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October Photo Wrap Up

Today is day number 364 out of 365 days! One more day and then this project is technically over. Yet, this year was a leap year, so that means….366 days! I can either end tomorrow and call it a wrap or I can celebrate the leap year and complete the whole. Guess which one I’m doing? Yep, 366 days.

Taking a year to cull through my digital photos gave me a unique opportunity to review and remind me of the photos I have. Many photos elicited a smile while others upset me. Some photos tell a universal story while others are personal. Some photos are actually pretty decent by adhering to photographic/artistic standards, while others are a mess. I chose photos based on what I want to include in a coffee table book, so there are many photos I included that have meaning to me and many photos I excluded because I didn’t want to be reminded of the event.

I started out excited and maintained that for the most part, but then August came along and I just wanted it over. Life became stressful for me in August, and I had to let go of some activities in order to alleviate the stress. I moved this project over to Flickr and modified the process in order to help me complete the goal. I’m sad that it’s almost over. Two more days.

Here’s October’s photos:

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September Photo Wrap Up

Since joining the tech crew for The Rocky Horror Show, my time has been extremely limited so I haven’t posted like I wanted. I’m way behind on everything! I’m starting to catch up. The kitchen has been cleaned and laundry is being done even as I write this (oh, fresh, clean clothes, how I have missed you).

Here’s September’s photo wrap up. Today is day 334/365 (or 366, since this is a leap year). I can’t believe I only have a month left on this project. Woohoo!

I’m Going to be on CNN — Well, OK, Just My Photos

CNN Health contacted me recently. They saw my State Fair photos on Flickr and were interested in using possibly three of them for an online article they are doing on fair foods. Of course, I said “YES!”

But this post isn’t about my photos being selected by CNN for publication. This post is about the fact that they aren’t paying to use my photos, just giving me photo credit. What??? you say. You’re doing a freebie for CNN! How – how – how dare you.

I know. This can be a contentious topic. “I have a photo opportunity for you that will look good in your portfolio. We can’t pay you, though, but it’s a great opportunity!”

Ever heard that? I have. Many times!!!! And I DO NOT AGREE WITH IT! I take offense to it.

So why did I let CNN have my photos for nothing more than a photo credit? I have thought about this on many occasions because this tends to happen to me (though not from anyone even remotely close to CNN’s status). I have had to understand why I don’t balk at saying yes in these situations, but still adamantly oppose “taking photos for free” with the assurance that it will be a great experience for me and one I can add to my portfolio.

Here’s what I’ve discovered.

I went to the Indiana State Fair and took photos for my own enjoyment. I had no plans, other than sharing them on Flickr. It was enjoyable for me to be at the State Fair and to find photo opportunities. No one asked me to do it. And that’s the difference. NO ONE ASKED ME TO DO IT.

CNN didn’t come to me and say, “Hey, we have an assignment that will be a great opportunity for you. Take photos of fair foods and we’ll give you photo credit only. It will be a great portfolio piece.” The fact that CNN came to me and requested use of my photos is part of the original experience…something that resulted because of something I did, not something someone else asked me to do.

So I find it to be an honor that my photos have been singled out.

Here are the three photos they requested for consideration. They selected the first photo for publication. You can see the article at CNN Health and my photo is the second photo in the slide show.

Toppings on Funnel Cakes

I remember when funnel cakes were only fried dough topped with an inch of powdered sugar or sprinkled with cinnamon sugar!

Deep Fried Veggies

This is more traditional than other deep fried foods.

Deep fried Snickers and Other Assorted Sweets

They’ll deep fry ANYTHING!

July Photo Wrap Up

Although Indiana experienced an unprecedented drought during the month of July, my photo pool was full to brimming with many days being represented by more than one year. In the past, the summer months and good weather encouraged me to go out and take photos. Not this year, though. It has been so hot, I rarely ventured out into the scorching heat. Must amend that.

Here’s July’s photo wrap up.

256 — 261 I Made the Rules; I Break The Rules

Once upon a time ago at the university my friend and I were discussing class while leaving the building. He pushed through a set of doors that had an official sign reading Please Use Other Door.

I gasped.

“You’re not supposed to use those doors!” I said while pushing through the sanctioned set of doors.

“Why not? They work.”

After the initial shock of watching him disobey a sign, I thought, He’s right. Why not?

So the next day I did the most rebellious thing I had ever done in my life. (Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it felt like it.) I went back to the building and willfully WALKED THROUGH THOSE DOORS.

