Lanterns & Lights

This week I went exploring our little downtown area looking for holiday lights. These lanterns outside of a sushi place caught my eye, and I was delighted to find the holiday lights in the window as I moved closer. A bit of compositional play ensued. That’s the best part of going out exploring, when you find a scene that inspires you to play!

The red lanterns on this restaurant also reminded me of our travels around Italy. You see, we were always on the lookout for red lanterns along the street while we travelled. Why? They typically indicated a Chinese restaurant. I know, I know, Italian food is amazing. There are so many regions and so much variety to Italian food. My challenge to you: Try eating it for every meal for a week or two straight and see if you don’t want a little variety. There is not much variety in ethnic food available in Italy unless you are in a big city and know where to look. Chinese is the only ethnic food you can regularly sometimes find. And the Chinese food in Europe is awesome, a bit different from the US and we loved it.

When we saw the red lanterns during our explorations of the day we would mark that spot to come back later for dinner. We all had our favorite dishes and would rate that dish from one place to another. I would get to enjoy a nice pot of tea, another thing without much variety in Italy. It was always a welcome break from the usual and a yummy meal.

I don’t think I’ve even had Chinese food since returning home, I’m still trying to get my fill of Mexican food. Maybe we’ll follow the red lanterns here, and head out for some Chinese this week. It was fun to have these memories come back, as I looked for holiday lights.

Exploring with a Camera: Holiday Lights continues for another week. What are you finding? Go out exploring and then link in to show us. A little story about your photo is always fun to share too!

FYI - Links will be moderated. Please use a permalink, ensure that your linked image is on topic, and include a link back to this site in your post through the Exploring with a Camera button (available on the sidebar here) or a text link. Thanks!

Not the Only One

It seems I’m not the only one who is not ready to let go of fall yet. Not only did I receive a lot of comments here yesterday in agreement, but I heard it from my family as well. We set up the Christmas tree last night and none of us felt ready. It’s very odd, normally it’s a day-after-Thanksgiving tradition to excitedly decorate for Christmas in our house. I wonder what’s going on?

In the meantime, while I search for an answer to that question, I’ll keep sharing my fall images from the weekend. I loved these leaves, all piled up next to a lightpost, in Ashland, Oregon. The colors are great, as are the shapes – they are dry! Where I live in Oregon, you don’t see these kind of leaves too often. They are usually all wet and glued together from the rain. They are still pretty, just not perky like these leaves. I love how the strong color peeks out here and there.

You can visit me over at Mortal Muses today, writing on gratitude. Come see what I am most grateful for!

Aspect Ratio Revisited

So, have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Have you ordered any photo gifts to give to your family and friends? If not, there is still plenty of time! You can avoid all of the Black Friday craziness and order a few photo gifts online. There is also plenty of time for you to investigate Exploring with a Camera: Printed Aspect Ratios as you order those gifts.

Today I want to point you to Deborah’s contribution to our current exploration. For her image, the 4:5 crop (for an 8×10) worked great. My image today doesn’t work so great as an 8×10, too much would be cut off:

That’s why you need to play around with cropping your images, to figure out what aspect ratio works for both your images and your printing options. I would love to see your results, you are welcome to link in below or share them in the Flickr pool. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, I’ll be back online Monday!

FYI – Links will be moderated. Please use a permalink, ensure that your linked image is on topic, and include a link back to this site in your post through the Exploring with a Camera button (available here) or a text link. Thanks!

Fascinations, Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, one of my latest fascinations is mail boxes! (“Letter boxes” for those of you in the UK.) These are disappearing around the US too, just like parking meters. Replaced by safer and more efficient shared post boxes, these are a bit of life that is going away. I remember the excitement as a child, of putting up that flag when the box had mail and seeing it down later in the day after the postman had come. I would run to see what had arrived in the mail. It’s sad, I don’t even have one in front of my house now. We walk up the street with a key to see what arrived, and it’s usually junk. Bills don’t even come anymore, they are sent via email.

Mail boxes are a symbol of so much else disappearing too, personal mail and the written letter. We all love to get mail but how often do we send it? Not so often. That’s why the Liberate Your Art postcard swap was so much fun for many of us. For a little while, we got fun mail!

In honor of little-used mail boxes everywhere, let’s all send a postcard or a letter or a note to someone we care about today. I’ve got my pen out now! Won’t you join me?


What’s going on around The Kat Eye View of the World

Scooter Love in the Pacific NW – and GIVEAWAY!!

Who would have thought it! I went to Portland (1.5 hours north) on Saturday with a friend to see the traveling production of Mamma Mia. After the show we headed to the Northwest section of the city and what did we run across? Vespa scooters. Not one, not two… Seven in all. Seven!! I was in scooter heaven! Especially this one, parked in an empty garage against a textured wall in some moody light. It was calling my name. Luckily, I had my little Canon PowerShot with me to answer the call.

Someday, I will have a red Vespa scooter. And I will park it in front of every texture-y wall I can find to take pictures. Until then, I will take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way to live vicariously through taking photos of someone else’s red Vespa.  And I can do this in Portland. Who knew?

What a weekend though! Not only was there fabulous scooter love to be found, but we received our container from Italy. Yay! Early Saturday morning, the truck pulled up and there was the container waiting to be unloaded. All sealed and packed, just as it was as it left from our apartment on Via Matteotti. That means, however, that our lives are in disarray again. The semblance of order and routine we had been able to create for a few weeks is once again dismantled as we unpack boxes and try to figure out how to fit everything in to our house. Our house in the US and our apartment in Italy were the same size in square feet/meters, but there was so much more storage in the Italian apartment. Add the belongings that were in storage in the US to the items we collected over two years in Italy, and you have the makings of one gigantic garage sale in a few weeks. First priority is to get to the point I can walk through the house without tripping over anything though!

On top of that, the Liberate Your Art postcard swap blog hop was going on. So fun! I had such a great time hopping around, seeing where the art ended up. It provided a much needed break from the unpacking. The swap turned out better than I imagined, and the blog hop was a blast. I can’t wait to do the swap again in 2012!!

Until then, I have tons going on around here…

  • Find Your Eye registration is open for the September-October class series! I’ll be running Starting the Journey and the all-new Journey of Inspiration. Right now the August class, Journey of Recognition, is going on and has it been fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better group of participants. I love doing this!
  • We are exploring Night Photography in Exploring with a Camera. I had forgotten how much I love taking photos at night! I hope you will join us and link in before Wednesday. You can still get the Night Photography Camera Companion if you sign up for the newsletter too. I’m sending a “catch up” newsletter to all new subscribers this week so that new subscribers don’t miss out.
  • You still have a few more days to catch Superhero Summer Camp too. Sign up for this fun and free six-week class closes on August 31. 
  • And finally – in honor of the seven Vespas of Portland – how about a GIVEAWAY!! My first one on US soil. I am going to give away a set of my new “Classic Italian Transport” postcards to one lucky reader, and a Vespa mousepad to another.

I will draw for the postcards on Wednesday morning when I write my blog post, from the comments left on this post. Let’s make it fun, you can have more than one entry. How about a whole bunch of entries!! Leave a separate comment for each of the following:
1. Just to say hi!
2. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook
3. If you are a newsletter subscriber
4. If you have registered for a Find Your Eye course (past or present) 
Good Luck!

Linking in to Creative Every Day and Creative Exchange, as always. Happy Monday!