Chasing the Daily in DS106 Daily Create

It was a bit of a challenge, but I have successfully completed at least five Daily Create items this week. With the school year ending, I am just racing trying to finish things while still attempting to keep pace with DS106 and be a good camper. Camp Magic Macguffin has definitely been occupying a lot of my brain space. That’s for sure.

My first photograph for the week was an shot incorporating water, stone, and clouds. It wasn’t actually the most original or creative of approaches, but it was the first of the week, and I just wanted to take a first step. I shot this with an iPad on a wet morning at the end of a street where a stone wall separates a cul de sac and cemetery. It was pretty gray, so the clouds were not quite as vivid as I might have liked, but I just wanted to get the first shot quickly and easily without going to any locally exotic locations.

View From a New England Street

One day this week, my co-teacher and I took our journalism students on a walk down through the main street of town and, I brought one of our digital SLRs. I took this shot while waiting for a few students to order pizza. The camera was pretty unfamiliar and I was using a lot of automatic presets. Still, I was able to get these flowers in a flower box with only the closest in focus, although I am not sure how obvious it is. That makes this a pretty but not necessarily completely successful shot, even though most of the frame is out of focus.

DSC_0004

Just a few feet from the previous shot, I changed the angle and captured this antique storefront. While there are plenty of interesting things outside the shop, I liked the weathered sign, despite it not being all that old, especially considering how old the town is. I was trying to work with thirds in this image on a basic level. Then I started playing around some in Photoshop. I settled on the cyanotype option with a hue/saturation adjustment layer. I just liked how it wasn’t black and white or sepia, but still gave the image an old-fashioned look.

Country Store Cyanotype

Again faced with nothing but an iPad as a capture device, I snapped this image of the city hall. It might not be the oldest building, but it is definitely old. Plus, a lot of the oldest building in the old New England factory town where I live were actually made of wood. Consequently, there are a lot of buildings that are no longer extant. Plus, many just don’t always look quite as old as they actually are, either from remodeling or the simplicity of their design.

The hardest thing about this shot was getting the angle where the tower would appear without being chopped at the top. I had to flip portrait style shot, to make it fit, even though I tried landscape from a number of different angles. One of the problems is that there just isn’t enough room on the other side of the street to get the whole building in a landscape frame.

Since, it was shot on an iPad and the quality can be lacking, although the light was really strong in this shot, I decided to mess about with it to mask any weaker aspects. I used a forgotten tool on the iPad, the app Pixlromatic. With a handful of simple filters and effects, I used the Bob filter, which washed out the color a little, giving that steely, blue hue and saturated quality. Additionally, I added the scratches effect to cover any imperfections in the shooting. Lastly, I framed it with the Cornered option, which adds that roughed-out negative carrier look.

City Hall - Aged

Lastly, rope wasn’t really an easy option, but considering an everyday knot in a different context was workable. So, I chose a close-up on the knot of my Liverpool FC shoes. The Liverbird medal ended up proving a counter-balance to the knot at the top of the frame. Since rediscovering some of the cool effects of Pixlromatic, I opted to use it again to compensate for some of the low lighting and noise that can be present in iPad photography.

This time I used the Antonio filter which blackened out the edges a little, although adding the Vignette lighting effect also enhanced the central focus. Then in a contrasting effort, I framed everything with the Peri effect, which made provided a white frame with a messier print edges.

In Knots Over LFC

More than anything, this weeks photography material and the increase in Daily Create requirements has made me consider common, everyday things in a far more interesting and visual way. I am actively trying to see things in a slightly different and mindful way.

Plus, I have been trying to work with any limitations of the the original shots. If the original shot is not as great, I like the challenge of looking for solutions with some of the tools in a way that still amplify some creativity. Sometimes errors, mistakes, or imperfections can be a springboard for artistic solutions.

Snow Day Three

Photo: Getting Pretty DeepSo today was another snow day, the third of the season. At this rate, I might be teaching right up to the Fourth of July. It was a good thing school was canceled, however, as the timing and amount of snow would have made for a remarkably treacherous trip this morning. We now have more snow than we have had in quite a few years that’s for sure. The first year I was in New England, 2004, was a one of the greatest snowfalls on record, but this year we will now doubt crack the top ten, if we haven’t already.

Photo: Eating Snow Photo: Stuck in a Snowbank

Photo: Hanging Out in the House

Three whopper storms in the last month have left left us with three-plus feet. With the winds and drifting, not to mention shoveling, the snow banks are easily rising beyond that. It is getting pretty challenging to throw the snow high enough off the driveway now too. Better still, we are supposedly going to get some more over the weekend. I am not sure where we are going to be able to put it, however much ends up falling. Fortunately, we have some nice neighbors with snowblowers on the street. If they are willing to help, throwing the new fall of snow might not be as challenging.

Photo: Kids Helping Clear the Driveway

The one thing about all the snow is that it is definitely fun. The kids love running around in it, as witnessed by the photos. Of course, the depth is now a whole lot more challenging for the two little ones, to be sure. Still, they love digging with the mini-shovel. Unfortunately, the snow hasn’t really been good packing snow. Thus, no great big snowmen. It has gotten so deep so fast, it isn’t even favorable for snow angels. Perhaps as things warm up a bit things will get a little easier for all that.

Photo: I'm Ready! Photo: No, I'm Ready!

While it’s always nice to have a day off, we did just start the new semester. Needless to say it has gotten out of the gate with a few stumbles in the last two weeks. I guess it will take a little longer to get the students back into a steady rhythm. Regardless, the son and daughter like it when dad is home all day. Plus, after being away from the family the last two weekends in a row, it has been a bit of treat to get some extra time at home.

Photo: Making Our Way to the Slide Photo; Is There Anybody Out There?

Snowpocalypse Continues

Today marked another round of snow in New England. We got at least another eight or more inches. I can hardly believe how high the snow is in parts of our backyard and along the driveway. Just add even more to the pics in the last post.

School was not cancelled, although it no doubt should have been. Driving in this morning was quite treacherous. Driving home was no picnic either. ┬áTo make matters worse, my back started to act up today. Probably all the hours I logged on an airplane this past weekend. Fortunately, I have a wife that actually likes shoveling snow! I continue to be the one of the luckiest husband’s in the world.