Friday, February 10, 2017

week five . of all the days to be over, this was a good one

Some words from Tuesday: Today was such a wonderful day to be done.

I had to clean out the play structure (The Maze, and believe me, it's aptly nicknamed) because a child had a nose bleed. For some reason he started to go down one way, changed his mind, and gone down a different way. He must have sprayed blood in every single section. And the maze takes up about half our square footage in that room, which is not only a lot to clean, but also very challenging to keep 40+ kids in about 35 ft² of space. And reduced to half the regular staff, at that!

If there's something that I should say, it's this: I hate blood.

What I really hate is the idea of the cut that caused the blood, so nose bleeds do not send that same chill up my spine, but it is definitely not far down on my list of things that I don't enjoy thinking about.

And this morning I woke up with a nose bleed. And swallowed a lot of blood.

I don't think I fully realized how much blood I'd swallowed until I got up into the highest level of the maze and started to realize just how bad the air flow is up there.

Hint: it's bad.

The taste of blood is not quickly forgotten, and, just like stomach acid, is easily perked up by the smell. Thankfully, I did not throw up.

I'll leave out the fact that I also don't like heights. Or being asked at the rate of a least (and I do not exaggerate!) three kids a minute if the maze is open yet.

Hint: No. It's not.

But it is hot and unpleasant up there and hot and unpleasant make me crabby... If you wanted to know.

But let me tell you, to go home was bliss.

I absolutely love that feeling of working really hard and then bring able to say goodnight and fall into bed so tired. I love working hard all week and being able to forget it all Sunday.

There's something so satisfying about working hard, especially when it's something you are not enjoying, and then being able to rest from your labor.

That was my (not so) fun story for the week. here are the pictures.

day twenty-eight . snow on sunday is too exciting to not play in (even if you're already dressed for church!)

day twenty-nine . life hack : rain boots double for snow boots in a pinch.

day thirty . this is my mom's bulletin board. it's got a little piece of all our history.

(oh, look. there's a picture of deryn. and TWO PICTURES of you, Janelle. you be so famous.)

day thirty-one . this is our school room. it's got a little bit of everything. It's beautiful.

day thirty-two . (february!!) lego playing has happened like every day since like the beginning of their lives.

day thirty-three . cup song like yo. (we always learn new things when lizzie spends the weekend. this time we learned footloose. we rock.)

day thirty- four . shadows.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

week four. good BYE, January.

hint, hint: I'm not even sorry to see you go.

no, take that back. you guys all know I hate january with a passion. But. there is a small, tiny something in me that's always sad that it's over. More, I think, that we've finished the first month of the year, than that we've finished January. (there's a big difference there.) it's like the month (and motivation) of "IT'S A NEW YEAR" is done and gone are all the "GET YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS DONE THIS YEAR" blog posts and all that's left in it's wake are "what to get your soul mate for valentines day."

Rolls eyes.

No, sorry, I'm getting carried away.

Point: yay. january's done. also, it's feburary.

once a very wise person (also, very sad person. I don't know if that's causation. just puttin' it out there.) said, "February is the shortest month of the year, so if you're having a miserable month, try to schedule it for february."

*wipes tear

truer words were never spoken.

To me, February, in some ways, feels like the real start of the year, because it's like the first serious month of the year where you actually have to get down to the day-to-day grind without the romantic idealism that january brings (which is maybe ironic, I'm not really sure.) In that way, I find I almost hate february more than january.

maybe I'm just a hater. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 day twenty-two : fairy house... tell me you didn't make a fairy house when you were a kid... once we even tricked my younger sister and her friend into thinking that all the little flowers on this one tree were actually fairies. It was never clear if they actually believed us or if they just humored us. It may have been some of both.
 day twenty-three : we had three sisters spend the week (monday, wednesday, and thursday afternoon, to be fair.) while their mom took a class. It was a week filled with sippy cups and pretzel bags.
 day twenty-four : when it's nice outside we spend the day outside because winter is a sucky time.
day twenty-five : I'm gonna be completely honest here on two things: 1.) I woke up like this, and I don't think anyone has any trouble doubting that with that lovely hair (it always does that!) 2.) I rarely wake up like this...

because I get out of bed wayyyy before the sun is up (jk, I watch it rise on the way) to go to the gym to run.

So, actually, it's a total luxury to sleep in. which I did on wednesday.

