Friday, January 28, 2011

I Can Fly ~ Therefore I Will ~ Camera-Critters #147

I Can Fly ~ Therefore, I Will
(c) Misty DawnS

For those of you who may have read about my reconsidering blogging, I don't want you to be alarmed. Even if I were to give up this blog (which I haven't decided what to do yet), I would still keep Camera-Critters going. In fact, when I was discussing my situation with Hubs last night, he commented, "Maybe you should close down Camera-Critters or give it to someone else to run." I just stared at him. Giving up Camera-Critters has not even been a part of my thoughts. Just not gonna happen... it would be like taking away a child's toys! So, regardless of what happens with my blog(s) right now, rest assured that I have no foreseeable intention of closing down Camera-Critters.

*** To join in this fun meme, which is all about critters, click on the badge. ***

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's All In The Details
(c) Misty DawnS

Well, I haven't closed down this blog yet. So, I decided to post a photo for you. This is a female Widow Skimmer dragonfly, and I took this photo way back in 2007, even before I had a DSLR camera! I really like how the details of the wings came out in this photo, especially considering I didn't increase the sharpness or do any other post-editing (other than cropping) to this photo at all.

So, here's the thing about the blog. I definitely need to do something different. I definitely need to make blogging more about making me happy and being a creative outlet for me. I was almost convinced to shut this blog down and start anew. Then, I decided to think on it a bit more. I thought about *gasp* losing the past 3 1/2 years of posts. Even though I've made mistakes along the way, this blog and most of the posts mean something to me. I also had a big boost of confidence which had the most ironic timing, when a photographer friend informed me that his wife is a long time reader of My Dogs Keep Me Sane, and he just now realized that I was the author of this blog. That really meant a lot at a time I really needed it!

So, I'm not ready to give up this blog just yet. That's not to say there aren't going to be some big and major changes (this is where any of you who are web designers or have information technology jobs feel free to jump in and volunteer ideas and assistance. hehehehe). It's also not to say that I won't start a strictly photo-blog. I'm not completely sure yet, all I'm sure about is that I don't think I'm ready to take that Maggie May puppy blog header down... yet. We'll see...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reconsidering About Blogging

Apple Blossom Bokeh
(c) Misty DawnS

I've been blogging for three and a half years now. It has been quite an experience.

I've made what I consider mistakes, because I started out blogging to share my experiences but then got caught up in blogging for other reasons... reasons which caused me to turn my blogging into more of a chore than enjoyment. I found myself completing posts, because I "had to", rather than because I wanted to, and this resulted in the quality of my blog seriously diminishing.

Then, I came to the realization that I had too much on my plate, which was also causing my blogs to suffer a lack of quality. So, I determined to cut back to only this blog (my baby) and focus all my attention and creativity here. I know, in my heart, that I have what it takes to make this blog great, and, with renewed spirit, I set forth to accomplish much needed change... to focus on an outlet for my creative passions.

Now, however, I'm discovering it's not that easy. Granted, I'm not trying to get as many comments as possible anymore just for a high PR. I am, however, blogging because I want to share with others, but, unfortunately, I think I've destroyed any interest which may have been here way back when.

So, after three and a half years, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and, honestly, I'm not sure which way to go. I could continue focusing on this blog... I could start anew with a brand spankin' shiny new photography blog... I could just give up blogging all together...

I'm not sure which way to go yet, but whichever way I choose, at least I'm confident that it's for the right reasons.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tulip Threesome

Tulip Threesome
(c) Misty DawnS

Because I'm tired of cold and snow...
Because I miss the flowers...
Because I miss my wonderful butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and other bugs who visit those flowers...
Because I need a little color in my life right now...
and a little sunshine...
Because my camera feels so very neglected (yes, my camera has feelings - doesn't yours?)...
Because I'm longing for spring...
Because I have a hunch you are feeling at least one of these things too...
I'm sharing some colorful, sunlit, beautiful, bright flowers with you.
Don't you feel better now?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Don't Pick My Flowers ~ Camera-Critters #146

Don't Pick My Flowers
(c) Misty DawnS

*** To join in this fun meme, which is all about critters, click on the badge. ***

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eastern Amberwing

I'll Hang On ~ You Don't Let Go
(c) Misty DawnS

For "Dragonfly Thursday" on Flickr, I chose to post a photo of the Eastern Amberwing, which is a very small dragonfly compared to others. In fact, when I first ran around my pond chasing and photographing Eastern Amberwings, I thought they were baby dragonflies. I even posted to Flickr and said that these "baby dragonflies" were fun to photograph. I was informed by one of my more knowledgdeable contacts (most of them are) that these aren't baby dragonflies, but just a smaller species. I love learning about the things I photograph (even if I did feel a bit embarrassed at my error)! I really, really want to get some reference books (I have none *insert pout here*), and I swear some of my Flickr contacts/friends should have jobs supplying photos and information to reference books! I truly admire them!

