As a scrapbooker, cropping my photos comes naturally to me. “Cropping” is actually a frequently used slang term for the act of scrapbooking, as in “I spent my Saturday at a crop,” meaning a get-together for scrapbooking (not possible right now ☹).
I edit nearly all my photos, either simply with Google Photos or with Forever Historian, a photo editing software intended for scrapbookers. When you have limited space in a scrapbook, cropping helps you focus on essentials for the sake of aesthetics, as well as fit more photos on a page.
On our trip to Europe, we took a lot of bus tours, which don’t give you a lot of time to frame the perfect shot. Luckily, that’s where cropping comes in!
Typical bus photo.
A perfectly decent photo of the Vatican.
This one goes from a typical “yeah, I took this out a bus window” photo to a perfectly decent shot St. Peter’s Basilica. I personally think square photos are underrated and use them a lot.
On Skellig Michael in Ireland, sometime the cliffs made it impossible to get exactly the shot I would have liked, and I had an older camera with me because I didn’t want to chance my phone getting wet on the boat ride. I have cropped nearly every picture I took there.
The original vertical.
Cropped to horizontal.
This one even went from vertical to horizontal. I was able to get rid of some unnecessary rocks and waves and zoom in on the adorable puffins. It may also have been a better fit for the layout of my scrapbooking page. I probably could have cropped even further to focus on just one or two puffins, but I had to consider the resolution of the photo, too.
You can find more cropping at the original Lens-Artist challenge.
The highlight of my trip to Ireland in 2015 was a visit to the rugged island Skellig Michael. I had wanted to visit for three reasons.
First, it is home to many species of birds, including Atlantic puffins, gannets, kittiwakes, and others. I was able to add some cool species to my life list and get very close and personal with these birds that are not afraid of humans. It was even puffin breeding season.
Second, the island is historically and culturally important, being the home of ascetic Christian monks for several centuries. They built the winding staircases up the rocks and also built stone dwellings. It is now a UNESCO heritage site.
Third, the island stood in for the Jedi refuge of Ahch-To in the new Star Wars films. They had been filming there the year before I went, and even though the movie The Force Awakens hadn’t even come out yet, I was excited to visit a Star Wars filming location. And I loved seeing and recognizing the footage of Skellig Michael on the big screen later.
But in the end, the reason that Skellig Michael is most memorable to me is the mental journey I took to get there. You can read the whole story of my trip here, but I will just say that I will always be proud that I was able to overcome my anxiety to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You can find more special places at the original Lens-Artist challenge.
I can’t think of a place that better encapsulates the idea of “wild” than Skellig Michael, off the coast of Ireland. It was once inhabited by ascetic monks and is now home to colonies of seabirds, like these puffins that have little fear of people.
You can find more wild things at the original Lens-Artist challenge.
One of the best parts about our Vagabond trip to Ireland was getting to see a lot of the country in its natural state.
The famous cliffs of Moher, a natural wonder that forms a “signature point” of the Wild Atlantic Way tourism route.
Killarney National Park was the first national park in Ireland, created in 1932. It hosts a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including the island’s last wild herd of red deer.
We saw many places off the beaten path, including Skellig Michael, a nesting site for puffins and other sea birds. These birds have very little fear of people and will get quite close to you. Between the sea, the rocks, the wind, and the birds, on Skellig Michael you really feel close to nature in all its wild glory. It’s no wonder the ascetic Irish monks were attracted to this place.
You can find more nature at the original Lens-Artist challenge.
From Skellig Michael.
“There has been an awakening…”
So said the first teaser for The Force Awakens. Skellig Michael appeared in the last minutes of that movie as Ahch-To, the refuge of hermit Luke Skywalker. The island will be forever associated with Star Wars to me. Here are some of the “Jedi Steps” that Rey climbs, and some of the puffins that became “porgs” in The Last Jedi.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening