Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

I took this photo on a cold cloudy November day. It is a combination of 3 shots combined in Photomatix and edited in Photoshop CS4.

Cape Blanco is a spur that stretches one and a half miles off the Oregon Coast. At the end of it, Cape Blanco's lighthouse sits majestically on a 200 foot cliff. It is no wonder this lighthouse was among the first built along this coastline. Heavy wind and rain are common to this area, and the rocky terrain below is very sharp and dangerous.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top 100 Photography Blogs

I love reading photography blogs. This morning I found this list. It is enough to keep us all busy through 2009~


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Snowed In

This is the first time in my life I have had snow on Christmas Day and before and after. This is a shot from the sliding doors over our back deck. Now I am ready for the thaw! Enough is enough.

If you look really hard you can see the apples still on the apple tree!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here is my Christmas card from my home to yours.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Outside My Window

This morning the wind was blowing and the snow was flying around. I looked out the window and there in the apple tree was a bird who was a stranger to our yard. I quickly ran to get the Oregon Bird Book to find what it was. Sure enough there it was, a varied thresh. According to the book it was in our area during this time of year and was a fruit eater! I quickly ran for the camera and through a none too clean window and snowflakes, was able to capture this shot.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Street Photography

Blue Paper Made from Scratch in Painter X

I have never done much in the way of street photography but I think I should push myself to try it. This is a list of 20 tips from the Digital Photography School site.

Less is More - don’t take too much equipment and travel light. It’ll make you less obtrusive and you will be able to move around for the best shot quickly.
# Off the Beaten Track - don’t just go to all the touristy shots - try to get ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘real life’ scenes.
# Stolen Moments - anticipate moments between people before they happen.
# True Colors - black and white is often where it’s at with street photography but at times colorful situations arise and can really make a shot - be on the look out for these.
# In the Background - what’s going on behind your subject can actually ‘make’ the shot. Billboards, signs, graffiti and other visual elements can really make a statement in a shot.
# Dare to Go Diagonal - don’t just hold your camera horizontally - experiment with angles. Street photography is a less formal medium - make the most of it.
# Opposites Attract - shots which challenge the ‘norm’ in terms of composition and story/subject matter can be powerful. Look out for ’surprising’ subject matter and composition.
# What a Performance - street performers, parades and other street entertainment can be great subject matter on the street.
# Off the Streets - other places where people gather in number can lead to great shots in this genre - zoos, fairs, shows, parks, sporting events etc all can be worth trying.
# New Angle - find ways to get up high or down low - these new perspectives on subjects that are familiar can lead to eye catching shots.
# Practice makes Perfect - over time and with practice your photography will improve. You’ll not only get better at technique but also spotting the things to focus upon on the street.
# Fortune Favors the Brave - sometimes the best thing you can do is to get close to your subject - this can be a little confronting but will produce powerful images
# Fun in the Sun - often we try to avoid shooting into the sun and the shadows that direct sunlight can produce - in street photography breaking these ‘rules’ can lead to great shots.
# Ready to Pounce - have your camera out and ready to shoot at all times. Things can move quickly on the street so if you’re not ready you’ll miss lots of opportunities.
# Revise the Revisit - street photography is not all about spontaneity - if you see a scene with potential don’t be afraid to keep coming back to it until you get the shot.
# Frozen Motion - the street is a place of movement - to capture it and still get sharp shots make sure your shutter speed is fast enough. 1/125 or more with an ISO of 400 is what this article recommended as a base. I also think it can be fun to experiment with slower shutter speeds on the street - capture the movement as blur.
# Street Wallpaper - blend in with the scene - shoot unobtrusively and unnoticed.
# Life Through a Lens - ‘exaggerating perspective will help set your subject in context and provide a more forgiving depth of field’ - use a wide angle lens (or even a fish eye).
# Expect the Expected - people can be suspicious of street photographers so shoot in places where people expect to see people doing photography. Smile, be polite and be willing to delete images if people protest.
# Location, Location, Location - really this is what it is all about. Choose places where people interact with one another and times when they are present.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kiddie Fun

