Monday, December 27, 2010

My First Bentley Snowflake

http://snowflakebentley.blogspot.com/2010/12/first-snow-crystal-of-season.html

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Backyard Beauty

Finally got the fence up in the back yard.  The leaves have all dropped by now showing off the fence even more.  I loved the contrast of the Maple against the pine tree though.  We still have the green with the pine so it's not so stark.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Connecticut Fall


The leaves are finally changing in Connecticut.  This image is the North Farms Reservoir, a popular spot for swans and fisherman.  The swans were not cooperating this morning though.   They were all huddled together on the other side of the lake.  What started out as a raw morning ended up turning into a beautiful 70 degree sunny day.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dose of Dahlia


One of the best flowers in Fall are the Dahlia's.  Look at this beauty.  Now if I could only get them to grow straight up.  They all grew around and around and crazily all over the place.  


Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Color Blue

Who says you can't take pictures in the middle of the day?  It was a sunny day and there were no clouds.  There was no time to wait around til the sun faded either.  But who cares.  Have you ever seen a more beautiful blue in your whole life?  Man, can I see myself in that car.  Just beautiful.  It looks so familiar to  me for some reason.  Hmmm.  Just a past dream perhaps?  Ok and I will critique myself further, I didn't have time to crop the people out.  Oh well, I just couldn't wait to get this blue out there!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

End of summer web


I woke up one morning last week to a foggy day.  The first thought in my mind was to grab the camera and run out to the local reservoir because it's a great place for mood shots with that fog.   As the sun lifted the fog what I found was a spider web wonderland.  This one spider was pretty busy making this huge web.  I never knew there were so many webs out there until the moisture settled on them and brought them all to light.  Amazing.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Learning Lighting for Photography




I just received an email from a previous Better Photo instructor, John Siskin, with yet more information about lighting.  It reminded me to post some pictures from his BetterPhoto.com class that I took a couple months ago "Getting Started in Commercial Photography".  John is a great instructor and gives out a wealth of information!  He also appeals to the Yankee in me in that he had all kinds of tips for how to make inexpensive equipment to use for lighting.  I even made my own light panel from materials from a hardware store.  Making your own stuff helps to offset the costs for strobes.   It may seem like I'm really promoting BetterPhoto and in a sense I am only because I have enjoyed the classes so much and gotten so much out of them.  

The photo above was for the Architectural Photography assignment and the end result after many hours of experimenting with different setups, different times of day, and use of different lights in order to finally get something that I felt had the right balance with the light outside and the lighting inside.  With the amount of vertical and horizontal lines in the shot it made it even more challenging.  I had one Alien Bee 1600 set up from the upper level to light the back window wall trim and one Speedlght 580EX II off to the left lighting out towards the fireplace.  It seems like it would be so simple to light that space but it wasn't.  I have an entirely new perspective for lighting and a new interest in a part of photography I never thought of before.  It ties my love of interiors and art and architecture with photography.  

My new Sigma 10-22mm lens was really helpful in getting the expanse of the room and so useful for architectural work and lots of other work.  What a fun lens this is.  Another item crossed off my list.  These classes help to spur me to get more of the equipment I need.






Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Universe IS listening

In late May while I was driving to Maine on vacation to Bar Harbor, my husband and I created a list of inspirational ideas and dreams of what we would like to do and where we'd like to be in our lives.  On my list was to take a photography workshop vacation.  

Azalea Reflections in Maine
Since I had already taken a couple online classes through Betterphoto.com with Tony Sweet as the instructor I thought I'd start there.  I believe in going with your gut and when something you want almost makes you cry you know you're onto something.  That's why I took my first class with Tony, "Image Design:  Revealing your Personal Vision."  I love his work and style and wanted to further my experience under his guidance.  Checking into his workshop he had a workshop for Acadia, ME.  Acadia is a photographers paradise with the rocky coast, the water, mountains, etc.  Taking the class would not only help me refine my skills, but be inspirational and motivational in helping me with courage in taking the next step in making photography my second career.  It's one thing to go on vacation and take pictures, but another to take a vacation from work to take design images.  You can focus on your photography and not have to worry about missing out on your actual vacation.

The class was listed as full on Tony's website.  It also says to sign up anyway for the wait list because people drop out.  I signed up and I asked how many people were ahead of me.  Twenty-two people were ahead!  Looking at this two ways, positively and negatively, I first thought no way, there is no way 22 people are going to drop out.  But you have to believe.   So many things have happened to me in the past eight years that all point to you get what you think about.  I figured I would give it my best and believe that I was going.  I put the dates on my calendar at work for vacation time.  I gave up going on a trip to Turks and Caicos with friends, not only because of this workshop but for other reasons.  If you believe you are going you have to act as if you are going.  I stopped thinking about it and thought it will happen if it's meant to happen.

