27 January 2013

Prompt on the day that I had my sights on was "from a high place/angle."   I've been trying to take a good shot from the Georgia Street overpass bridge which is, btw, on the list of structurally unsound bridges, for a few weeks now.

Didn't get every shot I wanted but I did get some nice images of North Park/University Heights that conform to my not all ranch houses and swimming pools but more Raymond Chandler bungalow visions of  Southern California.

The latter is a crap sentence but a good paint an image if you're a film noir romantic imagery sort.

 I did try to get in some looking up check the structural issues images on the return leg of the journey but I was losing light, fighting f-stops and distracted by some interesting insights/exchanges with some of the local street people.

I banked some nice in lieu of meets the prompt shots as well as this whimsical unexpected along the way (also on today's prompts) retaining wall stencil.

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26 January 2013

Torch song or neon no more?

When flame came up as a prompt, I high hopes of yet another night time neon sign shot. Those hopes were dashed when, taking the extra steps on the day, I found the sign unilluminated.

Good thing I opted to take a shot or two on the outbound part of my walk. It was an 8 mile walk day so I was a little/lot less than thrilled to find it dark.

The Flame is an iconic Hillcrest venue/bar/commercial purveyor of potable beverages.

Living near it (and near neighbor numbers) means you occasionally find half empty (or half full depending on your view) cocktail glasses on newspaper boxes, retaining walls and sidewalks.

You also get unscheduled entertainment from bar patrons' conversations coming and going from bar to home or parked cars. I try to think of it as a floor show without a cover charge although occasionally I wonder if I should worry about random bullets and the like.

Flame has been through quite a few changes in recent years and I gather it is very much in a transitional phase just now.  I guess that means that, for now at least, I can attribute any failure to follow through with respecting the neighbours to numbers not Flame.

It was mad overcast today but I banked some shots of the old cactus garden in Balboa Park and some misty images of the Cabrillo Bridge and California Tower/dome for eye candy on days that the photos are less than inspiring or nonexistent.

Given the fact that one of the other prompts on the day was red, perhaps a bonus shot or two of some vivid succulents is in order.

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25 January 2013

Clouds on break -- happy coincidence

I took my nose/eyes off the grindstone to do a quick social media check on Thursday afternoon and was rewarded with a glorious sunset shot posted by Debbi of knit.run,reap.eat on Facebook.

Those inspirational photos are not on her blog but the blog is worth a link and perhaps she's got a link to her Instagram or other photo link to her lovely images.  And, for my knitterly buds, she's doing a lot more knitting than I am these days.

My comment was that her shots inspired me to pick up my camera and look out the window.

I haven't seen a lot of amazing sunsets from my office but sometimes the pre-sunset sky surprises me.

I took these images roughly 4-5 minutes apart starting at 15:58 and ending at 16:23 before the sky finished its show and I went back to 100% immersion into the project.

I would feel guilty for taking these shots over a half hour or so but for the usual eyes on the prize day I was adhering to.

It was only much later (much) that I realised that clouds was one of the days' prompts.

Good thing I took the time took theses as Thursday was one of the worst of the long days this week.

Friday was another total bomb for photos with a single landscape shot that only looks good when compared to my usual parking structure panorama.

So I'm calling Friday a bust and wrapping the work week of photos with these cloud sequences.

Saturday and Sunday have great prompts that I already have "oh I know what I can shoot" ideas and the actual time to explore them.

Even with rain in the forecast, walkabout with camera is on the agenda.

With prompts like flame, from a high angle, along the way (great wildcard phrase), behind, red, yard, and starts with I, there will be photos.

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23 January 2013

The first photo fail week 5, 1, corner oops

Monday was another one of those good thing there are 6 levels to the office building parking garage days.

There were other good prompts on the day but I was barely out of the office all day and a photo of a drawer full of network cables is, IMO, even less interesting than parking structure painted numerals.

With prompts of 1 and 5 on the day, at least I had the presence of mind to take a shot or two while in bound.

It is actually one of those weeks so I had to own up to the reality that cheating by using some not shot on the day images that meet the prompts or just missing some days was probably just going to happen.

In the what a shame category, one of Monday's prompts was sidewalks but and I've had reason to take some recent shots of some of my favourite hazard zones masking as walkways.

Tuesday, similar story but with the added fun of needing to shuffle vehicles so new lines could be painted in the underground parking.

