Monday, February 7, 2011


Week of January 31 - February 6, 2011     Theme:  Sleep

"The amount of sleep required by the average person is
five minutes more."
~Wilson Mizener

This week's Photo Theme Project topic posed a challenge.  Since last week's theme was "tired," I wasn't too excited about coming up with more "resting" ideas and photographs.  However, as in life, you don't get to choose what you want all the time, so I went in to the week determined to do my best and learn something.

At the beginning of the week, the Digital Photography School published a post entitled 6 Ways to Enhance Your Creativity.  I think these six thoughts could be considered for anything you are passionate about.

1) Never Stop Thinking About Photos.  Participating in the Photo Theme Project has helped me on this one.  It is so much fun to think about the weekly topic and then explore ways to capture images that portray my ideas.

2) Embrace Your Mistakes and Chance.  At this point in my photography journey, I'm not sure if I should embrace any of my many mistakes, but I get the point!

3) Find Inspiration.  I subscribe to several photography, photographer and artist blogs and love to browse through Flickr.  It is easy to find inspiration through the work of people you admire.  Actually, I don't have a problem coming up with ideas, it's the getting the idea into a photograph the way I have imagined, that is the problem.

4) Break the Rules.  I probably fall into this by accident because I am still learning about F-stop, aperture, composition, etc.  I do try to look at a potential shot from various view points.

5) Have No Fear.  I have to constantly work on this one.  My self-talk about my photography, and this blog, usually sounds like this:

  • You aren't talented enough or creative enough to take good photos or write engaging words.
  • You will never be able to grasp aperture, shutter speed, white balance, etc.  (not smart enough)
  • Other people won't like your photographs and will think your blog is dumb.
  • People will criticize your can't handle that.
  • You should just give up and let Steve take the good pictures.

I will continue to battle my critical self-talk because I truly want to improve my photography and my writing.

6) Extract Yourself.  Again, the Photo Theme Project has been an invaluable tool that has coaxed me out of my comfort zone.  I have immensely enjoyed each week's theme...with the possible exception of this week.

Now for this week's "sleepy" adventure.  I didn't have as much time this week to work on the Photo Theme Project.  That fact, along with my lackadaisical attitude about the subject, means that I don't have too much to show for the week.

I chose the photo at the top of this post as my submission for this week's "sleep" theme.  The title for this photograph is "Sleepy Rockhound."  It was taken in February of 2009 on our trip to Tucson, Arizona.  On the way home, we stopped to look for fluorite at a mine in New Mexico.  The hike to the mine resulted in this doggie nap.  I like how the old mine timbers frame Quincy.  For the "sleep" theme, I could have cropped the image to focus more on Quincy's closed eyes, but I like that the timbers give a sense of location.

For some reason, when I pondered sleep, I kept coming up with dream ideas, which is unusual, since I don't dream very often.  Well, at least not when I'm sleeping...

Our flower garden is asleep, somewhere under all that snow.  I'm sure the tulip and daffodil bulbs are dreaming of Spring!

I have dreams about the future and try to remember to "Encourage Your Hopes Not Your Fears."  Good words to live by.  In this photo, I think there was too much natural light from several windows.  The rocks washed out and there is glare on the tag.

Do you dream in black and white or in color?  Are your dreams in words or images?  Are your dream images clear or distorted?  In the next photos, I tried to convey some of these questions.

I had fun playing around with the distortion tools in FotoFlexer, trying to get a "dreamy" quality to my photos.  The candy I bought for the "Macro" week has come in handy several times now!

 Psychedelic Dreaming

This is a close-up of my favorite part of the psychedelic candy dreaming photo.  Groovy man!

Do these images reflect different types of dreams?  I wasn't sure, so I didn't pick one for my weekly entry.  I like the concept, I'm just not sure that I pulled it off.


Quincy dreams about tennis balls, and frisbees, and squirrels, and deer, and Molly, and the post man...  I like how the orange of the ball is reflected on the (blue ~sigh~) snow.  Will our snow ever look white?

Signe's fish Matisse sleeps upside down.  Really, he is not dead.  He sleeps both on the bottom of the tank and at the top, but always upside down.  Steve took this photo and it is his submission for this week's "Sleep" theme.

Tommy has bursts of energy and loves playing in bags.  Signe captured some cute shots of him having fun.  Here he is winding down and getting ready for a nap.  This photo is Signe's submission for the week.

Sometimes dreams can be bad.  If Signe is having a bad dream, chances are spiders are involved.

Last week Tired, this week Sleep.  I'm going to end here...I need a nap!
Next Theme:  Body Parts

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jay Grammond said...

Hi Zoma,
As usual, I enjoyed reading your blog. You know, you really shouldn't go to that negative self talk place! I think that you are very creative and a talented photographer. Your Photo club library images were way more creative than the rest of us put together!
I am really enjoying reading your blog, and look forward to reading your latest post on the photo theme project. The quotes, the comments, the pictures of the process, the resource links...its all very impressive.

irishk said...

Well, I am anxiously, albeit nervously, awaiting next week's topic:-) Have you been given clear parameters in which to work with this topic? I really like this idea of your club and the whole involvement of people with similar interests, yet the expression being so different ~ at least I would imagine that to be the case. Do you ever feel competitive with Steve or is it helpful to have him working on the same 'assignment'? Sleep has been such an elusive thing in my life as of late, the mere mention of the word makes me a bit anxious:-/ Thanks for sharing your work:-)

Zoma said...

Kathleen, I don't ever feel competitive with Steve since he is on a whole different level than me. I really appreciate when he has the time to help me, but he works way too much. As for the body'll just have to wait and see. I am a huge murder mystery, CSI, NCIS, Law and Order fan! :-)

Zoma said...

Jay, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it! :-)

pseudosu said...

Very cool Zoma! Almost every morning the first thing I say is, "I was having the weirdest dream..."
Love that swirled candy shot!