Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Winter Walk at the Beach

I wasn't going to do the homework assignment for this week's Make Films class. Slo-mo, that wasn't my shooting style, and I saw no need for it. Part of this attitude was influenced by the fact that it is winter and so far I have only been shooting inside. There is nothing I could do inside that would need slow motion. Also, Findley and I were working on our next film, and I wanted to put my available time into that.

Tuesday afternoon I watched the class videos, and Xanthe said something that changed my mind. She said, even if it isn't your style or you don't see a need for slo-mo, make the film, watch how things move, learn from it. Point taken. Still I had no idea what I was going to shoot. Then I watched her inspiration films, and had a thought. What if I took you all on a photo walk with me. I have shown you photographs for years of the state park near my house with the big red lighthouse, what if I actually took you on a filmed walk of it.

Thursday morning was clear and still, even if it was only 29 degrees. I loaded up my gear: two dslr cameras, a tripod, a poetry book, my iPhone mount that fits in the hot shoe of my dslr, and my phone. It was fairly early and cold, so there weren't many people around, but the glassy stillness of the water was perfect.

Let's go on a walk...

Xanthe was right. I did learn a lot from filming this. I thought a lot about movement, and found delightful surprises when I was editing it all together. Little nuances that I will bring into future films.

This entire film was shot on my new iPhone 8 Plus. I have been talking about upgrading for the last year. In the last couple of weeks I have been doing lots of research, mostly comparing which would be the best to use in film making. The decision was between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. Yes, there is a price difference between the two, but I also budget for a new phone every two years, and it has been three years since my last phone. What it ultimately came down to was how it felt in my hand, and the iPhone 8 Plus felt right.

Only three weeks into the Make Films class, and I already feel I have learned and grown so much.

End Notes

Glen and I have three days to go on our Whole 30 food cleanse. The first week seemed like an eternity, the last three weeks have passed in a blur. I would definitely do this again, it may become a January tradition. 

In researching slo-mo ideas on Pinterest, I came across this YouTube channel. It's all about photographing and filming on your mobile device. These guys are young, hip, and funny.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Mornings with Fin

Most of you will know this face, either from here on my blog or if you follow me on Instagram, and especially if you follow me on Flickr. He has become easy prey for my 365 photography project this winter. If you haven't met him before, this is Findley, my grand puppy. Although he isn't much of a puppy anymore, since he will be turning two in one short month.

I take care of Findley a couple days a week to help break up his monotony while my daughter works. Plus it helps satisfy my dog itch, a least for the moment.

The one problem with these adorable photographs is that you only see one facet of Fin's character. But trust me, there is so much more to Fin, he really is Mr. Personality, and has been from the beginning.

To showcase his true nature, Fin and I have been working on a short film for the past couple of weeks.

Have a watch...

This also happens to fulfill the homework assignment for Week 2 of Xanthe's Make Films e-course.

Three years ago, I tried to take a year long Xanthe film course. I never made it past the first month. I realize now why I failed; I was too new into the journey, I was trying to find out who I was. I wasn't confident enough to stand up and do the assignments my own way, I thought I had to do them like everybody else, but I wasn't like everybody else, so I gave up.

Now at the start of 2018, I know who I am, I know my style, I know what I like and what I don't like. I am hungry to learn more, to take who I am and express it in the truest way.

This course is also teaching me why I struggle with sitting down and writing a story, I need a visual story. It's the same story just told in a different way, with a lot less sitting.

I use to be a daydreamer, creating elaborate stories in my head. This helped to make the boredom of my receptionist job tolerable. I would often carry these daydreams into my sleep, my imagination working on its own while I slept. But then motherhood and sleepless nights replaced deep sleep, and I was too tired during the day to daydream anyway. Eventually, if you stop using your imagination, it goes into hibernation. But it can be reawakened, you just have to start using it again, and that is what making films is allowing me to do - use my imagination again.

I love taking a subject or theme and creating the scenes to go with it. I love editing in iMovie. I love the challenge of finding the perfect music to accompany the film. I love how the films capture the essence of people/dogs and places, so much more than a still photograph can. I am also amazed at how much I can say in a one minute film clip.

