I am packing up decades of professional life. The papers have been filed with the state and the district and my retirement is official. I have the plaque — it’s pretty cool — maybe I’ll take a picture of it and post it. Effective May 25, I will be a “retired teacher.” Tonight, in my exhausted nearly brain-dead state, I can only breathe a tremendous sigh of relief. I still have essays to score and grades to post, but that’s no problem. I have boxes to move out of the classroom (notice I did not say my classroom?), but I’ve reduced the 20 I moved in with to nearly 1/4 of that, and that’s not problem.
Too tired to read another essay tonight, I practiced shallow DOF focus.
Dead flowers attract me. I find beauty in the blooms that tenaciously cling to the stems as their colors slowly darken and fade.
Tonight, these flowers are a metaphor for me, for the end of one career.
In a few days, I believe, fresh yellow flowers will signify a newly energized me as I open myself to new adventures and new ramblings through ordinary and extraordinary experiences.
I have mixed feelings about displaying the award images on the page of my blog. However, I really am pleased and honored to be noticed.
I have come catching up to do.
My young friend Amanda at wannabephotographer87 nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Amanda invites us to “come take a stroll in a world through [her] viewfinder, which I have done since she first picked up her Canon (Frank). I’ve watched her grow as both a photographer and a writer.
The rules are as follows;
1.The Nominee of the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award shall display the logo on his/her blog.
2.The Nominee shall nominate 14 readers they appreciate over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little.
3.The Nominee shall name his/her Wonderful Team Member Readership Award nominees on a post or on posts during 7 days.
Here are a few of my Nominees. You should check out their informative, creative, and entertaining blogs.
Sonoita Vineyards near Sierra Vista in southern Arizona, not far from the border
Do you see this as a lonely road? Would you welcome a week or a month on this hill, camped in the vastness, opening yourself to the sky and seemingly endless horizon? On the other hand, would you soon long for trees to break the sameness and provide a relief from the inevitable Arizona heat? Would you walk the road to there and back, exploring the world beneath your feet, or would you use it to escape into the city or suburb?
It’s always fun to respond to Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post. Click on this link to see the many creative responses to his challenge to represent the idea of attraction.
We are attracted to many things. Google quotes about attraction and you will find the overwhelming majority refer to that mysterious magnetic relationship between two people. But aren’t we also attracted to our child’s giggle, our grandmother’s biscuits, our best friend’s laugh, our dog’s antics? What about the brilliant sunset or the crash of ocean waves or the piece of rich dark chocolate?
I am, of course, attracted to certain people, but nature captures my attention as well. I am attracted to flowers, especially yellow flowers, and I was rewarded with these beauties which I found today at the Desert Botanical Gardens, which is a Tourist Attraction.
This is the tree in the previous post. While taking pictures of the mountains in the distance, I turned to my left and was struck by the fragile power of the lone tree. I focused with the tree smack in the middle of the image, knowing that I would probably crop it later.
I want you to see the steps I took in post to get the image that I might print.
Take a look at the sky in the image as I shot it. See the spots? My sensor was dirty but I didn’t realize it. (The camera is, at this moment, “in the shop” having its sensor cleaned
#1: The image as captured by my camera.
#2: I used Photoshop Elements to clean up the sky and remove the distracting scrub bushes. I need to work on this because it’s obvious where I removed the larger bush. In a way, I like the unsettled feeling created by the tree in the middle of the image. Lonely.
#3: In Lightroom, I cropped using the Rule of 3rds, decreased the clarity of the sky to further clean up the spots, increased the blue saturation in the sky, added grain, and added post-crop vignetting.