Project Athena - Welcome

Project Athena .  . . Starting Sunday, June 8, 2014

Photography has been one of my favorite art forms every since I was a small kid and my parents purchased me a Kodak 110mm Instamatic Camera to photograph our family vacation. I still have those pictures of the Grand Canyon I snapped back in 1969 and although the colors have long ago faded to dull pigments, I can see that I had an innate talent for composition, design, and interesting subject matter even then.

In 1980, I purchased my first serious camera, a SLR Pentax MX 35mm with 1 prime lens (50mm f/2). I utilized this totally manual camera exclusively for over 15 years and consider it my greatest teacher in the field of photography. With a single prime lens, zooming meant moving my feet to get closer or further away from the subject and every shot began with the question, "what is more important, aperture or shutter speed?"

Over the years, I have leisurely played at photography allowing my interest level to ebb and flow with my budget. Several years ago, I decided it was time for an upgrade in equipment and commitment to this art form that I love so much. The natural progression of opening more and more into my own creativity plus some inspiration from others has led me to this new undertaking, Project Athena

What is Project Athena?

Project Athena is my year long commitment to seeing the world in a new way! It is a daily blog which will include a theme based photograph (shot that day) along with some writing. It is intended to help me grow as an artist/photographer and as a creative/human being. It is, in many ways, a new practice born from my devotion to creativity.

As an aside, I want to credit my creative friend and amazing photographer, Matt Rickman, for inspiring me to take this step. You can see his creative expressions at:

Why Athena?

Athena is well known as the Greek Goddess of war, wisdom, knowledge, and the arts. Athena is a great patron both of the useful and elegant arts. She is credited with teaching humans the art of agriculture and she also invented the arts and crafts of pottery, shoemaking, goldsmithery, etching, pyrography, sculpture, architecture, construction and metalworking. As a goddess who made so many useful and necessary inventions, she is often portrayed by characterizing her keenness of sight (focus), her determination and stamina for reaching goals, or her powerful intellect. Athena is also associated with the owl, a symbol of knowledge and wisdom throughout the world. Owls have amazing vision. They can turn their heads 180 degrees and can see in the dark. They fly through the night without fear, a fierce predator.

A baby owl peeks out of the tree nest as mama owl protectively watches over in the background. A great metaphor for the Athena Project. © Lori Beaty 2013

I imagine the spirit of Athena as alive and well in this day in age. To me, she is the genius and tenacity inspiring the entire field of photography from the inventors and technicians to the artists behind the camera. Her qualities of focus, determination plus her ability to harness the elements are in perfect rapport with my intentions to purposefully cultivate my eye and to expand my vision of the world. Athena, is truly the perfect guide to call upon for this new endeavor. 

My 52 Themes

Every week will be a new theme. I have chosen both subjects and concepts. This may not be the order of they appear in the blog. I will let the seasons and life be my guide as to which theme is used for the week.

  1. Negative Space
  2. Rails & Trains
  3. Water
  4. Bugs
  5. Lines
  6. Sunrise/Sunset
  7. Old Technology
  8. Wheels
  9. Landscape
  10. Trees
  11. Flowers
  12. Barns
  13. Musical Instruments
  14. My Life
  15. Black & White
  16. Transparency
  17. Animals
  18. Fun
  19. Stairs
  20. Lens Flare
  21. Graves
  22. Reflections
  23. Micro/Macro
  24. Freedom
  25. Gratitude
  26. Threes
  27. Color Spectrum
  28. Food
  29. Lights
  30. Winter
  31. Abstract
  32. Shamanic Tools
  33. Action
  34. Bird Watching
  35. Seats, Benches, Chairs
  36. Graffiti
  37. Vanishing Point
  38. Hearts
  39. Freebie
  40. Fences
  41. Shadows
  42. Bridges
  43. Words
  44. Curves
  45. Framed
  46. Wood
  47. Metal
  48. Rocks
  49. Bark
  50. Selfie-Care
  51. Night
  52. Street Photo

The Guidelines

  1. Have fun.
  2. Shoot everyday.
  3. Open to new experiences.
  4. Be kind to myself.
  5. Little to no post processing.
  6. Let go of perfection.
  7. Make pictures instead of take pictures
  8. Shoot for me. Share for you.
  9. One shot per day that fits the theme of the week.
  10. S T R E T C H.