Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo Assignment

My little photo group has decided upon another type of "assignment".  Each Sunday we will receive the Scavenger Hunt "topic" of the week.  We'll then post our image(s) any time during the following week.

The "topic" for this past week was "Something that separates the scene into two parts", or something to that effect.  I had a difficult time trying to remember the exact wording.

Anyway, this image shows a curved railing "separating" the balcony from the downstairs in this beautiful,  historical old church in Bennington, VT.

If you'd like to see the images posted by two of the other members of the group, you can go here and here.

Friday, July 27, 2012


It is finished!  Too bad I can't fit an easy-chair and a tv in there.  I think it's my new "favorite" room in the house.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Progress

Not much to say except we're getting close to the finish line.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Night

During the school year my church has a Sunday evening service at the church.  For the warm months, though, we switch over to the summer "schedule".  Two Sunday evenings are devoted to Vespers, basically Sunday night Bible Study, at various homes.  

Tonight's weather was perfect.  The fellowship was great.  And.......since I arrived early and the pastor arrived late, I had the chance to make some images while waiting.  

While driving home, however, I noticed that it's already beginning to get dark earlier.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mini-Family Reunion

My daughter spent months & months trying to put together a family reunion--the first one ever.  I used to get exhausted listening to her efforts at trying to co-ordinate a location that could accommodate the people, provide activities for the kids and still be reasonable in cost.

Then this one couldn't make it on this weekend, and that one would be out of town on that weekend, and personality conflicts and cancellations, etc., etc.  

So she just gave up.  I can't say I blamed her.  

But....this weekend turned out to be a mini-family reunion.  Two aunts (one with hubby) & two cousins (one with hubby and one daughter) arrived with bells on.  Unfortunately, one other aunt and 4 other cousins (with spouses and children) were not there.  Oh well, their loss!

The crowd was rounded out with me and Jessica's younger brother, another teen who's like part of the family, and some friends of Jessica's with their children.  

It was all-together a beautiful day.


Uncle & niece


Friday, July 20, 2012

Santanoni Great Camp

The Adirondacks have been home to several "Great Camps".  Some are gone now, fallen into wrack & ruin because of neglect.  NYS, in its infinite wisdom, has destroyed some of them because of the "Forever Wild" stipulation for the Adirondack Park.  The interpretation of "forever wild" = no structures of any kind, no matter how historical or amazing those structures might be.

But the Santanoni Great Camp survived because of several organizations that have intervened on its behalf.

Today, my hiking group walked to the great camp on a 5-mile dirt road with very slight elevation. Actually it was 5.1 miles each way, for a total of 10.2 miles.  I'll claim every 10th of a mile that I can.  The weather was fantastic and the great camp is stunning.  

This is a print showing what the great camp looked like in its heyday.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


day 1

day 2

Day 1

Day 2

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Really Helpful

It started out with hubby, who is pretty much a jack-of-all-trades.  He can fix just about anything and over the years has done the majority of the maintenance on the house, yard and cars.  It's really helpful.

Then the kids began growing up.  Son #1 got hooked on computers pretty early on and has been the one I call when I have a computer issue.  He lived with us for a few years about 4 years ago, so I had my very own in-house computer tech.  It was really helpful.

Son #2 went to culinary school, so for a while I could consult him about cooking, and although he didn't live with us after he finished school, he was in the area so it was easy to consult with him. Very helpful.

Daughter #1 has always been super-creative and loves doing anything that has to do with decorating and design.  She's helped me many times with decorating ideas.  It's been very helpful.

Daughter #2 is also very creative and she's loaded with common-sense, so it's been nice being able to consult with her about, well....,  almost anything.  

Then there's son #3.  The baby (I just had to say that!) The construction guy.  He's been away for a few years, but now he's living in Florida for a while.  When he was home for Christmas, he put down a new vinyl floor in my bedroom.  Helpful for sure!  

He's staying here for the summer.

And now.... now it's a minor remodel of one of the bathrooms.  Hip, hip, hooray!  The last time anything was done in that room was 17 years ago.  Well, I did manage to paint the floor once, and I think I changed the shower curtain.  Other than that, nothing.

So, it's really helpful to have my own in-house re-model-er.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

As Per Suggested

I'm a big fan of cropping out distracting elements in my images.  I do it in-camera as much as possible. If not possible, I don't mind cropping a little post-production.  I also enjoy the "square" format you can often edit if you take the photo properly.

