Common + Camera = Beautiful

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Searching for inspiration today, I went to my favorite royalty free photo site and hit the randomizer button until I saw a photo that spoke to me.

It happened to be a rather well composed photo of window blinds. As I looked at the photo, I began mentally drafting my blog post about how through the eye of the camera and the mind of the photographer, a common item such as plain white venetian blinds can become something beautiful.

I went to download the photo and the photographer’s information for the credit and I was greeted by a form. The photographer wants this form filled out about how, when, where, why you will use her photo. Ok, fair enough.

Then I saw this note at the end of the form, “average response time is 24 days.”

Um. No. I’d like to write this blog post today, please.

So I sat back, grumpy, and tried to think about what else I could write about.

Then I laughed. The answer was so simple. I have off white venetian blinds in my office here at work. I could take my own photo and it would be at least as good as what I saw on that photo sharing site.

A little more work. No extra cost. A lot more fulfilling.

So on my lunch hour I took a hold of my trusty iPhone4 and my favorite Hipstamatic app* and got to work.

As a matter of fact, I did manage to create a photo similar enough to the one I saw with a bit of my own flair. I succeeded at making something common look rather lovely.



Well I was rather pleased with myself, so pleased that I decided to expand my reach. I challenged myself to create ten photos of regular everyday common objects, and photograph them in a way that makes them look uncommonly interesting.

This was my own personal photo challenge.

New photographers often lament about what to shoot. They know they should shoot more often but take photographs of what? Inspiration is lacking.

I challenge all photographers: Don’t take photos of what everyone looks at and thinks is beautiful. Take photos of what everyone ignores and then make it beautiful.

I had to go no farther than my own office and my nearby break room. I’m pretty happy with the results.



































(This is my favorite from the day)


All images in this post were taken by Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license seen in the far right column on this page.


*For my fellow Hiptamatic geeks, I chose the Hornbecker lens and Ina’s 1969 film. I wanted great color saturation for these photos.


A Theme Thursday You Can Use

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So I’m about five days late getting around to this week’s Theme Thursday.

It was a long week before the long weekend. Today, as with my astounding piles of work email, I’m finally getting caught up.

This week’s theme is: Simple

And so we have the word simple. We have the hot, hot month of July. We have a need for refreshment.

Time for an easy yet useful recipe.

Simple syrup. If you are sweetening your iced tea, mojios, or other cold beverages without it, well then…where have you been?

Get on board!

Here you go:

Simple syrup is 1 part sugar to 1 part water. I usually do one cup to one cup.

Combine in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool.

Dispense into something tasty.

That’s it.

Now, go getcher drink on! Whatever that beautifully sweetened beverage might be.





Photo by Pam Roth and used royalty free from stock.xchng.


Warm Weather Tip From Your Friend Karen

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On a beautiful, clear, cool July morning as you are commuting to work with the windows down, please refrain from loudly singing along with Lady Gaga.

Your fellow windows down commuters aren’t interested in your misguided fantasies of playing before a sold out Madison Square Garden.

They have their windows open too.

Auric littering, I suppose is the kindest name for what I did.

To the gentleman in the silver Honda Civic. I’m terribly sorry.
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“…whooooooaohaoooooohaooooooo…caught in a bad romance….”





Image is of Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and a pretty extensive web search could not net me the attribution on this photo. I found photos from that same event on the European Commission page which allows for the use of photos with attribution.