Pictures for Pam, Day 109: Macro Monday: "What Has it Gots in its Pocketses?"

(+8 insets!) It's been pouring cats and dogs since last night and hasn't stopped coming down. Steve and I drove into Medford to do our shopping and though the driving conditions aren't great, it's given us the rare chance to witness actual flooding. For the first time in a couple of years, our area is overly saturated with water and turning pastures into ponds! The volume of water is pretty amazing to see. We're supposed to get precipitation for the next week so it will be interesting to find out what happens. Right now I'm cuddled up in my bed with blankets tucked in around me while I type up my post. I like to go into our bedroom to write so I can concentrate without distraction. Steve and I have a pair of computers set up in our game room but it's hard to focus if he talks to me or makes too much noise and the perfect solution is to write in a quiet space. I keep looking outside because it isn't raining anymore...it's SNOWING!! I'm watching huge, heavy snowflakes fall to the ground and instantly melt. Not long after we got home, Steve exclaimed loudly, "It's snowing!" And indeed it was...small, wet flakes at first, but now they are much larger though still very wet. It's mesmerizing to see the different sizes of flakes and to check if the snow is sticking yet. We hope that it will...that would mean more fun photography opportunities! It is exciting to see so much snow coming down, it's so beautiful. (Alas, it has returned to rain, but I did include a panorama inset of the snowy hillside across the valley from us…it's high enough for the snow to stick up there but not down here!) Well, today is MACRO MONDAY!! The theme this week is "Belongings" but I have renamed it, "What Has It Got In Its Pocketses?!" After all, no Hobbit-loving person would ever resist such a perfect opportunity to quote our dear Gollum! :D For my project, I kept an eye on the different things that I had in my pockets over the week...rubber hair scrunchies...lens clothes...my phone, which fits into a large pocket on my pants...Blistex...camera lens cover...pecans and seed treats for Pumpkin...tissue...lint...heh... I chose my favorites and if you read my post yesterday, you'll know that I had a great time and was very late posting my pictures because I lost myself in creative bliss! :D The main picture shows a green lens cloth and you'll see a black one as an inset along with rubber hair scrunchies and my phone in its well-worn case and also a pair of images of the phone screen. What fun...I sure do love these projects that have me photographing totally different stuff! (Oh, I also included a second panorama about 15 minutes later than the first one...look at the difference!) Pam, since it's been raining nonstop, I looked in your photo stream and found a beautiful picture of a droplet-covered Snowdrop ! It's so pretty but the story you included is its match. Thank you so much for sharing the reason that you love these flowers so much. And did you know that I was also an 8-month baby? What a surprise--another thing in common! Here's a big *HIGH FIVE* and a *HUGGGG* as well! Explored on 2/26/19, highest placement, #5.

Pictures for Pam, Day 102: Macro Monday: Company Logos

(+14 insets!) (my apologies, I misunderstood the concept so I did the project twice!) I woke up to another very light dusting of snow which melted quickly as the sun rose over the hills. It's been very cold today but bright and sunny. What a nice change from the dreary grey days we've been having lately! In case you didn't notice, it's Macro Monday! This week's theme is "Advertising" and today I learned the lesson, "Understand the specific rules of a challenge." As in…I didn't. The rules state, "Advertising challenge: a branded product known in your country, so close that you hardly recognize it anymore. But if possible in such a way that you can guess it." I totally misunderstood. I thought the idea was to take a picture of advertising at a macro level. With this in mind I got a bunch of pictures of advertising around the house. Then, for an interesting twist, I found some ads online which I then took pictures of so they would be macros. I was happy with what I came up with but something told me to look at the rules again. Which I did at 3pm on Monday. Oops. Once I realized I misunderstood the directive I grabbed my camera and tried again. We're not supposed to say what the subject is so you'll just have to try to figure it out! I took pictures of three very well-known company logos, and a fourth one worked from my photo shoot yesterday. I'm also including all of my misunderstood pictures so you can see what I came up with originally! I hope you can stand all of the insets! :D Pam, what did you do for your career? I am a graphic designer so the subject of "advertising" is burned into me. I hope you had a career that made you feel satisfied. Doing graphic design is really fun for me but only when I can stand behind what I'm involved in. Thankfully I have only worked for companies that essentially make people happy, which is a driving force in my life. Sending *BIG HUGGGGS* from southern Oregon!

