APAW: Weathered

Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week challenge has the topic weathered. Nancy says,
“Living close to the mountains and rural areas, I come across weathered items to photograph frequently. There are also a lot of different treatments that you can use to make an image look weathered. With this week’s challenge, try lots of different techniques.”

I tried “weathering” some of my photos using SnapSeed and my other limited photo editing software, but I couldn’t get that “weathered” look. So I relied on my naturally weathered photo subjects.

Three subjects taken in Poulsbo, Washington

Meet Josephine, a javelina I picked up at an art fair in Tucson, Arizona. Her natural look is weathered, because she is made from metal treated to appear rustic or weather-beaten. I experimented with SnapSeed, but I think her natural state is a better look. What do you think?


I did use SnapSeed to create a “grunge” look on some other items in my house, while working on a still life photo project. Click on the photos to see them larger.

Southwestern USA, and particularly along Route 66, is a great place to find naturally weathered subjects.

Weather-beaten vehicle at the Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino, California – now retired, it’s just for show!

North of Victorville, CA is Bottle Tree Ranch. Besides “trees” made from bottles, there are a lot of old junk items that the artist collected and put on display. The longer they are left in place, exposed to the elements (heat, wind and dust, occasional rain), the more weather-beaten they become! A bizarre place, but a photographer’s heaven!

L-APC Checks and Stripes

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week has the topic Checks or Stripes.

Mosques have striped carpets where the worshippers line up to pray. (Cairo, Egypt)
Blinds in a friend’s apartment (Des Plaines, IL)
Stripes on steps (Des Plaines)
Fences are striped. (Chicago Krisha Society)
A fence with both stripes and checks – at The Church of All Nations in Jerusalem
Bottle Tree Ranch near Victorville, California (one of the sites on Route 66)
Seats in ancient amphitheatre in Caesrea Maritima, Israel
Woven striped design on my bottle holder that I bought in Peru
Beautiful inlaid (some of them checked) designs on small tables & other items in Aswan, Egypt
Stripes and Checks in a coloring book (photo modified)

CFFC: Fighter Planes of WWII

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is anything having to do with jets and planes.

In Normandy, France, we visited the Overlord Museum near Omaha Beach. The Overlord Museum has displays and dioramas including a variety of equipment used by both the Allies and the Nazis during D-Day and the subsequent month-long battle of Normandy, in which the Allies succeeded in pushing back the Nazis to liberate the north of France.

Operation Overlord (code name for the D-Day invasion) was a tricky operation that was difficult to coordinate due to the complexity and variety of troops and equipment, the expanse of the beach heads, the different countries and companies involved, and the need to catch the enemy by surprise. Paratroopers (the first to deploy) jumped from planes and drifted far off course. Heavy equipment like tanks and trucks had to be unloaded sometimes in 4 feet of water and then brought up cliffs. Of course, the Germans soon realized what was happening so that all this was taking place under fire. They had also put up barriers and mines along the beaches.

Each part of the operation was timed, coordinated by generals far from the beaches. After the naval ships were in position and ground troops on the beach, fighter jets flew overhead to provide cover for the men below, dropping bombs onto Nazi bunkers and strongholds.

We spent three days in San Diego after our Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. The first day we visited the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway was another World War II relic – a huge aircraft carrier which saw action in the Pacific, and there was a lot to see.

USS Midway aircraft carrier

RDP: Thingamajig or Whatchamacallit

Ragtag’s Daily Prompt word today is thingamajig. It is a word we’ve always used (or one like it) when we don’t know or remember the name of something. I looked up the word to see how it would be defined:
Merriam-Webster has a good, concise definition: something that is hard to classify or whose name is unknown or forgotten. 
I found the synonyms amusing: dingus, doodad, doohickey, hickey, thingamabob, thingummy, whatchamacallit, whatnot, whatsit (also whatsis or what-is-it)

I am often at a loss for words, so I’m likely to use thingamajig or one of its synonyms more often than most people. However, as I looked in my photo archives, I did find some objects that defied definition or name. These are some of them.

The Bottle Tree Ranch in California, on Route 66, is full of thingamajigs, doodads, and whatchamacallits. In fact, I think that is its entire reason for being. Lots of weird, rusty machine parts that I have no clue as to what they are even used for…
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More such things are on display at the Overlord Museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. If your thing is machines used in war, this is the place to visit.20190620_124504
There was a lot of chaos on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as these displays attest to, so it’s only to be expected to find plenty of hoojiggies (another synonym!) there.  I trust that the men who were using these pieces of machinery had better vocabulary about them than I do!
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Enough of broken machine parts! What would you call this so-called piece of art, on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam?
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(Yeah, me neither, but scary, for sure…)

But – saving the best for last – I had to take a photograph of this weird whatchamacallit I spotted along a sidewalk in Chicago. I have no idea why it’s there or what it’s used for. (The water bottle adds a nice touch, though! At least it can be used to set things down on, and then forget them!)
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If anyone can clarify what this thingamajig is, I’d be interested to find out!

