Sunday Scenery

Last But Not Least by Debra

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A farewell of sorts … in 2016 Carolyn and I decided to try a blog together.  We have been friends since 2009 when we both took an online photography class.  After all those years of being friends we thought we would try to work together from NJ and California.  Not an easy task by any means, just the time difference alone is difficult.  Then once you factor in our very busy lives it was quite an undertaking.  However, we thought we would give it a go, and we did, but sadly it proved to be a bit too much for both of us.  So, with this last scenery photography from NJ, we are signing off as a team.  Of course, we will remain friends, who hopefully one day we will actually meet in person, not just over the phone and online.  We will each continue our own personal endeavors, me with DebraNancy Photography and Carolyn with CarolynV Photography.  That being said, I wanted to share this very last landscape photograph from a place in NJ that I frequent quite often.

Oyster Creek Inn is a seafood eatery located on the Great Bay Leeds Point New Jersey.  It’s quite rustic with great seafood and live music.  In the summer there is a wait for over an hour at times, and many locals frequent this establishment.  I felt that this last photograph should truly represent an area that represents where I now live.  I moved to Southern NJ in 2002 when I was remarried and  my husband was stationed in Cape May as a drill instructor in the US Coast Guard.  My daughter, then only 11 years old, was so upset that I moved her from her friends and family, it took nearly 2 years before she really was okay with my decision.  Now, looking back, I can’t imagine my life any other way.  Sure, sometimes I long to go back to what was once my home, but looking back doesn’t really get you anywhere.  What I came to realize was it’s not the house you live in or the area you are used to but it’s the love and family you create that fulfills your life.  It’s a difficult road sometimes, but if you just let your heart guide you, it truly does know what is right and what isn’t.  I now have a fabulous husband, a wonderful daughter who recently was married, a fabulous job and I am truly at peace with the decisions I’ve made along the way.

This photograph, truly gives you a feel for the where I live, what my life has become and who I am.  I believe that sometimes black and white photography can portray the absolute feeling of what I photograph, the color removed gives a complete understanding of an area, object or person where color may enhance a photograph, black and white removes the glamor and shows the raw emotion.

I want to thank you all for following along, taking your time to share in our journey and I look forward to seeing you on my personal blog.  I will be adding each of you to my own blog and if you feel as though you do not want to follow me, you may unsubscribe, but I really hope you follow along.  So, for now, so long and I’ll see you on the other side.

Thank you all … Debra


So Long For Now by Carolyn

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Short words for me today … 

This has been quite a journey. Debra and I have gotten to know one another better and hopefully you’ve gotten to know us better as well. My photo today is taken on the Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1. This is one of my most favorite drives in California. The road seemed to be fitting for today as this is our last post to share in this part of our journey. We are both going to focus on our individual photography businesses and will be happy to have you join us there. If you don’t already get my blog, you can sign up here. 

Thank you for traveling along. It’s been fun!

Carolyn

 

A Friday Floral

Cupcakes and Flowers by Debra

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Happiness is a state of mind, or so people say.  Sometimes it’s difficult to be in that frame of mind, life sometimes interferes.  When I was sick, the one thing that brightened my day was taking photographs.  I would often go to the beach and disappear in my art.  Just being able to engulf yourself in what truly brings you peace and happiness is sometimes a Godsend.

I am not a terribly religious person, not to say I don’t believe in God, but I am not one for going to mass each week.  I don’t know when that happened, I think it was sometime after my mother passed away. I became disenchanted with a formal church, but I still pray in my own way.

Lately, I think still life photography, flowers and inanimate objects, oddly bring me peace.  They are quiet, interesting and give me the ability to create what I want to convey to others.  Today’s topic was a combination of a few scrumptious cupcakes, from my favorite bakery, The Bake Works in Linwood, NJ and some of the beautiful flowers I received for Administrative Professionals Day from my boss, who treats us all exceptionally well.  So, there it is, the strange things that bring me peace.  It’s not really the objects that bring me true peace, but photographing them.  I encourage you to find the one thing that brings you peace, and relish in it as often as possible.

Thanks for stopping by … Debra


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What fills your days? Do you take time for yourself? This world provides so much opportunity for us to be busy and have full schedules. Sometimes I think it’s a common thought that if you aren’t busy you aren’t doing enough. I’m a firm believer in taking time for myself … I don’t always do it, but it is my goal. It’s in those times we allow ourselves ‘free time’ that we can recharge ourselves. Everything needs a ‘recharge’ … our phones are a good example … we recharge them daily … plug them into their power source so they can be re-energized for the next day. If we don’t, they quit working. We are much the same. If we don’t ‘recharge’ one day we will quit working as well.

The main way I ‘recharge’ is in my walk with Jesus. He is my power source. I spend time reading His Word, talking to Him and listening to worship music daily and that is how I make it through every day. Sometimes I spend time just sitting. What would be your way of recharging?

Today I just encourage you to find that place in your day where you can recharge.

Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/2000, f/2.5, ISO 800

Be blessed today …

Carolyn

 

Wednesday Stories

Shades of Neutral by Debra

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Wildflowers
by Carolyn

Wednesday Wildflowers

Easter Greetings!

“I never get tired of the blue sky.” – Vincent Van Gogh

by Debra

04-09-17 Oyster Creek-5_LogoLocated off the Mullica River is the Great Bay where Motts Creek Inn is located.  This little house is located on the road to Motts Creek Inn.  Living here nearly 15 years I have never been to this local spot.  Their motto is “Beware of the Locals” with a picture of a green head fly, if you are from this area of NJ you know about green head flies.  If you don’t, consider yourself lucky! The area closest to the marsh is known for green head flies, so their motto is meant to be funny I suppose?

There is an old folklore in this apart of the state known as the Jersey Devil.  The hockey team from NJ is named for this old folklore.  It is a well known topic where I come from and some people who were born and raised in this area believe in this folklore. Honestly, even though I’ve lived in NJ my entire life, I never heard this folklore until I moved to my current home.

Aside from the folklore and green head flies, the road this small house is located on is extremely quiet and peaceful.  During my ride last Sunday morning, the sun was shining brightly and the sky was a beautiful vibrant blue.  As I stopped to take this photo, I could not help but notice the sound of absolutely nothing but complete quiet.  There was the occasional bird chirping and the crisp morning air was so refreshing, I couldn’t help myself from just enjoying the quiet and solitude of the morning.  As we celebrate Easter today, I encourage each of you to stop and take a moment to celebrate the glorious and beautiful world we are a part of.

Happy Easter … until next time … Debra


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He is not here, He is risen!

Glorious words for me! My granddaughter Layla said it right. This is the most important day of the year for me. She wondered about Christmas too though because as she said, ‘If Jesus hadn’t been born then we couldn’t have had Easter’. She’s a sweetie and very deep in her knowledge and thoughts even at her little tiny age of 7.

You know, that Jesus came into this world to be the light and to lead us out of darkness and to bring us health and new life!

Hope is what this day brings to me …

“… in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus

If you have not yet, I ask you to consider asking Jesus into your life today. He will bring you that peace and happiness you’re longing for.

‘Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life,
and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth,
on the basis of God’s own commitment,
that the best is yet to come.’
JI Packer

Be blessed on this Easter day!

Carolyn

Friday Flowers

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Debra

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Tulips, hyacinth, and bright colors! Can you feel the happiness in my photo today.  The weather warmed up a bit here in NJ this week and people seemed to be happier and lighter.  As I approached my driveway yesterday, I was greeted by these beautiful colors in my front yard. It only seemed fair to share them with all of my friends.

I cut a few tulips and a piece of the purple hyacinth, which if you are not familiar with, is extremely fragrant.  I played around with a few different vases, but this mason jar seemed to have the feel I was looking for.  The jars were used for my daughter’s engagement party, hence the heart and bow.  Once I arranged the flowers, I couldn’t help but think, how simple and beautiful! It all just seemed to work almost as if the flowers knew what was in their future before I did.

As the warm weather approaches, the air if filled with fragrant scents, the grass is a vibrant green and the clouds and sky appear to be smiling down on us.  What is it about spring and summer that brings out the best moods in people? Warm weather and sunshine is such a simple recipe, and so welcomed after a long, bare winter.  As I’m writing this, I am listening to Thomas Rhett singing “Die a Happy Man”, the wedding song for my daughter and son-in-law last year.  Such a happy time and song, which makes me feel even happier.  Happiness can be infectious, I hope you were able to grab a piece from my photo today, if not, go pick some tulips of your own and see how they brighten your day.

For more of my work, please stop by my Instagram page, until next time … Debra


by Carolyn

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A bucket of white roses … how simple is that. A photograph with just one item can really grab my attention. It gives me the feeling of peace and quiet … a couple of things I long for in my life. Although nights like last night are ones to treasure … we had a sleepover with the grandchildren. We have 9 and they were all involved in the sleepover. They range in age from 13 to to 15 months. Each one is so special! It was definitely not a night of peace and quiet!

So, back to peace and quiet …. in this busy world today, those two things can be hard to find. Sometimes they come in large chunks of time, but for me they are in moments. I have found that I just need to take my life in in the way it comes. I can’t stress about things not being how I might think it ought to be or how I see someone else’s life playing out.

My peace and quiet is found early in the morning … like right now. It’s 5:38 a.m. I can hear heavy breathing behind me from some of those adorable grandchildren … this is my time to quieten my own soul. Time to stop and think … to read … to ponder … to plan my day. Do you get time for that in your busy schedule? I hope you’ll plan some if you don’t have it already.

Peace to you on this lovely Friday ….

If you’d like to join in on some of my quiet moments you can follow me on Instagram.

