Tag Archive | Photography

Happy, Happy, Halloween 🎃 👻!!!

Sending love & light to all. I know Halloween isn’t celebrated everywhere but we do here in the U.S. But wherever in the world you are, I’m sending loving vibrations! ❤️💜💗💕🖤

I made this with a fun photo app called Lightleap. It’s not expensive and it’s super fun! I recommend it to anyone who loves photography.

Xoxo Kim

Photography & inspiration❤

IMG_20160812_020920-01

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ❤

 

This post I had planned for over a week now but never prepared or published it yet and today I saw on Facebook  that today is the 177th anniversary of photography! I’m not sure how true it is but what a perfect day to actually publish this here post! 😀

I am extremely trusting in general but also extremely skeptical in another way. Both of those aspects of my nature are not usually conscious decisions; I’m just that way. Whenever I see a source, statistic, something in the media….my brain automatically questions the accuracy or truth of it. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or totally paranoid but I’m often even skeptical when I see things in the news or anything. 

So this 177 years thing may or may not be accurate but anyway it’s the inspiration for me fixing up this post and hitting “publish.”

Screenshot_2016-08-20-02-38-15_kindlephoto-14904575

This (the very first one at the top)  is the first photo ever that I truly tried to edit using real photography “rules” or tools. Photography is my passion, reading about it, looking at people’s photos, professional or not, taking my own pics, I am so inspired! 

Sometimes my hobby taking and editing pictures I take brings life back into me when I’m severely depressed and inspires me to live. I am not a photographer and know very little about photography other than the beauty of it. One of my goals is to learn more about it on my own and even take classes one day just for fun! I mostly use my phone to take pics but I do have a Nikon camera I don’t really know much how to use. It takes beautiful photos though.

Here is that same pic but not edited:

 IMG_20160812_020920

The colors here are less vibrant because in above picture I increased the saturation. Decreasing saturation into the negative numbers will turn an image b&w. Also, in the above image(the one way above), I increased the structure and sharpening to bring out the detail better and I straightened the photo.

Here are some more of my photos that I edited:

My main source of inspiration for taking pictures is mundane objects like buildings, traffic lights and signs, everyday objects like lightbulbs, ceiling fans, towers outside, fire hydrants….anything…I love to capture the beauty of things often overlooked, ignored, taken for granted and sometimes edit them to make certain things stand out. Shadows and reflections for example, in person we often do not stop to appreciate or just see them but in photos, we often can’t miss them!

These seemingly trtrivial things make up much of our lives each day and I want to capture and share their stunning beauty and promote mindfulness of them each day.

Here is my page:

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/small-things-forgotten/

There are basic composition rules for taking pics like the rule of thirds, leading lines, negative space… And basic editing tools like straightening, sharpening, structure, vignette or central focus, tonal, ambiance,  …that we can use to make our pictures more appealing. I like over editing some of pics. I think they look pretty

And don’t want my hobby restricted by rules. But I also want to learn the general rules (that photograpers agree have exceptions and are made to be broken once in a while) and the basic editing tools That most digital photos can use. I decided to make a goal to at least once a day, take a few minutes to read about photography and try to learn and apply some photography techniques to my pictures. The above pic is the first one I edited using Snapseed in an attempt to use real photo editing tools, not just how I usually do editing them just in random ways or on a whim or whatever I think looks good. That’s good too but I am so happy to learn and try something new!  This pic I edited using the basic tools on photo app Snapseed, a popular iPhone photo editing app. I don’t have an iphone, never have, and likely never will but I just love IPhone photography for some reason! Its my favorite! My android marshmallow phone can get Snapseed. I wanted it when I used a blackberry phone but its not compatible with BlackBerry.

IMG_20160812_022143-02

This pic here I also tried to edit using real photography techniques but instead of looking at the instructions I used my memory and forgot a couple steps. The first picture is very bright to convey the feel of a hot summer day and this one I made darker using the vignette tool, to bring more attention to the window with the reflection of the blue sky. If i understand correctly, vignette can be used to draw the viewers to a certain part of the photo. I hope to master this skill one day! I have much to learn! I think this pic can use an increase in saturation.

I wish my skills were already developed and my knowledge about photography vast but there’s also something so beautiful about having so much more to learn! So much fun and possibility! One day my knowledge of and skills in photography will be increased in both breadth & depth! 😀❤💜

And here are some of my intentionally very over-edited photos!

😀

So these are just a few of my pictures and goals! 

I hope you are having a beautiful day or night wherever you are! 😀❤

Much love & light, always,

Xoxo Kim

We are here.

AIR_20160117_00000

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves-slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I shared this quote here before, not too long ago and thought of it again when I was drinking hot tea at work. My tea bags turn red in the hot water and look so pretty. I am inspired by the coloring and the tea itself. Hot tea is my favorite. Not just because it’s delicious but just the very concept or what it symbolizes, at least for me. To me, tea symbolizes serenity & simplicity, warmth, and mindfulness. 

Tea always reminds me to live in this moment and savor every second. 

I took this picture of my tea at work one day recently and put a darkening effect on it to make the red stand out. (and I put this quote on I read in a mindfulness book for treating addiction) I love how in photos, we can creatively play up certain aspects or details to make them stand out more than they do in actual life. Certain things like shadows & reflections & colors or drops on things are often overlooked in person but in photos we have no choice but to notice. Certain kinds of photography inspire mindfulness when they provoke us to be attentive to details we would otherwise overlook. 

