Monday, January 31, 2011


While out and about, I came across this snowed in tractor.  It, too, seems ready for some warmer weather.

ISO 800, f/8, 1/60

Sunday, January 30, 2011


  I can get her to bring them to me, now if I could just get her to give them to me.

ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/40 

Saturday, January 29, 2011


If, at anytime this last month, you have stopped by my little cyber place, you have most likely read my rantings about the cold freezing cold, snowy weather we have been having here. In fact, we have had 7 major snow storms in the last 28 days and we are expecting another storm tonight, lasting into tomorrow. For all my whining and complaining, there is an upside.
All this snow has made my place of work, very slow. As a result, we are often asked to cut hours. I am generally the first to jump up and down while yelling pick me, pick me! When I am the chosen one, I can be seen skipping out from my work area and out the front door. I am a blur of joy!
Such was the scene yesterday. It turned out to be a fabulous day. I was able to get home in time to help my husband dig out friends of ours, we went to lunch and headed out to the fields to give the puppies a much needed run. We all had a blast. Then came the text from my phriend (her new name as she is my great photo friend). Her evening class had been cancelled! We quickly packed our camera gear and drove to a winery, which, by the way, is having a monthly photo contest. How wonderful!
Does it get better than this? An unexpected day off, time spent with my husband and puppies, and an evening filled with photo fun with a phriend.
I Learned ~ to stop complaining about all this darn snow and embraces the benefits it brings.

Murphy waiting for us.
The crazy girls.

Friday, January 28, 2011


If you haven’t heard me say it, I repeat, it has been wickedly cold here. In the 30+ years I have lived “down the shore“, the bay has frozen but only a handful of times. Currently, it is frozen.  During the freezing process and while low tide is occurring, the surface water will freeze over. 6 hours later when the waters of high tide roll in, and if the ice isn’t thick enough, the water from this stronger tide will crack and break up the ice, washing it ashore. If temperatures remain below the freezing point for an extended period of time, the bay, regardless of the current tide, will freeze completely over. As you can see, this process takes several days and many tides, to occur.

ISO 200, f/11, 1/800

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Weather not fit for man or beast, the swings are still, the air silent of laughter, the playground remains empty ~

ISO 500, f/4, 1/60

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


We're freezing here in the Northeastern USA, 4 degrees F this morning. Temperatures have been in the single digits for almost a week now. The ground is covered with icy mountains of snow, summer is but a distance memory.  I found this one icicle, a sign the sun is trying to show it's strength against Old Man Winter.

ISO 200, f/11, 1/500

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We have been experiencing subzero temperatures this past week. Each day we’ve been waking up to a world covered in ice, everything seems to be freezing, including me. The crazy thing, Dana and I, bundled up and ventured out to capture some photographs. We took a walk to the creek and found several interesting items. I like the way the water, although moving a rapid pace, has frozen around this downed stick.

ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/100

Monday, January 24, 2011


from a Atlantic City shop window ~

ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/40

Sunday, January 23, 2011


We attended a company function in Atlantic City last evening. I was taking a survey of the craving stations, carefully evaluating my dietary choices, making sure to leave enough room for plenty a sampling of the desserts, when I was charmed by this chef’s amazing smiling and uplifting personality.

ISO 800, f/1.8, 1/60

Saturday, January 22, 2011


We didn't receive the fore casted snowfall and although the day was whipping a freezing cold wind around, it was sunny.  Dana and I could not resist getting out for a little photography practice.  I was short on time, so we I decided we should venture over to a local park, one which neither of us frequent.  After being greeted by a very friendly gaggle of ducks, we explored one of the many trails.  The trail was lined with tall cedar trees, it twisted and wound around the small, frozen lake.  Passing several log benches and a row of canoes only made me long for warmer days all the more.

ISO 800, f/4, 1/320

*darn, forgetting I had set the ISO @ 800 last night, I didn't change it.  I would/should have lowered it to 200.  
One of the many hazards of shooting on manual!

Friday, January 21, 2011


My current lenses stop down to f/5.6. I was on the hunt for something which would open up, not only for the blurred background effect but also for a faster shutter speed. I was looking at marcos, as I am a huge fan of close up shots. I purchased a Tamron 60mm, f/2.0 marco, which was on back order. Due to my impatience I cancelled it and went with a Nikkor 35mm, f/1.8 (prime lens).

B was subjected to today's arrival of my new toy. I played around with an open f-stop, resulting in the blur, and then changed my focal point. I have a similar shot with B in focus and his guitar blurred. I went with posting this as I wanted the red instrument to be the focal point. So far I'm liking the lens.

