about More Musing

We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

happy holidays!

At the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to all friends who have made our success possible.
It is in this spirit we say ... thank you and best wishes for the holidays and a very happy new year!


tammy lee, kat, suki, mosey, lucy, maureen, kirstin, april, christy
& michel!

Monday, December 13, 2010

where i live - cebu, philippines

mission: MUSE - where i live
by guest muse mabel

Enchanting Kawasan


I am a true-blooded Cebuana and a proud one at that. I was born and raised in Cebu, one of the 7,000++ islands in the Philippine archipelago. I live in a tropical country where the sun shines brightly in most days and where it rains every now and then. 

The weather may be unpredictable at times, but I love it here because life is not as fast paced as Manila (the nation's capital), but neither is it too laid back. It's a great combination of a modern and an islander lifestyle. My hometown is already a bustling metropolis where IT industries, manufacturing companies, and export processing zones are continually emerging. But after a day's work, my hometown offers a place to relax and enjoy life. 

Moody Sunrise

When I was growing up, I tend to neglect the beauty of the place I live. I always dream of visiting foreign countries where the place is beautiful and full of life as depicted in several postcards. Now that I had traveled to other places here and abroad, I realized that it's about time to rediscover my hometown. I shouldn't be a stranger in my own place, right?

Souvenir from Home

Home is Calling

Armed with my gears, I had my own photo walk and saw the place from the eyes of a tourist. I am proud to say that my hometown boasts of pristine beaches, hand-crafted souvenirs/products made of indigenous materials, colorful festivals, and beautiful sunsets/sunrises. 
Thank you for visiting where I live.

mabel entica of artsybelle and flickr

We would love to see where you live.  If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.

Friday, December 10, 2010

where i live - nebraska, usa

mission: MUSE -"where i live"
by guest lisa

When I tell people I live in Nebraska, typically people will say "I've never known anyone who lived in Nebraska!" or "I've flown/driven over/through/around it" or "I think I had a great great Aunt (or Grandmother) who lived here." Of course, there are the people who have no idea where Nebraska is located. “Nebraska?  Is that next to Missouri?”  When people find out I grew up just miles from New York City they inevitability ask: “How did you end up in Nebraska?”

Indeed.  I guess the accurate answer would be I ended up here by default.  Having lived in Los Angeles for a few years, my husband and I knew we didn’t want to live there.  We loved the East coast, but we knew we could not afford to live there.  The South was too hot and humid for me, so we landed in the middle: the Midwest.

I’ve called this place home for close to 17 years.  In the beginning, I would be quick to tell anyone asking about all the signs of “progress” that had materialized in Nebraska since I moved here: big bookstores, trendy coffee bars, a decent art and music scene.  I would say, “Nebraska is so much more than farms and corn and cows.”    But what I’ve come to love and cherish about my home state are those features I initially wanted to gloss over. 

What I love about this place I call home are the wide stretches of farmland and open plains that snuggle up against the very edges of any city.  I love how patches of sunflowers spring up in any untended ditch or lot of land.  I love how I drive past grain silos as I travel from my suburban home to my daughter’s martial arts class.  I love how the transition from Autumn to Winter is announced by the passing flocks of wild geese and snowbirds heading south.  I love the hawks that sit on the lampposts of my neighborhood and watch over me as I walk my dog.  And when I am out walking, I am aware of how the land is one third of my experience while the sky occupies the other two thirds.

I love the spaciousness of a Nebraska sky and how that sky is constantly changing as clouds and storms roll across the surface of the land.  I once read in a storybook for my daughter the line “There’s no sky like a Nebraska sky” and that is the truth.  And there are no storms like Nebraska storms. The crashes of thunder, the vibration of nearby lightening strikes and the threat of tornadoes send me scurrying to my basement in fear but also out of respect for the power of Nature.

What I’ve discovered about my home is it cannot be fully appreciated by anyone quickly passing through it.  The beauty of this place becomes apparently only when you can linger and take the time to look and feel deeply.  There are ranges of golden yellows in the autumn fields not yet named in any paint set.  There
are greens found in spring that both soothe and delight the senses.  And there is a sense of proportion and place under the wide Nebraskan skies that I’ve never felt before: a comforting sense of smallness that allows me to recognize my place in the order of things while at the same time an expansiveness that encourages me to dream big.

Thank you for visiting "where i live."