The more I look at people’s photos and take my own, the more I notice the wonderful, simple treasures of life in person like mist on leaves and tree branches, the motion of a butterfly’s soft wings flapping in the gentle wind, the reflection of a setting sun on car windows and the window of buildings, the chipped paint on bricks of buildings, decaying window panes on old houses, the shadow in front of me as I walk the streets on a sunny day, smooth stones resting in wet soil after a rainstorm, the edges and lines and repetition of wooden fences, the crisp yellowing pages of old books, the swirl of colorful city lights at night, the small ripples of river water and the large glistening rocks that adorn it, the large arches of bridges, freckles and moles and wrinkles on someone’s skin, and not just things seen but felt or experienced with the other senses, like a soft breeze upon my smooth skin, the feel of hot or cold liquid on my tongue, going down my throat, the fragrance of cold air, the softness of flower petals against my finger tips, the light playful touch of the wind blowing through my long hair, the sound of traffic on a wet day, the taste of chocolate in frigid air (it always tastes better to me in the cold.), and so, so much more. 

I love this quote. It is a beautiful reminder that we are HERE. Right here. Right now. 

Now.

It’s truly all we know we have. We may have tomorrow all that we have today, maybe even more. But it’s also possible in an instant, it can all be taken away. Buildings we see everyday can suddenly be demolished, beautiful trees cut down, delicate flowers crushed beneath the soles of hasty footsteps, beautiful friends leave or die, one of our body’s beautiful systems stops functioning, we lose our job or place of living. We just never know.

Even if we knew we have forever, it would still be great to be mindful and appreciate the beauty but the point of this quote is that we don’t have forever. All we have is right Now. So it makes sense to focus more on this than tomorrow or yesterday or even later today. 

Let’s cherish every moment we have been given.

Here is a beautiful song sung by Ringo Starr about this fact of life! 

“You’ll Never Know”

“…with every dawn every day is full of chances
to find some good before it’s gone
You’ll never know which way
a day is gonna take you
theres always some surprise
that comes along to shake you
a simple rule of thumb
thats often been neglected is
take life as it comes
expect the unexpected
you’ll never see exactly where
the road will lead you…”

Mobile:

Desktop: 

Love & light to you, 

Xoxo Kim 

30 Days of Photos – Day 10 {color me crazy}

IMG_14166248_1(1)

Day 10 for the photo challenge is supposed to be a day for a specific color we choose. I chose tan. I was drinking iced coffee which is tan and also my dogs are tan (all except Prince Oscar, the shih tzu who is black & white <3] and so are a lot of their bones.

Prince Oscar

IMG_14167294

He is the cutest boy!He often acts like a grump, begs like crazy, and loves to snuggle. And he can be a bit snappy when he doesn’t like something. He never learned to walk up & down steps and has to be carried! lol He’s heavy for a shih tzu! I love him! ❤

My mom always laughs about how almost every dog we ever had is tan. She wants an unusual or interesting color but we never get one! Lol She loves their personalities and how cute they are and would never trade them for anything but she thinks tan is a bore. 
When our puppy, Woody was born last year, my mom was thrilled because he was brown and she was thinking finally a different color dog. Then he turned tan! Lol It's hilarious! 

IMG_14044250(1)_1

Him when he was brown. ❤

My sister wants to write a book called “50 Shades of Tan” as a funny memoir about our life with tan dogs. 😀

IMG_14167115_1(1)
This picture was taken the day before but I like it so I’m sharing it here now.

And here are my babies!

IMG_14167124(1)

This pic was taken on Day 10 of the photo challenge. August 10th.

The other pics here were taken days before and after. 
IMG_14167173(1)_1

Baby & Mommy ❤

IMG_14167292

Baby & Daddy ❤

IMG_14167132

I’m not drugged in this picture. Lol It’s after a busy night at work after little sleep the night before. That’s why I kind of have dark lines under my eyes with a sleepy look. Anyway, I was not trying to get a picture of myself but my dog. My dad and sister said her eyes looked horrible and really funny and creepy so I put my phone on “mirror”/ autoshoot to see and got a picture! Lol Luckily I don’t look terrible in the picture!  

IMG_14167201

And since we are on the topic of color:

IMG_14166248_yellow_edit(1)

IMG_14166248_pink_edit(1)

Isn’t this amazing?! This is that picture at the top but I edited it with an app called Black & Color, which works very well for many pictures.

Want to participate in the 30 day photo challenge? You can check it out here!

And begin whenever you want! I’m having so much fun!! 

I hope your day/night is wonderful!<3

xoxo Kim 😀

30 Days of Photos – Day 6 {Friends/Family} <3

IMG_14167044

The subject for day 6 of the 30 day photo challenge is family & friends. Day 6 for me was August 6th. But I’m just posting it today, August 11th.

My mom doesn’t like having her picture taken and at first she wouldn’t agree to let me take it but eventually she agreed but only if her whole face isn’t in it. So I took it while she was looking at her phone. And my little Woody is sitting on the back of the sofa where he loves to sit and look out the window! Yes, the shade is destroyed. Lol My dogs chew it up and then they sit there and look out. ;-D 

IMG_14167044(1)_1

I asked my mom if we’re getting a new shade and she said “Why so he can just chew it up again?” Lmao!  I can’t stop laughing! She thinks it’s embarrassing. 

One day someone walked by the house and I heard him tell Woody that he is a handsome boy! ❤

If you want to sign up for the free e-course you can here.

I hope you are having a great day/night! ❤

It's sweet and rainy here in Philadelphia tonight and I'm about to get a blueberry iced coffee!

😀

Xoxo Kim 

30 Days of Photos Day 5 {I Saw the Sign}

IMG_14167015_1

“Life is demanding without understanding
I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign
No one’s gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong
But where do you belong?”

Day 5 for the photo challenge, which for me, was yesterday, August 5th, is to take a picture of a sign! I love taking pictures of signs! I take them whenever I can. There’s just something about signs, like especially traffic signs, that I love and they look great in pictures. 

They are part of ordinary, everyday life, which I love to express the beauty of, but they can also be a part of trips and vacations! Some people love to get pictures of signs when they travel to document all the places they visit. To them, signs are symbolic of wonder and the various thrills they experience everywhere they travel to. So signs aren’t just signs and for specific and practical purposes; they represent different things to different people. 

And this reminds me of the song sung by Ace of Base, which I used to listen to when I was little, over and over! I would take my CD and CD player outside and my friends and me would blast it and dance up and down the street singing! It was a popular song back then and kids would be knocking for me to come out with my CD! Lol 

I haven’t heard it in a while. 

Here it is! 

I Saw the Sign – Mobile

I Saw the Sign – Desktop

I like the message conveyed in the song that it’s up to us to better our own life and we are responsible for our own happiness. Other people and things can help and contribute but it’s ultimately up to us to work on our own self and our own life to make things great! Bring in people and things that lift us, avoid/eliminate things that contribute to unhappiness. 

The picture above is one I got today as I was walking up a street, of the back of a stop sign. I think it’s an interesting perspective since usually it seems we automatically think to get pictures of the front or main parts of things. I also love how blue the sky is today with all those fluffy white clouds! So gorgeous! I caught a glimpse out the window when I woke up today and was instantly delighted. The photo has an effect on it to make it darker in some places and with a yellow/red tint. I love that effect on a lot of photos. It’s called “Rose effect.” It doesn’t look good on all photos. It’s dark so if the photo is already dark, it may not look good.

One of my life goals is to often take pictures to express the beauty of ordinary, simple, overlooked or forgotten things. Things we see so much, we think nothing of. Stop signs, for example. People who are driving (hopefully!) notice them for the practical purposes they serve. But if we stop and really look, we can appreciate the beauty of them, the colors and lines against the sky or whatever surroundings are there. We can use drawing, painting, photography, and other artistic/creative outlets to convey the true beauty of overlooked or forgotten things. 

The pictures below weren’t taken today but in the last few weeks. But they are all of signs, which is the topic for the day!

IMG_14166339_1

The door to the bar on the street corner on the street I live. I don’t drink alcohol, never have other than like a few sips. But I love alcohol related things for some reason. I love beer cans and whiskey bottles and take pics whenever I see them. I like wine glasses and hearing loud people outside a bar at night. I love when I’m walking by and hear the drunken karaoke and laughter and music blasting through the door. Especially when it’s oldies! I even like the tipsy arguments that occur and the funny slurred insults slung by people who have had a little too much to drink. There’s just something about it that captures me. It’s not uncommon for me to hear them vomiting on the corner or see it the next morning as I’m walking by. (The joys of living close to two bars!) That, I don’t like. I always feel so sorry for them. That part can’t be fun! My mom says they do that to themselves they don’t deserve sympathy. But self inflicted pain is still pain! 

20150804121329

20150805145423

IMG_00010692

This picture is a couple years old. It did not turn out how I wanted it to but I absolutely love the distorted reflection of the stop sign on the car window!

IMG_14165541(1)_1

It’s not uncommon for me to see traffic signs laying on the ground.
This photo also has the rose effect on it.

IMG_14165541(1)_2

20150805123956

IMG_14165535_1(1)

IMG_14165967_1(1)

IMG_14165935(1)

IMG_14165972_1(1)

IMG_14166641(1)

IMG_14166654(1)

Rainbow street sign! ❤ 😀

wpid-1428014073250esmart_3___fancy24

wpid-img_14165760

IMG_14165089

Don’t block the box! lol ;-p

wpid-img_14163920_1_zps156278a4

IMG_14167029

IMG_14166601_1

So, is this enough pictures for you? I love showing off my “work.” lol J/K I often call it my “work” to my sister as a joke because she thinks my pictures are all shitty and pointless so I try to make it sound all serious and professional to her. ;-D

You can sign up for the free e-course and begin the photo challenge any day you want:

30 Day Photo Challenge E-Course

I hope you are having a beautiful day/night!! ❤ 😀

xoxo Kim

30 Days of Photos – Day 3 {Rule of Thirds}

IMG_14166998_1

I wrote this on August 3rd but couldn’t post til now(August 4th). 

Rule of thirds 

I’m not sure if my picture today (Aug. 3) follows the rule of thirds accurately but I like it!

I haven’t quite grasped the rule yet.
But at least my subject isn’t directly in the center of the picture, which is the point for Day 3. And my attempt is all that matters anyway!  
(I think this picture may also submit to the rule of negative space?)

This is my Buddha green aventurine bracelet.

It’s supposed to attract positive energy, optimism, amazing opportunities, increase confidence, help us connect more deeply with nature, help with depression, anxiety, be calming, good luck…and all kinds of other stuff.
Aventurine is considered by some to be the luckiest stone! 

My sister and me both have one. She loves stones and what they represent. 

Unlike my sister, I don’t believe that stones, real or fake, can really bring good luck and things but they can be symbolic and a great reminder! Also, this has a little Buddha head on it! Isn’t he cute?!

His expression is so calm like he hasn’t a care in the world and I feel so calm and peaceful just looking at his face on my bracelet. True calmness is within and not about our environment. We can be in the most hectic, distressing, painful environment but still stay peaceful and joyful. We may or may not naturally be calm & peaceful but whether or not we are, with practice we can develop and deepen and maintain a generally calm mind. 

All Buddha figures represent calmness & love but not all of them are crafted as well and look this good. Some Buddha statues and charms just creep me out. It’s a kind of heavy bracelet too, of great quality. I love it! 

Along with sharing my picture, I will share some of his sentiments. Buddha’s teachings can benefit everyone in some way, even just a few of his ideas put into practice can be life changing. 

Last night I had a Buddhist dream.

Did you ever have one of those experiences where you are dreaming and something happens in real life while you’re dreaming and the thing that happens gets incorporated into your dream? Like a dog barking for real then in your dream a dog appears and is barking in your dream but it’s the real one you hear and you awaken to the real dog barking.

I had an experience like this in the morning.
Only it wasn’t barking that was incorporated into my slumbering dream.
I was in class during a Buddhist ceremony and we were doing some ritual. The monk who teaches our class was, in my dream, performing a ritual and all of a sudden something wet and messy dropped on my head during class. I was drenched in liquid and chunks and slop and heard a retching noise and woke up! Unfortunately it wasn’t just a dream! My big pitbull was in my bed hanging over me throwing up! All over me! My head, my arm, my side… Lol She’s not sick; she just has a weak stomach, she always did.
What a way to wake up! 

1492135_10102250762725333_8067041647262679209_o

This is my pitbull, my fuzzy sausage girl, my furry soulmate, Isis Summerjo. How can anyone resist the cuteness?!

I had no idea what I was going to get a picture of today. I went out and forgot my phone then I had to go to work and at work I was thinking of what to get a pic of then I thought oh of course, my Buddha bracelet!” 

Then I remembered my Buddhist dream and that unfortunate experience! Lol 

So here are some of Buddha’s views.

Do not wish for gratitude. 

Help other living beings just to help, not to receive gratitude in return. Someone may be greatly helped or uplifted or inspired by what we do and that’s enough even if the person isn’t thankful to us. We don’t need people to gush over us for helping them or complimenting them and we don’t need credit or something tangible in return. Love to love, not just to be loved in return.

Do not be boastful – sometimes we will be really good at something that others suck at, we will do something great, we will have what someone else doesn’t, we will accomplish something good, we will learn and come to know things that are important that other people won’t seem to grasp, we will be wiser than some people. But let’s remain humble anyway and use our gifts and fortunes to benefit others. It’s ok to be confident in our abilities and gifts and be thankful but not good to act arrogantly with others or be proud at their expense. 

Rejoice in the fortunes and success of others –
 
Let’s not be jealous. Let’s be happy for others when something good happens to them. Remember how it feels to have something good happen to us then know that’s how they feel and take pleasure in it. It gets us nowhere to feel jealous and unhappy because someone else succeeds, it just feels unpleasant and can lead us to act in unpleasant ways to those around us. It generates negative energy. And remember there’s enough goodness for all of us. When one person wins, we all win. We can even let their happiness and success motivate us and inspire us to take action to better our selves. 

Do not retaliate – when someone does something to hurt us, whether physically or emotionally, or to hurt someone we know, we may feel like seeking revenge, lashing out, holding a grudge…this isn’t good for anyone. It’s detrimental to harbor anger and loathing for someone and it doesn’t usually make the situation better and it often worsens it. 
Act on compassion instead of anger, reach out to help and console the one hurt, not act on fury against the one who hurt the person/other sentient being. And if we are the one hurt, we can reach out to others in a similar situation or just be sure to never do to others what someone did to us. We know how it feels to be hurt, let’s try to avoid doing that to others when we can.

Use every occasion with a person who angers us, as an opportunity to practice patience and cultivating an attitude of compassion, instead of acting on anger. We don’t have to repress the anger, just take a few breaths, consciously, and imagine how acting angry just worsens things, often. It’s good for us and everyone around us to stay calm and loving no matter what. It doesn’t mean not speaking up, just not acting negatively. 

Don’t be consumed in guilt – guilt, when it’s excessive or delusional, does no good. Even if we really are guilty, we can be sorry, vow to try to never hurt someone or do something like it again, then move forward. Nearly everyone makes mistakes, acts unkindly, messes up, is wrong sometimes and there’s always hope, just keep going and help others along the way. 

Cherish others above the self.

Pay close attention to your mind and thoughts, attempt to have positive, loving thoughts.
When you catch unpleasant thoughts, redirect your mind.

Offer the victory to others and accept defeat upon our self. Let others be right even if they aren’t. It’s ok to speak up. But it’s more important to be loving & kind than to be right.

    Advice from Atisha’s Heart

143849334091761(4)

“Profit and respect are nooses of the maras, so brush them aside like stones on the path.” ~ Atisha

Let’s not be concerned with gaining material/monetary wealth or the respect of others. Do what you know is right deep inside.

“Avoid places that disturb your mind, and always remain where your virtues increase.” 

When we can, let’s avoid places that drain the life out of us, tempt us to do negative things, and are just not good for us. And visit places that nourish our goodness. But remember it’s mostly not about our physical environment but our attitude and perspective that lead to happiness or pain. 

“Avoid friends who cause you to increase delusions, and rely upon those who increase your virtue. This you should take to heart.”

Same with people. We can love them, wish them the best, and go our separate ways.