Hillcrest locals (and other urban dwellers) will understand this, I, and 20 or so of my neighbours, either needed to leave for work before 8 am or find another place to legally park  between 8am and 10am on Wednesday when we could return to our spots.

In Hillcrest, finding a free parking space at any time is an adventure so planning was key. I have two vehicles and, careful readers may recall, one of probably in needs a brake job so it has been sitting more often than not of late.

My plan was to drive baby needs a brake job on Tuesday and park it on a nearby street with no restrictive parking limits. This would ensure that it has more than fumes in the gas tank and a battery charge that wouldn't need a Wednesday morning jump start to evacuate parking spot and avoid a tow @ owner's expense.

That worked a champ but my find the other vehicle an off-site parking spot reminded me of a strange combo of a shell game and searching for a parking spot in Cleveland Heights after the law library closed -- decidedly diminishing returns.

Still I managed a corner shot for Tuesday -- one of a several corners in my home dominated by books.

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20 January 2013

A mixed bag on a Sunday -- 3 (or a triple) with blue skies

No Monarchs today but there is an eclectic mix of paper, trees, strange things I saw and maybe a moon shot.

Prompts on the day were black, triple, sorted, band, paper, sound, clear, something you saw, & music.

Paper and black combined in this shot of a piece of specialty paper I bought at Artist & Craftsman Supply -- source of many of a project or project component and home to many of my dollars.

The trees in the "we three trees of Hillcrest" shot are ones that, shot from a different direction, look amazing when the sun is setting in a blaze across the sky.

Unfortunately, when those self-same trees and the sky are looking amazing to my human eye, they are -- more often than not -- fuzzy images in a washed out sky to my non-human (camera) eye.  I'm working on getting back that happening way less often than not but it is a slow slog back.

Still, the sky was a beautiful blue and the sudden weather shift to unseasonably warm temps just made a triple palm shot make sense.

Yesterday I wrote that I finally got some good shots of images I've been stalking for some time. Today I snagged a few more images of different instances of this oddity that could have fit yesterday's man-made prompt but is making a teaser appearance today as something I saw.

It is likely that one of today's images and other previously taken shots will show up as a posting about the unexpected things you see and conversations you will have when walking about with a camera.

Hey, if I'm going to reserve the right to "cheat" a little on this photo challenge, it should probably be somehow related to the spirit of the challenge and/or visually interesting,

And finally, hey the sky was blue, the sun was setting, and the moon was visible so the camera and I couldn't quite resist this moon shot that I could get without benefit of tripod.

Same moon, darker sky, later in the walkabout only human eye recorded.

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19 January 2013

Mostly floral on the day

Bow, colour, sign, man-made, flower2x, childhood, delicious, health were the words on the day.

The daffs I bought the other day were mostly in full bloom and ready for portraits or closeups.

It is way, way too early for daffs but I'm not going to hold off buying them until they should be out or I'll miss them entirely. 

I scaled this daff image by 50% but otherwise it is the compose in camera image.

Flowers also played a role in the "Wait, wait, is that a Monarch I see?" photo from today.

I doubtlessly delayed my planned arrival at a few locations today by noticing it to begin with and then picking a camera to pull out of the kit and patiently waiting.

But I was rewarded by the sight of this post pupa beauty doing a bit of aerial ballet before coming back to the blooms that caught both its and my attention.

And, of course, more importantly, getting this shot. You may have to click on the image and do a little "Where's Waldo?" But if this guy or his/her friends cooperate with more local appearances I'll try to get tighter shots or even vids before they head to colder climes.

I've had some good not on script/prompt photos lately so I'm going to try to keep with at least one prompt based photo per day playing by the photo matching day's prompt  must be taken on the day of the prompt.

So I don't leave too much on the cutting room floor and/or need to shift from walkaboutknitter to walkaboutclicker (or maybe snapper)

I will be doing some shift back to knitting (when the to-be-published grand silence finally lifts) and theme photo based postings that may be off day of the prompts.

If that last phrase sounds a bit convoluted/cryptic I getcha.

Today I got some shots I've been trying to capture for a few weeks that I could wedge into the man-made prompt but I didn't want to promote them over today's flower themed photos or S-can the series of shots because they weren't taken on a day when they matched the prompt.

In a similar vein, I could be going for today's bow prompt but I'm thinking that I will preserve that experiment with shooting highly reflective white metal  effort for an avatar/profile image.

