I have been working on taking a picture everyday with my phone. I am not looking to take photos that will end up in National Geographic or get printed and hang on the wall. They are all about documenting the moments of this life I am living. I don’t know what I expected when I decided to do this in 2021. It is turned out to almost be a visual gratitude journal. It is also a memory box of little moments I have forgotten were it not for picture. When I look at the pictures I have taken I can see so many moments that are good. Some are simply photos of the food that I have made, others are of art or craft projects, some are of my family, there are weather and the landscape photos, and some are just plain nonsensical. It isn’t easy to find something to photograph each day, but with time and practice it has gotten easier. I worry less and shoot more.
One of the other benefits of capturing a moment each day with my camera is that I have learned to use some of the more advanced features of my phone. I was doing an evening walk the other night and I learned how to use the night mode to capture my home and see the differences it makes.
It has been fun once I got over the worry about shooting good and relevant pictures. I encourage you to do the same. Let me know how it goes for you.
The snow itself is lonely, or if you prefer, self sufficient. There is no other time when the world seems composed of one thing and only one thing! Joseph Wood Krutch
One night coming home from work last week I was taken aback by the beauty of the moon rise. It was so amazing to see the clouds that were sneaking in to cover parts of it. I so wanted to capture it and share it. The way the clouds moved back and forth covering the moon and then not was like a magical show of nature. The colors of the night were like a blanket covering night sky and snow-cover lands alike. it was almost indecipherable where the sky ended and the horizon started. The color was a blue of melancholy, sadness, loneliness and yet so peaceful.
I talked myself out of stopping my truck and taking a picture until I was nearly home. The reasons were many for not taking the picture. It was approaching night so the light wasn’t good, but that is what made the sight so special. I didn’t have the right set up to take the photo, I had just a phone. The picture wasn’t framed right and there were things in the picture I really didn’t want. It was bitter cold and I was dressed to commute, not stand outside for an extended period of time. Dinner was waiting. The list in my mind was a mile long as I continued to look at that moon and watching the changing images as the clouds moved in and out.
I recently started a new creative set of classes for 2017 and my statement his year is: Change the Pattern of Your Life. It hit me. I was letting the same pattern of excuses make me not take a chance and see what would happen. When I was just a 1/4-mile from home I finally I just got out and took a half dozen shots. None of them will make National Geographic, but I did it. It doesn’t capture the sight as I saw it, but it still serves as a medium to share something of that night with others. I did not let the pattern of letting the same reasons for not doing something continue to drive me and prevent me from trying.
Do you let a very repeatable list of reasons prevent you from trying something? Does your selftalk sound like a parrot repeating the words over and over? When was the reason you tell yourself for not trying something a new reason, not the same reason you told yourself 100 times over? Challenge yourself to explore, do something that those comfortable reasons say not to. Don’t let the pattern of your life prevent you from living it.
If you are interested in the class I am taking samples of my creative work and information on the class can be found about it on my other blog Playing Without Limits.
One the things that feeds my soul is my creative pursuits. This new job has made it a little more difficult to feed that outlet. I work ten hour days in the field and spend my nights away from home. It has made access to my creative supplies limited and most nights my energy is completely maxed out. This said, I am not giving up on being more than a worker bee for four days a week.
I always have my camera in my work truck in case I come upon something great driving on the backroads of Montana. I have also started to explore some of the advance settings available on my smart phone, that I am starting to carry with me when I am out doing field work to capture some of what I see in “my office”. I discovered just this week my phone has a macro setting, that I can use for close-up photographs.
I thought I might do more with my writing this summer. I had hoped to start editing the novel I started in November nights in my motel room. I had hoped to do more travelogue blogging about what things and places in Montana. So far I have been doing my blogging at home and scheduling them for the next week. There have been no spontaneous blog posts. That doesn’t mean there might be one yet in my future. It is too soon to give up.
