Where It All Began

Technically, it all began in Germany, 19 years ago, when I was born, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  Photography.  One word.  One holdable lump of plastic, metal, and glass, called a camera, that has been pieced together with care.  It’s a miniature machine, an invention, something you see around the necks of tourists and pros alike.  From it come pictures of everything you can imagine, and some things you can’t.

But it’s more.  It’s a feeling.  The feeling’s not always there, I can say that.  But when you begin to shoot what you love, when you find the thing that trips a little circuit in your brain, then, THEN it becomes magic.  That’s the moment you can’t get enough, an hour is too short a time for all the photos you wish to find.  It’s that moment when you can’t help smiling.

For me the magic began when my parents and I split the cost of a Nikon D40 camera.  Up until then we’d used Wal-Mart cameras, as I call them, the generic, hold it out in front of your face, takes five seconds to actually take the picture cameras.  I remember getting the new camera, the D40, and being so fascinated by the “great” pictures I could take.  My pictures weren’t necessarily better, but I had a better machine, better capabilities.  I loved it.

Then we moved to England, and the magic really began.  We were fortunate enough to live approximately 15 feet from a great little corner of woods.  It was mostly for dog walkers, but I loved it.  In the summer time the nettles would grow five feet tall or more, the wind would blow the trees, there were Muntjac deer running around, birds, and rabbits.  A tiny river ran behind the woods.  It was wonderful.  If you crouched down, or lay down, or just sat and waited, you could see so many things.  Bugs crawling around in the leaves on the ground, the birds calling to each other, could see the dead mossy stumps, tiny forest floor treasures…and I took pictures of everything I could.

Most of my pictures from the first several years of the D40 are at my family’s house, since we shared the camera.  When I received my own camera (Instead of a class ring, may I say.  Artist at heart, I am.) I, of course, saved them all on my own hard drive.  I just wanted to share some of the things that first awoke my interest in photography.  No, not all my pictures are great.  I know that.  But without a beginning, where would I be?  So without further ado, a sampling of England and the things that sparked a passion.

Reflection in a puddle.

 

Yes, I am particularly fond of shallow depth of field (the range of things that are in focus)

Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Fog in my woods.

Tiny mushroom.

Sunset at Warwick Castle.

It’s not all my pictures, not by far, but I hope it gives you a taste of the things that are magical to me.

 

Me As An Old Person

I’m not feeling terribly creative in the blogging department tonight, so I’m stealing a video that a friend posted on Facebook (and yes, I am aware I spend too much time in Facebook World.  I apologize for this fact.).  I saw this and cracked up.  Hope it brightens your day too.

Singamajigs

This post will have almost completely nothing to do with much of anything that is remotely and in any way useful.  Simplified: this is a random post about something that should not be so entertaining.

But it is.

Enter, Singamajigs!

The Saga started when my uncle received a Singamajig for Christmas this past year.  All the cousins loved it, all the adults were vaguely fascinated (though slightly concerned when younger cousins discovered that Singamajigs have teeth), and my family, well…we needed one too.

We visited Walgreens several times to visit them, and finally one day, strolling through Target, we found them again.  Now, my brother refuses to admit how wonderful these little fellows are, and my dad doesn’t quite get it, but my mum and I were all for them!  Mine sings “London Bridge is Falling Down”, appropriate since my mind still half lives in England.  And he has purple hair.

Every time you press down on his tummy his mouth opens to make a perfect O.  It’s fascinating and strange and hilarious all in one.  For my wonderful family, there’s not much more than this required for an evenings entertainment. The one my mum has sings “Clementine”, or as we say around the house “OHHHHHHHHHH my DAR-lin, OHHHHHHHHH my DAR-lin!”  (You can hold down on their tummies to make them hold the notes longer.  To get through an entire song, you have to press down for each syllable.) Here’s hers.

For more Singamajigs, visit their website.  While they might be too annoying for some people, or for prolonged use, they are most definitely a way to make you smile.  Or shake your head and walk away.

But how could you hate these small singing creatures?

Toe Shoes, Part 1

I ran across this picture on Vibram Five Fingers Facebook page earlier:

Personally, I’m not quite sure whether I find this hysterical or disturbing.  Both, I think.

If you’re not familiar with Vibram Five Fingers shoes, though, take a look.  They’re very much like toe socks, only they’re shoes.  Consisting of light, breathable material and thin rubber soles, it is, quite honestly, almost like going barefoot.  The idea behind them is barefoot running, which is supposed to be better for your feet and legs than normal shoes, I guess.  I enjoyed wearing them (before my pair died) just because of how light and simple they feel.  And because it’s totally awesome to get grass stuck between your toes while you’re actually wearing shoes.

