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Days 11 and 12

11/365: My youngest two sharing the comics Sunday morning.

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12/365: We seem to have some sort of nasty bug in the house. My youngest four children are sick. I am sick.  But I was determined to at least take a few shots today. Rest and tea are the order of the day. Prayer would be greatly appreciated.

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That flare of light to the right was not there when I saved this image from Photoshop. Not sure what happened but clearly I am still learning.

 

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Project 365

Above: Macro shot of a snowflake.

My Challenge: Take and post a photo, every day of the year.
My Goals: To find the beauty in every day. To improve my skills.

I’ve been posting these on my Facebook photography page daily.
I’ll be posting them here in batches.

My first 10 days of photos. Click the photo for a larger view.

 

1

Fresh Snow

I remarked to my husband a few weeks ago that our growing like a weed, 8 yr. old daughter needed a new coat and he agreed that she did indeed. So Monday I hit the mall looking for bargains. Oh how glorious it was shopping on January 5th. Hardly anyone was there –I loved it!

When I saw the coat, well, I couldn’t resist. Even though my intention wasn’t to get her such a “dressy” coat I realized that when she goes out to play she generally wears layers but going to church and other activities she doesn’t have a coat that fits anymore (even though it did 3 weeks ago). Besides, it was 60% off!

And then we heard that snow was coming on Tuesday. So we concocted a plan,  which included putting her hair in curlers overnight –because she LOVES curls– to do a new coat+falling snow+fresh curls, photo shoot. This was the result.

I was pretty happy with how they turned out although I could have done better with my camera settings as they were somewhat overexposed. Even so I would rather overexpose than under since it’s easier to fix in editing.

Yes, I edit photos. A perfect picture right out of the camera can happen but most do need some tweaking to reach their full potential of color and light. In fact it’s rare that a photo needs no editing. Trust me though, bad photos can only be helped so much and some things, like blurry images can’t be fixed at all. Editing really only serves to enhance and bring out what’s already there and the goal is to take as good a picture as I can.

Mind you I’m not talking about photo manipulation like we see in magazines, meant to sell us ideas about beauty and weight and well, all sorts of things. No, that is something else entirely.  Editing photos is like editing writing and if you read often enough you know when a book hasn’t been well edited. In like manner I see lovely photos all over the place that could use just a bit of tweaking to make them really good. I know some people think it’s “cheating” to edit, but I think that’s just silly.

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Midnight Mass 2014

I have struggled for a long time to get really good Mass pictures. Partly because I have to use whatever light is available, as opposed to being able to use fill flash, and partly because the church we normally go to Mass at is a white balance nightmare. Seriously it’s all this orangey/peachy marble. Never mind the cloud of incense through which is nearly impossible to get a clear shot. However, because the Latin Mass chaplain is pastor at a different parish, and he as yet finds it difficult to bilocate, midnight Mass this year was at his regular parish and I was able to get quite a few very nice photos –per his request.

I’ve put them into a gallery for what I hope is easier viewing. Do let me know if it’s troublesome.

The priest here is Father Pang Joseph Tcheou at Mary Mother of the Church parish in Mount Joy, PA

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Christmas Bits

So we’re in a new year now but it’s still Christmas. Yes really I swear it is –until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord in fact (Jan. 11th in the OF and Jan. 13th in the EF).

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Let’s keep celebrating shall we? If you’ve already put all the decorations away I am not here to make you feel guilty. Decorations don’t make it Christmas but I feel like these days of Christmastide, when the world has put all the decorations away, are the perfect time to really ponder the mystery of the Incarnation. The time before can be so busy, so filled with stress, but now, while it’s still Christmas and everything has calmed down, perhaps we can enter more deeply before we move on to the next season.

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It’s really cold here right now. -10°F wind chills are predicted tonight. Perfect weather for contemplation and calm don’t you think? Hopefully with a cup of tea or hot cocoa.

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I have lots of pictures to share, as usual. Actually probably more than usual since I upgraded my DSLR for Christmas and I’ve  really been enjoying taking pictures lately. It’s a creative outlet for me and I think creative outlets are good for all of us. I know I function better overall when I pay attention to that part of myself. DSC_0577You see, even though I have this blog, I’m just not much of a writer. I mean I can write but I’m not a “writer” in the sense of how I imagine writers to be. I don’t think in narrative, I don’t feel compelled to put words down. I struggle to find the right words and my grammar can be pretty atrocious at times, not to mention that I often phrase my sentences in “Pennsylvania Dutch-ease”.
DSC_0530I do read, quite a lot actually, but even when I read I form images in my head that help me make sense of my reading. I’ve always done that. Maybe that’s why I prefer telling stories in pictures more than in words. It just makes more sense to me. Hmm . . .that’s not exactly what I mean. See, I told you I wasn’t a writer, but it’s the best I can do for now.

Of course the irony of all this is that I’ve written more in this blog post already than I usually ever do!

Anyway, I’ll be posting more regularly with photos and worrying less about writing. If you like looking at pictures, great. If you are waiting for great writing, well I’m not sure why you were here in the first place. :)

I’ll post more pictures in separate posts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Edited to add:
I wanted to ask if you could keep my littlest guy, Matthew, in prayer.

DSC_1453He has type 1 diabetes (as does my daughter Maggie) and he’s really been struggling lately with sickness.

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Thank you and God bless.