We would love to see where you live.  If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

where i live - mountain grove, missouri, usa

mission: MUSE - "where i live"
by guest muse julie

Where I live is in a region called the Ozarks, in Mountain Grove, Missouri, USA. I caution people about this area because, so strong is the hold it has over it's inhabitants, it becomes a part of a person, heart and soul. You get "drawn in" if you ever live here-and a testimony to that is the large number of families that have lived here for generations since it was first settled.   It has a rugged beauty in its hills, forests, rivers, streams and lakes that is unmatched anywhere. The Ozarks also refers specifically to a region of people with a distinct culture and dialect. Although the region is no longer isolated as it once was due to modern technology, the dialect remains intact, especially in a group of natives.....I'm very struck by (the sound of) that when I am in a room of us and we've all "got our guard down."

I am one of these proud natives (who talks funny)  with roots that go back to the original settlement of the area by people from the Appalachians. I want to give you a wide overview of the area so that you will remember that Missouri is more, so much more than its major cities of St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.

This is my home on our farm. I thought it looked particularly beautiful framed by the autumn leaves. We have acreage here where we farm, and raise cattle and horses. I love to roam the farm and take photographs of it and it's inhabitants....there are the birds and other wildlife, too. But that's another subject for different musing by me.... :)

Tourism is quite important to the economy of Missouri.  A wonderful aspect of this (that many people don't realize) is, many of our best sight-seeing opportunities are free to visit-including, our many conservation and wilderness areas! Let me show you a couple. The first one is Cedar Gap Conservation Area, located in the tiny community of Cedar Gap.  I hiked it earlier this year. The wildflowers were blooming abundantly, and the vegetation was lush and green. The hills really seemed like girls in emerald party dresses adorned with colorful jewelry!  We had received plenty of rain, and springs ran everywhere, along with the Bryant Creek at the bottom of a ravine. The area forms the headwaters of Bryant creek. It was magnificent!

The second is the wonderful Piney Wilderness, located near Shell Knob, Missouri. I went over this wilderness on muleback three times this year with my Dad. He was born in that area and knows every inch of it! (My grandparents had a farm which was taken by the corp of engineers to build Table Rock Lake).  Here, I put together a few images that will show you this area's glory in the colors of fall. You can hike there too, and it borders Table Rock Lake, which is depicted in one of the shots in this collage:

The Ozarks is indeed a very special place. I am thankful and inspired by the fact that we have been fortunate enough to preserve parts of it much as it has been for a very long time for future generations. I hope you enjoyed this overview, and mini tour of where I live. 

For more on my life in the Ozarks you can visit my Flickr photostream.

Until next time.  Julie


We would love to see where you live.  If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.

Monday, December 6, 2010

where i live - jacksonville, fl, usa

mission: MUSE - "where i live"
by guest megan

Beautiful Boone

In the spring of 2008, my cat Odin and I moved out of the house that we shared with my former husband into a new home of our own.  The entire lower level of a big, beautiful house was all ours and located in my favorite section of Jacksonville, the historic district of Riverside/Avondale.  The neighborhood was everything I hoped for, filled with wonderfully preserved homes and gardens and flanked by main roads dotted with delicious restaurants and unique shops.
That summer, our happy home expanded to include my best-friend-turned-boyfriend (now husband) Jamie, who took the plunge and moved down from Kentucky with his dog Boy and cat Vincent to live with us.  Later that year we adopted our cat Lolly, and my dogs Angus and Sunny eventually moved out of my ex's house and in with us too... thankfully our house and neighborhood are fit to accommodate our crazy brood!
Jamie and I are fortunate to live in an area filled with old-fashioned yet open-minded people like us who love animals, art, and the outdoors.  We are also blessed with a home-away-from-home, just up the block from our house... Boone Park.

This beautiful park is covered with trees, dotted with Narnia-esque lamp posts, and filled with winding trails that twist and turn.  We take our pups here at least twice a day every day and it is like heaven for them to explore this wonderland of scents, sights, and sounds.

Boone Park is a staple of our neighborhood and our lives... won't you join us?

