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.”

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!



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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

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What I See Around Me – Week 1

‘What I See Around Me’ is our topic for Sundays in December. It will be anything … the landscape around us, a view of our winter weather, our morning cup of coffee, or just whatever we choose. It should be a fun month.

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Leeds Point is a section within the township of Galloway where I live. Most of the people born and raised in this area believe in the Jersey Devil.  The Jersey Devil was born in Leeds Point.  The legend claims that in 1735, the thirteenth child of Mrs. Leeds from the community was transformed into a demon shortly after its birth.  Many who were born and raised in this area believe in this folklore, but for those of us who were not born and raised here, it’s just a legend.

The area where I photographed today’s image was taken in Leeds Point. The Oyster Creek Inn is a restaurant directly behind the marsh where this photograph was shot.  In the summer months, this restaurant is buzzing with live music, and many people eating and drinking.  They has a dock right outside the restaurant, so many boaters pull up, tie their boats and enjoy the evening at the restaurant.  However, in the winter months it’s a bit less crowded, to say the least.  Mostly only local people frequent the restaurant in the colder months.

My image was taken of the marsh, and for anyone who follows my Instagram photography page you have seen some of my summer photographs.  The contrast from summer to winter is amazing.  However, in the colder months, there is a peacefulness that takes place in the shore towns.  Whether you are at the beach,or a small area such as this, the quiet and serenity is welcomed.  In the winter months you are able to hear the wind whipping, smell the salt air and the quiet is just amazing.  There is a difference in the color of the sky, the texture and darkness in the clouds, and not to mention the lack of green everywhere.  I’m most definitely a summer person, I don’t like the cold or the snow, but I do find a definite peacefulness to the emptiness of the entire area during the winter months.  I hope you are able to feel the wind while you look at the ripples in the water, because the wind was quite strong while I took this photograph. Winter has not arrived officially yet, but judging from today, it sure feels like it’s here for quite a while.  My photo is a stark contrast to Carolyn’s beach shot!  The New Jersey shore area is extremely flat and Carolyn’s shore area looks quite the opposite.  I hope you enjoyed the little bit of folklore from my town.  If you have any legends from where you live I hope you share them with us.

If you are interested in seeing more of my photographs, please visit me here.

Until next time … Deb


Just north of Pismo Beach there’s a long staircase that leads you down to a small section of the California Coast called Shell Beach. It’s high cliffs and gigantic rocks lift up out of the ocean’s edge and provide a surface for the waves to crash against. When the tide is out you can easily get to either side of the staircase. When it’s in, you can only view this beach from the stairs or the cliffs above. The rugged cliffs also house a couple of caves. One leads you through to the other side of the beach … a spot I’ve yet to be able to see because of the tide. A little further to the south is an area called Dinosaur Caves. There isn’t any public access these days, but has some beautiful sections.


My home is about 40 minutes from this beautiful spot, so I don’t get there nearly as often as I would like. Many people want their photos taken at the beach though, so I take advantage and usually plan on going a little early or staying a little late to get a landscape shot or two in and just to enjoy the sound of the waves.

My photo today was taken at about 9:30 in the morning during Thanksgiving week, actually right in the middle of a photo session. This shot didn’t take a whole lot of thought. The sky was blue and the colors rich. I composed my shot, going for the rule of thirds, trying not to cut it directly down the middle with the ocean on one side and land on the other. And then went straight down the stairs to meet my client. 🙂 To see some of my portrait photography, other landscapes or get photo tips, you can visit my site here or sign up for this blog here.

Camera Settings: 85mm, 1/750, f/5.6 ISO 100

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Three – Her View and Mine

We’re as different as different can be today. Debra with her landscape and me with my still life.

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Three is a common theme in photography, we are taught to use the rule of thirds when composing or to use groups of three or odd numbers.  So this got me thinking, what does the number three refer to and why is it such a prominent theme in photography.  The number three can refer to many things; three is the first number that forms a geometrical figure – the triangle; three is the number of time: Past Present Future; Birth Life Death; Beginning Middle End. I’m sure there are other meanings for the number three, however, in photography the number three often refers to the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds simply states that a piece should be divided into nine squares of equal size, with two horizontal lines intersecting two vertical lines.

When photographers, or any artist, uses the rule of thirds in their compositions, it creates a more interesting piece of art, it is meant to direct the viewers eye to key areas of a photograph or painting.  Photographers are taught early on to design their compositions using this method.  That being said, it is merely a rule, and rules as we know, are meant to be broken.  Although, many compositions follow the rule of thirds, knowing how to use it, gives an artist the creative right to break that rule.  Sometimes, a composition speaks louder and is more creative when not adhering to rules. The rule of thirds was first written down more than 200 years ago and is often still used in many forms of art today.

Groupings in odd numbers are also used to create a more visually appealing composition.  Even numbers are symmetrical, but odd numbers, are more captivating.  By using an odd number in your displays or groupings it forces your eye to move around the display creating visual interest.

Today’s image was taken yesterday in Ocean City, NJ.  The weather was exceptionally warm for November and many beach-goers were out enjoying the warmth and sunshine. In this image I used three objects (gulls), which I often do, I also used the rule of thirds for this composition.  I felt that the rule of thirds worked well, it brings your eye to the points of interest that I wanted it to, the gulls.

Until next time … Deb

Knitting is a new skill I’ve added to my arsenal. 🙂 My good friend Jeanette, taught a class a couple of years ago and I found something I love! Besides the act of knitting, taking photographs of yarn and other needed supplies is something I really enjoy.

Like Debra mentioned, the number 3 has significance in photography. My photograph meets the Rule of Thirds and using an odd number. Each of these rules draws your eye to the subject.

Placing my subject with some empty space as I did in my Balls of Yarn photo is another way to make the subject stand out. Color is someting I enjoy and these three colors are favorites of mine. I chose to use a wide open depth of field to highlight the yarn and used a Kim Klassen preset in Lightroom to add some character to an otherwise very simple subject … nothing is ordinary … right!?

In my editing, I use both Lightroom and Photoshop. I tend to use Lightroom more for my still life photography and Photoshop more for my portraits, but you can use both for either type of photography.

Camera settings: 50 mm, 1/180, f/1.8, iso 200

For more editing tips or to see more of my work, you can go here.

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a favorite color … hers and mine

life is art … live yours in color …

author unknown

As I type this here today, it is unknown to me what color Debra is choosing and she doesn’t know what color I have chosen. Our goal is to see how different or alike we are in the photos we take. As you read this, we can all see the end result. Please let us know what your thoughts are on what you see. What is your favorite color?

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“blue is the only color that maintains its own character in all its tones … it will always stay blue”          Raoul Dufy

Blue is the color of the sky and sea, so maybe that’s why I have such a heartfelt love for this color. I absolutely love the ocean, as I’ve mentioned previously, being at the beach is a great comfort to me.  My photography journey began with photographing landscapes and seascapes.  I believe the love for blue is reflected in my personality, both in my personal life as well as my artistic life.

There is a peacefulness to the color, at least for me, I feel this peacefulness when I look at blue, wear blue or decorate my home in blue.   At one point, 90% of our home was decorated in blue of one shade or another.  I guess, blue makes me feel happy and at peace, so I surround myself with it.

After shooting today’s photograph, I did a search to see what the color blue actually meant.  To my surprise, blue signifies trust, honesty and loyalty. It is sincere, reserved and quiet, and doesn’t like to make a fuss or draw attention. It hates confrontation, and likes to do things in its own way.  I believe these characteristics describe many of my own personality traits, so maybe that is why I have such a strong attraction and love for the color blue.

Until next time . . . Deb

boldly be a pop of color in a black and white world ~ unknown

What can I say about purple … I have to say something about myself when I think of ‘a favorite color’. Throughout most of the earlier years of my life, I was a very ‘behind the scenes, quiet … don’t notice me … kind of person’. My favorite colors were earth tones … well, they still are.

There came a time though when I came out of my shyness and all of who I was. God had brought a pop of color into my life just by Him being in my life. I began to feel as though I needed to add a pop of color to my favorites … what I wear, etc. Purple seemed to be the color of choice.

And then, of course, nature itself has so much purple. Where I live, it’s difficult to grow plants because of the type of soil. Lavender grows easily out here, so it has become one of my favorite flowers to photograph.

Hoping you love my purple flowers as much as I do!


Autumn Foliage

“Autumn . . . the year’s last loveliest smile.”

I suppose Autumn is the year’s last loveliest smile.  The trees are a beautiful red, yellow and orange. Autumn is the last we will see of colorful trees and flowers until Spring of next year.

