A little dusting…

can go long way.

Week 2 – Landscape.  I’ve really been feeling a bit uninspired…   Last week rain, this week it has been reeealy cold and getting myself to get out there and go some where… nope, just too easy to stay put where it’s warm and dry.   And then!  We got a dusting of snow ~ a game changer.   I wasn’t even really looking for that landscape when I took the dogs for their walk.  It’s a usual path, pretty brown, nothing really ever jumps out and says take my picture (unless one of the dogs does something cute), but with just a dusting of frozen white (and the first of the season), the usual path was transformed.20160113_124657-01  With dogs in tow, I took a couple shots with my phone ~ actually a few more than a couple, because (a) I cannot see the screen on my phone when my transitions darken, and (b) insurance that I am holding my phone steady enough – a challenge also when holding two dogs.   Fingers now sufficiently frozen, we turned to head home and then there it was… the pond, frozen, with these large circles of ice where the snow did not stick, making a beautiful design all across the pond.  Fingers too frozen to break out my phone again and the sun still too strong (talk about blown highlights), I knew I had to revisit it later that afternoon without two dogs and fingers thawed and crossed that my timing would be right and the sun wouldn’t warm things up enough to change the ice patterns.  Almost 4:00, I was pretty sure I missed my opportunity (and the sun on the pond), but I was all bundled up, so what the heck – maybe I would see something else I hadn’t seen earlier.  But oh my!  When I got to my destination, the sun was hitting the pond like a stone skimming across the water  and all those circles were now glistening discs.  Andif that weren’t enough, I had a backdrop of  wispy winter clouds and a touch of beautiful blue sky ~ I have my landscape.

week-2---Landscape

It just goes to show, you don’t have to travel great distances or visit far off places to see something unique, you just need to allow yourself to see… wherever you might be.

Until next time,
Maria

 

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A fond farewell…

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It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2015 and I’ll remember it fondly.   It’s so easy to forget the upside of the year, when there are so many not so nice things going on in the world around us or just because the day-to-day grind is just that a grind… where every morning we hit the repeat button (i.e. the alarm clock).  But!  I like when there’s a but… with the aid of this blog and the thousands  of photos from 2015 to jog my memory, it turns out it was a very good year.   I challenged myself in new ways and was relatively successful.  I said goodbye to somethings and hello to new possibilities.   Most importantly, the little voice in my head… the one called doubt… has become very quiet, and when it can be heard, it actually tends to help me rather than hinder me.   So on that note… and my last philosophical thought for 2015… let’s have some fun in 2016!

So my 365 day challenge has been scaled down to a 52 week challenge.  But!  This is a good thing.  A weekly challenge gives me some time to prepare, time to think outside the box, and time get a little creative.  I found a list on PetaPixel by Photographer Dale Foshe.  After reading it over, it looks like I’ll be leaving that comfort zone quite a bit, especially for those people pictures – now that’s a challenge!  Apparently, there are a lot of us looking for a good challenge.  I woke up this a.m. to find the 52 Week FB group already closed due to the overwhelming response.  But!  You can still get a copy of the 52 week list, just click HERE !

Okay, Week One of 2016 – a selfie.   Hmm, I have been playing around with my new smart phone lately.  Maybe one of these will do?

2015 Selfies

Nah, first, they’re from 2015.   Second, I’m not sure any of these capture the real me … whoever she may be.  And third, I’m determined to take a selfie that does not magnify my nose 😉 .

I hope you’ll follow along or better yet join me and the 52-week challenge posted at PetaPixel.  I know, I know… I’ve headed out on one of these in the past and like getting any new routine to stick {sigh} – diet & exercise come to mind – that will be a challenge in itself.  But! as the rest of my favorite saying reminds me…

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Wishing you Happy New Year!

Until next time
(which will be next week with my selfie 😉 )
Maria

Shooting Excuses – Not any more

Disclaimer:  Forgive me if I’m doing this wrong, I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to sharing, tweeting, re-posting, etc. etc. etiquette.  But I guess if you’re given the option to repost it’s okay… right?

Anyway, if you’re like me and have been making excuses while waiting for spring to sprout, there are so many great ideas in this post that I just had to share.  Seriously, I have no excuses now 🙂

Photofocus (old site)

Nikon D800, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens @28mm, f/8, 9 frame HDR, ISO 800, finished with Lightroom and Photomatix pro.

There’s a great podcast I listen to each week, and it really helps with my creativity. It’s called Writing Excuses, and it’s intended for fiction authors. Their topics, however, often apply to all creatives (one I especially liked was this one about using your experience to influence your work). It’s only fifteen minutes long, and at the end they always give a writing prompt.

