Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December Blooms

I don't know what these little flowers are, but I was pleasantly surprised to find them still blooming outside at the Cleveland Botanical Garden today. Sixty degree weather three days before Christmas in Cleveland is a nice change of pace.

This picture is another example, though, of what I've been finding frustrating about this picture-a-day project this time around. It's just so hard to take pictures the way I want to when I have two little boys to chase around. There were so many opportunities that I missed at the Botanical Garden today, including a great demonstration of two chameleons eating (with their 18 inch tongues!), but I couldn't have my camera out because I had to make sure my 2-year-old didn't run forward to grab them.

And I only had about two minutes to take this picture before the boys were screaming to keep moving--so no chance to make sure I had the right angle, focus, composition or exposure. Those little guys just never stop!

This does make me think, though, that perhaps rather than be frustrated that I can't make pictures the way I want to, maybe I should, at least some of the time, think about how to take different kinds of pictures given the season of life I'm in. Specifically, maybe I can work on taking pictures that capture the life of a mom and her two very busy little boys, instead of taking the typical still life and abstract photos I like to take. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Campfire Marshmallows

Today was our first real snow of the season--about 3 inches. It was beautiful, but I didn't have the time or freedom to take any pictures outside, unfortunately. Mark and I took the boys to a metro park that puts on a fun holiday event at their nature center, and I took this picture inside. But the ones I took outside didn't really turn out.

The snow is likely to melt tomorrow, and then it is supposed to be in the 40s and 50s for the next 10 days or so, so I guess I'll have to wait a while before I get some good snow pics. I'm not complaining though...

Star Wars (Friday 12/18/15)

I wanted to get a picture of Isaac and me wearing our matching Darth Vader shirts on the opening day of the new Star Wars movie. I didn't intend for this to be my post for the day, but I ended up not taking any more pictures...oh well.

(We haven't seen the movie yet, BTW. Not sure when we'll do it, but hopefully soon.)

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Wednesday, December 16, 2015


This is a 10 ft tall dandelion made of upcycled plastic bottles and other material on Wade Oval in University Circle. This is a color picture--hard to tell because of the grey sky and colorless sculpture.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Painting with Light

I know I already did an out-of-focus Christmas tree light photo, but when it's 9:00 and I haven't taken any pictures all day, it's kind of an easy fix. This time I added a slow shutter speed and some motion. I took 90 pictures like this, adjusting the focus (which changes the size of the "brush"), trying to get just the right motion to make an interesting picture. I think I like how this turned out.

I'll try not to resort to this too often...but it's just so easy and kind of fun when I haven't taken any other pictures all day.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Front Porch

The sun came out a bit on and off late this afternoon. It's such a rarity for me to have some good light to get an interesting picture at this time of year. And even harder this time around than the first time I did this project, because I don't have the time or the flexibility I had then (before kids).

I have to say I've been pretty disappointed in my pictures so far with this project, but I'm trying to be kind to myself and remind myself that a) it's been a while since I've really made any effort with my photography and b) with two little kids and a job, I just don't have the ability to put as much time and effort into getting good shots.

My hope is that making myself take pictures every day, even if I don't have time to make them really great, will at least help me to pay more attention to my surroundings and encourage me to stop and take some pictures when I see something interesting. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I want to find my voice as a photographer. I hope that as I keep going, my technical skills will improve, as well as my artistic expression.

Hands (Sunday 12/13/15)

Yesterday I forgot to take any pictures until I was at church volunteering in the nursery for an evening Advent service (and then I forgot to post any until today...). I had a lot of pictures of rainbow colored toys and things, but I liked this one much better.

Saturday, December 12, 2015


After I finished my first Photo-a-Day project almost 8 years ago I decided for a while to keep taking pictures and posting them, but not limit myself to only posting one a day. It was hard sometimes to pick just one photo, especially on a day when I had taken time to focus on picture-making, and had lots of nice shots to choose from.

Today was one of those days. This weekend we went to Mission Meadows, an Evangelical Covenant Church camp on Lake Chautauqua in western New York, for a quick overnight visit with some friends.

The weather was unseasonably warm, though cloudy. We walked and played and rock climbed and threw rocks into the lake. And I took a lot of pictures.

It was hard to decide what photo to post, but I think the process of deciding is honing my skills as a photographer, and is making me think about why I want to take pictures, and consider what, if anything, I'm trying to say through my pictures. 

