Thursday, January 31, 2013

Photo-heart connection, number 1

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."

- Arthur Conan Doyle

{ Pixel Dust Photo Art texture warm glow }

Choosing my photo-heart connection this month has proved to be a little difficult,  not because I wasn't connecting, but instead because I was having too many. I simply went back and forth and round and round. But I can say that they all had something in common in that they were all from the same experience.

We've had quite a few foggy mornings recently and one day after dropping off the kids at school, I went home, grabbed my camera and headed to a park with a pond, and wetlands and wide open spaces. The fog was heavy and thick and the visibility was extremely low. I got out of my car and and made the decision to walk towards the field in the dew laden and muddy grass. There was something about that field that felt curious and mysterious and when I finally came to its edge I could see it too was lit up by dewdrops . . where spiderwebs came to life, appearing like miniature strings of twinkling lights.

That foggy morning was beautiful and peaceful and also helped to isolate the things around me, but in a good way. The fog allowed only the things right in front of me to become more obvious, my senses were heightened, and I became a keen observer. But sometimes in life we can become so caught up in things that don't matter that it causes a blanket of fog that prevents us from seeing the obvious, the necessary, the really important things.

This image just reminds me to be aware, to observe, and to keep life simple.

Love, Kim

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Abstract flower painting . . .

Good morning, and happy Tuesday!
I'm behind, again, well maybe I'm just not ever not behind? Is that to many double negatives?

*** (insert smiley face here) ***

I had fully expected to get this post done last night, or better yet after my metals class yesterday,
but I stayed all day...and playing with fire and glass and saws, well that tends to wear a person out.
In a good way, a very good way....I slept well last night!!

Last week I shared some fun stuff I'm doing with my lens, painting with movement. But I've also
found that I can get a "painted look" without movement as well. I love flowers, I love the way they
look, the way they feel, and smell and I just love taking pictures of them. Since I never planted any
cool season flowers in my garden, I've been enjoying the $4 specials at the grocery store and we've been
spending quality time together on my front porch. I've been playing with my 40mm macro lens with a wide open aperture to get lots and lots of blur.

I think when we first set out on our journey with our camera, I know this is true for me, we are happy to get photographs that are half way decent and NOT blurry, as in in focus. I didn't understand aperture, speed, and ISO and how any of it worked together. I just knew I had a new camera and wasn't getting results like others, like I wanted. And then after much practice I was beginning to get the shots I was looking for AND with some added bonus of the beloved bokeh, but I was just using my camera as a tool to record.

Revelation number two: My camera is a tool that can help me "create" rather than just record. It's taken me some time to realize my photographs don't have to have anything to do with exactly what the subject looked liked at the time, but rather about a creative vision based solely on my heart and my experience in that moment. And you know I'm all about the moment.

I'm just letting my heart create, rather than thinking too much about any of it . . .and taking full control
of the camera. Because so many of the times, "Nicki" just doesn't see things the way I do! lol
These were all taken on my covered front porch at different times of the day, in indirect light, on cloudy, sunny, and or overcast days.

{ Kim Klassen textures: Camomile, minus 43 and Oh my }

(Sooc), and slightly cropped

Added some textures to give the feel of a canvas.

(Sooc) and cropped.

Kim Klassen warm sun 

Slight exposure adjustments, love this the way it is with the dark and muted background.
(Tones on Tuesday)

But I had to play - I was going for a an old painted look here.

I don't think I've ever gotten my moneys worth out of anything like my $4 finds at the grocery store, or killed so much time! But I have been having fun...You really don't need a macro lens to try this. Just grab a lens, one that you can switch to manual focus, find some good light and really pay attention to your background.! And P.S. - things just might get a little foggy on Thursday, just sayin'!!

Have a great day...
Love, Kim

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Painting in abstract . . .

Painting: the works of art painted in a particular manner, place, or period

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
- Scott Adams

I chose the part of the definition of painting that didn't mention "paint" for a reason . . . 

I have had somewhat of a revelation about myself. I am a creative person. Well not that part, I've known that. But I'm also a pretty frugal, creative person. And by that I mean...there are many times that I hold myself back out of fear of making a mistake and wasting materials. I remember when I took a watercolor class, I would paint a little bit and stop out of fear of messing it up and when I got a little more confidence I would paint a little more, until I actually finished it. The only thing that would have been lost if I had messed it up, was a sheet of water color paper. But still, I tend to hold myself back from creating with abandon, that is until I discovered that all I have to do if I mess up with my camera is hit the delete button. That's it.

Like the next person I do like camera gear, but my gear doesn't make me an artist and it surely doesn't define my creativity, but my control of that gear does. In fact I feel like photography finally allows me to create with abandon, without fear of failure. (Disclaimer: But I'm not saying I haven't been frustrated) : )

One day last fall, while at a sunrise by the bay I decided to try a long shutter speed to get that nice blur in the water. And that created a chain reaction. I took my camera off the tripod, and took control of my camera and ever since then I've had a little obsession with speed, or lack of it.

The photo above was my first keeper in my first attempts at painting with my lens. It's taken me several months of practice to get a feel for what kind of movement and how fast or slow to make it to like my results. 

I'm kind of obsessed with reflections too...but that's another day. That same morning I got the one above, I went to the boardwalk overlooking the bay and caught these incredible abstract reflections in the slightly wavy water from the flags up above. I didn't purposely put movement into the camera on this one but I allowed my speed to drop lower than the minimum required for my focal length ( in order to hand hold an in focus shot ) so I got a slightly out of  focus, slightly blurry image. It created some interest though from people passing by wondering what on earth I was taking a picture of! ;)

I've never really thought of myself as someone who liked abstract art, but I believe that has changed as I have been experimenting and practicing. The next images are some of my more recent ones....slightly cropped, and the exposure adjusted for a bit more contrast. I happen to have a thing for trees...but have some different things to share with you next week. More painted looks, without movement of the camera.

I chose to use this one as my Photo Art Friday submission.....adding 2 very subtle textures.

( I used Bonnie's textures at Pixel Dust Art, Raw Linen and Warm Glow - love these Bonnie!)

As photographers we are already using light in which to paint and by using speed to our advantage we
are "painting" works of art in a particular manner we wish.

"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it that you can." - Danny Kaye 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend...
Love, Kim

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Texture Tuesday . . .

Good Morning!

I want to say a big huge welcome to all the new connections I've made through
the grow your blog hop over the weekend. And if your still hopping (I am) you can find
my post here. I'm hosting a giveaway, to anyone, no rules, and by leaving a comment on that
post you will be automatically entered.

I am all kinds of behind . . . I took a million pictures of some flowers I bought last week, practicing, practicing, some new techniques and style. I've been a bit obsessed in the last few months with softness, and abstract, and intentional blur. I think it started last fall when I started using my remote with really slow shutter speeds at the sunrise on my tripod to soften the water. And then I started going to handheld to paint the scenes around me. I am missing the Christmas tree and painting with the lights! I think I see some valentine lights in my future! Yep, all kinds of behind, and my house shows it....

So I'm off to finish up some things and will leave you with this . . . 

{Kim Klassen cherishscripted texture / hardlight 56% }

"What a Lovely Thing a Rose is!"

He walked past the couch to the open window and held up the drooping stalk of a moss-rose,
looking down at the dainty blend of crimson and green. It was a new phase of his character to me,
for I have never before seen him show any keen interest in natural objects.

"There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion, " he said leaning with his back against the shutters." It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. It's smell and color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from flowers."

- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty

Oh and I almost forgot, today is my day over at the collaborative blog "Focusing on Life",
where I'm sharing some thoughts on perspective. Come join

Until next time,
Love, Kim

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grow your blog party . . . and a giveaway!

I want to start out by saying a big huge thank you to Vicki for hosting this blog party.
She is one of the sweetest people I know that I have never met in person.

