26 January 2014

The dance of light and water

I do not write poetry,
But sometimes, my pictures are poetic.

Mother Nature puts the elements together,
all I have to do is frame it with my camera,
and the world can see how beautiful it is here in the forest. 

Light and shadow, 
movement and reflection, 
can't you just hear how it laughs on it's way downstream?

With light and shadow,
come color,
Red Georgia clay,
somehow paints the waters yellow,
in a South Carolina creek, 

Water sparkles on it's way down the hill, 

 Then widens to a gentle flow,
shadows from the trees,
soft evening light,
my camera is ready.

 I have a new friend. Her name is Josephine. She does not live here in the forest with us, but she does live with a good friend of mine so I get to see her quite often. 
She likes the camera and seems ever so willing to pose.

 As you can see from the view, she is a town cat. Right now she appears to be contemplating mayhem. Isn't she a pretty kitty?

Hope you are having a warm and lovely weekend.

19 January 2014

Lazy Sunday

Spontaneous had many nicknames.
Here you can see why she is sometimes referred to as 
"Madam Underfoot".

12 January 2014

Obsession Reborn

You may want to refresh your memory before reading this post. It is an update from
Now you know the first part of the story, enjoy the next chapter.

Fuji FinePix Z5
The Fuji mentioned in the original post is shown above. It was not shown, but it took the portraits of all the camera's who were. It was a life changer for me. I had forgotten how much art there is in a good photograph and how much I loved photography.  It was light and no bigger than a pack of cards. It fit easily in my purse and soon went everywhere with me.

Finepix F5 control panel
This camera explored North and South Carolina, parts of Florida, (see Space Cadet ), together we took walks in the woods, saw our Corolla reach 100,000 miles, visited Yellowstone National Park and  my family in Utah, saw New Orleans and took hundreds of pictures of cars (another obsession).

When I earned my Bachelors (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), My Sweet Husband thought I deserved an upgrade. My graduation present from him was the lovely pink Fuji Finepix Z70 shown above. The Z5 posed with it in front of an old photo of my Mother-in-Law (one of the sweetest human beings ever).  We took this camera to Rome and later, China, as well as our usual haunts closer to home. I have used it to document restoration on the house and the extreme cuteness of Spontaneous. 

Finepix Z70 control panel and screen
Both finepix cameras have a good selection of "scenes" you can use for settings. Things like "sunset" or "Snow" or "portrait", I personally think I was able to get some great shots with these cameras, but somewhere in the back of my mind, the question sits; was it my skill, or the camera? Unfortunately a few months ago, the latch for the door to the battery and memory card compartment broke......
I was able to tape it shut. Not really an optimal situation, but it worked.

Canon Power Shot S120
My Sweet Husband strikes again. Look what he got me for Christmas! My new S120 is posed here in front of a photo I took with the Petri for one of my photography classes. (Taken with the Finepix F5 it still works great) I won't say exactly how many years ago those classes were (hint, big hair ) but it was long ago and far, far away. This camera is very flexible. I can set it on Automatic then all I have to do is push the shutter button (and try to hold it still of course), I can use one of the many "Scenes" as settings, or I can take complete control. 

The Z70 and S120 posed together for comparison.
The S120 is almost as small as the Z70. It weighs less than half a pound. It has a lot more camera packed into it's small package. I can transfer photos from the camera to the computer without removing the memory card or carrying around another cable (had problems after I removed a memory card during our trip to Boston). 

Now I have some playing to do. As shown above depth of field can make a big difference to even a recipe shot, do I want to emphasize that delicious looking crust, or do I want to show the ingredients as well? See how much difference it makes even in the colors? The lighting was the same for both pictures. I have a little bit of studying to do. Lucky for me the subject is fascinating. 

Vintage Battery Operated Truck
In the mean time, here is one of my favorite pictures so far.  This cute little guy was my Dad's. It sits under my Christmas tree each year. I took the photo while I was playing with the settings on my Canon S120.  The camera is great, but the photographic skill is mine. 

What are you obsessed with?

04 January 2014


I am a very lucky girl, for many reasons. This post is about two of them Margaret and Paula.  
I actually started working on this post in the beginning of November, so I could post it before their birthdays. Going through old photos to find just the right ones was fun. I found several photos that I did not remember and some I have not seen in years. I hope they have as much fun looking at this as I did getting it ready. 

