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Back to the blur. . .

The last few months, I’ve found myself missing blur and soft focus.  As a result, my Lensbaby Velvet 56 has been on my camera for the last week, and I’m going to put the Edge 80 (my fave!) on there next. Manual focus is always a challenge, but I find taking soft and dreamy photos is my comfort zone. I love the blur!

 

Postcard

When we were staying in Moab, we never really understood what the tepee set up was for and never took the time to find out. Turned into a monochrome, it reminds me of a vintage photo postcard (never mind the fence and the wagon and the lawn. . .).

Another Alaska Memory

Monkshood- discovered on a walk at the Eagle River Nature Center with the boys (including my nature guide, Justin)

The Sweetness of Little Boys

A sweet Alaska memory- Miles showing me some wildflowers

Stark

There is beauty even in the stark landscape of areas in northern Arizona. Of course, the clouds help. . .

The above is another through-the-windshield shot- a few miles before getting to White Mesa..

OMG Another Bird!

Yes, another bird- and another artsy fartsy bird at that! This is a ptarmigan, perhaps a female or a juvenile (can’t remember), and it is the state bird of Alaska. This info is courtesy of my Park Service son-in-law, so I am breaking with my policy of not identifying birds, because I’m always wrong- or at least I believe everyone who identifies a bird incorrectly for me. Crossing my fingers here. . .

It was our youngest grandson, Henry who spotted it as we were walking a trail at the Nature Center. It was motionless in the grasses and probably scared out of its mind. I said, “Oh, look a grouse!” We all gathered on the trail watching it, as I snapped 4 or 5 shots. Then Justin gave the command to Penny, the golden retriever, who promptly flushed it out and away flew the grouse/ptarmigan/chicken(?) into the woods.

I gave it the clipping mask and stroke treatment, because it’s fun and I just can’t stop doing it. . .

Fall Finch

Some of the leaves are actually starting to turn, even though it still seems like summer here.  I’ve got my Halloween decorations out and am drinking a pumpkin spice latte as I write this- so, according to the calendar and Starbucks, it IS fall!  In the spirit of autumn,  I took this photo of a goldfinch against the backdrop of fall leaves.

Just waves . . .

I never get tired of watching the waves as they rise, crash, and are pulled back out to sea.

Wave watching from the Huntington Beach pier. . .

Harvest Moon

Lonnie (my pointer-outer of moons, sunsets, and rainbows) just mentioned that there is a harvest moon tonight.  Whaaat? It took me a few minutes to put on shoes and switch tripod heads and lenses- but I did my best to get out to the driveway quickly. I believe this is the first moon photo I’ve taken with my long lens. Fun!

I do wish there was an interesting foreground or that I had captured it on the rise, but it’s the moon just the same.

It looks a bit like a cantaloupe, doesn’t it?

Doors in Windows, Windows in Doors

Having a little multiple exposure fun with doors and windows. . .

Moab Mono

I know, I know-  it almost seems like a crime to take a photo of the beautiful colors of Moab and turn them to black and white. However, I have been playing with something we’ve been talking about in my photo class- using gradient maps to create black and whites- so here we go!

Playing with Fingerpaint

I like to play with my camera- especially when I am a passenger in a car on a road trip. Besides taking standard photos through the window, I sometimes like to try to get some intentional camera movement shots, letting the car provide most of the movement.

The image below is of wild flowers with a forest background taken from the car when we were in Alaska. I kept coming back to the original shot because I liked the colors, and today I decided to play with it. I worked with it using TK actions to separate the tones a bit, added a gradient map with similar colors to the original and a gradient fill. It still needed something, so I took it into Topaz Impression with the thought of using a Monet filter. But I ended up liking what happened when I applied a fingerpaint filter- yes, I have spent my life working with young children! I experimented with blend modes and ended up with this:

I don’t think I’ll be framing this- but it was so much fun to work on.

Here is the original:

Canyonlands

I had never heard of Canyonlands in Southern Utah until our daughter, Caitlin and soon to be fiance and husband, Justin traveled there in the late 1990’s. In fact, I had never heard of Arches National Park or even Moab back then. When we traveled through Utah in 2014, we skipped Canyonlands, but this time we wanted to check it out while we were staying in Moab.

What an incredible place- fantastic canyon views and without the crowds of the Grand Canyon!

The above shots were taken through Mesa Arch, reached by a relatively short hike up and down over uneven ground (a challenge for my unstable knees) to reach this stupendous view. This is one of the most visited spots, so getting a view of the arch itself was almost impossible, because of all the tourists. It was almost midday and incredibly hot, but the views were worth the effort to get there.

 

 

 

Mobile Art

Taking a break from editing and posting this summer’s vacation photos. . .

Last week my friend, Gail and I gave a little presentation to our AAUW photo group on Mobile Photography. Although I have a zillion apps and use my iPhone camera all the time, mobile photography really isn’t my thing (or Gail’s either, for that matter). But we both did some research (I strongly recommend the free videos through iPhone Photography School) and played with apps- and somehow managed to talk for 45 minutes!

So, just for fun- here is a sunflower taken with AvgCamPro, which snaps photos as you move your camera around, creating a rapid fire multiple exposure. I want to play with this one more! I edited it with TangledFX, which gave it a look similar to Topaz Glow.

 

And here is the same photo edited with BrushStroke for a painterly look:

And now with some textures added with the Mextures app:

I think that at some point, I will be embracing mobile photography more- but I still feel tied to (and love) my Nikon. One of my classmates in my photo group uses her older iPhone most of the time and edits her photos in Photoshop. Her images are displayed regularly in galleries- and they sell!

 

 

 

A Wedding!

I’m so excited to announce that our son, Matt, got married last Friday in Maui!!!

He and Karina did not want a big wedding, but chose a romantic getaway to Maui for the ceremony- just the two of them.  So, no, I didn’t take this cell phone shot, but I did edit it in Photoshop. You can see how happy they are- and we are too!