From My Garden – Day 15 – Triplets

Day 15

Triplets.

There are three buds in this photo but there are a bunch more on the plant, they flower into an amazing purple flower which I will photograph later on.

#macro #inmygarden #frommygarden #photooftheday #trees #tocte #coophshoutout

#visualsoflife #visualsofearth

#my_365

#justgoshoot

day-15

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Learning to live again – Linda Pollock

I have been asked by Jo to write a blog about something very personal to me as well as many others. I agreed to do so, in hopes that some one may
read this blog and realize that there is so much joy and beauty to be seen in this world.

My name is Linda. I am 48 years old and suffer with deep depression, Psychosis, as well as Agoraphobia. I will explain a little about each one as it effects me.
I am not a Dr. and don’t have the answers and may not know the right lingo, but will do my best.

Deep Depression: There are times when all of us feel blue, or a little down. Maybe something didn’t go as planned, or a loved one is sick and we feel bad for them.
Having deep depression (to me) is lower then the lowest you’ve ever felt. When every bone in your body aches. You can’t brush your hair, either because you just don’t care or because it even hurts to touch your head. When you visit a doctor for depression they will ask you a group of questions and you have to rate on a scale from 1-10
on where you are. For all the questions I have never scored any higher then 3. You are also asked from 1-10 were are your moods most of the time. My mood at a high would be at 3. So to crash into a low mean that I’m even below 1. When this happens, I don’t shower. If I do, it’s only because I have really forced myself into doing this. I’m not able to take care of my children the way they need to be taken care of. I have a boyfriend who is amazing. He drives in every morning to take my little ones to day care or school.


With out him doing this, my children would never make it. My home is a constant mess. Oh sure a 5 and 4 year old can do a lot to a home, but most days I don’t even have the ambition to pick up a piece of paper that has sat of the floor for 4 days. With deep depression every day is a chore. A chore to exist. The thoughts of dying are a constant wish. I suppose that is why I like to stay up late. The rooms are dark, and everyone is sleeping. I don’t have to force myself into doing anything. I can just sit and think. Deep depression makes a person think a lot, the only problem with that is that our thought are not in the right frame. All passed memories are relived over and over again. Each time thinking of different ways to solve the situation. At times this is all consuming.

Psychosis: Remember, I’m speaking of only myself. For many others who suffer from this, their symptoms can be quite different. Since I was a young girl I have been able to see and speak with spirits. Some times they were family members other times not. Some times even bad spirits would make them self known. This was the norm for me and never thought to much about it. Then one day I was sitting at my dining room table ( in my mid 20’s) and heard my name being called. It was a different voice and a different way of speaking. I looked around the house and saw no one. Even checked out side, no one was around. This continued for quite a few years. Never once did I think I had something wrong with me. Then a new voice yelled out one day “Mom!!”. I looked around and no one. Then about 8 years ago, while walking down the street I felt some one tap my shoulder and say “ how you doing?” I turned and no one was around me.

Now I was starting to get scared. It was happening more often. While crossing busy city streets. While sitting on a bench at a park. Once a young girl walked passed me. I could have sworn she called my name and asked me how I was doing. I looked up at her and of course she didn’t even notice I was sitting there. Then I became paranoid, and eventually went to my dr.’s. He quickly put me on meds. The voices are still there, but not as often as before. I should also add that this is different then having Schizophrenia. So like I said I became very paranoid and soon became a shut in.

Agoraphobia: Plain and simple…the fear of leaving your home. I’ve come a long way since first having it 5 years ago. Back then I lived in Hamilton Ontario, in an apartment building. I couldn’t even leave my apartment to check my mail. My sisters had to do all my shopping. I couldn’t even leave to go with them. Now I had just been given full custody of my Grand daughter. She was born a very sick baby and needed medical treatments constantly. This meant that either I had her die in my arms or I fought my illness and looked after her. I chose to look after her and began to bring her to the hospitals for treatments. Now 5 years later, I find myself able to leave the house, do my shopping, check the mail and even go out for outings…As long as there is some one with me. A couple of weeks ago I was bent and determined that I was going to step out my door and go for a walk by myself. I woke up that morning in such a panic that I bald and bald. Needless to say I didn’t go for my walk. But I’m okay with where I am with this illness. One day I will make it out on my own.

