Tag Archive | photography

Assignment: Color

This semester, I’m taking a photography class. It’s one that’s required for all art majors.  I took it this semester because over the summer, I had a class with some photography majors, and they told me that UVU was switching the Photography I from a film class to a digital class. I wanted to take film photography, because I knew I could borrow Dad’s fancy film camera, but my little digital camera probably wouldn’t work for the class. The course catalogue for this semester listed Photography I as a film class, but on the first day I learned that the switch had already happened.

Drama ensued. I can’t afford a new camera, and doing research on the dSLR camera‘s I could afford I discovered that they shot in a lower resolution than the camera I already have.  So I hunkered down with the instruction manual, and the syllabus, and discovered that my Canon Powershot SX100is would probably work–I emailed my instructor and she agreed, though she was concerned when she actually saw the little thing.

Anyway, my class is on Saturday.  Which I actually think works, because it gives me the rest of the week to do the assignments. It’s hard going to school six days a week, but I’ll get though.

The assignment for this week was color–simply to take two colorful photos that would work well together.  Of course, no photographer worth her salt would stop at just two, so here are my favorites:

I was trying to get a good contrast between the red of the blanket, the yellow and blue of the dog bed, and Lulu's white fur. It never really worked that way. I think this looks like Lulu's eavesdropping on the downstairs neighbors.

I LOVE this picture, I just couldn't find something to pair it with. Sure, it would have worked with the last picture, but I wanted two different subjects. Max was being even less cooperative that Lu was about the whole photography thing.

This is a basket Mom has. It's woven into a diamond pattern, alternating the red and green. I took other pictures where the pattern was more clear, but I liked this one the best.

These next two I almost turned in–in fact, I had turned them in, but we had a break before we got to my review, so I changed my mind, and substituted another pair.  I think they’re well done, but they’re not my aesthetic, and I didn’t want to put them in my portfolio at the end of class.

So the whole "something delicate juxtaposed with something hard and rusty" is absolutely not my aesthetic. Still, I'm a little obsessed with this old horse trailer (the blue thing) that lives behind my complex. This was taken during the golden hour in the morning, and I love how the sunflowers are glowing.

this truckbed-turned-trailer lives next to the horse trailer in the last picture. This picture was taken half a dozen times before I managed to get there in the golden hour in the evening. While I think pictures of rusty metal are so overdone, I love the lines in this picture, and the glow of the trailer.

So, fall's here. Or almost here. Or something. I couldn't find any leaves that had changed color all the way--not that I looked very hard--so I settled for my parent's honey locust tree, where the leaves were just starting to change.

 

"Color" kinda turned into "lighting" for me. And I had a lot of fun playing with the shutter speed on my camera. This was taken by setting a 6" shutter speed (while the car was not moving, naturally. This was dangerous enough, and I tried to be smart-ish about it) then propped up on my dashboard while I was driving an empty stretch of road. I like how the yellow roadsign and the yellow stripe in the road come together. I kinda wished I was following someone, so I could get red tail-lights, but I think just the yellow, black and white work together.

So you know how I said that "color" kinda turned into "light" for me? Yeah. This is one of the pictures that I ended up turning in. I was mesmerized by the way the blue screen reflected on the desk with the computer. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Last week, we looked at some abstract photographs, and I was intrigued by the notion, so I attempted some myself. This is a vase, a drinking glass and some ribbon stacked inside of each other--and the other photograph I turned in. It's blurry, but that was by choice--I wanted the focus to be on the colors, not any of the objects actually used. My instructor was worried about my camera after seeing this picture, until I showed her some of the others that I took this week.

So as far as color goes, I think I did well. Next week, we’re talking about composition, and taking a photography field trip around campus

Temple Square

I’m in the midst of a two-week break between semesters.  Besides waiting less-than patiently for my summer semester grades to be posted (I’m really only worried about my Math class, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get lower than a “B” in any of the other classes), I’ve been trying to find things to do to keep from being bored–how in the world did I manage two and a half months as a kid?

Anyway, given my sudden influx of all sorts of time, I’ve had a craving to get my watercolors out. The problem is, I’ve let my sketching taper off, and I didn’t have a clear inspiration for a painting.

To that end, I went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City yesterday. And, because I can’t visit Salt Lake without bugging Sis, I dragged her, G and E along with me.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Temple Square–and I have to say, going on a Tuesday afternoon in the summer is a much more pleasant than going at Christmas Time. I’m a cold weather kind of gal, but I’ll take 90’s and no crowds to 20’s and loaded with tourists.

