Photo 101: Triumph


How very British of me…. to celebrate my triumphant completion of the Photo 101 course with a nice cup of tea and a choccy biscuit (or two!)

But the triumphant part comes from the fact that not only did I complete each assignment with a new photograph AND I completed it on the day it was asked for (last year I was sooo at the coo’s tail with this course) but today I have the lugry. My son was home from college this past weekend with a sore throat, chest and the sneezes and as of yesterday I also have a sore throat, chest and the sneezes. But I triumphantly soldiered on, feeling very pathetic and sorry for myself (I feel so bad I actually only ate ONE of the biscuits believe it or not! AND THEY WERE REAL CADBURY’S)

Well at least it’s not Man-Flu.


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.

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!)