Photo Challenge Day 6 – Independence Monument

Today’s Photo was taken from my backyard. I was thinking about what to shoot when I noticed the shadows giving Independence Monument some depth where it usually blends in with the background. This was the laziest shot I’ve taken for this challenge but it turned out nicely.

30 Days of Photos – Day 6

Day 6 – Independence Monument


Photo Challenge Day 5 – Cactus Flower

For Day 5 of my 30 day photo challenge I ended up in the desert. I spent two hours exploring and photographing flowers, landscapes, bugs and animals. It was a great time and the most enjoyable of the photos I’ve taken for this challenge so far. 

I think I took over 160 photographs and I liked a majority of them. The picture I chose for today’s post might not be my favorite. I can’t really tell because I have so many favorites.

If you want to see more from my hike you can check them out on my Flickr page

30 Days of Photos – Day 5

Day 5 – Cactus Flower

Finding Color in the Desert

I went out for a hike in a desert area to visit a lone tree where migratory bluebirds come to feed on the berries each year. I was either too early or too late because there were no bluebirds. So I decided to turn the hike into a desert color photo walk. I was also trying to get a good picture for my 30 day photo challenge and this was the perfect opportunity.

The tree

When you first look out onto most desert landscapes you might be tempted to assume it’s just a brown, arid, lifeless scene. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once you learn to observe the desert closely you’ll see that it is teaming with life and is full of color. Sometimes it takes being still and waiting for your ears to acclimate to the sounds and your eyes to the shapes and colors the desert provides.

I hadn’t eaten much for breakfast since I was trying to get out to the tree while the sun was just coming up. I realized that I was getting pretty hungry and should probably get back home soon.  But now that I was out looking for colorful subjects and finding them at every turn, I just couldn’t break away. I was having too much fun and it was so peaceful being the only person in sight.

I spent about two hours walking the hills and trying to avoid getting skewered by cactus needles. I came away with over 160 photographs. I knew I was going to like a lot of them. After I brought them home to look at on the computer screen I realized I liked too many of them. How in the world would I be able to choose one for the photo challenge. In the end I did choose one although it’s hard to say any one of them is a favorite. You can see it at my Photo Challenge Day 5 post.

Here are a few of the photos from the day. The rest can be seen on my Flickr page.

Photo Challenge Day 3 – Watering Can

Using things that are beautiful and functional is more enjoyable than using something designed only for utility. Click To Tweet

This watering can and the pots were left at our house by the previous owners. I thought the can was unique and interesting. I have a bigger one that I actually use for watering plants. This one is mostly for show. But, perhaps I will use it anyway. Using things that are beautiful and functional is more enjoyable than using something designed only for utility.

30 Days of Photos Day 3 – Watering Can

Just for fun, I’ve included a few other photos of the watering can that I had considered for this post. Comment below if you like one of them better than the one I chose.

Photo Challenge Day 2 – Train Signals

Yesterday I declared that I would take a picture each day for 30 days and post it to this blog. I’m not backing out. But I am changing the rules a little.

While I’ll be taking a photo a day, or at least choosing my favorite out of multiple photos, I’ll actually post them the next day. This will give me a chance to choose, crop, resize, touch up or otherwise get it ready to post.

It will also give me a chance to actually take the photo. During the week, If I don’t get it early in the morning, it will likely be taken late in the evening. So I don’t have much time to do the other things I mentioned above.

Yesterday I was busy from early in the morning until about 7:00pm when I finished grocery shopping. I was on the way home but was scanning my surroundings for a likely photo subject. I saw it suddenly and pulled over into the dirt shoulder underneath an overpass.

I was about to get out of the car and start working out my composition when I realized that everything was framed just the way I wanted it. So I rolled down my window and got ready to take a shot from the car. Right as I was about to release the shutter, a truck with a car carrier pulled in front of me and stopped.

That was almost the end of my shoot but the guy didn’t stay long. He backed up a few feet (further into my field of vision) and then just drove away. Who knows what was going on in his mind but at least he got out of my way. I like photographing industrial things with strong lines line power poles, fences or unique structures. This time it was railway signal lights. With the stormy sky as the background I think it looked interesting.

