Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Photo Blogging Challenge (April 2014): Smile

I really need to get back into this a little bit more than once a month.  I kept thinking about this challenge that P.J. threw out for this month - Smile - and I couldn't think of anything that might be different.  I didn't see any kinds of random smiles on the road, or anything like what you see on the front of the train at the end of the Silver Streak movie.

I did, however, take some portraits of some of my family members on Easter Sunday, and while the shot of me, I technically didn't take as my wife pushed the shutter on the remote, I set the whole thing up so I'm counting it as well.

Here's my five photos of smiles.

1.  My baby sister.  

Now, here's where the story gets longwinded.  Every year, for as long as I can remember, my two sisters and I give my parents a calendar with photos of all of the family members on it throughout the year.  Last year, we had a hard time getting together enough shots of my sister and her two boys, so every time we're together, I take as many shots as possible so we'll have plenty for next year.  Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, expect to see this one next Christmastime.

2.    My dad.  

My dad turned 80 on Christmas Eve.  A lot of people say I look like my dad.  I've actually seen the resemblance in one photo of my two sister and myself.  My youngest sister (above) and me have my dad's nose, while my middle sister has my mom's nose.  I've also shown people several other photos of my family and every time the comment is always the same. "You look like your dad."  I guess I see it but I'm probably too close to the subject to really tell for sure.  What I do know is my dad has never lost his smile in photos.  For the most part, his smile is the same, it's constant and always makes him look good.  My mother-in-law used to say I had my dad's smile, but lately I feel like I'm forcing my smile.  I used to think I never took a bad picture, but lately I've not liked any of the photos of myself.  Perhaps I'm picky, but at least I know I don't have to say that about my father.  Every shot of him always seems to be a good one, even the ones where he frowns.

3.  My mom.  

I don't dislike this photo, but I think there are better shots of my mom out there, but for this challenge, it has to be shots taken during the month of April to count, so I'll not twist the rules just to post a better photo of her.  The hard part of getting to take photos of people, especially when you're the recognized picture taker in the family is everyone expects you to take a great shot every time.  So when I want to take shots, I have to take them quick, because no one really has a lot of patience to spend any kind of time for me to get that really great shot.  I can see all sorts of things that are wrong with this shot, from the focus to the lighting.  Yet, when I've posted it, I've gotten nothing but positive comments about it.  Either people are trying to be nice about the quality of the shot or I've just become too particular about what I think is a really good shot nowadays.  I guess this is a good thing, since it means I must be starting to become a better photographer.

4.  My wife.  

I've discovered the trick with taking photos of my wife.  She's very much like her dad in that she's either very self conscious about her photo being taken, or she doesn't like her photo to be taken.  I think it's the former, because she seems to be a willing subject for me in quite a lot of my shoots, but getting a natural smile on her seems to be very tough to do, so I have to catch her in moments, almost candidly.  She knew I was taking her photo for this one, but I also told her to just keep talking with my sister while I took the shots.  I have to admit I'm the luckiest man in the world.  I've said this before, and I'll probably say it again, but I don't know why she puts up with me sometimes, but I'm very grateful that she said yes on Valentine's day many years ago.

5.  #GlobalSelfie

I set this shot up on Earth Day this year.  I had to get three different sets of shots before I was finally pleased with an image.  As I noted above, I used to be very satisfied with almost every shot that was taken of me.  Each year when we'd get our school photos taken at work, I was always pleased with them, but about 5 years ago or so, all that seemed to vanish.  Needless to say, most of the shots of me over the past three years have been selfies, because I don't like the ones that the professional photographers take at our picture days.  Anyway, NASA was sponsoring a Global Selfie day on Earth Day this year and I decided to participate.  I haven't seen any final product produced by all of the selfies taken by people that day, but I'll keep checking back.

Well, there you have it.  Five smiles for the month of April.  Please go to P.J.'s page and check out some of the other bloggers who've participated in this challenge this month to see how they interpreted the word Smile.  I'm sure it will be more imaginative that what I came up with.

Oh, and could someone give me a quick kick in the butt every now and then and ask me why I'm not writing more on this blog.  If someone were to do that, I'm sure I could post more than once a month.