Sunday, December 30, 2012

The last Spotlight of the Year

Another year of Friday My Town Shoot Outs has rolled around. 

 It was good to see Heather back for this post.  Hope you can join us again next year, Heather. I've always been a huge fan of your photography.  

I couldn't find a common theme for this week's Spotlight so here are my random choices.
 Heather giving thanks for an unexpected gift:

I liked Dawn Treader's reminder of how technology is changing, 
not only how we read, but also how we photograph our gifts.  

 Peggy took us for a little walk down her memory lane to a long ago gift that still amuses:

I hope you all had the sort of Christmas you love and enjoy.  Here comes 2013 - may it bring what you desire.   I look forward to the ongoing weekly challenge of FMTSO and the pleasure of belonging to a great goup of bloggers.

Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Spotlight photos for Rain

It is very hard to pick out the spotlight photos as every one has at least one that is worthy of being in the spotlight.
For this special time of year I have selected one from each entry to spotlight.
There is much talent and a special bond any time a group of folks come together every week and it is as if we really get to know each other.
Folks come and go at different times and I have also added a photo from GingerV to bring our group closer even.


The Wild Blue Yonder

 I like this shot. It reminds me how out in the clear the smell of rain on it's way has a mystical, magical sense.


 Look Out Below

Yes B&B this counts. Any aspect of rain counts. 
This is a pretty good indication something is gonna pour down. 

Artful Diva

No Method to the Madness

I can feel the life giving properties of these rain drops.

Dawn Treader

The Tin Man is Forever Rusted at the Fishing Hole

I love this shot. Perfectly positioned as we were taught in spacing.


A Touch of Blue

I love the touch of blue in this photo adding a distraction from the gloomy scene.


 Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head

A lot of skill went into this shot. 
Perfect shape of the raindrops takes perfect timing.


Warm and Cozy in My Castle 

This photo gives me a feeling of being safe and secure watching nature do it's thing.


Coming to Life

This lovely Petunia from the spring, with the raindrops fresh on the leaves, reminds me that spring will return and the winter will leave after months of underground tending of our world.   

and last but not least


Expressions in a Puddle

Thank you Rebecca for all your work in guiding us in our photography endeavers.

I hope no one minds that I gave each photo a title.
That is what I saw and/or felt when I looked at each entry. 


One step is all it takes
one foot then the next
one foot then the next
one step is all it takes.

Our first step and our last
one foot then the next
takes us where we want to go
one step is all it takes.

One step backwards doesn't count
one step forward is what it's about
one step then the next
takes us where we want to go.

Life melted down
is about one step, then the next
taking us where we want to go
one step is all it takes.
GingerV, Nov. 10, 2012
We miss you 

Look forward to another wonderful year of
Friday Shoot My Town.


Monday, December 17, 2012

FMTSO Spotlight: Favorite Holidays

If you follow my blog, Unconventional Photography, you will note that I have had a difficult time getting in the holiday spirit. It is not that I am a Bah Hum Bug, Christmas has always been my most favorite holiday. I just haven't been able to find the 'Ho Ho Ho' in the holidays this year.

That is until I viewed the photos from all of the FMTSO participants! Wow. Christmas won out as the number one holiday and the fun photos really got me in the holiday spirit.

I really had fun traveling to New York with Loredana from Blogging Away and enjoying all the twinkling lights and Christmas festivities.

I really got a jolly giggle from Artful Diva's contribution. Celebrating Christmas, Florida style.

And who would not want to spend some time this holiday season in Dawn's kitchen stuffing ourselves with her fabulous Lucia buns.

To wrap up the holidays, and ignite in me the holiday spirit, Peggy showed us a glimpse of what Christmas is all about....being with the ones we love.

Thank you everyone for participating and for sharing with us photos of your favorite holiday. It is remarkable that although we come from varied and diverse places, we are fortunate to be able to join together and celebrate our favorite days here on FMTSO.

Please be sure to check back later this week for a preview and a link to this week's theme: Rainy...share with us your rainy days.

Until Next time....God Bless Everyone.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Your Favorite Holiday

Tell us about your favorite holiday to celebrate.
What are the traditions associated with the holiday?

This photo is from a US Independence Day celebration on July 6, 2012. 
Independence Day is July 4 but these fireworks were on the 6th. 
It is also the day my daughter was proposed to. 
She is getting married Dec. 24th.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Shooting at Night

We have an upcoming theme on photographing our towns at night. 
I was going to write a tutorial for you...
but then I found this 7 minute video.

1. Move your settings off automatic to manual 
2. Turn off your fon camera flash
2. Choose a large aperture opening to capture more light.
(Sometimes I break this rule in order to create star bursts 
from the lights.  You need to offset this with a longer shutter speed.) 
3. Use your self timer or a cable to trigger the shutter. 
4. Steady your camera. (Tripod) 
5. Use longer exposures to allow more light in. 

