Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sunlight, Shadows & Reflections (and Designing Covers)

If you've been reading my blog for at least a few months, you've probably noticed that I don't do memes, tags or follow-ups on all of the kind awards I've received over the last year and a bit. It isn't that some of them don't intrigue me. It's just that I like to keep my blog content my own for the most part, and so even though I love reading what everyone else has to say and show in their respective meme posts, I opt out of participating in them. Until now. Sort of.

There's one interesting meme which plays on the creative aspect of putting together a CD cover by going here and there for various components. For lack of a better idea, I'd like to take that meme a couple of steps off the beaten path, and offer to make either a CD or a book cover for you. I'll be using my own photos (as randomly selected by you) for the images. If you'd like to see how your musical or literary creation might look, please leave the following information in the comments section below:

1) Tell me if you would prefer CD cover or a book cover.
2) Give me a number from 1 to 65

I'll acquire the book and CD titles from the Quotations Page. The musical artist name will be generated by Wikipedia. Author's names will tumble out of Behind The Name, a random name generator. Artwork will be from my own Photobucket pages. I'll play around with them all in Adobe Illustrator and post several selections at a time. How many blog posts that turns out to be will depend on how many requests I get, and I'll probably post them more frequently than I usually do.

In the meantime, here is an example of each, followed by a few random photos which were taken recently.

My son, the author. Here's Alex's bestseller.

And of course, he's already my favourite musician in real life, but here's his randomly generated CD cover.

Speaking of CDs, this one was sitting on the dashboard of Frank's car when we were driving back from his place a couple of weeks ago. I liked the way the sun was hitting it, creating its reflection in the windshield. In order for it to appear in a photo as I saw it with my eye, I needed a dark background for contrast. This sign, announcing that we were nearly home did the trick. In case you're curious, the artist is Jo Stafford.

I was watering plants this morning and happened to catch the wall shadow of the empty pitcher as I brought it to be refilled. I liked how the sun shone through it to cast its ghostly shadow.

This goofy-looking guy is one of Frank's yard sale finds. It's a carrot. In short pants. And striped stockings. Don't ask. I don't know why he has those tiny springs on his shoulders, but I use them to hold feathers - a Mallard feather on the left and a Blue Jay tail feather on the right.

Early one morning, the sun was shining through from behind those feathers and the beautiful colours caught my eye.

Late afternoon sunshine caught this Mallard dipping his head into the water for a drink.

The little Wood Duck seems to have won his Mallard mate over. Here's the happy couple sunning themselves late in the afternoon.

The bare bones of early spring reflected in the pond below. Trees have begun to sprout buds since this photo was taken.

We see and hear these little cuties almost time we walk around the lake. One of them barks non-stop, guarding his home and his people valiantly. The other one sports a jaunty, green bandana around his neck, and he watches mostly-silently with tail wagging, hoping we'll come up and offer a hand to lick.

Please remember to:
1) Tell me if you would prefer CD cover or a book cover.
2) Give me a number from 1 to 65

And check back in a few days!


photowannabe said...

This is very intriguing and I would love to benefit from your wonderful pictures.
I choose a book cover and the number 24.
Really no reason for either just fun.

Maggie May said...

Very intriguing. I don't normally do these things either but go on........ Book cover number 15. Just fun!

I really love your photos! Especially the duck with droplets of water falling from his beak!

Tink said...

What a cool idea. Book cover- 33.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Zuzana said...

Ah my goodness, the white dogs are so funny! They are so cute and hilarious at the same time! I have played the clip over and over!;)) It is amazing how different they are; one of them barking like a loon, while the other one is just happy.;)

Lovely pictures as always; you will have to let me in on secret on how you get such clear details in pictures so close up.;))

I cannot believe you are doing a tag!;) Hehe, I just simply have to participate in your meme then.;))

So here is my wish:
I would like a CD cover please (as I like music) and I am choosing number 42.;))

This is very exciting indeed.;))

Oman said...

would love to join this. make mine a book cover and my fave number is 26.

Hilary said...

Your post was FUN. I loved the pictures......maybe the springs on his shoulders are for wings?
You are such a talent with that camera.
My preference is a book cover and 47.
You are going to be swamped!!!!

Shrinky said...

Your photography takes my breath away Hilary, you have such an eye, and the talent to do it justice.

I should love a book-cover - the number 49, please!

Mental P Mama said... always. CD for me, please. And I have an odd attachment to my carrot....

Mental P Mama said...

Oops. Number 21 please.

lime said...

oh that sounds like fun. sign me up for a book with #40, if you please.

Leah J. Utas said...

Book cover please, and the number is 43.

