Tuesday, November 29, 2011


bare tree

The leaves are gone and the trees look so vulnerable, as if they're mourning the inevitable onset of winter. Yet, still they stand, majestic and beautiful...their roots anchored strongly in the earth, their limbs reaching earnestly towards heaven, their heavy ribcages filled with wish rings to hold them till spring. I am grateful for these beautiful beings of nature, who always bring me peace and comfort when I walk among them. There's just something about trees that I can't explain...they have a presence, a sacredness, that slows my breathing and calms my busy brain. This is my photo submission for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday. I used a couple of textures, one of which was Kim's "Life's Good". I also used Pixel Dust Photo Art's texture "Faded Fresco".

Monday, November 28, 2011

Laugh Out Loud

laugh out loud

This is my submission for I Heart Faces...their theme this week is "bust a gut", which means posting a photo of someone laughing out loud. I loved this capture of my daughter because she was genuinely cracking up when I snapped the picture! The balance is off because of that big 'ol tree, but the beautiful, laughing face and twinkling eyes make up for it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hydrangea's Last Hurrah


My hydrangea is hanging on to its last bit of color...the leaves are turning brown and starting to skeletonize, which I think is beautiful. I couldn't resist going out with my camera to get some last shots before winter officially arrives. This is my submission for this week's "I Heart Macro" at Studio Waterstone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Peaceful Pond

Peaceful Pond

This is my submission for Photo Art Friday at Pixel Dust Photo Art. We went to Prince William Forest Park a couple weeks ago and I captured this shot of a pond down one of the many paths through the woods. The silence was wonderful; there was no one there but us, not a single car anywhere or any sounds of traffic. It's rare to experience that where we live. I played around with this photo and added a couple of textures plus some extra filters in RadLab. I like the rustic results...it's so much fun to simply experiment in Photoshop Elements to see what you end up with. I could do it 24/7!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

To anyone who reads this, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (photo taken in Williamsburg, VA, with a layer added for texture). This is my submission to Texture Thursday at The Daily Wyatt.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ivy and Brick

ivy and brick

There's just something about the combination of ivy and brick...they look so beautiful together. I think it's the contrast of the smooth, green leaves against the backdrop of the rough blocks. Round against square, cool against warm...they say opposites attract, right? This is my photo submission for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday. The prompt today was to use any of her textures. I used "Mayzee" on this photo - Color Burn at 45%. I then further tweaked it in RadLab. My free trial of RadLab ends in 5 days...I'm hoping to buy it as an early Christmas gift! I have grown to love it and can't imagine processing my photos without it.

Monday, November 21, 2011



I was lucky enough to be in Williamsburg, VA yesterday and the weather was perfect. One last day of 70 degree temperatures while I strolled through the town snapping photos left and right. This tree was so stunning and majestic, reaching her bare limbs to the vast, blue sky. This is my first submission to The Creative Exchange, a great site that invites you to share your "photos from the heart" every Monday.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Coppers and Rusts


This is my submission for this week's "I Heart Macro" at Studio Waterstone. It seems every photo I'm posting lately is of leaves, but what can I say? They are in large supply right now. Each leaf is transforming from brilliant hues to faded coppers and rusts. But anything with age always seems to have more character, don't you think? Just like people...their physical beauty may fade as they age, but their spirits and wisdom ripen to a patina that resonates.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Love Color

Nothing makes my creative heart sing more than color and texture. I took this photo right outside in my yard - some fallen leaves were strewn across an electrical plate embedded in the grass, and I couldn't resist the pattern. The fun part, of course, was playing with the photo in Photoshop Elements to make everything pop. This is my submission for Photo Art Friday at Pixel Dust Photo Art. Our task this week was to play around with a "tried and true" technique and share the steps. Since I'm just learning, I don't really have a standby technique yet. However, for this image I used the texture "Feelings" from Pixel Dust Photo Art - Color Burn at 44%. I then put the photo into RadLab (which I love and highly recommend!) and used the filters Oh Snap, Flora, and Vanilla Kiss - all at 100%. I love the colors!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

And the Leaves Come Tumbling Down

fallen leaves

I watch as the leaves begin to fall, swirling at my feet...withered fragments, etched with fading lyrics from a brilliant, autumnal refrain. People walk by, unaware, shuffling their feet through these beautiful bits of careworn glory.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Hydrangea

fading beauty

I love my hydrangea bush, and never tire of taking pictures of the beautiful blooms. I'm in awe at how many transformations they make from spring to fall. This shot I captured this morning may be my favorite yet. Its beauty slowly fades, but it's still breathtaking. This is my submission for Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday. The prompt today was to use her texture "Phoebe". I used it in Overlay mode at 76%. I then opened RadLab and used Oh Snap, Vario-Sat, and Prettyizer - all at 100%.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Just Another Macro Monday

look down

I'm finding as I learn photography that I tend to look down at the ground a lot, searching for beautiful colors and textures. It's like a treasure hunt! I couldn't resist the beauty of this crumpled leaf against the asphalt. What a gorgeous combination.

Saturday, November 12, 2011



I feel very grateful that this view is close enough to my house that I can walk to it whenever I want to. And there's no better view from this spot than at the peak of autumn.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last Days

last days

This is my submission for Photo Art Friday at Pixel Dust Photo Art. I played around with my image and effects in Photoshop Elements, and also added a couple of layers for texture. A beautiful quote by John Burroughs seemed to fit perfectly in the empty space.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Shoes Make Me Smile

new shoes

Not only do I love fall because of its gorgeous colors, but I also love that the sandals get put away and out come the cute shoes and socks. I love my new Clark shoes I found yesterday at an outlet store - even better than cute shoes are cute shoes on sale!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Warm Glow

This photo makes my heart sing. I'm soaking in those last fleeting moments of warm sunshine, and basking in the glow of the brilliant leaves. I breathe deeply and take this moment in, storing it lovingly in my memory banks for later. In the next week or two, the wind will arrive and blow all the leaves from their limbs. In the space of a day or two, the trees will become exposed and vulnerable, which is how my spirit tends to feel during the bleak winter months. As always, I'll hold on for the ride...and wait for the renewal of spring.

Fall disarms with
Its brilliant charms
Wind engages with
The flaming hues
Glorious, swirling
Leaf mayhem ensues.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


ivy and brick

This past Saturday, I ventured down an alley in a small town near me and captured this beautiful shot on the back of a building. I was drawn in by the beautiful ivy, both the lush green and the dead brown leaves. The blue, peeling paint on the brick wall only added to the gorgeous texture. It's interesting to me that store fronts are often pristine from the front, yet if you walk to the back they are untended because they are "unseen" by the public eye. The flawed, imperfect part of the building is the most beautiful in my eyes...it has so much more character.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beautiful Smile

Autumn Smile

I am really trying to learn about portrait photography, and today was my first try at participating in the weekly I Heart Faces prompt. This is a fantastic site to visit regularly if you have any interest in becoming better with face photos. The theme for this week was "black" - any submission must have black in it. I'm very grateful to my willing subject who agrees to let me take endless photos of her so I can practice my skills!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Beauty of Nature

Lake Shimmer

This is my submission for Photo Art Friday at Pixel Dust Photo Art. I played around with a photo I captured near our lake. I could see the lake water sparkling through the trees and it created such a beautiful glow. To achieve this effect, I applied the Dry Brush effect (lower opacity) and then used some texture.

"The beauty of nature has stirred my soul, driven out the pain that was lodged there and filled it with light." ~Sofia Tolstoy