Yesterday my Husband and I stopped by the Winter Wonderland Christmas Open House sponsored by our bank. We were very late arriving just before they closed so we had the place to ourselves! We had fun doing all the kiddie things. Here we are in the polar bear sleigh!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Snow Day

This morning we awoke to a winter wonderland of snow. This photo, taken through the front door, was taken with my Canon XT IR converted camera. Brrr, it is cold outside!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's a Busy Season

I haven't been able to keep up with my blog lately but tonight I edited a photo that I took when a friend and I went to Jacksonville, OR for the day. We had a wonderful lunch and a great time photographing in the quaint old town. I was taken with the name of this little boutique. I loved their sign too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Playing with Painter Nozzles

This Christmas wreath was made using nozzles and more of the symmetry lesson.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Symmetry in Corel Painter

We are learning amazing ways to create symmetry in Corel Painter this week and last. It is actually quite addicting because it is so much fun.

Here is one of mine. I call it "The Golden Owl".

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Reverse Infrared

Infrared (IR) photography is a passion of mine. Today I tried something new. I am experimenting with taking an IR photograph and the inverting it and editing in Photoshop. It is a very different look. I still have a lot more experimenting to do but here is one of my first tries.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mr and Mrs Woodduck

Yesterday we went to Ashland, OR to the woodcrafters show and while there I took some photos in Lithia Park. I was thrilled to find wood ducks in the pond there. They are so pretty and colorful.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Old Train Trestle

This another Painter painting done with a self made brush. It was finished in Photoshop.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Foggy Days

We have had lots of early morning fog lately. I decided to try to capture this fog bank over the barn but to make it more exciting I used HDR taking 3 images +/-2 so that the image would be more exciting and more colorful. So here it is!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Ride

We went for a short ride this afternoon. I saw this old red barn and just had to photograph it. I love old barns and I liked the few yellow leaves remaining on the maple tree. I hope you enjoy it too.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A New Class

Today the new classes started at I am taking the Open Studio Holiday class. This week we are making our own brush and then painting with it. My brush was based on a maple leaf shape. This is my first homework image.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photographing Sunrises and Sunsets

Photographing Sunrises and Sunsets

Think Ahead - While sometimes wonderful sunrise and sunset shots can be taken spontaneously without any forethought it’s often the case that the best ones come out of planning. Scope out places that might be good for sunsets in the day or two before your shoot. Look for interesting places where you might not only be able to see the sun track all the way down but where there will be opportunities for shots that include foreground elements and silhouettes. Sunsets only take half an hour or so so you want to think about these elements before they start or you might miss the shots you’re after.

Find out when the sun will set or rise and get there at least half an hour before hand as it’s often in the lead up to and the time after the sun appears or disappears that the real magic happens. is the best site for this.

Keep an eye on the weather also. Usally the times where there is cloud around that the real action happens! Be aware of days when there is dust or smoke in the air as they can produce amazing results also.

Consider ahead of time what equipment you might need. Include a tripod, lenses that will give you a range of focal lengths, extra batteries etc.

Shoot at a variety of focal lengths - wide angle can create sweeping landscape shots but if you want the sun itself to be a feature of the shot you’ll want to be able to zoom right in.

Keep in mind that the sun is just half a degree across so when you shoot with a wide lens it will only be taking up a reasonably small part of the photo. If you want it to be a feature of your shot you’ll need to zoom in on it using anything from a 200mm lens upwards. This will increase your need for a tripod!

Be aware that when you look at the sun at the best of times it can be dangerous but when you look through a magnifying lens it can be quite dangerous is the sun is still too high in the sky.

Silhouettes as focal points - As with all photos, sunsets need a point of interest and one of the best ways to add one to a picture is to try to incorporate some sort of Silhouette into the shot. This could be a mountain range, a palm tree or a pier or a person.

Rule of thirds - While you can always break the rule it’s often a good idea to place elements like the horizon, sun, silhouettes etc off centre.

Shoot at a variety of exposures - if you let your camera decide what shutter length to shoot at you’re likely to get a shot that doesn’t really capture the beauty of the light. Quite often the shot will be under exposed because the sky is still reasonably light.

Switch your camera into aperture or shutter priority mode and to take a variety of shots at different exposures.

