archive for '365'
it had been on the wane for a while now, but i’ve decided to officially call it a day with the 365. i’m sorry i didn’t get to finish it – i don’t even know how far i got, perhaps 175?, i lost count a way back and never caught back up. the gaps were becoming more frequent and holidays have always been the time i find it hardest to keep up, so the start of the summer holidays seems like a good natural finishing point.
i started the project in the hope that it would keep me awake creatively, without demanding too much in the way of time, space or effort while i was concentrating on the new baby thing. and it worked a treat, although of course i managed to find plenty of ways of getting out of my depth and my camera collection has grown exponentially. it really got me much more comfortable with my dslr and photoshop, as well as reviving my interest in film and film processing. it helped me see in different ways, and really pushed me out of my comfort zone, particularly photographing strangers.
but my passion for the project melted away almost overnight as soon our little room took shape and i could sew again. i’m doing something textile-related every day now, so the need to keep something creative going with a camera has evaporated. i could try to push on with it, but i don’t want it to turn into a chore, and i don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone, least of all myself.
i’m so glad i started the project, and took it as far as i did. looking back i’m rather astonished that i took some of those pictures. so 204 pictures (that’s the current count on flickr, there may be one or two knocking around here i never uploaded), 15 months (i said there were a few gaps!) and several shiny new cameras later, it’s goodbye project 365.
i didn’t have much chance to think about taking photographs for fun today. sunrise, instax.
this was a fabulous morning. i really appreciate my time alone nowadays. i got to walk over to the market and pick up some veg for christmas all by myself. a 3 mile round trip with my ipod and ample photo opportunities thanks to the fog, totally uplifting.
an interesting editing excercise, since i had half a dozen or so candidates. i think i picked the least obvious one, i like the textures and dodgy curvature.
takes after her mother
this dreadful pic is the only digi one i took this day. we don’t have a (conventional) tree so this was her first bauble. we were at a party and i was playing with the rollei. i doubt i got anything usable out of it, but was fun trying, the world looks pleasingly different through that vignetty finder.
it’s gratifying (yet somehow alarming) how quickly M responds to attention, her behaviour can turn around over night. we’ve both been missing our time together and lately i’ve been doing the bath/bed routine that dad had taken over since G arrived. as a result she can’t do enough for me the rest of the time. it’s lovely to see the considerate, caring, carefree little girl we know and love show her face a bit more often.
i like the movement of the water in this picture, M’s presence is definitely in the frame this time. the floaty things are her dress-up stick-on bath people.
my brain is shot. not entirely pregnancy/small children related, i’ve never had the best memory, but i’ve really started to notice it lately. hence the blog, and the photography fetish. unless i record it in some way it’s likely to disappear forever. happily this isn’t my list, i went out
the stuff M makes at school gets better and better. oh and she can write all of a sudden, after just one term. when she was small i thought long and hard about home education, it seemed to make sense in so many ways. i envied the lifestyle it brought friends who HE, the freedom from timetables and restrictions, the chance to follow a child’s natural interests and inclinations and not force them into an institutionally-determined mould. but once she hit 3 or so i realised that spending all day every day together just wouldn’t work for me, i didn’t have the patience or ingenuity to keep her entertained and me sane at the same time.
so she started preschool on a see-how-she-gets-on basis and a year on she’s really blossoming. her school is fantastic, they have kids from such diverse backgrounds they can’t fall back to a lazy one-size-fits-all approach. there is a genuine community within and around the school, M already knows kids outside her year group. her teachers are kind and caring and the whole school has a very open policy, we can always get to talk to someone with the smallest problem, which so far have been very quickly resolved. they’re not overrun with rules and regulations, which seems to be the bane of many schools. my first impression of friendly, relaxed and slightly chaotic has turned out to be spot on, and that suits us perfectly.
while i’d always consider the possibility of home ed again if things weren’t working, the leaps M is making socially and academically are a testament to how well it suits her right now.
hmm funny how this 365 thing goes. sometimes i take a picture to illustrate a point, this was just something, anything, to take a picture of at 11 o’clock last night, i never intended to write all this about it.
it’s such a joy watching a baby turn into a real person. G has just started sitting up and her manual dexterity has correspondingly jumped forward, now there’s no stopping her with her leaning and grabbing. nothing’s safe, she broke her first glass last week.
i’m not sure whether i’ve made my job harder or easier by trying to describe motherhood without including recognisable pictures of the girls. i hope it makes me think more, steers me away from the obvious, the crowd pleasing adorable kid shots (of which i have bucketloads), it certainly makes me try different angles. but i hope their usual absence doesn’t leave too much of an empty space, i’d like to think their constant presence just outside the frame (generally grabbing at the camera) makes itself felt.
it’s hard enough to be consistent with kids, it’s even harder if there’s two of you trying to do it at once and you don’t quite agree on which approach to take. how the hell is that supposed to work?
oh and that haze around the lights? pure cold.
playing pooh sticks in the freezing cold this morning.
i’m getting quite fond of my camera phone, i’m constantly astounded at how lo-fi it’s possible for 3.2 megapixels to be there’s some weird shit happening with the shutter here i think, how it has one half in focus and the other so blurry, but it nicely conveys M in constant motion, already out of the shot, with D left standing in her wake.
