Sharing the beauty of the world through photography and writings.
"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. " .... Ansel Adams
Welcome to my blog for photographers and nature lover's around the world. I hope you enjoy my chitter chatter about life, nature, gardening...and a little bit of kitchen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simply Put - My Daughter


She is my daughter. My only daughter. My most favorite daughter. She has grown up to be an absolutely awesome person and, as with my sons, I hope I can say I had something to do with that.  Whether she learned her awesome parental techniques from me or from my mistakes, I can say that she really 'rocks' as a mom.  She should be totally proud of herself.  I can only remind her that parents can do everything right, teach them all the good, protect them from the bad, direct them hopefully in the proper direction, praise them, discipline them, challenge them, send them to the best schools, give them all the love and respect and attention anyone could possibly need, and no matter what, they will grow up to be who they are 'born to be'.  We can only cross our fingers and pray that it is a person we are proud of.

I miss her tremendously.  We don't talk enough.  She has her life filled with two little, wonderfully adorable girls.  Mine is freakishly filled too much with employment 'crap' put it nicely. There are too many miles between us, this I regret on a regular basis as it is my doing...not hers.  I tell myself that over time that regret will go away but I don't believe it ever will.  

We were apart in other ways than just distance at one long time ago point in our lives.  Thankfully only for a short period of time.  I believe I can say we are close now although not as close as I would like to be.  I envy the closeness she has to her mother-in-law  and at the same time am happy that she has that.  It's better than the other mother-in-law issue. (smiling)

I am proud of her. She is one awesome person to be proud of.  I know her girls will grow up to be just as awesome.  No question about it. I only want to continue to insure that they know who this 'grandma' is and that hopefully some day she and they can say that I was an important part of their lives. 

I love you, dear daughter.  More than you could ever know.

Happy Birthday, sweetie.  Happy Birthday.

SH #86 - A Shadow

A gardener and her gardens.
A photographer and her subject.
A shadow shared in awesome afternoon light.

SH #9 - A Junk Car/Truck

We were up north four wheeling this weekend and one of the driver's decided he would try to play in a mud hole.  That little mud hole ended up being a hidden sinkhole and sucked them right down.  Literally.  Funny.  Really.  They laughed too.

Luckily we were just a short distance from the little town where we stopped to eat some lunch and turned around to go find a water hose to wash off the couple inch thick layer of black mud that was clogging up the radiator.  Luckily, for me, this little gem was hiding in a small brush area right next to the station where we found the water hose.

It kept company with this lost car also.  It's like they parked and the growth just wrapped around them and didn't let them go. The front license plate on the car actually looked quite new but had no year sticker on it.  How I would love to have these in my outdoor studio.

PS, I don't call these junk. I call them gems. An awesome find.

SH #18 - A Child Laughing

Really?  How could this not brighten a persons day?

There is nothing more heartwarming than to watch a child play and discover the beauty of the world around him.  Smiling.  Laughing.  At the simplest thing.  I don't even remember what he was doing.  What was he laughing at?  Truly...does it even matter. That one little laugh will remove every sad and mad thought that one carrys on about at that moment and hopefully for hours afterwards.

There is nothing more therapeutic than a child's innocent, explorative, laughter at the world.  So when you're down, when you're sad, or just plain mad at the world....find your inner child...and laugh at the situation because probably is very funny.

SH #15 - A Live Performance

He was the cutest thing.  We walked by...holding hands...and he commented about how cute we were...holding hands.

A midget in a costume?  A kid with a really deep voice?

A remote control puppet with a microphone relaying what his controller was saying through a speaker. Cute idea.   Awesome.  Totally had the 'followers' throughout the fair grounds. Large and small.

#2 - Barnyard Animal

Have you ever really touched a pigs snout?  I did.  This one.  At the Fond du Lac County Fair.  Do you see how shiny it is?  It looks soft and mushy doesn't it? Guess what?  It isn't. It's hard and slightly wet.

