In the beginning . . .

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu

Many years ago, in another galaxy, just kidding! Really though, many years ago, I embarked on a journey called photography.  I didn’t know then, that it would become a hobby that would encompass my entire being, but it has.

On this journey, I met someone while taking an online class, who has become such a close friend, even though we have NEVER met in person.  I guess you might call her my pen pal, or in today’s world it’s more of a phone/Instagram/blog relationship.

Carolyn and I met while taking an online class at BetterPhoto called Understanding Digital Photography.  It had received my first digital camera for Christmas, and didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I thought this was a logical  place to begin.  During the class Carolyn posted a photo of a dead flower, and for the life of me I could not understand why anyone would photograph a dead flower. From this photograph would bloom an amazing friendship that I’m sure neither of us could have imagined! Today, I completely understand why she photographed this dead flower and I’ve been known to photograph a few myself.

It’s been nine years since Carolyn and I became friends and this month we will finally get to meet each other in person.  My husband I will be traveling out west and one of our stops is California.  Carolyn, and her husband Jim will meet us for a day of photography, lunch and an afternoon of conversation.  I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to finally meet her!

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Maine 2010

We both thought that posting a blog about this encounter and our journey would be interesting.  We agreed to post photos we’ve taken along the way to show our progression from where we began in comparison to where we are today.  Looking back was sort of fun, to see what I loved photographing eight years ago in relation to what I love to photograph today and how far I’ve come in so many aspects of photography. Time has a funny way of changing you, making your grow and looking at things a bit differently. During the past nine years, I’ve lost my job, had cancer, my daughter got married, and I became a grandma in April.  Quite a bit of activity going on and through it all our friendship has become stronger.  We speak a few times a week, consult each other on photographs and life in general.  We bounce ideas off of each other, we are very honest with our critiques of each others work and ideas.   It’s so nice to have someone who can be completely honest with you, knowing that they are doing it out of friendship and love.

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After we have met in person, our intention is to post a blog about our encounter, our photographs and our meeting in general.  I hope you will have a look later in June once we have had a change to edit photographs, write our blogs and relive our “in person” day together.

Until next time, thank you for stopping in . . .

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Pausing Life . . .

“A photograph is the pause button of LIFE.”

On April 29th my first grandchild was born, a baby boy.  He is without a doubt, the most beautiful baby.  He has kept us busy with visits, snuggles and just loving him to pieces.

I took a few weeks away from photography, just to spend time with him, my daughter and son-in-law.  Now that they are getting acclimated to their new life as parents and a family of three, it was time to resume my photography.

I hope you are all doing well, I’m glad to be back.  This week I visited my friend Cheryl, Cheryl has a love for decorating and especially for growing flowers.  Her peonies finally bloomed this week, so I went for a visit this cloudy and rainy Memorial Day.

I photographed her yard in August 2016, the year my daughter was married.  That day the sun was shining and the temperature was in the 90’s, humid and extremely hot, quite a difference from the weather today.  I must say, it was much easier to photograph today vs. the 90 degree day of two years ago.  Of course, August is typically much hotter than May in NJ.

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No words are needed . . .

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Nature gives us such beauty to behold.  The softness of each petal, with the hint of red poking though is breathtaking.  It was nice to get outside and photograph flowers instead of taking photographs inside.  Welcome Spring!

Until next time, stay well . . .

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first beach day . . .

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs

I typically photograph still life and flowers, but the weather was nice and I needed to get out and feel the sun, so this week I wanted to share some of the photographs I took in Ocean City, NJ with you.  I hope you enjoy them.  Continue reading “first beach day . . .”

inspiration . . .

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”  ~ Helen Keller

Inspiration is an amazing tool in any artists life, it’s where we get our ideas from, where we feel what we express to others.  Inspiration can come from many sources, close friends and/or family, something seen on TV, in a magazine or from friends in a community such as Instagram.  I’ve written before about the amazing group of friends I’ve come to know while on Instagram, most I’m sure I’ll never actually meet in person, yet I feel as though I know them so well.  Continue reading “inspiration . . .”

the gift . . .

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”  – Pablo Picasso

Many years ago a family member said she did not understand why anyone gave flowers to another, “all they do is die, such a waste” she said.

This is very true, but all living things eventually die, and what a waste if we do not take the time to enjoy them, even a flower.  God put living things on this earth so they could be nurtured, loved, and yes, enjoyed.

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I find the solitude of photographing flowers to be very therapeutic and inspiring.  It’s a time when I don’t think of the worries in my life, I am in a carefree and worry-less place.  So, flowers have an important purpose to me and I would imagine to many others.  It is one of the first items on a bride’s list of wedding to do’s, visiting a florist for their bouquets, flowers are given to your love on Valentine’s Day, and sadly, they represent a life lived, which has come to it’s physical end.

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For me, I just enjoy the colors, the shapes, the textures and how they smell, some are pungent but most have a heavenly scent.  This week, I bought three beautiful orange tulips from Jennifer at Lilies, I love visiting Jen for uplifting conversation and also her beautiful flowers.

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As the week progressed, I took various photographs of the tulips, noticing the difference in their texture, color and shape. I noticed how as the days went on, and one of the flowers perished, the remaining two flowers became intertwined.  Their stems began to bend toward each other, almost as if they were hugging. I wanted to share those photographs with you, as I took notice of how the flowers changed during the 5 or so days, it reminded me of how people change.  We come into this world so new with soft skin and wide eyes, as time goes by our skin begins to wrinkle and our eyes may droop, maybe we don’t see as well as we once did, but we are still beautiful just as the tulip was beautiful in it’s end stage.

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So you see, everything lives and eventually dies, it may not be physically here with us, but it sure left its mark.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to our visit next week, until then . . .

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landscape or portrait?

“a good photograph is knowing where to stand” ~ Ansel Adams

I was asked for photographs for a large collage frame my daughter was hanging over her couch in their living room.  The frame called for portrait format photographs.  As we looked through the many photos I’ve taken, I realized that I very seldom take photographs in a portrait format.  I am prone to taking photographs in a landscape format, I guess because it just looks more natural to my eye.  Continue reading “landscape or portrait?”

Just Breathe . . .

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer

Breathing comes natural to all of us, however slowing down to actually breathe is completely different than breathing to take in oxygen.

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In today’s world life is busier than ever.  We are bombarded with various types of social media, cell phones, text messages, our jobs and possibly parenting.  I thought when my daughter was grown and I wasn’t taking her to and from places anymore, life would slow down.  Not the case at all! Continue reading “Just Breathe . . .”

Know Light . . . Know Photography

“Light makes photography.  Embrace light.  Admire it.  Love it.  But above all, know light.  Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” ~ George Eastman

This past week or so, the light on the east coast, particularly NJ, has been quite awful.  There has been so much cloud cover, rain and a Nor’easter this past Friday.  We are expecting to be hit with yet another Nor’easter this Wednesday.  March has come in like a LION!  Continue reading “Know Light . . . Know Photography”

A Letter to Me . . .

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” – Voltaire

While listening to the radio the other day a song by Brad Paisley began to play.  The song is called “Letter to Me” it talks about writing a letter to your seventeen year old self.  It made me think about what I would write if I wrote that letter to my seventeen year old self.  Many thoughts started running through my mind.  Once I arrived at work I tucked the thoughts away for later in the day when I could really think about what I would write. Continue reading “A Letter to Me . . .”