It’s been a blast.

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Dear Summer,

Thanks for the memories: sand between our toes, flip flops and tank tops, Coppertoned skin, wind-whipped hair, dripping ice cream cones, lazy days and late sunsets, quiet reading time, blanket forts, giggles with loved ones, hot marshmallows over the campfire, lavender breezes, warm rain and lush greens.

Oh, and one last blast of the backyard hose.

See you next year! ūüíó

Gratitude.

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when your daughter’s soaring on the playground swing and all the shots you’re making are botched and blurry but it’s okay because she’s laughing and her backlit curls are trailing out behind her and you suddenly feel very, very lucky and you think to yourself:¬†remember this remember this remember this

 

From the bottom up.

Here are two tips I’ve come across frequently¬†from people who know photography:

  1. Practice. A lot.
  2. Change your perspective when composing your shot.

With¬†tip number one in mind, I lug my camera bag wherever I go. If it’s with me, I’m more inclined to use it. It’s become such a habit that I’m positively certain the one time I forget it will be the time I come across¬†a rainbow, a flying pig, Viggo Mortensen, or some other ultra-photograph-able scene that will end up captured solely¬†by my eyeballs.

My purse broke the other day, so I’ve re-purposed one of my old totes to carry my purse-y type items (I’m a mom, so these consist mostly of things like bandages, tissues,¬†and wet wipes. Also Chapstick for when I want to get fancy). This tote is a size appropriate not only for a miniature dog of the variety carried around by Paris Hilton, but for perhaps one or two additional doggie-friends. Any more bags and I will¬†begin to get strange looks from people on the street. Or perhaps people on the street are already looking at me strangely. It’s hard to tell because I can barely see past my bags.

As for photography tip number two, the easiest way to change perspective when shooting, so I’ve heard, is to move your body, starting with¬†your feet. Move up or move down. How would the scene look from above, or below, or anyplace else other than how most of the world sees things, i.e., eye level? Climb a tree. Lie down in the grass. Composing this way is more likely to result in an interesting shot. You may look strange to others, but if they’re already looking at you strangely because of all the bags you’re carrying, who cares?

So, today I strapped¬†my camera over my shoulder and rode my bike to the park with my children. I laid on my back in the wood chips beneath the play structure. It was, I’m surprised to say, strangely comfortable.¬†From here, my view was drastically different than it had been on the sidelines. I had a¬†nagging fear that one of my kids would¬†fall on top of me and I’d end up with a broken camera and a mouth full of wood chips, in addition to a scraped-up child (not to worry, I carry bandages for that).

Happily, no blood was spilled, I did not eat wood, and my camera is still functioning. Not all my shots were very interesting, but I took a liking to this one.

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To summarize, here are two easy ways to improve your photography:

  1. Become a bag lady.
  2. Lie on the ground more often.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by ‚ėļ

At the speed of light.

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The speed of light? Well, hardly. My subject is a child, riding a bike. Uphill.

I wanted to see if I could capture the feeling of motion in a photograph, so I tried out a panning technique.

Panning gives the impression of movement in a photo by blurring the background while keeping the subject relatively sharp. For this shot, I slowed my shutter speed down to 1/6 second and focused on my biking muse, following her movement horizontally with the camera while I pushed the shutter release.

When I try this again, I’ll probably try¬†a faster shutter speed to help sharpen her form, and I’ll try to place her a little more to the left of the frame (so it doesn’t look like she’s about to race right into the hard edge of the photo).

In any case, I’m happy with my first attempt at panning, and she’s happy that she looks a bit like the Flash.

Win-win.

 

Go fly a kite.

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Ingredients required:

  1. A kite (caution: one originating from the dollar store is likely to require a double dose of ingredient #3).
  2. Wind (preferably a steady, warm-ish one).
  3. Patience (you may have to detangle the lines a few hundred times).

Blend. Repeat. Enjoy. ūüėä

Might as well jump.

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Things that are likely to happen when two little monkeys are jumping on the bed:

  • the cats will slink away in a huff, perturbed that they’ll need to find another location¬†for their 6-hour power nap.
  • there will be disagreements about which jump to perform next.
  • there will be disagreements about whether to jump on three or after three.
  • there will be karate chops and cannonballs and all manner of flailing limbs.
  • midair poses and facial expressions will strike everyone as enormously funny, especially when reviewed later on the camera’s screen.
  • the grown-up in the room will be enjoying this display, but also cringing while she visualizes the ruin of the mattress springs.
  • the grown-up in the room will decide that¬†it doesn’t matter because the springs are nearly toast anyway.

And, surely:

  • at least one little monkey will¬†fall off and bump its head.

P.S.
1. Don’t worry, everyone’s okay. Well, except for the mattress springs.
2. Inspired by the WordPress weekly photo challenge: Atop.

Made for each other.

Normally, a February visit to the playground wouldn’t be my idea of a good time. But¬†with record-breaking mild temperatures this week in southern Ontario, it seemed wrong not to go.

True, things were a bit¬†soggy. But pools of melted snow, evidently, are even more fun than the swings and slides. In fact, when they’re located directly beneath the swings and slides, they improve the experience.

The best is when there’s a lake underneath the park bench.

*(Note: check boots for holes before visiting the soggy playground).

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Rubber boots and muddy puddles are a naturally perfect pairing for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge (A Good Match).

Simple pleasures.

In my opinion, 8 degrees Celsius isn’t really a warm enough outdoor temperature in which to¬†remove one’s¬†winter gear and fling it¬†onto the pavement in sad, crumpled heaps. Apparently, my kids disagree.

I let it go. We were all just happy to feel the sunlight on our faces.

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