Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Light, flowers, RAW!

Alright, once again I'm way overdue for a post. So here it is. I took some pictures of the spring that was appearing around me. In case anyone was wondering, we here in Seattle also got some snow in late March! Preposterous. Winter won't leave, but spring was determined and I captured her while she was here briefly.

 While snapping flower pics, I saw this wonderfully delicate dead leaf in the grass. She had survived since fall and I had to acknowledge the effort.

I love the curly swirls, especially when they are backed by the light from a setting sun.

Every year, the giant purple plum tree blooms in our yard, but it only stays in full bloom for a few days. The scent of its flowers is the best in the world and I wish it could be bottled as a perfume. I'd wear it. You can imagine that I stood in the garden for quite some time just breathing like a weirdo.




  I also took some pictures in RAW format. While they take up more space on your SD card and end up being pretty big after editing, I did notice a difference in detail, clarity, color... basically they were better. However, when I went to view them on my computer, I only could see them when I opened them in Photoshop (Elements). I also had to download a plugin to open them (Camera RAW 6.3 from Adobe). A bit frustrating, but I think shooting RAW is worth it if there are some awesome detailed pics you are trying to capture. The following flower pics were shot in RAW while the sun was setting.





This year my parents and I went to a sunrise Easter service, because a clear sunny morning is fairly rare in Seattle on Easter. The following are some pics of the fountain waterfall in the park after the service just as the sun was coming up.


I actually added a gradient map to this picture - the sky had few clouds as you can see, and it was mostly white and blue with some faint yellow. The gradient brought out the skyline to me.

One last spring adventure! I went to Yakima with my boyfriend and his dad to visit family last weekend. Here are the pics from that lovely sunny trip.

 The cousins have an awesome old black lab, Hal. I basically hung out with her as much as I could :)




 A little Orton effect on this one.

Hope you liked my somewhat random post! Now that the weather is getting nicer (occasionally), I'll be outside taking more pics. I discovered a love for the prime light times around sunrise and sunset - those really are the best times to take pictures. Get up early sometimes or stay out late with your camera; you'll be rewarded!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

happiness is...

I made a photo book for my boyfriend recently (coupon from Safeway for a free one!) and in it I used pictures from our years dating so far. It has some examples of what happiness is in our lives. It was a blast to make - enjoy!

The new way to make a photo album: photo books by Shutterfly.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Old Tracks by the River

So it's obvi been a while since my last post, and I was itching like crazy to get outside with my camera. I went to Al Borlin Park in Monroe, which I'm pretty sure is supposed to be named after Al Borland from Home Improvement - they just misspelled his name!

I wanted to find old train tracks to photograph, and this park had them. And woods and a river, my other two favorite things :) Enjoy!

I found it difficult to walk along train tracks.The wooden ties are not spaced evenly and some are crooked. Strides are too short if you step on each tie, but too long every other. And with their uneven spacing, your foot doesn't quite fit on the ground in-between most of the time. It's a process that forces you to slow down and take your time, which I had no problem with.

I found this crate just sitting here in this spot. Convenient photo opp, so I couldn't pass it up!

Closer to the river, I could walk under the old tracks -- avoiding the dripping slime, of course :)

I loved how everything was coated in this lime green gunk. So colorful against the dark tar-covered pilings.

Here is a small branch of the river where the water was a bit calmer

 Some dead ferns growing under the dead railroad

Lots of shiny dried tar along the pilings


Tall dead golden grass always makes for great pictures, especially against the dark backdrop of a shadowy railroad and rain clouds


I love little grass sprouts like these - I used to chew on green ones in our yard when I was younger and pretend to be a farmer :)

The sun was making appearances that day, and I also liked when it hid behind clouds


Just some maple leaves, hugging a log

I could see miniature hobbits living here 

I was walking along the park road trying to find where my car was, when I turned around and thought it was pretty. Turn around sometimes when you are out with your camera; you might be surprised by the perspective it gives you.

I stopped on a trail and thought my boots made good subjects :)

I finally found Sven! His recently washed sunroof also made for a convenient photo opp.

Hope you liked these pics, and remember to always keep your eyes open to new and unexpected angles, perspectives, and subjects for your photos. It makes them a lot more interesting!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Angel Rock Climbs

Before putting away the Christmas decorations (really late, I know), I wanted to capture some shots of my beautiful angel. I crafted her when I was a wee child and she holds a special place in my heart and our living room every Christmas. The other day she was bored. I told her to go outside, followed her, and documented the following adventure.

I said playing outside might make her happier. She looked at me like I was crazy. And it's not just because of her missing eye, which disappeared some time ago in an unfortunate accident, the nature of which I'm not entirely certain. 

 But she relented and turned to ponder the grass. It was not stimulating.

 "I'm so bored!" she whined after rolling around on the porch bench for a while.

"You know," I said, "I've heard rock climbing is a pretty good cure for boredom. And there's a pillar you can climb right over there."

 "...a cure for my boredom?" She looked uneasy. "I'm just not sure. I mean, I've never done rock climbing before, and people tell me my upper body strength isn't superior. But you say it's just over there? Maybe I'll take a look."

 "Holy guac. It's so tall. I don't think I can climb all the way up that."

 "Seriously, I'm barely taller than the arm of this bench..." I could see she was thinking; the gears in that solid wooden head were turning. It was an intriguing endeavor for the little angel.

 Then she jumped on the bench arm with sudden enthusiasm, the likes of which I'd rarely seen from her. And with determination comparable to that of a slug that dreams of flying, she shouted, "For the sake of my sanity, I have no other choice but to conquer this giant rock-beast!"

 And so began the climb. It was tough, and she often had to look up to see how far was left, using only her strong feet to grip the pillar as she leaned back and detached her doily arms.

 After much huffing and puffing, she finally reached the top!

 "I'm exhausted. My doily arms can't take that kind of stress!" she cried while resting on the bench in utter fatigue. "But at least I'm not bored anymore!"

And that's the end of my angel's adventure. Maybe she'll make an appearance again next year in an exciting sequel! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Frosty Frolicking

Happy New Year! 2013 should be full of big, exciting happenings and I hope you have a wonderful year. Maybe they will even find bigfoot or I will get a picture of a unicorn in its natural habitat. One can hope.

Anyway, to celebrate the new year a few of us went up to my friend's cabin in the San Juan Islands. I woke up [fairly] early to an amazing display of foggy, frosty, eerie weather goodness. So I ran down, grabbed my camera, put on my penguin cut-off gloves, and romped around the yard to capture it all.

 I love frosty grass. It's so cool and makes its own fantastic contrasts.


 Then I found this amazing table that has seafoam green tiles in it, and there is a quaint little world of life growing in the cracks.

 If I was a miniature person living here, I would definitely hike and picnic on this little peninsula.

There are also several Madrona trees on the property which have awesome peely bark. I liked this shot looking up the tree.  

 A couple hours later, the fog cleared and everything started thawing so I got a good shot of the bay. Wishing I had a telephoto lens to capture the details of this scene, but it's still pretty. 

This is a great time of the year to get out in the early morning light when nature is still half asleep to get some shots of frozen water beads and cold trees. Since it was overcast, I had the white balance set to "cloudy" and the exposure generally +1/3 of a stop to make up for the darker lighting outside.

Go take some pictures of old man winter, and don't forget your gloves!