These are old school photos of Margaret. I'm not certain what years they are from, besides, that would be telling. Let's just say she is eight years older than me and one year older than Pete. In other words, when I was born, she was just the right age for baby doll's and I was a real live one. As I mentioned in Pete's post, he played all the tomboy stuff with me. Margaret did some of that too, but she was a nurturer as well. Our Mom worked full time so it is Margaret I remember teaching me how to wash dishes (with me standing on a chair because I was too short) and how to tie my shoes (I was so proud, I was the only one in my preschool class that knew how so I got to help the other kids). Margaret sat next to me, and oh so patiently, listened to me as I learned to read. She baked cookies with us and made clothes for our dolls.
Knowing Margaret, all grown up (well, as much as any of us are grown up), I don't think she did all of this for love of the domestic arts. She did it for love of her little sisters.

More about Margaret in a minute. When I mention her little sisters, this is the other one.
Paula. Paula is two and a half years older than me. My coloring looked more like Paula when I was younger, but my face looked more like Margaret (still does). My Mom used to like to dress Paula and I like twins. I loved it, but it drove Paula nuts. 

As I mentioned above, I enjoyed looking for old photos of Margaret and Paula. The search was not an easy one. Margaret does not really like to have her picture taken, as far as I can remember, she never has. The search is further complicated by my Mom's lack of photography skills. Mom was good at many things, photography was not one of them. I have stacks of pictures that are out of focus or where someones head is cut off. This picture is still a little grainy (in spite of my best photo shop efforts) but it shows how pretty she is (it also shows her natural hair color and may be the last time anyone saw that. She likes to change it and we like to tease her about it. When her oldest son was little he was asked to describe her and he said he never knew what color her hair would be when he got home.  To me it is always beautiful).

This is Margaret with her husband Dell. This is a rather silly picture, but then, he can be a rather silly person. If you ask me, they were made for each other (I LOVE this picture). Dell is my favorite brother in law. He is currently my only brother in law, but he has always been my favorite.
He takes good care of my Sis and he makes her smile. 

I can't blame the fuzziness of this one on my Mom. I think I took it. Lets just say that the combination of less than wonderful camera (I did not have the Petri yet) and many years made recovering this photo a challenge. I think this is right after they got married. 

I think Mom took this one. 
According to some members of the family, when I was very little I used to try to get Margaret in trouble. I don't remember that. What I do remember is that she has always been there for me and she always has my back. I know that no matter what, she will always be on my side (and I will always be on hers). We share a lot of great memories, I am grinning now just thinking about some of our exploits. 

Margaret has an excellent sense of humor. I took the photo on the left last time she saw me off at the Salt Lake Airport. The Homeland Security podium was unattended....This is her attempting to look stern. The photo on the right is her with one of her grandchildren. They are all adorable, they take after Grandma after all. Lucky kids. 

Here the two of them are together. Paula on the left and Margaret on the right. This was taken a while back.

Here they are again, 

and the three of us together. 

Here is another old one. This was scanned from an old slide. The little one on the left is me, Pete in the middle and Paula on the right. I think the perms had almost grown out. Perms in the late 60's were not necessarily a good thing..... (Paula, do you remember "Hey Curly, where's Meadowlark?") The matching perms were my Mom's idea. I don't think either of us liked them for very long. That was the last time our hair matched. 
Paula was my playmate more than any of the others. She was endlessly inventive with Barbies and I am quite sure that she played with them longer than she really wanted to, just to make me happy.  We played tennis in the driveway and at the park. She was also a mean scrabble player (she spells much better than I do). 

We kind of drifted apart as we hit our teens. When I was stationed overseas and we both had children of our own, we started writing back and forth. We remembered how much we really do have in common. She came to visit when I was living in New Mexico. Here we are dressed up in Silk Sari's (although neither of us is actually wearing it correctly at this point, yes, I still like to play dress up).

This one is Paula and our Mom. I used to be jealous of Paula, look how perfect her skin is. I have never had great skin and to this day, first thing in the morning even before she puts on any makeup, a stranger would think she is the younger of the two. She has a much better singing voice than I do as well. She was in choir in school where as one of my Sunday School teachers asked me to "mouth the words but don't sing". We used to do the dishes together and we would sing popular songs while we worked, or I should say she would sing and I would belt out the words. She never complained of my singing and she made even doing dishes fun.

I am not sure what the occasion was here. She looks quite young.

This is one of my favorites of Paula. Doesn't she look sweet and innocent? We have some long phone conversations although the phone she uses has changed a bit (I plan to call her soon!)

Not all fashions from the 1970's were memorable. 
This was scanned from a school photo, I thought she was perfect in every way back then.
I like her even better now.

Here she is with one of her Granddaughters (our family is full of cute kids!) 
See what I mean about being lucky?
One wonderful big sister is great, I have two!
Love you both!

If you are interested in more posts about my family, see
and of course Pete



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