Vibram FiveFingers, Sprint style

Now, on to the real reason for this post.  After my initial hysteria/disturbance (still not sure which), my next thought was “I could make this picture”.  Last semester we learned all about compositing images together in different ways, and this one doesn’t look that difficult.  All you need is a photo of a foot, and a closeup of, preferably, the same person’s big toe.  It would take a little doing to smooth the two together, but really that’s all there is to it.

So, all this leads me to this point: I am going to try and make my own toe-foot.  I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it, but be looking for Part 2 of this post containing, hopefully, my rendition of the photo.  In the meantime, go check out Vibram’s shoes.  They’re pretty awesome.

Wind and Trees

Wind and trees.  Two simple words.  But I love them.

Trees and I go back a ways.  I’ve been climbing them almost as long as I can remember.  One time a few years back I climbed up high and dropped some yarn down to measure how high I’d gotten.  I’d climbed 40 feet, maybe more.  It was great.

There’s also something glorious about wind, especially the blustery kind.  Hair flying all around, spreading your arms wide to lean into it, racing against it down abandoned paths.  I don’t know about you, but wind makes me smile big.  It’s elating.

When you combine trees and wind, the effect is splendorous.

Tonight, where I live, there’s been a little bit of that splendorous effect.

Not a great picture, but you can see the windy trees blowing around.

There’s also a poem I quite like that fits into this post.

Titled: Who Has Seen the Wind?

By: Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind?  Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by.

 

I love wind and trees.

My Home-North Family

Since this is technically supposed to be a photography blog, I figured it’d be good to actually post some photos.  So, here goes.  But first, a few (many) words.

I have a wonderful family who I love to death.  There is a wonderful family at the church I go to who I’ve adopted and who have adopted me.  But this post is about the little family who lives with me, 24/7: my fur-kids.  When I moved to the Atlanta area for school we were very blessed to find a small house that accepted pets and had a small fenced in area as an added bonus for my dog.  I have one dog, one cat, and one me.  Here is me:

Not the very best picture, but at 9pm it's the best I can do. It's still me, whatever time of day.

My cat is something special.  She’s been across the Atlantic Ocean three times now and lived in four different countries/states.  She’s originally a German cat.  We were living there at the time we got her.  I was able to choose her the day after she was born, and we’re definitely a stuck pair.  She’s always sought me out for attention and loving, and I know by her howl across the house that she’s about to take off running, shaking the foundations of the property.  Here’s Willy (yes, she’s a girl, and yes, she is the inspiration for my blog name):

Willy decided my hat would be a lovely place to sit...silly me for thinking otherwise.

The other day I brought my pillow and comforter into the living room so I could lay on the floor and study.  I left my pillow unattended for a few minutes and came back to this…

Silly Willy. Needless to say I went to my room and retrieved a different pillow for myself to use. Heaven forbid I should move the cat.

My other family member is Liam.  He’s a Native American Indian Dog.  If you’re interested, his breeder is Terra Pines. He’s a large dog.  Standing, the top of his head comes to approximately 32-35 inches, as best I can figure.  I never quite realize how big he is until I see him next to someone else.  We are almost like a little planet and moon pair.  We each know each others’ patterns, attitudes, can generally predict each other, know what each likes and dislikes, and especially know how to push each others’ buttons.  We sound like a newly married couple.  But it’s true.  He can be terribly irritating when he wants to be, but he’s such a goof.  And when he’s being sweet, he’s really great for hugging.  Here’s my boy:

My handsome boy.

So that’s us.  Like any normal family, we have our disagreements.  But at the end of the day, I’m glad I’ve got these two furry crazies with me.  I’m glad MOST of the time, anyway.

Homeschoolers Rock

Over the last week there’s been a video circulating among some of my Facebook friends.  Now, I don’t watch every video my friends post…but this one looked too good to miss.

The reason it caught my eye, you ask?  The title: Seven Lies About Homeschoolers.  As a (previous) homeschooler, I was intrigued. I’ve been homeschooled since the first grade.  The last time I attended a public school was in kindergarten.  While most high schoolers (so I’m told) are nervous about starting college, they at least had a leg-up on me.  They’re familiar with going in to a big building with lots of other people, being at certain classes at certain times, doing homework (what’s that?!), and testing.  All this has been new to me this last college semester, and I am pleased to say I am still standing (most of the time, at least).

But anyway, this video was pretty hilarious, and pretty spot on too, so I wanted to share.  It makes me smile.  Enjoy!

P.S.  And yes, #1 is definitely one of the best things about homeschooling!