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March 10, 2013

This Little Piggy Went To the Market – Adorable Toes

Take52 Challenge – Week 10

It was meant to be.  To continue building on my photography skills and to continue building my idea bank I had been studying other photographs of feet.  Knowing there would soon be a new arrival to our family, I had been studying photographs of baby feet. There’s something about those fleshly wrinkled feet.  Through days of studying photographs I had seen so many tiny toes that there were absolutely adorable.  But none seemed to be of newborns.

Only hours after the challenge was assigned for the week, the newest member of our family was born, a gorgeous baby girl.  It was one of the longest days of work.  I wanted to up and leave as soon as I heard the news.  It was tough; I had been there at the time of M's and K's births, Baby M’s two brothers. 

After sitting through the day of work, I was finally able to make my way to the city I grew up in.  After nearly an hour of driving to the hospital I was able to see Baby M.  Upon arrival there were others in the room, all ooing and ahhing over this cute little thing.  Thankfully, they did not stay long.  Then it was time for me to have Baby M in my arms, I held her pretty well the whole two hours I was there.  I’m sure many of you know there is nothing like the warmth of the sweet body against yours.  The tiny little hands wrapped around your finger, the chubby little legs wanting to be eaten.  Every little part of their body is so precious.

If you read between the lines, I refused to give Baby M up.  It was only when she began fussing for her snack that I gave her back to T, her mommy.  It was during this time that I snapped a few photographs.  After all her mom’s friends had bundled her up, putting her in a bunting bag, and putting mitts on her feet, yes, that’s right…mittens on her feet, that I unbundled her to take a photo of her “Little Piggies.”

Aperture Priority; ISO 3200; Shutter 1/60; Aperture f4.5; Focal Length 40mm; ev 0; WB – Auto

I am not one hundred percent in love with the composition of this photograph.  However, I did not want to disturb her while feeding, then immediately sleeping.  There will be time for more photos.  I do love the colour though, it's a great representation of how pinkish/blue her little feet actually were.

And of course, I couldn’t post a photograph of Baby M’s feet without sharing a couple of photographs of her precious face.  She is a sweet little girl in pink.  I can only imagine with being the "little sister" to two "big brothers" that she will be spoiled, dressed up like a doll, and given anything she wants.  I can see that she already has so many of us wrapped around her little toes.  Mind you, I'd pretty well drop anything I was doing for her brothers M & K too.  And of course, that she will be well "protected" by her brothers.

Aperture Priority; ISO 3200; Shutter 1/80; Aperture f4.5; Focal Length 52mm; ev 0; WB – Warm-White Fluorescent

After hearing, or recognizing already, the sound of the camera's shutter, Baby M woke up just enough to flash a smile.  Or perhaps she's laughing at all of us, wondering why there are so many photographs being taken of her.  And she finds our actions amusing to her.

Aperture Priority; ISO 3200; Shutter 1/100; Aperture f4.5; Focal Length 52mm; ev 0; WB – Warm-White Fluorescent; Black & White was done with editing

Today was more about preserving the moment of time.  Creating a memory.  There will be many more opportunities for me to take the time for the perfect pose.  Although, I think that she looks pretty perfect.  I still have many ideas roaming around in my head.  I can’t wait until the next time, I have a chance to see her again.  It’s hard to live so far away.

As always I welcome any thoughtful critiques.

March 08, 2013

Sprouts – Time for a Little Colour

Take52 Challenge – Week 9

This was a challenge for me in many ways.  How do you interpret “sprouts”?  Well…I’m not a fan of sprouts; whether they are brussel sprouts or sprouted greens, bean sprouts are okay but are not in our refrigerator on a regular basis.  They certainly were not there this week.  I could go to the store to buy some sprouts to photography; but lets be honest, I wouldn’t be eating them after so it would be a waste of money and food.  So, it was to the outdoors to find something sprouting.  I can’t find anything sprouting in my house, since my cats both eat any plants and flowers that are brought in.