ISO 800, f/1.8, 1/80

*I bumped down the blue saturation, bumped up saturation on the red, copied, changed to multiptly, converted to B&W and lower opacity to 70%.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I learned ~

Several times a year, I visit our local refuge. It is a resting point for many of our feathered friends. Some traveling 1000s of miles, making this their only stop between Brazil and the Antarctic. On one visit last year I witnessed over 40 different species of birds. Then last month after a visit to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, I learned of the harbor Seal migration through the area, making Sandy Hook their home for the winter months.

Can I say, I need want a zoom lens. Currently, I am shooting with a 200mm. While this is wonderful for capturing my puppies, it isn’t strong enough to capture the birds or allow getting within a safe distance of the seals.

The other evening I stopped at a camera shop, inquired and played around with several different lens, a Phoenix 100 - 400mm, a Tamron 200 - 500mm, and the Sigma 150 - 500mm. I am most interested in the Sigma as it is an auto focus lens, compatible with my camera, a must for my aging eyes. This lens, unfortunately, is out of my current price range. The good news is the shop will rent it, for a day, for several days or for a week or more. Renting may be the way to go.

I am posting images taken from the same distance, I zoomed in at different mm to see the difference. While these are far from wonderful photos, I thought you might be interested in seeing them for comparison.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Snow, freezing rain, and fog, again ~ I have officially had enough of winter ~

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


At times I can become, lets say … overly enthusiastic, boardering obsessive, about things. I have allowed my quest to improve my photographic skills, to take over. I like to think of this as a good thing. I am not sure the rest of my family feels this way, and I am expecting to come home one day and find them sitting here starting an intervention.

When B arrived home, after a long day at work, I offered to take him out to dinner. A relaxing evening for him. I would even drive. After the 30 minute ride and upon arriving at our destination, to B’s surprise, there is was a camera shop in the same plaza. Go figure!

Here he is, patiently waiting while I integrated the expert at the shop. Asking about and trying many of the marco and zoom lens. Yes, I have visions of him dragging me off to the car and driving me to photography rehab.

ISO 800, f/2.2, 1/400

Monday, January 17, 2011


February of 2001 ~ I had been wanting and searching for a female yellow lab on Petfinder. I saw several but a beautiful collie caught my attention and tugged at my heart strings. I had, had a collie as a family pet though 14 years of my childhood. She was a wonderful, loyal companion. I decided to go see if this little orphan Annie would fit into my life style and family. When I arrived I found the sweetest dog, who sadly was quite ill.

Disappointed, I turned to leave when I noticed the cutest little dog. I inquired and was told he had only arrived that day. He was a shepherd/beagle mix. I asked if I could see him and I sat down on the floor. Sitting still and quietly, allowing this unfamiliar dog to sniff. All he wanted to do was curl up on my lap and sleep. He had picked me to be his person!

Murphy has been with me for nearly 10 years. I am still not certain of his origin but he certainly is not a shepherd/beagle mix. He is a soft dog, who is easily upset by anything out of the ordinary and behaves more like a cat than a dog. He is my middle child often lost between my older (now gone) family dog, Orlando, and the 13 TSE puppies we have raised since his arrival.

I am often asked, “what kind of dog is that?”, my reply, “he is a good dog.”

ISO 800, f/5, 1/15

Sunday, January 16, 2011


On this cold January afternoon, I turned the electic blanket on earlier than usual. It's warmth was to difficult to resist and I found myself drawn to it's electric heat. It drew me in as if it were a magnet and the thought of a enjoying a midday nap crept into mind. The "girls" must have felt the same pull and joined me. Willow understood exactly what I had in mind, Shyla, true to form, had to sniff, lick and otherwise be the little adorable investigator, she is.

ISO 800, f/5.3, 1/40

I was finding it difficult to get the correct settings, I didn't know if I should adjust for the white walls and sweater or on the puppies. Decision was to desatutate and lighten it up in Photoshop. I like the way it softened the colors creating a blending. However, I would have liked Willow and Shyla's adorable faces to be a little more defined. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Dana and I have been venturing out around the town and local areas, trying to capture new and interesting places to practice our skills. After the last snowfall, we drove out to the far side of town to a remote lake which features a covered bridge and a small waterfall. After spending well over an hour out in the brisk air, I was frozen to the bone and we (I) made the decision to get back in the warmth of the car and trek off to a new location.

Not much further down the road is our local Humane Society, animal shelter and a rescue zoo. Dana and I made a “pinky promise” not to go into the shelter. With 5, much loved, pets between us, either of us needs another animal in our homes. We knew enough not to be tempted. To our misfortune, the zoo area was closed, but after peering through the fencing we spied a flock of peacocks. Their brilliant colors stood out against the sparkling white snow, a sight we could not pass up. Suddenly, I was forgetting about my frozen toes and fingers.

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250

Friday, January 14, 2011


Yesterday we received our third snow storm since Christmas. While this storm was considered a mere dusting at 6”, it was a enough to create a marvelous winter wonderland. The soft powder lay still on all of the out stretched tree branches. Although temperatures were frigid, my friend and I could not pass up the opportunity to capture some photographs.
When the sun finally made it’s presents, I played around with creating starbursts. While this photo is over exposed for my liking, I am pleased with the starburst.

ISO 200, f/25, 1/400

ISO 200, f/14, 1/800

Thursday, January 13, 2011

13/352 ~ Decisions

A young girl walks a German Shepherd pass our home, I hear my dad say, “someday that dog will change someone’s life.” The year 1968, I was barely 10 years old and yet those words can still be heard echoing through my head. Dad was referring to a puppy being raised/fostered for The Seeing Eye.
One day that gallant shepherd would be guiding a visional impaired person through the streets of cities and the journeys of life.

I wanted to raise a puppy for them too. Dad refused insisting I would never be able to give the puppy back. It would break the hearts of each of my family members to have a dog be a part of our family for a year and a half only to be given up and never to be seen again. I knew one day, I could and would, raise one of these special puppies, a puppy with a purpose.

Fast forward to 1995, I am now married with 2 young sons, our family dog passes away and there is an quiet emptiness in our home. I reach out to my local 4-H program and weeks later an adorable, fuzzy, little, tail wagging, 7 week old puppy arrives on my door step. This puppy becomes part of my family, is loved and cared for as if one of our own. He is taken everywhere with us, he is being shown the world is a wonderful place to be and people are caring. 16 months later our phone rings and we are given the “recall date”. A reprehensive of The Seeing Eye arrived and with overwhelming sadness and tremendous joy, we return their puppy to them. He graduates from formal harness training college at their school and is paired with his person. This is one of the proudest days for my family. This dog has changed not only our lives but has help to provide independences and dignity to a blind individual.

Shyla ♥ is the “lucky” # 13th puppy which my family and I have raised. Her recall day will be sometime in April. Until that day she will grace us with her joy for life, her zest for chewing and her ability to love us unconditional.

ISO 800, f/4.8, 1/30

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Studio ~ Part II
from his mouth to your ears,

While at the Radio Station yesterday, I had to take the opportunity to investigate all angles on all objects. I really liked the way this shot came out, but, being the good wife, I couldn't post an image of the microphone and not a photo of my hardworking husband. Hence, yesterday's post featured B and today one of the fun photos taken.

I did edit this in Photoshop ~ I created 3 layers, 1 ~ the original, 2 ~ softlight @ 100 opacity, 3 ~ softlight @ opacity 65%. I liked the way it made the background so black and the highlights "pop".

ISO 1600, f/5, 1/5 sec

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The man inside your radio. For over 30 years, B has worked as an “on air personality”, commonly known as a radio DJ. He’s the guy who spins the tunes, and plays the songs you sing to while driving in your car. He’s the one the gives you the traffic conditions, and your weather reports. It is he who wakes you up in the morning, keeps you company during the day, and lullabies you to sleep at night.

ISO 1200, f/4.5, 1/30 sec

Monday, January 10, 2011


The snow was gently falling, the air was still, and everything was being blanketed in a cover of white, so peaceful and quiet. So very pretty, so worthy of a photograph or two. I could not wait for my work day to be over.

Luckily, with the snowfall, came a lack of activity at work. When the higher ups asked for volunteers to leave early, I jumped up and down waving my hands high in the air like a school girl. I was first out the door. Many photo opportunities were indeed waiting for me.

ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/200

This photo was edited in Elements 6, I raised the red saturation, to bring out the fire hydrant, copied the layer and converted it to B&W, lowered the opacity to 70%.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Yet another snow fall sweeps through. In contrast, to the 31” blizzard of last week, this storm left us with a mere dusting of 6”. My three dogs went out to romp around and catch a flake or two.

Murphy, my 11 year old rescue, good dog, wants to know what it smells like. Silly boy,

Willow, my 3 year old, career changed Seeing Eye dog, wants to know if it's safe to come out,

and Shyla, my 11 month old, Seeing Eye puppy in training, looks inquiringly as to what keeps landing on her muzzle.

ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/250 sec

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Let me preface this, rarely, do B and I frequent fast food restaurants. So I was quite surprised last evening. Upon arriving home from work B informed me he has a hankering for a Big Mac and some Micky D fries. Since my new marco lens had arrived earlier in the day and I had not yet had time to give it a test run, I took it along for the ride. While B gobbled down the burger, I played with his fries.

ISO 800, f/5.3, 1/30 sec

Friday, January 7, 2011


Last evening, a photo friend and I were practicing night photography. To be more exact, we were trying to create a starburst effect from the light which sits a top our local lighthouse. We had been successfully practicing this effect with Christmas lights and the sun; and after seeing several photographs, of different lighthouses, with fabulous starburst, we knew we needed to have a photo like that of our neighboring guiding light. Off we went on a 19° F night, we set our tripods, adjusted our setting, crossed our fingers and with a remote opened the shutter.

