Just A Lazy Day In Kansas City

I am partial to doors and have lots in my collection of photographs.  This door leads nowhere in particular.  I took this photograph on my way home from a visit with my dad.  Hope you enjoy it.

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Have a great weekend.

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Ann’s Office through the eyes of Color Sketch

Color sketch is a so-called “effects mode” on my Nikon.  Described by photography writer, Chris Hall, as “making something out of nothing”, these photographs prove you can create art out of everyday things.  The first photograph is the view from my office chair.  You can see my clock, weights, M&M machine and books.  In the upper left hand corner is a calendar Meg gave me for Christmas.  The cover is a photograph of my husband, Terry, sitting in the back yard.

The beautiful flowers in this shot are really ink pens Meg gave me for my birthday in 2009.  She was  in the midst of final exams her first year of law school.

These photographs include some of my favorite reminders of Meg and Terry. But color sketch sure does make my office more fun for those who don’t understand the pure pleasure I get from the treasures with which I have chosen to surround myself.

A carriage ride

What can be more fun for adults and children on a warm summer evening than an open air carriage ride.  Shaped much like Cinderella’s carriage, this carriage is a popular entertainment for tourists visiting the Plaza throughout the year.  But it is a ride made for summer evenings.

The horses may be somewhat past their prime, but they are docile and patient and decked out with braided manes.

Just another beautiful experience for tourists to Kansas City.

Mom goes back to school again: my introductory photography class

There is so much to learn with a new camera.  As soon as I bought my Nikon D5100 DSLR camera I signed up for a three hours class with a wonderful Kansas City photographer.  It was one of those classes where you pass the course just by attending and not dropping your camera.  With only those minimal requirements for success, I squeaked through.

I learned far more than I expected and gained some sense of the ways to improve the photographs I take.  But there is oh, so much more, that was totally beyond my feeble attempts to understand. All I can do is practice, practice, practice.  I am sure I wasn’t the only member of the class struggling.  But we had lots of help and explored nearly every gizmo on our cameras.

As grateful as I was for the technical information, I was more excited by the instructor’s obvious passion for photography as an art form.  He encouraged us to look at ordinary objects and to envision them as art.

Among the ordinary objects in my life are the stairs where I work.  I walk up and down these stairs day in and day out.  But art????  I decided that if he can make art from the ordinary, I can try to do the same thing. Here are my efforts to turn stairs into art.

Stairs up:

Stairs down:

If nothing else, the photographic images, reveal that photograph is a lot like our everyday experience, it is a lot easier to see life looking down, than envisioning life looking up!

Learning to use my new DSLR camera

After considerable research I recently purchased a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera.  I am re-learning how to use a “real” camera while reading a primer, entitled Nikon D5100 From Snapshots to Great Shots, by Rob Sylvan.  It is a great tool for me, despite my struggles to even remember the language of photography.  Terms like “rule of thirds”, “mode” and “ISO” fill the text as I learn the features of my camera and begin to explore its potential.

When I am weary of reading about my camera, I jump in my car and go find interesting places to photograph. I take the same shot over and over using different features on my camera.

Here is a photograph of the Rose Garden Fountain at Loose Park using auto focus.

Here is the same scene using the color sketch mode on my Nikon.  This mode creates photographs that are similar to water colors.  Go figure!

Same place, same light, just a different mode setting.  Some things in life are just for fun.

Pictures of my dog and my yard with a borrowed Nikon D80

Pre-Meg I had a great camera, it was a Canon FTb. It went everywhere with me.  Sometimes I traveled alone.  When I did, my camera was enough company.  I was able to spend all the time I wanted setting up a shot.  It never complained.  Of course, in the pre-digital age, I spent more money on film and developing costs than I spent on the camera.  But that was then and this is now.

Terry and I are planning an October trip to Cuba.  Much as I love my handy iPhone, I am looking for something more.  I’ve been reading camera reviews and specs.  I check out the blog Photobotos and covet cameras that would take such amazing photographs. A friend loaned me his Nikon D80 to fiddle with for a week.  I chose my yard to check out the quality of the camera, recognizing I am now so rusty I can’t remember more than the most basic techniques for taking a picture. Here are my results:

Casey at peace with his world

My feeble attempt to make my overturned wheelbarrow look like art

                                                                      In mid-May the Hydrangea are suddenly blooming
                                                                    The yard is Casey’s kingdom and he knows he is the king
                                                                                             View from our second floor deck
Hope your weekend is as beautiful as ours.