Daily Post – Photography

Daily Post Up Turned Noses

Less is More

 

I am not a snob about many things at all. I will drink any wine, wear clothing my grown children have left in the closet and I’ve stayed in some questionable hotels, however, I am a photography snob.

I am not pretentious about the equipment, I think great photos can be taken with any equipment. Nor, am I a great photographer, really. But I do not understand why people don’t take a moment to look at the scene they are shooting. Is there clutter that should be removed? Would turning the camera angle 20 degrees give you a significantly better backdrop? Are the subjects of the picture blurry?

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Taking the bad photos is not the real offense. It is  posting them on facebook, twitter, youtube and blogs. Why post blurry photos or redundant photos. If there is one bad photo of you and your cousin in front of an out-of-focus statue (snore), bad enough, but posting 4 versions is painful.

I feel bad ranting, but I must confess I do have an up turned nose about photography.

What about you, does it drive you crazy when people post blurry, redundant, crooked or cluttered photographs?

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Daily Prompt – Imagine All the People – Best Game Ever!!

Daily Prompt- The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like.

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I was excited when I read the daily prompt today. It reminded me of one of our favourite family games. We taught our children at a very young age to play this game. Spot a person, family or couple and guess/speculate their story. Occasionally, stories were a little crazy, but generally, they were well scripted, based on various clues in the person’s clothing or demeanor. There are so many advantages to this family game.

1) Location – this can be played anywhere; a mall, a park, a restaurant or in the car
2) Time – this game can occupy a few minutes but it can also last hours
3) Entertaining – this game never gets old, and always makes us think and laugh
4) Anyone can play – the younger children are not disadvantaged, like they are in intellectual games
5) Teaches observation skills – they notice details that may someday make them good witnesses to a crime
6) Teaches empathy – imagining stories about where people came from and where they are going, makes one reflect on people’s different hardships and situations
7) Makes boring times pass quickly – many a car ride has seemed shorter just by guessing where the other car passengers were going
8) No equipment required – no game boards, electronics or cards

I think every parent should teach their children to “Imagine All the People”

Daily Post – Natural World

Daily Prompt: The Natural World
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Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?

From birth, all I really knew was nature. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, on 100 acre farm in rural Ontario, in Canada.

Many fields of rocky soil were held within the borders of our land. My dad managed to cultivate a few acres of the soil for agriculture, but the majority was left to be my playground. My after school hours and weekends were spent in my imaginary world, in the best playground a kid could know. There was a field that had small boulders scattered in such a way, that if I hopped just right, I could travel for a good distance, without touching grass. Abandoned farm machinery were props in the imaginary skit of the day. A creek meandered under a bridge just in front of our white farmhouse. The snakes and frogs would be my friends for the day.

My brother had built a cabin in his wild teen days, in a remote spot back in the woods and I was thrilled when I was permitted to go solo, in search of the cabin. The tree house of my youth was six planks of wood nailed precariously between the branches of an old Maple tree. No walls, no roof, but I sure spent tons of hours up there. In the winter, there were always low spots in the fields that seemed to provide natural stating rinks and toboggan runs. When I was old enough to take my bike and disappear for the day, I’d pack a snack and ride for hours, sometimes checking out corner stores miles from home. It was the kind of freedom I am sure the boys felt in Stand By Me.

My youth on the 100 acre farm made me the person I am today. My love of nature came from my days frolicking in the open air, but it also influenced my character and all that I value. It was the best playground going, and I wish more children had the opportunity to just explore and experience nature in its purest form.

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Daily Post : Dream Destination

Today’s daily prompt “Tell us about your dream destination”.

I love travel and I believe there are many dream destinations for me. I don’t travel to rest or relax, I travel to explore new natural wonders, people, cultures or activities. I have been to Peru, New Zealand, Morocco and Belize and they have all been fabulous destinations. I just returned from Puerto Rico, though, so I thought I would feature PR, since many people would not think of Puerto Rico as a dream destination. My husband and I went for a birthday trip

Seriously the best snorkelling ever, rainforest, caves and nice people. Puerto Rico surprised us with its beauty and we always felt safe.

Leather back turtle tracks

Leather back turtle tracks

Swimming with Sea Turtles

Swimming with Sea Turtles

Kayaking around Culebra, PR

Kayaking around Culebra, PR

Clear Blue Water on Nearly Secluded Beaches

Clear Blue Water on Nearly Secluded Beaches

Amazing Coral Reefs

Amazing Coral Reefs

Eco Lodge in the Middle of the Rainforest

Eco Lodge in the Middle of the Rainforest

Coqui Frogs Singing to You at Night

Coqui Frogs Singing to You at Night

World Renowned Lecheron (Pig on a Spit) Just ask Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmerman

World Renowned Lecheron (Pig on a Spit) Just ask Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmerman

Caves with Awesome Views

Caves with Awesome Views

I am always excited about my next trip and spend hours researching and planning. It is my passion and I am continually driven to explore. Where should I go next??

