A Photo a Week Challenge: Music

IF VI WAS IX | Anita
IF VI WAS IX, The multimedia installation / guitar sculpture at EMP (now MoPOP), Seattle. It’s an awesome place to visit if you like music.

For A Photo a Week Challenge: Music at Nancy Merrill Photography.


There are few things more meaningful for an artist than their creations being useful, however trivial the use may be!

Coffee Mug Cosy / Cover

A coffee mug cosy / cover that I made for my lovely sister!

Turn, turn, turn

Turn, turn, turn
It’s fun to experiment when your camera blanks out the picture it’s showing you. Mine turns off its visual response while it captures the scene in front of it, so when I try out stuff like rotating my camera with longer shutter times, I never know what I’m going to end up with! 🙂



Unanticipated movement while pressing the shutter? Camera settings goof-up? Accidental click? I have no idea what I tried to click here and what formed the trail in the image. All I can say is that I just can’t bring myself to delete this picture because it’s so unusual! ‘Whoosh!’ is what I hear when I see this. 🙂

I’ve played around with shutter speed and exposure since, but I don’t think I’ve recreated something like this.

Clicked on an evening in Las Vegas.


The wavy patterns on the cardigan that I’m knitting for my mom not only make the sweater look pretty, they also make it denser than if it were plain. This is what I call functional looks! 😉

Floral blur

Floral skirt blur
My first experiment with rotating the camera while clicking a photograph. I’d become enthused reading an article or two about rotating / zooming in to make the picture look abstract, so I tried this with the floral skirt I wore that day. Not bad — certainly not the mess I thought it would turn out to be, though it is centered slightly away from where I wanted it to! 🙂 Well, this reminds me that I haven’t really tried many of these shots recently. Time to shoot some abstracts!

It’s Diwali!


A damp and windy Diwali, though. It’s been raining and blowing a gale for the last couple of days, so the loud noise and heavy smoke that invariably accompanies Diwali is missing this year. (Yay! 🙂 ) We realized we couldn’t place diyas outside either because they would go out, so we made do with just the (waterproof) paper lanterns outside, and only a few diyas at important spots. A very subdued affair, indeed.

As usual, I tried clicking pictures, but there was really nothing new to capture this time. The paper lanterns just wouldn’t stay still, so I ended up making a oil-painting-like composite from the blurry paper lantern and a diya.

Happy Diwali! 🙂


Not all blurry photographs, even if unintended, are eligible for the trash can. They actually look beautiful sometimes! This one, for instance —

Diya, blurred

I’d been aiming for this lamp, adjusting my settings, when ‘click!’ I pressed the shutter button without thinking. Needless to say, I was happy when I saw the result of this accident. 😉 I see it as an abstract representation of the Diwali festival — the flame, its reflection, the vague outline of the earthen lamp in the background…

I now try unfocused clicks more often. (Although what comes out of it isn’t always great.) That just goes to show that there is always some takeaway from any incident, doesn’t it?

One Four Challenge: Lamp Post I – radiating

It’s time for the first One Four Challenge of this year, hosted by Robyn, where we process a single image (of our choosing) four different ways. This post’s actually probably late, because there already are about a hundred others published for the challenge. I’d been wondering at the end of last month about whether I’m going to take part in the challenge this month (since I don’t post too often in the first place), and if I am, which photograph I’m going to choose. And I forgot to decide! 😥 I hastily browsed through my pictures, but I think I’ll just stick with one that was a candidate last month — a lamp post.

Lamp post, radiating

Lamp post, radiating

This lamp post is one of several in the gardens around the Royal Palace of La Granja, Spain. The original photograph will be on display in my final post for this month’s challenge.

I’d intended to not apply drastic effects (like, say, a color splash 😉 ) this time, but seeing that I didn’t spend hours browsing through my photo stash to find a versatile photograph, I’m hoping that I’ll keep this promise. (Now there’s my challenge! 🙂 Right?)

For this version, I applied a zoom blur radiating outward from the light in the lamp post, and tinted the image a tiny bit of yellow to make the scenery somewhat warmer. (It was really cold that day.) I like how the blur masks the distracting piece of sky at the top and keeps the focus on the foreground.

As always, here’s hoping that the challenge is a fun and enlightening experience! Thank you for hosting, Robyn.




Clicked from within a (fairly fast) moving car, this blurry, minimalistic picture captures the serene scenery on one of my road trips. The undulating land, the cloudless sky, the mellow blend of colors from the Sun slowly rising nearby, the silhouetted windmills in a row turning lazily in the breeze… So calm and peaceful!

All too soon, we moved on ahead.