Note: Dragonfly Thursday is not an official Flickr group that I'm aware of. As far as I know, it's just something I and some of my friends do on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


(c) Misty DawnS

On Wednesdays, several of us who are on Flickr post a photo full of bokeh for "Bokeh Wednesday". For those of you who don't know what bokeh is, I most easily describe it as the blurred, out-of-focus (yes, that's redundant) background in a photo behind the main, in-focus, subject.

As I said in a comment on this photo when I posted it to Flickr - I am SO eager for spring to come and to be able to get some new photographs. I tend to hibernate in winter. Some of the photographers I know and admire have so much creativity and are able to continue creating beautiful photographs throughout the entire year. I don't do that... I photograph nature, and, therefore, my photograph supply ends up seriously lacking during the winter months. Oh well, I am who I am, I guess. (But I'm going to have to buy phenphedrine to make up for my lack of exercise!)
If you are interested in following along on my Flickr photostream, you may click on my flickr badge in the sidebar.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bee Fly or Be Square

Bee Fly or Be Square

(c) Misty DawnS
Today, just cuz I happen to be in the mood, I thought I'd share with you the photo I posted to Flickr for "Buggy Tuesday". No, there's no official group for "Buggy Tuesday" (hmmm, meme idea?), it's just something a couple of my Flickr friends and I do. Besides, since one of my goals is to post a new photograph to Flickr more often (hopefully each day), I thought I'd share those photos here on the blog. Some of the photos may be repeats (like those powerful diet pills that work commercials), However, since this blog is three and a half years old, I figure it won't hurt to post a few repeat photographs, especially if it keeps me posting on a regular basis, and hopefully providing my readers/viewers (the three that I have left) with a post on a regular basis (hopefully each day... did I already say that? I tend to repeat myself.). Anyway, happy Buggy Tuesday to ya! May you fly through your Tuesday without any turbulance. :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pearl Adorned Bokeh

(c) Misty DawnS

I thought this photo was appropriate for right now, as I feel like I've been weaving webs lately. O.K., that probably didn't make sense. Let me explain. I feel like I've been weaving webs of goals and ideas. Just like in the photo, my webs are not perfect. There are gaps and holes and imperfections, but I'm weaving. It's a real mental fat burner. I'm not an expert weaver, so there may even be times wherein I just destroy the web and start over. ;-) You'll see.

Thank goodness for three-day weekends, especially when we've got really nasty weather in the forecast! I hope to catch a break in between the freezing rain tomorrow so I can get some ice photographs. I'll let you know if it works out... nah... I'll SHOW you if it works out. :-)

To join in this fun meme, which is all about taking a closer look, click on the badge.

I've Been Featured!

It was a very pleasant surprise to wake up this morning and find a message from one of my dear friends telling me that one of my photos was featured on one of my favorite websites! How exciting! It definitely made my Sunday! It's such a good feeling to have someone acknowledge and appreciate something you've done.

On another note, I may have some winter weather photos for you soon. The forecast is saying that we're going to have sleet, freezing rain, and snow tonight and tomorrow! Normally, this kind of forecast would fill me with dread, but, thankfully, I don't have to work tomorrow, so I won't have to drive in it. *sending out prayers to anyone who DOES have to drive in it!*

O.K., you can go back to researching homeowners insurance rates now. I just wanted to share that news with you! ;-)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Camera-Critters #145

I think you'll be able to tell just by looking at my photograph for this week's Camera-Critters post that I'm still being forced to dig into my archives. Actually, I shouldn't complain, because it has caused me to discover photographs which I overlooked in the past and didn't think were any good. By re-examining them, trying different crops and ideas, I've discovered that I have some photos that aren't too bad, which I might have discarded otherwise!

When I posted this photo to Flickr, I called it "Three's a Crowd". The more I looked at it, the more I realized it would be a great photo for "Corny Captions to Consider", which is a little game I used to play and haven't played for quite awhile. So, I'll present to you some corny captions to consider, and you feel free to shout out your own ideas in the comments section. C'mon, it will be fun... just try it... it's addicting.

Corny Captions to Consider:
Three's a Crowd
Why Wasn't I Invited to the Party?
She's So Un-Cool. Yeah, Like Totally!
I'm Just As Pretty As They Are!
They're Just Jealous!
Did You Hear About the New omnidirectional antennas?
Do You Think She Knows We're Talking About Her?
Did You See That Guy She Was With On the Other Side of the Fence?
They Leave Me Out Because I Can Sing Better Than Them!
(c) Misty DawnS

*** To join in this fun meme, which is all about Critters, click on the badge at the top of this post. ***

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Need For Change... But What?

(c) Misty DawnS
This time of year, my brain always starts working overtime with ideas, goals, and changes. It's winter, so I tend to be inside more and we're in the first month of a new year... so I start thinking of what I want for the year, what I want to change this year, how I can make things better, what challenges I want to present to myself, etc., etc.

