Photo Friday: Uncharted Territory, then Back to My Comfort Zone

This past week, I went on two photo shoots that made me very happy. I had been losing my confidence in my photography over the last few months, questioning my camera, my lenses and my ability after a few less-than-satisfactory shoots. But I seem to have worked out most of the kinks as far as the equipment is concerned – and I’m feeling much, much better about me:-)

Why? Two reasons. First, I went out of my comfort zone and shot the first night of Vancouver’s annual Honda Celebration of Light, and was very pleased with the results. I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of freezing fireworks in action, given the darkness and the speed of the fireworks show. But, surprise! Not all of the photos sucked:-)

Here’s the slide show of my Flickr set. See what you think.

 

Secondly, I had the opportunity to visit the gorgeous and historic VanDusen Botanical Garden, where I found myself back in my element – among wonderful trees, plants, flowers and water features. I was at home, surrounded by a peaceful silence broken only by quiet conversations of passers-by and the sweet songs of many birds. And I was fortunate to capture some of my favourite flower shots yet. I’m proud to share them with you!

 

By the way, the lovely lady in the black hat is the one-and-only Dianne Chow, whose Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver blog is a must-read. Thanks to Dianne for the invite, and the chance to share an awesome picnic basket, courtesy of the Garden.

All in all, a very good week.

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Photo Friday – Why Travel Moves Me

The view from my small but charming hotel room in Paris

Why do you travel? I’ve been asking myself that so often during the course of this almost month-long vacation.

I’ve come up with a list for me.

Escape
Embracing change
Seeing my world differently
The joy of discovery
The wonder of learning
Appreciating beauty
Accepting some ugly realities
Finding myself
Losing myself

And then…
Coming home

What would you add to the list?

Photo Friday – Sharing the Spotlight

This week, I was honoured and thrilled to be featured in an article in The Daily Dot called Seeing through Pictures, which focused on how my newly-found passion for photography has affected how I literally see my world.

It’s an understatement to say that I’ve been blown away by the response to the article. I can’t thank people enough for all the Facebook posts, tweets and retweets and notes of encouragement and affection. It thrilled my family. It made me proud, and more determined than ever to take my passion and run with it. Thank you.

But the piece wasn’t just about me. So I want to make doubly sure the spotlight shines on the others mentioned in the article – because they are and will continue to be my inspiration.

First, check out the amazing Tara Miller, who’s already been featured in an earlier post. Her work is phenomenal. Then go to Flickr and discover the brilliance and diversity of the Blind Photographers group. I guarantee you will gain a new understanding and appreciation of the many ways visually impaired people see what is often taken for granted. I doubt you’ll look at us and your world in the same way.

And last, but not least, thank you to The Daly Dot and to contributor Lorraine Murphy, for giving its readers a new perspective and for giving us a voice. It doesn’t happen often enough.

Photo Friday – A Rose for Clint

This week, I’m posting a single photo – a red rose bathed in nature’s tears.

This is in honour of my friend Clint Miller, who has fought valiantly against an insidious cancer, and through it all has never lost his love for life, family and friends. From the beginning, he’s looked cancer in the eye, and dared the disease to do its worst. And even though the fight appears to be near the end, you haven’t won, cancer. You’ll never win. Fuck you.

 

Lord love you, Clint.

Photo Friday: Nature – As I’ve Never Seen It

One of the most amazing things about my photography is the fact that my camera has allowed me to actually see the world around me in a whole new way. I am good at framing shots, and I can visualize whatI want the shot to be, but it really is an Aim, Pray, Shoot situation for me. And that makes for some wonderful, surprisingly awesome photos.

As I explained in my first Photo Friday post, I don’t see details past a few inches or so, but when I view my photos on my computer screen, I am transported to another level of beauty. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to see what so many people take for granted.

For example, this week I was roaming around my friend’s beautiful garden in California – something I do every time I’m here because the landscape is ever-changing. I was taking random shots of some of the rock garden, when I thought I detected movement. So I took a chance – and pressed the shutter. This little guy emerged from out of what I thought was simply the rock face.

Earlier in the summer, when the flowers were in full bloom, I hears a bee buzzing around me, and saw a tiny gold speck hover over some lovely purple flowers. So, I went for it. And I was astonished at what I captured, right down to the tiny veins in the wings.

My photo walks in this garden produced a photo of a white poppy dancing in the breeze that I loved so much that I created greeting cards and gave them to my gardener friend who makes all these beautiful shots possible.

Windblown Poppy

Her name is Barbara. And she’s legally blind.

Nothing is impossible, people. The creation of beauty, the nurturing of living things, and how we interpret our world for others to enjoy is as special and diverse as everyone on the planet. And you don’t need to see it all to make a difference.