Here is a link for more tips from this video.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spotlight Photos: Friends

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
~ Albert Camus

"What would you do if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key."

"Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends . . ."

Pauline's adorable granddaughter Georgia.

"I get high with a little help from my friends . . ."

Mark's old friend Ley.

"Gonna try with a little help from my friends . . ."

Peggy's teacher and dear friend Ima Weed [a pseudonym perhaps?].

Thank you all for participating this week!

{Special thanks to John Lennon and Paul McCartney for the words and Joe Cocker for bringing them to life.}

See y'all next week when you post your interpretations of Rainy ~ umbrellas, rain boots, raincoats, rain on the window, or whatever piques your imaginations.


Friday, December 7, 2012

A Friend

Introduce us to a friend...

Meet Pascal...
I met her through a mutual friend. 
Pascal has had me take photos of her children every six months 
for their birthdays. 
This year she also had me photograph them 
making Christmas cookies. 
She has become a friend as we 
have gotten to know each other better. 
she taught my daughter and me 
how she makes delicious gingerbread cookies. 
I am glad to be considered her friend. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spotlights - Faces

Looking for faces that aren't really faces! I thought that was a fun topic.   For the spotlight photos I've chosen the ones I thought must have been the hardest to spot in the first place.  It's one thing to see something when you know what you're looking for, a different matter to let the imagination see what's not really there.


I would never have seen the faces here in Jama's wooden whatevers (as Mark called them).  They fascinate me at the same time as they scare me a little.


Would I have noticed the almost goldfishey face of this flower?  Doubt it.  But Jidhu Jose did.

And Kim's so aptly titled Trick or treat - I had such a grin when I spotted this cute little pixie/elf/gremlin  face.

Mark took seeing something that's not really there to a new level - there really isn't anything there.  Great to have you and your wacky humour back, Mark.

This week?  Introduce a friend.   Have to go away and think about that one for a while.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Things that Look like Faces

This is a tough one...and a busy season for many of us. 
I hope you all managed to find some faces hiding here and there.  
(Whose idea was this anyway? 
I confess, I'm the guilty one.) 
I hope you had fun with it though. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

FSO- Nov 23 Spotlight photos

Well I went over to Friday Shoot My Town to look at the Spotlight photos and thought.

"Who is the dummy that did not do Spotlight Photos today?"


Our participation has hit a downward spiral recently and folks are busy living their lives and dealing with their situations.
This is the greatest group in cyberspace, I think.
We will carry on and lift each other up as life happens.

Lets look at some spotlights

 Ann knows how to have fun.
I can hear the music.

 If I had a camera like that I would join Jama's group.
Not being an expert I think this is a macro shot.

 Pat is doing the Santa's workshop thing.

  So love her self-portraits.
I really feel like I know you a lot better now Pat.

 Dawn Treader's perfect symmatry.
The Dance of Love

  Dear Pauline, not much choice here.
Good luck and I love the red support.

So I am the dummy signing off for Spotlight Photos this week.

Peggy (QMM) 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Free Time

At rest, at play, or in-between...
How do you spend your free time?

I photograph places on trips with my family or camera club friends.
Photo by club friend Kim Stevens.
What do you enjoy doing?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

By request - an announcement/eulogy

You never know what the day will bring, what will happen next.  Most of us never master the art of expecting the unexpected.  I certainly did not expect to be posting a blog on FMTSO today, and maybe not ever.  It is even strange to see my name still listed as someone with posting rights. 

On the way over, I checked my blog and saw that I have not posted since October 6.   As the non-working grandfather, caring for the wild things has become almost full-time and I made it easier on myself by voluntarily (and temporarily) giving up many of my fond and self-fulfilling activities -- blogging, writing, photography.  Don't cry for me.  There is great pleasure in living in the toddler world since I am no longer obsessing about what I would rather be doing.

But this is not about me.  Yesterday, I was flabbergastedly honored (if there is such a thing) by an email request from Ginger that I write and post an announcement/eulogy about her husband, Camillo Machnizh.   As most of you already know, Camillo passed away unexpectedly on October 9th while they were traveling in Italy.

While I was awed and humbled by Ginger's request that I write something, I sit here and wonder what on Earth I could say at a time like this.  Words cannot fill the kind of void that Camillo left.  And yet, I must try.  Perhaps Ginger asked me because she knows that I can babble on about almost anything.

Camillo.  I never actually knew Camillo.  In fact, until I looked at the post she wrote about him in May, I didn't know his last name.  But there is a reality about Blogspot following.  In between the lines we write and the photos we post, a family grows and emotional connections are made.  We share each other's lives and sadly, we share each other's deaths.   I still miss Barry Fraser who passed away over two years ago. 

