what started as a promise…became a Godsend!

imageimageI started my year in 2013 with a promise to be more patient when my husband was teaching me how to use my camera better. I kept my word and in learning to be patient, I became a better  photographer…. one who knows how to make a picture with the tools I have. It has always been my gift to see the shot I wanted and to know how to frame it in the manner that would highlight the shot to the best artistic view. But I wasn’t using my tools to improve my craft. I am still his student in many ways, and sometimes I get the lesson square on….and other times it passes right over me. I am loving the new skills and the knowledge that I understand it all better. In the long run being his student has made us a really great team.

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Life After the big “C”

I haven’t posted anything in quite some time….my mind was occupied on cancer treatments and such. Now that all the drama has passed I feel like it is time to continue with life after the big “c” took over.  First all the cancer is gone, and I don’t want to focus on the disease, I want to post about what it taught me while I was on the journey to wellness. I learned a lot about love, I learned a whole lot about strength, appreciation, kindness, endurance, and I learned who I am. I always wondered about my purpose and what I was supposed to do with my life….well now I know I am supposed to live it! I am supposed to be in the moment heart, soul and mind….present. Show up and participate. It was a year long journey that I am not sure I am done with yet, but whatever comes my way I was supposed to experience and I like to think that I did it with grace. I was and am surrounded by wonderful people who truly loved me through the toughest of times. My job and the only thing I had to focus on during this journey was being positive and keeping my focus on getting well…the rest was up to GOD and his plan for me. After all of this I am getting back to life as normally as I can and I find the zen part of my journey sometimes harder to hold onto, so that is my focus now, to maintain that sense of calm through all life’s storms and turbulence.

Taken in Gatlinburg, TN

Taken in Gatlinburg, TN

Just an update on the new year’s resolution…


It seems I am keeping that resolution, amazing as that sounds….I am holding true to allowing people to help me reach my goals. By people, I of course am referring to my husband! LOL! I have consistently allowed myself to learn the lessons he has been giving me. Every time I ask a question he has been kind and patient in his explanation to me, I think he enjoys teaching me, when I am open to learning. I have had a few moments in this process, but for the most part I am holding true to my resolution. This is my declaration of gratitude to his patience.

It can be difficult to learn new stuff in your photographic journey, because with every new process there comes a period of adjustment, a period of ineptness that inevitably makes you question whether you really needed to change or not, because the pictures you get during this period stink.


A narrower view…

Lesson 1: depth of field. In the realm of photography this is perhaps the hardest lesson I have tried to grasp. Call me thick headed! But I just couldn’t get the concept and it has caused me to struggle…until I took this picture and my husband used it to illustrate the band of focus. There is an extremely narrow depth of focus in this picture and the gravel allows you to see it very clearly…thereby clarifying the lesson for me….now I see said the blind man!

If you notice the band of clear focus in the center of the picture, but because the depth of field is extremely narrow the back antennae leaves the plane of focus field. It is a perfect illustration of how to keep your subject aligned within the invisible band of focus…just one more technical thing to think about in the pursuit of great pictures.

My hope is that this picture gives you a quicker way to recognize how important depth of field is for technically sound pictures. Happy shooting!

Dealing with the Weeds….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Sometimes in life you are dealt weeds.  I know, this requires a little explanation…. I like to think that weeds are a necessary part of life.  They allow us to recognize and fully appreciate the beautiful things in life…beautiful people, beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, beautiful pictures, flowers, nature, etc…  There is a ying and yang for every situation and the yang is as necessary for total awareness as the ying is.  Good/Evil, Bold/Shy, Beautiful/Ugly, opposites that are necessary to understand each concept.  Without good you cannot understand evil, you cannot be bold if you don’t know shy and the same holds true for beauty and ugliness.  With that said… sometimes, you are dealt weeds!  It could be a really bad picture or you could get the best picture ever.  There is something to be said for the everyday ordinary things in life that teach us the upside of living, the little things that help us appreciate the beauty that surrounds us daily.  When composing pictures next time out, take the time to shoot a few weeds and see what you come up with.

