Observations, Learning, and Activities for the New "Over 21s"

Posts tagged ‘#photo101’

Photo 101, Day 13: Capturing Motion

OK. One last post, since I took this photo with the intention of using it with this class anyway.  I have a wide view and and narrow view of this scene.  Although the narrow view shows the foam of the incoming waves, I think this one shows the movement of said waves better.  Remember, I’m photographing from the very eastern outskirts of the Caribbean Sea, so we don’t get much in the way of waves unless a storm is coming–at least not on the western side of the island (the eastern side borders on the Atlantic Ocean and has entirely different waves–more like the ones I remember growing up in New Jersey).  However, you can almost see the waves coming in before they decide to break…

2015-06-10 18.16.32

I actually like this photo because it hides some of the tourist debris (empty plastic tea and water bottles, empty beer cans, other non-degradable debris).  I also like the way the sand demonstrates a bit of the movement it went through during the long hot day.

Photo101, Day 2: Street Scene (Finally accomplished!)

The photo depicted here was taken in the village of Grand Case, on the French side of the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean.

2015-06-13 17.06.28This photo was taken during the early evening   Although Grand Case–or at least the street that largely accounts for the tourist business–is so crowed during the day during tourist “high season”  (October to April),  the streets are barely peopled during low season (May through mid-October–when the weather is too hot even for Floridian snowbirds escaping the cold season from the American and Canadian northern regions). I would have preferred the busier time after 7:00 PM, when the street is crowded with diners and store browsers. Unfortunately, all I had available to me was the considerably lower picture quality of my Android S4 Mini, which takes lousy evening shots. Although I am not happy with the sparsity of the tourists and citizens that would have been crowding the narrow street later, I discovered–from a different perspective–the same yet very altered street on which I spend many hours two days a week. This photo shows not only many of the shops and restaurants along the “near” end of the village’s “main drag,” but also some of the buildings that I noticed for the first time after snapping the photo.  The big “validated Parking Lot” in the foreground points the way to where I generally park on Wednesdays, when we split our time between drawing lessons and painting lessons.  During the day, the lot is free to all who park there (right behind the building housing The Elephant Box shop and studio and the dinner restaurant on the lower level).  I learned last week that I get charged $3.00 to park there, whether I was there long before 5:00 for the painting lesson and leaving at 5:05, or had spent the entire evening dining and browsing through the many open shops until well past 10:00 PM.  This afternoon, I managed to find a parking space right behind the white car in the right foreground, praying fervently that I would not be ticketed or hauled to impoundment.  I lucked out. The car was still across from the studio when I “finished” my lesson at 7:00 PM, and there was no parking ticket on the windshield when I came out.  Of course, I drive what is definitely an island car, with a huge dent in the passenger side rear door that is now missing a handle, a decal from the previous Dutch-side election to support a friend running for office, and a lei of artificial flowers strung from my rear-view mirror. Maybe island cars are not so quickly ticketed.

Instead of taking this wide photo at street level (which would have given a greater impression of emptiness), I took it from the balcony of The Elephant Box, which taking a quick smoke break from watching my instructor, who was busily re-constructing my work for about the gajillionth time.  She had chosen the work for me, and the moment I saw it, I knew it was far beyond my capabilities as a novice painter (today, she admitted that it was a difficult scene even for her).  I took the opportunity of her “re-working time” to snap a few photos from the balcony of her shop and studio to complete my Day 2 Photo101 assignment. The next painting will be simpler, and produced mostly be me. (wink, wink)



Photo101, Day 5: Rule of Thirds

Today, I had neither much time nor much choice of subjects. The photo below uses the Rule of Thirds–perhaps a bit over-enthusiastically–and the perspective is a little close for the subject, I think (I like more space). Lots of triangles, though…

Bougainvillea Wilting

Threes a-crowded

Photo101, Day 4: Blissful Captions

Pure bliss! A claw in the curtain to control the inevitable slide down, a paw ready to swat the dog’s tail, and that easy get-away. Such fun!!

Ready for mischief

Get ready. Get set. Gooooo!

Photo101, Day 3: Water

Water surrounds me. I live on a tiny island, barely 17 miles across, that would fit quite comfortably inside Los Angeles, where I lived previously. Although I’ve live here for over 2 years, it wasn’t until I obtained my DSLR, a painting assignment, and this Photo 101 assignment that I really thought about what the water that surrounds me is, and what it means–not only to me, but to the people who have spent most of their lives here, on the island of St. Martin, that is home to two countries and about 80,000 people. Today, I finally had a chance to take my new camera to a nearby beach.  I took photos of the water breaking on rocks, and photos of the “point” marking the resort on the very edge of the village of Maho, on the Dutch side of the island.  For my art class, I wanted the photos of the waves crashing against the shore and rocks.  But for this assignment, I wanted the other shots, taken close enough to sunset to color the water and the horizon in hues that are difficult to see across lakes or rivers–maybe even along other seas.  The water in these photos are the Caribbean Sea.  If I had the time to drive to Orient Bay, it would have been the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the photos instead. Another day I’ll take those photos, but not today.

