Share Six: October 2017: Double Exposure

I chose the theme Double exposure this month and I have to be honest I ambitiously wanted to do some in camera exposures.  However, I had a hectic run up to my surgery date and since then have spent my days in bed recovering.  I chose this theme because I wanted to stretch myself beyond the norm.  I wanted to try something new.  I am a bit disappointed that I could not do that.  However, while lying in bed I started playing with an app on my phone and came up with some double exposures that I like.  This was the route I was going to go.  But I was not totally happy with them, so I began to play in Photoshop to see what I could come up with.  What I have done here is show the double exposure and then show the combinations that make it up.  Here are my double exposures for this month.

Long Key State Park: Marathon: May 20-23, 2016  0244

One of my favorite places to be – the beach

Long Key State Park: Marathon: May 20-23, 2016 0247

At the beach and I cannot resist sitting at the edge of the water watching the Osprey dive for fish.  At the same beach I pulled out my Lensbaby and the Sweet 35 optic and began playing.  I love the dreamy effect that the Lensbaby creates.

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Raindrops in Seattle

Out on the Back Canal:  January 1, 2016 3268

When I rains I love to head outside with my macro lens and catch the water drops on the multicolored leaves.  I combined this with another Lensbaby image taken in Seattle.  If you haven’t visited Seattle then that is one of my favorite places to visit in the US, along with Denver.

Columbus, Georgia: March 3-9, 2015: 3681

The setting sun on a long journey

Columbus, Georgia: March 3-9, 2015: 3681

In 2015 I did a road trip to Columbus and managed to capture this train from a moving vehicle.  I loved the leading line in this image.  The sunset was captured using the Lensbaby and Sweet 35 optic.  The star effect was created by taking the optic to a blur position.

Key West Vacation: July 2015 6294

Key West – The Keys are on my heart.

South County Park: June 23, 2017: 5236

The flower was taken in a local park using my macro lens.  I don’t do this often enough and I decided that I would just go for a short walk and do some close up shots.  The signboard was taken in Key West.  The words sum it up.

Key West:  August 11, 2017 6306

On land or sea the setting sun moves me to capture those final moments

Key West:  August 11, 2017 6306

Taken in Key West just a week before I had surgery and 3 weeks before Hurricane Irma passed through, this one of my favorite things to do in Key West.  Head out on a sailing ship (in this case Schooner Appledore) to watch the sunset.  The other photo is taken at the Everglades National Park, where I frequently go to catch the sunset.

Denver: Colorado: April 9, 2013 100

Eyes on Denver

Mr Cool Cat: September2, 2015 8151

This little man holds a very special place in my heart.  Simba is our rescue cat and as of now our only cat.  He is one of the most loving cats, but put a dog in his pathway and he turns into a monster.  Another place that I love is Denver and in winter it was the most beautiful sight I have seen in a long time.  Cold though!!

And I did one more, since I very rarely put myself in the picture.  I was playing around one of the sliders in Photoshop and this was the result.

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My brain activity

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I love this image of me, although I cannot claim it is mine.  It was taken by my daughter, Amy Stuart.  The other image is taken on our trip to Nashville.  Each year we try to meet up with my brother somewhere in the US when he is here on conference.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend Katherine of Cobert Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme Double Exposure throughout the month of October.  A new theme will come out on November 6.

Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix  and tag your images #sharesix_doubleexposure.

You can also find the Share Six webpage at http://www.sharesix.wordpress.com

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme Double Exposure

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Tell me a Story: September 2017

Just before I went in for surgery we had friends come and visit.  They were both from South Africa and they had stayed with us the previous year as well.  It was a short 4 day visit but I was glad that it worked out to happen prior to surgery so that we could get out and do things.

On the Saturday Michael had suggested that he would like to see Alligator.  We have the perfect spot for that so Richard suggested that we go on the Sunday for a kayak through the Loxahatchee National Park.  We are almost guaranteed to see gators.  The night before Beverly and I went up to photograph the sunset at the same place and she got the opportunity to see a gator in the water.

However, no such luck for Michael.  We have had a lot of rain so the water levels were very high and there was no place along the edge of the river for the gator to hang out and suntan.  Ironically we did not see any in the water either.

However, it was a fun kayak.  Although it was overcast, I really got sunburned on my legs which left me peeling just in time for surgery.  Not fun.

I had taken my old Canon Rebel on the kayak with me.  I can live with it if that one falls in the water – I cannot live with it if the Canon 6D falls in the water.  However, there is some issue going on with the Rebel and it’s auto focus.  So these images, were taken in manual using fully manual settings while on a moving kayak.   Telling Richard to stop every 5 seconds was not going to work 🙂

So here are some of the images from the kayak trip that we did.