(read it audrey hepburn voice:) it was wouuuuuunderful.

and take it from a girl who used to always sleep in til like ten: it feels so good to get up early.
day twenty-six : hang out session turned tattoo parlor. (note: we didn't have henna so the natural substitute is sharpie.)
day twenty-seven : rubik's cubes have become a kinda new obsession for me. I have no revolutionary thoughts about them, except once when I came up with the idea that like it would be awesome if there was a site you could enter what you had and it would tell you how to solve that.

"yeah, they have that." thanks, mom.

In closing, I know I'm having trouble staying on time with blog posts.

But I recently saw a post somewhere that said, instead of apologizing say thanks. thanks for waiting for me. thanks for caring. instead of sorry for not showing up.

so thank you for reading.

Friday, February 3, 2017

post-production questions

I need help editing this picture. It's totally different from really anything I've done before.

I rarely stray from my usual editing technique, but this picture calls for something a little extra.

Some pictures don't fully capture moments, but when you play around with it in the editor they turn into something much more magical. (a much more magical moment. how's that for cheesy?) Make it black and white and it conveys something completely different then when it's left in color. remove a distraction (that's true to life, but not true to your memory of it.) Or maybe you just crop and take out unnecessary distraction. Focus the viewer's attention. Use the rule of thirds or center the subject.

Point being: We hold the power of making an image, even after we press the shutter.
So I took this picture. and honestly, not all thaaaat impressive (the one at the top, in color.). On the camera screen, especially, you can barely see the girl at the top of the hill and I almost deleted it.

But here's my deal. I have trouble with having a vision for what I want the picture to be. I can put words to the vibe (the girl at the top of the hill standing for hope and change and the girl running from dark and loneliness and danger, even. The viewer's eye is drawn up the hill, the mountain of difficulty, into the hopeful future. which is represented higher and brighter.) But how do I portray that? Do I crop to focus the viewer's eye? Do I remove those lampposts and mailboxes? Do I add texture? Do I burn and dodge the area's I want different?
I still think maybe a little texture would be nice, but I'm waffling a little. maybe the trees are a little bit of a distraction, too...

your thoughts?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

week three . Spring weather, winter colors.

We got a little bit of warm weather and spent every second of it outside. which is as it should be. Unfortunately, the outside is not pretty in winter. I'm looking for ways to show the beauty of winter, even if the scenery is ugly.
 day fifteen . excuse the mess on the counter and in the sink. it's our typical sunday afternoon. (we like to leave the dishes til monday.)
 day sixteen . ah, the classic legos shot of winter. I think when I take pictures of legos it's proof of how uninspired I am.
 day seventeen . oranges taste like winter.
 day eighteen . nap time's a joke anyway.
 day nineteen . I don't know what this game is called, but I'm pretty sure any of us who've ever been a child have played the don't-let-the-balloon-touch-the-ground game. it's a classic. (note! new glasses!)
day twenty . this weather is beautiful but the scenery is ugly. I'm looking for ways to portray my moods in winter when nothing looks like my mood. tips, anyone?

day twenty-one . we took advantage of this weather like nobody's business. We're alllll ready for spring, no joke.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

check it out, dude

whoop, whoop! Favorites from the so-far year.

4 Tricks to Catch up on Editing - just just what I needed to get back to editing. Those holiday photos (all 700+ of them! ...not counting the 700 on camera to cull + edit) aren't going to clean-up themselves!! 

Interesting article on saying NO - "Then, just say no. It will hurt. But make it a habit. And moment by moment, no by no, you will see your prioritized life take shape." like, best advice ever, amiright?

5 Ways to Avoid Being Boring (in photography) - wowowowowow I can't say it enough. I can't tell you how much I've been thinking about this article lately.  I need to reread whenever I go to pick up my camera. I guess I'd say, if you're in that awkward place of better-than-a-beginner-but-don't-know-how-to-take-it-to-the-next-level welllll, this is for you! Go give it a read. you WILL NOT regret it. promise.

11 kind, free things you can do for yourself - this list has so many super simple, yet totally fun ideas that I'm all game for. like I've mentioned before, this weather gets me down every year. but year by year, I'm getting a little bit better at fighting it and maybe one day I'll get to the point where I actually enjoy it. but that's too far in the future to see. 

Give me your favorite links from around the web! I'd love to check them out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

week two : after that high

yep, I hit it. I was like, dis gon be goooooood, and it was, and it will be, but this week was not full of pictures that made me swoon.

and guys I have a question, because I have a dilemma. So, I take a picture for project 365, and I don't really like it. but I edit it so I can post it... but I don't really want it. what do I do? Am I allowed to delete it? But that takes away from the quality (I honestly did that in 2013 and it sucked.) But otherwise, these pictures are going to sit on my hard drive with no value for me, so I'm lost.