Keep in mind I live in Vancouver; this time of year we have liquid sunshine and long hours of darkness brought on by the grey clouds.  Well, I don’t think that we have much light, that’s only because my workdays bring me home after the little light we’ve had is gone for the day.

On my day off I ventured outside into my front yard in the rain.  I made sure to wear my raincoat, but didn’t bother to put one on my camera.  You see I wasn’t going to be outside that long.  Just long enough to where I didn’t want to get damp, since I knew I’d then be cold the rest of the day.

Not many plants are sprouting in my gardens.  Most are perennials that are simply green leaves.  I do have my one favorite plant though.  And this is the best time of year for it.  This plant brings life back to the garden.  It brings just a splash of colour, not too much.  But, this plant always manages to bring a smile to my face.  (At the same time a sense responsibility and a sense of need to tend to the weeds that have taken over during the dreary winter months).

Even though I love that fact that this plant brings life back to my gardens, I think I love the fact that when it starts to “sprout” and buds begin to appear it symbolizes the nearing of the end of our wet winters.  It lets me know that somewhere just around the corner spring will appear, bringing an always much anticipated time away from school.  Providing me a little rejuvenation.

This plant is my Lenten Rose.  My mother had one outside of her kitchen window and I’d always loved it.  There was something unique about it, it always stood out from the rest of the plants.  I loved this plant so much, that when I moved out of the house and started planting a garden of my own, it was the first plant I placed in my cart while shopping at the garden centre.  I know if I ever move, that I will be planting another Lenten Rose.

Aperture Priority; ISO 3200; Shutter 1/400; Aperture f5.6; Focal Length 75mm; ev 0; WB - Cloudy

As always I welcome any thoughtful critiques.

March 06, 2013

Mirrors – Looking Past Our Reflections into the Futures

Take52 Challenge – Week 8

Mirrors are magical objects.  They allow the individual standing in front of them to look upon the past, the present, and the future.  Seeing our reflections staring back at us, we can’t help but think of where we have come from to get us to where we are today.  We cannot help but think about where we will be days, weeks, months, years down the road.  As we age and as we mature, our styles and appearances change.  Some are changes we’ve set in motion; some are changes that were placed upon us without our input.

But nonetheless, it is the mirrors and the reflections within that allow us to recognize and to be who we are.  The mirrored reflection does not know how to lie.

This mirror that I have found has allowed me to reflect upon my school and myself…

This moment in time has been in the works for many years, on many levels. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a warm, welcoming, caring, and positive environment. 

On February 21st the school that I teach at celebrated it’s 20th Anniversary.  The POWER Program is an alternate school offering students aged 16-19 years an opportunity to complete their education in a setting that is vastly different from the “traditional” schools.

The celebration provided former students and staff to gather and reminisce about the past.  It also provided current staff and students the opportunity to look past who we are and into the reflections of the future.

When the program was first developed there was a large open area with stark white walls, some tables, and some chairs.  There were no “real” desks for teachers to sit and to use, there was not even an office.  Overtime the space began to fill with students and with desks; but most importantly with life.  The POWER Program had turned from a semi-school setting to the community that it is today.  All staff and students hold a mutual respect for our environment and for each other.  We share our lives as if we were all family.  We are a family!  It is only possible for us to continue to build on the great successes we’ve had.

Shutter Priority; ISO 1600; Shutter 1/30; Aperture f4.2; Focal Length 45mm; ev 0; WB - Custom

Shutter Priority; ISO 1600; Shutter 1/30; Aperture f4.2; Focal Length 42mm; ev +0.3; WB - Custom; B&W was done during editing

It was this night, this celebration, thinking about reflections that I had the opportunity to look at how far I’ve come in the past 5 years of my career, and where I came from even before that.  Looking past the night’s reflection and where I am today, I can only hope that I am provided the chance to continue teaching at the POWER Program.

It was an amazing event that could not have been possible without EVERYONE that has ever been, that is, and that will be a part of the POWER Program!  Here’s to another 20 years!

As always I welcome any thoughtful critiques.