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.


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


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Shades of Friday Still Life

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Light and shadows, isn’t that what photography is really all about?  The light!  I really struggled with today’s photograph.  Sometimes it’s difficult to find inspiration in ordinary inanimate objects, but then it came to me.  I have had the pussy willows featured in today’s photograph for what seems like forever and every time I walk past them, I still love them.

So today, I decided to bring my vase of pussy willows upstairs for the fabulous light in my studio.  As I’ve mentioned before this room faces Southwest and at this time of day (4:07 pm EST) the sun was absolutely perfect for the look I was trying to achieve.  The sun was coming in through the double window from the right (West) and lit the pussy willows and curtain just enough to offset the darkness of the wall and floor.  It also painted just a hint of a shadow on the wall, adding to the overall feel of the photograph.   The light offset the dark walnut floor boards perfectly creating the balance of light and shadow I was looking for.

I think as artists, or anyone for that matter, we all have mental blocks from time to time and question what we do.  Then an inspiration pops into your mind, and those doubts fade away and fade quickly!  Follow your heart and you too will find your light and the shadows will only enhance that light.

Have a great weekend, until next time … Debra

A hot cup of honey chamomile tea, some pretty flowers giving me the hope of spring and journal … the perfect combination for this rainy day.

Flat-lay photography is kind of a fun style that I’m enjoying. Anyone can take this type of picture, although it can be challenging too! Just gather some of your favorite items … or something that is nearby and lay them out on a tabletop, floor, or some neutral surface. Place them in an orderly manner, get above them and shoot. I like taking pictures of items that either represent me or what I’m doing on that particular day.

I love how you can see the design of the flowers through the tea in this adorable mug I got at TJ Maxx. A neutral colored journal is always a favorite for me, and I love the red and white flowers. The pencil is really just there to add an extra element to the scene because I normally write with a pen. 🙂

Spring is Coming!

No matter how cold the winter, spring is sure to follow.

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Signs of Spring by Debra

Spring is 33 days away as I write this, and daylight savings time begins March 12th. Definitely a plus in my book!  There is something about the arrival of spring that makes people happy, well it makes me happy, so I assume others are happy too.  People in general seem to have a spark in their eyes, they seem to just smile more.  Winter seems to be the longest season, even though it’s the same amount of time as every other season.

We have noticed an influx of spring flowers in our area too, oh let’s not get crazy, this is still NJ and the potted plants won’t arrive until March.  That’s when most of the greenhouse owners return from Florida and re-open their establishments for business again. Which is an exciting time for me and many others.  I love seeing all of the pansies and daffodils come to life, planting season is not far behind.  The grass will begin to get green again, the trees will begin to bud and yes, Spring will be here.

So today I share with you one of my favorite flowers, ever!  TULIPS.  Tulips without a doubt signify Spring, they come in so many beautiful colors and even styles.  They are just fun to photograph.  They are a bit unruly, but that is the fun in photographing them.  And what says Spring more than pink?!  Pink is one of my favorite colors and these tulips were a very pretty shade of pale and dark pinks, not to mention the pop of colorful green to compliment the pink.  Yes, this says Spring for sure!  So please enjoy my interpretation of tulips and their representation of Spring.  I think the saying even sums up Spring!  The countdown to Spring has begun and I’ll be sharing more photographs to bring some sunshine your way.

If you are interested in more of my still life photographs please click on the link in the title above.   Until next time … Debra

Seasons, Flowers & Still Life

Each season has its plusses, but I too along with Debra, long for spring.  I suppose it’s that way with every season. They are all enjoyable in one way or another but as we get towards the end of a season, we’re ready for the next. Here in California, during this winter, we’ve been blessed with our share of rain. What a wonderful sight the hills are right now. I live right in the middle of what are golden rolling hills 90% of the time. This year they are a deep yet bright green and I’m hoping they’ll stay that way. We don’t have many flowers out here, but Trader Joes had a great supply!

In my photograph today, I am also featuring tulips, some baby’s breath and this great little tray I borrowed from my daughter for this little photo shoot. I placed each of the items on a wooden crate the ladies at my church gave me several years ago, to give it a little more texture and much-needed height! The window light has been just stunning this time of year and is currently my favorite spot for taking photographs. Today I chose to use my flash to give some light on the front of display. In the end, I had to bounce the flash off the ceiling in order to not completely blow out the light coming in from the window. In my editing, I used a preset from Kim Klassen, who has been very inspirational to me in my still life work.

Camera settings: 50mm, 1/125, f/4.5, ISO 100.

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Art in Still Life

Art enables us to find ourselves
and lose ourselves at the same time.

