Taking advantage of an icy day…

We had an ice storm earlier this week. The ground was warm enough that getting around wasn’t bad, but everything else was encased. This week’s photo challenge is visual rhythm which I kept in mind as I took pictures. I’ll be interested to hear if you have a favorite, and which you think is the best choice for my visual rhythm challenge.

I love the look of power lines, even though I’m happy that the ones in our neighborhood are buried (fewer power outages).

Power Lines – 6

Imperfect is often more interesting than perfect. I’ll bet the owners of this fence would rather it was straight and tall.

Icy Fence – 4

Holly Berries

Icicles on a branch

Mailboxes – 1

Mailboxes – 2

The numbers on the photos were randomly assigned and do not indicate my high or low preferences.

Photos and memories…

If you are like me, you take photos of all sorts of things to help you remember. Do they really help you remember? Maybe not so much. I read this article 3 years ago and it is good enough that I saved the link. The takeaway is that photos alone don’t help you remember. You have to go back and look at them if you want to remember them.

My mom spent the months before Christmas 2014 weeding out boxes of photos. Many went in the trash. Some went into albums. The rest went to different ones of us to keep or throw away. Thankfully, mom did not want to leave her photos for someone else to deal with when ‘later’ came.

Mom had one album in her room at Preston Place when ‘later’ did come on 12/23. The kids and I went through it and took the photos of us. I’m sending the rest to my brother and I hope he will enjoy seeing the photos of him and his family that gave mom pleasure.

Mom shared her album with visitors as she told them the story of her life. She had a bulletin board with newer photos (mostly taken by me or Lorna with our phones) and they were also part of her story. Mom wanted prints — a digital frame did not work for her. At the time, that made me crazy, but when I took these pictures off of her bulletin board I realized why she loved them. Pictures that you can hold in your hand are more real.

I’m trying to find the right balance between living in the moment and taking pictures of every moment. The thing is, sometimes a photo catches a moment that becomes a fantastic memory, and it’s hard to predict exactly which photo will do that. And, even though it goes against my wish to de-clutter, I think I’ll be printing more photos.


I don’t remember this photo, and I don’t know who took it, but it is one of the best photos of my mom that I have found. She hated posing for photos and it’s rare to find one where she let that go and was herself.

If you want to take better photos…

Ricky Tims is taking sign-ups now for the 2018 Photo Challenge class. I took this class 3 years ago and learned so much! I’m not only a better photographer now, I have learned to see the world around me better.

If you want to take better photos, learn how to use Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop, and get better acquainted with your camera, this is the best way I know to do it. The class is broken up into two 26-week sessions. Ricky is offering a very good discount right now.

  • November 9 – 30 Registration is 75% off, at $149
  • December 1 – 18, Registration is 50% off at $299.
  • After December 18, Full price, $599

I’ve been part of the follow-up Critique group since finishing the first year of classes. This week’s challenge was ‘self portrait’. It happens every year and this time I finally got a photo that looks like me!


Steve and I will be NYC visiting Celia and Jeff all this week. Watch for my photos of the big city here, on instagram, and on facebook.

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.


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


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?

Three 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 4th 52-Week Photo Class. If it sounds good to you, click here and sign up. You will be glad you did!

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Here are a few of my 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.


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.


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


(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.)


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


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?!)


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.