A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up January With Hipstamatic (week 4)

Today I’m going to jump right into my last “shake it up” recap so we can get to my final thoughts about this project and start talking about where I’m going for the next phase of my photo-a-day challenge.  Sunday was a little too cold and wet for my comfort but perfect for this pretty hellebore and Monday afternoon I rode an escalator that took me right past this shiny glass wall and a peek into this fancy bar.  Tuesday I walked past a cute sign in front of a wine store and Wednesday I was really happy our new car has heated seats.  Thursday I went shopping for a US map and stopped to admire this antique world map while Friday I stopped to watch these two men walking on a newly installed glass awning.  They’re braver than me!  Saturday I’d hoped my final picture would be of something special or at least a pretty sunset but my errands took longer than I’d planned and I was out picking up pizza for dinner when the sun went down.   Hipstamatic must have felt bad for me so it served up this lens/filter combination transforming my Tuscan Chicken pizza into a colorful little slice of the world.  All in all a good way to end my first full year in pictures.

Daily journal writing is something I’ve never been very good at.  I enjoy pretty notebooks and pens but after a few days of planned writing my creative spark fades and I get tired of recording the same old things.  My closet shelves hold stacks of slightly used notebooks so when I decided to try one last version of keeping a daily record I didn’t have high hopes for a successful outcome.  This time I came at it from a different angle though looking for something to shake me out of a stretch of boring photos and with a desire to move forward with new ideas instead of placing my creative focus on looking back.    Since another notebook project could be set aside too easily I thought posting my process in this public space might keep me more accountable and about six months into the project I was able to admit that I wasn’t going to stop until I’d reached a full year. Now that the initial year is complete I’m actually ready to start year two!

In order to keep myself on track I decided to start with a structure that was as simple as possible while still producing an interesting product.  Hipstamatic was my favorite app at the time so I challenged myself to explore everything it had to offer in a random fashion.  I activated the “shake to randomize” setting, agreed that I would avoid all post processing and placed my focus solely on composition by selecting small objects and moments to tell my daily stories.  Even though Hipstamatic went through a major upgrade part way through the year I stayed away from the shiny new features and continued to shoot using classic mode in order to maintain visual continuity from start to finish.  By the end of the year I amassed a collection of 365 photos and stories  that I hope will be a great reminder of this unique period in time.

The daily photo routine isn’t always fun, some days I just don’t feel like taking pictures, but apparently I’m not ready to walk away yet so this post is also an introduction the next phase of my photographic journal.  I’ve spent the past 12 months shooting daily images in a square format limiting myself to one iPhone app so for a change of pace the next 12 will be wide open, both literally and figuratively.  Square photos really lend themselves to small views of solitary objects or quiet moments in a busy environment and while I enjoy this style tremendously it’s time to stretch a little and try something new.  Going forward you’ll see a mix of everything ranging from traditional landscape and portrait orientations to circles, fish eye and panorama.  I’m sure there will be a few square images every month but it’s time to open up the point of view and show you a little more of what’s around me on a daily basis.  I’ll be experimenting with all the apps I’ve collected but not explored in depth as well as work through new themes for as long as they hold my interest.  There may be a week of daily dog photos, a week filled with black and white, a week of interesting signs I’ve passed or maybe even a week of new bottles of wine.  The point is to have fun and show some aspects of the Pacific Northwest that live outside of a small, square frame.

My final change, and what really will make this new project a challenge is how I’ve decided to share the new photos.  Instead of filing each photo away until it’s time to write a recap I’ve set a goal to post everyday on Instagram with a quick caption of where we were followed by a weekly recap here on the blog in a format that will be similar to what you’re used to reading in the shake-it-up posts.  If you’re a daily photo person I hope you’ll stop by Instagram to follow along but if this is too much to keep up with then don’t worry, you can still get your weekly recap right here. 🙂

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up August With Hipstamatic (week 3)

This past week was a quiet one, maybe the last we’ll have for a while since my calendar is full of end of summer appointments and back to school activities.  Ryan spent the week with my parents enjoying a bit of grandparent spoiling and cousin fun time while John and I stayed  home to work and binge watch season 3 of Orange is the New Black.  It’s getting hard to stay up later than Ryan these days and some television shows are best watched without teenagers in the room…

Sunday we had a fun family lunch before leaving Ryan with Grandma and Grandpa and even if I wanted to forget about back to school shopping every window I passed on Monday shouted “it’s time to spend money!”.  Most of Tuesday passed without a photo opportunity and by the time I left work and walked to my car I started to worry there wouldn’t be anything interesting to share.  Then I noticed the elevator doors and realized once again all I needed to do was look around and really pay attention to my surroundings.

