Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progression of a Sunrise

What can I say, I lOVE watching the sunrise. Now I understand why people throw all caution to the wind and live on the water. Yes, I did just say that. It was really quite spectacular and I wouldn't have believed the pictures had I not been there. No color correction or saturation in any of these pictures. Actually, the only thing I did to these pictures was a slight sharpening. Wish you had been there......

These are all from yesterday within a 45 minute window. The sunrise was at 7:13 and I put the time stamp with each picture so you can see the progression of time and how vastly different the first picture is from the last. It was probably the most varied sunrise I have ever seen. Enjoy!










Foto Friday

The weather is getting warmer and people are starting to mingle about a bit more. This means that the chess players at the Starbucks I frequent are taking it outside. I'm not much of a people photographer and not exactly a shy person, but it can feel a little awkward to ask strangers if they mind I share their personal space. I'm getting over it! But don't let the pictures fool you because although they look deep in thought there was quite a bit of laughing going on. I do find people to be quite interesting and maybe I'll start bringing a journal with me....everyone has a story.


I love how the game board is reflected in his glasses.

A friend watching. . .

. . . his friend make a move.
They invited me to come back with or without my camera - maybe I'll even learn how to play chess?

Then it was off to you know where to get some pictures of flowers and such.

Spring has to be one of my favorite seasons, everything renews.

I didn't bring my tripod with me this time and it was just breezy enough to make
it tricky to get a really good focus. But I do love the old fashioned feeling of this one.

And I never tire of taking a picture of this gate!!

  And then a little game of hide and seek. As soon as he saw me he ran between two concrete benches with an opening of maybe an inch. This lizard and I had a love hate relationship. I loved that he posed long enough for my camera and he hated that I wouldn't leave!

After I left there it was off to a favorite path that leads to the gulf and one that has a sign that says 'snake and gator habitat' but I have yet to see either one!

Yep that's me and my shadow.

That path led me to this. And you can't see from here but there is a party happening at the end of this pier. Probably about a dozen people fishing, and having fun, and some of which I suspect were playing hookie from work. As a group of them were leaving they asked me to take their picture as long as their wives didn't see it.

This was the only catch of the day between about twenty poles hanging over the edge of the pier.  Ask a guy if he caught anything and they are more than happy to take it out of the cooler and pose with it. He wanted to know if it would be on the news. Umm, no. He was wanting me to help him get a sponsor for bass fishing, really?

The next two were actually shot earlier in the week and are one of my favorites to do - silhouettes!

There is this grove of trees that are scattered along a creek and they're covered with Spanish moss. As I was crossing the bridge over the creek as the sun was setting it looked like an enchanted forest. But when I actually got down into the trees the perspective just wasn't the same as it was on the bridge. 

And last but not least I do like the contrast in this one between the soft focus of the trees
and the hard lines of the iron fence.

Wishing you all a great week, and don't forget to take your camera with you. You never know what or who you might run into.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Am Enough . . .

Why is it that I have struggled so much with being enough?  I can write these words, read them and even some days actually believe them. But there are all the other days when the voice of inadequacy becomes louder than that written word and when I start wondering if I am really enough to be a photographer, artist or even writer of a blog and can I do it in a way that will give meaningful inspiration to others.

Am I enough because I never went to college. Am I enough because I no longer have that cute figure from my younger years and that time is starting to show in my face. Am I enough because I wear my heart on my sleeve and I don't know how to do it any other way. Am I enough because I am not perfect. I have never been one to compare materials things, but I am guilty of comparing myself to how well others do things. I have questioned all these things and more, but I can say at this point that I am finally on that journey of discovering what is enough, the process of becoming me again. The one I forgot. The person I have always been but didn't see.

About five years ago my women's bible study group studied the book of Romans and the cover of the workbook said, "free, released to be uniquely me". It was this study that had a significant impact on the way I viewed myself and was an extraordinary launch into my journey. We talked about a glory bestowed upon us, an original glory that was greater than anything that has ever taken our breath away in nature. I don't know about you, but the beauty of nature has more than stolen my breath so it was a statement that captivated my attention. To think that when we were created God gave each of us a glory so deep that all creation pales in comparison. A glory unique to each of us and one that deep inside I think we have all been looking for ever since. But somehow over time I had come to believe I was not enough.

