Lesson 1 – Hard at Work

Object: To photograph someone hard at work.

Subject: My gracious neighbor, Miss Pat, enjoying her latest hobby.

Result: On a chilly, cloudy day, the light from the window cast a sort of serene glow over her studio. She focused on choosing her paints and brushes and creating her art while I tried to capture it all with as little interference as possible. (She admitted later that she forgot I was there for a few minutes.) I did very little editing, save for a bit of cropping to reduce the amount of dead space or frame clutter. The end result was that I had a lot of fun and got several photos that, I feel, represented her concentration and the peacefulness of the day.


Lesson 1 – Still Life

Objective: To emphasize detail in ordinary objects.

Subject 1: Cross stitch floss

Result: I like the mix of colors and how the skeins are somewhat intertwined, as well as how the variegated strands and different textures are scattered across the frame.


Subject 2: Crochet hooks

Result: I had a lot of fun, for some reason, shooting these crochet hooks. I kept playing with them, rearranging them, letting them fall randomly. As a result, I have two that I really like and couldn’t choose between them, so I’m including both.



In order to stay true to the objective, and to have a ‘base line’ from which to start, I purposely did not edit the photos in any way. It’s funny, I enjoy the end results of whatever I cross stitch or crochet (I’m an afghan-aholic!), but never thought about how they begin. Now, I think these plain old, ordinary things may just be as pretty as the things they create . . .


I don’t know if it’s the start of the new year, or the full moon, or my age, or that I’m a Libra searching for balance in my life – or a combination of all of the above – but I find myself gravitating toward that which I have spent the past twenty years avoiding: making resolutions. Knowing myself as I do, I have insisted that resolutions were definitely not for me. In my mind, I would be setting myself up for failure by choosing goals that were too lofty, rigid, or numerous, thus making them unattainable. In reality, I think I shied away from resolutions simply because I was afraid of being vulnerable and failing. I was afraid that I would grow tired or bored of my goals and give up. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have enough drive to see them through. Let’s face it, it’s easier to just not try than have to accept failure. (Oh, the fragile psyche!)

So, here I am, at the start of a new year, reflecting on my life as it is, and wanting to do something different. It’s not to say that I’m unhappy, because I love my husband and children very much and we have a good life. But I feel unbalanced, personally, and it’s unsettling. Something’s . . . off. And it isn’t as though this is out of the blue. It’s been simmering for years and it’s finally come to a boil. In simplest terms, I guess I just need to find something that will fuel my creativity and give me joy. But, what? How?

Yesterday, I came across my favorite quote that prompted me to want to jump out of my boiling pot of insecurities and take the leap into the unknown:

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” ~ John Wayne

I smiled as a feeling of warmth and urgency came over me. And now I know what I want to do. I want to combine my love of writing and photography and finding beauty in the chaos. So, here’s my plan:

Learn how to use this:


by using this:


and posting my progress on this:


My only goal is to open myself up to this new experience and see what happens. Whether it takes me twenty weeks or a year, I don’t care. (It’s actually rather liberating to say that!) It’s as if I’ve been groping blindly through a mine shaft for who-knows-how-long only to discover that the light on my helmet works and there’s a chisel and hammer in my hands. It’s dark. It’s unknown. It’s scary. But I have a guiding light and tools to use. I might come across nothing – or I might discover a gem. Who knows?

But I’m willing to give it a try.


First Season Surprise

I love clematis. So, I took a chance and planted some at the base of a small, decorative windmill. (I say ‘took a chance’ because I am a first-time gardener and I have absolutely no idea if I’ve inherited my dad’s or grandfather’s green thumbs.) There were some days when I didn’t think it was going to survive much less produce, but still I tended it gently and patiently. And it grew.

It climbed.

It bloomed . . .

H. F. Young clematis

Captured with a Nikon D5600 with 18-55 mm lens and standard UV filter. No special lenses or filters – I was too shocked to see a bloom that I just grabbed the camera and started shooting for fear it would go away . . .

Mornin’, Daisy!

Silence after the storms.

Sun is playing peek-a-boo through the clouds.

Daisy’s looking to catch a few rays . . .

Mornin', Daisy!

Captured in Michigan with my Nikon D5600, 18-55mm lens with standard UV filter and a +4 macro.

Eerie Sunrise

The storm passed just to the south, allowing me to enjoy the eerie glow of the early morning sun as it played on the clouds.

Eerie SunriseCaptured with a Nikon D5600 with standard UV filter.


I tried not to get my hopes up about the possibility that my newly planted flowers would produce. I told myself that they’d been traumatized and would need some time to adjust. But, lo and behold, a bloom. A sign of life. And in just a few days, to my surprise, a whole garden abloom . . .1st ZinniaCaptured with my Nikon D5600 using the 18-55 mm and a macro +10 lens.