The original idea was to do some sketching there, but I threw my camera in my purse as an afterthought.  Which, had I been thinking, I would have just taken the camera–there was no way that I could have expected a 5-year-old and a 18 month old to wait patiently while I sketched. It was hard enough getting them to wait patiently while I took pictures.

I was more interested in the gardens than the architecture, but still:

It’s something of a requisite shot.

At the Conference Center. Not happy that his Mom and Aunt were telling him to stay out of the water.

In the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Originally known as Hotel Utah, it was built in 1911. Love the Art Nouveau styling.

Now, onto the gardens:

There were lots of gorgeous hostas, which, I think will work well for watercolor painting.

There were lots of gorgeous hostas, which, I think will work well for watercolor painting.

Hostas, or any plant with gorgeous greenery, really, make me think of an allegory once told me. I was taking a religion class, and my instructor was talking about having bought her first house, and putting in a garden. Her mother had suggested only plants that produced flowers or fruits, and getting rid of everything else. The point was we should fill our lives with productive things. In my literal-minded view of the world, I stopped listening to the lesson, and instead thought about all the beautiful, useful plants my instructor would miss out on if she took this advice. Like hostas. I came to the conclusion that it was a bad allegory.

And yes, hostas are technically a flowering plant, but you plant them for the beautiful leaves, not the rather lackluster flowers.

Black-eyed Susan. I’ve got this sketched and stretching, as soon as it’s dry, I’m going to try painting it.

I have no idea what this beauty is. The pink and purple flowers came from the same stalk as the orange and yellow flowers. The leaves look like mint, but it doesn't smell like mint.

Petunias are flowers that I've had to learn to like--but they are so cheerful, and they like the hot weather.

Just a couple of random lilies. I love how everywhere that could grow a flower is growing a flower. G didn't believe that there weren't any fish in the water in the background.

I wasn't the only person taking pictures of flowers--and if I had been thinking like a photographer and not a painter, I would have taken pictures of people taking pictures of flowers. I'm pretty sure I was the only person taking pictures of tree bark, though.

So, I’ve got plenty of inspiration, and for a handful of change for a parking meter, I had a fun outing with my sister and nephews. I think when you live close to monuments like Temple Square, it’s easy to take them for granted.

At least, I realized on the way home that I probably should have just gone to the public garden by my house for inspiration.

In other news, I’ve opened up an Etsy shop. You can find it here. Right now, I just have dog toys for sale, but hopefully, I’ll be able to expand into more artistic territories.  I’ve even already made a sale–a feat made less impressive considering the buyer is my cousin and one of my product testers. (Thanks, Sarah!) Anyway, check it out.

So much for giving myself a break from G

There is nothing like a 4th of July celebration in a small town.  Especially if you grew up in said small town.  And, despite my reservations, somehow, I got talked into coming down for the celebrations tomorrow.  Because, you know, the 4th is on a Sunday, and Mormon’s take the whole “keep the Sabbath day holy” very seriously, so the party is tomorrow.

Um, yeah.  I was playing with the shutter speed on my camera while we were lighting fireworks (because, you know, the best way to celebrate the birth of our country is by blowing up a small bit of it.)  I don’t want to do the photodump thing but…

a bit too short of a shutter speed.

better...but we didn't understand the direction to "draw pictures using the sparklers"

it's a good thing that the B-I-L was there to help with the "draw a picture" thing

The proper response, when a three year old shoves a sparkler in your face is to talk about how dangerous that is, not to take a picture of it. I guess I'm not a very proper person.

the firework and the batteries in my camera died at about the same time.

So, while I was waiting for these photos to upload,  I remembered that my home town had a tradition of shooting a cannon off at sunrise on the 4th.  And I’ll be sharing a bedroom with a very gunshy little dog who isn’t allowed on the bed.  This will be interesting…

For someone who doesn’t have anything to do, today has been a busy, expensive day.

So, I can’t think of a more unpleasant way to start my post, but…

I realized this morning that sick dog=stinky house.

And my carpet shampooer was at my sister’s house.

So, after calling to make sure she’d be around, I headed up.  On the way, I saw a TON of cops.  I even met one.  It turns out that when you forget to register your car for a year, you’ll get a ticket.  But thank you, Detective who’s name starts with a “J” and signed the rest of the way with a squiggly line for not impounding my car.  I can handle the $40 ticket plus the registration fees if it means I don’t have to get my car out of impound.

He was cute, too.

So, disgusted with myself, I finally got to my sister’s house.  After loading my shampooer into the car, and collecting G from preschool, I mentioned to her that I wanted to check out Piper’s Quilts and Comforts, and I have to say, I could spend a LOT of money there (I didn’t, Mom, neither Sis nor I spent a dime).  The store is full of super-cute patterns and fabrics, (MUCH better than JoAnn’s) and wonderful yarns.  I am absolutely in LOVE with that store–it’s enough to get me to figure out how to use my sewing machine.  (It’s also in the same neighborhood as a vintage store that both Sis and I want to check out, but G was being G.)

Sis and I had a good talk on the way to the other side of the valley and back, and she convinced me to apply to both SLCC and UVU.  It’ll take a couple of days for the applications to go through, so I won’t be able to start the first block of summer classes–but I should be able to start school in the middle of next month.  I still haven’t decided where I want to go.

I spotted it, but Sis was the one who managed to snap a picture. Out of the windshield of her truck while stopped at a stoplight. I totally could have gotten this shot, but it was probably more important to answer the phone call from my mother...

We were also treated to the rare sight of a sun dog in mid-May.  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen one of these since coming back from Canada.

So back to Sis’s house, where G decided that eating and sleeping are actually good things, and I slipped out while G was down for a nap–back to my house, but stop and get the car registration taken care of first.

So, I don’t really know why I go to the place I do to get my car registered and inspected, except it was the first “on-the-spot” registration place I spotted when I moved to Utah County, and I know the Grandfather of a guy who worked there 5 years ago.  But it is next to a big-box store that appropriates some of its parking spaces to turn into a garden center on a yearly basis.  I was feeling anxious about all the money I’d be spending today, so I wandered around the plants and flowers trying to calm down.

It’s crazy how cheap bedding plants in a Shop-ko parking lot help center a person.

I managed to take some pictures, before the batteries on my camera died, too.  I figured if anyone gave me any grief about it, I’d say I was planning my garden, and needed some time to think about the plants that I wanted.

I seriously LOVE gerbras.

I was hoping that I could take care of all my registration needs at the Lube Doc, but, unfortunately, I had to go to the DMV.  Always a treat, that.  Especially when you only have a vague idea of where it is.

So, I came to a couple of conclusions while waiting at the DMV

  1. The kids running around, screaming and being kids are a lot cuter to watch when you’re not in charge of them.
  2. Max owes me BIG TIME for not draping him over my arm and dragging him everywhere, like the lady with the pomeranian

The woman at the DMV was impressed that I’d managed to go a year without getting caught with my expired registration.  When I explained that I got caught today, she was also impressed that Detective J didn’t have my car towed, and said I had a nice cop.  I agreed, and told her I thought he was cute, too.  She laughed and asked if I told HIM that–that maybe that’s how to get out of a big ticket, by telling the cop he was cute.

I’m not sure if that would work, but, much to my sister’s consternation, I don’t know how to flirt.

So finally, back home with a legal car, a dog with disturbing noises coming from his gut, and a carpet that I’m trying to work up the motivation to shampoo.   It’s been a stressful day, and I’m glad to be home.

Or not, depending upon what Max does next.

Arachnophobes, beware.

Blame it on my father.

I recently freaked out quite a few of my Facebook friends by admitting that I find certain spiders cute–mostly jumping spiders.

I understand the aversion that most people have to spiders–they look alien, there eating habits are not to be observed by the squeamish, and, some of them bite, with painful and possibly deadly results.

Growing up in the middle of nowhere, nature was an effective classroom for Sis and me.  My dad would find spiders and snakes and lizards and show them to us, and teach us about them.  I’ve never seen Dad willingly kill a spider, he’ll catch them–bare handed, mind you, and gently take them outside.

Frankly, I’d rather have spiders in my home than insects.

Overcoming fear is always a good thing, right?  I’d suggest to any readers I might not have yet scared off to learn what the venomous spiders in your area look like, then start exploring the world of miniature.

And remember, spiders, in general, aren’t interested in attacking humans.  We are much too big to eat, so any bites or attacks come because the spider feels threatened.

Okay, the preview function has shown that I have rambled enough that any pictures now posted won’t show up when people open up “The Storyteller Chronicles”, so here are some of my favorite local spiders.