Daily Prompt: Transporter to the 100 Acre Farm

Daily Prompt: Transporter. Tell us about a smell, sound or piece of music that transports you back to childhood.

Fortunately, there are many things that transport me to my youth. We had a great life, living on a 100 acre farm in rural Ontario, with loving (and not too protective) parents and lots of siblings. The lax parenting style was important because it afforded us kids the opportunity to climb the roofs of barns, build our own tree forts and disappear for the entire day on our bikes. Those were the days of summer.

But I digress, back to the senses being transported.

Whenever I hear a Polka (which, admittedly, it not that often), it takes me back to my childhood living room, dancing with my dad. My dad was a busy man, always working around the property but on Saturday nights or Sundays he would dance the Polka with me. No doubt, the weekly Lawrence Welk episodes had a big influence on us !!
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The smell of cooking grease, not for French Fries or Chicken, but a sweet fried aroma, takes me back to my mom’s homemade donuts. She would roll out the dough and press out the shapes with her donut cutter. I loved helping her and remember, so clearly, waiting for the first side to be browned and then flipping them to cook the other side. That first donut hole, was popped in my mouth the second it was just cool enough not to burn my tongue.
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Whenever I see Basic Lego blocks (a rare find these days), I am transported back to my old living room floor. It seems like every Sunday us kids would dump the Lego bucket onto the floor and get busy as town engineers. We would build an entire community, complete with house-filled subdivisions, Police station, stores and vehicles that we drove around for the rest of the day. We mildly argued over the roof tiles or particular wheels, but basically we played amicably for hours and hours. Close to supper, we disassembled it all, for next Sunday, we would begin again.
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Growing up on a hobby farm was really lucky, although, I didn’t really appreciate it at the time. But when I see a livestock truck with pigs going down the highway, I remember the cute baby pigs, calves, goats and chicks of my childhood farm. It really was a great way to grow up, plenty of hard work, a great education and we were definitely, never bored.
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It is my sincere hope that my children have sights, smells and sounds that take them back to thoughts of a happy childhood.

Daily Post: Miss Twiggley’s Tree

Daily Prompt, what was your favorite bedtime story and did it influence who you are today?

I loved the daily prompt today. It reminded me of a book I loved as a child. In fact, it is one of the few books, from my childhood that I still own. Miss Twiggley’s Tree, by Dorothea Warren Fox, copyright 1966
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This is a great book with moral messages of tolerance, kindness and prejudice. However, all of those lessons went unnoticed (at least consciously) by me, at the time. I loved this book because Miss Twiggley was the coolest lady ever. I wanted to be Miss Twiggley.

Funny Miss Twiggley
Lived in a tree
With a dog named Puss
and a color TV

She did what she liked
and she liked what she did

Who wouldn’t want to live in a giant tree house, and have bears for friends? She also did not care one iota that the people in town thought she was strange.

It turns out that my favourite bedtime story had an awesome role model, but I didn’t realize it back then. I think it might very well have influenced me to follow my heart when I act (and not to worry about what people think). I hope that Miss Twiggley’s tolerance, forgiveness and kindness have rubbed off on me, in some way or another. I loved (and still love) this book and it makes me smile remembering all the times I read it or it was read to me.

How about you? What was your favourite childhood book.
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Daily Post: Planned Whimsical Living

Daily Post: What are you more comfortable with, routine and planning or laissez-faire spontaneity?
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Travel, exploration and activity-filled weekends are on my basic necessities list. I am game to try most things at least once (short of jumping out of a plane). So the answer would seem obvious. I think most people who know me (but don’t REALLY know me) would assume I am a carefree, spontaneous woman. And really, I have tried to be, but I just can’t do it. The only way this chick is acting on a whim, is if she has carefully planned it. Planned spontaneity is my life mantra.

I begin every weekend the same way, “what shall we do this weekend? I am up for anything, I just need to know what is going down”.

I begin every day the same way, I spend 3 minutes thinking about the day’s planned events.

I earnestly research my trips. I reserve all my accommodations, have a couple of positively rated restaurants in mind and have sunny and rainy day activities planned. Notes such as, “Wander such and such neighbourhood” and “Take taxi to the hotel” are even scribbled into the itinerary. That said, I’m not a crazy, rigid person, of course, if something interesting pops up, I am flexible.

I admire the people who can be laissez-faire, like my daughter, but I just can’t do it. Planned whimsical living for me!!