Summer marches on….

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

The gulf rain has been showering the midwest for the past several days.  We love rain!  Hubby loves sitting on the porch listening to it hit the awning.  He even listens to youtube videos of rain, thunder, and outdoor creatures.  But, after 3 full days of rain, we were a bit in need of some outdoor time.  In between showers hubs suggested we get out and go to a little rustic driving range so he could hit golf balls and practice a few techniques.  Getting out is always an excuse for me to bring my camera.  At a moments notice, whatever lens is on the camera will do.  Today it was the 60mm.

Once out of the car and walking toward the driving range, we were welcomed by this sweet little cat.  It rubbed around both my black pant legs, over and over.  It rubbed against the bench, and gave hubs all its attention.

Shortly after this feline welcoming, along came a big brown hen….strutting through the grass, showing off her beautiful brown feathers.  She even posed a few times for me.  Then I heard a rooster crowing, and some ducks quacking, so I headed over to another area to find them.  The hen followed along behind me.  It felt like “country in the city” because we never left the city, yet we found quiet and farm animals enjoying freedom in their space.

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

Tomorrow we’re off to the State Fair for the morning!  Exciting!  Summer has marched on….far too quickly.  August is half over, and the sense of Autumn is in the air.

Summer

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

Summer is in full swing now…the days are hot…the nights are hot.   Most days it’s too hot to try setting up for still life on the back porch…so I’ll work on a set up for less than 5 minutes, go inside to cool down, and go back.    Blueberries are plentiful now, and are packed in large quart containers…earlier this week I made a very tasty fresh blueberry sauce with 3 cups of them – but it’s now vanished.  It’s really good over pound cake, and ice cream, or even in a morning protein shake.  These berries are the few remaining, for a photo shoot, before eaten.

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

Blueberry sauce:

3 cups fresh washed blueberries

1 cup water

1 cup (maybe less) sugar

simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

I didn’t strain the fruit out, but you can if you prefer.

Timeless beauty

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

The past few years my heart has been tugging on my soul to find “my style”, “my eye”…whatever “my….” is.   Earlier this year, I felt the need to seriously pursue this prompting, thus, the past several months I’ve been quietly evaluating…. subjects I love to shoot, I’ve been learning from a few new classes…. and letting go of habitual styles I’ve been making….   Now I will be attempting to encompass several interests into a “look”, as I have a love for using a macro lens, whether on close up shots, or on landscape and portraiture; another love for architecture, flowers, and nature, but I also have a real love of neutral images, black and white, monotone…or “shades of gray”.  This summer, I plan to spend a few months discovering how I can incorporate neutrals/monotones into many of my images.  My first question was…..could still life images still be “pretty” if made in monotones, so I began experimenting with a few images.    I’m sure not all of them will produce a desired effect, but I believe the ones that will transfer into monotones will also become my favorites.

I like how black and white is timeless, and classic.  And there’s a creativeness to learning to “see” in black and white when looking at a world in color.  If the subject lacks interesting details, it simply will not stand out in a black and white version.   I will be looking specifically for contrast, light, details, shadows, (which is not what I currently do when taking photos of scenes or stills).   Playing into these things will also be the mood of the scene created by the shadows and light.

This style of photography does not pull at every photographer in the photography world, just as “still life” doesn’t either, nor HDR, etc.  My goal is to find a way that I will love all of my works, in all categories, and have a cohesiveness to all categories.  Obviously there will be photos that will not fit that neutral/monotone style, but I will edit them just to see what the outcome is.

Monotone work makes one aware of the light, shadows, and tones in a way that is different than color versions.  Details in shadows can also make a black and white look amazing.     Online research and reading how others use it successfully will be part of my process, along with the possibility of buying a few rolls of black and white film to try my hand with that medium.   My editing style (known hand) is one of  light, airy, pastel, and softness……these techniques will also be incorporated into many of my new monotone images.

I’m hoping to find a few hashtags on IG to get inspiration and join in that community with this project.

Thank you so much for following along.

The below image is the same one I posted in a color version on IG just a few days ago.

LavenderBleu Photography: Neutral Still Life
LavenderBleu Photography: Neutral Still Life

One road now divides….

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

A recent class in visual storytelling has handed me the tools and techniques to explore my photography styles, loves, and even pushed me into a new, quiet place at the moment, to evaluate old images for culling or keeping, revisiting styles and places I love…all leading me down a new road with my cameras.  After pursuing the style of  “making still life” images for the past several years, and accomplishing a few lovely works, I’ll be stepping away from that medium as the sole style of my work and incorporating other loves I have always had, but didn’t know quite how to portray them.

All in all, the artistic transformation of a photo is what I love to spend time on, once the image has been captured.  This summer will be my quiet time, as I explore the road step by step, into a new arena of photography, where I hope to come away with some new and refreshing themes, styles and images.

