Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the act of observation (and a giveaway!)


I love how a single word can totally change my whole day.  Take the "shapes" prompt for instance--didn't you find yourself noticing things that you would normally just walk right by without a second glance?   When I have a word or theme in my head, my eye sort of takes on a life of its own--it's as if my brain goes on autopilot and starts observing things in my surroundings that I'm not even consciously aware are there.

And even when I don't have my camera (although I always have my iPhone so that's not an excuse!), or I don't have time to stop and take a picture, I still appreciate the fact that these words have such a profound effect on my everyday that they make me appreciate the details of nature, architecture, and the little things around my home like I never have before.  For me, the act of observation is like a welcomed side effect to the art of photography.

It seems as if perhaps Runner Girl 44 had the same experience. Her photo is of a reflection shining off the hot plate of her coffee maker.  I smiled as I imagined her in her kitchen...she suddenly noticed the cool reflection of light and ran for her camera.  I wonder if she had the "shapes" prompt or some other photography theme in her head at that moment?

If you like daily word prompts to spark your creativity, today is your lucky day!  Tracey Clark of Shutter Sisters has generously offered us one spot in her upcoming Picture Color class to give away to one of our readers here at Mortal Muses.  The class runs for 30 days starting June 1st.  Simply leave a comment here on this post before 10pm EST on May 27 and we will pick a winner from all the comments using a random number generator.  That's all you have to do--one entry per person, please.

Good luck!  We will announce the winner on May 28 in Muse Mosey's post.

~christy of urban muser

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars"
"Be glad of life..." by Runner Girl 44

75 comments:

Stephanie said...

what a generous giveaway!! I definitely agree with you - I notice all kinds of things that I wouldn't otherwise see when I have a prompt in mind. :)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Love these images. Prompts can make you take notice of things. Thanks for the chance to win such a great giveaway!

debbasd said...

Great giveaway! Would love to win!

Michelle Sheldon said...

Wonderful shots, great giveaway! :)

Suzi said...

Kirstin's post about shapes fired my creativity and inspired me to look at things differently. I'm excited about what Tracey's course could open my eyes to.

Gilly said...

Love these shots! I think the gift of photography is that it starts us looking at things that we normally take for granted in new ways, and of course having a specific theme in mind helps a lot.

Helen (Dixon Hill Girl) said...

Fabulous photos and a great giveaway! Isn't photography just wonderful?!!! :)

Iquemon said...

Of course I would love to win such a great giveaway.

Phyl H said...

When Kat was hosting Exploring with a camera - rimmed with light, I found myself standing at the kitchen sink early one morning and looking at the way the sun was reflecting off of a wind chime. I grabbed my camera and ran outside in my pajamas to take a photo. I was disappointed with the results of my photo, but still enjoyed the exhilaration of being so excited to take a photo. Her prompts help me to keep my eyes open and expand my way of looking at things.

Misty said...

I would love the opportunity!
And Shapes did have me noticing things I hadn't before. In fact my picture had my husband searching our small town to see where I captured it.

AmyBean said...

The prompts do make me notice things more, although I'm sorry to say that I don't typically take new photos for the prompts. I don't know why. I've kind of lost touch with my camera a bit. I would love the opportunity to join the Picture Color class to help me change that. :)

Patricia said...

What a wonderful giveaway....and I LOVE both of these photos. Isn't interesting the things we - as artists with a camerabrush - find beautiful and worthy of capturing? The subjects that pique our interest and compel us to photograph them? Love it. Thank you for the inspiration.

lisa said...

Fantastic giveaway, and wonderful photos here!

lucy said...

the simplest things in our lives have beauty just like the flashy stuff. great vision, ladies.

Anika said...

Having a photo theme in mind definitely does make for an inspiring day, I agree! The patterns in these shots are great! I love the hotness of the first image and the light on the second. Great post!

Thanks for the chance to win too, great giveaway!

Anna said...

Great post! I totally agree, as I too have found photography makes me aware of the world - its shapes, colors, textures, and designs - like no other art form has. Composition is always on my mind also, as I view the world. Everything within the frame! Wonderful captures!!!
Generous giveaway :)

Carrie said...

I find the challenges to be great inspiration!
wonderful giveaway!

yzzilyzzid said...

Wonderful pictures! Excited about the giveaway too... thanks for the opportunity.

Katie said...

I loved this shape theme. I turned it into a game and had such fun with it. And one word themes make photography that much more beautiful, turning the everyday, hum drum objects into something different and alluring. Thanks for the feature!

missing moments said...

Great shots! Love challenges!

susankcase said...

Wonderful! Love the prompts as they are part of my inspiration each day! I adore Tracey Clark's "Picture Class" series, her daily prompts (weekly right now with Picture Inspiration). LOVE your website, prompts, photos and wow...such talented women!!! You are all "my" muse...and inspiration. {thank you for featuring my photo today...what a way to start my day! Big smiles!} ~ Susan :)

gashuttergirl said...

I love prompts. They give me something to focus on. Tracey's classes are superb! Would love to win a spot in Picture Color.

Kathy said...

Both images are wonderful. Would love a chance to take one of Tracey's classes again. They're fantastic.

Meghan @ Life Refocused said...

Would love a spot in Tracey's class!!

beth said...

Love the images, and a chance to win a spot. Prompts have definitely helped me to notice things I might not have otherwise. And today the sun is shining and the birds are singing...

Jennifer said...

