Photo 101: Double

Today I drove around the countryside looking for two of something to photograph – 2 grain bins, 2 hay bales, heck even 2 birds and I’d have been happy, but nope. Couldn’t find anything at all except train tracks (which have been done to death!) but in the interests of the rules (my rules that is) of a new photograph every day that’s all I could come up with.

train tracks

Our weather is so stormy just now, 2 minutes after taking this photograph another thunderbolts and lighting, very very frightening storm erupted!

Anyway rather than turn the photograph on it’s edge, which I’ve done before (I’ll attach a shot at the end) I turned the camera for a portrait version of the tracks. Yes, I know… it IS kinda cheating.

train tracks2

And here’s one I did last year where I DID turn the photograph 90 degrees….

Gareth 28 4x6


Photo 101: Edge

Off out today to my nearest ‘big’ town for a bit of retail therapy and as I was driving up I thought about what to photograph for today’s theme, when I rememered there was a cool statue in the downtown area. So I parked in the nearest car park and off I went to shoot the statue with all the jaggy edges that I remembered.


Then wandering round the area further I came across some more interesting statues and street art with cool edges.


This one makes me think of some kind of groovy snails!


Not sure what this one is supposed to be. A metal dog? (you can probably tell I’m a wonderful art-critic!)


A flying something or other (with more cool jagged edges)


??? But it’s very cool though.


Ahh, now this one I can describe. Me as a child hiding away with my book!


Your worst nightmare. A 8ft high metal beastie….


Some sort of metal atom thingy. By this time you can probably see it had started raining. The heavens had opened and it was all thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening.


When I got back to the car I was drookit! Drowned rat would be putting it mildly!

So mission completed I headed to the mall where even the geese were trying to get in out of the storm!


I suffered for the sake of this blogging malarkey today ye ken! But I don’t melt so it was all good fun.

Photo 101: Glass

“Hello from the Other Side… I must have barked a thousand times….”

Can’t take credit for that I’m afraid. I saw it on t’internet a while back and thought it was funny.

Glenn window
If you zoom in you’ll see all of Dawg’s Nose Art

Thought long and hard about today’s assignment, and if I hadn’t already taken some photographs of the old factory windows and uploaded them last week I would have done that. But in the end I faffed about nearly all day and ended up shooting the dog out the patio windows. Mission accomplished.

Leibster Awards and winning the Internet

Thank you SilverFox ( for nominating me for a Leibster Award. I hope there’s a Ferrari in the post now…. I mean winning the Internet and getting awards is great and all, but a Ferrari would be splendiferous! But in the event of there NOT being a shiny new car on my doorstep tomorrow I’d make do with a Gregg’s cheese and onion pasty. (Greggs is a British baker for my international friends) Anyway here are my answers to SilverFox’s questions.

  1. Do you have any interesting marks on your body or physical anomalies? – No, I’m afraid not (unless you count a fat arse) I’m very boring… I can move my pinkie toes without moving my other toes though. You’re all going to try that now, aren’t you?
  2. What is your favourite animal and why? – Giraffe. Because Giraffes! They don’t need no why’s!
  3. What is your favourite film? – The Matrix. Yep, I’m a sci-fi geek and PROUD OF IT! Stand up and be counted my fellow geeks!
  4. What’s your poison?… wine, beer, whiskey? – Tea (how very British of me!). Or a cold white wine if you really want an alcoholic answer.
  5. What is your longest journey ever taken on the ground? – In the one go? About 8 hours probably, from Kilmarnock, Scotland to Torquay, England. 
  6. When/where did you last dance? – Tuesday. At my Zumba class. Love dancing.
  7. What birthday cake would you like next time? – Oooohhh, anything with butter-icing on it 🙂
  8. How many pairs of shoes do you have? – I refuse to answer that question on the grounds it might incriminate me in a court of law!
  9. Tea or coffee? Tea!! I don’t like coffee at all… but I love the smell of coffee. I’m a Starbucks smell junkie. 
  10. What was the last picture you took that wasn’t a selfie? – Today of my piano for Photo 101.
  11. Desert Island – what book, what piece of music and what item of luxury would you want? – Lord of the Rings (not only a sci-fi geek, a fantasy nerd too), music is a lot harder because I would want my ipod with me. I don’t think I can choose a favourite piece of music because it changes daily depending on my mood. I have various YouTube channels I’ve set up that I listen to when I’m working so it could be rock, opera, classical, oldies, just whatever I feel like on that day. Sorry, not a good answer but it’s a hard question. Luxury item – can I take my bed? I luuuurrrve my bed. 

finally, please provide 11 random facts about yourself

Oh my, I’m not at all interesting and 11 random facts would probably bore the pants off y’all. (as an aside I think y’all should be spoken in the UK too – it’s such a great word!)

