2011 Faves: The Instagram Collection, part 1

Posted: January 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Creativity, Features, Mobile pics, Photo essays, Photography | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I first started screwing around with a camera about nine years ago, after my daughter was born. I was instantly hooked, in large part because Emma was (and still is) extremely photogenic, but despite that immediate appeal, I didn’t get serious about photography until last year. Several different factors played a role in the launch of Windowsill Photography, but in hindsight, the most important one may have been my discovery of an awesome iPhone app called Instagram.

To quote the website, Instagram is “a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. It’s photo sharing, reinvented.” Instagram users snap away on their phones, choose from all sorts of in-app filters to transform the look and feel of their original photos, and then upload the finished products to Instagram so the community can see them, “like” them, comment on them and/or follow the photographers whose work they enjoy. I’ve described it as Facebook for photographers, which may be an easy comparison, but it’s also a suitable one.

I started slowly, uploading a photo here and there under the username “i_am_mine” (a Pearl Jam reference), but by the end of the first week, I was uploading several photos a day and building a nice little following along the way. More importantly, I was inspired to shoot more and more photos with my phone, looking for interesting pics I could share with this budding community. I also loved looking through other photographers’ work and following some of my favorites, which pushed me to shoot more and more of my own photos. I took more pictures in my first two months on Instagram than I had in the previous two years combined. Easily. It was amazing to watch the Instagram community grow over time and exciting to be contributing to its development in my own little way.

I don’t post on Instagram much these days, mainly because I’m finding it harder and harder to carve out time for it, but I’ll never forget the impact it had on my life. It offered me an up-close look at just how beautiful this medium can be and instilled the confidence I needed to take an overdue leap of faith. To show some love for Instagram and hopefully introduce some folks to its awesomeness, I wanted to post a few of my favorite photos from my Instagram feed. All of these were taken in 2011 with an iPhone 4. Look for another set of Instagram faves down the road.


Black and white bulbs

Posted: January 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Creativity, Mobile pics, Photography | No Comments »

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Sometimes the coolest pictures are of the most ordinary things. These are the lightbulbs in my bathroom, flipped on their side. When I’m looking for unique perspectives of everyday items, the world is full of things to shoot.


Hanging (literally) at the Whole Day Café

Posted: January 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Couples, Creativity, Family, Photo essays, Photographers, Photography, Windowsill Photography | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The toughest part about any creative endeavor is putting your work out there for other people to see. It’s both exciting and terrifying, hoping what you’ve created will connect with your audience, wondering if they’ll see what you see in your work. Hopefully, you’ll hear enough nice things from enough people to take a leap and display some of your talent.

I was honored to put a few of my photos up in an artist showcase at the Whole Day Café (101 High Street) in the center of Wadsworth, OH, just down the road from our house. The pictures — 10 total — will be hanging through the end of February, so be sure to stop by for a helping of Windowsill Photography along with your morning coffee or tasty lunch (try the southwest wrap or the Sandwich of the Month). The showcase also allowed us an opportunity to display two of our premium product offerings: canvas wraps (20×30 and 16×24) and standout prints (all 8×10).

Have a project you haven’t worked up the courage to tackle yet? Maybe it’s time to just close your eyes and jump on in!


Quotes & Notes: Imogen Cunningham was never satisfied

Posted: January 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Photographers, Photography, Quotes & Notes, Writing | Tags: , | 1 Comment »
“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham

I’m not sure I would have survived as a film photographer. I wouldn’t have had the patience. We’re all spoiled in the Digital Age, with tiny computer chips and gorgeous LCD screens satiating our need for instant gratification. I love pressing that shutter button and seeing the picture on the spot. Darkrooms and processing trays? Not for me. I’d rather spend more time shooting.

Imogen Cunningham knew all about processing trays. Born in 1883, Cunningham majored in chemistry at the University of Washington because it would make her a better photographer. Talk about committing to her craft.

Cunningham, who passed away in 1976 at the age of 93, also knew that there are always more photos to be taken, and more opportunities to improve as an artist. You can’t be satisfied with your work because the next great shot is out there, somewhere, waiting to be captured.

The only way to improve at anything is to put in the work, and Cunningham’s quote served as an affirmation that she’d be out there tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that, looking for that shot. It also speaks to an optimism that, no matter how much I may like this photo that I took today, I’ll take one tomorrow that I’ll like even more. Nobody has that kind of track record, of course, but it’s certainly an ideal worth pursuing.


Marathon Mission: Complete

Posted: January 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Features, Running, Writing | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was sitting against a fence, shivering, my calves tied into knots and my hip flexors threatening to burst into flames, and all I wanted to do was sleep. I’d force my eyes open, take a sip from the water bottle I’d been handed after crossing the finish line, and then my eyes would slide shut again. Open, sip, repeat.

Jamey Codding marathon

At one point, a concerned medic approached me. “Everything OK?” he asked. I forced a smile, told him I was fine, just needed to rest, and then I gave in. I shut my eyes once more and drifted off, maybe for 10 seconds, maybe for two minutes. I’d never been overwhelmed by the urge to sleep after a race, but I’d also never run a full marathon. I finished (just barely) the Chicago Marathon in October, but as I sat against that fence in the chute for the Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, I could finally say that I had run a marathon. Well, once I woke up, I could say it.

