Morning Stroll

This morning I was out with my macro lens, trying to capture the early morning light on the flowers when I became aware of some movement across the street.


It was a javelina!


He seemed on a mission and continued up the hill and up the driveway of our neighbor’s house, where I lost sight of him.


We have lived here almost three years and, although herds of javelinas can be seen throughout Prescott, especially in early evening, we had never seen a javelina in our neighborhood until today. I know from neighbors that they are around, but they seem to avoid my camera. In fact, last month something rooted up all our bulbs in the front flower bed- and damaged some of the drip system. And now I have a potential suspect!

Unfortunately, my 80mm macro lens was on the camera, so I wasn’t able to zoom in on our visitor. The first two photos are cropped.

FYI, javelinas are collared peccaries, not boars or pigs.  They are usually in small herds or family groups and can be aggressive.

And they sound like this!


Snow at Daybreak


This is an early morning view from our driveway of the hills to the southeast of us. I posted the original photo on Facebook last week, but had fun playing with it yesterday, using two filters from Topaz Impression plus an added texture.



Winter Dreams

20141225-DSC_7992_melinda_anderson-EditThis is one of my first images using my brand new (drum roll, please!) Lensbaby for my Nikon!!!  Santa was very good to me this year- he brought me the Lensbaby Composer Pro System kit, which includes the Sweet 35, the Sweet 50, and the Edge 80 optics- and a couple macro converters. The Sweet 35 was attached to the Composer Pro, so that’s what I used for all my photos (I actually haven’t learned how to swap optics as yet).  There is quite a learning curve with Lensbaby- more than a few of the photos I shot were completely out of focus- but I knew to expect that.

The above image DOES have a sweet spot of focus in the tree, blurring off into the clouds. I decided to convert it to black and white and texture it in Photoshop.

I am beyond excited to have these new toys to play with on my camera!

BTW, I’m taking a bit of a blog break- more of a long weekend, actually- to play with my Lensbaby and, more importantly, spend time with my family. I’ll be back Tuesday or Wednesday. See you then!



Me and Google

20141206-IMG_0067_melinda_andersonA year ago last summer, when we were looking for houses to buy, my friend, Debbie, noticed a listing on the internet for the perfect house (which we did end up buying), but the Google map for the neighborhood was confusing- there were two consecutive streets with the same name.  Which street was the one with the house for sale?  From time to time, I noticed that Google glitch on the map- and last week decided to let them know their map was wrong.

I guess it’s not an uncommon thing for Google to make mistakes, because there is actually a form to fill out when you spot an error.  I compared their map with the satellite image and discovered that several little streets off the thru street were labelled incorrectly. The error started when they misidentified a driveway as a street- and then got off for the next four streets ending up with an extra street, which they named the same as ours. I filled out the form, and they responded that they would look into it.

Less than a week later, they wrote me an email saying “You were right!”, and that they had corrected the problem. I checked the map and discovered that they had now correctly named the street before ours with its correct name- but had left that name on the street before that one and continued the incorrect sequence (including labeling the driveway as a street).  Aaack!

So, on Saturday I walked the neighborhood taking photos of houses, streets, and signs to make sure I was accurate- and wrote them again.  I haven’t heard anything back yet.

I took my husband’s new Canon Powershot SX50 with me on the walk. I’m trying to learn it, because its zoom has a fantastic reach (and it shoots RAW!), and I plan to use it for wildlife photography.  I’ve already customized 3 buttons on it with my settings, so I won’t interfere with his AUTO settings.  All of today’s photos were taken with this nifty camera. For me, the most difficult part is controlling the zoom- so I need to practice on some backyard birds.




It’s beautiful day in the neighborhood. . .

Here are a few more photos from last weekend’s walk in the neighborhood:

20141118-fallleaves_melinda_andersonAnd here is another attempt at ICM (intentional camera movement)- this time edited with Topaz Impression (one of the Cezanne presets) and textured with Kim Klassen’s chill texture.

20141115-20141115-Cez20141115-DSC_6820_melinda_anderson_melinda_anderson-2_melinda_andersonLinking up with Texture Tuesday today.

Neighborhood Walk

Our weather has turned chilly, the leaves have mostly all turned gold and are starting to be blown off the trees, so I decided to take a short walk in the neighborhood to capture leaves on the trees while they were still attached.  I did take a few tree photos, but, inspired by my abstract photography class,  I also found myself attracted to the shapes and patterns around me.

Berries in the sidewalk cracks:



Leaves in the rocks:


I’ll post trees tomorrow!

Up the Hill, part 2

Here are two more shots I love from last week’s (short) walk up the hill to the top of our lot.  I want to make clear that none of this land above is ours- and it does crack me up that it took me a year to walk through our weeds to get to the pretty ones above.  Just know that I don’t like the possibility of snakes- or even lizards. Or frogs. I think that covers it.

Lovely weeds!


And here is a view of Prescott’s iconic Thumb Butte.


From the archives

9Jan2014-1375-EditA view of the San Francisco Peaks (Flagstaff) from across the street