Monday, December 29, 2008

Latest Answer to Photo Daisy Game

So after reading yesterday's blog you probably figured out what the picture was of. It was my Christmas tree with slow shutter speed.

One thing I have noticed is that when I move to get a direction in the photo for the lights, it is the exact opposite. Is this normal? It really messed with me as I tried to get "letter" pictures. I realize I can flip/rotate them but the backwardness really threw me because I wasn't expecting it. Anyone know anything about this?

I was trying to spell LOVE with different light shots and this is what I got (I finally figured it out at the end).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Christmas Eve Walk

For the last few years, we have walked around the neighborhood at night in winter to see the lights. This year, it happened that we took our walk on Christmas Eve.
It was frigid.
I took my camera to play with the slow shutter speed option. (My camera is nothing fancy but I was surprised to realize it even had this feature at all!) I enjoy this and it does make some interesting pictures.

I especially liked this one. Of course the house isn't moving, it was me on purpose. Maybe that's why it was fun. Instead of holding my breath, I had to purposely move in a direction of my choosing!

This house is infamous in the neighborhood for the amount of lights and "thingys" that they set all over the yard (little lighted statues of penguins, snowmen, and such). I liked the swirls I got with this photo.

Same house, different direction of movement. I like this cause it kinda looks like people standing in the front.
I felt almost intrusive taking pictures of my neighborhood houses. They were all snug in their homes, we could smell fireplaces, and it was all very calm despite the cold fingers and wind whipping my face. I'm sure if any of them looked out, they thought were absolutely crazy. First off for walking outside on a cold dark night and second for taking pictures!
I've got some sparklers I might do on New Year's Eve. They might look good like this!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Excitement

I have been collecting websites that use my pictures. Here are some I have added to the list recently! It is always so exciting to see my pictures being used and how they are used.

This list does not include the ones I listed last time, so if you see the same picture, that means it was used again ;) yeah! Many thanks to those who have used my picture and given me credit! (If you don't give me credit, I can't find it.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Game Guesses and Answers

Okay, so I got a complaint. Naw, not a real one. It was from my mom.

She was saying that there isn't a place to type in guesses for the Photo Daisy Game. So I made this blog post for people to comment and put guesses here.

And I will admit, I haven't provided any answers. So here they are.

First was a green something - that was a close up of a tarp.
Second was I don't remember - sorry
Third was I don't remember - sorry (feel free to remind me)
Fourth - a pine tree with sap running
This week - Oh, I 'm not telling yet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some Day, One Day

I keep hoping my next post will be about actually selling my first picture from one of the internet sites, such as or

But, every day (well almost) I faithfully check and every day, nothing. I am still optimistic for several reasons.

1. There are a LOT of good pictures out there that are free (and some of them are mine!) is just about ready to change (I saw sample pics of the new site layout) and I was impressed and glad to be a member!

2. I am still new to taking pictures.

3. I have one photo ( ) that has been downloaded almost 800 times! (Actually it is like 788) I provided the link in case you want to see it. Yes, an astounding 800 times in about a month. What could it be? A smile! I sent it to both the sell sites, but neither of them accepted it. Granted, it is not perfect by any means. And the teeth are not perfect either. But someone seems to like it - a lot!

At this point you might wonder, as I have, what on earth are people using it for? I am very curious. I have only received one notice about someone using it. It is in a foreign language (German, if I remember correctly.) And they advertised it as DENTURES!

Here is the link:

Yep, they think MY REAL TEETH might be DENTURES! I found that highly amusing.

So I will keep on plugging away at this picture thing, if only to provide amusement for myself and others :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Spur of the Moment Pics

Today one of my students called me over during indoor recess and said, "I have something for you." It was a Daisy made out of attribute blocks. How sweet!

The kids all know I love to take pictures and they often comment on my current and ever changing desktop picture. I have also used them as story starters in my classroom and they seem to inspire them to be creative and thoughtful.

So, back to the story. I told the student, "Hold on. Let me get my camera before we end recess." He was so proud that I took the picture. He would be even prouder to see his work here!

I had another student bring in a mini toy computer and a little doll a couple weeks ago. She had made a speech bubble for the doll that said, "I love blogging." The day before we had done our very first blogging in the classroom. I took pictures of that as well. It was so cute and she was very excited that I was taking pictures of it!

