Thursday, March 29, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 3/30: Neglected Structures

Neglected Structures -
Abandoned or neglected places make interesting photos. 
Try to compose a photo to capture the feeling of abandonment.

Abandoned Gas Station

Ok guys, this one is right up my alley.  
I can't wait to see what you share this week.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spotlight Photos - Interesting "Tops"

I am so excited that we had 17 links this week!  A new record for 2012 although I'm pretty sure we've had many more in earlier years.   I'm also excited to see some new "posters" -- at least new to me. 

Of course, with 17 posts, the challenge and heartbreak of skipping 11 is awful.
BUTLER:  "Are you ever going to be able to just post 6 spotlights without whining?"

"Probably not," I admit.  I hate having to chose one over another.

BAGMAN: "Just draw them out of a hat!"
"They are digital, you doofus!  I don't have a hat big enough to put my computer in."

BUTLER: "Excuses!  Excuses!"

Okay.  Okay.   I think for this week, I'll feature some of the people we haven't seen for awhile or that the spotlight has missed.   It is also interesting that while we had a large number of fairly traditional steeples, spires, and weathervanes -- so many people also used the creative license granted to everyone by FMTSO to post other kinds of "tops".

Tina topped her sign with pelicans

to augment her weather vane.
(Although it looks like a whole weather station)

Newcomer Patsy (new to me at least)
added a nice tilt to a traditional spire.

And Maple Lanes second post of 2012
is either the smallest church around
or the most spiritual bus stop.

Elaine Dale used the sun itself as a topper!

And Kim gave us a great smile with her
smiley face water tower!

BUTLER:  "Hey!  What's the big idea!!! That's not Kim's Watertower!! That's from Rebecca's piece on Henry Chapman Mercer!!

"Oh yes," I begin to mumble incomprehensibly.  "Kim and Rebecca are both understandably careful with their photographs and have disabled the function which lets me just copy shots from their blogs.  I certainly understand the desire for many of us to protect intellectual property.  So when I wanted to use their shots, I either emailed them or posted a comment asking them to email me the file.  So while I was going to put Kim's watertower here, I only had the shot Rebecca had sent me.  

BAGMAN: "Huh?"

And since I'm breaking so many rules in my own confused way, I might as well add a seventh picture simply because I like it so much.  

Dawn Treader's church by the river

BUTLER:  "Be careful, Mark.  You are setting a precedent of using seven pictures instead of six.  If I know you, you'll start taking the easy way out more and more.

BAGMAN:  "What's wrong with taking the easy way out?  I do it all the time!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 3/23: Steeples, Spires and Weathervanes

Share interesting 'tops' your town offers.

The Gazebo at St. Mary's Villa, Ambler, PA

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spotlight Photos -- Green

This time, I literally bowl over Butler and Bagman in my headlong rush to get the spotlight in and out!

BAGMAN (Picking himself up): "What the...!?"

"No time," I say.  "Kay has just drifted off in her swing and so far today her naps have been averaging ten minutes!  I think I'm spoiling her and she wants to wake up and play with me.  In any case, I've got to move or I'll be typing this with one hand.  And it won't be pretty."

BUTLER: "I do not have a problem with that, Mark.  But I do fail to understand how Bagman can pick himself up.   What part of him is already up and can provide leverage to lift the rest of him.  Or does he change gravity or something?  It is like the old saying, 'picking yourself up by your bootstraps'.  Personally, I think it is impossible."

BAGMAN: "Do you really want to know what part of me is already up?"

Hearing Kay beginning to coo and talk to herself in the other room, I use B&B Temp Delete Key, which I have never used before and they both promptly disappear.  Having never used it before, I just hope that the B&B Insert Key works just as well tomorrow.  

This Friday was GREEN and we had a record 16 posts!  At least this is the record for 2012.  I seem to remember in the early days that we had thousands of posts.

And this is the first time this year that I've seen Mad Snapper back!  Yea, Mad!  And Mad sure hit the St. Patrick's Day theme with her Parade coverage!

Mad Snapper makes Macy's envious!

Jama also shot a parade of olive green soldiers which would have gone well here, thematically, but I decided to use another of her shots instead --

Jama's St. Paddy's Fairy

Ginger's Green Palm was, well, REALLY green!

Scriptors red-tailed racer (red?)
Happy Ssssssssssaint Patrick's Day

Lena found a butterfly whose favorite color was green
(Either that or it was lost, trying to find the flower that must be near the leaf)

And finally, Dawn Treader gave us an almost green bud
At least it has the spirit of coming green!

Whew!  I just finished in time and Kay is beginning to get demanding.  She wants to play grab Diggy's nose again. 

