Tag Archives: photography

2012 To-Do List

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So in a short few days, the ball will drop on Times Square, and we have a brand new year, a fresh slate. I always love the beginning of each new year. For me, it’s filled with endless possibilities, and I always look for new ways to make myself a better person.

A few days ago, my friend Milton asked if I had any resolutions. I couldn’t think of any except the fact that I want to lose weight. What girl doesn’t set herself that goal at the dawning of the new year? Other than that, I couldn’t think of a single one.

I’ve tried making my resolutions stick since middle school. But around the middle of January, I usually find myself back to my old habits and routines, and my resolutions are absent. So for this new year, I decided upon a different approach. Yes, I want to be a better person, but I am not going to do it through resolutions.

Call it a bucket-list if you want, but I really don’t plan on dying in 2012 even though most people think the world is going to end. I don’t. Jesus is way more creative with that. Like He’s really going to let the world know when it’s going to end? Yeah right.

For 2012, I’ve made a to-do list of things, places, and tasks I want to do. All of the items on my list I have never done or been able to fully complete before now.

The List in the making

  1. Fly a kite
  2. Read 50 books in a year
  3. Read the entire Bible in 364 days
  4. Go somewhere I’ve never gone before
  5. Photograph something incredible
  6. Color an entire coloring book
  7. Successfully do yoga
  8. Somehow run a mile each day
  9. Try sushi
  10. Play in the rain barefooted
  11. Visit my best friend at UTC
  12. Master five songs on the guitar
  13. Learn how to use bar chords on the guitar
  14. Learn how to properly use Photoshop
  15. Make myself more vulnerable
  16. Keep a journal each day
  17. Try everything on the Starbucks menu
  18. Lead others to Christ
  19. Be bold in my faith
  20. Go back to Memphis
  21. Watch all of the Star Wars movies–even though I didn’t even like the first one
  22. Straighten my mom’s insanely curly hair
  23. Write a blog at least once a week
  24. Watch every episode of Psych
  25. Shoot a gun–like at a target or can. I just felt the need to clarify.
  26. Take a road trip with just friends
  27. Take a road trip just me and mom
  28. Write a poem worth reading
  29. Bake 100 cookies and randomly give them away
  30. Start writing a novel
  31. Write a song
  32. Build a sand castle
  33. Make fried pies
  34. Be in a flash mob
  35. Climb a tree
  36. Document my entire day with a camera
  37. Go completely silent for one entire day
  38. Make dinner for my family and friends
  39. See an SEC team play that I’ve never seen before
  40. Do a one handed push-up
  41. Stay in Barnes and Noble for an entire day
  42. Visit the creepiest, scariest, most haunted house I can find on Halloween
  43. See an 80’s band in concert
  44. Let my dog ride in my car with his head hanging out the window
  45. Go to more than 5 concerts
  46. Stay an entire night at Bonnaroo
  47. Sleep outside in the summer without a tent in my yard
  48. Make 4 new friends
  49. Go horse back riding
  50. Vote in the election
  51. Paint something for my apartment
  52. Throw someone a surprise party
  53. Finish a scrapbook
  54. Work an entire jigsaw puzzle by myself
  55. Learn how to play one song on the piano
  56. Make a snow man with 3 people–providing that it snows
  57. Learn how to sew on a button
  58. Straighten my hair every day for an entire week
  59. Do a backhandspring at MTSU
  60. Win a game of laser tag
  61. Make someone’s day


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It was a dark and stormy night

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I am extremely terrified of storms. So, weather like I just experienced for the past four hours definitely unsettles me. However, I decided I didn’t want to be afraid of storms anymore.

So, I stood out in the storm with my Canon Rebel hoping it would help if I tried to use the storm to my benefit. I mean what if I could get a cool lightning picture?

Out there in the middle of the road I found a spot where there not many trees to block my view of sky. Oddly enough, both my pets followed and sat down in the grass. I stood and stood, and my arms trembled as I held my camera.

I bet you think I am stupid. I mean who doesn’t have the sense to go inside when volts of light are flashing from above. An hour later, though, I finally decided to trudge in.

Nothing really changed. I am still afraid of storms.  I stood outside cringing for about an hour, yet I learned something: lightening is the hardest object to photograph.

You never know when lightning might strike, and it’s by no means predictable. It’s not like storms are on a timer and a flash of lightning is going to appear in front my lens every thirty seconds.

No.  I had to wait…wait…and wait some more before finally I got one or two decent shots.  After that I definitely scurried back inside. It was dumb enough to stand out there in storm. I don’t think I need to prolong my chances of getting struck by lightning any longer.

Yet, standing outside for what seemed like an eternity ended up going with what my youth minister spoke about tonight.  His message was about staying on God’s path.

While I was trying to photograph lightning, I kept both eyes open. I know that sounds extremely strange since photographers generally keep one eye closed as the squint into the lens. Though doing that helped me out, it distracted me.