I have followed Ginger's blog for a long time although I haven't been following anyone much since I shifted my attention to being under three-years-old.  Early on, I did not notice many mentions of Camillo in her blog -- some of us don't say too much about our spouses in our blogs.  But his presence grew in her blogs and I became fascinated with him.  I knew that I really like him when I saw a picture of him dressed in a fancy blue costume and flashy hat at a costume ball in Houston. 

I knew that Camillo must be someone very special if he could win the heart of someone with the intelligence of Ginger -- not to mention marrying someone 24 years younger!  Ginger and I sometimes emailed each other and there were times when she passed along some piece of advice or a comment from Camillo.  I was tempted to write him directly and now I sincerely regret that I never did so.

Camillo.  Until I read her post about him this morning, I knew none of the facts of his life.  But in the pictures Ginger posted of him, he was always smiling.  Always had a twinkle in his eye.  They travelled, they danced -- I admit that I've been inspired by Camillo.  At 67, I sometimes feel old.  I sometimes feel that there is not much more ahead for me.  Stupid, I know, but I sometimes feel that way.  And then I'd see a picture of Camillo and say to myself, "What a full and exciting life that old guy is having!" 

Even though he is gone now, he will always remain in my mind like a cattle  prod, poking me when I get lazy and depressed to seize the day.  

Even though I never knew him, I'd glad I knew him.  The magic of Blogspot.  And I am also glad that Ginger asked me to write something.  She is a very wise and beautiful woman.  She is understandably quiet now.  I know from my own experiences that grieving is a long and arduous process.  But I suspect that Camillo will also be prodding her toward her own unexpectedly rich future.  Like all of her friends, my love goes out to her.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Spotlight Photos: Self Portrait

One of the most difficult aspects of being a photographer is the concept of a 'self portrait'. I am more than a bit camera shy in that regards. However, it was exciting to see that all of our FMTSO participants were more than willing to move from behind the camera to introduce themselves. What wonderful compositions there were to choose from.

I love the contrasts in Jama's self-portrait between the shifting waves of the water and having her feet on solid ground. The blues and greens are perfection.

Pat, our Artful Diva, continues to mesmerize me with her creations. Pat portrays herself with a sense of confidence that makes me yearn to be like her, both as an artist and as a Diva extraordinaire.

Monica gave us an extraordinary glimpse of who she is while taking us on a tour of a local art museum. Monica far exceeds what she calls "the challenge in photography of finding new angles" in spite of her limited access to new 'subjects'. An inspiring photographer who leads by example.

Thank you everyone for participating and for sharing with us the wonderful self portraits. It is remarkable that although we come from varied and diverse places, we are fortunate to be able to join together and honor our individuality here on FMTSO.

Please be sure to check back later this week for a preview and a link to this week's theme: At Rest, At Play of Inbetween...share with us how you spend your time.

Until Next Time,


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Self Portrait

Oh dear...
I am unprepared!
I just haven't had a minute to think about it this week. 
So I paged through photos looking for my reflection 
and this is the best I came up with.
I'm in the very center...
I know, pathetic. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spotlight Photos: Gravity at Play

As much fun as it would have been to participate in this challenge, I had even more fun knowing I had the good fortune to choose the Spotlight Photos.

Your interpretations were all over the board leading to a delightful set of photos on every post. (I apologize for not leaving any comments on your posts. I'm still recovering from tendinitis so I've had to put a lid on my usual long-winded comments.)

Several of you chose to photograph people challenging gravity's force.

Pauline's juggler was even more engaging when she added "focal zoom" to her photo.

One of Barb's dare devils flying high on his skateboard.

Others chose to let gravity do what it does best.

It was hard not to feel the force of Kim's rushing river.

Shiju's photo showed the fun of going with the flow of gravity.

Jama captured both gravity's pull and our irresistible urge to defy it.

Leovi's abstract is a beautiful photo of gravity frozen in time.

Thank you all for participating this week.

I'm looking forward to seeing how each of you introduces yourself using photos for next week's prompt: Self-Portraits.

Just shoot me now. Please.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gravity at Play

A waterdrop or a ball rolling down the street, see where you can find gravity at play.

Sorry if I am a little AWOL for a while. My daughter is getting married in December and things are getting a little stressful around here. I should be back in January ready to hit the ground running though! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

FSO Spotlight

Spotlight photos for Repetition

Once I got into the swing of it, I found this a great topic.  I guess we all find some topics to be quite difficult, depending on where we live.  If anyone found this one hard you wouldn't know it from looking at the posts.  

I decided I'd pick two repetitions in nature and two man made. 

Dawn Treader's rain drops

Cheryl's Canadian geese

Jama's underground walkway

 Barb's labryrinth

 But I have to give a special award to Kim, who, I think, was the only one of us to find a repetition in food. (Sorry if I missed anyone else who did that!)

So what's coming up this week?  Gravity at Play. 
A waterdrop or a ball rolling down the street, see where you can find gravity at play.

 Remember, "you can't blame gravity for falling in love."  Albert Einstein

Have a good week, everyone!