Sand and Stones

Waves of Sand w

When winter drags on (and on), I have to get creative to find subjects to photograph.  It will be weeks before the snow melts and we are able to see the sand on the shorelines.  So I lose myself in indoor activities:  reading, knitting, writing, and making pictures.

Serenity w

This weekend, I played with sand and stones in a mini zen garden.  Partly, this was to create pictures; and partly, this was to remember what summer felt like.

Eventually, the snow will melt (if it ever stops falling), and I will be able to get out with my camera again.  Until then, I’ll pretend.


How this Happened

I brought my camera to my parents’ house when we went over for supper on Sunday.  I had been wanting to for awhile, to wander through my dad’s workshop and my mom’s sewing room to see what sort of art I could find.  I never did make it to the sewing room, as I got caught up with the details in the workshop.

On a shelf full of random tools and books, a Pringles tin of paintbrushes is tipped sideways.  I thought it would make an interesting composition, so I set up my tripod to capture a few shots.

The first one looked like this:

Paintbrushes w

I was happy with the shallow focus, the shades of red and gold, and the unusual angle of the brushes.

Then, my teenage son thought it would be funny to stick his face in front of my lens.

Since my camera was set for a 4 second exposure, it didn’t really capture his face.  What did happen, was it created a soft glow across the composition, and gave me a shot that I liked even better:

paintbrushes w2

Sometimes, pesky children can be unintentional creative filters.  🙂

One Thing Leads to Another

I have a small collection of vintage cameras, one of which is this art deco Kodak Bantam Special:

bantam special w

I started off photographing it as is, admiring its cool retro style.

Then I decided to open it up – I wasn’t sure if I ever had – and see what I could capture of the lens and its inner workings.

bantam special lens w

Once I opened the film door, I realized I could see directly through the lens.  I experimented with a few different items, until I tried one of the dried roses I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to throw away.  This led to these two sort of surreal photos:

Through a Vintage Lens w

Rose Noir w

Often, when I set out to photography one thing, I end up photographing another.  This, among so many other reasons, is what I love about photography:  the infinite possibilities of what can be found through the lens (or lenses!) of a camera.


A Mermaid’s “Tale”

It seems that as soon as the calendar turns to a new year, I begin looking forward to spring.

Spring means eventually the (several feet of) snow will melt and I will be able to find my way back to the beach again.

Since I can’t get to the beach to search for sea glass, I spend time going through the collection I have.  In one vase are my best finds:  pink, teal, seafoam, lavender, and red.  In another, pieces of softened tile and pottery.

A Christmas ornament of a mermaid rests in the one with the pottery, year-round.  While I was sifting through the pieces yesterday, I noticed that the mermaid tail, through the glass, seemed to be underwater.

A Mermaid Tale w

A simple statue suddenly became a story.

Sweet Find

I found this book accidentally at the secondhand book shop and couldn’t resist picking it up.  I’ve got it on my bookshelf now, but first I had to take a few shots.

The first picture was almost an accident:  I set up my tripod with my macro lens, and focused on where I had left the book on the counter.

Storytime w

The pattern on the book cover was just too sweet.

flower book w

I know this has been done before (I’ve done it myself), but love it anyway…

For the Love of Books w

A $2 find made for some fun compositions on a winter afternoon.  🙂


One Magical Morning

On Sunday morning, the trees looked like this:

freezing rain w

We had had freezing rain the day before, and the angle of the sun was lighting up the thousands of tiny frozen drops.  I hadn’t even noticed at first, having had my coffee and done some marking for school.  Then, when I was doing dishes, I looked out the window and it was simply magical.  I immediately dried my hands and grabbed my camera.

The trees were glistening in the light, but the first few shots I made didn’t truly capture how gorgeous they were.  After a few sharply focused shots, I decided to try something a little different.

The Glistening Trees wA Magical Morning wA Billion drops of sunlight w

These photos better captured the feeling of the moment.  It was truly magical.

Supermarket Bouquet

supermarket bouquet

When the months get colder and the snow has covered summer’s garden, I shop for inspiration.

Inexpensive supermarket flowers make for many photos.  I could not stop taking pictures of this pretty bouquet that I picked up the other day.

They didn’t look like much, stuck in a vase.  Some of the petals were curled and withered from the plastic wrap, and a few leaves torn.  They weren’t perfect, but when I rearranged them in the bright afternoon sunlight, they made for some beautiful compositions.

Here are a few of my favourites:

These are all available in my Etsy shop as digital dowloads:


Cactus on a Beach

Cactus on a Beach w

I will go to the beach until I can no longer go to the beach.

Wind, rain, cold – they don’t stop me.  Only when the snow covers the ground for the winter and makes climbing down to my favourite beach treacherous do I stop for the season.

On this bright, crisp, sunny day I dressed in layers and headed out.  I had checked the tide times, packed my bucket and my camera, and carried a snack in case I got hungry.  This time, I even remembered to pack tissue – if anything can send me home early, it’s that or the lack of a bathroom.

I expected to be alone on this chilly day, but when I arrived, a couple was already there.  With a bucket.  A large bucket.

My heart sank.

No doubt they were searching for sea glass.

I took a breath and went down anyway, hoping they hadn’t cleaned it out.  It took seconds to realize they were serious sea glass hunters, however.  The tracks always tell:  footprints woven up and down the shoreline showed they had covered every inch.

Sighing, I decided to make the best of it.  I had my camera, after all, and it was a beautiful day for a walk.

I didn’t find much sea glass.

What I did find was a tiny plastic cactus, swept up the beach by the tide.  I couldn’t resist a few shots of it standing on the sand, the irony of a cactus seaside not lost on me.

The cactus stands on my kitchen windowsill, now.  A reminder that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but if I keep my eyes open, I might find a fun little unexpected detail.


Moving On


Speaking of letting go, it seems that it’s time for me to move on from the challenge I created for myself.

At the start of the year, I was feeling stuck with my photography, and so I made up a mindfulness challenged that aligned with my yoga practice and allowed me opportunities to “focus” on my photography.

It started off well.

Midway through, however, I got stuck in a different way.  I was inspired once again with my photography, but sticking with the challenge turned out to be, well, challenging.

For the last couple of months, I have had my list out on my desk, hoping to get back to it.  However, instead of helping me to write, it stalled me completely.

This morning, I am moving on.  I am letting go of the challenge, and returning to my write-when-the-inspiration-arises format of this blog.

After all, it served its purpose.  And some writing is better than no writing at all.