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my best photo

Today is the last day of May and the last day of May NaBloPoMo. Thirty one days ago I started this daily blog prompt centered around photos. One reason I joined the blog prompt over at BlogHer was that I had not been writing much for an extended period of time, for personal reasons. My focus was elsewhere, and I couldn’t seem to focus on writing, photography, drawing or painting.

Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is: your best photo. I thought about that one for several days now. It is hard to pick out my best photo. I thought about all the photos I had taken that I felt demonstrated an increase in my skill as a photographer. Then I thought about what is important for me to share with my photographs, and the answer came to me.

Plain and simple, I think the most important thing I can convey as a photographer is emotion, or the story I am trying to tell. I chose this photo to share. It was shot quickly, not the technically best photo I have ever taken, but I see it now, and I feel strong emotion wash over me. It is a photo of my daughter holding my granddaughter’s face in her hand. In Maddie’s eyes I see pure love. And I know, because I took that photo, that the love in Maddie’s eyes is mirrored in her mommy’s eyes, and felt through the touch of her hand.

Total devotion and love of a child for her mother, and a mother for her child. Unplanned and blurry, this may be the best photo I have ever taken. It is certainly one of the most important moments in my life. Captured now, forever. That is the magic of photography.

Life, lived moment by moment, photo by photo. Shared. Experienced.
My best photo.

…life, lived, is your best photo… ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


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nightlife is the bright life

Reminiscing tonight after seeing something on the television triggered a memory for tonight’s photo response to the NaBloPoMo prompt, NIGHTLIFE.

When Jim (our middle child) was about 4 or 5 years old, we were eating dinner and talking when we noticed that Jim had gotten quiet.  We looked at him and started laughing.  He had fallen asleep in his chair, with a half eaten chicken leg still grasped in his left hand, his arm dangling at the side of the chair. As we laughed, it led to another “Jim story” from about the same time.  Steve got up before daylight one morning to find the refrigerator door standing wide open. Lying on the floor in the light cast from the open door was the red rind off a piece of bologna, an empty cheese wrapper and an empty soda can. When Steve checked on Jim, he found half a piece of bologna laying on the pillow beside his head.  He asked Jim why he had left the door to the refrigerator open. Jim’s response: “because it was dark and I was afraid I couldn’t see to get back to bed.”

Nightlife in my house revolves around the family refrigerator.  The welcoming gleam of the interior light provides security in a darkened room, foods and treats to scavenge, and drama after a big family meal when we struggle and fight to find places to stuff all the leftovers. Then there is the unsolved mystery of the light. Is it on all the time, or only when the door opens?  Even Jim still hasn’t figured that one out, 37 years later.

(Happy Birthday to my sweet Sneezer, who turned 42 on May 25.)

…life is good. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


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food for the soul

Food. The prompt for today from NaBloPoMo on day number 29. Fitting that today the focus is food. I wondered if I had any photos of food worth posting. I’ve taken some doozies, and some $%*&ed up shots too. Minions and Marmite (#20) figured high on my list of considerations. Then I saw the photo, and the food became secondary. It was not the focus of the photo for me.

ragu with rotini, served on my Grammy’s dishes

It was the dish it was served on. Food keeps the body going.  But love and memories feed the soul. I ate many meals on the Franciscan apple dishes shown in the photo. Years ago, I acquired my mom’s and Grammy’s dishes. So old that many of them say “made in California” on them. Later dishes say “made in the USA” on them. I have both. I don’t own any that say “made in England” which is where they are manufactured now. Mine came from my childhood, and I am of an age that the dishes are close to being antique. A fact that does not faze me one bit. I can close my eyes and remember so many meals, so many conversations. The strep throat I unknowingly had as I struggled to eat chili, each bite setting my throat on fire. Learning to eat squash and like it. Talking to Grammy as she washed dishes, watching her rub each plate dry with embroidered dish towels.

concoction

Many memories.  Memories that will last longer than the food that is served on those plates now. Food served to my family. Plates that are hand washed by me now. Plates and memories that are a common thread of love that runs through my family, from generation to generation.

…life is delicious…   -cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


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talk the walk

My sisters were walking up a flight of stone steps recently, oblivious to me watching them as they walked upward, heads together, chattering away. It was a gorgeous sunny day in California,and we had stopped at a winery. I watched them talking, noticing how the sunlight danced around them, creating a halo of light around their heads. It was a special moment for me, and I snapped them as they continued to ascend the stairway.

Today is day 28 of NaBloPoMo, and the prompt was ACTION. Although it can be portrayed many ways, I chose to use this photo of my sisters and include a haiku. The action may be more subtle, but the light, the contrast, and their movement is action in any sense of the word. How do you portray action in your photos? 

I used three apps to edit this photo. Snapseed (my #1 app), VSCO cam, and Color Cap for the text. Three more days to go in this month’s challenge to blog daily. It’s been uphill at times, but sometimes it helps to have a goal and routine to help deal with the unknown factors in life that pop up.

…life is full of action… ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


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purrfect portraits

NaBloPoMo…day 27…prompt is portrait and I’m stumped. I mean, I’m with my daughter today, getting her fifth procedure on her vocal chord, this time to make sure she is still (almost) clear from the vocal chord cancer she’d endured 4 surgeries for. Now we will have to wait for biopsy results. Able to breathe a sigh of relief, I contemplated portrait and what that means to me. 

I considered taking a few shots of Jen as we waited for her to go to surgery, but my mood wasn’t right and I’m wasn’t feeling it. I wanted something I haven’t tried before. So I rejected each family member for various similar reasons. Soon I was almost out of material. We got home from hospital, and I was playing with the new kittens when it hit me:

Portraits don’t have to be human. 

Inspired, I grabbed my iPhone and started snapping. I soon realized for every 100 shots I took of these furry moving targets, I might get one usable photo. But I’m loving and living in the moment, and realized I am beginning to gain more control over this medium called iPhoneography. So here are my choices for today, presented for consideration. And totally unretouched. Did I capture the story I was trying to tell? You tell me…
…life is purrrfect… ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter 




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still life

Day 26 of NaBloPoMo prompt uses the theme STILL LIFE. When you use your camera to shoot still life, it can include any inanimate, or nonliving object. Still life is one of my favorite subjects, but I also like shots that include a message, whether it is implied, or stated straight out and in your face.

Today has been an “in your face kind of day” after a long, lazy three day weekend. So I skimmed a few hundred photos, and my eyes were caught by this photo. There are so many people who cause me to smile in my life. Smiling and laughter are the best kind of medicine for whatever might ail you. Today I am sharing this, for all the people in my life who make me smile.

…thank you, for making me smile. ~cath
i am @jonesbabie on twitter


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man vs. nature

NaBloPoMo, day 25: NATURE. My take on the prompt. Man makes his mark, nature slowly wears it away. We rush through our busy little lives, and miss the point of living. Surrounded by beauty, we are trapped, blinded by petty human struggles. It’s not too late to open your eyes, and truly see the beauty that is nature. I challenge you to take a moment every day, and look around you.

…life is good. ~cath