Thursday, October 20, 2016

Behind the Red Bench......

Behind the red bench.....(see last post).....
there were still patches of fall color.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

'All the Leaves Are Brown'.....(well almost)

'All the Leaves Are Brown....'  
(well almost!)

This was taken at a beautiful little park close to home.   It was a lovely place to enjoy a peaceful few minutes.....except for all the other photographers roaming around doing exactly what I was doing!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Moose Mistake!

Moose Mistake!

YES, you are seeing a blurry, out of focus picture, and NO, it is not your eyes. I was driving over the Alpine Loop early this evening, (very narrow, curvy, two lane road), and I glimpsed this dark shape out of the passenger side window. It was a huge moose walking several yards away from the road. My camera was on the passenger seat, still set for slow speed, bright sunlight. I slowed down, but had to keep moving because the moose was moving. I held the camera at arms length and shot through the closed window while making sure I didn't run off the road. (I know, stupid!) When I looked at the image on my computer, not even expecting to see the moose in the frame, I was surprised that I kind of liked it. Can you have an animal abstract? I don't know, but I loved the effect on the trees, and I could never duplicate this if I tried, because I don't know how it happened! (Of course I did crop and straighten it.) Which brings me to another point and a little secret that is not really a secret. I am grateful and so appreciative when my friends compliment me on my photography, but what you don't know is that for every photo I post, there are probably 200 that get deleted!! Stands to reason that the more photos I take, the chances are that a few will be good, some times it's just luck, and maybe once in a while, it might be talent or skill!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mt. Timpanogos Temple

Mt. Timpanogos Temple

I live about 10 minutes away from the beautiful Mt. Timpanogos temple. Just before sunset the front of the temple and background mountains are bathed in warm light that makes Angel Moroni on top of the spire and the blue stained glass window glow. An extra bonus today was this beautiful sky. NO extra color saturation needed. You'd think I'd have a ton of photos of this temple, living so close, but I don't. Problem is, that unless you are shooting in the winter when there are no leaves, the front on the temple is almost entirely obscured by trees. Many of the leaves have now fallen, so today I was able to find a vantage point that showed a bit more of the temple. (Just below where I've cropped the photo is a parking lot full of cars.)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mt. Timpanogos - First Snow

Mt. Timpanogos - First Snow

Another photo I took a couple of weeks ago after an unusually early snow storm on Mt. Timpanogos. Fall in Utah doesn't get much better than this!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Evening Kayak Ride - Lake Powell

Halls Bay, Lake Powell

Two of my grandchildren enjoying an evening kayak ride.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Lake Powell Sunrise

Lake Powell Sunrise

I love getting up early, before the family chaos begins, to enjoy the beauty of sunrise at Lake Powell. I love how different each day begins, depending on the weather, the clouds, the time of year and the direction I point my camera. Yesterday my photo, (last post), was taken before sunrise, facing away from the sun, capturing a calm, peaceful scene. Today I turned my camera directly at the sun as it made a spectacular entrance that created vivid colors and contrasts between the sun rays and mottled shadows. (Many normal lenses like the one I used here, will create sunbursts, sunflares, and colorful bokeh when pointed at a bright light source.)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lake Powell - 2016

Lake Powell Sunrise - 2016

I've just returned from spending ten glorious days 'off the grid', no cell phone, no internet, no email, living on a houseboat at Lake Powell for our annual family vacation. Ten days building family memories....wake boarding, jet skiing, kayaking, spear fishing, reading, relaxing, telling ghost stories around the camp fire, and eating enough junk food to last a year. I am so blessed to have children and grandchildren who all love each other, and enjoy being together. Oh, and did I mention being surrounded by beautiful southwestern scenery. This shot was taken from the houseboat, at sunrise. (And looks better when 'clicked' larger.)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cascade Springs, Utah

Cascade Springs, Utah

Gold, rust, burnt orange, red, yellow, green.....fall colors are my favorites. I wear these colors, I decorate my house in these colors, I drive a car painted one of these colors. I think this would be my favorite time of year, except that my mood is somewhat dampened when I remember that this beautiful season will eventually turn into a gray, white, colorless winter, at least here in northern Utah! This is another shot of Cascade Springs near Mt. Timpanogos.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mt. Timpanogos Between Fall and Winter

Mt. Timpanogos Between Fall and Winter

Same place, earlier in the afternoon, and a different spot up the road from my last post. I thought of this quote by John Muir on the day I was taking these photos: "The mountains are calling and I must go."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Mt. Timpanogos, Utah

Mt. Timpanogos, Utah

We've had some wild weather here in Utah for the last few days, but after the rain, the wind, and the tornadoes, (yes, here in Utah), Mother Nature gave us this!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Duck Creek Village, Utah

Duck Creek Village, Utah

Inclement weather and a drizzly, cloudy, foggy, dark day....great for showing off fall yellows and creating moody, misty photos.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aspen & Sheep, Cedar Breaks, Utah

Aspen & Sheep, Cedar Breaks, Utah

Just got back from a great ATV trip with friends, and drove home by way of Cedar Breaks, hoping to get a few photos of the spectacular fall foliage. Unfortunately it was raining and windy, but the sheep didn't seem to mind! I have seen a lot of aspen trees in fall, and this is about as good as it gets!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Fall in Utah

Mt. Timpanogos 

Fall color is GLORIOUS in Utah mountains right now. This is what I call the 'backside', (north facing view I think), of Mt. Timpanogos. This view is about a half hour drive from home. Lucky me!!! (For you Utah photographers, I just discovered this shooting location and I love it!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Where's Karen?

Where's Waldo? Or in this case where's Karen??? This front door shot became one of my rare selfies. (It was taken in Santa Fe where we spent a few days celebrating our 46th anniversary.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Peach Pie

I don't like to cook, but I do. I used to bake bread and make pies, but not so much anymore. But once a year, every year, I make a fresh peach pie from scratch for my husband, with peaches from our own trees. And today was the day. It is truly a time consuming labor of love for me, as I manage to dirty every mixing bowl, every measuring cup, and end up with flour and pie dough on most of the drawer and cupboard knobs and all over the floor! So after all that, I had to treat myself with a taste just to make sure it turned out alright, before serving it to my family for Sunday dinner. (That's my story and I'm sticking with it). And it turned out delish, even if I do say so myself!! And the best part....... left over peach pie for breakfast!!!

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Bird in the Hand......

Nice being out in nature, just me and the birds.....well not exactly. The location where I took this photo might be a bit misleading. This little swampy area sits in between a shopping mall parking lot and an 8 lane freeway. The birds love it!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tahiti - Moorea

Tahiti - Moorea

This is a weekend where many of us are able to take a break from the everyday routine, and travel away to places far or near, while some of us take 'staycations' and travel to far away places in our minds! I'm completing a photo book of our 18 months in the South Pacific Islands several years ago, and ran across this photo. There is nothing more spectacular than sunsets in the South Pacific. This was taken from our hotel in Tahiti, looking toward the beautiful island of Moorea, my favorite tropical paradise.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Busy Bee!

Look closer to see how busy this little bee really is!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


"Softer Than a Summer Night" 

That phrase just popped into my head when I was looking at this image. Who remembers what song this line is from??

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pink Cosmos

The humble cosmos looks lovely when surrounded by a beautiful summer garden.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple
Backlit by Hot August Sun

I'm always looking for unique compositions of the Salt Lake Temple, and if it includes some sun flare, that's icing on the cake. Love how Angel Moroni looks like he's floating. Took this today while I was on Temple Square late this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Another Beautiful Summer Garden

Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point

It's hard to get excited about putting in the work and expense of cultivating my own garden when I can drive 5 minutes away and enjoy scenes like this!!!

P.S.  I have had several people ask if I add saturation to this image.  Here is a comment I made on facebook where I have lots more viewers than here on my blog:

Several people have asked if I 'photoshopped' my last post to make the colors so......well, colorful??? This is probably the most common question landscape and nature photographers get asked regularly! Read on to find out my answer..... Many die hard traditionalists feel that anything done to a photograph outside of the camera is cheating, (even though we know that early photographers also regularly manipulated their images, even the great Ansel Adams). But what if the manipulation comes in the camera before the shot is taken, such as using special filters or lenses or camera settings to create unique 'looks' that are not what the eye would normally see?? In the days before digital, even the film a photographer used would change the look of an image. Portrait and wedding photogs would often use Provia film which produced neutral, soft colors that would enhance skin tones, whereas landscape photographers would use Velvia film which produced vivid, saturated, bright colors. My current digital camera love, a mirrorless Fuji xt-1 has settings that simulate the 'look and feel' of those most popular films. So when I shoot colorful scenes, like the one here, I often set my camera to the Velvia setting to bring out the colors. So for you traditionalists out there, is this in-camera selection of a specific setting to achieve a specific look, cheating? Of course photography has always been about combining art and science into personal interpretation, (I'm not talking about journalistic photography in its strictest form). But today, because of modern technology, the lines between photography, graphic art, paintings, drawings, and other art forms continue to blend and overlap, and the traditionalists who try to keep those boundaries separate and apart are in a losing battle. For them, it sometimes becomes more important to base their opinion of the value of an image on how it was created, rather than whether the image itself is beautiful, meaningful, uplifting, informative, evocative, etc. I wonder how many people who love the work of Monet thought to ask what type of brushes he used, or the brand of paint he preferred!! (For those who missed my photo in question, here it is again.) P.S. I do have to say, when I compare my photos on my computer with how they appear here on FB, they often look more saturated. Not sure if this is a FB thing!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

My Grandson Finn!

My Adorable Grandson Finn!
I usually don't post family photos here, (I have a different blog for that), but sometimes I just can't help myself!!!

A 'behind the scenes' shot with Finn's father blowing bubbles.  We had so much FUN!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Golden Hour at Lilly Lake, Utah

Lilly Lake, Utah

This is why photographers call the time of day just before sunset, the "Golden Hour'. This is Lilly Lake in Utah's high Uintas. A beautiful time to be out fishing in a little red canoe, or on the shore enjoying the view with a camera!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Provo River Falls, Utah (2)

Near Provo River Falls

Here is another beautiful spot near the main falls.  I sat on this rock and enjoyed the view until it starting getting dark.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Provo River Falls, Utah

Provo River Falls

For you non photographers..... the soft, dreamy look in the water is created by using a tripod and slowing down the shutter speed in camera. Is that cheating or artistic impression?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Provo River, High Uintas, Utah

Provo River Falls

Twilight in the high Uintas. I took this last night in between vertical 'drops' of the Provo River Falls.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rudbeckia - Black eyed Susans


Often my 'happy place' is right in my own backyard!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Old McPolin Farm

Old McPolin Farm

The tractor from the last post sits on the other side of this barn and farmhouse and is a familiar landmark on the drive from Salt Lake City to the ski resort of Park City. The homestead dates back to 1886 and is of historical significance in Utah and is a popular site for both wedding and landscape photographers. I took this photo after the one in the last post. The sun was lower in the sky but still adds to the feel and mood of mid summer heat.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

HOT Seat

HOT Seat

I took this photo on a day when the temperature was hovering around 100 degrees (F). It is a good thing this tractor and its owner are retired and not out on a day like this! (Come to think of it, why was I out on a day like this?)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Is it Photography or Photoshop!!

Is it Photography or Photoshop??