In my “Why Run?” piece, I laid out some of the reasons I’ve been drawn back to the sport I’d abandoned in the 15 years since high school. Among those reasons, I wrote:

“I run to challenge myself, to set a goal and accomplish that goal. I run to find my limits and expand them, to redefine my comfort zone, to defy that voice inside my head that tells me my legs hurt too much and my lungs can’t take any more. I run to prove to myself that I can accomplish anything if I’m willing to work hard enough.”

The 3 hours and 44 minutes I spent running through Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe epitomized that paragraph. I bulldozed my comfort zone during the race and did my best to ignore “that voice” for the final six miles or so. I set out to run the whole race, and save for a handful of quick pit stops to guzzle some water or Gatorade, I did just that, even when my stomach started churning and “that voice” was pleading for a break at mile 24. I didn’t run as fast as I’d hoped, but I kept my feet moving, refused to walk, and crossed the finish line almost an hour sooner than I did in Chicago last October. Then I took a nap.

I won’t pretend that I accomplished anything monumentally profound last weekend. Heck, it seems everyone is running marathons and half marathons these days. But it was a significant personal achievement, a moment I won’t ever forget, a moment I once thought would never happen, and yet there I was in the chute, medal in hand, mission accomplished. I was sleeping, but I was there.

I didn’t think I could, until I did

“I run to find my limits and expand them.” In hindsight, this line is perhaps the most accurate in the above paragraph. I remember how awful I felt after finishing my first half marathon, and how fantastic I felt seven months later after my third. My body wasn’t ready for 13.1 miles in Columbus, but by Cleveland, it knew what to expect and I cruised to a PR.

Last Sunday, my body was toast. I crossed the line sore, nauseous, thirsty and exhausted, certain I couldn’t have run another 10 feet. That’s exactly how I felt after my first half marathon. Now, a 13-mile run qualifies as an easy day. Will the pattern hold next month when I hop onto a plane to run the Tokyo Marathon?

Man, I hope so.

Jamey Codding marathon

I know, I know, the hydration belt really makes the outfit.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting Tokyo will be easy just because I finished the Arizona Marathon, but it should be easier. Not only will my body be better conditioned to handle 26.2 miles, but perhaps more importantly, I now know that I can, in fact, run a full marathon. Clearing that mental hurdle is huge. Telling yourself you can do something is one thing, but proving to yourself that you can do it is another.

At the expo the day before the race, I bought a shirt that said “Inspired to Run” on the back. Those three words sum things up beautifully for me. The act of running – of hitting the pavement or treadmill several times a week, braving the elements in the dead of winter or peak of summer, logging mile after mile after mile on lonely roads and rolling trails – isn’t a whole lot of fun. It’s not easy either. But it’s damn sure rewarding.

I’ve accomplished things during these two years of running that I never thought were possible. In about five weeks, I’ll add one more item to the list when I run a marathon in Tokyo. That’s incredible to me. And it’s no coincidence that, with each mental hurdle I’ve cleared in my training, my confidence in other areas of life has soared as well, driving me to pursue personal and professional endeavors that once seemed out of reach and unattainable.

That may sound corny, but it’s the truth. There’s a reason running has exploded in popularity over the last decade. There’s a reason more and more friends and family members are asking me for beginner training tips or advice on picking their first pair of running shoes (I’m no expert on either subject, by the way). There’s a reason people like my aunt, who ran her first marathon last year at the age of 53, fall in love with the sport. She’s done a bunch of half marathons, some sprint triathlons, joined a team for Ragnar last year, and probably accomplished so many other things that I don’t even know about. She also completed her second marathon in Arizona last weekend, and was thrilled to PR by three minutes. That’s what it’s all about. (Way to go, Martha!)

I am a marathoner. I had to wait three months longer than anticipated to be able to say that, but it doesn’t make it any less sweet. I can’t relax yet, though, not with the Tokyo Marathon on the horizon. I’m not sure how I’ll feel when I pick my routine back up Sunday with an easy five miler, but there’s only one way to find out.


Carbo loading

Posted: January 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Mobile pics, Photography, Running | Tags: , | No Comments »

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Who needs pasta before a marathon?


2011 Faves: The lovebirds

Posted: January 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Couples, Family, Features, Photography, Weddings, Windowsill Photography | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

2011 was a great year for Windowsill Photography, so before we jump headlong into 2012, I wanted to post some of my favorite photos from the past year. Some will be Windowsill client shoots, others will be pics I shot for myself throughout the year.

This collection comes from an engagement shoot with Michael and Bayli, shot on location in Avalon, NJ. It’s so invigorating being around a young couple in love, and this July shoot was a blast. The wind was howling along the beach that day, but that didn’t stop us from having some fun.

Photos from Michael and Bayli’s wedding will be posted in a future edition of 2011 Faves, so stay tuned!

Read the rest of this entry »


Anyone need anything?

Posted: January 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Mobile pics, Photography | Tags: | No Comments »

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Under the bridge, over the other bridge

Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Mobile pics, Photography, Running | Tags: , | No Comments »

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I’ve logged hundreds of miles on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath over the past year while training for two marathons. This is one of my favorite spots along the way. Anyone know where it is?

Some day, I really need to grab a bike and my camera gear, and spend some time exploring the Towpath. It’s loaded with great photo opps, but I’d never finish my run if I let myself shoot everything that caught my eye. I’m sure this won’t be the last photo from a Towpath training run.