Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 28June20

The Climbing Daddy and The Kid were in the pool the other evening (read: every evening). As usual, I was cold and got out before they did.

“Are you able not to splash for 10 minutes if I bring out the Nikon?”

They complied.

Just trying to get the texture of the water with the underwater lights on.



And then a few of the lights on the porch, including this one and the lead image.



I’m getting better at shots in low light, but I have not gotten the hang of portraits if there’s not enough light. Getting better. Still not good.

Posted in mental health, mindset

The COVID opportunity

So much going on, both inside and outside of my brain. I’ve had a lot to say and it all bleeds together and nothing has come out clearly, so I’ve been quiet here on the writing front.

I decided to be productive (in terms of writing) by transcribing onto the computer some pieces for my book that I had written by hand a while back.

I wrote one bit about change and about how we typically require a traumatic life event before we evaluate where we are and what we’re doing. (And how that’s really too bad.) Also about the fork in the post-trauma road—some people take the opportunity to do better, to be better (for whatever that means to them), while others become bitter or closed off. I wonder why. (I’m sure people have researched this, and I’m sure I’d be interested to read about it, and I’m sure that I already have more on my plate than I can do and I will not add that right now.)

It was really interesting reading my thoughts about all that at this time.

We’re experiencing a world-wide trauma. Narrowing focus to just our country, people have been in various degrees of shelter-in-place for, at most, three to four months.

Some people have accepted it but are wilting within it. Some accepted and are thriving. (Those variations have as much to do with who’s in your house and how they interact—if there are others—as much as who you are.) Many haven’t accepted it.

It’s an opportunity to reevaluate what we’re doing day to day without thinking about it. Daily habits.

It’s an opportunity to change spending and saving habits.

It’s an opportunity to clean out the house and get rid of internal elements that are sucking up energy. (I used to be a “yeah it’s a mess but I know where everything is” kind of person and would not have believed that I would feel better with everything neat, uncluttered, tidy … and yet here I am, tangibly more peaceful when my house is tidy.)

It’s an opportunity to help others. (You don’t always need to be in proximity to a person to be helpful.)

It’s an opportunity to cook new things or read new things or explore new things (or old things that got set aside).

It’s an opportunity to be creative, whether literally (the arts, woodworking, app creation, LEGO building without directions, etc.) or in figuring out what to do with the kids … or with yourself.

It’s an opportunity to learn how to meditate. To breathe. To stretch.

Sure, you can argue that we shouldn’t have to shelter-in-place, that money is more important than people, that it’s all fiction, etc., but you’re denying yourself the opportunity to grow.

Is it hard? Of course it is. But you can do hard things.




*Of course it’s not possible in this moment for everyone. Nothing is. But it’s possible for an awful lot of people right now.

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 21June20

Not many photos this week. I did some good learning, though, and know how to change a few more settings on the camera (and why and when I would change them). I’m pleased to be remembering much of what I’m learning.

The course I joined back in the fall has turned out to be good. Going through it as I might in a real class (but with the ability to pause to take notes, or rewind, etc.), writing things down, trying them with the camera in hand when it’s possible, I’m soaking up quite a bit.

I took these shots just messing around and practicing with some settings.


The lead photo is of a baby lizard that lives in the yard. We believe it’s from an egg that was in a tree stump and is usually spotted on the block wall. It was on our screen door for several hours today. (All those photos are back lit and didn’t come out well.) Then when The Climbing Daddy and I were out in the yard talking about good things to come, we saw the lizard on the pool deck. Much better photo op! (That one’s with my phone. I don’t happen to have the other camera on me all the time.)

I love lizards!

Posted in mindset

My photography journey 14June20

The days all kind of blend together. The walks and runs and bike rides. For you, too?

That said, early last week, the weather was amazing, particularly for June here in the Valley of the Sun. One morning, I took a walk through the neighborhood and to the canal to see if I could get any shots (ideally good shots) of the turtles that live in the canal. I see them walking, running, biking, but never when I have Sir Nikolas Cameron with me.

It was so lovely that morning—breezy, sunny, not hot (though definitely nowhere near cool)—I ended up out there for two hours!

I did see a couple of turtles, but they’re both skittish and fast, so my shots weren’t that great. Also: ducks!


Many lovely and/or interesting things to photograph though, besides turtles. As we wind down the season where much is in bloom:


And, of course, there are always some that have long since given up:


Some of the cactus are still blooming. I really love the cacti whether they’re blooming or not. Desert plants are fascinating.


A school I pass by when I go through the neighborhood has a sizable garden in front where they’re growing grapes, among other things.



There are always other random things around, which is interesting, because I’m usually on the same stretch of canal and the same bits of the neighborhood. It’s all about how you look at things…


I love how the sun was shining through these seed pods.



The Climbing Daddy and The Kid went for a bike ride, and I went for a photo-taking walk one evening. Besides shots in evening light, I got a few of them.



Walking home, it was well past sundown but not quite completely dark yet. Passing through the school parking lot, I passed a palm tree on the other side of the school fence, in that ugly sodium light. Made for an interesting shot.



Have a good week! Stay healthy, engage in some introspection, and I’ll be back with more photos (and, in the mean time, more words).

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 7June20

The Kid did a couple of weeks of art camp at Burst of Butterflies last summer and very much enjoyed it, so we signed up for a few more weeks this year.

With all that’s going on, they were able to create an online option (which I was wary of, to be honest); his first week was last week.

It was well-organized and ran fairly smoothly. He needed some help, but after the first day, my help was minimal. And he made some cool stuff. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend them!


But ask him if you can take his picture and you’re likely to get something like this:



Of course, there continue to be walks through the neighborhood and along the canal. I was pretty excited to see this guy and equally excited that he stuck around for a while and posed.


As usual, photos of the flowers and other things I passed by.


Often, we have amazing sunsets in this area, probably from all the dust. The evening I was out walking, what I was offered and was able to capture wasn’t too shabby.



Finally, my first attempt at long-exposure shots while playing with sparklers yielded decent results. Have work to do to do better, and the super hero was happy with the results of his last pose.