Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photography. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

How Do You Find Your Ideas?

How do you find your ideas? Authors are often asked this question in interviews. Or perhaps; Do you have trouble finding ideas to write about? My problem is the opposite. I have too many ideas. What I’ve found is that having an idea and getting the idea down in words that actually say what I imagine they should, is a totally different pot o’ honey. Does that metaphor work? I also don’t have enough time to actually write a different story for every idea that I have.

That said I’ve found that using more than one idea in a story can add not only a new dimension to it, but adding two, three or sometimes four different ideas can make the original idea much more profound, intricate, and beguiling to the reader.  Kind of like a photographer taking a shot with one type of lens and then finding that if a wider (or narrower) angle is used the whole view of the photo, the whole concept and direction of the photograph is changed, broadened and the focus encompasses more than the photographer originally dreamed of. Or a painter who finds a new color that brings a startling new life to his painting, a life not previously glimpsed, an ambiance not previously hoped for but now heartily embraced and enhanced. Or what about a musician who finally plays a note in a sequence he's never used before and falls into a piece of music the world must hear?

Do you use more than one idea in a story, different lenses on the same scene, more than one new color on your canvas? Do you mix and match, push your mind outside of your “normal” range to see what creation you are capable of producing? Because to me, finding the “newness” in ones “old” methods is what makes creating so beautiful and satisfying, even if it doesn’t always work the way we think it should.   

Images from:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bill Nichols: A Wandering Picture Taker

Please give a warm welcome to Bill Nichols, a fantastic photographer and historian who is here to share some of his work with us. Take it away, Bill!  

I feel honored to be here today writing this guest post, and by the time you read this, my blog Spuds Daily Photo will be just over six months old with over 6000 views!

When I said I'd be up for guesting, I never thought I'd get accepted as I am relatively new to blogging. I'm no writer, so I thought it better to tell you about my blogs.  (Tina here - we love new people!  Encouraging new bloggers is one of the big goals of The Challenge, and this blog.  We're not just for WRITERS, we're for BLOGGERS!)

I've been called an historian and photographer though I claim to be neither. "I'm an old fellow who likes to take photos and reads some history on places I visit."  That is the description on my profile, but as someone once said on a forum I visited,  "A Wandering Picture Taker" would describe me better.

So how did I get in to blogging?  I thought it would be another outlet for the photos I have taken.  I am  a member of Geograph where I go round the country taking photos of the areas I have been to. I did a few posts on there and thought, "This is not so hard!"

With the encouragement of other bloggers, I started off with Spuds Rural Explorations which tells about places I had been to and photos to back them up.  The first post was called Pillboxes along the Thames which was about all the defensive blockhouses (pillboxes) that remain along there mostly hidden from view.
I update the blog periodically with new reports.

This is a pillbox and was one of my favorites as it overhung the bank but during the summer of 2012 it went in the river. 

This picturesque looking boathouse near me is a defended building, the section on the left is one huge pillbox.


As a spin off from this, I started Forgotten Fairmile which is about the conversion of a mental hospital in the village where I live. I got permission to record the development and started to photograph it all. During this time, I got involved with a villager who was starting a village archive and was researching his family who worked Fairmile.  The outcome was we had an exhibition for the village which was well received, and just lately I did a talk on the subject to the residents of Fairmile. My parents worked there and it is dedicated to them.

This group photo includes my mother.

It would have been taken on this lawn.
The link is a video I made.

I realized I had few followers and discovered Google + which did help. Then one day I came across Beneath thy feet, a blog on Taohophilia, or the study of gravestones. Since I visit a lot of churches and churchyards, this seemed second nature so, My Grave Place came about. I tend to do this weekly and join up with a few other bloggers on the same subject.

Last we come to my daily blog, Spuds Daily Photo which is hardly six months old. I post a photo from my collection each day with a short explanation and hopefully people will enjoy my offering and leave a message.

The A to Z challenge was a good outlet, though I did need some encouragement from Dana of the Daily Dose.  I did feel out of place with all the writers and so few photographers posting. Oh yes, I'm sorting out the theme for the next one at the moment.

There is one more blog which is on a different account. Cholsey new Pavilion where I have followed the building of the new village hall for the village where I live in. The blog will soon becoming to and end as the work is nearly complete, though I will leave the blog going for people to look at. I might add the main contractors who came from the north of England who followed the progress on it as well.

I hope you have enjoyed my little rendition here and will come and visit my blogs, and if you like any of them feel free to join.
I'm currently on my roadtrip and visiting all the blogs in the A to Z and am amazed at the amount of subjects people blog on but I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful photos with us, and congrats on keeping so many blogs going!


Dear Readers - we're still accepting guest posts from anyone who has participated in at least one A-Z Challenge.  Email me at tndowney at gmail dot com if you're interested.  We accept posts from all kinds of blogs, not just writing blogs!  We are a big family, and there's room for everyone!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Letter Play - W's for Wordsmiths

The following blog photos are brought to you by Nicole at The Madlab Post...

It’s time for Letter Play - Where DIY activities, cinema and life offline collide!

I'm curious to know how close you fellow A to Z folks pay attention to products, designs and signs that we may come across throughout the day. Can you guess where the following Ws are from in these photos?

If you are a blogger, you have my permission to use these alphabet images so long as the usage is made during the month of April and is a part of a blog post that pertains to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. As always, if you do display them on your blog, feel free to credit me and link to my blog or link back to this very A to Z Blog, where you found the photo!

Have a Fun Friday, everybody!

Sign up for the Monday Movie Meme, a weekly group blogging series that inspires discussion about entertainment in a whole new light and provides recommendations for your DVD, on-demand or theater fix. New topics are posted every Monday at The Madlab Post!

Also @MadlabPost on Twitter

Friday, October 19, 2012

Letter Play - Crazy C's

The following blog photos are brought to you by Nicole at The Madlab Post...

It’s time for Letter Play - Where DIY activities, cinema and life offline collide!

After a brief, unanticipated hiatus, we’re back in the swing of things with these images that you can use for your A to Z Challenge posts in April. This batch includes photos of Letter C, taken from items that I found in and around the kitchen. I dare you to guess what products these C’s are from.

I found the item displaying Letter C in the recycling bin.

This Letter C was found in the freezer.
The Letter C on this item was found among snacks.
If you are among the bloggers who are participating in the challenge, you have my permission to use them so long as the usage is made during the month of April and is a part of a blog post that pertains to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. As always, if you do display them on your blog, feel free to credit me and link to my blog or link back to this very A to Z Blog, where you found the photo!

Have a Fun Friday, everybody!

Sign up for the Monday Movie Meme, a weekly group blogging series that inspires discussion about entertainment in a whole new light and provides recommendations for your DVD, on-demand or theater fix. New topics are posted every Monday at The Madlab Post!

Also @MadlabPost on Twitter

Friday, August 31, 2012

Letter Play - My Malnourished A to Z Metamorphosis in the Making

The following blog photos for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge are brought to you by Nicole from The Madlab Post...
Letter Play Blog Series

It’s time for Letter Play - Where DIY activities, cinema and life offline collide!

While I've had fun coming up with craft projects for the Letter Play Friday Fun Time series, I just unfortunately don't have the time to devote to continuing those tutorials on a frequent basis. A craft tutorial may be posted every now and then if the mood or inspiration strikes me. For now, however, the format of Letter Play is evolving to include photos that A to Z Challenge participants can use on their blogs during April. 

It is important that all of you understand that these photos are to be used for A to Z Challenge posts ONLY and they are not to be confused with the official A to Z Challenge banners or related graphics. The purpose of these photos are to help busy or non-techie A to Z participants add images to their posts without having to search around online for royalty free images and without having to take their own photos or whatever. 

Having blogged for a few years now, I know firsthand how image searches tend to take up so much time that it interferes with writing, blogging and related online activities. This is where Letter Play comes in -- if sometime during the month of April, you are participating in the A to Z Challenge and suddenly need a photo for a particular letter, just come to the A to Z Blog and search for this Letter Play series to find a photo to use in your blog post. They are still my photos and I reserve all rights to them with the exception of granting permission for bloggers to use them in any and all A to Z Challenge blog posts published in April.

Although you do not have to give me a credit, caption or byline or link to my blog if you use one of my photos, you are more than welcome to add a credit with my name and/or blog if you're so inclined to do so. Now that the introduction to this new format of Letter Play is out of the way, let's get on to playing with letters. 

Last weekend, a stray cat ran across the street in front of the car I was riding in, causing my grandmother to hit her brakes. My cousin, who was riding in the car started talking about all of the stray cats running around near her apartment building after former tenants abandon them upon moving out. I told my cousin that the cat that ran through traffic looked malnourished, which brings me to the inspiration behind today's Letter M post.

For three years or so, I participated in Blog Action Day, a worldwide online event that brings awareness to one particular cause or subject, every October. Food was the subject for 2011, so I wrote about food waste -- particularly how many of us might be surprised at how much food we waste when there are millions of people around the world who lack access to nutritious food.

After trying to figure out what to take photos of for Letter M, I decided to play with food items that are either stale, expired, rarely used or all of these things combined -- so long as they have one thing in common: Flexibility for use in a fun manner. Here are three photos of cereal, hot cocoa mix and mustard shaped into Letter M for your A to Z Blogging pleasure.

Letter Play_Metamorphosis in the Making M made of Cereal

The box of Cheerios that I've had this summer are still good according to the box but not when they're actually eaten. I took a few out to snack on and noticed that they were very stale. Yuck! Good thing that there is only about a teaspoon or so left in the box...doesn't make me hesitate to throw it in the garbage.
Letter Play_Metamorphosis in the Making2

M made of Cocoa Mix

The cocoa mix that I had has expired earlier this month. Wanna know how I found that out? Well, I was craving a cup and set out to make it, only to notice that my plans of a tasty up were shot to pieces thanks to the expiration date. I got over it know something's fishy when the top of the box starts collecting dust, right?!!!
Letter Play_Metamorphosis in the Making3

M made of Mustard

The store brand bottle of mustard is still good but you'd think it would have expired by now, since I have no idea when the last time that I used it was. Better to have than have not, I suppose.

By the way, I promise the the next Letter Play post won't be this long. I just had to at least explain why today's post featured photos and no craft instructions, right? RIGHT! So, there you have it :)

Happy Friday, everybody!

Sign up for the Monday Movie Meme, a weekly group blogging series that inspires discussion about entertainment in a whole new light and provides recommendations for your DVD, on-demand or theater fix. New topics are posted every Monday at The Madlab Post!

Also @MadlabPost on Twitter

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Special A to Z Participant - Lynda R. Young

Today’s Special Challenge Participant is the awesome Lynda R. Young! I met Lynda during the first Challenge and she never ceases to amaze me. Lynda embodies a generous and sweet spirit in more ways than one. Her writing tips are the best and she makes you think. (Thus reading her blog first thing in the morning sometimes makes my brain hurt!) But for the Challenge, she did something a little different with her blog…

You’re a writer – what made you decide to feature your photos for the Challenge?

Last year my A-Z theme was writing tips. It was super fun, but after two and a half years of blogging, it's quite a challenge to come up with new tips for 26 days straight. So this year I wanted to share a little more of who Lynda R. Young is and a big part of me is my artistic side. If I'm not writing, then I'm doing something creative.

Which photo was your favorite and why?

The dwarf pigface about to bloom is my favourite. The lighting was perfect for the shot and the colours are vibrant. I even managed to get it in focus.

Tell us more about your spelunking adventures.

Spelunking is off-the-beaten-track cave exploring which requires rope, a hard hat, and an adventurous spirit. Because I'm so little I could get into some pretty tight squeezes. The dirtier I got, the more fun I had. One time on a trip to Ireland I went cave exploring with some friends. We had a single torch (flashlight) between the three of us and we didn't have any safety gear. Unable to see the other side of an underground river, I jumped across and split my head open on a stalactite. I ended up getting two stitches and a cool scar. So much fun.

You had some great ocean shots – do you live near the ocean?

I live 10 minutes drive from Cronulla Beach, Sydney. The funny thing is, none of the shots I included in the challenge were from Cronulla. When I'm travelling, if I'm near an ocean I'll always make a point of checking out the view. I love the many moods of the ocean and the huge variety of different colours it has to offer.

What the heck is a Kookaburra?

The kookaburra is a native Australian bird with a distinctive call that sounds like a laugh. It always makes me feel happy when I hear it.

With all of the water shots, have you ever dropped your camera in water?

No, thank goodness. I'm a little paranoid about it so I always keep a firm hold of the camera. However, I learned the hard way to always carry around extra batteries. The one and only time I visited the amazing site of Pompeii, my camera battery died. I lost so many incredible photo opportunities there. Makes me a sad panda.

Which is more beautiful – the ocean or the desert?

That's a difficult one to answer. They both have their own unique beauty. However, after travelling for three days on the back of a camel across an Indian desert, I wasn't able to fully appreciate the beauty of the desert through the haze of heat, thirst, and a need for a good long shower.

Have you ever found the end of the rainbow?

I wish I could answer yes to that question. I'm still searching…

Thanks, Lynda!

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE