Getting decisive

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

 

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

 

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

 

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

 

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

These images show why this is one of our favorite vacation places….the views are embedded in our memory bank.  As we have spent time there and I’ve taken pictures, most all of the images are similar from year to year…the colors in the sky, the infinite horizons of water meeting sky…the sailboats….and the slow living atmosphere that attract thousands of people throughout the seasons.  Late summer is our favorite time to visit…after the mass of tourists have returned to their homes.

On evenings, when skies are clear….the small park is quietly filled with couples, singles and families waiting…some combing the beach for stones to add to their collection….kids (young and old) swinging on the swings……all will quietly watch the sun go down over the Lake.  Sails boats go out to watch the majestic view right on the water.  Once the sun has disappeared, everyone quietly gets back into their car and drives away.

The village was established in 1878 and has a long, interesting story.  Much of the housing is private neighborhoods…huge, massive homes, facing another very large body of water, with generation after generation taking ownership of the homes.  Yards and homes are immaculate and in pristine condition.

Our days are spent sitting on the balcony watching the fishing and sail boat activity heading out to Lake Michigan, watching the sun come up, deciding what to eat and then walking a few blocks over the bridge to purchase and bring back to our own quiet place, or just strolling and browsing along the village streets  of privately owned shops to find a bit of memorabilia to take home…maybe even eat a dip of homemade ice cream.  Finally, ending the day….watching the sun go down.

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

Ever changing:  It’s been such a wonderful experience in my life the past few years to meet so many creative souls through my participation of several online classes and linkups, making friendships along the way.   It’s a fact for me, I am an ever changing person….even as I grow to maturity, I still find myself evolving.  After much thought and consideration I’ve decided to close this chapter on this particular blog space, as my interest and direction with photography have moved on as well.   During the quiet Autumn and winter months, I’ll be giving careful consideration for a possible future new space…or not….I don’t want to just jump in right away, but thoroughly think through it all, considering what amount of time I want to devote to such an online space.  My personal To Do list has many projects that need to be done by my own hands…not for public posting, or even on the computer.

So, I deeply thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for your kind and lovely support, comments, and encouragement, but most of all, your friendship!!   Many of us are connected in other ways and I’m looking forward to continuing those friendships and connections.

Much, much love and gratitude to you dear friends!!

September 1

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

 

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

As another summer season comes to an end (my 69th summer), I reflect on the days the sun gave us so much light to see our world, our neighborhood.  The filtered light coming in our new windows was always a joy….summer light brings a fresh optimistic view to begin the day, and we welcomed the warmer days and nights (most of the time).   We also enjoyed the summer colors of green leaves and grass, the colorful and pastel flowers blooming, tall organic grasses blowing in the breeze, and nature’s inhabitants running across the grass, and flying through the sky.    The sights and sounds of summer will be changing soon.   Although we live in a busy city setting, many early mornings, I enjoyed my cup of tea with the dormer windows opened, listening to the birds singing, or simply the quiet of a soft morning.   This past spring I planted hybrid sweet peas in hopes of having a little “patch”….and I was rewarded. For the next few weeks, I will relish the closing of summer….watching carefully and quietly as the gold finches come to feast on the coneflower seeds that have now ripened, or the squirrels that will be scampering around the yard in hopes of finding acorns to forage into their winter nests.

The vibrant green on my dogwood tree leaves has begun to fade to a soft golden green, and the first color change to copper red appeared just a few days ago on one set of leaves. The Autumn Clematis is budding….yesterday I noticed other’s mature plants in bloom. Its small white, delicate flowers have a sweet fragrance.

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography

Very very soon we’ll be venturing “up north” to our favorite vacation spot in north west Michigan to soak in some long overdue sights and sounds of the Big Lake and small resort town.  Our condo is just a short walk to the shops and deli’s (a fun walk over the bridge)…I already have our adventures planned.  They will be the same as years past, but they are always relaxing and fun to do again.  Photography is always in the plan!!

This past June I enjoyed a wonderful creative class with the lovely Cristina Colli….Visual Storytelling I.  You can read about it here.

Until next time….enjoy the changing season, wherever you are!!

quiet

LavenderBleu Photography
LavenderBleu Photography                                                                                                         Late summer David Austin rose buds and autumn clematis

Enjoying the quiet moments of late summer….with tiny rose buds, clematis and my camera…..thinking about tangible photography…..

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”

                                           ―Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

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.