 

CFFC: Choose Your Topic from a Photo

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is in a series where she posts a photo and you choose what topic you wish to post based on her photo. Here is her photo this week:

Here are Cee’s suggestions: floats, things hanging on trees, rope, fishing items, grass, green, orange, white, blue, numbers, bare branches, or come up with your own topic.

– actually these are fake trees at Bottle Tree Ranch in California.
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This real tree has things hanging on it, but it looks like something natural to the tree.
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Rope
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Floaters/fishing equipment
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Hunt for Joy Challenge: Say Cheese

Cee Neuner has a new weekly challenge entitled On The Hunt For Joy. This is the second week and the theme is Say Cheese. She says,

“find some photos of you smiling and feeling joyful, or find some photos that brings a smile to your face or brings you joy.  Tip from Ingrid Fetell Lee [who is the inspiration for this challenge]: ‘Studies show that our expressions can influence our emotions. So when you’re feeling down, try faking it ‘till you feel it by smiling, doing laughter yoga exercises, or looking at a photo of yourself taken at a particularly joyful time.'”

I selected photos that represent happy times in my life. The first is me having a fun moment with my son when he was a little boy, circa winter 1988.Jayme & Katharine Villa-Alvarez
A wedding photo taken when I married the man I love, Dale, in November 1995.
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Playing around with the photo software on my computer in my classroom at Anne Sullivan School. This was one of the happiest years during my teaching career, 2009-2010.
Me from PhotoBooth
Here are some happy times traveling.

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Me with fish band sculpture, Laclede, St. Louis, MO (2016) – I include this because of the interesting & humorous sculpture.

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You may recognize this as my profile picture on WP. I’m smiling because we were in Monterey, CA (2015), one of my favorite areas in the U.S.

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Relaxing on deck with a margarita during our cruise to the Panama Canal (2017).

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Relaxing with hot drinks and pastries after a few hours looking at art, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2018).

Finally, one of my “shared” birthday celebrations – my brother-in-law and I have birthdays nine days apart, and he is 10 years older than I am.  (They spelled my name wrong at the bakery – it’s Katy, not Caty! 😦 )
Elmer & me - joint birthday celebration

 

Photo A Week Challenge: Lit From Within

Nancy’s Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge has a very creative and season-related theme this week: Lit from Within.

Most holiday lights are “lit from within” the tiny bulbs, such as these at Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s) in Chicago…
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but here are some other Macy’s holiday lighting from within. Yesterday my friend Marcia and I had a special luncheon at the famous Walnut Room at Macy’s – this is a long tradition going back at least to my childhood, when my mother used to bring us to eat at the Walnut Room at Christmas time so we could marvel at the huge Christmas tree. This tree has gotten more “high tech” spectacular over the years.
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A huge transparent ornament had a chandelier inside.
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The glow of a lightbulb through a lampshade illuminated the piano where my grand-nephew Nicholas played carols while the rest of us sang, a few Christmases ago.
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In 2015, we spent Christmas at Dale’s nephew’s house in El Cerrito, California. They had decorated the front of their house with bright “presents” illuminated from within.
Lit-up holiday decorations in front of Pagels' house.
Last year, I took this photo from the Des Plaines Metra station, waiting for a train to arrive. Besides the holiday lights, the Des Plaines library in the background was open, with the lights on in all the windows.
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At the Art Institute a few years ago, there was a special exhibit exploring Van Gogh’s famous “Bedroom” painting – actually, he painted three of them, each a little different. This display was an idea of what the bedroom he painted would have looked like, which patrons could peer at from outside a window.
Replica of Van Gogh's bedroom in the yellow house in Arles.

Friday RPD: Absent

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

Absent the ones we love
Memories of times gone by
An empty house
An empty building long ago abandoned

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Those absent
Are what we covet
Appreciation grows
For those we no longer have, can no longer touch

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Love grows
For our dearly departed
A home we had to leave
Empty shelves, empty nest
Beauty we no longer see
Music we no longer hear in the silence of our mind.

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Absent is what is no longer remembered
No longer reachable
Absent is the past.

Mother facing the empty shelves

Photos: A shuttered warehouse, an abandoned trailer, weavers’ nests no longer occupied, my mother in her empty apartment.

Friday RDP: Absent