It is the most…

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Ok, maybe it’s not the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s up there.  Ideally, I reserve that title for my summer beach vacation.  It is the most hectic, the most colorful, and the most tradition-filled.  Even though I have gone the route of the artificial tree for some years now, it is still a tradition to spend almost an entire afternoon fluffing the darn thing.  But isn’t that what traditions are all about, recreating those special moments year after year.

There’s also a new trend in town… seems lighting your house with a laser light projector is growing in popularity, at least in this neighborhood.  Even though I continue to opt for the more traditional candles in windows and strings of lights on bushes, I’m thinking those displays are what led me to create this more nontraditional Christmas scene…

Cosmic Christmas.

The original – Lanterns at Longwood Gardens

Speaking of hectic, that’s about all the time I have for this week’s post… time to get wrapping.  I’m hopeful the New Year will be a little less crazy and I’ll have more time to head out with the camera, work on a few unfinished projects, and spend more time right here.

A little more traditional…  A very special friend has kept this little doodle of mine since our high school days (that is quite sometime ago). That makes it very special and I thought what a perfect way to share the joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I don’t get back here before the holidays, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Holiday and a Happy New Year!

Tapping into the Dark Side

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Maybe it’s because October brings out the creepy in us, maybe it’s the weather, or maybe it’s just a mood… Whatever the reason, it seems I’ve been exploring the darker side of things a bit more… and I kind of like it.

It’s intriguing how an image can transform from what you were thinking at moment you took it to when that what-if occurs.  The result… the composition above ~ a fusion of the beauty captured and an ominous creature lurking.

Photographing spider webs, especially when there are at least 100 (maybe more) to choose from probably isn’t for everyone.  But there’s a valley I visit where every morning, when the morning sun peaks over the mountain, intricate patterns of diamond-like necklaces
glisten in as many different designs as there are webs.  And in all that beauty… lots and lots of spiders.

This year was particularly bedazzling and with the help of a new lens (actually a much older and  borrowed lens, Nikon’s 80-200, circa 1986), I was really able to capture the sparkle.

 

But for every ooh and ahh, I kept a close eye on the webs around me and the 8-legged wee-beasties that make them.

Feeling a little blue…

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… 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 🙂

Chasing Balloons

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catching-bubbles

Childhood memories…of sorts.  There’s a favorite place I like to go that sits up high (I’m guessing that’s why they call the adjoining neighborhood Highpoint).  From this spot, we would perch ourselves on a fence that surrounded a horse pasture and watch the jets fly from a Navy airbase barely visible in the distance.  I can still feel (and hear) those jets… and the planes just like the ones my dad used to fly and would take us to see when we were little.  The airbase and the jets are gone and so are the horses and the fence we used to sit on.  But if I situate myself just right, the homes that now surround this little patch of field fade away and time rewinds… if only for a moment or at least until one of the dogs pulls on his leash.

Until next time,
Maria