An unscheduled break

I certainly was not planning on taking a two-week break from blogging but I am certainly glad I polished off and scheduled the two posts I did in mid-December that published on the 21st and 31st.

I was also certainly not planning on neglecting my camera for the month of December either!  I am disappointed that I have not yet (as of writing this post) uploaded a single photo to Flickr in December after being on a roll since July.  I know I have a few photos I could have uploaded but unfortunately did not get any work done the last two weeks of December.  I do still have the day (December 31st) to get 50 photos worthy of publishing to my Flickr account.

I have a few hundred older photos to go through and see what can be uploaded to Flickr but I was not wanting to “pollute” my numbers.  For several years now I have been trying to decide what to do with my digital photography and finally this past year, decided to use my Flick account.  Some of the photos I took over seven years ago and with the photography goals I set this year, I was waiting until upgrading my account to publish those photos.

This afternoon/evening, I might work on uploading photos I took prior to July of 2012 and had not yet uploaded to my Flickr account.  This will mean firing up my partners old Mac Mini and attempting to get them onto an external drive.  I also need to go back and properly tag my photos and organize them better.  This was another restriction on the free Flickr account which restricts you to only being able to see the last 200 photos published to your account (and the other reason I had not uploaded the older photos yet).

In December, I was going to upgrade my Flickr account to Pro and was happy that when I logged in last night, I hadn’t.  There was a Flickr gift of essentially the Pro account free for three months.  The plus to not having upgraded yet, is that I get three months for free!  Sometimes it pays to procrastinate!

But sometimes it does not pay to procrastinate.  Because of this unscheduled two week break, I have not had a chance to work more on my 2013 Goals Manifestation.  I was wanting to flesh more of this out today but unfortunately, I am battling the inevitable sickness I always seem to catch when I go home for a visit.

Photography Goal Achieved!

I have to admit that leading up to Friday, November 30th, I was fretting that I would not be able to get outside with my camera to take enough photos in time to post the last 28 photos needed to reach my photography goal.  The weather has gotten quite damp and become increasing cold the past few weeks.  I don’t feel properly equipped to be out shooting in less then ideal conditions and I prefer shooting with the natural light of the sun.

Before we left the house, I was grumbling that I had a date with my camera but it was pouring out with rain again just like the day before.  My partner told me to take my camera with me in case the clouds parted at some point and then I would have it with me.  I had decided to drive past the university to pullouts along the highway.  I figured even if it was raining, I could scout it out for a future shoot.

After dropping my partner off at UBCO, it started to brighten up outside.  I was hoping the lake was reasonably calm because I had been wanting to take mirror shots.  Thankfully when I got there, it was relatively clam and I was able to snap mirror shots of the lake.

Very few trips with my camera involve a tripod but I brought it along for this trip figuring the shutter would stay open longer and have the potential for blurry shots.  I felt a bit awkward standing on the side of Highway 97.  I was there setting up my tripod while traffic screamed by me at 100km/hr and leaving a huge mist that I hoped would not reach my camera.  My fingers were frozen and I kept tucking them into my pockets when I remembered that I had two pairs of those .99 cent stretchy mittens in my coat.  I put one pair on and decided it should stay in my camera bag over the Winter.

Mirror shot of the Lake

After snapping up several shots on the side of the highway, I packed up my gear and headed to another place in Lake Country we had visited a few Summers ago.  Unfortunately, it was blocked off so I headed back into Kelowna, stopping for breakfast en route to downtown.

As I was driving into downtown, it was gross out again and I had pondered the thought of just going home and if it cleared up, I could go shoot outside in our yard.  Just as the thought had crossed my mind, the sun came out in full force and I knew that I was meant to go take more photographs.

I pulled into a parking metered lot and smiled as I did so because there was a large group of ducks behind my car.  I must admit that the smile was part smirk.  I knew if I went downtown to shoot that it meant birds.  Last year, we had gone shooting with friends downtown who had made the comment about being sick of shooting nothing but ducks.  I got out and took some shots of the ducks and then went back to plunk three quarters in the meter.

I walked around the harbour and have to admit, that not only did I not feel inspired but also bored.  I was also noticing that my camera was feeling the cold between the lens feeling “stuck” when focusing and how slow the camera was to respond.  Then I started to remember the type of photography I like to take is not photos of scenery and ducks but more the macro (close up) version of what I come across.  I love to take close up shots and thankfully after that, my mindset shifted from that of taking photos on the grander scale to that on the smaller scale.  I also remembered that sometimes the best places to take photos are off the beaten path or say, in an alley:

Lights in an alley on Bernard Street, Kelowna, BC

Although I did not upload the above photo to my Flickr account, I decided to post it here.  Every time I look at the photo, my eyeballs tweak because of the way the wall on the right jumps out at me.

Afterwards, as I had planned, I went to Starbucks for the latest free drink I have with them to warm up my fingers before heading home.  It was such a glum day out that I had no inspiration to head outside our house with the camera but as I was leaving to get my son, there was a bug on our gate that I had to run back in the house and grab the camera for a few last shots:

lil bug on the gate

Now that I have achieved my goal of using my dSLR camera on a regular basis, I need to set new photography goals.  I want to learn more about the advanced features, lighting, composition and whatever else will help me to better achieve the types of digital photographs I want to take.

I also have to decide whether or not to look into photo editing software.  To me, photography is about what you can do with the camera and not what you can do within photo editing software.  But I am curious to see how and if I can improve my photos using software.  I know that I can improve them with software but its more about how much of a “purist” I want to be when it comes to my definition of photography.  As much as I love my alley shot above, it (to me) is crooked as are a  lot of the photos I take and would have loved to post to Flickr, but the framing was off and could easily be fixed using software.  I am extremely picky about what photos I post to my Flickr account.  I have taken a lot of great photos but not posted them simply because the framing is off.

I will strive to keep posting at least 50 photos to my Flickr account per month and moved it down to the “Maintenance” section of my goals.  Due to my lack of funds these days, I will be putting it on my gift list for the Winter Solstice in hopes that someone will buy me a 2 year subscription!