“Just This Moment” is intended to be a collection of those small moments in which you are truly present in your life – at just that moment. The images may not be frame-worthy, but are moments that fill you with joy, allow you to experience a moment of gratitude, make you smile, touch your heart, and/or make your soul sing.
I will get us started with a few moments of joy from my everyday.
First, I recently bought a new “temporary” lamp for my desk. I have to have a lamp on my desk. Even when I worked in the “cubicle world”, I never carted in a lot of personal items, but I always toted in my own task lamp for my desk. Lately, I have been going through lamps like I go through ink pens. I went shopping for a new lamp and kept referring to this as “temporary” until I can find what I am really looking for… or maybe I don’t want to become too attached since lamps are short-lived in my world lately. To be honest, this white, vintage looking lamp from IKEA isn’t going to be replaced anytime soon. I’m kind of diggin’ it as my task lighting. Oh, and my little lady with succulent “hair” makes me smile every morning. She is a Target find and intended to be a pencil holder, I think. Pencil holder… succulent holder… you know I sometimes color outside the lines. I realize it is a little kitschy, but it reminded me of those Lady Head Vases (circa the 1950’s and 1960’s) that my grandmother collected. How could I resist that little bit of nostalgia?
And, then there is my morning cuppa, reading materials (just a hint of a book in the corner), the very gift of reading itself… (insert a long sigh here)
Now it is your turn. You have moments in your life. I know you do. Snap some grateful moments through the week and share them with us.
As a little background to get you started, Curtis was devoted to documenting over eighty American Indian tribes and their traditions. During the process, he amassed over 40,000 images. Yeah, yeah you say, “I probably have that many selfies on my phone.” Well, consider that photography was not as “mobile”, or convenient, during Curtis’s time. He had to carry around heavy, fragile, glass plates, a heavy camera, tripod, as well as chemicals to capture an image. Add in the fact that he carried this equipment on horseback and/or horse drawn wagon, over primitive paths and roads, … and was gone for months at a time. Additionally, there was a law banning the American Indians from practicing their respective customs and traditions. All in all, this was not an easy task. Seriously, think about this. He did not “scout” the photo location on the internet, load-up his photography gear in an over-priced camera bag, load said gear into a luxury car with heated leather seats, drive the interstate to the airport, arrive at the selected destination a few hours later, flash his media credentials and have models willingly mugging for the camera in a matter of days. It is this kind of dedication and passion that inspires me. I also shames me as I complain that I don’t have the right camera gear, the right conditions, etc. (But, I still want that new camera I’ve been eyeing… just sayin’.) I have even tried my hand at a modern version of his infamous gold tone images. I did not use glass and I am quite sure I cranked them out in a fraction of the time it took Curtis to create.
If you would like to learn more about Edward Curtis, I highly suggest reading Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan. This book gave me a greater appreciation, not only of Curtis’s art, but also his sacrifice and contribution to the preservation of Native American culture. For a shorter read, the Smithsonian Magazine has an article about Curtis (Edward Curtis’ Epic Project to Photograph Native Americans). And, PBS American Masters has an episode about Curtis (Edward Curtis Shadow Catcher). If nothing else, search the internet to enjoy some of his images.
I have spent some time this month reviewing 2016 and preparing for 2017. So, I thought I would share a quick overview of 2016 accomplishments:
I “assisted” my talented sister-in-law with a photo shoot for a magazine. Actually, one of her images became the cover of the magazine. I put assisted in quotes because I really just showed up for the party and watched her do her magic. I am so grateful for the opportunity. Did I say she is talented? Yes. Well, you can see some of her work here: http://www.cindyangerer.com/
I donated a framed version of this image to the Taste of Salado fundraiser for the Public Arts League of Salado.
I am happy to announce that I did not have to do the “walk of shame” with the work under my arm at the end of the event. Thank you to the generous supporter who bid on my work, as well as supporting the Arts in Central Texas.
I had the opportunity to visit friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico and my gracious hostess, Peggy, introduced me to some of the wonderful galleries in Las Cruces. It was such a fun visit with wonderful hosts. I love New Mexico.
I think I already posted about participating in the 15-Minute A Day Creative Challenge in April. But, since this is a recap, here is a peek at the first thing I created, in 15 minutes (or more) per day. This old car did take several 15 minute blocks of time. And, while it isn’t what I consider finished or gallery-worthy, it represents my commitment to a daily creative endeavor.
I am shamed to report that there were not a lot of artistic endeavors worth sharing in May – unless painting the Master Bedroom counts. I did, however, continue with my daily/weekly/monthly goal for post-processing images.
In June, I hosted my first give-away. I worked on a Watercolor Batik that I offered to my Newsletter “Tribe”. The beauty of watercolor batik is that each final work is unique. You may use the same paint, same paint colors, the same process, but each one takes on their own unique look.
I made a trip to Palo Duro Canyon and the Cadillac Ranch in July and I can’t wait to return.
August was SERIOUS. I met with a CPA, as well as the Comptroller to set-up bookkeeping for the Studio so I could start offering my image for sale online.
This isn’t art related, but, in September, I cut my hair so I could fulfill my wish of contributing my hair to make wigs for cancer patients and celebrate my own survivor status.
