52frames week 3 Wabi-Sabi

Grandma’s camera

Wow, it has been a while since my last post. It is my intention to try and post with a little more regularity. I often struggle with what to write, and Instagram has made it easy to post images without having to say a lot, consequently it has been my go to place for sharing my photography. Please join me over there if you want to see more of my photography.

I have been participating in the 52frames weekly challenge, and I thought this week was particularly interesting. Grandma’s Camera, a Baby Brownie, once owned by my maternal grandmother, the lady standing on the right in the little picture. My mom suspects that the picture was taken on this camera.

This week’s challenge, Wabi-Sabi, I have heard about Wabi-Sabi, but I have not spent time studying what it meant or how I might use the concept in my photography. The 52frames challenge description:

What’s old is new again! Wabi Sabi is a wonderful celebration of things (and people) that might have lost their original beauty, might even be viewed as imperfect, yet are still beautiful and meaningful. Look through the photos to appreciate the eyes of the framers, and then maybe look around where you are for unexpected beauty and usefulness in items almost discarded. The extra credit was Old Nature.

Further reading brought this to my attention Wabi stems from the root wa, which refers to harmony, peace, tranquillity, and balance Sabi by itself means “the bloom of time.”  It connotes natural progression-tarnish, hoariness, rust-the extinguished gloss of that which once sparkled. Sabi things carry the burden of their years with dignity and grace.  It is a gift of time wabi, which is humble and simple, and sabi, which is rusty and weathered

Back to the image, I have been spending some time restoring old photos, the old camera has been sitting on my shelf for a while, the old photo only recently arrived on my desk. It seemed life was on my side providing just the right props for a still-life fit for this theme. I used a bowl made by my daughter,when she was about 10 years old, to hold up the picture, and spilled the dried roses for a little color and texture. To enhance the aged feeling I applied a textured layer to the image in post processing.

All the items in the still-life are simple, humble and slightly weather, they are loved for their history, and despite the bloom of time they are displayed in my home.

What do you think, did I meet the challenge?

On other news, I have been working hard to prepare for my first exhibition of photos. Calgary galleries host shows and events through the city during the month of February, the event is called Exposure. I accepted an invitation to participate with 9 other photographers at one of the galleries, you can find more information here and if you are in the area I invite you to see the exhibition, which runs Feb 1, 2020 to Feb 28th, 2020.

I have a new website, it started out featuring images taken during our two walks along the Camino Frances, but has since expanded and is now home to more galleries. I hope you will have a look, let me know it you have a favourite image.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Aspens in the breeze

Aspens in the breeze

Aspen leaves flutter softly

And I hear the rain

The breeze gently blows

A Week of Haiku

Ukelele on sheet music

Day 1

dandelion seeds
delicate tiny softly sail
toward your garden

Day 2

radius halos
wispy hazy cirrus clouds
crystals in the sky

Day 3

love is like a tree
growing of its own accord
despite the hardships

Day 4

towering shadows
flowers along the pathway
Warm evening ramble

Day 5

soft drizzle of rain
rush hour traffic inches
along the wet street

Day 6

The wind deploying
the prairie grasses waving
clouds sailing away

Day 7

haiku and photos
summer awakens for me
daily amazement

I challenged myself to write a haiku a day for one week, and as I am a photographer my inspiration would come from the photos I had taken. I have completed the challenge. Here are my thoughts, it was harder than I had first imagined it might be, more importantly, it was fun and interesting, and I’ve learned a few things about haiku poetry.
Here are the rules as explained by the Society of Classic Poets;
1. Be three lines of five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables.
2. Contain a nature or seasonal reference.
3. Be in the present tense (swims rather than swam).
4. Be subtle and observational.
5. Contain some sort of twist in the third line.
6. Not worry about rhyming.

Rule 6 was easy to live with, not rhyming is easier that rhyming! The haiku poems I wrote this week were more observational than subtle that would be the photographer in me, full disclosure, I have never been known for my subtly. The poems contained some mention of nature, and with all poems but one, the first poem, I managed the right number of syllables in each line.
I think it would take a lifetime to be really good.
Tell me, did you enjoyed the play between poetry and pictures this week? Are you interested in seeing more?

52frames – Week 18 – Dark

coffee time

Dark Roast
This week the 52frames challenge was “dark”. For anyone who knows me, coffee would be the natural subject, for this weeks challenge, I love coffee, but it wasn’t the first thing that came to mind, in fact, nothing came to mind. I wasn’t sure what I was going to photograph, I was stumped, but open to inspiration.

I was getting close to the deadline without any great inspiration, this was going to require some thought! It didn’t help that I was away from home, and had to do some creative thinking about what I would do when I did get home, and into my own space.

I had enjoyed setting up last week’s still-life with the dried flowers, so I started with the idea of building another still life, I have dark wood background and board, that would be perfect for the theme of Dark. I knew I was getting closer! I mentally went through my cupboards, what would be my subject, nothing came quickly to mind.

I knew from past experience, I was on the right track, and something, some idea would form, I just needed to give it a little time. Sometimes if I struggle too hard on these ideas I get nowhere, I have to leave it to percolate (pun intended). As we were driving back from Saskatchewan I sat quietly watching the scenery when the idea of using coffee as the subject came to mind. The dark roast beans Bill loves for his coffee, and a cup of espresso would be perfect. I could hardly wait to get home!

The other two images that I like, but did not get submitted to the challenge. Which one do you like?

52frames week 17

This week the 52frames challenge was upside down. I struggled, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find to photograph. To be honest, I have been at the computer most days, processing images for our travels. I haven’t been out and about with my camera. Sunday, we were going to drive to my home town, the weather forecast for the area wasn’t great, highway road report between here and there was less than ideal, so we stayed home, and I played… setting up a still life with a tiny flower jar and tiny flowers.

I wanted to learn more about focus stacking, both photographing for it and processing it in photoshop. I was clicking away when I decided that I would dump all the flowers out of the bottle, this would be my 52frames “upside down”

Focus stacking (also known as focal plane merging and z-stacking or focus blending) is a digital image processing technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images.

I love the way the still life turned out, and I love learning new techniques for producing images. Did you learn something new this week?


Igor Mitoraj’s sculpture featured at the entrance of Pompeii

Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj’s massive Apollonian sculpture, the Daedalus (Dedalo), has found a permanent home near the Temple of Venus at Pompeii’s entrance.
We had time to visit the historic site, traveling an hour by train from Salerno where we were staying. It was quite amazing, the area that was covered, the reclamation that has been done, and the insight this place provides regarding life during that period of history.
Online information suggested we would need 2 to 3 hours to tour the site, Bill and I were there 3 hours, and had only seen about 1/2 the place! There is very little information on site, the audio guide is, I think, essential, to get the most from our visit.
The whole site is also very exposed with minimal shade, so it is imperative you bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. The cobbled streets and rough nature of the walking surface mean that wheelchairs and prams are impractical.

Seville Inspired

We loved our time in Seville, and I think I can safely say that we will return.

digital artistry, inspired by our time in Seville.

One of the unique features in Spain are the rolling shutters that cover the storefront doors. Metal doors, that roll down at night, or when the store is closed to cover the door. Many are painted with graffiti, but a good many are painted with unique pictures usually relating to the store. We have even seen a parking garage door painted with a Spanish landscape.

You can see some examples of these murals from the blog post about Madrid.

Bill and I spend a lot of time walking around the cities we visit, I was inspired to try my hand at a little digital art, during the quiet time, when my feet were too tired to walk anymore! Using several images taken during our stay. The image above was my attempt to capture the essence of Seville. Learning how to use blending modes, transform tools, selection tools, erasing, masking, and so many other features of Photoshop was quite a challenge.

This type of art has always appealed to me, but I am not sure I have the creativity for it! Have you tried anything new? I have to remind myself that learning new skills takes time, perfect doesn’t happen overnight, or in one magic moment, so I will keep trying during quiet times when my feet are too tired to walk anymore.

The Alcazar of Seville

One of the great sites to visit while in Seville is the Alcazar of Seville, a royal palace built for King Peter of Castile. It was built by Castilian Christians of the site of a Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. The Palace is a beautiful example of Mudejar architecture in the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the Alcazar are still used by the royal family as their official residence while in Seville.

The integrate details in the tiles cover the walls, mesmerizing to the eye. Arched doorways open into lush gardens, with the smell of oranges in the air. and fountains with just a trickle of water conceals the sounds of the people talking in the nearby rooms. I highly recommend the audio guide to learn more about the palace its’ history.

While in Seville we have also done some Sherry tasking, and trip through the white villages, and an evening watching flamenco dancing.

We have been having a great time here in Seville, but I time here has come to an end. We are off to Malta next week. How has your week been?

Have you been to Malta, any tips or suggests for things to do or see. I would love to hear from you

Hola from Seville

We are having a great time in Seville, sherry tasting, cooking classes and a tour of the city. We have spent time touring the Plaza Espana, the Alcazar, Triana, and the Triana Market. So many beautiful streets, cafes, and plazas.

This week the 52framers challenge was “city life at night” and I decided to try out the pano feature on my new phone

This week on Society6 is offering 25% off all products and free worldwide shipping, just in case you are interested in a new yoga matt, or tote bag now is a good time!

Hola from Seville

I love the light and beautiful balconies

We arrived in Seville late last week, and we have enjoyed walking all the pedestrian streets. I love all the beautiful plazas, amazing architecture, and I especially love the light. Early morning light and the evening light along the streets! 

I have been participating with 52frames, a weekly photo challenge, 

week 4 –

Macro, admittedly I wasn’t overly inspired by the challenge, I was lucky to find the daffodils were blooming in my cousins garden. Thanks, Sharon and Bob for a lovely four days! 

Week 5 –

dirty, okay I am struggling with the challenge, and I am going to have to think about how I approach the challenges each week if I am going to keep them up. While I have been struggling, I have been inspired by the images submitted by many of the photographers, and this does help to motivate me. 

Week 6 – my desk, there are a few coffee shops, we have been enjoying the “coffee con leche” coffee with warm milk, as well as the wonderful pastries while I sit process image, so I pretty sure I will have a better submission this week. 

If you have any suggestions for off the beaten path things to do in or around Seville drop me a line, or if you want more info on the 52framers weekly photo challenge, let me know, I would be happy to send you a link. 

While we have been away I have launched a new website for images taken during our Camino to Santiago de Compostela, I would appreciate if you have a look. I would love to know if you have a favorite image, or if you have done the Camino, your favorite memory or location. 

To see our ongoing travel photos check out my Instagram feed. 

See you again soon.