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.


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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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!


Sunday Scenery East to West

“Always Look for the Rainbow” – Winnie the Pooh

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March came in like a lion, as we anxiously await the arrival of Spring, it feels more like winter than it did in all of January and February.  The weather plays havoc with your mood sometimes, and I am hearing so many people wishing for the warm weather to finally arrive.  So, when I woke up Saturday and the sky was gray and raining once more, I knew where to go and what type of photograph I wanted to take to express how the weather has been influencing the mood of many people on the east coast.

Ocean City and the beach seemed like the perfect place to venture to on a damp, cold and rainy morning.  My husband and I headed south on the Parkway and arrived in Ocean City to find much construction on the boardwalk.  It’s almost twice the size it was a few months ago.  I haven’t been down to Ocean City for a short while and it’s coming along quite nicely, it will be beautiful when summer arrives.

The unofficial start to summer begins on Memorial Day weekend, by that time, the weather should be sunny and much warmer than it has been in the past few weeks.  Even though the weather has been a bit dismal, it seemed like a perfect day to capture its mood by photographing the ocean.  Once we arrived and began walking on the beach, the wind whipped around our heads, reinforcing the cold and damp of the day.  As we walked for a bit, we decided to head back up toward the boardwalk, which is where I noticed this bicycle sitting, waiting for it’s owner to continue their journey.  This bicycle seemed to be yearning for warmer days but we get what Mother Nature gives us, and today, it was anything but warmth.  I felt as though the clouds captured the spirit of the day very nicely.  The dark tones of gray swirling around the bits of white peeking through emphasized the raw feeling my husband and I were experiencing.

Even though the weather was cold and damp, this bicycle seemed to tell a story, that I felt needed to be captured.  Maybe it’s owner would ride the length of the boardwalk enjoying the cold upon their face, savoring the quiet of the last few days of winter before the craziness of the spring and summer season begin. Maybe they would head home hoping for a cup of hot cocoa once they arrived.   This story was mine to imagine, or maybe it’s yours?

Thanks for stopping by, until next time … Please visit me here to view my galleries.

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The long windy road, taking you past little ranches and beautiful orchards and vineyards just out of the north end of Paso will eventually take you to Halter Ranch Vineyard. It’s 24th Street that you start out on and Paso Robles is the town … locals shorten it to ‘Paso’. As you leave town, you’ll pass by the cemetery on Mountain Springs Road and then Jardine Ranch on the right. We use to go out there and buy almonds and big boxes of oranges. I haven’t done that in years, but have gone out to Halter Ranch a couple of times to do photography sessions.

As I said, the road is long, but the scenery is well worth the drive. Adelaide Road is speckled with old ranches, almond orchards, orange groves, vineyards, adorable little houses and more! As you get further back in on Adelaide Road there are a few spots where you can pull off to the side and get out of your car to see the incredible long view north-west towards the ocean. You’ll want to make sure you have your camera with you as the photo opportunities are many!

Deeper on the oak lined, two lane road, you’ll finally come to Halter Ranch on the right. Such a gorgeous spot! The old yellow ranch house has enough character all on it’s own to draw you out to this excellent wine tasting location. Once past that, you’ll see the old white barns and rustic bridge you that take you to the state of the art new buildings that are now for wine tasting and more.

If you’re ever in the area, this is a spot you won’t want to miss!

Camera Settings: 85mm, 1/60, f/3.5, ISO 200

Thanks for stopping in … click here to see my California gallery.


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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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

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A Pink Color Story

All Things Pink by Debra


A Story of Pink by Carolyn


Sunday Scenery from NJ to CA

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The earth has music for those who listen.  –  George Santayana

Memories by Debra

Remembering the past is so important, not just for our own personal experience, but for prosperity.  My photograph today was taken on January 2, 2012 at 7:23 AM in Ocean City, NJ.  I had read much about the 59th Street pier and could not wait to photograph this treasure for myself.  The pier had been just a skeleton by the time I photographed it, but there was a certain charm about this old structure, that drew photographers from near and far to come and have their chance with it’s beauty.  The reason for photographing it at this precise time of year is because of the Winter Solstice.  During the winter months, the sun is so low in the sky, I was able to catch the sun just coming over the horizon as it peeked through the pilings.  To create the sunburst effect, I set my f-stop at 22, which created the star effect in the sun.

This pier drew people from wedding parties to family portraits, to photographers such as myself, to come and have their photographs taken by it and of it.  Sadly, Super Storm Sandy destroyed the skeleton which you see in my photograph.  The pier is a mere memory now, in our minds and in print, but if you wanted to visit this end of the beach, the pier is now gone and the jetty that led up to it is no longer there.  Man came in and redid the entire beach area and it is not even recognizable anymore.  The charm and history, however, live on in our memories and in what photographers chose to represent in their photographs.

So, remember the past and document it.  Photography is so much more than a snapshot, it is history and it’s meaning is more than just a picture hanging on a wall.  This photograph does adorn my family room wall in a life size 30×40 print.

Thank you for sharing in my memories.  Until next time …

Rolling Hills

My photo today is of a portion of the rolling hills I mentioned on Friday. This is actually a dip between the hills. As I leave my home, heading down the dirt road, I drive for just under a mile before I get to the highway. Once I’m there and I turn towards town, this is the view off to my right. The green normally doesn’t last for long. This year, because of all the rains we’ve gotten, I’m really hoping it stays green longer.

Just to the south of these hills, there was an old almond orchard. It’s long since dried up and the trees that remain standing are so close to dead. They do get some blossoms in the springtime and some leaves but don’t produce any sort of crop.

Some people feel these rolling hills are boring. It’s difficult for me to see how someone could think any part of God’s creation is boring. They are actually a huge part of the landscape here in California. We can note the changes of the season by the variation of color in these hills as they go from this emerald green, to golden, to the deep brown of the dirt when the ground is tilled.

Special techniques to get this shot … None … I basically just pulled over to the side of the road and snapped. Sometimes they turn out amazing that way! 🙂

Have a happy Sunday! To see more of my California photos you can click here.

Camera Settings: 28-135mm at 44 mm, 1/350, f/9.5, ISO 100