Day 6 – Connect

I struggled with this prompt for some reason – possibly because the last time I did Photo 101, I really liked the picture I used for the theme and couldn’t get my mind to go in a different direction.

During the summer, the Amish and Mennonite communities in southern Pennsylvania sponsor huge auctions to benefit their local fire departments.  These are well-attended events where they auction everything:  animals, plants and flowers, furniture, handmade cabinetry, quilts and bags, tools, carriages, tack and junk.

While everyone attends these auctions, the Amish and Mennonites and easily identifiable and connected by their unique attire and choice of colours.

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A couple observes the auction of handmade quilts.  This rack is where prospective buyers can examine the items before bidding.  Quilts of all shapes and sizes from baby to king hit the auction block for a great cause.

IMG_7311Three young men watch the sale of carriage and riding tack

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This young auctioneer was excellent!  He stood out in the July sun for hours hawking plants and flowers to the highest bidder.

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Once you’ve made your purchases, these enterprising young fellows will cart it to your vehicle – for a small fee, of course!

IMG_7318Waiting for customers.

IMG_7326 (2)Once the carriages were sold, they must be moved out of the auction tent and back to the staging area.  It takes more than one to move these large coaches.  So every strong, able-bodied young man lends a hand.

Day 5 – Solitude and the Rule of Thirds

Solitary swimmer:  Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland

Solitary swimmer: Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland

While walking on the beach in Lahinch, Co. Cork, Ireland last summer, I spied this little swimmer exploring the waves.  Despite it being high summer, the water was chilly, so dressed in his wetsuit, he ventured out for a swim.

Day 10 – Mystery

In our school, part of our teaching obligation is to proctor a class for a teacher who is absent.

A few weeks ago, I had occasion to be in the art room with some very talented students who were working on a drawing project in charcoal.

Not being very artistic – at least in the drawing/painting category – I love to observe their work.  But in this case, I was even more fascinated by the model.  I thought it would make a great photographic subject as well.

The interesting shapes, colours and shadows produce an air of… mystery!

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Day 9 – Warmth

Although today’s prompt suggested that we “draw with light” and use the sun as our source of ‘warmth’, I didn’t have a chance to get outside and snap anything.

Today was a cold, raw, cloudy, wintry day.  After chaperoning a trip to New York City yesterday for 47 high school students to see the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular, I was in the mood to stay at home and chill out.

I’m a pretty good cook, not too bad with a cake or two, but I have never been able to master the art of pastry.  Patience, perhaps, is what is lacking.  But whatever the reason, my pastry is not pretty.

Appearance notwithstanding, I got it into my mind to try a new pastry recipe and so I baked this apple pie from scratch.  As promised, it is not pretty, but it made the kitchen feel warm and smell good and there is a certain warmth to accomplishing a homemade pie crust.

And so I present, “warmth”.

Home made apple pie with 'made from scratch' pastry.

Home made apple pie with ‘made from scratch’ pastry.

Day 8 – The Natural World

Capture the natural world with your camera: document a moment outside, big or small. From a panorama snapped during your morning forest hike to a close-up of a leaf on the sidewalk, we invite you to document this wondrous world around us.

Last night we had our first visible snowfall of the winter.  Going out early this morning, the grass and fields were all completely covered with a thin white mantle.  On one of our boxwood bushes, there was a little snow, some bright red leaves from the Japanese Maple trees and the sunrise in the background.

I didn’t get the Depth of Field as accurate as I would have liked, but still rather like the capture.  There is something about snowflakes on trees and bushes that fascinates me – I love to photograph snow up close!

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Day 7- Landmark

We often use locations to orient us, to identify where we are — from statues to town squares to corner shops. These landmarks on a map can be famous and instantly recognizable, or sometimes they’re simple markers to help us navigate.

Today we are looking at landmarks.  In and around the Capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., there are nearly more landmarks than one can photograph.  As a tourist guide in D.C., I am often there – constantly showing things I see very often to people from around the world who are seeing them for the first time.  Sometimes, when I have the time, I take my camera along, hoping to find a new or ‘perfect’ shot.  I always love to tell guests, “the best photo can be taken from this spot”.

None of these were taken today, but I have taken them all.  Another opportunity to use the gallery that we learned on the weekend!   How many can you recognize?

Connect

In northern Maryland, we are only a short distance away from a large Amish and Mennonite community in southern Pennsylvania.  It is really fun to go the large auctions held during the summer to support the local fire departments.  I attended this one in July and couldn’t help but photograph the line of horses – all so well cared for – hitched together in front of the buggies.

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I did no post production – I liked the contrast of the cars on the far right and the buggies on the far left – the connection comes in the line of the horses – all tethered together and patiently waiting for the ride home.