Monday, April 27, 2015

Another week on the hill

Oh, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? It’s chilly here in Maryland as I write on this Monday evening while watching the news. The local news has been on an extended version due to the looting and rioting going on in Baltimore. It is disgusting and I am finally changing the channel.

Our weather here began taking a turn for the cold over a week ago after several days of quite warm weather that forced all the blooms to burst forth on redbuds, dogwoods, lavender, and spring bulbs. It’s been kind of interesting because all these blooms have stayed lovely and not wilted in the heat.

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The fountain at Logan Square in Philadelphia.

Last weekend, I attended a National Geographic photography workshop that was sponsored by B&H Photo. It was held at the Museum of Art & Sciences in Philadelphia, on Logan Square. The one thing I took from this workshop is that I basically suck as a photographer. But I’m sure that wasn’t the presenter’s intention. It sure as hell isn’t going to stop me taking pictures and editing them using my archaic knowledge that doesn’t include Lightroom and/or advanced methods of photo storage. A lot of what was discussed went over my head and I sat in the front row, taking notes, and wondering at one point if I was the stupidest person in the room. And then someone raised their hand and asked a question and I realized that I was not. Thank God – a kindred spirit, and probably many more who were also in that room but afraid to raise their hand and speak.


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I came out of it with some good advice however, some good tips, and a few things I already knew. Met some friends for lunch (read: drinks) afterward on that warm and beautiful day in Philly.


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I shot this from the back seat of my friend’s car window within the split second that I saw it. I want to go back and find this place again and while I’m there, to find other really old structures like this. Buildings were formed around this tiny old place. Look at the brick and the slates on the roof. It’s got to date from the 1700’s.

Sounds like a photo expedition to me. Could be fun, too.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .


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My best friend sits at the edge of the patio.


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A black-capped chickadee waits its turn at the feeders.


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A robin gathers nesting material.

This was a rare capture for me, and my favorite of all the images here.

I took several of this bird as it came back and forth with different colored grasses but it was this one that had all the right colors, the best bokeh, and that distinctive spotted red breast.


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A white-throated sparrow at my pretty pottery feeder.


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And a mockingbird alights in the dogwood tree.

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A work crew showed up this weekend to take down the old and dilapidated fence line that runs all around the old paddock area in front of the red barn at the edge of the woods. Although I’m glad to see that old fence gone, in a way I’m going to miss it. When we moved here, my husband did his best to shore it back up and he’d erected several bluebird boxes along its length. I am going to miss this.

But things change. And that’s all there is to it.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

You friend that hasn’t forgotten you ~

123 Signature[5]


Linda Kay said...

I beg to disagree as to you being a poor photographer, as your images come across wonderfully. I love the old brick building and the distorted tile roof, and the bird with the nesting material is really special. Have a great week with your Chance.

Hilary said...

Well if you are a poor photographer, then I don't know what the hell I am.....a complete moron, maybe? LOL
I love the robin with her mouthful, too. Lovely.

Low Tide High Style said...

Gorgeous images! You are an amazing photographer and don't ever let anyone make you feel otherwise!

Xoxo Kat

Eileen B said...

It's been a long time since I visited your blog. I'm glad to see you are still posting superb photos (pay no mind to that workshop teacher, he was probably just trying to impress everyone and baffle the rest). Wow! on the robin with nesting stuff photo. So glad to see your black and white friend is still as handsome as ever. Keep on blogging!

Cloudia said...

The robin made me laugh. George always touches me; and you showed details of one of my favorite places in my growing up city: Logan Circle fountain. I wonder if children still go into it in Summer?

Some folks are professional experts who know all the details, jots, and tittles of something. This makes my creativity wilt. I learn how to use my tools till they disappear and I create my art. You clearly do NOT suck as a photog. We are being experted to death! George is wiser than they.

Ignorance is bold and knowledge reserved. Thucydides

ALOHA from Honolulu,

Linda said...

You want to meet someone who sucks as a photographer? I'll have the wine open to breath :)

Bluebird49 said...

Hey! It is good to see a post this Monday night--oops Tues. morn.

I love the robin nesting---what a lark! (And do you even want me to ask if you've re-named George to "Meanwhile?" Nah--I didn't think so. Sorry for the bad jokes--I need to go to bed!! ) ;)
I hope you are doing well--with whatever changes, and non-changes that are happening! I'm glad you're out and doing, instead of inside and behind the screen so much--although I have loved reading each word you've written over the years. I hope to see lots more words, and many more beautiful photos, Kate! Blessings!

alphabet soup said...

You suck as a photographer - you having a laugh are you?

I loved those old buildings and then the tried and true bird collection. Hurrah!

Ms Soup

The Weaver of Grass said...

We visited Maryland - Philadelphia, Baltimore and all down the coastal area to Washington a few years ago. It was a wonderful holiday. I bought several poetry books (and ate a delicious lunch I think) in a very large bookshop which I am pretty certain was in Baltimore.
Sad to read of the riots there - sometimes I think people's attitudes are going backwards. Lovely birdy photos.

Karen Ann said...

