Some News I’m Pretty Proud Of…

Some News I’m Pretty Proud Of…

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ― Ansel Adams   Writing has always been my first creative love, but photography comes in a very close second. Often, here at my blog and site, I write about photography (link to a list of photography posts). And now, I’m delighted to announce: Some News I’m Pretty Proud Of… Photography Recently, I’ve had many inquiries into my photography, and I’m so happy to announce my work will be and currently is on display in many public and private venues. A publisher bought pieces as part of an educational series (non-disclosed). A museum in Milwaukee, a wall mural for an upcoming collection As a cover of a book on Prague, title forthcoming, by esteemed publisher, Dreyers-Forlag in Norway Several private collectors In case you’re interested in Buying My Photography in Prints, Cards, Canvases, etc. Here is a link to RedBubble and my photography there, available in many formats like photo canvases, framed prints, greeting cards, and more. The quality is excellent, and the images turn out beautifully. They also guarantee you’ll be 100% happy with the product. If you like an image that you don’t see listed at RedBubble.com, send me a note and I’ll add it there for you.     Writing My first creative love is for writing fiction. I attended the excellent Muse & the Marketplace writers conference in Boston in May. The classes I took and agents and writers I met there inspired me, and from feedback on my novel as a result, I’ve worked hard...
On Seeing Beauty: A Daily Challenge

On Seeing Beauty: A Daily Challenge

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson For the past three months, I’ve been working on an experiment. It’s been a simple experiment, involving only my iPhone and an app called Instagram. The challenge has been to see if I can find one beautiful thing about each day and take a photograph of it. The result? An improved daily perspective. This summer, I’ve seen beauty in unexpected places: a shell tree on the beach, a tangerine sunset, a fleeting rainbow, a used palette, a skyline, and a family game night Monopoly board. And now, once I’ve started looking for something beautiful in each day, I find I notice it more and more … a child’s smile, a held hand, a delicate flower. What do you think? Do you want to join in on the challenge? It’s easy to participate on Instagram (if you have an iPhone), or just take photos for your own pleasure and challenge. I promise it makes the day brighter — the discipline of seeking and seeing beauty. One added bonus: Instagram has a fun sliding menu of filters to apply to your photos, so you can see them, enhance them, and share them in different lights. I’d love to hear from you and see your photos if you take up the challenge. If you’re on twitter, post them with the hashtag #beauty (that way we...
Prague’s Spires and Magical Golden Lane: A Photojournal

Prague’s Spires and Magical Golden Lane: A Photojournal

“Known as the “golden city of 100 spires” and a “symphony in stone”, Prague boasts architectural styles ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque right up to the art nouveau and cubist styles of the 20th Century.” -Prague Guidebook To walk around Prague for a day is to walk through time. From the cobblestone streets to the hundreds of spires stretching skyward, Prague is an enchantress. Even after living in Prague for almost 3 years, I can’t seem to get enough of Prague and her beauty. I savor time out on the Charles Bridge, where tourists pass under the Saints guarding over the Vltava River. I love exploring the nooks carved into the centuries of buildings here, and discovering the artistic palette of a city that does play a symphony with her stones. Recently, I took my camera along for a day out in Prague. So, following, join me in a photojournal of Prague’s famed artist’s lane, Golden Lane, built inside the Prague Castle wall, and of the spires along the way. I hope you enjoy them, this glimpse of Prague in March at the brink of Spring! Related posts: 3 Hours inside Prague Castle: 10 Favorite Sites to See Snow, Charles Bridge, and the Beauty of Prague’s Spires in Winter The Artistic Mystique in Prague’s Vltava Bridges Prague: 10 Top Things to Do and See Reflections of Prague Castle at...
The Magic of Low Light: Photography

The Magic of Low Light: Photography

Photography is the art of writing with light. -Gerardo Suter I love visiting the ocean, and having time on the beach. To me, there is something about the rhythmic crashing of waves, the wide feeling of timelessness, and the gentle scrubbing of the saltwater and sugary sand to wipe away all of the world’s cares. I love being at the beach. When I brought my first camera to the beach, I made the classic mistake time and time again. And I was always disappointed with my photographs. The colors always appeared washed out, my subjects were always squinting, and the objects I was trying to capture for remembrance always turned out pale. One morning, when I was up with the sun, I watched the woman staying next door to us, out with her impressive camera. After she was done taking photographs, she chatted with me for a moment, and made a comment I’ll never forget. “At the beach, don’t even bother to take photos when the sun is high. Only shoot at sunrise or sunset.” Since then, I have found her words to be true, for more than just taking photos at the beach. Because when the lighting is low, the colors are rich, and the photographs become magical. When I had a backyard garden in the United States with many roses, my favorite time to be in the garden was at dawn, with my camera in hand, as the light turned the dew into diamonds, and the roses and other flowers sparkled like gemstones in the low sunlight. I began comparing the photographs I took in low light...
Capturing the Beauty in Life: Photography, and Venice

