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Friday, October 28, 2016


I recently had a request from Tim, with the LIGHT COMPANY to ask if I was interested in sharing one of my favorite photos and telling a bit about how I captured the scene. The LIGHT COMPANY is in the process of beginning to produce a new camera called the L16 which is definitely a camera I would love to try out some shoots with. Will tell you why in a bit, if you don't figure it out on your own.  So these shots are some that I had a lot of fun doing, and am looking forward to another opportunity in the near future to go back to this very place to try some new photos  with my blog and real life friend, Deanna.  These shots were taken in Rockport, Texas pre sunrise.  I always love the chance to go out in a beautiful place well before the sun comes up, as this is one of the best times of day to capture the most beautiful light and deep colors.  I try to arrive at least 30 minutes before sunrise , which is the best time, and it gives me a chance to set up my tripod ( which is a must for my camera) and get  the right lens ready and think out what my creative goals are. My current camera equipment is a Nikon D800 which  is a full frame DSLR camera, and I also have a number of lenses to chose from to help me get what I am looking for. I shoot fully manual 98% of the time and this also gives me more ability to be creative with my shots.
In these first shots, I knew that it was going to be dark and that there might be some movement in my subjects, so I set my ISO to give me a larger amount of light coming in to the lens. The setting I chose for these harbor shots was at 1600 ISO.  I also knew that I wanted to get a lot of clear depth in these photos, and depth is controlled by the f stop.  On these particular shots, I chose an f stop of 16 which helps both the front and back of the scene to be clear.  These settings definitely require a tripod to get the camera stable. I brought along several lenses, and the one that I chose for these first harbor shots is my Nikon 70/200 lens. This lens gives me both the options of a wider angle, and also  to zoom in if I chose to do that.You can see here, that the boats are clear and crisp, and a higher number for the f stop helps this.

This shot was also taken the same time of day, and I did a low number f stop with this, as it was misty and i just mainly wanted to focus in on the deer feeder and the edge of the porch, and wanted to capture the "mystery " and not focus on the other aspects of the scene.  I love the lighting though in the early morning. For me, taking these photos though require a lot of time, effort, pre viewing a scene, and also carrying a lot of equipment with me, including my camera which is heavy, the lenses, my tripod, and what ever else is included.  It is a lot of fun for me to have the creative opportunities that are presented in the pre sunrise time of day.  I will be very anxious though to see the new camera, the LIGHT COMPANY has designed. This is the L16 and will be available soon. The thing that is so great about this is it is TINY and looks as if it gives you many , if not all, of the creative options, eliminating carrying around 30 lbs of equipment. Will be looking forward to seeing this camera in action, as the age that I am, it is cumbersome carrying around all of the heavy equipment. Check out my links for the light company if you love to be creative, but are having troubles carrying around your equipment....... and don't forget to CATCH THE LIGHT whenever you can. Scott Kelby says that after the sun is up for a few minutes, it is the time of the "WILD PANCAKE", in other words, your good light is gone, and it is time for breakfast, and to go home. Just wanted to share these photos and some of what I enjoy doing to capture these scenes. Have a great day!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


 Just back from a great fall trip with my husband  up in to the southern Missouri and Arkansas areas looking for some fall weather and color. We seemed to pick the perfect time as the weather was definitely cooler and Fall was in the air. After lots of fun in Branson, we headed to Ponca Arkansas . I chose Ponca to go to as I heard that there was a great elk herd there and that the elk were going to be in rut. Thought that would be great fun to see and photograph. After we were in Ponca, saw that there were also lots of great hikes, and after a little bit of considering, we decided to do a hike to Whitaker Point which looked lovely in the photos. Of course, along with the fun of the hike, one of my main goals was to get some good photos of this area, and I really wanted to get some sunrise shots, so that involved going up quite a lengthy dirt road the day before in order to make sure we knew where the trailhead was. That in itself was an adventure, and resulted in a tire repair with a rock stuck in the tire... all part of the experience I guess.  Then I had some difficulty deciding which lens I absolutely had to have, so having never been to t his area before ended up with three lenses and a backpack.  The hike was about two miles up the mountainside, so in order to arrive before the sun came up, we knew that we were going to be leaving really early from our rental cabin, so at 5:45 am we arrived at the trailhead. Well needless to say, it was D A R K in those woods. We had our headlamps of course, and both of us had our hiking sticks since it was also really rocky and a rough trail.  I couldn't really help having thoughts of things like bears and bobcats, but as it turned out, the only creatures we heard were ourselves fumbling along. As the sky began to show signs of lightening, I began to t think that we were not going to make it in time, but FINALLY we got  to an area where we could see the point ahead of us. Amazingly, there was a family there on the rock that had spent the night up there in a tent, but otherwise, we were the only other crazy ones that were there at that time of day.  I ended up taking this shot, from a view  a couple of hundred feet away from Whitaker point where i could get the whole rock  in view. I used my Tamron 28/300 mm lens  and was able to  get several different views with this versatile lens.  The hiking information warned us not to go out to the end of this rock, and there were no worries at all about the chance of my hanging my feet over the end of this.
 After the sun peeked over the horizon, changed my f stop to 22 to try to capture the sunburst effect, and just really enjoyed the views.