While I am happy with the images we obtained, we were not able to capture the effect we set off after. Perhaps we were too close to the light? Do you need to be further away? Does the light need to be stationary? Ours revolves. I believe I had the correct settings as I did get a burst from the lower illumining tower light. Any suggestions??

I learned, I am getting better at night photography but just when I think I have this down ~ I really don’t!

Please critique, any and all comments are always welcome.

ISO 1600, f/5.6, .77 sec

ISO 800, f/22, 30 sec

view others @ Sky Watch Friday.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I mentioned yesterday, while out shooting, I forgot to compensate for the remaining bright white snow. This resulted in many over exposed photos and to my surprise some very interesting and moody shots.

The one I post today of the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, has an artsy look more than the look of a photograph. Although, this is not what I was going for, I rather like it.

This evening, I plan on heading out with a good photo friend to practice some night photography. Hopefully tomorrow you will view the awesome photo I have in my minds eye.

ISO 200, f/11, 1/20 sec

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


With an entire day off, I found myself itching to get out and practice manual skills. After a quick text message to a friend and a run through the house to gather up all my camera equipment, off we went.

We briefly debated several sites and decided on a beach area which either of us frequent. On this site, stands the USA’s oldest working lighthouse. Built in 1764, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse is still in use. Due to it’s vantage view point of New York City, the Army took control of the area, and since 1899, Fort Hancock has called it home. In 1974, it was decommissioned and now only the Coast Guard remains active there. Many of the structures have fallen into disrepair.

Today, I vowed not to fall back to auto mode. I forgot to compensate for the remaining bright white snow and many of my photos were over exposed, giving them a ghostly and interesting look. Perhaps having a better "feel" than had I used the technically correct settings. Hey, it works for me and it was great fun to be out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Four days into the 365 Project and already I’m a rule breaker. I like living on the edge, bending the rules. I find it can be fun, really fun at times! Since I worked most of the day and had to play catch up on housework, laundry, and shopping I allowed myself the acceptance that I may at times have to use a photo taken on another day. If I didn’t confess most would not know I actually took this photograph 3 days ago and not on the day of posting it. I can’t remember what setting I used, but I did play around with it in Photoshop. Editing this and that, layering, soft lighting, cropping, and adjusting the saturation. I figure part of taking the photographs includes also learning more about the overly confusing and complicated Photoshop. If I can save one photo, I feel empowered to save more of my mess ups.

Monday, January 3, 2011


ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/125

Man against Mother Nature ~ One week later and we are (what I actually mean ~ B is) still removing mounds of snow from the walkway and driveway. The time had come to make the final attempted at clearing out the now wet, slushy snow and honestly sharing one car was getting old.

B’s , almost 50 year old, back decided it was time to take advantage of “the miracle of modern machinery”. After little debate, a new monster snowblower arrived at our home. Funny how happy just being able to get both cars in and out of the garage can make me. Thanks Hon ♥

Sunday, January 2, 2011


ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/60

In an effort to improve my photography, I resolve to take more photos in manual mode. Today I set the tripod, grabbed the remote and asked B to join me, with thoughts of taking a nice shot of the two of us. Shyla, my 10 month old, gate jumping, tail wagging, face kissing, puppy, had plans of her own. There is no gate which can hold her back. Just as B and I sat and snuggled together, Shyla jumped over and ran in immediately “kissing” the two us. I took 20 or so shots all with the back end of my tail wagging puppy being the main focus. Even in this photo she is right between us. She is too darn cute. ♥

Saturday, January 1, 2011



Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to documenting 2011 through a pictorial daily diary on a Project 365. If you’re a new visitor to my little place in cyber space, please feel free to take a look around.

You will find my photographs are not always consistent. I have days in which I can take 100s of photos and I am pleased with each of them. Often getting false thoughts, thinking I have mastered this thing called photography. On other days I can take 100s of photos, upload them, and as I start to viewing, I find myself wondering if my camera was even at the same location I was.

I started thinking about what I should post as my first photo, I wanted a photo of my husband and I, in a warm embrace, with lots of Christmas tree bokeh in the background. What I had in my minds eye and what I actually photographed were in fact two different images. It is a bit over exposed and to my disappointment, no bokeh. My current lens stops at f/5.6. I am happy to report I did order a new lens, a 60mm f/2.0!! As a result of the poor image, I tried another idea and again I am disappointed with the result.

I promise I will continue with the project, I just can’t promise you’ll be viewing a “professional” type image. Please critique, any and all comments are always welcome. My hope is to learn about and to improve my photographs while undertaking this project.