California Girls' Spectacular List of Everyday Things!

California Girls' Spectacular List of Everyday Things!
California Girls' Spectacular List of Everyday Things!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Day 31 - Long Exposure

The last day, and I was struggling to figure out something to take a picture of with a long exposure that matched my color scheme!!   I tried pouring water into a clear glass pitcher to see how the bubbling action would show up over a few seconds.  Not good!  Then I had a better idea!   I tried rolling a tangerine across my backyard patio.  Now that visual should scare all of you.  There I was, laying on my stomach on the stone, trying to focus my camera, which was propped on the stone, so of course I had to turn my head sideways to even see through the viewfinder.  I'm way too old for this.....  Plus activating the shutter while trying to roll a stupid tangerine not too fast in front of the lens.... well, it just wasn't working out at all.

So I walked around the kitchen and saw these silk oak leaves that I use for filler on plates when I entertain.  They were garnishing a bowl of lemons.  Bingo!  I'll have them blowing in the wind!  But, alas, there was no wind.  So I went into my family room where there was an unadorned wall, and I stood about 10 feet in front of it to avoid shadows, arm outstretched with the leaves in my hand, and experimented with shutter speeds and ISO to get a decent exposure.  I was able to get about a 1/2 second exposure while I slowly moved my hand.  So here I am with camera in right hand held up to face (unsupported other than by hand holding it up), and left arm outstretched holding these leaves and moving them slowly.  I'm sure there is a combination of camera shake and intentional hand movement that has resulted in this image, which I actually like!

So, there you have it.  Trials and tribulations of getting a shot on the last day of the challenge.  

Friday, January 30, 2015

Day 30 - Egg

Egg.... raw, hard-boiled, fried, scrambled, deviled, whole, broken..... lots of choices.   Somehow, I saved today's picture until after I went out for lunch with a friend.  By the time I got back, I was full, and didn't want to think about anything relating to food, or edible.   I certainly didn't want to cook an egg (and feel duty-bound to eat my prop).  What do do? 

I'm not great at setting up little scenes, so I just grabbed my grandmother's (the crocheted doily and button grandma) old wooden chopping bowl (another memento) and just put a bunch of eggs in it.  Boring.  So I decided that showing the bright yolk would at least enliven the scene, so I cracked one of the eggs and voila!  Some color!  Not a particularly inspired shot, but I took the bowl into my backyard and the late afternoon indirect sun at least provided some soft light and shadows.    So, looking at the positive side of things, the lighting is good and the yolk pops.   :)

Ok, one more day to go!!  I think I can!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Day 29 - Lines

Sometimes, when you least expect things, they happen.  This morning, I got my small camera backpack out, put my camera and one lens inside, and headed off to seek out some lines.  I had no specific ideas for my line image, but I did have to make one stop first, at the lab to have blood drawn for my annual physical.  Of course I left my camera backpack in the car, since I was only going to be a few minutes.

I signed in and sat down in the waiting room, read a magazine and watched as a few people were called before me.  After someone left the inner sanctum beyond the waiting room, she left the door open.  I happened to look up, and saw the markings on this door.  This is the side of the door on the inside of the office, directing people where to exit to the waiting room and beyond, and is usually closed.

Whoa!!  Check out those lines!  So, quickly, I grabbed my iPhone out of my purse and walked over to the door, while two people looked at me.  I took this shot of the pattern on the door, with the exit sign a perfect addition (in the correct color, of course!), then explained to the lookie-loos what I was doing.  

After I finished my appointment, I left and decided to go to the garden shop I had thought about going to.  I did take about 25 photos there, but don'tcha know I liked my first, serendipitous, shot the best!

So now you know the story behind this wild pattern of lines!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 28 - Door

Hallelujah, a very, very easy day!!   These doors are on the cabinet next to my desk.  And, they fit my color scheme. So, all I had to do was get my camera, sit on the floor and take about 3 shots to get this!  How lucky is that?   What can I say?   With three more days, I'm looking for easy!   

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 27 - Fruit (Inside)

Ok, so we've all seen the insides of fruit.  What kind of fruit should I get?  Something pretty, not bland, something easily sliceable/cuttable and most important, it has to fit into my color scheme.  So I went to the store and bought a nectarine (pretty on the outside, for sure), a deep red plum (which should have a gradation of color in it from yellow to orange to deep red), a nice richly-colored ripe apricot, and a blood orange.   

Eager to try an abstract of the variegated plum, I cut that first.  I cut a nice slice down the middle and around the pit.  Now to just twist it apart and see that lovely inside.  Whoops! Wrong!  A little too ripe, so it got a bit squooshy as I tried to twist it.  Then, of course, the fruit stuck to the pit and didn't separate from it like in all those wonderful stock photos. Hmmmm... So I tried individual wedge shaped slices, but, while they did have some color gradation, the handling of the plum caused some serious mushiness at the edges and around where it had attached to the pit.  Darn!   Oh well, what to do with those little wedge slices I cut?  Of course I ate them while pondering my next move.

The apricot.  Firm, but still beautifully colored, and ripe.  Again I cut around the center, and the compliant apricot separated nicely into two pieces.  But....boorrriiinnnngggggg.  Yes, it was a nice rich color, but no texture to speak of.  Ok, so that, too got swiftly dispatched to my stomach.  

Ok, I only have two fruits left before another grocery store run...  the nectarine.. Beautiful yellow-orange-crimson skin with those tiny little speckles.  But alas, not being completely ripe, it was pale inside, hard as a rock, and it, too wouldn't rotate free of the pit.  But, that went into the trash, as it was still crunchy.  I don't like crunchy nectarines.

So, by default, I was left with the blood orange.  More interesting than those regular oranges on my tree, and definitely beautiful up close. I got this shot, using the toothpicks on some plastic glasses to hold up the slice while it was lit from behind.  I was going to crop it and go for an abstract macro, but something about the lines of the glasses and toothpicks just made me leave it as is and not try get in close. I may save that abstract for another day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Day 26 - Paper

Paper.... so many things to do with paper.  So I dragged out some construction paper I've had in a drawer since my kids were in school.  Antique paper, almost....  and since I have always admired all the light-and-shadow photographs of bent/curled/folded paper, I decided to do that for my daily shot.

Well, it's not so easy... About 10 sheets of curled up, rolled up, scrunched up, stapled up paper can bear witness to that.  They are now in my trash can, along with various circles cut out and sort of rolled into potato chip shapes, which, while interesting to make, didn't want to arrange themselves into an attractive composition.

So I got out a pencil and started curling some strips around it that I had cut out.  Note to self: Do not use six-sided pencils - they create lines in your curves.  So I hunted around and found a round pen which I then used to create these curls.  Fat curls, skinny curls... by this time I was frustrated and just wanted to get some pictures.  Lots of trial and error, late at night (early in the morning actually).  I'm glad there are only 5 days of this madness left!  :)

But, I got my paper curls.  And I felt like a true kindergartner at heart!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 25 - Cookies

Would you believe we still had part of a box of cookies we were given as a holiday present that somehow escaped being eaten!  Well, I found them deep in the back of the pantry, so out they came for today's theme.  What can I say?  They're cookies.  They're brown.   But unlike my other food subjects, I think these cookies will be safe.   Too many to eat, plus I don't really care for them, so I just put them back, neatly, into the box they came in.  No one will be the wiser around here...  ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 24 - Cardboard Carton

Cardboard first thought was one of those Chinese take-out food containers, which could have been interesting in so many ways.   Empty, full, angles, etc.  But then I started with this color scheme, and well, I had to be more creative.  Ever thinking of food, I came up with the idea of either a box of candy, or a carton of ice cream.  That wasn't even a contest!  

So, as soon as I finish my uploading of images, my prop will meet the fate of similar edible props from days before...

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 23 - Button

Button, button, who's got the button?  I tried to come up with something interesting - some different kind of button.  At 12:05 a.m. I went downstairs to the garage, with a handy-dandy LED light, to try to take a picture of the red starter button on my husband's car.  Ok, so it was dirty and I cleaned it, but alas, it was on a black dashboard, and I didn't like how it came out, so I went to bed without my picture, but at least I'd have all day to think about it.  After waking up, I started thinking of what I could find of interest that had a button.  At my dentist's office, I asked if they had any interesting buttons on machinery.  Nope.  When I came home, I scoured my closet for anything that would fit my color scheme.  Another nope.  

So I decided to look in my sewing basket for a button, and then it hit me.  I have my mother's and grandmother's sewing baskets!  I kept the baskets after they died as mementos.  I looked in my grandmother's basket and there must have been 100 buttons!  Some loose, and some on cardboard backings that they were packaged in for sale!  And bingo!  Some red ones!  The packaging must be 50 years old.  The price of buttons now is much more than 40 cents for three buttons.  As a matter of fact, it looks like the price of 40 cents may have been reduced to 14 cents!  What a deal!

So with my treasures in hand, I went downstairs and retrieved a little round doily that my grandmother had crocheted for me and gingerly placed the buttons on it.  The doily has faded from its original white/cream to a beige-ish, and it worked perfectly with my color scheme.

So, I accomplished more than taking my daily picture.  I had a little trip down memory lane, looking at my grandma's sewing basket, with some threaded needles still affixed to the upholstered top of the basket...just as she had left them.  It was nice to stop and just think about one of my favorite people.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 22 - Shell

I got this shell many years ago.  I don't even remember where, but I just loved all of the intricate designs between the ridges, and the little pearl-like tip.  It's nice to be able to photograph things from around my house in this challenge, instead of going driving, often for many miles, to find subjects to shoot.