Rethinking the priorities…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I absolutely love the serenity this image creates.  It soothes my soul and leaves me wanting spring to come quickly.  I am anxious to see the spring weather roll into Tennessee…it gives me so much to take pictures of when everything is blooming.  All the rain gives us spectacular rushing water scenes and fresh green growth. I submitted my first pictures to a stock agency as a contributor and although my images were not accepted….I am thrilled that out of the 10 submissions I had 6 of them approved.  Only 4 images were not accepted and that is an awesome perspective from someone that hasn’t been taking pictures very long at all.  I know I am taking the optimistic approach to the extreme, but I find that to be the better attitude to depressed about it all.  I am considering the odds and I think 6 approved to 4 denied is a pretty good place to be.  I also feel like I learned a lot from the experience.  I am going to start looking at the overall picture size before I post-process the pictures and make sure I keep at least one version of the image without cropping so it remains at least 4mg in size. It apparently is very important in the reproduction aspect of using the pictures.  I also learned a little about the subjectivity of  being accepted to a large micro stock agency.  It made me rethink the reason why I started taking pictures in the first place….it left me with a lot of hmmmm…..not sure at this point if I will try to resubmit, but I am not sad about it either.

The In-Between…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  There is an in-between place in life….when you are between two seasons, two decisions, two choices…it tends to be a rather blah place to be.  But there is a reflection on the past and the present you gain while in that place, you will not find this anywhere else in your life, only in the in-between.  A glimpse of the before and the what could be….this is an insightful place to be if you do not allow the banality of the moment to engulf you.  When you are a photographer and it is not quite spring and no longer winter, what do you take pictures of? I find the smallest details can create a mood and bring to light the possibility of the moment….sort of a preamble of what is to come.  I think that is what excites me the most about macro photography.  The minute details of life that otherwise we skim past and do not even attempt to acknowledge.  So learn to revel in the in-between moments you find yourself in…grab onto the what if of the the moment and move forward with a clarity that comes from knowing you didn’t skim past any of the moments of your life.

The journey…

imageI am enjoying the new processes I am learning with my camera. It has been a journey of personal development that a year ago I wouldn’t have even admitted needed to happen. I guess with all journeys you sometimes get added value benefits as a side surprise….it may not always be the end result that is the most important part either. I am continually surprised by both my stubbornness and my reaction to my stubbornness! The entire learning process for me has been the biggest part of the journey and it has been the most enlightening thing I have done. Opening my eyes to the emotions behind the pictures, the act of opening up to being taught, as well as just being immersed into art again has been transforming my world with pure wonder again.

Reelfoot Lake Photo Trip

We went to Reelfoot Lake in Northwest Tennessee….finally.  We have lived here for almost 22 years and we finally went, I think we started talking about going the first year we were here.  Oh well, it was worth it, as far as noteworthy pics are concerned.  It is located in one of the poorest counties in the state of TN, and it is rather bleak and depressing, especially given the fact that it is still winter and not a lot of greenery was available, thus giving the pictures a lonely desolate feeling.  Which like I stated prior, as far as pictures are concerned it is not so bad.  I think I struggled the most with the new things I was trying in my endeavor to learn more about my camera and it’s settings.  I took every picture in manual focus and manual aperture mode.  I picked the amount of light coming into my camera and the camera picked the shutter speed based off the aperture setting.  I focused the camera based off my own eyes.  Two things I would do different.  One – focusing manually with my eyes as dependent as they are on my bifocal glasses is not always reliable….so I set up the bioptic lens to adjust for my bad sight and now I cannot wear my glasses to focus with….all-in-all I should have done this awhile ago.

Two:  I will ask my husband more questions about the speed the camera is choosing for the pictures at the aperture I have it set at.  I overexposed a lot of the pictures and I am having to fix them in the processing mode.  They weren’t so blown out that they all suck, but pretty close.

It was a great learning exercise and it is the level I am at currently.  Trying to understand the way the aperture, light and speed all affect the picture so I can learn to take even more dramatic pictures in the future.  I am attaching a few of the shots I got from this photo trip I hope you enjoy them all.

Trees in water -B&W w-psp OLD DOCK w_psp Lone Cypress w-psp Cypress & OLD DOCK w_psp

Covered Bridge in Gettysburg…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the more beautiful covered bridges I have seen….not that I have seen many.  The setting surrounding this particular bridge has been well preserved since it is in the Gettysburg battlefield.  Everything in and around Gettysburg is well preserved and it will always remain that way since the powers that be in that town realized the need to preserve history.  Some will tell you that it serves to hold the town back but others will tell you it is a great historic monument to what transpired there.  I say it makes for great pictures. If you are ever in that area make sure you ask a local how to find the covered bridge and get some of the picturesque setting for your own library of pictures.