My Homeless-Woman Nap and Staring at Strangers

(NOTE:  In case you didn’t know, you can click on the pictures to see them larger.  They look much better when you do that.)

Every other week I teach the preschoolers at church.  The church has a habitrail in it.  Check out this website if you’re not sure what a habitrail is. 

I’ve been angling to play in the habitrail for awhile now.  Today there was a little girl in the class who couldn’t climb up it by herself, so I helped her and finally (!) got my chance to play.  I slung Clarisse around my neck and got a quick picture inside the habitrail.


After teaching the kids, my family goes home while I attend the second service alone.  This is a dangerous time for me.  After teaching those kids at the 8:00 service, I’m plumb tuckered out.  Playing on habitrails is hard work!  And the cushioned pews are sooo comfy…  After church I took a nap in the car.  But I had to find a side road for my nap.  I didn’t want to scare any little old ladies in the church parking lot.


I’ll explain: B’s mother works a night shift.  On Sunday mornings she’ll drive her messy car from work to the church parking lot and take a little nap on the far end of the lot.  A little old lady at church saw her and told one of the men inside, “There’s some homeless woman sleeping in her car by the bus!”  The man went to investigate, and wouldn’t you know?  It was his mother-in-law sleeping in the car.  Scaring the little old ladies.  Yeah, he’s not gonna let his wife live that down anytime soon.  “Remember how your homeless mother scared the little old ladies at church?”

I didn’t want to scare any little old ladies, so I found a side street and pulled over for my nap.  Cell phone alarm set to go off in 20 minutes, seat back, sun roof closed, trench coat covering me: zzzzz.  James Bond training strikes again.  I managed to fall asleep pretty much instantly and felt refreshed when I woke up.

Why I didn’t go home?

It’s too much of a production to take a nap at home.  Shoo the kids away, turn the phone ringer off, put in the earplugs, pull down the shades, pre-heat the bed, cover the eyes, take off the shoes, fluff the pillow…  And half the time, someone squawks loud enough to wake me up and mess up my precious twenty minutes.

Later in the afternoon, I went on a photo walk in Gettysburg with a new group of people that I’d never met before.  On a photo walk everyone walks around with their cameras taking pictures of things.  It was the groups’ first meeting and most of them knew each other, but I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me.

I had a whole lotta fun people-watching them.  Since I was part of the group, but didn’t know them, I was allowed to stand there listening in on their conversations and…watching.  What a hoot!  I wonder if my first impressions of them are right?  My first impressions of everyone at Photo Club were completely wrong (completely!) so I’m a little hesitant to take my first impressions to heart.

Here are some of my pictures from the Photo Walk:

This is NOT the picture I wanted.

The above is not the picture I wanted.  I wanted the railroad crossing sign to be the focus of the picture, but the building takes over.


For you photography people: I figured out how to do spot metering!  Oooooooo!

Below is the picture I wanted.

THAT'S what I want!

The picture is no longer exposed for the building, so it recedes into shadows in the background, and the Railroad crossing sign is the focus of the image.  (Big beaming grin!)

It’s so nice to know how to use the camera to get what you want.  Before Photo Club, I would have ideas in my head of what I wanted but couldn’t make it happen.  Slowly things are coming together.

It’s not always easy to come up with something to take a picture of when you’re walking around, so if nothing else jumps out at you, it’s good to give yourself a goal.  It helps your eye find things.  My specific goal for today was to try to find interesting shadows:



Other than today’s specific goal of finding shadows, I always have the goal of finding something repetitive or finding something that would convert well to black and white.  Converting to black and white is tricky for me.  Maybe it’s easy for you, but I find it to be a challenge.

These trees were repetitive and I thought they’d be good b&w, but when I converted them to b&w, they were boring, so went with Sepia instead.  I like them.  It’s not the most interesting picture ever, but it’s ok.


Here’s the black and white to compare.

Black and white

No real reason for this one, other than I hoped to get home and de-saturate the colors so it would have a cool feel to it–temperature cool, not leather jacket cool.  I’m pleased with it.  This was a tough shot to get because those pesky photographers kept walking in front of the camera.  Photographers!  Sheesh!

These last three pictures look a lot better if you click on them to see them enlarged:

For these last two, they’re nothing special.  I just liked them.

Nothing special

More of Nothing Special.


7 thoughts on “My Homeless-Woman Nap and Staring at Strangers

  1. You could have focused on sign(matrix) and re- composed,while holding shutter button half way down and then taken your shot. That way the building wouldn’t be in shadow. Spot metering is not spot focusing.

    • Yes, she does. I know that people like to check the histogram since viewing pictures on-camera can be deceptive. They look good until you get them home and see them larger and then realize they’re too dark/light. I usually forget all about the histogram until someone (like you) mentions it again.

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