Artists Inspired: June 2017: Turquoise

Turquoise and where better than the oceans of the Florida Keys.  There is just something about hitting those islands and seeing the color of the water, that has Richard opening the windows, turning up the island music and driving happily along.  Of course, I have my hair blowing all over the place and particularly in my eyes.  However, he is in his element.

My camera is on my lap and I am ready for the change in perspective and the ever changing colors of the water. From the top of the Florida Keys to the tip the water is a change of colors depending on the amount of sunlight and the patches of reeds in the water.  I have shared with you some of my favorite turquoise Keys images.

Heading out of Miami and onto the Keys and the first stretch of water has you picking up your camera and marveling at the beautiful color of the ocean.

 

It also has you wishing that for a brief while you had a boat.

 

Driving across this bridge reminds me that we are not far from our first stop Long Key State  Park.  You may remember some of the sunset images I have taken have been from the other side of this bridge with the power pylons in the image.

 

Arriving at Long Key State Park and this bench will be one of my viewing spots for the days ahead.

 

On of the fun sports to watch and photograph is kite surfing.  I love it when the surfer jumps out of the water and into the sky.  It is pure art at the whim of the wind.

 

Of course another option is to head out into the ocean and find a small island spot where you can anchor your part and play in the water.

 

Heading further down the Keys we often stop at Curry Hammock State Park.  It is smaller and there are some nice kayaking routes.  Added to that there are some trees to sit under in the very hot weather.

 

Or alternatively you could just do what this group is doing and head out into the ocean.

 

One of my favorite activities is to bird watch and watching the magnificent Osprey go fishing is always such a pleasure.

 

Not really my thing but people do love to stand in the gorgeous ocean and fish 🙂

 

Heading further south and you will find the stunning Bahia Honda State Park.  For those folk not into camping, they actually a few cottages in the park.  You are able to climb to the top level of the bridge and see the view.

 

And this is just one of the gorgeous views that you can see.

 

And yes, we have kayaked out to this island.  It is covered in coral and unless you have shoes on you are not walking comfortable on it.

 

Bahia Honda State Park also has a beautiful swimming beach.  I say swimming but honestly it is more like wallowing in ankle deep water.  You really have to walk a way out to get it waist deep.

 

Final stretch to go and we are down in Key West and I always love heading down there.  There is so much to do and see in Key West.  Aside from the city you have all the beaches to go to and all the activities you can take part in.

 

Activities like Paragliding.

 

Or swimming with the sharks.  Just kidding!!!  We noticed a young girl walking along the edge of the pier and peering over. We were wondering what she was doing. We headed out of the water in time to see this shark swimming right where we had been swimming in the water. Kind of freaky to be honest.

 

Last but not least, end off your day with a sunset cruise.  They are such fun and we have now done three of theme.  A snorkeling cruise, and 2 sunset cruises.  Beer, wine and snacks to keep you busy as you sail around until sunset.

I hope that my turquoise theme has stirred in you a desire to head to the Florida Keys and enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of you.  This is always a favorite of ours when we need to do a short 3 day getaway.

Just a reminder that this is a circle blog and I would encourage you to click to continue on reading what they other photographers in this group have for you.  Please stop by my friend and fellow photographer Sarah Skaggs Mason page and read her blog.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug

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The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

 

 

Share Six: June 2017: Dream/Dreamy

The topic dream or dreamy was chosen by Claire of Wilhelmina Photography.  I was pretty stumped with what I was going to do.  This is what I love about this group – it continually taking me out of my comfort zone.

We have major renovations going on in our home. Items in the house seem to move from room to room.  One of the items that moved out of our closet and into my office was a filing cabinet. Inside the filing cabinet was was all sorts of interesting things, including a book that I had once written poetry in.  So I am going to get a little vulnerable here.

It was the typical teenage angst of life.  Young, not quite an adult, but knowing that there is a world out there to conquer.  There are dreams that need to be fulfilled.

I hung out with a group of friends who came from all walks of life.  We were idealistic. We would laugh together, dream together and then the unthinkable happened.  One of us died. How do you handle your emotions.  How do you express what you are feeling.  Part of it for me was to write the words I was feeling. He was a very close friend, who had come from a troubled background, who seemed to be getting his life on track when he was sadly killed in a car accident. He was just 24 years old.  I believe this was my way of processing his death.   Where I could I have tried to tie poems to my dreamy images.

