Our latest assignment in BeStill 52 was to create a side lit vignette with an organic theme- wood, twine, natural materials etc.  I confess I didn’t take a lot of time with this, because the garage was FREEZING; I didn’t even open the door, but used the little windows in the garage door for light.  And of course I was limited to my iPhone (but I’m hoping to have my camera back in a week!).  I edited the photos in Lightroom with Kim’s organic preset, and called it done.

organic Photo Feb 27- 8 40 36 AM

Here is another slightly different version of the above image- slightly different, because I edited it for Instagram in Snapseed and Stackables (my new favorite app).  I used Snapseed to selectively lighten and darken parts of the image and Stackables to add tones and texture.

Photo Feb 27- 9 48 00 AM


A Wintry Mix

We don’t have snow all winter long in Prescott- at least not since we’ve lived here- so each snowy day is like a gift.  Of course, people who have lived here for awhile tell me to be careful what I wish for and then relate tales of the winter of _____ (supply your own year).  I have no desire to experience winter like most of North America has had this year; I just would like a bit more of the pretty white stuff.

Yesterday, a snowstorm was predicted above 5500 feet (our house is at 5470), and we were predicted to get a “wintry mix”- rain and snow.  It had rained steadily during the night, and about 8:00am, it turned to snow.  LOTS of it!

I was without my Nikon for yesterday’s snowstorm, so I had to make do with my iPhone and my husband’s Canon Powershot SX50. The photos below were taken with the Canon.  I’m trying to learn this nifty little camera and managed to take the still shots with aperture priority and the birds with shutter priority (at least I THINK so. . .).

It was a whiteout for most of the morning.

whiteoutThe birds didn’t seem to mind.

snowybirdsThe sun came out in the middle of the afternoon, and by sunset, half of the snow was gone. :-(


Just Having Fun

Last week I showed some friends how to add textures to their photos, which inspired me to play around with this Lensbaby photo I took last month with my Nikon. I added several textures, one being a freebie I downloaded from a Photoshop Elements website- fun!


And again, once more . . .

I have two more mini carnation images today, both edited in Snapseed using the retrolux filter.

Photo Feb 24- 9 31 31 AMPhoto Feb 24- 9 31 54 AM


Pink Carnations

Here’s another view of the teacup filled with mini carnations.  I was trying to do a take on the dinner plate art assignment for The Studio- where you artfully arrange food (or flowers, leaves etc.) on and around a dinner plate in an artful manner.  Symmetry and precision have never been my strong suits, and I feel totally out of my element doing food photography- so I gave up after maybe 10 minutes. I put the dibs and dabs of leaves and flowers to the side and stuck with just the flowers in the cup- and one stray one on the saucer.  I am in awe of those who create these beautiful tableaux- but it’s just not me.

Photo Feb 24- 10 00 14 AM


In Mimi’s Teacup

I saw these mini-carnations at the store the other day and immediately thought of pairing them with my grandmother’s chintz teacup for a still life. Both photos were taken with my iPhone camera and were edited with my old stand-by, Snapseed.  This app was especially useful in editing the second photo, because I needed to selectively adjust the reflection to bring it out; you couldn’t even see the reflection in the unedited version, but I knew it was there.

Photo Feb 24- 10 10 48 AM

Photo Feb 24- 10 09 31 AMLinking up today with Barb’s app happy Wednesday!

Star Bunting

starbunting-1 Photo Feb 23- 9 41 55 AM-EditThese photos were for the latest BeStill 52 assignment, where the “spark” was a bunting.  I used stars, which I clipped to twine and hung on  a beadboard background. All photos were taken with my iPhone and edited in Stackables.  This app is a lot like Mextures (which has been a favorite of mine), and I’m beginning to like it a lot. Because it is Tuesday, I brought all images into Photoshop and added some of Kim Klassen’s textures: hughes, simple, and chill (last photo only).

Linking up with Texture Tuesday today.


Falling Apart

Photo Feb 21- 12 26 47 PMJanuary 2015 was a tough month.  Our daughter’s family was in a car accident (no one hurt), my father turned out to be buried in a veterans’ cemetery, and my husband got shingles- and then had a heart attack.  Everything had a happy ending. Everyone is fine.  Life was getting back to normal.

And then my camera broke.

After all that had happened last month, it is pretty easy to see this as a small bump in the road.  Funny how health scares put everything else into perspective.  My camera is at a camera store (well, THE camera store) in Phoenix for an estimate on repair. It may have to be sent to Nikon, which could mean weeks without a camera (this is why serious photographers always have at least two camera bodies). I hope to hear from the repair guys today.

