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Photography : Looking for Light

Hello friends!  I know you are typically used to seeing all sorts of projects and recipes happening here, but I’m stepping off of my ‘already scheduled’ programming and going in a different direction today.   I am closing in on one year of blogging (yay me!) this month.  This past year has been a whirlwind for many reasons, both related to and unrelated to my blog.  As it relates to blogging though, if nothing else, my mind has received quite a workout in the past year.  Pre-blogging, I was a stay at home mom with days that had a certain degree of predictability (make breakfast, take kids to school, do housework,  pick kids up from school, make dinner, help with homework, get kids ready for bed and then repeat).  I would also spend time volunteering and doing projects around my home, but that was pretty much my life…and I loved every minute of it.  However, with my oldest in college and my youngest a sophomore in high school, their demands on my time dramatically declined and it was time to do something else.

Enter ‘the blog’.  Both Terry and I have put our middle-aged brains through some serious calisthenics this past year; from just the basic ‘how to’s ‘ to learning some coding.  In addition to making an informative blog, it’s equally important that my blog be nice to look at.  To that end, my photography skills really needed improvement.  No doubt my skills have been honed since the first photos I took one year ago, which are a little cringe-worthy thanks to trial and error and some internet research.  However, I decided that if I really want my pictures to go to the next level, I needed to get serious about learning the mechanics of photography.  So this spring, I am enrolled in Digital Photography 101 at my local community college.  I had to go through the whole college application process, even needed my first college transcript from…lets just say many years ago.

I have enjoyed every minute of my class, but more importantly, I am learning photography.  I have turned in one assignment already and my second assignment is due this week.  In this assignment, I was given a word (moving) and I had to photograph something that embodied that word, as well as that words antonym (opposite).  Additionally, I needed 8 more photos that dealt with ‘quality of light’.

And here’s why photography is nourishing my soul.  I had to go ‘looking for light’ this past week.  I went out twice at 6:45 a.m. this past weekend to catch the sunrise.  Normally, at 6:45 in the morning on the weekend  I’d be enjoying my warm cup of tea, sitting at the computer with the TV in the background telling me all the world’s woes.  And that would especially be the case when we were experiencing record cold temperatures in our area.  But, because I need to catch the ‘light’ of sunrise, I bundled myself up and headed out the door, with Flora in tow.  And here’s what happened, I saw things that I have never seen before, even though I was literally 50 yards from my home.

Photography : Looking for Light

Flora and I shared the morning with this fisherman as he headed out to the Atlantic

The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature.
The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature

Because I was looking for ‘light’ I noticed the way the sun hit the reeds and the water.  That same sun has been hitting that same water and those reeds forever, but I have rarely taken the time to look for it.

The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature
The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature
The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature.

I also noticed that frost on the leaves sparkled when the sun hit them.  I noticed that the light from the sun coming up behind the tree painted the marsh with a gold brush.  I especially love the hazy feel of this photo.

The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature

I also took the time to walk around downtown and noticed things I never noticed before, like this drainage runoff (which is my ‘moving’ picture)

The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature

and then the opposite of moving water is still water

The art of photography : looking for light. Taking the time to really 'see' your surroundings and the art of nature

At the end of a long day, I took the time to look up and noticed the sunlight reflecting on the moon, just as the sun was going down and the moon was coming up.

I have also found myself paying attention to ‘light’ as I drive around town.  Yesterday afternoon I noticed how the setting sun reflected off of a huge panel of glass on a building that’s under construction and I was crushed that I didn’t have my camera in the car with me, which is something I really need to get in the habit of doing.   My friend Mary is great at keeping her camera close by and documenting the beauty of her world.

This act of ‘looking for light’ has me really ‘seeing’ my world, as opposed to just driving through it with my blinders on.  And let me say one more thing about ‘looking for light’; in my opinion, the sunrise or sunset can make just about any photograph look great.