“Do not be jealous of others’ good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.”

“Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults in yourself, and purge them like bad blood.”

“Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would.”

“Always keep a smiling face and a loving mind, and speak truthfully without malice.”

“Generate compassion for lowly beings, and especially avoid despising or humiliating them.”

“Have no hatred for enemies and no attachment for friends.” 

Loving our friends is good, being attached is not. Let them go if they leave and not depend on them for our general happiness. Love them unconditionally. But keep in mind that the relationship as it now is will one day come to an end either through death or a breakup or drifting apart. Most things do not and cannot last forever. Acknowledging this and accepting it while cherishing those we currently have will help it be easier to cope with loss. 

See, these things can apply to everyone, not just Buddhist people. 

We may not always live up to these things but it’s good to try and each moment we display these qualities is amazing! Whenever we fall, we can just get back up and keep going, lifting others every step of the way. 

Much love to you!

Xoxo Kim 😀

30 Days of Photos (challenge) Days 1&2

IMG_14166714

I signed up for a free e-course by Iphone photographer, Kristen Radden!

Everyday for 30 days we are challenged to take a picture of whatever it says that day.
It’s mostly about using smartphones but we can use any camera. Smartphones and ipads are encouraged though.
Some are easy, some a bit more challenging. 
Some easy ones are, animals, friends/family, a mannequin, our own face…one more difficult one is random people. lol Sorry but running up to a random person and taking a pic isn’t my kind of thing! Even if I ask, it seems intrusive or creepy.
Unless I take it of a group of people on the street while I’m in back. So their faces can’t be seen. But I guess being a bit challenging is the whole point!  
One day it’s the rule of thirds which isn’t an object but about position. Whatever we take a picture of should be in a certain position, like the third section of the phone camera, it can be hard if we aren’t accustomed to taking pics that way. But much easier if the phone has a grid, which mine doesn’t. 😦 This is like the one occasion ever that I wish I had an iPhone! 
It seems like every phone cam has a grid but mine! 
The point of the rule of thirds is to not always have the subject in the center, which we often automatically think to do. It’s good to mix it up a bit.

If our phone doesn’t have a grid, we can imagine one and take the pic that way, ummm what?! My imagination isn’t this good!  
So I tried to draw one on my phone with a permanent marker! Bad mistake!
I had no idea what I was doing. 
And did not realize it’s a permanent marker I was using. The word “permanent” is very faded. 

So then I quickly scrubbed/licked it off(you’re welcome to use my phone if you want…lol), luckily it all came off! The licking did not work so I had to scrub it with a paper towel. 
Then I looked it up to see how I can get a grid on my phone and found a forum where someone asked how to get one on blackberry and I couldn’t believe most of the people on there managed to get into a big argument over this! Insults going and all! Over a simple question about a phone camera grid! In the end they decided there’s absolutely no way to get a grid on blackberry camera. If a phone doesn’t come with one, you’re shit outta luck. So much for that one!  And the argument is years old, like almost a decade. It started over people saying insults about the person for being “so stupid” and caring to get a grid on a little phone and not just getting a real camera. 

The main rule for the 30 day challenge is just to take a picture of whatever it says that day. Then if we have a blog we are encouraged to put it on and also on Twitter (which I don’t have except an account my sister set up for me years ago because she wanted to test stuff without using her own, and I never used, not my cup of tea), instagram (which I also don’t have) and to upload the pictures we take to the website for the photo challenge, which I’m not doing. Because it doesn’t work good on my phone. I have a laptop computer now but usually prefer my phone. 

I think it would be good to have another 30 day challenge that is even more challenging where we get pictures of not necessarily an object but of an abstract idea. Like maybe one day can be to get a picture representing “loneliness” or “pain” or “joy” or “cheerfulness” or “in love” or “individuality”…..something like that. It would be so interesting and much more challenging in a good way. 

Here is a picture I took last year to try to convey a message of standing out or individuality. We used to sell these bouncy balls at work and most were blue so I took one pink one and put it with the blue and then slightly blurred out the blue ones. Nothing against blue balls or anything(although the pink ones are prettier!)! Lol I was just trying to portray an abstract concept.  

IMG_14017736_1_1(1)

 
Another great challenge would be 30 days of rules, like each day a different rule of photography to use. Like leading lines, negative space, rule of thirds, composition or perspective…this would be really challenging for people not completely familiar with photography and the various rules relating to it. It would be so fun! Are there even 30 rules though? Who knows?! But we can put our own twists and ideas onto the rules and it would be great! 

I would love to create my own e- course similar to this one and see all the various photos and creativity people tap into. I would make some days easy and some very challenging and there would really be no rules and it would be free for everyone! I probably need some money first, some more education on photography, just by reading and practicing more, and more followers interested, so I have a good amount of people and much diversity! Maybe one day! 😀

For Day #1, which for me was August 1st, so yesterday, the challenge is to get a picture of feet. Lol I got a few.

IMG_14166938_1

IMG_14166945_1

This is me at work. Floor needs a good mopping! It’s my fault. I practically been living here the last few days (weeks actually) with all my extra hours and been slacking on the mopping. 