Love,  Meg of Beyond Vision

We would love to see where you live. 
If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

*muse flash*

We excited to announce our newest muse, Christy of Urban Muser.  A frequent contributor to mission: MUSE and featured photographer, she brings to the group an "on-the-go" documentary style as she captures life in the Big Apple and a love of i-Phoneography.  Let's help make her feel welcome here among the Muses.  

new york, new york

the boring stuff: non-profit consultant and former lawyer.

the interesting stuff that working as a consultant allows me to be: dog momma to willow, knitter, wife, iphoneographer, blogger, cook, pizza eater, sports fan, coffee lover, plant killer.

urban muser
urban muser {icandy}

Urban Muser - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

Saturday, December 4, 2010

muse university - holiday lights

exploring with a camera

I love this time of year. The nights are long, but they are full of beautiful, bright holiday lights! It makes this month, where you often go to work and come home in the dark, so much more enjoyable. This time, for Exploring with a Camera, we are going to look at different ways to capture these wonderful holiday lights.

City Lights

Here in Italy, every little town has their own holiday lights twinkling above streets and walkways. The central shopping zones are a festive place to visit and photograph.  Via Dante in Milan is one of the main thoroughfares, and the lights are beautiful. The lead-in photo above portrays the calm and quiet after the shops and restaurants are closed on a cold winter's night, with most people tucked into their warm houses. The photo below, of a street in Turin city center, is the opposite. I love the energy and movement conveyed in the photo, you can tell it's a bustling place, and the lights only add to the mood - you know it's a festive time of year.

Most towns will have a big Christmas tree in a central location, which can be fun to capture.Try getting back and capturing a scene, to show the tree in the context of location. The tree below in Milan's Piazza del Duomo would be just another big tree with white lights, but with the Duomo behind, it becomes more interesting and impressive.

Don't forget to capture the buildings and monuments around, with their pretty dressing for the season. This is Milan's castle, Castello Sforzesco, which even has a Disney-esque light show to music to show off it's millions of tiny lights.

Brush up on your night photography tips from the past Exploring with a Camera post and head out into your town to capture the lights of the season.

Light Bokeh

Holiday lights are a classic time to capture light bokeh! You get bokeh when you have: A shallow depth of field (from a wide open aperture or low f-number), a subject or focal distance that is close and distant point light sources.  This year I played around with capturing bokeh for this Murano glass ornament photo below. Let me tell you, this was harder than it looks!

A few tips, after my experience with capturing this photo:

1. You can't have the ambient light too bright, because it washes out the lights behind and you want that light bokeh! I turned off the room lights and moved a reading light, which was much dimmer, to point at the ornament to get enough light to illuminate it without washing out the lights on the tree behind.

2. While a wider open aperture will give bigger and rounder circles of light bokeh (you can see the flat sides on the bokeh in my photo), it also didn't allow for enough of the ornament to be in focus to be appealing. I had to experiment with different settings and found f/2.0 was about the best compromise to have most of the ornament in focus and nice light bokeh, for this photo.

3. You will probably need a tripod or your camera on a steady surface for this work. Even with a wide open aperture and bumping up the ISO somewhat (I didn't want to go above 800), the light was really low and the shutter speeds were much to long to hand hold without camera shake. I could have bumped up the ISO more and handheld, but I was at home and had the tripod available, so I figured why not use it.

4. Play around with the distance of your subject from the lights. Too far and the lights are just tiny dots, if you can even see them. Too close, and you don't get much of the "bokeh" effect. Also, varying the distance of your camera too the subject can change things. It takes some playing around, I discovered!

Here's another ornament photo with some light bokeh on the tree. You can see that not all of the lights are bokeh circles, because they are in the same focal plane as the ornament. They need to be out of the focal plane, to get the bokeh. This one was handheld. In fact, do you see me reflected in the ornament?

If you are using a point and shoot camera without manual control of aperture, try setting the camera to "Portrait" or "Macro" mode and turning the flash off. The camera will then choose the lowest f-number it can to blur the background, which is how you'll be able to get some light bokeh.

 Twinkle Lights

Another fun thing to try when you are capturing holiday lights is making them "twinkle" - you know, when the lights look like little stars?  This is done by the opposite aperture setting - closed down aperture or a high f-number. You will definitely need a tripod for this work, because as you close down the aperture you limit the amount of light that gets into the camera, and you have to compensate with longer shutter speeds than are possible to hand hold. 

Here is a picture of the tree in our home in Oregon, several years ago, using this technique. The aperture was set at f/22 with a shutter speed of 1.6 seconds. You can't hand hold that! My son was sitting really still for this photo, by the way. Click on the photo to see it larger, if you can't see the twinkle at this size.

Here's another, of some the gifts under the tree, with the same settings. I also adjusted the color cast on these two photos in Photoshop Elements, out of the camera they had the usual yellow tone of incandescent lights.

