The Old Neighborhood

My husband grew up in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Manhattan, Kansas. We took some time yesterday to drive around and look at some of the old houses. When I noticed this brick sidewalk bordered with flowers, I jumped out of the car and waded through puddles to snap a few photos.


Portraits of Kiki

No longer having pets, I was eager to take some lensbaby photos of my inlaws’ 18 year old cat, Kiki. Normally she ignores me, but this time, she kept coming over to me while I was attempting to take her portrait.  I decided to go for a really shallow depth of field and just focus on her whiskers. My favorite is the first one.


Lensbaby on the Road

I’ve been keeping my Lensbaby on my camera all the time, trying to get as much practice as possible.  When we are on a long road trip, we almost never stop for photos, so it has become my habit to take photos with my phone through the window as we drive along.  On this trip, I started using my big camera instead of my iPhone to take these photos.

One of the assignments in my Lensbaby class was to take photos of objects that are moving (using manual focus, the only way you CAN focus a lensbaby).  Although the subjects of my photos weren’t moving, the car certainly was! As we drove through eastern Colorado, I used the sweet35 optic to capture the scenery along the way.  My favorite photo is this landscape (I love the light), which is NOT in sharp focus. I used Topaz Simplify and some added textures to give it a painterly feel.

20150522-MMA_5591_melinda_anderson-EditThe next day, as we drove through the plains of western Kansas, I used the Edge 80 optic on my lensbaby, which I found fairly easy to focus at 60 plus mph.  The sky was very overcast and eventually gave way to heavy rain as we drove along.

20150523-MMA_5623_melinda_andersonLonnie knows I have a bit of an obsession with photographing grain silos and farms, so he actually took an exit so that I could take photographs of this one from the road instead of from a moving car!



A Walk Around the Inn

Thursday night we stayed at a circa 1936 inn in Santa Fe, which had many photo opportunities for the road-weary photographer, eager to get a few photos before the rains came (which they did).  Since I am taking a lensbaby class, my lensbaby was on my camera- and I managed to capture quite a few shots before we headed out to dinner. Here are just a few details noticed during a quick walk around the grounds.santafe1


Saying Goodbye

corky_triptychMy husband’s father, affectionately known by all as Corky, passed away Thursday at age ninety.    We had begun the drive to Kansas when we got the news, and are now continuing on to be with family and attend his funeral. We will remember his quiet, teasing way,  infectious laugh, and natural charm- and he will be greatly missed.

Rest in peace, Corky.


Butterfly Memories

Posting from the archives today- here are some butterfly images that never made it to the blog.

20150421-MMA_3826_melinda_anderson 20150421-MMA_3918_melinda_anderson 20150421-MMA_3955_melinda_andersonAnd I couldn’t resist this super closeup- this one was on Lonnie’s shirt!


Golden Spotlight

The other evening, I glanced over at my entry hall as beautiful light from the setting sun cast a golden glow over my forgotten ranunculus arrangement on the cabinet. I am always complaining about the lack of good light in our house, so I felt compelled to run and get my camera and snap photo after photo until the light faded. My lensbaby Sweet 35 was on the camera- and of course I don’t remember what the aperture was set at- maybe f/4, which produced a lot of blur on the sides (more than I usually like).  The second shot shows my adjustment- pushing the bottles together to put more of the flowers in focus.  Closing down the aperture would have forced me to raise the ISO more than I wanted to in the excitement of the moment, so that was my speedy solution.




The Final Chapter

It was hard to let them go, so I took a few lensbaby shots of my peony petals before saying good-bye.

From above:

20150516-MMA_5390_melinda_andersonA black and white:


With added texture:MMA_5250-EditAn abstract:



My peonies have bit the dust, but here are a couple more images from their glory days.

20150508-MMA_4901_melinda_anderson 20150511-MMA_5135_melinda_anderson

Tomorrow or sometime later in the week I will post a couple images of their last days.

My lensbaby class officially begins today, plus I have FOUR meetings this week- so, over the next week or two, you will be seeing some photos from the (mostly recent) archives.


Is there anything more cheery than ranunculus? Happy Friday to you!


A Lensbaby Still

Next week I start an online Lensbaby class through Clickin Moms with Caroline Jensen! I’m beyond excited to learn from this Lensbaby guru (and also from some of the amazing photographers taking the class- Holy Cow!).  I’m taking it “study-along”, meaning I won’t get any feedback except from my classmates, but I will have access to all the class materials and can read the feedback Caroline gives the other students.  We’ve already been given “pre-assignments” well in advance of the class starting, so I already have started learning.

Because I’ll be so involved with the class, it is possible that I’ll be pretty behind in my still life assignments, unless I combine the two (which I may in fact).  But since I often use a lensbaby for my stills, I’m going to try to step outside of my comfort zone and practice outside and with people.

So here is a lensbaby still life of PEONIES (surprise, surprise!) and my chair.



Chocolate Peonies

I found peonies for sale at Trader Joe’s last week!

20150508-MMA_4879_melinda_anderson-EditEdited with Kim Klassen’s chocolate preset in Lightroom for Texture Tuesday.

I Heart Daisies

Friday I posted photos of the lone pink gerbera daisy amongst the white ones in my Trader Joe’s bouquet.

So today I present the white ones!

20150507-MMA_4812_melinda_anderson 20150507-MMA_4815_melinda_anderson 20150507-MMA_4816_melinda_anderson

My Friday Flower

Happy Mother’s Day weekend!

I bought a bouquet of white gerberas yesterday. When I got home I discovered this bright pink one tucked away between the others. Sweet!

20150507-MMA_4808_melinda_anderson 20150507-MMA_4809_melinda_andersonLinking up with Friday Finds today.



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