For a few minutes the sky would be quiet. Nothing would happen. So, I would get distracted and start fiddling with aperture settings or erasing pictures that didn’t work.  Then bam.  All the lightning would flash around me, and I would miss it because here again, I was distracted.

Sometimes, I feel so ADHD. God’s probably trying to tell me things all the time, yet I am distracted with all the stuff happening around me that I wonder off the path. I wonder how often I miss what God’s trying to tell me just like I would miss the lightning happening before my eyes.

But when I finally stopped getting distracted long enough to get a pictures and prayed, (yes, I did pray for this. After all, He is the one orchestrating the storm.) I finally ended up with a picture of lightning.

Oh snap

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If there is anything that I might possibly love as much as I love writing, it would be photography. I love being able to capture the moment.

Last night I went to the OVC semi-final basketball game. It was intense to say the least between Tennessee Tech and Murray State, and I got to participate in the youth media challenge they hosted. It was interesting.

My part of the media challenge was to take pictures. So, my Canon Rebel and I went to Municipal Auditorium to handle the job.

When I arrived they gave the participants media passes. Media passes I thought. Oh the places I could quite possibly go with this little piece of laminated plastic hanging from neck. I refrained, though. I didn’t want to get in trouble the first half hour I was there.

After all the pre-game hoopla, I finally got to do what I was there to do: take pictures. The game clock started ticking, and I hopped out of my seat and went searching for a place to be. I did not want to encroach on any legitimate photographers territory.

However, I got tired of standing in the little corner near the Tech cheerleaders, and I certainly was not going to go over where the other eight photographers from my media challenge group were standing.

So, off I ventured to the other side of the court. It was a much better angle and less crowded, not to mention there was one spot still left on the baseline where all the other photographers and video people were sitting.

I made myself right at home and acted like I knew what I was doing. The guy beside me welcomed me to sit by him on the floor, and I did for the rest of evening.

The angles and shots I got were amazing to me. I was on a photographers high once the game was all said and done. However, not every shot I took was picture perfect.

There is so much more than pointing and shooting with sports photography, or so I have learned after taking pictures of almost every high school sport.

Everything has to be just right. The lighting, aperture, and setting.

At some points I even got frustrated. Sometimes, I snapped way to soon missing the moment I wish I could have gotten, and other times I was too late and ended getting blurry blobs of huge guys on my camera screen.

Snapping away with all these pictures sort of reminded of my relationship with God. Just like I snap away too fast, I find myself being anxious especially about college. I want to know, and I want to know now.

Other times, I just sit back and wait. And wait so long that I miss the opportunity that was right in front of my nose.

The cool thing about it is, God always gives a second chance. A time for me to redeem myself. I am going to mess up. I will probably get to impatient at times, and I know I will probably be blind to some opportunity that comes my way.

But it’s okay. Just like my camera, I can always snap away again, and I hope I am able to catch the right moment.

Here guinea, guinea, guinea

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I never expected myself to have the desire to search for guineas, much less did I think I would be hunting them down to take a picture of them.

A few weeks ago, the two feature writers on my newspaper were writing an article about Christmases gone wrong. One of the stories included a guinea. I knew my neighbors down the road had them, so I went looking for them for photo purposes. However, it turned all the guineas were gone. They always wondered on the road, and I guess they were what you could call a free-range guinea. Sorta like with chickens, only with a guinea this time.

I made the observation that yes, the guineas had died. Gone to guinea heaven or where ever those little birds go when they pass on to the other side. Yesterday, though, they were back. And there were more guineas than there were the last time. I almost ran over them and figured they would have the same luck as their fellow brethren.

As I told the girl who wrote the story about my siting, I had an idea. I would go take a picture of one as joke. Well, the joke’s on me now. Today, I saw them as I leaving my house and figured they would still be in the same spot when I returned. Wrong. I was wrong.

I pulled over on the little side road to get out searching for them. I felt awkward. I had no idea who these people were that owned them, and I was looking for their birds. I saw chickens. I saw roosters. But no. I didn’t see guineas. Right as I was about to give up and turn back to head home, all the guineas come running down the driveway. I started laughing. Yes. Here they come. Now, I can get my picture and leave.

Wrong. Wrong . Wrong and wrong. That was not the case at all. While I was sitting there laughing at these silly, little birds their owner walks out the front door. Nothing good generally comes out of people catching you no matter how innocent the act may be at the time. The woman asked if I was looking for something. Well, I was. I was looking for her birds. But I was not going to tell that.

Hm. My cat. That seemed feasible right? Every good mystery book I have ever read uses that line. I thought why not. Let’s see how this goes. I told the lady I was looking for my black cat and that her name was Midnight. I did have a cat named Midnight once who ran away in the fifth grade. The lady was kind. She believed my story. And I did apologize.

Needless to say, I feel bad. Feel bad that I was not honest about my true animal searching intentions. I should have just told her I was trying to take a picture of her guineas. Yes, she would have thought I was weird probably. It’s not like people go around on a daily basis looking for those birds. However, the truth is always better than lie no matter how small or weird.