Simply Fall

Before I set up last week’s still life with the milk can, wheat, lantern and a multitude of pumpkins, I set up a simpler scene on a table for a test shot as I checked the focus and exposure. I soon realized that there wasn’t enough room for everything on the table and decided to move the whole tableau to the floor by the front door. After I finished editing that image, which I took to my photo group, I came across my original test shot. It is a much simpler composition and is edited fairly simply with an added texture- and (shhhhh…) I prefer this one.

Pumpkin Storm

I spent some time today doodling with a pumpkin image I took at Trader Joe’s a week ago. The historic storm battering Canada’s maritime provinces must have been on my mind as I edited this- hence, Pumpkin Storm.

Autumn Vibes

Fall is in the air- or at least it feels that way. It’s a bit cooler, it gets dark earlier, and there is a breeze. So even though the official start of fall is a couple days away, the autumn vibes inspired me to create my first still life of the season.

Summer’s End

As I get ready for today’s Labor Day barbecue, I think about how Labor Day meant the end of summer when I was a child. Now, most schools have been in session for a couple weeks or more. This image is from last October’s visit to Huntington Beach; summer is still in full swing in Southern California!

I am thinking of getting my Fall wreath out soon though. . .

Summer of Bees

As summer draws to a close, our yard is full of flowers- and BEES! I’m glad about the bees, but I don’t always want to have them in my flower shots. I decided to post this one however- I thought this little guy was particularly photogenic with its round little body and glowy wings in the middle of the cosmos.

Show-off

Morning coffee these days means sitting on the front porch watching the monsoon rains or sitting on the back patio and watching the hummingbird show. Today it was the hummingbirds.

We have had more hummingbirds than usual this summer and often they are vying for dominance in their territory. This morning they were zooming around so fast it was difficult to focus. Although they were focused on each other (and the feeder!), I considered they might actually fly right into me as I stood taking photos. As I write this, they are back at it again after a forced respite due to heavy rain.

I was in the mood for a soft photo when I edited this image, so muted the colors and added a blur and a paint filter over all. This is a look I like in photography- but does NOT reflect the mood of these feisty hummers.

Loon

Most of my Alaska photography time last month was spent photographing the loons that swam peacefully around the lake. Often they would dive beneath the water for food and then surface with a spray of bubbly lake water. They were usually in pairs and would call to each other when they were separated, flapping their wings when the other was spotted. There was a pair with babies which I never saw, unfortunately. Next year…

Setting Sun

Some of my favorite images (and memories) come from last summer’s vacation in Alaska when we celebrated our fiftieth anniversary. I have a multitude of photos still to be processed, and I love dipping into the collection and finding new images to create. This one is two photos taken within minutes of each other and layered in Photoshop.

Dinnertime

During our “elder years” (I put this in quotes, because I haven’t quite accepted my role as an elder), my husband and I have taken to eating many of our summertime meals out on the patio while we to watch the birds. Last night, I was enjoying watching the goldfinches, when many more finches swooped in and crowded each other on one of the feeders. I was surprised to see the spotted towhee (on the left) join them; I’m used to see the towhees under the feeders, rather than ON them.

What a relaxing way to start our evening!

Exhale. . .

We have just returned from a week visiting our daughter’s family in Alaska. Most of the time was spent at their family cabin on a small lake. I can’t imagine a more relaxing spot- especially at sunset. This iPhone shot was taken after 11 pm, when the light was just beginning to dim. Ahhhh….

Swinger

We have a hummingbird feeder hanging outside our window by the kitchen sink, and nearby is a hummingbird swing. The hummer in this photo (a quick snap taken through the window glass) was not swinging for fun. He was guarding the feeder from a hummingbird who kept trying to come in for a drink. Never mind that there are three feeders- these aggressive little guys do not like to share!

Prickly Poppy

Every summer, I take photos of these prickly poppies, and I usually am not happy with them. This one was shot at the end of a walk at Watson Lake just as it was thundering and clouding over. A few raindrops were coming down, and the clouds softened the usually harsh noon light, which brought out the details of the petals.

Warning- these prickly leaves are sharp, which is why I’ve never succeeded in picking one of these poppies. Next time- heavy garden gloves and clippers!

Friday Flowers

If you seen eryngium, you might hesitate to call it a flower. It looks like a thistle, but is supposed to be an herb, common name sea holly. Although I took many shots, the one I like best is this multiple exposure with a bit of intentional camera movement on one layer.

Flutter-by

This butterfly has been fluttering by the windows that look out on our back yard, but it never seemed to land. Today, I caught a glimpse of it through the front window and saw it land on a bush at the edge of our property. I grabbed my camera and spent about 10 minutes watching and photographing it with my zoom lens- my first butterfly photo of the summer!

Translucent

Here is another view of the hummingbird I posted yesterday. Although it’s not my favorite pose (the wings forward), I love how you can see the flower, sky, and part of the head through the wing as the morning light hits the front of the bird, its wings frozen in place with the high shutter speed I was using to photograph bees.