Yes, I hiked . . .

I’ve been so inactive the past 6 months, alas.  But here is a bit of proof that I had to WALK to Red Rock Crossing- from the parking lot.

Another View

It’s all about the reflection.

Color Play

Another play with one of my multiple exposure photos from the Mogollon Rim. Yes, I do love Photoshop!



It’s up, it’s done, it exists! Huge exhale!

Yavapai College Photography Show

Let the fun begin!

It is a beautiful show- and I am honored to be a part of it!

P.S. One of my photos has SOLD!

Down to the Wire

It is crunch time.

As I have mentioned, I am participating in two photography shows- but did I mention that they are happening at the same time? And that the receptions are on the same day at the same exact time?

Tomorrow, I and another  photographer will help hang the show for our photo group at the Yavapai College Art Gallery (for me, it’s mostly to learn how!). I have three photos in the show- an Alaska landscape, a Utah landscape, and The Magician. I’m not too nervous about it, because I’m only one of fifteen. And the others are superstars.

The next show (which we hang next Monday) is a different matter . My good friend, Debbie, who makes fabulous “fauxbots” out of found objects, and I have our OWN show (whaaaaaat?) in the mezzanine of ‘Tis Gallery across from the square here in Prescott. Unlike with shows on the main floor, we are totally responsible for the organizing, arranging, hanging, and some of the publicity. Oh and we pay for the space too. The show is called “F-stops and Fauxbots” with the tagline making magic with photography and found objects. 

We were actually invited to do this and I said no three times before I said yes. I have hardly ever sold anything and don’t have a business (and don’t plan on having one). Debbie does have a business and sells her work. People love her fauxbots (I do too!). I have been stressing over this for months, but finally had an attitude adjustment and decided to just enjoy the process- which I have. I don’t mind telling you that it was a big investment and a hell of a lot of work, but I am almost at the finish line!

What you see here are the framed photos wrapped up so I don’t scratch the frames, some matted unframed prints ready to package in plastic- and some cards.  Now it’s just details and the actual setup. One more week!

P.S. The receptions for both are Friday May 26 at 5:00- Yavapai Community College for the class- and ‘Tis Gallery for “F-stops and Fauxbots”. The shows each last about a month. I’ll post the details later on.

P.P.S. Did I mention that Debbie is in California awaiting the birth of grandchild number 5? She promises to make it back in time for our show . . .

DNA, NPE, and Family Secrets

This post isn’t exactly photography related, but it’s about something that has been very much on my mind and heart in the last couple months.

Since childhood, I have been fascinated by family stories and relationships- how do we all connect? I wrote out family trees while still a child, although they only went back to my great-grandparents- and weren’t entirely accurate.  I think some of this fascination had to do with being an only child; I wanted more PEOPLE!

Well, I have them now! We are still a small family, but our family tree includes 6,057 people at last count.

In the last year, I’ve developed an interest in DNA as a genealogical tool, but, truthfully, it was hard to wrap my mind around triangulations, chromosomes, centimorgans and segments. Still is! However, some unexpected DNA cousin matches in the last couple months have motivated me to learn to apply science to my lifelong hobby.  You see, when you have your DNA done, you not only learn your ethnicity, but you see how other people who have taken the test are related to you. People can be totally private, but their user names still pop up as matches and their relationship to you is estimated by the number of centimorgans you have in common. There were some surnames in four close cousin matches that were totally unfamiliar to me- and they had trees!

Without divulging names and where they fit on our tree, I will say that at least 3 of the 4 were adopted- and one has not written back.  And they were from the same general geographical area.  A mystery- and I love mysteries!

The more I went through their sketchy, incomplete trees and those of dozens of others that connected to them, the more I realized we had an NPE- a Non-Paternal Event, which means that the father of record is not the biological father. This was not a huge surprise, because there was a known ancestor who we had heard was not the actual father. About ten years ago, I decided to incorporate the father of record into our tree and had traced his ancestors back to colonial days. Now it looks like there will be a whole new line to investigate.

The adoptees that I wrote to knew the names of their birth parents, but not their ancestors- except for one. And I’ve found how she connects to the others- most likely through her unknown father’s line. This is the fun part. The hard part for me is seeing the broken families in the trees and imagining the hardships some of these people were facing.

The evidence is not solid yet on how these adopted cousins fit into our tree; I can connect them more easily to each other than to us- except through DNA. And the conventional wisdom is that DNA doesn’t lie- people do. Yikes.

I’m sure this post is hard to follow without more specific details, but I’m trying to respect the privacy of family members. I have mixed feelings about the whole situation- it is so wonderful how DNA can bring people together, but it also can reveal secrets that the people involved may never have wanted to be revealed. There are ethical dilemmas involved.

