CFFC: Smiles

CFFC: Smiles

This week Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge’s subject is smiles. I have posted so many of my grandniece and grandnephew’s smiles, so I thought I would put myself in the spotlight this time to make them feel better😉

Cee encouraged us to use our imagination, so I tried to smile half way, smile sideway, and smile after having a glass of wine… I think I like the upside-down the best, but would that still be a smile? (Hmm… I like it so much that I may take all selfie upside-down from now on.)


I know, I know. Smiles, with an “s” at the end, I should post more than one photo. Well, I am hoping you are smiling now and I definitely count that one.😉

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One Word Photo Challenge: Child

One Word Photo Challenge (hosted by Jennifer Nichole Wells) : Child

We came back from D.C. three days ago, and I noticed this photo challenge. I have never participated Jennifer’s challenge before, but the theme of child brings a smile to my face.




The last photo was just for fun. K drools a lot. First, it wasn’t easy for me to chase him around and focus on one tiny drop of drool. Then, in order to get the light effect that I wanted, I had to shoot from a certain angle (before he moved). So I chased him; I circled around him… I am pleased with how it turned out (and I was exhausted).😉


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Developing Your Eye Day Ten

It’s the last day of the course ;-(

I want to thank The Daily Post Blogging University for offering these great courses; I want to thank all my wonderful readers for visiting my blog and leaving encouraging words. Now that courses are over, I am taking a week off for a short family gathering. I think I will be able to read your blog, but posting one will be difficult. Wish all of you have a happy week.

Developing Your Eye I, Day Ten: “Architecture” – Go Monochrome




I took the photo of that white church on a rainy day. It rained hard; we had to wait inside of a hotel for rain to die down. Usually, I wouldn’t bother to take photos in that situation, but I was attracted by that church.

Developing Your Eye II, Day Ten: “Triumph” – Turn Up the Contrast

“What does triumph mean to you?” – we were asked.

At this stage of my life, triumph means I have accomplished something, no matter how small the thing is. For example: when I woke up from a good night sleep, when I managed to park my car perfectly, when I took a picture I really like… Life is good when you are able to appreciate small things.

I like this following photo a lot. I am not even sure I can explain why. All I know is that every time I see it, I have a hard time to click it away.


I learned something interesting about contrast. For a long time, I relied on “contrast” tool to help me do the job and I was ok with the result. While working on my assignments this week, I found out that, sometime, no matter how hard I tried it just couldn’t deliver the result I really wanted. I learned to use “Dodge/Burn” to achieve the effect I was looking for. Closer to what I was looking for, I mean.😉

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Developing Your Eye Day Nine

I can’t believe this is the ninth day already. For the past 8 days, the first thing I would do in the morning, other than having a cup of coffee, was working on the course assignments. I am not ready to change that routine yet.😉 Oh well…

Developing Your Eye I, Day Nine: “A Pop of Color”

The first photo came to my mind was these bird houses. I remember thinking to get one, but there were too many pretty colors to choose one.


Then, I read the tip for the assignment (probably should read it first.) It says “Keep it simple: experiment with only one color.”


Developing Your Eye II, Day Nine: “Double”



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CCY #23 Black and White: The Basic

CCY #23 Black and White: The Basic

This is the first time I am submitting to Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge (I have submitted to her other challenges many times). In this series, Cee gives us a lot good tips on different subjects. I enjoy reading them all.

We were asked to submit at least 4 to 6 photos showing the compositional rules listed in the essay. And this essay is about black and white photos. It says that texture and contrast make a great black and white photo.

It sounded easy, but when I started working on the assignment, right away, I saw some grey areas. ;-( Should I call this a texture-photo or contrast? Clearly, there is a gap between “understanding” and “really getting it”. 😉


I would say this photo has both texture and contrast in it.



Left photo: texture and contrast; right: most texture.


This photo has a lot of contrast and some texture.

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Developing Your Eye Day Eight

For some reason, I read the course title out loud this morning, thinking this course, actually, not only has developed my eye, but also sharpened my mind. I smiled, knowing that I had gotten something extra for the price I’d paid. Oh, I forgot, it’s a free course. (Thank you!)

Developing Your Eye I, Day Eight: “Treasure”

Treasure – my first thought was my great nephew and niece. Then, I remembered that I already had posted many of their photos… what about my rock collection? Or Mom’s ring?

After drinking a cup of coffee (my wakeup call)… it became clear that what I treasure the most is those old photos.


Developing Your Eye II, Day Eight: “Edge” – Straighten Your Image

So easy, I thought. I have done that all the time. Then I found this photo. When I straightened the top horizontal line, the bottom line wasn’t quite straightened. When I straighten the left vertical line… I can’t believe it. (I did have similar experience before, but it was a choice between vertical and horizontal, not left vertical, right vertical, top horizontal and bottom horizontal…)

Question: what happened to this photo? What had I done? How would you straighten it?

By the way, I smiled when I saw this guy checking his smart phone at this location.


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Developing Your Eye Day Seven

A year or two ago, I was frustrated with the photos I took and a couple of blogging friends (great photographers) advised me to put more thoughts into my photos. They told me “try to shoot from different angles”, “don’t rush to press the release button”… etc. I understood what they said and I knew their advice was exactly what I needed to do, but most of the time, I felt like I had only one second to take the photo and there was no time to think.

While working on the assignments for this course, to my surprise, I did put a lot of thoughts into each photo, and I had taken photos from different angles. I suddenly realized that instead of not having time to think, my problem, the real problem, was that I wasn’t able to see things from a different angle. Deep down, I thought I had taken the photo from the best angle; there was no better angle as far as I knew.

Of course, I was wrong. Now I know.😉 And I enjoy photographing more after I finally got it. I am sharing this with you hoping it will help some people, even though I am not sure how much it will help. (And I do recommend the course.😉

Developing Your Eye I, Day Seven: “Big”

I have taken at least 15 photos of this Kuan-Yin, but never got a good one. This morning, I opened the front door to let light come in. I think I like the result.

Developing Your Eye II, Day Seven: “Glass”

Before my brother Shao passed away, he had been bedridden for many years. I tried many ways to keep him busy during the day. In one attempt, in year 2008, I gave him a blank note book because I knew he liked to draw.

A week ago, my nephew came to visit me, and gave this notebook to me. He said Shao had written me a letter.

So, I read Shao’s letter, 6 years after he wrote it, 6 months after he passed away. I had a mixed feeling and I feel sad… just like that withered flower.


Let’s end this post on a positive note (I mean photo). After drinking a glass of wine, this great-aunt got an interesting photo. 😉


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