Postcards From France: Strasbourg

PFA_France
Postcards From Strasbourg

Postcards From France kicked off in beautiful Strasbourg. But first… I had to get there from Frankfurt by myself with an injured back. My hubby Joe had been with me for a week, which was beyond awesome! I’d been missing him so much – and we had a blast with our self-proclaimed Castle Tour through Germany. He also helped me with luggage and did all the heavy lifting that I wasn’t able do as I hobbled around in mega pain. Continue reading “Postcards From France: Strasbourg”

Changing Moods

Monochrome on the Brain

I’ve had monochrome on my mind lately. Not really sure why, I suppose it’s like anything else that floats through your muse’s consciousness for consideration.

I’ll be honest and say that I did shoot this auto bracketed, imagining it might end up as a color HDR image. I shot a whole series this day to great success that way. But I was struggling with it, since I didn’t like the way the colors looked, the textures responded… it was kind of strange, actually. And annoying, since I couldn’t seem to get fresh eyes on the situation. I loved the image, just not where it was going.

Then, since I just posted yesterday about playing with monochrome, I decided to find my fresh eyes with a black and white conversion. I was completely surprised by the result! In particular, I loved what the light did.

TheHush
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Peaceful, Easy Lagoon

Lagoonia Reflections

I named this “Lagoonia”. Ha! So silly. It means “the land of The Lagoon”, which I also made that up. But I like it. I tend to like reflection photos… they always calm me. I don’t know what the brain actually does when it sees a mirrored image, but whatever it is must involve endorphins. That’s my guess, anyway because of how peaceful and easy it makes me feel. Wait. Not EASY… oh for pete’s sake, you know what I mean!

This was a lovely spot on the Castello di Amorosa grounds… just up from the castle itself. We were there in fall, obviously – but what a gorgeous summer’s afternoon spot to take a break from the world! Just wanted to share this moment of “breeeeathe”:

On another note..

2 New Chats Coming Up!

You know how I recently said I was going to go on a bi-monthly basis with “The Chat”? Well, for the next two weeks, I’ll be running brand new episodes! ‘Tis the season, I suppose. But on Dec. 16 & 23 you can tune in and be inspired by two fantastic photographers who each approach their photo world and lives very differently. And they’re both equally awesome.

The past couple of “off weeks” where I DIDN’T post new episodes… granted, I loved the breathing room. And needed it! But dang, I missed airing the show.  It felt like a big gaping “empty Monday” instead of Chat Monday! So I’m excited that I’ve been able to get these two ready to go.

Stay tuned for those… and OH so much more!!

 

 

The Bonsai Rock Mission

Avoiding Bonsai Rock: “all that” or merely insecure?

Bonsai Rock on Lake Tahoe, Nevada side is an icon. An endless stream of photographers has been to this spot to shoot this very rock it seems; its wee stunted pine trees doing their mightiest to grow out of a crack in the granite. Just do a Google image search for “Bonsai Rock Lake Tahoe” and watch an endless scroll of photos populate the page.

I have a strong streak of rebellion that resists shooting places like this that EVERYBODY seems to need to photograph.
Or perhaps it’s insecurity masquerading as a mock blasé attitude so I can pretend it doesn’t really matter.
I mean it DOESN’T really matter in the grand scheme of things… right?

Taking the Leap

And yet… when my good friend and über fabulous photographer and teacher Matt Kloskowski came out to teach a Lightroom workshop in Sacramento, he made an extra day to shoot at Tahoe. He called me up and said he wanted to do Bonsai Rock – and of course, I said “I’ve never shot it either!” Like it just sorta happened that I never shot that stupid rock… or had just been SOOOOO busy (and don’t forget ‘important’) that I never had time to make it out there. Nevermind that in almost 20 years of living in, I only just figured out where it is this year! Granted, I wasn’t actively doing the kind of photography I am now most of that time, so that’s my official excuse… but still.

Personally, I think Bonsai Rock is a better sunset spot than sunrise. So we hit it shortly before sundown.

Even granite boulders have families, right?I'm going to imagine it just that way.
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The Thing About HDR Photography

Mention “HDR”… then Duck!

Mere mention of “HDR Photography” can be very polarizing amongst photographers. There are thems that love it – and thems that think HDR is the end of civilization as we know it. Or something along those apocalyptic lines. I like shooting HDR (High Dynamic Range). It’s fun. I like color – and I like the option the see allllll the variances of color and light in a photo. Where a typical photo can handle 6 or so f-stops (levels) of light, a human eye can take in 12 to 14 levels of light. HDR lets you create a photograph that’s more in line with what your eye sees. And I love doing that.

PeachSorbet

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Behind-The-Scenes: Truckee River

Have you ever been on vacation or a road trip and come across a really beautiful spot that you’d LOVE to photograph – but under less than optimal conditions? Maybe the light isn’t right, there are no cool clouds to offer some punch – but the place itself is lovely, you’d love to capture it and you don’t have the option to lie about until everything is perfect? I know it’s happened to me! So as part of my ‘short video tutorial’ series, I made this one to offer some composition tips and post-processing ideas that can help you make the most of “meh” shooting conditions.


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The Mists of Lady Bowen

Early morning. Milford Sound, New Zealand. Tide’s out. We’re standing way out on the rocks. We have to move fast, because the tide is about to start coming in and it doesn’t mess around. It’s not violent or anything, but if you’re like me, you’d just rather not swim back into shore with your gear.

LadyBowenHadAGreatFall

It’s tricky being in a stunningly gorgeous AND iconic place for the first time. You want to hold your breath in wonder, soak it all in for awhile. But you have to maximize the minutes you have out there, try to snag  photos that’ll give you chills when you get home and not shriek “Do over!!” when you’re 6000 miles away. Continue reading “The Mists of Lady Bowen”