The time is getting closer so I wanted to check to see how I was moving up on the list.   I was thinking maybe half of them dropped out and I'd be 11th.  The number 11 has big significance with me so if anything I thought that would be the number.  It wasn't.  It was 2.  TWO!  I am TWO spots away from going on the workshop!  Wow.   The Universe is listening.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Food

What reminds us more of a yummy, fun filled food day in the Summer than watermelon?  1 cup of diced watermelon contains approximately calories.  It's loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A.  Pink watermelon is also a source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene.  It is high in sugar, 10g per cup, so it's not what you'd eat on a low carb diet, but it's also loaded with water (about 92% worth) so it's good to keep hydrated on a hot summer day.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Photo Hunt: Covered


The ground around the Crocus flowers is still covered with leaves from the past fall. Now if it would just get a little warmer and dry up today we can rake them away!
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Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Photography Course

I just signed up for another photography course through ( BetterPhoto.com "4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting" online course).  I've taken a few online courses through them already and I love the format.  It forces me to get out and take pictures and learn, learn, learn!  It's really great to meet new people from all over the world and see the creativity and how people develop their skills even in a short 4 week course.  I like the 8 week courses better, only because you get more time to develop more, but this lighting course I wanted to get me motivated to make my light box, and to learn how to light up a subject and whatever else. It's easy to just go out and shoot whatever interests you with the flash you have, but lighting is probably one of the most important aspects of photography.  Too much and you create glare, and too much white and make people's faces look washed out.  Too little and just everything goes wrong.  Just look at how artistic painting evolved.  When the artists learned about and brought in light it changed the whole way paintings look.  Just look at a "Caravaggio" painting and how he focused on lighting a subject and  you'll see what I mean.

I'm looking forward to posting some pics here as I go through the course.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Photo Hunt - Fresh

Today's photo hunt didn't take long for me to remember this yummy dish. This is FRESH mozzarella over broccoli rabe at Becco Restaurant in NYC. Look at that puffy cloud of cheese. I can remember the silky, creaminess of the cheese. There was just enough spice and salt sprinkled on the top with a piece of toasted italian bread under it and then the broccoli rabe resting on the bottom. Some wonderful aromatic olive oil was drizzled over the top. Geez, I wish I lived closer to NYC because I'd be running back there right now to get another one.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Vertical Valentine's Day

Went to New York City for Valentine's Day to have lunch at Becco. For some reason all these lines just happened to jump out at me begging for a photo.

The picture with the cables was in front of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Show this week. That looks like a lot of power!

Also took a quick side trip to visit the International Center of Photography Museum. Might be something to explore a little further on a different day. All I have to say about the Miroslav Tichy exhibit was that it was a little creepy. I just couldn't get what it was all about. But then again, it made me realize that you can make images of anything, pull it all together, and someone, somewhere, will think the collection is worth showing to the world.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February Snowflakes


These are the kinds of spindle-like snow flakes that fell in the snowstorm we had in Connecticut yesterday, February 10, 2010. We were supposed to get somewhere around 15 inches. I think we might have gotten five inches. I was looking forward to examining some of the beautiful flakes that can be seen and all I saw all day where these pointy crystals. I'm just wondering what the snow crystals looked like in the areas south of us in New Jersey, and down to Baltimore, MD.

While others are hoping the snow will stop, I'm hoping we get more so I can take a look at more crystals.
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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Photo Hunt: Average


These are average sized Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Frosting. They are about a 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Although, there is an over-average amount of cinnamon in the frosting. You can see all the cinnamon spread throughout the frosting.

Use any recipe for Pumpkin Cookies. I made a couple of different recipes. These came out cake like so they were easy to frost. I think next time I will use a pastry bag and pipe the frosting on nicely. It was hard to make these look pretty just using a knife to spread the frosting on.

Here's the recipe for the frosting:

1 stick of butter softened
4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 or 2 tsp. vanilla extract (I like a lot of vanilla so I use two tsp.)
1 to 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon

-- Beat butter in bowl with a mixer until smooth.
-- Add confectioners sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
-- Mix until creamy scraping the bowl often.
-- Frost the cookies when cool.

If you like cinnamon, these cookies are great.

Take a look at other photo hunters.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January Snow

Instead of worrying about how the roads were with the snow on them, I decided to ride around and take some early morning snow shots at the golf course across the street from my house. I could have walked of course, but I thought I'd take a few photos from the warmth of the car. Plus then I can use the window as a way to prop the camera.