IMG_14166931_1

This! This isn’t a “feet picture.” lol But my feet are in it! I spilled soda on my shirt, trying to mix stuff together to make a cold s’mores drink with Sprite soda and marshmallow fluff (the non alcoholic s’mores drink – I wasn’t getting my drink on at work or anything, and I don’t drink alcohol anyway) and I managed to spill soda on my shirt, just a drop and then I rubbed it with a wet rag, dreading the big wet spot on my boob. Lol Then I looked and saw it blended into a heart! Whoaa! Amazing! 😀 ❤ I find love everywhere I am.  (btw, I failed at making the drink…lol it just turned into slop)

And this wasn't taken on August first but it's still a "feet pic" and my doggy's cute paws are in it! Aww ❤

IMG_14166120(1)_1

This was taken over a week ago, it's my new pink slippers! I had black ones but my twin pups chewed them! Lol 

IMG_14166744_1

IMG_14166974_1

of course my feet photo collection isn’t complete without a couple pics of me in stilettos!!

IMG_14166971_1
August 2nd – today the rule is to get a pic of a tree!

Here goes:

IMG_14166987

This is the gum tree outside of work! People just got into the habit of sticking their gum onto it through the years. People have even bought gum at the store here, just to chew and stick to the tree. Fun and interesting? or just disgusting? Poor tree! 

Through the years I have witnessed many parents yelling in horror as their kids were touching it. Lol It probably attracts like every virus in the book, sore throat germs, common colds, influenza, small pox (ok maybe not that one..), zombie infection?, probably not that one either (hopefully!)…. One day years ago, a little boy touched it and his dad screamed "you're going to get Hep. C. & HIV!!!!!!!" I couldn't help but laugh, I don't think those things are likely to be contracted through a gum tree. But I'm no expert on infectious diseases so I wouldn't listen to me! 

IMG_14166989

This is the tree in my neighbors' backyard! 
I'm always taking pictures of it in every season, standing in my own yard. It has heart-shaped leaves in Spring & Summer, pretty purple/pink, fragrant flowers in May(my dog, Emmy got one that fell in our yard one year and brought it to my mom on Mother’s Day! lol He just went out and got it and brought it in to her!), and in Fall & Winter I can often see stars through the bare branches through my bedroom window.

And this was taken Thursday.

143849334091761(8)

Tomorrow I will be posting the pic for Day #3, if technology isn't screwing around with me like it has been.  Tomorrow is the rule of thirds. I don't know about this! But I'll try it!

I love how this project encourages us to tap into our creativity, it has very little rules so we can be creative with angles, effects, concepts…

And it's something fun and new each day! 

If you're into picture taking, maybe you want to join too?! It's at your own pace and you can begin whenever you want. If you decide to or are already in the process, let me know! I want to see your pictures! 😀

30 Day Photo Challenge e-course

I hope you’re having a fantastic day! 

xoxo Kim 😀

Today <3

image

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

Today is a very cold, very gray, beautiful wet day. It’s not exactly raining but everything seems wet. It’s night now but all day was gray and beautiful. It’s very cold, almost like Winter or the end of Fall. It’s bittersweet. I know it’s probably the last day or one of the last days that is cold. I LOVE all four seasons and they all have their blessings and unique qualities. They are all beautiful. I cherish each one and try to always be mindful of the beauty they are. But it’s always Winter inside my heart. In Winter and Fall I rarely wish for warm days. In Summer, there are more days I long for, even crave Winter or Fall. 

I’m soaking up every single bit of wet cold beauty I can today! 
Today on my way to Buddhist meditation class I was astounded by the almost palpable beauty. It was almost as if I could touch it, not touch the beautiful things but touch or hold the beauty itself. Touch or hold the concept, the very essence of beauty. I felt very alive and felt the heartbeat of the city become one with my own, as if throbbing in my chest, pulsing through my veins. I felt it deep in my bones, tingling in every cell of my body. Every breath I took, I felt I was breathing in the sounds, the sights, the scents, the intense beauty of the city. This feeling is not new to me but it always feels new. I feel it often, sometimes immensely, sometimes more quietly, sometimes not at all. But I can never get used to it. Sometimes this feeling, this life inside disappears for so long I am convinced it will never be back again. Then out of the blue, it comes and tightly embraces me like a long lost friend who promises to always come back to me.  

image

This feeling has always come naturally to me but with practice and certain experiences, I have come to strengthen it. Sometimes it comes out of the blue, like today. And sometimes I can summon it on my own. 

One thing that I find that helps me deepen this sense of beauty and gratitude and awe of everything around me, is taking pictures/photography.  For people who are interested in capturing beauty in artistic forms like painting, drawing, or photography, whether as a hobby or professional career, it can be easier to see, feel, taste the beauty all around because our brains get trained to see things and look for things to capture in a photo or painting or drawing. Then even when we’re not out looking, even when we are without our phones or cameras or paints and pencils, these little gems jump out at us. The more interested I have become in taking pictures, the more developed my sense of awe has become. I originally loved taking pictures because I feel so much beauty and want to capture & share it, but then picture taking only enhanced that feeling of awe in me.

image

Photography, painting, drawing, writing…. can all capture simple beauty in a way that makes it stand out more than it does in “real life.” I think many of us generally overlook very simple, very mundane things such as reflections, shadows, a sliver of light creeping through the slit as a result of a door on a dark room being ajar when the hall or other room outside is lit. We often stand in awe or deep appreciation of something dramatically beautiful such as bright, colorful flowers, a beautiful woman in a wedding dress on her wedding day or in stiletto heels and tight blue jeans walking down a street, a dramatic sunset over the ocean waves while lounging on a beach, a baby who is just born, an expensive mansion, an exotic animal, amazing looking food, an incredible looking car, an elegant dress, a flashing diamond ring,…you get the picture! But how often do we look in wonder at a shadow on a ground, maybe a shadow of a tree or person, the way sunlight reflects on signs or cars, the fuzz on a honeybee, the gentle illumination of street lights on a dark street at night, tattered signs, faded poles at busstops with the bus numbers on them, old pay phones, broken glass glittering in the daylight against concrete, an empty beer bottle resting in vibrant green glass, a lemon floating in iced tea, glistening ice cubes chilling a cup of soda….for many, it’s probably never or extremely rarely. But in photography, paintings, drawings, and writing like poetry or novels or descriptions, these things can be beautifully captured and portrayed in artistic forms that can’t help but force us to see, notice, feel the beauty of them, these things we tend to ignore in real life outside of artistic creations. 