Bracketing - Another technique to try to get the right exposure is ‘bracketing’. If one of the images doesn't please you, then with bracketing you can use High Dynamic Range to combine 3 or more images to make a correct exposure .

If possible shoot in Raw Mode for more control.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My Brother's Home

I am so happy to report today that my brother's home in Santa Barbara was saved. The fire was very close but the wind took it in another direction. This is a photo of the Santa Barbara jetty I took last June when I was visiting him.


Friday, November 14, 2008


We have been busy with visitors during the last week. We did lots of touring around from the coast to the wine country. I finally have one of the images ready to post.

This is a small candle shop on the road to the coast. It was nestled among several shops. I thought it was a charming little building and there were no cars in front of it. How lucky!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Need Inspiration?

Sometimes it helps to see the work of others. This link is to a blog which covers the works of expert Photshopers. I enjoyed viewing it and hope you do too

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Graphic Contests

Do you like entering contests? Here is a site which has all sorts of graphic contest links.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Can't Believe it is November 3 Already!

Where does the time go? I have been studying Photoshop CS 4 and Lightroom 2 for several days. This focus has kept me from doing other normal things. Plus the weather here has changed drastically. It is not a good time for photography as the rain has been relentless for 3 days and is forecasted to last for the forseeable future. We have company arriving this week and unfortunately it will be a very soggy visit. It really puts a cramp in touristy things.

I haven't painted anything new recently so I will share an autumn color photo from last year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The End of a Beautiful Month

October has been spectacular this year in southwestern Oregon. It has been dry and the color has lasted. This is going to end this weekend with rain and wind in the forecast. So today I went out shooting with friends to try to capture the last of the fall colors. Today's image is the best we found.
This is taken from the Applegate Bridge in the late afternoon. I hope you like it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Beautiful Day

Today was such a pretty day. We went to brunch with friends and then for a little drive to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather. The sky was blue as a saphire and clear as could be with not a cloud in sight. The temperature was perfect. It was nature's art as it's best.

This photo was taken at the driveway of a fantastic apple orchard estate. There are two of these unique gates which have always fascinated me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yipee! My Photoshop CS4 Finally Arrived!

It installed without a hitch and I am a happy camper! Before installing I updated my graphic card driver which may have saved some problems. I'll be letting you know how I like it as I have time to explore all the new features. Today I am installing filters. Stay tuned for more!

Today's photo was taken in June at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Halloween is Coming!

Many parents just take a straight photos of their little goblins in costume. Why not make your photos spooky and fitting for the season?

Lighting: Hold a flashlight under the face or hold you camera (with flash on) upside down so that the glow comes from below.

Color: Change color by taping cellophane over your flash. Bracket shots or shoot in RAW so that the white balance can be corrected with the color change.

Angles: Try unusual angles, don't keep everything straight.

Fog Effect: Use dry ice

For more hints look here:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

55 Best Photoshop Tutorials for Photographers

From the Blog of Emma Alvarez, 55 Best Photoshop Tutorials for Photographers:

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Today we went for a Sunday ride especially to take photos of fall colors. The fall colors were not so great, I guess they have not peaked yet. There were lots of golds but I like it when there are reds mixed in with the golds and greens of the firs. So when we saw this Sharp-Shinned Hawk settle on the top of a light standard in a parking lot, I grabbed this great new lens and shot this photo. I was so amazed when I saw how good it was. He was so far up that I couldn't believe I could get such a great shot of him. Of course, it was cropped to bring him in closer.

I must say I am thrilled with this new lens, the Canon 300mm F4 L IS. To see a larger version go to

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My New Lens Arrived

UPS came yesterday afternoon with my new Canon 300mm F4 L IS lens! I couldn't wait to try it. This is one of the first images I took with it and the 1.4 extender. I am pleased with the lens. I think I will enjoy using it very much.

Friday, October 17, 2008

While you Paint...

Do you like to have quiet or music playing? Does music help your creative juices flow? Or maybe you just hear the music in your mind as you paint. Sort of like some days, when your brush just seems to have a mind of it's own... At times like this is it as Joan Miro says "The painting rises from the brushstrokes as a poem rises from the words. The meaning comes later".

