"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall." 1 Peter 1:24
Today's faded coneflower was taken on my last retreat. I used Topaz Labs "Clean 3" and the newly released Shadowhouse Creations November2011-7 texture.
Here we are at the end of November and most of my flowers have succumbed to the frost. Summer has long given up her fight and even with the occasional unseasonably warm day, there is no doubt that winter is upon us.
The scripture reminds us that life is brief and I won't lie that is often a depressing thought. In fact, I considered putting the quote on the image for Scripture and A Snapshot, but it seemed like such a downer that I doubt anyone would buy it as a greeting card. In case you were feeling too good about your recent accomplishments, just remember you are going to die and it really doesn't matter. Have a nice day.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Can anyone tell me where November went? It sure seemed to fly by and it is hard to believe that December is nearly around the corner. There are just two more installments left for the Thirty Days of Thanks challenge, and indeed it has been a challenge on some days to come up with a thought of gratitude. It is not that I'm feeling ungrateful, but I think I've covered most of the things that are most important to me - family, home, friends, community, a job, God, and coffee (not necessarily in that order!)
Monday, November 28, 2011
One of my goals this weekend was to create a badge for my blog and you can see it right there in my sidebar with the grab code. I'm not really sure at this point why I need a badge, but since all the cool kids have one I wanted one, too!
In addition to my own badge, I'm pleased to report that I have a couple of new ones I'm qualified to flash around. Last week's cute little squirrel, made the top five in the Shoot. Edit. Submit. challenge.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
We went downtown last night and got home late. I took this shot of the riverfront and thought it came out pretty good considering I had no tripod. These late nights are for the young folks, and I slept in so I don't have time to post much this morning. Have a great Sunday!
The nap I'll be having later today.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Item #33 on my Scavenger Hunt 101 challenge is someone praying or meditating. What does praying have to do with the theme of "home"? Well, this father and daughter were bowing their heads in prayer at the dedication service of their new Habitat for Humanity home. My boyfriend participated on this build, and I attended the dedication with him.
Friday, November 25, 2011
This week's PhotoArt Friday challenge was to dig into our archives and find a photograph that never received the attention it deserved. The ideas rolled around in my brain for a few days until I was inspired by a Monet-esque water lily print hanging on the wall of my room at the retreat center where we stayed last weekend.
On a visit to the Biltmore mansion in late 2008, I captured these water lilies that I've always loved. I was shooting with a Nikon D40 back then and probably still would be had I not dropped it in the bathroom. Right before I sat down to work with this image, I read about the Topaz Labs plugin and decided to do a little experimenting. The image above is the result.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd trot a few turkeys out of my archive for This or That Thursday. There is also another theme to these images in that they were processed using Topaz Labs Adjust filters. After hearing about this plugin on someone's blog (I'm sorry, I forget who!) who heard it from Bonnie at Pixel Dust Photo Art.
I downloaded all the free fully functional trials and haven't even begun to explore the possibilities in one of them. For today, I pulled these images pretty much straight out of the camera (SOCC) and did a minimal amount of adjusting in Topaz just to give you a feel for the possibilities. I'll talk more about it tomorrow for PhotoArt Friday, but I will tell you that if you like RadLabs, you will go absolutely bonkers for Topaz Labs! They both have their merits and I want them both. For Photo Art, I think Topaz is the clear winner. For now, I have a new toy to play with for the next 30 days. I applied "French Countryside" to the image above.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I just learned this is the last Quotography challenge of the year. This has been an enjoyable linkup for me, so I'm looking forward to its return in the new year. It is such a natural pairing with the Scripture and a Snapshot challenge, that unless that link up also takes a break I'll probably just stay in the normal routine. It will also be a good opportunity to add to my line of spiritually oriented greeting cards that I'm offering at Greeting Card Universe.
Since I'm new to this I'm wondering if other linkups will start to break for the holidays as well. Taking a break is a good thing. After blogging consistently every day since September, I expect at some point that I'll feel the need for a little blog hiatus. I'm not there yet!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I'm going to keep it short and sweet this morning as I really have no excuse NOT to walk today other than being unable to discipline myself to step away from the computer. Today's image works for pretty much all four of the linkups I go for on Tuesdays.
Monday, November 21, 2011
I realized something last Friday when I set out on my 30 minute photo-walk as recommended by Bella over at 52 Photos. That is, there is NO SUCH THING as a 30 minute photo-walk - at least not for me. Generally speaking, it takes me about 25 minutes to make one circuit on my usual route. With camera in hand, it easily takes an hour.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Last night I crawled into bed exhausted to the bone. It had been a busy and long week, and I finished up by attending a women's ministry retreat Friday night and Saturday. I usually can't resist checking my blackberry email one last time before I go to bed, and there was a comment notification from Jeanne on yesterday's blog post that I was the #1 winner this week in the Shoot. Edit. Submit. challenge.