So we'll close out today's flower themed photo tour with a little ice ice baby ice plant blossom.  This was the only blossom on field

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18 January 2013

Six, black & white and that sky thing

I was hoping to find an archived shot of a local condo high rise for a little 666 action because otherwise today's photos are a big let down

So we'll go with the stupid 6 shots that were taken today and meet the prompts and add a little take a bad shot and make it better action with a black and white filter on a shot from the other day.

The first six shot on the day I actually took  from my vehicle -- cropped but otherwise as I saw it through the windshield.

On the 12th while stalking a good "behind" image, I popped into a courtyard between/behind some shops on 5th Avenue between University and Robinson across from #1 Fifth.

Any how, while scoping the area for a shot I met residents Eric and Eric who got both a big kick out of the project, stored photos and the fact that the plant I am named for is part of the
Ericaceae group of flowering plants.

Great area, lovely courtyard but total light pollution probably in the interest of reduced crime but trust me, low light and some high beams on a motion detector would be a big improvement.

IMO, applying a black and white filter was also a big improvement.  I hope to pop 'round again to chatter with Eric and Eric again and get another chance to shoot the courtyard in colour.

Second six shot was taken just a few moments after the first one as I was walking toward the stairs is good for granularity of the concrete block/stucco the six is painted on.

Finally just because  I liked it, here's the cloud formation out my window just a little before 17:00

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17 January 2013

Orbs, spheres and lens lust

I parked on parking level 6 today and the numbers on the concrete block wall are black on a white/cream background so I could have slapped those up and called it a day for today's 6 and black and white prompts.

But I've had it in my head that I'd like a remote for the DSLRs and if it worked with the Coolpix that would be all the better.

A remote would enable me to get my reflection/shadow out of the shot and reduce camera shake to get a few more shots without needing a tripod.

A little research later and recognition that I've not left the office before 17:30 (earliest) had me taking a mid-day run to George's Camera for a remote and a little camera people bonding.  Okay, there was also lens lust, a new item for the wish list and a "duh, the small MIA tripods won't support the DSLRs and the big ones are a PITA for street shooting."

Good thing I made the trek on the photo-a-day front because one of the other words on the day was sphere which can also be called an Orb and pigment had a window display with these great orb/spheres in their window display -- way better than the number on a concrete block moment.

Okay, so 6 is also on Friday's prompts so I may be wimping out with yet another parking structure shot unless it or concave, angle, blocks, dairy, big, convex, shadow or weakness come together with an image/item inspiration for a lens worthy moment.

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16 January 2013

Tiny/small treasures and big memories.

In this blog post, you will discover that my wood furniture is not just oak. The china cabinet/secretary is mahogany.

Birch, pine, teak, maple and others have occasionally shared digs with me.

Today's words were night, tiny, safe, eyes, inside, small, stranger, two things, and luck.

Maybe it is a equal time thing, but while yesterday's photo was paternal family slanted (in currency at least), today is a tad more maternal line.

This carved shell has been part of my life/family for at least 50 years -- probably nearer 65-70. It may have been part of the souvenir lot my father brought back from the Pacific after WWII or it might have been a gift from my Uncle Tommy.

I was either not around or too young to know the details of how it came to be part of the fascinating bits and bobs surrounding my maternal grandmother.

My maternal grandmother was a fascinating woman in her own right but for a small child her collection of embroidered scented hankies, cat figurines, African violets and porcelain figurines made her damn near irresistible.

This little sample of grandmother's stuff was one of my "please, please let me see" moments of youth that stand out every time your beloved elders trust you to handle such items.

As my grandmother was not mad keen on dusting (rins in the family), this treasure spent the bulk of its life with her wrapped in tissue inside of an oval velvety gift box.

It had a similar comfy berth for most of its time with me -- which I suspect is how it managed my many moves intact.

It has lived in the china cabinet/secretary surrounded by other small treasures for many years now.

The original tissue was replaced as needed and the box finally split its seams beyond repair and cannot be found but the treasure they protected and housed lives on.

It isn't much taller or wider than a standard business card and only a bit deeper.  The carved figures in front of the house are no taller than the width of my pinkie's fingernail.

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15 January 2013

Sixpence and some shillings -- change

photo of George VI and Elizabeth II two shilling coins and an Elizabeth II sixpence
Although I was hoping for a camera worthy reflection from the twin office building today, it never happened.  More precisely perhaps, it never happened when I was looking.

Plenty of baskets hereabouts, most of them overflowing with yarn other essential fibre goodness but none artfully arranged.

You'd think there would be plenty of knit cables around or a nest of network and other cables (think coax, cat-whatever, parallel, and  USB) but there's a dearth of the former that I actually knit and unless I'm tearing down the network due to an outage, move or addition, the latter are a leave well enough alone sort of affair.

That said, nearly four hours after I left the office, it strikes me that I do have a cache of cables in my desk drawer @ work --  DUH!!  so maybe next time with a knit cable as a backdrop.

So we're back to change as in British currency and change.

I would have included a few  British coins that are in current circulation (because you never manage to spend it all)  but the current and pre-decimalization withdrawn coins don't travel in the same circles 'round here.

The two shilling coin is/was also known as a florin or more informally as a two bob piece. 

The photos show a George VI florin minted in 1950 and an Elizabeth II florin  minted in 1961.  The change here, of course, is not just the coinage but the change in monarchs.

The photos also include a sixpence  (jolly, jolly sixpence) minted in the year of my birth.  The sixpence comes with a bit of family history/humour.

photo of George VI and Elizabeth II two shilling coins and an Elizabeth II sixpence in a wooden boxSo the family humour.  At a certain point, my disinclination to marry had various factions of the family concerned and speculating as to the cause. 

One of my spinster cousins would occasionally press the issue with me and I'd reply to her that I couldn't possibly marry as I'd not sixpence  (as in sixpence to put in my shoe for luck).

 This became my stock reply until one year cousin Bess presented me with this sixpence and a long lost note suggested that neither the sixpence nor I were getting any younger. 

It and my maternal grandmother's locket were about the only traditional elements of my Vista courthouse wedding ceremony.

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14 January 2013

At night, white & more

Today's prompts were hero, starts with I (2x), at night, emotion, white, action, something yellow, appetite.

All the shots are at night but there's white, yellow, and starts with I in there too.

First up is a great little house that just happens to be yellow and has white picket fence.  I'd have to dig back into my archives but I think the yellow and the full fence are recent changes  and I approve.

I can envision this house having a double life somewhere along the shore in New England or the mid-Atlantic. 

The next shot has the technicality of being part of an intersection as it is on the corner of University and Richmond but mostly it is an at night shot of Filter Coffee shop.  

Usually I'm trying to shoot this intersection from a different angle/location and there's way too much light coming from a wide range of light sources to get a shot that isn't more unintentional art than photography. That's a really nice way of me saying that I have a lot of photos that are interesting but crap.

So speaking of art.  Right 'round the corner from that first house is a fence/gate that was my first, oh yeah white.

This one looks good as a white fence photographed with a flash at night but it looks way better with a black and white filter applied after the fact.

I have several other starts with I or something yellow images  for the day but I'm liking this composition.

Tomorrow's words:  action, basket, reflection, behind, hero, change, cable, an ordinary moment, strength.

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13 January 2013

Starts with J and circle

photo of a carton of jumbo sized eggs
It has been a tough couple of days for the photo a day project and my current vision of the prompts is not giving me warm fuzzies but I'll figure it out.

I could have just popped down and taken a photo or two of my own truck as truck was on the list and there are plenty of lovely fences that were just waiting to have their photos taken.  Fences awaiting a close up (or at least a bit on lens time) included one that is part of a print (one of yesterday's prompts).

Today wasn't a pop down anywhere sort of day and while stuff on the wall is low hanging fruit, I'm not ready to mine that quite yet.

Instead I opted for circle and starts with J.

Circle was a straightforward shoot a lens in a suitable context. Finding the suitable context was, as ever, the challenge.

On the latter, the easy choice was a snap of the the word January on one of the calendars in the house but the jumbo egg carton had more visual interest.

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12 January 2013

Lamp, light, behind, surprise

Good news, my for me socks in progress have emerged from the black hole.

Bad news, I don't quite remember what heel style I used to turn the heel. I have some ideas but I'm quite sure I tweaked whatever formula I used.

Good on me for doing the heel in black because, you know that makes it so much easier to read the knitting. Can you hear/feel/sense that sarcasm or should I expose the tagging?

Seriously, my feet are not so crazy different in size that a little difference in the heel will make much difference and I will so totally punt on the 2nd sock's before tearing back the 1st one. It is still sock wearing season in San Diego so I might even get inspired to finish these.

Indeed with an expected overnight low in the almost unheard of 30s, I should probably have these clicking away. At a minimum, my feet should so not be nekkid right now.

Words on the day were light, lamp, landscape, yard, work/play, chain(2x), behind, surprise.

I had surprise in mind and every good intention of documenting one of those "how is it that I didn't notice this before"  things but I didn't get out and about early enough to have a hope in hell against a night sky.

But on my way to the site of the not happening surprise shot, lamp, light and Tap Lighting came together.

Although they don't currently have a leg lamp ala A Christmas Story in the window, the inventory is pretty eclectic.

I did end up with some interesting conversations and shots that might meet the "behind" prompt and then there was the surprise. I think I'll leave both for another day.

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11 January 2013

Three and a note

photo of number 3 painted on a concrete wall
Lately, if the photo prompt doesn't match up with something on the way and/or in and around my workplace or something I have at home, it can be quite the challenge.

Today's is no different, but there are only 6 levels in my parking structure and 10 floors in my office building so I'm far from home free with the numbered items.

I saw a couple of nice groups of three palm trees along the way coming out and back but I wasn't keen on editing out phone lines for the morning shots and my aperture and shutter speed fu were way off for the night shot so I was glad that Issac and Elizabeth were ready for their close ups.

The only other prompt that made sense on the day was note and what better than a bank note? 

When pound notes went out of circulation and ceased to be legal tender, I made sure that I kept one.

The "Newton note" was the last version of pound notes issued obviously named for Sir Issac's portrait on the back side of the note.

One pound notes were never (in my memory) were never as flashy as their higher value (and larger dimensioned) notes but from my earliest childhood memories, a pound note tucked into a birthday card made me feel very wealthy and oh so sophisticated so I've a bit of a soft spot.

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C+ or is that C++?

photo of cameras arranged in a flash mob alert circle.
The first C plus (as in starts with C) comes in the form of a photo that is a good example of the bad, bad joke heather some of you have come to know and loathe.

Here's an additional starts with C image from the other day.

It is four of my SLRs (two film and two digital) arranged in an alert circle just in case they need to shoot something.

It's a flash mob because of the flash attachment at the center of the circle.

The C plus is for cards.

Somehow or another (I'm thinking a tag sale), I came to have a few of sets of what I can only surmise were supposed to be shade (like paint sample) cards. Essentially they are coloured card stock pieces about the size of a standard business card with a single punch and connected with a binder ring.

When buying into this photo a day challenge idea, I decided on some rules of engagement that would give me multiple photo prompts each day. To keep track of the prompts during the course of my day, I went low tech and put these babies into service for more than just jotting down the odd note/phone number.

On each card, based on the randomized results for my list and the prompts for the other photo challenge web pages I've identified, I write the photo prompts for the day.

photo of photo prompt cards on a binder ring
I usually write (front and back) a few days worth of prompts and put them on the binder ring.

If a prompt looks promising or I have a specific image/idea in mind, I may also jot down a note.

I attach the lot to my key chain so I have an immediate and constant reminder of the prompts as I go through the day. I circle the prompt when I've taken a shot I'm happy with.

It also comes in handy when I'm trying to explain what the hell I'm doing with the camera.

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10 January 2013

Mostly starts with C

photo of tree, office building and UPS truck
Catching up. Today's prompts were textile, bread, 1 o'clock, 12 o'clock, head, begins with C, along the way, and phone.

Textile should have been a slam dunk for a knitter and fibre sort but I knew it was a non-starter before I rolled out this morning.

It was a dreary start to the day as a morning shower had already passed through.

Mindful of my prompts and a possible long day, I was on the look out for images before getting caught up in the day.

photo of cars parked in a parking structure seen through rails
While sitting at the seemingly endless traffic light on Texas, I noticed the shimmer of some delicate yellow/green leaves on a tree against a terracotta coloured office building and snapped an "along the way" shot.

Walking down the stairs in the parking structure, I snapped a "starts with C" shot of cars through the railing. 

photo of cloudsI had every good intention for 1 o'clock and was even keeping an eye out for interesting reflections on the twin office building for a good image as the hour was approaching.

But when a quick pop down the hall to ask a question of a rarely on site colleague went a bit longer and yielded additional information. . .

Well,  13:00 came and went as did whatever reflection the lens might have caught.

photo of clouds
I probably would only have had those shots and my if all else fails "camera starts with C" planned set piece but for a planned power outage that had me out of the office early enough to shoot some starts with C clouds.

I also caught a shot or two of other "starts with C" images along the way home but they're still on the digital cutting floor.

Tomorrow's words are strange, 3, print, angle, note, copper, checks, water, drink.  For some reason, I'm wondering whether my pound note is ready for a closeup.

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