52 weeks with Carolyn

A Theme Based Photo Blog


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Week 16 #47 My Back Yard

I was visiting with my friend Roxana Wednesday night that my back yard is not the most conducive to taking sunset photos.  We have a small yard that backs to a pond with trees entirely behind the pond and several behind our home.  But, I did remember I had taken this shot several weeks ago when the sunset cast a beautiful reflection on the water.  I like how a small bit of trees on either side help frame the sky line.

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Week 15 #43 Contrast

Beginning in mid December the Cypress trees here in Florida begin to change color and drop their needles. We have very few trees here that show much color, an occasional Maple, but the Cypress trees can be found pretty much around every body of water.  Their colorful needles add a beautiful contrast to our mostly green landscapes.

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Week 14 #38 Hard/Soft

My parents back in the early 80’s took a road trip vacation to Florida with another couple.  Both of my parents enjoyed unusual plants and fell in love with the Hibiscus flowers that were very prolific in the landscapes .  Back then Hibiscus plants were not a common thing to buy at nurseries in Iowa, so they purchased a plant and placed it near a sunny southern exposure window in their family room.  They also purchased a Hibiscus flower shaped vase that was designed to hold one blooming blossom.  Whenever a flower or two bloomed one was placed in the vase on their kitchen table to enjoy.

When my mother passed away several years later, my father still nursed the plant and enjoyed it for many years.  Because of their love for the Hibiscus flowers when I first saw one at a nursery I purchased one.  My plant was outside during the summer and when the cooler weather arrived I would move it inside to a sunny southern exposure window.   At some point I found the same type of vase to display the flowers.  With our move to Florida 5 years ago I am now rewarded with a blossom fairly regularly from a plant near my front door.

I took a photo of this blossom because of the unusual way it closed after being open for 24 hours.  Typically the petals of the blossom will completely close up together in the middle.  I have never in all these years had one close up in the shape of a star.

I really wanted to use this in some way and after looking over the themes decided to soften the image and use a strong de-noise filter to add to the softness.

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Week 13 #9 Product (Candy Cane)

For many years I have filled a ceramic Santa Boot that my Grandmother Arvilla made for me one Christmas with candy canes.  My Grandmother enjoyed making ceramics and taught classes to numerous woman over the years in our small town in Southeast Iowa.  Our family members were always fortunate to receive something special during various holidays until she passed away at the age of 98.

On the back of the Candy Cane box when I was getting all set up to take this photo I found a story about the candy cane tradition.  The candy cane can be traced back to Germany in 1670.  Legend has it that the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral handed out sugar sticks bent into the shape of a shepherd’s staff to keep his young singers quiet during long services.  Many a young child has enjoyed the simple treat for generations including those that have visited our home during the Christmas season.  I hope you had a Merry Christmas and wish you a safe and joyous New Year!

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Week 12 #41 Shaped Bokeh

Bokeh: the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.  In other words the focus of light source in the background will be highlighted.

To achieve a shaped bokeh, I first gathered up some black construction paper and sharp scissors to cut a small (approximately 1/2 inch) heart (my soon to be shaped bokeh) into a circle that slipped in the front of the lens.  After trying several lenses I finally settled on a 100mm Macro lens.  I set an ornament on an old bench around 10 feet in front of my Christmas tree, (the light source).  By focusing on the ornament in the foreground  the lights from the Christmas tree blurred with my desired heart shaped bokeh. I have to admit, it took me awhile to get it right.   Its good to learn new skills but they can at times be frustrating.  Many thanks Susan P. for encouraging me not to give up!!

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Week 11 #4 Wild Card(Santa)

I have been collecting Santa figurines for many years.  Each year I buy at least one and when my children married I began giving them one at Christmas time.  Several years back I began to give a Santa to a group of 4 good friends back in Iowa.  For close to 40 years we have met during the month of December to exchange what began as cookies and has now evolved to gifts.  We do have one hold out that still makes us her famous toffee.  Yummy!  They met yesterday and since I couldn’t be there we caught up on FaceTime.  Modern technology is great when it works!!  I start scoping out different web sites after Christmas for a Santa that is just right to add to our collection and always order 8.  I have my eye already on a new addition for 2019. 🎅

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Week 10 #35 Color Harmony

Color Harmony: The theory of combining colors in a fashion that is harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

Like many of you I decorated our home this past week for Christmas.  Every year I get creative and arrange my various decorations in a new way, perhaps discarding things from years past or adding something new.  Several years ago I bought some fun woven and ribboned boxes decked out in silver and white.  I placed one near a colorful vase of red, green and white ornaments.  Both items offer a different variation of color harmony.

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