Lazy Afternoon

It’s a really b-e-a-utiful day here!

Spent some time just lounging in the yard ~ with cat and camera, of course!

For extra fun, I “hid” from Louden behind blades of grass (yeah, right! haha!)

I believe I've been spotted...

I believe I’ve been spotted…

Nothing gets by Jungle Cat.

Saturday Signboard 2

Pretty simple message today:

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Do all things with LOVE!

I adore the colors of this breaking wave… it was amazing to see in person, too!

Have a great Saturday!

Photowalk 10.5

OOPS!

I must have been just way to excited to go to the zoo!

Going through photographs today I realized that I jumped right over St. Augustine which, after consulting my map, came before Jacksonville photographically (that’s kind of like geographically, but with photos! and for the record, I didn’t actually have to consult a map.)

There are a zillion things to do in St. Augustine: Fort Matanzas, Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not, Pirate & Treasure Museum, Eco and Sightseeing Tours, Lightner Museum (you’re welcome St. Augustine tourism board! haha!) I do highly recommend the horse-drawn carriage rides through the historical old town, complete with tour guide. Amazing!

But for me, the big attraction is the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.

SPOILER ALERT!!

It is HAUNTED!

And call me crazy if you want (you won’t be the first! haha!), but I actually have felt the sudden coldness of a passing spirit there… twice. Once in the lighthouse itself and another in the keepers house. It was fantastic!! That’s something you’ll have to experience yourself! Yeah!

A bit of history:
St. Augustine Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement and port in the continental United States. The original watchtower became Florida’s first lighthouse in 1824. However, by 1870, the tower was threatened by shoreline erosion and construction began on the current lighthouse. The new tower was completed in 1874. (The old tower succumbed to the sea during a storm in 1880.) Constructed of Alabama brick and Philadelphia iron, the lighthouse is St. Augustine’s oldest surviving brick structure. In 1876, a brick light keeper’s house was added to the site. The original lighthouse keeper, Mr. Andreu, fell to his death while painting the tower and is considered to be the spirit who still climbs and keeps the lighthouse. (cool, huh?!)

St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse

Looking up the 219 steps to the top

Looking up the 219 steps to the top

Atlantic Ocean from the catwalk (165 feet above sea level)

Atlantic Ocean from the catwalk (165 feet above sea level)

I came. I saw. I bought the (slightly wrinkled) tee-shirt!

yes. it. was.

yes. it. was.

Not a bad little jaunt back down the peninsula (Florida, silly) from Jacksonville for a little history and haunting!

Enjoying the trip?

Hope so!

Have a great Friday! Cheers!

Warhol-esque

I mentioned a short time ago that I was going to try out some of the editing functions in the software I have ~ just to loosen up a bit and have some (more!) fun!

You may be surprised to find out that one of the most inspirational artists to me is Andy Warhol. I’ve actually done some paintings with my twist on his style.

You also may be surprised to find out that while I live in the “realist” realm of art, I love-love delving into the abstract. Something I’m considering doing more often to get me outside my real, 4-straight-walled box… Good idea!

I considered sharing the original photograph that I edited, just for comparison, but I’ve decided not to and to let these 4 stand on their own… together.

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Small step. Kinda fun! This is the kind of thing I’d hang on my own walls.

Next time I’m going to try multiple color saturations, just to see what happens!

I’ve been considering my next projects, once we get through the photowalk-the-states, and I’m leaning towards shooting for abstracts and shooting for black-and-white. (we all know I’m going to do both!) They each will be a sort-of photowalk project, most likely to be done over a few weeks.

I think it’ll be interesting to see if, or how, I look through the lens differently with these specific projects in mind.

Relax

Well, it’s been a crazy few days and I’m kinda tired.

First there was that darn (not-so) “super-moon” that dragged me around like the tides! geesh!

Then storms ~ with a side of tornadoes and flash-floods. (crapola, thank you very much!)

Then the water heater decided to only work every other day. (I’m totally an expert on re-lighting the pilot if anyone’s in need! Expert! Really!)

I also had to re-attach part of the gutter on the garage ~ (has hammer, will travel!)

I know, you’re all exhausted now too just from reading that!

So I was thinking, here’s where I should be:

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Looks perfect!

Wait… it needs a cooler next to it (or bottle service!) haha!

Here’s to a quiet second half of this week!

Cheers!

Photowalk 11

We made it to Jacksonville! That means we’re nearing the end of our time in Florida. (boo! sadness!)

There are tons of places in Jacksonville that I could photograph and share, but my favorite spot to shoot photographs is at the Zoo.