Groovy images, and it would be great to win a spot in Tracey's class. :)

Shana @ Shana Ramsey Photography said...

Love the images! Thanks for the opportunity!

sarah jean, said...

yes a whole new world opened to my eyes via one little word.
thanks for opportunity!

Steph said...

Oh, New York... home sweet home :) Great picks.

teragam said...

Challenges and prompts are a great way to inspire me. Thanks for all the encouragement---and thanks for the opportunity to be part of Tracey's class.

Ashley Sisk said...

You're so right - these prompts tend to take over, but I love them! And I'd love to win..can I win? Doesn't matter. Great pairing.

Cynthia Plett said...

My, my. Yes please. I'd like a shot.

shirley said...

What a great giveaway! Love the two photos.

CindyC said...

Love Tracey's classes! Winning a spot in Picture Color would be awesome!!

Island Soul said...

ooo pick me!! pick me!!

Siobhan Wolf said...

Wonderful. Great images and love prompts.

RainCityGirl said...

I love the unexpected observation of beauty in everyday. Sometimes its surprising what catches the eye. Lovely images. Fingers crossed for the giveaway!

Andrea Golden said...

How exciting! I have always wanted to take a class of Tracey Clark's. And the photos above are just lovely! Thank you.

Christina Lawson said...

I love challenges! My 7 year old is a budding photographer and this summer I plan on doing these one word challenges with her as well. I is so refreshing to see what she comes up with.

Monica said...

I would love some fresh photography inspiration!

Rainbowartist said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Emily said...

Love the images and inspiration! (And I'd love a chance at the class!)

Jessica said...

The more I can learn the better, I want to spend all day every day doing wonderful photography and showing the world all these little spots of beauty and joy. Enter me please!

Lola said...

Visiting from Shutter Sisters...your words are a good reminder to not forget to actually look at what we see everyday...very inspiring. Thank you.

ashinbleu said...

I love seeing shapes in different things. Like how trees sometimes look like animals. Great post!

DebC said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

gailO/Oliag said...

Because I DO enjoy the daily word prompts I will be participating in Picture Color whether or not I win this....having said that I still hope to win:)...will postpone paying up until the 27th:)

Love these shots!

Arlene Marie Pitts said...

OMG you put into words what i have been experiencing since my husband gave me my camera several years ago: "the art of observation is a side affect to the art of photography" a great way to express the experience. Love what you do here, i hope your number generator numers up my comment. Arlene Marie carpediem5790@yahoo.com

Yvette said...

Love the blog, the photos and the giveaway!!!

Katja Maki said...

Words and photography, my two favourite things! Thanks for this opportunity! Love these images!

Mrs. Lichtenfeld said...

What a great way to get your mind thinking of the little things in life that hold such beauty!!

jo marks said...

great giveaway - i love prompts ... took part in picture the holidays with tracey, it was awesome! :)
jo.marks@bigpond.com

gina said...

The Mortal Muses' prompts get me looking at the world in new ways, and I also learn so much from looking at the images that other photographers have shared. It is all about appreciating the wonder and beauty around us.

gnubee said...

thanks for the extra chance to win! :)

Saj said...

New here-I'm hoping to be here more often! I'd love a chance to get into the class!

Jess said...

Awesome giveaway! And thanks for picking my photo for "life in b&w" today, what a fun surprise.

A Fanciful Life said...

I agree - my sense of observation has increased as I consider subjects for my photos. Would love to be entered into the giveaway - Tracey's classes are the best!

Jacqui said...

I've never tried a daily word prompt. Maybe that's what's missing from my 365! :D

Christineellen said...

Great post! I would love to win a spot in that class!

Alicia said...

What a great giveaway!

Anonymous said...

So fun! I would love to win - no shortage of colour in my neighbourhood these days... yay for Spring!

Irene said...

Oops - my last comment posted as anonymous....

Jessica Vescera said...

Love the rustic tones within these images. I especially like the reflected star in the second shot. Great job scoping that out!

Nathalie said...

I would love to be considered for the class!!! Found you through the Shutter Sisters blog :)

Jenny said...

The constant raining here has turned the colors into a muted dusky grey. I would love a chance a to turn my attention on some vibrant colors!

cathy said...

I too found you through Shutter Sisters - WOW what a great site! I can't wait to read more - especially tips in the muse university. Thanks! Cheers from Brussels -

832c5730-5c9e-11e0-9122-000f20980440 said...

oh yes please enter me Id love to do this class :D
SS rawks!!

Debbie Ealer said...

ugh ok thats me with the #s dont know why it did that,names Debbie ,,ignore that comment,,apparently,lol

Anonymous said...

gorgeous and so inspiring. Found you through Shutter Sisters.
kaleytaylor@gmail.com

Brigindo said...

Fabulous giveaway and beautiful shots.

Suzanne/Manchesterlass said...

Wonderful imagery, please pick me, I love the Picture classes and have taken all of them :-)

Wendy said...

Oh lovely!! Thanks :)

Chelsea said...

Tracey's classes are the best!!!

I love having the prompts in my head too, it reminds me of being a kid and being on a scavenger hunt for a birthday party, especially when I get the chance to do Ashley's hunts! Photography opens my eyes to the world, and then adding a word or theme to the mix just adds to it!

Satakieli said...

What a wonderful giveaway! I'd love this :)

Bhupali Gupte said...

I love colors!!!! Would love to get the prize!!!

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