One of the things I want to change (somehow) is this blog. I'm not sure what I want to change about it, but I am aware that I'm not happy with it the way it is. Also, I've noticed that, unless I participate in memes, I only have a handful of viewers. While I realized a long time ago that doing anything and everything just to get comments is NOT the way I want to be present in the blogosphere, I still wonder what purpose my blog is serving if there really isn't any interest in it.

I have a wonderful friend who has made a very generous offer for me to host a website of my choosing on his hosting package. If I take him up on this offer, I'm torn between what I want to do. My ideas are: a photograph portfolio of my best images; this blog with a lot of changes; a whole new photog possibly with a separate section as my portfolio. *sigh* I'm seriously leaning towards the last option and having it linked to my Flickr account so it will automatically update, but I'm not sure if that's the best choice. I just don't know which way to go, but I do know, however, that I want... I need to do something different.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Whining

(c) Misty DawnS
Have I ever mentioned that I hate winter? O.K., maybe I've said that a million a few times already. It's just... just... ugh! Winter is ugh.
Yes, it makes for beautiful photos. However, I have trouble getting those beautiful photos when there are 20 mile per hour winds and temperatures which make you choke on your breath when you step outside.
Don't even get me started on how much I despise driving in winter weather. I won't even start that whiny rant!
What is prompting my current winter whining? We've got a pending snow storm headed our way... well, actually, it had already started in my little town, but it hasn't made it to the city I work in yet. Joy.
Oh well, it could be worse (it could always be worse). Besides, maybe I'll get some of those beautiful winter photographs after all. Gotta get the snowpants, scarf, and glommits ready...
Oh, if you don't hear from me, I'm hibernating like a bear and may return sometime in April or May. :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Camera-Critters #144

I don't really get many photos during the winter. Yes, the snow can be very beautiful, but I tend to hibernate once the cold weather starts. I should bundle up and brave the cold to get out and get photos. I used to do that. Now, however, I tend to look at winter as the season to stay inside and get things done (like finding managed hosting for my websites). haha I did, however, get the below photo of an American Tree Sparrow during my holiday break. We had a heavy frost, and I was able to give myself a pep talk and get out to take some pictures!

Even the birds looked cold. Ha!
(c) Misty DawnS

*** To join in this fun meme, which is all about critters, click on the badge at the top of this post. ***

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Little Word For 2011

Fear is the highest fence - Dudley Nichols
(c) Misty DawnS

Recently, I came across several posts referring to a project called One Little Word. This project was designed by Ali, who has an awesome blog and is an amazing scrapbooker!

Here's what Ali has to say about the One Little Word Project:
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2011?
It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought, or a feeling, or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother's word or your spouse's word or your child's word - this is YOUR word.

One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here's one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our hearts speak to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren't ready for it yet.

Again, be open to the possibilities."

After reading several posts by people who choose their word each year, I began thinking of what my word would be. After thinking about it, I narrowed it down to two words, and I just can't take it down to one, because they really relate to each other in my circumstances. My words are "focus" and "courage". I need to focus on the things which need to be done to make my dreams come true, rather than just talking about what I need to do. Along with that, I need the courage to do those things, as I have a very strong fear of failure. I didn't sign up for the OLW course she offers, but here's hoping 2011 brings me the focus and courage to take the steps toward my dream!

Do you choose a word? What is YOUR word for 2011?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Collaborative Blogging Photo Communities

There are some collaborative blogs which use the blog to bring together and create a community of photographers and highlight their talents. They encourage everyone to participate and be an active member in the community the blog creates. It's kind of hard to explain. Sometimes they have contests, sometimes they just pick photos from their flickr group to post on their blog, sometimes they post a theme to spark your creativity.

What I like about these blogs:
They bring me together with people who share an interest (passion) I have
They spark my creativity
I learn so much from the writers of the blogs and the other participants
I am exposed to and inspired to try different types of photography/art I normally wouldn't try
You end up feeling like you are part of one big, wonderful family

I participate at Shutter Sisters. I submit photographs to their main Flickr site in hopes to someday be their Daily Click pick, and I also submit photos to their One Word Project. There are also other projects/themes at Shutter Sisters, and they've even written a very popular book, "Expressive Photography" (which I don't have yet, but intend to get).

I also, more recently discovered and started participating at Mortal Muses. Like Shutter Sisters, Mortal Muses also has several categories/themes. I participate in the main Mortal Muses Flickr group (which uses a theme) and the Everyday Beauty Mortal Muses group.

There is also I Heart Faces, which is very popular and an awesome group. However, I don't participate there, because I don't do people photography. Yet, I often lurk there and am in awe at the talent of the creators and participants! This is a group of EXTREMELY talented photographers and post-processors!

Those are the collaborative blogging photo communities (for lack of a better description) I have discovered and enjoy participating with and/or visiting daily. Are you a member of any of these or similar groups? Do you know of similar groups I'm missing and should check out? What are your opinions of groups such as these?

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