The prompt is powerful because no matter what kind of difficulty you’re having creating, taking this assignment gets your juices going and helps you get to work. That’s one of my favorite things about commercial work: my clients have goals in mind, and that channels my creativity and makes it easier to be a problem solver. Left to myself, wondering what to shoot is just too…

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Better Late than Never

Oh my! Day six into the New Year and I’m already running behind in wishing everyone Happy New Year  Hmm, I think my moto for 2013 should be Better Late than Never. And my word for 2013. . . time.  As in time to reflect, time to love, time to grow … or time stops for no one, if I just had a little more time to . . .

Our snow here in eastern PA is all but gone, but then again we only got maybe an inch or two.  The dogs are enjoying the last of the chunks of ice laying around. They like to go out at munch on them almost as much as what the rabbits leave behind.  TMI?…eh, maybe.   Anyway…. I bared the elements the day of the snow to go find a favorite barn of mine.  I thought it would look so pretty in the snow.  Unfortunately, hurricane Sandy looks like it got the best of the old barn and it now has a gaping hole and is barely standing 😦 .    Discouraged by not getting a photo of the old barn or having anything new to work on, I decided to revisit MY year in pictures and make the old new again.

I also felt I needed a challenge myself. I didn’t want this post to get blown out of proportion, get too involved in the details, or spend too much time on it  {a definite must to improve upon in 2013 when it comes to my blogging}.  So the challenge …keep it fun!  I set a few conditions:  First, I searched by month.  This is where keywording can be very important.  I could only pick those photos that showed up in that month (Reminder to self:  Don’t forget to keyword by month 😉  .  Second, the 5 second rule.  I could only view the photo for 5 seconds (i.e. a relatively short period of time) and then either pick it or move on.  And, if I picked it, that was it, no give backs.  Third, the processing.  Here, again, pick something, but something new… a new action I haven’t tried before, a new texture, a new process… and work with it.  No second guessing, no fussing… okay, maybe just a little fussing.  And so this was my 2012 . . .

gather The winter months are perfect for this.  Yes, reading a good book, but I was leaning more toward shooting still lifes.

LUV Given to me by a dear friend … I just ❤ this.

natures-marvelous You just can’t plan these sort of things…

big-guy Don’t you just want to hug him <3!

hidden-treasure Sometimes life’s not fair …

Path … that’s all. waiting…take a break.

starfish What is it about the seashore and all it’s treasures … so inspiring, so relaxing.   I wish I could package it and carry it around with me all year.

closed-til-next-year Fall Colors!

fancy-fall I love this flower’s resilience.

on-the-run Seriously, there’s just no stopping him.

Little-red-barn my barn in the snow after all.

Words for Wednesday

I can’t believe it.  From a hurricane to the first snow of the season!  Although does it really count if it doesn’t stick?  Anyway seems like forever since I’ve been here on the blog.  I’ve also had some serious catching up to do on the many other blogs I love to follow.  There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to do it all.   So I can’t think of a better way to spend this snowy/rainy Wednesday evening than catching up.

A quick recap:  The arts fest season ended {sigh}.  It might not be the most lucrative way to get my photography out there, but I can surely tell you it is an amazing way to meet interesting, talented, and dedicated people.  I can’t wait until  next year.  During the winter months, there’s the photography club, which, again, mixes photography with meeting all sorts of people.   I never really thought of photography as being a social activity, but for me it really is!  From the bloggers, to the photographers, to the strangers I meet when I am out shooting . . . this is quite the social activity. . . at least for me.

Now for some photography . . .   This month’s photo club challenge , pardon me, I mean “Quest” is Portraiture.  My dilemmas:

1) Portraiture — Not the type of photography I usually do (this is definitely more of a challenge, at least for me).

2)  Getting my (insert expletive here) flash to cooperate.

3) {I thought} I needed a creative idea.

With Model #1 everything just seemed to click … right down to the breeze blowing through her hair.  But I had taken those kinds of photos before … model #1 and I watched plenty of America’s Next Top Model and she’s always willing to strike a pose.   I was still feeling the need to get a little creative … maybe to compensate for my lack of confidence in taking portraits.  That brings us to Model #2 and that dang flash.   I even brushed up on flash photography and portraiture, but even with all that preparation, I just could not get the images I had envisioned to show up in the LCD display.  Frustrated, I ditched the flash and used what little natural light I had … oh, and some red hot chili peppers :-0  Now that I think about it, this is more like how I was feeling while trying to get my flash to cooperate.

Lighting aside, you’re probably now wondering what the heck I was thinking when I wrapped this fella in lighted chili peppers.  I’ll just say it seemed like a potentially good idea in my head . . . that and model #2 is a really great sport for putting up with my crazy idea.

So in the end, the flash worked as fill when used outside; but for an indoor photo I fared much better when I put the flash away . . . at least for my intents and purposes.  So now the final portraits (sorry,  no chili peppers involved).  If you’re a DPC member and want to see them fresh at the meeting, STOP HERE.  Otherwise . . .

 

 

                         
BTW, Flora Bella actions used with model #1 ….Love These!!!!