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

 

Doctor’s Orders

center-stageAbout three weeks ago, on a cold and rainy weekend I went on a meet-up to Longwood Gardens.   The perfect prescription to ward of a severe case of the winter doldrums.  And even better, I can now get a dose prn (the medical acronym for as needed) by revisiting my photos from that outing.

lilly-and-gold orchidstra

How about an apple a day to make you feel better. . . all 18,540 of them!
apple-a-day

And even though the weather conditions were not conducive to going outside and shooting, the upside was the crowds stayed home. . . except for an occasional spectator. . . McCann-Longwood 002Photo courtesy of Kate McCann 🙂

’til next time
Maria

2013 Winter Exhibit

It might just be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… but it is also one of the busiest.  Coming off a very successful Thanksgiving dinner for 14 (if I do say so myself, i.e. I didn’t burn anything), it’s now time for me to turn my attentions to the Doylestown Photography Club’s Winter Exhibit.

The club is hosting an exhibit of its very own, very talented group of photographers from Bucks and, yes,  Montgomery Counties, both framed and digital images will be on display for your enjoyment (and for sale).  So, if you’re looking for a winter outing, come visit us in historic Doylestown, in the heart of Bucks County!

You are cordially invited 🙂941832_557001061037896_1016202796_n

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

Til next time,
Maria

Greenhouse Effect

I envy anybody that has their own personal greenhouse ~ especially on a cold winter day.  As much as I love photographing flowers, I’ve never really had the knack it takes go grow them.  Oh sure, I have some perennials outside and add some annuals every year, but they are always marked HARDY, need little care, and will grow under stressful conditions.   This year is the first year in a very, very long time that I’ve bought some potted flowers for inside the house (you may have seen my tie-dyed orchid).  We’ll just have to wait and see if it likes its new home.  The last time I tried growing plants indoors was when I was first married…  I remember when Ikea first opened in our area.  They had this mini arboretum/ greenhouse made of wood.  Like most items in Ikea, it was too cheap to pass up {fyi, was just there and they had the cutest & colorful bud vases in red, turquoise…  and only 99 cents!…  you are bound to see them show up in future photos :-)}  Anyway, we tried growing some plants from seeds in it (no not those kind :-P).  But silly us, we lived in a small cramped apartment on the third floor and nowhere to transplant the seedlings.  That little greenhouse traveled with us from new home to new home . . .  until it was finally put out at a garage sale.  Wooded lots and greenhouses I found are not very compatible.

aureus star

Yesterday I joined fellow members of the DPC on an outing to Parkside Orchid Nursery.  The varieties … spectacular!  It was very cold & blustery and even in the greenhouse the plants were swaying where they hung.  Still, inside it was warm and even slightly tropical, with moss hanging down, and oh … such a magnificent array of colors {sigh}.

Lavender-and-Lace

The perfect outing when everything outside around these parts of are some shade of brown or gray.

violaceous floridbunda

On a photographic note…  Nope that’s not a textured background in the above photo, just the way the light was hitting the greenhouse wall (a mesh-like plastic) and I’m guessing the blue sky…   There is nothing more satisfying than when the images {almost like magic}come straight out of the camera …   No PP other than a bit of a crop and a little bit of the basics (sharpening, saturation, …).  Just all the photographic elements aligning at just the right moment… that and recently being reminded that the background is often as intricate a part of the overall composition as the subject (thank you, Henry 😉 ).

Simply Inspired

I know, I was supposed to keep it simple . . .  so I won’t mention how many layers are behind this final image.  But when the idea just presents itself, it really is that simple.  Everything just kept falling into place so I just went with it.

Update:  Now I know why I have had cups & mugs on the brain.  It’s drink up week at M3B’s P52 (you can uncode that here:  http://my3boybarians.com/project-52-p52-weekly-photo-challenge/).  M3B is another blog I recently discovered that keeps me shooting and very much inspired! So much so, I’ve even done the self-portrait (stay tuned).

Stieglitz Steichen Strand

Stieglitz Steichen Strand is currently on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  I went to see it yesterday with another member of the DPC.  I’m not sure what I could write about it here that would do it justice; so my advice is that you go see it for yourself.  It’s at the Met until April.  In this time of digital and producing amazing images at lightning speed, it’s important to take a step back in time and remember the time, effort, and even science that the pioneers of photography used to produce amazing images that are still held in the highest regard in today’s world.

Afterwards, and with all that inspiration, we headed into central park with our cameras.  We probably should have worn better snow boots.  The trees were still holding onto the snow from previous days and the contrast was terrific.   If there was a hill, there were people sledding and the colorful sleds, again, against all the white snow added so much interest.  I think my favorite part though was the “tree art” . . . what fun.  What a great Day!

Flash

 Now that the weather has turned cold, it’s a good time to start some indoor “studio” work.  I usually avoid using my flash, mostly because of my lack of knowledge on how to correctly use an external flash and just because I really like the effect of natural light.  But when I saw the newest issue of PhotoGraphic magazine dedicated to flash photography, I decided it was time to learn.  I had plenty of opportunity to put to use what I had read (or at least tried to remember) on an outing to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.  It was a cold but clear afternoon.  Continue reading “Flash”