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

 

Accidental-like

Another club Photo Quest due, and as usual, I had waited until the last minute.  I nice chilly, breezy, fall day, I headed out on the fly to a local college campus.  I meandered about a bit, took some shots.  I left not feeling overly inspired…but satisfied that at least I got the task off my to-do list.  Not something you expect a photographer to say…huh?  It’s been busy, busy, busy lately, so my camera (other than for my iPhone) has been a bit idle…  In hindsight, I’m actually grateful to have an “assignment” to help break the rut.

Anyway…
So I did my first run through.  My lack of enthusiasm had shown up in my images too, although I found a reflection shot I liked at the pond.

mdreyer_BC-1-before

When I zoomed in to get a closer look at some of the details, I really liked the lines and how the composition filled the screen, and especially the window, squiggly lines and all … so I kept it. mdreyer_BC-1-after

Feeling a little more optimistic and that I just needed to look a little harder, I went back to my images.  Tried again with some of the buildings, but they just weren’t stacking up to the one above, at least not for this assignment.  I also had a shot of a squirrel sitting in a tree ~ I haven’t given up on him either ~ but since it’s not the best of exposed shots and was quickly turning into an exercise in frustration to bring the little guy out of the shadows, I moved on.  Remember, I waited until the last minute on this assignment.

Next up, another shot in the shadows, which actually was my second shot of the day, a fence-lined walk by the pond.  What I saw when I was taking the picture were lots of pretty fall colors, nice lines, a good composition.  So to say I was a disappointed when I first viewed the original image would be a vast understatement…  mdreyer_BC-2-before

But!!!! And this is a very important point to remember … at least I hadn’t overexposed the shot (like in did in my very first shot of the day).  To see what I truly had,  I messed around with the sliders in LR, discovering these red dots…bigger than dots really… going across the image.  Look closely, do you see them in the photo above?.  After a few minutes of trying to figure out what they were and how I was going to clone them out, I realized I not only had to KEEP these red dots, which were actually leaves floating on a breeze up the path, but I NEEDED to figure out a way to accentuate them. mdreyer_BC-2-after A couple actions and a turn or two in Topaz Adjust, my photo came to life! 🙂

“I don’t know if we each have a destiny, or if we’re all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it’s both.”
~ Forrest Gump ~

Diamond Valley

I have been working on a photography project with my sister-in-law, Kristin, to capture a place that is near and dear to her and her family, as well as my own.

For years we have spent Labor Day weekend with Kristin and her family at a place called Diamond Valley.   I have taken hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos over the years.  It has been a great place for me to learn, practice and implement my photography skills and, all in all, I have captured wonderful images.  But these were only the bits and pieces.  I was just never quite able to capture the “feeling” that Kristin and I have come to associate with this special place.  So this year, we took a different approach.  We brainstormed just what Diamond Valley means to us.  And with all the adjectives we came up stuck in my head, I set out and shot all those places she described, the dock, the meadow, the lodge, and those bits and pieces that  made them special to her (and me).  Then, when I got home, I went to work tweaking, blending, texturizing, in essence adding the adjectives.

  

I delivered the finished prints last Friday and they were hung before we left!