I planned to finish binding on three quilts that could be done if they had a binding. They have been around my house as unfinished projects for way too long. I imagined that I would finish the bindings in front of the TV in the motel room. Not having TV at home, I thought I would spend time watching things I don’t get to see at home. So far I have not found TV that I wanted to watch, so I guess it is okay that I haven’t even packed a quilt to take along at this point. There is so much I have to take each week, a quilt seems like just too much to tote each week.
This week I am adding my sketch book to my collection of personal stuff I take along in my work truck. I am not sure exactly why. I don’t seem to have any talent in the drawing arena, but it might be interesting to see what I put in there with a few minutes I hope to carve out when I break for lunch. Maybe they will be sketches, doodles, a few words or something else. I will pack some sort of pencil case at this point and call it another grand experiment.
This job is all about doing something out of my comfort zone and exploring life in a way I have never done before. I have always found that I often do my best thinking when I am being creative, so I am still figuring out ways to make it all work.
Apologies to the photo challenge followers. Day 6 I continued to feel under the weather and although I did not post that day, I did take my challenge photo on day 6. Today, day 7, I am starting to feel better and we went out shopping and I was able to sneak in a photo today using my phone.
Photo Challenge Day 6 – Shiny
This was taken of a small vintage aluminum tree in a local store where I teach card making. The glitter covered ornaments just caught my eye and I knew that this was my shiny photo. I played around taking snapshots of to the tree trying to find the right light and depth of field. This one was the best of the what I came home with.
There is something magical in about this tree.
Photo Challenge Day 7 – Shopping
Those who know me, know I am not one who enjoys shopping. Today we went to town to do our adopt-a-family shopping. RangerSir’s office adopts a family and the employees and several of the retirees all shop for this family. Then the day of the office Christmas party they wrap all the gifts and get it ready for delivery to the contact person. No matter how I feel about shopping I always find myself getting a little crazy picking out just the right things for the adopted family. RangerSir and I hit the local store and it was not long until we had a full cart of goodies we had picked out for the family.
I am not going to win any awards for this photo, but I got more joy from this shopping trip that you can possibly imagine.
Like thousands of others who shop for others who are not as fortunate, we dig up our best memories and try to share them with strangers by what we pick to give the family we will never know. We want to help them create memories of holidays and family. RangerSir and I by tradition always give pajamas and socks. I remember having warm double brushed flannel PJ’s at Christmas. I am not sure if they were a new pair or not but I want these little kids to have something warm to wear to bed and lounge around in the evening. My family was a great bunch of game players so we always get the kids each a game that hopefully they can play with their siblings. Of course I have to add books to the collection, because they can take you places and let you do things you may never get a chance to do otherwise. This year’s family of kids are being raised by a Grandmother and Great Grandmother. I can not imagine have four kids under 9, as a grandma to raise, but thousands of grandparents find themselves doing just this. Keeping warm in Montana is always a challenge. My boss has a cuddly throw she swears by and I have one that I am sitting under here as I write tonight. RangerSir and I decided that the grandma’s should have some thing like this as well. We found one for each of them that we hoped each of them would enjoy as they spent time with their grand kids Lastly like so many others in the group of employees we added a local grocery card. The family can buy what they need most or a special holiday treat. They know best for their family. I came home feeling better about the day and encouraged that maybe I will make the holidays and the new year special for a family who I will never know.
Tonight I am feeling under the weather and tired. I had convinced myself it was OK to skip tonight. Yet when I was getting ready for bed, I realized that it might not be my best effort, but the photo challenge was worthy of an effort. So I convinced RangerSir to be my hand model and started pulling things together to make tonight’s photo challenge happen. Here are the results.
This one was one I wanted to do but with a twist. I didn’t want it to be a chore list, or a list of all the things that needed to be crammed in to this month. Instead I wanted it to be a list of the sweet treats that I would like to make.
I got lucky tonight and this is exactly as I took it. No Photoshop help at all.
I am not sure how many of these I will actually get made this year, as I am back full-time for the this month and next. It is the busiest time of the year for my employer and hence my free time gets pretty scarce. With this list there is a starting place if I get some free time.