A sign from…

the universe.

DSC_6667Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some days are just golden; almost like an affirmation that the choices you’re making are right.

A friend is fond of telling me that if you just let go the universe will provide and I can no longer argue with that sentiment.

My week-end was amazing. The weather was incredible and the lake that I frequent couldn’t have been more beautiful. Afterwards, a perfect, early summer evening was graced with clear skies, some unusual aurora arc activity, and a fly over of the international space station.

This all leads me to have faith.

Have faith and keep your camera ready to capture the moments.

 

Going…

home.June 17-1-EditThere are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.

Rumi

Life’s a lot like a camera. You can slide it onto that auto setting and accept the images that it creates for you or you can take control and choose every setting yourself.

A friend once told me that if I could only let go the universe would provide.

She got “the look” followed by an eye roll just for emphasis.

However the science geek in me loves a good experiment so I did let go.

Turns out there really are a thousand ways to go home again.

Spring’s first…

bloom.DSC_4330No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

Hal Borland

I suppose it was inevitable.

I found the first flower blooming in my yard, a variety that I’ve not seen before.

Graceful and delicate it opens up towards the glimmer of sun that has been struggling to break through the clouds.

Nature’s a fickle thing though and this morning the landscape sparkles with a layer of frost.

I secretly rejoice.

Happy Easter to those celebrating.

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?

 

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?