And then there is another DNA family story that will have a happy ending- just not yet.  Almost fifteen years ago, a twenty-some year old second cousin of Lonnie’s named Kenny (whom he had never met) contacted us wanting to share family history. He has the mind and dedication of a cold-case detective and is highly skilled at tracing family from past to present, as well as present to past (and all on his PHONE!). While other genealogy contacts have come and gone (or died. . .), I’ve been talking to Kenny (and, in recent years, texting with him) regularly all these years. And. . . DNA just showed us that he and Lonnie are not related. This has been very upsetting to say the least, but, since we know family is not all about DNA, he is and will always be our cousin.

So, as you may surmise, despite being very busy getting ready for two photography shows and leading an otherwise busy life as well- I have been obsessed with family history- and not getting much sleep. I keep putting my files aside, but then just can’t seem to step away from the computer!

So that’s what I’ve been doing!





Atomic Tumbleweed

I’ve tried to photograph tumbleweeds before, but can’t seem to find the right way when they the single subject.  So here’s a jazzed up multiple exposure/composite. . .




Last week we had a huge windstorm and snow the next day. And now we are back to Spring weather, and our apple trees are in bloom!

Mobile Monday

I confess I’ve been playing more and more with my iPhone photo apps in the last week (mostly while watching TV at night) and have very little standard photography to share. My excuse is my busy schedule- I’ve had commitments and to-dos every day and it was much easier to take a few snaps or import older ones to the phone- all in the name of art. And- my grandboys (and their parents) are arriving tonight!

To my dismay, the lot across the street (where I often stand and shoot my “homescapes”) is being excavated and graded in preparation for building a new house. So instead of views of the hills and peaks, here are a couple multiple exposures of the construction equipment.

Hello, Crow!

20170122-mma_1941_melinda_andersonJust a friend I met at Watson Lake

Hello, 2017!

The camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera.
                                                                        ~ Dorothea Lange

When I started doing photography as a hobby, I soon realized that I was seeing the world in a way I hadn’t since childhood. Pausing to take the time to really notice and see has been the great gift of photography for me. I recently read a wonderful book called Adventures in Seeing by Kim Manley Ort that reminded me of the importance of all this.

As I approach the new year, I know there is no way I can predict what will happen in the world and in my life, but I do know that I want to be happy and present in my own life and with the people I love. I intend to slow down a bit, and take some photographs just for the joy of seeing.

Again- thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comments this year. Whether photography is your hobby or not, take some time to stop and SEE- and perhaps take a photo! Best wishes for a new year filled with JOY!


Good-bye, 2016!

As I say good-bye to 2016, I am looking back to my personal highlights, photography-wise.

  • Having my first photos hung in a gallery and selling two!
  • Being invited to join a local photography group- the intimidating one that I have referred to many times. Being in this group has helped me to accept criticism and to really look at my own work with a much more critical eye. And it’s also really fun!
  • Improving my Photoshop skills (also due to the above group) .
  • Getting a good photo printer and learning to print my own photos.
  • Traveling to Alaska, where photo ops are everywhere!
  • Trying out multiple exposure and intentional camera movement techniques, which I find fun and an escape from the more traditional photography skills I use in my photo group.

Instagram will compile the best nine photos of the year for each user, based on likes. I’m an inconsistent Instagram user, but have been trying to use it more recently, because that is the way everyone seems to be going these days. Two of the photos (the Thumb Butte abstract and the misty, snowy woods) were actually from 2015, but I posted them later to Instagram. So here are my Best Nine, according to Instagram:


Here are my own personal nine favorites of 2016, a few of which never made it to Instagram:


Three of my favorites were just taken in the last month or so- the peaks with pretty skies. And three were taken in Alaska in November. I know the aurora photo is not stellar- but I’m so glad I got even a little bit of it. There are two from San Francisco- and what is that hawk doing there?- I don’t know, I just like the photo!  I noticed that my usual macros, flowers, and still life shots didn’t make the cut- although I still like doing them. And I have to say that my absolute favorite photo of the year is The Magician (top left)- fun to do (and a lot of work to edit).

Thanks for visiting my photo blog this year!

Happy New Year, everyone!




Once upon a time . . .

My husband and I drove over to Chino Valley for lunch yesterday and then took a little drive  to see what we could see. Out near the winery we came upon this cute little structure which we’ve seen before- and of course I had to snap a few photos. To me, it looks like something out of a child’s storybook. There was a bit of artistic license taken in the editing to make it look more like an illustration- but, even as a straightforward image, there is a fantasy element, don’t you think?



Botanical 2.0

And here’s another version of my nandina leaves- this time in black and white: