Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Just because

The August Break challenge has helped me a great deal with getting back to carrying my camera everywhere and experimenting with my camera.  I may not be posting everyday but I've taken photos almost everyday in a variety of places and with a variety of subjects so today I picked out some just because I like them.

 I took these two photos while waiting in line for the boys to get out of school,  It was a very long line.

 One of my all time favorite photos of Wyatt.

Watching the skies as a storm approached.

This photo was captured as I was walking around the neighborhood.
Hope you


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Looking down

August break

Both Carmi from written inc and August break  have a theme this week of looking down.  I normally don't do much in the way of photographing with looking straight down.  One of my health issues is balance problems which I have had to deal with since I was a kid.  If given a choice I went up stairs on all fours and down stairs on my bum until I was in third grade.  Given that extent of a problem I became terrified of heights.  I don't look down unless I have to. 

However after looking at the other posts for these challenges, I decided that I didn't have to climb to any height, I simply had to look down.  Fortunately last night the kittens that have caused me to look down and  watch every step; attacked my feet and shoes while I was taking them off and it came to me to photograph them.  They were being awfully cute.  

This morning Wyatt came in to play; I watched from above and it gave me a new perspective.  Even though some of the photo is kind of fuzzy; I really liked the effect and I think I will try to use this perspective more often.

Finally the kittens in a quiet moment.  Even if they were in the middle of the floor at least they were still and I didn't have to dodge them as they ran under my feet.  Peace at last.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer moon

Since I'm a little behind on the August Break challenge and since the idea behind it is to get people to look and photograph the world around them, and since I am having a hard time going with the themes, I decided to just look around me and photography what peeks my interest.

We've had a lot of rain here lately which has makes for wonderful and at times dramatic skies.   These photos are of the moon on a cloudy night.  I love the sense of mystery that the clouds impart.

I tried different settings and used my zoom on my camera a Canon Powershot SX30 IS which produced a great variety of  looks and moods.

The clouds finally moved out of the way for a few minutes and I was able to get this clear shot of the moon.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Still having fun

Today's photo for the challenge were these pigeons that my grandsons pointed out to me as we were running errands.  Since they were so excited about them I stopped the car so they could get a good look at them and I could, of course, photograph them.

This was the original photo, not exactly going along with the theme of three, but still in need of some fun I again went with Photoscape to produce the photo on the top.   I used the editor>filters>distorts>3, which is where the three came in.  I know it's a bit of a stretch but it was the best I could do.
I'm not quite sure which I like better.  What do you think?

This last photo is just one I took at the same time.  So glad my grandsons pointed them out to me.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Bleeding orange and having fun

I've had several hellacious days, hence no posting.  Even though my health is improving I am still disabled and as anyone who has chronic health problems can tell you there are days when you do not function well.  If I had still been employed I would have been calling in sick.  Anyway more on dealing with chronic health issues at a later date.
When I saw the theme for the August Break challenge was orange I thought I would have a hard time until I walked into Wal-Mart.  It had slipped my mind that I was in Tennessee and the college football team here , the Tennessee Volunteers, have orange as their team color.  When I got home after taking these photos Laura said she thought that if they could the town folk here would paint the whole town orange they would.  After seeing all the orange around including all the apparel on those same towns folk I would agree, in fact I would think that they would bleed orange if they could.   

Since I am not a football fan and I difinitely needed a just for fun break, I decided to play with a photo editing program I recently downloaded.  Photoscape is a free photo editing program that I downloaded from cnet.  It is a fun program that I have used in the past but due to computer problems I have not used in a while.  Now that I have a new computer, well new to me anyway,  I've reinstalled it  and now have to remember what all the filters and enhancements do, so I'm having fun playing with it . 

The original photos on the left side where kind of ho-hum, but after I played with them and had a great deal of fun with them, I like the abstract pieces of art.
Hope you enjoyed my little excursion into photoscape filters.  If you have any questions on what filters I used and how I applied them please leave your question in the comments section.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Surprised at what you see

August Break- Windows

I am finding that the biggest challenge for the August Break is that instead of taking photos of whatever strikes my fancy and having it speak to me about what I should blog about; I am now doing just the opposite I have the subject matter given, then hunt for a subject to photograph.  I'm finding this to be a whole other mind-set.  I have entered contests where the subject was given then you had a week to find just the right setting to photograph; I've even won some.  Doing this with a one day time constraint is many times more difficult.  With a week or more of time, I can indeed find my subject, take my photo, edit, and tweak to my hearts content so I feel confident in having done what I could to put out a photo I can be proud of.  With this time constraint I no longer have the ability to reflect make changes then reflect again so I'm not so sure.  This challenge is really making me s-t-r-e-t-c-h and make occasional leaps of faith, both of which are good things for me to learn how to do.
My photo for today is of my daughters living-room.  In spite of having little money, she is creative in her decorating.  She also has the courage to try something non-traditional.  I love the plants which is pretty traditional, but then she hangs them over her window like a living valance.  I'm sure that as her plants grow in and up the hardware it's beauty will continue to increase.  Good job Sweetie.
I was also experimenting with my shutter speed for this one and the backlighting was giving me problems so a triple challenge here.
The next photos are ones that were done earlier.

