011

My Wordle

One of the exercises for this month’s OLW project was to look up the synonyms for our word.  I realized that all the synonyms I liked were all “Re-” words.  The prefix re- means ‘again’ or ‘anew’.  I thought that was super interesting, and says as much about my goals for the year as my actual word.

I used Wordle to create this word cloud of my word and its synonyms.  I’m pretty pleased with it.  It may say more about my goals for the year than “renew” does alone.