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Beauty in what remains

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Christmas Cactus

What to photograph on a gloomy, gray, drizzly day?  Macros of bright Christmas cactus blooms!

20141217-DSC_7839_melinda_anderson-Edit20141217-DSC_7848_melinda_anderson-EditBoth images are edited with textures from Florabella.  The top also has an oil paint filter added from within Photoshop.

Christmas Details

I held off posting this today, because we were supposed to get 3-5 inches of snow last night and today- a perfect photo opportunity.  Unfortunately, all we’ve had is rain.

So here are some Christmas details- pinecones on a chair, a tree ornament, and. . . two photos of one of two little ceramic birds on a beautiful ceramic plate/tray, made by the talented Debbie!

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A Chair by the Door

The latest assignment in BeStill 52 was to shoot a backlit image of a chair in front of a window. I was stymied at first, because our windows are all tinted here to protect us from the Arizona sun, creating a difficult lighting situation for photography.  Then I remembered the frosted front door window, which has un-frosted portions, letting in a bit of natural light.

20141214-DSC_7778_melinda_anderson-Edit 20141214-DSC_7777_melinda_anderson-EditBoth images are textured with Kim Klassen’s anna texture for Texture Tuesday.

Acker Night

Friday night was Acker Night in Prescott,  when most of the downtown businesses- restaurants, bars, shops, banks etc.- host musical acts to benefit music programs in town.  It went on for blocks, and I have never seen such huge crowds downtown.  We only managed to see a few blocks worth of entertainment during our walk around town with our friends, Debbie and Dale, but it made for a fun evening. Below are a few of the acts we enjoyed.

acker2The group below was probably the most fun performance, and this photo is the only one I have of these guys not looking straight into the camera. I discovered that, in a small space, it is just about impossible to be unobtrusive with a camera- even though I was surrounded by iPhoneographers. I only brought my 50mm lens, which was a mistake. I chose it because of its sharpness and low-light capabilities, but found that the focal length on my crop sensor camera made it difficult in tight quarters (next year, I’ll use my 35mm).

20141212-DSC_7682_melinda_anderson-Edit-EditI couldn’t resist taking a shot of Dale in his hat- it really suits him!

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I loved this old truck we saw along the way.

20141212-DSC_7722_melinda_anderson-Edit-EditAnd eventually it was time to say good-bye to the lights of downtown Prescott and head home.

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Editing notes for the curious:

The layout of 4 photos in the beginning were all editing experiments in Lightroom using the Fader plug-in I downloaded a month or so ago and promptly forgot about.  If you have a lot of presets like I do, you might enjoy this handy little plug-in. Basically, when you want to use a preset, you choose it from within the Fader and then have the ability to reduce the opacity of the effect, like you would in Photoshop.  I normally tweak presets myself, but this gives me the ability to dial it up or down while looking at the results- very cool. What I don’t like about it is FINDING the plug-in in the menu in Lightroom- it’s not hidden, just inconvenient.  I wish Lightroom gave you the option to assign keystrokes to an item on the menu- or does it?

The photo of the country band was edited using my trial version of Topaz Impression (which unfortunately expired yesterday)- textures added in Photoshop.  The photos of Dale and the truck with the Santa hat also have added textures. The textures were from Kerstin Frank, Shadowhouse Creations, and Kim Klassen.

 

 

Out to Lunch Potpourri

On our way out to lunch yesterday, I snapped a few photos along the street- some classic cars which were parked near ours and a window display which featured paper cranes.

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And inside the restaurant? There was a Christmas tree, of course!

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Thumb Butte at Sunset

I love the view of our Thumb Butte from downtown.  There was a beautiful, fleeting moment of color at sunset the other night while I was downtown photographing the Christmas lights.  I think my favorite image is this (intentionally) out of focus one with traffic coming toward me (yikes!).

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