Friday, June 24, 2016

Focusing On You

As I was perusing our Flickr group and choosing the Focus On You image for the week, I was completely drawn into this lovely, dark and moody photograph of a simple book and a pair of glasses. It was not so much the subject as the mood that the light created to make this such a compelling photo. Kudos to Jette Baltzer. Please follow the link to view more of Jette's work on Flickr. And thank you Jette for sharing your beautiful work in our gallery.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Soft Concrete

by Linda

Part of my daily ritual involves trying to get some kind of exercise. Because of my schedule, I take daily walks, usually early in the morning. I don't usually carry my DSLR, I always have my phone.  I like taking pictures of sunrises with it. There are several places along my route that have beautiful views of the sun as it rises.

This year, El Nino broke our drought. Yay for rain, boo for cloudy and rainy mornings where I either had to forgo a sunrise shot or delay my walk. My need to take pictures forced me to look at other things to shoot. I live in an area where there are lots of trees. Lots and lots of trees. Oaks, cedar, pecan, and ash to name a few. How boring would constant pictures of trees become.

It's no secret I love to play with apps. I cannot draw, I cannot paint, I can barely stay in the lines when I color with my grands. Apps give me the artistic talent I lack. Or at least they make me think I am artistically inclined. Well, at least I'm having fun!

I re-discovered the Slow-Shutter app on my phone. It's intended to be used for light trails, star trails, etc, etc. All the reviewers and tutorials tell you to use a tripod or hold your phone still. Since I don't know how to follow directions and never carry a tripod or Gorilla pod on my walks, I created these images by moving my phone. It took a little practise to get what I liked but it was fun. After I got the blurry shot I wanted, I processed the pictures in a few other apps I love. Snapseed, my go-to first step for almost all my pictures, then either DistressedFX or iColorama. Sometimes all 3 apps. I just play and play until I get something I like.

And then there was a vase with some fake flowers on a table at a diner we went to. I took the picture with Slow Shutter and processed it with Snapseed and iColorama.


Do you have favorite apps? I'd love to hear about them! Share them here in the comments or on our facebook page!


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Blasts From the Past

by Deanna

Within the past 10 days I received an unexpected blast from the past.  My older cousin Sue (who I haven’t seen in more than 50 years) vowed that this is the year for de-cluttering.  Hmm, seems to me I make that same commitment each year, but so far it hasn’t happened in my world. (yet)  She even went so far as sorting out old photographs and mailing them to the appropriate family.  Wow, was I surprised to open the large envelop and discover photos I didn’t even know existed.  I want to say it was a trip down memory lane, but some of the photos were taken way beyond my memory bank.

This one, for instance.  When I first saw this photograph what immediately grabbed my eye was the scarf tied around my head, oh my Lord. Then upon closer viewing I realized that I was holding a snowball and standing in snow, altho it looks like Mom thru a rug out for me to stand on. I am dressed like summertime, short-sleeve, (but I will say it's a sweet dress with that little bolero) nothing on my bare legs. I promise you, my Mom was a better Mom than what this photograph would imply. 

Ruffling through all the photographs, I realized what a gift Sue gave me.  I have this one, a picture of my Mom and her sisters, brother-in-law and another huge surprise, a picture of my Dad. My real Dad and Mom were divorced when I was just an infant (another story) and honestly I don't ever remember seeing a picture of him. I think my Mom wiped him from her life.  My father is on the far left and my Mom is in the center with her hand on her cheek.  It's difficult to think that these old images are all that is left of my heritage, but how blessed I am to have them.  

Probably 6 to 7 years after this was taken, and that is just a guess since there was no date on the above photograph, my Mom met and married the man who became my "Dad" when I was 5 years old. A wedding....small, with my aunt the maid of honor and my Dad's cousin Ted the best man. I think cousin Ted was a bit of a scoundrel. Everytime Ted came to town Mom would get nervous. I have no idea what made Mom so nervous, probably better I didn't know at the time. 

About a year later, my brother entered the picture. He is 6 years younger than me and let's just say we weren't exactly the best of buddies. He was a pain in my side and really dampened my free time in the summertime while my mother worked outside of the home and I had to stay home and babysit.  This image was obviously taken prior to the horrors of babysitting your little brother. (another cute dress I might add)  PS  As adults we have a great time together. 

I think this image pretty much illustrated our mutual admiration (?) for each other. Makes me giggle. 

And finally I am all grown up, 17 and ready to grab life.  At least I thought I was grown up at 17. 

Don't most 17 year old's think they know it all, can handle most everything, know better than Mom and Dad? Only to find out later just how much you needed the wisdom of your parents, the love and sometimes unwanted guidance they gave. Wouldn't you just about give anything to have that one last conversation with your Mom and Dad? To ask them unanswered questions, to know them better as a person, not just Mom & Dad.  Be able to tell them one more time how much you loved them and missed them, I know I would. 

So, thank you Sue, for sending me these photographs. Bringing me great joy, they are wee bits of treasures with their scratches, fading and sometimes out of focus images. I cherish each one.   
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