Just a Pear

I’m playing it safe this time- just a traditional still life. Although- I know that in my photo group I would get (gently) critiqued for having a square format and mostly for having no space around the edges- and perhaps for the shallowish depth of field! I might even get the kiss of death comment- “It would make a nice greeting card.” But I’m on winter break!


Another Day, Another Pear

I bought more pears, and the pear madness continues. . .


Pear Trio

I started the day with a simple in-camera pear multi-exposure, edited three ways in Lightroom. As usual, I can’t pick a favorite. . .


Apple Overload

Our Fuji apples are all picked, and they have taken over the kitchen!  I’ve made several batches of unsweetened applesauce, which I pair with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a treat.  I have frozen much of it, but I still plan on making more.  Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one eating it. 😦 I try to remember to eat at least one raw apple a day also-and I have made a dent in our supply.

Yesterday I made a special treat- a healthy, no-bake apple tart, using my friend, Carol’s recipe.  It isn’t very low carb, but it is delicious! It has a walnut and date crust and cooked apples inside (with a bit of honey and spices). Yum!

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Van Gogh Peaches

One of my AAUW photo group friends was giving away peaches yesterday- a perfect opportunity for me to finally get back into my still life “studio.”  I have been so busy lately that I have had to put still life photography and macros on the back burner and just rely on the travel shots I’ve done throughout the summer.

I used my Lensbaby with the Edge 80 attached for these photos- and then ended up doing a version in Topaz Impression as well.



I added a texture to the original photo below to soften the black background.


I used one of  the Van Gogh filters, although there were MANY other options that would have worked well too.  I usually take the photos back into Photoshop and mask off portions to reduce the painterly effect, but I really liked them straight out of Impression this time.

Have a great Friday!

Very Berry Still Life

One of the recent prompts in the studio is BERRIES, which I have photographed many times and never tire of, so I thought this theme would be a good one for me to do to get back into the swing of still life. As usual, the simpler compositions worked best for me.



Raspberry Macros

I’ve been keeping to my word about practicing with my Lensbaby every day.  I thought a major part of my practice would involve getting the Edge 80 off the Composer (so tight for these weak hands!), but so far, so good! Maybe it’s loosening up- or I’m getting stronger! I hadn’t done much with macro using the Edge 80 until recently, and I’m having fun with it. Raspberries were on my breakfast menu on Easter, so I took a few moments to take some macro shots.  I’m finding the Edge 80 to be nice and sharp- similar to my 85mm macro.

1- edited in onOne Perfect Effects (tonal contrast)- and then Photoshop, adding kk_chill to soften what I did in Perfect Effects!
2- kk_lettherebelight preset
3- kk_eve preset



1- onOne’s Perfect Effects
2- my basic edit
3- kk_lightairypastel preset


Getting back in the groove and linking up with Texture Tuesday today!

More eggs, please!

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See in a New Way

I wasn’t too excited about the eggs theme for The Studio Online this week and felt pretty uninspired- until I cracked eggs for my scrambled eggs breakfast yesterday.  Aha! A cracked egg in the composition- I haven’t done that before. And this would be a challenge for the Edge 80 optic on my Lensbaby (the optic I can never get off once I put it on- but that’s another story. . .).  The weather was warm, with  no cold wind knocking over my props in my garage studio.  For once, things went smoothly with the set-up AND, most importantly, with the focus.  In fact, I will have more eggs photos to show you- probably tomorrow.

The first photo was edited with Kim Klassen’s darklight preset (tweaked and at reduced opacity in the Fader).  The other two are edited with one of my own.

20150401-MMA_2641_melinda_anderson20150401-MMA_2618_melinda_anderson 20150401-MMA_2622_melinda_andersonNote to non-Lensbaby folks: See in a new way is Lensbaby’s slogan and pretty much my mantra!

Chicken Soup for the Dark and Messy Soul

Today is a sunny, warm-ish day here in Arizona- and I can see a butterfly out the window. A BUTTERFLY- in WINTER!  I’m thinking life is on the upswing.

Last night, I was part of Open Studio- a live connect on the computer with the Kim Klassen group.  It was fun- and one of the things that came up was how still life trends are changing, and the hottest trend seems to be dark and messy, especially food photography.  I noticed that a few years ago, when I started reading the Smitten Kitchen blog.  I loved the crumpled napkins by the plates.  Real life.  But, since I don’t really do food photography, I haven’t embraced this style.

Our family’s real life has had some dark and messy in the last few weeks.  My husband, Lonnie had a heart attack a couple weeks ago.  He had his third stent put in two days ago, and has a good prognosis with some lifestyle changes to be made.  There’s nothing like real life medical drama to make you appreciate the ordinary moments we often take for granted.  There have been two tense trips to the ER since the initial hospitalization, the latest being LAST NIGHT (he’s fine); we are so looking forward to putting this all behind us.

So what do you do for your husband when he is recovering from a heart attack? You make chicken soup! As I said, I’m not a food photographer- and I’m hardly a cook.  But since today was going to be a still life photography day for me (flower photography), I switched gears and snapped a few photos as I prepared the soup.  This is real life here- no cute props or special lighting here. Just my kitchen and my un-gourmet cooking. The soup is still simmering as I write this, so I’m not including the finished product.

chickensoup1 chickensoup2I poached the chicken first to use in other meals this weekend (a tip I learned from my daughter), chopped veggies, and now it’s cooking.  No recipe-just threw in whatever.

I edited the photos kind of dark- and they are definitely messy- no presets used.

We’re both tired from last night’s ER visit, but, as I said- it’s a new day and there is a butterfly outside.  Life is good.

Linking up with Friday Finds.


More Berries

Here are a couple more berry photos from my still life session with fruit for The Studio.

20150130-DSC_1753_melinda_anderson 20150130-DSC_1750_melinda_anderson



It’s the Berries!

Another photo for The Studio (for the fruit prompt):

20150130-DSC_1749_melinda_anderson-EditTextured with sybil for Texture Tuesday.


Lemons Redux

I had fun editing one of my lemon photos in a new way, using a texture I found on Flickr- and then applying a Lightroom preset from One Willow. I really enjoy those presets.



I’m attempting to do a bit of catch-up on my lessons from BeStill and The Studio.  The first image is for Lesson 33 in BeStill52 (and for Texture Tuesday).  The assignment was to create a still life using lemons or other citrus fruit, create a bit of a story, and include varying heights.  Well, my story is that lemons were being sliced (you can invent the rest. . .).

20150125-DSC_1550_melinda_anderson-EditThe image below is for Texture Tuesday (no real props, no varying heights, and no story).

20150125-DSC_1566_melinda_anderson-EditBoth photos were edited with textures from Kim Klassen’s Cloth and Paper collection.

Butter and Eggs

After doing mostly abstracts for the last couple weeks, it’s time to catch up on BeStill52. The assignment from a couple weeks ago was butter and eggs. I decided to make Egg-in-a-Hole for breakfast (something my daughter does for her kids), which fit the bill!


Farmers’ Market

It was my first visit to the Prescott Farmers’ Market. I took my camera and enjoyed photographing the produce almost as much as I enjoyed buying and eating it!


I did a basic edit on each photo for my layout and then took them into Photoshop, where I used the Oil Paint filter and one layer of Kim Klassen’s waterfront 1 texture. I used the Oil Paint filter, because Adobe has gotten rid of it in the newest update to Photoshop CC, which I have yet to install.  Why??? It was a perfectly good filter- and I did use it occasionally (I like to play with effects).

But the main reason that I haven’t installed the newest update is because of the Mini-Bridge.  I LOVE the Mini-Bridge! I use it every time I add a texture- it makes it SO EASY!  Plus, I have written actions for many of my favorite textures that include the action opening MB and adding a layer of the specific texture.  I haven’t always used Mini-Bridge. I learned it from Kim in one of the classes- and it made my life so much easier.  I have my Photoshop workspace set up in a certain way (modeled after the way Sebastian Michaels has his in the Photoshop Artistry class), and I made sure to add the MB icon right at the bottom where I can easily click on it. Sorry for the rant, but I can’t see why MB has to go!!! I’m not happy with Adobe right now!

Linking up with Texture Tuesday today!



I seldom used portrait orientation when taking photos until a couple of months ago.  Now I seem to be doing it regularly! I may have started turning my camera in my bathroom “studio” to avoid getting towels and bathroom fixtures in the shot, but then I continue to use it- especially when I want a shallow depth of field in front of, as well as behind, my subject.  My 50mm lens does this beautifully, as well as my 85mm macro lens.  I would love to own a LensBaby some day to play with moving the focus around! I did order one for my iPhone (coming in August through the kickstarter deal), which will partially satisfy my desire for this cool lens.

Here are two shots with a vertical (portrait) orientation. The first was taken with the macro lens.  I took the photo with both orientations, and liked the vertical one best (those blurry berries in the background and a small unfocused slice in the front).  There is some texture added to this image (a bluish one from Kim Klassen- teal?).


The one below was taken with my 50mm at 1.4 to give a very narrow field of focus- with lots of blur in the front. It was actually taken for a Be Still 52 lesson on side lighting.  The cup was placed on the floor by the open front door (on the left for light)- with a piece of white foam board for a background.  There is also a bit of lighting coming from the patio door farther away on the right.  I used my Warm Black and White preset (some split toning) for the black and white conversion.20140620-DSC_0201melinda_anderson


Happy Valentine’s Day!

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One of the recent topics in my daily challenge Flickr group is half. I dreamed an idea for it, using some of the ideas from my Photoshop Artistry class and worked on it for a bit this afternoon. The techniques weren’t hard, but the end result wasn’t the masterpiece I created in my dream!  I ended up turning off all my grunge layers- textures, brushes etc.- and instead am posting a very simplified version of what I had planned.


Update: Here’s another version (which accidentally erased my version above- so it no longer exists on my computer!):

10Nov2013-8103-Edit copy


First of the Season

We have our first strawberry! This was taken moments after being picked- you can still see dirt from the garden.


and once more. . .


I think these are the last apples for awhile- but no promises!


Apples- Day 3

I’m multi-tasking today- another apple photo for Beyond Beyond AND I converted it to a black and white in response to today’s Texture Tuesday challenge.  It somehow seemed WRONG to take the beautiful colors out of the apple photos, but, being pressed for time, that is what I decided to try- and I’m happy with the result.


Editing notes: In Lightroom, I used a bit of a matte curve (just slight) and added grain to soften the image.  After converting it to black and white, I darkened the shadows a little and added some yellow to the highlights and purple to the shadows (low saturation).  In Photoshop, I added a layer of Kim Klassen’s anna texture, 100% opacity to the background, 50-100% brushed off the apples.

Red this time

10May2013applelayout-EditContinuing the theme for Beyond Beyond


An Apple a Day (BB16)

9May 2013-1159

Our assignment this time is to shoot as many apple photos as we can over the next week. Of course I started with a macro- taken with the camera on a tripod and using a long exposure, no special processing.

Expect to see a few more apple photos over the next week!