And for people who engage in these activities, they can help us further ingrain our habit of seeing and feeling the beauty in real life outside of poetry and novels and photos and paintings or drawings. They help deepen our wonder at the things our eyes and hearts catch. They make it easier for simple treasures to jump out at us as we’re walking up a city street, sitting quietly at a riverside, driving on a busy expressway, meditatively peering out a bus window on a dreary gray day or a green day with life blossoming all around. 

But not everyone is interested in photography or painting, writing, or drawing. Whatever you’re interested in though, it’s fantastic to pursue it, engage in it, get lost in it and let it reel you in. This can bring you to life, fill you with passion for all of life, enthuse you in general. When we are so happy and passionate in one aspect of life, it can carry over into other aspects, even ones that aren’t so great at the moment. It’s like falling in love or having a big crush. You know the intoxicated feeling when you meet someone you are very attracted to or seeing someone you are in love with? That feeling carries over to everywhere and suddenly life is amazing in ways you never really noticed or forgot about…it can be like this even if we aren’t in love with someone. It’s falling in love with life itself. 

image

We don’t need “big” things, lots of money, kids, or romantic love to feel this way often. These things are great too but we don’t need them to be in love with life. All we have to do is open our eyes, heart, and look, see, feel, stop ignoring the simple things, the mundane things, the blessings surrounding us always. You don’t have to be a photographer, a painter, or an artist of any kind. 

“Such a feelin’s comin’ over me
There is wonder in most every thing I see
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream
Everything I want the world to be
Is now comin’ true especially for me” ~ the Carpenters 

Imagine feeling this way everyday or at least very often or even just more often than now.

It’s possible.  

image

Isn’t this beautiful?! It just goes to show how someone can inspire us and we can see life through that person’s eyes every now and then even if we aren’t interested in the same things. We can feed off of the passion, life, enthusiasm of others. This police officer is deeply inspired by his wife who is a painter with a passionate thirst for life, and while at work, he wishes she was there. This is out of a fiction book I’m reading called “First Do No Evil,” Book 1 in a series by Dr. Carey Baldwin who is an author, a medical doctor/family doctor, and has like two ph.d’s as well, she’s a wife and mother of multiple children. Ummm…is she like Wonder Woman?! I read Book 2 in this series already, not realizing it’s a series. They can be read together or separately and in any order and still make sense. The same characters appear in the books and there’s some subtle references to other books but the author makes it still make sense just to read one individually. She’s an amazing writer of mystery books. It seems most of her books are about doctors. Usually her main characters are a very strong,
beautiful, compassionate, loving, and broken woman who is 30 something years old, has a very painful past, a medical degree, and gets into trouble like is being stalked and needs help. I love her characters and how much depth they have. They are so realistic. And she’s a doc herself so she knows her stuff! Her novels involve romance, mystery, adventure, and healing. They also involve humor, sometimes I laugh hysterically, uncontrollably. They contain adult content in certain scenes. Very vulgar language at some points, and hot sexy scenes, definitely only for adults. Amazing plots, characters, and endings!

image

Let’s remember to allow others to inspire us and remember to be the inspiration to anyone we can!

I hope you are having a wonderful day or night wherever you are! Much love to you!

Xoxo Kim

Random Inspiration #10 {old memories and what to do with ugly/plain/useless photos you take}

image

Sometimes I take pictures that turn out not that good, blurry or ugly or boring or plain looking, too dark, too bright, seemingly having no point…I usually have the urge to delete them.

But not so long ago, I got a better idea. 

I can “recycle” them in a way, I guess you can say. Get creative and fix them up and make them pretty or more interesting. 

I can do things with the pictures that will make them look good that would ruin other pictures.

Example:

image

Look at this terrible picture! Ack! I want to delete it right now! I meant for it to be a lovely view of the Philadelphia skyline at night but it sucks instead. No hope for it…

Unless!

image

Now it’s pretty, right?!

I think so! But even if you still think it’s just kind of useless or sucks, you still get the picture, right?

You can take a sucky photo and prettify (or creepify) it. Imagine if I took a beautiful picture and then put that heart on it like that? It would ruin it!

But this picture already sucks so the heart can’t ruin it! And you can still see part of the skyline and I think the heart makes it look even better.And the colors pop more The heart is the main thing now but then we catch a glimpse of the buildings and lights in the background! Perfect!

Or you can make a sucky picture look creepy, like with my pic of the door above. That was just a simple pic of a door I took that had no use (the pic had no use, not the door) so I put a weird creep effect on it!

image

I like this one. Sometimes I’m in the mood for making my pictures cheery and pretty and colorful while other occasions I want them seeming dark, nostalgic, hazy, blurry, creepy, sad-like, vintage, shadowy…
This one is on the dark side.

