2019 The Year of Black and White: Week 11

While the easy title for this week’s post was “Black and White” I could have also added something about it being the last full week of winter, or how my earliest memories of enjoying photographs were with books full of black and white images.  All of these would have been accurate but sometimes simple is best and that’s how I ended up with the title we see today.

As for this being the last full week of winter – yay!  I am so happy to turn the corner into spring that if it means the return of allergies and weeds in the yard and I’ll gladly take them in trade for longer days, warmer air and lots of pretty colors bursting out all around.

As for why I chose a monochrome theme it’s simple; black and white images capture and keep my attention in a way that color doesn’t quite match.  Many of you know that I take and post most of my images in color because the seasonal palettes of the Pacific Northwest really shine in vibrant, natural shades but when it comes to quiet storytelling or a photo to think about after you walk away black and white gets me every time.  As an early reader my favorite storytelling books contained pretty color illustrations but I also spent hours of self-directed, non-fiction book time at my Grandparents house engrossed in their Time Life book collection studying photographs of people leading daily lives long before I was born.  The decade volumes that interested me most were the earliest ones that included photographic illustrations because they were a first hand look at how people really lived before I was born and they were all in black and white creating a mysterious feeling of strangeness blended with familiarity.  I puzzled through the text as best I could and then “read” the photos filling in the blanks with what I thought was happening.  I can still remember my favorite pages and if I close my eyes I’m sitting on Grandma Emma’s living room floor in front of the fan with root beer and popsicles ready to learn about a new decade.

The photos above weren’t meant to be just like those old favorites, instead they’re quiet little moments of people and places that I thought benefitted from monochrome’s simplicity.  I’ll continue to post black and white weeks once or twice through the year and hope you’ll enjoy them as much as my big, bold color collections.

All photos were taken with my iPhone and editing apps used are Hipstamatic, VSCO and Stackables.  As always, if you have any questions about techniques or filters used please ask in the comments below!

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2019 The Year of Looking Back to Avoid Seeing Today: Week 7

Looking back to avoid seeing today… not something I usually recommend but every once in a while it’s a coping technique I can get behind.  We’ve been snowbound for weeks and while I’ve promised to post a photo a day I was tired of looking at icy pictures so after one final black and white I turned my back on the great outdoors and dove into some older picture files for inspiration.

The first photo of the week is the view down our street after the neighborhood worked in shifts to shovel off some of the ice, and the second is Finn coping with this chilly weather.  From here we travel to Bellingham, WA and a 2015 visit to the marina, I couldn’t get enough of these fishing nets and the picture perfect vintage Ford Truck.  The dancing goats are in front of an art gallery in Edmonds, WA and I took their photo along with the softly glowing lantern on Christmas Eve 2018.  My final photo is a look back at a sun filled day at the Oregon coast and, as I noted in my Instagram post, the best-selling print in my Etsy store.  Many of the photos you see here are also listed for sale there so if there’s something you’d love to have please let me know and I’ll send you a link.

All images were taken with an iPhone (5 or 8+) and I used three editing apps this week:  Hipstamatic, Stackables and Snapseed.  If you’d like more information I usually note editing details and filtering choices on Instagram or you can ask me a question in the comments below and I’ll be happy to share my process.

Tour Guide – Olympia, WA in Black and White

Labeling this post a “tour guide” might bit of a stretch as I’ve left out all the touristy bits about landmarks, photo-ops and directions but it fits the theme of the weekly photo challenge and it’s been years since I spent time in our State’s Capital so when we took Ryan to Olympia to begin his week as a Senate Page I made sure to arrive early enough to wander around and take a few pictures.

The capital complex is a beautiful place, full of interesting history and architecture and one day I might write a more traditional post walking us through those points but today I’ll share some small snapshots of little vignettes that spoke to me.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Tour Guide

2018 – A New Year and a New Look

While I say I like to reach out and try new things, deep down I’m really a creature of habit.  Many habits.  If I find a breakfast or lunch I like I’ll eat it every day for a year or longer, I play the same albums over and over and over and I return to a few favorite authors time and again because I’m familiar with their style and can jump right into a new story without the “getting to know you” phase.

The same holds true with photo processing.  I’ve written several times about my favorite editing apps and even though I’m currently exploring a few new ones for my go-to list you can always find a few Hipstamatic shots sitting at the top of my photos folder.  Last year I spent almost all of my Hipstamatic time using the lens and film combination of Elijah + Love 81 which led to my Shades of Blue series but on New Year’s Day I took the symbolic step of activating its “shake to randomize” feature and with one quick twist of my wrist found a new favorite combination.  Say hello to these striking (mostly) black and white images courtesy of  G2 and BlacKeys B+W.

 

 

I recommend clicking within the gallery to view each image in the larger slide show format.

