Sunday, March 26, 2017

Magnolia 2

This beautiful northern Utah magnolia is blooming in my friend's back yard.
(Flower Photo Tip:  Sometimes the most interesting compositions emphasize the imperfections or unusual details of a bloom that makes it look different from the norm or less than perfectly symmetrical in appearance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Look what was blooming in my front yard when I returned to our home in northern Utah! This magnolia bush only blooms for a short while in early spring. I love the gentle curves of the petals and look forward to finding a unique composition to photograph each year.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Poverty Canyon

Another iphone shot taken in the same location as my last post.  We decided this ATV ride ranked in our Top 5 rides in southern Utah for spectacular scenery.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Poverty Canyon - Outside Zion National Park

A perfect day, spectacular scenery, and a great ride with fabulous friends.  Doesn't get much better than this!!  We were riding just outside Zion National Park.  
(iphone photo with some editing in LR.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Bees Are Back!

The Bees are Back on my Gopher Plants!

This plant sits next to a block wall, perfect for another high contrast image when the sun is just in the right spot.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daffodils at Sunset

Daffodils at Sunset

Coming home yesterday just before sunset, I spotted a small patch of daffodils in the park strip on the main street of my little town.  The setting sun highlighted the flowers while the surrounding area was already in shadows. The lighting was perfect for another high contrast flower photo. Part of being a good nature/macro photographer, is about developing the ability to observe and notice scenes or objects we see everyday, then being able to mentally 'see' an interesting composition, even before we pick up a camera!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tulip Aglow

Tulip Aglow
(Who says you can't photograph pretty pictures on a sunny day!)

For those of you who like to photograph flowers outdoors, and are shooting on a sunny day, here's an idea:  Look for a flower that is lit fairly evenly by the overhead sun and is in front of a larger, solid object, such as a building.  The direction and perspective you shoot from is critical.  First, find a position where you can shoot 'through' a petal creating a translucent look, (usually your camera has to be pointing in a semi upward direction).  Second, make sure your background object is solid, in deep shadow, and frames the entire flower.  This will create a dramatic, high contrast, image that will really show off your 'glowing' flower.  

You can artificially create this same effect by placing a large, flat, solid object, (scrim), behind your subject flower, being careful to not block the sun from hitting the flower.  You will have to experiment with your camera settings so as not to 'blow out' the flower if the sunlight is very bright or harsh.  It may also help to have a polarizing filter on your camera lens.  You should do your best to avoid a point of view where harsh, distracting shadows on the flower, created by less important petals and leaves, detract from the main part of the flower.  

And finally, you may want to emphasize this high contrast style of flower photography in post processing.  In Lightroom this is usually pretty simple, especially if you are shooting in RAW.   Decreasing the 'shadows' slider, and maybe the 'black' slider, will darken and decrease any distracting details in the background, you might have if you are shooting in front of a building.   You can also adjust the intensity of the glow by adjusting the 'highlights' slider. 

Hope you all enjoy photographing spring flowers as much as I do!!      

Friday, March 17, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mary Ellen Larsen

We just said goodbye, for now, to Jeff's wonderful mother who passed away at the age of 94. She set an unwavering example for her 4 children, 23 grandchildren and 63 great grandchildren, of integrity, humility, hard work, compassion, and all that is good and praiseworthy. But above all, she was a women completely devoted to her faith and her family. It is appropriate that she left this world at the beginning of Spring when we think of growth and new life, as she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her death from this life was just a rebirth into the next stage of life where she would live a glorious eternity surrounded by her loved ones who have already taken that journey. Because she knew this, she was prepared and ready, and perfectly at peace when she knew her time was close at hand. As a family we rejoice in her life and legacy, in new beginnings, and in the eternal nature of all things God has created!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Why I Shoot Raw!

Do you think this photo is a keeper?  I think it is, but it wouldn't be if I hadn't been shooting in RAW format.   When I was going through my batch of photos on the day this was taken, I automatically put this in the 'trash'.  The reason was that it was extremely over exposed and appeared to be a totally ruined exposure.  I have my camera set to make two images of each shot, one in RAW format and one in JPG. I was messing around with aperture and shutter settings and both the raw and jpg images were totally 'blown out' white, showing very little detail or color.  But for whatever reason, something attracted me to the image and I tried to repair it in Lightroom by  decreasing the exposure, highlights and whites and increasing the sharpness.  Almost nothing could be recovered in the JPG image!  But the above photo shows the result from the RAW version.  I did some minor editing and cropping, but I did not alter the color at all.  Somehow the over exposure created these beautiful pastels, that I was able to recover by using editing software.  Moral of the story, shooting in RAW often allows more leeway in altering photos in post production, and that includes having a better chance at correcting mistakes.  Below shows the JPG image.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Liquid Gold

More beautiful golden water as the sun reflects the red cliffs down stream fro my last post.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Red Cliffs Recreation Area, Leeds, Utah

Red Cliffs Recreation Area
Leeds, Utah

I'm told this beautiful little waterfall only flows in the spring.  We arrived at the perfect time for the early morning sun to cast a golden light on the red cliffs and in the water.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Spring Comes Softly

On my travels today I saw a beautiful flowering tree with branches hanging over a fence into a parking lot.  I had to stop and take some photos.  I think I'm finally convinced that Spring is really on the way!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Early Spring in St. George

Reminds me of a song lyric.....
'softer than a summer's breeze'

I'm lovin' the Lensbaby.  This lens has the ability to make the 'ordinary' look 'magical'!  I took this photo a few days ago of the first blossoms on a scrawny flowering tree in the parking strip on a street in downtown St. George.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

St. George Temple

St. George Temple

I think I'm getting too old to take photos from this angle. It probably took me longer to lie down on the ground & then get back up, than it did to actually take the photo!!! But sometimes the most interesting compositions are taken from a perspective either above or below where one would normally hold a camera! (For my non Utah friends, this is the LDS Temple, (Mormon), in St. George, Utah.)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Squawbush Buds

Squawbush Buds 
(photographed at sunset)

Photogs anxiously waiting for spring flowers to bloom can always get a jump on the season by photographing interesting and colorful buds.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Floral Daydream

Floral Daydream

Sometimes a different presentation of something ordinary can show the beauty of nature in a unique way.  This is a small ice plant flower photographed at Red Hills Desert Gardens in St. George, Utah.
(Effect created with two exposures each with a different manual soft focus, then combined in PS.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Waterfalls in Zion National Park

Waterfall in Zion National Park

Two photog friends and I spent a fun and drizzly day shooting waterfalls in Zion.  The magic only happens after lots of rain.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sunrise in Snow Canyon

I needed my sunglasses on a sunrise walk in beautiful Snow Canyon.  
A great way to start the day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Day's End!

  A beautiful end to Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Hugs and kisses to warm the soul,
words that are thoughtful and sweet,
and strawberries covered in chocolate to eat.
Sounds like a perfect Valentine's Day to me!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fire Lake, Utah (2)

Fire Lake, Ivins, Utah

I love how the sunset light lit up the foreground rocks.  These are the mountains I see from our southern Utah winter home and this was taken about 3-4 miles from home.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fire Lake, Ivins, Utah

Fire Lake, Ivins, Utah

I think I know how Fire Lake got its name.  This is how it looks at sunset on a beautiful winter day.  If you look really close on the right side of the photo above the lake you can see some of the homes of Kayenta blending in beautifully with this spectacular scenery.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Frozen in Time

And the Title is......

'Frozen in Time'....or how about, 'Death by Ice'.....'Frozen Pink'....'Cold Snap'....'Lost Gravity'....'God's Tears'?????  All suggestions from FB and IG. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Frozen Flowers

Bored....picked up flowers at grocery store.....submerged in water....put in freezer.....put frozen 'flower block' next to window....attached Lensbaby to camera....started clicking.....HAD FUN and got my artistic 'fix' for the day!!! (P.S. I declare this RED WEEK in honor of Valentine's Day!)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Gunlock Resevoir

Gunlock Reservoir, Utah

Even a winter palette of grays and browns, (with a touch of orange), can make an interesting landscape. Oh, and a beautiful blue sky with puffy clouds helps too!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Mount Routi, Moorea

The island of Moorea, just a short ferry ride from Tahiti, is the most beautiful tropical paradise I have visited. This is Mount Routi and Cooks Bay.  We were able to visit this magical place two times during our 18 month stay in the South Pacific.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Seven Day Nature Photo Challenge

Arenal Volcano, Cost Rica

A Facebook friend has challenged me to post a favorite nature photo for seven days, so thought I post them here as well.  For my first day, I'm choosing a photo that represents a magical experience for me. We had just checked into our lodge room at Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. It was cloudy and rainy on our ride there and we couldn't see the volcano. We brought our bags to the room and unpacked. Probably took about 15 minutes. I finally went to the sliding glass door that led to the balcony, pulled back the drapes, and this was our view! We sat on the balcony and enjoyed one of the most beautiful scenes ever!!  (I'm having trouble with FB and blogger adding saturation to my photos during upload.  It is true the colors were stunning, but the greens here are too vibrant.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gunlock, Utah

Gunlock, Utah

This was taken a few miles from my southern Utah home.  One doesn't have to go to far away places to find interesting scenes to enjoy and photograph.  I try to remember that a far away place to me is someone else's backyard!!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ivins, Utah

Ivins, Utah

After days and days of rain and gloomy weather, today was glorious in southern Utah with mild temperatures, beautiful blue skies, 3D clouds and winter light making the red cliffs vibrant. The photography 'gods' knew I needed a spiritual boost today and led me to this view, just a few miles from our home. I was first surprised and then in awe to see this temporary waterfall, and several smaller ones, formed from all the recent rain. I have been in this area many times, (Ivins, Utah), and never knew this happened. (I just noticed the similarities in this photo and my last post taken in Kauai.)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

I'm still in my mind!  This is Waimea Canyon, with a glimpse of Waipoo Falls in the background.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017

Snow Canyon, Utah

One more photo from our walk in Snow Canyon. Around the bend is Johnson Arch.

 (The arch is fairly impressive but hard to photograph as it sits directly in front of another cliff face so it is difficult to see through it. I've never taken a picture of it that I like.)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Snow Canyon, Utah

Snow Canyon in Winter

What a lovely day for a hike in Snow Canyon, Utah. It was nice to be in 'Snow' without being in 'snow'!!! (Grinning)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lensbaby test


I think I'm in love!  These are my first photos with a new speciality lens that creates beautiful bokeh, and soft focus backgrounds, great for macro, nature and flowers.  
(This is a 'spikey' bush right outside my back door right after a rain storm.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter Fun

A day RZR riding is better than, well.........any other day!
Especially in winter when it is snowing at home.
(Colors are weird because photo taken through a windshield.)

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Robins in Winter

Robins in Winter

Who says to look for robins in the spring? We have flocks of them eating the berries off the tree outside our bedroom window on this very cold and snowy day in American Fork, Utah. When they look at me, I wonder if they know how toasty warm I am on the other side of the glass!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Today on Temple Square

Today on Temple Square

It is hard for me to hate winter and snow when I look at scenes like this!! (For those who might want to duplicate this composition, it was taken through the window in the Presidents Room, Mezzanine level, Joseph Smith Memorial Building.)

Saturday, December 31, 2016


Gunlock Reservoir
(Taken a few days before Christmas)
HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS! The sun sets on another year. Hopefully it has been one filled with fond memories, personal growth, fun times, and gratitude to have been given the gift of life for one more year and having had the courage and determination to live through the challenges and heartaches many of us have also had to face. May we all look forward to 2017 with renewed hope, faith, fortitude and the desire to be better people, live healthier lives, speak kinder words, and enjoy new experiences to the fullest!
(....oh, and find more great photo ops!!)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiness to the LORD

'Holiness to the Lord.  The House of the LORD'

It took the early Mormon pioneers 40 years to built this beautiful temple to worship their God and Savior Jesus Christ.