Visiting the Dallas Arboretum…

NOTE: If you got the way-too-early link to next week’s Wednesday Giveaway it’s only sort of gone. It will post on time next Wednesday. If you already commented, your comments should still be there.

Lorna, the kids, and I went to the Dallas Arboretum yesterday and it looks like spring is already here! Jack took way more pictures than I did.

Jack Taking Pictures

Bear rarely wanted to stop for a photo.

arboretum_02-16-17-17

The cherry trees have begun to bloom. That was a surprise to me — I didn’t know there were cherry trees there!

arboretum_02-16-17-26

The crepe myrtles are lovely even when they have not leafed out.

crepe myrtle

This is for my friend, Catherine :-).

 

Can you take a better picture?

Do you remember when photos were printed on paper, from film that had to be developed by someone that was not you? Opening the package of prints was always a surprise — often not a happy one. On my best days, 1 print out of 10 might be good. The rest never did match my memory of the moment.

Fast forward to now. Digital photography has advanced to the point that we take pictures all day long. The results are immediately available and we can see if the picture is good, or not. But here’s a question: Do you apply a critical eye to your photos? Are you taking the best photo that you could?

Two years ago I signed up for Ricky Tims’ 52-Week Photo Challenge Class. I had no idea how much I didn’t know! The dials and buttons on the camera are no longer a mystery. I’ve quit relying on autofocus!

I’ve learned to pay more attention to the image before I actually take the photo. What needs to be in the photo, and what does not? Every photo gives you the chance to play with light, color, and scale — and the relationships between them. Happily, the same rules of design apply to quilting!

Much of the class is about image editing. Ricky teaches how to use both Lightroom and Photoshop, both of which are powerful editing tools. I had never used Lightroom and now can’t image working on photos without it.

After I finished the 52-week class, I signed up for the Critique class. Even when I’m busy, I do my best to take my weekly photo. Maybe that’s why it feels like a gift! Taking time to do something that makes you happy is the best gift you can give yourself.

Ricky is starting his 3rd 52-Week Photo Class. If it sounds good to you, click here and sign up. Steve (my husband) already has.

pcfy-postcardpfacebook_aik37cy

Here are a couple of my recent photos…

Taken near the Hudson River, NYC. This was a quick photo, lightly edited.

Taken near the Hudson River, NYC. This was a quick photo, lightly edited.

My granddaughter offerred to help out by posing which was very nice.

My granddaughter offerred to help out by posing for my Wonderland photo assignment which was very nice.

For the Mirror Mirror challenge.

For the Mirror Mirror challenge.

Shopping for wedding dresses…

I went to San Francisco last weekend to visit my friend, Amy. One of the things we did was to go shopping for ‘the dress’ with the daughter, Laura, of one of Amy’s long-time friends. I took my camera and shot nearly 300 photos. I didn’t really know any of the wedding party so I did my best (with limited success) to be quiet and just take photos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This place is full of one-of-a- kind runway dresses. It’s first come first served and Laura was the first bride of the day. She was given a little bag with 8 clips to mark the dresses she wanted to try on. It’s a good system.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She let others in the party make some choices as well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(I took lots of photos with peoples faces but I’m not posting them because that is a choice to leave up to the bride.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dressing room began to fill, with a well-used dress form standing guard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I did my best to stay out of the shots but there were so very many mirrors! I didn’t exactly dress to fade into the background (what was I thinking?!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All 8 dresses were lovely, but Laura did not find ‘the dress’. However, if she has as much fun looking for it as I did taking pictures, she is sure to enjoy the hunt!

FYI: Laura is an actress, stand-up comic, and she has some hilarious videos on youtube. Click here to find GinBlo Productions on youtube.

More from St. Maarten…

My selfies are getting better. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

IMG_8016

We went on a snorkel tour on boat with Octopus Diving. The fish were pretty, the water was warm, and the Dramamine kept me from getting motion sickness. All good.

IMG_8031

We snorkeled out by that rocky island. IMG_8055

When I wasn’t snorkeling, I was visiting with Captain Kyle who is 27, has lived all over the world, and who can put all he owns in a small duffle bag. His life sounds really interesting, probably because it is so different from my own life. Just thinking about how to live that way and still quilt was enough to make my head hurt.

IMG_8055

Shadow selfie…

IMG_7985

I’ll sign off with these two beach photos. St. Maarten was wonderful, and the vacation shared with friends made it even better!

IMG_8053

I took this with the iPhone Camera+ app which is a very cool app. I used the in-app editing tool that is a whole lot like Lightroom. I’m visiting St Maarten and I thought I’d have my big camera out and about with me but it’s not working out that way. My iPhone is turning into my camera on this trip and it’s working pretty well.

St. Maarten, continued…

There were lots of photo ops. In fact, I could turn into one of those people who makes little forward progress because they are too busy taking pictures. That used to drive me crazy with other people, so I try not to overdo it.

IMG_8019

Sometimes I like to play with filters or other editing options. (Camera+ has some really great built-in editing features.) There is never only one perfect choice so it’s hard to know when to stop..

IMG_8020

This photo in color is not nearly as good…

IMG_8015

The same is true with this photo. In black and white is looks very retro.

IMG_7986

There was one wall with a broken glass bottle ridge along its top that looked like dangerous flowers.

IMG_8022

It was more interesting in black and white.

IMG_8023

Selfies…

I have never been much for selfies. My arms aren’t long enough and my nose always looks too big!  But I decided to go for it on this trip and Steve went with me…

IMG_7266

I’ve decided that the key is to get over yourself. No one has long enough arms.

IMG_7353

Also, it takes some manual dexterity to take a selfie with one hand. I’m not always successful, but I’m better than Steve who was not remotely interested in taking them.

IMG_7340

I also decided that you only need so many selfies. We did not overdo it.

IMG_7186

IMG_7539

Jeff surprised us all by coming prepared with a telescoping selfie stick. He acknowledged that if that had been my idea, he would never have gone along but we were all glad he had it. You can fit 4 people and scenery into the frame if you can move the phone far enough away :-).

IMG_3529

IMG_3576