Feeling a little blue…

Blog, Photography

… there is nothing like getting out in the garden with the camera to fix that.

The garden is also where I head when I’m feeling a little artistically and photographically stuck (which also makes me feel a bit blue).  The natural beauty, perfect palate of color, and ever so soft flow and movement in a single bloom is simply…breathtaking.  Capturing all of that is such a delight and a good exercise for tackling a rut.

Even as the season wears on, when the blooms are a bit more scarce, and their the petals a bit faded and weary,  capturing the beauty that remains by creating a still life is another great exercise to reignite that creativity.

I’m a bit obsessed (there I said it) with learning all sorts of new techniques… and there’s a lot out there!  So much so, I tend to skip around a lot, never really feeling like I mastered one before I move onto another, and this can lead to a very big pile of… frustration… and a rut.  So dialing it back a bit, choosing a simpler subject (simpler in that it is not moving, travel is not required, and it is ready when you are) and using a familiar platform to practice techniques that are still a little unrefined or experiment with new ones… is key and starts by returning to the garden.

Tech Tip

New techniques used in the images above Curves!  I never used this before, honestly because I had no idea how it really worked.   But now that I do, I use it to boost/change color, lighten/darken ~ all over or just by selecting the most minute areas.  Curves has moved to the top of favorite tools!  Who knows maybe I’ll try a curves how-to video post… uh-oh, there I go again.  On second thought, maybe it would be better if I just go find a good one to share with you 🙂

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Summer Lovin

Blog, Photography

Good Sunday Morning!

Just want to take a minute to wish everyone a Happy Summer & safe summer travels!

And now I’m off to go weed the garden before the sun & temperature get too high.  Ahh, don’t you just love summer 🙂

 

Back to School

Blog, Photography

I ran some errands yesterday, a balmy Sunday afternoon in August, in search of last minute items for my upcoming show/sale at the Lansdale Festival of the Arts (yes, a shameless  plug) this Saturday 8/27/2016.  As I wandered through the aisles of Walmart, I was surrounded by moms & dads and their upcoming students in search of the coolest (do they use that word anymore) notebooks to just the right dorm decor.  Talk about bringing back memories…from pre-school to college, thinking been there and done that, and, oh yes, missing it very much too…

But…where there are memories comes inspiration.

Back-to-School And so as we send our kids off on new adventures… whether it is the first day of kindergarten or the first day of college, every grade in between or their journeys beyond… here’s to our children and their new adventures!

inspirational-quotes-for-kids-88-696x870

p.s.  Do you like to manipulate your images as much as I do?  Then you’ll want to check this out Transformations!

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