Pictures for Pam, Day 95: Macro Monday: Spots & Dots

(+5 insets!) (enlarged is best!) Today is just icky...blustery, cold, grey and inhospitable. In fact, as I am listening to the wind howl against the windows and shake the door, I admit that I haven't stepped outside even once! All the snow is gone except a little patch in protected areas, but it may get cold enough for more snow in the next few days. I am so glad that Steve made a huge pot of mushroom soup for our dinner, it's perfect for this chilly day! And now...we all know what day it is...it's Macro Monday! Hooray! This is my day to stray from my usual nature photography and play around with inside subjects! This week's theme is "Spots and Dots"...I immediately thought about ladybugs, beetles or flowers with spots on them, but vetoed the idea. Discovering indoor solutions is a fun challenge and I was sure I could find something perfect if I looked. I realized that fabric would be a wonderful place to find spots and dots so I dove into our closet and found a treasure trove! Shirts with tiny dots in the pattern, colorful buttons, and lots of pretty spotted fabrics too. I still have some of the beautiful clothes I would wear when Steve and I went out dancing many years ago. With the pretty sheen and cool bokeh I got I knew they'd be the stars of this show. My main image is a pink leopard velour fabric used in a little halter top. The insets show some other pretty fabrics that turned out nicely too. Naturally I couldn't resist changing the colors on a couple of them for fun! :) Pam, do you guys ever have wind storms? They can be really distressing to me because big gusts can shake the whole house. I don't like the mournful sounds either which make me feel very out of sorts. And...with intense wind storms we sometimes get power outages that can last hours before the downed lines are found and fixed. Not so bad when the weather is warm but when it's freezing it can be really bad. We know this first-hand with a winter power outage that lasted two days a few years back. After that, we bought a small generator and it's come in handy several times. Peace of mind is priceless. Well, I'd love to teleport some of our yummy mushroom soup to you but I haven't gotten the kinks worked out! Here's a virtual *HUGGGGGGGG* instead! Keep warm my dear! Explored on 2/12/19, highest placement, #8.

Pictures for Pam, Day 88: Macro Mondays: Porcelain

(+7 insets!) (Please view large) :) Well, you know what day it is...it's MACRO MONDAY! The theme this week is porcelain. Plates and dishes were mentioned as examples but I could have gone for something different like a porcelain figurine. The thought crossed my mind because I have some lovely porcelain horses packed away that would have been very nice. But no, what I really wanted to do was play with subtle patterning on dishware. Specifically, Steve gathered some dishes from a thrift store years ago to use in food photography. I am crazy about pure white dishware and I've wanted to take pictures since he got those plates so I wasn't interested in straying from the obvious this time. Whenever I do a Macro Monday photo shoot, I intentionally refuse to look for ideas online because I want to see what I come up with on my own. Playing around with different ideas is such fun. The whole process of learning what works and what doesn't is really cool because you slowly solve the challenge of creating a compelling image from something rather ordinary. Some ideas don't work out at all so I have to try again. Or later I'll think of something to try that I didn't think of initially. Adding to my own difficulty, only a couple of plates had interesting patterns to work with but that was enough. I ended up with six extras to share along with my main image that I hope you will all enjoy. I played around with the colors on some of the insets for fun because they are always so cool and pretty! The Macro Monday 2.0 group has been such a great experience for me. Because I'm in the US I am the last person to post pictures each week and for some reason I love that! I make a point of not looking at the contributions until after I've posted my pictures (though I do see a few sometimes because I comment on pictures throughout the day and there are usually a few MM submissions in the mix). One of my favorite things to do is to visit every contribution after I've posted my pictures. It's so much fun to see what everyone else has come up with and to be blown away by everyone's clever ideas and beautiful subjects. I love being able to give a pat on the back to each person too, because everyone likes encouragement and congratulations on doing such a great job! You will also notice that I've posted a panorama of snow on the far hillside across the valley...if you've been reading my blogs, I mentioned yesterday that it was supposed to snow today. Well, it actually DID! The snow fell just the tiniest bit here and the flakes melted instantly but it DID snow. Our altitude is just a bit too low for anything to stick but I thought it would be fun to include some proof of snow. Pam, I did a search for "plate" on your stream and found some very festive images that made me want to run over to your house and demand a feast! I also found this gorgeous image of an actual FLAMING Christmas pudding!! AMAZING!! What a lovely picture, Pam. I have to admit, I didn't have a clue what Christmas pudding tastes like, so I looked it up! I found a super page that talks about it if you're interested, just click on the highlighted words here . Oh dear. Dried and candied fruits and nuts...please forgive me for running away and holding up a chair to fend you off! I am not a fan of candied fruit, but I expect that your pudding was absolutely divine! The flame is incredible too! Thank you for the fun holiday memories, and I'm sending a virtual *HUGGGGGG* your way! Explored on 2/5/19, highest placement, #7.

Pictures for Pam, Day 81: Macro Monday: Medicine

(+14 insets...7 from now, seven from my last "Medicine" theme) :D ENJOY!! :D Today is Macro Monday! I've been looking forward to working on the topic, "Medicine," since it was announced last week. Funny enough, the group I was involved with a few years back (Bokeh Thursday) used the same topic (I've included insets so you can see what I came up with back then)! One thing I remembered was that there's just no end to the fun pictures you can take of pills and various forms of medicine. I spent a while on Sunday playing around with various ideas and ended up using spills for my pictures (A spill is when you pour a number of items onto a surface and allow them to fall as they like). I love the organic feel of this kind of picture and the wonderful bokeh that happens with anything sitting in the background. The medicines I used were actually vitamins, considered to be medicine depending on how you feel about this sort of thing. That's enough exuse for me, and we have plenty of them so I went to town with pills from our daily doses! Multi-vitamin, vitamin D, wheat grass, fish oil and Quonol...all of them were great fun to shoot! I ended up with 7 current insets, 7 insets from my past project and my main image which features Vitamin D gel capsules! (Two of them are other versions of vitamins I already shared so I played with their colors in red and purple…PRETTY!!!) Pam, I am sure you're no stranger to medicine. The older we get, the more junk we need to add to our systems it seems. Oddly enough, Steve and I don't use much medicine since we changed to a ketogenic lifestyle...we don't get colds, we don't get sick. Our aches and pains basically went away. (did you know that most of us have a lot of unknown inflammation which causes this?) I know that removing carbohydrates seems impossible to a lot of people but once we learned how to cook foods that ended up being a much tastier alternative, it was an easy transition. The health benefits are remarkable and for those who suffer from pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, keto is known to reverse and eliminate it! There are many other remarkable life-changers but many people do keto to lose weight...Steve lost 45 pounds and I lost 17. Keto is also great way to remove medication from your life, but in regards to brain injuries, I did find an article from a woman who suffered a stroke and keto helped her a lot. I wonder if it could help you? Here's the link: Healing from a stroke I am thinking about you every day! *BIG HUGGGGGS* from southern Oregon!

Pictures for Pam, Day 74: Macro Monday: Perfume Bottle

(+4 insets!) Yes! It's another Macro Monday! This week's challenge is "Perfume Bottle." This presented a problem for me because I don't wear perfume. Other than a tiniest hint of natural fragrance like vanilla or almond, I don't like perfume. Steve doesn't wear or like cologne either. This means that our house has exactly zero bottles of perfume. A few days ago I wrote a post about our hunt for a perfume bottle and as it so happened, I found exactly what I was hoping for at a local craft store. Namely, a lovely faceted bottle that would be fun to photograph and provide nice bokeh possibilities as well as fun details to look at. I didn't count on finding a bottle that had holographic rainbow tape adhered to the base! In fact, the idea didn't even occur to me, but when I saw this collection of bottles, I was SOLD! :D (It measures 2.625"/6.667cm tall) I spent some time taking lots of pictures and had a great time fooling around with different ideas. In the end I've selected four pictures as insets to go along with my main image. One of my biggest joys of macro photography is the incredible bokeh you can get. There's just no way to know exactly how this will turn out so looking at my pictures on the computer is a little bit like opening Christmas presents when they turn out nicely. This main image was a lovely present for me and I hope you like it too! :) Pam, the storm has finally passed us by and it's been bright and beautiful all day. I've been thinking about you as I've worked on my perfume bottle pictures and wishing that this lovely day is the same for you too. Please give all the dogs big hugs for me…it's World Hug Day and everyone needs as many hugs as possible. I am sure they'll all hug you back as much as they can, but I can't promise you they won't get excited and tip you over in their attempts to turn that hug into playtime! :) Explored on 1/22/19, highest placement, #2.