Today's image is a fractal called "Summer Wind Storm"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do You have Lens Envy?

I do. I find myself wanting too many lenses. They are expensive. I just ordered the Canon 300mmL F4 IS which will be delivered on Friday. I also find myself wanting the Canon 24-105L. I really should stop. I am not a professional photographer. I should be happy with what I have. You don't need all L lenses! I have taken some very good photos with relatively inexpensive lenses. Earlier this year I bought the 70-200mm L f2.8 IS lens that is a dream but I really haven't used it much. I find myself shooting with my Sigma 18-200mm OS lens most often. It has the ability to shoot a wide angle as well as some telephoto. It is a great all purpose lens.

Today's Image is taken from Yreka, California and is of Mt Shasta.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10 Ways toTell if You’re a Photographer

1. One gigabyte of memory lasts most people a month but barely lasts you the afternoon.

2. You know what aperture-priority means.

3. You delete more photos in a week than most people make all year.

4. You need just one more lens.

5. You've crawled on the ground to get a shot of something rusty.

6. Your camera equipment is worth more than your car.

7. No one else brings a camera to an event if they know you’re coming.

8. Your family doesn’t recognize you without a camera covering your face.

9. You have thousands of pictures and you’re not in any of them.

10. You’ve been up before dawn or out in the freezing cold or even done something semi-dangerous… all for a photograph.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today's Painting

Continuing on with my love of Painter and digital art, and constantly exploring new vistas for digital art, this is today's painting. I call it "Life is just a Bowl of Cherries.... uuuh Grapes".

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My Homework

I take Painter classes at the Digital Art Academy. There is an ongoing group called Open Studio where we have 4 week sessions several times a year. This week's lesson is taught by one of my favorite artists, Barb Hartsook.

This is today's homework.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lightroom Blogs

I have found that there are so many good blogs for Lightroom that I am learning more from them than the Scott Kelby book on LR2. Of course, I need to find time to actually read the book!

Today I added presets to my effects menu in the adjustment brush. I would never have known about it without these blogs.

Today's photos is a covered bridge near my home taken with the Canon 350XT ir only camera.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I did it!

I placed a pre-order for Photoshop CS4 today. There are lots of new improvements that I am looking forward to using. Among them are new non-destructive dodge and burn tools, content aware scaling, the adjustment panel as well as the mask panel and the clone preview. One thing I have wished for in Photoshop has finally been added. That is the ability to rotate the canvas that has been so useful in Painter for a long time.

No, it won't make me a better photographer or artist, but it will make many editing chores easier.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Say Hello to Sammy

It is still raining and quite muddy. Sammy came in all covered so it was bath time. After he was clean and brushed it was photo time. So, here is Sammy, who rules our house.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hooray! We had our first rain in months today! It reminded me of a trip to China where it rained all the time. The vendors crowd around the tour buses hawking their wares. Haggling is a way of life for these folks. Rain or shine, there they are.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can you Believe it?

The end of September already and the end of my first month of blogging. It has gone so fast! Before long we will have a brand new year and winter! Then it will be time to paint rather than make photographs. For now, I am taking advantage of the weather and shooting as often as I can.

Today's image is one of my favorite flowers, a Matilija Poppy which is native to California. It is often called the fried egg poppy. It is beautiful and delicate and so different from the other varieties.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Photoshop CS4 Announced

Adobe has announced the new version of Photoshop and released information on the new CS4. The good news is it is said to be faster and more user friendly for new users. There are many new features that I am looking forward to having.

If you are interested in finding more about this version, there are many blogs, videos and articles pointing out the new abilities. I am posting some links here:

Today's image is one which was shot in IR but then edited in Photoshop to add the surreal colors using a plug in called Topaz Adjust. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Fall Colors!

Here is a recent painting of Fall Leaves. The colors are a little surreal but bright and happy. I like them.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Went on a Picnic Today

It was a fine day in the park so I took some new IR photos with my Rebel XT Life Pixel converted camera. I am having such fun with this camera. I am so glad I finally broke down and bought it. It is so much more satisfying than using the IR filter on an old point and shoot camera.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall is Here!

