Well, at least the background is green.

via Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!

Having fun with my iPhone SE. The camera+ app lets you do fun things including Macro.

The clover featured above is one example. Here’s another:

macro_flower2

Just for grins, here’s the same flower in normal mode:

small_flower_not_macro

Still working on focus and image crispness, but making progress:

rose

Here’s a great site for more tips about using your iPhone creatively.

Here’s a great book, Art with an iPhone, by Kat Sloma that can help you get the most out of your phone.

And here are just some general thoughts about Photography as Creative Expression.

Copyright  © Thomas Ward 2017

Cold Tea

via Daily Prompt: Immerse

I hit the send button and my manuscript is off to the editor. I glance to the lower right of the screen. 3:17 AM. Hmm. Finished. I hope he likes it. Oh well. I’m done for now.

Reflexively I tilt my head to the side, twisting the back of it forward and down at an angle toward my shoulder, hearing — no feeling — the subtle crunch of vertebrae — like cracking knuckles, but much more satisfying.

Only now, in this quiet moment, the clicking of the keys a faint memory…the deep abysmal silence of my own mind. The pressure in my temples. Could I not have felt that pressure before? An odd inward force, like my entire head has just now given up its role as a distraction sentry — keeping my eyes on the screen, my fingers on the keys, keeping all else at bay. I am still trapped inside my own mind. Conversation an impossibility as my head still clenches to not let go of its singular duty to maintain focus

Panic — no, milder — unreasoned concern — did I include that last reference, did I check the headings or just the text? Like having driven on a long roadtrip, arriving at my destination with only faint glimpses of memory of how I got there. Not going to check.

It’s good enough, for now. I’ll check in the morning. Right now I’m tired — and something else — my hands are freezing, I’m shivering almost uncontrollably. It feels sudden, but must have been building. How could I not have noticed? Tea — that’s it — I need tea — soothing warmth.

I stand and my knees complain, “how could you have kept us bent like that the whole time?” Sorry. Dropping the chamomile bag into the cup, draping the thin thread over the side, filling it with water from the filtered refrigerator spout. Walking, still stiff,to the microwave. I press the button, opening the door — and laugh. Another cup, oversteeped, cold, like me. No idea how it got there, but I must have gotten up sometime earlier in the writing siege. Don’t remember. I guess I was immersed.

Copyright  © Thomas Ward 2017

Photography as Self Expression

Photography as Self-Expression

One really great way to express your creativity is with photography. It can open your eyes to a whole new way of seeing the world. You don’t need the fine motor control required for drawing or painting, though cultivating an eye toward composition would be good. And you probably already take lots of pics of children and grandchildren, or your beloved pets. You already have a jumpstart on a fulfilling way to capture visual insights.

Don’t know how to get started? To take it from representing things literally to creating your own vision? Visit the Books link in the menu bar for a range of books to get you going. But you can also start by just starting. And you really don’t need fancy equipment. If you have a smartphone, it probably takes pretty good pictures. iPhones and Androids have lots of useful built in features, but you can do much more with them than you may realize by installing an app or two. The photo below is with an app, camera+, that let’s you treat your phone as though it had a macro lens. If you want some inspiration about what more you can do with them, really nice guide is available through this link to the iPhone Photography School.

macro_flower2

So get started. Go out. Or stay in and look around your house. But wherever you are, look at the things you take for granted in a new way. Look at the trees, the buildings, the cars, the sofas, chairs and refrigerators — everything — from new angles, at different times of day, from close up to see textures you normally don’t notice, etc. etc. etc. Click, click, click.  The more you take, the more new insights you discover about a world that was already there but you overlooked.

It also might help to have a supportive community of others to stimulate you. A great one is the Google+ Weekly Photo Project community. You can try out a different photographic challenge each week, with no pressure and lots of encouragement. The photo at the top of this post is from my iPhone that I posted to that site. My friend was near a mural and I snapped quickly to catch her looking like she was actually in the street scene. The result was a fun new way to look at things.

When you’re ready to move on to richer images, then you can think about one of the dozens of wonderful digital cameras from the most basic point and shoot variety to elaborate digital single lens reflex (DSLR) marvels.

But most of all, have fun. This is for you, not for anyone else.

Copyright  ©   Thomas Ward 2017