Next week is Steeples, Spires, Weathervanes -- interest "tops".   See y'all then!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 3/16: Green

Whether Spring has come your way, 
or St. Patty's Day brings your green...
Let's share photos featuring the color green.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spotlight Photos - Doors

I promised myself that I would NOT, under any circumstances, begin this week's spotlight with my usual complementary whine about how there are so many great photographs and so much great talent that it is so difficult to make choices about which ones to spotlight.   So I won't.

BUTLER: Sure, Mark.  Very clever.  And you think that anybody is going to miss the fact that you just did it anyway?

I just mutter something about being glad that I'm not a judge on American Idol and start posting this week's Spotlights:

Pauline's ladder door
(Please step around while entering
to avoid bad luck)

Queenmother Mamaw's Colorful Door

QMM's variety made it hard to choose -- the artist painting in the front yard, her son's pen and ink drawing...By the way, so far the Queenmother holds a perfect posting attendance record for 2012.  But no pressure!   

Jama's Red Door/Red Windows

E.G.Wow's Tree Door
The imagination runs wild

I love to open doors and go inside and see what's there.  Of all the doors posted this week, I think this is the one I would enter.  Either this one or Dawn Treader's Keyhole Door House.

Mizzkay's church interior

Ann's vaulted church door

Congratulations to Kim for making it to the Alamo.  It brought back some happy memories for me..or at least some memories.

BAGMAN: "Were you friends with Davey Crockett?"

"I'm not that old, Baggie," I answer.  "But I did shoot pictures of it once and then accidentally opened the camera and ruined all of them.   On the other hand, I've heard that I am a direct descendent of Davey although the Crocket family completely disowned that particular branch.  Maybe I'll tell the story sometime.

Anyhow, next week's theme is "Bring on the Green."    I see from the comments that Elaine at the Scattering is hoping to get back -- I hope she does too. 

BUTLER:  Of course you do.  The more people who post, the more you can complain about how hard your job of choosing is!

I'm not complaining," I reply.  "In fact, this week I specifically did not complain."

See y'all on Friday! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 3/9: Front Doors

Let's put out the town Welcome Mat 
and see some front doors from your town.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spotlight Photos - Paths, Steps, and Walkways

BUTLER:  "This is getting tougher and tougher.  Every week the shots get better and better.  And...

BAGMAN (singing at the top of his lungs):  "Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong!!"

BUTLER (ignoring Bagman):  And I've also been watching over time and so many of the regular participants have become so much better in quality, creativity, technique...we should tell them.

BAGMAN (still singing):  "On the road again!  I just can't wait to get on the road again!  The life I lover is making music with my friends..."

I cock my head, squint my eyes, and squinch up my nose at Butler, my expression for saying that I don't think that is such a good idea.   I'm leery sometimes about telling someone they've improved because they might think I didn't like their stuff in the first place.

BUTLER (reading my mind): "That's the dumbest thing you've said in a long time...we're all trying to improve and we all feel good when we do and when someone notices it."

BAGMAN (Louder):  "Six days on the road and I'm gonna make it home tonight!"

BUTLER: "Well, maybe not Bagman."

I notice the clock and decide I need to start posting the spotlights.  Actually the clock has nothing to do with it.  I was really noticing how much space I was wasting with dialogue before I posted the first spotlight.  

Royden Park by Scriptor Sinex
(Welcome back!  Overjoyed to see you on FMTSO again!)

Path to Rio by Ginger
(Happy Birthday, by the way...yesterday?)

BUTLER:  Interesting that the path in both these shots is a secondary focus to the background..."

"Not the next one," I reply.

Stairway to heaven by Dawn Treader
(I think I'd be out of breath by the time I got there.)

Path to Rest in Peace by Queenmother Mamaw

BUTLER: "Don't you think we should have posted some of the more lively pathways, with people in them -- like E.G. Wow's sledder, Kim's skateboarders, or Jama's couple under the arch?  Or Lena's long distance runner?  Or something really different -- like Mizzkay's fish swimway?

"What is it with you today, Butler?"  I ask.  "Is this your special day for making me doubt myself?"

BUTLER: "That's my job."

BAGMAN (dancing now as well as singing):  "Well, I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load, I've got seven women on my mind!"

J9's multiple paths
(I need a GPS to negotiate this one)

Kerry's snow path
(I can hear the show crunching underfoot)

So, as another Photo Spotlight draws to a close, I retire to contemplate and also to repaint the darn livingroom wall that I left all spotty when I did it the first time.  Going into the garage to get the paint can, the sounds of Bagman's musical dedication to this week's theme begin to fade.

BAGMAN: "Life is a highway...I want to ride it all night long."

And this Friday's theme is "Inviting Doors."   Have a ball and we'll all get together on the weekend. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 3/2: Paths, Steps and Walkways

If you can walk on counts! 

The lobby of the Comcast Building in Philadelphia, PA