A quick thanks to Amazing Nature, Arachnids of Utah and Wild Utah Spiders for providing most of the pictures.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t find images of my two very favorite spiders, a yellow orb weaver that is not only beautiful, but weaves a beautiful web, and the cute little black and white jumping spider that I’ve only ever seen around my parent’s house.  Anyway, on to the pictures:

This picture, I think, single-handedly proves that spiders can be beautiful.  It’s a goldenrod crab spider, waiting inside a flower (Sis, that’s your cue to tell me what that flower is) for a tasty insect.

Goldenrod crab spiders are amazing, because they can change color.  Here’s the same type of spider in its yellow form:

I love how the red/orange stripe just pops on both spiders.

Okay, on to the jumpers.

Who doesn’t love these?  Besides having an adorable face, they are amazing to watch, and, if you are lucky enough, quite fun to play with.

There eyes fascinate me.  I think the eyes are what draw me to spiders.  The way they see the world is so different from the way we do–but very effectively, too.  If you’ve ever seen a jumping spider skitter and jump in reaction to stimuli from any direction, you understand what I mean.

This is another jumping spider, but the woman who took this picture didn’t know what kind.  It’s a juvenile, proving that even spiders have cute kids.  Here’s another view:

Those rust-colored markings are just gorgeous!

Orb weaver spiders are another showcase for mother nature’s beautiful colors.  This particular beauty was found in Riverton, Utah.  Orb weavers are responsible for the classic circular spiderwebs.  Next time you see one,  I suggest trying to find the architect.  Chances are, you won’t be disappointedOkay, so the cat-faced spider isn’t one that I would consider especially beautiful, but take a look at the markings on her abdomen.  There’s a smiley face!  How can you not love a creature that walks around with a smiley face?

This last one is a neoscona, a spotted orb weaver.  Look at the patterns on her back!  Carol Davis, who took this picture, thought it looked like a Persian rug.  If a four-legged creature had such markings, fashionable ladies throughout the centuries would be wearing the skin.

So have I convinced you not to run away screaming the next time you see a spider?  Or smash it, or flush it down the toilet?

Well, that’s okay too.  Just take another look, and be aware that there is beauty to be found even in the creepy-crawly things of life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go read Charlotte’s Web again.

Finding Nature

I had every intention of getting up early this morning and going to the temple–Lulu had different ideas.  She woke me up at a quarter to four letting me know that she needed to go outside.  If it was even an hour later…

Anyway, I managed to get back to sleep, but woke up at 9:30, and the temple closes at 10am on Mondays.  I wasn’t going to make it.  BUT–the sun was shining and it was such a pretty day that I decided to load the dogs into the car and went out in search of some nature.

I ended up at Nunn’s Park, in Provo Canyon–I wanted to go to Bridal Veil Falls, but the trail was closed.

I suppose my search for nature was either too early in the year, or too late in the day, but I had a nice walk, Max and Lulu got worn out, and I got a few interesting pictures.  I’m going to have to try this again some time.

I found a visitor on my balcony this morning

Something tells me that I really don't have enough sun for pansies.

Rapids in the Provo River

Nobby tree.

new plants in the pebbles. I should know what these are...

Nunn's Park was the site of one of the first hydroelectric plants in the country. This is the remains of that plant

I went in search of nature to photograph, and ended up taking pictures of man-made structures...

I watched this bird bobbing and grooming. Again, I should know what it is...

this was a "pocket shot", but I like how it turned out

Golden leaves from last year. I loved the contrast of the gold and the gray.

I don't know what side of the trail to walk on!

No trespassing dogs. Got it.

Nature is prickly.

Oh, spring, why has thou forsaken us?

The weather has been wonky here this winter.  It got cold, quickly, for a few weeks in December, then, it was very mild through Christmas, January, and the first part of February. Then, when we hit Valentines day, they time when it usually starts to warm up, we started getting snow again.

I thought I’d celebrate the arrival, then departure, and anticipate the re-return of spring 2010 by posting some vaguely weather-related pictures I’ve taken recently.

At least I’m not on the east coast.

Kinda cheesy, but I like it. Rain drops as viewed from the inside of my windshield

The leaves from the hedge stained the concrete on the sidewalk.

The trees are ready for spring

Max isn't sure about the return of the snow, either.

I thought that the neighboring apartment block looked so pretty in the snow, kind of misty and European.

I was playing with the shutter speed on my camera, trying to stop the snowflakes around the lamppost.

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