i got a couple of nice instaxes today, but while everyone loves a dog in a bike trailer it’s not so relevant to the task in hand. i’m getting very gradually bolder at taking pictures of strangers. i think instant film helps loads with this as it’s an ice breaker, you can show people your picture when it develops, it helps engage them. i know that applies to digi too, but it’s not quite the same – it doesn’t have the same retro charm and if someone takes a liking to a polaroid you can always give it to them, so it’s not all so much about taking.
since having kids i’m starting to understand the whole deal with ritual and tradition, why we value those links with the past. and now we’re in charge we get to initiate traditions of our own. i’m a bit about our festive season skating – i got out of it last year by cunningly being 6 months pregnant, this year i feel some rare form of temperature-related motion sickness developing but i do love riding on the big wheel.
will replace these cameraphone pics as soon as we get a new scanner but that may be a way off yet, in this case it improves on the original
it’s not so much quiet that i miss, it’s being able to choose the sounds that surround me. as anyone with young children knows they don’t have an internal monologue. everything is done out loud. which can be cute, and a rare insight into the often fantastically weird inner workings of another person’s brain. but the constant commentary can get a bit wearing. that’s nothing compared to the attrition of kids telly, i often can’t stand to be in the same room when it’s on. and then of course there’s being cried or yelled at, which seems to be happening more than i feel is reasonable lately. and if it’s my lucky day i get all 3 at once.
i literally can’t think when i’m surrounded by all this noise, the constant aural haze of demands and recriminations. in the absence of an off switch sometimes i just have to block it all out. our place is so small you can’t get away from each other and the general noises of family life, trying to pick out what you want to listen to from half a dozen different soundtracks is exhausting, but a long walk with a loud ipod can do the trick.
this is a terrible picture, nothing’s in focus and there’s cat fluff on the dial, but i like the shapes and (lack of) colour.
wish it was me.
actually today has been mostly a really lovely day, but it’s been a relentless few weeks and all the extra stuff to be done around this time of year can just tip it over from being full of wonderful things to being all too much. here’s to a brighter start tomorrow.
one of those days. G isn’t very ill but she’s unhappy and won’t be put down for a moment. she has a cold plus i think her teeth must be bothering her to make her so unlike her usual cheerful self. of course i had a million things to do today so just curling up on the sofa together wasn’t an option (and tbh wouldn’t have cut it anyway, the only way to cheer her up is company, she was much easier to distract once M and friend came back from school).
i dug out the instax for M as fuji are reviving the brand with the new range of cheki cameras and so the film is now plentiful and cheap unlike a couple of years ago when we last used it. i’m still getting used to the minimum focusing distance as would be obvious in the print if i hadn’t just snapped it on my camera phone (temporary measure until i have scanning facilities again). i took a couple of sky shots early this morning (that i couldn’t shoe-horn into the topic of motherhood, no matter how i tried ) and i’m still loving those fuji blues. i let the girls take 2 shots each (it aint so cheap i aint rationing it), theirs were better than mine
cheesy i know but everyone’s doing it on the 365 group (bigger boys and girls made me do it). also cheesy, but true it turns out, is the whole ‘christmas is all about the kids’ schtick. i’ve always been a sucker for christmas, it’s too damn sparkly for me to resist, but it’s so much more fun when you have kids to share the excitement with too.
(sorry couldn’t resist )
motherhood drives you outside. by nature i’m a homebody, a net surfer, a crocheter, not so much a fresh air brisk walker. but even i find that when the opportunity presents itself (i.e. it’s not pissing with rain, a rare enough event here) it’s good to get out. with a baby it gets them to sleep, gets you away from the mountain of housework that’s threatening to collapse with you at the bottom of it. with a toddler it stops them trashing the place and burns off all that energy. i find the enforced leg stretching and daylight good for my head too.
i’m pleasantly surprised at these pics from my new camera phone a k810i on an irresistable deal. i upgraded in the belief that the cybershot branded phone would have a better camera than my existing phone. indoors with the flash off (what i do, in case you hadn’t spotted) it’s absolutely dreadful, due to ridiculous choices the software makes about shutter speed/iso that can’t be adjusted. however, it’s mostly supposed to be my out and about camera so it’s there that the performance is critical and these are fine, they look much better off the phone than they did at the time. i’m also quite pleased that my instinct for composition is developing. these were rattled off with very little thought as we were out with friends, but the compositions are all pretty pleasing (to me at least and that’s what matters).
this is the after picture
i have ongoing colour profile issues that are too complicated for me to fix and which mean i’m not totally happy with this. i suppose i could jump ship to safari, where my pics look as they look to me in photoshop, but still the rest of you on firefox would be getting these rather lacklustre unsaturated versions. while i tend to use colour selectively, i like it to be there when i want it, and as it’s showing now this just isn’t. never mind, i have a rare few minutes all to myself right now and i’m buggered if i’m wasting that time trying to fix it, so this is how it stays.
long, busy day. literally last minute picture as my experimental shots earlier in the day didn’t turn out. D’s suggestion as the epitome of motherhood. i guess the fact that i made it specially with M’s favourite things – chicken and mushroom – and she barely touched a drop is pretty typical too.