To be honest, I'm still not really sure why I want to take pictures, and I'm not sure what, if anything, I'm trying to say with this particular picture, but I did feel that a cute picture of Isaiah throwing rocks into the lake or a picture with some interesting perspective and shallow depth of field felt less like what I was trying to say than this abstract photo of reeds in the water.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Wooden Kitty

Hard kitty
Cool kitty
Little block of wood...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Desk

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

39 Cable Car

Mark and I went to San Francisco for our honeymoon 11 and a half years ago. That's when we bought this ornament. One of my favorites.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Carol & John's Comic Books

Tonight we went to Kamm's Corners "Winter Wonderland", featuring Santa and Star Wars Characters. We ended up spending the entire night in line, first to see Santa (never made it to the front of the line because the music was too loud the closer we got to where Santa was, and Isaac couldn't take it), and then to do a free carriage ride (which we never did because after waiting in line for almost an hour, we realized we still probably had a good 30 minutes left to wait and it was already way past the boys' bedtimes). 

Also I had hoped to get some good pictures of Isaac and the rest of us with some Star Wars characters, but that didn't happen either...We did see a few sort of recognizable characters (Jango and Boba Fett, Kylo Ren from the new movie, a stormtrooper in Hoth battle gear), but no good pics. The event basically happened in a strip mall, kind of on the sidewalk in front of some stores and kind of in the parking lot. And it was dark. Not a great set up for pictures.  

Remarkably, in spite of all that, we still had a nice time, especially since our good friends Mike and Steph, and Joe and Sheila were with us. And the boys were actually pretty happy for most of the time. So not a total failure.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

West Side Market at Night

I got to the end of the day again and realized I hadn't taken a picture yet. I was at a meeting on the west side and decided to take a detour through Ohio City to try to get some nice pics of the neighborhood or the city skyline...but all I had was my iPhone :-( 

The pictures turned out terrible. But at least I tried. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tree and Fog

I was driving in the valley this morning and the fog was perfect for pictures. I was sad I didn't have my DSLR with me. This was taken with my iPhone.

I'm really enjoying this project because it's making me stop when I see a picture I want to make, and actually make it. I'm always seeing things and thinking, "I would love to take a picture of that!" but I find all kinds of reasons not to stop and do it. Now I have a reason to do it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Monday, November 30, 2015

Watching the Office

I remember from my previous photo-a-day attempts the feeling of getting to the end of the day and realizing I haven't taken a picture yet. Especially this time of year, when it gets dark so soon, it's disappointing to realize I've lost my chance to take a picture in natural light.

But, I'm glad I at least got something.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Flowers in a Pitcher

We were sitting watching Return of the Jedi today when I noticed the sun hitting this pitcher on our mantle. The flowers are my wedding bouquet (yellow roses with sprigs of rosemary) and I think the pitcher was a wedding gift from our dear friends the Hamptons (if you see this Barbara, correct me if I'm wrong). I grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures. Not totally pleased with how it came out--I wish it were sharper. But I couldn't take the time to pull out my tripod or mess with the settings too much, 'cause, you know. Star Wars.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Bath Time

Friday, November 27, 2015


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Fun

The boys spent much of the afternoon riding a big wheel around my mom's kitchen island today. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Arrived at my mom's today for Thanksgiving. Say hello to Gracie. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Unwilling Participant

Isaac didn't want to have his picture taken today...but he seemed to have fun trying to avoid the camera.

Monday, November 23, 2015

End of a Long Day

I had a really long day at the University of Akron today, first with InterVarsity staff colleagues and then with students. I didn't have a chance to think about taking pictures, but it would have been a nice opportunity, being in a busy place full of people. Hopefully as I get back into this habit I will be more intentional about looking for photo opportunities when I'm out in the world. 

Tonight I'll have to be content with a picture of my dinner and book. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Today I went to the vigil for Tamir Rice, a twelve-year old boy who was shot by police in Cleveland one year ago today.

It has been one year, and the handling of this case by the CPD and the county prosecutor defies understanding. If you want to know more you can read this article.

I wish I could have taken my nice DSLR and gone around getting some nicer photos, but it wouldn't have been appropriate. I took a few with my phone.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I'm Back - Photo a Day Nov. 21, 2015 through Nov. 20, 2016

Well, we'll see anyway....I've been thinking about doing this again for a while and thought maybe I should wait till Jan. 1. But by then I might change my mind so I'm going for it. The first time I did this I didn't have the convenience of carrying a camera in my phone everywhere I went, so that should make it a little more convenient. 

Here's a pic of my dining room chandelier. It's already too dark for natural lighting, so I had to do something interesting with my artificial light. I like how the picture looks completely different than the actual thing because of the exposure.