  1. I love to exercise and try to swim twice a week. I also love Zumba (as you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention and read my answer to Q.6 above…. you will be quizzed on my answers later btw!
  2. Actually I’m going to make I love Zumba No. 2 as I’m struggling to find things to say about myself!
  3. I learned to drive when I was 17 and passed my test after only 6 lessons. God, I’m even boring myself here!
  4. I’m a terrible cook. I have about 5 things I can make well and the rest of the time it’s just barely edible.
  5. I think in my next life I’m going to come back a cat. I love cats and how they can lie around in the sun all day then demand affection and food. I could do that…
  6. My friend and I can have hour long discussions on what a perfect elf should look like. Hint… it’s Legolas!
  7. Sorry, got distracted by attacking ants…. 7. I love animals but HATE maggots, worms, slugs, all squirmy things….. ewwwww
  8. I wish I lived at the sea, or near enough to get to every day. I didn’t appreciate living so close to the coast when I lived in Scotland until I moved to the Mid-West USA.
  9. Phew, nearly there….. This has taken me about an hour btw! I hope y’all appreciate the effort this has taken me!
  10. Yeah, OK 9 wasn’t really a proper fact but 10 has 2. I went to college in Glasgow and I was the only female in a class of guys so I used to spend my lunch hours wandering round the shops. I loved it btw. The shops that is, not being the only female. I didn’t get ANY special treatment at all, unfortunately.
  11. I love cheese.

That was totally the most traumatic thing I’ve had to do in a loooooonnnnngggg time! I’m actually not going to nominate anyone else, but if any of my friend would like to answer the same questions SilverFox asked me then please go ahead. I would like to hear your answers (Dookes, Curtis, Lili, Miriam etc) and find out 11 random facts about you too, but I don’t want to put anyone under any pressure, so go with the flow peeps and consider yourself nominated.


Photo 101: Treasure

Thinking about today’s assignment and wondering what to do for treasure I thought about the photograph I put up last year, one of my all-time favourite portraits I’ve ever taken and thought no way I can take a new shot  that I’ll like as much as that one. Take a look here if you’re interested 

So going with my self-imposed rules of taking a new shot every day I started wandering round the house… do I take a shot of a gemstone (my son used to collect them) or the daffodils on my kitchen table (which to my horror were covered in ants… I spent a good half hour this morning trying to herd them outside… I hate killing them if I can help it). In the background as always I have music on and then it hit me. What if I take a photograph of something to do with music. Music always has been and always will be part of my daily life. Even more so than reading or photography or any of the many other ways I like to pass the time (blogging?!?) I couldn’t live without music. Anyway here’s today’s photograph of something I treasure – my 110 year old piano that we shipped all the way from Scotland to the USA with us.

Piano keys

Photo 101: Landscape

Or alternatively titled ‘The most boring landscape in the world’

A landscape… In Illinois??? Last year while doing this course I used quite a lot of my stock images – The Grand Canyon, The Scottish Highlands etc., but this year I’m doing all the challenges on the actual day and trying to look at my surroundings with a fresh eye. How to make life hard for myself! So today dawned dull and grey but at least it’s not raining (yet!) so off I went to look for something interesting to photograph. Wellllllllll, that didn’t happen. So I’ve decided to claim the Blogging prize for the most boring landscape on the Internet. I think I’m in with a pretty good chance, even though I do say so myself! Fingers crossed peeps X

tree landscape
It’s a tree. And a ploughed field. It’s flat. It’s Illinois!

Photo 101: Scale and observation

Easter egg
“Do you think it’s big enough for both of us?”

Well I observe that the scale of this creme egg is perfect! Just imagine if you did get a chocolate egg that size…. yummmeeeeee!

As an aside, my kids are now 18 and 21 years old and I’ve moved not only houses but continents since they were wee and I thought I’d gotten rid of all their old toys, but I can STILL put my hands on Lego men…. I’m pretty sure they have a secret life.

Photo 101: Movement

What could I do for movement? Well how about my big daft dog! That will be easy thought I. I’ll get my daughter roped in to throw the ball/frisbee/stick at me and I’ll shoot him running towards me…. How wrong could I be!! Umpteen photos later (and a pretty good workout for the dog) I finally manged to capture some ‘action’ shots of him, but dang dog just wouldn’t co-operate! Anyway here’s a few shots of him running around the backyard.

Photo 101: Architecture and monochrome

This was a fun challenge today! I love black and white photography and even though I live in a very non-architecturaly-pretty town I managed to find a few shots that I haven’t taken before. (This time round for Photo 101 I’m determined to take all new shots!)

Anyway here are my offerings for today’s theme – hope you like. Feedback as always is greatly appreciated 🙂

Will Rodgers lowres
Boarded up old movie theatre
Will Rodgers theatre lowres
Will Rogers Art-deco style movie theatre street view
Fire escape low res
Abandoned shoe factory

Photo 101: a pop of colour

Red bellied Woodpecker – Yes, even though it’s got a red head. Makes no sense to me either!

A splash of colour in a dull background. I love my bird feeders but I’m rubbish at taking photos of the birds at them. I probably need a longer lens than a 90mm (this shot has a huge crop) The trouble is I don’t know what lens to buy – do I go for a big huge beast that I can’t carry around with me, or do I go for one with a mega zoom and lose the qualilty. I need somebody to just tell me – BUY THIS ONE! I do love my Pentax K5 and really wanted to stay away from the Canons and Nikons, but they do have a better selection of lenses, and by better I mean cheaper! In the meanwhile I’ll continue trying to shoot birds and get frustrated they’re not as sharp as I’d like them to be. (That is shoot birds with a camera obviously!)