There were so many dreams that we all had as teenagers and young adults.  Like any young idealistic person, some of our dreams were realistic and others just a little unrealistic.  Loosing this young man that we all loved was a real wake up call that you are never too young to die. Even today as I think back and as I re-read the letters he had sent to me and remember the friendship that we had, I see his beautiful smiling face and know just how much of an impression he made on me, on all of us.  It was a big hole of disbelief when he was taken from us.

He has been gone from our lives for over 30 years, but his memory lingers on.  It is a good reminder to love wherever you can, to take what life offers you and to look for the best in all circumstances.  Hug your family and friends.  Tomorrow is not promised. Today is all you have.

 

I saw a man

He stood at the shore.

The waves lapped

over his feet.

And in his mind

I saw trouble and doubt.

He was alone

to think it out.

Could he try

to find out why

something went wrong.

Why life was so troubling

and seemed to face him everyday.

Then his mind went blank

a wall of darkness

closed it off.

When I looked again

that man had walked away.

 

He was someone

close to us.

A man who used to love so much.

He received so little

yet gave a lot

He was someone we all loved.

His life was filled with emptiness,

yet he face up to it expectantly.

He conquered all that that he needed to 

and pushed past the misery.

He had a family he never knew

He had friends He could turn to

Yet he stood strong

and faced life alone

until that final blow

took him away from us.  

It’s lonely on the outside

where there’s nothing much to share

It’s lonely on the outside

when there is never people there

but

turn around and look inside

and see if it’s all there

the love, the hate, the bitterness

the thoughts that say you should care,

find out if your loneliness

is ever present there.

Understand it takes two

to bring about a unity of souls.

A piercing cry ripped through the sky

I looked overhead

to see a gull in full flight

his body arched

his head thrown back

his tail upright

as he flew by

the he turned and flew by again

as if to say

“goodbye”

I looked

into a crystal clear pool of water

and saw myself

reflected.

But unlike myself

this reflection showed fear,

across the forehead

a crease.

Why?

The mouth pulled taut

full of doubt

a questioning look reflected.

I dropped a pebble into the water

hoping the reflection would disappear

yet when it re-appeared

the look

was still there.

When I looked upwards

I realized

the sun was shining in my eyes.

Once in the life of yesterday

I saw it from afar.

It was a bright illuminating

entrancing little star.

Pierced by the encounterance

I moved into the light,

And there below this awesome sight

I stood abound in love.

Poet I am really not, but I grew up with the great artists like Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez, story tellers of excellence.  All I wanted to do was write stories and write poems. I wanted to be the next aspiring artist.

Writing this blog tonight Leonard Cohen is playing in the background. He still takes me to those deep dark places where you can slip into your mind and find the memories in there in the form of dreams.  As I reflect on the past, the late teenage years and the early twenties were some of my greatest moments, and deepest lows.

When I think about that beautiful life that was taken away from us and the loss we all felt, I am reminded that I still have a life to live.  No matter what age you are remember that tomorrow is not promised.  If you are thinking of doing something, don’t put it off, do it as soon as you are able.  Always remember to hug your loved ones tight and to tell them you love them.

In my dreams I see the face of Todd, and I hear his laughter and his jokes.  I also see the sadness and the sorrow.  I wish I had another chance to remind him that he is what made his life.  He was what made us love him.  His lot in life was not the best but he took what he was given and he faced up to that daily walk.

 I will leave you with one of his poems that he sent to me just before he died.

Kindred Spirits meet unsought – by an

alchemy of thought.  Towards each

other they are led – guided by the

unseen thread of accident or passing

chance – caught in a web of

circumstance.

Kindred Spirits, souls in tune – come

together late or soon – like notes that

harmonize when played – thus

affinities are made – and lifelong

friendships come about.  Time alone

can work it out.  Two in tune in time will

meet – and life at last will be complete.

~Todd Michael Vermeulen

 

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 FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ 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 Dream/Dreamy  throughout the month of June.  A new theme will come out on July 6.