And then during our study I came across a writing by Marianne Williamson that moved me to tears and tugged at my heart. It was a moment when something clicked in the deepest part of my soul. Maybe it wasn't just about being enough, but something more.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?" Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"Who are you not to be?"  WOW! I read that question and then I read it again. This question echoed within me, and it was one that I couldn't easily answer. Was I afraid of my own light because that brought more uncertainty about being enough. I began to realize that I was not granting myself the same permission that I felt free to give others. I was so busy trying to measure up to what I thought should be enough for me that I lost track of the knowledge that I was already enough. I was beginning to see that the only person that could really give me permission to be enough was me.

What I have learned is that you and I are enough. All that we are is adequate for what we want and need, and who we are is sufficient enough for the purpose of satisfying our dreams and our desires because we were made unique. Because each of us was made a shade of color like no other person on earth. It's been here all along.

I am just so thankful that God is all about reclaiming the potential he has planted within me because too many times I have turned my back in fear. When I look back I see that He always keeps me in close proximity to where I should be, and waits. I have learned more about living in the imperfect moment and I feel alive at the wonder of the world through renewed eyes. I also know that how I see myself will determine how I live and that when I see myself as enough, it will help serve as permission for others. I want to be all that I was created to be without fear.

I am learning to be me again, the girl who used to wear feathers in her hair only now they're pink highlights, and I am dancing like no one is watching. I leave the house with dishes in the sink and dust bunnies in the corners and I go to my metals class to create art from my life. I am letting go of who I think I should be and embracing who I am . . . a vulnerable woman full of passion for the smallest things in life who is not perfect. A woman who is enough just the way I am.

Love, Kim

Friday, January 21, 2011

Foto Friday - It's all about sepia

Hello Friday!!

I didn't get out with my camera this week as much as I would have liked. However off and on rain makes that a little tricky, not to mention soggy. After my metals class on Wednesday I decided to go to one of my favorite mom and pop nurseries and was pleasantly surprised to find poppies!

The poppy has a unique stem that makes for a great back lite photo showing the details of the hairs. This was actually an orange one, but I just wasn't diggin' it so I turned it into sepia. I like it, in fact I liked it so much I changed all my pictures this week into sepia.

From a hanging basket was this double fuschia, beautiful stop you in your tracks hanging heaven. And I love color, but I wanted to showcase the form of the flower and sometimes color gets in the way.

This is the all popular knock-out rose that was a soft pink. And although pink is my favorite color,  I couldn't help but also make this into a sepia finish since it also helps disquise that the focus was too soft. Add a little more blur to the edges and it's quite dreamy and well, romantic!

Before I went to the nursery I stopped off at a spot where I know the birds frequent - I just sat in my car and listened to the music of the water and the birds as they searched for food and chased each other. Two seagulls were fighting over a fish that one of them caught and in their argument they weren't paying attention to this beautiful Great Blue Heron that came in and swooped up their lunch!

I wish you all a fabulous weekend!  I hope you're inspired to take your camera with you or at least to take notice of all the wonderful things that surround you.

Kim XO

Friday, January 14, 2011

Foto Friday

Can't believe another week has passed! But then again, it seems like an eternity since last Friday and it doesn't help that it has been cold and dreary. Speaking of Friday, it seems that this is the day that is my quietest of the week. It's a no class day, and no basketball games or cross country meets. It's also the day I have decided to designate as a date with myself day. A day that I can do whatever I want even if it's nothing at all.

Last Friday was so beautiful  - I started out meeting a dear friend for coffee, had an impromptu lunch with the hubby and then I took my camera down to the boardwalk in Kemah on Galveston Bay and just took in every detail of the day. It was a warm 70 something degree day with a slight smell of salt in the air that drifted along with the breeze. The only thing missing was the sand between my toes! I sure miss the beach right now.

Here are a couple of the pictures from last Friday:

This was taken right off the boardwalk as the boats started heading back to their docks.
I love the light as the sun sets this time of year, it has such a soft glow.

After I left the boardwalk I drove about a mile to a favorite spot where I can usually find a few birds
 and saw this lovely Snowy Egret along the side of the road. I'm just really glad it's a road off the beaten path since I stopped my car on the opposite side of the street to be able to get this picture (it's not easy shooting through the passenger window from the drivers seat). As the sun was setting there was this wonderful ethereal feel to the sunlight showing bits of down floating in the air as he preened himself.