I have often been challenged by photographing windows due to unwanted reflections, but in this case the reflections turn out to be the focal point of the capture.

This was taken as I was walking around some abandoned warehouses that I noticed while I was shopping at one of the busiest stores in town.  I started out photographing from the parking lot and realized that in framing my picture I was trying to avoid the barbed wire fence that surrounds the store.  I figured it really ought to be pretty safe with all the shoppers in the area so I walked across the street to get a better look.  I'm glad I did.

This was taken in an elevator at the art center in downtown Atlanta.  The art center houses the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Hall so it makes sense that they would build an elevator with a skylight so you can see the elevator workings.  I thought it was very cool.  I was amazed however at the looks and questions I got as I rode up and down taking the photos as apparently most people never noticed it.  That's what this challenge and my blog is about; seeing the beauty or just plain cool things that surround us.  Look around including looking up, you just might be surprised at what you see.

My Love Hate Relationship

Thematic photographic #303- Whats your tech?

Another thought provoking theme from Carmi.  As I am in the somewhat older age group, I have seen technology come into my life in leaps and bounds, but I am also still young enough to enjoy the benefits.  I must confess that I have a real love-hate relationship with the way affects our lives.  Looking at picture of my grandsons and their Kindles I see two kids wrapped up in their own little Kindle worlds.  While they have learned lots from the alphabet, to early reading and all kinds of things about dinosaurs and their Kindle makes this easier and more fun, but they are not learning about playing together or even about sharing since they each have one.  These are important skills that an autistic child needs as much as academic learning.  Personally I feel all children need more of this, but this is especially true for autistic children.
This problem has become pervasive in our culture with groups of people glue to their devices where once there might have been lively conversation and it is so pervasive it is showing up on popular television programs
I'm a big fan of Doctor Who and today I was watching the episode, 'Midnight' that kind of points out my biggest pet peeve with technology and that is with all the media that bombards us we no longer talk to own another.  Anyway The Doctor is on a tourist transport and the hostess is putting up all the media to entertain them for the 4 hour trip.  The transport is noisy and chaotic with all the choices bothering some, so The Doctor serendipitously pulls out his sonic screwdriver and this is what follows:
HOBBES: Well, that's a mercy. 
HOSTESS: I do apologize, ladies and gentlemen, and variations thereupon. We seem to had a failure of the Entertainment System.
VAL: But what do we do?
BIFF: We've got four hours of this? Four hours of just sitting here?
DOCTOR: Tell you what. We'll have to talk to each other instead.

[98 kliks later...]
(The idea has caught on. Everyone is listening to Val and Biff's stories.
Personally I say HOORAY for the Doctor
While the internet can bring use closer to some of our friends and family that we are separated from by distance.  It could just as easily separate us from those who are close to us and keep us from having deep meaningful relationships .
That being said I am a big fan of blogging and below is my set-up here at my daughters. This is a temporary set up but I wouldn't have come up here without.  I will admit that it is hard for me to think about being without it as I have come to depend on it for many things; quick research, maps, music (notice the speakers), youtube videos that show me how to do almost anything I want to learn,on and on and on.  Like I said this is a real love-hate relationship.  However through my life I have found that most things in life with a few exceptions are not either wholly good or wholly bad and finding a balance among the different options, the trade-offs offered is the most important part in choosing how to spend your life.

I do not have the newest computer, nor mouse, nor phone or even speaker but I love what I've got; I'm comfortable with them  all I would want would be more memory to store all my photos, but then getting a new computer would mean learning Windows 8 which I do not want to do.  Like I said we need to find balance and also work with the trade-offs in our lives .  Big time sigh! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Patterns all around

August Break- Day 2- Patterns

The challenge was kind of made for me and my blog, if the intent was to look around, find and photograph the world around us, that is exactly my blogs purpose, to see the beauty in the everyday.  I came across this challenge by viewing a fellow bloggers post on her anticipation for this event so I have been thinking and planning for this for several days.  Even though this just started yesterday because I was also anticipating this, it has already helped me improve my blog.  It has given me the impetus to start carrying my camera with me wherever I go once again, to post more often and to get back to experimenting with my camera.  I've also enjoying visiting new blogs of those who are also participating.

This days theme is patterns and this was easy as there are patterns everywhere both subtle and dramatic.  The first photo is of a house down the street with it's rhythmic pattern of stair steps and stone work softened by the Ivy growing on and around it.
 I did not think, with second photo, that I had anything that I would particularly like, but the more I looked at it the more I liked it.  It is more subtle than a lot of my photos and the more I looked at it the more I liked the interplay of the two distinct organic shapes against the subtle gray strips in the clapboard.  Since I liked it so much I decided to play with it some.  I brought out the colors of the leaves in the foreground and took some of the color out of the background plants to enhance the distinctly different growth patterns.  I took this even farther by placing a dark vignette around the frame, thus adding to the subtleness of the background and making the green leaves pop out.  I may tweak it a little more but so  far I really like this.


Due to the overcast skies these first two photos lacked stark contrast which I love capturing.  Bright sunshine and it's dark shadows provide that high contrast that I love and adds an additional dimension to my photos.  These last two photos while not taken today highlights just that kind of drama and some real design surprises if you look hard enough for them you will find yourself surrounded by them.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Who wouldn't want to eat like this?

Whenever I tell anyone about my following the Paleo Diet, I can almost guarantee the question "Well if you eliminate grains, dairy, legumes; what do you eat?".  Followed by"That can't be healthy!" and/or "I could never eat like that!"  Actually I eat very well, thank you. When I concentrated on eating meat, veggies, fruits and roots I actually increased the nutrient content of my food.  I now prefer to refer to the way I eat as a nutrient dense diet.  This shows the general composition of my meals- 1/2 of my plate is veggies, either raw or cooked or a combination of the two- 1/4 of my plate is meat- and 1/4 of my plate is fruits or roots.  Although this is a rather simplified example and does not explain the principles of the Paleo Diet or nutrient dense diet; it does give you a good idea of how to start. 
This meal consisted of
1 small chicken breast coated with almond flour,salt, pepper, mexican oregano, garlic powder and parsley
   1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli, cauliflower mix sauted  with butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder
1/2 nectarine sliced
Easy, peasy- simple but nutrient dense.  It didn't take long and the plate looked great. 

This post is part of my participation in the August Break event.  It is hosted by Susannah Conway and the rules are basically take a photo every day in August to post on your blog or on the flickr page or a couple of other places that she lists on the August break link above.  She also gives suggestions for the daily photos and an e-mail with an example of that days suggestion for those of us who get stuck.  Her rules are simple and you can break any of them and still participate, my kind of event it allows for all kinds of creativity.  If I understand this right the idea behind this is for bloggers to share there creativity and photos with others, to notice the everyday photo opportunities, and to take advantage of those opportunities.  I don't know if I will be able to do
this everyday but I'm sure going to try.  My posts might be shorter than normal maybe even just my photo for the day, but try I will.  Today's photo was actually of my dinner and I had a hard time with with the lighting, so my dinner actually looked better in person, but I'm learning. Also I'm getting this in at the last minute, but improve I will.
Come and join me

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sunrise after the rain

Good morning!!!

Although this was taken several days ago and I am just now getting around to downloading it; we get a lot of sunrises here that look like this.   In Tennessee, in the summer we get a lot of rainy nights followed by breaking clouds in the morning.  This makes for beautiful sunrises.  Every time I see these beautiful sunrises, I am reminded that in order to have that kind of beauty you need both the clouds and the sun.  In our lives we often want only the sun, the bright, cheerful times but to have the beautiful colors of the sunrise you need the clouds,the darker more somber times, with the bright shining through and reflecting off of the dark.

Now this is completely off that subject but, I've been thinking that since I love blogging so much that I would like to introduce you to some of my favorite blogs and websites.  I've already introduced you to Written Inc and today I am going to introduce you to www.srossi.net.  I met Max and started following his blog through writteninc. and found his posts delightful.  He is a school teacher who lives in Utah.  He is a dedicated teacher whose posts and photos I enjoy.  He quite often posts about his students and his somewhat creative teaching style. When I read his blog I can tell that he loves his students and the profession he has chosen.  I enjoy these but what I like most about his blog is his capture of the flavor of living in Utah.  He shows his love for Utah and it's people in his blog using lot of wonderful photos.  I've lived in Utah a couple of times in my life and miss the uniqueness of living there from the mountains to the people.  Last week he did 3 posts on living in Utah and these made me rather nostalgic.  Sigh and sigh again. 
 I've been thinking about doing this once a week.  I am very visual and can't seem to do a post without pictures and since I have no idea how to get illustrations that are appropriate for the blogs I review; I think I will be doing some of my photos, a couple of thoughts that they invoke in me, then a review.  Even though I do a blog and edit photos it doesn't mean I am tech savvy and so until someone rescues me.....
Hope you


Monday, July 28, 2014

If they could only stay little....