Pictures for Pam, Day 67: Macro Monday: Tiny Frosty Leaves

(+5 insets!) (Please view large!) Today I'm taking a break from my San Anselmo photography because it's Macro Monday and the theme didn't happen down there: frost! I was really excited when I saw the theme because I am so crazy about this subject! I could see a potential problem though. We aren't having a usual frigid winter and our days are often too warm for frost. With that in mind I figured I'd be using an image from my last frosty photo adventure. I crossed my fingers though and hoped it would be frosty during the weekend when I usually do my Macro Monday photography. Saturday was a bust--it turned out to be a low of about 40 and even though it wasn't frosty, it was a genuinely beautiful day. It was super for Steve because he was working on our deck and it was very comfortable working conditions. Sunday rolled around and I was encouraged by the chilly temperature of about 35 degrees on our porch. Walking down our road, I could see there was the slightest dusting of frost in some shady areas but that was about all. I was discouraged and thought I'd be wasting my time trying to find reasonable frosty images. Then I realized how silly I was being. Hello? I have a macro lens! And that means frosted sugar on everything! I marched up the hill, into the house, grabbed my camera and flash setup, popped on my knee pads and out I went, making a beeline towards a frosty spot I saw in our meadow. Silly me indeed! It took about two seconds to find a frosty leaf…then another…and ok, well I went completely crazy. About 45 minutes later and some 350 pictures, I finally stopped and went back into the house to copy my pictures over. So many interesting and pretty frosty things! Droplets from melted frost…cool shadows on frosty leaves…thorny leaves with frost…acorns and caps and wasp galls with frost…oh my, how do I pick? Oh, and I couldn't resist pictures of light shining through leaves…they are just so pretty. I ended up processing 6 for today, you'll see 5 insets to view as well! The moral of the day: Don't be a defeatist! Open your eyes and you will find what you are looking for…and perhaps too much of what you're looking for! :D Pam, I looked to see what frosty images you had in your photo stream and I was delighted that you have taken some very pretty shots! I especially liked your Jack Frost picture! It's fun to look at frost on cooler or warmed days because the frost can sometimes appear quite different. The feathery frost in your picture is so pretty and something I admire on the windows and roofs of our cars whenever it's cold enough! Here's hoping that you're staying warm and comfy today my dear! *BIG HUGS!!!!!* Explored on 1/15/19, highest placement, #1.

Pictures for Pam, Day 60: Macro Monday: New Year's Resolutions

(+6 insets!) Today isn't just Monday…It's MACRO MONDAY! This ipernity group took the past two weeks off for the holidays but they are now back on schedule with a new project: "New Year's Resolutions / Good Intentions for the New Year". I thought about our plans this year and how I might incorporate them into macro images. I came up with three ideas! First is our resolution to continue our healthy lifestyle--namely to continue our Ketogenic way of eating along with daily exercise. My macro could be my pile of rocks which I use to mark each lap of walking up and down my driveway for my daily exercise. Second is our resolution to get our back deck finished, which has been a fairly sizable project because there is a deck outside our master bedroom as well as the main deck. I thought the perfect macro could be showing the wood planks with droplets on them for added interest. Third is our resolution to get our RV travel underway so we can begin having adventures out and about! Our truck purchase was integral to our plans so I thought that some macros of the truck would be perfect. As it happened, it's been raining so droplets on the truck are a no-brainer! I planned to take pictures yesterday but ran out of daylight so I got out there before it began raining today…and well, I went crazy. Hundreds of pictures later I forced myself back inside and copied them onto my computer. Holy moly, what a lot of cool pictures…as you may know, I'm coo-coo about abstracts so these close-ups were really fun to look at. One of my favorite aspects to photography is meandering through my pictures, cropping them and discovering the gems. I got really lucky today...too lucky I think! :D It was really hard to choose so in the end, I processed a handful of them to share! Let me know what you think! Pam, today has been all about droplets for me, so I checked out your droplet shots--so many pretty flowers covered with drops! I especially loved your Orange Day Lily pictures…such stunning flowers and even prettier with droplets!! I hope you are doing ok today, my dear. I hope all goes well with your tests... I'm thinking warm thoughts about you as I always do! *BIG HUGSSSSSSSSS*!!!!! Explored on 1/8/19, highest placement, #2.

Pictures for Pam, Day 39: Macro Monday 2.0: Cards

(+5 insets) Alright, ENOUGH of the short days already! I woke up this morning to absolute, pitch blackness in the room. My faithful and feathery alarm clock didn't seem to mind though. At 6:45am…PEEP! :D Well, even though I really don't like getting up when it's dark I threw back the covers and started the day. I stopped to think about the dates…hmmm…today is the…16th? 17th? And the shortest day is the 21st. I groaned. Too many days! It just couldn't come soon enough As the world began to lighten, a foggy world slowly materialized outside. Wow…it was so cool looking out there! When I went for my morning walk, I made sure to take pictures with my phone…I didn't think I'd post them today but I'd have them ready for the next opportunity. Today is Macro Monday and the topic is "cards". The group's admins are taking a break for the next couple of weeks and it wasn't clear if the group would be open for posting the current topic. Thus, I didn't take pictures over the weekend like I usually do. However, when I found out the week is actually open for submissions, I spent some time digging around for different sorts of cards to photograph. I eventually came up with a number of ideas with varying degrees of success. A couple of the insets feature a deck of nature playing cards and the "J" card is a picture I took! It was such fun to have one of my pictures published, the only time this has happened. (I'm including an inset...if you click on the picture you can learn more about that story.) Pam, I think it would be great fun to play a game with you! Steve and I have a couple of huge bins filled with different board games. We always had plans of having a game night for friends but since we moved up to the countryside in Oregon, we have none! :D Still, it's fun to think about what it would be like to have game night with everyone on ipernity. Best of all, it would be wonderful to play a game with you, Pam! Feel better soon!
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