I had one chance to capture this one. I was on the bridge to go back home and the traffic had stopped.
I quickly grabbed my camera which was in the front seat, zoomed in all the way and quickly changed
my settings to capture this silhouette. That was with one hand as traffic started moving and I needed
the other hand to steer! This is a group of cormorants and since they do not possess the waterproofing
oils of other seabirds they have to spend a lot of time drying their wings.

This is exactly why I bring my camera with me just about everywhere! We were headed to a movie last weekend and since we were running behind we decided to take in the later show. There is a restaurant right in front of the movie theatre and all these Cobra owners displayed their cars while taking a lunch break  inside. They took turns keeping watch, were happy to answer questions and shared some interesting facts. Did you know that this is a kit car - a truck pulls up to your house and unloads a couple of very large boxes full of parts made of fiberglass and steel and you get to put it together? Now doesn't that sound like fun!

This was my first paid photo shoot! This is a friends granddaughter who made the first cut of a kids media tryout and they needed a head shot for the next tryout this weekend. After a few delays they met me at our designated location with literally minutes of daylight left. The streetlights had come on and I was only able to fire off a few good shots. I thought she did a great job since it was probably only 30 degrees and she wasn't wearing a coat. Considering the circumstances and the fact that I am most comfortable shooting nature, I am very pleased with the picture. But whew, I really have a lot to learn!

So, these are a few of my favorites for the week, all for different reasons. There is one or two that I am considering for my flickr P52 project and am wondering which one you would pick and why? I need to post it by Sunday and would love to hear from you!

Love Kim

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Class begins again

It's back to my metals class for the spring semester. I'm working on a couple of small projects while I work out the ideas for a bigger more complex one. One that will involve the torch, which I am not fond of!  But I imagine I will be less fearful of it by the time I'm finished with it.

These are pieces I cut out with my jewelers saw using sheet copper after I drew my design. In order to dap the pieces or dome them and shape them I first annealed the metal with the torch to make the metal softer and more pliable.

The heat from the torch makes the metal turn colors.

This will be the orientation of the pieces when it's finished.

Today will be my first attempt at enameling. For those of you who don't know what enameling is - it is a technique done by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing or in this case using a torch. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on, in this case, metal.

Now to decide what colors . . . . hmmm?

Friday, January 7, 2011

My P52 project

I like love taking photographs, it makes my heart happy! To be able to seal a moment in time feels magical, and to share it with others is just plain exciting . When I first got my Nikon D80 camera a little over 3 years ago, I just thought it would take awesome pictures all by itself! What I didn't realize is that owning a Nikon camera does not make you a photographer, it just makes you an owner of a Nikon. A camera is only as good as it's operator and it seemed that this operator had no idea how to take a photograph in anything other than auto mode. I was frustrated. My husband gave me a book the following Christmas that was a field guide for my camera. It might as well have been in another language. Talk like aperture, ISO and white balance was well, confusing to say the least. One morning we went for our first sunrise on the water and I had no real idea of what I was doing or how to set my camera to capture the moment as I saw it. I was very fortunate to run into another hobbyist photographer, one much more seasoned than myself. He pushed buttons and turned dials and then the sun began to rise. I had my first sunrise picture, but with no way of knowing how to repeat it the next time. It has taken many sunrises and thousands of pictures to only start to understand how to correctly expose a moment. My journey has only just begun . . . 

This brings me to the purpose of this post, Foto photo Friday. Every week on Friday I will be posting my picture of the week. It's my P52 project of a photo a week for 52 weeks and one I am doing along with others on a flickr group. I hope to meet a few friends along the way, to learn from others and become a better photographer.

"Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts." 
                    ~Minor White

This quote would pretty much sum up my Thursday night! As I left the house at sunset to drive to my son's basketball game, the sky was more beautiful than words can describe. I didn't have even a minute to stop and get the camera, take a picture and still get to his game on time. I wouldn't have been late, I would have missed it entirely. I wouldn't have been able to help myself as I would have wanted to stay and take in every delicious moment until I was satisfied I wouldn't miss one second more. So last night at sunset, I went to the pond in the neighborhood by mine with my fingers crossed and I was not disappointed. I had to take a family vote on the favorite since I could not decide. This was the one that got 3 out of 4 votes:

This one was second . . .

