I recently did a post on the importance of challenging yourself to stay inspired and boost creativity. I ended with images from a pocket watch challenge, which led me to a book challenge.
The book challenge became an Open Book Challenge.
These are images I worked on this week for my open book challenge. I feel like there is more to pursue here. So, I will be doing more of these. I like the idea of featuring images that pertain to the book’s subject matter. This is why I try to continue to challenge myself. It always leads to something new and inspiring.
I would love to see your own challenges and inspirations! Share your links in the comments!
After rereading a few of my end of year retrospectives, I realized that from November to February is a dry zone for my art. There are probably a few reasons for that. First, winter hits me hard, the cold, the short days, and don’t get me started on fucking holidays. Second, well, I think that first one is the big reason. So, to combat that, I’ve started a few challenges. One on Facebook, SP’s Weekly Photo Challenge. The other is on Fine Art America, The Weekly Photography Challenge. I have found that sharing the challenges with others, helps keep me motivated. So, if you find yourself in a rut, take a deep breath, and challenge yourself.
The challenge was Stripes. So, I found a striped shirt of my husbands, and started taking pics.
Then, I put the shirt on and took photos of my hands.
After that, I realized that I had a striped dress on, so I took this pic.
The hand pics led to a Hands Challenge.
Which then led to a pocket watch challenge.
Next challenge? Books!
One thing leads to another and I’ve been working for 3 weeks straight. So, Challenge Yourself!
All images are available as prints, just click on the image and it will take you to the store! Thanks for visiting. As always, comments are welcome!
At the end of 2017, I wrote a blog about my first and last images of the year. I thought I would do the same this year. It’s a great way to see where I’ve been and if I have gotten better or worse or about the same.
The first image I uploaded in 2018. I love fantasy books and art. I have been attempting to create some of my own. Silver keys hang from an overgrown vine, just waiting to be plucked. It has the feel of a dream.
The last image uploaded in 2018. This started out as an image created for a stripes image challenge. But it turned out to be more about the hands. I see a series of hands coming soon.
Be sure to share your own 2018 retrospectives in the comments! Feedback is also welcome.
All images are available as prints. If you click on the image, it will take you directly to my shop.
Every January, I set goals for myself. Sometimes those goals are small. Sometimes they can be far fetched and high reaching. In January of 2018, I set 3 goals for myself. I did not do any of them. However, I don’t feel like I failed myself. Because life changes, it’s important to be fluid and willing to change direction. So instead of completing my original goals, I found myself meeting goals I did not even know I had.
My first goal was to create a training video. I have developed a strong desire to share my knowledge with others. But I guess I’m having a hard time convincing myself that people want or need that knowledge. I know that I should do it anyway, it’ll make me better at what I do. On a side note, I did create a video of my work flow for my new job. But cannot share it on here.
Speaking of jobs, I lost my job in July of 2018. This changed things drastically for me. I had to find a new job and so will not have actual vacation time until next year. That means, there was no beach trip for me. However, when I was unemployed, I was able to help a friend and go to New York City for a couple of days. This helped create a huge opportunity for me. I took some great photos and even got a couple of them into a juried show.
The loss of my job did give me a little kick in the butt and I have started my own commercial product photography business. So, that studio that I was going to set up? When I was out of work, I started really working on that. I bought new strobes and have done several freelance jobs. However, now that I am back at a nine to five job, it’s hard to get myself motivated to finish it. It’s also difficult to pick up work, since I can only work after hours or weekends.
So, I find myself at the end of 2018, goals unfinished. As I said before, it’s important to be willing to change direction when life tells you to. So, 2019 will have new goals. I may not meet those either. But I have no doubt that I will still do some awesome things!
A favorite subject for many photographers is doorways. I am no exception. Is because they offer a sense of the unknown? What’s on the other side? What will you find if you enter? What might come out? Small town doors, big city doors, wood doors, glass doors, they all fascinate me. Enjoy this gallery of doorways.
I have great news! Two of my pieces have been accepted into a gallery exhibition in New York City. The show is going to be held at the Salmagundi Art Club from February 3 – February 16. These are the 2 images accepted into the Glimpses of our World photography exhibition are below.
Taken in New York City in September 2018, this images is one of my all time favorite window reflections.
This was taken while walking around New York City, also in September. I love the juxtaposition of the historic building with the newer, more modern glass skyscraper. The Empire State Building peaks out between the two.
My husband and I will be traveling up on the train for the show. I’m sure I’ll get more pics of New York while I’m there!
I did a year end review of my favorite and least favorite still life images. As promises here are my favorite and least favorite night images.
Favorite Night Photography
Night photography is my current obsession. As I mentioned in my America After Dark gallery. This image is from the Dragon Lights Festival. There is a color version of this and it’s nice. But I love the way the black and white makes it about the light and dark and highlights the shapes of the flowers and people.
A favorite of not just my night photography, but also my photos from Knoxville. The Tennessee Theatre marquee is lit up and people are walking through town. In the lower right corner is a young girl with a pink jacket, she makes this photo for me. I love subtle touches in photos.
The Chrysler Building takes center stage in this New York skyline photo. I took this from the observation deck on the Empire State Building. I had to squeeze myself in between people taking selfies and some lovers making out. But totally worth it!
The Daylight Building in downtown Knoxville, TN. I took this while wondering around downtown. I couldn’t find anything that caught my eye. So, I was headed back to the car. And there it was. The single person, the lone bicycle, and the shops all lit up for the night.
Least Favorite Night Photography
It’s not that I don’t like these images but I feel like they could be better.
I don’t like the stop sign or the car in this image. As we were leaving, I noticed a better angle and it’s been bugging me ever since. I think I will have to go back and get a better pic. Also, eat pizza!
I think I might like this better if shot a little closer to sunset, so the 1907 and the outline of the clock could be more pronounced. Yes, I could lighten it but that would produce an unnatural grainy look.
Thank you for visiting my most and least favorite list of night photography from this year. Feel free to share your own end of year blogs in the comments below!
Prints are available of all images in my Pixels store. Click here. You can also click on the image and it will take you directly to the store.
At the end of the year, I like to revisit my images. I like to see where I started and where I ended. I usually choose my favorites from the year. But this year, I am going to share a few of my favorites and a few of my least favorites. I will do several of these. Each with a theme, so they don’t get too long. As always, comments are welcome!
The first one will be still life photography. The next will be night photography. Then we will look at travel photography. After that, it’ll be 2019 and time to start again!
Still Life Photography
This was one of the first images I shared in January. In the winter months, I have a hard time going outside (cold, ugh). So, I often do some experimenting with still life images. The camera is an Olympus film camera. The case is an old make up case that I found at a garage sale in Winchester, KY. I have this in color and black and white. I prefer the black and white version because it echoes that sense of antiquity and gives it a vintage feel. Definitely, one of my favorite still life images!
This image was taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. The theme was jewelry not being worn. I love the dirty, grungy background with the smooth silver and beads. The selective color gives it that pop. I want to do more of these next year!
Another image taken for the Weekly Photography Challenge. I love anything pertaining to time – watches, clocks, hourglasses. I finished this with a sepia tone and a vignette to give it an old, timeless feel.
When I say least favorite, I just mean they don’t speak to me the same way the others do. I don’t hate them, or I wouldn’t be sharing them.
The exact same image as above without the vintage finish. The watches feel too new and it just does not speak to me in the same way.
This is my least favorite still life created this year. It’s boring and just does not speak to me. This was taken on a super bright spring day. I did very little planning and spent almost no time on it. Maybe I should try again. Maybe not.
I hesitated on this one. I like it. I love the black and white finish with the white vignette. The shallow depth of field. And the phone itself is a work of art. But I think I could have done something better with this and will keep trying.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to watch for the next installment of my year end review! Do you have a year end blog? Feel free to share in the comments!
As always, the images are available as prints and other products in my shop!
My current obsession is night photography. I love to see city lights after dark or small town lights. I never carry a tripod with me, so I shoot with a super high ISO or try to rest the camera on something. I use a Sony A7rII and it is great for shooting in low light with a minimum of grain. Although, I have night photos from around the world, this gallery is dedicated to America after dark.
Knoxville is my home town, so I have lots of images from here. Here are a few.
New York City
When I visited New York, I went alone. At first, I thought I might be too afraid to spend a lot of time out after dark, especially taking photos. But I got comfortable with it fairly quickly.
Want to see more photos from after dark, click here.
Feel free to comment and share your own images of America After Dark.