With a point and shoot, use the "landscape" setting, which should set the aperture to the highest possible f-number for the camera, and turn the flash off.

Reflections and Shadows

Where there is light, there are usually shadows too. As we set up our holiday decorations this year, I noticed that the candle we had near this little wooden tree was casting a very cool shadow. I played around with different angles, moving both the candle and the tree as well as the changing my composition with the camera. This one was my favorite, and I ran the Pioneer Woman "Seventies" Action on it to give a vintage feel.

In this photo, another older one from our home in Oregon, I liked the reflection of light on the blinds, it created interesting lines.

Trees and lights are often placed by windows, which give wonderful light reflections at night, and create a nice compositional effect. Do you see the "light echoes" in this photo, above the window and tree? Those were not there in reality and have been annoying to me at times as I worked on night photography. I recently learned these were coming from the filter on my lens. Remove the filter if you find you are getting these, and you will likely eliminate them. 

Are you ready to capture the holiday lights now? I am! I want to capture as many as I can, in my last holiday season in Italy. I hope you will return to The Kat Eye View of the World next Thursday, to Share Your View and link in with your holiday lights photos. You have a week to review your archive or take some new pictures to share with us all, plenty of time!


repost by kat

Join us every weekend for a new muse university post! 
If you would like to provide a post for this series, please contact kat [at] kateyeview.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

where i live - germany

mission: MUSE - "where i live"
by guest muse kim

Where do I live?  For many years I had a ready reply.  "I live on a ranch on the Colorado prairie surrounded by buffalo grass, cattle, and blue sky."  It was an answer I had not foreseen changing a year ago. What a difference a year makes. We now live in a tiny village, perched on a peak in southern Germany, surrounded by lush pastures, dense forests, and more cattle. You could say we traded one sleepy cow town for another.

My husband is a retired military officer and for twenty years we roamed the world following his assignments.  All the while I had one goal, to settle down on a farm like the one my grandparents had.  In 2003 that dream came true when we bought 72 acres in the middle of absolutely nowhere in rural Colorado.  It was a mixed blessing. We learned so much and had such wonderful times there.  Still, as the years passed we knew that was not the only adventure we wanted to have for the rest of our lives.  My husband was offered a position in Germany last fall, which we accepted on a lark.  Within a few months we were winging our way across the ocean, with our seven youngest children in tow!

The house we found here was all we dared to hope for.  It is the last house in a little bitty farming village and backs up directly to the pastures and forest beyond. The village is reached by a series of narrow, winding roads which amble their way through dark stretches of woods straight from the Grimm brothers.  Miles of bike and foot paths connect us to neighboring towns.

There is an undeniable dignity and grace about this place. Things move slowly here and there is a noticeable hush over all.  We walk daily, we nod at one another, and exchange warm "Guten Tag!" greetings when we meet our neighbors.  Ancient peeling, stucco abodes stand tall and strong under their tile roofs alongside the occasional contemporary newcomers. Somehow both work. Lace trimmed windows sport bright boxes of geraniums all summer and doorways are swept clean, straight out through the cobblestone drives.

We are just a few hours' drive to Paris, Amsterdam, and Zurich.  Yet no matter where we roam it is so very good to come home and look out over miles of treetops. We expect to be here for the next several years after which I could not venture a guess what fate has in store for us. It really doesn't matter because in the end home is where we all are together. Each new place is full of adventure and contributes another chapter in the story life is writing for us. This one has been a page-turner and I am so grateful for the opportunity.

Thank you for visiting "where i live." 

Kim Fry

please visit us at: http://www.starryskyranch.typepad.com/ and http://www.starryskyphotography.com/


We would love to see where you live. 
If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

*muse flash*


Join Muse Tammy and friends for a Holiday Muse gathering and photowalk in our nation's Oldest City, St. Augustine, Florida.

Wander the historic streets with decorated shoppes, ride the Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley, or visit Winter Wonderland for ice skating and sledding.  In the evening, NIGHTS OF LIGHTS will keep you clicking as the city comes alive with two million tiny white lights.

We will be meeting at 11am, Saturday December 4th at the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center located on Castillo Drive just off U.S. 1. 