Heres’s the original :

image

And here’s another pic I made fantastic when it was just kind of blah originally:

image

Original:

image

I actually like this one too but can see how it’s kind of plain. It’s interesting though. It’s a University of Pennsylvania building. The campus is beautiful. This is the medical examiner’s office, where they do autopsies and examine corpses and stuff.

And here are some more pics of mine that weren’t that good and I fixed them up:

image

image

Lol the heater at work. I made it look like I was having some dance party with strobe lights. I only took the pic to test my phone because it wasn’t working correctly. I took the picture last year and just found it in my phone recently.

image

Library on Temple University campus. I used to go to school here. I took this pic a few nights ago as I was going by.
I love when I see the campus again. I don’t see it frequently and whenever I do so many emotions come flooding back to me.
Both happy and sad ones, feelings of longing and feelings of joy. Nostalgia and happiness and gratitude.
i embrace them all.
It’s so familiar yet so distant now. I know it so well, so intimately, yet I feel as if I would probably get lost walking on there again.
That is so strange to feel.
i am never quite prepared for the feelings I experience when seeing the campus again and reminiscing.
I loved walking all around the campus day or night. When I had breaks in the middle classes

sometimes I would walk around the same buildings over and over and over, loving every single second of it. I would explore the entire campus by myself. And I would get there early just to have breakfast and iced coffee and just to walk around campus in the early morning before class.
It’s there and then that I learned to love my own company. I was always afraid to do things, go places alone, not because of social anxiety but because of my depression and certain painful memories I have. I dreaded long breaks in the middle of classes and it hurt me to see girls alone drinking coffee or eating or reading, it stirred feelings of horror and despair in me because of certain of my own experiences but I took the chance, the risk, and embraced my physical aloneness and came to welcome it and love iit.

Sometimes I still get those old feelings and fear of aloneness but then I remember my strength I found on campus in college.

I loved those early mornings having coffee with just me, reading, walking, exploring.i found it healing and I love the memories now. I cherish them always. This was before my depression was as healed as it is now and that aloneness and embracing it helped heal me so much and instill more joy into me. I’m naturally extroverted, always wanting people around me and it was hard at first to learn to do things like this alone but I accomplished it! 😀

image

These are steps that lead to nowhere. They are in a neighborhood I used to live, one I lived in since I took my first breath until I turned eleven years old. It’s a small place where everyone knew each other. It’s often called the “ghetto” because it’s a very poor neighborhood and full of trash and falling down houses. And loud people, prostitutes, criminals, and people with drug problems. It wasn’t always as bad as it is now. It started to get worse and that’s why my mom and dad decided to move when I was eleven years old. People were getting murdered on the street corners where I played with my friends. One day I saw one of the murder victims after the homicide occurred.
A young woman who I still think of today. I never saw her before she died
That I know of. I don’t know who she is/was.
she had thick curly long hair and I remember it so vividly. I wonder who she would be if she were allowed to live.
I saw the whole thing, all the gore and all, I saw the emergency paramedics take her body away after covering her with the white sheet. I saw the gruesome aftermath, the things that no one cleaned and remained day after day until the rain washed it away.
She was killed on a man’s pavement and I wondered why he did not clean up his pavement after it occurred.
She was stabbed to death.
I knew it’s horrific but I was too young to completely understand.
i was sad to leave the neighborhood because I loved it there (not the violence and gore and all though)
i knew everyone, I had many friends there.
i never minded the loud people or the prostitutes on the corner.
One of them was even my friend when I saw her around.
she was sweet and friendly and I wondered why people talked about her In an unkind way.

i just saw her for her, not the unfortunate circumstances of her life.
I was very angry at my mom and dad for taking me away and moving me to a bigger place where I knew not as many people. I met a few friends I frequently saw but I still wanted my old ones and wanted to go back “home.”

i used to know a lady who lived on the street where those steps are. Her house is gone now but the broken steps remain.
she was very old, very sweet, very youthful and full of life. Very loving and warm.
She worked or volunteered at the elementary school I went to.
i remember when it was almost Christmas and I was in 4th grade and a little girl in class asked her if she thinks Santa Claus is real and she said “yes because who else brings all the toys?!” 😀

image

image

image

image

image

These are some of my darker pictures. The ones that don’t resonate with everyone. My mom and sister don’t care for them. Some pictures are universally pleasing like, most people would probably like them or agree that they are pleasant, pretty, uplifting…such as flowers, a bowl of fruit, cute animals, sunsets and sunrises, babies…and I love all those too. but there are certain kinds
of 
artistic things that only certain others will understand or appreciate like this stuff. I never used to like black & white or sepia pictures but now I love them. Only for certain things though, usually not for people or
Nature, definitely not for the sky usually. I think those things are meant to let their colors fly. But for buildings and things I like b&w and sepia as well as color.

This concept can be applied to many things. Some things are probably better off being tossed. But some things can be given new life, used in a different way. Old clothes, old mail, things which no longer serve their original purpose well can be creatively made into something else. Even ourselves! 

You can use useless mail for an arts and crafts project, clothes too.

This can probably be good for the environment too! Recycling is important!

And we can even rebuild ourselves into something new, grow, evolve, expand…

I wish you much love, happiness, health, joy, and creativity!

😀

Xoxo Kim

P.s. This post is not in good condition, like the format because I posted it directly onto the app on my phone instead of how I usually do. The app is not compatible with my phone for posting directly onto it, I can’t correct mistakes easily and other stuff. I did this like this because I got confused with the locations of the pictures in my phone and that part was easier to just use the app directly for. Most of my posts won’t be this much
Of
a wreck though. Lol ;-D toodleloo lolz