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“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”  Alfred Stieglitz

I’m 305 days in to this 365 Self Portrait Project.  There are approximately 30 of us left out of a couple hundred that started.  Few of us have met in person . . . but we’re doing a meetup in Las Vegas this weekend.  This has been in the works for a few months now . . . with about half of us showing up – some of us with our spouses and one fellow coming from as far away as Sweden!  We range in photographic abilities from amateur to Pro.  We’ve rented a big house that many of us will be staying at.  It’s going to be a blast for sure . . . with “shoots” planned for different scenic areas around Vegas.  Michael Andrew himself is showing up . . . so very exciting.  To top it off . . . I’ve never been to Vegas . . . this is a first for me.  I’m not really a night lifer, drinker, partyer or gambler . . . I am just interested in soaking up all I can about Photography from everyone that will be there.   (oh – Baby Girl was just helping me pack . . . Mommy won’t let her go to Vegas with us! )

And . . . what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas . . . right?? 

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Road Trip!!

We’re on our first leg of a 4 day road trip to California with the baby.  This picture is taken at the Pacific Border Crossing between Surrey, BC and Blaine, WA.  We’ve got a six to seven hour drive ahead of us to just south of Portland, OR.  Baby Girl is snuggled in and happy.  What an awesome little traveler she is too.  It took an hour to get through the border, and another 20 minutes to Bellingham where we gassed up.  She’d been in the car two hours by then, with no fussing what so ever.  I let her out to run around at the Fred Meyer in North Bellingham while hubby gassed up the car.  The rest of the trip was uneventful with just a couple of rest stops for food and stretching our legs.  I did load up my iPad with a few of her favorite shows, which kept her entertained during part of the trip.  For much of the time she either slept, or chatted with us or herself, and sang songs . . . one of the most fun drives south I’ve had in a long time.  We’ll be two days at my son’s south of Portland before we head out again.  

The Road Trip continues . . . 

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“Language screens reality as a filter on a camera lens screens light waves”  Unknown

Oops!! I dropped my camera lens first on the tile floor in my kitchen today!  Ouch!  All I can say is . . . thank goodness for protective lens filters . . .

I guess the morale of this story is always make sure you are wearing protection!

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“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”  Stanley Horowitz 

We have several huge Katsura trees in the back yard.  They are luscious green in the spring and summer, and an absolutely stunning orange/yellow/red in the Autumn.  They are at their best right now.  Stunning.  

The Katsura tree is a very distinctive landscape tree known for its delicate leaves and bright autumn colour.  In autumn, the heart shaped leaves smell of burnt sugar when crushed, and the tree turns bright yellow, pink, and orange-red.  The botanical name is Cercidiphyllum japonicum.

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Mug Shot: Noun, Slang

1. Also called head shot. an identifying photograph of a suspect or criminal, often one of a set showing a frontal view, a profile view, and a view of the back of the head.

2. Any closeup photograph of someone’s face.

One of my 365’ers posted a link to this really cool site that turns a picture of yourself in to a mug shot that looks like someone from the 1800’s.    It’s called Mugshot Yourself.   You can upload an existing photo of yourself, or use your computer’s camera.  I used my computer’s camera and decided this profile was pretty neat.  My daughter says it’s very creepy!  I’ve gotten quite varying reactions from everyone . . . and all think it’s quite hilarious.  It’s been a lot of fun to do this as other’s in the 365 jump on board.  We’re quite the motley bunch . . . !

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“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”  Mark Twain 

I came across this fellow today.  Kind of a cutie pie eh?  This photo is a picture of me and my new best friend.  Oh . . . not the Moose silly!  The camera!  LOL!  One of my fellow 365’ers thought that I look kind of drunk . . . I processed this in Photoshop with Topaz Labs Lens Effects filter to blur the background.  I guess it gives a bit of a surreal look . .  . 

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“The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.”  William Shakespeare 

I grabbed this shot when hubby and I were out and about today.  We each had a camera and were just shooting whatever was interesting down by the waterfront.  When I brought the photos up in Lightroom, I wondered what it would look like if I masked our shadows with a photo of what we were each shooting.  I was fascinated by the sun setting over the fishing boats, while hubby was more interested in the actual pier and water reflections.  I love being out and about together like this.  

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“I have a punishing workout regimen.  Every day I do 3 minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette.”  Anthony Hopkins

Well, I don’t drink, or smoke . . . so I guess that leaves the treadmill and a lie down!  Since I’m not great at napping . . . guess I’ll just give this workout a good go of it!  I’ve been slack on my workouts of late . . . and it just feels so good to be getting back on track.  I’m pumped.  I’m motivated.  

I guess that’s why it felt right to process this in Lightroom – I put it together in the Print module, then processed the saved jpeg with Trey Ratcliff’s “HDR in Lightroom: On Drugs”.  I’m loving his presets!

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“For a long time I was looking for my perfect equilibrium, my mojo. And now I think I’m getting there: I’ve found my customer, my silhouette, my cut.”  Alexander McQueen

I decided to play around with spot metering on my D800E.  The light coming in from this window was so  bright and with the colors of the foliage outside the window – I just thought it was so pretty.  I’m surprised at how dark it turned out . . . considering it is bright daylight outside.  

I am so loving this discovery process, as I work through different tutorials and learning tools.  A few years ago I thought I really wanted to get in to the whole area of digital design and digital scrapbooking.  Through this 365 project, I have discovered that my real passion lies in photography.  Specifically documenting the lives of my kids and grandkids and other family members, as well as close-up and macro photography.  

I clearly remember using my little Brownie film camera when I was in high school.  I was in 11th grade, and it was my first experience with photography.  The dark room was a bit intimidating, but I was absolutely fascinated!  And I remember being fascinated by textures and patterns in close-up photography.  I loved the abstract in every day life.  But . . . then I graduated,  married, had kids . . . life happened and all that was put to the side.  Over the years I certainly enjoyed taking candid shots of my family with that little Brownie.  Boy, was I excited the first time I lay hands on a digital camera!  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  I’ve gone through a few of those over the years  . . . all the while documenting life but not following my real passion and developing myself as a Photographer.  In the last two years, I’ve jumped the great divide from being a Point & Shoot Photographer, to a bonafide Digital SLR Photographer who knows how to shoot in something other than Program Mode. It has been, and continues to be, a huge learning curve . . . and I’m loving every moment of it.  

Like the quote says . . . I’ve found my mojo!!  

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“In the perspective of every person lies a lens through which we may better understand ourselves.”  Ellen J. Langer 

I shot this in the bathroom mirror, then processed in Lightroom 4 with Trey Ratcliff’s “HDR in Lightroom: A Surprising Touch”.  I then brought it in to Photoshop CS6 where I masked the lens in from the original photo.    This is hand-held with the D800E and the 105mm VRII.  

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