Welcome to my little place in the blogosphere, I wasn't really sure where to start,
so I thought I would just start from the beginning.

Once upon a time . . .

I started a blog
in hopes of sharing and documenting a project
a photo a week for 52 weeks
the beginning of my photography journey
that turned into so much more
making friends, connecting with like minds
who also have a need to create
finding beauty and simplicity in nature
and in my everyday
photographs that help me express
how I feel about life
that sometimes words cannot
  what I didn't expect
  what I've discovered along the way
is my voice
in the written word through photographs
. . . they really are worth a thousand words

And this is me, Kim, 
a 50 year old learner of life
  photographer, and jewelry maker
who likes to garden
a wife, and mother of  2
my favorite place to be is at the beach
exploring, discovering
my favorite color is pink
(yes, that is pink in my hair)

I have also been having fun with digital art and adding textures to my photos. One of my favorite weekly link ups is on Fridays for Photo Art Friday.

And in the party spirit, I have a gift for you that I will give away on Feb. 1.  I thought it would only be fitting to make a beach themed necklace. It's hand crocheted, with a non-tarnish craft wire and different types of coral, shell, and pearls and  a toggle clasp in the back for easy on and off.

You can always check out the "You might also like this" posts at the end of this post or on the sidebar under Popular Posts for a better idea of what my blogging style is. A comment below that you were here is all you need to be entered into the giveaway of the necklace pictured above, that's all.  You don't even have to be a follower. But if you have a no-reply email I will have no way to contact you if you win. I appreciate very much that you stopped by and look forward to visiting you too!

You can also find me on instagram at KIMATPICKINGPOPPIES and on my collaborative blog at Focusing on Life (you can find the link button on the sidebar at the top).

Another big thanks to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for putting together and hosting the party!
Make sure you check out all the other blogs too.

Love, Kim

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Enter . . . the exit

an opening, but not necessarily literal
providing access to a place
or from something
a way in, a way out
a departure, an arrival
someone comes, someone goes
in fact one can simply create the other

What am I? An entrance or an exit . . . well, actually both.
And, it's also the theme for Photo Art Friday this week, to interpret how we wish. 

Last weekend we went to watch the reenactment of the Battle of Galveston. And thanks to all of you who kept your fingers crossed that we wouldn't get rained out, it worked, you're awesome! Now if I had only asked you to keep your fingers crossed that everyone else with a camera stayed home that day. I don't think I've ever run into more rude people with cameras and their phones. I was pretty sure I didn't leave the house with an invisibility cloak on, but none the less, I had someone walk in front of nearly every shot I tried to take. So I have no real shots of the actual "battle",  but I did have a great time getting over it with some gumbo and shrimp brochette. :)

And,  I did have fun processing these to look like old photos.


Both of these could be interpreted as either exiting or entering, I guess it all depends on where you stand.
But they are exiting to enter battle. . .

(Photo Art Friday )
For the entire weekend both the Union and the Confederates set up encampments and lived as authentically as they would have back in 1862, sleeping in tents on straw beds and cooking their food over an open fire.  

Exiting battle, and entering victorious.

After the battle we made our way to one of the encampments, but sadly many were M.I.A....there was a Texans game going on and we passed many of them sitting in a bar or restaurant.

But I found someone more than willing to pose for me! I'm always so apprehensive about snapping pictures of strangers when they're looking. But going to things like this helps just a bit, because when they are dressed up, ready for the part, they quite like it I think. I kept the one above with a little bit of color so you could hopefully make out the figures a little better. There was a violinist playing in the background with her hoop dress, and a couple was watching.

In this one I asked him if he would blow a couple of puffs of smoke for me . . . love it!

"Every exit is an entrance somewhere else."
- Tom Stoppard

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will be having a giveaway on Saturday in a blog hop I'm participating in and it's open to everyone! I can tell you that it's wearable, and handcrafted my moi!

Until then...
Love, Kim

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Texture Tuesday is back . . .