Capturing the Beauty in Life: Photography, and Venice

Photography is the beauty of life, captured. – Tara Chisholm In 2003, I received my first SLR camera from my husband as a birthday gift. It was not one of the more prestigious brands, and the zoom lens was off-brand, as well. But, the combination of the two– a Target-special camera combined with a basic 30 – 300 mm lens did one major thing in my life: hooked me on photography. It wasn’t long after we purchased the camera, and we took a trip to the coast of Maine from the flatlands of our home in the Midwest. The time was precious because the skies were vivid blue, the ocean was alluring, the lighthouses shimmered, and the fog was thick at times. But also, our boys were then ages two, three, and five. It was tough, with boys running everywhere and into literally everything. But, as I now look back on the photographs I took during that time, I realize that it was the time of our lives. Now, many years later, the time still is the time of our lives. Somehow, through the lens of the camera, time can stand still, and a MOMENT is captured, forever. I have photographs from that Maine trip of majestic lighthouses surrounded by waves crashing like thunder along the craggy shore. And the next frames had photographs of little hands and legs scrambling to climb the dry rocks beside me. These memories will last. They are a treasure. The very definition of Prague: two Czech men at 11:00 am with their beers, in Obecni Dum Of course, now living in Europe, I...
How to Watermark Your Photos for the Web

How to Watermark Your Photos for the Web

There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.  ~Ansel Adams   A couple of weeks ago, a friend wrote to me asking how I watermark my photographs for the web. Since I hadn’t blogged about photography in over a year, I decided to dedicate my posts in February to the subject. In case you missed the last two posts, click here for The Joy of Photography: How to Find Your Inner Lens and 5 Quick Steps to Managing Your Digital Photos. Why watermark your photographs for the web? To claim your work as your own. Some photographers like to have their text in a prominent position, with bold text. Others want to be more discreet with their watermark. But the principle stays the same: the purpose of a watermark is to claim the photograph you have taken and stamp it with your signature. That way, when others like your photo and want to link to it, or, as often happens, want to use it as their own, your watermark already links your work back to you. Another important factor to consider as you watermark a photo is what size do you want your photograph to be? A smaller photo (in KB or MB) by compression helps your website to upload more quickly, while large photographs (more than 1.0 MB) bog down your website or page. The smaller the image file, the blurrier the image when it is enlarged. But usually, an image can be quite small on a web page and still retain its original look. There are many resources online that show how to...
The Joy of Photography: How to Find Your Inner Lens

The Joy of Photography: How to Find Your Inner Lens

Originally posted on February 1, 2012 “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”  -Ansel Adams   In the comments on last week’s post, I was asked how I managed to place my website name on each of my photographs. I hadn’t thought about it much, and haven’t blogged about photography itself here for quite a while. So, inspired by Hallie’s question, I’m planning to write about photography each Wednesday in the month of February, including how I file and sort, edit and mark my digital image files. But first for today, the reason to become hooked on photography: On the Joy of Photography, and finding your inner lens. Years ago, my love for photography came on strong—it traipsed into my life like a memorable song, sashaying in, swinging her coattails, and purring a delectable melody.   My first exposure to cameras was in modeling, the high-fashion kind where seedy photographers follow willowy girls with their dark cameras to freeze an attractive look for all time. There, cameras hooked me, I think. Images created and released from the combination of mysterious light, pungent film, and human creativity became a song in my head which followed me and grew louder with each passing year. Swapping sides with the camera, being the creator and not the subject, has been a wonderful experiment for me, a dive into a world of new beauty and staid time. Now, ten years after getting my first SLR camera, the lure of the lens is unavoidable and its magic unforgettable. Photography opens up the world. Sharing what I...
5 Quick Steps to Managing Your Digital Photos

5 Quick Steps to Managing Your Digital Photos

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” – Aaron Siskind   Today, I had the immense privilege of venturing into Prague with a dear photo-loving friend, despite the bitter cold temps, to take photographs of gorgeous Prague under a dusting of snow. In the matter of a few hours, I took a couple hundred photographs. :o) One of the hardest things about digital photography is the ability to take thousands of photographs. Yes, the ability to take thousands of photographs is a wonderful thing, especially considering the time and effort and money involved in the old-style method of developing film. But there is one drawback to digital and the thousands of photographs: how do you organize and find the photographs once you’ve taken them? A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked about my photos and how I manage them … I have a Nikon DSLR D90 camera and use an HP HDX laptop for my writing and photography. So, here, my simple 5 step method to managing my photographs: 1)  Insert or plug-in your memory card. 2)  Import the photos. 3.  Name the Photos. I always choose a name that I’ll remember later, for instance, Prague. Then, I use an underscore _ and then add the date I took the photos (here: 020812), and then use an underscore _. The computer then numbers the photographs in the order they were uploaded. This way, every folder in my photo library and every photo in each folder has...
A Prague Photo Journal

A Prague Photo Journal

Words cannot begin to describe the beauty we’ve discovered in the Czech Republic thus far, so I am dedicating this week’s blog to a true view through my lens– a photo journal of our time living in Europe thus far. The images can speak for themselves … Enjoy!  Prague, Czech Republic: the Prague Castle The infamous Astronomical Clock, and other sites around the Old Town Square Crossing the Vltava River on the Charles Bridge: Not too far from Prague, the Krivoklat Castle:   Berlin, Germany: the Brandenberg Gate, the Berlin Wall, and the Holocaust Memorial   History has countless stories to tell … More photos to come. Enjoy the waning days of summer! -JK  Related posts: The Artistic Mystique in Prague’s Vltava Bridges Charles Bridge, Prague, and Sunrise in Fog Reflections of Prague Castle at Night Prague: 10 Top Things to Do and See Departure and...