Come rain or shine, bring your families, and make some connections with fellow photographers from Florida and Georgia.  Please Facebook message or email Tammy at blissandfolly[at]aol.com to get on the email list for additional details and scheduled chats. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

where i live - milton, florida, usa

mission: MUSE - "where i live"
by guest muse marty

I live in a land of contradictions. The old mingles with the new, the poor live around the corner from the affluent and rednecks dance along beside those more cultured. Liberal thinking jockeys for position with a way of life steeped in tradition, thanks in part to the military bases that bring people into the community of old timers. Little league and church on Sunday figures prominently into ones social calendar.

Welcome to the South where our heritage is as rich and flavorful as our grits and gumbo. It’s slower paced and slower talking and a good “Bless your heart” will excuse just about any insult. Seriously. You can say someone is ding dong crazy and tack on a ‘bless your heart’ and everyone will just nod in agreement and tsk, tsk the poor dear.

Nicknamed the City of Five Flags, Pensacola has been under the rule of the Spanish, French, Great Brittan, the Confederate States of America and finally the US. Always a military town, we boast of glorious battles fought by Andrew Jackson at Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickens has the distinction of housing the infamous Geronimo after his capture in 1886.


My favorite part of living in the northwest panhandle of Florida has got to be the beaches. One of my earliest memories is camping out at the beach with family and seeing my first falling star. The white sand and emerald waters are magical. The smell of the gulf, the warmth of the sun and the sound of the surf are relaxing and refreshing.

We rely heavily on tourism and in keeping with the extremes of life here, our area beaches have very distinct personalities. Perdido Key and Johnson’s Beach seems to be more family friendly. Part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, it is a protected park and has a larger area dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of the coast. Just outside of Ft Pickens, Pensacola Beach is geared more toward those looking for a little excitement. Restaurants and hotels are numerous and the annual Blue Angels air show happens here.

Neon Welcome

My home is actually right outside the city of Pensacola in a small town called Milton. A rural area made up of peanut and cotton farms, we are the buckle of the Bible belt with a church on just about every corner. Black eyed peas and corn bread are just as apt to appear on your menu as steak or burgers. When I was a teenager I couldn’t wait to grow up and leave for greener pastures. But now, as a grown woman raising my own children I’m thankful to live here. The small town community with a dash of city life…the best of both worlds.

Thank you for visiting where I live. Please feel free to visit my blog to learn more about my life in Florida.

Until next time! Marty of  Sam's Family and 52 weeks by Marty.

We would love to see where you live. 
If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo .com.

Monday, November 29, 2010

where i live - mendocino, california, usa

mission: MUSE - "where i live"
by guest muse jennifer

 My Muse is Mendocino

I'm so inspired by the water. I live at the shore, and I wouldn't have it any other way. From day to day the ocean changes so much. Fierce and powerful at times, calm and relaxing other days. One of my favorite things to do is to watch people and critters interact with this beautiful body of water. Who can resist  the charm of children building sandcastles, otters frolicking in the waves, or ducks gliding on glassy ponds. Yes, I love the water, and this amazing place that I live. Mendocino County, in Northern California, suits me. I've lived here for about nine years, but my romance with the area began long before that. Whenever I had the chance, I would escape, and come here, to recharge my battery. To soak in the inspiration that fills me when I sit and watch the waves crashing.

I sometimes toy with the idea of moving away from this place, but when I do, I always dream of another  place by the water. It's part of me now, and I know I can't be happy if I'm separated from it.

 ~Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.    Robert Henri

Thank you for visiting where I live. Please feel free to visit my blog to learn more about my life in California and my etsy shop to see more of my photography.

Jennifer of Gilding Lilies


We would love to see where you live.  If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

we are thankful

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson



Thank you for joining us for the first "We Are Thankful" blog hop.  We invite you to link up and share with us your musings on the day, photos, a favorite holiday recipe, & family traditions.  For our international muses and guests, we look forward to hearing about what you are thankful for this Autumn. 

Make sure to grab the Linky code and add it to your own blog.  We will be leaving the Linky open for the entire weekend so you will have time to link up and visit everyone in the muse community.  If you do not have a blog, you need not be excluded.  Link up to a photo on flickr that represents your day and share with us a few words in the description field.  We look forward to visiting with you and your families on this thankful day.

For those that link up, we have a wonderful giveaway gift.  A Lomographic Holga Starter Kit by Lomography.  We will randomly select one lucky winner on Sunday Night and announce it on the blog on Monday.  You may also find some lovely giveaway gifts on our personal blogs.  Hop on over and take a peek.