Stay tuned…..

stitched….”be still”

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

From my sewing studio last week came a little editing on my linen pinnie apron I made last year.  Who knew….machine embroidery calligraphy letters were available.  I fell in love with this set immediately, plus a few more, but this one is a favorite.  More David Austin roses….there is one more sweet stem of them ready today (after the rain leaves) for some photo studio play.  The stunning hand carved spoon is a birthday gift last month from a dear friend (Cheryl) whose husband does beautiful wood carvings.  The graceful handle feels perfect in my hand.

Being still comes naturally to me…a characteristic I strongly inherited from my Dad’s side of the family.  And I embraced these words when I first heard the term used in a photography class.  My pinnie hangs on a wrought iron hook in my kitchen…easy access when I need a cute cover up.

Are you loving summer so far?   I hope so…we are.

LavenderBleu Photography  Honeysuckle vine
LavenderBleu Photography
Honeysuckle vine

Ambridge…David Austin

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

while the David Austin roses are still blooming, there may be a bit of an overload on images.  these are the Ambridge variety, and have a “powdery” fragrance.  they are still in full bloom, while the others (Emma Hamilton and Celebrations) are nearly finished with the first flush.  a few weeks ago, i  relocated Jude the Obscure out into the south sun garden, hoping it will be more productive.  it almost looked like it had died, but this week I saw new growth, so it may be a long summer for her.

i hope you are enjoying your early summer days.  we’ve had a lovely, cool, sunny week….unfortunately the temps will be rising too high for outdoor comfort for the next week.  i’ll be retreating indoors, working on photo projects.

it’s my pleasure to have you visit and leave a few words.  have a wonderful week.

May 19…a different kind of post

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography:  Nikon Df and 50mm f/1.4 lense (at f/4)

Over the last four months, I’ve taken up the routine of journaling most every day.  I have found it to be a very important part of my early morning quiet time, as it helps me clear my mind of clutter…whether it be positive, happy, exciting, looking forward to, kind of thoughts, or negative, nagging, bothering things that either aren’t finished, solved, or figured out, as well as prioritize my day, or week.

When I write in the digital journal, I also add a photo or two that I’m drawn to at that moment, to “go with my thoughts”. Today as I wrote out the private post, I asked myself a question….. “why am I drawn to the photo(s)” and what makes it/them “coincide” with the thoughts I’ve written?  One image I added today is above.  After thinking about it briefly, a few thoughts came to me.  Some days I feel like this lone branch with a few beautiful things, standing out in the crowd, but alone.  Alone is fine…it gives me space to think and make decisions.   When I’m photographing nature, I love to isolate a subject, with color or light in the background, often using a prime lens.  But… I wonder….Do you ever wonder about why or how you are drawn to your photos and how you relate yourself to them?  (kind of a deep thought).  If you care to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Journaling has opened my mind a bit…I’d never have written a post like this before today, and feel comfortable sharing it.

Adding a photo to my journal has also given me “a photo a day” … I’ve never posted a photo a day to open audience…that’s a lot of pressure, IMHO.

Have a wonderful week!

horse and girl

LavenderBleu Photography...the perfect human touch
LavenderBleu Photography…the perfect human touch

Going away from home to visit family brings new rest and clearer vision to my soul.  It is very healthy and always much needed.  Three days in the country, real country, is where I was earlier this week.  Driving up the lane to my daughter and son-in-laws place, hearing the small gravel rock crunch under the tires, and looking at the wooded area on both the right and left side of the road…ah!!  A very natural and relaxing feel comes over me.

Every afternoon for an hour or two, my granddaughter and daughter go to “the barn” to spend time with Rango, my granddaughter’s Amish bought Quarter horse.  He was quite skittish when they brought him home…he had been trained to pull wagons, so being ridden was new to him.  My granddaughter spent many hours and days “working” on him.  After a year, this is the connection that takes place between them….so gentle, so in tuned with each other.  The photos I took of him last year showed a lot of anxiety and apprehension in his eyes, now this year, its a new Rango.

On the second day, we drove to the family home where the barn is to drop off some baked goods, before picking up granddaughter at school.  Rango excitedly watched us arrive, and sadly watched us leave as he grazed in the pasture.  When we returned with granddaughter, he was grazing with his other two pony buddies, we stopped the car, rolled down the window, and he raised his head high and whinnied very loud and said “HI!!” then, racing off to the barn, knowing granddaughter would be going there too.  Animals are so smart, and love humans.

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

 

The life of a Ragdoll kitty

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography:  I love finding him playing in my still setups.  He gives me looks that are so cute and adorable that says “I really can stay here and play, right?”  

This set up is also sitting on top of a hutch…it’s quite a contraption of things:  wood background, chair, flowers in bottles, backdrop foam core all piled on top of the hutch.  At least it was all balanced and not going to topple over with him on it.  He’s about the most curious and investigative kitty I’ve ever seen.  Always looking around, especially UP to see what can be climbed into or onto.

Enjoy your weekend!