Taking pictures can be an inspiration to all. Not only those taking the picture but those creating something to photograph as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yeah Me :)

I recently won a photo contest on

The subject was voting and ballots. While not many people entered or voted, I was still excited. It made me feel like I can take a picture (at least sometimes :) ).

I also signed up to another website to sell my photos. I got 11 of them accepted right off the bat. That REALLY excited me. (Even though no one has even looked at one for purchasing yet.) On that site (stockexpert) I am jdurham123

So, I had to delete some of my photos that were previously free on other sites because they were accepted at stockexpert. I guess I didn't HAVE to, but it seemed kind of silly to offer a picture for sale on one site and have it free on another site - kinda defeats the purpose.

I am still patiently waiting for morguefile (my favorite free site) because I have tons of pics to offer as soon as they let the uploading begin. In the short time I have been visiting and contributing to the site, I have learned A TON! They even have free online "classes" you can take (at your own pace). Great information!
So lately, it's been kind of fun, picture wise. Yeah me! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cloud Nine

I have to say, taking pictures really gets to me. It makes me appreciate the beauty around me. It makes me examine things closer. It even makes me watch TV differently.

Always having been a heavily visual person, taking pictures is right up my alley. When I was little, family members always wanted me to find things for them. As I grew older, my color sense was so good, I could match a sweater or blouse color to something I had at home perfectly. And as a teacher, I SPY and Waldo books are fun and I can always quickly find what the kids can't after extensive searching.

But, I feel I have stepped to the next level. It is a long and ongoing journey for me and I realize the road is even longer than I have halfway traveled. But still, it is a next step for me and I couldn't be more excited.

Today 2 of my photos were accepted to a website that sells photos. Most real photographers are probably thinking, "Is she kidding? That's it? That is what she is excited about?"

Yes, it is. I would never call myself a photographer but the site seems pretty strict and has rigid specifications (at least to me and my greenhorn state). And while I had three that were rejected, two weren't!

It gives me hope to keep trying and working on this hobby/project. I just want to improve and be better at something I enjoy. And I love learning new things.

So, I am now a contributor at

But my favorite place continues to be Those people are great.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tell Me What You Think

Comments on this picture are wanted. Thanks

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Oh I'm So Ready!

Recently my most favorite site ( began moving its contents to a different server. It sounds like the new site will be terrific. But in the meantime, they aren't accepting any uploads of photos. (You can still download though so have a look-see)

Anyway, I have tons of new photos to add. I have been practicing with my photo software. And I have to say I have been looking at other sites.

I found stock.xchng, and actually contributed some pics, but they seem quite particular and don't seem very friendly.

So then I tried my hand at dreamstime. I uploaded about 10 pics. They still haven't been approved, and honestly I don't expect them to be. This is a photo sell site, and I just don't have what it takes yet. Key word is YET :)

I have looked at other sites too but most just don't seem to have the personal feel of morguefile. So, I guess I'll just keep taking pictures and wait.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Feeling Good

I recently set my google alerts to find my photos being used on the web. It wasn't hard but out of over 1000 downloads from, I would have expected there to be more than six. I think the problem is partially that people don't credit the photographer. Well, okay. But I just REALLY like to see how my photos are used. It makes me happy that I could help someone else get a message across.

And even though there was only six, I am so excited that there were six!!! How fun is that?? I only do this for fun, and seeing my picture used by someone gives me such a thrill!

Here are the places I have found so far :) (sorry, I can't read Spanish, so I don't know what the crawdad is saying :) hehe

Thanks to those who use my picture and give me credit! It's fun to see them! I know a couple others have told me they were using my pics in powerpoint presentations. Thanks to them for sending a quick message :) It really makes my day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Header

So I was looking for pics with a little more "fall" type theme to match the season. I guess I didn't do so well. As I looked through, these were some of the ones I just loved from my morguefile account. Not all, by any means, but in that one particular folder, these jumped out at me - even though I was searching for a FALL THEME! Oh well, there is always 3 months to every season. I have a while to change it. Thank goodness nothing is permanent on the internet :)

Friday, October 31, 2008


I am so excited - this year Halloween weather for us is beautiful. I'm not a huge fan of the holiday, but can't WAIT to take some pictures!

So many subjects . . . candy, pumpkins, candy, costumes, candy, scarecrows, candy, spooky things, oh yeah, and CANDY. I don't like to eat it unless it is chocolate, but they are so colorful and fun and have great shapes. Plus I like to take pictures that show large quantities.

