A really lazy day today — the joys of having time off. As I said to June, we can either do stuff or not do stuff — it’s totally our choice.
I picked up an app a week or so ago for free and haven’t used it yet, so I thought I’d make it my goal to create today’s picture using that app. It’s called KaleidaCam, and as the name suggests, it creates a kaleidoscope-type photo. I figured the colorful Christmas trees in the house might make good subjects and they sure did. Even slightest movements of the camera give completely different effects, which is both a blessing and curse. It’s fun to see the different results but you have to keep the phone really still to capture the one that you really like. The regular Christmas produced some good effects, but then I headed up to the small tree decorated with M&Ms and feather boas just off the kitchen. I was able to product some neat effects, but the shot you see below is one of my favorites. I don’t suspect that this is an app that will get extensive use, but it is definitely a good one to have in the collection.
I guess we must have been good this year, because Father Christmas once again made a visit to our house, and spoiled us again. We had a leisurely start to the day and started opening presents in the late morning — even Stubby got into the act, pulling his new squeaky toy from the stocking that June showed him. Around lunch time we had a Skype call will a good friend in San Francisco and then headed over to the in-laws around mid-afternoon to share Christmas with the family. The kids were beside themselves of course and reveling in all of their gifts. One of the special presents from Santa was a Wii game system, so I helped Bill get that set-up in their living room so the kids could have at it. And then we had a nice meal — and this was on top of the of all the nibblies that had been out all afternoon. It was indeed a day of good cheer. On the way out, I grabbed this shot of Bill’s house decorated for Christmas.
We have a family coming over for dinner tonight (a King family tradition), so in order to get everything prepared in time I took the first round of cooking duties. The photo below shows all of the ingredients assembled that I need to make Nigella Lawson’s Guinness Gingerbread — my third Christmas season to make this dessert . Flour. muscavado sugar, golden syrup, assorted spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves) eggs, baking sode and the all important Guinness. And really, how can you go wrong with something that has Guinness in it?
For the last couple of years June has arranged a Christmas decoration afternoon with the nephew and nieces, and this year is no exception. Except this year they were joined by Seth, the new foster child addition to their family. (And an affectionate little guy he is too — when he first saw me this afternoon, he came up and hugged me and said “I’ve missed you Uncle Matt.”) Join got the kids decorating Rice Krispie snowmen on the floor of the sitting area next to the kitchen, while I had the job of keeping Stubby away from the said treats! The boys progressed from that activity to our Wii system in the basement while June worked with the girls to decorate a gingerbread house in the kitchen. And after all of that was done, the kids were hungry (of course!), so we ordered in some Domino’s to take care of the growling bellies. A fun and busy afternoon for all involved.
Those who know my photographic preferences know that I have a strong affinity for rust. “Look, there’s something rusty for you” June will often call out on our travels. Well, evidently my eye for rust was well tuned this morning. We were in Hobby Lobby doing some Christmas shopping when I saw something in one of the aisles that made me stop for a second look. I think it was the coloration of the sign that caught my eye initially and then the actual words — “Rust me, I’m a mechanic.” The message seemed both a bit off and vaguely appropriate at the same time, so I looked closer and it was only then that I noticed that the “T” of the first word was covered by another sign. Just shows though that any hint of rust rarely escapes my attention!
A significant day for two reasons. For months now we’ve been hearing that today is going to be the end of the world, based on some dodgy readings of the Mayan calendar. And of course it is also the first day of winter.
As I was heading home tonight, this sign seemed to encapsulate for me at least both possibilities. A fiery end-of-the-world scenario could indeed have been a “hot-as-chilis” experience, but as it turned out we are all still here of course. So the first day of winter takes precedence, and appropriately enough there was actually a dusting of snow on the ground when I left for work this morning. So the day that many predicted would be “chili” hot just ended being “chilly” — as it should have been.
As has happened from time to time during this Project 365, today’s image is a rescue shot.
A couple of days ago while walking to my car after work, I noticed that in the early evening light that the shape, curvature and lighting of the outside stairs looked interesting. And since I didn’t yet have a shot in the can today, I decided to make this my photo. Now I will say it was darker when I took this than when I first noticed the potential of this image, but I figured that I could probably still work with it (“fix it in post-production” as they say.) However, when I began editing this photo tonight in front of the TV, it became quickly apparent that I have what is known in the business as a “dud shot.” The composition wasn’t great and the lighting was terrible. So now I have two options – try and find something else around the house to shoot at this late hour, or see if I can make this one work. Taking the lazy approach, I set out to work on what I have. Enter the battery of apps on my phone! A bit of this app, and bit of that app and a touch of this one too and here’s what I ended up with. An abstract that is a little reminiscent of the pattern of one of my old ties! (For those interested in such things, the two yellow splotches in the middle of the photo are sodium lamps…)