around the yard

Home Grown Abstract

It was sooo cold when I went out front to shoot these curly tendrils on my spiky plant (someday I’ll find out what its called…) with my macro lens.  Although I’ve photographed them before, my attention was caught by the combination of curves and lines hit by the morning light.  The colors you see in the background were present in my photograph and accentuated by the Color Burst preset in Topaz Texture Effects, turning it into a little bit of art for a Wednesday morning.20151211-MMA_6849_melinda_anderson-Edit


Snowy Weeds


Autumn is Ending

Just as the fall leaves were changing color, they were blanketed by this year’s early snows. It seems winter is coming early this year.


White Stuff

We had an early snow yesterday! After a blustery day of snow and rain, with nothing sticking, we finally got pretty white flakes for a few hours late yesterday afternoon and evening.


Knowing that we were due for a day of sunshine, I bundled up and went out this morning so I could capture a few shots of the early morning sun hitting the inch or so of snow we got yesterday- and melting it away.




Abstract Grasses

The morning light shining through the ornamental grasses out my office window took me away from my computer and out the front door with my camera and lensbaby.  I took about a dozen shots as I knelt on the rocks outside (ouch!) before my knees gave out from the effort.  I liked the resulting photos, which I edited with textures to emphasize the abstract qualities of the images.


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Spring Color

Our front flower bed is doing its thing!

20150414-MMA_3245untitledLensbaby Edge 80

Macro Magic

I bought a Clickin Moms Lensbaby tutorial series back when I only had my Lensbaby Mobile for the iPhone, (no Composer Pro, no optics), because I was so eager to learn how to use these cool lenses.  One of the tips I learned was that the Edge 80 with macro converters does a great job capturing sun rays, especially when taking photos under leafy trees.  I only have one tree at this point that has enough leaves to provide a canopy for the sun to just peek through, so I spent 10 or 15 minutes the other day crouched uncomfortably beneath the plum tree looking up at the sun. I thought I didn’t get anything much until I played with a few images in Lightroom and discovered that I did get some interesting effects from the sun- including sun rays. Fun!





The image below is the same as the last photo in the collage at the top of the post, except it has some Florabella textures added.




Backyard Blur

My photography goal for April is to practice with my Lensbaby every day.  We’ve been out in the backyard the last couple days, so the Lensbaby came out with me yesterday.

The fountain is up and running again.  Is it just me, or does this look like a lady juggling?

20150331-MMA_2349_melinda_andersonHere is a macro of photinia leaves- with some added texture.

20150330-MMA_2285_melinda_anderson-EditAnd here is the same basic shot, edited with a black and white preset.  Notice how the lensbaby blur shows up in the black and white- interesting!

20150330-MMA_2285_melinda_andersonThese were all taken with the Sweet 50 optic, macro converters added in the last two.

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. 😦


Snow Drops

We had an unexpected snowstorm yesterday morning! We woke up to snow falling and snow on the ground.  It continued to snow until 9:00 or so, while we were at my husband’s eye appointment, but by the time we got home the sun was out and the melt had begun.  I raced outside with my Lensbaby Edge 80 with macro converters and managed to capture sunshine on the melting snow on trees and plants before it was all gone.


I’m also posting another snow shot from a week or so ago, before the New Year’s snow melted away.  This is one of our more quaint downtown establishments- I’ve never been inside, but it looks cute. It was shot with my iPhone and edited with Snapseed (an HDR treatment) and Mextures.

Photo Jan 13- 2 16 35 PMLinking up with Barb’s app-happy Wednesday at Keeping With the Times.

Just Hangin’ Around

The latest Be Still-52 assignment was hanging bottles. Whaaat?  In Kim Klassen’s beautiful vintage home, she hung a bottle with a rose in it from a hook on a door- and it looked perfectly natural- and beautiful. I was running around, hanging my little medicine bottle everywhere- and ended up with a serious case of the giggles. Needless to say, this one did not come naturally to me.  I, perhaps, should have interpreted the challenge more loosely and come up with something more “me”, but, oh well,  I did have some fun with it.


I wonder what the neighbors thought of me hanging this bottle in a tree?

20150110-DSC_0872_melinda_anderson-EditIn case you are wondering, the first image was shot with the Lensbaby Edge 80; the one outside was with my 35mm lens.


Beauty in what remains


An apple, a sunflower, a cup- and more!

I finally got back to some still life last week, inspired by my new mug that I picked up at the grocery store.

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A week or so ago, I entered 6 photos in the county fair.  I haven’t done anything like this since high school, when I entered my crocheting.  And the big news is that I earned 4 first place ribbons and one second place! Here is one of the winners, Sunflower Mystery (you might recognize it):

Photo Sep 27- 2 19 48 PMThe other 3 first place winners were Feathered Gold (the owl feather), Point Arena Lighthouse (from a couple years ago), and Rodeo Dreams (a photo of Henry standing on the fence watching a rodeo). Dusty Jeans got a second place.  A photo I took of prairie sunflowers did not place.  And. . . I came home with 14 bucks for my efforts! We won’t mention that the printing and matting cost more than that.  But I will re-use the mats.

It was raining cats and dogs- and, evidently, hawks while we were out at the fair on Saturday.  We drove back through flooded streets while thunder crashed around us- and found this guy in the backyard.

20140927-DSC_4321_melinda_anderson-2I took this shot through the sliding glass door (which was covered with raindrops)- when I opened the door, he flew up the hill and disappeared.


Here are a few leftover shots from this week- details from around the yard.

Some lonely clouds and some lavender


A patio chair and a closeup of our drooping backyard tree (can’t remember what it’s called. . .)


Front flower bed


Arizona Raindrops

Arizona monsoon season!!! What a difference rain makes! Our brown hills have turned green, and, after this week’s huge storm, I went outside and actually found raindrops left on plants from the night before.  If you look closely, you’ll some tiny refracted images of flowers in some of the drops.

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Linking up with Friday Finds today.