52-Weeks Of My Life

Photos by Jacqueline Fay


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Week 9 -#49 Tiny World

I told my 11 year-old daughter that I had this blog project that I needed her help with once again, and that the topic was tiny world. We brainstormed a bit, and she decided to make food and table settings for her favorite barbie dolls. She chose to use Wikki Stix to make these items. Wikki Stix are made of hand-knitted yarn that is enhanced with a non-toxic wax, the kind used in bubble gum and lipstick, which makes them a great creative activity toy, especially when you have a long wait in a restaurant with little bored ones in tow. I recommend them highly!

In this case, I was impressed with Chloe’s creations because of their small size. To give you a sense of that, the pizza in front of the blond barbie is less than the size of a quarter. When it came to the set up, Chloe took charge and chose her favorite blanket for the background. All in all, I think you would agree that the barbies look pretty content with their meal!

Barbies.jpg


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Week 8 – #14 Enclosed

Recently, after a hectic week, I drove down to Boca Grande with my list of blog themes in the hopes that I could a) clear my head and b) start to catch up on my blog posts.

When I reached the lovely chapel by the beach, I noticed these two trees entwined with one another, and my first thought was how enclosed the palm tree looked in the embrace of the strangler fig. When it came time to process the photo, the lovely textures in the trunks of both trees seemed to call out for a black and white treatment, so that is what I settled on. Yesterday would have been a better day to post this since it was Valentine’s Day, but I figured a day late wouldn’t be so bad :-). Enclosed_.jpg


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Week 7 – # 11 Descending

I had just watched one of Jay Maisel’s videos and had been struck by a remark he had made about the importance of shooting those images that excite us most. Because if the image doesn’t excite you, how would you ever expect it to excite someone else.

On this chilly morning, I spotted some lovely condensation patterns on the north-facing window in our bedroom. The drops of water appeared to be descending down the length of the window. At the time, I was rushing to get our daughter ready for school and frankly did not have time to be unpacking my camera to do any photography, but I figured that I should seize the moment and take my chances. As it turned out, I still got her to her bus on time and with a few minutes to spare :-).window jewels


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Week 6 – #40 Rusty

When our old washer and dryer started to fail, a friend kindly offered to take them off of our hands. He arrived in his truck behind which he was pulling a rickety, old and rusty trailer. I was immediately transfixed by the beautiful colors in the metal above the wheel wells, and started “itching” to dash inside and grab my camera. As soon as everyone was safely indoors, I quietly slipped inside the house for my camera to photograph something aged but lovely. Getting this shot involved balancing precariously on the edge of the trailer and leaning way out. After I got it, I noticed the friend of a neighbor peering at me strangely from the road. I waved merrily and continued on without explaining the crazy thing I was doing. When I later explained to my friend and family what I had been up to outside, I am not sure that the non-photographers in the group really “got it”. But, hey, that’s OK too!rusty trailer


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Week 5 – #3. Before/After

I love to convert my portraits to black and white wherever possible, so I decided that it would be interesting to show the Before/After versions of one of my recent portraits. This is because I feel that the impact of the image in B and W is usually so much greater:  facial expressions seem to be more pronounced and dramatic because distracting colored details are eliminated. In the case below, I first processed the image in LR 5 and in PS CC. I then edited the image in to Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.  This is the only plug-in I use for converting an image to black and white. For those of you who have used Nik Silver Efex, you know that there are many presets available for portraits. I really don’t have a favorite one yet, so I try out many of them to see which one seems to fit the portrait I am converting. Then I tweak the preset setting using the sliders provided. (I never use the preset straight up.)  My last step is to try out a vignette, or to burn the edges of the photo. Most often, I choose one or the other. If you have any comments or feedback to give me, I would love to hear them! In this case, I feel that the B and W version has more impact. Please let me know if you feel differently.

George - before and afterGeorge - after

Week 4 – A2 Christmastime

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This season, I decided that I would use all that I had learned in my endless battles with Photoshop, and try to come up with my very own card at Christmastime. My daughter Chloe, who graciously consented to be a model with her favorite cat, Hershey Bar, enthusiastically helped me set up my new collapsible background, reflector, and stands for each. She then helped me troubleshoot where it would be best to position the reflector, and which of its 5 sides would be most likely to give the best outcome. We also brainstormed about where exactly in our long, east-facing living room we would be able to catch the most light from outdoors. Chloe hates it when I use my flash because she is so light sensitive, so we only used ambient light. I then processed and printed each card on my home printer which was another challenge. But all in all, it was a fun mother-daughter project, and a wonderful memory. Chloe and Hershey - Peace card