Saturday, February 28, 2015

Moorea - Photos 9 & 10

We saw dolphins and turtles without even having to go out on a boat!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Moorea - Photos 7 & 8

 During the day we relaxed here.

In the evenings waiting for the sunset, we relaxed here.  That is Jeff looking pretty relaxed!

You might think we were in this beautiful place on a vacation.  Well, that's only partly correct.  We spent 18 months traveling throughout the South Pacific on missionary assignments for our church.  Many senior couples of our faith choose to do this after retirement, (around 5,000 couples at any given time), as a way to serve others, as devotion to our faith and as a way to do our part to make the world a better place.  We willing go where ever we are called, (we don't choose where we go although we can suggest), we do whatever we are asked to do, and we pay all our own expenses and consider it a privilege to do so.  If we are sent out of the US we usually serve for 18 months or 23 months.  We have friends who have served, or are serving, all over the world, providing humanitarian aid, teaching English and religion classes, providing medical and legal assistance or in many other capacities. 

We were stationed in Auckland, New Zealand, and in 18 months we were on airplanes over 55 times traveling to various assignments on many of the South Pacific Islands.  Sometimes we traveled on commercial jets going to large cities such as Sydney, Australia, and sometimes on tiny, rickety small planes, held together with duct tape, (really), flying into tiny little islands such as Taveuni, Fiji where the beginning of a tiny runway began and ended in the ocean!

We worked very hard, and had many challenging assignments, and we loved every minute of it.  But where ever we traveled, we also had some time to enjoy the local culture and relax from our labors.  In this case, after our assignments in Tahiti were completed,  we were able to spend a couple of magical days in Moorea.

Jeff and I count these 18 months as a highlight in our lives and one of the most meaningful things we have ever done, along with our lifelong devotion to children and grandchildren and family.  We have wonderful memories of people, and places half way around the world that we have grown to love and respect, and of faith promoting experiences that have drawn us closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Moorea - Photo 5, 6

 A grand view from a distant lookout point.  We took a narrow winding road through lush green tropical forests and steep jagged peaks to arrive at this beautiful scene.  (Wide angle lens.)

A closer view.  (Telephoto lens.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Moorea - Photo 3 & 4


Being a photographer, I cherish what a picture does to help me recall memories of days gone by.  But I admit, that is not the only way I am reminded of past places and times in my life.  In Moorea, I can also remember the delicate but sometimes overpowering sweet fragrance of so many tropical flowers floating on the warm breezes.  But wait a is the pictures of the flowers that remind me of such heavenly aromas!  See, it still comes down to photography! (chuckle)

P.S.  Below is a bonus photo for today.  One of the many hibiscus blooms for me to enjoy while we were waiting for the ferry to take us back to Tahiti.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Moorea - Photo 3

If you don't want to stay in a 'grass shack' perched on the edge of crystal clear turquoise water, (see second previous post), how about one shaded by lush, vibrant, tropical foliage.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Moorea - Photo 2

 Typical Island Scene

Do you remember the song, 'Going to Carolina in my Mind' by James Taylor??  Well, I'm going to Moorea in my mind this week, and I invite you to come on my journey.  I'm not sure if this will be torture for those of you surrounded by ice, snow and freezing temps, or if this will be a welcome daydream for a few moments of your day.

Here is the back story.  We were in this beautiful paradise over two years ago.  I came home, downloaded all of my RAW images, where they have been gathering 'digital dust' ever since.  Back to a busy life meant that I just haven't taken the time to go through all the photos I took during our 18 months in the South Pacific, to delete most of them, and then edit, organize and upload the keepers.  So, finally, this week, I am working on my photos of Moorea, and am reliving the wonderful time we spent on this beautiful little island.  I hope during the next few days I can show you a glimpse of what I saw through the lens of my camera.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Moorea, South Pacific

(A ferry boat ride away from Tahiti)

This post is for all my friends buried in snow and freezing temperatures.  Hard to believe it now, but Spring will eventually arrive, the snow will eventually melt, and yellow daffodils and purple crocus will eventually poke out of the ground!  In the meantime, daydream with me about relaxing in that red lounge chair,  (second hut from the right), sipping on your beverage of choice, and tanning your toes!  Ahhh, to be back in Moorea, probably the most beautiful and pristine tropical place I have visited.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hi-Land Dairy Truck

Hi-Land Dairy Milk Delivery Truck
No More Deliveries!

This old truck sits by the road right outside Zion National Park.  I've passed it many times, but finally decided to stop and take a photo.  It was late afternoon and the intense golden sun emphasized the orange color of the cliffs and the red rust color of the truck, which I tweaked with an HDR look in Perfect Effects software.  It is often hard to find rusty, old 'barnyard' classics that are not surrounded by distracting junk or cluttered backgrounds, but with the right angle, this one was situated where I could get a great shot. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Spring is Right Around the Corner!

First Blossoms
(taken February 14, 2015)
 Unlike many parts of the country, we have had lovely warm weather in southern Utah, even though several weeks ago there was ice on the ground.  However, it still looks like winter, with bare trees and yellow/brown lawns.  I can't tell you how excited I was to see this lone tree already full of spring blossoms.  It must have decided it was already tired of winter, like I am! 


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine Roses

Beautiful Roses from my Valentine!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This Kiss, This Kiss!

In honor of Valentine's Day several years ago, I posted a few of my favorite 'kissing' photos.  Time to do this again.  Time to  remember long, long ago when we were madly in love and found that special person we wanted to share our lives with.  Do you remember being amazed that the person you loved, loved you back?  Do you remember the excitement of those first few kisses?

"It's the way you love me
It's a feeling like this
It's centrifugal motion
It's perpetual bliss
It's that pivotal moment
It's, ah, subliminal
This kiss, this kiss (it's criminal)
This kiss, this kiss"

Do you remember this song and the name of the artist??

"He kissed me in a way
That I've never been kissed before
He kissed me in a way
That I wanna be kissed forever more"

Do you remember this song and the name of the artist? 

"Oh baby I can feel this feeling
That everything that you do gives me
It's been too long since somebody whispered
Shut up and kiss me"

Do you remember this song and the name of the artist? 

"Oh, Oh, hug him and squeeze him tight
Find out what you want to know
If its love, if it really is, its there in his kiss....
If you want to know
If he loves you so
Its in his kiss
(That's where it is)
Oh, its in his kiss, that's where it is"

Do you remember the name of this song and the artist?

"Sparks fly
It's like electricity
I might die
When I forget how to breathe
You get closer and there's
No where in this world I'd rather be
Time stops
Like everything around me
Is frozen
And nothing matters but these
Few moments when you open my mind to things
I've never seen"

Do you remember this song and the name of the artist?

"Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor, lift your open hand
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance
Silver moon's sparkling
So kiss me"

Do you remember this song and the name of the artist?

  I hope you have wonderful memories of your young love, and that on this Valentine's Day, you can kiss the one you love now.... and if you are lucky, it might be the same person!

P.S.  These are all photos of members of my family and remind me of wonderful celebrations of love!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Zion on the Horizon - A Different View

Zion on the Horizon - A Different View

For those interested, I took this shot, and the previous post, with my iphone.  I find my phone camera has great DOF and works fine in bright sunlight, but is horrible for indoor shots or in low light, even with the flash.  Another difference is when I shoot with my 'big girl camera', I make the choice to shoot in 'RAW' which renders photos neutral as far as sharpness and saturation of colors.  This means that the photographer makes all the decisions in post processing about how the final photo will look.  I think most point and shoot cameras, or cameras set on the   "I don't know anything, so camera you do all the work" mode, are programmed to produce sharp, highly color saturated images because that is what seems to be pleasing to most people.  So it is interesting to me that when I shoot landscapes with my iphone, I almost always have to reduce the saturation and the sharpness of an image instead of increasing them to the image.   

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Zion On the Horizon

Zion on the Horizon
One of our favorite RZR rides in southern Utah takes us through beautiful red rock plateaus and canyons, dotted with green pines and lichen covered boulders.  We often stop here to eat our lunch where we can enjoy this grand landscape and glimpse the majestic peaks of Zion National Park in the distance.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fighting the Winter Blahs!

I'm still working on editing and organizing photos from last year.  This photo didn't interest me last summer, but attracted my interest now.  I think I just needed to look at some color to lift my winter spirits.