Bubblewench said...

Your photos are totally amazing! And I am very interested!

I'll take number 39! CD.

Thank you!

Daryl said...

Sure I'll play ... book cover and the #7

ccna said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

Suldog said...

You know how much I love your photography. If I ever have a real CD or book (both still dreams of mine, however unrealistic such dreams become with the passing years) I'd want your stuff somewhere on it or in it. I mean that, most sincerely.

I'll skip on the phony mock-up, since I want to continue dreaming about the real thing, but I wanted you to know how I felt.

Phyllis E said...

What's a "meme"?

Number 60, of course!

Renae Meredith said...

I love your blog more and more every time I visit. I would like a book cover and choose #56. My favorite number for many years. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

ds said...

I love the pictures of the mallard with the dripping beak, and the shadow pitcher (how did you catch that while pouring? Impressive!).

If you are not too overwhelmed by this very cool idea, may I have a book cover (what else ;)), number 16?

Cheffie-Mom said...

Wow, this is such a neat idea. My daughter and son are both musicians, so I'm going with a CD cover. My favorite number is 2! The reflection of the CD in the window is amazing!

Reb said...

Those are wonderful photos, love the pitcher shadow.

Sure, CD please and number 9.

UmmFarouq said...

This is fantastic, and you are my favorite new blog read. Your pictures tell stories. I love that.

CD cover, and #37. Thank you so much.

Dianne said...

I choose a book cover and the #7

I love the pitcher shadow and the mallard glowing in the water

those 2 cuties are very, very cute!! does Benny ever approach them?

I went down the comments and saw that Daryl and I are the same - I love that!! we do that a lot

so I'll change my 7 to 11 - ain't I clever ;)

Redbush said...

Very interesting! I'd like a CD cover, and my number is 11. What great photos, especially the close-up of the duck!

Hilary said...

* Thanks for playing, Sue. I'll start with yours in a few days. :)

* Thanks kindly Maggie. I'm glad you're playing along. :)

* Thanks, Tink. One spork-worthy book coming up in a few days. :)

* Welcome, Joannah and thanks very much for your kind words. I look forward to your next visit. :)

* Thanks for your always-kind words, Protege. You'll note that I am not really doing a tag - I'm just doing a post which is inspired by one. ;) I wasn't tagged, and I'm not passing it along. I'm just playing with my graphics program. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the dogs. I'll have a CD for you sometime next week. Thanks for playing along. :)

* Thanks for playing along, Lawstude. One bestseller coming up next week. :)

* Thanks, Hilary. You might be right about the springs and I see that you're already right about being swamped. But I think it will be fun. I'll work on your book cover sometime soon. Thanks for joining in. :)

* Thanks so much for the very kind words, Shrinky. That means a lot to me. I'll work on a book cover for you sometime soon. :)

* Thank you, MPM. Dare I ask more about the carrot?.. Thanks for playing along. :)

* One Lime-style book coming up sometime soon. Thanks for joining in. :)

* Will do, Leah. I never thought you'd choose otherwise. ;)

* Thanks, Bubblewench. I'll work on your CD soonish. Thanks for playing along. :)

* Thanks, Daryl. A book it is. :)

* Thanks very much, CCNA. Much appreciated. :)

* Sully, you never fail to make my day. That was such a lovely thing to say. I do know that you're sincere and that's why it means so much to me. Thank you very much. :) And if you ever did (and I believe you should) write a book, and/or CD, I would be honoured to share my photos with you. :)

* Cuzzie, a meme is one of those things that so many people do in their blogs like - answer a set of questions their way, or make a mosaic of photos by Googling their favourites (bird, food, colour.. etc) and copying the first image on that page, or finding their movie star name by using the name of their first pet and first street name. Sometimes it's a photography meme like Wordless Wednesday or Sky Watch.

The answers or photos are recorded and published in a blog post, and then other bloggers are generally tagged to do the same on their blog.

I always opt out of those, but I thought I'd adopt this one (which was only for CD covers) and make it my own by adding the book cover option and actually doing it for the readers myself. Not everyone has a graphics program and this way I'm not dictating anyone else's blog content.

