Beagle As Still Life

I am not a photographer who takes still life subject matter. I understand the concepts of it and I love seeing it when done well by others. But for me, it’s too much fussing for the end result.

I had more thoughts on this several years ago when I took a macro photography class from Bryan Peterson. I spent all day wrestling with my subject matter, made a bunch of mistakes, and decided that it wasn’t for me (you can see the post here).

So in Week 3 of Kim Klassen’s class, A Month of Multiples, we had an assignment to shoot a still life. After enough procrastination, I decided on a different subject matter for my still life.

I offer for your laughter “Beagle as Still Life”. Nothing, but nothing, will interfere with his naps, except maybe the crinkle of a cheese wrapper or the rattle of his harness. His sleep is an essential part of his daily routine and when it’s nap time, all other life ceases. Some days, we even check to make sure he’s still breathing.

So here is my still life for the Week 3 assignment. As one of my blogging friends commented, it certainly was still!

Iced Tea for Breakfast

I drink iced tea for breakfast everyday – even when I worked in downtown Minneapolis in the winter! There was a Caribou in the skyway that I took to get from the parking deck to my office. Each day they had a different flavor and no matter what the temperature was outside, people were buying it. The iced chamomile tea was good (not enough caffeine in the morning though) but I didn’t like the Earl Grey.

I also use a Starbucks cup with a screw-on lid for a tea to go. My daughter calls it my adult sippy cup and she’s right! Even if it gets knocked over, it doesn’t leak. A few years ago at the start of a meeting, I did actually knock it over. My boss jumped back quickly and we were all relieved that nothing spilled.

The hubby and I eat breakfast out frequently. We started this years ago due to all the overtime I worked and in retirement, it’s a nice way to start the day.

This photo was for a project on the in-between week for A Month of Multiples with Kim Klassen. The creative group that I belong to decided on it and it was great fun to see everyone’s coffee, tea, and various morning beverages. The stories behind the mugs was the best.

This was post processed in Topaz Studio using SJ Watercolor. Textures were added from 2 Lil’ Owls – the Brilliance, Epiphany, and Fairy Dust collections. The border was from Photomorphis.

A Week In My Life

“I think daily life is the most beautiful and wonderful thing that anyone can have.” – Ana Tijoux

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Week 2 with A Month of Multiples (Kim Klassen) had several assignments, including documenting everyday life and real (raw) life. I combined them together to a week in my life.

This includes:

Walking at the local park – I love going here. It has paved paths which is nice when it’s rainy or I’m tired. The dirt paths give my feet and ankles a great workout, although I have to be careful not to trip. Best of all, it’s only a 5 minute drive from the house!

A day trip to do some photography – We drove to the western edge of Virginia to a town called Dayton. It was cute, we had a nice lunch at a local restaurant, chatted with a number of locals (our cameras and tripods created a lot of curiosity), and got some nice pictures. In this picture, the Blue Ridge Mountains are in the background.

Reading on the deck with a clingy old dog – He’s getting even more tumors and instead of being squishy, they’re rock hard. He’s not breathing right either. But when I go outside to read on the deck, he wants to be there with me. I’m loving him as much as possible while I still have him.

Trimming nails for the same old dog – Since he doesn’t go outside much anymore, his nails grow long really fast. I think it’s easier for him to walk if they’re short, but since he hates getting them cut, I’ve let them get longer. It’s not ideal, but I don’t want to argue with him over it anymore. It’s not fun for either one of us.

Taking a walk around the neighborhood – Between our subdivision and the sidewalks on the main roads, I can go a good long ways. I usually turn around at this corner, but I always enjoy taking a minute to enjoy how pretty it is.

Our crepe myrtle came in bloom a second time! – All the crepe myrtles came back in bloom recently and they’re even more lush than they were in July. We’ve never had that happen before, but they must be liking the cooler weather and rain.

Walking an old beagle twice a day – His walks are mostly sniffing for cats in the storm sewers these days, so he gets his own walk separate from mine. On the days it’s super hot or he’s limping, our walks consist of checking out the side and front yard. It makes him happy and helps him sleep better.

So that’s my raw and real life! Thanks for coming along and having a chuckle at how awesome my days are.

One Spot Challenge

I’m doing a photography class with Kim Klassen titled “The Month of Multiples”. It’s purpose is to encourage us to really look at what we’re photographing and shoot with intentionality.

I took the class a) for inspiration in my photography; b) Kim is a great teacher and I always learn something and c) it sounded fun / interesting.

The take-away for the first week? Don’t be so busy behind the computer that you neglect taking pictures. Yep, that’s easy to have happen.

Week 1 had a one spot challenge, which wasn’t hard to do at the botanical garden. The goal was to truly look at what’s in front of us and take multiple pictures without wandering more than four feet away.

Of course, having a zoom lens and the ability to crop my photos helps too. It was pretty breezy at the moment I took these. That poor butterfly was whipped back and forth and I had to wait for the plant to stop moving before I even got this. Even so, it’s a bit over to one side.

I loved these grasses! There was no signage telling me what they were, but the backlighting made them shine like little jewels. And those green mounds were gorgeous.

These pretty little flowers just begged for a close-up study.

The last one in here was at the end of the curve in the first photo so it was not within four feet of the one spot. But when I got down there, I turned around and looked back and thought huh. Not bad!

I don’t usually take pictures facing that way, but I did this time. So I was paying attention and shooting with intention.

I took many more pictures than this, but they weren’t in one spot. The biggest surprise was the crepe myrtles were back in bloom for a second time – big deep, lush, beautiful blooms. Even better than they were a month ago. Apparently some rain and cooler temperatures were to their liking!