Living twice. Or three times….

“To be able to look back upon one’s life in satisfaction is to live twice.” Kahlil Gibran

In February, 2012, I posted these photos – which I actually took in February, 2011.

So, once again…I look back and relive some of my favourite photos.

Photo 5

Stormy Sky

Photo 6

Sky over University of Toronto looking west

It was a dark and stormy night, Snoopy

“It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.”  – Charles M. Schulz, It was a Dark and Stormy Night, Snoopy

Remembering to slow down

As this crazy, busy week comes to an end, I realized I had not taken a single picture for fun. There were events at work to document, but there is nothing to document life. It seems that empty nest or not, there is always too much to do. I don’t want photography to become a chore, but given how much enjoyment comes from it, I should look at like exercise – something to be carved out in your day that brings short and long term benefits.

I have begun to follow lots and lots of other people’s blogs and although that also takes up time, it is completely inspiring (photo blogs) and entertaining (written word blogs). The blogs that combine the two are probably the most interesting to me because I really enjoy photos, but equally I enjoy the stories behind them.

I made a packet of 20 cards for a friend and realized that there are now more than 20 photos that I love enough to use for cards. That’s a big deal because in the spring, there were only about 4-5. It really was a great summer for photography, which could have been because I was not working, I love photographing flowers, and I am learning more about the importance of composition!

So, this weekend, the goal is pictures. And more pictures. Oh and maybe some sleep…..


Where has the time gone?

I went back to look at some of the first photos I took with my camera, as it’s been just about a year since I acquired it. Some of those shots remain my favourites and as I looked back on them, I realized that I was just spending time learning how to take a picture. Not how to use the camera, how to fancy up the shot, just simply how to take a photo. Up until I acquired this camera, I took pictures for a purpose – to chronicle an event or vacation, to document a moment in time. As a scrapbooker, I took photos that I could put into a story that would translate into a good scrapbook.

The first photos I took were under the watchful eye of my hubby who has a much more artistic view of the world. My idea of a good picture is one I like, all based on emotion. Tim can look at a picture or a house or anything really and explain what the elements are that make it appealing, how it works, how it doesn’t work. As much as I appreciated that he had a stronger aesthetic experience and therefore a valuable opinion, he encouraged me to go back to listening to my gut and take photos the way I liked because ultimately it is my hobby and we both benefit from my enjoyment of it. Over this year, I have found that there are photos I take that I don’t like that he does and vice versa. Many people I have shared my photos with also have very strong reactions to photos one way or another, and that has taken some getting used to. I don’t know that I’ll ever be completely comfortable with either praise or criticism, but I do take something from those opinions and go forward.

In some ways, I can see how much my photography style has changed and evolved. And yet, looking back, the simplistic photos of the “early days” still appeal, so perhaps what I like has remained the same and how I achieve it has been the area of growth. Who knows?


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The big picture

I am a big fan of macro photography. This statement would not be a surprise to anyone who has looked at my blog, seen my Facebook page or seen more than two photos I’ve ever taken. It most certainly is not what I envisioned as my main interest when I took up photography a year ago. I literally fell into it after a comment by a Black’s employee. This nice young man suggested I buy some filters, rather than a lens, to try out macro photography. Since a “real” macro lens is around $800+, he thought I should spend a whole lot less to see just how much I did or did not like macro photography. So, I ordered 4 filters online for a whooping $14.95 and gave them a try. I was hooked within a day.

The downside of this, of course, was that I have not spent time working on other types of photography. When I told Laura that I was going to be taking photos downtown this weekend, she suggested I take some “big” pictures – landscapes and buildings, that kind of thing. So, I did. I snuck in a bit of macro (I mean, really, when a bee just flies into your shot, and you get a shot of his wings moving, what can you do?) but I tried to broaden my view. I took over 130 photos and came out with a few that I can live with but I also came out with an understanding of the importance of framing being equally important in “big” and “little” photos.


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Back to school – U of T style

The fall of 2010 marked the first time that Laura and Kyle would attend the same “school” for an entire school year. That “school” was the University of Toronto. I spent many hours this past year on the campus and often had my camera ready to capture the incredible beauty of the grounds and buildings.

Kyle has continued at U of T, this year marking the beginning of his graduate work. Laura has begun an exchange year at the University of British Columbia, also an incredibly beautiful campus. They both have always appreciated their surroundings and how those surroundings add to the experience of university life.


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