Yesterday I posted two images of some lilies that I have in my mini-garden.  Neither of those two above concepts occurred to me.  Duh!!  Sometimes I just let myself get into a mental rut and then I wonder why my images are so boring and ordinary.

A friend commented on the post and suggested I crop this image into a square.  Another duh!!! per suggested, here it is.


So much better.  Thanks, Jeff.


Monday, July 09, 2012

Not As Easy As It Sounds

I follow the blog (here) of a professional team (2 women) who conduct workshops and seminars pretty much all over the United States.  They specialize in nature photography, with a very strong emphasis on animals and flowers.

Their flower images are usually macro which are almost always handheld.  The images are pretty amazing, a testament to the skill and passion of the two women.  

I try.  Just let me say this about that.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  Handheld is out.  No way handheld is going to happen. Not in my hands.  Even with the tripod, I despair of getting the kind of images I see in my mind's eye.  But....I try.

These are the lilies I bought last week.  I managed to get them planted before they died, and they're doing great.  At least for now.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Just For Fun

A good friend of mine celebrates her birthday at the end of March while I'm still in Hawaii.  I promised to take her out for brunch after I returned to NY.  Yesterday was the day.  We went to this great little place called Grapevine Farms that has the sweetest dining room/gift shop/wine cellar ever.

Between taking our time with our meal and wandering around the gift shop, we practically made a day of it.  It was wonderful.

Today, I went to another friend's house to help her figure out how to use her point & shoot camera.  I have the same one--she has a super-duper camera manual, so between the two of us and the manual, we managed to have a great time trying the special-effects functions on the camera.  

These first two images show the fish-eye effect, my personal favorite.  My friend isn't too impressed with it, but it's an effect that I really enjoy working with, even though it's not strictly a pure fish-eye.  It's just funky enough to be fun enough to use once in a while.

This next effects is selective color.  Although the composition isn't anything to write home about, the technique is so cool.  After putting the camera on the "selective color" function, you point the camera at the color you want to isolate, take the picture, and voila!!

And then!!!!  What fun.  This is called "color switch".  What a hoot.

The next two are just close-ups of flowers. But really, the lens is about 1.5 inches away from the subject.  If it's bright enough and there's no wind, you can get some great macro images.

No special effects on these last two.  Unless you want to call a slow shutter speed a special effect.  So that combined with some beautiful color in the sky and this is what you get.  I rested the camera on the picnic table because the shutter speed was so slow. I used a high ISO, so when they're enlarged they're very grainy.  But in small versions, they look pretty iconic.

Friday, July 06, 2012

 Saratoga bw

Three of us went to Saratoga this past Tuesday for a field trip.  The "assignment" was bw street photography.  We put our cameras on the bw function and shot everything in bw.  Well....., almost everything.

We each had the same 7-point checklist and our goal was to get images that fit each of the 7 points.  The images here are not the ones I'm using for my assignment.  I might post them after we have our meeting.  But in the meantime, these are some of the other images I got that day.

Saratoga wasn't as crowded as we had hoped it would be.  That made it a little more challenging to get the kinds of street images I was hoping for.  But it was still great being out in the beautiful weather with good friends doing what we love to do~~photography.

I saw these plants on an outside window sill and loved the way they looked.

But after getting the image in bw, I decided to switch to color to see how it would look.  I actually like this particular scene better in color.  What do you think?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

 At the Lake

My daughter's in-laws have a place on the lake.  Daughter invited us to join them there today.  Son #3 and hubby took the newly-renovated sail boat to the boat launch and boated to the party.  I drove separately.  Fireworks tonight, but not until it will be totally dark, around 9:30-10 or so.  I didn't want to stay that late, hence the separate car.

Anyway, grandson #1 is laughing because he just tried to pull one over on me.  Normally he isn't that animated when I try to take his photo.  

Son #3 getting ready to moor the sailboat.  

Son #3 and grandson #1.  What a great looking pair.

Little Miss in her new 4th-of-July dress.  She picked out the pattern and fabric, mom attempted to try to learn how to sew so it would be ready in time for the 4th, but I (aka Nana) took mercy on them and jumped in to the rescue and finished the dress in time for the special day. (I've already stashed the "Super-Nana" cape for the next rescue)  She was soooo excited, but of course, as I expected, she spent most of the day in just her bathing suit....

Little Miss and grandson #2 enjoying a rest on a watery rock.