Now, after that long-winded (and possibly still-unclear answer), please tell me if you want a book cover or CD cover. ;)

* Thanks very much for the kind words, Renae. Much appreciated. I'll get onto that book for you sometime in the nearish future. :)

* Thanks kindly, DS. The duck was dipping his head into the water over and over again. It was rather easy to catch his beak dripping, but more difficult to snap him between the rails of the dock - hence the dark area to the left. Thanks for playing along. There'll be a book for you sometime soonish. :)

* Thanks very much, Cheffie. I'm glad you like the photo. I'll turn your son and daughter's Mom into a musician too - in the not to distant futre. ;) Thanks for playing along. :)

* Thanks, Reb. I kind of thought you'd like that one. :) One CD coming up in a while. :)

* Thanks very kindly, Farouq. I appreciate your very kind words. I'll work on that CD - though as the list grows, it'll take a while. I'll post a few early next week, and then some more shortly after that, and so on. Thanks for playing along. :)

* Thanks very much, Dianne. It is cool that you and Daryl often think alike. Benny, Frank and I approach the dogs every so often. The barky one just barks louder and faster but there's a discernible tail-wag as we do. The other one just gets more and more excited and licks my hand. The closer we get, the less brave Benny is. He wants to visit the cheerful one, but feels a bit intimidated by the other one. Thanks for playing along. :)

* Thanks always for the kind words, Redbush. Much appreciated. I'll be working on that CD sometime soonish. Thanks for joining in. :)

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh I love the wood ducks, that should be on a cover Hilary.

#1, book cover.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

oh, little doggies....hey, aren't wood ducks just gorgeous????? I bet that guy was here last week, then on your pond now!

Country Girl said...

That little carrot man is funny, Hilary! The feathers are meant to go in those little spots, methinks.

I'll do a book.
Number 25.

Fun! And beautiful photos, as always.

skywind said...

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Lulda Casadaga said...

Hilary, I played the dog video and my little BeBe barked in unison! :D Great pics as always...and I love that sculpture piece complete with feathers! OK, I'm game...go for CD cover and #55! Can't wait to see it...

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'm confused...
CD and number 4.

One of your posts with lyrics/poetry and photographs has inspired me. The idea has been percolating for days, but it will probably take me a month to pull it off.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great angles and shadow play. Love the ducks!

Dave said...

Book cover please Hilary. Number 39. I really enjoyed your photos again today and your short movie of the two dogs. Great! Regarding the two duck mates, we have noticed at our lake that birds or ducks show no discrimination towards eachother. They can all dwell together peacefully. Could teach us a lesson I think? - Dave

SandyCarlson said...

I would love a book cover! My number is 9.

I enjoyed your photos--especially the one of the pitcher.

Indrani said...

Book cover and no. 1.
Cool shots again, Hilary.

the Bag Lady said...

Sheesh - I was too busy to stop in earlier, and look where it got me! You'll be overwhelmed with all the requests!
If you have time, I would choose a book cover and the number 16, but don't feel obligated - you have so many to do!

LOVE the photo of the shadow pitcher!!

JC said...

Oh My, I'm at work so I'll have to come back when I can think. BTW, the building I work in is being roof today and they are right over my head. I'll get back with you this weekend.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Lovely idea, Hilary, and very generous of you to share your wonderful photos. I choose book cover, please, and my number is 54.

Loved Frank's carrot and the light through the feathers!

Hilary said...

* Thanks MG.. it might just. Stay tuned in a few days. :)

* He might have been Gary.. but more likely he's the same duck that spent the past couple of winters here. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks, Kate. You're probably right about the carrot/feathers. I'll work on your book and post it sometime soonish. Thanks for taking part. :)

* Thanks Skywind. Much appreciated. :)

* That's too funny Lulda. Now you need to take a video of your dog barking along with these guys. ;) I'll work on your CD cover soonish. :)

* Looking forward to seeing that post, KC and don't worry about being confused.. that's my constant state. ;)

* Thanks, Angie. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks for playing along, Dave. You're so right about the harmonious aspect of some animals. We should aspire to be like them. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Sandy. One book cover coming up over the next while. Thanks for participating. :)

* Thanks for the kind words, Indrani. And thanks for joining in. :)

* Thanks so much, Baggie. I'm glad you liked the pitcher shadow. I'll find the time to do them all.. it'll probably just take a while.. and a few posts. Thanks for playing along. :)

* JC, check it out when it's less hectic for you. Roofing can be so distracting and NOISY! Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Pat. I'll have your book cover for you somewhere down the road. I'll do these in order and post them a few at a time. Thanks so much for your kind words. I've miss you around here. :)

Tabor said...

Boy you hit the jackpot with this post! I do not follow the memes, etc. too much myself. I just love the creative eye you have given to things we see everyday and probably miss. Really good photography. I have never won an award, but like you am not crazy about the extra stuff one puts on ones blog.

Nancy said...

Loved the pics - especially the carrot-man and the little dogs. So funny!

Please, please - a book cover and my number is 56.

Andrea said...

