“Dot.calm” by Jane Silverman
This is our first summer in the Keys and, can I say, that nobody told me about ALL THE RAIN. And the thunder. And the lightening. Then there’s the heat. And the mosquitos. And the threat of hurricanes. But yet, somehow none of it matters when you wake up in paradise.
As we all learn to navigate a new-normal and quarantining, I find myself without any more closets to clean or drawers to organize. My days seem to be filled with Zoom calls, social media, shopping online (why are there NO disinfecting wipes??) and as much fresh air as the dogs and I can stand.
Between my Facebooking (my page and all the cooking, high school, and RV groups), TikTok-ing (note: people over 40 should be banned from doing dance videos), Tweeting and Instagramming, I spend an awful lot of time taking photographs with my phone.
I especially like the portrait option on the iPhone camera which blurs the background and sharpens the subject, allowing for lighting changes from Natural to Studio to B&W. I also dabble with some amazing photo apps that are fun and easy to use, putting the “pop” into “pop culture.” Just upload your favorite photo from your camera roll to the app and you are ready to go:
The Waterlogue app www.tinrocket.com captures the essence of your photos in brilliant liquid color transforming them into gorgeous watercoloresque paintings. Choose your favorite look from bold to luminous to illustration, and more. Love this!
GoART-Art Photo Editor by Fotor turns any photo into a famous painting with styles ranging from Van Gogh, pop art, abstractism, Monet, Picasso, pointillism, and so many more. Very cool.
Quickart One-tap Photo Editor. This app is so much fun! It’s hard to choose between the dispersion or kaleidoscope or sketchify or shatter options or the very impressive 3D effects. It’s a “wow.”
The best part? Any of the enhanced photos you create can be shared with friends or downloaded to your camera roll. You can even take a screenshot of the image on the app by pressing the Side button and the Volume Up button on your phone at the same time. Visit YouTube to watch each app’s How-To tutorials to get the most out of them.
Music to My Ears:
To my children’s chagrin, I am constantly singing. Which is why I fell in love with Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir www.ericwhitacre.com. Since 2009, Whitacre has been inviting singers from around the world to participate in his recordings. A recent one held on July 19 had 17,572 singers from 129 countries. Visit www.virtualchoir6.com to download the sheet music and lyrics if you would like to sing along or listen to this stunning piece of performance art.
Sing, Sing a Song:
Singnasium’s motto is all singing. No drama (www.singnasium.org). And that sounds great to me! The site offers singing and voice lessons, workshops, and seminars for all levels with “safe non-judgmental” tutoring by top professionals. While the lights are dark on Broadway, they shine with veteran performers (like Sharon McNight) who make learning and finetuning-your-chops fun. Their SINGAPALOOZA is an Open Mic night open to anyone with a song in their heart. Singing is a natural antidepressant that strengthens the immune system (now I know why I am so happy all the time). Join the next one on Friday, September 25, 6:30-8:30pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by 3pm on the day to register to sing or watch and receive a Zoom link.
Sing Like No One’s Listening:
Every Tuesday (2:30pm EST) and Friday (6am EST) in August, the Sofa Singers www.thesofasingers.com come to you live from the UK for a good old fashion 45 minute singalong with hundreds of people from around the world. It’s a moment to spark joy and connect while learning a classic song. Register by Sunday each week and they will send you a Zoom meeting ID.
Stay safe this summer. Take lots of photos. Connect with friends and family. And most of all, SING!