Like most of you, we are staying home, trying to avoid getting exposed, and only going outside for occasional walks or drives. We are getting into a routine of exercising at home, doing a few clean-out projects, planning and eating meals, keeping track of our supplies, communicating online and by phone with family and friends, watching the news (Lonnie), editing photos and doing genealogy, and streaming shows at night. This whole thing would be so much more difficult in the pre-internet age- there’s lots to be grateful for!
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
Kim Klassen, my very first photography mentor and whose video tutorials taught me Photoshop nine years ago, has brought back her Texture Tuesday linkup! When I saw the announcement last night, I leapt at the opportunity to download her free textures and participate! I have gotten away from still life and have ventured into other areas of photography, but am so, so grateful to come back to Kim’s special world, especially NOW! Thank, you Kim!
Another thing about the beach- there are surfers! There is a lot of patience involved in surfing , I’ve discovered on my beach walks; there is more waiting than actual surfing. But then the right wave comes, it’s magic!
It was the noisy squawking that led me to look up and see this pair of gulls as we walked on the Queen Mary. My first thought was that it was their first date, hence the name of this post.
Gulls can sometimes be pretty annoying when you are at the beach, but this one caught my eye as he perched on a rooftop surveying the scene in Newport Beach.
One of the highlights of our last trip to California was touring the Queen Mary, which is permanently docked in Long Beach. The lines and angles of this view caught my eye as we walked prepared to go aboard. What a beautiful reminder of a bygone era, before cruise ships became associated in our minds with viruses and quarantine.
Good Morning, Sunshine!
What a joy it was to be back walking on the beach with my new knee! It still doesn’t feel “normal”- but I can walk without pain and without poles. And watching the waves and the birds is the best therapy!
At Newport Beach
I took the photo below last summer at the beautiful Anchorage Museum- I just loved the graphic elements on the wall and the line of bean bag chairs, with the pattern broken by my grandson Miles. I brought it to my photo class yesterday for our assignment on Patterns.
Tuesday was Lonnie’s birthday, a great excuse to spend the night in Sedona- and our hotel was right across from this gorgeous view! Although we head to Sedona four or five times a year, the red rocks take my breath away every time!
It looked like the Canada geese felt right at home as they paddled through the chilly water on this cold winter day. It was just Tuesday that Watson Lake was surrounded by white- but now the beautiful Arizona sunshine has melted most of it, leaving white in just the shadiest areas. I have learned to get out and take photos right away here in Prescott, as more often than not, the snow only lasts for a few days. This image was taken with my iPhone.
I thought I could see swans from the road last week, so we went over to Willow Lake late Saturday afternoon to see what we could see. No swans were in the area where we had seen them before, but a heron was slowly wading through the shallows stalking his prey. We watched for a half hour or so- but never saw him catch anything. As the light was fading, we walked back to the car, leaving him still searching for dinner.
Walking around in the Alabama Hills was fascinating not only for the memories of cowboy movies shot in these locations- but for the frequent views of Mt. Whitney just above the rock formations. This is a place I would like to visit again.
the swans! It was such a treat to see them in the wild- hope to go back before they fly off somewhere.
Sand and scrub
Friday night, we learned from Facebook that there were swans out at Willow Lake! We are accustomed to seeing ducks, geese, eagles, hawks, herons, egrets etc.- but this is the first we’ve heard of swans. So on Saturday morning we headed over to see what we could see. This would be my first walk in nature since my knee surgery, so I was pretty excited- so excited, in fact, that when we spotted the swans, I realized I had left my zoom lens on the kitchen counter! And what was on my camera, you ask? My macro lens! So I watched the swans as a hawk perched above them in a tree and a heron stood intently searching the water for his breakfast and tried to content myself with occasional macro shots.
After my genealogy meeting in the afternoon, we drove over again. The swans were starting to tuck their heads under their wings, but eventually all four swam around where we could see them in the late afternoon light. I haven’t gone through all the photos yet, but here is a shot of three of them.
Looking back at October in Prescott- wildflowers and cactus in bloom at Willow Lake!
There’s something about those little white flowers that I just love!
The window light seems to have created a spotlight effect on the table in this hydrangea still life- as well as a bit of a refracted image of the grandfather clock which was behind.
Painterly effects added with Topaz Impression
I haven’t been out yet taking photos, except for a few documenting our snowfall, but I have started a new project. I am taking an online class in making textures to use in photography! So far I have created a set of textures painted with acrylic paint (still have to scan most into my computer) and a set of photographs of the textures on my cookie sheets and pizza stone. I used textures from both sets in the image below.
Below is a detail shot from Zabriskie Point in Death Valley. I fell in love with the rippled landscape.
One of the must-do’s in Death Valley is to go to the lowest point in North America- Badwater Basin. It was hot, it was below sea level- and that was about it.
Lots of tourists!
In the cold of December. it is sometimes nice to reminisce about the hot days of summer. In this case, it was a hot day on the first of October- and it was Death Valley!