52-Weeks Of My Life

Photos by Jacqueline Fay

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November – Thankful

Two weeks ago today, while paying bills, I glanced up and spotted three baby bobcats frolicking around in plain view on our back deck less than 20 feet from where I was seated. I grabbed my iphone and since then, I have had difficulty leaving the house for fear of missing out on their amusing antics. The momma is typically close by, often loudly scolding and cajoling them to get up and out from under our deck and moving, “for goodness sakes!” Some days she seems more patient than others. For now, all of the exterior work that we had planned to have done on our house has been put on indefinite hold until our new feline friends have decided that they have found a better home base. For now, we are incredibly THANKFUL for the opportunity our family has had to witness these beautiful creatures going about their daily routine, at times just inches from us on the other side of our sliding glass door, and also for the chance to video record and photograph them.



Week 1 – #27 Movement

I was headed to the library when the sight of some lovely, back lit yellow leaves on a messy looking bush stopped me in my tracks. Instead of stopping at the library, I zoomed home, grabbed my camera, put my 100mm macro lens on it, and sped back to those gorgeous leaves hoping that the light would be the same. After snapping the leaves for a while and not liking the results – it was windy and they would not cooperate – I thought I would experiment with shooting some narrow, pale weeds that were just adjacent and try to capture the movement instead of fighting it. I fooled around with different shutter speeds and hoped for the best. I did some basic adjustments in Lightroom and then worked on the image a bit in Color Efex Pro 2. The final image looks nothing like the weeds themselves but I am hoping that I did capture their movement. The lower image is a flipped version of the upper one and makes me think more of ballet dancers in motion than flowers waving in the breeze.


blog_-2blog post


Week 5 – #11 Diptych/Triptych

After taking my previous blog photo, I realized that if I wanted to take any more photos of the man on the bench, I would need to be more discreet. So I turned around and began shooting directly into a store window. When I went to process the image, I thought it lent itself to being an image in three parts so I cropped it accordingly. I realize that I am stretching the definition of triptych here which is often defined as “a set of three panels or compartments side by side, bearing pictures or carvings.”

I thought that using the three panels was effective because it seemed to further emphasize the man’s isolation from what was happening around him.

Ybor triptych



Week 4 – #8. Broken

I had been walking around Ybor City and decided to get off the main street and do some exploring on a side street. As I walked along, I saw a young man sitting alone on a bench reading a book in his lap. From time to time, he would glance up. When he did so, I tried as I always do with people, to assess his mood. In his case, I couldn’t figure out if he looked sad, angry or a combination of the two. Later, when I studied this photo and others I had taken of him, it struck me that his spirit seemed “broken”. And if this was the case, how did this happen? Had he been physically and/or mentally abused? Some other kind of mistreatment? Possibly a series of failed relationships? He seemed so alone and isolated, and yet at the same time unapproachable.

I don’t normally do my photography at mid-day, so the harsh and contrasty light I viewed initially as a negative. Later, however, when I uploaded this image I thought that the dramatic lighting heightened the mood of the photo.

Ybor stranger on a bench red tint 2


Week 4 – #2. A Stranger

While in Ybor City doing some Street Photography, a man across the street called out to me. He had spotted me snapping away and wanted to know what I was doing, so I happily crossed the street and said “hello” and told him. Then I asked if I might take his photo, explaining that he had a wonderful face and I would love to have that opportunity if he felt comfortable with it. Luckily for me, he was willing, and we spent a few minutes chatting before I took a few photos. He had a lovely, sunny disposition and taking his photo was a pleasure. However, I did not have my favorite macro lens for Street Portraiture on my camera and was concerned about how the photo would turn out using my 35mm prime.  Taking this photo made me feel a bit like a naughty school kid since on this photography outing my assignment was to do Street Photography rather than the Street Portraiture which comes to me more naturally.

Ybor stranger


Week 2 – #33. Part of a Face/Head

While in Ybor City recently, I spotted this brightly colored storefront and thought I would wait for someone interesting to pass by so that I could photograph them in front of it. After a few minutes, a young woman walked by and spent what felt like an especially long time leaning into the window and conversing with someone within. Judging from her body language, I developed the distinct impression that she must have some warm feelings, possibly even romantic ones, for whomever was behind the glass but too much in the shadows for me to see. I waited until the man leaned forward just enough for me to snap a few photos and capture both his and her expression.

Even though I was only able to visualize a part of the man’s face/head, I felt that I was able to confirm my original suspicion:  that there were indeed some warm feelings between these two people. It also struck me that the colorful storefront matched their happy moment in one another’s company.

Buying a drink


Week 1 – #43. Starts With “O”

I recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours in Ybor City with some photo friends for the purpose of doing some street photography. I had previously only ever done street portraiture, so this was very foreign to me and required a dramatic change in approach to using my camera on the street.

The main street was very scenic and interesting and I was so caught up in the play of shadows in the contrasty light of mid-day, that I did not even notice the young woman ambling along the street. It was not until I brought the image into Lightroom and opened up the shadows that I was able to see her clearly. What struck me immediately was the relaxed and carefree look on her face, and how oblivious she seemed to everyone around her. Having been trained in portraiture to make sure that my model’s eyes stayed open for the shot, I was at first put off by the fact that her eyes are closed. After a bit, however, her beatific expression began to grow on me and I was no longer bothered by this small detail.

Woman on Ybor Street_