Winter’s End

Just a couple more winter images before it’s springtime!

This one is another intentional camera movement shot from Eklutna Lake in Alaska- with a bit of Photoshop magic:

The image below is a composite of a few iPhone shots from icy Alaska- and snowy Prescott- edited with iPhone apps:

Snowplow at Sunset

Arizona sunsets are amazing!

You can see the Thumb Butte ahead with our hill to the right (our house is off camera).


Photography notes:  Unfortunately I only had my iPhone with me to capture this (and the snowplow was waiting for us to move, I think)- and I haven’t learned enough about iPhoneography to know how to capture the dynamic range of this scene. I would automatically bracket this scene on my big camera- and could have done it with the phone camera if I knew my controls better (on my to-do list. . .). I edited it on the computer, but I can’t help wondering what it would have looked like taken with my Nikon!

Passing the torch. . .

Before we left for Alaska, my daughter, Caitlin told me to be sure to pack my macro lens because there was amazing ice to photograph. It sounded right up my alley- macro is just about my favorite kind of photography. While I was taking landscape shots at the nature center, Caitlin was busily snapping shots with her iPhone. She denies being into photography and never edits her photos, but still manages to produce beautiful images; the thing is- she has a real eye.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my macro with me on our walk, but I often use my zoom lens to get close-up shots- so, when I saw her photographing the ice on the railings, I did as well. When her battery gave out, she borrowed my phone. My photos are just O.K.- you can see what is going on here. I wasn’t able to get super close, and the aperture I chose (f8) didn’t give me a deep enough depth of field.20161125-mma_9876_melinda_anderson-edit

But here are two of hers- using MY iPhone. I alternate between feeling jealous and proud!



No, she did not use a macro attachment- and they are not cropped.  I’m pretty amazed at how close you can get to the subject with the iPhone! All her ice photos turned out fabulous- and mine did not.  Hmmmpphhh!

The Bench

There was still a lot of snow on the ground as we stepped out of the car on our way to one of our favorite Italian restaurants. But the area around this bench was snow-free, and the orange leaves on and around it seemed to create a little autumn vignette. I quickly snapped a photo with my iPhone, edited it in Snapseed, and called it done.


Life in a Christmas Card

When I woke up this morning, our neighborhood looked like a Christmas card.  As a California transplant who has never lived in snow until the last couple years, I am enchanted by the transformation that takes places overnight. It snowed here a week ago, and parts of town were still covered- but we only had snow left in patches until this morning.  I put on my boots and went out with my warm jacket over my PJ’s and took some photos with my Nikon- but my favorite shot has to be this iPhone panorama.


I did a quick HDR edit in Snapseed and posted it to Facebook.  As usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so brought it into Lightroom for some brightening and noise reduction. I then took it into Photoshop and applied some Topaz filters. First, I used Simplify to create more of a painterly look- and then Texture Effects, where I did a “from scratch” edit to bring in a texture that made it look like it was snowing.

And now it really does look like we live in a Christmas card!


It is highly unlikely that we will have a white Christmas, but we are certainly enjoying the pre-Christmas snow!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Greetings from Yellowstone! We are having such a great visit with our little Yellowstone family! 


 The photo above (taken with my iPhone) is of the historic Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner, Montana at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Miles’s school is nearby, and I snapped this photo after we met him for lunch.  I have issues uploading photos from my 64GB card to the iPad, so you’ll have to wait til next week for more Images of Yellowstone and the boys. 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Snowy Courthouse Square

Of the photos I took Courthouse Square in the snow, this one is my favorite. After I took photos with my Nikon and got back in the car, I decided to take a quick iPhone shot for Facebook and to text to a few friends. Of course, that one ended up being my favorite- the point of view from the car was much better than from where I had stood for my other photos. I can’t believe I didn’t see that when I was taking pictures.  My excuse is that I was concerned about the snow falling on my camera. . .


I converted it to black and white in Lightroom to use for my photo club on Tuesday (the theme was black and white). The photo was well-received, although not a winner in the voting- and the comments all had to do with the unique point of view- the angle of the fence etc. etc. Maybe when it snows again, I can shoot from this angle again- only with my big-girl camera!

Retro Blur

I found myself playing with my Lensbaby Mobile recently. Although it really is a cool little lens for the iPhone, I hadn’t been using it much after I got my Composer Pro and optics for my Nikon. As I’ve mentioned before, Nik Snapseed is my usual first stop when editing my iPhone photos, and this time, it was my ONLY stop.  It has a cool little set of filters within the app called retrolux, which give a desaturated, vintage look (actually 12 looks) with lots of options for adding or removing scatches, light leaks, vignettes etc.

The photo on the left has been edited with Snapseed only, and the one on the right has several Kim Klassen textures added in Photoshop on top of what was done with the retrolux filter. It’s hard to spot the differences- just a little more texture, a little less haze and a slightly darker flower.



I caught this glimpse of Spring with my iPhone as snowflakes were falling last week.

Photo Mar 02- 10 56 00 AM

Saved by Black and White

I’m missing my camera! I admire those iPhone artists that ONLY take photos with their phone cameras and create masterpieces.  I enjoy taking photos with my phone- and have a lot of fun editing them- but I miss the shallow depth of field and beloved blur that I can get with my DSLR (especially with my Lensbaby optics).  I am keeping my fingers crossed that my camera is fixed before we head to San Diego.

These photos were taken on a walk last week. When I got home I noticed most of the photos had a greenish cast. The photos I took in square format were fine- as were those I took with the VSCO camera app.  And, no matter what, I could not remove the color cast in apps on the phone or in Lightroom.  It took a few days for the lightbulb to come on- I had inadvertently clicked on one of the color settings in the iPhone camera app (but not when it was set to square format), so all those photos were green. Oh. I rescued them by converting them to black and white.



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


And again, once more . . .

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

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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.

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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.