It felt good.

I tell this story because I’ve set up rules regarding my posts for 365 Days Journey Through the Past. The main one being: Post A Photo A Day. It’s like a sign that got posted in my head that I must obey but has no real meaning.

I’m here today to break that rule. I am posting next weeks photos TODAY.

It feels good.

So here is what I photographed in the past all next week. (How’s that for time warp?)

Close up of a pink rose

256/365 Sunday (today) Altar Flowers

Man dancing, silhouetted against sunset

257/365 Monday. On one of my wanderlust excursions, I ended up in Tennessee visiting a dear friend. We went to a park where live country and jazz music played loudly and people milled about. A lake glimmered behind me and old woods beckoned across the graveled lot. I caught this man walking his dog and dancing.

Wine goblet and golden candle setting

258/365 Tuesday. I participated in the World Wide Photo Walk for the first time in 2009. We met at Creations Cafe downtown. While waiting for everyone to show up, a few of us took a tour of the renovated Bugs Temple, which housed Creation Cafe and another restaurant called Euphoria. I took my best photos on the walk in this building. I didn’t submit any of them, though, because even though I liked them, I knew they wanted something distinctive, and this aint it.

Underside view up into a furled flag

259/365 Wednesday. Looking up Lady Glory’s skirt. Voyeuristic, I know, but I couldn’t help it. I wandered along the canal, along with everyone else on the photo walk. We were all looking for that distinctive image, that image that would be The One. As I said, I knew I didn’t have it, but I chuckled at taking a peek up the old girl’s skirts.

Plant growing tall through cement sidewalk

260/365 Thursday. I have a fascination with plants growing up and through man’s attempt to civilize it. Such perseverance.

Composite of face with starburst

261/365 Friday. On one of my many walks to Starbucks back in 2005. HOT HOT HOT. This is a composite of three photos.

All This From A 20 Minute Walk Around the Block in Fountain Square

I hadn’t taken a real photo in weeks. Oh, I’ve been playing around with the iPhone and having fun with Instagram and Snapseed, two apps that add a little funk to photos, but I hadn’t taken a dedicated camera out, not even my point-and-shoot!

Also, I was out of wine. I had a growler I could fill with wine from New Day Meadery—a local winery with soooo delicious wine—so I decided to head to Fountain Square where they have a tasting room. I wanted Snap Dragon, a fizzy, crisp, apricot cider that tastes like summer in a glass.

Fountain Square is one of three designated art districts in Indianapolis. I knew if I walked around a bit, I would find interesting subjects to photograph.

But it was a hot, hot, hothothot day and after 20 minutes in the blazing sun, I gave in to an air-conditioned car. Besides, I couldn’t let my chilled cider warm up in the car while I walked around, now could I? I didn’t leave empty-handed, though. Fountain Square is a photographer’s mecca. I can just imagine this on a weekend or at night when lots of people pack the sidewalks.

Marquee

I thought marquees magically changed their letters. But no! That’s an actual person on a ladder switching them out! My world will never be the same. Notice the architecture. Very nice, Fountain Square, very nice.

Flowered window boxes

I rounded the corner and saw these flower boxes and was immediately transported back to New Orleans and their lush flower boxes cascading over balconies in the French Quarter.

Oak door and window

Take a peek into the window. A contemporary, elegant light fixture behind a solid oak door characterized by age and beauty.

Apartment Entrance

Senior living! Seriously! In Fountain Square where all the hipsters hang out. What a diverse place this is!

Old red brick

I do gravitate towards old brick. Especially old brick with remnants of yesteryear on it. I can’t quite figure out what this was….a mystery.

Entrance painted on brick

Hidden in an alley under vines. I couldn’t find the entrance. It must be magical

Female face stenciled on wall

Fountain Square has a solid art community. Murals abound, many of them rogue but many also by artists-in-residence. So many things about this one fascinate me. The female face, the cross, the barbed wire, the starkness. I could get lost in this for hours.

Colorful mural

This is just a portion of the larger mural. It’s in an alley or back street…not sure what to call it. The road is paved but only one car at a time can drive between the buildings.

Stay classy y'all on cement

Yeah. That!

Zombie apocalypse sticker

Confusing message. Yes, zombie apocalypse? Or Stop zombie apocalypse? Or Stop denying zombie apocalypse? Hmmm.

All this in 20 minutes around one block. When the days cool down, I will go back. And then the fun begins!