Loved the pics of the mallard and of the little dogs (of course!)! What a creative and unique you!! :)

david mcmahon said...

There is no end to the talent in your family, Hilary.

SandyCarlson said...

Your husband's garage sale dude makes me think of my dad's treasures from various and sundry places. Always fun.

steviewren said...

Yes, yes, a cover for my bestseller please! I choose the number 54.

Dianne said...

Hil - I kind of like the notion that Benny is a bit put off by the barking dog ;)
It makes him even more endearing - what with all his cat and duck chasing it's good to know he has a tentative side too :)

Jo said...

Oh, your pictures are always so delightful. I love the ducks.

Hmmm... I think a CD cover and the number 30.

Shammickite said...

I prefer a CD cover.... and I'm already anticipating what kind of virtual music it will contain... smooth and relaxing and soporific or will I feel the need to immediately jump to my feet and gyrate wildly around the living room?
My chosen number 1s 19... birth date of my grandson and also my house number!
I love the picture of the duck with water dripping from his face... gorgeous!

Susan English Mason said...

This is fun! I pick a book cover and the number 1.

I think this will keep you pretty busy. My favorite photo is the one with Frank the Tree Whisperer. I'm so happy he saved the tree. Frank is awesome.

Russell said...

Most interesting photographs! I liked several for various reasons. The CD on the dash of the car was quite intriguing.

Frank's find is beyond unusual and the type of thing I would find myself bringing home, too!! And, of course, I would have no reason as to why - just because I guess...

Take care and thanks for sharing those nice images.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Another beautiful collection. Love the pond reflection in particularl but they're all winners.

Um, book cover, #8, if I'm not too late?

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much for your kind comment, Tabor. Much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks always for dropping by. :)

• Thanks, L of L. I'm glad you liked the photos. I'll have your book set to go in a few days. Thanks for joining in. :)

• Thanks kindly, Andrea. Very much appreciated. :)

• David, we have some talent and much pseudo talent. ;)

• Sandy, your Dad's treasures sounds like a post in the making if you ask me... Thanks for dropping by. :)

• Steviewren, your bestseller will be published semi-shortly. These are taking a tad more time to put together than I thought. Please stand by. :)

• Dianne, that truly is one of his endearing qualities. He's actually a very fearful dog in some situations. The very first time he chased my cat, Skitty turned around, yeowled at him and whapped him on the head with his clawless paw. Benny yelped like he'd run into a brick wall, and hid behind Frank. He soon learned that Skitty is all fury (and furry) and no real fire. Thanks for the revisit. :)

• Thanks kindly, Jo. We'll showcase your musical genius sometime soonish. Thanks for playing along. :)

• Thanks very much, Shammie. I hope your CD reflects the latter.. I'll bet there are a lot of people who would pay good money to see you gyrate. In any event, it'll still take me some time to get them all together. I hope you don't mind the wait. Thanks so much for participating. :)

• Thanks, Susan. Frank is indeed awesome. And you're also right about how busy this is keeping me.. more than I expected, but I'm having fun. I hope you don't mind waiting a few more days until your book is published. Thanks for joining in. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Russell. Frank's usual reason for bringing something like that carrot home (to his home or to mine) is that "it speaks to me." That's reason enough, I suppose. Thanks for the always-kind words. :)

• Thanks very much, Crabby. You're never too late - you might just have a bit of a wait until you see your bestseller. Thanks for playing along. :)

Sandra said...

What a fun idea, Hilary. You just have so many creative juices flowing all the time, I get exhausted FOR you! :) A clever idea, and, of course, I love anything that uses your wondeful photography.

Tricia said...

What a fun project. I choose a book and the number 63.

Hilary said...

• Thanks so much, Sandra. You're always so kind. I did bite off a bit more than I can comfortably chew this time, but still I'm having fun. It's just taking longer than I thought. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Tricia. Yours will probably be in the third posting.. most likely in a number of days from now. Thanks for participating. :)

Clowncar said...

I'm way late to this party.

Too late to participate?

23 and a book cover, if I'm not.

If I am to late, it's a very cool idea. And that mllard with the warer dripping off his beak is wonderful. So is that CD on the dashboard.

Hilary said...

Clowncar, you're always welcome at my parties. Grab a drink and mingle. I'll have your book cover set up for you in a few days. Thanks for the kind words. :)

Louise said...

I love the dogs! I'll take the green bandana one. And I have to tell you that I don't often watch videos on other blogs because a)they're too long and b) they often don't interest me that much. I always watch yours because they are great and don't take up my whole, busy day!

Hilary said...

Thanks very much, Louise. That's a fine compliment indeed. Much appreciated. :)