Photography Is In My Blood

I ended last year and started this one thinking about how much photography is embedded in who I am. It doesn’t define me, but it’s definitely woven deeply in my soul. It’s how I see and relate to everything; from the most poignant & breathtaking moments, to awe-inspiring, mind-expanding flashes. Photos are like flash cards to the past that have recorded life-changing milli-seconds that I want to last forever. Continue reading “Photography Is In My Blood”

Hearing Voices in Kelowna

I’d never heard of Kelowna, B.C. until recently. Have you?
Now that I’ve actually BEEN there – I can’t wait to go back!

(BTW, I also discovered the Best. Coffee. Ever!! Giobean… if you ever make it Kelowna, GO THERE!!)

Kelowna sits on Lake Okanangan. It’s wine country! It’s also lake country, as you can see from my vantage point atop Knox Mountain, my first night there…

Fuji X-T1, 19 shot panorama
16-55mm lens

Continue reading “Hearing Voices in Kelowna”

Desert Heat & One Hot Sale

Valley of Fire

Deserts in general are mystical to me. Otherworldly. Paradoxical. And crazy photogenic! I don’t think I’d choose to live in a desert world… but holy wow, I am just completely awed into silence (riiiiight??) when I step into one so magestic and magical as Valley of Fire, just outside of Las Vegas.

I visited there most recently when I went to Photoshop World last month. I went with my brother-from-another-mother Barry Blanchard, his new wife Traci and friends. Barry is like the unofficial ambassador of VOF. He loves it really, really hard – and knows better than almost anyone. Seeing it first through his eyes when he introduced me to the place a few years ago taught mine to see things differently there. I LOVE when that happens!  It changed my perspective completely. And took my breath away.

Valley of Fire is unique. It’s alot like the other, more popular desert-y spots in Utah and Arizona… but MUCH less visited. You really have to make friends with the place. Love it. Quietly applaud it, so that – just like Tinkerbell – it comes to life before your eyes. Those same eyes that take a little patience and tuning to see it all properly. Mind you, I’m still working on mine. But I think I had a little breatkthrough this time:

Pure intent. Like a beacon in the night. Valley of Fire, Nevada at blue hour.

Oh yeah. Crazy love that place!
Applauds.
Valley of Fire blushes and turns a little redder.
Grin.

The 5DayDeal Starts TODAY!

NEWSFLASH: The photography bundle that is (in my humble opinion) the BEST deal out there starts TODAY at 12 noon PT!

It’s an interesting concept: A sale that lasts for 5 days only, offering an insane discount on photography tools and stuff.

So here’s my nutty thinking: y’know how there are these two photo contests coming up on Viewbug – where the grand prize is yet another couple of Fuji Cameras (I’m judging one, Ken Kaminesky is judging the other)? Well, maybe… just maybe… this is your chance to get some new chops, pick up some new ideas that’ll help you slam dunk your entry into new realms of beauty and creativity?

I love it when things ties together. 😀

In any case, if you use this link (or click on the image below)… you can check it all out for yourself after it goes live at 12pm PT today. And yes, I get the credit if you use the link here. Just being open about that. TOTALLY your choice how you do it though… I’ll love ya no matter what! Mostly, I want you to get the goods while they’re available.. from today through September 15.

Here’s a sneak peak:

5DayDeal-CPBIII-Contributors

And with that, I’ll bid you adieu!

I’m off to the airport to pick up one awesome friend: Tanya Wallis, on her first-ever trip to the U.S.!! More on THAT story soon… hint: you might need a hanky!

We Have a Winner! The Fuji X-T10 Goes To…

[Drum roll please]

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a winner in my Big, Fat Fuji X-T10 Caption Contest!! And can I just say….

WOW.

This has been an incredible experience, reading all of your comments, taking this ride with you. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to give everyone a camera. And a big, fat hug, just for being so freakin’ awesome! Continue reading “We Have a Winner! The Fuji X-T10 Goes To…”

Free Stuff, Oh How I Love Thee!

This summer, I feel like the 4x Prize & Giveaway Queen. Hehheh. And because hosting, supporting, being part of awesome giveaways is a HECK of alot of fun, I decided I needed a superhero name.

Maybe… Hope Summers? Light Lass? Longshot? Juggernaut? I usually make up my own superhero names, but found these on this page, which claims to a “List of all superheroes and villains”… but I know that’s not true, because two of my faves from the X-Men series; Rogue and Storm are missing. Annnnd I digress. Per usual 😉

Be that as it may, today I’m laying all 4 chances to win a slice ‘o awesomeness at your feet. I was going to call each one of these out in separate post… but then I started to lose track, so decided to go big or go home and post ’em all today! Here we go… Continue reading “Free Stuff, Oh How I Love Thee!”

How I Instantly, Painlessly Dropped 7 Pounds On The Mirrorless Diet!

Guffaw! I never thought I’d write a headline like that. BUTT… you asked. I listened.

I’ll keep it short (mark this day on your calendar!).

Hey, You Asked!

You asked: “Would you show a side-by-side comparison of your DSLR vs. Mirrorless set up so we can see the difference?”

I answered: “Why sure!” So.. here it is:

FullSizeRender Continue reading “How I Instantly, Painlessly Dropped 7 Pounds On The Mirrorless Diet!”