Thematic Photographic #302  Temporary

This post was kind of prompted by the Thematic Photographic and the theme for the week 'Temporary'.  It is a post I have been thinking about for a little while now anyway.
 Since I have been spending so much time with my adult daughter and my grandsons I have also been pondering on how fast life goes by and how little time we have with these precious souls when they are young and innocent.  Having raised 6 kids with a 16 year gap from first to last; I spent a LOT of years with small children in the house, but looking back on it now, it seems to be such a short time.  Even the 20+ years with teenagers in the house seems a short time.  Now time flies with the grandchildren.  Every year when I come back I see how much my grandsons have grown.  I regret that I have not been able to spend as much time with the other grandkids.
 Everywhere I go and I tell people that I spend my summer with my daughter and help her with her kids; their first reply is usually "Isn't it so nice to spend so much time with your grandchildren?" or something similar.  I have to say that it is also wonderful and a rare privilege to be able to get to know my daughter on a day to day basis as a grown adult. If they live close most grandmas may help with the grandkids but,  I believe it is kind of rare for them to pack up, move and stay for months and this makes for a totally different experience.
I have been confronted head on with both the good and the bad that I did as a parent.  I knew that parenting traits were passed on from generation to generation because when my kids were young and having sworn I would never raise my kids like my parents raised me, I still found myself saying

 "How did my mother get in my mouth?".  Living with Laura and watching her with her boys I get a much different perspective on my parenting, a lot more regrets but also a lot more joy in the kids that I raised and their accomplishments.  I'm kind of surprised with how much as people up here get to know me, they can, if they are smart and observant, get to understand and know Laura better.

There is one rule that none of the kids or grandchildren were not able to obey and that was their Daddy's and Grandpa's admonition to stay little.  Oh why, oh why?  Well the why is because they need to grow into their own person that we only see as they mature.  Those same sweet souls that we started with can if both sides work at it develop into sweet adult relationships.

I now know that I need to cherish these times with my kids and grandchildren because each stage of life is temporary and precious and we only get one chance to enjoy and savor these moments.

them while you can

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thematic Photographic #301 -Dirty

One of my favorite sites that I used to visit and participate in is Carmi's writteninc. Now that I am back in the blogging world it is one of my first visits.  He gives out a photo theme for the week and any of his readers can take photos and do a post on the theme and then leave a link to that post in his comment section.  It is delightful to see what other bloggers do with his theme.  No prize just sharing among bloggers which is so much better.  I like getting to know my fellow bloggers and the exchange of interpretations and ideas is fun.  This exchange is what draws me to blogging and keeps me coming back.

The top photo was actually taken for a contest on MyShutterspace.com (which at the moment is having problems).  This particular photo contest had the theme of minimalism and since I didn't really understand the theme, I just took lots of photos and guessed.  The top photo did not qualify as the dirt kept it from having clean lines (no pun intended, of course), one of the qualities of a minimalist photo. 

However, I did like the photo of the dirty vents so I decided to play around with them and came up with a couple of fun pieces of abstract art.  Still did not qualify for the contest, but it came in handy here.

If you would like to check out how others have interpreted this theme click here

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

See the beauty

 I named my blog young-eclectic-encounters because I have many different interests and experiences to share.  Although I do tend to be easily bored and have a little ADHD you will find that there will be common threads throughout my posts.  As I mentioned in my last post I have been working on improving my health and have found this to be a fascinating subject, so there will be lots of these.  I am also a lover of good books, as I have learned much from them, both lessons from life and information to improve my life.  Most of what you will see is my artistic strivings.  I draw, paint, art journal, quilt, design my own clothes, but my first love is photography so you will be seeing lots of photos.
My description for my blog is "See the beauty- a survivors art journal" more than anything else learning photography has made me really look around to find the beauty that surrounds me.  It has kept my spirits high, fought off depression and generally kept my life hopeful and moving forward.  The photo above is a good example of seeing the beauty around me.  I saw these beautiful roses on trip just out running errands.  I enjoyed them then and am enjoying them now having captured their beauty with my camera.  But, guess where I found them?  They were part of the drive-thru at Burger King. 
How much do we miss of this beautiful world when we go about our daily lives?  Did this person in the car even notice the roses? Think about this over the next week, notice, share you observations in the comments or write a blog post about the beauty that surrounds us and share it in the comments, too.  One other thing I have found is that when we share the beauty of this world with others we help to make this world a more welcoming place and we humans much more cheerful.  So join me and encounter this world it's many beauties and pass the word.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Changing my life

My world now.
The reason that I have been gone from blogging is I have been working hard to improve my health so that I can spend time with my grandchildren and get back into the world.
When I was last blogging on a regular basis (Winter 2011), I was also very incapacitated due to multiple health issues.  I was mostly sitting with the remote in my hand watching TV or with the computer on my lap, blogging.  I am so glad to have had my blog and all the internet friends that I developed.  It kept me sane and connected to the outside world.
I think I have gotten enough of my health back to attempt to rejoin the blogging world, which I enjoyed very much.