Happy Thanksgiving!

Greetings from Yellowstone! We are having such a great visit with our little Yellowstone family! 


 The photo above (taken with my iPhone) is of the historic Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Miles’s school is nearby, and I snapped this photo after we met him for lunch.  I have issues uploading photos from my 64GB card to the iPad, so you’ll have to wait til next week for more Images of Yellowstone and the boys. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Snowy Weeds


The Heron in the Dell (sing along. . .)

On our way home from downtown on last week’s snowy day, we stopped at Watson Lake to see if the Dells were covered with snow.  The sun had just started to peek through the clouds, and there was only a slight dusting of snow visible.  I watched from up above as the heron waded along the shoreline- a peaceful sight.


Autumn is Ending

Just as the fall leaves were changing color, they were blanketed by this year’s early snows. It seems winter is coming early this year.


Snowy Courthouse Square

Of the photos I took Courthouse Square in the snow, this one is my favorite. After I took photos with my Nikon and got back in the car, I decided to take a quick iPhone shot for Facebook and to text to a few friends. Of course, that one ended up being my favorite- the point of view from the car was much better than from where I had stood for my other photos. I can’t believe I didn’t see that when I was taking pictures.  My excuse is that I was concerned about the snow falling on my camera. . .


I converted it to black and white in Lightroom to use for my photo club on Tuesday (the theme was black and white). The photo was well-received, although not a winner in the voting- and the comments all had to do with the unique point of view- the angle of the fence etc. etc. Maybe when it snows again, I can shoot from this angle again- only with my big-girl camera!

Snow at the Courthouse

Monday was a snowy day. Although it snowed for most of the day, we ended up with only an inch or so, which melted away in the afternoon even as the snowflakes continued to fall. We went out for coffee in the morning, and then drove downtown where I took some photos as it snowed.  Christmas decorations are already being put up, alas (a pet peeve of mine), even though Thanksgiving is still a week away. But actually, I think the Christmas tree adds to the photo.  I edited it in Topaz Texture Effects, using one of the Fairy Light presets, and added additional textures in Photoshop.



Texture FX Fun

I love editing with textures, and the new Topaz program, Texture Effects, is giving me a whole new way of approaching the process.  You can start from scratch, making basic adjustments and then adding dust or scratches, lens leaks, vignettes, borders, and/or textures OR you can start with a filter preset and then adjust everything from there. There is a masking feature, which works well, except that you can’t use the bracket keys to control brush size (I usually choose to mask in Photoshop, because it’s easier for me).  You can upload your own textures into the program, as well as create your own presets, which you can choose to share with a community of other users of the program.  To be clear- it’s not just about textures- it’s other effects as well.  You might decide to not use a texture, but just other effects- or add your own textures in Photoshop afterward.  It’s a very flexible program! With that said, I will add that many members of the FB group devoted to this program have had technical issues with installing it and getting it to save their edits.  I have had no issues, thankfully.

So here’s an edit of a macro photo I snapped last weekend in our front yard (I think I used a filter and added 3 textures in Texture FX and then masked in Photoshop).




Two MORE Little Girls

I’m slowly making progress with my project of digitally restoring old family photos.  I love these old photos of my grandmother sitting in the chair and my great-aunt Margaret (at age 8) all dressed up in her fancy outfit.  Both photos would have been taken in the 1890’s in the Chicago area.









Two Little Girls

Somehow, it happened that our Southern California god-daughter’s husband’s parents bought ranch property 45 minutes away from us in Arizona to use as a get-away for the family.  This weekend everyone came out- and our little god-family stayed with us! They got together at the ranch with their cousins on Saturday, but mornings and evenings they were with us. It was wonderful to get to know these adorable little girls- Alice, age five and Leah, age two. I hope these Arizona visits will become a tradition for them.

As with most modern families, iPads play an important role in entertainment and education.


But of course, sweet Alice loves crafts too!


Bathtime was fun- who could resist this little face?


The weekend zipped by, and then, alas, they were back to their busy life in L.A.

A Weedy Walk

My husband and I took a short walk at Willow Lake last week.  We were hoping to view some migrating birds, but they seemed to be avoiding us. Of course there were weeds to photograph- one of my standard subjects for photos.  This weedy image was edited using the new Topaz Texture Effects, which I downloaded on a 30 Day trial.  It reminds me of some of my iPhone apps- what a fun new filter! I have only just begun to explore what it has to offer.


Just the petals again. . .

A companion to Monday’s orange petals post . . .



Flowers in Fall


Just the petals. . .

Nothing makes me more content than exploring flowers with a macro lens. Here’s a gerbera daisy from my latest grocery store fall bouquet.



Yesterday’s snow had disappeared before lunchtime- so I’m glad I made it outside with my macro lens before it all melted away.  Our shrubs and trees looked like they were decorated with little jewels as the melting bits of snow glistened in the sunlight.



White Stuff

We had an early snow yesterday! After a blustery day of snow and rain, with nothing sticking, we finally got pretty white flakes for a few hours late yesterday afternoon and evening.


Knowing that we were due for a day of sunshine, I bundled up and went out this morning so I could capture a few shots of the early morning sun hitting the inch or so of snow we got yesterday- and melting it away.





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers