January Photography Focus: Food

"Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, and execution." - Ansel Adams

Over the past few years, I have working on learning more about photography and using my DSLR to its fullest potential. I have learned how to use it in manual mode and participated in a couple of year long projects of taking photos every day.

This year, I have decided to focus on one subject a month rather than randomly take photos of whatever fits the prompt for the day type of photography project. (Does that make sense?, excuse my rambling!)

Anyway, for the month of January, I decided to take photos of food. 


Food is readily available, it is rather cooperative, and I am usually cooking or baking something in my kitchen almost every day.

Now, I have no desire to become a food blogger. But I have been taking advantage of watching videos from CreativeLive on food photography. Have you heard of Andrew Scrivani? He takes some pretty amazing photos of food!

So, here are some photos I have taken this month. In Lightroom, all I did was apply the lens correction and edit the white balance. All of the photos were shot using my 35mm lens.

Potatoes for a new soup recipe with our Christmas lights still in the background

Potatoes for a new soup recipe with our Christmas lights still in the background

Made homemade bread bowls for our leftover split pea soup

Made homemade bread bowls for our leftover split pea soup

Making salsa

Making salsa

It is January, we are suppose to be eating healthier, right?

It is January, we are suppose to be eating healthier, right?

My typical lunch, PB&J and an apple

My typical lunch, PB&J and an apple

Can someone from South Carolina ship me some of these coffee beans?

Can someone from South Carolina ship me some of these coffee beans?

Now I have to admit, all of these photos were taken in my kitchen under the florescent lights. Not ideal, but I am pretty happy with the way they all turned out.

What have you been taking photos of this month? Are you working on a photography project?

What I Will Be Reading in 2018...so far

Today, I sat down and wrote out the list of books, so far, that I hope to read this year. 

Considering that I read 41 books in 2017, I know that I will finish this list and be able to add more as we go through the year.

  • A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Seven Women by Eric Metaxas
  • My no so Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella
  • Be Still My Soul by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Awe by Paul David Tripp
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  • Unfinished by Richard Stearns
  • Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • All the Places to Go by John Ortberg
  • Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
  • Indescribable by Louie Giglio, Matt Redman
  • A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
  • Enough by Will Davis Jr.
  • The Word of Christ by R.C. Sproul
  • Divine Design by John MacArthur

The first three books I am currently reading, and Pilgrim's Progress will be a re-read for me. Six of the books are on my Kindle and I have set a goal to read at least 15 minutes a day on my Kindle this year.

Overall, I plan to read at least 36 books this year. I know I went over that goal last year, but some of these books are quite meaty and may take a bit more to digest.

Jane Austen reading quote

What do you plan on reading this year?

My Books of 2017

This past year has been a good, and a not-so-good year of reading for me.

My Goodreads reading challenge 2017

The good?

I have completed reading 41 books so far this year. A couple of my favorites this past year have been 'The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon' by Julius Achon and John Brant; 'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio; and 'Hidden Figures' by Margot Lee Shetterly.

One thing all of these have in common, I read a physical copy of each one.

I still really enjoy reading an actual book.

The not-so-good?

I was really hoping to read more books on my Kindle. Six months ago I wrote out a list of ten books on my Kindle that I wanted to read this year. As of today, I have only completed one and am currently reading another.

Oh dear....there is always next year, right?

So, as we are drawing near to the end of 2017, I will be making a new list of books I want to read in 2018. And I will be adding these two, one that I just purchased today, and one that I picked up at the library...

Books to read in 2018

What were some of your favorites in 2017?

And what do you plan to read in 2018?


Twelve Days of Compassion Christmas

Are you looking for a way to incorporate the Compassion Gift Catalog into your Christmas?

I kind of threw this together and have a few more ideas of expanding it, but I wanted to share this with all of you now.

Twelve Days of Compassion Christmas

Here is what you need to get started:

  1. Compassion's Gift Catalog (either a physical copy or access it online)
  2. Empty jar
  3. Dollar bills and coins
  4. Scissors
  5. Small clothespins
  6. Twelve Days of Compassion Christmas printable
  7. Twelve Days of Compassion Christmas printable ornaments

Once you have gathered all of the supplies, cut out the small ornaments. Attach them to your Christmas tree with the clothespins or create a banner with them somewhere in your home where everyone in your family can see them.

Pick twelve days in December. Mark these on your calendar.

On each of these twelve days, read the fact from the Twelve Days of Compassion Christmas printable, look up the item in the gift catalog, have some discussion, and put the money you collected for each day in your jar.

After you have completed the tasks for all twelve days, add up how much money is in your jar. Select an item from Compassion's Gift Catalog. You can place your order online, by mail (if you have a physical copy of the catalog), or by phone.

Your gift will help a child growing up in extreme poverty!

This may be the best gift your family has ever purchased!

If you give this a try or have some feedback, let you know!




My Daily Life in Black and White

Are you on Facebook or Instagram?

Most people have an account on one of those social media channels, if not both.

Have you been tagged in the recent Seven Days, Black and White photo challenge?

My friend Kendra tagged me on Instagram to participate. Since I love photography, I decided to join in on the challenge.

Not only did I post seven days worth of black and white photos on my Instagram account, I decided to use my DSLR to capture similar images also. And I kept to using my 35mm lens.

So here is a glimpse of my daily life in black and white:

I have to tell you, that photo with my contact lens case and my glasses was a little interesting to capture.


Well, I am super near sighted, and I didn't even think to just go ahead and put my contacts in my eyes before attempting to take that picture. Ha!

Have you completed a photo challenge recently? What type of photo challenge do you like to participate in?