Wednesday morning I found a work crew replacing this stretch of fence beside the main road next to our street.  In the six years we’ve lived in this neighborhood this is the third time someone has driven through the barrier and over the retaining wall.  Fortunately no one was seriously hurt today.  Thursday night John and I had a glass of wine outside while our salmon cooked on the BBQ and Friday night Finn and I moped around alone with some takeout and ice cream.  John took the day off to drive north and get Ryan from my parents and the two of them went to the local Fair, ate junk food, rode the rides and walked through every animal barn.  I had to stay home for work and Finn did his best to keep me company but I could tell he was suffering from empty house syndrome as much as I was.  Saturday morning brought the boys home, Finn ran laps around the house welcoming them back and I noticed this little ice plant growing underneath the front deck.  Some seeds must have dropped from last years flower pots and they are now happily blooming for a second year in a row.

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens and filter used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up June With Hipstamatic (week 1)

I don’t know why the month of May always ends with everyone in our house sick but once again we’ve spent the last 7 days suffering through a cold that simply will. not. end.  Sick or not life must go on and our week was full of some nice weather, end of the year school activities and a chilled bottle of wine. 🙂

Sunday afternoon Ryan and both felt the beginnings of a cold but we ran to the local Hardware store for a few supplies and sure enough by Monday my head was so congested looking up made me feel dizzy. I snapped a photo of some trees anyway then sat down for a little rest…  Tuesday I realized Ryan has outgrown all his summer clothes and needed a swimsuit asap for a school activity so off I went to the mall.

When was the last time you saw a working pay phone?  Now I can say Wednesday, June 3rd.  Thursday I came home to a very bored dog but once I changed out of work clothes, gathered up the leash, treats, and plastic bag all Finn wanted to do was sit in the sun and hunt for bugs.  Fine with me!  Friday night we celebrated the end of the work week with a chilled bottle of Rose from Sleight of Hand Cellars named by Seattle Magazine as one of the “next cult wineries of Washington State” and Saturday morning started our weekend with a trip to the farmer’s market for fresh fruit and vegetables.  We’ve worked our way through several boxes of tissues, plenty of decongestants and gallons of water but I think everyone is on the mend and ready for a productive week ahead.

Each photo was taken with my iPhone 6 using Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function then posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens and filter used.  For variety I continue to add new lenses and filters so if you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

A Surprise Every Day: Shaking Up April With Hipstamatic (week 2)

Even though I was away from blogging last week I continued my attempt to take one random photo every day and am here for a quick Sunday night post recapping the past seven days.  Ryan enjoyed a relaxing spring break while I had a great time exploring new ways to structure my time and really thinking about what I want to accomplish between now and the end of the year.  I’ll be back online soon to catch up with all of you and see what’s happened while I’ve been gone!

Easter Sunday was a lovely spring day and we spent most of it eating candy, cooking dinner and watching movies.  Our pan of roasted asparagus is the first image of the week and I couldn’t resist this smiling shot of Finn as my photo for Monday.  Tuesday found me at the grocery store wondering which wine to pick and Wednesday is my view up through the trees in our yard waiting for Finn to sniff around and finish his “business.”  Thursday afternoon I walked past this cheery Easter tree and Friday is a trip back in time with this shot of my mom’s sewing room and some old ballet photos from our high school days.  Only one is of me but you can find plenty of my lovely sister and her friends. 🙂  Saturday morning my dad and I paid an early morning visit to the Skagit Valley Tulip Fields and my first photo of the season is this shot on the edge of a display garden.  Stay tuned for more tulip photos throughout the month of April. 🙂

Each photo is straight from Hipstamatic’s “shake to randomize” function and posted without any additional editing. If you like a particular combination and want to try it at home just click on the image to see the lens and filter used.  If you want to try Hipstamatic but are unsure how to start let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions!