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I have a bin with old cameras, lenses, and filters.  I only sort of knew what was in there, having been given a few over the years, and never having had a close look at some of the smaller items.

Yesterday, while trying to find my Gorillapod, I started opening the cases to see what was there.  I was thrilled to find a multi-image filter hidden in the bottom of one of the pockets, opening up whole new possibilities of surreal images.

I wiped away the dust and held the filter in front of my macro lens to see what it would look like.  This is one of the images I made:

Point of View w

I can’t wait until the gardens are in bloom – so many possibilities!

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Sand and Stones

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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.

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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:

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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:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/dawnblanchardphoto.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 27: Letting Go

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Dreaming of White Picket Fences

This topic was a challenge to photograph.

How could I show “Letting Go” in an image?  The only thing I could come up with at first was capturing petals dropping from flowers, or the typical dandelion seeds picked up by the breeze.

But I wanted something different, something more.

This image of a white picket fence, captured through an antique window, is more apt.

It is the dream of white picket fences, the North American ideal.  It is the dream of perfection.

But life isn’t like that.  At some point, we have to let go of that aspiration of perfection, and instead strive for what is perfect for us.  It may not be 2.5 children in a 1.5 story house with an expanse of land and a tire swing in an apple tree.  Letting go can be freeing: It opens us up to new possibilities of perfect.  Letting go of expectations lets us embrace the unexpected.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 23: Harmony

harmony w

Zen Life

On the beach, I search for sea glass, drift wood, and circular rocks.  I am drawn to curves and softened edges, items that have grown more beautiful from friction, from change.

Perhaps it is my Libra nature, but I am also drawn to balance.

These circular rocks represent harmony for me.  Their shape, their colour, and their texture are more enhanced by their arrangement and their togetherness.

The weathered wood and the surrounding space further create a zen feeling in the photograph.

Harmony is balance, calm, and a feeling of rightness.  It is an agreement and a pattern of likeness.

It is peace.

#createmindfulness2017