 Love this early morning lighting, and the view from this ancient rock was awesome, looking out in to the valley.
 So many huge rocks and interesting formations to see. Enjoyed our coffee and morning snack and also had a little fun below changing my white balance to Kelvin to get a  little more warmth in the shot after the sun was fully up. Can't tell in this shot below if it is something that I like, or a crazy "blown out" shot.  i sort of like it, but would love some feedback. Any thoughts??  Anyway, we had a great time, and after the sun was really up, we headed back down the trail , enjoying the fall leaves and the colors of the mountains.  Would highly recommend this area both for hiking and also the elk herd... more on that later. Hope every one of you is having a great week and will spend a bit of time catching up tomorrow with all of you!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall Beauty

 Had a nice walk out at the park this afternoon in the butterfly garden, where there were still a few  die hard flowers, and some lovely painted ladies to go with the flowers. Enjoyed capturing a few of them with my lens and wanted to share them with you. So soon, the cooler weather will be there... although I keep saying that and it got up to 90 degrees today in Texas.... my goodness, it is nearly the middle of October.... so not sure when it will really feel like fall, but soon, I hope.

 These swallowtails were so cooperative with me on getting photographed, and loved seeing them.

 Loved the blue on this one as it was such a vibrant color.

Each one of these unique and different, just like us.  Am looking forward this coming week for a little road trip with my husband in to Arkansas and Missouri for some fall sight seeing, and also going to go and visit an Elk herd that is in Arkansas, and am hoping to catch some photos of the elks in rut. Will see how that goes, but keeping my fingers crossed. Am also hoping to see some fall color and do a bit of hiking. Hope all of you had a great weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2016


 On a recent trip to visit dear friends in Massachusetts, i had some time to sit down at Assawomset Pond and watch the interesting birds. One of my favorite viewings was of this lovely mother swan and her cygnet.  I was pretty surprised at the size of this cygnet... really almost bigger than mom, however, it was fun to watch mom teaching her baby  what and where to eat. Loved how clear the water was so that I could see exactly what was going on, and the swans were very tolerant of my presence. Sharing with I'D RATHER BE BIRDIN

Friday, October 14, 2016


 Wanted to share a  few shots of the sweetest giraffes ever that we saw at the Dallas Zoo. They had a large platform high above the giraffe yard, and for a "small fee" you could purchase lettuce leaves which the giraffes seemed to love.  I was really amazed at the LONG tongues that they had, and according to the information, their tongues are over 18 inches long, and they were also very purple in color. Guess that long neck and long tongue comes in handy when you are trying to reach up into tall trees. My granddaughter just love her experience with these gentle giants, and she not only got to feed them, but also to pet them on the nose. Such soft fur and whiskers. Thought this was a very fun opportunity at the zoo, and sharing today with SATURDAYS CRITTERS

Saturday, October 8, 2016


Today, wanted to share a slightly different sort of critters for Eileens SATURDAYS CRITTERS. These shots were taken at an amazing gardens that my husband and I visited. This is at LaDew Gardens which is a short distance outside of Baltimore.  It was totally designed by a man who loved fox hunting, and also gardens.  The gardens consisted of many topiary rooms which were filled with all sorts of "critters" which were beautifully kept . There were also many ponds which were filled with both water plants, and also many many very personable frogs. Hope you will enjoy my weeks critters, and also , if you are ever in the Baltimore area, be SURE to visit this amazing place.

                                                  T H E             E N D

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Just wanted to share something that I saw while i was in illinois for my 50 year class reunion that I thought would be a really fun thing for a Christmas gift.  I have a friend who is an artist, and she has started selling some of her art made into lovely cashmere scarves, t shirts and shawls.  I saw several of her pieces while I was in Illinois and had to share it with you.  The company is VIDA   ( click this link)  and you can check out the various artists.  Each scarf 's art is created by the artists themselves. My friend chooses the part of a painting that she thinks would look lovely in a scarf or other available piece. This is sent to the company, who then has the fabric created in different countries. This is a project that helps villages make money for education and other projects that benefit the village. The fabrics are really elegant in the pieces  that I saw, and the prices are very reasonable. Just wanted to show you this as I really think these items would make great gifts. These are just a few  examples. You can just browse their website, and also you can shop special artists . My friend, Rae has some lovely art in this , and if you would like to look at her specific link, it isRAE. 
ANN, and this will take you directly to her web page at VIDA. Definitely something fun to check out with the holidays coming up so soon, and wanted to share with you.  Truly a great variety of lovely items to shop from!