A jolt of adrenaline surged through my system, and I ran to the computer to check it out. Sure enough, there it was and now I get to display my first ever winner's badge on my blog!I'm not totally sure where I'm supposed to put it, so I'll put it here for now and on the original blog entry here.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Over at Pixel Dust Studios, Bonnie invited us to share our "go to" editing techniques for this week's PhotoArt Friday. Today's images all use PDPA textures: artists easel, cherish, and old master dust. (You can click on the photos to view on flickr for information on which one is which.) Since beginning to work with textures, I've found these painterly type textures of Bonnie's to work really well on landcapes. It is like magic every time I start playing with the blending modes. In each of these, I found that the hard light blending mode worked the best.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The weekly Quotography challenge has been a great incentive for me to experiment with typography and design, and it is also giving me motivation and inspiration for my line of greeting cards that I'm offering over at Greeting Card Universe. This week's theme was black and white, and I intended to link up with this shot from my foggy morning walk on the neighbor's property a couple of weeks ago but I missed the deadline! Oh, well. Go check out the wonderful works over there anyway.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Today I'm happy to announce that I am ready to unveil my new store at Greeting Card Universe. I've received comments about some of my pieces being well suited for use as greeting cards, and I love them, so why not?
If for no other reason, I can buy my own and send out original cards. One day, I'd love to have a really nice printer so I can make my own prints, but for now I'll have to stick to print on demand sites like GCU and Fine Art America.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Most of my shooting lately has been of people and events, versus beauty for beauty's sake. So, I had to go back to my archives to find this shot of a thistle to fit with today's Texture Tuesday challenge. The texture used here is Kim Klassen's "Phoebe," which has quickly become one of my faves. I had to pull out the edges a because the frame doesn't do so well with a darker background. This image, with its altered tones also seemed a good fit for Tones on Tuesday so I'm linking up there as well.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Last Saturday, when my son and I went to see Corey Smith, I brought my camera along so I could capture one of my Scavenger Hunt 101 items - the tallest building in my town. The AT & T building is known to the locals as the "Batman" building because of its appearance. We went to Wal-mart the night before in search of a batman t-shirt (which we obviously found) and he good-naturedly posed for the shot. I did put the moon in later, but the image seemed to call for it. Bonnie's "Wicked" texture was also used post-processing.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Today's image was taken exactly a week ago on my foggy morning walk. I've been saving it to enter the Shoot Edit and Submit challenge. It is one of the last images I was able to process with RadLab before my trial ran out. I AM going to buy this program at some point, but I'm saving up for a new desktop so I'm waiting on any major software purchases until then.
I can give part of the processing credit to my son because as I was showing him about RadLab, he helped me choose the processing. It is nice to have another set of eyes sometimes.
Friday, November 11, 2011
I am going to have to skip one of my favorite linkups (PhotoArt Friday) today as life has been unbelievably hectic this week. In honor of Veteran's day I wanted to at least make a post and express my gratitude to those who defend or ever defended our freedom.
Being a part of a military family has its good and bad points, but as hard as goodbyes and separations can be, nothing is sweeter or more joyful than a homecoming. Today's featured image is of my two sons embracing for the first time after Andrew returned from Iraq. This is a treasured photo for our family and sits framed in my living room
When Adam and his two best friends came home from their first tour in Afghanistan, I made a little video to commemorate their return and I'll leave you with that today. I can't wait for the sequel! :)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem." Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, 1985
My youngest son was just 11 years old when the war in Afghanistan began in 2001 - playing his trumpet and dreaming of growing up to be a high school band director. That all changed one dark and misty morning as he stood aboard the Marine Recruit Depot on Parris Island, listening to the cadences of young Marine recruits as they performed their physical training. We were there to see his older brother graduate from boot camp. You could almost see warrior spirit overtake his being as he took in the scene. Right then, he made the decision to follow in his brother's footsteps and join the Corps.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
They say the only thing that is consistent about life is that it is constantly changing. Change is hard for most of us, myself included. Since resisting change is futile, to be healthy and happy in this life we must learn to adapt and embrace it.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Where did the weekend go? I can't believe it is already Monday. Now that I'm blogging regularly and working more on my photography, the days are full and weekends fuller. These days I have little time to shoot during the week, so I've been trying to make up for it on the weekends.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
|Adam and his bride on deployment day. |
He's wearing a bracelet in memory of LCPL Philip Clark
who gave his life in Afghanistan on the last 1/6 deployment.
Shortly before my son, Adam's, deployment to Afghanistan, we had a moment alone in the car and he played a song for me. He introduced it to me by saying, "If you want to see a bunch of Marines cry, play this song." He went on to say that he might even cry right then, but that was ok. We both teared up. The song was "Stand Our Ground" by Corey Smith.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
I only have one scavenger hunt item to share today, and that is item #16 "A Cat." This little kitty was captured at my parents' house. She used to be mine, but she went to the farm to live after her adopted sister met with an unfortunate end on the road in front of my house.
She's happy there as are all the other cats that have somehow found their way down there. I think she must be at least 13 or 14 years old. Originally she was named Emily, but now she is simply known as strip-ed (two syllables, long i and short e) kitty.
Friday, November 4, 2011
I like it when I can combine more than one challenge into a single piece. Fridays are for Fences on Flickr, and they are for Photo Art at Pixel Dust. I also needed a submission for "Shoot Edit and Submit" so I scored a triple play with today's image!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Earlier in the week, Deb Duty shared a link to a cool Photoshop action from World's Best Actions, that mimics the iPhone Hipstamatic app. I've been seeing hipsta shots all over flickr and in other photoblogs and love the effect, but I'm a Blackberry owner and at least a year away from an upgrade opportunity through my provider.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
This week, the 52 photos project theme is "Trick or Treat." We are allowed to interpret this any way that we want, and I immediately thought of the unexpected photography treats I gobbled up at the wedding venue last Sunday. As I begin to develop my own style, I have noticed I'm attracted to vintage subjects and this place was a vintage lovers dream. Although given my little accident, it was more like "Trip or Treat."