Blurred vision.

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There are probably a million ways – either accidentally or intentionally – to make an image of smudged trees.

Truthfully, most of my smudged subjects have gotten that way due to some error on my part, like wobbly hands or poor focus or forgetting to change my camera settings.

But I tried to be purposeful for this one. I slowed down the shutter and pointed my camera out the side window of the car while travelling the highway just after sunset.

It isn’t a very crisp image, but I liked the colour and the paintbrush-like strokes of the blurred treeline.

(Safety first, by the way: the window was closed and I simply steadied the lens against the glass, trying not to freak out other travelers. Also, in case you were wondering, I was not driving the vehicle at the time. You can never be too careful.)

 

Things I learned by watching soap bubbles.

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  • their existence is delicate and fleeting, and must be carefully observed and appreciated.
  • they’re incredibly adaptable and efficient in their use of space.

 

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  • it only takes a little light to make them shine.
  • each one is a mirror to the world.

 

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  • when one departs, the others cluster to fill the gap left behind.
  • big or small, and no matter how densely packed, they always make room for one another.

Drab to fab.

I don’t have grand, elaborate entrances this week for my submission to Norm’s Thursday Doors. In fact, today’s doors are pretty inconspicuous. They’re hidden inside a work of art.

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For that, we can thank artist Stephanie Boutari. This mural transforms the rear of this bland and generic strip mall into a unique and colourful canvas. Street art can truly add personality and interest where they may be lacking. I like the vibrancy and sweeping curves of this piece.

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The details were carefully considered to ensure the look is unified in the big picture. The lines are sharp, clean and vivid – even up close. Only the metal ring in the bottom photo, jutting from the wall, shows a little wear and tear.

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In this week’s post, the walls are more impressive than the doors themselves, but given the state of these walls, I didn’t think you’d mind. Thanks, as always, for stopping by.

Fifty shades of green.

For this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, we were asked to think about green. Easy – my favourite colour! I made some photos of the emerging daylilies, allium and tulips in my garden, thinking they’d be ideal to show off green’s welcome return.

Then I forgot about it. I took the kids to school. I washed the dishes. I went to Home Depot to buy some potting soil.

On the way to the garden centre, I passed through the paint aisle, where I made an abrupt halt. There, on each side, were rows upon rows of paint chips. In every colour and every shade – of beige, of blue, of yellow.

Of green.

Back at home, I spent an absurd amount of time photographing patterns of paint chips in various shades of green. I wasn’t really happy with my shots, and figured I’d go back to my original idea of posting spring flora for the challenge. In one last attempt, I purposely threw everything out of focus and, surprisingly, ended up liking the soft, abstract result.

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And because my hands had been holding so many interesting shades of green (“Intoxication,” “Chard,” “Tuscan Herbs”), I pondered about this colour and its multiple personalities.

When green is ugly, it has a nauseating, radioactive glow. It’s the corrosion of the copper pipes in my basement and it’s the revolting squish of seaweed between my toes. It’s the fuzz of mold feeding on stale bread, and the soft rot of spoiled fruit. It’s the bitterness of Brussels sprouts and the wrath of the Incredible Hulk. It’s my exasperation with the immortal dandelions choking my garden and the embarrassment of spinach stuck in my teeth. It’s the blasted grass stains that refuse to budge from my kid’s jeans.

But let’s not forget: where there’s darkness, there’s also light.

Green is the shimmering, otherworldly gleam of the northern lights. It’s the crunch of a Granny Smith apple and the sinus-clearing freshness of peppermint. It’s the luck of a leprechaun’s four-leaf clover, and it’s squeaky Palmolive clean. It’s a crude but big-hearted animated Scottish ogre. It’s the traffic light granting permission to proceed, and the exit sign for those who can’t find the door. It’s the lush, humid heat of the tropics. It’s smooth, velvety moss and sharp, pungent pine. It’s the impossibly iridescent emerald feathers of a mallard duck, and it’s a seedling rising from the ashes of a forest fire.

It’s envy and greed, sickness and decay. It’s renewal and progress, opportunity and hope.

I think it may have a bit of an identity crisis.

No matter. Green: I will love you unconditionally.

P.S.
Dear readers – let me know if you want to paint a wall green. I’ve got a few extra paint chips hanging around.

My thighs are killing me.

All that squatting and crouching by the creek yesterday made for achy legs today, but I’d wanted to get up close to the water so I could play around with slow shutter speeds.

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The sunlight glinting on the water and the flow of the creek created swirling lines and shapes when I made a slightly longer exposure.

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I hadn’t brought my tripod, so the in-focus elements weren’t as in-focus as I would’ve liked, but I didn’t mind.

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Mild temperatures (yessss!) meant the flow of water was melting the ice, leaving interesting bits and pieces clinging to rocks and branches.

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Mental note in preparation for next time:

  1. Bring a tripod.
  2. Do more squats.

Thank you, once again, for looking 😊

Ruffled.

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Having kids means having no shortage of random items to photograph on lousy winter days.

I’ve started a list of examples:

 

P.S.
Thanks to Narami for hosting Tuesdays of Texture.

Mirror, mirror.

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This is detail from an ornate acrylic mirror, about the size of a really large coaster, purchased by my child for her daddy at Christmas.

Today I borrowed it from my husband (as far as I know, he hasn’t really used it much, so far) and placed it on a table to let the sun shine on it from a south-facing window. I got in close and clicked. A lot. I moved the mirror around, trying different angles of the light and different arrangements of the lines. I wanted to catch the sparkle, the reflection of the blue sky, the sweeping curve of the edges.

It seems a strange activity in which to get lost. But I did.

(Don’t worry, I remembered to return the mirror.)

Bling, p. 2.

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You may remember that my kids were allowed to rummage through the clearance shelf to choose a Christmas stocking for next year, and that my daughter made sure she picked the sparkliest of the bunch.

This isn’t surprising. She likes frills, hot pink, and leopard-skin print. She’s the “fancy” one. (Interestingly, she declared that she inherited her “fancy” style from her Grandma – my mom – and that it must have skipped a generation).

Her brother generally prefers sweatpants and hoodies, in grey, black, or – when he’s in the mood for a splash of colour – dark blue. He refers to his style as “casual.”

Before we packed up Christmas, I zoomed in for an abstract shot of my son’s new stocking – a red one with a woven satin weave. Understated, but classy. Simple, but festive. Somewhere in between casual and fancy.

I think his sister was impressed.

 

(Thanks to Narami for collecting textures each Tuesday)