In and Out

The title of this post refers to the subject of today’s photos- and also to the process of intake and outake with regards to my photo files. I’ve been going through the process of culling and editing the photos I took at Eliphante the other day.  Since I have very full hard drives, I am trying to become more disciplined about the culling and deleting process.  Not easy- I tend to want to keep everything!

And the subject of today’s photos? Doors! Entry into the artistic structures is always through individually designed doors- and often through tunnels lit by skylights or windows.

20150728-MMA_0913_melinda_anderson20150728-MMA_0956_melinda_anderson20150728-MMA_0950_melinda_andersonAn unusual place to say the least.

Found Stills

July has been a busy month; actually the whole summer has been busy.  Trips to Kansas, Yellowstone and Tucson plus some fun social events have filled up summer. I’m not complaining- it’s not like I have to go back to school in August! We’re also taking a quick trip (4 days driving, one day there!) to the Bay Area for business and have some houseguests coming (yay!) in August. And I’m about halfway through Caroline Jensen’s Communicating with Color and Light class through Clickin Moms (it is fabulous!).  Life is full and fun! I’m saying all this as a way to explain why I haven’t done much still life photography for the Studio Online. Something had to give, and I know I will be getting back to it.

But in the meantime, while I was at Eliphante yesterday, I FOUND some still life arrangements just sitting around. So I got my still life fix the easy way!

Artsy musical instruments


Random pots under a potting bench:20150728-MMA_1127_melinda_anderson

Through the Looking Glass

20150728-MMA_0848_melinda_andersonYesterday I went with some photography friends and my friend, Debbie (not a photographer, but definitely an artist) to a very unique spot called Eliphante, located in Cornville, near Sedona.  It was once the home of an artist couple, who created art which evolved on the land where they lived.  It is now a private museum, which is only open to the public by appointment.

We had to meet one of the live-in caretakers/guides and then walk on rocks across a creek to get there. Eliphante is hard to describe- but the words, Hobbit and Through the Looking Glass are what came to my mind.

One of the structures we explored:


My friend, Gail, taking photos inside this one:

20150728-MMA_0932_melinda_anderson-EditDebbie went through the tunnel ahead of me to get inside this building:

20150728-MMA_0861_melinda_anderson-Edit-2So here I am- through the looking glass!



Barrio Doors

Aaaah- those colorful Tucson barrio doors!  It was images like these that made me want to explore this area with my camera!


Lily Abstracts

I took some time a few days ago to take some abstract macro shots of lilies. I added a couple textures for that painterly look I love- and the first one I also took into Topaz Simplify.  Truthfully, because of the shallow depth of field, it looked pretty painterly already, but I love to fiddle around with my images.  It is my form of a mindfulness meditation and satisfies my childhood ambition to be an artist when I grew up. :-)

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Tucson Evenings

Even though we only spent two full days there, I still have Tucson photos to share!  Here are two views of the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains taken from the balcony of our hotel room.

Double rainbow and rain!

20150708-MMA_9602_melinda_anderson-Edit Sunset


Hummmmmm, part 2

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Cherry, Cherry

Music to read blogs by:

Taking cherry photos, editing cherry photos, EATING cherries, and listening to Neil Diamond SING Cherry, Cherry!

cherryLensbaby Sweet 35 (with macro converters in first image)

Textures and painting with Topaz Simplify in first image


One of the areas we enjoyed the most at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum was the aviary- mostly because of the hummingbirds.  As we wandered around the paths, we were able to catch glimpses of many of these cute little guys.

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In the Desert

Probably the highlight for me of our trip to Tucson (beyond lying by the pool and having guacamole with every meal) was seeing the Sonoran Desert.  I now get why people love the desert.  The landscape there is different from what we’ve seen around Phoenix and definitely not like the high desert climate we live in- it is BEAUTIFUL and full of life.  I would love to go back and see more.

This view is from when we stopped the car on the way to the museum.



This is the view next to the museum.

20150709-MMA_0154_melinda_anderson-EditI can only imagine what this looks like at sunrise or sunset (these were around noon. . . and it was SO HOT! ).  Beautiful country!

Snapshots of the Barrio

20150709-MMA_9839_melinda_anderson-Edit20150709-MMA_0027_melinda_anderson-EditAnd this one is for Miles, my fellow lover of “old, falling apart things”.


Blue Hills and Cactus

When we visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, the hills in the distance looked like layers of tissue paper.


Framing fun using the new Rule of Thirds Blend kit from Photomorphis!

In the Barrio

Since we moved to Arizona, I’ve wanted to visit Tucson’s famous Barrio Viejo, the historic district of quaint and VIBRANT old adobe buildings. We managed set aside a morning out of our anniversary trip last week to stroll through the area and take photos- MANY photos.  You will be seeing many more photos like the ones in this diptych in future posts!


Mission San Xavier

Nine miles south of Tucson, on the Tohono O’odham reservation sits the beautiful Mission San Xavier del Bac, an incredible structure constructed in 1797, with the mission itself dating back to 1692. It is undergoing repair and reconstruction, as you can see from the photos.

I had to wait patiently for tourists to move so that I could have a clear view of the building.  It amused me how people would walk toward me and my tripod, looking straight at me and then turn, still standing in front of me, and take cell phone photos.  I started thinking about how to clone them out in post processing.  Finally, I took some shots with only a few people in the photo, and we went inside to tour the building.

When we came out, Lonnie noticed that the front of the building was clear, so I raced back to the car to get my tripod and set up again.

20150710-MMA_0627_melinda_anderson-EditI like the photo below too, because of the foursome walking toward the mission.


The image below has the completed tower in the foreground, the incomplete behind.  Edited with Topaz Simplify and Flypaper textures.


Tucson Morning

I’ve just returned from a wonderful, quick midweek getaway to Tucson, where we celebrated our 44th anniversary at a beautiful resort. We did a couple excursions in the mornings and then spent the afternoons relaxing by the pool- my kind of vacation! I always say (correctly so) that I am not a landscape photographer- I don’t have all the best gear, I hate to use my tripod out in public, and I don’t like getting up early to get the best light!  But recently it dawned on me that, when I travel, I always take landscape photographs anyway- usually without a tripod and never in good light- even though I KNOW BETTER.  I decided that on this trip I would take my tripod and perhaps even use it in public if appropriate. Since we had a view from our hotel room of the mountains, I decided to get up early one morning and do it right. The night before, I put the camera on the tripod, attached the cable release, and adjusted the settings. I set my alarm and got up well before the sun came up; I haven’t counted the photos but I clicked that cable release many, MANY times over the course of an hour.  I really like how the rays of the early morning sun peek up over the horizon in this image.20150710-MMA_0555_melinda_anderson-Edit-Edit-2 I also took my tripod along when visiting the Mission San Xavier del Bac- but you’ll have to wait for those photos!


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