Scavenger Hunt Sunday: Simply random

Scavenger Hunt Sunday items: Seeing Double/Two, Whatever, Sweet, Space and Bright

Seeing Double
The goal of this shot was to create a picture with the family name in it. The shadow Ya? Bonus.
I need to preface this by saying that I abhor just about everything about chocolate – the smell, the taste, the way it melts on skin. But I couldn’t resist taking the free “tour” at Angell & Phelps while we were in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Fancy Mint Creme
Live-narration tours run daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., but the best way to photograph the candy making process is between tours or in the early morning when the crowds aren’t there.
Chocolate Chips

There is something so interesting about the displays in a gift shop.
All those bright colors highlighted by the florescent lighting of the store is appealing.
Mosaic Mug
Everything just screamed buy photograph me.

I sort of thought this was a joke theme… I mean, really? Do I just stick in whatever? Do I find a photo that screams “What-ev-er” with the w symbol and Clueless-style twang?
I really don’t know…
grasshoper lover
So I decided to post a few of the photo set from my Museum of Natural History excursion this past week. And, as has become my niche of late, it was all about the bugs…
walking stick bug
Think whatever you want 🙂

Oh, and the walking stick bugger? He’s my “little thing” beautified just a bit with Kim Klassen‘s Water Stained Frame.
Look really closely, and you’ll realize that the space being occupied here is by more than just a few leaves. And this butterfly? Totally spaced-out eyes, man. Totally!

Photographer Lessons

I learned something about my photography style this summer.

I learned that waiting for the connection with the eyes of my target is not the only factor in capturing a great image. In fact, looking the the assortment of photos that I absolutely love from our week in the south, there are fewer than 10 percent that I like where my “model” is looking at me.
Legit Laugh
Model? That’s probably a terrible misnomer.
Attitude Adjuster
Hence, the second thing I learned about myself: I am a student of fly on the wall photography. There was certainly a reason I was drawn to being called a photobug (a play on the paparazzo – Italian for mosquito – title I’d earned from years of carrying my camera everywhere). I enjoy capturing life as it unfolds unscripted before me. In the same way that I obsess about my insect safaris, I obsess about being the unobtrusive non-participant documentarian of a moment. I suppose I am still a photojournalist even if I’m not working in the field.

Just a few days ago, I was crushed to be rejected by a company that makes custom frames. Frames! All I really wanted to do was purchase a few for my photo wall that I’m working on and I loved the idea of complimenting my images with color. But I was told my portfolio is not developed, that my photographic eye is not that of a portrait photographer (from the e-mail: “express a sound understanding of photographic composition including such elements as: content, lighting, balance, symmetry, depth, framing, and perspective.”). And to grind in this snub further, I was given links to tutorials about composition and good photography.

Believe me, rejection hurts. It makes the tear ducts explode. I pout. I whine. I complain to anyone who will listen (sorry, if you’re reading this, yes, I’m still at it).

That leads me to the third thing I’ve learned. My style – my passion – isn’t going to appeal to everyone. Excite
I know, shocker.

So I’ll be a little selfish and shoot for me. I figure that if I’m never in any family function photos, I might as well document the events the way I like. Fair enough?
Jumping waves
I thought so.

I’m ever the student – as any good teacher is – so on with the lessons. The forth thing I’ve learned is that I adore – I absolutely love photographing in the light of sunset just as the sun is parallel to the tops of nearby buildings, but not quite on the horizon.
Sunset Cool
It makes for a warmth of light cast on my people that I think is simply stunning.
Davis Sands

{sweet} Boogie Boardin’ Babe

Merchants don’t divulge their biggest secret to savings to the unknowing tourists. Pick up any tourist center’s brochure, and there are an abundance of buy one get one, super savings, and free coupons for all the shops on the Daytona Beach strip. But I was lazy and didn’t visit the hotel’s sight seeing concierge until well into our week there.

And so, we spent a good deal of time envying the boogie boarding families of their holdings. Chi envied the fun it appeared the wave riders were having and I was mentally snapping photos as the frothy waves splashed up around them and their boards cut through.

When I realized that I could commandeer a board for the bargain price of $5.99 (with coupon only), Chi and I raced to the store. She picked out a shark-infested board in bold blue and yellow colors – starkly contrasting her hot pink swimsuit.