Take a few moments to share some love with Arin and Jackie, two of the wonderful photographers from the Mortal Muses flickr pool, whose gorgeous photos I selected for this special post. ♥ tam

Thank you for your support and for musing with us.

xo - Tammy, Kat, Suki, Mosey, Lucy, Maureen, Kirstin, April and Michel

w i n d o w s

What is a blog hop? - A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS.  When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.  Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list.  The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.  Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

what inspires you? - christy

mission: MUSE - "what inspires you?"
by guest muse christy


About a year ago I finally broke down and got an iPhone. I bought it primarily because I truly needed a new cell phone and also, I admit, because I thought it was time to see what the fuss was all about. I intended to use it to call people (duh, it's a phone, right?), to access my email on the go and, you know, to look up anything, anytime, anywhere.  What could be more convenient than that?

The iPhone's built in camera was the last thing on my mind. Until I acquired my first camera app.

My love affair with iPhoneography has inspired me in ways I never imagined. I now travel through life with a more observant eye because subconsciously I know that I have a camera with me at all times. I am inspired by the beauty in everyday things and moments that before might have passed me by unnoticed. A fire hydrant, a manhole cover, a tree branch, or a piece of newspaper blown onto the sidewalk after a rainstorm...

{app: Hipstamatic; lens: Helga Viking; film: Blackeys B&W}
My iPhone hasn't replaced my regular camera.  And I know many of you are not convinced of the power of the iPhone, viewing it merely as a "cheap artsy thrill".  That's OK, you don't have to like it, but perhaps you'll allow me to share with you a few of my favorite things about iPhoneography...

1. My iPhone is always there for me.  It's small and it's always in my bag.  I never have to miss a moment because I don't have my camera with me.  I now take more photos of the little things that I might not have bothered to pull out my big clunky digital to capture even if I had it with me.  Like this view of Central Park out the window of a building where I had a meeting this morning...

{app: Hipstamatic; lens: Helga Viking; film: Ina's 1969}
2.  I can be more spontaneous.  The iPhone is less intrusive and allows me to take photos that are more "in the moment".  There is no need to fumble around with camera settings, lighting and focus.  I see something interesting (like this woman on the subway platform) and it's just a swipe and tap of the screen and I'm making memories before the next train arrives and obscures my view...

{app: PS Mobile; effect: Vignette Blur}
3. It's back to basics.  I feel free and playful when taking photos with my phone.  Expectations are lower when it's "just a camera phone" and I tend to experiment more because I put less pressure on myself to be so perfect.  I took a bunch of photos of the George Washington Bridge one day with my digital camera and at the last moment snapped this shot with my phone, aiming more at the clouds than the bridge for something different.  It turned out to be my favorite image of the bunch...

{app: Lo-mob; effect: Photocard Three}
4. I can be a little sneaky. One of my favorite things about iPhoneography is the element of surprise.  If you come to New York City beware of my tendency to take random photos of strangers, especially on the subway.  I may look like I am reading my email, but I am really taking your photo...

{app: Lo-mob; effect: 6x6 TtV Virage}
5. I don't need no stinkin' photoshop.   I don't have a fancy editing program.  Of course I WANT one, but right now it's not in the cards.  With the iPhone I can still be creative---both randomly and deliberately.  Some apps will unpredictably blur, saturate or discolor an image, while with others I can control the processing of a photo to give it a little bit of drama, a vintage texture, a light leak or an interesting border.  I like to call it my point and shoot with attitude.

{app: Format126; effect: LOFI}
6. I can share my photos on the go.  If you are reading this, you are likely a blogger, or at least an obsessive lurker.  We all get inspiration from each other's blogs and collectives like Mortal Muses and flickr, right?  

Well, there are two great sites that I use to instantly share my iPhone images and, more importantly, to see what my fellow camera phone junkies are up to.  I am constantly inspired to push the boundaries when I see what others are creating "just" with their phones.  With my eye'em  and posterous accounts, I can post my photos directly from my phone and immediately share a moment with the press of a button.  I've been known to waste spend some serious time on eye'em watching the live stream of photos being posted from around the world.  You can find some truly amazing images there.
Do you find inspiration in your camera phone?  If you didn't before today, I hope my post will at least get you musing about the endless possibilities. Thanks for letting me share with you today.  Now get out there and take a picture of the first thing you see...even if it's a puddle...

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Until next time!
Christy of Urban Muser


"what inspires you?" is the the second mission of mission: MUSE series.
After you submit a "where i live" post, you may submit an entry to mortalmuses {at} yahoo.com.