Don’t worry, my entire year of posts won’t be black and white but when the days get full and my head is buzzing with to-do lists there is something calming about its simplicity and a quick look around my desk would tell you I’m in need of some calming. 😉

Layered Trees and Exposed Identities

In the spring and summer I watched my plants flower, but it was, perhaps, in winter that I loved them best, when their skeletons were exposed. Then I felt they had more to say to me, were not simply dressing themselves for the crowds. Stripped of their leaves, their identities showed forth stark, essential.  Pamela Erens

You can always find something green and growing in our corner of the Pacific Northwest and I love our leafy canopies, fern covered forests and plentiful mosses but at the same time I can’t stop looking for these graphic views of the sometimes hidden structure of trees.  There’s something about their strength and repetition that captures my attention every single time.

There are subtle seasonal variations in forests like these but their essential identities are unchanged and on a quiet day Ryan and I like to think we are seeing the same path as someone walking in a past century.

Of course our 21st century forests can’t match the old growth size of these beautiful trees before logging cleared the area but they serve as a living reminder of nature’s tenacity and its power to refresh and recover after adversity.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Layered.

 

Against the Odds

I had always enjoyed the title of Commander-in-Chief until I was informed … that the only forces that cannot be transferred from Washington without my express permission are the members of the Marine Corps Band. Those are the only forces I have. I want it announced that we propose to hold the White House against all odds at least for some time to come.

John F. Kennedy

 

Processed with VSCO with 3 preset

As we celebrate Presidents Day Weekend I found this quote from our 35th, John F. Kennedy, about holding the White House “against all odds” with the help of the Marine Corps Band.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Against the Odds.

 

My Year In Pictures: January Week 3

The third week of January was a big one for us here as our country transitioned from President Barack Obama to Donald Trump.   While it’s clear that Trump lost the popular vote and the majority of the country remains firmly against his platform we are all waiting and watching, hoping for the best while planning for the worst.  As a result my week was spent focusing on things that matter to us while trying to dial down the digital information overload. I attended my first congressional office open  house to meet our new Representative Pramila Jayapal, Ryan and I set aside time to talk about Martin Luther King’s legacy and we had a great afternoon watching a matinée of Hidden Figures.  I shipped a basket to a new customer in Ireland and snapped a close up of a painting I walk past frequently then captured this one woman waiting and watching as Seattle Police prepared for an evening demonstration/protest against the Trump Administration.  Saturday morning John, Ryan and I joined the Seattle Women’s March and we added our voices and our feet to the more than 600 marches around the world.  If you’d like to see more pictures from the day please take a look at my post about Marching in Seattle.

There’s one more week of this daily photo project so I’ll be back with seven new pictures soon but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.

 

My Year In Pictures: December Week 1

Now that we’re into December I can officially start the end-of-project countdown!  After two years of taking and posting daily photos it’s time to try something new and even though I’ve learned a lot about social media accounts and refined my view of the quiet little moments that bring beauty to our days I’ve also been overwhelmed with the pace of keeping up with this commitment online and in real life.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the aspects of blogging and posting that I truly enjoy and being honest about the things I’ve missed by being spread so thin so with these points in mind I’m working toward a new workflow and focus that should make all of us happy.   After this weekly wrap up post I’ll write 9 more to get us into February and then it’s on to something new.  I’ll share more as we get closer to the end but I’ll tell you now we’ve got more than one change-up in the works – Spring 2017 is going to be great!

My week of photos above is a mix of several small moments.  I wandered around my parent’s garden after Thanksgiving admiring how pretty it still was this deep into Fall and I tried to take a picture of the big Christmas tree in Downtown Seattle but was put off by all of the advertising wrapped around the base so I decided to focus on the ornaments instead of the overall spectacle.  Then we went to get more of my Grandma’s things out of storage and I couldn’t resist falling behind the group to admire the view down this dark hallway.  My last image of the week is of the lovely marble top on this antique washstand from Grandma.  It’s going to fit right into our collection of old and new furniture and John has great plans to set up a pretty holiday bar.  Cheers to the season!

I’ll be back with a new post in a few days but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click here for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.

 

 

My Year In Pictures: October Week 2

Every year I try to convince myself that there is plenty to love about Fall.  Most people I know (myself included) look forward to cozy sweaters, pretty leaves and warm beverages but these three things aren’t enough to outweigh my dread of shorter days, cold rain and the threat of snow.  Can you tell I’m not a fan of winter?  Last week I tried to showcase some of the prettier aspects of October in the Pacific Northwest but you could see me turn away from the outdoors and toward inside activities so this week is a truer picture of what my typical days look like: chores, a brief encounter with vibrant leaves followed by long mornings in the dark.

Sundays usually mean laundry and as I was out of ideas for a daily photo I thought I’d share a shot of a clean basket waiting to be folded.  Monday’s photo is me acknowledging there is plenty of beauty to enjoy when I’m outside in the daylight and the rest of the week is how I tried to turn a negative into a positive as far as photos go.  My days start early with Finn’s 5:30 am walk followed by another walk with Ryan to the bus stop at 6:30 am.  The rest of the day is filled with driving and work so the next time I’m free to look around outside it’s dark again.  The story of my next few months indeed but for a the rest of the week I tried to look around with a fresh perspective and photograph typical sights from a new point of view lit only by my flashlight.  The results were surprisingly fun and I may revisit the idea again when I’m at a loss for new material.

I’ll be back with a new post in a few days but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click herefor IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