When I was a young teenager.  I had a horse for a pet, as well as dogs, and mice and guinea pigs. My little brother..he had two pigs. You would have to know him to totally understand how that really makes sense.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Layers of Script

A layer with script. Kind of cool, right?  A new lesson.  The thing I am really enjoying about the entire process is not only am I gaining some creative perspective to providing a new view on 'life', I am also learning some new little tips and tricks within PSE. So. That. Is. Cool.  Adding layers to my pictures.  A bit of texture here and there.  All the while also adding layers to my level of knowledge and creativity.

I do find in these practices as I find in my photography many days that my pics turn out 'darker' than what I think they are initially intended to be...from the tutorial anyhow.  I guess I like the high contrast. The vividness, although I also find myself lowering saturation a bit.  I'm sure it is just a setting in my camera I need to slightly change. But for now....

So I played a bit more

I think I like it just a bit better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seeing the Light

(mouse over to see before photo)

This weeks lesson just goes to prove that not all bad pictures are throw away material.  Sometimes a little bit of creativity will shed some wonderful new light on the subject thus producing a complete and sometimes awesome save (not necessarily the case here).

I had some difficulty with this one and definitely will need to review the tutorial again and try it on a bit of a different picture.  I thought I had totally blown it...until I looked at the before and after...and again...the before was nothing to write home about - just a pic taken quite quickly at the office in poor lighting and no thought process or setup time used efficiently at all.

I so prefer to get the picture right in the first place so that I don't then have to sit and edit it even more but if I can save a sentimental action such as this one ( a gift of a flower from a of my favorite flowers at that...second only to the daisy group) then a little creative editing to add passion and pizzaz is always worth the little bit of extra time needed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trust the Process

Trust the process?

"trust yourself in all you do. Be true to YOU..... allowing both love and hurt, bruises and bumps and be a possibility. Being true to YOU is the only way to go.
Sometimes in order to find our gifts, life's treasures...we have to step up and out..... move into the fear.... We have to risk feeling uncomfortable, vulnerable....scared even..... and when we bravely move toward that... and push through...bountiful gifts await.
from Julia Cameron's The Artist Way.
'When we trust ourselves, we become both more humble and more daring. When we trust ourselves we move surely. There is no unnecessary strain in our grasp as we reach out to meet life. There is no snatching at people and events trying to force them to give us what we think we want. We become what we are meant to be. It is that simple. We become what we are, and we do it by being who we are, not who we strive to be.'"
The words above as shared by Kim and Julia Cameron are words and processes defined that I struggle with quite often.  So often, I've given up who I am in order to make someone else happy.  After 55 years of doing so, I find it is still a hard habit to break.  This is why I work the hours I keep my company happy.  This is why I gave up going to school in my late twenties and my fab job of challenges and travels...and at times....why I have given up parts of my family (thankfully for only a short period).
'Trust yourself in all you do....'
Ah...what a struggle that brings.  Only just this morning with my Artist Way project, I told myself that I find myself asking myself if I am really committed to this creative passion I have.  I find sometimes the littlest excuses for not going through with what I really want to do.  Work gets in the way.  But...I don't see him during the week as we work two different shifts so I need to spend every moment around him on weekends. Giving up the two days during the week that I have some creative energy to grow on.  I ask him to join me but, not being a photographer, I feel guilty spending the time trying to capture the shot I want as I feel I am holding him back.  In reality, I am probably holding us both back.
I don't have confidence in myself.
I don't trust the process on a regular basis.
I love my passions of photography and nature and travel.
I hate my job. It's monotonous, boring, unchallenging, exhausting.
I am, quite often, afraid to get out 'of the box'.  Afraid of what others will say and feel.
I'm tired of giving 'me' up in order to make everyone else happy.
I know who I truly am...who I am supposed to be.  There have been short spurts in my life when I was allowed to be that.  I can feel 'me'.  I can see 'me'. Behind that protective wall. I only need...Me to pull Me out.
A very favorite song of mine....Break Away by Kelly Clarkson