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Starting out on the kayak trail.

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Beverly and Michael had to get the rhythm of the oars before they started moving too far.

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Reflections of a beautiful day out on the water.

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Water Lily’s in abundance.

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Crossing paths with folk who had the same idea as us.

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Typical scenes from the kayak.

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A beautiful Halloween Pennant Dragonfly.  There were so many dragon fly out that day.

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I loved seeing the Water Lily flowers.

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Water levels were high.  Typically you can see the posts of the notice board.  The water is about half way up.

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Water Lily in it’s simplicity.

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Apple Snail Eggs.  The snails lay there eggs in clusters.  We once had a snail lay it’s eggs on our back dock and it was a very interesting process to watch.  Each egg is pushed out in a layer of slime towards the cluster.  I guess the slime fixes it to the rest of them.  The Limpkins love to eat the snails when they hatch, as do the Snail Kites.  Both are found out in the Loxahatchee National Park.

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Little Blue Heron – another beautiful bird found in the South Florida area.

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Beverly and Michael have the rhythm going now and we are moving along.

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Grasses along the edge of the water.

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A Turkey Vulture is a common sight in South Florida.  A vulture is something I did not think I would see moving to the USA but I see a lot of Turkey Vulture and Black Vulture in the area.

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Up close on a Water Lily

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Beverly and Michael – you will note that they switched positions at a dock we saw along the way.  She was far braver than I would have been.  You would not catch me trying to get out of a kayak on the water to change positions.  I know exactly where I would land.

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Bubbles forming in the water behind the kayak

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Bubbles on the water

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The end is in sight.

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Michael is relieved.  This turned out to be a 3 hour trip and I think they were both glad to be out of the kayak and back on dry land.  They worked muscles that they have not used in a while.

 

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Tell me a Story.    This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger LUPJi Photography | North Virginia Event and Wildlife Photographer and see what he has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

 

Love:  October 18, 2015 2172

30 Minutes in the Life: September 2017

This is kind of an emotional blog this month.  As you know from last month we headed off to Key West just prior to surgery.  Surgery happened and since then I have been home on bed rest for the past month and still have another month minimum to go.

In the midst of all of that Hurricane Season kicked off with a major destruction of Houston and Beaumont, Texas and various areas around it.  I was glued to my TV and Cellphone as my Finance Officer has family living in Beaumont and I have some photography friends living in the area as well.

Move forward 2 weeks and we have Hurricane Irma forming in the seas, heading over the islands and heading to the east coast. As a Cat 5!! Yikes!! So Sunday I tell Richard to head out to Publix and get water and a list of things.  I also suggest that he fills my car with gas and certainly keep his topped up.  So my wonderful husband comes home with 1 case of water and 2 jugs, and I am thinking “what!!”  I politely ask him if that is for him or for me.  Water does not last in our house and so 1 case will be finished pretty quickly if we have no water.  Okay, Okay, I cannot do a thing about it as I cannot drive and am pretty much stuck to the bed.

Each night he comes home and slowly starts putting up the shutters, grumbling along the way that he is too old to be climbing to the second story of a house and do I know that there are 78 panels of steel that have to be put up, along with all the tracks in the flooring to bolt the shutters in.  No I didn’t but I will humbly submit that this man worked like a Trojan and I am so appreciative of that. By Friday most of the shutters were up.  We had decided that we were going to stay home and ride out the storm.

On Thursday, the storm starts showing signs shifting west.  So now we have gone from the edge of the storm, to directly in it’s eye.  Not happy here, we have done the eye wall before it is not fun.  So the screening gets tied down on all edges.  The fences get secured on our side and the neighbors side ( we lost both the screening and fences in the last hurricane – Wilma 2005).  All the while Irma is rolling through the Caribbean Islands battering every aspect of the residents lives.  Around Cuba the cone changes yet again and the storm now shifts to the west coast.  We are out of the eye but now we sit on the dirty side of the storm.  That means wind, rain and, oh yes my favorite, tornado.  I freak out about tornado.  That is more scary to me than a hurricane.

Friday I spent as much time as I could (using my office chairs upstairs and my wheelchair downstairs) going from window to window stuffing towels in the window area to stop any water coming in.  Fortunately the shutters prevented that but the one window that we did not have shuttered allowed a lot of water in.  Oh yes, I did not mention we have a set of windows in the upstairs bathroom that does not have shutters, it is too high to reach.

For the first time I also created a safe room in our downstairs bathroom.  That is the only room that does not have external walls. Here were my priorities, camera and lens, back up drives, computer, cell phone, ipad, 3 days change of clothes, 3 days of basic food, and the one case of water that Richard bought, along with Simba.  His crate was in the laundry in case I needed to crate him.  Now you are probably thinking I am freaked out by now.  Ironically not so.  I was calm.  Rich and I chatted about this and there were a number of factors.  One I could not do anything, so it kept me out of the mass hysteria at the grocery store and the gas lines, and two, we do have not kids in the house anymore. So we were at peace.  It will be what it will be and we are going to ride it out.

Hurricane Irma shifted more west and then it went right over the Florida Keys, decimating and devastating so many lives.  As the storm rolled in we “battened down the hatches” and rode it out.  The constant tornado warnings were stressful but overall we had dodged a bullet.  But it was with intense sadness that we have watched the news and seen the devastation in the Florida Keys.  Key West was flooded and homes, boats, trailer homes, and businesses on the various islands have been destroyed.  In many cases there are no homes to go back to.  My heart is burdened for not only the people of the Florida Keys, but to those on the Caribbean Islands and to all those folks who have incurred damage in the path of Hurricane Irma’s travels.  The images I have seen coming out of the Florida Keys is overwhelming and I cannot begin to image how someone begins to clean up their home when there is a boat in their living room.

So my blog today is just a reflection on Key West prior to Hurricane Irma and her relentless path of destruction.

Key West:  August 11, 2017: 6188

Exploring Key West – I love Key West for it’s laid back, easy going shorts, tee-shirts and flip flops kind of feeling.  There is always an excitement in the area and as the weekend approached things got kind of hectic on the streets.  We were doing our 30 minute walk about on a Friday morning.

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Fishing boats were out in the ocean

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A lady was selling decorative umbrella’s on the street corner.

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A cruise ship was docked in the harbor.  These boats are huge and I felt so insignificant next to it.

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Along the waterfront – this is Key West.

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Jet ski’s are out in the playground of the ocean

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90 Miles to Cuba

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A common sight in Key West. I hope they survived the storm surge.

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Key West Aquarium – we overlooked some of the display area and I could see a sting ray swimming around.  Not sure how much more there is to the aquarium .

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Impromtu photo of a man pushing a piano up the main street in Key West.

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Interesting characters of Key West – Key West is famous for their Hemingway cats which I believe have 6 toes instead of 5.

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Live music out on the streets and there is nothing nicer than listening to kettle drums.

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A resident of Key West hanging out enjoying the flow of visitors and engaging with a few of them.

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Iconic Key West – outside the Art Museum

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A familiar sight in Key West – Party time!

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Time for happy hour or rather our lunch break, beers and calamari.

These are the scenes you will find as a norm in Key West.  I hope that Key West will be up and running again as quickly as possible and have not sustained excessive damage.  I read that the hotel we stayed in had sustained minimal damage and the cruise group that we used said their boats had survived the storm and that they were doing clean up of their areas.

Clean up in the Florida Keys is going to take a long time.  Clean up in the islands is going to take a long time.  Folks are hurting.  Hearts are broken.  Lives are devastated.  If you are able to please consider donating to a well established organization where the majority of the funds received go to the restoration of the area.  There is huge needs all over.  I am extremely grateful that we survived, and I pray that the people who have been so seriously affected by this storm will in time find rest and peace and begin to start their lives again.

In the meantime, as the days move forward we now keep an eye on Tropical Storm Maria who appears to be gaining strength and could well become a hurricane, and Tropical Storm Lee.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life.  Please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger Sonia of Sonia Epple Fotografie and see what she has for you this month.   Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers, from the US and around the world,  have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.  To see more of Sonia’s work you can go to her Facebook page to check it out.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramViewbug and Google+

 

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Share Six: September 2017: Reflections

The theme {Reflections} has been chosen by by Elizabeth of It’s Still Life Photography by Elizabeth Wilson.  By the time this goes live I will be bed bound for over 3 weeks, almost half way through my confinement.  Foot surgery is not fun and moving past the two months the recovery is really slow. Add the fact that surgery is being done on both feet and it is even more complicated.

So my {Reflections} – is in part on the things that I am missing out on.  I love to get outside and walk, or rather meander and this is not something I will be able to do for at least 6 months.  The other side of this is reflections I have taken either recently in preparation for this upcoming reality of not being able to get out and take photographs.

 

Butterfly World: June 16, 2017: 4451

Recently I was at the Butterfly World and this is the complex across the lake.  We had a down pour of rain and then the sun came out and the reflection was perfect.

 

Seattle, Orca Islands, Leavensworth, March 04-13, 2016 6704

We were up in Seattle and had just walked through Chinatown and were on our way back to the hotel when we spotted this shop Tango Zulu.  It was no co-incidence that two South Africans were looking in the window and I was taking the picture.  In fact both my sister-in-law and I both grew up int the “Zulu” nation of Natal.

 

ARM Loxahatchee National Park: June 22, 2017: 5107

Thursday evening is my typical night to go up to the Loxahatchee National Park to photography the sunset.  I always love the reflections that I see in the water.  I am certainly going to miss going up there.

 

Viscaya: Miami: October 5, 2013: 8040

A visit to Viscaya Museum and Gardens, the historic home of James Deering, nestled on the edge of Biscayne Bay.  This is one of the most interesting homes that I have ever visited and I have been three times.  If you ever get the chance to visit I encourage you to do so.

 

Key West: August 11, 2017 6402

This past weekend we took a overnight trip to Key West.  We stayed at the Simonton Guest house and we had our own private little pool which we made use of.  The next morning when we were leaving I noticed the reflection in the water and could not resist taking it.

 

ARM Loxahatchee National Park: June 22, 2017: 5212

I am back at the Loxahatchee National Park and this is one of my favorite spots to visit prior to the sunset and sometimes after it as well.  The reflections are gorgeous and at times the light is just amazing.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit my friend Katherine of Cobert Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme Reflections throughout the month of September.  A new theme will come out on October 6.

Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix  and tag your images #sharesix_reflections.

You can also find the Share Six webpage at http://www.sharesix.wordpress.com

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme Reflections

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Tell me a Story: August 2017

My blog is very simple this month.  I had surgery on both my feet 2 weeks ago and right now it is hard to focus on anything.

Friday, prior to surgery, Richard and I took a drive down to Key West for an overnight stay.  I decided I would share the quaint guest house that we stayed at.  It was called Simonton Court.  It was close to Duval Street and also close enough from where our sunset cruise left from.

The guest house seemed to be made up of possibly 3 different houses.  There was 8 rooms in the house we stayed in.  Below was our own private pool and it was really nice to slip into the water and cool down.

The property was lush with plants and had the feeling of a tropical jungle.  Especially after it rained and the humidity level rose.  Here are a few pics of where we stayed.

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I went outside to take photo’s and the humidity was so high that the lens kept fogging up but I really liked the effect that it had.

 

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This was our own private pool and we spent a fair bit of time in here.  It was great for me to cool down my aching feet in the water.

 

Key West: August 11, 2017

Light effects through out the area where we were staying.

 

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A view into another area which has it’s own private swimming pool.

 

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This pathway headed down to the main eating area and main swimming pool.

 

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Staggered along the pathway were these quaint little cottages.

 

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A view of the main house , the breakfast area and the main swimming pool.

 

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Where the pool is now, once stood a boiler house and when they took the boiler house down they decided to leave the brick corners.  It gives the pool a rustic effect.

 

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Nestled in the corner I found this hammock.  If we had not been leaving I would have been seriously tempted to hang out there.

 

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We did not use this pool although it looked very inviting but we were certainly glad to end off our day hanging out in our own private pool.

 

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This was just before we ended off the day.  We took a sunset cruise on a sailing ship.  What fun.

 

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Our captain on the Schooner Appledore typing up the sails as we motored back to the dock.

If you would like to see more of the sunset pics you can click here.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Tell me a Story.    This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Emily Kohl Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

 

30 Minutes in the Life: August 2017

A last minute suggestion of an overnight stay in Key West in preparation for my long enforced sabbatical on the bed, post surgery, was met with enthusiasm.  Off to Key West we were going. Friday we walked a lot and by the evening my feet were not feeling happy.  One year post the first surgery and the discomfort is still evident.  Healing it appears, takes time.  Fortunately the cute little place we were staying in had a swimming pool right at the base of the steps to our room and I was able to spend an hour cooling down my feet.  Part of the attraction of heading to Key West is doing a sunset cruise.  This time around we opted to use the charter Seabago Watersports.  Normally we would do a catamaran cruise but this time we opted to go on the Sailing Ship, the Schooner Appledore.  Richard’s dream would be to travel on a sailing ship.  This was a smaller boat, less guests, a much quieter and reflective cruise.  The crew were awesome.  There were drinks on board and they provided sunset snacks which could easily have been a meal if you were not looking for a big dinner.  I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone looking for an opportunity to watch the sunset.

The do not go out terribly far (but nor do any of the other cruise groups).  Out of harbor the sails are raised and the motor is cut and the boat gently bobbed along the calm seas.  I could easily get used to that if I did not know that the weather could as easily turn as well.  In fact, at one point I felt really relaxed and dozy.

For my 30 Minutes in the Life, I have chosen to show the ever changing sunset we had that evening.

Richard chose the back of the boat, and the wrong side of the boat, however, I could not complain when I managed to get the sail in the sunset image.

 

Our skipper at sunset.

 

Sunset from the Schooner Appledore.

 

The little cloud in the middle made me think of the Scottish word kelpie which is the name given to a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland. My initial impression was of that of a horse but the shape changed a bit while I was focusing.

 

I love the changing colors of the sky.

 

Slowly the sun was setting behind a bank of clouds and it was a little disappointing that we were not getting a clear view of the setting sun, however the radiating sun gave off spectacular effects as the night closed in.

 

I love the liquid gold of the sea and the sun rays on the sky.

 

There are a number of yacht’s out doing exactly what we were doing and so it is nice to be able to capture some of them in my image.

 

This is the Seabago Catamaran in this image.  A bigger boat, more people, music and all the rest.

 

The sky from under the sail.

 

The Seabago Watersport Catamaran at sunset

 

What a beautiful way to end the evening.  This boat looked like it was hanging out in the bay for a while.

 

If you have not done a sunset cruise lately, and you are close enough to the ocean you may want to look into it.  I was glad that we chose the sailing ship over the party boat.  It was nice to be quiet and reflective given what is ahead of me in a few days.  The sunset warmed my soul and continue to impress me with the majesty of creation and the beautiful vision of the creator.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life. By the time you read this my surgery will be over, and I will be confined to bed for around 2 months.  I am looking forward to brightening my day through the circle blogs.  Please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger Colleen Putman Photography and see what she has for you this month.   Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers, from the US and around the world,  have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramViewbug and Google+

 

 

 

 

Share Six: August 2017: Collections

Kathy of KG Ledbetter Photography chose the theme Collections and this month had me really digging deep.  Besides for books, and Lensbaby optics, I personally do not have much in the line of collections.  I collected clowns when I was a teenager and up into my twenties, but they are some where in the shambles of reconstruction and to be honest I really do not know where they landed up.  I have family photographs but I am not sure that you really want to see any of those.

So I had to dig a bit deeper.  I hope you enjoy what I came up with.

101 Ways to shoot: Toys: November 2, 2015 3081

In the reconstruction zone I found 4 boxes of lego pieces that are part of a {Collection} that date back 25 years. I was a firm believer in using Lego and construction blocks for spacial development and fine motor skills and coordination. My children were encourage to play with their Lego daily. It was not unusual to find me down on the floor building Lego with them. Amy had the coolest beach theme Lego in pink and white and we created a whole coastal town with the ice cream parlor, play park, beach chairs and umbrellas with Lego people boating, windsurfing, and jet skiing. Every so often Cameron’s pirate people would invade the beach and all hell would break loose.  It typically involved a lot of screaming “Mom”.

 

First Care Benefit Dinner: November 3, 2015 2913

Another {Collection} image I came across was these calculators. Every years since 2002, I have worked at a fund raising banquet. Typically you would find these calculators laid out in the counting room in preparation for after the fund raiser ended. For accountability purposes all funds were counted immediately after the banquet.

 

Collections Jan 2, 2016: 3286

A {Collection} of raindrops. If you have followed my work, you will know that I love catching raindrops and their reflections. This particular day there was a collection of raindrops on the leaf.

 

Love: October 18, 2015 2172

I looked at this image as a {Collection} of pages that tells a story.  Books and I are firm friends. I love the smell of a book. I love to turn the pages and feel the paper in my hands. I am looking forward to spending some of the up-coming months working through a series of books.

 

M4H: Week 10: Shapes March1, 2015 3101

I was at the Ren Fest when I saw this {Collection} of bottles of “pixie dust”. I loved the colors and the way they were hanging off the beam.

 

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I have ducks that a feed on a daily basis and very often they can get quite aggressive with each other resulting in feathers lying on the grass. This {Collection} of feathers was taken on a mirror.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six.  This is a circle blog.  From the sneak peak images I have seen, you are going to want to follow the circle.  Please take time to visit our my friend Aubrey of Applewood Photography and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickrInstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

Now it is your turn. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at Share Six and come and share your images on the theme Collections throughout the month of August.  A new theme will come out on September 6.

Remember you can follow us on Instagram at @sharesix  and tag your images #sharesix_collections.

You can also find the Share Six webpage at http://www.sharesix.wordpress.com

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme Collections.