Monday, June 30, 2008


Through my viewfinder, here's how I stacked up:

For me the funniest capture was Overhead. I should've made one of my family members take a video of me, scooting around the parking lot with my telephoto lens while big beefy farmers carried giant seed bags out to their trucks. The looks I got were hysterical.

Most Troublesome
It's a toss up between Lost & Found and Front & Center. Both these categories gave me a time. In the end, I'd have to say Lost & Found kept me puzzling to the very end. The number of ideas conceived and tossed out for this photo were too many to count!

Not What It Seems
Without a doubt, this one is Front & Center. I thought I was taking a picture of the barbed wire fence for "Narrow", but instead, the two barbs came out perfectly centered in the shot. And then, when I loaded the photos on the laptop and could see the details, I notice my little eight-legged friend. Unexpected good things come to those who keep clickin'!

Second to this is Solitary. It looks quiet and peaceful, but I was standing in a ditch along a busy road shooting through a fence, getting poison ivy, picking up a spider bite and nearly falling in the road when I stepped in a hole.

Hardest to Capture
I think the hardest to capture might have been the totem pole for Spirit. First of all, I chose a tough time of day, when the sun was at its brightest and clearest. But there was also the tug of war between getting the impact of the "big picture" and the uniqueness of the "little" picture in the finely carve details all with an incredibly vertical subject.

Most Creative
For the play on words, I love End. Not only did I get to incorporate my love of Harry Potter, but I thought it was an unexpected choice. And the mysterious light of the setting sun and its shadows and highlights on the books really made this shot come to life.

Pride & Joy
I think that Shoes takes the cake for favorite shots. I bet I took more than 100 photos of these shoes in all different configurations - and in two separate shoots to boot! Anna gave me the great "in the round" idea, and I thought that it added interest while keeping it simple enough to appreciate the detail of these tiny shoes. Plus, I finally got them in the right light!

Runners up: Little Things because of the soft focus and because my love of these thimbles was truly rooted in that they were such pretty little things; and Confusing because of the innovative idea for it and the fact that it was a wholly created picture.

I loved Amy's idea of outtakes, so here's a few that didn't make the cut:

Narrow(ly) Escaping a Barbed-Wire Gouging

Solitary (Confinement. At Alcatraz)

Shoes (Tiny, tiny shoes...)

Public Art

Through the Window

Very Embellished

Number 27: Done!

Even though Sarah and Amy dashed to the finish line ahead of me, I'm really proud of myself for bringing up the rear. It took some dedication to follow through and find subjects for all 26 things, but I did it! And this photo, number 27? Yeah, it doesn't have anything to do with anything except I took it recently and wanted to share.

It's amazing how, with three players, there were categories where we were all thinking the same thing and others where we had completely different interpretations - like spirit. Amy and Sarah, first of all, thanks for bringing me into the game. It gave me a reason to try taking artistic shots that I wouldn't otherwise take the time to set up and problem solve through the light and composition - and the camera functions! Secondly, thank you for being such challenging players! I was always checking your blogs to see what you had been inspired to capture, and your creativity and skill inspired me. I really appreciate being included!

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with most of my pictures. There were a few sticky wickets along the way. I have to commend myself for being willing to wander down lanes, look over fences and go beyond my backyard to find some of these 26 things. Even those that I took in my house were in unexpected ways. This game was like photo yoga - a good solid stretching exercise that sometimes hurt a little bit, but made me a lot more flexible in the end.

Lastly, I'd be remiss to go without thanking my family who all contributed ideas, opinions, chauffeuring, security, editing, and traffic look outs. Admit - you're sad that it's over! ;)

Although, there's still the matter of the ice cream I owe Amy and Sarah for being the last-place finisher. It's punishment, but somebody's got to take it.

25. Through the Window

I've had the idea for this photo for a long time, but I couldn't seem to make it over to capture it - even though it's just around the block from me. The covered bridge over the road beside Lake Wildwood always seemed to romantic to me when I was little. And even though I'm older now and realize that it's a faux bridge at best, I still find the view of the lake quite romantic "through the window."

12. Lost and Found

I almost lost it trying to find something to represent this category! I opted for the items that are commonly lost in pockets, drawers and behind chests, and found when you wash clothes, move furniture or embark on spring cleaning.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Raise the Checkered Flag!

Tomorrow will be a race to the finish as we try to complete Round 2 of 26 Things. We've almost done it! Ladies, start your engines! Last one to the finish line has to buy ice cream!

14. Narrow

It took a little bit of trespassing (just barely!) to get this fence. There was much ado about what photograph would best represent "narrow" - the whole family brainstormed ideas. But in the end, I loved the fence, which I came across at the time of day that the shadows made it very stark. And when you think about it, a fence is an awfully narrow way to keep people from, well, trespassing!

10. In the Backgound

I had a different idea for this photo, but I never made the time to get the one I'd envisioned. This one was a close second - the little angel perched on the welcome gate in front of Ashford Manor.

21. Solitary

This tire swing - all alone in the shadow of the giant oak tree on a hot summer's day - seemed like a good place if you were in search of solitude. Instead, I got a spider bite on my knee.

8. Front and Center

Confession: This picture was a complete accident. I was actually trying to take a picture of the barbed wire, but I didn't know this little spider had climbed out onto one of the barbs and taken up "front and center" in this spot (you might have to zoom to see him!). This one's been stumping me, so I jumped at the chance to get it posted!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

20. Shoes

Being a great lover of shoes (no comments from the peanut gallery, please) there were many, many, many options I could've chosen for this category. But picking favorite shoes to photograph? Well, I just couldn't do it. Instead, I went back to what could be a contributing factor in my love for shoes - my collection of Barbie accessories.

I won't reveal how long I took to set up and photograph this tiny footwear collection, but I will say thanks to Anna for her stellar art direction and figuring out how to capture them best.

3. Confusing

I am notorious for getting lost. Once in college, I took 285 going the wrong direction, ended up in south Atlanta, and took a detour that turned a 2-hour trip into a 5 1/2 hour ordeal. I've tried to improve upon this certain weakness, but try as I might, my sense of direction hasn't gotten any sharper. And since I can't even make heads or tails of a map, my parents finally took pity on me and gave me a Garmin for Christmas. Special thanks to Mom for her contribution of the Hotwheels for this photo shoot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

5. Diagonal

Sarah shot a hammock for the first round of 26 things (before I arrived), and so I hesitated to post this one. But the angle and the sun coming through the diagonals of the hammock strings made such a pretty picture that I decided to post it.

13. Men at Work

Both Sarah and Amy mentioned that they weren't fond of taking photos of people they didn't know. Me neither. I thought there was no way to get this category done without snapping a stranger. But then Dad and Dillon decided to do a little digging, and I had a perfect opportunity to capture "men at work" - and they happen to be some I know pretty well!

6. Embellished

I wore this dress to the formal my junior year of college. It was one of those dresses that I put on, and said, "This dress is so me." Bringing it out to take photos of the beading and hemline made me want to put it on and dance around the house for a little while!

4. Curl

When I lived in Wilmington, I really grew enamored with wrought iron. Many of the historic district's porches - including mine - featured intricate wrought iron designs, like beautiful metal lacework. I spotted this sign in downtown Watkinsville and thought its curls were quite lovely.

18. Pair

It's a pair of pairs! Eva's and Dillon's feet unmistakably come from the same genes. Look at those toes!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

2. Backside

I went to my friend Debbie's lake house this weekend and spent some time with her, her husband John and our very dear friend Shawn. And Deb and John's dog, Camden, who provided me with this excellent action shot of her leap into the lake. Cute canine backside! :)

19. Public Art

This rusted metal sculpture is the centerpiece of the OCAF garden. Through the birds' wings, I captured two of my favorite pieces in the garden - the "his and hers" medieval costumes fashioned out of mesh and metal that hang on the outside of the gallery.

7. End

Seven years ago, I started reading Harry Potter. Totally enthralled with the magical world of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade and the Ministry of Magic and Platform 9 3/4 - I could go on - I devoured each new book as it came out. And last year, The Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book, was published. And the magical world of Harry Potter came to an end.

1. Annoying

Kudzu, living up to his namesake, gets into everything and makes it very difficult to read the afternoon's newspaper.

Monday, June 2, 2008

15. Old

I had a lot of ideas for old, but, in the end, I chose this tractor that Dad spotted on the side of the road. I liked this photograph from behind that shows the interest of the big wheels and gives a little taste of the view from the driver's seat.

17. Overhead

Believe it or not, this guy is standing on top of a building. The Clayton Feed Store, near where Anna lives, is an old-fashioned feed and seed store right next to The Clayton Food Store, where you can get outstanding homemade cakes and pies. I should've taken pictures of the patrons who were eyeing me like I was crazy and posted it for "Out of Place"!

9. Innocent

Without a doubt, this photo is of one of my very favorite subjects: my nephew Dillon. I take scores of shots every time I see him, so I had many to choose from! I loved the soft light in this one and his clear blue eyes. Plus, what could be more innocent than playing with Play-doh at the kitchen table?

22. Spirit

This totem sits out in front of the high school where my sister Anna teaches. The totem was an art project conceived by the long-time art teacher and carried out by the students. It's made up of the "heads" of all the area schools' mascots and topped off by the Warrior Chief. And it was very hard to photograph because it's so tall and skinny! I liked this one because it showed the dimension and relief of the totem. Go Warriors!