#100DayProject: Photography-Week Thirteen

“You don’t have to stay anywhere forever.” – Neil Gaiman from The Sandman

Last night I wanted to see the “blood moon” eclipse. Nobody in my family wanted to join me, so I went outside myself. The houses, trees, and clouds blocked the sky and I couldn’t see anything. Normally, I’d have let exhaustion win out and simply gone to bed. Being an amateur photographer though, changed my mind. I really wanted to try and photograph the eclipse. It felt important to me.

I grabbed my camera and climbed into the van, pajamas and all. At the top of the nearest hill, I found every single parking spot taken. It seems I was too late to the party. Driving and driving, I couldn’t see the moon anywhere and the only places I found to pull over were blocked by trees and houses. Time was ticking away and I was convinced I’d missed my chance, but I didn’t give up.

I put on some upbeat music and followed any road with hills, trying to get as high as I could. Finally, at the very end of my window of time, I found an area with new construction. When I pulled in I found a lookout spot clear of trees and people, complete with a cute little bench. A beautiful breeze greeted me and I spent about 15 minutes taking photos and allowing myself to enjoy this rare moment of peaceful reflection.

Photography and writing are giving me permission to seek out beauty and magic for myself. It’s giving me hope I’m going to be okay when my teenagers leave home, a blueprint for what life after the busy day-to-day mothering has ended.

I’m so grateful for this journey.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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My bonus photos this week are those I took of the lunar eclipse. Although the photos aren’t the best, they are some of my favorites. The last shot was taken as I was walking back to the van, a quick shot I was surprised to find out later not only captured my entire face but also the peace of the moment.

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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Eight

The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about. -A. A. Milne

I’ve been feeling like Eeyore this week—lost in contemplation and not quite sure what any of it means. The further I dive into my creative endeavors, the clearer it becomes I have no idea what I’m doing. I need to learn so much. In the meantime, my kids, my house, and my yard need my attention. I feel rebellious, antsy, and unfocused.

Part of this uneasiness might be my 45th birthday approaching. I wish I’d kept writing when I had children or started photography years ago. The horrible sense I’m running out of time has been hanging onto me this week and it made writing my short story and editing my photos this week far more challenging. My confidence feels fractured, but not fully broken. The only thing to do is keep moving forward.

One word and one image at a time.

Thank you for following my journey and rooting me on. I appreciate it so much.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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I’m far more productive away from home. I can’t run into the kitchen for another snack when I feel a lull in inspiration or start doing something like laundry or dishes. I love the coffee shop I’ve been writing at, but it’s near my daughter’s school about a half-hour from home. Next year, she won’t be there anymore and I’ve been seeking someplace close to home.

After a few misses, I’ve found it at The Fig Tree. If I close my eyes tight and imagine the perfect place to create, this place would come close. Artwork on the walls, beautiful bricks, comfy spots to sit, bookshelves, and a drink called Persphone. I’m here right now and I feel at home and inspired. Here’s my view, taken with my iPhone 13 a few minutes ago.

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Seven

“There’s nothing left except to try.” -Madeleine L’Engle, “A Wrinkle in Time”

It rained last Monday and I missed the opportunity for some incredible photographs. I’ve been kicking myself about it all week. Hopefully, we get some rain and beautiful clouds again soon so I can take advantage of the moody skies and the reflective nature of puddles.

I’m trying out a new editing software recommended by my dad called ON1 Photo Raw. As a result, I may have got a little overzealous in editing my photos this week. I can’t quite tell if they are an improvement or they are overdone. I’d appreciate advice on what you think worked and didn’t work.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here are two bonus photos I heavily/overly edited to get the feel for the software. While I realize they are a bit much, I had fun with them and wanted to share them with you.

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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Six

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” -Stephen King

This week I had the privilege of taking my nephew’s senior portraits. The night before I sat up late researching poses, looking at photos, and reading about photographing in sunlight. It felt like a huge responsibility and I wanted to do well. I choose a tourist area downtown with lots of varied backdrops; railroad tracks, colorful doorways, brick walls, and old pillars with lots of character.

He’s a musician, so he brought an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, and drumsticks. He’s also shy and not comfortable in front of the camera, so I felt the responsibility of capturing his natural smile and personality while making him feel safe. I brought my teenage daughter for support, and she also took photos. It was an awkward start but after several minutes we found our rhythm. The entire thing took just over an hour, and I came away with hundreds of shots.

When I opened them to start editing and choosing the best ones, I was surprised and elated at how good they are! I’m really proud of how they came out and I was able to send over 50 edited images for his mother to choose for his announcements. I don’t have permission to share them here, yet, but it’s part of my journey so I wanted to share the experience with you.

I’ve gotten some feedback and I’m ready to play around more with F-Stop and movement in my photographs next week. I might try some low-light images or landscapes. Thank you to those following my journey and rooting me on. It means so much to me.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here’s a bonus photo of my adorable nephew taken with my iPhone 13 in my backyard:

#100DayProject: Photography-Week Five

“That’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.” -Walt Disney

I was fortunate to spend the last week celebrating my nephew’s third birthday in Disneyland. There’s something remarkably beautiful about playing with a small child and seeing the park through their eyes. I found photography, however, a bit challenging.

The sunlight was harsh, people were everywhere, and I kept finding myself unfocused (figuratively and literally). As I sat down to edit my photos, I noticed my eye tended to be drawn upward. Please let me know what you think of these images, and if you have a gallery of your own Disneyland photos I’d love to see them. Feel free to drop a link below.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here’s a bonus photo of the hotel at sunset:

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#100DayProject: Photography-Week Four

“Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove. Dance me to the end of love.” – Leonard Cohen

For as long as we’ve lived in our home, the doves appear each spring and build a nest above our front door. Right now they are in the building phase, but soon the mother dove will take her spot on the nest and stay for several weeks. Her mate will remain close by, bringing her food and keeping watch from our young peach tree. One morning I will come outside to find the delicate white eggshells laying on the doorstep and I’ll hear the little squeaks of new hatchlings. Some things in life change, but these returning doves are a beautiful constant I look forward to each year.

I had a busy week but still managed to take photographs each day for my #100DayProject. I’m getting used to the weight of the camera and I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting things to capture. When I sat down to edit this week, I paid more attention to the rule of thirds and the horizon line, thanks to some much-appreciated feedback. I’m open to more, so please feel free to either leave a comment below or email me directly at bridgettetales@gmail.com.

I find myself drawn to black-and-white photography and it unearthed a memory of working on the school paper in college. I was the editor and sometimes, on deadline, I’d help in the development of the photos in the darkroom. I never learned all the nuances of getting the right balance, but I found the entire thing magical. Perhaps one day I’ll try my hand at film photography and developing, but for now, I’ll focus on learning how to use the tools I have. One step at a time.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 100 Day Project, the concept is simple. You choose any creative project you like and do it every day for 100 days, sharing your process on social media using the hashtag #The100DayProject. This year the dates are Feb. 13-May 24.

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Here’s a bonus photo I captured with my iPhone 13 of the mosh pit at a death metal concert I attended on Thursday night.

I’ve seen mosh pits before, but perhaps because of Covid and social distancing for the last few years, it felt like I was witnessing it for the first time. Here’s my attempt at capturing what I saw through poetry.

stalking he makes the circle
bigger
like him
round in center, spread out

drawing them like to water
pulsing
with beat
spiraling blood, bones take flight

primal animal, panther stalking prey
bumping
soft bodies
feeling hot screams inside, outside

hoard moves like one, many
growling
in throats
fast sweaty motion, fires erupt

sounds end, light erases shadows
panting
with vigor
stumble toward night, shape transformed