30 Days of Photos – Day 2

Day 2 – Train Signals

A Photograph a Day for 30 Days

Last week I started trying to take one new photograph per day. My goal is to get the camera in front of my face every day and improve my photography. Some days it feels like a chore. I’m tired or feeling uninspired for a subject.

Other days I’ve found that I can’t wait to go exploring to see what catches my eye. Maybe I thought of a subject earlier in the day. Or sometimes the morning or evening light is just so beautiful that any subject will look good.

Regardless of how I feel on any day, the discipline of picking up the camera and forcing myself to use it will pay off.

I didn’t start off doing this as any sort of 30 day challenge or 365 day project or anything. But I think it could be fun to turn it into something like that for the blog. I wouldn’t be able to guarantee a good photograph every day. But hopefully they would get better over time.

All right, let’s do a 30 day, photograph a day challenge. Today is May 2nd and there are 31 days in the month so it works out to start today. Some days the photograph will be in place of any other post. Other days I’ll probably just use it as a supplement.

In a way, I’ve already been participating in this challenge since my one-a-day photos have appeared in my posts Raspberry Leaf, A Nest In The Rocks, The Secret Life of Dandelions, No Matter the Beauty and Potting Up The Garden.

But going forward it will be official. I’m putting myself on record as having to do this every day. Hopefully, doing this live will give me the motivation and accountability to keep up with it. If I can make it through 30 days, I’m sure I can keep it going well beyond that. 

I’m going to make things just a little easier on myself by using a photo from a couple of days ago as my first one. That’s because I haven’t had a chance to take one today yet but I want to get this post out of the way. You can call it cheating if you want but oh well. So here’s todays photo to start things off:

Day 1 – A barbed wire fence post

A Nest In the Rocks

I try to take at least one walk around my neighborhood each day. I do it for exercise but I also enjoy observing all of the little intricacies of daily life for the few hundred people and animals that live around my street. For several days now I have noticed a couple of birds hanging out in the same area by a retention pond. Every time I walk by they throw a terrible fit. But they never fly away.

So yesterday I took my camera on the walk and stopped to see if I could get some pictures. I knelt down to take the picture and the bird went crazy. It made a lot of noise, turned its back on me and spread its feathers. When that failed to scare me away it made attempts at charging me while yelling spreading its wings.

My wife was along and commented that there must be a nest nearby. I couldn’t understand why it was making such a ruckus when I was still standing on the sidewalk. Then my wife pointed and asked “are those eggs?” Sure enough, right there in the rocks next to the sidewalk were four eggs. I had been standing about six inches from them. They were a black and cream spotted egg and they blended in really well with the rocks and dirt.

No wonder the bird was angry. But really, it was poor planning on her part. I’m not very good at identifying birds off the top of my head. I was, however, able to do a bit of research and discovered this is a pair of Killdeer. Killdeer are a type of Plover. I’ll be checking on the eggs now when I walk by. Hopefully some dog or other animal doesn’t get to them before they can hatch.

Raspberry Leaf

I was surprised to wake up Saturday morning and find it had rained during the night. It was a light rain as evidenced by the not quite soaked chair cushions and outdoor rug. But it was enough to leave droplets on the raspberry leaves that are starting to grow up in one of my garden pots.

Each leaf is unique with its own patterns and colors. I spent some time working my way around the small cluster of canes, finding leaves that were well shaped and facing the right direction. I worked with the composition of the subjects to see if I liked them centered or offset, clustered or single. Then I had to think about where the light was and if the image had enough in it. It was only 7:00am so there were plenty of shadows amongst the leaves to contend with.

I made several images that I really liked. But in the end I chose the one below for this post because of its simplicity, color and angle. I love being able to find such beautiful subjects right in my own back yard.

A study In Light

Sometimes I just look up and see an image that I want to make with my camera. The other morning the sun was coming through the window and shining on a mechanical desk. The desk has a hand crank that moves it up and down. I thought the shape of the crank handle was cool so I started taking some exploratory photographs at different angles.

At one angle I noticed the shadow the handle made and decided to follow that theme. I put a sketch pad down on the floor and tipped the desk over into the light. My final image is no masterpiece. But it is an interesting study in shape, light and the absence of light.