Carolyn

Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/180, f/4.5, ISO 250

Yellow Color Stories

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” – Pablo Picasso

By Debra

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A First Color of Spring
by Carolyn

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Sunday Scenery

“The World is Quiet Here.” – Lemony Snicket

by Debra

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Can you hear it?  If you close your eyes and breath in and out, I’ll bet you can hear what I heard while shooting this photograph.  Complete quiet with a small stream of water trickling into the pond.  Sunday morning is one of the nicest mornings of the week, especially when Spring is blooming.  I think this is true in most seasons, but during Spring it is a bit more peaceful and calming, flowers blooming and the scent of Spring in the air.  Today I woke up early and went for a drive.  There are several special spots I love to visit during the year, this being one of them.  The development I live and in the surrounding developments, we all have retention ponds.  This particular pond is just a mile or so down the road from my home.  The Cherry blossoms are at full bloom now and the scene was picture perfect!

I grew up in the city and we had two trees on our block.  The houses had small alleys between them, with small yards located behind the homes.  When I moved to Central New Jersey when I was 26 years old it was like culture shock.  We lived in a small development with a huge yard and trees around our home.  It took me quite a long time to adjust to the area. Fifteen years ago we moved to where I currently live, in Southern New Jersey, which is completely different from where I previously lived.  It took me even longer to become acclimated to this area of New Jersey, but now it’s most definitely home.  I love the quiet of where I live and the fact that there are less people who live in this part of the state.

As I looked at the gazebo this morning thinking of how I wanted to compose this shot, I knew I wanted to emphasize the flowers, that’s what Spring is about, the blooming earth and how it has awakened from winter.  Therefore, the scenery is blurred enough to put emphasis on the flowers but to also give you a feel of the scene.  The reflection in the pond of the gazebo and trees which have not bloomed yet, and the beautiful pink buds in the foreground showing how Spring has begun to arrive.  If you don’t venture out on a beautiful, sunny morning, I encourage you to try it.  Just sit and enjoy the quiet for a while, it will be a great way to begin your day and especially the new week.

Thanks for stopping by and I will see you next time … Debra


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It seemed as though winter had set in again on this cold April morning. The sky was filled with clouds overhead and thick heavy rain clouds in the distance. We decided to continue on with our hunt for wildflowers regardless.

We headed in the direction of Shandon. Our goal was to go to Shell Creek Road. It is typically the place for wildflowers here on the Central Coast. Once we got there, I actually was slightly disappointed, but there were quite a few more wildflowers than other years. The sun was still hidden behind the clouds, so the lighting wasn’t what I had hoped for either. We made the best of it.

While there weren’t as many as I had hoped, there were still areas that were blanketed with yellow and pretty patches of purple. I suppose all the talk had my expectations higher than was realistic. The lupine stood high above the yellow flowers and seemed to be calling out just to be photographed. I love the purple and pretty white tips of these delicate flowers.

The hunt for wildflowers is always a pleasant drive, no matter how many we find. The road is an easy drive and not too far from where I live. Any chance to get out in the country is great for me …

Camera Settings: 40 mm, 1/250 sec, f/6.7, ISO 160

We really appreciate you stopping in and joining us on our journey. If you just happened upon this entry, we’d love it if you followed along. Just click here to do that. To see more of California in my gallery, you can click here.

Carolyn

Friday Florals

“One who has hope lives differently.”― Pope Benedict XVI

By Debra

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Spring is a season of renewal and hope.  You can feel the energy when you smell the air and breath in the sweet aromas of flowers, grass and even the spring rain.  Life is very much like the seasons, as human beings we go through many situations during our lifetime, some fun and happy and others are difficult and sometimes sad.

Someone very close to me is going through a very difficult time right now and it brings back memories of when I went through a similar situation in my life.  I wish that I could make all of the pain and unpleasantness he is experiencing go away.  Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to make it easier and less painful for him.  It breaks my heart to know how sick and unhappy he is.

After speaking with him today, I felt such a heaviness in my heart and I needed something fresh and bright to express how good life is.  I purchased these tulips several days ago, I always feel as though it takes a few days for tulips to be just perfect to photograph.  It is one flower, that becomes more beautiful with time.  I wanted to share what hope and renewal feel and look like to me.  With certain life situations, it’s sometimes difficult to find the light but always easy to see the darkness. Hope is what gets us through the darkest of times, without hope there is truly nothing.  I think it’s human nature to see the bad and not see the good, finding the good in a bad situation is never easy, but it’s that goodness and hope that gets us through the darkest times in our lives.

I pray that he finds the light and the hope in his heart gets him through.  Life is precious and sometimes it takes life threatening situations to make us realize how precious each and every day is.

Thank you for listening … Until next time … Debra


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Flowers have become a very favorite subject of mine. I suppose that’s one reason I like spring … there are flowers everywhere. These roses grow on long vines with small almond shaped leaves were growing at the back of a parking lot in town. I drive through this lot several times a week and have been waiting for the opportunity to stop and clip a few off. It wasn’t just a rose bush, it was a huge rose wall! Probably 10-12 feet in the air and maybe 50 feet in length. So today, I remembered to stop and clip.

Our life is like a thorny rose, not perfect but always beautiful.
Kirston D. Warfield

Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/180, f/2.5, ISO 100

Short and sweet for me today! Thanks for stopping in. To see more of my still life work you can click here.

Carolyn

Wednesday Stories

Spring Blossoms
by Debra

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From the Yard to the Vase
by Carolyn

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