Interestingly enough, one of my favorite books when I was little was “Put Me in the Zoo” by Robert Lopshire. (who am I kidding? I still love this book!)

Coincidence?

Anyway, I take tons and tons of photos when I go to the zoo (any zoo) because you just never know what an animal is going to do.

Here are some of my favorites from Jax, starting with the creepiest one! Thank God it was 1) behind the glass and 2) I wasn’t touring with Harry Potter (c’mon, that’s funny!):

Green Mambo

Green Mamba

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Squirrel Monkey such a cute face!

Squirrel Monkey
such a cute face!

Female Southern Black Howler (males are black, females and young of both genders are this color)

Female Southern Black Howler
(males are black, females and young of both genders are this color)

Female Bonobo

Female Bonobo

Giraffe

Giraffe

Elephants

Elephants

This was a fun photowalk. Relaxing. Entertaining. Educational.

And HOT! Geez, it’s hot in Jacksonville!! I know, it’s Florida, but… geez!

Regardless, this Zoo is a place I love to visit and will return again and again.

Who’s The Boss??

…clearly not me!

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It’s true: dogs have owners, cats have staff. Louden is obviously the cat-in-charge!

Having lots of rain/storms here today. Internet has been sporadic so this is the extent of today’s post.

Hopefully the boss-cat will let me read a bit, now! (after I brush him and scratch his face, of course)

PS: Dan Brown is one of my favorite authors… I’m hoping to start “Inferno”, but his “Deception Point” is his best (in my opinion) so if you haven’t, pick it up and give it a read…

Super Moon…

pbththth!!!

I tell ya, this “super moon” ain’t-so! It’s really kicking my butt! (Start waning, already!)

And it’s affecting Louden, too… as if I need him to be louder and more awake at night! (ahem, I do not!!!)

On top of that I didn’t do well with the photographs last night… and then the battery in the camera died (that wasn’t a surprise, it was flashing at me for a few days) but it does seem pretty appropriate for full moon phase, right?!

Regardless, I am sharing 2 of the photographs from my outing… one is not good. The other had different not-so-goodness.

This is what happens when you don’t have your settings correct for the shot ~ I forgot I had it on “auto-focus” for some experimenting from earlier in the day, not to mention that the aperture & shutter speed were wrong, too:

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This next one is ok ~ a fairly clear shot of the moon, but I was so focused on it that I didn’t get anything else in the frame for comparison/contrast of the size and fullness of the moon:

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I think there are other improvements that could be made, too. It’s a process.

The reason I share these kinds of photographs is to show that it takes time and patience and focus and diligence to get the results I’m looking for ~ and to emphasize that there is a difference between a photograph and a snapshot.

Not that there is anything wrong with a snapshot… unless, of course, like me, you are working as a professional photographer ~ then it’s really very important to know and see the difference!

It’s important to know and see the difference between editing and over-processing your photos, too ~ as I said in an earlier blog post, I’ve never seen a green sunset, so be purposeful with your editing ~ mistakes aren’t only made at the camera. (it helps have a friend/mentor you can show your work to that will give you constructive feedback)

Well… if Mother Nature cooperates, I’ll be back out tonight to see if I can do better! Then it’s onto other projects.

Don’t forget, we’re still photowalking up the state of Florida, then onward and northward! So keep an eye out for the next installment this week!

Saturday Signboard

Some days I don’t feel so “wordy” ~ not such a good thing while writing a blog!

BUT (everyone I know has a big ‘but’ ~ thanks PW)…

since I do photos and all, I figure that when I’m not-so-much-with-the-words, I can still stay true to my promise to post something every day.

Since I’m mostly a nature-gal, this one seemed especially appropriate for me today:

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doe-ray-me-fa-so-laaa-teeee…. d’oh (hehehe!)

And, I still have time to grab the camera and get back out in the world!

PS: wish me luck and no clouds for the “super moon” tonight and tomorrow! I’d really like to get some good shots, but Mother Nature needs to cooperate, too!

Summer!

Today’s the first day of summer where I live!

YAY! (Kermit, again! haha!)

What does summer mean to you?

I still look forward to the sunshine, and being tan, and sitting in the shade with an ice-cold-beverage-of-choice, and enjoying the whole day outside, and all those great summer images!

And all that other stuff too, like: mosquitos the size of a car… humidity you can cut with a knife… sunburns… thunderstorms (wait, I like storms…)

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boy… today sure is going to be a L-O-N-G day!

(get it? because it’s the solstice, so that means it’s the longest day/shortest night of the year! bwahahahahaha!! that’s funny stuff right there!)

Bonus: it’s Friday, too!!

Longer Happy Hour?!?! 🙂