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Autumn on the east coast is typically very colorful.  This year however, because of the number of heat waves we experienced during our summer months, and the lack of rain, the trees have not been as colorful as years past. Autumn is usually an extremely beautiful time of year in Southern New Jersey.  Yesterday, my husband and I took a ride to Batsto Village (www.batstovillage.org) in hopes of finally finding some colorful trees.  This has been my third attempt at finding colorful foliage. Unfortunately, there were not too many colorful trees.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day in NJ, temperatures in the mid 70’s and crystal blue skies.  Sadly, no beautifully colored Autumn leaves.  There were a few trees with bright orange or red foliage, but nothing like years past.

As an elementary student, autumn would always mean leaf hunting, for a school project.  Well, this year I did some leaf hunting, while walking McKenzie, and it made me feel childlike as I searched for red, yellow and orange leaves.   My search sparked a photography project which I will share with you in Wednesday’s blog.  As I’ve gotten older, fall nights mean sitting beside the fire in the yard with my family, drinking a warm beverage and just relaxing.  After a long, hot summer, the cool autumn nights are always welcomed.  Hopefully, next year we have some beautiful foliage, but for now, I hope you enjoy today’s photograph from Batsto Village.

Until next time . . . Deb

The Central Coast of California doesn’t show a whole lot of color in the fall unless you’re near one of the many vineyards. They can be absolutely gorgeous this time of year.

My photo today is taken on El Pomar in Templeton California and specifically at Pomar Junction Winery. I chose this vineyard in particular because of the color in the leaves and the beautiful oak trees in the background.

Pomar Junction is actually one of my favorite spots to do portrait sessions (my clients too). There are some great props out back in addition to the vineyard that lays across the rolling hills that are prominent in our area.

If you ever travel to the Central Coast, I suggest the fall, the weather is nice and mild and the colors (in the vineyards) make great photo opportunities.

Camera Settings:

Canon 6d, Tamron 28-70 mm lens, f/3.5 1/1000, iso 100

See you on Wednesday … Carolyn

Literally Coast 2 Coast

From the Pacific to the Atlantic, today our beach photos are literally coast 2 coast. Debra is in New Jersey and I’m in California … these are just a couple of views we get to enjoy in both of these incredible locations.
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Today’s photo was taken in Ocean City, NJ on 10/12/16 at 4:54 pm.  My camera settings were f/22; 1/25 sec. and ISO 100.

New Jersey is comprised of 130 miles of coastline, spanning from Sandy Hook to Cape May.  I am fortunate to live extremely close to many of the amazing beaches I call home.  I’m not sure what it is about the beach, but a sense of calm and peacefulness comes over me whenever I am at the beach or as New Jersey-ans say “down the shore”.  Whether it’s summer or winter, I can be found photographing the sunrise or sunset at one of the beaches near my home.

I live close to Brigantine, Ocean City and not far from Cape May.  Each beach has a different feel to it.  Brigantine is typically where my husband and I go to relax and sunbath.  Ocean City, is family oriented and is a dry town.  Ocean City hosts an amazing boardwalk with many restaurants and shops.  Cape May also has fabulous beaches and is home to the Cape May Lighthouse and many Victorian homes, which are mainly bed and breakfast inns.  Sunset Beach is located along the Delaware Bay this is where you can witness the Flag raising and lowering Ceremony each morning and night from May through September.

Until next time . . . Deb

If you didn’t know about this spectacular little beach appropriately named Shelter Cove, you might never find it. There’s a steep staircase behind a local hotel that takes you down to this incredible little spot.

The coast here in San Luis Obispo County California has so many incredible views of the pacific. It wasn’t too difficult selecting a photo to share today. I’ve had the pleasure of doing a few photo sessions in this secluded little location. It’s warm and protected. There’s a great little arch at the southern most edge and if the tide’s just right you can walk over to the other side.

Being at the beach is something I love. It really brings a sense of peace to me. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into the Central Coast of California and could imagine a little extra peace for yourself.I thought I’d also share my camera settings for those of you interested. This image was taken at 3:30 in the afternoon, December 20, 2015 at f/3.5, 1/500, iso 100. The gorgeous lighting at that time of day and the shadows it created added so much to my image.

See you on Wednesday.