How did I break it? My friend, Stephanie and I were just starting  our presentation on posing for our little photo group.  The idea was to pose people and then take photos of each pose. My camera was on a tripod, tethered to my laptop, so that we could compare the poses.  I tested this out before the meeting. All worked fine. When I went to take the first photo, the shutter kind of went kerplink instead of kerplunk- and no picture was recorded.  The camera showed ERR- camera malfunction. I tried several times- untethered, tethered, SD cards switched out, battery replaced, lens removed and replaced- nothing.  Stephanie had brought her camera, so we continued as if nothing had happened, and the presentation was successful.  I met my husband for lunch after the meeting and told him I probably had just hit some strange unknown button and that I would figure it out when I got home. I googled the problem, tried everything I could think of- and then we drove it to Phoenix the next day. Long story short- yes, the shutter is not working.

After taking photos with my Nikon almost every day for the last 4 1/2 years, it feels strange to be without it.  But I’m planning to use the opportunity to become a better iPhoneographer. My goal is to learn more about the apps I have- especially VSCO, Hipstamatic, and Stackables. And then I want to practice with my husband’s Canon Powershot sx50, so I’m more comfortable with that as well.

I’m not sure what this means for my blog.  I will definitely be posting the best of the photos I take with the iPhone or the little Canon. I’ll try to do some of my BeStill and Studio assignments with my iPhone.  And I think I will look for some older photos to post as well.

Today’s photo was taken with my phone and edited in Snapseed and Stackables.



Spoons and Presets

I belong to a little photo group in AAUW (Association of American University Women), which is composed of photographers of all levels.  Each month, one or two members research a topic and prepare a presentation on a photography topic of interest to the group.  There is also a photo sharing time, which usually relates to the presentation from the time before.  This month, we are all to bring in a photo or photos of a toy or beloved object.  Because I’m also doing the presentation this month (on posing groups of people), I almost forgot about photographing a beloved object.  However, I’ve been intending to again photograph spoons from my grandmother’s collection of souvenir coffee spoons (which are indeed among my most beloved possessions), so I took some time to take a couple still life shots to print for our meeting.

The spoons are mostly from the 1890’s and early 1900’s, when my grandmother, Mimi, was just a girl (she was born in 1888).  I believe some of the older spoons may have belonged to her mother.  Mimi was born and raised in Chicago, so several of the spoons are from Chicago World Fairs.

I was in the mood to use some of Kim’s presets when editing, so here are three images, each edited with a different preset.

20150217-DSC_2800_melinda_andersonedited with kk_chocolate preset (71%)


20150217-DSC_2797_melinda_andersonedited with kk_daysofold preset


edited with kk_darkdays preset 




Fleeting Glimpses

The daffodils are all gone, but here are a few images I took before they faded. All photos were shot using my Lensbaby with the Sweet 35 optic and macro converters.daffodillayout


Just for a day. . .

The daffodils bloomed, but just for a day.  I don’t remember this being the case when I’ve bought them before, but at least I took photos.  This one was shot with my Lensbaby with the Sweet 35 and was textured with kk_simple for Texture Tuesday.


Driving Around

We took a short drive in the country on Valentine’s Day.  What a day-  beautiful weather, horses, mountains, blossoms on the trees!  Unfortunately, we spent a good portion of our time looking for a gas station, so that we could add air to a tire that was low. The one gas station in the little town where we were did not have air, so we ended up driving 30 miles back home.  But I did manage to take a few Lensbaby photos along the way.


The Chair

It was almost a week ago when I got a text from my friend, Debbie with a picture of a cute, cute chair and the question “Do you want it?”  She had found it in a shop that re-paints and finishes furniture and other items, giving them a new shabby chic look. Debbie knew I was looking for a cheap, vintage looking chair for my still life photography- and I fell in love with it immediately.  Although my husband was just out of the hospital, he drove me down to the little shop, and I made my purchase.  I was originally planning to put it on the front porch, but I’m enjoying having it in my living room. I’m thinking now it will winter indoors and summer on the porch.

The Chair

20150212-DSC_2432_melinda_anderson-EditYou might have noticed my new chair earlier in the week  as a backdrop for daisies and roses. Today I’ve gotten on the Valentine bandwagon and have added hearts to my chair still life.

heartchairLinking up with Friday Finds.


Our latest challenge in The Studio was to create a photo that is editorial-ish.  I was pretty stumped until I went to bed last night and somehow came up with using the daffodils I had purchased yesterday at Trader Joe’s in this still life.  I had been thinking of using one of my little Adirondack chairs in a composition, so it all came together in about 10 minutes.  Adding the text took longer- way longer- as I always have to try out every font before I’m satisfied (or tired of it . . .).



I took the photo below a day or two ago, and it kind of fits into the “editorial-ish” theme as well.  In fact, the newspaper is opened to the editorial section!  Here I was painting hearts to add to a still life you will be seeing tomorrow!20150210-DSC_2380_melinda_anderson

Wild Wednesday

Running wild with my Lensbaby + Sweet 35:

20150201-DSC_1952_melinda_anderson-Edit 20150201-DSC_1915_melinda_anderson 20150201-DSC_1875_melinda_anderson-Edit


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