Just around the corner

I’ve always had a problem shooting landscapes. I really stink at it! However, I can be so touched by beautiful scenery, that I silently (our loudly, depending on the occasion) curse my lack of skills. It’s something I absolutely want to learn, but I never take the time to do it properly. Because, to practice shooting landscapes, one should go somewhere where at least there is something worth that name. My garden is not big enough to be able to shoot landscapes…

But every once in a while, there is that shot, that precious shot, that nails it. Just around the corner, the first day of a new year, completely frozen and so breathtakingly gorgeous that I fall in love with this place over and over again.

 

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How it began…

Christina B from the lovely blog Searching for Ironman nominated me for a Liebster Award (damn you “lobster “autocorrect!). When I discovered the questions, I had so many ideas that I decided to turn them into separate posts instead.

  • How did you get into blogging or photography?
  • Where would you most like to travel to and why?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • When you travel to a place you have never been before, what is the first thing you like to do?
  • How do you get ideas for your blogs or photo shoots?
  • How many countries have you been to?
  • What aspect of blogging do you love the most?
  • Where is you next travel destination to?
  • What is your favorite downtime activity?
  • What is/are your goal(s) in life?

 

begin blogging

 

I’ve always felt a writer, but very soon I realized fiction was not my thing. Reflections, journaling and memories… that’s where my heart lies. I filled diary upon diary (correction: I always filled the first few pages and then fell for yet another beautiful notebook). When I finally had my own computer with permanent internet access, I set my first steps in this blogging world. On LiveJournal first, later on Blogger. I often switched between blogging in my mother tongue and blogging in English. Obviously the English has stuck – mostly because I like the wide range of people who might stumble upon what I write. It’s the language I used from the start here on WordPress.

 

Photography is a whole other thing. When my husband and I went on our first big trip, I only had a simple compact camera. As we were in the middle of National Geographic-like scenes, I was very disappointed that I could not take photographs that were as stunning as the surroundings. I blamed it on the camera, which, of course, is only partially correct. For our honeymoon, I did buy a decent DSLR – and still the photos weren’t very impressive (some were, luckily). I loved the camera though, and when my son was born, there was my reason to practice! I think 2013 is the year in which all the photos I took have my boy for subject…

 

I’m still learning. To blog. To feel my camera. I have no professional ambitions with this, but I like to be good at something. I would want to be good at this. This is my playground. And that’s the reason I blog anonymously. Because I want to keep it that way.

 

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Project 365 – no kidding

Finally, the grading is over. I sometimes felt like it was never ever going to end. But then it did. And now I can surf the Internet without feeling guilty. Hurray!

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I’ve been thinking about ways to pick up my camera more often in 2015. I realized that I had plenty of pictures from the first year Little Boy was born (and of course he’s in all of them – minus three or so) but 2014, the photographing was just less frequent. And in my opinion: less pictures I really liked. As a teacher I just know practice is the key, but taking (out) the big camera and playing around with it just doesn’t happen that often.

Which also means I have less pictures I can use for my blog. So there I was, surfing around, and Pinterest brought me a few interesting Project365 posts. I’ve always liked the idea. I probably started that kind of projects way too many times and never stuck with them. But as my goal is mainly to take more pictures of the everyday, each one is a step towards that goal. And If I manage to blog more often in the process, that would be great.

Anyone doing a project 365 or something similar in 2015?

Snippets from some time ago – seagulls

 

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I always try to snap pictures of seagulls whenever I have the chance. They never turn out the way I want. I comforted myself with the idea that it’s exactly why I love those birds: they’re the ultimate symbol of freedom. To me they’re like flying exclamation marks. I like them, even if they’re brutal and rude (at least at our coast, where some of them are convinced that any type of food at the beach, whether it’s in the hand of a human person or not, is theirs… who can blame them? The shore used to be their territory and theirs alone…)

This one was flying along with his mate along the Emerald Coast of Brittany. How I love northern Britany, how the view changes with every turn you take. How it’s impossible to follow the sealine by car, but how a long trail takes you from the very east to the very west of that same shore. We discovered little pieces of paradise and wondered how on earth it was possible we were the only ones there.

I tried to capture the landscape. And suddenly, they were there. I clicked out of habit, played along while they were there.

When we came home, the pictures of our trip rested in my camera. Only a few weeks after, I watched them and put them on my computer. This one hit me right in the face. This is the one I’ve been trying to take for all those years. From the very day I felt that connection with those birds up until now. I was almost in tears. This is August. This is Brittany. This spoke to me at sweet sixteen. It still speaks to me, fourteen years later.

There is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the Flock.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach

Photo a Day – exactly halfway

Through summer, I mean. It shocks me how fast time is going.

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1. Landscape. My dog was happy with this one, ’cause I finally took her on a walk again, just the two of us. And my camera – I’m using my iPhone for this. Landscapes like this are quickly disappearing, mostly because every empty spot is getting built on. It’s ironic. 

 

2. Lunch. I enjoyed my sundried tomato-spread, turkey and arugula sandwich a lot. Little Boy wasn’t too hungry and didn’t eat much of his lemony broccoli pasta.

 

3. S is for… shadows! Very early morning walk, wit my very early little bird. I keep telling myself he’ll eventually sleep in. When he’s sixteen or so. But I love this picture. It’s one of my favorites from the last weeks.

 

4. In the middle… of a big pantry purge. Shame on me, I cannot seem to avoid food waste like I should. Really have to work on that one.

 

5. Pile. I managed to empty the floors of my disastrous home office room. I’ll get to the piles. Sometime. I hope it will be before September, because I would want to start with a clean slate.

 

6. Thankful for… my Little Boy. Motherhood overwhelms me sometimes, but it’s so worth it. I never ever could have imagined I could love someone this way.

 

7. Spot. I brought our lovely dog to her vacation address. I decided to take the train, as it is a 2hrs drive and at least I would be able to read a little. Turned out to be very crowded, but she behaved perfectly.

 

I really enjoy this challenge set by Fat Mum Slim and I bought the Little Moments app she developed too. I consistently use the same filter, because I like how everything comes together so nicely, but there are some beautiful alternatives to be found in the app. The only thing I cannot seem to manage is to make the app post to my FB page instead of my personal profile, so I save the pictures to my camera roll and post them from there. Works fine too. 

And as you can see, I finally decided to give PicMonkey a go. And I have to laugh every time when messages pop up (you know, when you haven’t logged in for a while, that they took the freedom to eat the cookies on my desk, or the ‘oh no, are you sure you don’t want to save this masterpiece’ stuff…).

 

What are your favorite photo apps or programs?

July Photo a Day – week one

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I’m having huge fun with the July Photo a Day challenge by Fat Mum Slim. It encourages me to get out my camera as often as possible and look with a different eye. Besides the daily prompts, I have a lot of pictures now that show details in my home or surroundings, and plenty of Little Boy of course. I thought it would be nice to share my journey with you…

 

1 – RED + WHITE – I’m in love with the fresh raspberries, straight from the garden. They taste better in the sun though. Today it has been raining and well… it’s just not the same!

2 – SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH K – my mother tongue has plenty of words beginning with k (like cherries or cuddle), but English is apparently way more difficult. So I went with the keys. I have all my keys together, so if I lose this bunch, I’ve lost a way to enter my home, to start my car, to open many doors at school, to arrive at my parents’ house without them being there… Maybe it’s because they’re attached to a hideous pink keychain, but I’ve never lost them *touches wood*

3 – MATCH – doggie matches LB’s football. Ironic. She hates doing anything energy-consuming. If she would be born a cat, her name would’ve been Garfield. A little lazy and very much attached to comfortable things. Like a lap. Or a playmat to snuggle on. Food however turns her into a sharp, smart and quick little being.

4 – STARS – Belgium got kicked out by Argentina. Let’s pick up our lives now.

5 – ON THE TABLE – I would’ve loved to show something food related here, but LB lately got into the habit of collecting a series of things, pick them up one by one to offer them to us. We have to line them up for them, or at least help him do it. It works with everything. Juice boxes, water bottles or farm animals alike. My cute little colonel.

6 – VIEW – Across the street there is some land that always gives me the feeling that I’m somewhere far away. It’s a pity that it’s for sale and when sold, they will probably build on it in no time.  So I enjoy the view whenever I can.

7 – FIRST – Litlle Boy got his first haircut! He was a bit sleepy and snotty and therefore very calm and still. The best possible circumstances – he did very well and I liked how the hairdresser explained me as much as she could.