Sunshine: How to Turn a Day Around


20150111 POTD

Sunday was a beautiful day. It would have been so very easy to stay indoors and do nothing. The day had a lazy feel, and I was editing photos. But the sun was shining, the temperature in the 70’s, and the outdoors were begging for us to come outside.

I got Jake started on his algebra homework. That left Michael and I with some time to get outside and soak up January in Florida. It’s been a little while since I’ve been on my bike. Too long for my liking really.

Michael bought me an amazing waterproof blue tooth speaker that fits inside my water bottle bracket for Christmas. A consolation prize after I left my last one in the rain. I found a motivating playlist on Slacker and off we went.

There’s something about music that makes people smile. There was the guy who gave me a huge grin and sign of the horns when he heard “Crazy Train” as we passed him. I had to reciprocate. And then there was the really nice guy who smiled and waved when he heard “Happy” when we were riding through a seedy section of town.

When we made it to the beach, the sun was glorious, and everyone was outside. “You know, it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when you’re at the beach,” I said to Michael. “We need to do this more,” he said.

And we will.

Seeing red

My dear friend Katrina Kennedy at Capture Your 365 says whenever you see red, you should photograph it. My pomegranate was screaming to be photographed! These are seriously as good as M & M’s. No lie. They’re going to be awesome in my smoothies.

I got out my 7D just to make sure I still love it. Yes, I do. I think my macro might just stay put on it for awhile.


Canon 7D with 100 2.8L
1/50 sec, f8, ISO 250 with off camera flash


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Have you ever have one of those perfect days when your kid totally amazes you, and makes you ask the question: Whose genes does he have again? Today was one of those.

Jake asked me last night if I would take him to the Dali Museum. That question alone is enough to make my heart nearly explode with pride. A couple of months ago, we had talked about going to the Picasso exhibit over Christmas break. I forgot. He didn’t.

We spent the most perfect day together, discussing art, cubism, and attended a lecture comparing and contrasting Dali and Picasso. I kept waiting to lose this boy’s interest, but he led the charge.

We ate at the Gala Cafe, which was packed. There was nowhere to sit. We went out to the garden, scanning for tables. My eyes fell on an old man who was sitting alone. His eyes met mine, and motioned us over. So taking a chance, we sat down. We made careful chat for a little while, and before I knew it, he was telling me about his family. He was 91, hunched over, and unable to fight the crowds. Besides, he had seene Picasso before. No biggie.

Then his family stopped by the table to check on him. As it turns out, his wife is a beautiful, vibrant, older woman who dotes on him. “She’s the reason I’m here,” he bragged when she left. “Forty-three years. She is an angel. Watches out for me, makes sure I eat right. She is everything.” She thanked us for keeping him company. Then his sons came over, one at a time, to check on him too.

“He has the nicest family,” Jake said, after he left, arm in arm with his wife. Maybe it was the chocolate chip biscotti the man gave Jake that won him over. But I think Jake saw what I did.

“Are you spoiled?” the man asked Jake. Looking sheepish, and shrugging, Jake said, “yeah, a little.” I jumped in, “If spoiled means he has everything he wants, yes he is. But he appreciates it. I have a feeling you spoiled your five kids just the same as though you had one.” “Well yes,” he said. And with a little twinkle in his eye, he added, “You have to!”

I love days like this. The kind that are full of little surprises that you could easily miss if you weren’t looking closely.

We drove home, Jake with earbuds firmly planted in his ears, and me listening to a podcast. We had a perfect day together. This was a good way to start the year.

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20150102 POTD


POTD 2015 Starts Now!

I’ve been working on my POTD project since 2008. I know that sounds crazy even as I write this, but it’s done so much for me, including changing my worldview. It’s not always easy, takes discipline, a creative eye, and a lot of persistance.

Why do I do this? I suppose it would be difficult for anyone to take this on if they didn’t truly love photography. And I do. Photography helps me tell stories, and paint pictures with light. I also love documenting my family: the good and the bad. At the end of the year, I love having a journal of images that walk me through every day. A couple times a year, I make a photo that makes me proud. A lot of the time, my photos are simply a journal.

My photo of the day project might morph over the years, who knows. But this I know: I’ll keep going with this project until I have nothing more to say.

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Kicking off POTD in 2014

Here we go! This will be my sixth year capturing a photo of the day. I love this project. It’s become part of me.

Jan 1: Scanning old negatives

Jan 2: I put these on every day. They were a gift from Michael several years ago.

Jan 3: I love this face

Jan 4: Hanging out together.

Worldwide Photo Walk 2013

I love the Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. This is the second time I’ve participated. Being able to go with my son this time completely changed the experience. Or should I say enhanced the experience. The venue was perfect. It was at a local farm/petting zoo that connected him to the project. It’s one thing to be passionate about photography. It’s another to be able to share this joy with my joy.


Here are a couple shots from the day.

Friday Night Photo Walk

I’m not sure how better to round out a hectic week than an after dinner photo walk. Michael took us to our favorite kitchsy, little beach town for a walk through the streets at dusk. Jake is learning to use the camera I passed down to him. I love seeing the enthusiasm for capturing details he sees around him. I think shooting with your kids gives them an appreciation for drinking in life. Teaching kids the art of photography is something I’m passionate about.

Here are a couple from the evening:

I love this wall. Even though there were cars tightly parked on either side of this window, I was able to get the shot by going with a portrait orientation. The light was changing quickly, which made the exposure a little tougher to nail.



This car was parked at the curb right as we walked up. I made this a tight shot to eliminate the street clutter. After we walked away, I turned to find the door opening and the cabbie’s foot hit the ground. Drat! That was the shot but I wasn’t ready! It was a good reminder to always turn around before you walk away from the shot. Sometimes the best photo is behind, not in front.


Walking through a side street alley, we happened onto this scene. My eye was instantly drawn to the paint. But the cluttery scene inside the building was even better.


These were all fun to find, but the shot below is the one that stole my heart. I don’t know where he gets this.