And this one got honorable mention . . .

I'm probably gonna have to cheat here just a little. I can only participate one photo a week to the flickr group, but I take so many pictures that I can't pick just one to share with everyone else. I will have a few of my favorites for the week here. And I may even occasionally need your help picking "the" picture to submit.
I also have some other projects that involve photos and jewelry . . . stay tuned as I figure those out.

Have a wonderful day! 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First sunrise of the year!

Okay, so technically it wasn't the first sunrise of the year, it was the second. But it was my first. It always seems when that either the weather is really nice and there is no time or you have a lot of time and the weather stinks. The last two weeks have proven strange with temps near 80 and as low as 35  like this morning. It's been rainy and overcast for most of it. Even though the forecast for this morning was going to be quite the chilly one, it was going to be sunny. So the hubby and I bundled up and took some warm coffee and the dog with us. Next time I need to make sure we leave a bit earlier because even though we got there on time for the sunrise, we did however miss the beautiful pre-show colors of the sky. Although it's always an "aha" moment for me to watch the sunrise, I wouldn't say it was the best one I have ever seen either.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflection . . . and the road to acceptance

Reflection; a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration
Acceptance; the act of taking or receiving something offered

It's New Years day, a new year and a new decade. With that, I'm sure many share in my reflection of time gone by. Unresolved resolutions or resolutions with really good intentions that were never started. But this year especially, it's not about things I haven't done or didn't finish. It's about a journey, a road traveled....and a destination. Just not one you'll find on a map.

A little over two years ago my husband accepted a job that meant a big move for our family. It was a necessary move as we had been out of work and although it was not out of state it may as well have been. It was away from where our children were born and everything that felt comfortable, everything that was home. The move was to be from the Dallas area to a small town about 25 miles north of Galveston Island and a very large body of water!

Things were preceding nicely. Our house sold the first day on the market and we were in the process of building a new one, and we had secured an apartment for the interim. But a new set of circumstances had reared its ugly head and we felt it was best to back out of the new home, which in turn created a new set of circumstances and more uncertainty. The day after we moved in a tropical storm came through and I fought back the tears as my son begged us to go back home. This place was now home. It's hard to be brave for your children when deep down inside you're falling apart. And then there was hurricane Ike, with a category 5 storm surge that resulted in the largest evacuation in the states history only 4 weeks after we moved in! So I moved to a place I didn't want to be to find myself and my family evacuating just weeks later with no more than a couple of suitcases and a box of our earthly possessions and important papers not knowing if that would be all we had left. It's an indescribable feeling to say the least. In the weeks that followed (and those prior) I was depressed. I didn't want to get dressed and I hardly ever left the apartment. My sweet husband would come home for lunch and take me for a drive just to get me out. Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. It was getting close to the end of our 6 month lease and we decided to look for a house. That was definitely a turning point getting out of the apartment and back into a house and a neighborhood again. It also meant that our kids were changing schools yet once again. We were getting settled,  the kids were adjusting well and I was starting to meet a few friends and beginning to garden once again! But I was still less than happy about being here.

As time went on I continued going through the motions and my husband and I joined a couples bible study group. During one of our lessons, there was discussion on favorite places to be. One of the women told how her father in-law's favorite place to be was in acceptance. I thought to myself, wow acceptance would be such a great place to be since self-pity sucked. But it's not on map quest, so how to get there was the question. Well, what I learned is that there are no directions to acceptance and that the only way to get there is through faith. I was too busy being mad and feeling sorry for myself to see, really see where the road led. It's really hard at the time when everything feels so wrong to remember that there is a power greater than you making everything right. That the Lords plan is far greater than your own especially when it looks nothing like yours. For had we not moved here, to the Gulf Coast, I may not have discovered the photographer in me or my fascination for the beach and my love of the water. I believe that I have a purpose to share the glory of God and nature through photography and art with others.

In the last decade I have learned more about the things that matter and the things that don't and how easy it is to confuse the two. That being happy isn't about the perfections, but looking past the imperfections. I am just as grateful for my struggles as I am for my blessings. It seems that they are one in the same. And that as I come into a new year and decade that it's not about a new beginning but rather a continuation of a journey. . .to a place called acceptance.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...