The Texas Professional Photographers Association (TPPA) held an event in San Marcos that I was happy to get a chance to attend. What a great event and even better group of photographers. I can not wait to attend next year.
I participated in Flood the Streets with Art and left five images around Salado for shoppers to find.
I am happy to report that I FINALLY completed organizing and post-processing images with a few days of 2016 to spare. Now, I can start 2017 “fresh”.
If you made it this far, thanks! Just so I do not write another long post like this one, I plan to be more consistent with my blog and social media posts in 2017. I even have a plan that I am very excited about and I look forward to sharing it with you. Tomorrow is the second month of the 2017 party, so… Let’s get going!
Today I placed five photographs around the Village of Salado as part of the 2016 Flood the Streets with Art. I am not sure that five images actually qualifies as a “flood”, so perhaps I should say that I “sprinkled” the streets with art. I like the idea of “Random Acts of Kindness” and a “Random Acts of Art” was certainly in my wheelhouse.
If you found one of the images, welcome to Shades of Sienna Studio. If you are taking the time to visit; thank you for your time and participation. Please let me know (in the comments) which image you found, or where you found the art, I would love to know they all when to “good homes”. If you are shy, that’s okay. I still appreciate you stopping by.
I wish you all peace, joy, abundance, good health, and a day without shoving or stress.
I just realized that I posted this image of the Super Moon on Facebook, but neglected my blog. Oh well, better late than never I guess.
We ALL take photos with our iPhone. We ALL want to take better photos with our iPhone. It does not matter if you want to post them on your social media channels, or simple preserve a memory for yourself. We can all benefit from better images. Julia Kelleher, a talented photographer, wrote a great blog post on this very subject, which she graciously shares with us. Thanks Julia!
THE SECRET & AWESOME FEATURES OF YOUR iPHONE CAMERA
Your iPhone is with you at all times, right? It’s like your right hand — always there, always ready to help you muddle your way through the day and kill boredom when the need arises. But that phone of yours can be oh-so-frustrating when your darling child chooses a particular moment to do something photo-worthy and your phone chooses that time to revolt.
Well, when you learn the inner and secret features of your iPhone camera, your days of being “slow on the draw” will be over. On top of that, your camera skills will improve 10-fold and your images will too, making your memories print and wall worthy.
So let’s look at some of the tricks and features inside your iPhone that will make you shine at the next family get together!
OPEN YOUR CAMERA APP F-A-S-T
Don’t miss ANY moment. To get to your camera lickety-split do one of two things depending on if your iPhone is locked or not.
- Hit the home button
- Locate the camera icon on the lower right corner of the screen.
- Swipe up & the camera will open.
- Swipe Up
- Tap the camera icon & the camera will open.
TURN ON YOUR GRID
Activating the grid will place a “tick-tac-toe” box on your screen as you shoot. What’s the benefit? Where the lines cross is called a “power point.” When you place your subject on of the four points you create images with a little negative space and better, more artistic composition. A little pro tip that will make your images that much prettier!
- Go to Settings > Photos&Camera > Grid > Turn it On
ADJUST EXPOSURE AND FOCUS AT YOUR WILL
Professional photographer know light like the back of your hand, and every lighting situation poses different issues, especially of you camera. A camera cannot see light and adjust the way the human eye can. So, it’s important to be able to tell your camera how to behave when you need it to in order to get a good “exposure.” The classic scenario that may drive you crazy is shooting a darker subject on a bright background. Your camera will want to make the background look good and your subject will be dark and ugly! ARGH! The way around this? Use the hidden feature in your iPhone that lets YOU control how bright an image is.
CUSTOM SET YOUR EXPOSURE
- Open the camera
- Compose your shot
- Tap and HOLD on the screen where you want to focus. The yellow box will blink and set focus.
- Swipe up or down to make the camera brighten or darken the exposure
- When you’re happy with how it looks, take the shot!
TURN OFF YOUR AUTO FLASH
Flash from your camera almost never looks good. It produces a harsh, flat light that doesn’t always need to be there, yet the camera seems to want to use it all the time. Turn it off when you can for more pleasing light in your images.
TURN OFF YOUR FLASH
- In the camera app, tap the lighting bolt icon in the upper left corner.
- Choose and tap “Off.”
- Shoot as you like!
USE BURST MODE FOR FAST ACTION
Did you know your iPhone can shoot 10 frames per second in burst mode? WHAT? My iPhone has burst mode? Yes it does! And it’s great for catching your toddler on the run.
- Press and HOLD the shutter release button on your camera app.
- Voila! 10 frames per second.
EDIT LIKE A PRO
Taking the picture is just half the process in the Pro world. Editing and enhancing the image is 50% of the process. Yes, even when you shoot with your iPhone you can make your images stand out even more by using a good editing app.
Here’s a few fun suggestions to try out:
- RHONNA DESIGNS
- WOOD CAMERA
- AFTER FOCUS
- TILTSHIFT GENERATOR
In my August Newsletter, I asked my “tribe” to add comments to this image answering:
- What do you see in this image; and/or
- What do you think the original subject of this abstracted image is/was?
This goes without saying, but please keep your comments family-friendly.
I will post the answer on Friday, August 5, 2016, so add your comment now and don’t forget to come back on Friday.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to guess. There were three technically correct answers. Two “flower” answers, but Lynne was more specific with “orchid”. Good eye Lynne.