I was sitting on a bench on Park City's main street and snapped a 'point n shoot' photo of the street scene below:

But in my 'mind' eye' I saw something more artistic. It was dusk and the little lights in the background tree had just come on. I waited until it was darker and the lights were brighter and cast a warm glow. I set my camera to the largest aperture my lens would allow, f/4, and adjusted other settings for low light. I positioned my camera as close to the flowers as possible and zoomed in. This created a soft dreamy look, blurring the background and rendering the tree lights as big round light globes called 'bokeh'. The above photo is the result. Photography may or may not involve using Photoshop to enhance a photo, but it is always about using the variables of lighting, composition and camera settings to create a photo!

Wild Daisies

Wild Daisies

There is something so carefree and lighthearted about wildflowers growing where ever they choose with no apparent order and no concern that their closest neighbors are weeds!    I found these wild daisies near Sundance Ski Resort which is a short ride from my home.  (My grandmother cultivated this 'look' in her own flower garden and my Dad used to call it 'studied carelessness'.)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Cascade Springs, Utah

Cascade Springs, Utah

This beautiful little area is just a short drive from my home.  I feel so blessed to find beautiful scenes to photograph close by.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cabbage White Butterfly

Cabbage White Butterfly

It is wonderful to be able to travel to 'far away places with strange sounding names' and capture the rare or exotic, but we can all enjoy the beauty in the seemingly simple, every day wonders of nature if we just slow down and take time to observe and appreciate.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Tiny HIker

Tiny Hiker

Photography has taught me to appreciate the small and simple vignettes in nature. While hiking in the mountains behind my home, I sat on a boulder to rest and take in the grand view of rugged Mt. Timpanogos. But I soon became fascinated watching this tiny little hiker, who was about a 1/4 inch long. It took him quite awhile to figure out where he was going.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Milk Thistle

  Milk Thistle (I think)

I know these are considered obnoxious weeds, but they are just so darn photogenic!

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle (I think)

I know these are considered obnoxious weeds, but they are just so darn photogenic!

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Grand View Near Mackay, Idaho

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Flower Dance

Flower Dance

Even a dead tree stump can be part of an interesting composition when surrounded by new life. This was taken in the same area as my last post.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Borah Peak, Idaho

 Borah Peak, Idaho
12,662 feet elevation

Still posting from our trip to Idaho, and this day we saw many beautiful and rugged Alpine like peaks, including Borah Peak, the highest mountain in Idaho.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Babbling Brook - Mackay, Idaho

This babbling little brook danced all the way down to join Wild horse Creek, near Mackay, Idaho.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wild horse Creek, Mackay Idaho

Here is another view of Wild horse Creek near Mackay, Idaho. For you nature lovers, there were beautiful camping spots along this crystal clear river/creek with views of rugged mountains including the highest peak in Idaho. (More photos to come.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wild horse Creek, Idaho

Wild horse Creek, Idaho

I usually don't take my camera when we are ATV riding with a group as no one has the patience to stop every few minutes for me to take photos. This time, however, I did take my camera on a group ride near Mackay, Idaho. We stopped to eat lunch in a beautiful wooded area by Wild horse Creek. I gulped down my lunch, then spent my time taking photos.

For you non photographers out there, sometimes it's all about luck!  in order to get moving water to look soft and dreamy, you need to set your camera for a slow shutter speed which usually requires using a tripod to avoid camera shake so the still objects won't be blurry. I had no tripod, but I must have had very steady hands that day! Photographers often call this technique 'veiling' because when used on a waterfall, the result looks like a wedding veil.

For you photographers out there, here are my camera settings:  1/6 sec, f/18, 200 ISO.  This was shot at midday. I used a polarizer filter and waited for the sun to go behind a cloud. I also bracketed 3 shots to get the best exposure.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

With Gossamer Wings!

With Gossamer Wings!
I love how the light shows off his wings.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day - The 4th of July

Let Freedom Ring!!

The inscription on the Liberty Bell says, "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof". Happy Independence Day!