My niece and nephew will make great subjects as well. They are 3 yrs and 6 months respectively. She will be a cheerleader and he is going to be a puppy.

Which leads me to my post topic . . . what do you do with your pictures? Lately, I have been making movies for every holiday and putting them on disks for the kids to watch whenever they want. These aren't just pictures on a disk. They are put to music with titles and captions and transitions, etc. in Moviemaker. I'll bet a lot of you do scrapbooks with your photos. I would like to venture into that too, but just never seem to get around to printing out the pictures (I am so bad at that.)

So, what fun projects do you do and have you done with those fabulous pictures? Share it with us :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Has It Been That Long??

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted here. But yes, I guess it has been about 1000 pictures ago.

I amazed by how many pictures I have taken. My poor old Konica (about 7 years old) has "rolled over" just like an odometer on a car. It no longer numbers the pictures correctly. I have to add 10000 to the number to know how many I have taken.

This got me to thinking. Do the cards ever wear out? Has yours? Did you know it was worn out before you shot a bunch of pics? How long do they last? If you know, I would love for you to post a reply.

But getting back to how many . . . I guess that really isn't accurate, as that poor old guy doesn't go underwater with me. We have a Sea n Sea (not digital:( ) for that. Maybe someday we will upgrade underwater but we need to upgrade our scuba gear first.

Now I am just reminiscing and missing all the pictures that are stored on my old hard drive from the dead computer. Those are more sentimental than anything. Graduations, births, birthdays, etc., that I have yet to try to have removed/restored. I heard it might be possible for $60/hr but, if they can't do it, and I go in thinking that they might be able to, I will be so sad. So I just keep waiting and hoping that maybe they will come up with something for lay people to use that is sure fire for retrieving and restoring data from dead computers.

Having said this, I better get an external hard drive soon :) I learned my lesson.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Day Without Pictures

How do YOU feel with a day without pictures?

I didn't take any today. It was gray and I think I was too.

Sometimes, though, I get on overload and need the world to be gray and then I become introspective and reflective. (Processing time)

I shared a picture from yesterday (the freedom monument) with my students during writing workshop. Some were inspired and I was glad. Some were confused, and I was glad about that too. It made them think. That's what I want my pictures to do. Inspire - make people think and wonder - help them to see things differently - or want to do something new.

I take pictures to help people see.

So tell us, what is a day like without pictures? And/or why do you take them?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Feeling Weird?

Have any of you ever felt weird when you were taking pictures? How do you get over this?

I got some great shots today coming out of a meeting. I had seen a stone eagle monument on my way in and then met up with someone and didn't have time to take a shot. On my way out I was alone and armed with camera in hand.

I hunched up close to get an upshot, with the beautiful sky in the background and a flag blowing. I would have LOVED to lay down but thought that was going just a tad too far in my heels and nice coat. Meanwhile, people are still streaming out from the meeting ~ and of course, I could just hear them in my mind. "What is she doing?" "Is she ok?" blah blah blah That mind of mine just runs on.

So I felt weird and didn't get the exact shot I wanted, although they aren't the worst. What makes you feel "ok" when you take pictures?
Check out all the pics from this moment at
Contributor -jdurham

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What I See (and the Reason Behind It)

You might have caught another one of my blogs. So why are there more than one? It's all about focus.

Reading, writing, taking pictures, scuba diving, technology . . . they are all focused and geared towards what you want (which in this case is me). And I tend to ramble and wander (in life and my mind) and I thought it better not to subject YOU (which in this case is you) to the ramblings. Read only what interests you. What are YOU focused on? I would bet it would be pictures if you are here.

Now, I am not a photographer and I don't do photography. I just happen to take pictures with a decent camera. Maybe someday I will be a photographer, but I am not that caliber yet.

But I do get to see a lot of things others don't. I guess it is my nature - a little more adventurous than some. Plus, I am a huge fan of INPUT. When they wrote the test for a visual learner, they probably were watching me.

Pictures can say anything. So what I see is maybe what my mind is saying. Hopefully.

I am a contributor to I am listed under jdurham. If you haven't seen the site, check it out. It's a great resource to find what you need when you need it. Pictures are for use but not resale, and it's nice to credit the person who took the picture and let them know how you used it.

I took the photo header and footer pics and stitched them together. I would love to know what you think!