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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Friday Still Life

“Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart.” – Winnie the Pooh

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Transition is something we experience throughout life, in many areas of who we are and what we do.  As I get older, I become more sentimental about so many things.  It’s so difficult to think how fast time has gone by.  This year I turned 55 and it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was 18 and 21 and 26 and 29.  All memorable ages for me, 18 is a year when you believe you are an adult, yet you really have so much to learn; 21 is another age of freedom.  I lost a very close friend when I turned 21, she died in a car accident and it made me think about how immortal I really wasn’t.  At 26 I got married and three years later at 29 I became a mom. All very memorable events in my lifetime, and yet it they all seem like yesterday.  My daughter turned 26 this past week and now she is beginning to feel the immortality starting to kick in. Not that 26 is old, because it’s quite young, but it probably seems old to her.  Once you reach a certain age, time seems to just move quicker than it once did.

I’ve had so many transitions in many aspects of my life and with my art I am experiencing another transition.  I was chatting with Carolyn on Wednesday afternoon and we were discussing how our photography has taken such a turn in the past year.  I think art is an extension of who we are and with each stage of life, things change and it’s reflected in what we do, who we are, who our friends are and with me, how I view life which in turn is reflected in my photography.  For a while I thought I could make money taking photographs of people, but in reality, it’s the quiet and thought process which makes me really appreciate and excel in photography.  I prefer to be alone with my thoughts, being creative and thinking about how I want to compose what I see in my mind.  It’s that satisfaction of seeing my work laid out in front of me and in it’s final process – in print that truly brings me joy.

Transitions are part of life, but how you handle those transitions and move forward is what truly defines whether you will find your inner peace or not.

Thanks for stopping by, Carolyn and I hope you sign up for our weekly newsletter to follow along as we both transition through our journey.  To follow me on Instagram please click here.  Until next time … Debra


With Spring comes flowers! Transition is a good word! Our lives change from season to season. Sometimes those changes are difficult to handle and other times we move into the next season with ease. I can think of times in life where I’ve experienced both!

The divisions of the year are the same. Typically when we get towards the end of one season I begin to look forward to the next. Some I’m more anxious to get out of … winter would be one of those. I’m a warm weather girl … cold days and nights don’t agree with me unless I’m snuggled up under a blanket sitting in front of a cozy fire in our wood stove.

Spring is an especially wonderful season to arrive. The stark landscape begins to take on color. There is gorgeous green in every direction. The barren trees begin to bloom. Little tiny flowers begin to pop up across the landscape and before we know it, there are flowers everywhere!

What a beautiful part of creation God has given us to enjoy. Spring brings new life to everything around us and new life to each of us as we step out of the dreariness of winter into this glorious colorful season!

… silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things …

Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/1000, f/3/5, ISO 400

Happy Spring to you!

Carolyn

Sunday

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Eternity begins and ends with the ocean’s tides.

by Debra

Friday brings a certain freedom as the clock strikes 4:30.  The work week is ended and the weekend has begun!  Today was another cold and blustery day in NJ, but I had it in my mind all day to head home, tend to Kenzie then head to the beach.  I gathered my equipment, grabbed a heavy coat, put on my Uggs and headed south on the Parkway. Ocean City is approximately 20 minutes from my home.  I’m not sure if I was truly prepared for the amount of wind at the beach, praying for warmer days to arrive soon, but there I was, on the beach, camera on tripod, ready to shoot.

I haven’t been doing much landscape photography lately, and the fact that Carolyn and I share a scenery photo each Sunday has reignited the landscape spark in me. I wanted to do a long exposure, not realizing how cold my hands would be, even with gloves on.  I was a lone soul on the beach today, there were people walking on the boardwalk, but I was the only crazy person on the beach taking photographs.  Even though it was extremely cold, I enjoyed myself immensely.  This photograph was taken with a 10 stop neutral density filter, which is a filter that is completely black, reducing light transmitted by 1000x.  This photograph is a 45 second exposure taken at 24mm; ISO 100; and f/16.  The idea behind long exposures is to keep the sensor open for a long period of time allowing light in and anything moving will blur.  So, with the sensor open for 45 seconds, the rushing ocean waves were blurred creating a silky, almost satin effect.  The top of the water looks almost like fog or smoke, creating a very serene and peaceful image.  The sun enhanced the color of the water adding a beautiful pink and purplish tone to the sky and silky water below. After about 30 minutes and frozen hands, I decided to head home.

For anyone who lives near Ocean City, NJ they know Manco and Manco pizza.  It is very well known in Southern NJ and most times you can’t leave the boardwalk without getting a slice of this yummy pizza.  I arrived at my car, loaded my equipment and headed to 12th Street to bring home a pizza pie for dinner.  As I walked up the stairs towards the boardwalk, I could smell the familiar aroma of their famous pizza.  Needless to say, the weekend is off to a good start.