I love red barns so I enjoyed painting this one with the fall colors in the trees. I hope you enjoy it too.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Finally a new photo

This Bronze in the park is a favorite of mine

I injured my back about two weeks ago so I haven't felt like getting out to shoot. Today I felt better and shot both IR and regular photos.

This is an IR shot taken with my converted Canon Rebel. It is also an HDR shot edited in Photomatix.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Adobe Lightroom 2

I have found it invaluable as the first stop in my photography workflow. You can quickly import, process, manage, and showcase your images — from one shot to an entire shoot. You spend less time in front of the computer and more time behind the lens. How great is this?

I started with Lightroom 1 and moved up to Lightroom 2 when it was launched. It is based on the same engine as the ACR in Photoshop but does so much more. If you haven't tried it go download a trial today. I think you will like it too.

On another note, today is the last day of summer so I thought I'd post a surfer shot I took in California this summer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Painting with Light

Painting with light s a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In many cases the light source itself does not have to appear in the image. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources.

This is on my list of things to do. I think the images are often very beautiful. Here is a list of links if you are interested in trying this as I am.

When I have had a chance to try this, I'll come back and post a photo, until then,
Happy Shooting!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Color Management

If you are a photographer or artist, color management is of utmost importance to you.
One of the best references is found here

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More on Digital Infrared

Infrared photography is photography where one photographs the infrared part of the light spectrum which is outside the range of what we can see.

Infrared film requires loading the camera in total darkness, extensive exposure bracketing, special developing, and--at times--a bit of luck. With a digital camera, infrared filter, and a tripod, anyone can explore the near-infrared spectrum photographically with ease. The filter usually used is a Hoya R72 filter. This near black filter makes shutter times very long which requires a tripod.

On the other hand, you can have your camera converted to IR only. This camera can be hand held and if it is an SLR camera, you can use any of your lenses.

There is one digital infrared camera on the market ... The FinePix S3 Pro UVIR which retails for $1799.

This photograph was taken with a point and shoot camera and filter. I became so interested in IR that I now have a converted camera. Both require post processing in Photoshop or a similar photo editing program. There are many tutorials on the internet showing how to post process the images. One of them is :

Monday, September 15, 2008

Digital Art

Digital Photography, digital painting and digital printing are now acceptable mediums of creation and presentation by major museums and galleries, and the work of digital artists is gaining ground. Internationally, many museums are now beginning to collect digital art such as the San Jose Museum of Art. The Victoria and Albert Museum print department also has a reasonable but small collection of digital art.

Here are some sites useful to digital artists:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Seeing from a New Vantage Point

Yesterday I received a challenge to photography something, anything, from a different angle. So this morning I photographed this poppy by getting down on the ground underneath it and shoot upward. I think it made an interesting shot so I decided to share it with you. Please click on the image for a larger view.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Macro Photography

According to Philip Greenspun "taking close-up pictures of small things is called 'macro photography.' I have no idea why. Perhaps because the small things in macro photography are generally larger than the things you are taking pictures of when doing 'micro photography'. If you really want to be pedantic then you should say you are doing 'photomacrography'. Flowers and insects are most often the subject of macro photography.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Photographing Fall Color

There is no better time of year to take landscape photos than autumn. Those wonderful blue sky days of late September and October naturally lead anyone with a camera to want to record the glorious fall color.

So, what are the secrets to photographing those beautiful autumn images? According to Chuck DeLaney, Dean of the New York Institute of Photography (NYI), the world's oldest and largest photography school, the secret is to start by taking a good landscape photograph.

Good landscape photos (and good photographs in general) start by following some simple rules.

First and foremost, is to know the subject of your photography. In the case of all landscapes you would want to look for subjects that capture the theme of autumn. So, before you snap your picture, think about what in the scene in front of you typifies fall. Is it the color of the trees? Is it the leaves on the ground? Emphasizing the elements that say "fall" in your photos, and removing the elements that distract from your subject, is the first step towards taking great autumn images. Be careful that in your joy in viewing a riot of bright color you don't overlook telephone wires, bare branches or other elements that will detract from the photo.