It took a photography class assignment to get me out of my warm home and the routine of my day and out in the world to look for ‘light’, but I encourage you to spend some time to just go look for the light.  You won’t have to go far and I think your discoveries will make you stop, appreciate and be grateful for the beauty of our planet.  And starting your day with appreciation and gratitude in your heart is a great way to start the day.

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  1. Lynn, your pictures are beautiful!! The picture where the light is hitting the reeds caused me to tear up, something about it, like God reached down and touched the spot there…sweet beauty!! 🙂 I’m glad you’re learning and enjoying taking pictures!! You’re doing a wonderful job!! 🙂

    1. Hi Keri, thanks! Being out so early in the world is really quite spiritual, without all the distractions of the busy world I am able to see the beauty of God’s world. Made me anxious to get out there more often. Hugs and wishes for a lovely weekend. Lynn

  2. Lynn, Congrats on your photography! I’ve always loved your photos though, I think you were doing a pretty awesome job already! But great to get out there and learn! I should really do that as well! The photos you took are amazing, I love the second one with all the ice and the different shades of light! Well done, i can’t wait for more to see from you! Have fun in your course!!! XO

    1. Thanks Katrin, I am very much enjoying it. But with my wee ones in college and high school, I have lots more time on my hands than you do right now. When time does free up a bit for you I’m sure you’d enjoy it, being the artsy guy that you are. Hugs and wishes for a wonderful weekend. Lynn

  3. Lynn, you gave me goosebumps. This is exactly the same feeling I get when I look through a lens. It’s as if you are seeing something for the very first time even though it has been staring you in the face forever. You become a child all over again and look at the world anew. Oh, it is so exciting. I’m so happy for you, this is going to change everything. And you were taking great pictures before! Enjoy your class and then write about it so you can give us some tips too.

    1. Thanks Mary! You are so right that I saw things like I was the only person to ever see this. It was like my own secret world, being out there so early…me, Flora and the fisherman. I’m anxious to get out early again. My next assignment is to catch the ‘sense of place’ in my photographs. i have a little bit of time, so I’m brain storming that one for a while.

    1. Thanks sweet Sadhna. I am really enjoying my photography class and appreciating that it is forcing me to get out of my routine and try something new. Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Lynn

  4. Your pictures are beautiful! It’s funny you talk about photography, because yesterday I told my daughter that I thinking of enrolling in a photography class. There’s so much to learn.

    1. Hi Celeste, I am really enjoying the class and so encourage you to give it a try. I did try some online ones, but needed something that would keep me accountable, that I have to show up for, otherwise I feared I would blow it off when it got busy around the house. And thanks for your compliments! Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Lynn

  5. I’m so happy this class has inspired you to look at nature in different ways. I’ve considered taking a class through one of our local colleges or even our art school, which offers special classes for adults without college credits. I’m going to have to check back into these classes. I know I have lots to learn. Your photography is beautiful!

    1. Thanks Carol…I am so glad that I finally did enroll. I have learned so much already and just to have a resource for when I do have a question is invaluable. I encourage you to give it a try. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and many thanks for stopping by today. Hugs, Lynn

  6. I love this. I have been thinking about upping my own photography game lately as well. My sister in law studies photography in college and has a side business as a professional photographer. I think it would be amazing to take a class and learn how to better capture images. I especially like your focus on capturing light. All too often I would ignore the light or not notice things. But, lately I’ve been getting up really early to get to work and that means that I’m driving as the sun rises. It’s amazing. I see the most beautiful purples and pinks. I’ll have the sunrise on one side and the mountains in the background (I live in Colorado). Noticing these things and how the colors blend together to make a beautiful sight makes my early morning commute a little bit better. 🙂

    1. Oh Gina, being in Colorado, you have amazing colors that appear in your sky and on you mountains. I know you are a busy gal, but if time does permit, get your camera and go out at sunrise. I know you’ll love what you see. And you are right, it’s a great way to start your day and put everything in perspective. Hugs and wishes for a great weekend. Lynn

  7. I love these pictures! They are all so pretty! I love my camera and nature and is it bad that I some times would rather take a picture of still and natures more than people? haha but I love my camera! Those pictures are gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Gabby…not…you’re not bad. I go back and forth. Right now I’m in a nature mode, but I love catching people unawares as well. So very glad that you stopped by today. Hugs and wishes for a great weekend. Lynn

  8. these are stunning photo’s! it’s amazing how much we miss – the mornings are my favourite time of day, when it’s still too early for most people but it’s almost daytime!! such a beautiful time of day and you’ve captured it perfectly!