No_Green_and_purpleThis first photo is the second one I took. To be honest, it was difficult to see exactly what would appear in the photo. With the sun in my eyes, I was wearing sunglasses when I took it. I knew approximately what I was seeing, but not exactly. You can see that the sun is very low in the sky. I was surprised when I viewed the photo on my computer that the clouds formed positively fascinating patterns.  The darker clouds in the foreground have been hanging around most of the day, dropping a bit of badly needed rain. It wasn’t enough to fill our cisterns or our water supplies, but it helped some of the flora on the island to fresh and aerated rain again instead of the low oxygen content of our captured cistern water.

After the clouds, I looked carefully at the water itself. I saw the ripples of the tide coming in even though this was not the best position to catch the waves lapping the sand, closer and closer to the rocks with each soft wave. The light from the sinking sun formed a jagged ribbon more reminiscent of the tinsel garland on Christmas trees than a tattered bit of cloth, with a shimmer that augments rather than detracts from the blur of sun on the resort at the point of the cove.

The first photo I took, which I show second because there is something very special about it that even showed up on the viewer on the camera, is my favorite of the two–not only because of that something special, but also because I was actually able to see what I was shooting, and I kind of like the off-center framing. What I saw in this photo is a wider view, giving the impression of a wider expanse. The blur of sun is still there, but it no loner captures the tattered ribbon of its reflected light. In this picture, I feel the vastness of the sea surrounding me–and I guess I consider myself as much a part of the island as it has become a part of me. I also see the more of the clouds, especially that beautiful ring like a halo around the sun.


But here is the surprise: If  you look more closely at the small dot of light toward the left of the photo, you will see that it is green, not the expected blue of the sky shining through the clouds, or a reflection of the water which is clearly not a green reflection of the Caribbean Sea. At that distance, the water is deeper and holds a deep blue-gray color. A popular activity here on the island is to watch the sun set over the water and hope for a glimpse of the Green Flash which occurs just as the sun finally sinks below the horizon of the sea.  I’ve never seen the Green Flash–not yet, anyway.  Usually, when I’m up and about in the evening, I’m either not close to a beach, or there are too many clouds hanging over the water.  The clouds obscure the Flash, and many a tourist leaves the island disappointed because they didn’t see St. Martin’s Green Flash.

The green dot is not the Green Flash, but probably is based on a similar principle, that is a reaction to the “last” bit of light reflected on the water just before the sun’s rays disappear.  In this case, I think the hole in the clouds is getting the last bit of sunlight that it’s going to get for the day.  In fact, a few frames further of exactly the same scene clearly shows no green spot.  And if you zoom in a bit on this photo, not only do you see that the spot is indeed green, but that there is a faint purplish ring reflected from the clouds that parted just enough to show the green.

That the “flash” is not seen in the first photo is understandable–I was shooting that photo to give the scene “height” and the feeling of depth over that of breadth.  Had I looked at the wide photo before shooting the long photo, I may have concentrated on that rather than on the different viewpoint. What is truly interesting to me is that the long shot contains the same cloud formation as the wide photo and was taken literally a second or two after the wide shot–but there is no green light surrounded by purple. Something about taking the wide shot (which I think captures vastness better) allowed its capture, while the long shot (which seems to capture distance better) may have been responsible for the difference in the color of the dot.  Or maybe, just like the Green Flash, it disappears almost the instance it shows up…





Photo101_1: Home

#Photo101, Day 1: A Photo of Home

Home is what I do inside the walls and where I work the most.  There was a neater picture that would tell you something about me and what I do and how I live, but this one is more the real me. What you don’t see in this one that would have shown up in the other photo is the camera I took it with.  I used the iPad to make that one, but I thought I needed that to be in the picture, since it’s more a part of me than I can say. I read books on it, take notes on it, snap photos when I remember I have it handy, etc. But the camera I used to take the photo is the one I want to learn to use–the one that will eventually giveD2A5A640-478E-4922-9F8B-5C1C975D5CA7 me more control over what my photo looks like in the end, before it goes through any beautification ritual at the local Photoshop program on this computer. Except that the kittens and dog are not in this mess (thought they are undoubtedly lurking somewhere nearby), and neither is my neatnik husband (who is at work), this is where I live between the hours of 8:00 AM and about 5:00 PM.

Needless to say, I love my toys–pencils, paints, electronics, cameras… And then it all gets ruined when I have to get some real “bring home some money” work…