New is the New NEW!

I Loves Me Some NEW!

I just finished some changes around here and feel downright ebullient about it!

Hey, I coulda said “zippy”, but that sounded weird. I chose “ebullient” because it means: “overflowing with fervor, enthusiasm, or excitement.” Bingo! That’s what I feel right now, because I just revamped the photography section of my website.

“Why is this such a big deal?” I hear you wonder.
Honey, if you knew what it’s like for me to organize or build ANYTHING… you’d get why I feel like I just remodeled the kitchen!

I celebrate these little things, because I know this for sure: big things are made of interconnected little things. And the little things are like wee mini Tinker Belles; if you want ’em to stick around and multiply, they need love and applause!

So here, let me show you some of the new appliances… Continue reading “New is the New NEW!”

A New & Stormy Piece

A Stormy New Piece

I thought I’d keep it simple today. Simplicity is goooood. Simple for me today is posting one of my new pieces, taken a couple of weeks ago as the waves of thunderstorms we’ve been having lately first began streaming through. They’re the ones that make for BOOMING sunsets… and they only happen in just this way once a year. It’s been a particularly awesome season so far (it’s been RAINING! Yay!)… some say it’s because of El Niño and that we’re in for a record-breaking winter. True or not true? I dunno. But it makes me want to start battening down the hatches NOW!

This moment happened at Donner Summit in Truckee, California. It sums up how much I love it here… the expansive, soaring, so-glorious-it-makes-your-heart-FULL feeling I get whenever I’m home in the mountains. A single frame just wasn’t going to scoop it all up… so I created a pano image with right around 8 frames of super boomin’ sunsetty goodness. Even at that, there alot was left over. Hey, I’m not that greedy! Hope you enjoy…

California's Donner Summit, Donner Lake down below. Summertime thunderstorm pattern. Sunset. If anyone wants to know why I love living in these mountains, this would be my answer. Questions?9-shot panorama, Fuji X-T10

9-image panorama
Fuji X-T10
16-55 f/2.8 lens.

Yes! You can buy this print… just click on it to learn more.

And yes! You can have a site like mine… just click here and get 20% your first year’s subscription to SmugMug!

The Unbroken View

A World of Panorama

“Panorama” is defined as: “an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer.”

I like this notion. It feels good, generally.
And I’ve always liked panorama photographs. I think alot of us do.
I’ve always heard what a pain in the ass it was to make them though… and how time consuming. It made me shy to try for a really long time.

Well, I’m amending my previous stance because I’m starting to fall in love with the mighty panorama. Making them, I mean.

I’ve been dabbling. First with my iPhone, which I’ve been doing for years. My iPhone 6+ kind of kicked that into new realms… with images like this from France, for example:


Continue reading “The Unbroken View”

Fuji: My Parisienne Paintbrush

Paris Speaks

NOTE: This is a lengthier post than usual. It’s a summary of how the Fuji gear I took to France and I got along. (Famously!). It’s not meant to be camera “review”. It’s one human’s experience of being on a mission of art and heart; and the gear that helped bring it all to fruition. I’ve had a ton of questions about whether I’m sticking with Fuji after this… I think this will answer them all. 😀 Continue reading “Fuji: My Parisienne Paintbrush”

Paris Opera House Magic

What Do You MEAN, What’s My Name?

I’ve had a bee in my bonnet to see the Paris Opera House ever since we missed seeing it when we were here in 2010. This day was a good day.

The place seems to have many names; As Wikipedia explains it: “The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des Capucines because of its location on the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon became known as the Palais Garnier in recognition of its opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier.” And ummm… also known as: the Opera National de Paris.

Oh, how I love a place with identity issues!
Not to mention its very own Phantom of the Opera.

Digression aside… I got my wish on this trip. Woot! It was low-key.. I just happened to be in the ‘hood and thought I’d see if I could get in. I not only walked right into the joint, there really weren’t tons of people inside. Score! I grabbed an audio tour and took off, cameras in hand. Continue reading “Paris Opera House Magic”

Fuji, France and BABY GEESE!

Holy cow, time is flying! I feel like it’s been ages since we met up and the days just keep getting shorter, even as the clock says they’re longer (at least on this side of the world)! How is that even possible??

Getting Ready for France, ‘n Stuff

Over here, I’ve been working behind the scenes getting projects, business stuff, life stuff and travel stuff all fluffed up in preparation to be gone for 3 weeks in France!! That’s a long trip for me… and I couldn’t be more excited! So much more to come, but today I thought I’d share where I’m at with Lady Fuji.

Since I’m going mirrorless with a Fuji XT1 on le upcoming trip, I’m doing my best to get comfortable with my new camera system. Y’know, learn from the ground up… find its strengths and weaknesses… find MY strengths and weakness.. and generally be as quick-draw ready as I can be. There’s alot to learn! You really can’t apply full-frame rules across the board with these mirrorless cameras.

NOTE: In case you’re curious, this is the most recent in a series of posts I’ve been making about my personal search for the most suitable mirrorless camera solution for my particular needs. Here’s how it went down:

Canon to Sony – Here Goes!
The Sony Marriage Is Off
The Sony Mirrorless Chapter; For Now!
Fuji: First Impressions
Continue reading “Fuji, France and BABY GEESE!”