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It’s winter here in NJ and we are expecting snow by tomorrow morning.  Winter is my least favorite season, after Christmas the scenery is very plain and gray, such a let down after seeing so many beautiful lights for weeks.  Even with the snow, it’s a very drab time of year.  So, to brighten my day I bought some daisies, daisies are such happy flowers for me and always brighten my mood.  I played around with arranging these very happy daisies and my newest addition, my teapot.  I’ve been looking everywhere for just the perfect teapot, and I believe I found it.  Along with the newest addition, is a very old teacup.  This teacup was given to my daughter (by me) for her 10th birthday.  Double digits is a huge event in a little girl’s life.  She had this amazing tea party, where all of the little girls dressed up and had tea and cookies.  It was nearly 15 years ago and I still remember how sweet they all were and oh how fashionable too!

This particular photograph was taken at 6:00 in the evening, with the sun already down and no natural light to be found, I was forced to use artificial lighting.  Not my favorite kind of lighting, but when you get home and it’s already dark you aren’t left with much of a choice.  However, I try to make the photographs shot in studio lighting look as natural as possible.  I also have found, that I like the mixture of patterns in my designs.  Time was, that everything had to match, but today, photographers and artists alike, are mixing their favorite items with each other.  For me, this brings meaning to many aspects of my photograph.  Incorporating items that have special memories and adding new items which will make new memories is a recipe for a very special photograph.

So, if you find yourself feeling a bit down because you too live in the East where the weather is not sunny and warm, find an item that makes you happy (even if it’s daisies) and surround yourself with it.  You will be very happy you did.  To see more of my work, please visit my website.

Until next time …Deb

Do you ever find that you have no creativity in you? That is the way I’ve been feeling the past few days. We took a little break over the holidays from the blog and then getting back into it has been a challenge. 🙂

Sitting at my daughter’s house, watching my grandchildren, I began to look around for something to create art with. Not being in my own home also makes being artful hard. But then I found this vase, and I love the view off her back patio, especially this time of year when the tree is bare and the light finds its way through the branches in a much easier way. The slated railing also adds interest to this already eye catching background.

Sometimes finding your creativity in the moment, requires just taking a moment … a moment to ponder and to breathe …

Once it’s there, there is a feeling of peace and satisfaction that comes over you like a gentle wave washing over your feet.

Camera settings: 28-75mm lens at 57 mm, with the exposure at 1/45 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1000.

Thanks for looking and listening. To see more of my work you can click here.


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Free Choice – Two Views No. 4

Here we are in the fourth week of our blog.  I find it unbelievable how time goes by so quickly.  For the fourth consecutive week, Carolyn and I have photographed today’s blog each of us not knowing what the other has done.  I find it interesting to see how we are progressing and, how we are alike yet different in our styles.

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Webster’s dictionary defines Minimalist Photography as a style or technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.  I have been extremely intrigued by minimalist photography and it’s simplicity for quite a while.  Minimalist photography is known for it’s simple lines, geometric patterns, strong shadows, contrasting colors, and lone subjects.  In my mind the “less is more” style is the entire attraction to this style of art.  The challenge in minimalist photography, is knowing what to leave out and how to compose what has been left in within the correct spacial capacity.  For me, the feeling of space and simplicity has a relaxing quality, and brings a sense of calmness.

This particular photograph that I share with you today, is a vision I’ve had for a while.  The white chair, originally purchased for portrait photography, used numerous times, found a new function.  The pink flowers, which were purchased at a local florist, seemed to fit so well with the child’s white wooden chair. The pink flowers give the stark white, just the correct amount of pop in color to balance the large amount of white.  Once I put these two props together magic happened.

I know this particular style of photography is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope you will take some time, let your eyes relax and allow your mind to take in the tranquility this simple design and this style of art represents.

Until next time . . . Deb

Still life is my new favorite (have I mentioned that yet?)! And I just got this new tea cup that I really wanted to take a picture of. 🙂 I absolutely love the shape. The texture on the outside is fantastic and the pretty pattern on the inside is just so beautiful!

In my guest room, the light is really pretty and it has become the perfect spot for taking photos. I took this shot this morning at about 8 a.m. … this time change has given me just a bit more time in the morning to do a little something fun … like take pictures!

A story is what I was hoping to create with this scene. When I look at it, it makes me think of planning. There is always something to plan, so it’s a perfect setting … a notebook, little sticky notes, pencil, glasses and definitely a cup of tea.

joy is in the journey, not the destination – unknown

Today I used my 28-75 mm lens, f4.5, 1/180, iso 640

Until Friday  … Carolyn