Girl, you can't take photos like that and _suck- at photography. As for being tech challenged, I think most of us are. I still don't know half the settings on my Canon. So....

LOVE that first image, wow.. and the pottery feeder!

Kerri Farley said...

Oh your birdies are beauties :)

Lee Owenby said...

I love your photography. Sounds like the class you attended was more for folks who do documentary photography - like for magazines or technical books - where the photograph can't be altered and has to be technically correct.
I've always thought of your photography as being more artistic than technical. Your bird and flower photos are dreamy. And you have a great eye for creating "artistic" views of buildings and landscapes.
Love the shot of the fountain.

Debbie From Illinois said...

Oh my, that robin cracks me up! I don't know a darn thing about photography but I'm sure glad to have found your blog many years ago. Your photos always make me smile.

Unknown said...

I agree with your other commenters that you do not suck as a photographer. You have a different workflow than the class instructor. I've been awed by how you use textures, catch the birds in mid-flight, and the many things you've done (and explained) to beautify your photos.

Yes, the new technology is wonderful and I encourage you to try it. But only because it would be something different and experimenting is part of creativity. I don't think you need to do it because your workflow is different.

Nancy aka dogear6

Candace Porth said...

Haha, you hardly suck as a photographer, quite the contrary. I took a Nikonians class a year or so ago and felt like a major dolt. Maybe it's a universal feeling. Love the robin.

Jan's camera said...

Hi Kate, if you felt like a failure I guess there is certainly no hope for me. At first it sounded wonderful and I immediately Google photo workshops. But it is no fun if they go over your head. I tried and tried to understand Photoshop and finally gave up. I will stick with the basics. Your photos are amazing. Don't forget it.

Annette Whipple said...

You may not have understood all the technology they spoke of, but you understand a good composition and create them all the time.

In June I'm attending a writer's conference. I suspect I'm going to learn how far I am from seeking an agent while there. We'll see what happens...

I have never seen a slate roof before. That is very cool.

JaneK said...

I had a whole comment written and the system didn't believe I wasn't a robot.... But.... Love the robin and all your pics!

Sabrina Steyling said...

Oh, Kate, you do NOT suck as a photographer! Not one bit! Your photos are always beautiful!

sharon said...

Honey I would have been right along with you on the feeling stupid area. Sometimes I think oh yeah I got this, and then they explain it and I think , no, no I don't have this. :)
Beautiful pics though. Love that old building. you must go back and take more of that one. I'm headed to maine next week and I'm really excited. Never been that far back east. Have a good week!

beth said...

I'm going to ignore your statement about you sucking as a photographer and then kick you in the shin!!

and i'm so glad you let me know about that robin and his building project…as i was going to make a smart ass comment about how the bird beards had gotten out of control in your neck of the woods…


gosh, we could have so much fun together!!!

Deborah said...

Glad that you enjoyed the course and drinks with your friends. Love the photos especially the one of George (surprise, surprise.)

P.S. Now you have the CAPTCHA, you could do the other comment options we talked about.

Regards, Deborah

Country Gal said...

I have photos of our Mrs Robin with a beak full of nesting as she is nesting on our back porch light this year ! Lovely photos and post . I have always loved National Geographic I love the Nat Geo wild station we have here to ! Your photography is fantastic girl very talented at it ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

Pepper Medley said...

That's one chubby mocking bird! LOL Hope he's singing some tunes this spring that your ears are loving. xox

R.M. said...

I had a boss, back in the day, that used to say there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers. She was Princeton/Harvard Law and pretty darn bright.
My usual prescription for anyone is 'you need a pony.' It cures everything.

Kay said...

Don't let anyone tell you that you are no good or whatever they told you I think you are the best at what you do.........I love your photos.....I sure need to get out and take some , but it would be the same old, same old.......keep up your good work.

Annie said...

Read your previous post about weeds between pavers/bricks. Spray vinegar. It works great. Also, your pictures are remarkable and always speak to me. Don't change your methods because of one class, unless it will make you happy.

His Song to Sing said...

It's been a long whlle since I've commnted but this one has brought me out of hiding. There are two things I have to say. First, you are a phenomenal photographer, Kate. I would relish the opportunity to sit in your backyard and learn from YOU! Second, don't feel you have to continue to apologize for not posting as much as you did in the past. As a long-time follower and fan of your blog, I have interpreted your lessening posts as a sign that you are doing well and living life. I would only hope you don't stop posting altogether :)

Cynthia Arneson said...

I enjoy your blog and I love your photos, don't let anyone tell you anything about not knowing how to take pics! I love, love your beautiful best friend. ;)

Bush Babe said...

Hey stranger... have I told you lately how much I adore your photos. Don't for a SECOND let anyone tell you otherwise... we are all learning, all the time. Your eye is incredible and your bird shots are just stunning. Sorry I have been MIA for a while... glad to see you still blogging! ♥

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Hedy King said...

Sure miss reading your posts and seeing your photos on here, Kate. I hope you are thriving! Hedy

leahtbug said...

We miss you. Hope you are doing okay, and George, the cats and your son of course.

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