Noticing and Appreciating

Yesterday my husband and I were out, and we had to stop for a train that was approaching. The first thing my husband said was not, “Bummer — this looks like a long train.” Instead, he said, “Hey, get your camera. There are some great pictures of graffiti on this train.”

You see, last week I had asked him to stop the car so I could take the picture above, because “graffiti” was one of our themes for August in the #T365Project photo group.

Well, I didn’t really need another graffiti picture, but I started snapping pictures anyway. They are in the mosaic below.

We watched the long train go by, commenting on and enjoying each new artwork, watching in anticipation of what would come next. We actually were a bit disappointed when it finished!

This was another reminder of the many benefits I’ve received from taking pictures and sharing them on Flickr: I’ve relearned to notice and appreciate all the beauty around me.

Besides both my husband and I doing more noticing and appreciating, I have also added over 2,000 Creative Commons photos to the pool of images available for others to use. My students now do the same, and we have also learned to properly cite photos of other people’s when we use their Creative Commons images.

There was a time not long ago when my students and I just Googled any images for our own use.

There was a time not long ago when I had heard of Creative Commons but didn’t know what it was or how it related to me.

There was a time not long ago when I wanted to properly cite images, but I didn’t even know where to start.

Well, now, a year later, I’m doing it! I don’t even know how I learned really, except I do know that mostly it came by doing — by creating and contributing. I joined Flickr, and I began to figure it out. You can too.

I posted the train graffiti mosaic picture in a group called #TFotoFri. It’s for teachers to post one picture from their week. If you are like I was not so long ago, maybe you’d like to join the #TFotoFri group to get started on your next adventure in learning.

9 thoughts on “Noticing and Appreciating

  1. Denise,
    I love train artwork. I have been waiting to see a train, so I can take my graffiti photo for the month. What is seen on the trains is just beautiful and really shows an art genre.

    Love your mosaic of the train cars!! So beautiful!!

  2. Oooh, Oooh, let me be the first to comment! đŸ˜‰

    Denise, you got me on that Flickr group with a slight push… And I finally jumped in. I was sitting here in my PJs, looking for your pic of the “fuel station” and Laura’s quote, when I saw this post. It made me think, I gotta take a pic today! I have to bring my iPad or bulky camera with me everywhere! …because I also look at things differently through a lens.

    I thank you for the push! Now I need to ask you for help – how do I find CC pictures? How do I know I can use them in a blog post or on a presentation? I want to tell my students about them this year, but I still have no clue how to do it myself. I’ve been to the CC site a couple of times, but don’t know how to navigate it.

    Thanks for opening eyes with your invites! Great graffiti, by the way!

  3. Hi Denise!

    I LOVE this post so much! I love that you are taking so many photos and just loving everything around you – taking it all in and appreciating it all. I think, even more, I love that your husband has also taken on this passion. LOVE that! Please tell him so. đŸ™‚

    I really need to get back taking photos. It really is such a great hobby and stress-reliever, as strange as that sounds.

    Looking forward to more photos. Have a wonderful new year!


  4. Kris, Joy & Tia,
    Thanks so much for commenting! I know you all understand what I’m trying to say! It really has been an exciting journey.

    Joy, I would suggest clicking on the links in my post and start there for learning about CC images. Especially Sue Waters post (the link that says ‘properly cite images’). Here’s a Diigo folder too with sources for CC images and how-tos. I have my students start with Flickr Creative Commons searching for images with an Attribution license. Just an easy place to start. (Remind them not to use the search bar at the top of Flickr pages, though–that searches “Everyone’s Uploads.”) There are so many other sources too. Sheri Edwards wrote a good description for how to search for CC images on Flickr here on our Extend the Conversation page.

    Let me know if that helps. Or if you have any specific questions, Joy! Glad you asked.

    And thanks again to all of you for being valuable friends in my PLN!


    1. Awesome!!!

      I will look into the resources you listed here once I get my plans for the week done, then I’ll jump in and try to get one myself, and I’ll let you know how it went – this is so helpful, THANK YOU! I’m glad I asked, too!

  5. So weird! Last week my husband and I were on an 11 hour journey home from taking our daughter to college and were were driving parallel to a train for several miles. I was mesmerized by all of the beautiful graffiti on the sides of the train cars. My husband comment that the artists must be in really great shape to be able to do such great artwork and keep up with the moving trains…wah, wah, wah! Seriously, graffiti has become part of our landscape and if you really take the time to look at it, you can see some really beautiful work!

    1. Louise,
      I love your husband’s joke! đŸ™‚ Since their artwork is not appreciated by all the law enforcement officers, I suppose in reality they need to be in pretty good shape.

      Thanks for sharing!

  6. Denise,
    I remember how we felt at the end of the #JJA project & how you came up with #TFotoFriday. There was also that gentle push so I would begin to blog. You have helped me see the world in new ways and I am forever grateful.

    1. JoAnn,
      Thank you for your kind words! The feeling is mutual. I have learned the value of my PLN, for the contributions of people like you are making me the teacher and person I am.

      Thanks, JoAnn!

Comments are closed.