Project 365: Natural beauties and ugly beauties

by DaniGirl on August 28, 2009 · 1 comment

in Photo of the Day

This was one of those weeks that interesting subjects practically hurled themselves at my feet, begging to be photographed. (thank goodness!) I think I could have taken enough pictures to last well into November, if only I could save them up and use one each day.

Sadly, in November we won’t have any of these beauties standing regally in the sunshine, waiting to be admired:

218b:365 Sunflowers

(I loved how the sunflowers turned out so much that I turned it into a blog banner on the spot. Sunflowers used to be a motif of mine, back in the day, and I’ve always had a soft spot for them.)

These beauties grow to a height of six or seven feet in my mother’s garden. The black border and square format mimic a photographic technique that intrigues me called “through the viewfinder” or TTV. In real TTV, you take a picture through the viewfinder of another, usually antique, camera. I haven’t found the right camera for actually TTV yet, but I faked this one in Photoshop. (Yet another way you can use post-processing to add a little zip to an otherwise humdrum photo, IMHO.)

219:365 Fake TTV daisy

I ran into an old friend on the weekend who happens to be a professional photographer. We both had our cameras with us (of course!) but his was a D80 with an intriguing-looking lens on it. His kind offer of “go ahead and play with my camera, if you like” was barely out of his mouth when I had it in my hands, and it wasn’t long before I figured out his 28-105 mm lens nicely fit on my D40 as well. It doesn’t auto-focus on my camera (I’m running into more and more limitations with my entry-level dSLR these days) but it still takes a fine macro picture. Covet, covet, covet!!!

214b:365 Coneflower macro

We’ve now concluded the “Nature is beautiful” portion of today’s presentation, and will procede with our “Ewwww, what was nature thinking?!” theme.

Take this spider, for instance. Please. (My apologies to Julie and any other arachnophobes out there. If it makes you feel any better, I can hardly look at the screen myself, and I’m not even particularly squeamish about spiders!) We found her on our back deck this week, she’s about the length of my thumb, and yes, that’s her *shudder* egg sac she’s sitting on. Filled with *shudder* up to a thousand itty bitty baby *shudder* spiders. She’s a ‘black and yellow agriope’, if you wanted to know, and she looks even more freaky large and up close, if you dare!

217:365 Garden spider and (*cringe*) egg sac

(Shortly after this photo was taken, Beloved scooped her and her egg sac up in a jar and we relocated them to the field across from our house. I simply would not have been able to sleep without nightmares of thousands of tiny spiders streaming in through every crack and crevice in the house! Did I mention *shudder*?)

And continuing with the “ugly is beautiful” theme, meet Winnie. She’s a pug, easily the snortiest, drooliest, gruntiest excuse for a dog I have ever met. Of course, I adored her on sight! She belongs to a friend of ours, and spent one night of her three-day vacation at the Humane Society after slipping out the door unnoticed. Luckily, she was reunited with her family the next morning.

214:365 Pug

(The boys were also enchanted with Winnie. The day after we met her, we took the boys to the SuperEx, and when Tristan won one of those water-squirt games — at a full table, nonetheless! — he chose a Pug Webkinz as his prize.)

Speaking of SuperEx, here’s another trio of adorable creatures. How many kids get to feed a lion cub her breakfast? She’s about seven months old — and apparently, she was starving! The boys held her for at least 10 minutes, and I think I’ve got about 35 versions of this picture in my camera. Thank goodness I brought the telephoto lens for a nice close-up!

215:365 Lion cub

Of all the photos from Papa Lou’s Excellent Hot Air Balloon Adventure, I finally chose this one as my favourite. I like the perspective that Granny and Lucas add to the giant balloon (I took this lying on my back!) and the way my Mom’s white jacket and pants compliment the red-green-blues of the balloon, the grass and the sky.

216:365 Granny and Lucas

I particularly liked this one as well. I like the triangle created by the balloon, the watchers and my shadow — how cute is her body language, waving to the balloon? — and the way all the shadows point toward the balloon. (The triangle was intentional, the shadows are just a lucky fluke!)

11 Goodbye!

This is my favourite photo this week. It’s not the best exposure, and even the composition is a little off — but, you have to move quickly when you’re taking a picture of Lucas in action! IMHO, though, the standing-up hair is priceless, as is the expression on Tristan’s face as he comes down the slide behind Lucas.

218:365 Hair-raising slide!

Years down the line, these are the pictures that will matter. Sometimes, the best pictures make up for in joy what they lack in artistry.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Chantal August 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

I hadn’t even noticed Tristan in that photo till you mentioned it. I love it!

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