I hope you enjoyed my Friday adventure and a bit about how my weekend began. Have a great weekend and I hope you find a fun spot this weekend to enjoy before Monday arrives. Until next time .. Debra


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As you leave Morro Bay, heading north, there’s a small opening in the fence that leads you to Estero Bluffs State Park. There isn’t an actual park, but a gorgeous almost untouched and unused part of the coastline. As I walked out on the narrow wildflower-lined path and got further from the highway, I could hear the waves crashing and soon got a glimpse of the almost empty beach.

The beauty of this place is just glorious. The recent rains have caused streams of water to flow from the landscape down into the ocean. The sand is almost perfect with very few footprints in it. The mountains rising up to the north surrounding the little town of Cayucos do nothing but add beauty to this enchanting scene.

Once I got my shots down on the water’s edge, I decided to follow the path right along the cliff’s edge. Because it’s March and we’ve just had so much rain here, the yellow wildflowers were blanketing the landscape. This short little walk with the bees buzzing and waves crashing gave me just enough time to relax and quiet my soul.

It’s pretty incredible that I’ve lived on this part of California for pretty much my whole life and this was my first stop at this section of the coast. I’m pretty certain that I’m not the only one who hadn’t discovered this little gem yet.

Camera Settings: 75mm, 1/1000, f/11, ISO 400

Do you follow us? If not and you’d like to, you can click here. We send our newsletter out once a week.

Carolyn

Window Light

Light makes photography.
Embrace Light. Admire it. Love it.
But above all, know light. Know if for all you are worth,
and you will know the key to photography.
George Eastman
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Photography (Merriam Webster) in it’s basic form means the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor).  As I became more proficient in my art I began to learn how light plays one of the most important roles in producing beautiful images.

The term “golden hour” is often heard when you first begin your journey in photography.  The golden hour is a specific time of day, a period of time shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky.  This type of light makes for magical photographs.  The colors are warmer, richer and more pleasing to the eye.

Today’s photograph was taken at 5:00 pm in the afternoon, giving my photograph an overall golden or warmer tone than if I had taken it during the noon hour.  That time of day, when the sun is high in the sky, would produce a much cooler or bluer image.  Of course, it’s a personal preference but once you begin to really study light and it’s affect on your image, you will learn that light plays one of the most important roles in photography.  Many of the technical aspects of photography can be learned but knowing how to truly see the light takes practice, along with knowing what you as the artist wants to convey to the viewer.

Camera settings: 1/5000 sec.; f/1.4; ISO 400; 500mm.

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time … Debra

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Window light is beautiful and ever changing. Light is a necessity in photography. That doesn’t mean all photographs need to be ‘light’, just that light of some sort is a requirement. Some photographs are very dark, yet there is light otherwise you wouldn’t see what is being photographed.

Window lighting can be especially pretty. Lately, backlit photos has caught my attention. Today I’ve chosen to use side lighting. Besides still life, I am a portrait photographer. In photographing people, I have known that having a light source behind my client makes for an interesting photo. This is a new discovery for me in Still Life. I now know that the same principal holds true in both arenas.

In all of life we have opportunities for challenges and growth. I’m always looking for ways to grow artistically with my photography … and in other areas of my life. 🙂 One of the ways I do that is by always having a watchful eye. These flowers, bunched where they are, are a good example of being ‘watchful’. I just stuck them in a vase in my kitchen window one day after photographing them in my studio. I was walking by and saw the beautiful light coming in and knew I needed to grab my camera. They didn’t need the perfect set up or props … all they needed was light.

Camera Settings: 75mm, 1/180, f/2.8, ISO 250

Carolyn

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Friday Happenings

 

“If you don’t take risks, you will have a wasted soul.”

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Memories from the Past by Debra

As I took today’s photograph I wondered what I would write about for this type of flower. Who likes dried, dead flowers anyway? Well, I honestly never liked them until recently, and Carolyn will probably remember me asking her years ago, “Why are you photographing dead flowers?”  However, I think as I took a few shots of these dried roses, I thought about more than dead, dried flowers.  I guess everything lives and everything dies, it’s not about dying, but about how you live and the beauty you share with others, that ‘s what is truly important.

Two times today, once on my way to work and then on my way home, I heard Alan Jackson’s song “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?” and it got me thinking.  That day is etched in my memory forever.  I worked on Wall Street and took the PATH train for 6 years into the World Trade Center.  It makes you wonder, why? It’s nearly 16 years ago already and so much has happened in my own life since then, as I’m sure all of the families who lost loved ones.

I wonder why I am still here, I wasn’t in the buildings on 9/11 so I personally was never in danger from the tragedy.  Since then, I’ve been remarried, moved to a completely different town, lost my job, battled cancer and with the Grace of God, I am still here, living and healthy.  Life has a way of working out what is supposed to happen for you.  After so much devastation in the world and in my own life, you think and live differently.  You don’t take any day you are given for granted, at all!