"I had dreams there were clouds in my coffee"

- Carly Simon

( Kim Klassen Grungedup - overlay - Theme: show me your cuppa... )

I tried to get clouds in my coffee, really I did . . . but there just aren't any.  Well, at least with any blue
sky so that they looked like clouds and not just 50 Shades of Grey. But I did have ONE last piece of toffee from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory . . . my all time favorite toffee. Of course I didn't put the toffee IN my coffee, no, but I had a hard time not eating it all before I got the shot I was really cold...I lasted about 5 minutes, the toffee....about 2!!

Love, Kim

Monday, January 14, 2013

You're not seeing things . . .

No, you're not on someone elses blog by mistake, it's still me. The girl who
resists change, likes my comfort zone, decided I needed to freshen up around here.
Of course I'm not sure it was all just resistance to change...and it might have had something to
do with the fact that I'm not only technically challenged, but fearfully technically challenged.

Really, I'm always afraid that I'm going to hit a button and POOF it will all be gone! Hopefully
you weren't here while I was trying to change it, AND my mind. Seems I not only have a problem
with change, but making up my mind too.

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight
harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs
at present. And cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary decent
egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

- C.S. Lewis

So, in keeping with my word this year...Possible...I thought I would see if it was possible to makes some changes by seeing if I could start the hatching process of my technically challenged self  without falling straight to the ground. But hey, I didn't say anything about not being frustrated. I know you're laughing, I mean it should be fairly simple, right? But at least where I'm technically challenged, I'm adept at using a jewelers saw. ( I have the jewelers saw on my mind as I'm starting back to my metals class this morning....(whoo hoo) ) 

 Not sure about your part of the world, but mine has been rainy, cold, overcast, gray, raining, raining, raining!! But, when I saw that the sun was going to make a grand entrance I made a bee-line straight to the
bay. It sure did my body, mind and soul some good to see that sun, and boy did I have a great day last Friday!! If you follow me on instagram (KIMATPICKINGPOPPIES) you know I had quite the little adventure and to be honest I think I had more fun with my phone that day! 

The light was perfect for a silhouette....

....and the sky looked painted.

You know I'm always one to love me some water drops, but there was something about these being on the back of the leaf that intrigued me and gave the drops almost a watercolor painted effect.

I visited the butterfly garden and came across dozens of butterflies. Mostly Queen butterflies, like this male and female pair, with a few Monarchs and cloudless sulfurs.

As I walked towards the bay, I saw lots of birds, this Rosette Spoonbill is one of my favorites...just
look at that pink!!

It became really overcast, and ended up becoming drizzly and cold again, but the colors of everything
were really saturated.

And here are half the IG pics I took that day, in random order.

With all this rain we are having, I can only imagine the beautiful spring it will be around here, and the bluebonnets and wildflowers planted along the highways will be in plenty!

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday...
Love, Kim

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It was worth the wait . . .

. . . an afternoon drive and the walking around in 22 degree weather.

The day before we went to the pole vault camp we took a slight detour to the Chihuly glass exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum. I wasn't able to get up there during the summer and thankfully due to it's popularity they extended it to the end of the year...I had 5 days to spare. Of course, there wasn't much in the way of blooming flowers, but that's probably a good thing, it would have just distracted me. And as it was I had less than two hours before they closed or the sun went down, which ever came first. Well, really I got cheated out of 15 more minutes because my son decided to wear socks with flip flops? His feet were cold....ahh, teenagers!

I thought I would let you just stroll quietly through the exhibit . . .

"Blue Herons"



"Persian Pond"

"Carnival Boat" in background

"Boat with floats"

(Photo Art Friday using Brown Rice Paper from Bonnie)

I was very happy that I finally got to see this! It was beautiful and there was something at every turn, I just hope I made every turn and didn't miss something in our rushed state. I usually like to coast a bit slower.

  I'm keeping my fingers crossed the weatherman is WRONG in his forecast of more rain this weekend....I had a date with a reenactment of the Battle of Galveston that I don't really want to miss.

Hope you have a great weekend!
Love, Kim

The Chicken Chick
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