And then, they waited in the tide for the perfect wave.

7.19 boardin (4)

Call me chicken, or call me cheap, but I was leery of joining her in the water with my camera. It’s not waterproof and it doesn’t like sand. I stood ankle deep in water snapping a few shots of her initial efforts.
7.19 boardin (2)

7.19 boardin (3)

And though I really liked my catches (and hers), I wanted something more. So I affixed a plastic bag around my camera body and turned it so that the lens could peak out of the opening. Oh the shocked stares I got. It was not unlike those I get at our pool when I wade into the water holding my prized possession to get a better vantage point.

7.19 boardin (1)

No one can tell me it wasn’t worth it.

After she missed the first few wave peaks, she figured out what to look for. She knew the precise moment to let go and coast. And she looked good surfing across the tide. She was fearless.

7.19 boardin (5)

She’s simply amazing, and I want to share that with anyone who’ll pause long enough to look at my pictures.
**shared with Sweet Shot Tuesday

Sunday Scavenger Hunt: Empty

Walking Empty Streets
Ok.. so the image that’s in my blog header, Chi on the lonely North Carolina road, is perfect for this, but I’m trying not to repeat photos.
Empty Walk
Repeating Patterns
I kind of entered my repeating patterns shot earlier in the week when I talked about the Lighthouse of Horror, so I’m having to find something else for my hunt…
I thought about using this cog system that turns the lights in the tower
Lighthouse Cog
and then I remembered this image of a moth. His pattern looks an awful lot like that of the brick’s surface.
June Moth
How’s that for repetition?
Then and Now
then and nowIn 2008, she loved the water and loved to smile. Genuine, melt your heart smiles were frequent and unprompted. She lived with carefree abandon. In 2011, smiles are more guarded and life has filled with lessons and restrictions. She’ll still melt your heart with a smile, but they are infrequent when sincerely proffered. See shells Leesylvania State Park in July 2008 and July 2011: she’s still got a thing for sea shells, except now we’ve learned that if they come home, they must be bleached before they can be treasured collections. Oh the smell!
Sanded Fingertips
At this particular moment, he’s screaming “Get it off, Mommy.” I’m the magic sand remover, you know.

leesylvania shores
This is what I imagine the floor of the sea to look like…

Beach cool

Dusk. The sun making its decent behind the hotel towers.
Threats of storm echoed from the tall buildings lining the shore as thunder boomed loader and louder with each clap.
Droplets sporadically hit the packed beach sand, making pock marks and marring its smooth beauty.
The sea, as though protesting the quick fleeing visitors, sent waters racing up the shores – the tide rising unpredictably quick.
This was the setting of our make-your-own souvenir photo session.

smooth stroll

True to character, though he wanted to walk along the beach, Ya did not want anything to do with the camera.
He looked all-boy, no baby in his button down shirt and his cuffed jeans.
The flip flops? All his determined energy insisted.
And really, why fight over sneakers when this is a beach?
Flip flops are fashionable.
flopper flipper

The new natural smile still sees too many teeth. He’s got a lot of them.
And every single one shows in his wide-mouth, crooked grin.
It’s cool, though. He gets it from his Daddy.

Sometimes, it’s that or a grimace.
Who can forget Mr. Personality?
The rains came quickly, pelting us hard and encouraging a quick retreat to shelter.
So, we moved away from the coming waves.
Sought cover under buildings.
And I vowed to try again some other day.

Tip: the skies just before a storm are often bluer with thick, strongly visible clouds. Crowds thin or completely disperse with bad weather reports.

Love Letters in the Sand

love letters
scene itEarly morning before the sun rises, lovers walk along the restless shore
while water covers their footprints and hides their path.
Hand in hand, or arms around waists, they partner
to watch the rays paint the sky lavender, gold, and coral.

A father and his young son play in the crashing waves,
enjoying the lifts of white frothy water that hits itself as it undulates and churns.

Arm in arm, a group stands in circle.
Fellowship at daybreak, prayers under God’s great open skies –
the beautiful sands and crystal waters under their feet.

And I, alone on my balcony, watch;
wondering what it must be like to belong.

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