Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's Halfway through January!

It's been a month from my last post, give or take a day. Work has been slow and as of the first of January I embarked on a new project. It seems 'all the rage' these days to do a 365 Project (366 on leap year). That would be take a photo a day for the year.
I have my doubts as to my ability to follow through, but so far I am doing well enough. You can't be overly creative every day. I think the point is to get out and try to find something new to shoot and "expand your horizon" so to speak. I actually sat on my deck yesterday for quite a while waiting for the "perfect" bird shot. I have a Cinnamom Camphor tree in my back yard loaded with berries. Here in central California we have yet to see a winter and the Robins are confused and think it's spring. Well, not just the Robins. The bulbs do too. I have tulips and narcissus coming up. The narcissus are already in bloom but that's not so strange... this seems to be their time. But the Robins! Tons of them flying through the sky stealing all the berries they can find.
My mom in front of the house. See how big that window is?
It reminded me of the year when I was a kid and the blackbirds were in abundance one "off" winter. The Pyracantha's had berries galore on them outside my folk's big picture window. I mean big... like 6' big... One window! can you imagine... anyway, they evidently get 'drunk' on these type of berries. It was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. They started bombing the window with their little bodies not recognizing the window in their stupor, while we sat in horror and watched them crash into it and fall to the ground - some not minding the landing but the initial impact being the fatal blow. I remember myself and my two sisters crying and hiding behind the couch and my mom, bless her heart, one of the most nurturing people I have ever known, watching in shock. We actually had to go out and clean the remnants off the glass and the little bird corpses off the ground. I will never forget that episode in my life.
Ok, so it was not that bad and the Robins did not seem to need a sobriety test yesterday, but how fun to watch them dive into the foliage and peck out the black berries gulping them down in one shot. They would get a little spooked when I clicked the shutter but the thought of "one more berry" kept them anchored to the limbs.
With that said, in my quest to '366' my year, I managed to hang in there and finally got this one shot. I got a few more, they are posted further down, but this one... nice. You really need to click on it and it will open larger in a new window. Unfortunately, my lens is not quite long enough to get a close up, but the sun shining through this guy's beak is a kick. Totally unplanned and absolutely cool. Check it out and see for yourself. This indeed, fulfills the title of the blog because sometime the magic really does work! (I did not Photoshop this other than to crop and brighten the leaves in the tree)

Here are a couple of more shots I have used some magic on and made into "paint-ography" from yesterday:

It has been quite an adventure so far on this project. I have photographed motorcycle events, my grandkids, my back yard, the local marina and some of it's wildlife, and even got to spend the day with my girls and their kids at the Ardenwood Farm taking photos of the Monarch Butterfly migration. Many of these things I probably would have missed. I guess it's been a good New Year's resolution upon which to embark. I have labeled my photo album "366 - for as long as I can" ... not especially positive but definitely realistic. I will try to update here more often and now I will have lots of fresh shots to include. 
I leave you with a few choice items from my album.

Monarch migration at Ardenwood Farms, Fremont, CA 01/11/2012

One of my absolutely favorite shots. My kids 10/11/12

John Muir House - His office 01/02/2012
At least you know you will get to see some different stuff as long as I can acquiesce to my resolution. Hang in there... who knows what's next? I surely don't! Happy Trails, my friends.

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