52 Week Challenge

52 Weeks of Susan's Life


Week 12 – #1 A Bench at “National Mall, Washington DC”

Washington Mall, Washington DC

Recently I attended my Marymount University reunion in Washington DC. I lived in the Washington DC for about 10 years and have been back for visits on many occasions. I decided to do a little sightseeing on Saturday to see the changes since my last visit.  One thing that really stood out for me were all the barriers that have been constructed around some of the monuments and also around many of the government buildings. This is a sad reminder of the times that we live in.

Considering that the reunion was planned for mid October, I was hoping to catch some beautiful fall foliage and a reprieve from the hot and humid Florida temperatures that we have been experiencing.  Not to be – temps ranged from mid 60’s to 80’s and the foliage was still very green.  When things didn’t go exactly accordingly to my plans, I decided that perhaps Photoshop could help me out.   Recently I learned about a  filter in NIK called Indian Summer. I decided to give that a try to see if I could emulate the weather that I had wished for.  The unsuspecting couple in the photo were appropriately dressed for fall so my edits did make sense.   I’m afraid that the NIK plug in will have to be my fall substitute until I’m lucky enough to experience fall foliage first hand.

Actual Photo without edits


Week 11 – #52 Zig Zag

 Multi Colored Pencils, Zig Zag, Zipper

I had purchased the colored pencils for another project and decided that there must be another use for them – then I thought of the 52 Week Challenge Zig Zag theme.  Getting the pencils in this pattern turned out to be harder than mastering the shot with correct lighting.  I used double sided tape to secure the position once I decided on the pattern.  Once the pattern was securely fastened, it was a matter of getting the lights adjusted. After an experiment with flashes, I decided to use my constant lights which gave me a much better result.


Week 10- #44 Still Life

Continuing with my new love of focus stacking, I gathered up some items from around the house and put together a still life to give this technique another try.  One of the challenges is to get the lighting right.  I normally like to use available light but this arrangement called for some lighting techniques. After experimenting with flashes and LED lights I finally decided to use my large constant lights and I was pleased with the effect.Purple Flowers, Pearls, Candle, Purple Paisley, Still Life


Week 9 – #A1 In A Bowl

Bowl of Daisy's White Bowl,Yellow Daisy's

In July of this year, I took a Focus Stacking workshop at the LWRDPC.  I’ve been intrigued with this process ever since. Yesterday my good friend Joseph Heil had some fun using Helicon Software to focus stack a bowl of daisies.  The helicon software makes this process a bit less tedious and I love the results.  The sharpness of the image front to back is amazing.  Those daisies looked good enough to eat!


Week 8 – #13 Eight

World Rowing Championship, Sarasota FL Benderson Park

Tomorrow begins the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Benderson Park in Sarasota FL.  I decided this afternoon might present a great opportunity to take a few photos before the competition began tomorrow when access might be limited.   Although there wasn’t a lot of activity I was able to get a few shots of some teams getting in a last minute practice.  This is the 8th week of the 52 Week Photo Challenge and I am fulfilling the number “8” challenge.


Week 7 – #12 Documentary


Siesta Key Beach FL, Hurricane Irma 2017

Siesta Key FL, Hurricane Irma 2017

Siesta Key Florida, Hurricane Irma 2017

This week, the entire state of Florida braced for Hurricane Irma.  We watched this monstrous storm rip through the Islands leaving massive destruction in it’s path.  Both the East Coast and the West Coast were on a hurricane watch and evacuations began on both coasts.  At one point, Sarasota was on the map as a direct hit.  I 75 was a parking lot with residents trying to go north to escape this record breaking storm.  My two brothers were visiting from New Jersey and staying on Siesta Key which became a mandatory evacuation area on Saturday.  Gracious friends offered their empty house which is equipped with hurricane shutters and a generator. This is where my family (including my 96 year old mother) waited out the storm.  Fortunately, Sarasota was spared any major damage unlike other areas in the state of Florida.  These photos were taken this morning on Siesta Beach at 8:30 AM. Normally, the beach is very active at this time with people vying for spots on the beach and in the parking lot.  This morning it was eerily empty without a sole for as far as the eye could see.   The life guard stands  still stood at the end of the beach where a tractor had removed them in preparation for the storm and the normally calm Gulf of Mexico has uncharacteristic white caps.  I know part of living in “paradise” is the threat of hurricanes, but I sincerely hope that we have seen the last of these storms for this season.


Week 6 – #5 An Action Shot

Action Shot, Hilton Head Island, SC

For the past 2 1/2 weeks I had the pleasure of having my 6 1/2 year old grandson Brady stay with me.  During his visit, we took a trip to Hilton Head Island to see some dear friends who also have young children.  One of the kids toys that fascinated  me was something called a ‘Champion Sports Swing Ball’. The description for this item is:  “Swing Ball is great for coordination and timing. Put your ankle in the 5-1/2 in ring and swing your leg to get the ball moving. Ball is attached to an 18 in long cord. Swing Ball keeps kids moving, and can be used indoors or outdoors.”  One thing for sure is that you must be coordinated to time the action or you will surely trip.  Brady picked this up and was proficient immediately.  In fact, his quick acclamation to this almost led me to try it myself but my common sense kicked in and remembered the new hip and knee that I have acquired in the last few years.  No need to test how strong they really are!