Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree


The world is alive, blinking and clicking, winking at us slyly, inviting us to get up and dance to the music that’s been playing since the beginning of time, if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to listen for it.

Shauna Niequist

Weekly photo challenge: One shot, two ways

When shooting portraits, I sometimes find that I prefer the landscape version to the classic portrait version. Of course, it depends on many factors, so there are no hard and fast rules. Maybe I like it because the landscape version can allow for more of an environmental portrait, showing the individual and the environs.  The vertical shot singles out the subject more, and often that’s what you’re aiming for.

But, no matter which one you like best, we can probably agree that it’s almost always a good idea to experiment and try different ways of shooting the same thing! And in this case, it’s a very handsome — and considerate — young man!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

The beginning is always today.

Mary Shelley


In my part of the world, it’s pretty hot. Maybe you can splash in the ocean or a river or a pool. If you’re coping with a heat wave, there are also other ways to chill out…

a cool drink…

cool jazz…

a cool app for organizing your schedule and projects…

a cool coneflower from Beverly…

great resources for keeping your cool from Leo Babauta and more free articles here

Wishing everyone a great weekend, whatever your weather.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes…


Thirteen tall ships were in Brockville, Ontario, last weekend as part of the 1812 Tour.

We had the chance to go out in the St. Lawrence River on the Empire Sandy, the largest of the tall ships there — and I believe the largest in Canada. (It’s 203 feet long.)

It can be hard to convey the “tallness” of these ships in a photograph, which have masts over 100 feet.

I wanted to get a shot that told a story of what we experienced that beautiful June day.

Luckily, it was breezy, so we had a chance to see the crew hoist and lower the sails. Hard work, that is!

I managed to get myself positioned below one of the crew members as he was straddling the boom, in an attempt to flake the sail (put it down). I saw him look up, and clicked the shutter at the right time. The lines on each side of the mast are called “ratlines” and they are what you climb to the top of the mast if you needed to.

Here are a few other images from the day….

Shared with Weekly Photo Challenge, June 21.

Weekly photo challenge: Fleeting…


Talk about fleeting…

Out for a walk one day along the canal, I look up and what do a see hanging from a tree? A message left in red felt for passersby. Who made this beauty? I do not know.

It wasn’t there long — you know, weather and all — but it certainly was a generous gift for the fleeting time that it was.

And now for some of my favorite virtual finds for the weekend…

Have you ever wondered what Virginia Woolf sounded like? She’s one of my all-time favorite authors. Here is the only known recording of her voice.

How to get rid of tourists in your travel photos and other neat tricks

Crafty ways to get the Anthropologie look

Video: Shakshuka — no, it’s not a dance, it’s a great new veggie brunch dish to try. I’ve tried it and it’s a winner.

Side-tracked in Texas by Suzette Rothlisberger

Also linking to Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds.

Weekly photo challenge: Signs


I’m always taking pictures of funny and eye-catching signage, but this is my all-time favorite shot. I couldn’t have asked for better timing. Love the irony!

I have a few favorite discoveries to share with you this weekend. Wishing you all a great one!

creamy avocado pesto / homemade ginger ale/ brown butter salted caramel mocha cookies

On the crime of outshining

Shadows by Indigo Janson

Two new photography e-courses from Kim Manley Ort (Photos by Design and Adventures in Seeing) (I just finished a fabulous e-course with her. Learned so much!)

Just added…for mind-blowingly beautiful space pics — watch this video!

Quote for the day

It’s odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn’t know who I was. Then I invented someone, and became her. Then I began to like what I’d invented. And finally I was what I was again.

Anna Quindlen

Weekly photo challenge: In the background…


Some of my favorite discoveries that you may want to check out too…

♡ Rhubarb cake / sangria / sweet potato fries

♡ Brooke Shaden’s fascinating art and blog

♡ Lisa Congdon’s great illustrations of vintage cameras and quotes

♡ Grandmother power!

♡ Video of Cheryl Strayed and Ann Lamott in conversation via Susannah Conway

♡ A tribute to a friend gone too soon

Quote of the day…

…We must help one another rise up so that more people can put goodness into the world. Photographers and artists alike are very fortunate because we are very interconnected. We fundamentally work with tools that allow us to share and give back. We take a picture, we share it. We take a picture for someone else, we give back. The more we can encourage one another to go after dreams and find self-respect, the more the world will be a loving place.

Brooke Shaden

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Looking up...

I have been hoping to capture these frangipani blooms with their little faces turned up toward the sun. I finally managed to get an image close to what I was looking for the other morning.

It was only this year in Florida that I was introduced to frangipani flowers. I discovered three trees in a yard neighbouring the marina, and I found them quite fascinating. The homeowners were happy to let me photograph them as much as I wanted. Also called plumeria, these blossoms are used in leis in Hawaii and have the most delicious fragrance.

The trees were all much taller than me, though, so I had to shoot in an upwards direction to photograph  them. I wanted to get the sun behind them. But as you can imagine, getting the perfect exposure proved to be a challenge shooting into the sun. When the petals were perfectly exposed, the sky was blown out. And when the sky had some puffy cloud detail, the flowers were too dark and muddy looking. What to do?

Given my recent experiments with HDR photography, it occurred to me that the solution might be to combine two or more exposures. I tried it and was delighted to find that the final image was much closer to the image I saw with my eyes and that I wanted to share.

Twenty facts you may not know about frangipani…


WordPress weekly photo challenge: Up

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change


Why don’t you try something different for a change? (Me talking to myself.)

It’s easy to fall into a rut by doing the same things the same way over and over. More than ever, I’ve been feeling the urge lately to up the ante creatively.

For me, one of the best ways to do that is to change things up — to expand my repertoire of image-making skills by learning and practising new techniques, both in camera and in Photoshop. So I’ve made a list of things I want to learn to do, and when I’m ready for creative boost, I pick one and try to teach myself.

The other day I decided to try in-camera double exposures. You can see one of my first images above. I don’t expect my first tries to be good — that  just freezes you up. I experiment just to see if I can and because it’s fun. And each new technique opens up new possibilities and rejuvenates me.

There are so many fabulous free tutorials out there now that it is just a matter of searching a bit to find one that works for you. I tend to like the video mode and YouTube has lots of those.

Personally, I’m a big fan of Kelby online training videos, which are not free, but are worth every penny of the reasonable subscription price. You learn from topnotch pros in the field. The videos are detailed, well-structured and easy to follow. You can easily stop and start them when you want to try it yourself.

I have also taken several online courses from wonderful teachers, such as Kim Klassen and Kat Sloma. I’m looking forward to one with Kim Manley Ort. Some of these courses teach new techniques and some of them help you change and grow more by encouraging a process of self-inquiry. I find I need to do both — work on technical skills and pay attention to my own creative vision.

What about you? Do you feel the need to change things up?

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge