27 March 2012

Breaking Beautiful

Red Flame Tulip, Magdalena, NM, April 2011 (photo edit March 2012)
I was digging around in my photo archives tonight and found this image I took last spring with my D3000 and the f1.8 lens for super-shallow depth of field. Truth be told, I forgot I'd planted this kind of tulip and can't wait for them to bloom again; in the meantime I really enjoyed playing in Photoshop and Topaz B/W Effects. (As you can see, I mostly re-colored the image... I love color too much to go black-and-white, I guess.) This variety's red flame petals mimic the patterns that ignited tulip mania and are now known to have been caused by tulip breaking virus (TBV). Proof positive that sometimes "bad" things lead to unexpectedly beautiful results.

20 March 2012


Still life with tangerines and late-winter sunlight, January 2011 (re-edited March 2012), Magdalena, NM
Memorial, July 2010 (re-edited March 2012), Philadelphia, PA
Four days into my vacation I'm feeling more energetic and creative. A few days of wintry weather have kept me indoors, where in addition to spring cleaning I'm revisiting some photos and trying new processing techniques, in this case vintage-like renditions combining effects from Topaz Labs' B&W Effects and Detail 2 plug-ins.  I like this new version of my tangerine still life better than last-year's original; now that I have B&W Effects I find it much easier to desaturate images and then selectively re-tint, and I especially like the vignette and grain effects. Here's another image, from my mom's memorial service in July 2010. The theme lends itself especially well to the vintage rendering... I got a bit emotional while working on this image, which I suppose will always happen. I think Mom would have liked this.

19 March 2012

Doggie BFFs

Blue and Riley, Magdalena, NM, March 2012
The kids' dachshund Blue (who lives at their dad's house) comes over to play sometimes, and she and Riley are inseparable when she's around. Last week we took her with us to the property and she fell in with the pack, even swimming with the kids in the little pond out there. The horses did not know what to make of her till she started yipping; then Precita lowered her head near Blue's face and snorted loudly as if to say, "Really, Blue? Is that the best you've got?"

It's snowing here right now -- I guess that's appropriate for the last day of winter.... The forecast called for up to half a foot but then the storm started pulling north so we'll probably just get an inch or two. Later in the week we'll be back to warm sunshine and will surely be back at the "swimming hole" by the weekend.

17 March 2012

Sunny Day

My daffodil garden, Magdalena, NM, March 2012


Daffodils, Magdalena, NM, March 2012
We've had a wonderfully sunny, warm week that ends tomorrow with what may be a nasty winter storm, so I brought my daffodils inside to continue enjoying them. These will always be my favorite flowers. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

13 March 2012

Touching Base

Dad and Riley at the ranch, Magdalena, NM, March 2012
So, um, I'm not quite sure what happened but I can definitely say I lost both my photo mojo and my writing mojo, and... well, in the spirit of being kind to myself I will simply accept that I had to let blogging go for a bit. Internship and coursework have drained me and, as this current quarter progressed and I took on more clients and a group, my creative energy ran dry. I know this isn't permanent; while I will be working more hours (for money, yay!) in a few months, I won't have coursework anymore...

Yesterday, warm sunshine (after a snowy 3 days last week!) did recharge my batteries enough to get out and about, take a few pictures, and even play with Photoshop and my Topaz filters. I've had no energy or inspiration for post-processing lately, hence the lack of posted photos. Can't say I'm "back" but with the current quarter ending this week I do hope to get more photo time during my break.