If I had to pick… just one

I-heart-summer
I ❤ (heart) summer

Who doesn’t love summer… right.  There’s nothing like a lazy summer afternoon, warm breeze blowing and a refreshing summer brew to help cool you off… perfect actually to sit and write a blog post 🙂 … if only it were always that easy ~ as that moment has passed and now two, now three days and what seems like a thousand (but only 11 last count) edits later 😉

That is probably because my thoughts for this post have been all over the place… hmm, maybe because so has my photography and all that goes with it.   On the plus side,  I’ve been taking a lot of photos, continuing to learn my camera, learning new techniques for both in camera and post processing ~ using new textures and filters, and experimenting…  So, finally picking at random, one topic out of that mish-mash of topics above to blog about, I thought I’d share how this DIY lightbox that diy-lightbox I found in my dad’s basement led me to a favorite new tool (for now) ~ an LED light pad.

A favorite technique/effect of mine has always been the result from back lighting flowers (or just about anything that is somewhat opaque)The-Little-Things and the lovely shapes, color and lighting that come with it.  Unfortunately, mother nature is not always very cooperative: too windy, too bright, too cloudy, too… well, you get the idea.  Trying different light sources (a flash or a window) in the “studio” has not been all that successful either… close, but just not quite.

So I dusted off the DIY light box.  Unfortunately, the bulb, which looks something like a doughnut, gave off only enough soft bright light in a very small portion of the frame.  But in this very small space, I saw the effect I wanted to achieve… getting closer. diy-lightbox-with-text

The next challenge, to get that light source to fill the entire frame.  Thinking I could just repurpose the box I had,  I asked Google, which turned up a couple DIY light boxes (too complicated/technical for me) and some manufactured ones (mainly used for viewing negatives and $$$) and a link to a photographer’s post (thank you Denise Ippolito) and how she used a light pad …and as it turns out, the key words in all of this were LED and pad.  There it was… an artist’s tool, something used mostly for tracing by tattoo and graphic artist.  This had so many pluses – adjustable brightness, super slim (i.e. super easy storage), maneuverable, and $ compared to $$$ – I chose the Litup (click on image for link) – and most important a continuous even bright white light that fills the frame.  I’ve only just started using it, but have so many ideas for this simple little device… and without all the too this or thats.

the-light-withinFlowers from my garden ~ the heart of flowers above and this trio are floating in water in a clear glass bowl on the light pad and processed with just a touch of Topaz glow.

Til next time,
Maria

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Let’s Party

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
~Robin Williams 

Isn’t that the perfect quote for this time of year.  Everything really looks so vibrant and happy!

catching-fire SakuraIf only the spring blossoms could stay around just a little bit longer . . . one good rain and now the sidewalks are lined with pink confetti . . .

a-little-magica sign that Summer is just around the corner!

HAPPY SPRING!
Til next time,
Maria

The Best Strategy

Good Morning!  I’m thinking I should start calling this blog Saturday Mornings with Mer (the nickname my the in-law family bestowed upon me =)   Even then, maybe I should preference that to Monthly …  Flashback a few months: I had all these plans for growing this blog, well, at least I thought I did.  Present day:  I now know having no strategy, for me, is my best strategy! I can’t force more hours into a day to do all the things I want any more than I can force my creative process…

So here it is, Saturday morning, everyone still asleep, the sun just coming up (a lovely site after the week of rainy days we have had here), enjoying that first cup of coffee in my favorite mug (not the steel bubba I usually haul to work with me every day, although if you’re looking to keep your drink hot or cold for hours on end, it does the job…and then some!).  The best part, sitting here telling about it … sharing…for no real good reason other than I can.

Aren’t the colors of summer fantastic?!? Our garden is exploding with color … at least what the little bunnies haven’t eaten.  Welcome to my Garden!

This rose is the newest edition to our garden, a Grandiflora, Cherry Parfait.  Isn’t she a beaut!

cherry-parfait

Rain & Flowers = ♥♥♥

the-crossing Lily-Drops

The azaela blooms have come and gone, but always put on such an impressive show!

pink-explosion

Those bad, bad little bunnies.  I’m glad I got the shot when I did… nothing left but stems 😦 now.

take-another-look

That’s it for today, folks, back out to the garden, like I said, It’s a B-E-A-utiful Morning! and the hydrangeas are feeling a little blue 😉 that I’ve been neglecting them.   Then I’m off to a local hosta and lily nursery.  Can’t wait to see what colors I can add to my garden.

Til Next Time,

Maria  MER 😉