How my illness’ came to happen: I was in an awful marriage for quite a few years. To be honest I can’t remember how many years. I can’t even remember the date we got married. I remember the day  I left and the day I arrived in Hamilton. After that life for me became a blur. I ended up in a hospital on the phsyc ward for 3 months. Left and began to see a physiatrist 3 times a week. The Dr’s nurse would call me a cab I would take the cab to the hospital, and the meter didn’t change. I was less then 5 minutes from the hospital and couldn’t walk it. I remember sitting in the nurses office one day waiting for the Dr’ to show. There was a student Dr. there. She asked me how long I have been coming for visits. I said “ I think 6 months”. The nurse looked down at my chart and said “ Linda, it’s been 3 years.” I had absolutely no memory of the 3 years that had passed. It scared me so bad that I went home and attempted to kill myself. While in the hospital on the phsyc ward again I found out that my daughter was expecting her first child. Joy was back in my life, the first time in a long time. Things happened, found out my daughter was a junkie and living a very bad life style and CAS was now involved. CAS in Canada is an organization that looks after the welfare of children. I knew I had to get out of the hell I was in and became determined to become healthy for my grand daughter. About 6 months before she was born, CAS came to me and asked if I would like to raise her. I jumped at the opportunity and said I would of course. By now my life was consumed with Dr appointments for my daughter and her and babies well being. My depression and all the other mess was put behind me…so I thought. About a month before the baby was born another bout of deep depression hit me again.

With out thinking of what would happen, I took as many of my pills as I could in hopes of dying. I can’t tell you what happened or who showed up. I just remember waking up in the hospital and my daughter standing over top of me. I made a promise to her and to the Lord that I would never try this again if He could some how erase what happened and allowed me to go home and raise my grand daughter. By some miracle that is exactly what happened. A doctor came in, asked how I was feeling. I said okay. He said I could leave. For me I will always think of my grand daughter as my saviour. Some say that she is lucky to have me in her life, but the truth be told. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her.

Now the years have passed…5 1/2 years have passed. I am blessed to be able to raise two of my grand children. Something else they gave me, besides the will to live is the love of photography. Of course like every grand parent we are out there taking picture after picture of our babies. Something about children that I just love is their excitement over everything, no matter how small. Watching them and listening to what they had to say opened my eyes to the world again. I began to look at the world in a whole new way. They taught me to see, not just look. To go out and take pictures of something anything…everything, come home and upload them and see all that I was able to capture makes me realize just how blessed I truly am. Some one else who I owe a great deal of thanks to is Rick. He will take me for miles to take a picture of a flower or a tree that I’ve been thinking about. He’s an amazing man and I love him for his constant encouragement and strength. Life is good. Oh sure I still have my weeks. But at least now I have 2 good days out of 7 instead of 7 bad days. And who knows maybe next month I’ll have 3 good days. I could never imagine not being able to take pictures now. It has become a huge part of my life. It has filled an emptiness in me, it has made me want to be out there, and experience life again.

My advice to others who suffer with depression or deep depression is…that one hour or one day that all seems to be right with the world, think about what makes you happy. Go with it, and just do it. Oh sure, it may take you a while before it becomes a big part of who you are, but in time it will help. And use sticky notes!! Post them every where. Write on them…” I am good” “ I am smart” “I’m going to be okay” “ I am the best me that I can be”. When you see these notes around your house, say the statements out loud. In time you will grow to believe what is true…You are good. You are smart..you are funny…you are beautiful..you do have a reason for being here…you are loved…you can love.

Thank you Jo for giving me the chance to speak, and thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Linda. xo
Linda you are more than welcome, and for anyone wishing to get in touch with Linda-Tiger Lilies Photography CLICK HERE

Photography on a Budget- Special guest post by Linda Pollock

Tiger Lilies. Photography by Linda

With being a single Grandma raising a 4 and 5 year old on a very limited budget I had to come up with some ways to get
close to the same looks that other photographers with more of a budget can get. Hopefully I’m able to give you some ideas.

Even before I knew what Macro was or any of the rules I thought I was a photographer and every photographer needs a studio..right? hahaha This meant rearanging my down stairs. Finally I was able to use a small part of the dining room..finally my own space!! I had bought an old desk for 5.00 at a yard sale. It really didn’t serve a purpose, the desk came in two parts, the top being quite large I couldn’t have my whole computer on it…..So, I turned the top part around. The other side having a thick piece of plywood. Which turned out to be great. I was able to use thumb tacks to pin up back drops. Now I needed back drops. There was a huge sale at the second hand shop, which was just across the street from me. I went right to the ladies blouses and bought a load of them..some had wacky designs, others where plain in colour…black, white, blue. Then to the bedding area. King size sheets for 2.00!! Oh got a few of those. Large table cloths ( wonderful textures) for 1.50. I walked out of there spending 15.00 and loads of back drops. Oh yes. I had bought a plastic shelf on wheels for 2.00. Yippeeee, I had my very own studio!!

Tip #1….Go to your second hand shops. They are full of treasures. If you wish to photograph smaller children, but haven’t a back drop, use a sheet. If your looking for texture, you could always pick up wool blankets, heavy cotton. I bought two beautiful king size blankets one dark brown and the other burgandy. They are thick and soft, so little ones can walk and jump on them and no rips. If your into Macro, then blouses, shirts work great. Another neat back drop could be your child’s finger painting.Or get them to colour on a very large paper. Their art work doesn’t need to be perfect, it’s going to end up blurred, whic makdes for wonderful DOF. Something I do more in the winter is tape a top to a wall. Being sure to keep the buttons and the arms out of the way. Sit a small table in front of the shirt, but not touching the wall. A simple vase and a flower, adjust for a blur back ground…Looks lovely. I’ve even won a few competitions with some of those photos.

Tip #2…Using old jewelry. Remember those very large pearl necklaces? Get a couple in different colours, work on a composition and there you have still life, abstract, simple macro with other fuex pearl blurred. If you see cheap earrings. Maybe something you’d never wear, but there’s a red stone or what ever. Buy it, take it apart. Once again, all of these things are bought at a second hand shop. You may pay .10 cents for them, so no great loss when taking them apart.

Tip #3…Yard sales. You can pick up almost everything cheap. Don’t be afraid to talk the person down either. It’s expected. A lady I know her son was getting married. Went to a yard sale and bought a vintage love seat for 5.00. They used the love seat in some of their wedding photos images. We all love to see our art worked framed…Hopefully by some one to purchased the image, but until then, we practice and frame out best. Yard sales are great for selling old posters that are framed. Usually can get them for a 1.00. You may come across some one who is getting rid of all those old framed pictures. Once your home take their picture out and place yours nicely in it’s place.

Tip #4…Flowers, with living in Canada sadly we don’t have blooms for quite a few months out of the year. During the winter, I will watch for 50% off on flowers at the grocery stand. They don’t last very long, but if you are in need of some bright colours and flowers, this is a cheap way to go. I also find that I am able to get better Macros while photographing flowers inside.

Tip #5…Lights. Lighting is very important when photographing indoors. I own three 120 wt light bulbs. The new style that use less energy, they are brighter and last longer. Oh yes, be sure to pick up “white” bulbs. They do come in many shades of white, and this does make for images that are not true in colour. The package will say “white” on it. Something else I picked up, which is the best find I’ve found and that is an umbrella lamp. Picked it up at the second hand shop for $ 3.00. I’m able to move the arms in many directions.

Tip #6…Extras. As a light reflector I us the back of a sun blocker that you would use in the window of your car. Bought it at the dollar store for a $1.00. A large roll of white plastic table cover. It’s about 3 feet wide, and the length is very long, will last for ever, even if I cut off the part that has been used. Bought this for $10.00, but is perfect for photographing children if you are wanting them to wear shoes and play. I did a fun shoot with my little ones with cup cake covered in different coloured icing. A quick wipe of a dish cloth and the mess was gone….the children how ever needed a bath. hahahaha. Hats of many styles, bought at the second hand shop and yard sales.

Hopefully I have helped in giving some tips in how to photograph on a budget. Loads and loads of ideas out there, if I come up with more I’ll be sure to add more. Thanks for reading and happy clicking.
For more information on Linda´s photography CLICK HERE.

3rd Winners Event-Wow Factor-Lolit Cabilis

Some thoughts and info about the photo (pensive) …

The photo was taken at a School function, where the girl was somewhat bored or pensive. She was in the audience.
Glad I had my cam with me, when I turned around I saw her…and so…this shot.

One lesson I learned is…. if you see something and you feel the mood and feel like shooting…just capture it, because the same mood will be conveyed to the viewer.

EXIF: originally in color, just converted to monochrome, tweaked a bit on contrast and midtones, framed exactly as shot, just tad rotation and cropping around less than 2%.

Canon EOS 450D
SS= 1/40s
f/5.6
ISO=800
focal length- 200mm
no flash fired

 

2nd Winners Event-Wow Factor-Cheyl Penn Hidden & Evie Go

Chreyl Penn Hidden with Bourkes Luck Pot Holes

PHOTO INFO:
Sony DSC-P41
Focal length: 5mm
Exp. time: 1/400
F-stop: 5.6
ISO: 100
Landscape mode

Gee, I was so amazed and honoured to have a 1st Placing for my photo. Being of such personal significance, it has made me quite teary.

The photo of Bourkes Luck Pot Holes came about after my parents passed away. I really wanted to go and visit the area, that they travelled to annually in Mpumalanga (North Eastern area of S. Africa). This has amazing natural geological rock formations, waterfalls and is also near our Kruger National Game Reserve. They would travel in their “Trekliner” – equivalent to an RV.

To be making this journey, which was an emotional tribute to my parents, for me, I needed to travel in the footsteps of my parents and visit all the places that they did – to discover the attraction that Mpumalanga (then called the Eastern Transvaal) held for them.

I was in awe of the vast mountainous area. Where to start ??

The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are undoubtedly one of the area’s finest attractions.

This natural (and most beautiful) water feature, formed over thousands of years by water erosion, marks the beginning of the stunning Blyde River Canyon – one of the largest canyons in the world and said to be the world’s largest ‘green canyon’.

The Bourke’s Luck Potholes occur at the confluence of the Treur and the Blyde rivers. Over the eons, the swirling, eddying, and plunging waters of the Treur River, waterborne sand and pebbles in tow, formed huge cylindrical potholes in the bedrock of the Blyde River. Mother Nature’s vast forces left us with a truly stunning natural phenomenon – absolutely fascinating geological sculptures delightfully ‘painted’ in fantastic white, yellow, and reddish brown hues.

I hadn’t quite thought of potholes as being amazing, works of natural art…. potholes were to be filled in roads as quickly as possible, but I was enthralled. A 700 metre path alongside the potholes leads one to the bridge, which one can cross (safely) to the other side to sit on the rocks, dabble feet in the little stream making its way down to the water below and relax watching tiny fish.

Other places of interest in the area which we visited, which can be googled, are “God’s Window” and “The Blyde River Canyon”, “The Three Rondavels” apart from many waterfalls which my parents used to speak of, and other historical places.

Evie Go – Angkow Wat.
I dont know what to say abt the Angkor Wat pic…except that i have always wanted to see the ruins & never got the chance until some FB friends who loves to travel also started planning & we all just got together & set it! It was kinda scary, as I dont know these people. We all just met at the airport & it turned out to be one of our best vacations ever! We had so much fun! I love my FB friends all over the world!  I used my Sony TX5

Macro Photography by Tracie Kaska (Guest post)

Macro Photography – What Is It?

What is macro photography? It is close-up photography that produces a digital or film image that is life size or larger than life. With this type of photography you can see texture and detail that the human eye cannot easily detect.

I have been fascinated by this type of photography for as long as I’ve had a camera, so you can imagine my excitement when I recently got my first macro lens. When I first attached it to my camera I expected to go out immediately and take amazing pictures that would wow anyone who saw them. Well, guess what? Macro photography is not as easy as it looks. Macro lenses have a very shallow depth of field, so even the slightest movement can completely throw your focus off. Trust me—I have hundreds of blurry photos to prove it!

So what can you do to improve your chances of getting a decent shot? Here are a few tips that I have found helpful:

1)  If you have one, use a tripod! (I had a choice between getting a tripod or a macro lens and I opted for the lens, not realizing just how important a tripod would be to this kind of photography).

2)  If you don’t have one, all is not lost. Learn to rest your lens in your hand and rest your elbow on a nearby object. Hold your lens firmly, but don’t grip it too hard—your camera will feel the vibrations your tightened muscles make even if you can’t feel it yourself.

3)  Hold your breath. Breathe in, get your focus, and click. There is a word of warning in using this technique, however. If you take to many shots in a row, holding your breath every time, you will make yourself very lightheaded. Take a moment to breathe normally between shots.

4)  Since macro lenses have such a shallow depth-of-field you can increase your shutter speed and still have a nicely blurred background. If the light is good enough, I like to use 1/100th of a second or faster.

5)  Don’t get overly close to your subject. Getting too close to your subject will often cause the foreground to blur. In a landscape photograph this can be fine, even desired, but when you are doing close-ups, your foreground is generally part of the subject you are trying to capture. If you want a tighter shot, it is better to do a little cropping in your photo editing program that to another photo to clutter your recycle bin.

6)  And lastly, if your subject is flat enough and you want the whole thing in focus, make sure your lens is parallel to your subject.

There is much more to mastering the art of macro photography, but these tips are some that I’ve picked up through trial and error. The very best advice I can give is: Practice! Get your camera out every day and just keep snapping. Before you know it, you’ll have a portfolio you’ll be excited to share with others.

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