A slip of a slider…

becomes a learning exercise.

DSC_0368We have art in order to not die of the truth.

Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s spring and no where is it more evident than on my still partially frozen lake.

I awaken most mornings now to the sounds of the geese as they battle it out to retain the affections of their mates.

There always seems to be at least one odd man out making a valiant attempt to win over the heart of the lady goose and the ongoing battles on slick surfaces are something to behold.

Although preset packages and filters are readily available for purchase and sometimes for no cost, I like to develop my own to use in Lightroom and will often shoot images that I know will work well with those saved presets. In my mind, it adds to the level of creativity and allows for a bit of fun when it comes to the processing of raw images.

I stumbled on this quite by accident when a slip of the Wacom tablet pen threw me into more than a slight adjustment of a slider. One of those “happy mistakes” that I fine-tuned and saved as a preset.

The reminder for today is just as I preach about learning to use every setting that your camera has to offer, take that one step further and play within your editing program to develop your own unique settings. Lightroom has non destructive editing so you are always able to go back to your initial image and start over. Often I will create a virtual copy to edit with a preset. If you are working within a program that does not have non destructive editing, make sure that you are always working on a copy of your image.

I guarantee that it will spark your creativity and who knows where that could lead you…

 

 

Fear…

is it stopping you?

DSC_3800-EditHave a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.

Charles Dickens

I wanted to share this moment with you. It was taken this week at the shelter that I do volunteer photography for and for me it captures why I’m there.

I’ve lived in this community for twelve years now and until December had never ventured into the shelter. Why? Fear and my expectations about what it would be like to look into those eyes and then walk out the door leaving them behind.

The only way to conquer your fears though is to move through them. Like so many other things that I’ve done from falling in love with night photography when I’m afraid of the dark, to taking scuba diving lessons when I was younger to get myself back in the water after watching Jaws, fear was holding me back from doing something that I felt I could contribute to in a meaningful way.

We’ve gotten into a routine now that’s really nice and I look forward to my time at the shelter. It’s a special group of people and their love of animals is evident.

This image you might think, not so remarkable, lots of dogs know how to “shake”.

But…

he only has three paws, he’s missing a back leg!

So much heart.

There are many ways to make a difference, don’t let fear keep you from doing something. Work through it and you might be surprised at what you discover.

Come on…what are you afraid of?

 

Good morning cirrus clouds…

and another exciting halo event!

DSC_3455There is no luck except where there is discipline.

Irish Proverb

I’m breaking my weekly blog post routine to write a follow-up on yesterday’s post. I wrote that one on Saturday night to publish in the morning and upon going outside saw cirrus clouds and a 22 degree halo forming around the rising sun. While these are more common than rainbows, occurring on average 100 times a year, what happened a little later was very exciting for me.

Halos are formed by orientation of different types of crystals in the atmosphere and size, shape, alignment, and perfection all play a role. Type of crystal, column or plate, play a role in what type of halo appears and when I see a combination of ice halos start to appear, indicating the presence of both types of crystals…I start to pay attention.

This happened yesterday when I saw a solitary sundog appear to the left of the 22 degree halo. Sundogs are those bright rainbow colored spots that occasionally appear to the left and right of the 22 degree halo encircling the sun.

Although I may not see another group of halos like I photographed in yesterday’s blog post again since some of those halos are only visible on average 1-4 times a year, I’m always excited at the possibility.

On Sunday morning my persistence paid off and I was able to add a parhelic circle, visible on average 4 times a year, and a 120 degree parhelia, visible 1.2 times a year on average, to my collection! I also captured a supralateral or possible 46 degree halo, the two are often hard to differentiate between and occur on average 4.2 times a year, and a circumscribed arc.

In the image above, the 22 degree halo is in the bottom right, the parhelic circle is the white halo extending up the top left, and that small circular spot just above midline on the circle is the 120 degree parhelia.

I credit as always, Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics for all of the knowledge that I’ve gained about this fascinating subject and the assistance that he provides me in identifying halos that I might not be familiar with.  I encourage you to check out his site and can assure you that you will be amazed at what you will see and read about there!

 

In a world forever looking down…

it pays to look up!

DSC_9373-EditForests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes-every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.

Orison Swett Marden

Crystals in the clouds…and the occasional display like this one only makes me long for more opportunities to see and photograph them.

This was an amazing display spanning about 15 minutes and although I had my camera with me, I was not dressed to be laying in the snow capturing it.

The brightest by far was the circumzenithal arc at the top which is touching the supralateral arc. Down from that is a parry arc, an upper tangent arc, and a 22 degree halo. Also appearing in other images were sundogs and a brief appearance of a parhelic circle.

This is my second opportunity capturing two of the more rare arcs, a supralateral visible on average 4.2 times a year, and a parry visible 1.1 times a year.

I credit the knowledge that I’ve gained about this atmospheric phenomena to the renowned physicist Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics . I am always humbled when people of such stature find time to encourage and relate to someone like myself: just a girl with a camera in North Idaho. That in itself was a learning experience: reach out to others who share your passions.

I use my camera to explore. Looking though its lens has led me on countless voyages of discovery from halos and iridium flares to the stone houses of the October caddis.

I couldn’t wait to get home and change out of my cold, snow laden clothes and view my images on a larger screen. Better than any fireworks display and most definitely a gift from the universe.

Take time to look around you, go on an expedition, and don’t forget to look up!

Note: Never view the sun through your camera and never look directly at it. Photographing images this bright could damage your camera.

One…

a sure sign that IT is coming.DSC_2960-Edit-2-Edit-2

Light is meaningful only in relation to darkness, and truth presupposes error. It is these mingled opposites which people our life, which make it pungent, intoxicating. We only exist in terms of this conflict, in the zone where black and white clash.

Louis Aragon

Spring is trying to make a comeback.

As temperatures drop at night, the battle between snowflake and raindrop ensues leaving behind a wintry mix.

A sure sign though that it’s winning is the lone goose.

Soon we will be seeing bright pops of green in photos as people embrace the new season.

I see spring in black and white…what does it look like to you?

 

Perhaps all that’s needed…

is a little shake?

20170224-dsc_1818-edit-3

It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.

John Burroughs

I remember as a child loving snowglobes. Those tiny, perfect little worlds that changed just a little whenever you picked them up and shook them.

These frozen bubbles are a little like those and perhaps that’s why I enjoy seeing them develop. Each one different, each one a little capture of a winter day.

Photography and whatever niche we put ourselves in is also a little like that. We get comfortable photographing certain things and stay in our comfort zones but is that always good?

Well that depends. I recommend shaking it up every so often. Go out and photograph something that you have never photographed before. It’s eye-opening and I guarantee that it will make you a better photographer.

There’s a secret to it though…you have to commit, don’t just take a half hearted stab at it.

Give it a little shake. You won’t be sorry.

Note: For client privacy reasons I could not post images from my recent  session but I completely endorse the “shake it up” process.

Winter Carnival…

has gone to the dogs!

20170226-dsc_2505-edit-2Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

There’s a lot to be learned from our four-legged friends.

This week-end had a special event sponsored by some amazing local business’ all in the name of raising money to support the Panhandle Animal Shelter.

A little snow didn’t keep the crowds away and the dogs ran their hearts out pulling size suitable empty kegs down a snowy track to raise money for their less fortunate friends.

There were dogs of all sizes dressed in all kinds of gear sporting EzyDog harnesses for the Keg Pull.

This was my first time attending the event and I had the pleasure of being in the thick of the action. Some dogs gave it their all, seasoned veterans returning to better their times from past years. Others, new to the game, took more leisurely runs, pausing for photo opportunities along the way.

Great group of dog loving people supporting a wonderful cause and lucky me…I got to spend a few hours combining two passions, dogs and photography.

February’s Tip: Double your pleasure and try to find a way to combine two passions in one. Really think about what gives you the most joy to photograph and seek out opportunities that combine those things. Your heart will thank you!