You are most likely wondering what those dried roses have to do with anything?  It’s just a photograph, right?  Well, it is a photograph, but it’s how you see the things you photograph not so much the object but how you view the object. No two people will view anything exactly the same, but I choose to look at these flowers as something beautiful and not just dried, dead flowers.  See the beauty in everything you are given and live each and every day to the fullest.  It’s a gift!

Thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you next time … Debra


Tulips Are For Shooting by Carolyn

Hello … so nice to see you here on this Friday morning. It’s kind of a funny thing … to me anyway … but tulips haven’t always been a favorite of mine. They have grown on me though over the past few years and are in fact a flower that I look forward to shooting.

The life and variety you get out of them is really just incredible. Click here to see more of my tulips.

If you’ve clicked on the link, you have seen that I love them when they’re fresh and new, just popping out of their green leaf covering all the way to when they’ve dried and shriveled up.

To me, the best way to enjoy tulips to their fullest is to take pictures of them because they simply just don’t last long enough!

Tulips make me happy.
Rebecca Wells

Camera Settings: 50mm, 1/1000, f/2.0, ISO 250

Thanks for stopping … if you’d like to receive our weekly newsletter, click here to get to our sign up page. 🙂

Carolyn

Friday Florals & Still Life

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Like Carolyn, I too make special stops to purchase flowers, sometimes at the grocery store, and sometimes at one of my two favorite flower shops.  The tulips featured in my photograph today were purchased from the same florist who did all of the flowers for my daughter’s wedding.  Marcy, the shop owner, is always fun to speak with and she always has something interesting to talk about, usually wedding related.

Flowers always make me feel happy.  When I’ve had a difficult week or feel a bit down about something, stopping to purchase a bunch of flowers always cheers me up.  It also cheers up my home, especially during the winter months when there isn’t much color outside.

Lately, the days are getting longer and the daylight is a welcome change from the long winter days.  This past weekend, I had Sunday all to myself, so it was a day filled with photography.  I had stopped to purchase the tulips on Saturday and by Sunday when I was ready to photograph them, they had opened nicely.  I wanted to keep the photograph basically white, with a pop of color.  The antique chair added just the pop of color I needed. The farmhouse sign added the touch of country I was looking for too.  I’m intrigued by the turn in home decor lately, it seems like signs are the “in” decoration, and why not, they are fun, simple and bring a touch of vintage to any room and any type of decor.  I really feel as though Pinterest has had so much to do with the trends we see today.  If you are looking for some inspiration, Pinterest is the place to go for just that.

If you are in need of something cheerful, make sure to buy yourself a bunch of flowers and maybe a fun sign to change things up a bit.

Thanks for reading today’s story and if you would like to view more or my work, please visit my website Debra Nancy Photography.  Have a great week and I’ll see you back here next week … Debra


Whenever I go to the grocery store, a stop in the flower section is a necessity! It use to be that I thought cut flowers were a waste of money. My mind has definitely changed on that! It’s a little splurge I make just for me. 🙂 We each need that. I consider it ‘soul care’. What is ‘soul care’ … very simply, it’s something you do for you. It might look like:

  • a casual cup of coffee or tea at a local coffee shop while you gaze through your Instagram or your favorite book
  • a quiet walk around the park, on the beach or through a mountain path
  • sitting on your porch quietly looking at the scenery
  • laying in bed an extra ten minutes in the morning before you get up and rush around

or …

  • buying yourself a pretty bouquet of flowers

Really, the list could go on and on … you’ll have to make up your own with what would truly be a soul break for you.

Flowers are really pretty and they are one thing that makes me feel good. Another thing that makes me feel good is taking a good picture of those flowers. 🙂 It is a lasting memory of that $7.99 bouquet I just bought!

To take this picture, I set up a table in my studio. The top was a little rustic for this shot, so I put a blank canvas on top as my base and a white foam core board behind the flowers for a pretty and simple background. A few things to look for when you take your picture …

  • the direction of the handle
  • flowers spread evenly on both sides of the vase
  • the lighting

Once I had these things right. I changed my camera settings, made sure I was focused on the flowers that were closest to me, kept a steady hand and shot.

Today’s camera settings were: 1/5000, f/1.8, ISO 500. I used a Kim Klassen preset to add texture and slightly change the color.

If you’d like to receive more tips on photography or see more of my work, you can click here. Thanks for stopping in and for reading. Oh … don’t forget to plan some ‘soul care’ breaks for yourself!

Carolyn

Wednesday Stories

Coffee & a Sunday Morning by Debra

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A Cup of Tea by Carolyn

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A Pink Color Story

All Things Pink by Debra

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A Story of Pink by Carolyn

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