I know the ultimate answer is: take a good picture the first time! ...but that doesn't help me now that I'm already in this fix.

please send help.
 day eight : sleepy sunday afternoon before the evening service
 day nine : oh. my. gosh. talk about being ripped apart. I haven't felt this level of fictional-despair since I read like A Separate Peace. or watched West Side Story. I forgot how good it felt. xP
day ten : I chopped off a lot of my hair and it felt so good I want to grow it out again, just so I can cut it off again, and I'm not even kidding. haircuts are my new favorite thing.
day eleven : soo, we had yet another power outage. it's started to be this little tuesday tradition in 2017. honestly, I haven't spent an 8:00 on tuesday in the light yet in 2017. There is something seriously wrong here. all that to say, the blue light gave me a headache, so all the planning I was doing had to wait until wednesday night. hence the late night. because I'm much more of a count-my-days-by-when-I-go-to-sleep gal, I'd say it still counts. even if it was technically thursday morning.

day twelve : my parents went up to Michigan to pick up my sister's car and we had such a wild party, we wiped out my brother before 8 o'clock. (trust me, this is an unheard of rarity... But once he crashes, he crashes hard.)
 day thirteen : heading off to a birthday party.
day fourteen : I know this is not an appetizing picture. I spent all day (all-all day - from 7:30 to 4:00, when I got off work,) at the Y (where pictures are a no-go. I know; remind me why I work there again?) So by the time I got home, I just wanted to eat and lounge on the couch. So this is what my it's-about-to-get-dark-so-I-gotta-grab-the-camera-but-right-now-all-I-can-think-about-is-food looks like.

how was your week?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

week 1!

 day one: listening to sermon audio: Growing in the New Year.
 day two : playing Old Maid tournament. ask me who won. I dare you.
 day three : legos are a favorite past time when the weather gets cold. (also to be noted: a two-and-a-half hour power outage meant games and cocoa by the fire after zumba. eating dinner by the candle light? no big deal.)
day four : well, since the games are still up here, we might as well play, right?
day five : first snow of the year!! (also to be noted: I cut off a lot of hair. like, inches of hair. like in the double digits of inches. it was amazing. I want to grow my hair out again just so I can feel the feeling of having it gone again.)
day six : the last of the christmas tree. alone in the snow. (jk. we keep stepping on needles and they hurt like heck. you can't miss em!)
day seven : like I said, only games. chai and cuties and all things nice. Enjoying the time before school starts & the snow melts (because that is what I owe the lovely light in these pictures to. snow is the most perfect reflector in winter.)

Monday, January 9, 2017

starting 2017. so many thoughts, not enough space.

I'm sure I've mentioned before how jumbled my thoughts get. I have trouble organizing them all and then sometimes one thought fits into three different categories and which do I file it under?

I tried to write a post with my fifty favorite photos from 2016 but I hit a huge road block.

that road block was simply; I didn't like fifty photos that I took in 2016.

My goal for 2016 was to photograph more of my family - specifically faces, specifically for the grandparent's calendar - and I missed really taking photos for the art. I missed having great light. I missed taking time to evaluate the shot.

Sure, I got some pictures I really liked this year. No joke. Some great vibes. But my overall feeling coming off 2016 was not one of, wow, look at this art I found, created, made, love. but, well, I got the shot. Kind of...?

It is winter, though, and one of the lessons I've learned is: DON'T LISTEN TO YOURSELF IN WINTER. you're not yourself in winter and you think weird thoughts and dream weird dreams and get discouraged and hate photography and always seem to wake up with a headache and no inspiration.

Winter is like the season of dirty hair and too many unwashed dishes and not enough daylight or coffee or sandals.

I hate winter with a passion. Maybe because I can never get warm enough and my hair is always static-y and I don't like the scenery and whyyy must the sun go down so early?

I've never seen a pair of boots I loved. I've never really seen a coat I've loved. So even the simple act of getting dressed to go out is uninspiring.

So. #goals.

- take more photos I love
- take one security shot for the calendar and then forget it and let your creative juice flow
- MORE deleting. one picture a day, unless I decide it's a series. that is my rule and I'm sticking to it. (hahahaha already failed. day one.)

and I'll have more as the year goes on, but I'm queen of the, "let's  make 10,000 unreachable goals because it's the new year!!!!" and halfheartedly finishing two goals that weren't even on my Official New Years Resolutions List and it's usually like 1) I finished the school year and 2) I got all my thank-you notes written from christmas.

Have an amazing new year (I know I'm a week late)! Tell me about your goals and stay tuned for last week's pictures!!!