Well, it's time to start working on my next film, I have some ideas floating around in my head. Stay tuned...

End Notes

My husband I have completed twenty days of our month of Whole 30. I would say by mid-way through week two it became so much easier. There are still a lot of eggs, and a lot of dishes to wash each meal, but it's worth it. All my clothes are fitting looser, and the tight yoga pants are now the only yoga pants that stay up nice and snug. I still miss my chai lattes, and a bit of sweetness in my drinks. I don't miss melty cheese or bread (too much). We definitely are never hungry.

I just completed day 140 of my 365 Photography Project. January has been a little tough with all the cold and snow. I miss being outside.

Also, if you missed it on Instagram here is my Make Films homework/completed film for Week One. 

Fin is starting to demand a higher salary. I guess I will be going back to the Pet Store for some more biscuits.

Have a great week.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Scene & Story - December 2017

I took this photograph on a particularly cold and snowy day in December. I had been to the gym early and stopped at the grocery store on the way home for a few necessities. I was over by the almond butter and bread when I saw the brightly lit case of fresh(ish) muffins next to the deli counter. I needed something for my 365 Photography project anyway, so why not. Even for "freshish" it was delicious.

Yesterday, when I started thinking about writing this post, I wanted to jump through the screen and devour that double chocolate muffin with those large chunks of granulated, crispy sugar on top. It is best that I don't even begin to describe the chai latte that is in the muted shades of green, blue, and rust hand thrown mug from my favorite potter in Leland, Michigan. Because if I start to think about HOW much I am missing my chai lattes, I will go upstairs and make one right now.

Why this suffering? My husband and I are doing the Whole 30 Lifestyle change in January. If you have never heard about Whole 30 you can check out information here. Basically it is an elimination diet, and a gut reset diet for 30 days. No dairy, no gluten, no alcohol, and no sugar. You don't realize how many things have sugar in them, until you start reading labels.

So, what can you eat? Eggs...lots and lots of eggs. Can I say at Day 6, I am tired of eggs. But you can also eat meat, almost all vegetables and all fruit.

The good thing is that there are so many recipes out there for Whole 30. I think this "diet" has been around for a few years now. Manufacturer's are catching on that this is a niche market, and creating products that are Whole 30 compliant. There is even No Sugar bacon out there now, thank heavens, but you have to get to the grocery store early to get it, because every other Whole 30 participant wants the bacon too.

So, why are we torturing ourselves like this? First, after the holidays and all the sugar, we needed a reset. But also to figure out what might be causing some intestinal issues my husband has been having for the past couple of years, we are pretty sure it boils down to food triggers. Once the 30 days are over, we will slowly reintroduce foods, and note how our bodies react to them. When the food triggers have been figured out, we can then eliminate them all together, or chose when we want to pay the price and have something.

Like I said we are only six days in, and haven't reached the rewarding days yet. We have been through the craving days, the crabby days, the mental fog days, but we are nearing the end of them, so we keep going, taking it one sugarless day at a time, one egg at a time.

Interested in recipes? Check out my Pinterest board of saved recipes here.

End Notes

Adding a new section to share some things that I am working on...

  1. To torture myself further, I signed up for a food photography class last week, this is the class. After all, it is January and it is winter, I have to find something to photograph inside, and if I can make eggs look good, maybe I will like them more.
  2. Xanthe Berkeley's Make Films class starts this week, so excited. I have already started working on my next film - A Day in the Life of Findley. If you missed my first film, you can view it here.
  3. We painted our bedroom over the holidays, it only took us a year since we started talking about it. So proud of ourselves though, we got all my photographs hung on the wall the next day, this never happens. 
  4. The kitchen project will be starting soon. Went and picked out countertops, backsplash and flooring last week. 

The End

This is the last Scene & Story Link-Up. Lee and I want to thank every one who joined us in 2017, sharing your stories and your favorite photographs. I feel like we learned a lot about you all through your stories, and hopefully you learned a little about us too. My wish is that you keep taking photographs and thinking about the stories surrounding them, continuing to share them somewhere.