June Photo Wrap Up

June was a bumpy ride for me. I’m re-evaluating where I am in life and what I’m doing, where I’m going, and what’s next. I thought a lot about photography and about writing and about jobs and about how I can smooth out the ride a little better…perhaps get shock absorbers????

Anyway, I had an odd relationship with the photos I uploaded to 365 Days Journey Through the Past. I loved many of them, chuckled at a few, was grossed-out by others, didn’t like a number of them, and was embarrassed by at least one. There were photos that inspired determination, photos that tugged at the heart, artistic photos, bizarre photos, and meh photos.

So here’s June’s photo wrap up.

229-233/365 A 5 Day Wrap Up

This was one of those weeks I decided to cut back on daily posting and go with an end-of-week post. I’m running out of steam and need to rejuvenate somehow.

229/365

229/365 It rained during the night, leaving raindrops in the half-empty wine glass the next morning.

230/365

230/365 This is at MacNiven’s, one of my favorite bars on Mass Ave.

231/365

231/365 Hard shadows and bright highlights. That’s what this photo is all about. And green. It’s about green, also. Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN

232/365

232/365 Sometimes it’s all about the humor.

233/365

233/365 This is another “deliberately bad photo.” I was going for double exposure…I think. Whatever it was, I succeeded.

221/365 Now Go Create

In 2010 my Canon EOS 30D was stolen. I lived in Irvington at the time, in a neighborhood just feet away from drugs, guns, and alcohlic rantings.

I had taken the camera to work with me and afterwards, I placed it on the back seat of the car while I drove home. A friend of mine was going through a crisis, calling me for support throughout the day. I answered one call on the way home, a call that carried into the house where I dropped my purse and continued listening and talking.

The next day, I went out to the car. It was unlocked, which concerned me, but I was headed to work so I didn’t think more about it. Down the street I saw my wallet lying in the road. What?! I stopped to pick it up. Empty. Confused, I thought back to why it wouldn’t be in my purse, then remembered taking it out as I rummaged through the purse looking for my phone. Distracted by the phone call, I failed to put the wallet back.

Where’s your camera?

My stomach twisted and I turned to see if it was on the back seat. Gone!

Maybe I took it into the house and didn’t remember doing that? I turned the car around and went back to the house. Clammy fingers tightened on the house key as I opened the door. I scoured the house, frantic, searching for the camera bag. Not there. My camera was not in the house!

I slumped onto the couch and gave in to tears.

Over months and years I had saved to buy the camera and all the external gear. It was my camera. To start over again was financially too much for me.

To the outside world, I looked upbeat, but at home, I cried. My stolen camera came at a difficult time in my life, a time of significant loss. Relationships were dissolving. I had little in reserve for creativity. Photography kept me going, but with the camera gone, photography was fading, much like my spirit. I didn’t even pull out my point-and-shoot.

A few months later, I entered my office and found a package on my desk, and in that package was this:

221/365

221/365 It’s even a Canon EOS 30D! Did they know?

Please read the note in the photo. To this day I still don’t know who gave me this generous gift, and that’s ok, because that means it could be anyone.

This gift renewed my spirit and I started coming back. Over the months, I’ve been able to replace many of the stolen accessories. There are still a few things I’m missing, but in time I’ll have them all back. I am forever grateful to this anonymous giver. I keep this story in me at all times.

And I love the directive:

Now go create.

215-219/365 End of the Week Photo Wrap Up

219/365

219/365

Struggling to survive in a concrete wasteland, this budding tree grows straight and thin. Its roots reach for nourishment between the slabs of infertile fields of concrete, and it grasps what it can, but the wasteland gives little. Still, I am encouraged.

In order to survive and grow tall and strong, the treeling will need to be transplanted or it will die.

I left my job a year later.

###

This week I opted to wait until the end of the week to post my 365 Days Journey Through the Past photos. Just as well since I found them rather mundane…except for the riotous pinks. But that’s because I loved the whole story behind how I came about photographing them.

I also love the above photo of the lone plant trying to live in a world it doesn’t belong in.

I guess that means that I wasn’t impressed with the purse or the self-portrait. Except, the cell phone in the purse made me smile. Technology has come a long way in a short time! That cell phone looks antiquated and it has only been, what?, three years? (The photo was taken in 2009.)

So it’s the self-portrait that doesn’t do anything for me except embarrass me. I NEVER wear that much make up!

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