It feels so good

Blog, Photography

… to be back.  Back to taking photographs, back to creating new works, and back, sitting right here on a Sunday morning, sharing it all with you!  Oh wait, it’s Monday, Labor Day.  Still, I can’t think of a better way to spend this extra day off 🙂

This summer’s road trip was just what was needed to break a persisting photographic slump…  From PA to GA and back again.  First stop, Blacksburg, VA, where, nestled in a little valley was the first of many barns we would see…  Fortunately, this one was in a place where I could actually hit the brakes, turn the car around, and go get the shot.

The main reason for this road trip, my nieces wedding in Ball Ground, GA, a little town not far from Atlanta…  Navigating Atlanta’s mega highways and traffic didn’t leave much time for picture taking; just getting to the venue was a feat, and in the nick of time.  We did return to Ball Ground the next morning, where I found some roadside treasures and we strolled a beautiful botanical garden; and I can’t wait to get to those photos!

Next Asheville, NC.  If you haven’t been, is a must! Artsy, fun, colorful and vibrant…  Oh, side note, did you know Asheville has the most breweries per capita in the U.S.?  Let’s just say you might want to pace yourself…

And did I mention colorful? My tour guide/husband did an amazing job at getting us off the beaten path and finding some of Asheville’s hidden treasures.

    

And it wouldn’t have been much of a road trip if we didn’t hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway… with all it’s winding roads and breathtaking views.

The final destination on this amazing road trip, Harrisonburg, VA and Harper’s Ferry, W. VA… historic sites and National Parks, natural wonders and some not so natural wonders.

     

 

Once home… and over these last few weeks, I haven’t stopped.  More photo destinations and so many ideas, I can’t keep them all straight.  And, oh, it feels so good!

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2017 rewind…

Blog, Photography

Here it is… the last day of 2017.  Brutally cold outside but perfect for being here, blogging, staying nice and warm.

It was a quiet picture taking year.  Only a couple outings with the DSLR.  I have put it to use on a couple projects that are still in the works that I hope will finally come together in 2018.  Turns out, it was my camera phone that captured most of the year.  You know the saying… “The best camera is the one you have with you.”  So very true.

The most cooperative subjects, of course, are still the boys.  You should know them well by now, but if not it’s these two goofball goldens.

Charlie

Parker

Lots of sky and cloud shots.  I don’t know what it is about clouds, but it never gets boring… from high above or down below.

Of course, the occasional selfie. 

and lots and lots of family photos     and vacation photos.

Almost all of this year’s vacation photos were taken with my camera phone, a Samsung Note 5,  1) because I don’t want to risk taking my DSLR near sand or water, 2) it’s has a ginormous screen, and 3) some fun features… like the panorama.

And with apps like Snapseed (a fave), and some recently added ones like PicFx and Texture PhotoJus, I can now even combine photos

 …and put my love for textures spin on them  

And even though the overall quality is not that of the DLSR, with a little post-processing know-how and creativity,

it’s not hard to get them pretty darn close… even good enough to print. 

How about you… are you dedicated to your DLSR or mirrorless or happy with whatever you have with you?

What’s coming in 2018… I’m not really sure, but I know I’ll always been on the look out for that photo op regardless what gear I’m packing.

Happy Shooting and Happy New Year,

Feeling Thankful

Blog, Photography

all-roads-lead-thanksgiving

There’s so much to be thankful for…  I don’t think there is day that goes by that I don’t look up to the sky, take a deep breath, and just feel so grateful for all that I have ~ family and friends, love, and health, a home… ( and a couple goldens 😉 )  I hope all your days are filled with the same.

Until next time,
Maria

High Noon

Blog, Photography

Not only is it when the heat of the day really starts to rise, it is said to be one of the most undesirable times of day to take photographs ~ High Noon.  If you photograph people, you get unattractive shadows under the eyes and nose.  If you photograph animals… well, they just know better than to even be out, and you’ll have a long wait.  But what do you do when that seems to be the only time of the day you ever have (I have) to get out with your camera?

For me, I’m working with what I have, in the time I have, and I’m loving it!  Maybe someday when the day job is not so demanding, I’ll have a little more flexibility to catch those “golden hours” more often, but since they are so fleeting and since I never be seem to be in that right place at just that right time, I make it work… for me.

Round-Barn

A recent road trip to central PA. A bright sunny day, but I was not going to get another chance to photograph this barn anytime soon. With a little help from Lightroom and Topaz Impressions, I’m able to use all that sunny goodness to my advantage.

kaleidoscope-2

Ok, so maybe not an original idea on how to capture such a photo (saw my daughter using her iPhone), but when I saw her results, out came my Note 5. Although, it turns out I have an app on my phone that does something very similar, this is so much better… my lens and a real kaleidoscope.

 

 

The kaleidoscope garden at the PSU Arboretum .

The kaleidoscope garden at the PSU Arboretum .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding a little patch of shade in a very sunny arboretum was perfect spot to catch this family portrait. Thank you Nate & Greg for being our personal tour guides!

Banners-2-Edit

Still sunny & getting hotter, but there was so much color everywhere! Love these banners lining the street of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on the campus Penn State Univ.

Church-in-the-valley

Late afternoon sun is still pretty strong… it is summer after all. Another shot with my Samsung Note 5 and a little help from Topaz Glow.

I see and hear the saying The best camera… is the one you have with you all the time, and it is so very true no matter what time of day it is.

Til next time,
Maria

Some Like It Hot

Blog, Photography
feel-the-heat

It’s not hard to see why these are the flowers of summer. . . the hotter the better.

Hard to believe the 4th of July has come and gone…  but here we are in the thick of summer, some of us surviving the summer heat better than others.  I know two golden retrievers that are just fine lounging in the AC all day…

However, it’s stifling being stuck inside all day and a quick trip to the quaint town of Chester, Connecticut, over the 4th of July weekend, was just what I needed.   Beautiful weather and seasonably mild summer temps (for July) kept me outside and the photo ops were bountiful… from the beautiful roadside flowers, to the annual Chester 4 on the 4th run, to8-J-and-J-1-mile the family traditions of running the race (or for me photographing it), cooling off in the pool, and celebrating the 4th with, what else, sparklers and fireworks in the driveway.  Now that’s summer!

PHOTO TIP:  If you have Photoshop CC and haven’t tried it yet, check out the Shake Reduction feature (found under filters/sharpen).  These two “action” shots were taken from a pretty good distance with a 70-300,  hand held (a pretty hefty weight for me, so stability is always a challenge).

21-Stacks-Out

What I like about the shake reduction filter is that it does not over sharpen the entire image, it let’s you control the area and the amount…and it’s quick! No masking, layers, etc.   A great little feature.

 

Rested and inspired…

Lifes-Journey

I don’t mind so much lounging in the AC with a couple lazy golden retrievers.

Until next time,
Maria