    1. Thanks Charlotte, I am a morning person anyway…always enjoy the peace that comes with the morning. But getting out in the world and seeing it in the morning’s light was a whole new exercise. Thanks so much for your kind words. Hugs and wishes for a lovely weekend. Lynn

  9. Lynn, congrats on turning to photography and I too am trying my hand at it and enjoying every moment though my kids are still small and need me around 🙂 Loved your images and will be back for more. Greetings from Dubai and have a great day!


    1. Hi Shantana…thanks for your encouragement. I am just back from your lovely blog checking out all your beautiful photos. And what stunning scenery you have to take photos off! Thanks for stopping by and wishing you a happy Thursday!

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Rachel, no doubt that the color of the sky and the light are stunning in the morning which is what gets me outside to begin with. But then when I’m out there, and no one else is out, I really also see things that I wouldn’t normally see. And what a great way to start the day; me, my dog Flora, the birds, the rising sun…and that’s it. Pure bliss.

      Wishing you a great Tuesday, Lynn

    1. Thanks Liz…Thanks for the kind compliment and I completely agree with you. Had I not been looking for subjects for my assignment, I would’ve walked by the drainage run-off 100 times without ever noticing it. This class has been so good to get me out looking and out of my normal routine.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Hugs, Lynn

  10. I really need to take a photography class, but first I need to get a big girl camera. Your photos on the blog are gorgeous, but these are stunning! I love the light that you found and how you framed the images, I can’t choose which one is my favorite, they are all impressive. You inspire me! Congrats on the blog, I can’t believe you’ve been doing this for such a short time, you and Terry are doing great!

    1. Thanks Nikki…I actually just returned from taking more ‘sunrise’ photos. I find that getting out early, with Flora and Puddles in tow, is a great way to start my day. And the rising sun makes me see ‘things’ for the first time or differently than I’ve seen them for the past 10+ years. I took the class for this reason, I needed to be rather ‘forced’ to do the tasks and assignments that would help me be a better photographer. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Michelle…I couldn’t agree with you more. This activity has been so good for me for that very reason. I’m not very good at slowing down unless I’m forced. Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your kind words.

      Hugs, Lynn

  11. Your photography is wonderful, definitely worth getting out of the house early, even on a cold morning. I recently started blogging too (from being a stay-at-home mom), and learning photography has been one of my favorite parts. There’s something magical about capturing a beautiful moment. I’m still amazing at what a photography can, and sometimes cannot, show.

    1. Hi Rebecca…In response to your last sentence, I am so with you. There really is an art to photograph just what you want to portray and the viewer only sees that. It’s really quite fun. I’m also really enjoy working with Photoshop and Lightroom to further ‘edit’ my photos to get the look I want.
      Thanks so much for your kind compliments about my photos. I am finding out that some days things just click, while other days they don’t (no pun intended). I’ve gone out since I took those photos and I’m just not as happy with the photos. I need to go out more often, thereby increasing the good days.
      And I’m looking forward to swinging by your blog. Congrats on your new venture. I am only one year in, but have really enjoyed the past year and have learned so much.

      Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thank you Olga…I really enjoyed my morning forays and I need to get back out there for some new photos. I’m so glad you came by today.

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hola Leandro, Thank you so much for visiting today and leaving your kind comments. I really did enjoy the process of getting out and looking for light. So much so that I am looking forward to my joining more photography classes this fall.
      Have a wonderful day,

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