• photography
  • Kitten Wrangling

    I’m not sure how foster mama Laurie does it, but I have to give her kudos.  She makes taking photos of kittens look effortless.  I assure you it is anything but.

    I had a grand plan last week to take photos of the kittens all wrapped up for Christmas.  I had some blue and some pink ribbon that I was going to dress them up in, put them in a box and snap a few images.  Sounds easy, right?  Think again.  In 38 shots I got 2 that were somewhat useable.  Part of that has to do with the lighting in my house.  It is terrible.  My next house will be totally made of windows.  The other issue is that well… they are kittens.

    I did manage to get a shot of Truman looking rather Trumany.

    I will have to say that he is deceivingly brutish.  He and Fiona are constantly locked in a battle while their brother looks at them with a look to say, “you two are stupid.”

    However, Hammond always has that look on his face which makes him cute and really… who couldn’t love a face like this?

    Fi on the other hand… it is next to impossible to photograph this cat.  She moves at lightening speed and quite honestly is either a cat on crack or bi-polar.  One minute she looks like this:

    And the next it’s this:

    Those two images were taken 22 seconds apart.  She is kamikaze cat that will simultaneously snuggle with you and try to suffocate you.

    If you want to see some amazing photos of my babies while they were still babies check out the video that Laurie put together.  I can’t believe how tiny they were.  They are growing up so fast.

  • Elle's World
  • Autumn is in the air

    Thank you for all of your opinions.  I’ll let you know our decision once they come to live with us.  It is still a few weeks off yet.

    In the mean time you can have a few photos of some lovely October.  I’ve been busy in the garden and when that happens it reminds me how much I do so love my garden.  It is starting to look nice again.  We have one last area that needs an overhaul, but we are working to correct the issues (improve the soil) and that all should be taken care of by Spring.  The Winter vegetable garden is a bit hit and miss.  I made the choice to plant it in our oldest beds which was a bit of a mistake.  I should have given those beds a serious till and worked in cover crop.  They are tired and deserve a rest.  However, the new beds also need the cover since the “soil” in those gets depleted quickly.  The photos are not of the vegetable gardens (they are mostly bare patches of dirt) but rather (a portion of) our pumpkin harvest and the re-do on the front window boxes.

    I love Autumn.  I love the color, the smells and the fresh air feeling.  Yesterday I burned some of my favorite candles and made pumpkin muffins.  The house smelled so nice.

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • Another new toy

    This week my shiny new copy of Adobe Design Standard CS5 arrived. ?This time the church paid for it so it is even better. ?I wrote previously about how I was so looking forward to it because of the new content aware feature. ?Tonight I spent some time photoshopping stuff. ?Just for fun. ?I tried to pick images that I could erase things from. ?Here are 3 before and afters for you.

    The first is of a ferry boat on Puget Sound at sunset. There were lens flares and other stuff obstructing the image…


    so I took them out.


    The next is the obligatory St. Basil’s shot of Kathou & Paypay. Everyone who has ever been to Red Square will tell you it is impossible to get a photo in front of St. Basil’s without hoards of people in the background.


    Now with the magic of Photoshop CS5 you can be the only ones there.


    The last picture isn’t very exciting. I grabbed a random image to show the trusty husband what the program can do.


    As it turns out, it can make a relatively crappy photo pretty darn good.


  • Elle's World
  • I only hope it gets better from here

    I opened the blinds this morning to find the sky glowing pink. ?It has been unseasonably not rainy the past 2 days and when that happens the sky rewards us with remarkable sunrises. ?I missed the “official” sunrise, but the trusty husband says it was beautiful over the mountain. ?I was a little slow in throwing on some shoes and grabbing my camera so I missed the incredible lighting, but I did capture a few shots. ?There isn’t much to photograph in my garden at the moment, but January always blesses me with spidery blooms on my Witch Hazel bush.



  • Elle's World
  • You Capture: Red

    I thought that with such an arsenal of images from the weekend that I would participate in this week’s You Capture. ?I would have rocked it had it been blue. ?Red was a little more difficult and one of the images is a repeat from yesterday’s post, but with a different photoshop technique.

    I’ll give a little background on the images. ?1st is the sno-cat that you already saw. ?It is on the third level at Holden and that is where it will live out it’s life. ?The eggs are the art project we did over the weekend. ?We were fortunate enough to have a lady named Pam Gompf there to teach us the art of Pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs). ?The eggs are huge in symbolism and every little stroke on the eggs means something. ?At our worship service monday morning we put all of the eggs into the baptismal font and had a blessing of them. ?The last image is the map of the third level. ?There are people at Holden Village called Garbologists. ?It is their job to sort all of the trash and recycling produced by the villagers and visitors. ?They have it down to a science.


    What did you capture?


  • Elle's World
  • A few more bits of Holden

    I thought I would share a few more images from Holden. ?This first set is of the village from the “third level”. ?It is above the mine pictured in the previous post. ?The first is the original image. ?The second is a tilt-shift effect to make the village look like a miniature. ?But from the photo you can see how small the village is.




    This isn’t the best image in the world, but it pretty much depicts what I wish I could do with the rest of my life. ?Sit on a mountain and stare over the edge at the beauty. ?No, that is not me in the photo. ?That is one of the youth we took with us.


    The Third Level is a bit of a Holden garbage dump. ?The village recycles and composts nearly everything. ?However, when a bathtub needs replacing or a sno-cat can no longer be repaired it is dismantled and laid to rest on the third level. ?I have a whole series of photos from the third level, but I like this one the best.

    Monday morning we took a walk in the woods and found little friends.



    In our last few moments on the mountain we spent time making cairns. ?There is something very tranquil about stacking rocks.






    This shot is from the boat landing in Lucerne. ?I should say, there isn’t really a town of Lucerne. ?It is simply a boat landing. ?Yes, this part of Washington does look like something out of the movies and there are times like this that I cannot believe what a beautiful place I live in.

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • You Capture: Black & White

    There is something about a black and white photo that just gets me. ?I love them. ?I have a wall of family photos and more than half of them are black and white. ?So this week we took our annual trip to the Sequim Lavender Festival. ?One of my favorite parts (other than standing in the fields just smelling all of the lavender) is that one of the farms has vintage tractors. ?There is something about the line and shape of a vintage tractor that I love. ?It’s also pretty cool because the boy loves to sit on every single one of them (there are about 20). ?When we reached the garden and he walked around the art tents he took off for the tractors. ?So here is my collection of the black & whites of the tractors. ?(If you lurves them you can buy them.)




    What did you capture?

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • Not a bag, but they are for sale

    I’ve had many a compliment on my photography over the years. ?Lord knows I take enough pictures. ?What you don’t know is that I’m not the greatest at taking people photos. ?People have this horrible knack of cheese smiling every time I put a camera in their face. ?My son being the worst culprit of this. ?Good thing I know of a good photographer. ?Well, that and the trusty husband takes great people photos (he’s the one who should be a professional photographer).

    So back to my photos. ?I do a decent enough job of animals and inanimate objects. ?I’m also rather good at taking a crappy picture and making look good with the magic of Photoshop.

    I got this wild hair that I would give selling some of my images on Etsy a try. ?It takes much less time to do a little editing than it does to make a bag. ?Time is something I’m rather short on these days. ?So if you find that you have a little extra time check them out. ?There is a large majority of images I don’t have listed. ?Either I don’t think they are good enough or that I haven’t waded through the thousands that I have.

  • Artsy Fartsy
  • You Capture: Emotion

    So here is another out-of-the-box You Capture for you. ?Beth came up with emotion. ?I’m not the best at taking people pictures so I thought I would improvise. ?I know, I should use this opportunity to practice my people picture skills, but the best opportunity for emotion I had was me crying myself to sleep Sunday night at the thought of my little brother becoming a pot head. ?I’m taking it very personally.

    Yesterday my mom invited me over to “help” her with a little project. ?She inherited my Great-Grandfather’s rocking chair. ?Only trouble is the seat of it had been worn from years of my Tiny Papa sitting in it and rocking away. ?We aren’t sure how old the chair is, but we are guessing at least turn of the century. ?My Great-Grandparents never purchased anything new so we have no clue to its origins. ?All we know is that Tiny Papa loved this chair.

    When we returned to my mom’s house with the new fabric in hand I set to work recovering the worn old cushion. ?This wasn’t an easy project. ?I started to peel away the trim and fabric and discovered another layer of fabric underneath. ?Out of curiosity I pulled back that layer too. ?Under that is what we believe is the original fabric. ?A light blue satin brocade. ?It was remarkably intact, but stained from years of use. ?I only wish I knew the history of the chair. ?Did my Great-Grandmother start with the robin’s egg blue? ?Did she recover the chair twice? ?I know she did the final velour layer of fabric. ?It had her hand all over it. ?The fabric was patched, a variety of nails and trim were used to attach it. ?It was as eclectic as she was. ?As I unearthed the layers of history I thought about my Great-Grandparents. ?They died when I was 19 (I think) and 30. ?Neither lived long enough to meet their Great-Great-Grandson. ?I had the fortune of getting to know them just a little bit and their presence in my life made a huge impact.



  • Artsy Fartsy
  • You Capture: Nature

    Next to perspective this was just about the easiest thing for me to do. ?The majority of the photos I take are of flowers and buildings. ?Someday I’ll put together some slideshows of both. ?We are kind of between things on the flower scale in the Northwest, or at least in my garden. ?I have the usual suspects, Rhododendrons, blooming. ?They just don’t photograph very well. ?Kinda like that girl on ANTM that is pretty in person, but that just doesn’t translate into pictures.

    The trusty husband suggested I go out and take some photos of my Peonies (I have 5 of them in the garden). ?So I did.



    I promise I’ll post photos of my hair. ?I just have to shower first.

    What did you capture?