July 01, 2010
June 2010 Photo Hunt: Unveiled
The past six months have been inspiring. Six months ago, I started blogging…soon after I bought my first DSLR in November (as a result of five years worth of unused credit card points). You see, before our wedding (October 2009), I felt trapped. Not trapped in my relationship with my husband, but I felt as though I’d trapped every ounce of creativity I ever had in a little box and stored it away for safe keeping. But why in the world would I store away my creativity? It was holding me down and preventing me from enjoying life as it was intended. 

I remember one of my coworkers suggesting that I start a journal. Instead, I decided to start a blog…to share my life and my “creativity” with others. I also wanted to be able to grow as a photographer, and this blog was a way of tracking any lessons learned along the way. There are weeks in which I’ve gone simply mad trying to participate in various challenges…but I do all this in hopes that one day, photography will come as naturally to me as breathing…and that my focus will pay off…that is my purpose.

As a result, I have met so many wonderful people – people who have brought such joy and inspiration back into my life. To all of you that have been part of my journey so far, thank you. Not only have I gotten my creativity back, but you’ve given me a voice. 

Alright, I feel better now – I felt that I needed to get that off my chest.

For the past month, I have carried a list of items around with me to photograph…all for the sake of the June 2010 Photo Hunt. Some of these items were more challenging than others, but I am overall, pretty proud of my work (and excited about the next challenge). I’ve shared only one of these photos on my blog before, and only one photo came from my archives.  One of the photos is also being entered into this week’s You Capture Challenge (although I realize that several of the photos could pass for green – including my fountain shot…or even pass for hands).  For those of you visiting from You Capture, I apologize for my entry being buried. Without further discussion, here are my items:

1. Hilarious Outtake 
1. ASisk - Hilarious Outtake
This is Nicholas, taken during our “play date” at the Rose Garden a couple of weeks ago. I rarely got a shot of him looking at the camera and in this shot, I think he had had enough!

2. Creative Crop 
2. ASisk - Creative Crop
This was taken at the North Carolina Zoo last weekend. I love the angle of this female gorilla taking a break from the hot sun.

3. Sunflare 
3. ASisk - Sunflare
I took this shot in downtown Philadelphia as the sun was starting to set. I was initially going to share my shot of Maddie playing in the sun, but when I looked outside and saw the sun setting, I had to share this shot.

4. Sweet Dreams  
4. ASisk - Sweet Dreams
I shared a similar shot earlier this week for the I Heart Faces theme, PETS. This shot was also taken at the North Carolina Zoo.

5. Work 
5. ASisk - Work
I wasn’t sure what to photograph for this item on our list, then I looked over and saw my Blackberry. As a Gen Y person, I am always connected!

6. Play 
6. ASisk - Play
This shot was taken during my series with Nicolas and Maddie at the Rose Garden a couple of weeks ago. This is one of the other children playing with his toy car. I love this shot.

7. Cookout/Picnic 
7. ASisk - Cookout
For my birthday, two of my friends had a “cookout” at their house (well Rachael’s house) for me. We started out with a Shock Top beer, then ribs with scalloped potatoes and finally ice cream cake. It was delicious!

8. Transportation 
8. ASisk - Transportation
This might be a stretch for transportation, but I think we should all be on a boat more often…especially during the summer. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to get out on the lake, but these folks look like they’re having a great time. I converted it to black and white for dramatic effect.

9. Money/Currency 
9. ASisk - Money
I was running out of creative ideas for currency so I ran around looking for spare change (since I don’t generally keep a lot of money around).

10. A Fountain 
10. ASisk - Fountain
The first time I went to the Rose Garden this year, the fountain was not running. The second time I went to the Rose Garden, it was in proper working order…which is pretty great, because I was able to capture this shot. 

11. A Night Scene 
11. Night Scene
If you’re from Philly, you’ll have to help me out and identify this tower. I looked out my hotel window and thought “night scene.” I was originally going to enter the shot of my birthday cake with my candles (I still love that shot), but decided this had a sense of drama and mystery about it. I like it.

12. B&W with Selective Coloring 
12. ASisk - BW with Selective Coloring
I actually avoided this particular item because I’m not a huge fan of selective coloring (either that or I’ve been told that it’s not cool so I adopted that philosophy). Either way, as I looked through my zoo photos, I loved this shot of a little frog, but I thought the background was pretty distracting – so, thus a B&W with selective coloring emerged!

13. Something Old 
13. ASisk - Something Old
The Bible is one of the oldest texts in history…and Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite scriptures. In high school, each student was asked to choose a quote to go in the yearbook by their name. I chose this scripture. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for hope and a future.” Whenever I’ve been a little down on myself, I have reminded myself of this scripture.

14. Something New  
14. ASisk - Something New
I shared this shot on my blog earlier this week. My friend, Caroline, gave me this necklace for my birthday. What you don’t see in this photo is the lens that took the shot (well, I took the shot, but you know what I mean). The other “something new” in this photo is my new Sigma EX f/2.8 MACRO lens!

15. Something Borrowed 
15. ASisk - Something Borrowed
Well, semi-borrowed. This is my mother’s college t-shirt. She graduated from Peace College in 1972 with her Associates degree. Twenty-eight years later, I started my first year at Peace College. I don’t recall when my mother gave me this t-shirt, but I do recall receiving it prior to my first year in college. It’s old and worn, but it is one of my favorite shirts. Unfortunately, she’s likely not to get it back…and I’ll let my daughter (if I have one), “borrow” it many years from now.

16. Something Blue 
16. ASisk - Something Blue
This is another one of my zoo photos, the polar bear. As I tried to capture this shot, tons of small children kept getting in my way (come on moms…get a hold of your kids already, just kidding). I remained patient though and I think it paid off. You can see that this polar bear was trying to snag a treat from the blue water.

17. Something Musical  
17. ASisk - Something Musical
Another stretch…but birds are incredibly musical. I also took this shot at the zoo. I don’t know what type of bird this is, but she (or he) is incredibly beautiful and is bound to have a natural gift for music – at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. :)

18. Something Purple 
18, ASisk - Something Purple
I love the little hints of purple in this flower. I don’t know what they are, but I do love the texture, shape and color. And can we talk about that bokeh…yummy.

I’m also going to use the above photo to illustrate “green” over at You Capture (no need for multiple posts today). I hope everyone noticed the little blue bee in the shot. For more You Capture “Green” photos, go to:

19. Something Yellow 
19. ASisk - Something Yellow
Again, another beautiful flower. If you’re a flower person, can you tell me what these are? I only wish I’d taken more photos of these flowers because they photograph so well.  

20. Something Scenic
20. ASisk - Something Scenic
This shot was taken from my archives. This is a shot of tranquil Anguilla…one of our day trips during our honeymoon to St. Maarten. We have not gone on vacation yet, so I didn’t have a current scenic shot to share (well, I just didn’t like any of the “scenic” shots). I have realized though that I really enjoy “filling the frame” shots, so I need to pay more attention to landscape shots – they can be just as beautiful and I may have forgotten that. Note to self!

So that’s it! What do you think? Do you have a favorite? Did you participate in this month’s photo hunt? I may actually take the next month off (we’ll see) – I need to get back to my Before & Afters (Salina, Denise…I haven’t forgotten you)…and maybe write a new tutorial. What do you want to know more about? – perhaps how to emulate the lens baby effect I’ve been adding recently? Just let me know and I’ll work on it.  

By the way, don’t forget the Clickin’ Moms offer: now through July 2nd, I invite you to join me over at Clickn’ Moms. All you have to do is click the little button below, select a subscription and use  the coupon code FRIEND to receive 10% off any subscription or use the coupon code LOVECM for 20% off a lifetime subscription. If you don’t like it…I do believe that you can get a refund (but be sure to read all the fun fine print). That’s it!

 clickin' Moms

Have a great day!

    Lovin’ your scenic shot. I also tend toward close in-camera crops, and have a hard time stepping back. You did a great job on all of these, Ashley.

    I’m usually not a fan of b&W with colouring either, but I love the frog. This photo works really well with the technique. Also love the purple flowers – they’re my favourite of the lot :)

    Very cool. I really like the sunflare and the night shots. That outtake is very cute. Thanks for sharing your photography progress :)

    great job…Thanks for displaying Nicolas again. He is a ham. As for finding inspiration, I agree with you. It has been a great to find a creative outlet. See you soon!

    Hello, Ashley. I love your blog background and banner. So pretty and clever. It was nice to learn a little about you when stopping by to see your entries. Your words off the top helped me feel more connected to what you did with your photos. So, thanks for that. And my goodness, you do a nice job with your camera! I think you’re well on your way to what you said you wanted — having photography just be a natural part of what you do and are. At least that’s how I felt about you when I saw your photos … like the movement you can feel in play, the serenity in sweet dreams, the perfection of purple, the find of musical, the composition of blue, the vibrancy of fountain, and the simple beauty of borrowed. I can totally see IKEA mass producing your currency shot. If I had to pick one single favorite, I think it’d be your something blue with that fuzzy white head and dark black nose poking out of the water. Well done!

    #19: something yellow, is a flower called Lantana. I have a similar shot I took the other day. They are great flowers and they grow super fast!

    WOW, great photography, i especially love your sweet dreams, what a capture:) Looking forward to seeing more from you:)

    Oh, Ashley, these are all fantastic!!! I think my favorites are the night scene and the something borrowed photos. Night scene is so dramatic (and I struggle with nighttime photography) and something borrowed is very creative. I love the idea of hanging the shirt on the blinds to capture the light through the window, and making the shirt look almost transparent. Great work!!!

    WOW! Such an awesome post. I love how varied it all is. I especially love the one with money and the one with sunflare. AWESOME job!

    Awesome job! The outtake is hilarious! …and I love shocktop great photos!!

    amazing photos! love the play and the outtake. ah heck, i love em all!

    These are all so creative! I love the money/currency shot for it’s simplicity & the macro is perfect! Happy belated birthday!

    You are such an awesome photographer! I would love to hang the something borrowed shot up in my house!!! I <3 it! :) Thanks for being so sweet about my photos. You have such exciting things to photograph! I am a little envious that I am surrounded by cornfields when you have such beautiful architecture!!! :D

    Wow. So many great shots this week! I’m here via You Capture but my favorite is the lion one.

    Oh wow. These are just amazing! I’m so impressed at how you can make the mundane beautiful … like pennies or a Blackberry. I just love your work! And your site, for that matter. :)

    Forgot to mention … I think #19 is a lantana. And, I heart that Peace College shirt!!

    Don’t you just love blogging and photo taking!!! I love ALL of your captures – they are amazing :D

    Ashley, I love all your photos but my favorite is the night scene! I’m so glad you have this blog – it is inspiring!

    You are amazing, girl! What kind of camera do you use? Love so many, and I’m going to have to get that macro lens…your shots are amazing with it! Nice work, as always. Love your perspectives.

    Gorgeous! I love looking at your entries :)

    Tracey @ Inspire Me

    this is a awesome wonderful post and the photo series is equally awesome but i must admit the gorilla shot got me.

    to answer your question,

    for the regular 1:1 macro shot im using a tamron 60mm macro lens.

    for the super macro, beyond 1:1- i am using 68mm extension tube+ tamron 60mm
    macro+ nikon 50mm reverse mounted on the tamron.

    there’s more to it than just the lens, that bug photo is made from 6 separate shots of the same insect at different
    focal length with approx. a fraction of a millimeter increment. The images are
    then stacked together to create the final image.

    this fly image was made from 20

    I’m stopping over from You Capture and you totally blew me away! Your photographs are awesome! I am just a camera-happy new mom, so if my shots don’t have a cute little baby in them, they’re not worth looking at.

    Totally inspired by you, though! I like the idea of a photo scavenger hunt. Awesomeness!

    very cool! i LOVE the yellow flower, what a neat find!

    I haven’t posted my own Photo Hunt photos yet, hopefully I’ll get to it soon!

    I LOVE your “something yellow” and “something scenic” shots! The colors are so vibrant and beautiful.

    Love your blog and all your random photo taking!
    I’ll be following if you don’t :)

    Ashley your photos are ALL so amazing! I would be proud to share them all too! You have an eye for this! Love the verse you have chosen for yourself! Have a wonderful week-end Ashley!

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So many incredibly beautiful captures!!! Seriously amazing. Love the Gorilla shot much. Well done!

    Wow, these are amazing! Great job! I am going to have to look into this for July!

    You are bursting with talent! I especially love all your zoo pictures. I am so glad that I follow your blog.

    I totally identified with your first couple of paragraphs. Before I got my camera, sewing machine, and started my blog, I really was in a creative black hole. I blame it on 6 years of college and a one year certification process. Too much studying, not enough being myself!

    Anyway, here’s to continuing to take pictures and to sharing them with the world :)

    I love the flower shots! And a blue bee, how do you find a blue bee? Loved it and the colors are fabulous.

    I can’t help but smile and cry for your #1 photo!

    thanks for visiting my blog! i don’t know how we haven’t met yet :) love your blog! so excited to follow and keep up on it. Your photos are beautiful! and i am so excited because i have been wanting to join clickin’ moms, but didn’t know about the money, but i read about the discounts on another blog and literally just signed up tonight! how fun! can’t wait :) again your blog is so fun!

    Awesome job here! Everything looks so great, I’m not sure what to choose as a favorite. I do love the change pile you used for your money/currency and I love that you chose to use the Bible as your something old. I have some similar pics (though not posted on my photo hunt) as your zoo pics. I wonder if we went to the same zoo here in NC? :o)

    I love your “Sweet Dreams” photo, that lion just look so… peaceful in his dreams. And his fur looks so soft! I also like how you did the focus on “Something Old”, it looks interesting to the eyes. And in overall, the colors of your photos are lovely, great job!

    absolutely beautiful photos! you’re pictures and captures are an inspiration!

    They are all gorgeous! Great, great work! And that last picture was just vacation candy I needed to get me thhrough the last few hours of the work day :)

    Beautiful! I love the frog picture you chose for selective coloring. I think this is a situation where it actually enhances the photo and draws your attention to the subject. Just lovely work as always!!

    I love the polar bear — and I hear you on the patience… :)
    Great work! I keep learning —
    Entered the photo hunt – just looking through what I shot for the month. I don’t do selective coloring, so I altered a b/w photo. Check out what I did. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

    your outtake makes me wanna to give that little guy a big ol’ hug!
    and I love your purple capture! great work on them all.. hard to pick a favorite!


    I enjoyed all of your photos because let’s face you are talented. My favorite of all my favorites was the “blue” picture.

    outstanding all–I’m glad I didn’t judge this round. My favorites the black and white, sweet dreams, and blue. loved viewing your work

    Fabulous job with all your photos! You have a great eye and definitely creative and think outside the box. Many favorites here that I would choose!

    awesome job….my favs, sunflare, cookout, something borrowed, and of course the flowers :)