I Took A Walk

when in doubt wear red

And now I have the tune from Passion Pit’s Take a Walk stuck in my head.  But I really did take a walk, on Saturday, as part of the Click Magazine & Clickin Moms‘ Clickinwalk 2015 – Philadelphia/Chestnut Hill Section.

I signed up for this walk as an exercise and a practice run of sorts for an upcoming road trip.  Even though I live only 27 min away, I’ve never visited this part of Philadelphia … just like cities and locales on my road trip to visit the southern states of Ga, NC, & SC (and all those in between).  And, as I always seem do, I’ve packed a lot of destinations into this one week road trip, so I want to be as prepared as possible and make the best use of the time I’ll have at each stop.

First, the gear.  I want to travel light as I wander around, but still have options, to explore city streets to old plantations.  So, on Saturday, with just two lenses, a 50mm and a 24-120,  I started out.  The 50 mm was just right for strolling along Germantown Ave and taking in Chestnut Hill’s shops & restaurants and capturing some of its quaint city charm…


to its more metropolitan… inside_chestnuthill

and its vintage appeal… little-things_chestnut-hill

I kind of questioned the time selected for this walk,  definitely not “ideal” for photography… midday and sunny on a busy Saturday in spring. But, as it turns out, these were ideal conditions to prepare for my trip, as I am pretty sure I won’t always be able to pick and choose the conditions during our road trip either.

Next… Observation.  A scheduled 2-hour walk, on the main drag through Chestnut Hill, which by the way still has the cobblestone and trolley tracks ~ hmm, should have gotten a shot of that (note to self:  Go back on a quiet Sunday morning to get the shot and also so no life is risked trying to get the shot) ~ Anyway, 2 hours is not a lot of time.  So instead of just shooting away, trying to capture it all (something I’ve been guilty of more times than I care to admit), on this walk, I stopped and really took a look at things, and then looked again through the view finder.

Of course, it’s not too hard to spot the big things right in front of you…

A good time to switch up lenses to accommodate the landscape, a 24-120
A good time to switch up lenses to accommodate the landscape, a 24-120

But discovering the not so obvious… that takes a little practice, especially when you don’t have a lot of time.  So, stopping to peek behind walls and fences…

or getting down low…along-the-way_chestnut-hill
and, of course, looking up…look-up_Chestnut-HillI found quite assortment of possibilities in just a couple of hours.

Look out Georgia (North Carolina and South Carolina too), this Yankee’s coming 😉

’til next time,



I can be a foodie


I’ve been bitten by the baking bug… it was bound to happen given my close approximation to our very own cupcake princess.   Over breakfast and surfing through FB, I came across a yummy photo of what looked like a blueberry crisp. Just so happens I have some blueberries, other berries too, but honestly, they were not purchased for eating – their sole purpose for being in this house was to use in an upcoming photo club Photo Quest assignment, and then only eating if they didn’t go bad first.

Foodie-3Foodie-4Now, not only do I have another photo-op but a yummy and nutritious desert. I love double-duty ops. This is actually a gluten-free recipe, but since me and gluten have never had an issue , I improvised just a bit… a lot like I do with my photography… So, here’s the link to the original recipe http://www.eastewart.com/recipes-and-nutrition/oatmeal-chia-berry-crisp/ and my finished yummy desert.

Back to Basics

Welcome to Back to Basics! I’ve decided to start a new category where I have given myself permission to take a step back (darn Throwback Thursdays is already taken) … The underlying premise is that all that information & equipment I’ve been collecting to help me improve my photography, my art, has grown into a mountain of sorts that has become just too daunting to tackle.  I get just so far and then seem to lose ground. . . so it’s back to basics… back to all those things that got me hooked on this hobby of mine.  Although still a bit in the planning stages, one objective is to keep things simple & spontaneous (or is that two?)  So here it goes . .

A simple prime lens and my dogs seems like a good place to start…

pcpNothing like just goofing around . . . capturing the moment.  I’m sure over the years, I have introduced my “boys,” but in case you missed it:  Left is “Serious P” aka Parker. In all seriousness he has the personality (and voice…really!) of Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyore. Center, well that’s Charlie.  We don’t think he’ll ever grow up… he’s our very own Tigger!  Right, well that’s Parker again and his best attempt at trying not to be so serious.

Til next time,


Dabbling in some digital

Had a chance to take a break from the darkroom and take some digital photos.  I was surprised, how much adjusting I had to do to get back in swing with my digital camera. 

The event:  An Oscar party. 
The subjects:  Moms and daughters on the red carpet. 
The challenge:  Working with the available light, a large group in a small area, a 50 mm lens, and no tripod.

The only post-processing was done using Capture NX2 adjusting the white balance using gray-scale, some sharpening, and upping the contrast and lowering the brightness of the background.  And overall I was really pleasantly surprised by the lack of noise shooting at such a high ISO.  Of note, it would have taken a heck of a lot longer to do all of this in CS4.

Models Wanted

Apparently portraits are one of the two major parts of the assignments left for the remainder of the semester.  This is definitely a weak link in my photography.  I have never been assertive as a candid photographer.  In addition, I am using a 50 mm prime lens, manual focus, and no flash.  But I am up for the challenge!  I have a few events coming up where I am sure I can find an interesting crowd.  I’m also going to need to get more posed portraits.  The family has already voiced their objections to being my models.  The challenge here will be finding models that are available when there is  natural light is available.  This is becoming more of an exercise in assertiveness than anything else.