Complex Cluster

WildCarrot

If you have been following me over the last year, you would know that I do critiques of my own photos.  I have been doing this for nearly a year now.  A brand new year ushers in a major change.   Starting today I will not be doing photo critiques.  Instead, I will just share my photos with you and give a brief description.   Here’s the first photo of the 2018!

This photo shows a dead wild carrot plant with snow in the background.  It was taken last Tuesday at Lemoine Point.   Lemoine Point is a conversation area at the west end of Kingston.  It has 136 hectares of forest, field and marsh, and a wonderful waterfront.  On the day that we were out, the weather was quite nice, not too cold and partly cloudy.  We saw an owl in the wooded area, but I didn’t have my telephoto zoom lens to capture it.  I did take this photo of an intricate wild carrot though.

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Goals for 2018

IMG_0591The start of 2018 means it’s time for setting goals for a new year.  Setting goals help keep me focused on tasks and help keep me motivated.  Here are my goals for 2018.

The first goal is one that I set in 2017, but didn’t complete.  It is to finish revising my novel.  I’m hoping that I can finish editing by the end of 2018 and have something ready to be submitted by this time next year.

In 2017 I began to seriously study web design by learning HTML, CSS and Javascript.  For this year, I hope to finish the majority of the courses that I am currently taking.  I would like to finish the web design module in Lynda.com, and also an HMTL/CSS course on edX.  Additionally, I’m hoping to finish the Javascript/jQuery book by Jon Duckett .  So it seems that I have a lot of learning to do this year.

My last goal is to continue to produce content for Hubpages and Shutterstock.  My goal is to write an article a week or every two weeks for Hubpages.  That works out to be about 25 articles for 2018.  I’m also hoping to submit perhaps 25 to 50 images to Shutterstock.  I think these are achievable goals for content creation.

This year is all about writing, learning and creating.  I think if I keep at it I will be able to achieve these goals.  Here’s to a good year in 2018!

Looking back at 2017

IMG_1182  In the beginning of 2017, I set goals for myself.  Let’s see whether I have achieved any of these goals.  Here, is a look back at 2017.

I was hoping to finish revising and editing my novel by the end of the year.  This did not happen.  I’m still working on it.  It has taken more time than I expected.  I’m just not happy with the current draft.  I think it will take a while before I’m pleased with it.

For 2017, I wanted to earn an income from my artwork (my watercolours and photographs).  To achieve this goal, I put my paintings and some photos on Fine Art America in February.  So far I haven’t made any sales.  It’s quite disappointing.  I also put my photos on Shutterstock.  I was pleased that I was accepted into the program and that many of my photos were approved.  However, I haven’t earned very much from my photos.  I also started writing online articles on Hubpages.  Like Shutterstock, I haven’t earned very much from my writing either.  So it seems selling and earning an income on the internet has been very difficult for me.

Another goal was to learn and master Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  This goal was mostly a flop.  I took a few Photoshop and Illustrator courses on Lynda.com, but I honestly can’t remember much as I didn’t get to practice on the actual software.   I decided not to purchase the software in 2017 (it was too much) so had no access to the programs and no way of practicing.

I did manage to make a new friend in 2017.  We met initially at a Christmas party in 2015, but didn’t talk to each other afterwards.   In the fall of 2017, she started to play badminton, a sport that I have been playing since 2015.  It was fun playing badminton with her and reconnecting.   We started emailing each other.  And later on, we went out for lunches a few times.  I now consider her a good friend of mine.

Health-wise, my anxiety was really bad this year.  My physical symptoms of anxiety are nausea, gagging and vomiting.  I would often feel like throwing up doing some of the most mundane things such as cleaning, going to the gym, flossing and brushing my teeth.   It was really severe when I had to go to the doctor’s appointment and particularly the dentist.  It doesn’t help that I have a sensitive gag reflex either.  I’m always afraid of vomiting at the dentist office, which so far hasn’t happen yet.  In any case, the anxiety and associated symptoms are very uncomfortable.

I have done many things to try to alleviate my anxiety, including going to the gym regularly, playing badminton, doing yoga, and deep breathing.  Some of these things help, but it hasn’t completely gone away.

Overall, most of my goals weren’t achieved in 2017.  But I think some of them are just initial steps in a much bigger endpoint.  So I will continue to turn these goals into reality for next year.  What I’m most happy about this year is for the friendship that I gained.  I’m also happy that I was physically very active, which helps to maintain mental and physical health.  Taken together, it wasn’t a bad year after all.

Merry Christmas!

XmasSpringerSquare

I just wanted to say a few words about this photo.  What you see here is Springer Market Square in Kingston, Ontario, all decorated for Christmas.   The big historic building on the right is City Hall.  In the centre of the square is an ice rink for skating.   I took this picture on December 15th 2017.    The photo shows just how festive, bright, and beautiful our historic downtown really is.

I’d like to thank all of my followers and visitors for reading, viewing my photos, and for interacting with me on here.   I appreciate all of your support and feedback!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, peace, health and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Welcome – Photo Critique

WreathCityHall

For this week’s photo critique, we will look at “Christmas Welcome.”  It’s a photo of a Christmas wreath on the door of City Hall.  It was taken last Friday.  Let’s discuss some of the positive and negative aspects of this photo.

I love all the interesting textures in this photo.  You have the prickly needles, the rugged cedar leaves, the shiny textured bow and the smooth glass and wood.

The colours are also very appealing.  There are cool blues and greens.  This contrasts with the warm glow of the golden bow.

The composition could have been slightly better.  It just seems like the photo was cut off at the bottom.  I should have shown more of the bow and wreath.

There is a distracting “D” a few centimetres above the centre of the bow.  If I had Photoshop, I think I would have removed it.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Snow on Perilla – Photo Critique

SnowonPerilla

This week’s photo critique is on “Snow on Perilla.”  The photo shows dead perilla flowers covered in snow.  These perilla herbs are from our garden.  The photo was taken in late November.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

I love the minimal colours in this photo.  There are just white, brown and grey.  It sort of looks like the photo has gone through a sepia filter.

The photo conjures up a different scene than what it really is.  If you squint, the background looks like snow covered trees in a forest.

The exposure is slightly off.  The photo looks a bit underexposed.

The focal point of the photo, the foreground perilla stem on right, is not all in focus.  The top portion of the stem is sharp, but as you go down, the focus is lost.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

 

Highligther – Photo Critique

WingedBurningBush

“Highlighter” is our photo for this week’s critique.  I believe the photo shows Winged Burning Bush leaves, but I’m not completely certain.  They were found in a wooded area near my place.  This photo was taken in November.  Let’s go over what works well and what needs improvement.

The most striking thing about this photo is its colour.  I love the leaves’ bright pink purplish hue. It really pops out from the slightly darker background.

There is also good detail in this photo.  You can see the serrated edge of the leaf and its lighter veins.

The background isn’t as nice as it could be.  I wished it were darker and didn’t show as much pink.  The pink in the background steals the thunder from the foreground pink leaves.

I wonder whether this photo needs a tighter crop.  There are extraneous bits of leaves on the left and some on the right that could be cut out.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Airbrush – Photo Critique

MapleTreeRed

For this week’s photo critique, we will look at “Airbrush.”  It’s a photo of a trunk of a small maple leaf tree in the fall.  It was taken in November in a park near my place.  Let’s discuss some of its positive and negative aspects.

I like the perspective of this photo.  Here, I placed the camera very close to the trunk to get this unique viewpoint.  It resulted in the left side being blurred out, almost as if someone had airbrushed that portion of the photo.

There are interesting lines in this photo.  The small trunk eventually splits into three large branches going across the right side.  The little branch with the leaves, the focal point of the photo, repeats this pattern of three lines with its three leaf stalks.

This photo looks like it is slightly underexposed.  It appears a bit dark even after I adjusted the exposure in post production.

There are a few things that muddy the theme of three lines.   The out-of-focus large branch sticking out of the leaf near the centre right of the photo wrecks this theme.  Also, the leaf stalk radiating from bottom of the small branch adds a fourth line.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Change and Constant – Photo Critique

Version 3

This week’s photo critique is on “Change and Constant.” It depicts a maple tree next to utility poles.  The photo was taken in late October near my neighbourhood.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

When I look at this photo I see geometric shapes and lines.  The tree on the left forms a nice circle.  Beside the tree are utility poles with cables.  These form vertical lines in the photo.  They also act as leading lines guiding you to the bottom of the photo.

There is a good sense of balance here.  The tree on the left with its changing colours is the main focal point.  The utility poles and power lines then pull you towards the right.  They balance each other out.

This photo looks like it is slightly overexposed.  You can see that the sky is mostly blown out white.

When I initially took this photo, I didn’t want the road to be seen.  The road to me was not very exciting.  This meant I had to angle my shot up high, cutting off the bottom of the trees and poles.  Looking at it now I’m not sure if this strategy worked.  Does it look sort of weird being cut off at the bottom?

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!