Project 365: Storytelling

by DaniGirl on September 11, 2009 · 5 comments

in Photo of the Day

Before I start with the pictures this week, I’d like to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all of you for your encouragement during my project 365 trip and especially on the launch of the Etsy shop this week. I was genuinely touched by your responsiveness, by your kind words, by the fact that you really do seem to like the photos I’ve taken. (I know, I’m having a Sally Field – “You like my pictures! You really like them!” – moment here… bear with me.)

Doing the 365 out loud on the Internet has been extremely validating, and interesting too. I’m fascinated by your responses to the images, which ones you like and which ones seem to slip by unremarked upon. Seeing the images filtered through your perspective has helped me learn in ways I didn’t expect. I don’t know that I would have had the stamina (or the pure bullish stubbornness) to complete the project if it weren’t for your feedback and interest. You really do inspire me! (cue the swelling orchestra…)

Okay, enough with the schmaltz and on with the pictures. Last Friday, I walked into my office, put my fresh coffee down on the desk, hung my camera and my purse on the coathook and was just about to sit down when I glanced out the window — and saw five giant hot air balloons floating by. I grabbed my camera (and scandalously, completely forgot about my coffee) and headed up to the seventh floor picture window where I had a gorgeous view of the morning launch of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, and the balloons floating over the Byward Market.

227b:365 Balloons over the Market

I loved the conjunction of the sun, the urban landscape and the balloons in this one.

227:365 Balloons over the Market

It was a spectacularly photographable long weekend in Ottawa, as evidenced by my posts about the sunset at Britannia Beach and our Mud Lake adventure. In case you missed them, here’s my favourite picture of the sunset. I love the gradient, how the red hot sunlight light fades seamlessly into cold indigo darkness. (I was tempted to photoshop in a tiny, twinkling star right at the top, but I figured it was presumptuous to think I could improve on Mother Nature!)

229:365 Last kiss of sun

And I love how this picture tells a rather timeless story of boys and adventure. (I went back to shooting in RAW this week — and for the first time, I can see the difference between RAW and JPEG files, especially in this one for some reason.)

230:365 Mud Lake dock

I had the idea for this one in my head for a long time. The light in Lucas’s room during naptime is so nice and soft, and of course, baby toes are a favourite subject of mine. When he’d been asleep for about an hour on Saturday afternoon, I crept into his room and dared to snap a few shots because I loved the way the blankets were perfectly framing his foot. I love this one so much, it’s my new desktop image at work!

228:365 Sleeping toes

Because the blinds were drawn, I had to shoot at my D40’s highest ISO setting, which is part of the reason it has that soft, grainy quality. (If you can’t get more light and you can’t use flash and you don’t have a tripod or a motionless subject, boost your ISO!) It also has a light touch of one of the Pioneer Woman’s photoshop actions, just to enhance the softness. I am seriously addicted to those actions!

As much as I wanted the toes to be soft, I wanted this one to be super crisp and tack sharp. I missed just a bit on this shot, which is too bad because I like the concept. I was going to call it “Dare to be different!” (But I still liked it enough to make it my alternate shot of the day!)

231b:365 September grapes outtake

Instead, I went with this one as the shot of the day. The composition isn’t as cheeky, but the focus is tack-sharp. It’s a tad dark, now that I look at it again — I think the brightness is cranked a little too high on the laptop where I do my photo editing. (My mom used to call these September grapes, so that’s what I call them. I think they’re really called Concord grapes. There is nothing like them! They’re one of the few foods that are still truly seasonal — you only get them for these first few weeks in September, and then you have to wait all year.)

231:365 September grapes

(Do you like my sophisticated photo studio backdrop? It’s the top of my stove, right in between the two back burners!)

Like the grapes and the tomato, this shot was an attempt at storytelling that didn’t quite work out as I’d planned — but wasn’t enough of a miss to discard entirely. This was the first day since Lucas got mobile that we went to the park and I could take some time to just sit on the rocks and watch them play, instead of hovering over Lucas or rescuing him from peril. That’s what I was trying to express, that a perfect day at the park equals a bit of a break for mom and but fun for the kids. A near miss, but I still like it!

232c:365 At the park

These shots of Simon and Lucas were just better images, even without the — or maybe because of the lack of? — scripting.

232b:365 Simon at the park

232:365 Lucas at the park

And this was another “scripted” image. I’d found the leaf and a few others like it in Major’s Hill Park, and wandered around for a while looking for interesting backdrops for them. I tried photographing them on some bricks (those were nice) and some cobblestones, and had just decided I’d had enough and was wandering into the Market for a coffee on my way back to work when I walked past the fountain at the intersection of York and Sussex. The square was full of people eating lunches on park benches, but that didn’t stop me from hopping up on the concrete lip of the fountain and throwing my leaves in, because I thought the colours in them would work really well with the bright sunlit water and the texture in the fountain.

233:365 Leaf

Because I am so grateful for your attention, your feedback, and your support (and your patience!) I’ve decided to give away not one but FIVE free prints from the Etsy shop. See this post for details, but you have to leave your comment before midnight tonight, Friday September 11.

Who loves you baby? I do!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 liz September 11, 2009 at 8:24 am

I love your photos. The colors and light and life and thought you put into them is awesome.

2 Kerry September 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Can I just say that I love how you consider the Minister’s boardroom to be your personal picture window? Snort.

3 DaniGirl September 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Kerry — the boardroom never occured to me, I was in the same stairwell where I took Watercolour Umbrellas! (I won’t miss the commute, but I’ll sure miss this building!)

4 Chantal September 14, 2009 at 9:12 am

That waterfall one worked out really well. I like it.

5 Rebecca September 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Your pics are always so amazing. Love them!

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