"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “still life

Driveway Still Life 

  Eastern Redbud and raindrops on gravel with weeds

Happy Place: Weekly Photo Challenge

Krista Stevens at WordPress challenged bloggers this week with this prompt “Have you ever felt like the world was being a bit too rowdy? Where things and people were pushing in, crowding out your quiet thoughts — the ones that need time and space to surface?”     Yes, Krista, yes. 

My number one Happy Place cuddling a grandchild in my arms, getting them to smile or the growing up grandchildren sitting next to me on the couch, reading a book or playing a game.  Laughing with grandchildren is the best.

And there’s the knitting I go to-another happy place- a form of meditation, the repetition-  but this post shows my kitchen where I can ward off winter chills (or autumn chills) and feel all is right in the world.  (Even if it’s not.)

——————————–resposted from original December 2011———————-

First Day of Winter Still Life in My Kitchen

Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.

You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees.  The shortest day of light.  Winter officially here.

Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon.  It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.

Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene

Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.

A faithful  blog reader in Virgina, C, (and  best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was  J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year.  The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.

I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered.  Finding the joy of winter.  My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it.  i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street.  I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.

Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.

A Variety of Reds in my Kitchen, Photographed with a New Mirrorless

reds in the kitchen

Red Still Life in the Kitchen Photographed with Mirrorless Camera

Portable, lightweignt. Able to fit in a small bag instead of a huge one.  Not so bulky.

Interchangeable lenses. A postive review all around.

You don’t always want to lug heavy DSLRs and weighty (but wonderful) glass around your neck.

A phone camera isn’t sufficient as an alternative.

AND there was the bonus of a hefty instant rebate at time of purchase.

I’d been looking and thinking about mirrorless cameras for awhile.

Reading reviews, I thought it would be a Fuji but the SONY a5000 had an affordable 20.1 Megapixel price that seemed fortuitous.

I’m satisfied with the results so far.   Will keep experimenting.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist

garlic and shell


Sad Tulip in a Swan Neck Vase

This lone tulip was left out of the water overnight. I tried to revive it, see if it could stand up again. Gave it a drink.

The curved lines seem to repeat.

My dad gave me two of these vases ages ago.
The students have been photographing the white tulips and painting them in Photoshop elements
to make them a color.


Getting to be Glove Season

A found still life down in the Strip District on 33rd Street.  I was just teaching texture last week and then I found this scene after the fact.

Looks as if these were washed up onto some shore.

Gloves and Gravel might be a better title.  Do you know where your gloves are?

(Okay Rob, Kristin and Kathryn I know you don’t need them in Florida or Hawaii and other warm climate followers- Enjoy your warm weather!)

gloves and gravel


Thirteen Hundredth Post Today

This is the blog’s 1300th post today.  I don’t think I mentioned when it hit number 1200 or 1100. Thanks for following and looking and writing when you can.

 Maybe it was the 13 which was the lucky number for two of my kids on their baseball uniforms years ago!   

 I was sitting on the floor and looked at some of Matthew’s books on a shelf at his Aunt Mary’s, thinking about him.  Saw the brick wall reflected in the vintage looking alarm clock. 

bookshelf and alarm clock

Red Pears by Candlelight

This winter will be the winter of photography by candlelight. I mean you have to have a plan. Try something new. Challenge yourself. The early darkness seems a good opportunity to light candles and experiment with low light. Bought some red pears. They don’t look red in this photo but my goal is to not manipulate the images. Find the right white balance. Not going to poach these orbs in wine or make a pear tart. I’ll pack them in my lunch bag for school and slurp their refreshing juice at the end of my lunchtime – hurriedly before period 8 starts.
Will be doing some more candlelight images and dm looking for some human volunteers for portraits by candlelight, right in my dining room.



Duct Tape Still Life

You can do a lot with Duct Tape  and now it comes in an array of colors and prints.  And if you are interested in the history and how it was used in WW2 to seal ammo boxes you can click here.  This assortment is not your grandfather’s Duct Tape!

My friend’s daughter Wylie makes Duct Tape wallets and hair bows and all kinds of interesting accessories with this stuff. I saw her rolls of tape all set up, ready to be turned into various creative forms and although it was dark, a bit of light reflected on the pyramid and caught my eye.  She is really good at making brightly colored wallets and has a few customers who order her wares.  Another time I will show her at work. With the start of the new school year we did not get the opportunity for a photo shoot of her at work making duct tape crafts yet.

A lot of the patterned and multi-color tape  is branded Duck Tape but whatever it’s named, most households have a roll of it somewhere in a junk drawer or tool box or garage, waiting to be put into action.

Granddaughter Anna and I made a few Duct Tape wallets and it was sticky business to start but we mastered handling the tape and were pleased with the results.  There are tons of DIY videos out there and lots of written instructions on the web to help.  Getting used to handling it is tricky and not letting it stick to itself and get messed up is key!

Wikipedia says-

“Duct tape is commonly used in situations that require a strong, flexible, and very sticky tape. Some have a long-lasting adhesive and resistance to weathering.”


Mangoes Ripening Still Life

Waiting for just the right moment.  Going to be mixed with fresh strawberries and served on Orange Granita.


A simple bowl.
Tiles from Turkey.
Placed on a wide window sill.
Three mangos/mangoes sit.
The produce man asked,
“When do you want to eat them?”
as you make your purchase
on a Monday
at the stand.
“These will be ready
by Friday” he says
with authority.


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