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

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

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme Dream/Dreamy

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Tell me a Story: May 2017

For this month, I am going to share a visit I made recently.  I did a similar visit 2 years ago with friends and I have always wanted to go back, but it is a drive to an area I do not know well and it is at least an hour south from where I live.  However, I decided to do my homework, plan my trip and execute it on Friday.  Camera was packed up and off I headed south to visit these tiny tiny little birds who live in the ground.

Burrowing Owls are typically found in areas with low vegetation and dry weather.  These owls are no bigger than a ruler and have to be the cutest little critters I have seen.  They burrow holes in the ground to make their home and can be seen during the course of the day.  I probably got there at about 10:30 AM and started the process of walking to the various holes that were cordoned off.  Burrowing Owls are a protected species in Florida and you will be fined if you encroach into the cordoned off area.

So here are some of the photo’s that I took on this particular day.

My first stop was at the lower level of the park, where this little one was out of the hole and watching me closely.

Since there was not too much activity, I walked to a few more holes, before heading back to the entrance to go up the hill. I spotted this little one hanging out in the shade of a fire hydrant. It’s eye’s got quite big as I approached.

The day was hot and I envied the shade this little owl had found.

To give you an idea of how small they are, this little one is standing by a standard size fire hydrant.

I got up to move and I spooked it, so it ran around to the other side of the fire hydrant and watched me around it.

I headed up to a new hole, where I found 2 owls. Slowly they started popping out until 6 were out of the holes.

These owls are so tiny. This was the spike of a wooden pillar used to cordon off the area so that we did not get right up to the owls nest.

Interesting fact is that when the owl feels that it’s nest is threatened they will typically lie over the nest with it’s wings spread out. The wings were not spread out here, nor was it over a nest.

This little one popped out of it’s hole and proceeded to stretch it’s wings.

I just love this beautiful face and its big eyes, along with it’s very cute eyebrows.

A little gross, but it appears that this owl was regurgitating it’s unwanted food.

They owls did not seem to be intimidated by me and carried on as usual unless I moved.

What a cute little body these Burrowing Owls have.

Clearly this one was either shy or decided that looking at the camera was not what it wanted to do.

But then I shifted on the grass and it’s head popped up.

I love the close ups of their beautiful features.

I did a quick stop back to the original one to see if it was still on it’s perch and it was.

At another hole I spotted this little one who was cleaning house. I watched it for a while scooping sand out of the entrance.

While I was watching, these two heads popped out to see what was going on.

Having seen all the owls I thought I could see at the park, I headed out to a second park, where I found this little one sitting at the entrance of it’s hole. It’s head was a constant motion of looking to the left, right, above it and at what I was doing.

They are so small that I am sure that they are prey for any larger birds.

I had a great trip – it was worth the drive, and on my way home, I stopped at the South African shop and bought a few home goodies to munch on. Overall it was a good day.

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 have 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 FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

 

30 Minutes in the Life: May 2017

So you may or may not know that I flooded our house by accident the other day and the results were not pretty.  Suffice to say we are in the midst of a construction zone and I am over it.  Everywhere, there is dust. All the furniture is gathered in one room or in passageways.  Right now tiling is going on in the living room and I am finally getting some sense of order upstairs.  Yeah, the water flowed from upstairs, down the staircase and through the flooring, coming out of every outlet like a water fall.

So my 30 minutes has been a challenge.  I went out today and found a few but I decided to add in a few from the other day as well.

I love dragonfly.  The are one of the most unique insects I have watched.  In the cycle of life, dragonfly eat other flying insects such as mosquito’s, midges, and pretty much anything smaller than themselves.  They will also eat butterfly, moth and smaller dragonfly.  The birds eat the dragonfly.  It is one big food chain in our eco-system.

Dragonfly, for me, are uniquely made with all sorts of connecting parts, along with their bulging eyes.  So below are some of the dragonfly I have come across today, and on a few other occasions.

Four-spotted Pennant

 

Eastern Amberwing

 

Great Blue Skimmer

 

Blue Dasher

 

Halloween Pennant

 

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

 

Four Spotted Pennant

 

Blue Dasher

 

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

 

Great Blue Skimmer

 

Ornate Pennant

 

Scarlet Skimmer

 

Four Spotted Pennant

 

Halloween Pennant

And thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 Minutes in Life.    This is a circle blog.  Please take time to visit my friend and fellow blogger Julia Forsman of a Rock and a Soft Place 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 FacebookFlickr, Instagram, Viewbug and Google+

Artists Inspired: May 2017: Purple

Purple is an interesting color and not one that I wear terribly often.  When I think of purple I think of the Messiah, I think of kings and queens, I think of the opulent robes and wealth, grandeur and wisdom.

My father grew many orchids and he had some beautiful ranges of the color purple.  Me on the other hand, do not seem to have inherited his green thumb, or perhaps it is the lack of time to and space to attend to them like he has done.

Since both those options were out to shoot, I thought I would look for purple in my walk about.  Nature itself, has many different purple flowers so I discovered.  So walk with me as I endeavor to capture the purple delights of nature.

 

The first 5 images were taken at the zoo while walking through the butterfly garden.

 

I then headed over to Morikami Japanese Gardens and Museum and decided to shoot what purple I could find there.

 

The next flowers are commonly found in the wetlands, and I managed to capture them on one of my recent walks.

 

 

Bird wise in my area there are a few.  Ironically the first bird is called a Little Green Heron, but I am still trying to find the green on him.

 

The Purple Gallinule is another bird that has purple coloring in it.  This particular birt is interesting to watch as it likes to eat the Alligator Flag flowers.  You will find them doing a balancing act on the very end of the stems to try and reach the flowers.

 

Last but not least I found this little cutie in her purple pants walking through the zoo.  I just had to get this shot.

 

Just a reminder that this is a circle blog and I would encourage you to click to continue on reading what they other photographers in this group have for you.  Please stop by my friend and fellow photographer Sarah Skaggs Mason page and read her blog.  Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.

You can also find me on FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug

 

The Artists Inspired Blog Circle is made up of an exceptionally talented group of photographers from all walks of life, from all over the world. They are wives, mothers, friends, daughters and visual storytellers who draw from their own experiences to create art that is inspiring, unique, beautiful and thought-provoking.

Share Six: May 2017: Street Photography

I got the opportunity to choose the theme for Share Six this month and I went for Street Photography.

“Why Street Photography?  For me it takes me out of my comfort zone. I am happy shooting nature, and sunsets and beaches. Now I will confess, I do find that I am more comfortable doing street photography when I am on vacation rather than when I am at home.  I like to meander and to keep looking around me until something catches my attention.  Street Photography is me having the courage to go into a busy area urban or otherwise and shoot what I see in front of me.  The image may or may not have people in it.  It can be reflections, it can be graffiti, it can be shapes, or it may be people. You could take it looking straight on, or looking up, or looking down. You can frame it through doorways, or arches, or trees.  There are so many different aspects to Street Photography.”

When I get out on the street with the intention of shooting images of people I take my long lens, and try to do this as inconspicuously as possible and from a distance.  When I am shooting scenery, I will carry a variety of lens, normally my wide angle for buildings, my 70-300mm for distance, and a couple of lensbaby optics.

I will confess, I have yet to walk up to someone and ask them if I can photograph them. That takes me way out of my comfort zone completely.  Who knows maybe one day I will get the courage.  Mmm 100 faces sounds like an interesting project to consider.

What I have found though, is that when I am shooting street, that my immediate editing reaction is to go black and white.

I thought I would share various images I have taken, some on trips away and some locally.  Since I only see my brother when he is in USA, we tend to travel to wherever he is in conference and then stay a few days post conference. It is always a city and that feeds my desire to head out and explore.  While he is in conference, we are sight seeing, then when he is done we spend a few days traveling the area.  Locally the images I have shared are for a Street group that I joined earlier this year.

Denver, Colorado and it was snowing. For a South Florida girl – it was more than pretty cold. I was freezing. My hands were shaking and the view was gray and bleak, but I loved this street scene. This was taken with my Canon Rebel 3, with the EF-S 18-55mm lens.

 

Boulder, Colorado. Same trip as the previous image but we had stopped off in Boulder to have lunch and do a bit of sight seeing . These guys grabbed my attention pretty quickly and I knew I had to get a photo of them. This image was taken with my Cannon Rebel T3i and the EF-S18-55mm lens.

 

Off to Vegas and I think I took a multitude of images. Vegas is busy and you can end up behind the camera most of the time. I am still editing from 3 years ago. What I found with this image is that night time shooting is hard. I was not crazy about the color version, but when I converted it to black and white, I loved it. This image was taken with my Canon Rebel T3i and the EF-S 18-55mm lens.

 

Seattle and boy did we walk that city. Just for the record, I love Seattle and there is so much to do. If you want to see more street images check out my blogs on Seattle. This particular image was taken at night time. Let’s be honest it was a disaster. We were sitting at a traffic light when I noticed these statues at the bus station. Of course, I am in manual and I am trying to adjust my settings for a night shot. Suffice to say the car is moving when I am shooting the image. Again the color was not great but when I converted it to black and white I fell in love. The image was taken with my Canon 6D and the EF 28-135mm lens (bought specifically for the trip and the lens I used the majority of the time we were in Seattle).

 

Taken downtown West Palm Beach, part of the Street 52 group topic for the week was to follow someone and take a photography. Ok, I can do that. I had a meeting just along the road, so I had parked my car and walked down this road to my meeting.  I loved the angle of the trees which formed an arch of sorts. From there I was going to take a bit of time to meander down the side streets to see what I can find. I happened to double back down this road as this lady was walking ahead of me. This image is taken with my Canon 6D and EF 28-135mm lens.

 

Another shot for the Street 52 group. This time it was to go out and capture the image of someone who caught your attention. This particular morning I had gone down to the beach to capture the sunrise. Walking back to my car, this man slowly walked towards the bench with this huge dog. It was really the dog that caught my attention, but as the man sat down, he almost immediately went into this sleeping pose. I quickly snapped off a couple of images before getting into my car. This image is taken with Canon 6D and the EF 70-300mm lens.

 

These are my six images.  Indulge my while I share one more (although I could happily have gone on sharing street images).  This was the day that I tried to look inconspicuous when taking my photograph, and as I did this he looked up at me.  Ugh but he was great and told me to take another one.  You will have those days when you get caught.  Smile!! If the opportunity comes about take time to learn a little bit about your subject.

 

Peace Out – I really enjoyed my short chat with this very interesting guy. This image was taken with the Canon Rebel T3i and the EF-S 55-250mm lens.

If you do not shoot street, then I would encourage you to pick up your camera, head into the city and have a fun day looking like a tourist.  I love it.  There is so much going on and it is fun to be part of the vibe of the streets and capture what catches your attention. Go out, have fun!!

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 guest blogger for this month, 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 FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ 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 Street Photography throughout the month of April.  A new theme will come out on June 6.

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

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

We look forward to seeing your images on the theme street photography

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Tell me a Story: April 2017

I had to prepare a blog on the topic black and so I decided to head on out to the Palm Beach Zoo to shoot images of the monkeys. All I can say is that the monkeys were not that co-operative.  The big guy hardly moved and the others sat huddled at the top of their cage and ignored me.  However, I got to walk around the zoo and experience what they had to offer. Perhaps the highlight was the mating dance of the Flamingo and the stunning display by the gorgeous peacock.

This monkey did not want his photo taken. Each time I picked up my camera it would turn it’s head away.  This was the only photo I got with it looking directly at me.

 

Pelican – say what – exercise time – I’m not so sure about that!!!

 

Pelican – okay okay – I will stretch the wings back…

 

Pelican – and stretch the legs out… and then I am done for the day.

 

Koala Bear – I am just done for the day.

 

I guess it’s grooming time.

 

Kangaroo – I think I will just hang out by the pool and catch some sun.

 

Tortoise – it’s time for a snack

 

Blue Winged Teal Duck is going to snooze.

Unknown Bird

 

Peacock – yes I know you love my feathers but just wait and see what I can do with them ….

 

Peacock – all fanned out – close up the colors are spectacular

 

An amazing sight to witness – this peacock paraded for the camera.

 

Black Crowned Night Heron – just hanging out.

Flamingo – this was an interesting sight to see. The mating dance of the Flamingo. It looked like the were doing the tango.

 

Flamingo – they danced around each other.

 

Flamingo – flapping their wings

 

Flamingo – it was so interesting to watch.

 

Parrot – I love parrot’s they are always so vibrant.

 

Parrot – and I loved that this guy stopped to look at me long enough for me to get and image of him

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 Melinda of Orange Moon Photography / Fargo Photographer and see what he have 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 FacebookFlickr, InstagramGoogle+ and Viewbug.

 

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