Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another Photography Workshop [updated to add to day 4]

A friend tipped me off to a December photography project.  It's not a class, really, but a daily prompt to photograph something to fit the day's theme.  Practice and thinking outside of the usual photography subjects is really where I need motivation, so it was a perfect chance to enjoy the end-of-semester breathing room now that both major projects are done for the semester.  I upload them to a facebook group and we exchange ideas, comments, and tips.  I also wanted to share them here.

I am way way behind and don't plan to stress myself out on this at all.  My plan each day is to read the prompt and see what pops into my head.  If something registers right away I'll figure out when and how to get that image.  If I spend more than three or four minutes on the idea and nothing really stands out as an image for that prompt I'll skip it but jot it down.  On days I skip one I may reconsider ones I've skipped or missed and see if something new in our routine or decorations inspires me.  Or not.  Whatever.  I actually got most of these just today after getting ideas all month long.

So, without further ado (click on any to see larger images and cycle through them):

Day 1: Holding on to gratitude.   I meant to get a picture of our Thanksgiving and fall decorations all piled everywhere in the house, but didn't get a chance and somewhere around day 6 they got packed up and put away so...oh well.  We do still have our "Thankful Tree" on display, so maybe that, but it isn't photographed yet.

Day 2: Reframing the season.  I thought about doing something with the kids holding a giant picture frame, but that didn't even come close to happening.  Nothing else really jumped out at me.  Skip for now.

Day 3: All you need is love.  Finally!  I was actually taking this picture for a different reason and noticed the hearts on our stairwell post.

Day 4: You hold the key.  Nothing.  I have an antique key that has a lot of meaning to me, but no sensible way to work it into the season.  So, no.  I've also seen a cute idea where you take the house key from all of your homes and string them together as an ornament, but I don't think I even have our prior keys anymore.  Skipped.

UPDATED 12/14/2011:   Rob was grading tonight and I noticed the answer key.  As college faculty, we both head into mid-December knowing a mountain of grading will be dragged around with us for days or weeks until we can submit the final grades for the semester.  It's as much a part of our Christmas preparations as putting away the Thanksgiving decorations or preparing firewood.  (in fact, some of it may become firewood...)

Day 5: My view.  Another day with nothing.  I was thinking of taking a photo of the path of destruction that magically appears behind August, but haven't had a chance to catch it without risking serious damage to him or the house while taking the picture.  Skipped.

Day 6: Every Little Thing. Every year we do ornaments for each person but also a family ornament; mostly for me. It's a tiny part of the tree and decorations but means so much to me to see our family growing and aging.

Day 7: Express Yourself. Our new ornaments each year reflect something that really expresses the person. I found Rob a very close match to his bike and a stack of books that say "World Class Teacher". Katie's love of ballet blossomed into a regular class so she has a ballerina as well as a chickadee (her favorite bird) and a nutcracker ballet ornament. Jorge adores a book series about Freddy the Pig so I found a dressed up pig (out of frame) and a nutcracker and a  Curious George "reading" a book while standing on his head playing with a ball.  Perfect for my endlessly active multi-tasker boy . August adores elephants and it was his first animal sound and "word". And for me? Camera-face. [My other idea for the day was the stack of 100 cards we sent out this week, but I forgot to actually take the picture before dropping them off at the post office.]

Day 8: Reflecting the Season.  Nothing yet.  I would like to get a shot of the lights reflected on a window or in an ornament. Or the firelight reflected somewhere.  Not sure.  I do have a pretty reflection of the nativity scene on the piano top, but that's being used elsewhere.

Day 9: It's a Sign. When we first got married I decorated the house with lots of things that had couples: 2 snowmen or 2 bears or whatever. When Katie came I replaced a lot of them with triplets. When Jorge came, I hung some of the couples (2 kids). Now with our 3rd kid I am back to triplets in the decor. I love seeing the three smiling faces on the signs and hearing the kids discuss who is who.

Day 10.  Twinkle Twinkle. I love the mantle with the twinkle lights and candles; and the stockings all hung with care.

Day 11. Shaping up. This year Rob's mom gave us a train set that mounts onto the tree so it circles the tree around 4.5 feet off the ground. It's a perfect circle of excitement.

Day 12.  A whole lot of happy.  I was so excited to have our DSLR this year so I could do a bokah shot with our Christmas cards. I was really happy with the final result.

Day 13.  Simply Divine. This nativity set belonged to my grandparents and sat on their end table every year for decades. It's nothing of monetary value--taped together cardboard, plastic faded figures--but it reminds me of them. Today's prompt suggested we find a way to "honor our family, friends, connection, love, light and a source that makes it all possible."  This hits most of them.

Whew!  I'll do another batch posting later in the month with any I fill in and the next set.

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